I wanted to share a story about something that happened in my family back in 2011. This is story about a time when I felt like I wasn’t considered enough but I should be. This was written as a stream of consciousness. So I hope it makes sense.
In December 2011 a bunch of my family got together at my grandparents’ house for Xmas. This is my mom’s side of the family. At the time I was one semester away from graduating college with my BA. Something that no one else in my family has ever done. I worked hard, albeit not as hard as I could have because I was actually on my 5th year instead of 4th, but I still felt like I was about to accomplish something that was actually worthy of praise for once.
Meanwhile, my 18 year old cousin had a (surprise) baby in October. This would be the first time my mom would be meeting this baby, as well as the first time for some other family members, including myself. Now I’ve never been a huge fan of babies. And I’m even less of a fan of babies for people who are in no way ready to have one. My family knows this about me. However I knew this was something my family was excited about. Before this, the youngest person in our family at the time was my youngest cousin and he was already 17. On my dads side of the family, my impending graduation was almost all he could talk about. To the point where he was more excited and proud than I. I am also the only grandchild on that side. So I guess I was maybe selfish in expecting to be recognized in the same way from the other side of my family. But at the time I did think, and to an extent still think today, that graduating college is a bigger accomplishment than having a baby.
Well the time spent as a family went on and on that holiday season and all the attention was going to my cousin and her infant. Maybe I was wrong to feel so jealous, but I did want to feel like they were at least proud of me. However it seemed like all they did was dote on the little lump. (Because that’s all he was at the time, a lump. A crying, popping, lump. Sorry not sorry. He was a lump). Even when I talked about school and how graduation was getting close and things like that I felt very brushed to the side. I felt like my accomplishments weren’t good enough and couldn’t compare. I thought that they all felt like the main reason for life is to have a baby. For me that’s never been it. I felt they were disappointed in me for choosing to pursue school instead of jumping on the first sperm squirting dick I could find and have unprotected sex in order to have a baby I would not be ready for to ruin the rest of my life by having to be responsible for it. Finally I ended up breaking down.
On Xmas eve my cousin and her baby were going to stay at my grandma’s house. My mom wanted me to give up the room I was staying in to my cousin and her baby. I was not having it. Maybe this was selfish, but my family knows me well enough to know that I need a level of privacy. Sleeping on the couch was going to mean I wouldn’t get any sleep. Besides that, my cousin was only living 20 minutes away from gram’s place, while I travelled 13 hours with my mom. I asked why no one else could give up their rooms or why can’t she just join us in the morning? Why was I being punished when I’m the only one in this family to graduate college? I yelled and screamed and said I was he only one who deserved any praise in this family because I was the only one working towards my future. I’m sure I overreacted. But at that point I’d had it. I was emotionally drained from feeling like no one cared. Specifically my mother’s behavior is what hurt me the most.
Your mom is supposed to be your biggest fan right? Well then why was she cheerleading for team baby and not my team? I finally let all this out to both my gram and mom. At first my mom flipped out at me right back and said I was a selfish brat who didn’t deserve anything. At that point I decided to make drink after drink of vodka cranberry and feel sorry for myself. Later my mom realized my whole outburst was not just about the room as she thought. It was more about not feeling appreciated or that anyone was proud of me. When she realized it was because of her behavior she came to me and apologized. She said she was proud of me and she was sorry for getting so wrapped up in baby stuff. After that, the rest of the trip took a turn. My mom made an effort to make me feel like my choices mattered and that my accomplishments were worthy of praise. She assured me she was very proud of me and she just thought I knew that and she didn’t need to express it.
I now feel a little bad for how I behaved, but you live and you learn. (I’ve since worked on my selfishness and need for attention, it’s no where near as leveled as it could be, but I’ve come a long way since Xmas 2011).
The reason this story came into my mind is because I was thinking that if you really care about someone, you will be understanding of even their most selfish and ridiculous feelings. If you care about someone, you’ll realize when they tell you that your actions or your words made them feel hurt or upset, you can make a change. And if you care enough you will WANT to make that change. You’ll want to make any efforts you can to make those you care about feel that you care about them. I’m thankful my mom is one of those people that cares about me. And even though I didn’t act perfectly and she didn’t act perfectly, in the end I felt her love and pride for me. That’s what we should be looking for in all our close relationships, be them friendly or romantic. We should keep those around who want us to feel their love. Those who wouldn’t mind or even would WANT to modify their behavior if it meant the ones they cared about would feel better, because they know just making you feel good makes them feel good.
I hope this made sense. I just wanted to get it out. I’m not perfect, nor do I claim to be. Maybe others can relate, maybe they think I’m just a dumb spoiled bitch. Some might find this incoherent, for that I’m sorry. This was written as stream of consciousness.