Friday, September 24, 2010

It Would Be Nice To Start Over

When I was younger, my parents were always around. My dad walked my sister and I to school every morning and was home when we got out. My mom ran a daycare in our living room, so she was always home. My sister and I were blessed, but I don't think either one of us realized it.

When I was 10, my mom, siblings, and I moved to Virginia, while my dad stayed in Jersey. My aunt, uncle, and cousin had just come from Vietnam and my mom wanted to be near them. So near, that they moved in with us. My dad would come down on Friday and leave on Sunday. It was like this for 3 years. 3 years of only seeing my dad on the weekends was hard on me, and I now realize the effect that it had on my younger siblings. My mom worked from 7am until 10pm, and my older sister really didn't give a fuck what was happening in the house. My aunt and uncle were never home, either, so there I was, 10 years old and raising 3 kids. I never saw it as one of those situations where we were on our own, because we had parents, they just weren't around anymore. Being responsible for two 7 year olds and a 4 year old wasn't hard, but it was overwhelming. The weekend were the best part of my life, for a very long time.

When my dad finally moved in with us, things just got worse. He was always angry. Always upset over every little thing. You can blame stress all you'd like, but I don't think that's a valid excuse to be in a piss poor mood all the time. At least 4 times a week, we'd get a long lecture about how shitty we are and how we need to take better care of the house. The house...the one that I did everything I could to keep it in order, while still making sure that the kids were taken care of, fed, and bathed, and still making sure that I didn't fall behind in school? That house? Yep, THAT house.

What didn't help at all was my aunt having a baby...3 months early. That weighed a pound and six ounces when he was born. That needed around the clock care. That I was responsible for. Don't get me wrong, I love that boy more than anything in the world, he just picked a terrible time to be born. We moved here, to Texas, right after he had turned a year old, which was bittersweet. I knew that a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders, but I also knew that I wouldn't get to see him grow up and that leaving him, after having been the only maternal figure he'd known, was not good for him.

We moved here and things got even worse. My dad worked from 3am until 11pm. My mom worked from 7am until 11pm. I was a freshman in high school, the last thing I wanted to do was have to be a mother to my brother and sister. Someone had to do it, though, and I knew that my bitch of an older sister was too worried about who she was going to sleep with next to give a damn about the little ones.

I wasn't until about a year ago that I realized that I had raised these little terrors, and I mean that in every sense of the term. Always in trouble at school, always in trouble with the law, always in trouble, period. I suppose, that had I realized that I was the only parental influence in their lives, I would've tried a lot harder to be a good one. Sometimes, I worry about how my kids will turn out, because of how my siblings are. I have no doubt in my mind that I'll be a wonderful mother, it's the role model part that I'm terrified about. I say bad words...a lot. I flip people the bird...a lot. I'm late...a lot. I'm a smartass. I'm a procrastinator. I'm also terrible with children ages 5-10, so that probably won't help much, either.

When my mom is home, she likes to tell me what I do and what I don't do. "You don't spend time with your siblings, you're always in your room, etc." A few things: I spend a lot of time with them. I did her part, now I'm doing mine. I'm hardly in my room anymore. Every time she says things like that, I have to remind her that she's never here. I know it hurts her and that I should feel bad for that, but I don't. She's never here. That's an unfortunate part of our lives, one that I don't see changing anytime soon.

I don't really know what the point of this blog was, but whatever. Thank you for reading it.

Stay Gold.

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  1. Its funny when you look back on your life that way. Not funny haha, funny queer. I don’t think our parents will ever know the fucked up effects they had on our lives. My mother ha no recollection of beating us and my father was too drunk to remember doing it. When I look back at my life the one thing that pops up is “At least I wasn’t molested.”

    It seems like you had a stressful ass life but no matter how crazy things were when we were kids there’s always some shit you can look back on and remember having fun. I grew up trying to do the opposite of what the adults in my family did. The people I say are responsible for me not having multiple kids, baby mama’s, and a criminal record were my grandmothers and my oldest brother. We buried both my grandmothers last year and a few months ago and my oldest brother died of a heart attack when he was 32 in 2001 (one year older than I am now).

    Though I have relatives that grew up in the house with my awesome grandmothers they still turned out bad. You cant start to blame yourself for that kinda shit. We are all responsible for our own behavior. We know when we hurt people. We know when we treat people like shit. The best you can do is not drag that stuff around with you in your daily life.

  2. John MohlmanSeptember 25, 2010

    You know what, kid, you're off base. Your kids will be fine. You'll be fine. You understand responsibility and you instinctively know how to adapt to situations. Those are the qualities your kids will pick up on. They'll pick up some bad habits, too, and there will be more than your fair share of mistakes made. That's life. The secret of life is in how you handle those mistakes. You've already listed your weaknesses so you freely realize and admit them. There's nothing but your own laziness preventing your from correcting them and you'll do that when you have young ones you are responsibile for. You'll be fine. You'll teach them by example.

    My daughter lost her mother a few months ago. She died in a motorcycle accident. I can't think of anything worse in this world than a ten year old girl having to go through life without her mother. Just be there for those kids and they'll turn out fine. I read within your words the commitment to not be like your parents. Your kids are going to be very lucky. Don't worry.