I frequently see people toss around the word "family" so easily. They think that blood means you are "family." I disagree. Family are the people who love you unconditionally and fight to protect you. They are people who remain in your lives through the good, the bad, and the ugly. They are there for you in your deepest pains, and are the ones helping to raise you back to greatness. "Family" are not people who use their own agendas and try to control your life. They do not only "love" you when you're doing what they think you should be doing or want you to be doing. They don't stop "loving" you when you make a mistake. They support you and help you grow from your mistakes. They don't take advantage of you. They don't abuse you (mentally, physically, sexually or otherwise). They don't call you terrible names, and spread lies about you. They don't tell you that "you'll never amount to anything" or that you're a "waste of money." Blood does not equal family. FAMILY are the people who are put in your life to love and support you and better you, to be a support system in your life.
I have "family". They are toxic, hateful people who call themselves "Christians" but live their life on a daily basis full of hate, hypocrisy and ignorance. They have been cut out of my life for a purpose. I grew up having that kind of conditional "love" and hateful words in my life, which only made me a sadder, more depressed, insecure person. Luckily I found my REAL FAMILY. The ones who love and accept me, and helped me to grow and learn to defend myself, and protect my own FAMILY. For instance, my daughter will NEVER be put through that sort of hate in her life from the people who are in place, meant to love and protect her. I WILL PROTECT HER. Anyone who tries to get in the way of that will also be dead to me. Harsh? Perhaps. But this is what FAMILY does. They love and protect. Thank you to those that I have accepted in my life and are my family..and my friends. And thank you to the "family" that taught me exactly who I don't want to be, and for making me a better person because of it.