I don't get on with most of my family. Let's just say that I'm kinda the black sheep. I don't live the kind of "mainstream" existence that they do, I'm not afraid to have my own opinions. I'm just not like them. As a little kid I dreamed of the day I'd find out I was adopted and be whisked away by my real family, who in my head were quirky vegan hippies living in some kind of commune near the sea. It never happened.
But last week, I met up with my older cousin D who is over here from Canada for a break. We haven't seen each other since I was a tiny kid and neither of us really remember meeting so it was sort of like we were meeting for the first time, as strange as it sounds.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, after a normal conversation went off on a tangent, we discovered that we have a whole lot in common, both have some mental health issues that our families find it difficult to understand. I can't begin to tell you the warmth I felt in the pit of my stomach, the feeling that somebody finally understood me. I've found a fellow black sheep within my family, the first sign that maybe I do share some genetics with the rest of the strangers I call family.
It's fascinating, the things we can go our whole lives not knowing about our family. And now, I feel as though I've got this super tight bond with him and I wish we'd found it sooner so that neither of us had to feel so alone for so many years. It's definitely made me feel more positive about being open about my mental health issues. If D and I hadn't been open with each other, we never would have discovered our common ground.