Journal Entry: Andrew Gerald Millas-09/24/2023

Journal Entry

9/24/2023 (Day #4288)

Family and loyalty

When I was outside running today, I glimpsed a tattoo that caught my attention and incited some contemplation while I ran. The tattoo said:

Blood makes us related;
loyalty makes us family.

That resonates deeply with me. My core values and beliefs are centered on God, family, country (co-opted from one of my Mom’s friends and military service). My protective stance regarding my family is…probably confusing and somewhat contradictory to observers. I admit that. I confused me, too, and I’ve asked myself regularly, how could I be so protective over my family, to the point of confrontations and altercations, and then be the culprit who hurt my own family, the people I love more than anyone else, so deeply????? The dissonance is not lost on me at all.
There’s no easy, clear, or concise answer that doesn’t have the aroma of excuse-making or justifying. There are some in my support network who propose the convergence of a “perfect storm” of alcohol, drugs, dysfunction, unresolved grief, overwhelming expectations that sent me into a self-destructive spiral. I’m uncomfortable with the “perfect storm” idea. Primarily because I can trace each “contributing element of the storm” back to choices I made, regardless whether they “willful intentions” or impulsive acts. This kind of self-analysis resulted in an endless cycle of blaming myself to the point of distraction and self-sabotage, and was a significant topic of discussion in therapy. I’m better equipped to self-analyze without self-destructing or spiraling, and that’s great, but I’m still working on it.
The major takeaway is that family means the world to me, and I understand the hurt feelings, disappointments, and even the estrangements. I’m not giving up on anyone, period. The contradictions are in the past, not who I am or any part of the kind of person I’m continuing to work towards and demonstrate. I’ve got nothing but unconditional love and unwavering loyalty. There isn’t anyone in my family, including ex in-laws, I wouldn’t give a kidney to.

Unwavering in my loyalty.