This I Believe

Julia - Hilliard, Ohio
Entered on October 4, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, setbacks

“Too Much Oregano!”

I believe I am not a terrible person in their opinion. I believe they care about me and love me for whom I am but the truth is; they don’t know who I am. They never knew who was. Who I speak of is my father’s side of the family, the people I refer as the “Steens!” There has always been this spinning black hole in our relationship with one another and I believe if I gave them a second chance, I could make it disappear and be like the black hole was never there.

My Aunt Lori who is married to my Father’s brother, David is definitely a difficult individual to deal with personally. She asked to stay the night at her house several times and each time led to pure madness. I was blamed for something absurd each time I spent the night there and ended up leaving every time. The first time I was blamed by my cousin Bradley for using foul language which I had not even used. The second time I was blamed for sticking gum on a bedpost by Lori. You can only guess how ridiculous that was!? The third time I was accused of giving my young cousin Riley a welt by hitting him “lightly” with a sweater. Come on! Cut me some slack here!

What I just don’t understand is why I am always rejected by my father’s side of the family. I am always told by my other extended family that they love me and care for me in their own way but why does it have to be in their own way. Why can’t it just be the normal way? It’s because my father’s side of the family is not normal in anyway at all. They are far from it.

My Grandparents, Darmell and Mozell Steen are probably the strangest individuals you will ever meet. They keep EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mozell is extremely distant and hyper. She doesn’t come to visit me and my cousins hardly ever which is a HUGE disappointment. This is the most disappointing news though. My Grandfather Darmell loves us kids. He cannot get enough of us because he’s just a fun loving guy but to tell you the honest truth, he’s a big wimp. He adores Mozell more though chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and he lets her boss him around. When he wants to come and visit us, she wants to do something else and he just goes along with it. Do you see the problem there?

I don’t hate my Father’s side of the family. It’s not like I want to throw them off the side of Mount Everest while laughing evilly. I just want to have a better relationship with them. I wish to understand them better; try to get inside their heads to know what they are really thinking.

My Aunt Michelle and her family are actually pretty awesome people. I don’t really see them very much either but we don’t have that many problems. I have been known to look like her when she was my age which is a good thing, I guess? Michelle is a very pretty woman and I love her attitude towards life. She has a great personality and great adventure.

My Father forced himself away from his family which makes me somewhat depressed. He couldn’t take being perfect in his mother and father’s, especially his mother’s, eyes anymore. Mozell and Darmell always went away and left my father with too many responsibilities as a young child such as taking care of David and Michelle and that was a burden on him. The day my Dad graduated high school, Mozell told him he should have been valedictorian when he already achieved the role as salutatorian. Perfection was key in her eyes and in my Dad’s, it was not. They were two different people from different worlds.

I think the reason why I feel so rejected by my father’s side of the family is because of my Father. He pushed himself away from them and now, when they actually do get to see me, there are feelings of tension and awkwardness. I want that to end. I want a new beginning; whatever you people call it, a fresh start. I believe in second chances with individuals and I want a second chance with my father’s side of the family. I believe I can make that happen, I believe we can bring our bond of broken pieces together.

One last note: To my Great Aunt Helen, I know you’re not physically here to listen to me read this essay but I know you’re always listening to whatever I’ve got to say anyway. You were the only one my father could turn to in happiness and in sorrow in his family and I thank you for that dearly. I love you with all my heart and you were such a joy to talk to no matter what emotion I was feeling. You were the most pleasant individual to be around and I believe that, even though you are gone, you can help me change my relationship with this family because you were the one who brought the spirit alive in it as it was. You are greatly missed. R.I.P. Helen. I love you