Essay About Family: Families Torn Apart

Essay About Family: Families Torn Apart

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Family ties have been a sour topic in my life since as long as I can remember. Through the years I have managed to cope with the reality of being on my own. Though it was not easy, I have been through more than most people my age. One of the hardest things I had to cope with was moving around as much as we did. I was born in Nurnberg, Germany while my father was in the military. When I was two, my parents divorced and I stayed with my father and lost all contact with my mother until I was 18. After they divorced, dad and I moved in and out of three states, and ended up in Wausau. Growing up with an abusive father, and without my mother, was very difficult to manage. To make matters worse, I attended 12 schools before high school, I had no friends. Homework was always a struggle for me, given that I attended 12 different schools. It seemed as if I was always behind or ahead of the class, because the last school was at a different pace or taught things differently. I have grown up without relying on family but relied on myself. Even today I have little or no contact with my family. My mother and all her relatives live in Oregon. I had the pleasure of reuniting with my mother in 1994. When we met again after 16 years I decided to live in Oregon with her. I stayed in Oregon for almost two years by then it was apparent that my mother and I lost the bond that a mother and child should always have. We were separated for so long, and I was at such a young age that I found it difficult to be close to her. I have since moved back to Wausau, and started a family of my own. On occasion I talk to my mother on the phone but this has never been a very fulfilling relationship either. Although unfulfilling, it has allowed for some progress in our relationship.
In the same way I have lost connection with family so has Chakkravann "Chucky" Saukom. During an interview with my friend Chuck, I learned some very interesting things. Chuck moved to the United States in 1975 with a "first class ticket from the U.

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S." (Saukom) Chuck's grandfather was a General of the Cambodian Army during the Vietnam War. Due to increasing threats from the Vietnam government, Chuck and his family were ordered to leave Cambodia. The United States stepped in and offered the family citizenship. Chuck's family on his mother's side stayed in Cambodia to help civilians during the war. Despite being forced out of Cambodia, Chuck and his family ties have also been torn. Contact through e-mail and telephone still make it possible to maintain some relationship with his family.
Just like Chuck and his family, my family also uses technology as the main source of contact. The only time I talk to any family is on the phone. My mother and I use the phone and send e-mails back and forth sometimes, but that never seems to be enough. Dr. Vern Bengtson, professor of gerontology and sociology at the University of Southern California Agrees with the idea that technological relationships are unfulfilling and had this to say, "sometimes there is a sense of something missing if you do not have face-to-face contact. In-person contact gives you the ability to discern subtle nuances and cues in other people. Body language and gestures say a lot. And touch is very, very important especially for the very young and very old." (Bengtson) However, some of my family does not live as far away. My relatives on my father's side live in Wisconsin and I have not spoken to any of them since I was a little boy, I even forgot some of their names. I have been alienated from this family for many years now and have to admit that it is very painful. Unlike Chuck Saukom's family who separated by force instead of by choice. I cope with these feelings everyday and try not to let them lower me to a level not my own. I know more today than I knew yesterday. This cycle will always prevail no matter what my family has to do with it, or not to do with it. This is a strength I have achieved in my life on my own accord and no-one can take that from me. Some say that you should always remember where you came from. I agree, we should always remember our roots, no matter what. If your roots pull you down pull yourself back up. The hardest thing about being pulled down is pulling yourself back up, once you accomplish this many times it becomes easier and easier. Having gone through all these rough passes, I have learned to accept the things I cannot change, found the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. I may not have the best relationship with my relatives or parents but I have confidence in myself and have a clear recognition of my own family and the importance of being here for my kids. Maybe someday my family will come together and pulled themselves up for once. Likewise, in a book called Fragmented Families written by Ellen B. Sucov, Ellen has discovered the benefits of estranged families pulling together and states, "listening to the stories of estrangement and pondering their meanings, I have come to see the sequence from alienation to reconciliation as a vital opportunity for personal growth and renewal."(Sucov)
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