Family of Blood, Family of Choice

I have never been someone my family understood very well. And because I would not be like the rest of them, there were always…problems.

I was reminded of that today when I found out my last living aunt died in her 90s this week. My brother said, “I’m calling the cousins to give my condolences — should I say it’s from you too?”

I said no, don’t bother. Because the one time I babysat for the cousins when they were somewhere between 3 and 5, I was accused of physically abusing them.

Now, maybe this was a five year old telling tales — “she was mean, she hit me!” when I said they couldn’t have a cookie or a toy or they had to go to bed on time — but the family instantly believed the five-year-old, not me. Never mind the fact that I had never given a shred of evidence that I would ever DO such a thing.

I was the strange child, so if there was trouble, it was always assumed I was the culprit. And if I said I didn’t do it, I was the liar to boot.

In the sixty years since, I was never trusted, never forgiven. They felt I didn’t deserve the love they lavished on the other members of the family.

Is it any wonder I don’t trust that branch of the family much?

This kind of treatment fostered my belief that they must know something about me I didn’t. That I really wasn’t worth anyone’s time and care. It created the “me” of my twenties and thirties — always suspicious of kindness from anyone, never trusting it was meant, but so desperate for it I kept putting myself in situations that were harmful and relationships that were short-lived, if only to feel wanted for a little while.

But in my forties, I began to make friends — and keep them.

Eventually, I let myself be comfortable with who I was — no longer constantly worrying about what other people felt. I accepted that whether people liked me or not, how I felt about myself was what really mattered.

That’s when the right people showed up in my life.

Now, I have a close-knit tribe of my own. They are widespread — some in Arizona, some here in New York, some in Canada and England and Europe. They are from different backgrounds, and are both older and younger than I am. They are culturally as different from me as it’s possible to be.

But they know me inside and out. They know and accept my weaknesses and foibles, not just my good qualities. They deeply listen when I talk about things, they trust me with their own thoughts and feelings, and I know that I am not constantly being judged against an impossible standard that I never understood and never signed up for.

I am valued for who and what I am. Simply being is enough.

Why am I sharing this? Because so very many of my clients have these experiences with family. They are misunderstood, they can never do things the way the family wants, and they are tired…so very tired… of trying to find love in a place that has shut the door to them entirely.

That’s when I explain family of blood vs. family of choice.

Family of blood is karmic. We are born into a family because we can learn from them, we can adjust our own karma from experiences with them, and we can discover what we are truly made of. Some people are very fortunate, and their family is a place of refuge, of support and encouragement, of safety and home.

For those of us that don’t have that good fortune, there is the family of choice. You will find people who understand you, who cheer you on and who want you in their lives — not because it was an accident of birth, but because they CHOOSE to have you there.

They choose YOU.

So if you have a family where you’ve never fit in, don’t look at yourself as the failure, the misfit. Look at yourself as someone who was born in one place, but lives in another. And welcome those who actively choose you as family and tribe, because they are every bit as true as the people whose blood you share.




Psychic medium & channel since 1973. Author. Certified Tarot Master, past life specialist. I take my work seriously, me not so much.

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Corbie Mitleid

Corbie Mitleid

Psychic medium & channel since 1973. Author. Certified Tarot Master, past life specialist. I take my work seriously, me not so much.

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