I always felt I was missing something. I would attend church and hear things like your family needs to have a strong head of household, a father, who holds the priesthood. Otherwise your family will be in chaos and destruction and will never be a "Forever Family".
I didn't have what a lot of my friends, in my close knit Mormon community, had. They had a mother and a father who went to church, held important callings, and followed the teachings of the prophet. As a result of this, I would insert myself into the families, that to me fit the definition of a forever family.
I took on the burden of helping my family become a faithful, forever family. It was hard work for a child and young person to be responsible for everyone's salvation. I came to love and resent my family at the same time. In trying to create a perfect forever family I created distance between me and family, mostly my 'unworthy father'.
Fast forward a lot of years. I feel I have lived many lives, and gone through my share of hardships. I have come out the other side of these challenges a much wiser, kinder, loving person. I am no longer a member of a toxic religion dividing families and teaching hate and intolerance. I allow myself to love my family, my now family. I realize what freedom and support my family has given me to live in the happiness I now have.
I listen to the stories of friends who have chosen to leave the church, to think for themselves, to have an authentic, wonderful life for themselves only to lose the love and support of their 'forever family'. To be separated from their eternal family unit. The trauma and the baggage they have to overcome because their parents and siblings won't associate with them or they pity them or see them as someone they need to be wary of. I feel like their journey to wholeness and happiness is more difficult than mine.
I feel fortunate, and I'm so glad I never had the ideal forever family of my dreams. Because I would have lost my for(now) family. No longer chasing rainbows and living for the next life. I cherish and love the family and friends I have now.