Sibling Strife

Dear Reader,

A different topic this time around. And something I’ve thought about heavily these past few months. My mind has been dancing between some dark areas, and areas that were lacking. And one thing that came up was my lack of connection to my two older brothers. I’ve found that I really don’t have much of a connection, or longing of their presence.

Now that we’ve all became adults and beginning making our own lives. Both of my brothers have moved out and rented a place. Making their own place in the world. While I’m inching closer to my Twenty-First birthday in four months. They’ve done quite a bit despite the troubles they’ve gone through. and I hate to admit I don’t miss them at all. Nor am I really eager to see them.

There are quite a few reasons why I see why I’m not troubled with them gone.

My older brothers are two years apart, while I am the youngest by five and three. With that, they’ve already gone and made their choices. They have vastly different experiences. More attachments to my extended family than I’ve bothered to have. But with choices and experiences, I feel that’s taken it’s toll on their relationship with me.

      Both have a history of crime behind them. From just the common youth mistakes and poor choices. To further crimes. Theft, drug use, assault, Car Theft. They have both at least done these things. The strain it has placed at home was felt horribly. With a single mother doing everything and a half to straighten them out. But only to sadly fail when they both have spent time in federal prison for a month or two.

The second eldest child followed the first. He admired him. Idolized him if that is to be said. He’s even gone further than the first with heroine, multiple breaking and entering charges, and longer time spent in prison. He’s caused a lot more harm than the first. And to layer onto his problems is his high aggression against me as a child.

As the youngest of the three. I watched it all. I saw them get in trouble. I would go periods of time without seeing them. We hardly did much together as brothers. I felt like I had to wait until they were kicked out or left till I felt truly safe at home in my time. But I never spoke up about my unease and my sense of danger whenever they were home. As I only watched and listened from behind the safety of my door and room.

My brothers were aggressive. I’ve got my fair share of scars and bruises they’ve left on me. I couldn’t fight and often bullied me. Although some memories remain where we got along, those memories amount little to the mountain of disdain I held against them. I never provoked physical fights. Plenty of verbal however. But never struck first. I learned that they want you to fight.

They’ve fought multiple people. Many stories now between my step-dad and second eldest brother end up in someone getting punched or shoved. I know not to feed into their desire to hurt. As much as the aggression has died down, it still remains there. Much of the pain from the past has left me wanting to distance myself from them.

 

Another reason is the betrayals I felt. If it was not against my mom. It was on me. I’ve been lied to, stolen from, and pushed into corners into aiding them. I can’t trust them any more. And it takes the scrutiny from my family,  and the excuse “They’re family you know…”. To push to even bother with them. And I try my best to remain hidden as I’ve spent much of my life.

I don’t want to be involved with them any further than their children. With the second having a child just two years ago. My niece is a bright child and I wouldn’t do anything to be involved in her life. As long as I live with my mother, she will also have her Uncle Travis around. Until the day I’ll need to move out and make my place in this already crumby world.

For the sense of resentment of my brothers. I only get a sense of naivety from them about me. they talk to me normally. That same, somewhat rushed and never lengthy talks when we speak. We actually talk to one another like anyone who talks to those extended family who want to know what’s new, but never truly get involved in your life to be worth much thought.

I honestly look at my brothers.. not as brothers. Not as friends. But as if they were cousins I never really want to hang out with. Even when their girlfriends, and now wives have truly changed them for the better. There is still nothing that remains between us that establishes a better relationship. I never looked up to them. I never want to speak to them about anything anymore.

 

My older brothers also have nothing in common with me. At one point, I’ve had a connection with the eldest when we both played World of Warcraft on my account. We could speak at length about encounters and things like that. But when he quit. that interest dropped like a rock, and we remain distant and silent.

Our music tastes are vastly different as they enjoy hard rap and Insane Clown Posse. While I enjoy the orchestra and pop. They love the outdoors and hunting. While I prefer to stay inside and play games. They smoke cigarettes and pot, while the least I ever do now pop back soda, and ever rarely a beer. Just everything they do, I am the complete opposite and cannot stand it.

The most we have done together in the longest time is when we went on vacation in 2013. We went out with our boat, and camped out there. Swimming, fishing, pulling the raft. For as much fun as that has been. That was the last thing we did and truly got along. Now it’s been distance once again. Awkward conversations made up the entirety of 2015.

I just sometimes wish I could build an interest with them. I’ve tried getting into their hobbies, and only fell short.

—————

This year, I feel much of my dark thoughts have stemmed from the broken relationships I have. How my resources and pool of people who I can open up too is dwindling. As seen in older reads in this blog. My friends don’t even truly know who I am. How I think and what I want from life. It seems the only people who even know me.. is my mother, my friends online, and one person who speaks to me on occasion.

This online personality gives me the chance to open up to people, where those at home should be the first to know. How I fear speaking to them, I’m not afraid to open up my Battle.net account and tell one of my friends of how I loathe myself, or how I feel like I messed up. But can’t work the nerve to my close friends and family about my own feelings and mental state.

As my anniversary of my suicide attempt passes by this week. I’m going to continue examining the clear problems. Maybe vent about it.. maybe even find ways to fix them. But there are no promises. I still hold the same resolve to open up about myself. But lack the courage to budge. We will see with this new year on what happens.

In short, my older brothers and I have a distant relationship. I honestly believe there wouldn’t be anything missing if we stopped speaking to one another now. Our entire lives have been distant. And the responsibilities of the older brothers watching over me died long ago. Maybe they died when my father passed away. The one man I never knew and never will. While they had a chance and felt heart broken for most of their youth with that gaping hole in their hearts they had to fill on their own.

To me, they were never big brothers. Even as the closest of biological family. They really do not encompass much love from me. Even as family, I know that there isn’t much to the imagination happening once we all go our separate ways.

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The Concerns as a Growing Adult

As a growing adult, I come to hit my twentieth birthday come this May. As each year passes by, I tend to reflect on the choices and major events that occur with each year since I’ve hit sixteen. The choices I’ve made as an independent adult and how I used my new responsibilities and freedoms go under some overly critical analysis. Breaking old habits and fads, and developing new ones. Seeing old beliefs and views change so quickly.

One of my greatest fears as a growing adult is to make choices that will ultimately define what the rest of my life will follow. To do something so trivial or stupid and never break such a habit. Something like picking up smoking, or becoming an alcoholic. Things that I’ve always said “I’d never do that!” are never written in stone as life will throw curve balls so quickly and suddenly.  It almost spooks me with what changes will come.

I’ve recently looked back into an old internet phenomena, Chris Chan. A thirty-two/Thirty-three year old, highly functional autistic man who was a huge target for bullying and online harassment. Who never really learned from his mistakes and continued to feed the fire of harassment with responses that only hindered him in the long run. I’ll include this Link that is a proper documentary made to introduce new folk to this man. I look into this man’s life and what he shared online, and it made me realize what I don’t want to be as an adult.

I intend to grow up. Some of the habits I have now when I’m both alone and with friends will inevitably end. Or at least I would love to change a bit more out of the immaturity I have held onto. I take a look into Chris Chan, and see how habits of the past can become destructive in the future. How obsession can turn any fun thing into nearly an all consuming monster. It was almost pitiful and scary to see what the adult man can become.  Regardless of disability or not.

I won’t deny that Chris Chan’s Autism and sheltered life has become the catalyst for much of his issues in life now. But even autistic men and women learn from old mistakes, and can still function in society as ordinary human beings. The example we have here, is someone who never takes responsibility for his own shortcomings and how much of his bullying was easily avoidable if he didn’t fall for the same tactics, over and over again. Unfortunately, there are more people who follow the same path without any sort of mental disability. Just the common human ignorance.

But back on topic, Much of my choices in life affect my self image and how I view myself. With my new job, and how things have been handled lately. I do have some issues, but nothing nearly as serious starting this January. But I still go back to the little things I do. Such as making random noises when I’m alone in my room. Talking out loud to the words on this screen. Even to the more embarrassing things… LARPing in my privacy and speaking out in characters of those little epic scenes in my head.

Some of these things are just so random and strange. It makes me wonder how I will look come ten years from now. Will I still be this strange man as I am now? Who’s head is so stuck in the clouds with imagination and fantasy, will I ever acknowledge the earth beneath and find a healthy medium for all this new change that comes in plentiful amounts. It’s a hard thought since I still dread the idea of growing up as well.

I understand that there is no real definition of “normal”. I have accepted that a long time ago. But I feel there is a point in our lives that we begin to calm down. I want to try and relax this overly excited brain and try to find things to focus directly upon. I don’t want to lose the fantasy and imagination, but I would not want it to consume my life as Chis Chan has let his “Sonichu” overcome his life. I wouldn’t want something I love become my top obsession and sacred relic.

I fear to become something that shows my immaturity never grew up. To become an older adult who thinks, and acts like a child. Who cannot handle the reality of this world with a reasonable and thoughtful mind. Chris Chan stands out as a character that I wouldn’t want anyone to become. And sadly, there are those who do became such. Never owning to their mistakes, nor learn from them.

As I grow up and change each day. I don’t want to lose sight of who I am. But I do want to improve my being. To change and prosper for the better. To be myself, and not the product of some other person or system. I just don’t want to be something seen as a disgrace. Perhaps my overly childlike nature may stick with me through the years. It may bring new things, or just leave me to my own little world.

Religion and Depression and My Experience

Beginning this topic with a note. this is focused on a controversial topic that I have felt the need to talk about. How it effects my life, and how it might effect others from teenagers, to the oldest of adults. It will contain possibly offensive context or ideas that combat religion. This isn’t a means to convince religion is wrong or anything. But to those who are at ends with it.

Starting this off, I am on the border of deist to Atheist. I do believe something is out there. But I do believe that no man made religion could ever depict or imagine a real deity, divine creator, or creators to perfection. Much of these thoughts have began with my natural skeptic mind and how I tend to question everything to the first page. It’s actually quite a bittersweet gift. I can get information, but at the dismay of my peers.

However since my mind has been inside the church for a good portion of my life. I feel many different feelings that tend to attribute to my paranoid mind and fears. I’m not quite open on the Atheist title to any of my church friends. However my family, and other friends outside of religion know about this. In a way, I am hiding a big part of myself to some really close people in my life.

Now how does this attribute to this topic? One thing that has been brought up in my counseling is that I am terrified to lose my friends. The people in my church are really close. They are a huge support group and assisted me in my teenage life. A lot of my teenage years have had many issues at home and I felt welcomed. However in the back of my mind I asked often “Why?”.

I have different views that Christianity regards as wrong. I find no issues in Homosexuality, and as brought up. I identify myself as Bisexual, which only hurts my self esteem since I’d be denying a part of myself that holds no gender barrier. I have no issues with sex outside of marriage. I don’t even understand half of the idea of sin and how no matter what we do, we always sinned. It almost made me feel worthless and somehow the christian god was to make me feel whole. But yet I only heard about how empty I am without this idea.

Let’s go back to the beginning of my faith. When I was in Jr. High, I was at a difficult time of my life. My dad died when I was in 5th grade, my grandpa shortly followed. I had so many sad thoughts because the primary people who influenced me were gone. I met my best friend, John. His family was Christian and the only way I could hang out with them if I attended church. This person was my only friend at the time in that school. I wasn’t popular nor was I good at talking with people.

From Jr. High till high school graduation, I attended this church. I began skeptical but as time went on, I thought I believed everything the bible had to say. Most of this time, I sought something as an answer to the pain I experienced growing up. Watching my family fall apart as my older brothers got into drugs and gangs didn’t help my young mind when I feared losing my brothers as well. I was comforted that if I prayed hard enough, maybe things would be fixed.

I won’t lie that things did change. For me at least. I stayed out of trouble. I had a good friend group. We did many different things such as charities, assistance with the Pregnancy Resource Center, Church Plays, held public dinners. It was fun and made me feel like I made a difference. But things didn’t quite change for the family.

I couldn’t convince my family to go to church with me. And all I heard in response to this was that I got to keep praying. No matter how much I prayed or asked others. nothing changed. I began questioning the meaning of this if nothing happens. The bible supposed to have answers, but nothing stood out. Even if it related. If I prayed for years on end and nothing came across. My prayers meant nothing.

According to the bible, my family are bound to burn in hell. A fear instilled onto us from the bible itself. If you don’t believe in this idea, you’re bound to head straight to hell. This idea made me feel horrible since I couldn’t do anything. My family didn’t follow along. and I couldn’t bare the idea of that. But no fruit was revealed from my prayers or words to convince.

Following graduation of High School, my church attendance became low. I didn’t believe the ideas. I didn’t care for the sermons. I only felt put down when Utah’s Gay Marriage was legalized and our church went heavy on the topic. I held these bisexual views and was only being shamed for feeling like this. I didn’t feel welcomed anymore.

The people in that church are not bigots. In fact it was quite welcoming to everyone. We held open sessions with LGBT groups who did believe in God. But the idea that love is restricted to one gender? I couldn’t grasp my mind on it. I have people in my life who are gay and married. they are happy and settled. But what makes that different than a man or woman? Because they cannot bear child? Or somehow that love is fake?

I drifted away with little to no attendance. Only going now because my best friends are the ones I want to keep close, but not push away with my skeptic thoughts. This has not made my mind settle that they’d accept me regardless. Because not only I’m throwing away the baptism I’ve done and the speech in front of the church. But also disappoint my peers who thought of the godly man here is backing away from “his commitment to Christ”.

I have observed many people drift away from religion. And when they admit they feel bad. Christians often say the Holy Spirit is making them feel guilty for leaving. But don’t you ever feel guilty when you do something against other people’s ideas? You leave one job for another and you’re shamed by your friends who work at your previous job for leaving.  Don’t we feel that our peers are the ones who shame us and make us feel guilty for leaving? Then have other professing Christians damn us or not believing their faith as our own?

People feel depressed when one leaves depression. People become frustrated at you. Disappointed, and in some cases, people try to wave off your mind as some phase or preach the gospel that means nothing to you at the time to bring you back. The people you are moving away from in their group look down on you. And hurts that person in the long run.

It is hard for those who leave religion because the people behind it can be the catalyst of shame and regret. Rather than understanding the mind of the person leaving, they try to persuade or make them feel terrible for the choice. It can be kind or rude. Some people will say they will pray that you come back to the truth. Others will try to preach to you.

To me, Christianity has not been the answer. It’s actually working against me with the stress on my mind. The fears that will come with leaving entirely. And the people who I love will possibly cut ties with me if I decide to leave for good. It hurts my mind to imagine these scenarios that might happen.

Now, again this isn’t attempt to dissuade you to keep believing. do what you want as long as you don’t harm others. But religion just doesn’t work for me anymore. I don’t see man made religion as an answer to purpose. I don’t feel the same hope and love anymore because of it. I can’t be myself without hiding big factors of myself from those I love. I don’t want to offend, but I won’t hide this much anymore.

These are just the thoughts of myself. I don’t blame religion for my depression. Many things contribute to it. but I would want people to see how I felt. How Religion can be good for some time, but also hurt you as well. I can’t be bisexual without being a sinful man in Christianity. I can’t be happy with myself without putting some imaginary man in front of me.