We have absolutely no biological family support when it comes to our mental health diagnoses. Not one member of our biological family, except maybe a cousin we lost contact with, accepts us as we are in our entirety. That lack of acceptance led us into a marriage where we thought we had found it, and instead had only found dominance and control.
Thirteen years of that marriage was more than enough to convince this system that we needed help. Actually our biological family was pretty good at making sure we knew we needed help but not in the way we really did need. The oldest of us has always been about 17 years old, only now we were responsible for 4 children. We hit the online support groups in search of acceptance.
Those support groups eventually led us to the people who would become our family. Mama ran the main support group we joined. For some reason we caught her attention, which is pretty impressive, because not many people stand out to Mama. As she coaxed us into opening up to her we eventually realized she was our “Tribe”. Months later, we started talking to Daddy (Mama’s husband, in case you weren’t following along haha). He’s our Tribe too! The acceptance there was real and true. They wanted to know more and to help.
They spent hours talking the kids through bad dreams, the separation of us and the husband (their bio dad), the inevitable move that we had to make. From 2500 miles away they watched our system struggle and eventually start to buckle under the pressure. They made the decision to come get us and take us home. To their home.
They are raising the children. They are raising us. Nana and Papa may not understand but they accept us and the kids. The kids call Mama and Daddy “Mom and Dad”. Dad’s parents are learning. Our body doesn’t match our outsides. But somehow here we found family acceptance and that has made all of the difference to our healing. We have become a more stable and safer system. We have become more open. Less afraid.
We are growing and learning.