bliss-sad's Diaryland Diary



Things have gotten weird with my family.

I think I've probably mentioned that my brother and his girlfriend moved into my parents basement, something like six months ago. My brother went back to college almost 2 years ago and has been unable to keep a job and pay his own bills, so after over a year of covering for him, my parents decided that the most financially responsible decision would be to move him back home.

His girlfriend came, too. It's really, really weird and I'm still not exactly sure why, but whatever.

Well, in (I think) October, my brother was arrested for a DUI and lost his driver's license. It's one of those things that my family is billing as a blessing because he was a fucking lush and his drinking was a big part of the reason he was unable to pay his own bills or hold down a job for more than a few weeks at a time. Since his "wake up call", he's been on the wagon.

Sort of.

See, when I quit drinking, I did it for real. I did it because I realized that I just didn't have control over myself when I drank. I realized that it was a huge cause of my depression, that it ruined friendships, opportunities and it destroyed my relationship with my now-husband. I also realized that I was turning into the monster that I was afraid of as a kid--that I was locking myself into a cycle of shittiness and that if I didn't escape, my future kids could get caught up in the same cycle.

So, when I quit, there wasn't looking back.

My father and brother are a different story. My father has broken his neck, had multiple back surgeries, carpel tunnel surgery, knee surgery and recently had steel rods placed in his neck. He pretty much lives his life in a constant state of pain. As a result, his doctor put him on some pretty strong opiate narcotics. Now, while I will never dispute the fact that he really does need his medication to function in a way that is halfway normal, he uses pain as an excuse to drink.

Not often...just semi-regularly. Like, every couple of months he'll go off the grid for a few days and if you are able to track him down, you'll most likely find him laughing at Ancient Aliens and drinking a bottle of cognac. It bothers me a little, but...he's a grown ass man. And his drinking doesn't leave me stranded in the school parking lot anymore, so I try not to think about it.

My brother has apparently decided that he can regulate his drinking in the same way: sobriety with exceptions. And his girlfriend, you ask? She's well known around this small town for her "ability" to drink. She's also well known for FREAKING THE FUCK OUT when she gets black out drunk, which is a fairly regular occurrence.

As for my mom? Well, fuck. She's never toyed around with the idea of giving up drinking. As the most functional alcoholic on the face of the planet, she doesn't see any need to. I mean, since her drinking doesn't effect her ability to do things, why the fuck not keep drinking? My mother is the single greatest woman on the planet, until the third glass starts to metabolize. Then she's replaced by this awful cunt whose sheer tone of voice makes me want to murder babies. She drinks almost every day, each time polishing off no less than a liter of cheap white rum. She drinks so often that my father has implemented a system for when she falls asleep on the couch and he has to transfer her to bed.

It's shameful and disgusting.

So now there are all these personalities living under one roof. The two blatant drunks, and the two sneak-drinkers.

I guess they all decided to drink together one night about a week ago. They made up pitchers of strawberry daquiris and watched movies and had a great time. My parents went to bed and my brother and his girlfriend took their party to the basement.

I'm not sure what happened or how things escalated, but at some point, trouble arose in paradise. The long and short of it is that my brother's girlfriend got incredibly drunk and started to get psychotic. My brother, also being drunk, was unable to properly articulate his concern regarding his girlfriend's mental state and after several items were thrown and shattered, the misunderstanding made it's way upstairs.

Somehow my parents got involved and the whole thing dissolved into this insane screaming match. Several holes were punched and/or kicked into the walls, lots of little knick-knacks were broken and the house was generally trashed.

No one was hurt, and luckily enough, nobody got physical with anybody. Besides the game of random-object dodgeball, that is, but it sounds like everyone was a winner (or loser? It's hard to decide).

When I got the play-by-play upon visiting my parent's after work, I was fucking shocked. Not only by the way everyone acted, but the fact that this took place in the house that I grew up in. I also cannot believe the way my brother and his girlfriend spoke to my parents. I just cannot reconcile that level of insanity happening inside of that home.

For all my parent's flaws and dysfunctionality, we had a pretty stable childhood. My parents were strong disciplinarians and I respected them without fearing them. I feel so...betrayed by my brother's girlfriend for bringing that shit into our house (even though I don't live there, it's still kind of "my house" to me) and our family. I also feel...completely disgusted with my family for letting it get this far--for acting so foolish.

Now, flash forward to New Years Eve. My husband ran out of gas the day before and since it was dark and thirty-below outside, I rescued him and left the car on the side of the road. After I got off work on the 31st, I headed over to my parent's house because my father had agreed to give me a ride out to the car. Once I filled his tank, jumped the battery and got it started, my father followed me to my husband's place of work so I could leave it in the parking lot of him. When we were done, we headed out to the store.

My dad was in a good mood and trying to figure out what to do for dinner that night, so as we walked through the store, he kept throwing things in the cart with comments like, "Oh, [your brother] would love this!" and "I wonder if [your brother] has cigarettes." At one point, he even picked up 2 different kinds of garlic bread because my mom liked one kind and my brother's girlfriend liked the other. As we came upon different deals and sales, he put together this really fancy dinner in his head. He bought shrimp and oysters and crab and fresh strawberries and scallops and chocolate and all the while, kept making these comments about how my mother, my brother and my brother's girlfriend would be delighted.

And I couldn't help but think, "What about me? What about my husband? Why aren't we a part of this family get together?"

When we got to the booze, my dad loaded the cart with all the fixings for bloody marys, and talked excitedly about how everyone would have a nice drink and ring in the new year. He asked what my husband and I were planning and I told him that we'd just found out my husband was off work and that we hadn't planned anything.

I'll admit it, I was fishing for an invite.

It didn't come, though.

After he paid for everything, I loaded everything into the car, and when we got back to his house, I took everything inside and put it away.

And then I went home.

Being excluded like that hurts.

I mean, I know that I probably wouldn't have had a good time watching everyone get drunk...but it would've been nice to be invited to this family event.

I feel so resentful of my brother's girlfriend. In a lot of ways, I feel like she's taken my place. Like, I see her sit on the couch in the spot next to my dad where I've sat for twenty-five years....I see her cooking with the same fry-pan that I bought my parents for Christmas ten years ago. I see her sitting at the dining-room table that I helped my father refurbish....and I get so mad and so hurt.

I have these moments where I realize how completely insane this sounds, don't get me wrong. I mean, I'm getting worked up over not being included but the only reason I'm not is because I work very, very hard to have a house independent of my parent's home. My husband and I are proud that we don't rely on anyone for anything. We are proud of the fact that we are sober, that we are in control of ourselves and that we overcame a destructive cycle that was looming ominously in both of our families.

But, it hurts me that the things I'm proud of have made me feel like less a part of my family unit.

Instead of thinking, "Wow, I don't want to hang out with those drunks," I think, "Why doesn't anybody want to hang out with me when I'm sober?"

It goes further than that, too. It also has to do with the fact that I spent almost a year unemployed after my father had surgery. And during that year I was his main caretaker. In fact, I put several opportunities for work on hold simply to take care of him. I sacrifice a lot for my parents. I cut myself short often just because I know how often they did it for me as a child--because I want to pay them back for everything.

And then I see them pay my brother's bills, I see them write him a check to go to school (knowing that I dropped out because I couldn't afford it), I see them move him back home and flit the bill for his girlfriend and I can't help but feel jealous. And angry. And bitter.

I want so badly to be a part of something that I know is dysfunctional and unhealthy, but I'm starting to realize that I can't be a part of it. Because as much of a mess as I am, I'm close to being on the right track. And I'm not willing to compromise that.

But, what the fuck? Why did I have to become the white sheep in a sea of black sheep? And why do I feel so awful about everything when it comes to my family?

10:32 a.m. - 01.02.15


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