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(Vox)   People are replacing biological families with ones they actually like, meaning the Covid pandemic has a positive side after all   (vox.com) divider line
    More: Cool, Family, Part of the Family Issue of The Highlight, Nuclear family, trusted family friend, much beloved, queer people, evangelical church, Stephanie Drury  
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2229 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Nov 2021 at 3:35 AM (8 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-11-26 3:51:45 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-11-26 3:59:55 AM  
 
2021-11-26 4:00:15 AM  
Fark is my step kid from an ex wife: always paying phone tag.
 
2021-11-26 4:07:34 AM  
I've done this my whole life.  My family are the people I've chosen to have in my inner circle.  Maybe my inner circle is composed of my blood relations, maybe it's not.  If you're good people, you're family.  If you're a shiatbag, you're not.  Easy as that.
 
2021-11-26 4:09:18 AM  
It been had a positive for me. No more spending $300 on food, sweating prepping the food, clean up, to only have muthafarkers only bringing their appetite and taking multiply plates home.
/Before they pandemic, I was cooking 9 slabs of ribs(along with their 9 tips), 20lbs of chicken, and other meats for the 4th of July.
//The last 4th was just 3 slabs(no tips), 5lbs of chicken, and a box of burgers. Less than $75 in all.
 
2021-11-26 4:12:40 AM  
Did that years ago.
 
2021-11-26 4:20:32 AM  
I know some people with truly toxic family members.  They were smart to cut them entirely out of their lives.

My family is mostly ok.  Not perfect, but no family is.

I do not speak to my ex-wife at all, nor do I have any desire to do so.  On the other hand, I have regular conversations with my (ex)step-daughter, who referred to her mother as "that nasty woman" in our last conversation.
 
2021-11-26 4:26:12 AM  
perhaps this subject will ascend into internet madness like so many other topics. then we can pit those who willfully abandoned their flesh and blood against the hardliners who feel you should keep your mouth shut and let relatives dialogue in one ear and out the other. the important part is chipping away at the stone just a little bit more.
 
2021-11-26 4:35:02 AM  
My biological family is fine, but could I replace my wife's?
 
2021-11-26 4:44:11 AM  
Refreshing to read, thanks for doing the legwork subby.  I'm at the faze of wondering about my obligation upon their death(s), and wondering why I feel that way at all.  I mean they're all such self-made rugged individualists, they can bury themselves.
 
433 [TotalFark]
2021-11-26 4:45:22 AM  
If I had known I could just make friends, I wouldn't have had so many children.
 
2021-11-26 5:01:26 AM  
And there'll be several adamant posters preaching how doing just this makes you a terrible person, as supporting and enabling toxic and abusive behavior by garbage "relatives" by just taking it all in silence is what makes you a real good person.

I dunno, must tie into that whole religious concept that suffering clesnses the soul or some such BS.
 
2021-11-26 5:03:27 AM  
Communicated with nine people on Thanksgiving. Four were non-nuclear family; five were "elected" family (i.e., friends of many years).
 
2021-11-26 5:11:08 AM  
Friends are God's apology for relatives.
 
2021-11-26 5:26:44 AM  
My latest adopted family is made up of adopted people.
Love. One can love a lot. Everyone can love enough.
 
2021-11-26 5:44:35 AM  
Most of my family is fine, I cut out the worst of them years ago. My sister is slipping into that group with her antivax shiat and CRT teaches white people to hate each other crap. That is the only one that hurts.
 
2021-11-26 5:44:51 AM  
I was going to go to my cousin's for thanksgiving, once I knew that my mom wasn't going to be there.   But in my delayed RSVP, I mentioned how it's likely my last chance to see people for a while, with my long Covid-like mystery medical issues and expecting that after the Thanksgiving pandemic spread that I won't be visiting at Christmas.

To which my cousin was kind enough to inform me that neither he nor his kids are vaccinated.   So I noped out of that, and went to a former neighbor's instead, where everyone was vaccinated, even his crazy (effects from a brain tumor) sister.

I *almost* went to family instead, as a week ago my brother invited me, but his kids are under 12, and only had one dose.  And I have plans to see them before Christmas.
 
2021-11-26 6:11:42 AM  

MillionDollarMo: My biological family is fine, but could I replace my wife's?


It's the opposite for me -- I haven't spoken to anyone in my biological family for 20+ years, but the family I married into is great.  They're certainly not perfect, but who is?
 
2021-11-26 6:14:10 AM  
When you have a aunt informed your mother who just beat throat cancer you got what you deserve for smoking and I don't like your voice. You kinda stop caring about family.
 
2021-11-26 6:15:41 AM  
Elective Affinities

It's an old phenomenon
 
2021-11-26 6:19:33 AM  
Thank you, subby, for finding this article. It's a long read, but has really good points.

It took my sister and I forty years to figure out that Chosen Family was OK. *Sigh*
 
2021-11-26 6:35:13 AM  

yakmans_dad: Elective Affinities

It's an old phenomenon


I wish my siblings and I had known about it. I'm not arguing, we just didn't know it was an option.
 
2021-11-26 6:50:53 AM  

sinko swimo: perhaps this subject will ascend into internet madness like so many other topics. then we can pit those who willfully abandoned their flesh and blood against the hardliners who feel you should keep your mouth shut and let relatives dialogue in one ear and out the other. the important part is chipping away at the stone just a little bit more.


The 'modern family' is the ultimate victory of capitalism: transactionalizing human relationships. Family is just another consumer good, being bought and sold on a non-monetary market. Your kid is a piece of shiat? Not my responsibility, I sold off that toxic asset. Your parents shiatty? Oh they're not part of my 'chosen family'. I will go out and consume a new 'chosen' family.

/buy!
//consume!
///conform!
 
2021-11-26 6:57:40 AM  

farkalt: sinko swimo: perhaps this subject will ascend into internet madness like so many other topics. then we can pit those who willfully abandoned their flesh and blood against the hardliners who feel you should keep your mouth shut and let relatives dialogue in one ear and out the other. the important part is chipping away at the stone just a little bit more.
The 'modern family' is the ultimate victory of capitalism: transactionalizing human relationships. Family is just another consumer good, being bought and sold on a non-monetary market. Your kid is a piece of shiat? Not my responsibility, I sold off that toxic asset. Your parents shiatty? Oh they're not part of my 'chosen family'. I will go out and consume a new 'chosen' family.
/buy!
//consume!
///conform!


Why not both?

Fark user imageView Full Size


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-11-26 7:04:22 AM  
That was 15 years ago, and Stephanie hasn't been in touch with her parents since. In that time, her oldest child has gone off to college, and her youngest is now in high school. In that time, Stephanie's siblings have tried to set similar boundaries with their parents and been similarly rejected; they have since cut off contact with their parents as well. And in that time, Stephanie has learned to rebuild her self-esteem, her faith, and her sense of self, finding new versions of them that were not dictated to her by her parents.
When Stephanie finally cut her parents out of her life in 2006, the language she needed to talk about her decision wasn't readily available. Even the word "boundary" wasn't exactly part of the common lexicon. Slowly but surely, she found her way to a larger community of people who cared about her in ways that were loving and supportive, some of them in real life but many of them online.


What total horseshiat.  Anyone who has had any kind of counseling since a long time ago learns about all that stuff. And the reason it's  not "common" is because let's hope that your family isn't such a toxic wastehole that you have to cut off all contact  them off.
But those of us who've done it know all about it.  It's old advice.
There's no need to celebrate it.  It's a last resort.   Your  life isn't lonely enough?
 
2021-11-26 7:10:01 AM  
I did this years ago as well, when I just started therapy for my depression. One of the first things my therapist tried to teach me is how to manage my limited energy, and that included cutting anyone out of my life who drained that energy instead of adding to it. So when my dad died a few years later, I pretty much cut the ties with my narcissistic mother and my brother (who is actually not that bad, but I refuse to ever spend a single minute in the same room as his moronic wife again, and he's too milquetoast to stop by without her).

Best decision I ever made, to be honest. Saves me a lot of grief and a ton of energy, which I can spend on those who are actually close to me.
 
2021-11-26 7:24:42 AM  
Sigh. People I have had to dismiss from my life.

My dad is a farking monster.  Physical, emotional, sexual abuser.  I won't go into details because it's so farked up.

My youngest brother is a sociopath and a piece of shiat as well.

My mother-in-law has borderline personality disorder and we cut her loose about 6 years ago rather than deal with her constand drama invention.
 
2021-11-26 7:27:53 AM  
That article echoes the arc I had with my family pretty closely.

Look, family IS important, but YOU are more important.  Your mental health and feeling of self-worth is kind-of the very most important thing in your life. If you can't love and see yourself as a person who should be valued then you can't love and care for others that way.  This means sometimes you have to be the adult in the relationship with your parents.

Becoming a parent requires no special skills or training.  Most of us were born with functional junk and most of us can find someone else who wants to take our functional junk for a test drive.  That's the bar an aspiring parent needs to reach.  I'm pretty sure passing a cpr class is harder.

I've not talked to my parents since 09'. An argument over a wedding to a woman I'm no longer even married to was the final straw.  Ex wife was and is still more bummed out about it than I am, she blames herself.  Truth is the divorce with my parents had been on-track since I was around 8 years old.

The hardest thing is missing my father.  I wanted him as a best friend for most of my life.  Neither him or my mom are "bad" in the TV "bad parent" trope but they are very toxic to me, know it, and refuse to change.  I grew up isolated without my parents to trust, puberty was especially shiatty.

At any rate. Set up boundaries around your heart and don't let anyone in just because they are "family". Parents need to remember that while they essentially hold you captive until you're 18 at that point you become your own person and if they've not started laying the groundwork for the power to be mutually held and realize that they need to put in the same kind of work knowing you as an independent person that they did keeping you fed and sheltered shiat is going to be rough.

My parents just chose to never really get to know me, or to let me really know them. Most things adults go through while adulting I had no idea about.

Choose yourself first, always.  When you're good you can love and care for others.
 
2021-11-26 7:32:10 AM  
My neighbor complained about this. He said they were uninvited to Thanksgiving because he and his family are not vaccinated. "So now, my kids won't get to see their 95 year old grandmother for Thanksgiving!"

/consequences? for MY actions?
 
2021-11-26 7:52:44 AM  
I'm fortunate that both my parents and inlaws are ok. Mother in law is selfish and lazy, but manageable. Extended family are ok, and those who weren't we just avoided.
Don't spend your life and energy on mood hoovers and toxic twats, but do recognise that any relationship you are in contains you and check you are not the problem.
 
2021-11-26 7:53:54 AM  
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2021-11-26 8:10:36 AM  

groppet: Most of my family is fine, I cut out the worst of them years ago. My sister is slipping into that group with her antivax shiat and CRT teaches white people to hate each other crap. That is the only one that hurts.


Facebook and hard right insanity have ruined a lot of people abd broken a lot of families.
 
2021-11-26 8:20:12 AM  
I haven't hard broken with many family (well my grandmother but that was well justified, IMHO), but my mom isn't allowed to stay at my house and I won't subject myself to staying at hers. But she can visit briefly or be at my sisters when I'm there.

Its boundaries. They can help a lot. Its sad that people are often so broken though, that we can't let them be in our lives the way they want to be.
 
2021-11-26 8:22:45 AM  
We moved in with a friend who was struggling earlier this year and she hit us up for $20k worth of furniture, medical bills, pet expenses, expensive meals, etc. in six months.

Some people have no family for some very valid reasons.
 
2021-11-26 8:37:50 AM  
I divorced my family in 2000.  My wife always invites her ex-MIL to Thanksgiving, but never her birth mother or her niece.
 
2021-11-26 8:49:58 AM  
LGBTQ folks have done this out of necessity for years. Some of us were raised by decent people but many were not and we're very familiar with that feeling of no longer being able to tolerate the presence of people in our lives who have such ignorant and damaging values.

Years ago Armistead Maupin coined the term "logical family" to differentiate from "biological family" and I've always thought it brilliant.

My best friend from high school has for years hosted Thanksgiving and always invites people without a place to go and has continued the tradition with her husband and now three kids. It's always the warmest and most loving time.
 
2021-11-26 8:50:28 AM  
Our families on both sides decided years ago that we were sinners in the hands of an angry God, and took steps to shun us.  Ok, worked out for us, as when we noticed on social media that most have died off, the rest are struggling to survive, and they can't seem to find our contact info.

When my mother was dying, she made it plain that once she was gone, we were under no obligation to have any further contact with my dad's family, and her family only as long as they had relatives older than her surviving.  That was in 2002, and I spoke with my brother about 2 months ago, same with my sister.  Haven't spoken to anyone on my in-law's side in over a year.

Life is chaotic enough without the drama from blood relatives trying to guilt and shame everyone.
 
2021-11-26 9:02:26 AM  
I replaced my republican/conservative/trump-loving family members with fishing equipment, and I'm MUCH happier because of it.
 
2021-11-26 9:12:49 AM  

drjekel_mrhyde: It been had a positive for me. No more spending $300 on food, sweating prepping the food, clean up, to only have muthafarkers only bringing their appetite and taking multiply plates home.
/Before they pandemic, I was cooking 9 slabs of ribs(along with their 9 tips), 20lbs of chicken, and other meats for the 4th of July.
//The last 4th was just 3 slabs(no tips), 5lbs of chicken, and a box of burgers. Less than $75 in all.


I'll come and bring a whole damn turkey if that's what you're serving.
 
2021-11-26 9:14:48 AM  
cryinoutloud:But those of us who've done it know all about it.  It's old advice.
There's no need to celebrate it.  It's a last resort.   Your  life isn't lonely enough?


I'd rather be lonely than be locked into a harrowingly insane relationship with my parents. Plus, it turns out you can have friends and stuff.

I don't celebrate it outwardly, but every day I inwardly celebrate not having to deal with their hateful insane horseshiat ever again. It never, ever gets old. And it's been over 20 years now. When they die I won't be handling the funeral arrangements. I am the oldest son. Fark those insane motherfarkers forever.
 
2021-11-26 9:18:01 AM  
I haven't talked to my brother in 12 years and he lives on the opposite side of the country, I'm more or less estranged from my toxic mother and her toxic family. I live 19 hours away from the closest family member.

/ and that's the way, uh huh uh huh, I like it
 
2021-11-26 9:23:40 AM  
My brother divorced us in 1985. When he died in 2012, the only reason we were notified (about a month later) was he had named my deceased father as a wage beneficiary. I ended up being the administrator and when we started talking to his associates in Alaska, he had claimed to them to be an orphan. There was no reason given for the split.
 
2021-11-26 9:36:13 AM  
My family never had a chance.  Neither did my wife's.  I'm not sure it's all their fault.  You see, I was born to a ranching family in Montana, and the wife to a horse breeding family in Eastern Washington.  For whatever reason, neither of us had any intention of living the agrarian life.  I saw what it did to people.  When cattle prices are good, life's awesome.  When they're not, ranching folk get a bit self destructive.

The stereotypical masculinity, racism, sexism, religion etc of that society is anathema to who I am.

So as soon as I was an adult, my relationship with my family started to get more and more toxic.  Same was true of my wife.  I've still got one aunt on my mom's side that I get along with, and my older brother is my rock, but the rest are simply gone.

Since then, we've had two amazing kids.  I'm in Seattle, which seems to be a place where I fit in, and we've helped raise five hockey billets, so their families are my family.

Both my parents passed in the last 5 years.  The wife's are still kicking, but haven't wished either of their grandchildren a happy birthday in like 10 years.
 
2021-11-26 9:41:51 AM  
I'm rather fortunate in that my immediate family (parents, sister, her boyfriend, my boyfriend) are all decent people. My parents are conservative, but not Trumpers, and they don't watch Fox news or have Facebook accounts. Politics, religion, and money are never discussed at the table, so there's never cause for any arguments between people...except when my dad and my sister's boyfriend start talking football. Yikes. As far as my extended family goes, it's just my dad's brother, his wife, and my cousins (along with their spouses and children) as everyone on my mom's side of the family is deceased. Her uncle died this past February, so now it's just her. My aunt, uncle, and cousins save one are all Mormon, but they're not goofy about it. They're spread all over the country, so we don't see them. They call on birthdays and major holidays, but that's it.

I feel terrible for people who have shiatty families, at least biological families. I'm lucky I got the hand I was dealt. It very easily could have been the exact opposite.
 
2021-11-26 9:45:28 AM  

Coco LaFemme: I'm rather fortunate in that my immediate family (parents, sister, her boyfriend, my boyfriend) are all decent people. My parents are conservative, but not Trumpers, and they don't watch Fox news or have Facebook accounts. Politics, religion, and money are never discussed at the table, so there's never cause for any arguments between people...except when my dad and my sister's boyfriend start talking football. Yikes. As far as my extended family goes, it's just my dad's brother, his wife, and my cousins (along with their spouses and children) as everyone on my mom's side of the family is deceased. Her uncle died this past February, so now it's just her. My aunt, uncle, and cousins save one are all Mormon, but they're not goofy about it. They're spread all over the country, so we don't see them. They call on birthdays and major holidays, but that's it.

I feel terrible for people who have shiatty families, at least biological families. I'm lucky I got the hand I was dealt. It very easily could have been the exact opposite.


I can only speak for me:  There's no need to feel terrible.  My family and extended family aren't part of my life.  So be it.

The family I've built, through friendships, neighbor situations, through hockey and through work make for a RACAUS holiday.
 
2021-11-26 9:45:56 AM  
well, at least the incest won't be as awkward.
 
2021-11-26 9:48:44 AM  
I have 2 kids. It is my greatest desire that when I am dead they think of me in the most positive possible way. I am, as are we all, imperfect and make mistakes, but I just want to be there for them as best I can.

I don't feel like that's a high bar. Its shocking how many people can't reach it. I kinda think the boomers were really bad for that, but maybe its just a function of being older.

I have fairly minimal relationship with most of.my non immediate family, but my kids, I can never imagine turning my back on.
 
2021-11-26 9:49:47 AM  

rohar: Coco LaFemme: I'm rather fortunate in that my immediate family (parents, sister, her boyfriend, my boyfriend) are all decent people. My parents are conservative, but not Trumpers, and they don't watch Fox news or have Facebook accounts. Politics, religion, and money are never discussed at the table, so there's never cause for any arguments between people...except when my dad and my sister's boyfriend start talking football. Yikes. As far as my extended family goes, it's just my dad's brother, his wife, and my cousins (along with their spouses and children) as everyone on my mom's side of the family is deceased. Her uncle died this past February, so now it's just her. My aunt, uncle, and cousins save one are all Mormon, but they're not goofy about it. They're spread all over the country, so we don't see them. They call on birthdays and major holidays, but that's it.

I feel terrible for people who have shiatty families, at least biological families. I'm lucky I got the hand I was dealt. It very easily could have been the exact opposite.

I can only speak for me:  There's no need to feel terrible.  My family and extended family aren't part of my life.  So be it.

The family I've built, through friendships, neighbor situations, through hockey and through work make for a RACAUS holiday.


I'm like Coco here, direct family are all alright, and probably the reason i'm not living under a bridge or dead by this point (they've put up with my unemployed ass far longer than is reasonable). That being said, i completely understand cutting out toxic and harmful family. There's no need to put up with that kind of thing and judging others harshly because they divested themselves of such is completely bonkers imo.
 
2021-11-26 9:53:12 AM  
I'm a folk musician who lives in the country. Whenever I move, I add family.
Looking forward to a grand reunion after I die.
 
2021-11-26 10:02:32 AM  

433: If I had known I could just make friends, I wouldn't have had so many children.


If I had known I could just make children, I wouldn't have had so many friends.
 
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