Choosing Sides

For years my family has been fighting. I’ve missed birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and the birth of several babies. I’ve missed losses, tragedies in which I should have been there for my family. I should have been weeping with them, mourning their loss, but instead I was blissfully unaware of what was going on. Not by my own choosing, but by a path set in motion by an extended family member. For over 20 years now this war has been waging, and I’ve been struggling to stay neutral. Well, today I’m choosing a side.

I’m choosing the side in which I enjoy holidays and special occasions with my cousins.

I’m choosing the side where love prevails and no matter what the other party has done, we’re still family.

I’m choosing to be there for my cousins in good times and in bad times. I’m choosing to have a relationship with people who haven’t done anything and are the unwilling victims like myself in this terrible family battle.

I’m choosing the side where we don’t ignore the others or hide our communications with them. I’m choosing a side where I communicate openly with my family without shame or guilt.

I’m choosing a side where I don’t have to worry “What will they think?” when I post on the Facebook pages of my family.

Because we’re family.

Because I love them.

Because it’s not my battle.

Because the whole fucking thing is stupid and pointless.

Most of all because they are family and family sticks together.

And if that isn’t what this family values, then I’m out. I’m done. I don’t want to be a part of a family waging war against itself. That isn’t how family behaves. My grandparents would be ashamed of what my family has become, and I won’t be a part of that shame.