Featured in Nature vs. Nurture

Blood Is Thicker Than Water

Or is it?

Over this past year, I’ve gotten various responses when I say that my husband and I don’t associate ourselves with specific family members, such as,

“But that’s got to break their heart.”

“What a awful daughter/son you are! They gave life to you, you should be ashamed of yourself!”

“People change.”

“Blood is thicker than water.”

1. Our hearts were broken by the incidents that have happened BECAUSE of them.

2. Cool, Susan, how about we talk about when you were young and ran off with your boyfriend and he left you with your kid? Are you an awful person for that?

3. In certain cases, yes. In others, no.

4. Blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.

Then, there are other responses:

“Yeah, me too.”

“My family hates my wife/husband.”

“I don’t blame you.”

After my parents' divorce, I lived between two different houses, two different lifestyles, for about 6 years or so. In one house I lived in peace, without that constant worry of “what am I doing wrong?” While in the other, I feared if I got a C instead of an A in that one class that I am struggling with. I feared that if I had friends of the opposite sex that I was a whore, or if I brought friends of different races, religions, and politics as I got older, it would offend the man who helped created me. He would chastise me in private and get in my face and scream, that to this day it is a struggle to look at people in the eye, fearing I might see the same anger and hatred, or that I may feel the same burning pain from a slap in the face, or the suffocation from his hands around my neck for biting my nails anxiously.

Blood is thicker than water.

Sometimes, I still see him in my sleep and it’s worse than ever. The dreams start out great and then I see him and they twist into that same fear and jolts me out of my sleep as I cry out for him to keep away.

Even though I am away, he still brings me anger, still brings me pain. My sisters still stay with him, even though they don’t want to.

It’s not their fucking choice.

Not even for my half sister, a baby about a year old, who gets screamed at as soon as her mom’s back is turned away for laughing or crying or just being “too loud.”

Blood is thicker than water.

My husband carries his own baggage. A mother who put a life of alcohol, drugs and being “the life of the party” in front of her children and a father who never came for him comes to his mind. He deals with it differently than I do. He normally shakes his head and laughs, cracking a joke or two about the ordeal, acting as if it doesn’t affect him. But I’ve seen it hurt him deeply.

The fact that Mommy wasn’t around for 10 years, and that he searched constantly for Daddy on social media only to receive a card on holidays with a note scribbled about how proud he is of his son.

Blood is thicker than water.

Maybe it’s the fact Mommy said that returning home in a body bag will be the only way it makes it out of the forces or that he should haven’t made it outside of her womb, that it’s his fault their bond as mother and son is nonexistent. Not because of putting him down constantly, instead of building him up, hitting him for standing up for himself. None of that can be her fault; a loving mother would never do that.

Blood is thicker than water. 

The multiple messages, voicemails to both our devices, the looks he received from friends and families from the way his name was tainted by the words of her mouth. Her tears staining what once was a place of praise to The Man Upstairs, to a breeding ground of rumors and exchanged looks.

Blood is thicker than water.

It doesn’t matter that living with him made my hair fall out in strains or that my value was sorted down to the numbers that appeared when I stepped on the scale, being constantly reminded that I “ate too much” by grabbing any little fat I had on my cheeks. That I would have rather died, than to ever be with him again.

To comments of how such awful children we must be to leave such loving people, that I must have gotten “knocked up” or I must be “heartless and uncaring.” To the point that we have been told, that we are being prayed for, that children is something we must not have.

“You’d be awful parents.”

But, blood is thicker than water.

The bonds, the “family” I have made over the years, through personal experiences and small talk, have become closer to my heart than some of the blood relatives I have. My husband has a brotherhood that stands by him and that can count on each other. Family that makes the pain go away little by little.

It probably will never fully leave either of us, a lesson to be remembered. But, at least we can rest easy knowing we did the right thing. Not everyone may agree, but they don’t have to.

Blood IS thicker than water.

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