Why Do We Grow Apart From Our Families?

"Screw you, dad! I'm gonna sniff coke whether you like it or not!"

I have always been baffled by people who hate their families. People
who openly discuss their hatred towards relatives, siblings and parents
were categorized (in my mind) as poor souls in need of a warm hug
while discreetly being handed a pamphlet on “How To Love Your
Family: Even If You Don’t.” In Asian culture, you sorta have to tuck
that underneath your crying pillow while you vacuum those angry
tears right back up your slanted eyes. So why, for the life of god,
Buddha, or spaghetti monster, do we grow apart from our family?

For most of us growing up, our family is a collection of personalities
that we carry with us. Our nagging mother, our neglectful father, the
teasing brother, and the distant sister. This all-day breakfast club of
humans, linked only through DNA and a rooftop, are forced to endure
each others bullshittery as you fight and clash your silly little lives
together.When you think about it, it’s quite an astounding miracle to
see so many families close together despite their crater-sized differences.
But what happens when we grow up?

As we get older, the lines become thinner, and the personalities replace
the titles. In other words, our annoying mother slowing becomes the
annoying woman, and the neglectful father transforms into the neglectful
asshole. We start to see them not as blood related family members, but as
people. Our minds start to separate the two and we start telling ourselves
“wow… I actually dislike this person for who they really are.” Before, you
had no choice. You lived with all of them your entire life but now that you
have a piece of independence, you can choose who surround yourself
with – not them.

In case you’re wondering, this isn’t really happening to me – not really.
Yes, the lines are getting smaller and smaller each day, and the
personalities have resurfaced like a washed up corpse upon the beach, but
it’s not as bad as I depicted. However, I do feel a shift in my emotions.
Before, I always told myself that I could never move away from California,
let alone the bay area. But now? Now I see myself living freely and happily
in the bustle and haze of New York, or even in a cozy apartment in Japan
as I eat warm Ramen and drink hot tea with my lovely girlfriend (hopefully
fiancee by then.)

Maybe this is just a trait of age, or perhaps I’m becoming a bigger and
bigger asshole. Either way, the concrete pavement that I’m jogging over
is slowing starting to erode, and I’m in dire need of some change. Perhaps
I’ll take that trip to New York, or possibly (and more realistically) my
lovely San Francisco. Whether it happens now or it happens later, I feel
the inevitable steam rolling its way and I can hear that train a’ comin’.
The only thing left to do is cherish the time I have in this city, hug it out,
and open up that little pamphlet of mine.



Filed under My Life, Revelation, Winter/Fall

7 responses to “Why Do We Grow Apart From Our Families?

  1. Sherry J

    Love this post, ranier. im feeling this… ive had to take care of my mom for almost 5 years and i wouldnt survived had it not been for my sister…but in the summer of last year, she packed up her bags, took my nephew and left for TX. I understood why she left cause she wanted a better life for herself and him, but it really left me in the lurch cause now its all on me to take care of myself and my mom and i dont have a lot of options for care for the both of us, and im felling that growing apart feeling like you said since there’re sooo many miles away , especially when we were so close. I get resentful at times too because even though shes not having it easy, for her to just have the power to up and leave and me not having the same opportunity because i have no help for me or my mother in order for me to have a life, makes me angry at her at times. Its hard to be optimistic when youre constantly worrying about bills, and her care, and trying to keep a roof over your head when your hards are tied. If ive sound like a debby downer, forgive me, but your post just struck a nerve and honestly,, this is how i feel.

  2. Sherry J

    i mean hands are tied..^_^..sorry bout the typo.

  3. CeeCee

    Well, not everyone has the best parents. It’d be nice to say family is always there, and they HAVE to love you, but it’s not true. Many people want to leave their families, but can’t accept the guilt from society with it. For every person who hates their family, there is most likely a very complex and long story to go with it. After all, reality isn’t full of love and kindness for a lot of people. Why do we have to give two craps about people who we only have blood in common with?

  4. ROSI

    thanks for the article. recently the rose colored glasses came flying off this year. I’ve realized that no one in my extended family was actually never there except for my grandmother thats it. No one else. I am slowly coming to grips with it, and after all this time I have tried to do things with people but there too busy or not interested. My cousins always managed to be treated with everyone else but us. My cousins wedding is in a couple of months, and I am starting to feel that I should just not go because in all likely hood it would feel awkard and empty. We have nothing in common at all. I guess it took me this long to read a writing on the wall,we grew up together and the only thing we have in common is bloodlines and Jesus that it. We dont talk, and now I am calling it. Its like an break up my intermediate family is there always there extendded however different story.

  5. Bryson

    Funny how this relates. Im 17 now, almost 18, and i still live at home. technically. But my family was originally Christian, living normal lives. We started going to a new church, and everything went to crap. Everyone got “godly” and judgmental. I didnt, so my family would spend an evening walking around the house praying, and I would have to do it too, but i would never open my mouth. about a year ago, i tried to go on a date with some girl from work, and my parents got pissed. They grounded me, blocked her number, and i had to eventually quit the job, simply because i took her to see the Amazing Spiderman. Thats when I realized something wasnt right. I started going crazy, hanging out with partiers, id drink and chew and party till i passed out in a mudhole next to my truck. eventually I got arrested for going to a girls house in the middle of the night with a gun, and my parents had no clue about my life style. Thats when my life changed. It was a slow change, going through a semester of failing grades, endless encounters with cops, (15 in 3 months to be exact), and screaming parents telling me i was a satan follower. Eventually we have come to a truce where they dont force their cult on me, i still live at home, but im never home. I leave by 7 am for work or school, and i come home at 11 or so after everyone is asleep. i pay all my bills, insurance, phone, food, rent, I do my own laundry, I pretty much live in a house alone. But i wouldnt trade my life for anything that my family has to offer. I just feel sorry for them as they go to church and talk about all that, and they give up everything for it. Like, my mom has told me im going to hell, and im a satan follwer and im going to end up in a mental institution. And apparently thats ok according to her christianity. I dont do bad things anymore, Im graduating highschool, working two jobs, i have unlimited college oppurtunities, I eventually asked the girl from my old work to be my girlfriend, and we havent been together more than 8 or 9 months, but i know shes gonna be my wife. I work hard, I live my life quietly and peacefully with no parental help because I choose it that way. I have a reputation everywhere in town as a quiet, hardworking, moral guy who you can go to for anything from advice to a new set of tires or getting something fixed. the only people who hate me and want me to be dragged down is my christian family.

  6. j

    TOTALLY !!!! That pretty much rocked, good job ! My twin debby is a total cunt these days, she thinks she’s the moral authority yet she’s completely twisted and tearing our family apart. I’m sitting here today wanting to send her a ” happy birthday twin” text, (we’re 42 today) but her serpent tongue has spilled so much vulgarity that the mere thought of her makes me feel nauseated. She is toxic. Thanks for your post, you unblurred some of the inner workings of what happens, and I’m comforted & glad to find someone else relates.

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