Family

When I first came to this country, soon to be eleven years ago, people often asked me if I had family back in the old country. The first few times, I got confused. ‘Family’, to me, only meant the nuclear family; husband/wife + children. Or, when you’re young, mother, father, siblings. I quickly picked up though, and now I know … even cousins could be included as ‘family’ in some instances. I don’t even know my cousins. I have one family member back there, a brother ten years older than I — when I was eleven he got married and started his own family. We’re not close. Would his kids be ‘family’?! I hardly know them.

Then there’s the word ‘love’. I find that it’s much easier to say it in English than in my native tongue. To look someone in the eyes and tell them “jag älskar dig” … boy, that’s serious business!!! Takes a lot of emotion behind that statement and it’s not something I would have said to, for example, my mother. I can say it to my husband and my cat! In English, I could say it even to a friend! «Love ya!!!» If I were to tell, let’s say, my brother “jag älskar dig”, I truly believe he would faint from the shock.

McDuff just walked over to me here and said mew. I’m pretty sure that meant ‘I love you’! 🙂

 

38 Replies to “Family”

  1. I wonder if it is something in our culture maybe? We’re just not used to say I love you in our native language…

    I do not think I have ever heard my parents told me they love me but I know they do! And I have not told them either… I think it would almost be embarrassing in a weird way if I would say that… In a way it is kind of sad!

    My son tells me he loves me now and then and I tell him as well! I am glad we can talk easily about everything and show our feelings without being embarrassed! 🙂

    And hey… it IS easier to say that in English! And I DO love ya my friend! 😀

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    1. Älska is a much more emotionally charged word than love. I would have felt very embarrassed if I’d said that to my mum and she would have felt awkward. It’s a cultural thing also. Here, and in English, I have no problems telling people I love them … yeah, hey I love ya too! LOL

      It’s complicated, though because I can say «jag älskar räkmackor!» ROFL

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  2. 😉 Yes MEW means “I Love You” in Cat speak!!!
    I hear you about the words ‘family’ & ‘love’…
    I had a ‘foster’ Brother who was closer to me than my ‘adopted’ brother…
    I like the Aboriginal system of adopting people into a family…it is so inclusive & welcoming. People help each other.
    Look at my so-called family…no one calls me. I am always the one reaching out. I am tired of ‘begging’ for ‘scraps of attention’. That IS NOT hpw family behave!!! Well not in my beleif system…
    So my family is Siddhartha Henry…period….
    Love is actually an easier concept for me.
    I love my friends; I love my felines; I love my deceased hubbies. I love my Brother (RIP).
    I have affection for my family…love is now too strong a word.
    I have more love for my blogging friends than my family at this point.
    Sherri-Ellen

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    1. If I hadn’t reached out over these years, there wouldn’t have been any contact at all. Zero. In fact, we’ve had more contact via email, than we ever had in real life. Not of any substance, but still. I love my blogging friends, and I have my family here now, G and McDuff. Things are good.

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      1. That is sad Rebby! This is how my family are too. I am so weary from chasing them for attention & interaction. It has wounded my spririt so much.
        Seriously, my blogging friends (such as you) know MORE about me now than the family!!!
        WP people are my family & Purrince Siddhartha Henry 😉
        Happy Easter to you & G. & McDuff ❤ ❤ ❤

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        1. I honestly don’t know why I do it. Reach out, that is. Perhaps I feel like that’s the thing to do. I realise there are families that aren’t dysfunctional, but I don’t know what that feels like so … I’m okay. I didn’t think of us as dysfunctional when I was in it — not until much later in life.

          Happy Passover

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          1. I think you reach out because you can & you are the ‘better’ person. You are a functional person. Your family are blessed you still try.
            Mine do not care. I feel like telling them I was better of being a frunk; at least they paid attention to me then…sad isn’t it?
            I will not revert to the dysfunction of my past…it appears I am the ‘functional’ one now…
            I knew from a young age my family was different; just did not know the word to describe them…..
            Happy Easter dear friend ❤

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              1. That is something at least Rebby!
                I have a Sister & a Brother & I might as well be an only child.
                Both are adopted siblings & I chose both of them (fat lot of good it did me!)
                Before my father died he told me ‘I was came into the world as an only child & I would go out as an only child…’
                I was upset when he said that but I KNOW he is right.
                No matter what I do there is no connection…
                When they do ‘surface’ it is on their terms & if I do not jump to their command then I am ignored for months on end again.
                It is all very painful I can tell you 😦

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                1. I’m really sorry you feel that way [and that it iS that way]. The lack of attention/contact in my case, doesn’t hurt me emotionally … I shrug it off. If anything, I might feel a little sorry for him, because he’s so totally locked up, emotionally, so I’ve never seen anything like it. His x [who really knows him inside out] talked about it a lot. He has a tremendous amount of anger and it very hot tempered, which made me a little scared as a child.

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                  1. There is no ohter way to feel Rebby. My family are physically & emotionally unavailable to me.
                    Only my Niece calls me. We spoke for 2 hrs today. We only spoke about her Mother briefly. She does not need me harping about how mean her Mother is to me; she already knows.
                    I am sorry you felt fear because of your Brother’s anger issue; that is not good. It is good you can see past his anger & see he is ‘locked up'(great description) & still stay in touch.
                    It looks like I AM the one with the anger issue, lol…
                    Oh well there is nothing I can do but accept things. I did call my Sister & left Easter greetings on her answer machine. I was short & sweet & did not even say “Hope to hear from you soon.” That was a break thru for me. I had no expectation of a return phone call & of course, did not get one but i was not angry like I usually get…
                    So I am making progress! 😉

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                    1. I’ve often been thinking of breaking off all ties. I think it would feel liberating!

                      There were SO many years we weren’t speaking at all, but it loosened up [a little] when mum died.

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                    2. I think of breaking all ties too Rebby but I would hurt my Niece & her 2 children so much & they are ‘innocents’ in this scenario.
                      So I decided I will call her 2-3 times a month & keep in touch. I can talk to my Great Niece & Nephew also.
                      I am going to change my Will & leave everything to them only. I just have to figure out who will be Executor; certainly NOT my Sister!
                      I am glad you can speak to your Brother to a certain extent; even if he does not say it I bet he appreciates hearing from you….(we can hope right?) 😉

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                    3. Now that looks like a great place for wildlife!!! I think that is a lovely idea Rebby.
                      I don’t have $$$ as such so it is my jewellry & personal items & poetry & short stories & photos that I want my Niece & her children to have.The rest can go to auction….
                      Sad but true…

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                    4. Pretty much same here, but if there happened to be a few bucks … The other stuff, I’ve honestly not thought about. I should do that, because I certainly don’t want any of them to get any, and you never know when your time is up.

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                    5. I wanted my Ex-fiance to have the furniture that was good but now that he has a girlfriend I dout she would let him have anything of mine.
                      I also have lovely paintings & art that I want a friend to have so I have to get her added into the Will also. She lives out of town too. That is the problem; no one lives in town….
                      I DO have a guardian for Siddhartha Henry so if something happens the Vet can come in & get him & all his stuff. I also put his original owner’s name/number & 2 women from the Feral cat group so he will have a home one way or another!

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                    6. If I survive G., I would want McDuff to be put to sleep. He’s already eleven, and I plan to live a few more years … quite a few, actually. All this is so hypothetical, but IF it were to turn out that way, that’s what I want.

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                    7. Do you have your wishes down somewhere & does G know what you woudl want? I have everything written & it is in a plastic bag in fridge freezer….
                      It does make sense about McDuff being PTS if you are no longer there as you would not want his last days w/out you or pining for you or anything else.
                      If I go before my time Siddhartha Henry will still be a young cat. I KNOW Mary Ellen would take him back if something happened to me. So would Nikki who rehabbed him & his siblings when they all were sick. Sheila would if she had the room. So the ‘Purrince’ would be cared for no matter what 😉

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                    8. I was told by a firefighter that putting any valuable papers in a freezer is a good diea. they are the last thign to burn 😉
                      My Holographic Will & the Purrince’ss wishes are all in a brown envelope in a Ziploc bag 😉

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                    9. That’s very good to know! Just got back from Sobeys, and I’ve looked for tuna low in sodium. I dunno … could that be the one that said ‘tuna light’?

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  3. If I count all cousins, sisters and brothers children, siblings then I have a big family. I have contact with my 2 sisters and brother, and we realy have lots of fun when we are together ( not so often ).
    Yes to me it is difficult too to say to hubby or my parents when they lived: Jeg elsker dig. Maybe its because its vey intimate ( to me at least). But as you write, jeg elsker også rejemad, men det er upersonligt.I believe that using a foreign language I create a distance emotionally, so its easy to say I love you

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    1. Exactly! You put words to my thoughts … when you speak a foreign language, you create a certain distance!

      I would probably have a huge family too, if I counted cousins. I don’t know them 🙂

      Just took a trip across Öresundsbron in Google Streetview 🙂

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  4. HHMMM I don’t think it is the same tuna…so it is best to check Sodium content of regular & light tuna…maybe it is the same as Low Sodium but packaged differently??
    So back to discussion of Family. I went to my Counsellor yesterday & we had amazing session. He concluded that my Sister/family have ‘divorced’ me! It was an “A-HA” moment & I could relate (having gone thru 3 divorces).
    Now I am working towards acceptance. No more begging for attention or trying to get them to understand me. I do not have to apoplogize for my health/mobility & it is their problem that they see me as a ‘liability’.
    I felt a huge weight lifted yesterday! 😉

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    1. It’s wonderful to have one of those a-ha moments! I’ve gone through three too. That was a really good take on it, and best of luck working on acceptance. I had some moment like that, when a Dr. said to me that I had to forgive myself — I’d never thought of that before.

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      1. Funny thing is I know this stuff; but got so caught up in my own emotions I could not comprehend what was happening. Now it is crystal clear to me & having the clarity I can work on ACCEPTING what I can not change (my family) & change what I can (my responses to them).
        I am no longer going to apologize for being disabled; living in Housing or being poor or for all the marriages or for being widowed twice! This is the history of my Life…..
        And why do theey NOT focus on the 28 years of continous sobriety??? HHHMMMM 😉
        The Doc you saw is 150% correct. Forgiveness starts within; always!
        I needed to hear that again too Rebby; thank you ❤

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        1. I don’t think any number of years matter to certain people … one is like a zebra, they think the stripes will always be there. I hold my head high when I go back there … at least I got out of the gutter, as opposed to many others.

          Yes, at that time it was like an eye-opener to me, but it takes a lot of work and soul searching and I’m not done 🙂

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          1. I agree Rebby. I wonder if they would pay attention if I relapsed…i bet they would because then I would be dysfunctional again…well THAT is not happening!
            I am holding my head up too. We are the mracles & we should be humbly proud that we survived & rebuilt our lives.
            I am not done by a long shot either. At least I feel more connected to myself now (if that makes sense). No one is going to put me down; not ever….
            Thanks for listening dear friend ❤

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              1. Better today (Monday). Thank you for asking! I have emailed a few people (fair weather friends) & stated my case. CJ has not even replied so I have deleted her from FB & my phone list. The other woman did respond. We shall see if she DOES actually take me out for coffee & chat.
                Took down family pix & put them away. Deleted a few more phone numbers. I feel much more empowered.
                I am making sure to keep lines of communciation open to the positive people in my lives.
                I will get thru this….I have to. I have come thru so much to give in now 😉
                ((hugs)) Sherri-Ellen

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                1. I think once you’ve reached full acceptance in your mind, about the ‘divorce’ … you’re going to feel even more relieved. It sounds as if you’re well on your way. I don’t know who CJ is.
                  Of course you will get through … let it take the time it takes 🙂

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                  1. 😉 I suspect you are correct Rebby! The relief is wonderful I can tell you…..
                    CJ is one of Nylablue’s chaffeurs who use to take us to Vet’s. Cathy is her first name. She was very odd from August til November last year; every week promised to take us & then ‘something would come up’. So Sheila took us for the entire 4 moths every Tuesday (amazing woman that she is!).
                    I tried to cut Cathy some slack due to some issues in her life however she jsut seemed to ;disengage’ more & more. We did go out twice in January so I thought things were sorting out. Then Feb & Mar she kept cancelling our coffeeor shopping dates. No reasons…the last time was 10 minutes b4 she was to pick me up! The week b4 I had spent 5 HOURS on phone talking to her & comforting her about ‘the’ boyfriend. Bottom line: I do not have energy for her ‘drama’ anymore nor do I deserve to be treated like some sort of personal slave….
                    So you can see why I have cut her loose. I need responsible reliable people in my Life; not ‘fair weather’ friends…. 😉

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                    1. Yes, that doesn’t sound good at all.

                      I’ve often thought about that; if you’re married or in a relationship that’s not working out at all, you divorce! But all the other relationships we have with people … sometimes we need to ‘divorce’ some of them too! I was confronted with that [that I needed to do something] a few years ago, and I did. Not in a very neat way, but it was the only way and it needed to be done.

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  5. LOL mee too…how does one ‘divorce’ a family memeber (other than spouse) or a friend?
    I am finding this out now…better late than never 😉
    Sometimes seperating ourselves from someone & ending a friendship can be very sticky!
    We do the best we can. I now know that CJ was a ‘fair weather’ friend & I wish her well. She will never find another girlfriend to listen to her for 5 hrs at a time….
    (No one has EVER spent 5 hrs listening to me, lol..)

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