family

sigh…

here goes.

i have been secretly reading blogs of people living with various chronic illnesses and cancers for probably 10 years now. i never talk about my late-night slice of american pie with anyone, but i have thought long and hard about why i come back to read their stories. aside from the obvious courageous and inspirational messages and the opportunity to support others these sites offer, i think i come back because i have an opportunity to witness family support and love. i get to live vicariously and take mental notes on how to be a “normal” person with a happy, loving family. it’s a little bit of fake it till you make it, i suppose. with a dash of green envy thrown in.

most of my 20’s were a series of arguments with my mother over my brothers drug addiction. she believed that i was making it up to hurt them both.she was at times physically abusive and growing up was neglectful and disinterested in us. even now, i can hear the resentment boiling just under the surface. the dichotomy of parenthood. i think she loves us as much as any other mother but we are her scapegoats for unrealized dreams.

whatever the case, parenting by avoidance, denial, and guilt did not result in happy, well-adjusted adults. my sister has chronic pain, depression (with suicide attempts) and no insurance. she can’t work and filing for disability is difficult for someone her age, so she exists in limbo. my brother is riding the revolving door of the prison system and i think he has given up on life. i suppose in comparison i come up looking like roses.

which makes me desperately sad. the hurt runs so deep, i can’t even describe it. i want so badly for everyone to do better and to rise above their circumstances. it is heartbreaking to watch, but i don’t know how to help them without jeopardizing things for myself. if there was one thing i truly wish for in my life it would be for my family to be healed from their drug addictions, chronic pain, mental illness, and traumatic experiences, so that i can heal too.

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