There's a quote I love:
"Friends are the family you choose for yourself" ~ Author unknown
I think for survivors of abuse - where the abuse was perpetrated by family members, or for whom 'family' has never had safe connotations, it can be a way to learn what family is supposed to be like. I guess my understanding of 'family' is still a work in progress, but one thing I know is this: my 'real family' are made up of my closest friends. I really appreciate the survivor friends I have too - there's something really special about that. I hate that those friends have had to go through so much, just as I'm sure they hate the same for me... but I know that they understand and we can help each other though the tough times. Sometimes there just aren't words to explain what's going on, but we understand each other without needing to use words because we get it.
I treasure my friends and even though I struggle to understand the concept of being cared about, I'm grateful that we don't have to go on this journey alone and we can be there for each other. My 'true family' are those friends. :)