This summer has been one of the most difficult summers I’ve journeyed through. A sudden departure from a job I loved deeply, the pressures of trying to find some part-time work while I continue to focus on my graduate studies, caring for an injured dog, looking at my evolving circles of support, supporting Jeremy as we maneuver through sudden health changes, starting a field placement working with a community of adults with mental illness and drug & alcohol challenges, finding and meeting new doctors, new counselors, health insurance changes, struggling to support my birth family while caring for the little girl in me, AND still finding time for ME in all of this.
I am the eldest daughter of 2, of a multi-ethnic family. Culturally I struggle with the battle of being “the good daughter,” the responsible daughter who will make good money and care for her birth family at ANY expense. In 2005 I came to the awareness that I had needed to choose my own sanity over my father’s. This was deeply painful as my dad was so passionately part of me, my love for him is boundless and his struggles have really molded my experiences and passions in life.
Struggling to haphazardly create a boundary of no contact, this cut me off from my mom for about six months. As I witnessed the separation and divorce of my parents, I saw the impacts of this take hold of my younger sister. Not to mention her own inner battles, struggles to find herself, and also be “the good daughter.”
This month I’ve had to create another boundary, I realized that again, I must choose my own sanity. Re-defining loyalty has been essential in this process. It does me no good to hold fast to those who cannot at this time love and support me while we all struggle through the trials of our life journeys. Being loyal to ME, a creation that evolved from this birth family, IS BEING LOYAL TO THEM.
May we all embrace our deep and passionate selves – knowing that family is important – however loving them is FIRST LOVING YOU.