• Bria Manning


Relative: a person connected by blood or marriage

One of the biggest struggles during my marriage is the dynamic of family. My husband is from New York and I am from Dallas.

I grew up in a very close knit family which was made up of mostly single mothers. We spent almost every weekend together, every holiday and every birthday. Meanwhile, my husband was raised in a two parent household and only spent holidays and had occasional visits with his family.

Now, since we’re all adults and most of us have kids, we’ve all been able to identify some sort of toxic traits our family exhibited. Although we can’t choose our family, once we become adults, we can choose what we allow to affect our spirit.

"Growing up is just learning to realize the toxic traits your family exhibits"

When I found out I was pregnant with Lena, I begged my husband to come back to Dallas. I truly wanted to be with my family. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t. It’s like for the short span of time I was away, everything and everyone changed. Or maybe my eyes were beginning to open since I was becoming a mother.

One thing for sure, I don’t feel like I belong. I’ve felt like the black sheep of the family and at this point I’ve accepted it. I find solace in knowing that the black sheep of the family are usually the ones breaking generational curses. I’ve worked extremely hard to do things in hopes that I would somehow find my place within my own family. I’ve been surrounded by all of these relatives and somehow I still feel alone.

“Imagine having a lot of relatives but no family “ -Unknown

By no means do I think I’m any better. I’ve spent most of my life being quiet and letting my family say or do whatever. I have had to learn that I have a new family. One that I am building and trying to teach that it is okay to be different. I’m unlearning old things and starting learn new things in its place. What I do know is just because you’ve grown up with people doesn’t mean you have to continuously subject yourself to the emotional detachment you’re surrounded by.

De-tach: leave or separate oneself from (a group or place)

It truly sucks to feel so detached from those who you've spent most of your life with. Or to continuously have dysfunction surrounding you. No one should ever have to be subjected to toxicity regardless of who they are. I refuse to allow my children to engage in things that may be traumatic or taint their emotional space.

I'm learning to love from a distance. I am learning that everyone doesn't deserve or need to be a part of my next chapter. i am learning to release myself from the guilt I've felt for not being around or for the life that I'm trying to build for myself and my family. I am learning that if it doesn't bring me peace, but instead causes heartache, take your scissors and cut it free.

I will always love they family that raised me because they made me the woman I am today. Sometimes you just need space and this is my season for me to focus on the family I am building.


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