Disclaimer: Let me start this post off by saying that this is NOT me trying to bash my family. I am not pointing fingers, nor am I blaming anyone for the way I feel. If there’s anyone to blame, it’s myself. My insecurities, my mind, my problem.
With that said, let’s begin.
Whenever I write actual blog posts (and not poems) I always try to provide something for the reader to takeaway: insight, tips, advice, whatever. But for today’s post, I’m going to let the little self-obsessed, narcissistic blogger that I know I am come out to play. I need to vent, I need to rant. I need to ramble on without having to watch people yawn while they pretend to listen to me. You may or may not take anything from this. If so, more power to ya.
I have no idea where to start. Thinking, thinking… Ah, got it!
I was born April 25th, 1994.
Since I moved out when I was 18, I’ve been plagued by this feeling of, I’m lost. I’m sure many of you can relate to that feeling from when you (most of you) moved away from home to be an “adult” in the big, big scary world on your own. They say, “Sink or swim,” and you end up looking like Tom Hanks in Castaway. It’s even worse when your family moves out of state and you’re stuck with your girlfriend and her baby. (Whole other story).
So anyway, I carried this lost feeling around with me (mainly because it was like a leech attached to my soul) as I searched relentlessly for a way to make it stop. I traveled endless miles, moved a lot, tried many different hobbies, jobs, relationships, drugs… I was certain it’d end soon.
6 years later and it was still attached, still sucking me dry. But in the back of my head, there was always this idea that, if worse comes to worst, I could just move to California and live closer to my family. While a good idea, there were these internal conflicts keeping me from taking that step; the main one being that I myself wasn’t ready. I was a broke, jobless wreck and I felt like I needed to get my shit together first.
Several months ago, I made the decision to move to California. Still a broke, jobless wreck, I used the last $200 I had to drive from Tennessee to the West Coast. This was it. I was finally taking the big step I’d been putting off for years. I was finally about to live closer to my family and we were all about to be happily together. Thoughts raced: Is this the right move? Will this get rid of the leech? Are they still the same? It’d been 6 years.
And so much can change in six years.
I made the move over here to feel closer to family. To feel like there was some place where I actually belong. Since 18 I’ve wandered around like a piece to a puzzle that doesn’t know where it’s supposed to fit. But my family has become a family of their own. They’re picture-perfect and there’s no room for me in the frame. My face just doesn’t fit. It’s like while I’ve been away, my blood has become tainted by everything I’ve done and it’s no longer the same as theirs.
Let me explain a little more.
My youngest brother is almost thirteen. His room is full of trophies and medals. He gets all A’s, entered the state wrestling tournament, and already knows where he wants to go to college. He’s the one everyone in the family is constantly bragging on with proud smiles and who all the neighbors stop by to visit.
You don’t have to say it, I know I sound envious. And I am. But I’m not resentful. I love my brother more than life and I couldn’t be more proud of everything he’s done—but every time I look at him, I can’t help but compare our upbringings. We were both raised by the same mother, yet our lives are worlds apart. I can’t help but wonder that if maybe—just maybe—if I was raised like him, perhaps I could’ve turned out a little different.
In another life, I was raised in that household, graduated from a University, got a high-paying job and made my dad’s side of the family happy. In another life, I look like them.
“I have never felt like I belonged anywhere in my life. I don’t fit in with my family or anyone. I feel so lost and out of place.”
My brother is the spitting image of my father. And there’s nothing wrong with my adoptive father. He’s a good guy who’s done well for himself. He stepped in and saved my mother when she was in a shitty relationship and working as a bartender while single handedly raising me and my 2nd-to-youngest brother. He always wanted me to take a certain path in life (which I regret not taking), and it was opposite of what I wanted to do, so we argued a lot, to keep it brief. It was his first time being a dad and my first time being a son. It’s my fault, but him and I have just never really seen eye-to-eye.
I remember when the feeling hit—that feeling of I don’t belong here. It was Christmas, and my mom unwrapped a present. The gift was from dad’s side: a framed photograph of my mom, dad, and brother. The definition of picture perfect.
Then there’s me.
I grew up around alcoholics, needles, food stamps, and trailer parks. My family shopped at swap-meets, ate from the government, and my uncles died from liver disease because they drank themselves to death. I was in and out of psychiatric centers, handcuffs, and could hardly hold down a job, let alone finish college. At some points I was selling drugs and driving a prostitute to her calls so I could pay my $400/month rent. That’s how I grew up, that’s how I lived, and though times were dark, that’s the life I love.
Sadly, that was my mom’s side of the family, and everyone from that side passed away years back, taking most of that life I loved with them to the grave. All that family I grew up with, the ones that knew me and loved me unconditionally, they’re gone.
Nowadays, when my dad’s side of the family comes to town they hardly speak with me unless they’re giving me a list of suggestions for jobs. Then again, why would they? I’m the awkward black sheep who couldn’t finish community college and got fired from Krogers, yet has delusions that he’ll someday become a successful writer.
While they all praise each other on their college degrees, their promotions at work, and their new cars, nobody takes interest in me or my dreams. They don’t care enough to ask what I’m working on or to read anything I’ve written. They don’t care enough to invite me to join the picture. And that’s fine.
I don’t fit in their frame.
P.S. I still have my Momma though ❤ As I said when we started, I’m not blaming my family. All I’ve said is simply how I feel. It’s my world through my eyes, and that view is often distorted.
Today’s post was supposed to be a piece of fiction, but I really wanted to get this off my chest. If you read through the post then I want you to know it means a lot. If you have any advice, feedback, or anything you’d like to say, please leave a comment below.
Thanks for reading.
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