I want to make it clear, it doesn't have a lot to do with my parents, though my parents are involved. My parents I don't think realized that my brain would process things like this, and really I don't think I realized that my brain would process things like this. It just did, and now I'm going, "What the fuck?"
As a child, I was in many ways the one my parents leaned on. They leaned on all of us at some point, but I always felt it keenly as I was the oldest. I was the one asked to give up things, to be the one that sacrificed for the good of the family. It could be as simple as babysitting my younger siblings or as huge as giving my hard-saved money to them for bill rather than the letter jacket I wanted. Now, in families this is what you do, everyone pitches in to help, I know that. But I was always asked with the expectation that somehow my parents would make this up to me.
It was rare this ever happened.
That isn't to say they never did or didn't try. Mind you I'm not saying my parents were bad parents or that they abused me in any fashion. Life is life, and things happen, and well they weren't always able to live up to those promises. But I was a young kid, perhaps much younger than I should have been to be carrying that sort of responsibility. I was asked to shoulder the burden than perhaps an older teenager or young adult child could handle, but a ten-year-old?
Over the years my frustration mounted, but I wasn't mature enough to handle this with the sort of grace that someone needs. And so I tried to rationalize this in my kid sort of way. I figured that my parents asked things of me with promises of there being a reward at the end. And I would give everything up for them, because it was for the good of the family, but they would fail in the payoff at the end. And really it must because I didn't do well, I didn't give enough. And I desperatly wanted that recognition of all that I had given up for them and for my siblings. But no one seemed to notice or care.
And I would watch as I got older and my siblings got those things I wanted while I worked and busted my ass for every little thing. And the final indignity was WIlliam Jewell. My father had promised me he would help pay for that because he had not had a parent to help him through college. Besides I think he thought he could make up for all those years of broken promises to me by helping me thorugh four years of school. But my mother and the divorce took that all away from me. I was forced to give that up as well for the good of the family.
That was the most heartbreaking thing I've ever done in my life.
I'm still angry about it! I'm angry that after years of giving up little things for my family, UB paychecks and weekends with my friends, that all I wanted was my family to support me while I went on to be the first one to get a college degree. Instead I had to sit back and watch as my brother Jay walked away with that honor.
It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.
And my siblings never recognize this fact. I don't thik for them they even understand it was ever an issue. We were poor, we were all asked to sacrifice, what is my issue. But in many little ways it wasn't the same. And I can't bring it up to them because it sounds horribly petty. And in some ways it is, but in a lot of ways it is just really my brain trying to rationalize the world through a ten-year-old's perspective. I wasn't good enough for my family to care about the accomplishments I made.
That's not true...my father and mother are very proud. But it is the weirdness of how my brain works.
So now we move on to relationships. My typical relationship was usually me giving up a lot of time and effort into a person in order to show them how much affection and love I have for them and in them seeing that they will love me and want to be with me and give me all the things I deserve. And when they don't and they prove to be human I am reliving this cycle over and over again. I am the one who has thrown myself so completely out there, but the recognition is not forthcoming. This means I must be a flawed individual, unworthy in some way. There is something wrong with me because they can't live up to the expectations.
I give and give to people out there and God help me I just want someone to accept me. And that's what drives me in everything in this life. And the more people who fail me at this the more I begin to seriously question what is wrong with me that this happens, and so my self-esteem is hit. Because I have to have things that are wrong with me for people to treate me this way. So whenever people compliment me I qualify it by assuring them Im really not that great of a person, because if I were people would want to treat me better and recognize that I'm a person who tries so hard to be a good, loving, caring person. But they don't, therefore something is wrong with me.
It is all backwards, fucked up logic, noneo fo this is right or makes sense, but it is what my brain sees and understands even if I know logically this isn't the case. And with every disappointment in my life I see it, and this causes me to pull farther and farther from people because I am tired of being hurt like that.
I am a fucked up mess.
So now I know what's up...how do I fix it. That is the question.