Hard Times

I haven't even been home for a week, and already it's hard. For many reasons, in real life home is never quite the glamorized version I have in my head. It's not as fun as I imagine, it's not as happy, it's not a lot of things.

I used to know what to expect when coming home. It used to be always pretty much the same. But for the past year, it's been different. Now when I come home, I don't know what to expect, don't know what it will be like. I don't know how my sister will be feeling, I don't know if she'll be home or in the hospital, I don't know a lot of things. In a lot of ways, this is hard because I like to know things ahead of time. I like being prepared.

Since I've been home, I have been struggling. Struggling with balancing my feelings with everyone elses, struggling with where I fit in when I'm home, struggling to feel happy. And that sucks. When I'm home, I want to be happy. I want to enjoy my time with them because I know when I'm gone I'll miss them. But it's not always easy. It's especially hard lately because my sister has been really sick and that requires a lot of attention from everyone else. My mom's main priority is taking care of her (as it should be), and even though I am ashamed to admit it, a lot of times it leaves me feeling left in the dust.

I am 21 years old, and I can clearly take care of myself. I don't need or require 24/7 attention from my parents, but sometimes you still like a reminder that people are happy to see you. That they are happy you're home. That they care about you just as much as your sister even though her needs come before yours. Logically, I know all of this is true. And I am mad at myself for thinking otherwise. But my emotional side gets the best of me, my feelings get hurt and I become someone I'm not proud of. I am angry, withdrawn, and sad. And most of all, selfish. I try so hard to let my own selfish feelings go, to let the logical side of me take over and remind me that I am loved and I'm not ignored. I try so hard to remember that the reason that my sister is getting all the attention is because she needs it. And I should consider myself lucky that I don't require that kind of attention because I know she is suffering.

But I am only human, and sometimes my emotions get the best of me. I know we are all dealing with a lot and we all have our crosses to bear. Coming home just brings up a lot of different emotions that I am not used to dealing with, and that is why I am struggling. I know it will get easier as time goes on. I know that it won't be like this forever. But the more I feel sad, the more angry I feel because I know I am being selfish. Because I am not the one with cancer and my attention complexes are hardly a problem in comparison. I wish I was a better person; one who was stronger and could handle being "ignored" for a few days; one who cared more about my sister and her struggles than my own selfish needs; one who said "What can I do?" instead of saying "What about me?". I am going to work to be this person. It's not going to be easy, but my family has enough to deal with, and the last thing they need is me acting like I'm 1 instead of 21.

So, these last couple days may have been rough, but I am learning. Learning to let go, to not be so selfish, and learning how to be a better person. I can't help the way I feel, but I can help what I do about it. I have to stop pouting and grow up. It's time. Hard times are on their way out...

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Rebecca Louise. said...

You said it perfectly halfway through your post.

You are human and we all need to know we loved and cared for. Whether we are 1, 21 or 71. Your family is obviously under a lot of strain and worry and it is not a surprise. I don't think you need to work on anything but being yourself because at the end of the day that IS why your loved and appreciated :)

Audreya said...

I never had to deal with going home to a sibling dealing with cancer, but even if that were not the case, I think you would find going home to still work out better in your head than in reality. College is very much a transition period in a person's life... and in the lives of your parents as they have to learn how to have a relationship with you as an adult instead of a child. I can only imagine how much harder that is when everyone is affected by a serious illness. But the distance you feel at home right now can be a good thing too. If you don't choose to return to your hometown after college - or even if you do but are in a place of your own - the feelings you're experiencing now kind of help prepare you for that. At least that was how it was for me. The relationship aspect of it gets easier, I promise. And I continue to pray for your sister's health... so hopefully that part of the puzzle can get easier too!

erin. said...

I dealt with a sibling with cancer but I was only 10 so it was a little different in comparison. However, I know what it feels like to have these emotions (so challenging to figure out). Hope you are okay and I'm sending virtual hugs from Long Island.

Anonymous said...

Phew! You're a normal person. Maybe not ready to be made a saint but, otherwise, perfectly normal. And yep, you'll totally come through all of this a better person.

Consider yourself hugged, bloggy friend!

ps our prayers are still going out to your family & you.

SueMac said...

Hugs your way. Great post!

Krystyn said...

You said it yourself...we are human. And, we are selfish. It's hard to not feel any other way.

Maybe you could help take care of your sister? Maybe that would help you feel closer to your mom? Just an idea and thinking out loud here.

Praying for your whole family.

Katie said...

You are so strong! I don't know if you realize this but even being so far from your sister you have given her and others suffering from cancer hope. You are fighting to raise awareness and supporting your sister every second. From what, 500 miles away? That in itself is amazing, as are you. I know you are thinking that you are selfish, but I don't. I know you already have the strength to share this with your family. I think it's just lost and maybe you might just need to find it.

1Corinthians 13:13
1Peter 4:8

I love you!

Joni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laural Out Loud said...

I guess I'd think it odd if you were so strong at 21 that you DIDN'T have these feelings! You are learning at such a young age what can sometimes take people a lifetime. Your post is a reminder, too, to make sure we show ALL the people we love that we love them, no matter what the circumstances. Take care, and have a truly blessed Christmas.

Holly said...

I think that's normal. I agree wit Rebecca's comment. Needing to feel like you're being noticed and taken care of is a HUMAN thing, not a selfish thing. :)

Jenny said...

I know what you are going through bc of my mom. Cancer takes over everyone and sometimes it is hard to break away from it all. You,your sister and family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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