Family Man

The truth is I don’t want to help my family. I’m stretching myself too thin lately. The idea of being an example for my family enervates me. I don’t know if I’m strong enough to guide them, especially when I’m a mess right now.

I crawled out of bed and wallowed in front of the mirror. You need to start packing and then they’ll follow your example. I nodded. My reflection looked annoyed. He was selfish, but he was true to myself. Nothing but silence for a while. I’ll let them down if I don’t. This is being a man! No, they let you down. They’ve let you down for so long. They didn’t accept you. And now they want you because they’re down. I’ve decided to text my dad saying I won’t be coming back anymore.

I was supposed to meet Tony at Lee’s today. I texted him. My son has a 101 fever, bro. Immediately, I offered to buy medicine or take them to the hospital. No, he said, he’s got it. I wanted to ask him for advice, but in a way, he told me. Family is important. You don’t choose your family but you can choose how you are with them.

I’m a goddamn family man. Even if I don’t always act like it. Even if I shy away from it socially, maybe because of my own loud and terrible thoughts, even if I’d like to think I’m a loner. The truth is I’ve always wanted to feel a part of a family.

The truth is I wish I could just live my own life. I wish I didn’t have to worry about my parents. My sister feels this way too because they never took care of us. And now when we’re supposed to live our lives, when they expect us to find success, we have to divide our time, money, and efforts in raising them up. The worst is after we gave them everything, they don’t follow through. They go back to their old, bad habits. It’s hard not to see my dad’s selfishness as he uses money for our family to revive his dead business. It really does feel like we’re running a marathon with shot feet. Along with mental health shit…

This isn’t to say I’m ungrateful. They did the best they could. It just really sucks to admit it wasn’t enough. My sister and I share the history of being damaged. And maybe that’s why I wanted to reconnect with her. I want to look back to stoicism. My suffering is designed for me. My suffering is meant for me to overcome. On the other side is a greater person.