Well, my friend Sweet Tea did, anyway. She always comments and she usually makes me think. My last post was no exception. This time she wanted to know what my relationship is with the aunt who raised me. I've written this post several times in my head and this is the second attempt at actually getting my thoughts from brain to blog.
My aunt--I'll call her Jane--was 42 when she took me in. I was just past my second birthday. She had married her second husband the year before. Jane's youngest child was 15. She had four grandchildren. Finally, after years of hard work and a first marriage to an alcoholic, she had a nice home and a good job. She agreed to take in her younger sister's child. It was supposed to be a temporary situation.
Jane lived in Tennessee. I was born in Ohio. I'm pretty sure we had never met. Picture a child dropped off (and I've heard the story--that's what happened) in a strange place among strangers. I was and still am a person who needs lots of hugs and warm fuzzies. Jane is not such a person. She's uncomfortable when people show emotion. I don't remember sitting on her lap, being read to, or played with. I don't remember her telling me she loved me until after I was married and I was moving away.
You've probably deduced by now that our relationship is strained. While I appreciate all she did for me by raising me and providing a home, I didn't get the emotional support I desperately needed. The aunt and uncle who took my brother adopted him and I've always felt I would be a different person if I had been adopted. I never felt part of any family and felt that I could be "sent back" if I messed up or they got tired of me. Guess I just never felt secure.
Can I end this with a bit of advice? One of my favorite sayings is "fake it till you make it". Meaning act a certain way until it becomes second nature. If you're not a touchy feely type person and don't hug your loved ones much, try to step outside your comfort zone and give them a big hug at least once a day. Show them your love by your actions, not just your words. And don't think they "already know" so you shouldn't have to say anything. I know without a doubt my husband loves me, but I still want to hear him say it--often. These small gestures just may make the difference in someone's day--or life. (okay, stepping off soapbox now.)