Thursday, April 3, 2008

I sleep alone tonight

I am a visitor here. I am not permanent. I've been here over a month and I'm still a guest. I don't live here. I take up space on the couch at night and live out of boxes stacked behind it.

I'm not a resident of Utah; I'm a long-term guest.

I also found out today that my siblings seem to have some permanent idea of me as a teenager. My brother condescendingly told me that he'd "bail me out" after I told him I was going to buy my furniture on credit (I never said anything about having trouble making payments), and my sister apparently thought my father
has been paying my rent and bills for the last 4 years. When I asked her why she thought this, she said it just never occurred to her that I supported myself.

I can't tell you how insulting I find those two comments.

I don't know why they've got this idea that I haven't grown up. I've supported myself. I've paid for all my own bills, my own rent, my own life. I wasn't a leech on my parents through college. At my old place, the place I left thinking that living here would be better, I had acquired all of my furniture myself, save for a bookshelf that was given to me as a Christmas gift. Everything else I had there I had gotten myself - all the cookware, the two dressers, the queen-sized bed and frame, the futon, the coffee table, the lamps, the bookshelves, the glass-top desk. Yes, my father paid for my tuition and I am eternally grateful to him for that, but for a large portion of the last few years I've paid for my own expenses and supported myself.

My brother and sister don't seem to understand this, or the idea never even occurred to them; I don't know which is worse. It's insulting. I'm 23; I can make my own decisions, I can support myself, I can handle my own finances. I don't need an older brother telling me he's going to "bail me out" when I have never - never - asked him for financial help or even implied that I'd ever want it from him. I have said that if I can't find a job that rent could become an issue, but I never asked him to come to my rescue. I thought my sister knew me better and actually understood that I'm an adult, not just a big kid still living off Daddy's
money. Yes, my father has helped me out from time to time, but that doesn't occur often anymore - and it doesn't occur much more often than it does for them. I know for a fact it occurs far less often for me now than it did for them when they were my age.

I'm not a kid anymore. I've lived on my own for over 4 years. I can make my own decisions, plan out my own finances and live my own life. I may not seem very responsible with money because when I have it I spend it affluently, but I am nearly always on time with my bill payments and my rent, and only a couple times have I asked for assistance from my father - I have never asked nor even hinted that I would need it from my siblings.

I moved out here hoping to meet my brother and sister as an adult and be friends with them. Right now, I feel like they still see me as the 13 year old they lived with a decade ago and I'm incredibly insulted by it. The only one out here who sees me as a fellow adult is my brother-in-law and I'm very grateful that he actually sees me as I am, not as I was. He makes me feel like an equal, like someone he respects. Not someone he has to baby and take care of.



Jen said...

Speaking of someone who is 20, with an older sister of 28 and an older brother of 34...

They'll come round. You just have to get to know them again, and let them get to know you again. My siblings are among my best friends now, and yeah, it sucks having to prove yourself... but every youngest child does.

Becky said...

I feel a bit misunderstood on your blog, but I sent you an email, so I won't say any more here.

Marvia said...

Tim Tim Tim, I completely understand how you're feeling. And I know it feels so insulting. I have 5 older siblings that still struggle with not telling me how to live my life and I'm married, RM with a baby (not in that order obviously)! But it all comes from love. They mean the best for you. It's hard to let go of memories and how things once were. Give it time. You'll all figure out your new roles as adult siblings.

-->jeff * said...

remember that night we stayed up until 2:30 putting your room together? i think it looks really awesome.