I Lost Myself

A warning for this post being extremely personal. I’m wary of posting such things on my blog, but there are times I cannot say what’s on my mind to someone who will listen because the words won’t come out the way I want them to. I am fine with this post being read – I wouldn’t post it publicly otherwise – but if my deepest thoughts are uninteresting, I heavily advise skipping this post because it is depressing and very long.

I am back to square one. Credit maxed out and no car. Perhaps a bit worse than I was at the start of this year. I have one less friend.

Much like I never wanted to attend college immediately after high school, I didn’t want a car immediately after I got my license. Like college, my family – specifically, my father’s side – insisted on me having a car. Unlike college, I enjoyed having a car, but that didn’t mean I was ready to have one.

As proven when I lost that car just two months later to an accident at an intersection where I was thrown into parked cars. Yet I was barely given time to emotionally recover before my family insisted I get another car. Despite I was broke and had no money for such.

Buying a bike was met with protest and outright anger. I was such a fool. A bike was so dangerous. Auto accidents are the number one killer for people around my age, yet my family never gave thought to me having an accident. My grandfather reasoned I shouldn’t have a bike because I hadn’t ridden one since I was a child. Apparently, relearning to ride a bike is impossible, but a handful of driving lessons make someone ready for immediate car ownership. Like many decisions they disagree with, it was assumed someone else told me to get a bike – in this case, assuming my mom talked me into it – than I willingly made the purchase.

My father was, perhaps, the most surprising factor of my accident. One would think a parent would express some concern after their daughter, son, or any family member is nearly killed. But his only concern was the car. Somehow, my accident was seen as disrespect to him. I initially decided to cut him out of my life for that, but forgave him later after I moved out. That was a mistake.

I bought another car in May. In truth, I shouldn’t have, but I was excited to have a car again and I didn’t need to co-sign for it.

I think I lost myself. While I didn’t like my family’s pressure, I did enjoy having a car and almost everything it brought me. Almost.

The one thing I did not enjoy my car brought me was a very lazy, nagging younger sister. My sister is the epitome of someone who never outgrew always getting her way from the older sibling because their parents told them to share. I never minded giving someone a ride once in a while, but with her, it because frequent almost instantly. It reached the point she, on one occasion, waited an entire day for me to come home to take her to a store around the corner, and she somehow never saw the issue with that. Thankfully, everyone else did.

Unfortunately, my second car saw its demise this past week after a bus drove into the driver’s side of it. Thankfully, no other cars were hit this time, but my car was thrown into and knocked over a yield sign (how ironic).

I have since I decided I will own no more cars. I’m rather upset my sister stopping her nagging is a benefit of losing my car.

However, my father’s reaction was worse to this accident. Whereas my boyfriend crossed state lines via public transit at nighttime to be with me in the hospital in one of the worst cities in my state, my father couldn’t be bothered to so much as text. When I called the next day, he barely acknowledged it and my mother later said he was mad at her for “trying to make him do family stuff”.

While I had my own issues with my boyfriend – to the point we temporarily broke up – he was ultimately there when I needed someone most. Meanwhile, my father – who’s referred to my boyfriend as “useless” and a “loser” solely because he has no driver’s license – couldn’t be bothered to send so much as a text message and whines when someone suggests he make a tiny effort to reach out to his daughter.

It’s jarring, to say the least, to know you are dating a better man than the one who had a hand in raising you. I renewed my decision to keep him out of my life. However, I’m also angry with my mother for not only failing to choose a better man to be my father, but for enabling him to begin with.

I’m also angry at myself because, no matter how many times I realize it, I still fall to my family’s pressure.

At twenty-six years old, my grandfather still believes I care what he does and doesn’t want me to do. I don’t.

When I got my first job, I bought myself a computer doing nothing besides saving up. This was a part-time job where I didn’t work more than around twenty hours outside of the holiday season. Where did that woman go? Does she still exist?

I worry constantly about turning into my family, and I think I did without realizing it. It may have been the pressure, the excitement, or both, but I don’t like what I became.

I struggle constantly with the knowledge my very being is little more than a sentient connection between two people who shouldn’t be together and wouldn’t be had I not come to exist. I can appreciate one parent tried her best, but the truth is they and the purpose of my existence are prime examples of why the idea parenthood “just happens” is a terrible concept. I will always reject that idea and I will never believe it’s okay to effectively gamble with someone’s life “just because”.

Perhaps I am thinking too much of myself with this particular example, but I sometimes wonder if I am what TV Tropes calls “the heart“. Being the living link between two families – at least, two people – who have never liked the other makes it seem so. It’s worth mentioning my father didn’t return to my mother until after some years after his girlfriend of nineteen years passed.

No, I’m not angry at their relationship. That’s none of my business. I’m angry my existence is the reason it can exist.

I believe I need to work on myself. Without question. But how do you improve yourself in surroundings that not only don’t encourage it, but sometimes actively discourage it? How do you grow a flower through poisoned soil? You can’t.

The small silver lining to losing my car, aside from sister’s inability to beg for rides, is I can more easily save up to move into my own place. As much as I loved my car, I always had to return. I yearn for my own space, one I genuinely love to be in and don’t want to run away from.

I wonder often if I’m toxic, if I’m a narcissist, if I’m as blind as I know my family is. I worry the awareness I have of myself isn’t enough. But there are things I know I won’t do.

My sister asked to have some of a soda I had. I said no. She complained how nothing changed about me, despite my recent accident.

She once brought friends over, who proceeded to ask if they could have some old things I had. She told them what was in my collection while I was absent.

However flawed I may be, I know I do not considered myself entitled to what belongs to someone else by virtue of them being my sibling and older than me. What’s more maddening is I don’t think my mom makes the connection between how my sister behaves and her parenting when we were kids.

Is it at all surprising if I say my mom is the younger sibling too?

I will try to find my flaws to improve, but I know I’ll never reach perfection. That doesn’t exist. At this point, I’m unsure happiness itself exists. But if it does, I’m slowly believing it may be a place I can’t take my family.

Maybe I shouldn’t try.

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