Tag Archives: daughter

An Interview with IAND

2 Apr

Hello to everyone out there in the land of the Undefined,

I thought it would be a nice change of things to do an interview with a fellow blogger! The author of Thoughtful Thoughts approached me with the idea, and I thought it would be a lot of fun. I used the pseudonym Molly, so the interview she did with a woman named Molly is IAND. I really enjoyed being interviewed and I hope you find it interesting!

The first ever Interview with I Am Not Defined!

Until next time folks!

I Am Not Defined

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Unsure~Advice

26 Mar

Dear I Am Not Defined,
I recently reconnected with a childhood friend after a decade. He turned out to be a really nice guy, counting on the fact that he had always been rowdy and unruly when we were kids. What amazes me more is that he’s a musician. (I’ve always been weak at the knees for musicians.) He’s really sweet and all (I mean, he seems to be the guy I’ve been waiting for) but there’s a catch–he’s involved in a Christian youth group at his university. I mean, I love God too, but not to the extent that he does. In the midst of all my academic requirements, I don’t think I can commit to all the activities/meetings/etc. that he keeps on inviting me to. When we hang out (he’d walk me to the bus station since I pass by their school and he’s a dormer), we don’t talk about all the religious stuff as much as we talk about ourselves and each other. Still, I’m confused as to whether he just hangs out with me to convince me to join their organization or to actually get to know me better after all those years that we haven’t seen each other.
Sincerely,
-Unsure

Dear Unsure,

It sounds like this guy is actually into you. If he only talked about his youth group when you were around, I would believe that he just wanted you to join the group. It sounds like he is actually interested in who you are as a person, not just interested in getting you involved in something he is into.

You have to remember that he is not defined by his youth group affiliation, and just because he is involved in it, doesn’t mean it is all he thinks about. It seems like he is going above and beyond the call of a friend to get to know you better, and it sounds like you would enjoy getting to know him better as well.

You can always test the water a bit; invite him to do something off campus that does not involve his youth group. It doesn’t have to be a date, just a chance to hang out. If all he talks about is the group, then maybe he doesn’t have room in his life for much more right now. If he talks about his life or continues making an effort to learn about yours, I would take it as a clear sign that he sees you as more than a recruit.

If you are interested in more than friendship from this guy, maybe you need to discuss it with him. Plenty of couples I know consist of two people who feel a different level of religious conviction. If he likes you for who you are, then he won’t feel the need to push his group on you. You will have to feel it out, and see if a conversation about a relationship or more than a friendship is something you’re ready for. It might suit you perfectly to get to know him better for a while and just let life happen!

-I Am Not Defined

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Desperate~Advice

21 Mar

Dear I Am Not Defined,
The thing is, I really like a boy since about two years ago. I don’t want to like him, I tried to talk to him (but everybody says I didn’t. Maybe I just don’t know the way to talk to him because I think he’s too special to talk with a girl like me. I guess he doesn’t like me a bit, in fact, I do believe he hates me. Two years have passed, and I can’t go out with anyone else because I just can’t stop loving him. I’m afraid it won’t be over. Right now, I just want to let him go, but I don’t know how, I can’t stop thinking about him and because of that, I consider myself pretty weird. I don’t like being weird.
- Desperate

 

Dear Desperate,

I just want you to know that no guy is any more special then you are. You need to stop looking at him like he is someone better than you. It simply isn’t true. You as yourself are great, and you are just as valuable as any other person.

I can understand that you’re having problems with your crush on this guy. It sounds like it may be your first big crush, and that is always the hardest to get over. If you do not want to approach this guy, and try to make a go of it, then it is time to let him go. There is no special answer I can give you that will make you stop caring. You will have to make an attempt every day to see him as a regular person, who holds no power over you.

If all you can do is think about him, it’s time to re-train your brain to think about other things. Maybe you need to throw yourself into school work, or pick up a hobby. You will be even better off if you find something new to keep you busy that involves other people. Maybe you will meet someone else who you consider special enough for your attention.

I think it will also help if you figure out why this guy has a special hold on you. What is it that makes him seem so irresistible to you? Maybe you need to focus on what you don’t like about him, or focus on why you don’t want to be with him. If you truly don’t want him, you will get over it. It just takes time. There is no way to speed up the process of getting over someone, trust me, if there were, girls everywhere would be spared.

-I Am Not Defined

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Depressed

19 Mar

Things started getting very difficult for me when I started questioning my mind. I wondered if everyone else felt as depressed and unhappy in life as I did. I seriously doubted all of my happy-go-lucky friends could feel like I did, and still smile and goof around all day.

Life started to wear me down, and I started dealing with long spells of deep depression, and I had no idea how to handle it. My family situation was still rough, and I felt like my friends were mostly superficial and fake. I had had a very hard time with a boy who I yo-yo dated in middle school and high school. I had never dealt with a guy who tried so hard to make me jealous, and my emotions were easily pulled down.  The guy I had seen off and on insisted on dating my close friends when we were not together, and loved making moves on them behind my back when we were together. I took it to heart, and felt like there must have been something wrong with me if he felt the need to act like that.

I was always blaming myself for everything, and I felt like people always treated me the way they did because of something I had done. I held everything in because I didn’t feel like I had anyone to share with, or knew anyone who could relate to my problems. I started feeling like I couldn’t handle things anymore, and that’s when I started to cut.

I don’t know why I thought that cutting was the answer, but at the time, I felt like it was a necessary release. I could beat myself up emotionally, but if I cut myself, I could really feel the pain. I think I was so fazed and numbed by life at that point, and it felt like the only way I could connect to something. It didn’t really make sense then, and I think back to it now, I wonder what I was thinking.

Cutting myself didn’t solve any of my problems. In retrospect, I think it made things harder for me. It was just one more hurdle to get over. Cutting didn’t fix the problems I had, or help my emotional pain go away, it didn’t solve anything. If anything, it made me feel worse about myself. It was a bad idea then, and I recommend it to no one, your body is important, you only get one, so you better take care of it. You can’t let people get to you; you can’t let life get to you.

So many people turn to self-abuse like it is a cure, but in reality it only makes the disease worse. You don’t feel any better about yourself, and it eventually makes you feel more depressed.

One of the boys I grew up with was teased like crazy for being different. He once told me he started cutting himself because it made him feel something other than rejection. It wasn’t a good way for him to deal with things, and I didn’t know it then, but his adventures in self-mutilation eventually lead to his suicide. When I learned about his death, I started to really reconsider the way I was harming myself. I didn’t want to die. Sure I had dealt with some very depressing times, but I still had hope that better things were in my future. I immediately stopped cutting myself, and never picked up a blade again.

I wish I could say that was the end of me causing damage to myself, but my adventures in substances were just starting, and I had many miles on the road of addiction. I wish I could have told myself that taking it out on my body was a bad idea, but I had to learn that the hard way.

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Awkward~Advice

12 Mar

Dear I Am Not Defined

I feel like I don’t belong in my group of friends at school. I don’t have that “label” that people have for other people, such as: the friend that always gives good advice, the friend who always makes me laugh, the friend who never makes a moment awkward, the friend who has the best fashion and I love to shop with, etc. I don’t fit in the categories that my friends want me to be in.

I just don’t understand, all my friends are nice to me at school and school activities. I am social and talkative, but I never actually hang out with anyone. They never invite me to anything, and I am not sure why.

But I am also paranoid to ever hang out with one of my friends one-on-one. I don’t know why, but I am. I am scared of being awkward or not good enough or funny enough, and it really bothers me. I am scared that they like me, but find everyone else and their other friends way more appealing and more fun to hang out with. This also translates into my dating life, which is non-existent. I am so scared that I can’t go on real dates because I will be too awkward.

I don’t know, but I am tired of being lonely and awkward.

-Awkward

 

Dear Awkward,

Is it possible that you project your insecurities onto your attitude around your friends? Maybe they don’t invite you out because you don’t seem into it. Maybe your friends see your fear of being awkward as a standoffish attitude. Simply put, maybe they don’t invite you out because you don’t act like it would be interesting to you.

 Instead of worrying about how you could act or what you could do, let go and relax. Just be. You don’t have to be labeled as one thing or another. You are you, and that is plenty. You do not have to be any type of person for your friends to like you. They are your friends and they like you because you are awkward and undefinable. You don’t have to give great advice, or have perfect fashion sense to be a good friend, or to be liked by your friends. They obviously see something in you that you don’t see; maybe you’re just a good friend in an unconventional way. It doesn’t matter; you should be liked for being the person you are, not because you fit into some cliché category that doesn’t mean anything in the long run.

If you want to do more things with your friends, make the effort. Have you ever tried inviting one of them to do something? Maybe they don’t invite you to do things because you don’t ever try to do things with them. People make assumptions, it happens, whether it’s true or not. I am sure your friends would be more than willing to do more if you simply tried to do more with them. Who cares if your awkward, that is just part of who you are, embrace it. I know a lot of guys who love awkward, clumsy, shy, quiet, odd girls. Not everyone wants the girl who has the best outfit, or fills every awkward pause. Most guys want a real girl, odd character traits and all. You have nothing to be insecure about, who cares what people think of you, what matters is what you think of yourself.

Don’t be so hard on yourself. I have no doubt that most of your friends feel awkward in social situations as well. They just may not show it in the same way. I know I always worry if I’m talking too much, or laughing weird, and most of the women I know worry about similar silly things. Who cares if you say the wrong thing, or trip over your own feet, you’re a real person, and no one is perfect all the time, we all say and do things we wish we hadn’t. Give yourself the freedom to just be, you don’t have to worry about every little thing, if you do, you’re going to miss the awesome things happening in front of you. If you worry less, you will enjoy yourself more, and if you put yourself out there a bit, you will likely find your friends willing to do more. Guys will come, and the right one won’t care if your awkward, he will like you for all that you are, and are not. Just don’t miss him because you’re stressing about what to say or do!

-I Am Not Defined

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Sidetracked

7 Mar

I felt a lot better in high school than I had before, but things were not perfect. It seems like I always had a boyfriend, but my taste in guys was terrible. It seemed like I loved a rebel, and asshole guys were my specialty. I dated a lot of guys who made me feel like I should be doing more with them than kissing, and it made me uncomfortable. It reinforced my feelings that guys only wanted sex.

I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t find a guy who liked me as I was, and didn’t want to pressure me to be differently, or think differently. I had my friend set me up with a guy once, he was a friend of her boyfriend, and played football for another school in town. He seemed very nice, and I thought he really liked me. We talked for ages and started dating. We got to go out on a double date for Valentine’s Day, and it was the first time I got to go out on a date. It was also the first time I had a solid Valentine.

To say I was excited would be an understatement. I couldn’t find anything good to wear, so I made my dress. I did my hair and make-up as well, a rarity for me. We got to get dinner and go to a movie, but my parents were pretty strict, I had to go home after the movie. When the movie ended, everyone wanted to go over to my friend’s house, but I couldn’t go. The guy just didn’t understand why I wouldn’t go back to my friend’s house with him, and thought that I didn’t want to be with him. I tried my best to explain that my parents said I had to go home after the movie, and left.

The next night we were all supposed to go to a school dance together, and I was really excited about this as well. I talked to my boyfriend that day, and he said he would go to the dance with my friend’s boyfriend, and meet me out front. I got dolled up again, and headed to the dance. When I got there I couldn’t find my friend or our boyfriends. I called my boyfriend, and he told me that his parents wouldn’t let him go. I believed him and called my friend to find out where she was. She told me that they were not coming to the dance; they were going to go bowling instead. I told her what my boyfriend had said about his parents not allowing him to go to the dance, and she told me he had lied. I guess he thought he was getting even with me, and I didn’t hear from him again after that night.

I started rebelling because I felt like one bad thing after another kept happening. I was so tired of dealing with all the negative crap. I was having a hard time handling family issues, and trying to balance social pressure, and my own awkwardness. One day I picked up one of my brothers cigarettes, and thought “people don’t get addicted to these, how stupid”.  I wanted to do something rebellious I guess, so I lit it up. I was instantly in love with the buzz it gave me. I had never felt like that before, and it seemed really nice.

After that first cigarette, I started sneaking out of class with some of my friends who also smoked. We would sneak down to the pool hall by our school, and smoke cigarettes out back. Some of my friends started noticing that I smelled like cigarettes, and I admitted that I smoked. I loved the buzz they gave me, and how cool they made me feel. It felt like empowerment in a stick. Several of my friends got very upset with me about smoking, and lectured me. I didn’t want to hear it, and pretty much blew them off. I lost a lot of friends over the situation, but I didn’t care as much as I should have. I even had one friend tell me she hated me to the depths of her soul, dramatic, but it still didn’t seem to get to me. It was the first time I chose something stupid over my friends. I didn’t want to quit smoking, and loose that buzz, so I let my friends go.

It wasn’t the right decision. I should have cared more about my friends, and that they only cared about my health. This was the beginning of a terrible habit of choosing things that were bad for me, over people who loved me and cared about my well-being. It’s part of the mind of an addict. We don’t care what we do to get there, we just want to make sure we get whatever it is that we are addicted to in the end.  The mind of an addict is a dangerous place, and choosing substances over friends isn’t personal, we are just so wrapped up in our addictions we can’t see properly. I didn’t see it then, I thought it was just cigarettes, and I didn’t really care, but over the years I chose a lot of bad things over some truly great people. I wish I could have told myself then that it wasn’t going to do me any favors, but hindsight is 20/20 isn’t it?

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Depressed~Advice

5 Mar

Dear I Am Not Defined,

Okay, ever since I started on WordPress, I’ve tried to find people and stories to encourage me to keep going in life. For the past few months, I’ve felt absolutely lost. What does that mean? Ever since I found that my will to continue has diminished significantly, it’s been a struggle every day to just do what I need to do. I know I have depression, and I’ve been getting treatment for it for a while…but after 7 years of being diagnosed with it, it has taken a large toll on my mindset. My family has gone through so much emotional hardships since then. We’ve done family therapy, we opened up, and we’ve become closer than ever.

As I get older, I started noticing that my family appears to think that I have this under control. They think I am getting better, that the problems aren’t that major. How am I supposed to tell them that I’ve been relapsing over the past 3 months? I tried talking about things with my friends, but I found only one of them understands completely, and I know she can’t handle everything I tell her because we’re in the same boat.

How can I keep myself from falling back into reclusive habits? I feel like if I tried to tell my family what was wrong, I would get blamed, in some way, for still feeling like this. I’m lost on how to approach this. Could the answer really be right in front of me, and I’m just scared to face it?

-Depressed

Dear Depressed,

You said that you and your family tried therapy, and that it worked really well for you then, so I wonder, have you tried it on your own? Have you talked to a therapist or counselor recently about your relapses? If you haven’t maybe it is time to. It sounds like you’re having hard time handling things on your own, so maybe you need some help right now. If you’re afraid of how your family will handle everything, talk to someone about it. Maybe they can help you find a good way to reach out.

If you really just want to talk to your family members about your situation, then maybe do it in baby steps. Maybe take them aside one at a time, and test the waters. Hint at possibly having some problems, and see how they react. They might surprise you, and be completely understanding. It sounds like your family really cares about you, having gone through such great lengths to get you help. I think you are probably thinking they will react badly, when they will most likely be understanding and try to help.

If it doesn’t go well trying to talk to your family, or they don’t react well when you test the water, maybe seek some support groups. There are a lot of people out there who suffer from depression, and I have no doubt that any search engine can give you numerous links.

If you’re afraid of withdrawing from the people around you, keep yourself from doing so. When you notice that you haven’t been out in a while, don’t be afraid to call up a friend or family member and make plans. The people around you may not understand what you’re going through, but they do still enjoy your company and want to be around you, so use it to your benefit. A good laugh with friends is severely underestimated when it comes to feeling down.

 I truly hope you find someone you can talk to, and don’t sink further into your depression. Remember that there is a light at the end of every tunnel, and no feelings will last forever. You can and will get through this. You have done so for seven years; it’s understandable that you are having a hard time. Everyone needs a break from trying so hard all the time. Just remember what you have in your life to be thankful for, and surround yourself with positive people who make you feel like yourself. I hope things get better!

-I Am Not Defined

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Used

16 Feb

By the time I started high school, my view on boys was pretty screwed up. I had grown up having had mostly negative interactions with guys, and I was pretty scared because of it. When it came to my dating life, I was probably pretty difficult to deal with. Having been molested, I had little trust in the male race, and I thought that every guy was out to get me.

My first crush was over one of my parent’s friend’s son. We hung out together a lot since our parents were friends, and we were often joined by the daughter of another couple. I remember being pretty good friends with the girl, and we both had crushes on this boy; he was pretty good-looking, and a year older than us. Looking back on the situation now, I can clearly see that he played us both, even though we were kids. He used to sit between us and whisper in my ear about how much he liked me. I knew he was also telling my friend the same things, but I thought he was just trying to make her feel better. I’m pretty good at convincing myself to see things in a better light, if you hadn’t noticed!

Things never got to crazy, but I did kiss him a few times. He was my first little girl crush, but I let it go pretty well in the end.  Eventually our parents just didn’t hang out as much, so we stopped seeing each other. I didn’t expect it to come back to me later in life.

During my last year in middle school, my supposed friends down the street had their way with me again. They dressed me up and paraded me around their house and had a few friends over. One of them just so happened to be the boy that I had a crush on as a little kid. I tried my best to seem cool, but I’m sure I just came off as quiet and awkward. After they left, I told the girls all about my old crush on this guy, and how we used to be really good friends when we were kids. He was a pretty popular guy and still good-looking, so the old crush came right back. My friends told me that he had a girlfriend that they went to school with, but she was a really crappy person. They told me several bad things about her, and I really felt like I should hate her.

The girls got it in their head that they were going to help me catch this guy, even though he had a girlfriend. I went to a different school then they did, so I didn’t know her, and I convinced myself that she was a bad person, so it was somehow ok. They dolled me up again, and reminded me just how pretty I would be if I wasn’t so heavy. They invited this guy over, and we hung out in one of the girls rooms listening to music, and hanging out.

I was pretty shy and quiet, I didn’t have a clue how I was supposed to handle myself in front of guys, let alone guys I had a crush on. I about had a panic attack when both of the girls found an excuse to leave the room, and leave me alone with him. He started making small talk, and then caught my attention when he said something about how the girl told him I really liked him. I didn’t know what to say and I probably just sat there with my mouth open looking confused for a minute.

He must have taken that as a sign, and he quickly came and sat next to me. Before I knew it he was kissing me. The girls came back pretty quickly, and we all hung out a bit longer. We also took some random pictures of the four of us goofing around, and hanging out. I gave the guy my phone number, and told him to give me a call, and we could hang out sometime, and the night ended.

This guy never called me. It was pretty hard, I was young and I thought he really liked me. I felt like I had known him for a really long time, and he should have called. I thought I had done something to make him not want to call, and I was pretty hard on myself. I thought that him not calling was just about the worst thing ever, but I was very wrong.

My so-called friends were apparently not very fond of this guy’s girlfriend, and had pretty much set the whole thing up. After we all hung out that night, they had gone to his girlfriend, and told her all about how he was secretly dating another girl. They went so far as to show her the picture from us all hanging out, but they had omitted most of the pictures with them in them, incriminating me and her boyfriend. I guess she was pretty pissed, and broke up with him over it. He thought I was in on it, and was pretty pissed at me as well.

This was the end of my friendship with these girls. It was one thing to have a guy hurt you, but it was another thing to be hurt by people you consider friends. I couldn’t believe that they had used me like this, and I was upset with myself for following along. I was angry at myself for hurting another girl, and I was very sad over the loss of my friends. Real friend would never use someone like that. I had also had a taste of what it was like to ruin someone’s relationship, and I really felt like a jerk for taking part in that. I learned that it was never ok to cheat or to help someone cheat, someone always gets hurt, and that’s not cool. It also made me re-evaluate what I considered a friend. Friends don’t hurt friends, and they certainly don’t use them in their plots against others.

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Enemies

7 Feb

In the hierarchy known as middle school, most people think that they are better than someone else. This is usually extremely true for the popular crowds, who seem to think that they are better than most. This is also true for the outcast kids. Just because they aren’t part of the popular crowd doesn’t mean they are at the bottom of the food chain.

In middle school I had several equally outcast friends, and we formed a decent group of loner kids. I still thought that I was better than a few, and I played into popularity like almost every other kid. There was one girl in particular who I thought was at least lower than me on the social food chain. I am not proud but I took many of my frustrations out on her, and made fun of her with my friends. I felt like making fun of her made me better somehow, and I wasn’t very nice.

I didn’t connect the dots, and realize that I was doing to her, what other kids did to me. My friends and I made her life more difficult, and I have no doubt that we made her feel bad about herself. In all fairness, her side was pretty much the same. She and her friends saw themselves as a little bit better than us, and taunted us as well. We never got along and it was fairly safe to say that we were enemies. Both of us playing into what was socially acceptable, and making life more difficult for one another.

This went on for all three years of middle school. She dated a friend of mine once, and when that didn’t work out, we had even more fuel for the fire. We called her names based on her bodily characteristics, and put her down repeatedly. I am not proud of myself for how I treated another person in school; it seems so silly to me now that I didn’t see myself giving her the same hell I was going through.

Before graduating from middle school, all the 8th graders got to go on a field trip to some fun place. Like all the other students, I went along for the fun. The day started off with all the older students getting on busses to head out. When I got on the last bus, there were no seats available, except for the one next to my so-called enemy. I had to sit next to her for the entire ride there and I wasn’t looking forward to it.

At some point along the way we stopped ignoring each other and made real small talk. I had never really talked to her before, and I was surprised at how well we could carry a conversation. That moment of friendship ended as soon as we got there, and we found our own friends. The day carried on, and everyone enjoyed not having to be in class for an entire day. I saw my enemy a few times but never approached her. On the ride home we had to take the same bus we took to get there, and once again we ended up sitting next to each other.

We easily struck up a conversation again, and before long we had each other in giggles. It amazed me that this person I thought I hated so much, could be so fun to talk to. Conversation came so easily to the two of us, and we really seemed to have a lot in common. I started thinking about why I didn’t like her, and I couldn’t really think of a good reason. So what if other people didn’t like her, other people didn’t like me either. There was nothing bad about this girl, and she really was nice. I wasn’t really sure why people were so mean to her. She was different yes, but she wasn’t weird or crazy.

On the ride home, I came to the conclusion that I didn’t have anything against this girl, and I decided that we should call a truce, after all why couldn’t we like each other? She readily agreed, and that was the beginning of the longest friendship I have had in my life.

I learned that her family situation was pretty crappy. She had a single mom who was prone to drunken outburst, and a total lack of sobriety. We quickly bonded, and she spent more time at my house then her own. By the time we started high school together, she was more like a sister.

I couldn’t believe that I had spent the last three years acting like a total jerk to this girl for no real reason. Just because it was socially acceptable didn’t make it ok, and in the end I really did like her. If I hadn’t given in to the social pressure of popularity, I would have found my best friend earlier. I am so thankful that we were able to see beyond the reputation other kids had given us, and see each other for who we really were.

It was a good lesson to help me realize that people are not defined by what others say, nor how they look, or your preconceived notions of them. I learned to take the time to get to know someone even if other people have bad things to say about them. How do you know that other people took the time to get to know someone before judging them? Maybe we should all take the time to see who a person really is before we judge them. I think a lot of people will find that instead of making enemies, they make friends. I know I am thankful for my best friend, and for the many years we have been able to lean on each other.

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Confused~Advice

5 Feb

Dear I Am Not Defined,

I’m not sure if I’m asking for advice or what, but just I’m letting you know I admire what you’re doing, it takes a lot of guts. My brother was molested when he was younger, but he was living with my grandparents because my mom couldn’t handle him anymore. It was a retarded guy who lived in the nearby area, and more is being revealed as i get older. He’s all over the place emotionally and he decided drugs were the thing to help him, if not just get him through the day. There’s been a shift lately though, and he is clean and he feels better. He is seeing a psychiatrist to find some meds that can help him feel normal again. He’s been diagnosed with bipolar/borderline personality disorder, all sorts of other things. It makes sense, but he was just a boy trying to figure out what was wrong with him, and he tried every method available. He just tried negative ones, and they all lead him to one addiction or another. The only trouble he got in were cries for attention, like going to rehab, or getting some woman to pay a train ticket to Montreal, where she would wire him money, and he could party for a while. He got to Montreal and didn’t have a photo id, so he couldn’t get the money, and was stuck there without a dime. He was 16, but the adventures he’s been on, and the quest he’s been out for was to feel good. He just wanted to feel good, so i could never stay mad at him for long when he didn’t get along with us. He was violent when he was younger, he did live with us off and on, but it was too late, and the damage was done. I don’t think he ever felt accepted. I tried telling him, to do what he had to do, but I’m always here for him, and I always have been. He’s been there for me too. I hope this time around he sticks to his guns, and stays positive when things get tough. Life is harsh sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be bad, or stay that way. When i was a bit younger, maybe 5 years ago, I went for a mental evaluation, to see if there was anything wrong with me. Sure i smoke pot, and had dabbled with mushrooms and acid, but my plight was different. I knew there was something wrong, something holding me back, but i couldn’t put my finger on it. I told them about my brother, and that i thought it may have happened to my sister. I’m pretty sure it never happened to me, but what if it did? And, why them and not me? I mean, I feel emotionally messed up as well, but my luck has been great in comparison between my siblings, I’m the middle kid and sometimes the oldest, but emotionally, i was like everybody’s father, making sure they weren’t doing anything too stupid or hurting themselves or anyone else. I blame my mum for a lot of the shit now, how negligent she was, and a recovering alcoholic. Now I’m just starting to think she switched from alcohol to her meds. There’s a lot of stuff she did not prepare us for. I’m father myself, and had my family split up because I was so scared the same thing was going to happen. I shut down, and broke down trying to manage my depressed-prone wife, and my own shit. I couldn’t take it. We fought all the time, nothing violent, just yelling and emotional hurt, so i left until things calmed down. I didn’t know what was going to happen, but my wife decided to go back to her hometown with our daughter. I obliged, and let them go. I think I was not able to handle a family because i lacked any sort of emotional experience. I didn’t know how to deal with them properly, and my wife struggled to get better. She strangled me emotionally, and i broke down before I became violent. As soon as the urge to starting hitting something comes up in me, I run away. I’ve seen drunken abuse from my mum’s boyfriends and my brother; i didn’t need to be like that. I always think of my daughter, and she’s my reason to keep going. I want a better life for her, and i hope she’s a lucky one, like me, so that she can help others who need it. I think we all have certain traumas brought into our lives, but it’s how we deal with it that counts. It’s our actions and reactions, not losing control and knowing that life is good, things will turn out ok. Thank you for letting me know that you know it too, and that you’re doing what you can to help those who can’t talk about past traumas, thanks again, you’re doing great :)

 -Confused

Dear Confused,

First I want to tell you that your brother is very lucky to have such and understanding, loving sibling. It is very hard to watch someone you love destroy their lives with addictions and emotional issues, and it is even harder to be there for them when they fall.

It sounds like you carried a lot of weight on your shoulders as a child. It can be very stressful always being the “parent” sibling. It takes a lot of effort to make sure that the people around you are taken care of, and I am sure you didn’t have as much time to worry about yourself. Acting as a caregiver can really force you to grow up, and see the world in a different light. Maybe you were robbed of your childhood because of this?

It also seems like you grew up in a world where things seemed fairly out of control, which might cause you to act more controlling in your adult life. It seems like you have a handle on your anger, in a sense that you know when you need to get away, but have you figured out why you are so angry? Maybe if you can get to the root of your anger, you will be able to get a better hold on it, and not always have to flee?

It sounds like getting help has done a lot for your brother, maybe you need someone to speak to, an impartial person who can just listen while you get it all out. Bringing things to light, and understanding them can do amazing things for the soul. Just because your brother and sister had different traumas then you, doesn’t make yours are less important. You still had to grow up under the same circumstances, with the same people.

Maybe your wife having issues was too hard on you, after growing up with your siblings, and always having to help them. Was it too much to have that in your marriage as well? If you’re not emotionally stable in your own mind, you will never be able to help someone else get or stay emotionally stable. Maybe you both need someone to talk to.

At the very least you seem able to clearly see where your upbringing was flawed, and now that you have a daughter of your own you can do you’re very best to make sure that she is brought up differently. Things may or may not get better with your wife, but you have to come to terms with yourself before the two of you will really be able to hash it out. It sounds like you have a very good head on your shoulders, and I think you can do really well and go far. Turn your experiences into something better, and grow from them. I really think you can figure this out, and feel better about yourself and your life. I’m sure times are hard, but they will get better!

-I Am Not Defined

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