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The Truth About Not Having a Biological Family Around the End-of-Year Season

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It is that time of year again — the end of year, where even if you do not celebrate Christmas (like me and my household), the chaos of the season still brushes off on everyone far and wide. With this bustling and hustling comes an innate sense of loneliness that I struggle with each and every year.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a beautiful family that we have created for ourselves, and I love them dearly. Yet, somewhere inside I feel torn apart just the same as I watch those around me going off on family trips and having their relatives to stay.

I want what they have. I covet their happy families that have been there since their birth, the ones who have seen them grow up through infancy, supported them through their angst-filled teen years, those who have always been there to celebrate all the good times and console them through the bad. The family we have are as close as blood could make us, and I love them more than words really can say, but there is a huge chunk of my life they don’t know about and never can.

Watching groups gathering together, seeing them happy and forgetting all their cares, forgetting that anyone outside their huge circle even exists… it hurts. With that hurt comes guilt because I hate to be this way. I feel guilty that I’m not “grateful enough” for what I do have, the amazing people who choose to be in my life — and I feel guilty because I am jealous of what someone else has instead of just feeling pure happiness for their joy and stable family lives. To be jealous of someone else goes against everything I hold dear to my heart. It makes me feel like a bad, selfish person.

But there it is, the ugly, bitter, horrid truth: I hate the holiday season. I hate the way it makes me long for what I don’t have and the way it makes me feel lonely and sad. I abhor the bitterness and resentment that comes from those feelings, and I dislike the selfishness of not seeming grateful enough for the wonderful things I do indeed have instead.

This year is probably the best in a long time. I am becoming much more accepting of the fact that not all of us have a good family. Many of us have suffered traumatic abuse at the hands of those who are related to us by blood. The genetic code that ties us together does not mean much in this sometimes hateful world where many families tear each other apart.

Family does not need to be biological. Some of us will make our own families with a great partner, children we love and friends who choose us or whom we get to choose. Family can grow in the heart instead, and slowly we will make the memories together. It is happening now, I can feel it, but I am still a bit bitter and sad just the same and probably always will be regretful for the dream that will never be.

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Getty image by verbaska_studio

Originally published: December 24, 2017
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