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Letter From the Editor

Readers,

Sometimes blood isn’t thicker than water. Sometimes family will betray you quicker than any stranger could. Sometimes your kin prove to be no type of kin at all.

If you’ve ever found yourself questioning whether or not your family is truly your family (the “ride or die”, “I gotcho back!” type of family), then maybe it isn’t. It’s so easy to let go of a friend or lover who betrayed you, but family? That’s a whole ‘nother category on its own. Before I continue, I want you all to know that I don’t advocate the separation of families and I don’t condone holding grudges or breaking family ties over “stupid stuff.” However, I will say that not all family units are happy or healthy family units, and if one ever finds his or herself to be in an unhappy or unhealthy environment, then that person should “leave the nest” and never look back. For instance, someone living in an abusive home.

Someone I am very close to has grown up being abused in so many ways. Once she confided in me in regards to her childhood experiences, I had a new found respect for her. Interestingly enough, I would’ve never expected her to go through everything she had gone through; she is always happy, always wearing a smile and she has a warm, genuine spirit. After finding out that she had been verbally, mentally and emotionally abused by her mother, physically abused by her father and step mother, teased and bullied at school all while being ostracized by the kids in her old neighborhood, I was speechless. Not to mention, her extended family constantly put down her dreams and ambitions, and constantly called her out of her name. Needless to say, she doesn’t communicate with them anymore no matter how many times they attempt to make contact with her, and I don’t blame her.

The only reason I’m telling this story (or paraphrasing, rather) is because she has already begun to tell it and I am so proud of the woman she is becoming. I’m keeping her identity withheld, for now at least; I feel it’s best if her identity is revealed by her means.

The point I’m trying to get across is that you shouldn’t feel obligated to stick with a “family” who mistreats you just because you all are tied by blood. If you are trying to achieve something and those family members are hindering you, let them go. Listening to their harsh words is poison to your soul; that’s not healthy. Surround yourself with people who encourage you, uplift you and support you.

Exclusively yours,

Raena S.

P.S. “Love yourself FIRST and MOST.”

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