Family matters

Friday, March 18, 2011

A friend from school, Buzzy, made a piece of art about family and the nature of trust through generations. I've been thinking about it these past few days. Just how much do our parents affect the way we see family and the way we'll raise our own families? My parents got divorced when I was 10, and their relationship has affected, either positively or negatively, how I view marriage, relationships, love, and so forth. Theirs was not a good relationship. Granted, I don't remember all that much about my childhood, but I know (whether from childhood perception or just stories being told after I was grown) that they struggled. And continued to struggle after the divorce. And continue to struggle. And I continue to be a part of that (this) struggle. It is unavoidable.

A large number of people I know come from families which have divorced parents... And you have to wonder, how will this affect us when (and if) we make the decision to get married and start a family? Will we always have the option of divorce in our minds and therefore marry someone with less commitment and less certainty? Will we fuck up our lives and our children's lives because of the examples of marriage we were shown? Does coming from a household with two happy parents make us better parents, or does it not prepare us for certain difficulties?

I saw firsthand my parents failed marriage. It has warped and twisted my views of love. I simply do not understand that two people can love each other and not yell at each other. How is this possible? Have I somehow got some sick twisted hope that my parents do love each other and that's why they yell so much? My parents weren't the kind to stay together "for the kids" and my mom went on to have many (some successful, some not) further relationships. Growing up I strove to have a strong, passionate, good, happy, boundless love that my parents so obviously (at least to me) didn't have, at least not anymore. And maybe that's a worthy goal, but maybe I was also unprepared for how hard this really is, having spent the better part of many car rides telling both my parents that they were acting childish. Which I still stick to. I have insisted, do still insist, that my parents are not my heros, not the people I want to be like. I admire them, but I have no wish to repeat the lives they lived. I intend to learn from their mistakes, though that may be impossible. I may be setting myself up.

I sat down to write this blog intended to make the point that a broken family made a completely blank slate for the next generation to go on, and hopefully make their new rules and not live my a standard which was set by someone that wasn't them. But now I'm no so sure... Maybe both ways are bad. Maybe it's impossible, an endless cycle of each generation fucking up the next one, due to the previous one.