I, like many children in the Midwestern-United States, grew up in a large family. Four-boys and 1-girl with me being the youngest. With the average age difference between siblings being four years, each sibling had the benefit of their closest elder to help guide them through rough times. Well, except one. Me.
Yes, I received the latest I-pod and many things that the others weren’t able to get, but what I never received was that important feeling of family. As the youngest, I was the least interesting at the dinner table every night. How do you compare the accomplishment of learning to count to One-Hundred to making the game winning play? The answer is: you don’t. Rather, you spend as much of your time eating and scarfing down dinner so you can go play and find some form of happiness.
I was only 14-years old when my closest sibling left for boot camp and left me at home with both my parents. My parents often referred to this period as “My Time”. The time where I got to feel important, and special. My parents often found themselves confused and perplexed by the sight of my overwhelming unhappiness.
My level of physcial ,and emotional isolation from the family became apparent along with my depression. As I grew older, I became more self-aware of my depression and often attempted to seak guidance from a sibling or parent. When the topic of depression or unhappiness came up I was met with the question of “How are you depressed, you have everything you want.”. I was often referred to as spoiled due to the fact that I got what I wanted. I never did. Not when I really wanted it. Not when it really mattered.
I wanted a family, or atleast to feel like I belonged to one. I wanted the praise and love of my siblings, and parents. I worked incredibly hard on my grades and even joined multiple sports teams like my siblings in hopes to emulate their accomplishments in order to emulate the love they received. It never worked. Often running myseld ragged, and obsessing over my achievements until one day I cracked.
I attempted to take my own life when I was sixteen. The feeling of depression gripped its talons into me and carried me away. It carried me so far that I almost reached the end of my life. Whether unfortunately, or fortunately, my parents saved me.
Therapists, psychiatrists, even my own family could not make me talk. How do you explain to a family member this situation? Again, you don’t. I didn’t at least.
My mother passed when I was a senior in High School and my father appears to be on his last leg. I don’t know if after he passes there will be much of a family to speak of. I’m scared that the window to the one thing I always wanted is closing, and I am unsure of what to do. If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions. They would be welcomed and appreciated.
Thank you for reading