Blut ist nicht dicker als Wasser (Blood is not thicker than water)

There are few things that people tend to say about their families. Some of us say we have families and are more than comfortable with them; some of us really believe that we have none (but we all know that’s unlikely because distant relatives are family too), and some of us just willfully don’t want to have anything to do with our own families. The latter seems harsh, but once you get to know the reasons behind some of our cold and distant attitudes toward familial ties, the more you realize that the meaning behind the saying “blood is thicker than water” doesn’t always ring true in every relationship. It sure is the best scenario to have  your relationship with your family be the strongest. There’s always that instant biological bond—that familiarity since birth that no one else will have with you besides your own blood. However, how many times have you heard of legitimately abusive fathers, apathetic mothers, and… evil twins? Unfortunately for some of us, families are not always our strongest ally.

This realization however does not make friends, colleagues, and coworkers immediately more akin to you, unless you testify as such. There lies the danger in generalization. That is why up until a certain point in my life, I’ve come to take the ever popular maxim blut ist dicker als Wasser (the origin is German) as something very relative and only true to some. Whenever I talk about my own relatives, it somehow shames me to freely express my hurts and disappointments with them. I think that is because somehow, somewhere, some smarty pants thought of writing about how broken families produce unstable people, and enough people bought into that lie. So whenever a poor soul expresses their being hurt for years by their family, the listening party despises the victim for not being right with their family and pities them. I must say, though, that in any kind of relationship, we all must work very hard and patiently to get it right. The loving effort must be there, and one must always be willing to forgive and reconcile with a repentant relative. However, some things are beyond our control, and acts of reconciliation aren’t perceived.

I’ve got way too many hurts from my own family to even know how to begin sharing them. I just know that I’ve done my part to love them. I’ve stopped pursuing them not because I’m emotionally exhausted but because I’ve done what I could, and it’s up to them to change their ways. What I’m saying probably sounds very common, but I think what is uncommon for a lot of people is the ability to partake in peaceful confrontation. Hiding from people to avoid confrontation or refusing to even hear what they have to say does not solve anything and only makes things worse. We’ve all got some sense of pride, and withholding someone from trying to be on good terms with you by avoiding them is feeding power to that monstrous pride. This action has little or nothing to do with the gravity of that person’s fault and more to do with one’s own greed. I have to admit that when I refuse to talk to someone because of what that person did to me, I feel somewhat powerful by punishing that person through shutting them out and remaining silent. Nobody who is willing and actively pursuing the ability  to make amends deserves that kind of punishment. Once you refuse to talk to the person confronting you to talk things out, you immediately become at fault for prolonging the problem and making it worse. Sadly, very seldom do people really understand this. I tend to brush this valuable piece of conflict resolution off at times myself, because it is easier to just not do anything.

If you placed me right next to my family for examination, you’d also be able to tell that I’m an apple that fell far from the tree—another expression turned around. Probably the only thing that really stands out as a similarity is the way we all look. I fortunately don’t act, speak, or think like they. It’s really odd.

I thought it was kind of interesting that I took these photos in my family’s old house as I was visiting about a month ago (as you can see, it is empty and ready to be moved into by the next owner).  Some of their stuff is still there, like that lamp and the vintage collage of my grandparents and their kids you can see in every reflection.

Well, there you have it. This post really cannot have a proper ending without the help of my family doing their part to fix the problem. I’m just going to leave this like an open-ended European movie, with the underlying theme of proper confrontation and communication as its main message. I’m just waiting for a deux ex machina…

What I Wore: Nine West pumps, a vintage red dress (label was torn) that I wore as a blouse, Talbots skirt


  1. says

    wow what a sad yet inspiring post. I’m really impressed with your outlook. I am a firm believer in only keeping positive and inspiring people in your life. And besides for all that you look absolutely divine!
    ps hope you stop by and see my most recent post on positive friendship and enter my $100 giveaway in honor of it!

  2. says

    I just recently went through the “family drama”. Unfortunatley, in our extended family, shoving things under the rug is the only way they deal with stuff. And I tend to be a person that is…blunt. I try to be nice and respectful when I say something, but I won’t just ignore a problem, which doesn’t make me too popular with the “fam”. It’s hard to be a peacemaker without comprimising beliefs. But your right, once you’ve done all you can to mend ties, it’s up to them.

    I love your outfit too! The red/pink? is a great color on you!
    Plus the purse give the outfit the “fabulous pop”. And the empty house is a great photo prop!
    I look forward to more posts! Stop by my blog if you get a chance!
    A Modest Fashion Blog:

  3. says

    I have always heard this phrase (blut ist nicht dicker als wasser) with family. Nobody is perfect, especially in my family and we are all very different and even grew up in totally different environments, however one thing that we do all share is the power of communicating and positive thinking. I’m thankful for that at times, despite our differences. What an interesting & honest post!

    *I love your outfit, especially the pink top.

  4. says

    You look lovely.
    I don’t think that blood is thicker than water either. I think that Jesus’ love is definitely a bigger binding together between me and people than with family members. I have some cousins who think family is the most important thing but really they’re missing out on far too much. Something better. I think Jesus explained that well when people tried to tell Jesus his family was around and to see them when he said he was by his family already.

  5. says

    Love the honesty of your post. I especially like what you say about the erroneous assumption that there is something “wrong” with people who come from broken homes. All our experiences happen for a reason and they help us to grow. God has a plan for everyone after all. I can relate to what you say about not relating to your family. My parents are both atheists and so I grew up with a lot of negativity and zero spirituality – they had a very dark view of the world. I used to get myself on a bus when I was as young as 5 years old to go to Church. They would never set foot in one. I’m just glad I have that divine guidance to replace what I didn’t get from my human parents.

  6. says

    Thanks for writing so much, Salome! Have been going through some family – sister – drama as of late, again, and this really was validating to read. I appreciate your work and your words. Praying for you, and hoping all is going well!
    Blessings :)

  7. says

    Rachel, sorry about that last post, I was trying to comment on a friends blog, and my computer crashed — the outcome was the posts getting mixed up(although you both wrote on similar topics) – I’m incrediblysorry about that!

  8. brisallie says

    I’m 100% agree with your words because since I was born I’ve never felt connected with the concept of “family” that society wants, because I’m adoptive child. When I was younger I wanted to know who were my biological family but then I realized they left me for a reason which I’m not sure what it is but at least now i dont wanna know, besides I was blessed to be adopted by a good family.

    In spanish this phrase is “La sangre llama a la sangre”.

  9. says

    I think the way you’re moving through this is admirable in the least – it takes a lot of gut to be fair and stand your ground in these situations. I hope this has since improved xx

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