Every morning the past few days I wake up like every other day..
Then I remember a new detail about myself… And the every otherness of the day feels like a facade.
Somewhere, many states away, I have a little brother.
Now this brother isn’t so little. He’s 19 and already off living the college life.
I can’t help but feel a little let down in life. And not even by my father. But my mother, which seems a little unfair to put the negativity her way.
See this little brother has been financially supported by my father because his mother took my father to court to seek child support. So for 18+ years they have been receiving financial aid from my father and will continue to get that until little bro is out of college. My mother on the other hand, preferred to just cut her losses and we’ve strugged ever since. Rather than help pay for my own college, my father’s gambling caused us to nearly be evicted when I graduated high school. So working my butt off trying to pay for community college at the time, I gave my saviings up to keep a roof over our head. My summer after graduating college consisted of working 7 days/nights a week to hopefully regain that money but it never happened….
So now, years later I am doing really well in Community College and had once used my story to help others find the courage to go back to school. If I could lose my opporunity and regain it, even if a decade later, so can anyone else.
But now I see this brand new little brother off at a well known state university, with assisted pay from the sperm donor we share, and I feel pretty jaded. I’m at a rinky dink community college, and this very well may be as far as I go. And how far is an associates really going to take me?
Ever since that fateful day of him leaving us in debt, I have been in control of my parental relationship with my mother. It was me at 18 that made sure her bills were paid on time. It was me going grocery shopping and finally having real food in the house that didn’t come from some latenight convenience store jaunt. It was me going to the laundromat with a friend having clean clothes to wear the next day. It was me walking to work to save money for bills. I had finally gained the ability to see that I didn’t need to wait for a parent anymore to have what normal children should have. <~ My independance was truly born.
Flash forward to 13 years later and my husband and I pay 75% of my mother’s bills. She gives us a little money each week but it doesn’t cover any of the expenses we pay out. My husband doesn’t mind, but it may be because he is as equally oblivious to our financial structure as she is. My mom deserves half of my father’s retirement pay but she would rather he continue to gamble and drink away the money she could be getting than have to take anything from him ever again. She wants nothing to do with him so as usual the burden falls on my shoulders.
I’ve always had to struggle to be the grown up even as a child (well before the whole debt thing) and I have always been firm in my belief that this struggle made me a strong and capable person. I did not have an idyllic childhood and I have mentioned before I don’t dwell on it too much because I feel like my childhood is an abyss that can easily take away the power I have developed if I spend too much time allowing the memories to catch up.
I realized yesterday that this may very well explain why I constantly have to be doing something.. Why I overbook myself to the max whenever possible..So my negative thoughts can’t find me….
But this little bro..the surprise has forced me to slow my pace a bit, and childhood memories have resurfaced and I am angry at the past.. disapointed in the present, and then guilty for not having the faith to feel like everything will be ok. None of that has to do with the little brother, and I don’t even want to contact or know who he is until I can get my own crap together.