Train wreck, continued…

Last week was constant travel and stress for work, and this weekend just continued my emotional mess. I wallowed WAY more than I ever do, and spent hours watching Suits and feeling the sads. I did some things, including pumpkin picking, and there were bursts of fun, but Saturday night I should’ve done something and instead I wallowed. Normally, I force myself to socialize in those moments to get me out of the funk, but I didn’t have the emotional energy for it. It was one of those nights where I could’ve used company, but didn’t want to actively do anything, only everyone I know that could’ve included me in plans was doing something. Anyhow, at my book club Sunday I realized I should’ve gone to their event because they’re chill enough. The boyfriend helped, though, because he was willing to talk through some of our issues more.

This week has been marginally better so far. Work is still insanely stressful, but at least I’m busy. I’ve actively been refraining from getting more involved, even though there are some great opportunities being presented. I’m too busy to give my time away any more, which is a blessing and a curse. The sex I’ve had with the dude has been fantabulous, which always helps. My body remembers the deliciousness and just wants more… My family stuff is worse than ever, but I cycle through wallowing.

I’ve decided I do need to set up something with a therapist. I’m rapidly approaching a point where I feel overwhelmed and the desire to wallow and be sad is more present than I’ve had it be in over a decade. I’m not OK with that. I want to go back to enjoying the world around me more and thinking the best of people and situations. I’m not sure how to do that, though, with this debilitating loss. It’s made me rethink relationships with some people and impacts how I see everything. Now for the dude to help me figure out my insurance and where to go…

And, on the positive of all positives, I have a week long beach vacation starting Saturday. Clearly, I need this vacation more than ever.

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Too Soon

My dad went on a date tonight. My mom died 6 weeks ago. Isn’t that all there is to say?

On the one hand, he doesn’t have many friends, and making friends in the middle america states is difficult. Spending day in and out alone, thinking of a future alone, minus occasional interactions with my sibling and I, well, I get being lonely. He’s a dude, he could even be horny. I understand that he may want companionship and feel lost in his grief.

That said, joining an online dating site and making a date just 6 weeks after your wife of almost 33 years passed? Going on the date 2 days after what would’ve been your 33rd anniversary? WTF?

And of course, he’s told no one, just me. I want to encourage him to be happy, and I do want him to find happiness with someone else…but I can’t comprehend it yet. I thought I had a year or so.

Thing is, I still reach for the phone to call my mom, I still think of telling her things. I’m constantly shocked when I remember she’s gone. I can’t even understand the world without her yet. I’m still trying to understand a world with my dad without my mom, to imagine more weekends and situations where we’ll be together and she won’t be there. So…it’s a bit difficult for me to believe my dad can not only comprehend it, but can let someone else in so quickly.

I’m trying to remember the ways in which my dad demonstrated his love for my mom and showed his grief. I believe he desperately loved my mom and was truly heartbroken when she passed. This may just be his way of coping because he doesn’t know what else to do. But really, it’s hard, because I need to adjust to him alone before adjusting to him with someone new. But, it’s his life, not mine, and we’re all grownups, and my needs don’t necessarily come before his, not anymore. :(.

On the plus side and not too soon side, dude and I are madly in love and it’s fabulous (and celebrating 7 months!), and I’ve lost 15 lbs and 14 inches. So, *woot* on those notes.

Roller Coaster

So, we’re trying again.

Part of me wonders if I’m being stupid and misplacing faith in him, and then a tinier part worries about much my friends may question my self-respect given how upset I was a few days ago…like, if he hurt me like that, why I am willing to risk it again, or given issues I brought up with them, why would I go back to it. That said, I know it’s the right choice for me because I know I’d always wonder what if should I not give it a chance now. I like him, I’m attracted to him, he made me happy much more frequently than he made me unhappy, so it seems worth seeing what happens, especially under different circumstances or with a different mindset.

I still don’t entirely understand his reasoning for the breakup, or how that changed, but I’m trying to. I don’t know if I’ll be able to trust him or open up as much as I would have otherwise, in terms of letting myself feel, but only time and dating will tell.

Apparently, though, he didn’t consider any of the things I’d brought up prior to our conversation Monday. He said he hadn’t been in a relationship for two years, which I didn’t know. He said he was close to moving back in with parents before meeting me and getting a new job all within two weeks; I didn’t grasp how close to that he had been. He said he didn’t think about how, since we slowed down the beginning, that means when he’d feel love may push back as well. He also said that he was wrong and stubbornly egotistical to think that nothing I said would change his mind, hence no conversation with me prior to dumping me. (Which, by the way, is still sort of insulting – he clearly thought he was more reasonable or intelligent about thinking it through than I am.) He said he expected to feel loss and sadness, but not regret. Altogether, these things entirely changed his mind and his perspective.

He says he wants to love me, and feels differently now, as if it’s possible to get there. He reflected on things he had done poorly (and acknowledged that he wasn’t as invested as he could have been, probably for some time), and that also combined to show him just how differently he could feel under different circumstances. Honestly, on my end, it’s worth acknowledging that we’re both really young, and that means there’s definitely room for improvement in how we handle relationships. No one knows everything, even if they think they do, and at least he is now recognizing that.

I believe that these things are all true in his mind, but I still can’t grasp how it went from not being worth even trying anymore to feeling more certain. I don’t have faith yet that his feelings can indeed grow, and I’m scared they won’t. I’m worried he’s looking at every action I make as a “do I love this or not” type of thing. He says he cares about me and I make him happy, but it’s hard to embrace that entirely when he said that before and it apparently didn’t mean anything in terms of security. He said he wants nothing more than for me to feel safe enough to love him, and I’m glad he acknowledges that I need to feel that way. I just need to really grasp that he does care, and why he cares, and how he cares in a way that’s different than before…and hopefully, in time I will understand that more fully. I get that I’m not going to have answers for a long time, if I ever do, because I’m not in his head and he’s not in mine.

I had a friend tell me last night that really, I can let myself care more about him now (and maybe eventually love him), or I can stay scared and not open up to that emotion. Then, in however long, if he does love me and I did the first, I have a shot, but if I did the second, I lose him. Or, if he doesn’t love me and I did either of those two, I lose him. The only chance I have at it working is letting myself feel and letting feelings build, and if I don’t let that happen, then may as well not even try.

That made sense to me, it’s just difficult right now. It’s hard not to wonder, in the back of my head, if a bad day or fight or discussion or moment is going to make him “see the light” of ending it again. Before, I had really strong faith that he’d talk through issues and was invested in seeing what happens, that he cared enough to try. I was wrong. Now, I don’t know how to know when it’s ok to trust and what’s right or wrong in my mind.

That aside, it was ridiculously easy to be with him yesterday. I still really enjoy his company, and when he’s invested, things are awesome. Our conversations flow, we laugh, and the sex is amazing. I think all the above paragraphs scare me even more because of how easy it is to fall right back to where we were way back when. While I want to love him and him to love me, I’m not ready for that yet (because clearly he isn’t, so I need to moderate myself too).

Not Broken, Just Damaged

So that last post was…well…melodramatic doesn’t begin to cover it. Am I sad? Yes. Am I over it? Not yet. Is everything dire and do I feel like no one cares? Not at all, in fact, I feel like I can rely on people I didn’t expect to be able to.  There’s definitely a lot of emotion in my life right now though, given my family situation (that merits it’s own hellish blog post), and that’s exacerbating all reactions (as is Aunt Flo).

I have some great friends that have been stepping up. It’s hard, because you find out any negative feelings people had after something happens. If I did ever get back with him, that’d take work. Aside from that, one friend questioned the honesty of everything he’s said and done from the beginning, which just raises even more questions and uncertainties. It makes me think about all the things that ever concerned me, which according to some is too much for the time we were together. These seem like a bigger deal in a list, but I never made a list while we were dating, and we did discuss some of these things, we just weren’t together in the same place long enough to see if those conversations worked. Things that bothered me, or concerned me, included:

  • Reluctance to use condoms. Sometimes, he used my interest in teasing and denial to bring me to the edge, and then ask if I was desperate enough to go without a condom. That borders murky manipulation of consent. Then, he’d use a blindfold, and I couldn’t relax/enjoy/trust it, because I was worried he’d just not use a condom when I couldn’t see. Not cool.
  • He was extremely snarky, which sometimes was fun and teasing, but he often he didn’t use positive words to reinforce things he snarked about. Snarking on my interests or intellect without making an effort to use words to counterbalance doesn’t leave one with super positive feelings. I like snark, when balanced.
  • Sometimes he made me feel slutty without the reinforcement I needed to enjoy it, and didn’t seem to understand that or grasp it enough to change after I’d commented on it…timing may have been part of that though.
  • He didn’t initiate plans that much or demonstrate a desire to see me more than once or twice a week (including weekend).
  • He was out of town a lot, and when we were seeing each other extremely infrequently, he wasn’t in touch much or verbose or chatty over phone/email, making it seem like he didn’t care much, despite saying he missed me.
  • He didn’t seem to laugh at my jokes all that much, although he did seem amused by me, it was just sometimes in a sort of condescending way that made me feel like he didn’t think I was all that bright.
  • He didn’t seem to value casual conversation much, as in chatting about everyday things that don’t matter.
  • He rarely came up with ideas about dates or logistics to plan them.
  • He wanted a lot of validation from me on my feelings and enjoyment of things without returning the words. He claimed actions showed his side, but it made me doubt.

And, of course, there’s him talking me away from these concerns when I brought some of them up, including two weeks ago–which is when, according to him a few nights ago, is when he started to feel differently…so why the hell would you reassure me? Why would you be affectionate and meet my family and such when not feeling it fully? It could have been my mom, and not wanting to interrupt that…I don’t know. He did act differently the last week though, so maybe I should have been more aware?

I’m frustrated because I’m someone who typically moves cautiously and slowly, and he pushed to go fast and claimed (and seemingly demonstrated) falling hard. He did all the romantic gestures, in terms of flowers, cooking…hell, he’d spontaneously dance with me in the street…but the effort wasn’t really all there in terms of communication and time together. I’m annoyed that he was the one moving quickly and always bringing up serious things like marriage or moving in together eventually, and then when I start having strong feelings, he freaks out.

It’s hard because I was very attracted to him, and despite issues, when it was just the two of us, I enjoyed our time together immensely and I had fun with him. He made me happy far more than he made me unhappy. He had such faith in me and it seemed as if he genuinely cared immensely about my happiness, which was incredible. When we were communicating, he was easy to talk to. He was affectionate and romantic. I miss his voice, talking to him, his excitement about things. I will be sad not to do all the things we had discussed and planned, like taking more photos together, and exploring DC. I will miss sex with him. Most of the things that concerned me were technically just things that could be modified and centered around communication. If he communicated more, had more initiative, and paid more respect to the emotional impact of his words, I would have been great. All of those things maybe would’ve been there if his feelings were stronger…so I should’ve gone with my gut, basically, in terms of calling him out earlier on.

With him being gone so much (almost every weekend the last 6+ weeks), it was hard to tell how things really would be. I was happy enough to see what happened when we were in the same place. He was great with my family, and with me when all this crap happened, and that cemented my decision, so I convinced myself to trust and believe his words…then he ended it a week later. So many things remind me of him…

Also, to be fair, I could have likely been better. He said I was awesome, but I could have made more of an effort in driving out to his suburb on weeknights and investing more in some of the geekier things he enjoyed to show I cared more about his interests. And honestly, if he really didn’t have any issues at all, the fact that I had so many “conversations” I needed to have because we communicate differently and understand/show care differently (5 love languages – he’s action/touch, I’m words/time), that could get pretty discouraging. Add to that the heavy load of me having my mom’s illness to deal with and leaning on him much more, and the intensity of a wedding, and he had family deaths/illness among grandparents…well, there was a lot going on that could’ve been different or better or easier.

Anyhow, I will say, that one of the hardest things in it all it is my mom. I’ve been really sad, and he took my mind off the sad and made me feel cared for, safe, and better. No one cares for you like a romantic partner. You can talk about things and support one another in unique ways. It’s someone to be by your side, there for you – and I desperately miss that. I want someone to hold me and tell me it’s going to be alright, and he was really awesome at that, and I’ve lost that. And, yet again, my mom would make it better, but she’s unable to communicate or anything, and so that makes it hurt even more. That’s not why I was with him at all, but it was really helpful to have and will be an adjustment to figure out how to cope differently now. I probably should have been coping differently before anyhow, but now I have to. I may find someone to talk to, or just journal a bunch more, I don’t know.

There were bonuses from the whole experience, though, that I’m trying to hold onto:

  • He gave my family the gift of amazing photos of my sister’s wedding
  • When I was surrounded by family and people focused on themselves, my mom, and such, he was someone focused on me. I needed that immensely.
  • I’m closer to my dad and sister, and I know I can talk to them about ups and downs in relationships without necessarily being judged or having them freak out. I didn’t expect that.
  • He showed me that I can have and enjoy sex without pain.
  • I now know I can care about someone that deeply, and that I can be in a relationship and communicate and trust and all that jazz.
  • I’m much closer with my friends that live near him. This sucks because they live near him, but I’m very grateful for our strengthened relationship.
  • I’ve learned how important it is to me to hear feelings vocalized.
  • I’ve learned that teasing and denial is, in fact, my biggest turn on.
  • I know that to be submissive, I need reinforcement that my actions are pleasing my Top, I need encouragement (and if that doesn’t work, forced accountability), and I need consistency.
  • I know that while kinky events and fetish activities turn me on a lot and can be a lot of fun, I can also be happy without any of them should the right power dynamic be present in the bedroom. That power dynamic doesn’t have to be formalized, even. Open-mindedness is still key, though, just I can not get intense pain or not go to parties and such and not miss it a ton under the right circumstances.

So yes, maybe I’m better off, at least if he wasn’t willing to work on things, and it’s definitely better to know sooner rather than later that someone isn’t feeling it. Should he contact me about getting back together (he called tonight, and it’s killing me that I don’t know why he called), I don’t know what I’ll do. If we were to try again, it’d essentially be like starting over in some ways, and I’d definitely need to address some of these issues before agreeing to it.  I need to understand better why he didn’t think it was worth trying, because that’s a hella strong statement. But, there was something special there, and I don’t know if I am ready to abandon it. Who knows, because that may not be why he called.

No risk no reward, all that jazz. Would I have slowed down and put in some effort to make us stronger and see what happened? Yes. Were things perfect? No. Am I broken? No, just not as whole as I was a day or two ago…but I’ll get there again, hopefully sooner rather than later. Assuming I can have an appetite for food again sometime soon, although that’s a whole other issue. I’ll have to reevaluate what matters to me in a relationship at some point, but I’m so not anywhere there yet.

It all falls apart

I know people love me. I do. Conceptually, I get that. My mom and dad, my sister, my aunts and uncles, my grandmother. But really, it doesn’t always feel like it. My family – all of them – I don’t talk to them on a daily basis, I don’t hear words of love all that frequently. I did from my mom, but she’s in the hospital, has been for a month, and there’s no sign of her being able to converse again, if she’s even able to cognitively understand that I’m her daughter and she loves me.

My friends from childhood aren’t much better. I don’t see them much, and talk and communicate even more infrequently, and so I don’t feel their love all that much. To be fair, I’m sure they feel the same about me.

My friends here in DC, well, it varies. I like these people because they live exciting, busy, worthwhile lives…but sometimes, it feels like people don’t have time for me, and only want me on their schedule if I can entertain them. I get that is likely untrue but when real shit goes down, there aren’t many people I feel OK calling. They may be OK getting the call, but because they don’t call me, I feel weird relying on them like that. And those people that I do feel OK with, well, they don’t live super close, and they have their own shit.

I’ve been barely hanging on by a thread lately because of what’s going on with my mom. I hadn’t really figured out how to cope with things yet. I kept thinking how everything was going so well otherwise – I had success at work, an amazing boyfriend. My sister is married, my dad is doing well at work. I was already in a “how come not everything can be happy at once” mood.

I had FINALLY let go of my insecurities and mistrust about my relationship, and let myself believe the thins he said about his feelings. I was excited for us to finally – FINALLY – after nearly 2 months – be in the same place at the same time, and be able to build something more steadily.

And of course, he ends it. And now I feel broken.

He said he wasn’t sure he could see us together in the long-term/marriage way, and that it isn’t fair to waste my time while he figures it out. He said that I’ve set a high bar for future women, that I make him happy, that he’s sexually attracted to me, that there’s no behaviors that bother him that I could change, just he doesn’t feel the same way. Not, “let’s slow down because we’re not on the same page,” but “I think we’re done because of X.” I pointed out how he’s been gone so much, and how much time we’ve really spent together, and that any “rush” or “time wasting” is projecting and not how I approach relationships. I pointed out that I had issues too and it wasn’t like I was dying of love yet either. He seemed a bit regretful, given those things he hadn’t considered, but when I talked to him via text after, he seemed extremely definitive in his decision. I just don’t comprehend someone making you happy but then also thinking there’s no way you could be happier or feel differently for someone. I don’t even feel like that about people I’ve known for years.

And now it’s over. I don’t really know how to handle something like this. I don’t know how to extricate him from my life. He’s become such a part of it. I finally let myself depend on him and trust him…and now he’s gone. I don’t know what to do, other than cry right now.

And of course, I feel more alone than ever. I know logically that isn’t true, but it doesn’t feel like it. One of the only things that’s been keeping my mind off my mom was him lately, and now he’s gone. All I want now that he’s gone is my mom. It’s a terribly vicious circle. My main support people are far away, overwhelmed with their own life things, or asleep. I’ve been g-chatting with one friend (thank god for him), but he’s far away too. There are a few other friends I could maybe call, but they don’t come to me with issues, they don’t include me when initiating plans (or if they do, it’s infrequent), and so I find it hard to go to them with serious sadness. I want someone to hold me, but the person who would do that just left me.

He left sad, saying it would take him a long time to get over me too…but that just makes it worse, because I just don’t understand. I don’t understand how he can so sincerely, genuinely say he’s still completely happy with me, will be upset to not be with me, but yet, isn’t feeling it enough to be with me. It makes no sense. It’s like he’s scared off by the thought of emotion he encouraged and fostered me to have.

And of course, he loves TV, and all these shows I watch, so I don’t even know what to turn on to take my mind off him. I have a painting on my wall I made with him. He lives next to two of my closest friends. He’s met all of my family…ugh.

Unloading Some Stress

I’ve been going through a few pretty rough weeks. On the surface, everything has been good. There’s been a bit of chaos, as is to be expected with the holidays, traveling, winter weather, and a new job, but that’s been manageable. I try to focus on the good, and be grateful for my many blessings. I have some solid friendships, and many people who care about me. The people around me have mostly been doing very well, which promotes an attitude of contentment and growth. I have a job and a good salary, and can afford the live I’m living. I can even save and pay off some debt for the first time in a long while. I have a place to live, and I live with great people in a nice location.

All that aside, though, I’ve still been feeling out of sorts. I know the primary reason, and I’ll get into that, but an aside to it all is dating. I’m sick of fooling around. I’ve had shit luck with men this past year, at least in terms of anything working out into something more serious.

I’ve been debating match.com, but I’m stupefied by trying to come up with a good username. I can use initials and my birthday, but that’s apparently “too generic.” I can’t say anything with a looks-related descriptor or I’m clearly insecure, and I can’t say anything that may indicate I’m poly or pretentious or hugely awkward. WTF, right? My hobbies don’t fit neatly into one or two word names. My friend was consoling me by pointing out that it’s a positive thing that I’m too complex to be simplified into a username. She’s probably right, and yes, I know I’m overthinking it. Blerg. In the meantime, wouldn’t SpicySexpot, VivaciousVixen, and WantonWench be great…I don’t know, pornstar or alt.com names?

The primary thing on my mind lately is stress and fear, though. My mom is having open-heart surgery next week to replace 3 of her 4 valves. They say it’s a straightforward thing, lots of recovery and pain afterwards but it will improve her quality of life, and she should be fine… But, you know, they’re cracking her chest, and the last time she had surgery like that she was dead on the table for longer than she should’ve been allowed to be. Technology advances, yadayada, but she’s high risk given other health factors, so I’m worried. I’m taking off work for a couple of days and teleworking so that I can be home for the surgery. It’s horrid timing at work, being that I just was gone for 2 weeks for the holidays, I’m new still, and I had training to reschedule, but everyone has been very understanding.

I don’t want to bring it up with people and have to talk about it, but I also am scared and want to talk about it. I don’t want people to say it’ll be fine because it pisses me off – there is no guarantee of that and it trivializes my emotions. I know they mean well, but that, or pity, seem to rub me the wrong way. I’m so afraid she’ll die. Even writing it terrifies me. It brings me near tears just thinking about it.

My mom and I have mixed history. She has a violent temper, and several mental and physical health issues that make things difficult. Our past had some…well, trying moments is an understatement. I don’t call home as much as I should, and sometimes I lose patience with her because she doesn’t understand sarcasm or what I do for work and she complains about other family members to me (which puts me in an awful place). That said, I rely on her. If something good happens, I immediately want to tell her. She’s always excited for me, and it’s unbridled, unconditional excitement. She looks out for me, and her love is a constant. Sometimes I feel her love less than her anger, sadness, or insecurity, but I know it’s there and I never forget that. The thought of going home and her not being there, of never seeing or talking to her again, or no more random hallmark cards or stuffed animals…it’s horrifying.

I am also suffering worry and guilt that I don’t live nearby and won’t be able to help with recovery. My parents don’t communicate well (another understatement) and I’m worried that my mom won’t get the care and assistance she needs post-surgery – whether because she doesn’t ask or vocalize her needs, or because my dad doesn’t have the energy or willingness to care for her properly. Who will clean and do laundry? Who will help my mom shower and get ready for the day? Who will keep her company to take her mind off the pain? Who will cook?

My dad avoids talking about it, which doesn’t help. He’s trying his best, I think, but it’s a rough situation because he’s the breadwinner. He has to work, and his work is demanding. My mom’s attitude has been disintegrating more and more each day. Over the holidays, I even told her that I’ve never been around someone who was as much a downer as she currently is. Everything anyone does is wrong or insufficient. She expects the worst out of everyone and is quicker to snap or yell or scream than I’ve ever seen her in my life. She’s terrified, and taking it out on everyone around her. She doesn’t handle pain well – she’s had more health issues and chronic pain than most do in a lifetime, but she still complains and moans and freaks out, there’s no built up stamina or tolerance towards it. She basically needs someone to baby her and talk her down almost constantly, which is fine – everyone has different coping mechanisms – but it’s impossible for people to do that every second of every day.

Anyhow…emotional drama. And beyond it all, I’m still a bit frustrated that there can’t be a year – hell, 6 months these past few years – without someone in my family suffering a huge emotional or physical crisis. Since I was 7. I’m not shitting you.

In the meantime, trying to stay positive and busy.

Bereft

Warning: Long ass post, very personal and irrelevant to other people. Disregard if you don’t want a healthy dose of negativity.

I’m going to preface the ranty/bitchy/sad part of this post with a few things.

First, I know my parents love me. I know they are proud of me. I know they talk me up and brag to their friends and our other family about me. I know they care that I succeed. I know they respect me. I know my sister loves me, is proud of me, and respects me as well. Second, I know they are all doing their best in very, very difficult situations. Third, I acknowledge that compared to many, my situation is not that bad. I am not ungrateful for the many blessings I’ve had in my life. There are people that struggle far worse than I do, than I have, and I’m lucky for any help I get in this world, and I got more than nothing.

That said… My parents respect me and are proud of me, but I don’t think they realize how much effort goes into who I am. They have not ever understood that I’m not naturally exuberant and carefree, that good grades aren’t simple, that work isn’t easy. My hard work tends to go unnoticed. They notice the results, but the effort that goes into achieving those results seems to be unacknowledged. In the past year or so, I’ve tried to communicate that a bit better, but it still tends to go unnoticed.

My whole life, I have strived to be better. Not to be perfect, but to succeed as much as possible. At first, it was because that was what was expected. Then, as time went on, it was because I wanted some form of attention and praise from my parents (and if not them, then authority figures that could substitute for them). No matter what I did, it never really seemed to be enough. I did, at some point, start doing things for me…but that feeling never really went away.

I think part of the disconnect stems from my sister’s more emotional nature. I’m very logical, and I tend to be closed off emotionally unless prompted. My parents don’t prompt me, so they don’t see the feelings behind the actions frequently. My sister has never been afraid to scream, yell, argue, cry, etc. I never do those things with them. At an early age, my sister was in therapy and hospitals, all encouraging family communication; as a result, my parents communicated regularly with the help of therapists with my sister, but they never communicated with me like that. I don’t know that they realize how much it feels like they emotionally understand and support her, and not me. My dad used to be there for me far more frequently growing up, but as an introverted man, communication was never his strongest suit.

Throughout the most recent bout of struggling my family has gone through, I’ve tried to keep a logical mind. I have been legitimately, truly concerned for my sister’s welfare. There were times I questioned her ability to make it through another week. I am happy my parents are there for her, and have stood by her through these tough times. It’s been very difficult being far away throughout it all. As much as I try, I can’t stop feeling like my parents care more about her than me, though. It is irrational. I know they love me. It just seems like every conversation, every caring thought, focuses on her  and her issues. She needs their support…but I do too. I need their love, and to hear them care about me too. In my family,  negative things are communicated readily and easily, but positive ones rarely are. Complaints and worry get more volume than love and praise.

This weekend, it all went to shit, at least on my end. I have no idea whether or not my parents realize this, though I do believe on some level they do. I got a present in the mail (a new outfit) that I’m reasonably positive is an indicator of their combined guilt. My dad talking to me separately about things also indicated they knew I would be upset.

For months, my sister has been going on about my parents buying her a house. She has been persistent beyond rational thought. At her most unstable moments, she has still been diligent that my parents were buying her a house. She was doing drugs and causing scenes at her apartment, not caring about the consequences. She invited my parents to multiple showings. When she got evicted, she was happy about it. Throughout all of this, my parents have been insistent that they weren’t going to buy her a house, no way, no how. A couple of weeks later…and they’re buying her a $25K trailer. Logically, I do understand. With her prior evictions, bad credit, medical history, and other issues, it would be nearly impossible to find a place willing to rent to her. The stress of her living situation has made her mental situation worse. She’ll still have to pay for lot fees and utilities, so it isn’t entirely free.

At the end of the day, though, my parents are essentially giving her $25,000 towards a home. They’re paying her car bills and phone bills, giving her money regularly for gas, and taking her out to eat with them.

Last year, when I graduated, it wasn’t even a week when my father was pressuring me to get a loan to take over my car payments. It wasn’t a month later when I took over my phone bills and car insurance. Grad school was entirely on my dime. My father pays for nothing right now in my life. I pay all of it. In fact, the one thing I do with him is give him my money for my phone, since it’s less expensive on a family plan, and despite my paying my bills on time and using less than my share of the data, he still wanted me off the plan. Last year, when I needed rent money since my first paycheck wasn’t coming for a week after the due date (as in, I’d pay it back in a week), he said he couldn’t help me at all.

My sister has been getting rent money for years. She’s been having her car and phone bills subsidized for years. In fact, this was her fourth car they’ve assisted her with, after car accidents and poor maintenance killed the other three.

Again, I’m grateful, because my parents helped me through college. They  helped me as a child. They give me presents at holidays and when I’m with them, they pay for most things. That said, it still stings and hurts and stirs all sorts of rage for the inequity of this situation. I am close to $80K in debt from grad school, and I’ll be paying off those loans for the next 10-25 years. I will not own a house or even a shitty condo until I get married or after that 10-25 years, because I can’t save up the $25-50K necessary for a down payment. I throw away money in rent month after month, unable to get ahead at all because I’m so busy keeping afloat. $25K would make a world of difference in my life.

I don’t ask for help, and when I do, it’s turned down. I struggle and work my ass off, and I do everything right. Meanwhile, nothing. My sister does drugs and gets arrested and evicted and she gets a huge financial subsidy. I know she needs it more than me, arguably, but at the same time, she doesn’t seem to acknowledge and fully appreciate how good she has it.

If that isn’t enough, when she was arrested and subsequently committed, someone stole her laptop from her car (why was it in her car?). So my dad is getting a new computer for his birthday, and of course his top of the line electronics go to her. I’ve paid for every laptop I’ve owned myself, after hard work in retail for over a year and then via loans. My sister has gotten more than 3 laptops from my father and one of my old ones, all for free. It’s just that one more thing.

It’s driving me crazy. On top of it, conversations focus all around her and how awesome things are with this house payment thing and her getting medicaid. Yes, the medicaid is a blessing, but my mom saying it’s the best thing she’s heard in weeks kills me, when I called her because I had good news of my own. It’s like there’s not enough attention and support to go around, and because I seem to do ok without it, I don’t get it. When I’ve tried to communicate this in the past, I get yelled at or nothing happens, so I’ve given up. My closest to communicating was telling my mom to not talk about my sister to me anymore. I can’t hear about it. I want to know if she’s close to death (aka something extreme happens), but that’s it.

I want to be a good daughter and sister. I do. I realize that I should be happy my parents are helping her, I should acknowledge that it’s difficult and this is the only thing they see as possible to do. I know they don’t have unlimited funds and that they’re likely stretching thin with helping her. I want my sister to be well, to be happy, and to feel empowered to improve her life and find happiness. I want my parents to have an easier burden and be happy.

Despite all that, I can’t seem to shake my anger, envy, and sadness about it all. I feel neglected and unfairly treated…and I hate myself a bit for feeling like that, too. I want to be happy, too, and I’d love to have my family behind me, supporting me and showing me equal love and affection. Money isn’t everything, though this post likely seems like that. I just wish they’d acknowledge me sometimes too, or understand how hard it is to “do everything right,” and how support from them really would make all the difference. I wish they’d realize just how inequitable it all seems sometimes. I know they love me, but with all this going on, it feels like they understand, care about, and generally love her more. Irrational as that is, that’s how I feel.