This post is for me, about me, BY me. You see, I have had a rough week(s). There was a family emergency landing my sister in the hospital that took up all of my time and even worse, all of my free space. I say “free space” in a different way than one might think. I dont mean literal space. I mean space like Bill Nye would mean matter. Every conversation, thought, happening, evening, work day and weekend day was consumed by this event. I kept telling myself, “Just get through this. Once you get through this craziness everything will be on the mend.” I really did believe it. I thought that I had been brought to this hurdle because I am the strong one in my family. I am here for a reason, I am here to help where I can, who I can. Fast forward one very long and exhausting week. I took a half day off work and spend the afternoon off preparing a homemade dinner that had been chosen by my sister only for it to be unacknowledged. I bought the groceries, cooked the food with little help and had it on the table by 5:00. Perfect dinner time. I say little help because I was lucky enough to have my adoring boyfriend do the mashing of the potatoes. Thank God too, because I hate that part.
Nothing was acknowledged, our kind gestures were met with snarkiness and little to no appreciation. After dinner Boyfriend and I took the pup for a walk and I exhausted myself, and probably him too, beating the dead-horse-like conversation topics that had consumed my life for the past… forever, it felt like. There were long-lasting issues combined with the more recent pressing matters of the emergency that my family had just faced and the steps to prevent/correct it in the future. Every time I open my mouth in the recent past, it is hard for me to even listen to myself. I speak only of the other things that people are doing around me. There is little about Me, actual, real, individual Me that comes out of my mouth these days. I suppose it’s because the people I’m closest to (that number seems to be dwindling as we all grow apart) know the people in my life and the everlasting issues that consume us. Why is that? Why do I need to always talk about other’s issues? I think that the reason I am always stuck in a loop of the same conversation topics about everybody else is because all these people ever have to say or do is negative. We are perpetuates of our own issues. None of us have a healthy relationship to the other.
Why is it that we all co-habitate and yet, there is all of this negative energy and resentment? How can three women who are all biologically related have such incompatible personalities? Just try to approach the topic and see what happens. There is no way to calmly gather and discuss the dysfunction here. The youngest of us is temperamental, moody, selfish, manipulative, unhappy and at times, mean. The eldest of us three is moody, depressed, selfish (to a point), worried, vain, unhappy, stretched too thin, temperamental and reminds me very much of a rain cloud that would follow Eeyore around. Both of them butt heads because both of them are at a point in their lives where they are selfish and they fail to see that they are reflections of each other’s undesired qualities. Myself, I am stubborn, quiet, calm, the mediator, sometimes reactive (given the situation), exhausted of living with these women and the worst: mother hen. I have the inherent desire to mother-hen the people I care for. That is a good quality but very VERY dangerous. Here’s the thing. I get lost in trying to solve their problems, help them, take care of them, stretch myself too thin for them.
Any normal 26 year old has distance. They are able to say “boy, mom, that really sucks. Well, I love you I will call you tomorrow” and hang up the phone. With that click of the phone touching the receiver there is distance, space and solace. I don’t get that. Because of an unfortunate circumstance that was out of my control (a bad breakup with an
asshole fine gentleman) I was forced to move in with my mother, which was never home to me. My dad, however had moved out of state and I could no longer move back into my childhood home. So, life happened and took over and 2.5 years later, here I am. Still here. Where I should be celebrating my youth and taking life by the horns and appreciating and enjoying every day, I am instead playing the girl who wears many hats. I am a therapist to 2 adults. I am a babysitter to my brother (who is the least of my problems), I am a mediator, I am a buffer, I often times am put into the position of 2nd parent to my sister, not to mention sister, daughter and girlfriend while working full-time and maintaining a horse, a dog and my own personal finances. My every. single. day. is exhausting. Sitting here at my desk I was just thinking, “I used to enjoy life”. It is instead, now a constant chore.
I sat just long enough for it to occur to me. I dont want to give anymore. I’m sure there are still means I have to give, if I dig real hard. There’s a little (not much at all) stretch in my budget, there’s more time I could give, there’s more emotions I could share. NO. STOP. I dont want to. WANT, I dont want to. Your parents always tell you as children that adults give, they help, they learn to walk away from confrontation, they stay calm and they are “the bigger person”, whatever the hell that means. But how can you do these things if you’ve been pushed to give and give? Maybe I should give you a taste of what I’m dealing with. Every time one of the “room mates”, for lack of better term, approach me with one those topics that have been beaten to death, that I’ve allowed to seep into the inner-most crevices of my brain and poison it like oil from a tanker spill in the ocean, the feeling I have is similar to that of a child sharing candy. It’s panic. Follow me: You’re a kid and you have a bag of M&M’s. You have a table full of cousins at some family holiday and you’ve been told to share your treasure. So you pass it around after taking one. You watch each person and count silently what they take from you and just before the bag makes its way safely back into your little hands with what little there may be left for you to enjoy, the asshole sitting Indian style next to you dumps the last couple into his hand… It’s panic. You want to cry and run around and violently swing at this little D bag that just stole your last 2 candies. But your parents are watching, so you must silently restrain the tears, your arms, your fury. It’s all yours to eat you alive.
I know this sounds dramatic, but this is the only way I know how to explain what I am feeling. I don’t want to give anymore of my metaphorical candies to the people around me who dont appreciate them. I give time, energy, and money to these people and it’s never appreciated or returned. So now, here’s the conflict, How do I say “I dont want to”? It’s not the same as “cant”. People typically at least TRY to understand “can’t”. I risk making a tidal wave of conflict to make myself
happy happier and have some serenity. Is it worth it? Should I continue to give and give and give with no reciprocation to keep the peace. Because here’s the thing, I am afraid I will be the next one to end up in a straight jacket in a room with padded walls trying to eat instant mashed potatoes through a straw. I am done. I don’t want to give anymore. I can’t and dont want to. That is the root of the problem. I need to find somewhere to hide until all of this blows over. Distance is the cure. Kind of. Nothing is ever really strong enough to distance myself from these people. I use “these people” like Bill Cosby used to use it, with slight affection, mostly out of exhaustion and frustration.
I need a good bible verse, profound phrase, vacation, SOMETHING.