I have a million things to do, a million things I have been putting off while life just rolled from one day to the next. Most days I am lucky if I can find time to shower, let alone return phone calls or pay my bills.
Any time I pull my focus towards one corner of my life, the rest of the room goes dark. Sometimes I get so lost in my new quest, I forget about the things that matter most. In fact, I don’t know what matters most to me anymore.
It used to be my family, but lately it seems like they can’t stand me when I am around. I don’t even have to say anything for them to instigate a battle, I just smile even though I know they are dead wrong because nothing I say will de-escalate the situation anyways.
But sometimes me smiling is enough to send my loved ones off the deep end. It has always been this way as far back as I can remember. We are always at each other’s throats at the drop of a hat.
My brother can’t stand to be around me. He doesn’t understand me and stopped trying to figure me out long ago.
It is amazing that you can grow up in the same house as someone, yet hold a completely different set of values from them. For all the times he has messed up in life, he is always given a pass. He always got the benefit of the doubt while I was left to fend for myself.
He never defended me when I was little, he would let his friends call me names and pick on me without ever coming to my defence. I am not sure how a child learns how to be part of a family but I distictly remember him walking blocks ahead of me when we walked home from school, leaving me at the park when his friends came around, and not letting me play basketball with the guys.
Loyalty gets challenged easily when you live in an urban environment without the traditional family unit to fall back on. How is a boy supposed to know how to be a man when he never had a father?
And who am I to judge him but a sister with standards set by sitcoms that aired between cereal commercials?
I always hated my brother for turning his back on me since as far back as I could remember. I was an inconvenience in his life and I still am today, even though we are both in our thirties. We don’t even live in the same state and yet we still find things to fight about.
Like this blog post, for instance. If my brother finds out about this he will flip. He will tell the whole family that I am online talking shit about him when he is the one who fucked me over just yesterday. He is the one who fights with both my mother and father on a daily basis because he never faced his childhood traumas before taking on having a family of his own.
My opinions of my brother don’t really matter. I could tell him he is a piece of shit until I am blue in the face, but it won’t change the fact that he is not loyal to his family, he doesn’t go out of his way for them in anyway, and would rather hire someone when you need help than help out himself.
His idea of spending time together is him passing out on the nearest couch as football filters out the background noise of chit chat.
My dad was like this when I was little, before he stopped drinking. He would pass out on the couch and still snore loud enough to wake us all up upstairs. I will never forget the way he would just come and go as he pleased without any regard for us as a family. We never went anywhere together, my dad never read me a book, or took me to the movies. He couldn’t even discipline me when I was bad because he never paid enough attention.
The difference between my brother and myself is that I dealt with this shit a long time ago when I finally started seeking help for my depression. Now they say mental illness usually stems from childhood trauma, but I know for a fact that chemical imbalances run in my family and sometimes my neurotransmitters start going haywire for no reason.
I am not ashamed to talk about this type of thing openly. Like I said, I already dealt with my demons a long time ago, but the rest of my family hasn’t. They would rather keep these things hushed so things can appear normal even though they suck. Well, if you have a giant pimple on our chin that is just dying to be popped, I am not the type to not say anything even if it appears I am being rude.
Calling people out on their bullshit is what I do best because I grew up with the two biggest bullshitters south of 63rd Street.