Saturday, March 12, 2011

Perfect F***ing Lives

First, I'll get a little whining out of the way. Brace yourself.

My family of origin was pretty messed up, like a lot of families. I don't think either of my parents ever wanted to get married or have kids, but they did because that's what people did back then. My dad wanted boys and got three girls, and he didn't do a very good job of hiding his disappointment. Mom was depressed and popped pills, so I was neglected and fled the house looking for nurturing. I got something else instead.

The 'rents divorced when I was nine, and Mom dragged two of us girls to New Mexico, leaving my bipolar, violent, alcoholic sister with Dad. I slogged through adolescence and young adulthood until I was 25, when both of my parents died in separate incidents 36 days apart. The next 15 years or so I basically adopted many of Mom's lesser habits and coping mechanisms, accompanied by health issues, frequent unemployment, and even a bout of homelessness.

It took a long time, but I am really happy now. I have a job I love, I am healthier than I have been in a long time, and I've made peace with most of my past.

I always thought a bad upbringing was pretty par for the course - everyone had a bad childhood, right? Everyone has baggage and trauma and all that.

But there is this one certain family that keeps popping into my head and filling me with resentment because they are so...damned...normal. Life is perfect for these people!

The head of this family makes six figures in the same job he's worked for 20 years. They live in an idyllic town in a huge house. They had several children, boys and girls, none of whom have any illnesses or special needs. To my knowledge they've experienced no untimely deaths. No one in this family has addiction issues or health problems or even bad habits. They're all thin and beautiful and when they want to take vacations or buy cars or whatever, they just do it. All the kids grew up and dated and got married and had beautiful, normal, healthy, perfect kids. Just like that.

Where is the freaking trauma in this family? It's not fair. I love these people and I don't wish bad things for them. But it seems so unbalanced.

This sounds embarrassingly whiny even as I'm writing it, even in my own head. How lucky I am that I was born in America, that I was born caucasian, that I can see and hear and walk...someone out there might be cursing MY name over how unfairly fortunate I am.

I'm just venting.

Am I a better person than the members of this family will ever be because I had to develop strength early on in my life? Who knows. I just know that I don't regret or curse who I am today, so I suppose being grateful for the crap that fertilized it is the best way to go.

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