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I’m Not Close to Any of My Family

But I Get Why It’s This Way

By Jason ProvencioPublished about a month ago 6 min read
Spending time around relatives can be so stressful. Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

I have often wondered what it would feel like to be close to my immediate family. Or even my extended family, locally and those who live farther away. I don’t have a close relationship with anyone I’m related to.

This may seem surprising to some. I’m sure there are people thinking, “What? Jason seems like such a good fella. How could his family not be close to him?”

For starters, I was raised very religiously and by a controlling father. We didn’t get to do a lot of things other kids were able to do, growing up.

My dad ruled with an iron fist. Though he was fair about some things, he was quite strict about others. We didn’t get to listen to most modern music. We weren’t allowed to watch MTV. This is part of the reason I’m so into music as an adult.

I don’t like being told what to do. This is due to being controlled as a young child until I was a young adult. I don’t react well to anyone telling me what I should and shouldn’t do.

I’m a good person. I treat people with kindness and respect. I stand up for marginalized people and have no problem telling people my opinions, especially if they cross the line regarding racism, bigotry, sexism, and homophobia. Bring it, and I’ll tell you how ignorant you are, with not a second thought about it.

I stand with all good humans. I have their backs before I’d have bigoted family members’ backs. Photo by Ian Taylor on Unsplash

I’m all about wonderful, kind-hearted, accepting human beings. Bonus points if you are funny and have good manners. I get along with damn near anyone, as long as they aren’t willfully ignorant.

Sadly, I have a hard time spending quality time with my immediate family that I grew up with. Their political views lean very right, and they’ve said things over time that have been racist, bigoted, sexist, and homophobic. My desire to invest much time in them is quite low.

When we do get together with my parents, it’s quite superficial and sterilized. We talk about things with little to no substance. I realize that discussing politics, religion, and topics such as social justice with my folks isn’t conducive to a peaceful environment.

There haven’t been many efforts on either side in all of the years we’ve lived in the same area together. I used to invite them to my daughter’s sporting events and school performances when she was much younger. I quit doing that after it was shown that there was little to no interest in attending any of her events.

They live 16 miles from where we live. While that’s not just a quick drive across town, you’d think that there might be a LITTLE interest in things their granddaughter was participating in. At least they will likely see her graduate from high school in spring.

Then again, maybe not.

They didn’t attend either of my two stepchildren’s graduations in 2021 and 2022. They did come to my nephew’s though in 2018. He’s their only other biological grandchild. My brother’s son.

Our daughter’s 2022 graduation wasn’t attended by my parents. Kind of shitty. Their loss.

I have one sibling. We are not close. He is also a right-winger and has said some unkind things about my daughter “choosing” to be gay because she wasn’t popular with boys and mentioned being a part of the Gay-Straight Alliance club at school, shortly before coming out.

He thinks they influenced her in deciding to be gay by being accepting of her when she checked into their club. Yeah.

I hate to break it to him, but that’s not how it works. I’ve been to Pride events over the last four years and haven’t had the urge to go blow some dude. Just because you’re a part of a community or cause doesn’t make you change your sexual orientation. I can’t believe I have to even explain this shit.

So being close to my immediate family, I’m not that interested.

We’re not close to my in-laws, either. My Bride’s parents are big Trumpers and have Fox News blasting all day long at ungodly volume levels. It’s not a comfortable environment to visit in. Plus my mother-in-law is a narcissist of epic proportions.

We haven’t seen them in over three years. They live 2.2 miles down the road from us.

We have two nephews in town. We see them about once or twice a year.

My brother and sister-in-law also live just over two miles away. They are nice enough people, but we get tired of hearing about how much they hate the NBA if we bring up the topic or mention that we’re excited to see a big game coming up. I don’t think they’re a fan of LeBron and the league’s very pro-Black Lives Matter movement.

They’d probably prefer that he just shut up and dribble.

My extended family who lives out of state are mostly good people. I have an aunt I truly despise. She found it necessary to constantly comment about my pro-LGBTQ posts with things like, “You know how I feel about this”, and “That’s not what the Bible says.”

My aunt would prefer to be a pretend Christian than to be an actual decent human being toward all people. Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Fuck what you interpret the Bible saying. You’re wrong. And annoying. I warned her a couple of times and then blocked her. We haven’t communicated in a couple of years now.

I have a gay daughter that means more to me than the relationship with a bigoted aunt. It’s not even a choice, for me.

I feel that the issue with my immediate and extended family is that I have a low tolerance for bullshit. At age 48, I’m only interested in using what little free time I have for other good human beings. I feel no obligation to spend time with people simply because we’re related to each other.

My Bride and our three children are always going to be my top priorities. My sister-in-law lives with us and is a wonderful human being. The five of us still living under this roof are my favorite people to spend time with. We always have a wonderful time sharing laughter and having no drama.

The other people who feed my soul are you all. I’ve enjoyed befriending many of you. I’ve even connected with a number of you outside of Medium and chat daily with a couple of people. You all are my family.

Some of my writer family, right here. I’m closer to more people on Medium than my blood-related family.

Family isn’t always the people you share blood with. You have no say about the family you are born into. But the great thing about people you consider to be family in your life is that you get to pick THAT family.

Those people can be far more enjoyable to spend time with and invest your efforts into.

Still, it would be nice to have a family member or two to be close with. I often wonder if this is an unusual thing for others, not being close to most or all of your relatives. It makes me wonder if I’m just too intolerant, or if I expect too much of blood-related family members.

What are your experiences with this topic? Are you close to your parents, siblings, grandparents, and other family? And if not, what are the reasons for not spending time with family?

I’m grateful and blessed to have my Bride, our children, and my sister-in-law living under one roof. And for y’all, who live inside my laptop. Having the family that I’ve chosen helps make all the difference to me. &:^)

siblingsparentsmarriedimmediate familygrandparentsextended familydivorcedchildren

About the Creator

Jason Provencio

Husband, father, writer, and poet. I love blogging about family, politics, relationships, humor, and writing. Buy me a coffee? https://ko-fi.com/jasonpro9

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