I can honestly say family has never come first to me until I lost my last teaching job ( my Mom has always comes first, whether or not she sees/knows that).
I don't know if it's something that wasn't wired into me or if it's because I was taught and retaught time and time again that you need to look out for yourself first because danger, real danger, lurkes around every corner and it caused me to only think of myself. Or if I'm just innately cold and selfish.
You would think cancer would have done the trick in making me realize how important family is but it didn't. I was isolated and the only person I saw doing anything for me was my mother. I was unaware of the things going on behind the scenes because I was bedridden and drugged up to the point where I was surprised I could move.
But when I lost my job and my family, my imidiate family (twin brother and mother) picked up the slack I realized how much I was putting on them and how important I really must be for them to strain themselves and work harder to make up for my unfortunate situation.
This, slowly, propelled me to start making the right decisions for everyone in my family not just me...especially considering there's a small chance my cancer could come back.
I guess that's why I find this situation with my extended family (my older brother, sister in law, and two nices [who I refer to now as my extended family due to the actions that have occurred or haven't occurred in the past year or so]) so frustrating and deeply wounding.
Everyone keeps saying it will pass. Yes, it will pass like the last time my youngest niece viscously attacked me...they'll act like it never happened and everyone will move on...no one will heal...it will just go ignored with nothing learned and nothing gained. And I can't accept that.
If that's how this mess is handled like all the others they may feel fine but this hurt will not go away.
Family comes first for me now...and it has for my imidiate family forever and I just hope it truly will matter to my extended family as well.