I love my family. I really do. But sometimes I wonder how much they love me.
I’ve always been a fan of unconditional love, but it seems to simply be a nice thought, that most of us put very little stock into.
I’ve always felt that my value to a community has been based on my conformity to its mores. As such, my tendancy in my family has been to just sort of shut down. It’s why I spent most of my youth locked up in my room, watching t.v., and not engaing a whole lot with them.
I’ve always sensed that I was . . . different. Different from many in the black community, different from many in the Christian world (at least the Evangelical one), and different from everyone in my family. I responded to this by just conforming as best I could to those around me. And honestly, it left me feeling hollow, despite becoming quite successful in all those realms. Eventually, I think I began distancing myself, and putting up masks to avoid the inevitable rejection.
Now I’m left with relationships based on inauthenticity. Even with my family. And I don’t know what to do about it.
It’s amazing that after just 3 days at home, I (almost instinctively) reverted to my old self. I spent the last few days watching t.v./movies, and eating tons and tons of food. Now, this is probably not extraordinary, considering it’s holiday time – but I just find it odd that this was my behavior at home throughout my youth. I can only remember 2 things very clearly in my upbringing: eating and television.
Funny thing is, I (the real Darren) NEVER watch television. People are shocked when I tell them that I don’t have cable. But I have no reason to spend $60/month on it, when I never turn on my t.v.!
And I only eat once a day (twice, on some days). Food is simply not a preoccupation for me.
But I go home, and there I find myself eating and rotting in front of the tube.
It dawns on me that this is how I disengage from relating to my family, and how I comfort myself living in such tension
It makes me wonder if I’m not more fucked up than I imagined.
I don’t like this. I don’t want things to be this way. Yet, when I’m home, I feel so restricted. I feel like I can’t be me. I feel like I simply don’t connect in deep, meaningful ways with my family. The things that interest me (science, philosophy, theology, mystery), just aren’t even on their radar! I dunno. It’s very disconcerting.
And at the same time, I must acknowledge that I’ve never really given my family the chance to see the real me. I’ve just kind of assumed that they would want nothing to do with me. I’ve accepted rejection before it’s even demonstrated. I guess it’s a self-protective mechanism.
But I just don’t have the balls to open up and share the things that are really on my heart.
You’d do well to pray for me. I don’t suspect this is something that’s going to be fixed anytime soon. But it would be nice to at least have some modicum of peace about the matter.
Until later . . . I still have reviews of “If Grace is True: Why God Will Save Every Person”, and “Happy Feet” to give Also some interesting thoughts from the new book I started: “Exclusion and Embrace”. Quite apropos to some of the theological questions I’m contemplating and wrestling with right now!