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 :)
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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