Family dynamics are so different on each side of my family.
The side I primarily grew up with and spent the most time with are very tight knit. We're there for each other, we see each others' warts and spend time together anyway. There's a knowledge that if there's a problem, any one of us will step up and help the other.
Well, maybe I'm wearing rose-colored glasses about it, but that's how I feel my family works. That's always been my experience.
Now, the other side of my family has completely different dynamics. They aren't close-knit at all. I have recently connected with the few relatives I have left on that side and have enveloped them in my heart, whether they want me to or not. I have memories of them from my childhood that are happy and fun.
I know life happens. I know 30+ years have happened since I have seen these folks. I have no idea what has gone on in the details of their lives, what choices they made, what hardships they suffered, or what crosses they bear.
I do know that I love them. Probably more-so because I can see and feel their pain, even though they've not discussed it with me.
Today I saw a comment on one of these relative's FB posts that horrified and broke my heart. My 7yo asked me why I was crying, and all I could say was that I read something that made me sad.
Now, I have no clue what happened in their past. I have no idea what the child or parent went through. I completely understand child/parent trials, and struggle myself with forgiving past hurts. "hurt" being a serious understatement, but I'm not getting into that.
Part of my heart being horrified was the fact that I cannot fathom or understand treating a parent so awfully in public for the world to see. Part was the venom bitten out in such a brazen and unforgiving way that I can't wrap my head around it.
Why do people do this?
Why, if you feel someone is negative and constantly bringing you down, do you interact with them on social media? Why even connect with them there? The folks I have issues with I may not be able to "unfriend" on FB because I don't want to cause ripples, but I unfollow their feeds so I don't feel invaded or that my vulnerabilities are being threatened. And if I don't like their comments on my feed, I delete them.
Now, granted, those are my choices. And I would never, ever, leave inflammatory comments designed to bring someone to tears and humiliate them in front of the entire world. That only serves to make *me* look like an inconsiderate ass.
I truly don't understand.
Emotional wounds cut deep, bleed for a long time, and take years to begin to heal. I am well aware of this. But, why share those hurts with the world? Why? It makes me want to wrap the attacked person in a large warm fuzzy hug and let them know that I love them in spite of all their imperfections.
I'm not this way with everyone. There are a few people I've given my heart to who have smashed it to bits, and I can't trust them with it anymore. It doesn't mean I don't care, but it does mean that I hold myself aloof let someone else do the hugging and healing for them.
But the public trashing, swearing, and tearing down of a relative? It hurts to read it. It hurts to know that people feel it's right and ok to treat other people so poorly.
Why is it acceptable? And why do they tear their own wounds even more open by lashing out at others? It doesn't help heal, it doesn't make anyone feel better; it simply increases the pain and the bloody mess.
They may not reconcile. I hurt for them. I understand how a child can feel that way; I fully expected my oldest to resent me and hate me after the post-partum years when she had to play mother and I didn't function at all. She had to take on more responsibility than any teenager should have.
But so help me, I wish I could fix it. I wish I could wrap them in hugs and let them know they're lovable no matter what.