Saturday, May 5, 2007

Reflections On Family

Warning: This is a rant.

I thought that leaving school would be leaving the awful school year that I've had behind. Not so, appparently. I have been wanting to go home all semester, and I'm finally getting to do that and now I wish I weren't. I hope this isn't a preview of how my summer job is going to go, although I have found that whatever I'm excited about turns out badly and whatever I dread turns out well. Since I'm not looking forward to work, maybe just maybe...

I'm sorry for however this sounds, but...I'm tired of my family. I'm seriously thinking about cutting most of my ties with them. I'm not thinking of it as a grudge, just as I need to be free and stop letting people hold me back. They do that. I feel as if, in some sense, they've always tried to do that, and I've always found myself fighting with them over goals. I'm not sure if they mean to, but I realize that I just think differently from everyone in my family. They think small, and I think big--I don't think there's any other way to get things accomplished. Whatever the big thing is, I feel that I've rarely been supported, be it wanting to attend the best college I could get into, wanting to attend law school or wanting to lose weight. Every good thing I want to do is a struggle with these people. I feel like the only real reason they stopped complaining about helping me out with the law school thing is because they started seeing dollar signs when they realized it really was going to happen.

Today, my mindset is they can forget it. Families are always a mixed bag, at least. There are good aspects, and there are bad aspects. I'm not saying I come from a bad family. There are people out there who have it worse. But I have a low tolerance for bullshit. The older I get, the more impatient I get and the more rebellious I get. I've gotten used to being on my own and not having to answer to anyone, and the last thing I want to keep doing is going back to a mother who treats me like I need to be told everything as if I'm an idiot or in a damn stroller and a father who still thinks he can "joke" around with me like I'm some little kid for him to pick on. I'm an adult, and these people don't realize it. Spending all this time in law school far away from them and doing most things on my own means I'm not used to this crap anymore, and it pisses me off a lot more now when I have to deal with it. I don't see any way to make them stop, because my sisters are older than I am and they still overstep with them. But they are worse with me because I'm the youngest. And it doesn't matter how many times you tell them to knock it off.

I'm about to start making plans to distance myself from them. By that, I mean I don't want what happened today happening anymore, i.e. I don't want them helping me move to and from wherever I'm moving anymore, for example. I don't care if I have to get a second job working at Borders this summer so that I can be sure I can afford to hire movers--from now on, I don't want to depend on them for shit. I don't want to hear anymore "jokes" and complaints about them helping. I don't want to hear my mother ordering me around anymore. I want to stay the eff away from them. I'll make sure they are alright, but, in light of how I'm treated, I'm keeping visits and phone calls to a minimum.

The absolute top ways for someone to piss me off all happened Friday at the hands of family members:

1) Treating me like I'm stupid
2) Making me the butt of jokes
3) Telling me what to do
4) Arrogance
5) Being condescending towards me
6) Treating me like my thoughts and feelings are insignificant

I don't care who you are--if you do any of these things to me, you're getting told. I absolutely see red at these things.

The thing about it is a lot of those things are typical male things to do, and I realized today that there is just no way I'm ever marrying a man because they think they know every-got-damn-thing. Our relationship would just turn into another Tracy Thurman story with his ass crying to the police because I knocked his teeth down his throat. And then you have the women in my family who act like you're supposed to let people just treat you like shit, especially if they're "doing you a favor." Look, I don't care what you're doing for me, you're not getting away with disrespecting me. And in light of that, if they think they can make fun of me or treat me as if I don't have the right to get upset about things just because I'm younger than everyone else and I "don't have any serious problems" because I'm younger and setting people straight when they piss me off is "immature" because I'm younger...okay then, you don't ever have to do shit for me again.

I mean, I had someone who delivers packages for a living and couldn't even do his own homework and online exams when he was in college--my sister was doing his work for him (my brother-in-law)--talking to me like I was stupid and laughing at me. And then I was immature, and, yet, this is someone who does the typical man thing and won't take care of his own kids because he's a man and men aren't supposed to do that--the woman is supposed to do it all. I mean, fuck you. And on top of that, he's got the nerve to be out there trying to cheat on somebody just because he's "not happy at home"--maybe if he weren't treating people like they are stupid and insignificant all the time and maybe if he'd help out at home, my sister wouldn't be on his ass all the time and he would be happy at home. I mean, if you can't even help your wife out, then I definitely don't need you helping me.

And here's men some more:

Ladies, you ever been in that scenario where you're in a group of people and a guy makes a joke at your expense, everyone laughs, you get pissed and he has no idea why you're pissed? You're the ridiculous one because he embarassed you?

Or what about how when you're trying to tell your man, for example, how you feel about something that has really upset you or that really matters to you...and rather than their validating or acknowledging how you feel, they try to tell you why you shouldn't feel that way, as if that's going to change anything? Or any other situation in which someone just brushes off how you feel by telling you to "lighten up." Dude, what we're telling you is not cause for you to voice your opinion or tell us how we're supposed to feel--it's cause for you to respect our feelings and our wishes. And on that note--sometimes we just don't want to hear your opinion. It doesn't matter. We know you think you know everything and that you're smarter than women are. What-the-fuck-ever. Shut your ass up sometimes.

The thing about it is I know my mother has been in these situations with my father--the load only knows how many times I've had to sit and listen to it. And, yet, I always listen and validate her. I don't tell her to be quiet or yell at her like she's wrong when she's going off on my father for those things or call her immature. But this is what I get. Every time I get upset with anyone in my family, I'm the one in the wrong. No one understands or listens to me, and no one validates my feelings. I've had enough of that, and I'm going to tell her that from now on when she gets upset about something and wants to talk, she's going to have to find someone else to listen since she can't seem to return the damn favor. She'll see how it feels, but I doubt she'll see the light because she never does. She's been applying double standards for as long as I've known her.

And what really pisses me off about her is she seems to think I don't know anything and can't do anything. Please, this is someone who acts like she can't even drive two hours to her hometown by herself. She's scared of absolutely everything. I, on the other hand, took my ass to Boston myself, take myself to Chicago all the time myself and was ready to hop flights to NY and LA for interviews until they told me I could do phone interviews--you got it--all by myself. Nobody in my family has ever been any of these places, except Chicago, and I go to Chicago more than they do. And I take care of myself just fine all school year, and, yet, she still insists that I don't know how to take care of myself. We'll see how well I can get along by myself when her ass starts hearing from me a lot less and when she starts hearing stuff like, "I don't need you to help me with this, I already hired someone."

And my father? If he's got jokes every time I want to do something or every time I could use some help, then I just say fuck it. He's always saying I'm trying to kill him. No, I think he's trying to kill himself with the way he keeps stuffing his face and packing on the pounds. Seriously. If he weren't so overweight, helping me move some damn furniture wouldn't be such a problem. And I don't have a problem with overweight people, and I need to lose weight, as well. At least I care. I work on it, and I want to be healthier (not look better). I've lost weight, and I will keep losing it. He just doesn't give a damn. He just eats and eats and eats. And THEN...he has the nerve to be one of those fat men who talks shit about other people being overweight, especially women. I mean,!

My parents are always whining about how I need to be somewhere I have family to help me out. Look, if this is the kind of crap I'm going to have to deal with from these people helping me, then I just as soon say fuck them. Nikki already offered to help me move back to school in the fall, and I'm sure my best friend at law school will be willing to help, too. I remember when LA Girl used to talk about her friends being her family, and I thought that was ridiculous. But I've got to tell you, my friends almost never treat me anything like my family does. Everybody else seems to think I'm strong, intelligent, confident...and these people act like I'm the exact opposite. I need to find an apartment in Chicago quick so that I can get the fuck away from all this nonsense.

Sometimes with families you just have to be families from afar. I have discovered that I get along best with these people when I'm away from them. The best thing about law school, aside from all the non-academic things I'm learning, is the freedom I get. And I'm too much of a free spirit for the kind of family I have, and I have too many ambitions for the kind of family I have.

I don't know how many of you know who Jackie Warner is or know anything about her family background, but this is probably the first/only lesbian on TV that I've ever really felt like I related to. She came from a small town in Ohio, and she couldn't wait to get away. I bet that town is like mine, i.e. people don't leave and, if they do, they don't go too far away. Her mother is...ehh. Religious. Doesn't like that her daughter is a lesbian, doesn't understand her daughter, didn't ever really seem to be excited about her daughter's success until recently. But Jackie has oodles of ambition and is a major success now, and she's happily away from her mother on the other side of the country in LA. If you have the chance to check out Jackie's show on Bravo called "Workout," definitely do so. I'm not as trashy as Jackie is with the ladies, but other than that...I really think we're a lot alike. I started my own businesses when I was really young (19), and have had my hands in a bit of this and that and hope to continue that.

And a secret: her show is the reason I started wanting to start my own gym. ;)