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rave?? family


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like all the other damn threads i've been posting here lately, this is a long thing and i'm not gonna give you no fancy tl;dr.  either read it or don't imo


so, i'm not on good terms with my family and the ones who are around every day don't actually like me, nor do i like them.  that's been a fact of life for me since i was pretty young.  but it only applies to my mom's side of the family.

my mom's side is the one i grew up with.  i haven't seen my dad or any of the family on that side very much throughout my life, save for early childhood.  since both sides give completely different versions of things, and neither side is totally reliable when it comes to facts, i'll never know the exact reason for the split or why my dad disappeared from the picture after my mom came back into it.  i do know that they divorced when i was around three, i went to live with my maternal grandmother, and i saw my dad on weekends for several years while my mom ran around doing who knows what (dancing at the titty bar if my dad is to be believed, but that's neither here nor there).  during that time, i didn't see or hear from her at all.  then she came back with a new fiancee and when they got married, i moved in with her and my stepdad at their request (boy, was i dumb).  my dad sent me a letter once or twice (which my mom read before giving to me), but other than that, we had little to no contact until a few more years had passed and then we had a couple of brief visits.  and that's pretty much how it has been since then: i have only seen him once or twice every few years, though now that i have access to a cell phone and the internet, we occasionally text or chat on facebook in between.  he even sent me a hand-written letter a few weeks ago.

my dad (and the rest of the family on that side) is far from perfect.  i won't even pretend that i haven't lost respect for him more than once for things he's done--and for things he hasn't done.  but there is one thing i can say about my dad that i never could about my mom: i don't doubt that he cares about me.  i don't know how things would have been if i had lived with him or seen him more often growing up.  maybe we would be closer, maybe we would be less close.  but i know he loves all his kids, and he has never treated me badly.  he and i get along pretty decently and actually have things in common, even so i don't feel like he knows me very well (albeit still better than anyone on my mom's side).  so i am glad to talk to him and visit with him from time to time, and i hope we can get to know each other a little better over time.

i have fond memories with my dad and the rest of his family, even if most of those memories are from a long time ago.

so today i got the chance to hang out with him again.  i was a little apprehensive at first because i expected things to be sort of awkward and i was feeling lazy and tired because it was my last day off before going back to work.  but i'm really glad i went.  he came over with my cousin, who i haven't seen or talked to (except for very briefly several years ago) since we were kids.  he was a bit older than me, but i thought he was the bee's knees back in the day.  after losing touch beyond that point, i never expected we'd be hanging out again, especially with how much has changed since then.  but turns out we've got things in common and he's just as nice as i remember him.  the three of us went gold panning, then headed back to my cousin's place to eat, and he tried to teach me how to play the banjo.  even gave me his old one, as well as a spare gold pan.  then he said he'd hit me up on facebook and let me know whenever he was going out again so we could hang out sometime.  and he seemed genuine about it.  like he actually wanted to spend time with me again and wasn't just faking politeness.

i was appreciative, of course, but i didn't let on just how much so.  in all honesty, i was fucking floored.  in a good way, that is.  i don't experience this kind of thing often, especially not from family.  the last time i got a glimpse of family actually doing things together and acting like, well, family, was when i lived with my ex and got to be part of that family for a little while.  it amazed me then, too, but i didn't quite feel like i belonged.  but today, with my dad's family, i did.  there was still some awkwardness due to shyness on my part for a few personal reasons that i didn't want to bring up since it seemed like the wrong time.  but it was a good day, i felt at ease, and i felt like i was around people who actually cared.  i felt like i had a family.

getting in touch with people i haven't seen since childhood and finding that we actually still get along is a crazy feeling.  feeling like i belong somewhere is a crazy feeling.  it's like getting back a little piece of something i lost a long time ago, and it actually feels good.  it's kind of scary tbh

i think i am a little overwhelmed right now because i'm not used to things feeling good. 

it'll be nice to have more people to talk to, and a reason to get out of the house every once in a while.  and it'll really be nice to get back in touch with people and be able to say i have a fucking family for once.  so uh... fingers crossed i guess

maybe things are changing in my life.

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