Tuesday, July 8, 2008

How Much More Can I Take? I Don't Know.

I wasn't sure I was going to post today. I'm feeling very depressed over the possible detonation of my family back in Cleveland, my brother got attacked on the bus the other night and beat the crap out of some 47-year-old drug user, and my husband seemed content to ignore that I was upset about my family's situation and continues his campaign to be the laziest person on the planet.

My mom and uncle can't get work and neither of them drive. They're both educated [My uncle is close to finishing his own PhD if he goes back to wrap up the dissertation], but it's hard to find work and my aunt refuses to help them get work with the Justice Department. My aunt, who chooses to live far away from everyone (and from work) won't help them by offering to take them grocery shopping [but will "borrow" money from my mother], and my husband and I suspect that she wants them to sell my grandmother's house so that she can get a windfall [The house was the only thing she had left to give the family]. This woman, who married that horrible man that ruined my life for 10 years, doesn't consider others and feels the need to "control" her daughter (whose only crime is that she has a huge capacity to love people). She doesn't seem to realize that her daughter is going to be the one who puts her in her place if she keeps this up.

My dad (who I've talked about in the past) screwed my brother out of a place to live, and treats him as if he is retarded. I'm actually surprised that he noticed that he didn't receive a call on Father's Day from either of us, but you don't hurt my brother and expect me to be nice about it. My brother no longer has a working car but still manages to bring groceries over to the house on the bus, and wants to spend time with his six-year-old son but the child's mother is a greedy bitch who takes the child support and spends it on herself and her new boyfriend. Now that he feels that he has nothing to lose, he was more than willing to unleash hell on a man who targeted him because he's really skinny. My brother wants to do right by his son (and is a much better father than my dad has turned out to be) and is setting up an account for him to be accessed once he turns 18.

I'm upset about all of this because I'm still in Columbus, which is 2 1/2 hours away, and I feel as if I'm letting the family down because I'm not there to help them. I haven't been up there in months, and I want to get there before I have the baby (which is coming up sooner than even I realized) but I don't know if we'll have the money for the gas to travel there and back. I want to help them keep the house and keep the family together, but the way my aunt is acting is pushing me to that point where I will tell her ass off to get her to stop being so fucking selfish.

I rarely do things for myself, and school was the one thing I was doing for me. Now that there's the possibility that my mom and uncle will lose the house, I feel like I'm at fault for not moving back home to put things in order.

Instead, I'm starting graduate school.

I committed to the fellowship for school before I knew the extent to which things had gotten for them up there, and I am no longer in a position to just walk away from it and try again next year. This is my last shot at doing this PhD. There's possibilities with that kind of degree [Ideally, I would like to find a way to either stick with comics in a teaching context or just chuck it all and go the Sex Ed route, which is a huge cause that I'll go into when I'm more rational], and it would be possible for me to get a professorship at one of the numerous colleges in Cleveland (and they have a lot!), but how do I balance my education with my family? Not to mention the fact that I'm going to be a mother soon and I have serious doubts that I will be a good parent.

All I want to do is cry. And all I want my husband to do is stop being lazy long enough to make me feel like I'm not doing this alone.

Edit: While all of this is going on, the so-called Christians of my family's church seem more interested in gossiping and telling my mother that she needs to learn to drive than in offering to give her a ride to church. The only consolation I have on that front is that this church full of gossip-y hypocrites (who will throw out, or drive out people, for being gay or not showing up to all of the meetings, but will allow people they like who have affairs with way too young people to stay) is going to self-destruct in 10 years. This is just all too much.


David Dust said...


First of all, I'm sorry to hear about your family problems. We can't pick our families - we're stuck with what we get - for better or for worse.

But are you really sure that being in Cleveland would help anything? I'm not sure it would be healthy for you and the baby to insert yourself into all that drama.

It is NOT your responsibility to swoop in and "save" your family. Yes, you love them, and yes you care about them, and yes you'd like to help them - but sometimes you can't. Sometimes all you can offer are words of advice and encouragement and your prayers. Even with family.

In the long run I think you'll be much more of a help to your family if you have a healthy baby, a PhD and a good career. Don't throw that away just to go to Cleveland and bust some ass (as much as you might want to!)

I think you should determine exactly what the benefits/costs of a trip would be. If it turns out that you COULD truly help - without totally bankrupting you and jeopardizing the health of your baby, then go. If not, do what you can from Columbus.

YOU (and the baby) are the first priority, remember that.



Dan said...

Wow - Are you the youngest? You see I am the youngest in my family and I am the one that is expected to clean up everyone elses problems.

My family lives in Northeast Indiana and I am in Chicago. Close enough yet far enough.

I think you need to let your Aunt know how you feel and that you are watching her ass. What do you have to lose? Keeping it all inside is not healthy for you or the baby.

Going to Cleveland is not the answer. You need to stay focused on the future.

Big extra large hugs and kisses!


SailorAlphaCentauri said...

Thank you both for your advice. Can you believe that it took me all day to read it? I made my husband read it first; since he owns his laziness, all he had to say was that you're very sensible.

I am the youngest in the family (if you ignore my dad's side) and to show how much the baby of the family has to do in a situation like this, my husband and I paid for my grandmother's funeral (her assets were frozen because her death was so sudden) which nearly wiped out the mutual fund completely.

My mother tells me that I'm doing a lot because I'm care, but it's self-imposed guilt that makes me feel like I'm not doing enough. If I think about what I can do here with possible job connections, online car searches, and giving them my shopping cart, I can at least feel as if I'm doing something.

And as for my aunt, I think it's time I placed a call to her voice-of-reason friend and tell her how non-supportive she's been. That'll fix her. ;-)

My grandmother always asked me when I would move back, and my answer was that I would come back to Cleveland once I finished school. What I have to remember is that she was supporting my efforts to get into the PhD program (nothing galvanizes a family better than having an outsider tell you that you shouldn't pursue your goals), so I need to really stop beating myself up over this.

And, if things really got bad, I would just consult my free attorney father-in-law to see what we could do to save the house (and this is his specialty).

It's hard to not be up there, but I know that I would never get any studying done if I were to go to school in the area (I never got much done when I was taking workshops up there, so I know what to expect), so I'm going to become the distance liaison who continues with her thrice-weekly phone calls (two to my uncle and one to my mom) and orchestrates what I can from here.

And if my aunt tries to trip and doesn't come to my church's baby shower, I suggest that she consider relocating to Canada where it would be too much effort to come and get her. But my cousin can stay.

I've never been good at placing myself first, and I'm not sure I can even start that now. The baby, however, does make me reconsider how I want to do things. I try to keep from stressing out so much in the car because I'm not trying to have a baby two months early.

Two and a half hours away seems to be a good distance that I can live with. And as long as I have the gas money to do errands while I'm away, I could swing a day trip without getting too stressed.

I have to get my head together.

I am so glad that I did post this. I needed to hear from friendly voices, and this did a lot to bring me away from the edge.

Thank you both so much. I can't say it enough.

Big hugs and kisses to you both!

David Dust said...

Hugs and kisses back, my dear.


Dan said...