Though I consider my family/home life a major focus in my life, I'm wary about discussing it at length. The closest I've come is the post-in-limbo that DIMH #3 is loosely based on. Even that one - long as it was - only skimmed the surface when it came to laying out my family dynamics. The fact is that 1.) My family is rather large, 2.) Everyone has their own lives/hopes/dreams/and life outside of the family, 3.) Everyone has their own challenges to overcome, and 4.) Everyone in the family interacts. So, yes, my life is less the Andy Griffith Show and more Grey's Anatomy. Yours is the same way. Sure, the "crazy shit" quotient may be set higher or lower, but you can bet everyone - including your ten-year-old daughter - has stuff going on in their lives that may or may not have absolutely nothing to do with you.
In the midst of this, I live. As I want to? Not yet. It's a work in progress. I've had my own share of "WTF?!" moments as well as earlier decisions coming back to bite me in the ass. Everything has a cost, be it in time, money, or resources. I could lie and say that all of my risks have paid off and are bearing fruit, but in reality I've failed far more than not. Have I learned anything? Hell yeah. I've learned many things that I wouldn't have if I hadn't tried. That's what makes it worth doing.
I also learned that the world never misses an opportunity to kick between your legs when it sees an opening, often without any regard to the 98% of what it doesn't know while it is judging you. Occasionally, I get reminded of this fact after making the mistake of opening up. I don't particularly understand this mindset as the experience itself is the best teacher, but there are people that always have something to say. Everyone is coming from a different place in life with a different set of circumstances and different crosses to bear. Just because you "would" approach what to YOU is a purely hypothetical situation one particular way does not mean the other person had that option or did not have some other factor in mind when he or she did not choose that option.
There are conditions I face in my everyday life that other people do not. I made the choice and I'm perfectly comfortable with my decision and why. I also recognize the cost and that if I am to get where I see myself going, I'm going to have to create some alternate way that accommodates my choices. Will it work? I have no clue. I'm still trying it.
Everyone has that choice and that responsibility to live life on their own terms, costs and all. Have people screwed me over? HEAVENS, YES. Time and time again. I could go into detail. At the same time, I made the choice to be or occasionally stay in that situation, particularly when I looked at what it would cost to extract myself. Sometimes I "won" and sometimes it was a painful "loss." That is life and I would not be who I am today if I just went with the flow.
I call people on their behavior, particularly when its consequences affect me and mine. And yes, there are certain people I will happily limit any further interaction with. I own my decisions, mistakes and all and all the factors I took into account to make them, regardless of whether anyone else agrees.
And I'm proud of that. Time for me to go make some more.
All the best,