Cisi Eze: Family Is Overrated

Lately, I have had conversations about family with people, and one thing I have come to realise is this: “Family, as it is, is overrated”. Sounds weird, aye? Nevertheless, this is a thought to toss around in your mind. It is often said that blood is thicker than water; however, different things like hate, resentment, anger, envy, to mention a few, can dilute it.

Family comprises of people we survive with… when surviving is the only choice we have. Family does not judge us. Family is loyalty, not necessarily blood. Most of us are in abusive, parasitic relationships with people all in the name of blood ties. Most of us are stuck with psychic vampires, and whenever we try to break free, they find the right words to blackmail us emotionally. They toss in guilt, fear, and obligation. “We would cut you off,” they say, to put us in check.

“Four walls do not make a home.” Family is home. Home is emotional, not necessarily geographical.

Home is that place between harsh society – the place you are compelled to bite more than you can chew, and the confines of your mind – the place you take it easy, one sip at a time.

Home is that place you take off uncomfortable shoes and itchy masks without the fear of being judged – it is a safe space. It is a place where you feel accepted without anyone judging you. Love makes it home. And “love makes your soul crawl out of its hiding place.”- Zora Neale Hurston. You display those parts of you society has branded ugly without fear. You have nothing to hide at home.

It is that place you can take off your wigs and belch loudly. At home, you can wear your boxers around, even when there are holes in it. If you do not get this in a house, you might not call it home.

Sometimes, home could be drama, because life has its vicissitudes.

Because home is mostly emotional, anywhere can be home. Anyone can be home, too.

Those people who see us for who we are – flaws, errors, faults, beauty – and go on to love, respect, and accept us are home. Those people who do not judge our innocuous choices are home. They are home because they are family. As I tell people, “It is not love when you need someone to change for you to be accepting of who they are.” Love does not come with a clause. Love does not come with terms and conditions.

Loyalty, love, and mutual respect makes us family, blood means we are “related”. If you are not getting these, it only makes sense that you leave. Never hide your pain. “If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.” – Zora Neale Hurston. We should not be so loving to love people that hate us. We are under no obligation to endure toxic relationships because of blood ties.

Many people out there share similar perspectives with us. The Universe has a way of bringing them our way. All we have to do is put ourselves in positions and situations where they would find us. The moment we are with them, everything we thought was weird about us would become normal, right even. What is normal is a function of consensus. Normal becomes right the same way a lie becomes true when it has been repeated many times.

P.S. Some of us claim our parents whooped us to the point we wondered if we were adopted. We must not repeat this mistake. Whatever we do, we must remain friends and confidants to our children. Let them trust us enough to talk to us, not “outsiders”. As Pythagoras stated, “Every relationship without friendship is bondage.” We must not be abusive parents. Domestic violence is domestic violence, regardless of people involved.

P.P.S Family as a social institution is bound to evolve as society evolves. Once upon a time, polygamy, having a large family, was the norm. But here we are today – most of us are subscribing to monogamy with two or three kids, not even four or five as some of our parents. This alone proves social change is real. Gladly, we have been logical and honest to the point of admitting large families are not beneficial to us in the 21st century. If the size of family has can evolved, we should expect family structure to evolve. Family could be father and father, with their children. It could be mother and mother, with their children. It could be father, with his children. It could be mother, with her children. It could be thatolder man or woman, with those children. It could be a group of people who have come together to support themselves because they truly love themselves.

Photo Credit: Noriko Cooper | Dreamstime