Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Lately, I've been feeling a bit......overworked. By this, I don't necessarily mean at work. Over the last couple of years I've been doing a lot of things that I never did growing up. These things seem to be rather basic things that everyone does but, for me, this is very abnormal.
I grew up on my own so many things about my life are different than most peoples. I don't celebrate holidays apart from Thanksgiving, Christmas and my son's birthday, and the only reason I celebrate those things is because I have a son.
My family and I have been estranged since I was very young and I grew up bouncing around from foster home to foster home. Most foster homes I had the misfortune to live in thought of me more as a slave than anything else. I was their slave, I was the one they took out their frustrations on and I was abused. So I ran away a lot. I never got gifts at Christmas but I had to watch everyone else get them. I never got a birthday party but I had to watch everyone else get them. When the foster families kids had celebrations like, communion, graduation, birthdays or whatever, I was always dragged along to watch them celebrate but none of my achievements deserved recognition. So, when I was old enough to escape and get my own place, I simply chose to ignore holidays. It was just easier.
Then I had my son and I realized, if I take all those celebrations away from him then he's going to feel the same way, so I do it for him. But since we have no family and hardly any friends to speak of its always just been him and I. I buy him way too many gifts for Christmas (I think to make up for the one thing I could never give him, family), we go bowling every year on his birthday (because he loves it) and Thanksgiving has been kind of an accident for the last 8 years. We managed to get invited to our friends house annually and later began spending it with Brian's family. Before that, I just made a nice dinner and we ate in front of the TV.
Over the last 2+ years, I've been dating Brian. He's an amazing man with an amazing family who do family things all the time. This is a bit of a shock to me. Kind of like stepping out of a steaming hot shower and jumping into the ocean. In all my years, I'd never met a family so quick to accept strangers into their family and do all the celebratory things that normal families do with them.
As sweet and kind as they are, I still find myself sitting there quietly or trying to make myself useful while everyone else chats and plays. And every time I can't help but feel like that child who is in someone else's families house celebrating their things.......not mine.
I'm not saying that I want recognition for anything or that I want my own parties or what have you. I'm simply saying that I always feel like I'm on the outside looking in, but there is no door, so I can never get in.
Even at work, I take care of other people for a living. I'm constantly, cleaning them, feeding them, doing their dishes and laundry, washing their homes, doing their shopping, running their errands, taking them to appointments and so on. Always.
At home, I take care of my son (who has disabilities) and my cat (who also has disabilities). I do the house work, cooking, I pay the bills and run the errands. I do everything. I take care of everything. Always.
I'm always the one caring for everyone else, but never myself. No one ever takes care of me (not that I need it anymore) but it just seems like again, I'm on the outside. I'm the outsider who goes to peoples houses, takes care of them and then leaves. No one ever comes to my house.
The only person in the world who has ever paid any attention to my needs is my boyfriend, Brian. He really is the sweetest man in the world and I love him dearly. But we don't live together and he's about an hour away. We only see each other on weekends at his place. It feels like I'm living 2 separate lives. The life I live 3/4's of the time at home and at work, and the other 4'th at his place. So again, I cant help but feel detached. Every aspect of my life is a picture of a circle with me standing alone outside of it.
I often wonder if it's supposed to be this way. Maybe there's a reason for it. Maybe I'm so far gone due to my upbringing that God simply cant allow me inside the circle. Or maybe that circle is my family and no matter what happens I will never be in it. It could all just be psychological or it could be that there is a bigger picture that I'm missing out on.
No matter how you look at it, I feel so.............detached. Standing alone in a world filled with people. Am I always going to be this 'substitute'?
I'm exhausted. I wish I could take a vacation, but I'd be alone there too and I'd probably do something stupid like clean the hotel room. So on I trudge, on weary legs and wounded feet, wondering if anything will ever change.