Sunday, November 9, 2008

Choices & Perspective

Dear Aunt B,

So here is my life: i am a 20yearold who lives at home, dropped out of college after a year, planning to go back in january, and i am unemployed. so, my parents are never happy with me, even when i do everything they want me to do. they want me to wake up on my own and do work without being asked (which means they think i am extremely lazy, which im not.). so i did that. still not happy. then they wanted me to get a job. did that, and still not happy. go to college, did that. so you get my point. my parents are workaholics. trust me, you have no idea. what they do everyday is not normal, and i think they expect me to be that way. i cant leave my home because i dont have a car (use my parents van), no money, and nowhere to go. i cant live on dorm, because both colleges are right down the road from my house, and so it would be a waste of money. plus my parents are paying for college, so if i leave now i will have to pay for it myself, with no job. but i dont want to stay at home because i cant stand it here. i know my parents are helping me with being at home and college, but i cant stand going through them everyday, its a nightmare times a million. oh, and they also suspect me and my brother of smoking pot, which we do, but only at night when everyone is relaxing and i want to just have some harmless fun in my basement. by the way (dont know if it matters), my parent expect me to be a role model for my brother, which i am 99% of the time, but they never see me. so that sucks. and my brother gets in trouble a lot with school, so that adds stress to everyone. plus they think i lie(and steal) alot. the only thing i lie about is pot, which i wont tell them because i think they might kick me out if they found out. and i dont steal, because i know how it feels to get stuff stolen. my parents are rich so when christmas and birthdays come around, i get stuff. the only thing is, everyone else wants what i get it.
i had 4 job, actually 2 at the same time, but they both got in the way of each other and some how i lost both of them (not fired, but i cant explain in text). because of those jobs, i got a credit card, and a cell phone, leaving me with two bills. i do not have any money and i need to make some within two weeks to pay my bills or else i get my phone shut off, which i need to get a job with, and i will get huge fees. i tried getting new jobs. ive applied everywhere. looks like this 'stock crash' is hurting me. i went through two temp agencies, which i got work for only one week and havnt heard back since. i even lost $100 buying workboots. i had my last paycheck stolen from me (or lost, reallllllly lost). its weird because me and my friend applyed at menards at the same time, him with no experience at all, and me with management and a lot of experence, and he is the one who gets the interview. i dont get it.
so basically, i am broke, in debt, cant satisfy my parents, cant get a job, and im all outta weed(haha).
anyways, everything that can go wrong has already, and i feel completely helpless. i want to fix these issues with my parents, with my finance, and with my life, but i just dont know what to do or where to start. please help.

thanks for reading,

Dear Brian,

I have a very good feeling that you are NOT going to like what I have to say. Actually I will guarantee it. But I will ask that you read it all, right to the bottom because even though this is hard, you need to hear it. You need to grow up. You are twenty years old and blaming the discomfort of living with your supportive parents for your own mistakes. And the only way to fix what you have done thus far is to get out of denial and come to terms with what can be fixed and how to do it.
- Stop dwelling on the college thing.

Everyone has a learning curve. Point is, you intend on going back. So you need to buck up now and not get yourself into so much debt that you CAN’T go back.
- Stop smoking pot in your parent’s basement! Dude, regardless on my personal opinion on drugs (and that is you are really doing yourself a disservice by doing them, trust me I know.) you should respect your parents home. It is not YOUR basement, it is theirs. And you doing drugs and lying about it will only make your situation worse... compound that with smoking with your younger brother, and you are being (excuse the language) a really shitty role model. Doesn’t matter what you are doing the other 99% of the time, you are teaching him that it is acceptable to lie to your parents and disrespect them in their own home.

Think about that.
- I don’t know what the “deal” is with the work situation (because quite frankly that whole thing sounds like scape-goating and BS) but you need to get up and look for work. Not having a cell phone really isn’t an excuse, as i am fairly positive that your parents have a land line and welcome you to use it if it gained you employment. I don’t know where exactly you live, but there are jobs out there, regardless of the state of the country’s economy. You need to be persistent and keep looking. - Satisfying your parents should be last on the list you should worry about. Know why? Because if you made the changes to work through all this other crap you would satisfy them. They may indeed be workaholics, but what they are looking for with you is the motivation to succeed, and it is something that you currently do not have.

You get yourself motivated and land a job, work on your own debt, stop disrespecting them in their house, and actively participate in making your life better, and they will be satisfied. Funny thing about that, is you will be too.
I do know that this was not what you want to hear, because it is another lecture. And I know this, and know that you very well may blow this off as another bitch that doesn’t understand what your problems are and just doesn’t listen.

But I assure you I DO know what you are talking about, and I DO know what the issue is. And sometimes dealing with wanting your independence but being completely dependent on people is something that bugs a person so badly that it makes it utterly impossible to get up and fix the actual problem. You get so busy looking at all the negatives that it is hard to see the positive, and what needs to be done.. instead you are putting up all these justifications and barriers which hurt you more then you can imagine.
I do hope that you take the initiative to fix what is going on, and that you realize that you have the complete and total ability to change this situation.

Good Luck,

~Xmichra Dear Brian,

Oddly enough, your story has similarity's to mine. I can relate. I come from a very wealthy, influential family, who were also workaholics. They also expected everybody else to work as they did and if you didn't, you perceived to be "Nothing but a lazy, good for nothing bum." I feel your pain, lol!
I was given a small allowance but you can bet your bum, I was made to earn every penny. Nothing, absolutely nothing was handed to me.

I can remember on the weekends wanting to sleep in. My Mom would come in early and wake me up, assigning me chores for the day. Yes, I spent most Saturdays cleaning or doing yard work and so on. It felt much akin to slave labor. Our house was immaculate, which for the most part was the result of our, my brothers and sisters work.

I hated it, you know, being made to spend my Saturdays working. It seemed like she found stuff for us to do. We even had to scrub the walls. The most insidious of all was I had to start vacuuming in the far corner of the room and vacuum backwards, thus erasing my footprints. Yea, she was that anal about it.

Mommy Dearest

I can remember, more than once, doing the dishes and not doing them well enough to please her. Now, mind you, I had to use a step stool, so I must've been pretty young. Maybe I didn't get them clean enough or left food on them, I can't remember. But to teach me a lesson, she took a whole cabinet full of dishes out and made me do them over plus the dishes from the cabinet.

"Always do it right the first time!"

Just as you've written, I could never seem to please them either. So it seemed? Their expectations seemed so high. I mean if I got a B on a test, especially in Math, my toughest subject, I was asked why I'd not attained an A?
I felt that I should've been awarded a cookie or something because I did try. They expected so much...

"No More Wire Hangers"

My parents came from the Old School where they felt if "You spare the Rod, you spoil the child." They'd beat the living shit out of me. On more than one occasion, I had blood pouring down my legs from a hickory switch which was more like a branch than a switch. But more than anything, I'd get my butt beat and put on restriction. I can remember doing a whole summer for something I did, confined to the house. Music became my solace and I spent countless hours, in my room, playing album after album.

The point is; I was a bitter bitch for years. I was quite convinced they hated my guts. I couldn't wait to move out and not have to live under their iron thumb. I can still remember them saying, "You don't want to follow the rules of this house, get the hell out." I'd run away and they'd bring me right back with a fresh ass kicking. I must admit though, I was a bad kid and I did give them fever, a real run for their money.

The Final Run

I started smoking pot, drinking, drugging when I was like 12 years old. My older step-brothers are the ones that first turned me on to smoking pot. At the time, of course, I thought they were for real cool as shit. Well, just like riding the Merry-Go-Round,which smoking pot was much akin to, I wanted the trill of the Roller Coaster, moving on to bigger and better things/drugs. I did anything and everything through those years. It ended with me, many, many years later kicking Heroin. But it ain't over till this fat lady sings...

The final straw, at 14, was when I was supposed to be watching my little sister but was out front in a van, with a bunch of guys, smoking bong hits of hash while I tripped on Purple Haze. What a buzz kill it was when my parents rolled up, unexpectedly
. There's a lot to that story but suffice it to say, they threw my stuff in two paper bags, after calling the Police (they took my acid too dammit) and kicked me to the curb. I was resentful and hated them for years.

Yea, I never felt I could please them and they expected too much. They wanted this Stepford kid and because I never felt I could measure up, I became rebellious. What I could never see back then, I sure as hell see now.


It turns out, I was lazy, preferring to lounge in front of the T.V., hang out with my friends, listen to music and party hardy. It turns out they knew I was intelligent, if I only applied myself to school work with the same passion I did to my social life, music, drugs, friends, guys. It turns out, in the eventuality of my life, as one Detective put it, "If you had applied, what you'd just done, your crimes, if you have chosen to do right instead of wrong, Babz, you could've been a Rocket Scientist." It also turns out that more often than not, my parents were simply trying to instill a work ethic that could/would carry me through this life. Yea, life can be cruel and the days will come when you must stand on your own, alone, the Patriarch of your own family.

We all have choices. It starts with looking for them when they are not in plain sight. It then goes on to seeing things, choosing to look at things from a different perspective. This is the key to life, love, laughter and happiness;
Choices & Perspective

How do I say this to you? Well Darlin', I will just say it...Just Do The Dang Thing. You'll get that job when you begin to see yourself who you really are. What I mean is, do not be boastful and full of yourself. Become humble. Being humble is not for the weak but for the strong, only the strongest. You must remember my words, all the days of your life.

When you stop expecting to be something other than who you really are, when you make the choice to be humble and go for an entry level job, not expecting to be handed a Senior Admin position...when you start to carry yourself in this humility that I mentioned...when you make the choice to do what must be done without being resentful and rebellious...things will begin to pop for you. I can see it, now I want you to.

If you were one of my sons, I would tell you the same things, I tell you now; No More Victim. Take responsibility for your actions as well as your future. Do your best and don't say you can't push for that extra mile. Confidence is one thing but arrogance smells to high heaven, ok?

You have so much potential. You are quite charming, witty and smart. But on one hand, you have been arrogant, while on the other you tend to want to sit in your own shit and complain how much it smells. Well, hell yea it smells! Now, get your butt up, wash it off and begin your life again.

The new Brian will be confident, willing to learn, willing to look for choices and perspective. He will also realize that his parents are only human, they actually do love him and only want the very best for him. No, they are not always right nor are they always wrong. Stop bucking the system, go with the flow and be thankful. One day, you will begin to see just how human they are.

One more thing I want you to ponder; "Some say the glass is half full, some say it is half empty. Personally, I am now, just grateful for the water."

It took me many years to arrive at this, my quote. I was a little bitch who thought I was owed the world and when I didn't get it, I blamed everybody for my own demise. Brian Darling, I am not pointing the finger...simply guiding you from stepping in the same shit hole I did. Live, Learn, then Laugh Like No Tomorrow!

Keeping It Real,

Aunt Babz

"Even the most brilliant minds, may have troubled Souls"

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