If you follow me on Twitter (@fatkatfitkat) then you read recently about my problems with my family. In short, they get on my damn nerves!!! Not helping things is the fact that I live in my mom’s basement and my sister and her family (a husband and three kids) live in the upstairs part of the house. I’ve lived with my family for the last three years. Before then, I spent six years (the best years of my life) in State College, PA, in my own apartment. My only roommate was my cat, Nella. I was very happy and content for a long while, but then I burnt out. I was doing too much and I finally broke down. I spent a whole summer in bed. I had two online teaching jobs and I was in my fourth graduate program. I was so depressed that I wound up screwing up those three things, which were all sources of income for me. I was evicted from my apartment in July of 2011. I didn’t want to move in with my family, but I had no choice.
I don’t want to rehash all the problems that I have had since I’ve been living here. I’ve already written about those experiences in previous posts, but lately, both my mom and my sister have been getting on my nerves. My mother works in another state. She comes here every other month and stays for a few days. Yet my mother thinks that she is an expert on my life. If I went by my mother’s estimation of my life, I would feel utterly lazy and worthless.
The last time my mother was here, she came downstairs into the basement one morning and said to me, “I know that you don’t like it when people talk to you about your life, but you need to get your life together. All you do is lay down. Have you even looked for a job?” I can’t go off on my mother. I can’t yell at her or cuss at her. I had to compose myself and I told her, “You’ve only been here for a couple of days, you don’t know what I do.”
I was angry and resentful for the rest of the day. I kept trying to get my sister alone so that I could complain about our mother to her. My mother always gives her daughters a hard time. So I told my sister what my mother said to me and she gave me her fakest, cheesiest smile and I knew that she actually agreed with her. “If that is all she sees you doing, what do you expect her to say?” That irritated me so I immediately jumped to my defense. I told my sister that I was trying to be a freelance writer and that I was trying to launch a resume writing business. She already knows all of this. I felt pathetic. I felt like I was just some dreamer living off my mother. Then I got angry.
If my mother and my sister don’t see me doing something that means that I didn’t do it. And I feel as if nothing I do is ever enough for them. When my mother was here, she saw me go to Trader Joe’s so that I could get healthy food. I told her all about my FitBit tracker and my step goals. She saw me cook a healthy stir fry while she was here, but all of sudden, she woke up one morning and I’m a lazy bitch who stays in bed all day.
My sister likes to tell me everything that is going on with her career as a fashion designer. I don’t tell her about all my career milestones., but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have any or that I spend all day bullshitting on the internet or watching reality TV.
I’m tired of being judged. I’m tired of never being enough for some people of never doing enough to satisfy some people. My sister and my mother often make me feel worthless. They make me feel like a loser that they have to take care of.
Up until that last major bout of depression, I was an overachiever. I was the girl with a double major in college and a part time job and a work study job. I was the girl in grad school with a full course load and a full time job. I have three graduate degrees. I have often worked two jobs at once. In my twenties, I lived at home and helped my mom care for my sick father. But now, because I live in my mom’s basement and I don’t work outside the house, I’m a loser?
This week, I got two writing contracts. I can work from home and I will make enough money to support myself. I didn’t want to share this good news with my mother or my sister because I knew it wouldn’t be good enough. I’m excited about my new positions, especially because my unemployment just ended, but I won’t let myself get really excited until I receive my first paycheck. That way I will know that I don’t have to ask any member of my family for anything.
I’m not a dependent person. I’m not needy. I stay in the basement most of the day because I enjoy being alone. l don’t want to be around my sister and her family all the time. I don’t want to be around anyone all of the time. I don’t know why I’m surprised though, because even when I was working two jobs and going to school, my mom and my sister (to some extent) still thought that I could do more. I never want to say that I hate my family, but I feel as if they are always attacking me and my self esteem.
Thanks for Reading,