Friday, August 29, 2008

Where I say what I would love to say in real life

Dear family: you are pissing me off. 

I have no life. I have never had a life. I have been expected to be dutiful daughter, wife and mother. I am expected to swallow all bitterness and never complain. Complaining or depression is weakness. Weakness is bad. I must be strong at all times, able to handle any and all tasks thrown at me. I cannot ever get sick, feel overwhelmed, be sad or lonely. I cannot ever, at any time, let anyone outside our family know how I really feel about any given topic. I am not allowed to contemplate moving away, or having anything going on that might interfere with taking care of all of you. If I do, in fact, complain too much, I am punished by silent treatments and being treated like an overly sensitive crybaby who is incapable of handling anything. Despite all I do for all of you, you continue to treat me like it's never enough. No matter how many errands I run, bills I pay, dinners I make, hours I talk on the phone listening to crying and panic attacks, it's never ever good enough. My slacker brother can breeze in and out as he pleases, and do the smallest thing, and suddenly he is the golden child, the perfect son. He is allowed to be pissy and mean and throw temper tantrums. He is allowed to make colossal mistakes in his life and stay married to a woman who has tried her hardest for the last 10 years to tear this family apart. I, however, am not allowed mistakes. I have to be perfect at all times. I cannot have hopes or dreams of my own. I cannot yearn for anything more than what I have. You had me to take care of all of you, and this is a sad fact that I have realized since I was a young girl. I knew I'd never finish college or move away. I knew that I would never be anything more than what I am. You are all or nothing with me - either I am immersed in day to day dysfunction, or I am ostracized. And since I don't want my kids to grow up without family, I am stuck. I am trapped. And things will never change. Why do you think I tell all 3 of my kids to move away as soon as they're 18? I want them to go to school out of state, get as far away as possible. If I get sick, I don't want them to care for me. This fucked up cycle ends with me. Too late for me, but not for them. They will live their own lives, have fabulous careers. I won't clip their wings. I am not so selfish to keep them close to me for my own gain. That isn't why I had them . I had them to give 3 individuals a chance at lives I can only dream of.

Dear Pseudo friends: Well, it's really only a couple of you I have a bone to pick with. I was a good friend to you over the last year. We talked all the time, we leaned on one another. We formed a real bond. Then, after the whole Room mom debacle of 2008, you disappeared. You did a few half hearted gestures after dad was diagnosed - only what you felt you had to do for appearances sake!- but other than that, you go out of your way to ignore me. And here's what gets me: when I see you, and you are forced to speak to me, you always say, in a syrupy sweet voice 'Oh, I've been such a bad friend, I haven't called you! How are you?!'
And I seriously just want to punch you square in the face when you say that.
What am I supposed to say to that? It's so insultingly transparent and douchy and not sincere. What I want to say to you is this: No, you haven't been a bad friend, because that would take into account that I consider us friends. We're not. We are acquaintances with kids in the same class. Nothing more. Don't insult my intelligence just because you can't nut up and say what's on your mind. I would like to know what I did - but I know I never will. All I know is that I'm incredible hurt by your actions. 

2 comments:

Amy said...

Crap woman! This isn't good. I'm listening (reading) and wishing I could do even one small thing to help you. I've been where you are and wish so much you didn't have to go through this shit. People screw with you and the worst part is, they don't even realize they are doing it because they can't see beyond themselves.

Because you're smart and more evolved, you have empathy and see other perspectives. Lucky you, right? It is easier to be stupid and self-centered, and it hurts a lot less.

Christine said...

Thank you. For every pile of crap i deal with, I know there is good stuff, too. I vented to a friend of mine who always senses when I'm on that ledge, and then my Aunt, who is nuts in her own way, but knows how difficult my family can be. I'm working through it and processing, and venting here was just the first step. I can't change THEM but I can change ME. Being sick and not working out has been a huge part of my mental state, too. KBs keep me sane!