I grew up in a broken family, but not in the sense that might usually first come into mind. There was love and good intentions all around, but relationships were fragile. It seems like no one in my family knew how to express themselves or show their love and pride for one another. Hugs and kisses were rare. There was a 10 year period during most of my childhood that I never once saw my cousins and only saw my aunt and uncle about three times total. I didn't realize it at the time, but it has definitely had a profound effect on how I go about my life now. Since I've been out on my own, I find that the further I am from some family members, the happier I am. It's not that I don't care about my family, but because they were so distant throughout my childhood. I've always felt like I don't quite fit in with my family, almost like I'm the black sheep, because I wanted more hugs. It seems strange, but growing up without hugs or not saying "I love you" every night had a definitely impact on my relationships today. I love to fix things with my family and to get us close again. I want nothing more than to have a tight-knit family that hugs and sees each other more than once or twice a year, if that. But it seems like every time I try to meet up with family members or plan something, it does nothing but tear us even further apart.
However, recently I have been "adopted" into another family in Newark, NY and they have been showing me the type of family that I want. The love they share for each other is obvious everyday, and I hope to someday have my own family like that. For now though, I just want to say thanks Mum and Dad for showing me so much and adopting me into your family. It means a lot to me to finally have someone I can call Dad, and to finally feel like I truly "belong" someplace.