Simple Joys

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I grew up being taught that you always respect your "elders". No ifs, ands, or buts about it. You did and if you were caught being disrespectful to an "elder" your daddy or mama would whip your tail.

True story.

That being said, I have found it harder to be respectful as I have grown into an adult. Not in general, but to some of those closest to me. I come from a very opinionated family. There are times that things are said without thinking or realizing that it hurts feelings.

My parents were divorced, my dad wasn't always the best supporter of his family. He didn't always make the best decisions for us, but he is my dad.  My sister and I will ALWAYS love him, no matter what! In 2001 my dad committed suicide. It was one of the worst years of my life. This post isn't about that though.

Though my dad is no longer with us, I have family members that still feel the need to speak ill of him. But that's not the problem. The issue is that sometimes those feeling are expressed in front of myself, or my sister. Despite the ill feelings towards my dad from others, my sister and I accepted whom he was, and love him unconditionally.  

This is where respect comes into play. I have mad respect for these family members, not only because I was taught to, but because they are family and I love them dearly. When you love someone, don't you have to have respect for them as well? I believe the answer is yes.

However, when outlandish, uncalled for, hurtful, and disrespectful things are said about my father (who is no longer living) I feel that I am not being shown respect. If there is some respect there, then there is lack of care for our feelings. When I respect someone and care for someone, I watch what I say.  No matter what my beliefs may be; I don't want to hurt them or their feelings.

So this is where we are. Feelings being hurt, and unable to speak up for risk of being disrespectful. I don't know what the correct way of going about this is, but I know that it has been over 10 years and its getting old. Respect goes both ways and there are times I feel being disrespectful in return is the answer, but the truth is; two wrongs don't make a right. Funny how I get that, but my "elders don't seem to.

Respect, in my eyes, is a major characteristic in a relationship and should definitely go both ways. Over the years,I feel that I have more than earned the respect of my elders. This is a sad situation for me. I love my family and neither side is perfect. I have spent many hours in therapy trying to over come issues like these, and so far they still cause me major anxiety.

I am writing typing this for all the world to see, not because I want to "call out" these family members, but because I'm battling with how to respect them through the hurt feelings. Maybe there is someone reading this that may be able to share their insight with me. How do you continue to have respect for close family members when they seem to have none for you? To me it seems like a catch 22 situation...

I realize that some family members read this blog, and I encourage them to continue. I will sometimes post about situations in my life that are of importance to me. Though you may not care for the content posted, I will never reveal the identities of those involved. This is my outlet and the only way I am able to express my feelings without being too disrespectful. If I didn't have this blog as my outlet you would probably never know I had issue with this. If you ever take too much issue with my post, you have my number and we can discuss it further.

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