Ghost of my childhood
Phew, this is going to be a sad newsletter so brace yourself🙂.
Frankly, most of my friends have never heard me speak about my childhood, well, mostly because I did not have one. The last thing I remembered from being a child is my dad picking me up from school, fixing lunch for me and washing my uniform at the corridor. Next thing, I was 8 years old, supporting myself with a chair as I drew water from the well🙂😂.
My parents are the best, they did their possible best in raising us so I do not fault them in anyway. However, having a sick child in the family drains energy and the will to be attentive to other children. I had 3 siblings, my older brother, my immediate elder sister (who I barely speaks about), God rest her soul and me, the last child (Actually I was not the last child but story for another day🙂).
My sister was always sick, my elder brother was way older and kind of a baby too😂😭. I grew up too fast, one thing about being self dependent is that people tend not to worry about you because you’ll figure it out anyways. I had the responsibility of looking after my older siblings, as funny as that sounds. I did everything because I needed to be in my parents’ good book. I took on every assignment with diligence. But I was barely noticed as a child and it did not bother me, why? Because I wanted to do my thing without being bothered. My brother was way older so he got out of the house fast leaving me and my sister. My sister was a very sweet soul despite her ill health but my parents? The stress of taking care of her made them emotionally unavailable and extremely cranky, tired all the time so I learnt not to bother them for anything at all.
I was/am my family fixer, if anything goes wrong, I’m there to be the shock absorber. It has been helpful so far but there are some terrible negative effects. One, I get really cranky when someone is fully dependent on me. Not even in the monetary aspect but if you can’t fix anything without calling on me, it makes me really angry because I figure out things mostly on my own. Two, when someone is very close to me, I can’t catch a break. There is this desperate need to know how the person is faring, if the person is okay, if I need to step in and fix things.
Someone I held close parted ways with me a week ago (well, before then sha) but I felt kind of relieved because the burden was too much for me. I can feel it that the person is not okay, yet they won’t tell me what is wrong. It was too stressful tbh.
Anyways, I digressed. The first time I had my period, I had no one to talk to me. My sister was alive then but i did not like bothering her. Apart from normal greetings, I barely talked to my mum. I had my period the first six months without anyone noticing even though I slept in the same room with my mum. I had to figure out using sanitary products myself. That was how bad it was. Once again, I do not fault my parents because I knew how bad it was then. We were comfortable but we were not happy because no one knows when my sister might have another crisis so we lived in constant fear.
My sister died September 22, 2014, hands down the most terrifying day of my life. I could not cry because I had to console my mum and get her to eat. I was 13 years old. My tears started after a month when everyone’s else stopped. Then I got terribly sick and I could not go to the hospital or even vomit outside because my mum feared we would be tagged as the “sick family”. That was how terrible it was.
Anyways, today, my dad called me and after the usual complaints of how I never call him (even though I talk to him every 3 days😂) and said he hates the fact that I was raised that way, too self sufficient and how I barely ask them for advice. I was hurt at his statement and momentarily, I was blinded with rage and wanted to lash out at him. Then I remembered that none of us had it easy back then. Finances were crumbling as millions went into treating my sister, my dad was always worried, my mum always crying, my brother avoiding home because he could not bear the heart wrenching sight of his sister in pain, and then me, the adolescent girl child trying to hold the family together.
2011 - 2014, life was really unfair to us. It was terrible, we had food and we could not eat. This is why I’ve been super grateful at every win my family got this year (and it was A LOT of wins). We deserve every bit of it.
We deserve to be happy.
Kindly note that this post is not to garner attention or sympathy so I’ll really appreciate if no one leaves comments🙂.
I took Red wine and vodka and it has a way of releasing pent up emotions, only this time, it is not the normal “I miss you” texts to my ex😂, it is deeper than that .