Why Do You Go To School?

This was not a question someone asked me. However, I had to temporarily withdraw from school because my 24th birthday has not yet passed and I cannot return until May, after my birthday and when the program restarts. The reason for this is my father and I share the same household, so his tax information was needed and he refused to provide it. In fairness, that wasn’t a surprise nor is it something fair to fault him for. However, my mother mentioned he told her he doesn’t know why I’m going to school.

I wish I could say the truth.

There are the obvious reasons, like not wanting to be in retail for the rest of my life (especially with the nightmare I’m dealing with now), and my previous post shared very personal reasons. but there is one reason I didn’t say, mostly because I feel it’s a grim, perhaps even arrogant, reason.

I do not want to be like my family.

Allow me to say right now I am well aware school is no guarantee of anything. I also know there are several ways to succeed that do not require college, though none I’ve found myself to be adept at. Contrary to what some of my bosses think, I’m not an idiot. I am attending school with hopes, not expectations.

I’ve run this blog long enough for anyone who’s followed for a long time to know my family is not admirable. While I do love them, none of them have footsteps I want to follow in. My dad is one of those people. Life hasn’t been kind to some of my family members, but he’s not one of those people whose situation is due to unforeseen circumstances. He’s in the position he’s in because he wants to be. That position is living at home, being mostly financially supported by his father, while his bills are only those that are convenient to him. He is entirely capable of supporting himself fully, but he chooses not to. He also didn’t graduate high school, but he still turned out to be financially well-off, which I assume is part of why he believes my choice to attend school is a waste of time. Unfortunately, I had to add factory work to my list of things I am not suited for. A friend of mine who made more money than me at a factory told me he does not miss it after he moved to a different state to be with his girlfriend.

How my father chooses to live is not my business, but I personally can’t fathom choosing to be financially dependent. Before getting the pitchforks, note I am not talking about becoming financially dependent for feasible reasons. For example, couples where only one works while another looks after their home and kids, if they have the latter. I’m solely referring to choosing to rely on others’ financial support for no reason beyond you can.

I don’t want to become such a person. I ache for independence, and while I understand not everyone does, it’s my idea of a road block. I want to be capable of completely supporting myself. I want to have more options than taking something unpleasant (in my opinion) to survive. For almost two decades, I was vocal about how much I loathed school, yet I genuinely enjoyed attending this trade school. I hated needing to wake up early, but I looked forward to going. That’s how I want to feel about my job. I’m not suggesting my father hates his job, but he and much of my family have a personal opposition to jobs like retail, fast food, and even office work, so if he loses his job, his options are more limited than they naturally are. I am trying to open my options to find the door to a job that’s more than “tolerable” and “getting by”.

Yesterday, one of my co-workers generously took me home after we closed for the night because I couldn’t be picked up. While we were talking, I mentioned the situation with my school and how I was disappointed. Something she said struck me: “But it’s good you have dreams and you are not giving up.” While I never considered the career I’m aiming for a dream, her words hit me because my boyfriend referred to my goals with the same term: dream. Considering I’m trying again after a disaster with college right after high school, perhaps “dream” is an accurate word. Although, the real dream is a lucrative, enjoyable at-home career, whether through self-employment or a company.

So, let me answer this question. Why do I go to school?

  • I go to school because I want to have more options.
  • I go to school because I want to graduate college.
  • I go to school because I want to have a job I enjoy and lets me fully support myself.
  • I go to school because I hate the limited options I do have.
  • I go to school because I want to avoid the position much of my relatives are in (barring unforeseen circumstances; tragedy is no one’s fault).
  • I go to school because I don’t want to rely on my family forever.
  • I go to school because I want to prove my family wrong.
  • I go to school because I don’t want to give up.

That’s why I’m going to school.

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I Should’ve Been Quiet

This isn’t something that happened recently, but it’s something I regret to this day.

This incident was the very first of all the troubles I ever experienced with my family between both sides and while it’s possible some of them still may have happened, I feel if this particular one hadn’t, my family would’ve been a little less hectic for a few more years.

It happened in late 2006, nearly ten years ago. Besides browsing my computer, I can’t remember what else was going on. I may have had a cell phone at the time and had it with me, but I’m not certain if I was using it. I wanted to check my email and I had a message from my father. Email was how we spoke to each other at that time, so messages from were expected. The difference that time was he sent me a picture of my mom he had. Continue reading

You’re Still A Bad Mother

Last night, my mom called me. We very rarely speak to each other because 1) I can never get ahold of her and 2) she’s bitter about my dad’s side of the family and likes to take it out on me. Anyway, unsurprisingly, she didn’t want anything. She only called to tell me she knows I dropped out of school. Okay, and…?

My mom has a habit of doing this, really. Not just trying to antagonize people she doesn’t like, but behaving in ways merely to spite people. She’s done this since I was kid, when I was still young enough to be a bargaining tool.

In short, it’s been twenty years and she still sucks at being a mother.

You’d think I cut her out of my life, at least temporarily, with the way she acts, but I can never bring myself to. I have tried to fix our relationship and all of my attempts fail. I know she won’t change. Why would she? She typically gets what she wants through manipulation. She can’t deal with someone who doesn’t think she’s always right or her word is law. She doesn’t like to admit when she’s wrong either. That’s not to say people haven’t done wrong to her. In fact, her own mother was actually worse to her than she was to me (cycle of abuse, basically).

Years ago, my mom once mentioned how she said she’d never treat her kids the way her mom treated her. Unfortunately, she only got it half-right. She may not have treated my sister and I as badly as her mom did, but her parenting was still abysmal. The only reason my sister is still in her good graces is she follows my mom around like a shadow and rarely questions a word out of her mouth.

I posted about this in a Facebook group and everyone who replied basically told me the same thing: I have to accept she will never be mother I need. And I want to accept that, yet I feel I can’t. The guilt that results from even considering cutting her out is crushing. I have no idea what the guilt is even for, but I feel bound and chained by it. But eventually, I’m going to have to figure out how to break those chains. I’m only 20 now, but soon enough, I will be 21, 22, 25, 30, and so on. I’ve already spent about two decades under her thumb. I do not want to spend the rest of my life feeling guilty and unsuccessfully trying to fix my relationship with her.

Being over eighteen is supposed to mean you’re free from your parents’ control. I don’t even live with her, nor have I for the past four years, and I don’t feel free. I feel like a caged rat.

No Relationships

Recently, something crossed my mind. There are no good relationships in my family.

Out of my immediate family, there were only two marriages and they were both bad. One was my aunt’s (paternal grandmother’s sister) and it ended because the man was abusive. The other was the one between my paternal grandparents, which became bad in the few years before my grandmother died. After her death, I discovered my grandfather had been cheating on her and even had children with a different woman.

Besides those marriages, there have never been any long-term relationships. None of the children in my family were planned. Most of them were born when their parents weren’t together. I myself was the consequence of a one-night stand.

I’m starting to wonder if the lack of stable relationships I saw growing up may had an influence on my perspective of them. I view marriage as being chained to somebody for life, an idea that doesn’t appeal to me. Divorce exists, but it’s a pain in the rear to deal with and if I marry, I only want to marry once. One and done. Yes, I know you choose the person you marry, but what if you choose the wrong person? I’d be too afraid of choosing the wrong person a second time. I’m already a little afraid that giving a certain person a second chance could be a mistake, despite that person seeming to prove it isn’t.

A lot of my family members have a long list of past relationships. While I have nothing against that, I don’t want to a long list for myself, whether they failed or were never serious. In fact, if I were to marry, I wouldn’t want to until I was at least thirty so I could have some of my life to myself. At the minute, my family doesn’t want me dating anyone, but I’m sure their tune will change in a few years and instead, they’ll be bugging me about when I’m getting married or whether I’m dating someone.

Truthfully, I think I’d be happier with a long-term, steady boyfriend or girlfriend for life than a marriage because of my need for having much of my own space. I do not live well with other people. I believe I’d even tire of my friends sooner or later if we had to live together, despite that I care very much for them. That said, compatibility probably counts a lot here. I’d, of course, try not to be demanding or overbearing, but if there could be some kind of understanding between, it might work out.

There’s also the possibility I may never have a serious, steady relationship at all and that’s perfectly fine with me as well. Finding and keeping a relationship is an experience I genuinely want to have, but it’s not high on my priority list. It’s not something I’m dedicating all of my time too.