Sometimes I used to wish I had some kind of terminal illness. I know that’s fucked but I wished it. I wouldn’t tell anyone either. I don’t need that kind of sympathy. But I think if that happened then I could live my best life. I would know I had a short time here and maybe I could take comfort in knowing it wouldn’t be much longer. Obviously today is a bad day. I don’t wish that anymore either. That was exceedingly selfish and short sighted. Someday I’ll have to talk more about how I grew up (more than this?! Yeah.) but for now this is all I’m comfortable sharing. Too many people would be affected by that kind of honesty and I can’t do it. I want to. I want to talk about it and how its affected who I am as an adult, but I can’t. Someday.
A lot of my life has been driven by being noticed. I always wanted to be noticed. I wanted to do something so important that my family (it’s a big family) would just notice me. They wouldn’t have a choice. I got treated very differently than a lot of my cousins and even my brothers. I was second oldest so there were lots of expectations and I was always letting everyone down. I was the man of the house but I wasn’t manly enough (everyone thought I was gay practically until I got married), I was too smart to be a kid, I wasn’t allowed to have friends except at school, or pets ( I had a dog when I was like 5 or 6 but my grandma gave it away because I wasn’t taking care of it. I remember getting home from school and my aunt saying, “go out back, notice anything different?” yup. my fucking dog is gone.) We tried dogs another time after that, but it also got given away. Birthdays with friends over were a no… Family yes, friends no; except once, I got so sick that night from flu or whatever that I asked to cancel my party, I begged to cancel, I cried to get it canceled. I got yelled at and then when I shit myself overnight because I was so sick I got yelled at more, they threw a babies diaper on me and sent me to sleep he living room. I was eight, I never had a friend party again until I was well into my teens. By then I was staying on friends couches to get away. I was disappointing all around.
I had one of those invisible dads too (wah poor me), so I think in some ways I was treated like this little thing that had no hope. I was this ever present third wheel that no one knew what to do with. “We have to invite him, he doesn’t have a dad…” “Can’t it just be us though, he’s not our responsibility?” I heard that shit a lot when I was younger. It wasn’t always like that, but a lot of times it was. I think they thought I hadn’t heard or noticed, but I did. I noticed and watched everything; it was painful, and I carry that around still. I don’t know how to shake it or remove it or shed it. It’s there and it always will be.
I had huge dreams, I wanted to be a singer, I wanted to be a musician, I was going to be on TV, I was going to do interviews. Secretly I only wanted these things, so I could tell people to fuck off. I just wanted to tell people that I made it without them and to be able to give my self important opinions and feed my ego. I wanted my ideas heard. I wanted them to see me for once and see that I had done something that they couldn’t take away. Something so big that they had no choice but to notice, so big they’d want to take credit for getting me there. I wanted them to see I had worth. One of my uncle used to tell his kids not to be like me. “Do what you’re told, or you’ll end up like him”. They’d deny it happened, they’d say I imagined it. I didn’t. I was always watching and observing. I won’t ever forget it. That was one of the most painful things I’d ever heard but I believed it. ‘Don’t be like me…?” I thought about it and I couldn’t disagree. I was nothing. I had no job, no music to play, no important things to say on TV -in fact, I had crippling anxiety and stage fright and would have never played one of my songs for anyone. I was nothing.
I was a chameleon when I was younger. That got me through a lot. I thought if I could just keep changing I could somehow figure out the right combination that would unlock their love and adoration. I changed everything about me so they would notice me. I changed my hair, I changed my clothes, I did better in school, I got a job and made a lot of money, I lost weight, I spoke differently, I even worked hard to change my hand writing. I needed them to accept me. It never worked. Besides, why did I need that? The only person I should have been worried about accepting me, was me. In my teens I had short period where I did like myself, A LOT, but that was all fake. In reality I had no idea who I was. I haven’t known who I am until I started this blog. I’m finally starting to see myself for once.
I got so resentful back then, and sometimes now as well. That’s why days like today can be tough. When I see my kids not get noticed it kills me. I’m so proud of them, I want the world to see what I see. I know they don’t care yet. I’m so worried they will someday. Those things kill me though. I can’t have them ignore my kids like that. I can’t have my status as the throw away be passed down to them. That’s what that family does. You carry the sins of your parents with you and you carry the stigma forever. You will always be nothing to them because you have less or because you couldn’t possibly be a good person without a higher status.
My way of dealing with that though is to show my kids that being noticed and being important and needing that attention should mean nothing. All that matters is being who you want and being someone you can be proud of becoming. My biggest expectation of my kids is to always do the right thing and be good people, no matter what. I mean, NO MATTER WHAT. You are equal to everyone else. No one is more or less important than you. I don’t even know if any of that’s right. Who knows what thing I’ve already done to fuck them up. How do I know how to be a father? I didn’t have one obviously. I built myself from cheesy TV morals, what I thought families were/did, and remembering the things I hated that my family did, then doing the exact opposite. I remember being a kid and doing a project in elementary school where they discussed different types of families and when Grandma and Mom was on there I was so happy because I didn’t even know that I had a family until that point. I knew I had a mom and grandma but now I knew I had a family, that was the best.