I always knew I was different.
The other kids had mothers and fathers, or one of the two. I had my great granparents.
I knew they loved me. But I knew others didn't think I should be there. I knew family members thought my great grandparents shouldn't take me on as a responsibility. It was then I didn't feel that I belonged.
My first serious boyfriend capitalized on that. He told me how much I didn't fit in. He made sure I knew I didn't belong. He slowly seperated me from those I called friend. And then he took from me the hope of ever having a family of my own, a family where I belonged.
My first husband had family but they fought, if they bothered to talk at all. His sister showed up at our house in the dead of night and demanded my wedding rings because we were a month behind on the loan. He knew we were more than a month behind on the house note because he handled all the money. He shrugged and told me to hand them over to her. I cried for a month and the hate for him slowly seeped deeper into my soul. I didn't belong here either.
My second husband had a family but his ex wife talked to them more than he did. When his mother passed I realized I was seen as the interloper. I couldn't be his wife, she was still his wife in their eyes, even though she'd asked for the divorce. I didn't even bother fighting. I insulated myself from the hurt and did all I could to keep the hurt contained. Eventually I left there too, hoping that some day the little girl I'd spent 5 years helping to raise wouldn't forget me. I don't really hear from her much these days though.
My Jon, my current and last husband, has a family. They are very much a family, there for each other. We live with several of them until we can get our own things sorted out. Earlier this month his grandmother passed away. I stepped back, feeling that I didn't belong. I supported him but I did all I could to give them their last moments with her rather than taking that time for myself. When I went down to the waiting room to tell his mother that she should be in there more than I should be she enfolded me in a hug. Later, as they cleaned out her room they offered me some of her fabric and sewing supplies. I was overwhelmed with emotion. I didn't deserve that. But they assured me that they'd already taken what they wanted and I was welcome to it as I'd use it.
I'm not the same faith they are but they don't treat me as an outcast. Some of my family is on facebook but we don't talk much. I chat with my sister. I occasionally miss the closeness I thought we shared back when my great grandparents were alive. But I also realize that Jon's family completely accepts me as I am, non-conformist, purple haired, pagan worshiper, and slightly crazy girl that I am. I'm thankful that we had our wedding when we did and so much of his family was able to make it.
This is not the world I came from. This, however, is the world I'm accepted in.