My grandfather passed away a few days ago and I’m watching my dad struggle. I never liked my grandfather for many reasons. He had my dad turned into a tethered clone that obeyed his every command and now that he’s gone, my dad’s completely lost. My grandfather never acknowledged my mom as a human being but nobody ever said anything cause we all chalked it up to be traditional or old school ways as if it was some sort of pass to be misogynistic. My mom slaved over this fool since she married into the family but in his eyes, she’ll never be part of the family. My grandfather has never done any harm or wrongdoing to me or my sister. In fact, he had been an incredible grandfather and I know he tried to get close but, I can’t get accept everything else.
The other day, I was thinking whether or not I would be able to handle my family’s affairs if my dad passed away. He’s never told me anything about his business affairs and all the stuff he’s done using my and my sister’s names. I’m always amazed whenever someone rattles off their parent’s history like where they grew up, went to school, what they did for work, etc. I honestly have no idea where my parents grew up or went to school. I was never told and I never asked. I only recently found out about some interesting things regarding his childhood, which made me see my dad more as a human being. It’s kinda like seeing your teacher outside of school. It’s weird and very humbling.
We’ve all promised not to be like our fathers or mothers when we’re older, at least once in our lives. I’ve said that shit so many times to the point where I thought I hated my dad. Years ago, I got into an intense argument with my ex-girlfriend at my parents house. We lost control and I got my parents involved to kick her out of the house. I was belligerent; I was uncontrollable; and I was someone else. While my mom consoled my ex-girlfriend, my dad grabbed ahold of me. He cried and kept asking me why I never talk to him. If there was something wrong, he could help me. I remember furiously thinking how hypocritical he was. Why should I talk to someone who never talked to me?
But I’m about to turn 32 this year and I’ve accepted the fact that I’m a copy of my father. I’m quiet; I’m secretive; and I have anger issues. There are aspects of me that are different but somewhere along the way, no matter how much I ran it, I became my father. If I’m like him, then he’s surely like me. So knowing myself (somewhat), I know he’s suppressing a lot of shit. I know he’s angry. I know he’s scared. But I still can’t bring myself to even hug him and tell him that it’s okay to talk to me. You and me; we’re the same.
I think my sister and I smoke too much weed. The difference is I hide it like a secret stigma while my sister accepted it publicly. It’s not perfect but it’s hers and I’m envious of that. We have similar traumatic experiences that made us hate ourselves and seek therapy. There were times when I’ve felt like I’ve failed as a brother and there were times when she’s felt the same as a sister. But despite all of that, we’ve never been close.
When I find out that my sister smoked weed, I saw it as common ground. Finally, after sharing this planet for 30 years, my sister and I have something to talk about and do together. It was fun. If you ever read this, I love you and I loved the fact that we got to share something together. But somewhere along the way, I started to do it more and hid the amount that I was smoking. They became like cigarettes to me. People say you can’t get addicted to weed but I’m pretty self-aware that I’m abusing that shit. The colors aren’t as vivid. Music isn’t as colorful. My steps aren’t as fast. My ambitions have disappeared. I dropped lower than my baseline. And I’ve been chasing it for years now.
I’ve tried stopping twice now. Both unsuccessful. But ever since the first time I tried to stop, I noticed the heavy amount that my sister was smoking. She’s managing her extracurricular activities better than I did but as am older brother, I can’t stop myself from worrying about her. I know she’s smart. I know she’s tough. But I hope she doesn’t become like me and that she’s okay. Knowing myself (somewhat), I know that she’s suppressing a lot of shit. I know that she feels alone. I wish I could give her a hug and tell her that it’s okay to talk to me. You and me; we’re the same and I don’t like that.