I didn’t have a bad childhood, it was just traumatic and extremely freaking stressful.
My parents loved us to the moon and back, and always will. For this, I owe them the world.
They just worked a lot and were extremely dysfunctional together.
My mom had overcome so many things in her life and successfully worked as a nurse for most of mine. The nursing profession called for her to work the most peculiar hours, making her mentally unavailable for my two siblings and myself. But I always have and always will adore her.
I needed her to be present.
Then, you have my father. He is probably the hardest working man I have ever met in my life. While I was growing up, I witnessed him work from 6am – 11pm daily. He hardly ever had a day off and if he did, he sure as heck wasn’t trying to spend it with us. To him, his only obligation was to provide for us financially. And he did just and only that.
I needed him to be present.
So as the eldest of their three common children, I picked up a lot of the slack.
- making sure the other two got up on time for school every day and sending them off,
- making sure the younger one got picked up from extracurricular activities after school,
- and pretty much supervising the home while our parents weren’t available (read: all the damn time).
I know now that my parents meant no harm in their actions as they were just trying to make sure we had the necessities (and even some of our wants) in life but before I reached this level of maturity, I resented them both.
How y’all gone say I’m still a child but I’m sitting here taking care of y’all children? How come I can’t go to the skating rink with everybody else cus I got to babysit? It’s not fair that I have to do all of this. I DON’T HAVE NO KIDS!
I had a slick mouth, so sometimes these thoughts turned into words and that didn’t EVER turn out in my favor, if you know what I mean. They wasn’t playing those type games.
But I just couldn’t understand what I did to deserve so much pressure to be placed upon me. The only thing I was guilty of was being first born into their dysfunction.
Tip: Pay close attention to the hurting child. Their behaviors will usually tell the tale. But you gotta be paying attention.
The responsibility of having to fill so much of a bigger role than what I felt I deserved to, proved to be detrimental in my own upbringing, in some aspects.
For one, I felt like I was grown waaaayyy before I was actually there.
Since I felt grown, I felt that I was entitled to do grown people shit- like sneaking into house parties I had no business being at.
I couldn’t understand how, on one hand they could give me all this responsibility when it benefited them but then when I needed them to look out for me, I couldn’t get their support.
See, how the family dynamics were set up at this time were giving way for some real blurred boundaries.
For two, it helped to create such a stressful home environment for me. So I ain’t want to be there – like at all.
This opened the doors for me to do a whole bunch of dumb, unsupervised b.s. while I was trying to run from them.
See, I wasn’t worried about making wise decisions, I was more fixated on how I could detach myself away from that stress-box called home. I wasn’t going back.
And I didn’t.
I then just started taking guidance from the streets. I mean, not like the gangs and stuff cus I’m not about that life. More like streets = outside the house.
What not to do: Don’t run from those who you KNOW love you into the arms of some people who might.
I’m just trying to recognize unhealthy patterns so I can try to correct them with my own child. I be failing sometimes though.
But that’s all any of us can do.
+ Ci Ci +