A little history on me: I did not grow up in a “well off” area. My family lived in one of the many poorer areas of town. My father was gone all of the time (A sailor in the Navy) and my mother worked for the city at a dead-end desk job. It’s safe to assume that we did not have that much money but my mom always made sure that I was happy and taken care of. She tried to make it all work but she was only human, and the financial pressures of raising a child with special medical needs gets overbearing.
One of the events that forever changed my life was when I was 10 years old and I saw my mother break down and cry and her not having any money. I rarely saw my mother cry, as I recall the only other time I remember her doing that was when we watched the movie Selena (which is still a damn good movie that chokes me up till this day). Seeing your mother being so vulnerable does something to a person. Like, it changes you. It made me want to protect her. I wanted to fight the physical manifestation of all of her worries and beat it to a bloody mess for making her cry. Unfortunately, the only I could do as a ten-year old kid was be there for her. I wanted to hug & kiss my mother to reassure her that everything was going to be okay but what the hell does a ten-year old know about the world?
I would never tell her this but there were times when I use to skip eating just because I didn’t want her spending extra money on me. It’s a silly thing that a child would do in quell a problem. I thought that I was so smart, thinking I could also lose weight like that (I was…. kind of a chubby kid). I felt like it was the only thing I could do in order to help, so in a screwed up was it was thoughtful. Do me a favor and never tell mi madre about this, k?
I silently promised my mother that she would never cry about money again. Of course, I would make my mom cry by being a disobedient asshole but I guess I kept my word. As I got older (around 19-21) my family experienced a shift in finances that saw us move into a better neighborhood and just generally more well off. I was happy; my mother didn’t stress out about bills, we could afford a car that didn’t constantly require maintenance, and we were even starting to eat better.
I felt like we deserved it. After all of the struggling, the money problems, the medical bills, and difficulty raising a young man in a rough environment…. this was well deserved. I knew my mother wouldn’t have the same worries as she use to. And since I was living with them then I wouldn’t feel that pain again either.
Don’t get the wrong perception of me, I am no slouch. In between going to school (separate discussion) and working full time, I have always been active and busy and even contributed to the household (monetary or other). With me putting all of that out there, it’s amazing that I feel a twinge of guilt when I see my peers and younger go through life without a support system. I mainly see it within my friends and co-workers, and I shudder to think about how they really feel about me.
But enough of this mea culpa, I live my unique life just like they live their and you (the reader) lives yours. Sometimes I feel guilt because of what I went through. The old worn-out clothes, the skipped meals, the feeling that I caused all of the bills. With all of these feeling inside, it made me realize something….. fuck everyone else!
Not even in a spiteful way just…. fuck you. My family and I have been through some shit but like those stories that you hear\read\watch about, we made it through the other side.
You have to be proud of your past self, Proud of your struggles especially if you’ve”Made it”. Making it could be anything as small as passing that test or making it through that hellish week. Never let people who never fight that battle with you impose their thoughts or judgement on you. They know the version of you now, not during your “in progress” phase. Hell, some of you might still be going through it. You owe nothing to them, you owe everything to yourself .
I admit I got carried away with this article. I just hope that there’s someone out there who can relate to this. I hope that someone reads this and decides to feel proud of themselves.I proud of myself for even writing this, so keep on improving. Be fuckin’ awesome!