Everyone has moments when they just want to retreat from anyone and everyone who make them feel less than they should be.
I get a lot of those days and I deal with it. I think I’ve gotten better at it through these few years. I’m not perfect at it but I can say that I do better than most now. I wasn’t always able to get mad, calm down, and return admitting I made some mistakes.
In the household I grew up in, pride was often the thing we lived by and prejudices were ingrained in our bones. For a very long time, far longer than I would like to admit, I lived thinking I was better than most and I could do no wrong. Obviously, when the facade crumbled, I crumbled with it. I’ve already talked about this many times and different ways.
So, let’s start after Ginger passed away.
I had difficulty returning to my work after she’d passed. I didn’t know how big her part was in my life until I watched her fade away and leave us forever.
I used to have someone sit beside me or on my lap to watch the cars pass by from the window of my room. Now, it’s only me again. The magnolia tree that used to grow in front of my room has passed too from a disease it couldn’t fight. Things end and things begin.
My art career took a halt.
My eldest sister was set to get married on the 16th of June this year. We mourned and then we got busy. The wheel kept moving for everything else in my life. I woke up. I slept. I watched a lot of TV and listened to music. Sometimes I took naps. More often, I couldn’t sleep until my insomnia took the better of me. I felt sad a lot of the days but not knowing that I was. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t return to work. So I just didn’t.
When May hit, we were an inch away from scrambling around and getting the wedding set.
June came. My cousins and aunt came. It was hectic. I lost a lot of days to forgettable memories. I lost track of time but also felt the restless moments. I couldn’t get away from crowds of people. I couldn’t recharge and as you know of me, I needed it. I needed it badly, so badly that I had a moment of toxicity I couldn’t return from. I’ll tell that story another time.
When the day of the wedding dawned on us, I was all nerves. Things weren’t finished. We were scrambling. I honestly can’t even remember if I enjoyed the wedding because the staff was us, my family. I was always up on my feet doing this and that. I got indigestion then my menstruation. Too much? Like I said, I was all nerves and stress. All I could truly remember from the wedding were:
- a boy who looked cute but was waaay too young
- I asked my friends to buy me Pepto Bismol
- Then scavenged for painkillers for my cramps
- Making sure the wedding flowed smoothly- even the photographer started to rely on me.
- Cleaning up after everything in a speed of light.
I know I did the work with family but for the most part, I can honestly say, I and another girl did most of the work because we stressed a lot and moved a lot. I didn’t even get to eat. I can’t say I enjoyed the wedding. I can’t say I’d like a repeat of it. I don’t.
And so the wedding passes and I’m back to chaperoning my cousins. No time for myself again. Not like I had any still, except that time they went to LA with my brother. Bless my brother, who volunteered to tour them to give me rest time. Unfortunately, my eldest sister never learns. She doesn’t understand the concept of “tired” when it comes to others.
It wasn’t my job. None of it but often, I find myself in compromising situations. We all know I hate compromising when it comes to my mental health. So, I’ll get mad. I’ll tell people I don’t want this or that, let me rest. That sort of stuff. Still, nope.
When my cousins left, I thought, YES! Rest time. I love them but yes to rest.
My eldest sister still wants to compromise me.
I truly don’t understand. There’s nothing wrong with just her and my aunt hanging out. I do it with my aunt all the time.
At this point, it’s whatever. Let’s just do it. I don’t want to fight again. Again! Let’s not get into that. So, okay, let’s go wherever. Disney? OK. … Paid for parking… walked a lot for almost nothing. Got tired. Got spent. Okay, sure, there’s Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to rest before Friday for Knotts.
And this is where my frustrations really get me. I’m at a point past whatever and just, I give up.
My sisters- both this time- tell me, “let’s plan for the business”. It’s this business we’ve all been juggling about for some years. I make it clear that I’m completely serious about the business. I study business at my own time already, so okay, I’ll expedite my research. I read articles, I watch entrepreneurs on YouTube, I read some more, read books and books, and then I write a plan, an agreement, make a presentation, and write more notes. Tuesday through Thursday of this week was spent on this. I had 1/3 of the information already. No big deal. I love it anyway. I love learning at my own pace, my own time. I did say I was going to take it seriously. I say it many times. I look them in the eyes when I say it because if I learned anything these past years, it’s that I am in control of my future.
… Unless things turn sour and suddenly I’m looking at a useless Partnership Agreement draft, a business plan, and a presentation.
What I’ve come to learn about my family is that we suck at communication. We don’t like confrontation. And worst of all, when we’re mad, we drag EVERYTHING out. Me, not as much anymore. Only the really bad moments in my life stick to me these days.
What turned sour you ask?
My second older sister wants to adopt a dog. Her responsibility, I told her. I don’t want a repeat of Ginger and my mom. I don’t want broken promises. I want that she be responsible for adopting a dog. Suddenly it turned to, the new dog needs to be walked thrice a day. Okay? And she starts listing names- mine, my dad’s and my brother, who wants nothing to do with taking care of a dog. He has other things he’s worried about. My dad who ended up taking care of Ginger because my mom was always tired from work… even though she’d promised she would be responsible for Ginger.
I hate to say this but the truth about my parents always gets to me.
They weren’t ready to be parents and more times than not, they don’t act like good parents.
My mom was no different with Ginger.
At one point, I think Ginger got depressed from lack of love and everyone in the family was expected to give the love that my mom should have given.
So, my brother and I make sure our sister understand the gravity of what she wants. And things get said. The clutter in our house. Her bad habits. Other things get pointed out and I make sure to clarify that we all have bad habits that clash. I make sure to say, we all contribute to the mess. And then my mom jokes, why don’t you move out?
And what isn’t clear here is this: my sister owns half the house, my brother and I are technically considered unemployed, she pays half of the house, she helps with grocery, and she loans my mom money.
So, why doesn’t she move out?
I can’t. Sometimes, I just can’t with my mom and it doesn’t help that my brother doesn’t know how to say things nicely. It also doesn’t help that I jumped in on it. It doesn’t help that my family suck at talking to each other. We suck at apologizing for our wrongdoings or saying things in a mean way, true as they may be. We sulk. We punish each other. We are mean. We are cruel. And I just can’t most days.
So, why doesn’t she move out?
I think we all know. I think we all feel bad about it. So, why joke about it? Why make her feel any less than she already makes herself feel every other time? Why do we make light of important things in life?
I say we but really, mostly, I mean them.
At this moment, this part of my journey, I know. I know when things are important. I know when I should joke, tease, or push buttons. I know when to put myself first, my health. I know when not to. I know things won’t be perfect but I also know I could do better so that things flow smoother for others. I know and understand.
I get frustrated more than mad when the least anyone could do is try to understand but choose not to.
The worst is when someone knows they are wrong but pretends to be right.
What do I do with the plans though?
My sister won’t speak to us. Moping. Frustrated. I know how that is. They do it to me all the time. So, I know. I know she’s really contemplating how to get away. I know how far her thoughts can take her. If she’s anything like me and trust me, she’s far more, she can make it happen. She can decide to move out and that’s that. I know that she can stay angry far longer than anyone else. I know how scary she gets because I’ve been there. I was there for a while.
Unfortunately, I’ll have to file the plans away and try to apply what I’ve learned into the brand I’m already doing- my art.
I can’t be considerate right now. I have my own life to try and fix… or I guess raise. I can’t hit pause for a business that may never see light.