Origin, Choice, Standing in Both

Family of Origin. Family of Choice. We get born into one, but we come alive in the other.


Some people are lucky and these two things overlap. Others, like me, the only connection between the two worlds is me. This is why I feel like I am straddling two different versions of me, to the point where I am afraid I am losing my footing. I don’t want to go tumbling into the abyss. At the same time, I don’t want to pull these worlds closer together. One causes me pain, the other lets me live. I can’t kick out the painful one, because somehow I’m always going to be stuck with it.


I find myself trying to avoid the family I have chosen because underneath it all, I’m afraid I’m going to be a disappointment to them just like I am to the family I came from. I know I’m not what my birth family was hoping for. I’m not cisgender or heterosexual or even moderate in my politics. I’m a transguy, who is queer as hell, and is so liberal my heart is exploding not bleeding. I’m never going to be what they hoped for. Even if they just hoped I would be happy, I’ve failed at that a lot too.


But here I am, 26.. Oh lord, almost 27… and I am innately afraid I’m always going to be a disappointment. Just because I feel it, it doesn’t make it true and on some level I understand this…however I am convincing myself that I am pretty worthless and I don’t matter because all I will do is continue to be a disappointment. The question of do I matter is one of the biggest stuck points I have and I don’t know how to live without constantly wondering that. It’s strong and rooted deep within myself, because I don’t think I do. I can’t remember feeling good and like I mattered.


My family of origin has never been big on photo taking. However, most people even if they hate that, will take photos at big milestones. I don’t even have those kind of photos. Family members went to events like concerts and graduations, but there’s no photographic evidence.  I drove myself to and from my high school graduation and there is not a single photo of my family and I from that night. I graduated from college and it was the same thing. No photos of me and my family of origin. There are so many photos of me and my family of choice. The one I think I even titled something like ‘me and my college parents’ because that’s how it was. These were the people who cared about me in ways I didn’t know I deserved.
So here I am, straddling the worlds of where I came from and where I came alive. I don’t know how to fully embrace where I come alive, because I bring so many things from where I come from.


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