Some nights after a nice, long, hot shower I find myself sitting on my bathroom floor “praying”. I use quotation marks because I’m not sure if I should be considering it praying, as it is usually just me venting to my grandfathers and God.
I am not a very religious person, not because I don’t believe in God, but just because I don’t believe in having to sit in a church in order to be considered religious.
Growing up my mother would force the family to go to church every Sunday. As we got older It turned into only going on important holidays, like Christmas and Easter. After I moved out, I don’t remember the last time I went. However, I could tell you the last time I sat down and talked to God… tonight.
Maybe it was due to being home alone bored all day, or the fact that my period is due any day now so I am very emotional, or just maybe I finally figured out something about myself and life. Truthfully, it was most likely a combination of all the above.
This morning my dad called and something he said really bothered me. Granted, it’s nothing I haven’t heard before, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t bother my anytime I have to hear it. For years I have been talking about wanting to move out of state. I want to move to Wilmington, NC. Due to the hurricane that is about to hit there this week, the topic of moving keeps coming up.
While talking to my dad about the hurricane that’s about to hit, he told me how he wants me to move down there. How he thinks it will be good for me and how he doesn’t think that I’m going to be happy until I move (true). I thought we were finally having a good talk, but before I knew it he found a way to throw a stab at my boyfriend in there. He said that I should just move down there alone first and that I have not been happy for the last 8 years (ironically the amount of time I’ve been with my boyfriend).
To make a VERY long story short. My parents were against the idea of me dating my boyfriend the moment they found out about it, back when I was 17. Their only reasoning at the time was because he was my then best friends ex boyfriend. I went from telling my parents everything about my life to telling them nothing at all because they, mostly my mom, did not support my decision and did not approve of him so she didn’t want to hear anything about it.
Imagine that. I was a 17 year old girl. He was my FIRST boyfriend. I was over the moon with him and was experiencing life and love for the very first time. I was excited about everything and I could not even share my excitement with my own mother. That set the tone for the next 8 years.
What gets me every time my parents tell me that I’M not happy, is that they never ask ME how I feel. They tell me they know, because I’m their kid and they know me, but truth be told they know nothing about me.
My boyfriend is a now recovering drug addict. My family did not find that out until about a year ago, maybe a little longer. That means I went give or take about SEVEN YEARS dealing with his issues before they even knew. But, they know me so well??
I hide his addiction from them because I knew how they would react if they found out. I knew that the stress I was already dealing with would skyrocket out of control, and trust me it did. I was only in high school, dealing with things that no one that age should have to deal with, and guess what, I did it without no one knowing. No one to turn to, because THEY would not be able to handle it. I went through so much shit that no one will ever understand unless you are in that situation. My parents do not even know what I was going through or what I was feeling. They still don’t, but yet they “know me”. Funny right?
Even when they did find out, they didn’t care to be there for me or to help me help him or anything like that. They made my life a living hell. They told everyone in the family about it and probably told all their friends and neighbors too. My parents started showing up at OUR place to bitch about him and how they want him our of OUR place (we were 23-24 at the time living together). My dad would show up at my work to yell at me. My one Aunt even had the balls to show up at our place while he was at work and lecture me.
I get it, no one wants their kid to end up with an addict, but after 8 years they still don’t even know him. He is too scared to even be himself around them or to talk to them about anything, because all they do is lecture and judge.
Him and I have been together since we were 17. We are 25 now and have been through it all together. Life has not been easy together, but I feel that if we can make it through what we have been through, then we can get through anything. Also, it has taught me that I am so much stronger then I ever thought I was. Aside from the addiction, just in general, I have made it through so much. I have learned compassion and that you don’t know what people are going through behind closed doors.
Tonight, I said all this to God. The things that I cannot talk to my parents about, I talked to him about. Just about life, future plans, financial struggles, growing up issues, and everything in between. The nice part about that? He doesn’t judge. He doesn’t try to control your life or tell you how you feel. He just listens while you figure out more and more the longer you talk.
Everyone seems to have an opinion about my life as to who I decide to spend it with, where I want to live, how I do my makeup, what I wear, how much I weigh, how I spend my free time… literally about everything.
I thought growing up and moving out and moving on with your life meant that you finally had control of your own life. Turns out I was wrong. I feel like I’m forced to live the life my parents want me to have.
They think 25 is too young to get married. I feel differently. After 8 years with my boyfriend, I want to get married in the next year or two. I don’t care to have a big wedding because why would I? My family doesn’t accept us together, so why would I want to have a wedding for people who are not going to be happy about it? If I had it my way, we would take a handful of close friends and get married out of state and call it a day. My parents on the other hand already made it very clear that they want me to have a real wedding for THEM. How does that make sense? A grown adult cant even decide how she wants to get married because she feels like she has to do what her parents want her to do, while she spends her own money to do it.
You know, I have not always gotten along with my boyfriends family. They are very different from what I am used to and we all have strong thoughts about everything, but the one thing that I will say is that they have really seen ME more in the last 8 years then my own family who thinks they know me so well. His family has seen me at my best and has seen me at my worse. They have seen me drunk off my ass, crying, fighting, everything. My family does not even know when my boyfriend and I fight, not even when I still lived at home. I never fought with him in front of them, never mentioned fighting with him, never went to my family to vent after a fight. On the other hand, his family has seen him and I fight, they are the ones I call when we are fighting and I feel like I (may) actually kill him (kidding, maybe?). They know me and what I go through more then anyone.
So, bringing me back to when my dad said that they know me because they are my parents. Biggest bullshit I have ever heard.
I’m not saying that I don’t have a good family. They have done everything for my brother and I and have given us everything. I know they are always a phone call away and that they just care, but they just go about things the wrong way.
Parents, take the time to actually ASK your kids how they are feeling. ASK them if they are happy, ASK them about their future plans, and SUPPORT them. Don’t TELL them how THEY feel or try to control their future. I have learned so much and have struggled and been through the ringer a lot in my young adult life. It has taught me that I can get through anything and it gives me the hope, faith, and strength I need to know that even thought I have or am struggling now, that means that I will be okay in the future. I go through these things now so that in a few years from now or whenever, I will have made it and I will be okay.
Your not living life if your not struggling. If you have had it easy your whole life, have had everything handed to you, have never been through hard times, you have not lived.
Even if no one has the confidence that I will have a good future with my boyfriend, I have a feeling I will and that’s all that matters. I know how I feel about my life, myself and the person I decide to spend my life with. I have goals and can finally say that I can see my future. I’m not about to let anyone try to tell me otherwise. It’s time to take control of my own life.
Side note: If anyone out there is struggling with addiction or struggling with loving an addict and have no one to turn to. I’ve been through it and I am happy to listen. Judgment free.