As the years pass and my siblings and I grow more distant than ever, the rare times I do see them tends to bring about harsher realities. I suppose that is the joy of separation and distance. A while ago I learned from my mother that my eldest brother viewed my living situation as a result of our parents babying me.
This stung and outraged me to learn that this was coming from my eldest brother of all people. It was perhaps the second greatest betrayal he has committed towards me in my life and the only reason he has accomplished only two betrayals is because the first one taught me that I couldn’t depend on him whatsoever back when I was still in elementary school.
While I will try to reason to myself he is basing this belief on only what little surface he sees. I in turn only know him by that degree as well. Nevertheless, any negative judgments I have ever made of him are from actual information gathered.
Now, what has riled me up this time falls into a far greater uncertainty, as it was a case of action rather than words. While I often have my doubts when it comes to my own insight, empathy and ability to read others, I apparently have enough where my mother believes in it. I take her opinion with great worth.
When he and his wife visited us the weekend after Thanksgiving ended, we talked about the table per usual. I brought up the topic of my rather wearied outlook of the commercialism of Christmas time. As of late I’ve gotten droves of emails trying to entice me about purchasing things that would interest me. I curse that. I’m trying hard to save up money to give my siblings something of a gift each along with my parents without it overriding the usual money required to buy my groceries, pay my rent and handle other annoying things like expensive doctor visits and a haircut appointment.
As I ranted this, my brother and his wife just looked at me and quickly changed the subject as though they heard nothing. That moment alone reminded me of my sister back five years ago when she felt I had absolutely no right to speak of money problems. Sure, thank you brother and sister-in-law for keeping your mouths shut in order to be polite… but quite frankly I’d rather you bring your feelings and thoughts out in the open. Maybe then I could make you understand my position in life instead of have you misjudge me when you barely even know me at all.
Admittedly with my sister, I didn’t know she wasn’t aware of the IRS problems Mom, Dad and I faced. Yes, I include myself in that lovely time because unlike the rest of my siblings I was there, I enjoyed the stress it put on them, I helped out when it came to money where I could and while I cannot recall when the heck this was, I freaking help pay for my sister’s ticket to fly out her for Christmas break one year for my parents’ sake.
There is even more than that. I know what it like to pinch pennies, use the cheapest of products and make use of any useful coupons around. The first years living here with my mother and other brother was tight. We helped each other out and were careful. One time back when what I got via social security was four hundred bucks, my other brother had actually asked to borrow money from me. His price was too steep as that money was what I used to pay my groceries with because back then I could manage to live off groceries that totaled to about twenty bucks a week. I could only offer half at best. My eldest brother and my sister of course know nothing of this crap.
Yes, you idiots. You’ve actually relied on me, your so called overly-babied snowflake of a youngest sibling.
Oh, and Eldest Brother, did you know I am well aware that you nearly never pay your cursed student loans. The very same loans for the education you decided to quit doing out of the blue because it just got too freaking tough?
The only time you pay those are after Mom gets after you. You have a freaking job, you certainly make more than I get and the monthly bill is pretty much two-hundred freaking bucks. Mom is retired now. You are making her dip into her 41K all the freaking time. I’ve even told her that if she ever comes to the point where she has to ask, I’d pay despite my strong misgivings over it being something that is ultimately for your freaking failures and lack of responsibility. I use my money wisely.
Babied? You freaking think I was babied, you pieces of crap? Do you know I determined I couldn’t rely on anyone in our family by the time I was at least in second grade? Did you know I never asked for anything like most kids do because I was already conscious about money back then? The most I’d ever indulge myself was a pack of candy from the grocery checkout stand because those cost a dollar or less. Oh, there were things I’d see and want, but I always reserved those for my birthday and Christmas and even then I rarely ever asked for anything then and just let Mom and Dad choose.
Did you also know that when I had to share that cursed bedroom with our lovely sister, the only thing I came to consider mine in there was the bed I slept in and the few drawers I kept my clothes? Despite that she considered the room as much as my responsibility as hers and when it came to dusting I had to dust her things? That if the drawers to a really effed up dresser we had were not pushed in to perfection she’d wake me up from my slumber and tell me to straighten them? Those damn drawers never kept aligned to the tracks so it would take me a freaking hour to get them “just right” and I’d be sweaty by then? Then when I was finally finished I got to stand, turn around and see her sleeping? We were in freaking elementary school at that time and guess what? I sure as heck didn’t fall asleep again easily.
You know how she scared the crap out of you, Big Brother? Well, to your effing fortune, you lived in a separate building and had you own damn room where you locked yourself in and escaped from reality all the time because you were and still are so freaking delicate.
Guess how it was for me? I didn’t have that luxury. She would always find me. She would always haunt me. She scared the living daylights out of me. I had nowhere to run and the one effing time I did, she of course found me. The rare times I ever tried to stand up to her you failed me and Mom failed me. I was certain as hell I’d never be free of her. Also, did you know I had panic attacks and already was showing signs of mania back in elementary school? How do you freaking like that?
By the time I was finally in middle school, it was my bed alone that was mine because I began just keeping my clothes in our parents’ bedroom. Yes, by then that was the only thing I “owned” in there. Did you know living in that same freaking room became too much that I chose to sleep in the living room on that stiff as heck couch even though Mom often stayed up to watch television in there until 11 PM? Then the rest of the night I could hear when you came over to grab yourself something to eat from the fridge or when you freaking friends were coming and going because they didn’t know how to speak quietly?
Did you know that Mom and Dad didn’t worry about this because they thought it was just a freaking tantrum between siblings? Even after an effing year it didn’t occur to them that maybe it actually was something serious?
Did you also know they never noticed that I wasn’t sleeping worth crap at that time – that if I was lucky I got two hours of sleep and if I was extremely lucky I got four once in a blue moon? Did you also know that because of all the anxiety and fear I lived with, I developed Bipolar II. Yes, that happens when someone is under enough stress. With that I had mania and irritability and depression.
At the same time, I also almost completely stopped eating. Did you know that? Yeah, copious amount of anxiety can kill the appetite. I lived off a bottle of soda at lunch and a package of stove top Ramen for dinner.
Did you know that when I was at least twelve I thought death would be a blessing? Did you know when I was thirteen I direly wished to commit suicide? Did you know that every day was freaking hell? Did you know that that entire time of my life was spent grasping desperately to feeble strings to survive – that I wasn’t even living?
It took that night I desperately wished to die to finally reach out to Mom. After that I got to enjoy being a guinea pig when it came to finding the right diagnosis and thus the right treatment. Did you know that half of the medicines I got to take resulted in those extremely rare symptoms that affect perhaps 1% of those who try them? My entire adolescence was spent on drugs for the wrong diagnoses.
In the same spirit, I had lost myself completely. When I was thirteen to fourteen I didn’t know who the eff I was anymore. I had spent so much time desperately trying to not drown I became completely barren as a person. My soul was near dead. I had realized that if I had died, that no single person even knew me, not even myself. Those who lived on would only remember an illusion that wasn’t even me.
Did you know that though I was getting help, I continually felt like a clock, a wind up music box, a puppet, a doll? That the only future I saw before me was bleak and I’d never escape such a hallow existence?
Were you ever notified of the time I actually did try to commit suicide? Have Mom or Dad ever told you of this? I took all my meds, old to new, the no longer used to the always used and crumbled the pills up into dust, mixed it with the liquid medicine and drank it all down along with a ton of water?
I had actually intended to do it at school and even thought of places I could hide in while there, but I just got so desperate I decided to do it that night. The other reason was to tell Mom and Dad I loved them and hug them good night so that those would be the last words and actions they had with me?
Did you know I broke down often in school – from middle school to high school? I’d be crying and sobbing and the teachers were often useless despite they could have actually done something but didn’t want to deal with it, just sent me to the counselor’s office and one even threatened to give me detention. These break downs became more frequent as time continued on and one time I even took a pair of scissors out and began snipping away at the skin on my wrist?
It finally got to the point I had to quit public school and go to an alternative schooling. Before that though, because I desperately wanted to kill myself again I went to a mental facility for a week just to be able to see a doctor? Then, when I finally saw said doctor I was finally diagnosed correctly?
Did you know that like with our family, I lost all faith in friendship? That while I clung to the friends I had before middle school it was a futile battle and it took me my entire adolescence to finally give up my beliefs and hope in what those stupid, misleading children shows taught about true friendship? In turn, they all just became toxic relationships. When I finally let go, I in turn found it okay to no longer yearn for what I believed to be friendship. Then in time, I also came to no longer care to make friends anymore because I find being around people just makes me feel lonely as eff?
I was an exceedingly hard worker, you know. I am not naturally smart and getting good grades required me to push myself beyond my limits. I had breakdowns over school work. In any case, I finished my Junior and Senior years’ worth of work in two months and two weeks. I graduated and remained on the Honor’s Society from middle school to high school.
Sadly, however, once I began Junior College the cycle began again. Even with just one class a semester, it cased my anxiety to sky rocket again, my mania, irritability and depression would kick in and I would cut myself. Right, I never mentioned that. I was cutting myself back in middle school.
After managing only three classes for one year, I moved down here with Mom. We sought a new therapist and psychiatrist. Though them we learned I also had Asperger’s and an Auditory Processing Disorder. Through the therapist we also learned about receiving Medicaid. Mom and I compiled my history, sent it and in a month I was approved? Did you know that is nearly unheard of? Yes, I am that effed up, thank you.
Did you know that when we determined that continuing college would just have the same effect as public schooling had on me, I decided to go job searching? I never got any responses back, so instead I tried volunteering at a school library. I did very good work there. I kept everything in order, helped kids check out books and liked the settings. In spite of this, however, the stimuli slowly wore on me and by the end of the month I had gone through another cycle in spite of my medication? It took one month to lead me to desire cutting and having suicidal thoughts?
It was through these experiences did we determine I couldn’t survive in the real world anymore. My entire childhood wore me down. I have no mental or emotional immune system. Despite efforts, I cannot strengthen my mind. Despite my efforts, I could not even make friends. I assure you, I put in efforts. My therapist and psychiatrist bugged and at times still bug me about this. I tried just for their sake, but every experience resulted in breakdowns.
In all of this, I have never run off into my own world. I was never babied. I always pushed myself even though the results were always the same. I’d always do it for others and in time Mom realized the true cost. She saw the results: forcing myself to be like the majority rule only breaks me more.
Therefore, yes. I do live with Mom and Dad still. Yes. I have never had a job. Yes. I never finished college. Judging me on that alone however makes you an effing moron. You don’t know how our unit works and I assure you, it works fine. They don’t feel burdened by me. I support them enough. Though I need their guidance on things, I support myself where I can.
I still buy my own groceries. I help pay the mortgage on this house. I buy my own clothes and shoes. I pay for Atticus’ vet bills. I pay for my haircuts. I pay my psychiatrist. All the other medical things seem to be covered by insurance. Then, if I have some money left over, I will indulge in making a silly purchase of fancy, like collectible cards, a graphic novel, a figure or the like.
And no, life still isn’t easy. Though the medicine makes life a great deal more bearable, stimuli and low, low-level stress can overpower it. This can affect my sleep. This can affect my view of life in general. I have no personal anchor to this world. What anchors me to this mortal plane is Mom and Dad. Outside of them I have no freaking clue as to why I’m on this planet. In spite of this, I keep on. I try to appreciate life and be grateful. I try to be a good person. Again, though… I still don’t know why I am still here and pretty much see life as a “waiting game”.