I have an older sister and a younger brother. I love them but they were always chosen first.
My older sister has suffered a lot of trauma, that it not her fault. It will never be her fault. My younger brother has autism, the first six years of his life he was mute. My parents were always concerned he would go mute again. They were always fighting for his education; the schools he went to never taught him correctly or to his academic level. That is not his fault.
I understand why I wasn’t top priority but that doesn’t mean I was happy with it. I thought it was normal to be a second, or third, or even the tenth thought. I was never angry about it, I wasn’t even sad. I just didn’t care. I mean, why would you care when you can’t even feel it? I ignored the fact that I wasn’t a priority. I honestly forgot I wasn’t a priority to anyone.
When I was in high school and had to start thinking about university. I made the choice to look at universities further away from home. At first, I thought it was to learn independence and life skills, but I think I was subconsciously running away from my family. I was 17 when I realized that I was feeling happier in three months of being away from my family than I had been since I was 6 years old. I think the moment I chose to leave everything behind me was the first time I had made a decision for myself and not for those around me. I chose to become the last priority for my siblings.
I chose a future career that was stable and always necessary for job security. I had manipulated my entire family into thinking I was the most stable person in the world. I really wasn’t though.
My parents trusted me to be the stable one in the family that would support them when they’re old, when my sister needed help when she’s older, and when my brother needed a home when my parents are gone. I made every decision based off a future so far off that you wouldn’t even be able to see it even if you were psychic.
When I told my parents what degree I wanted, they said it wouldn’t lead to anything. That’d I wouldn’t amount to much of anything with it. It wasn’t the first time I had heard them say this to me, or my siblings, but it was the first time I stood my ground on something. I knew that if I stayed, I’d either go insane or end up being so self destructive that’d I’d end up in a hospital somewhere. So, I chose the one thing I knew would be best for me. I left.
The past four years haven’t been easy but it’s been better than the 17 years I spent in that house with nothing but myself as support. I had to choose myself at some point. The moment I chose my degree and to leave was the first time I chose myself over everyone else.
There are still moments where I make all my decisions on everyone else’s life or decisions. I grew up a bit when I left, I argue a bit more now, and I feel more like a human being with my own will.
I’m glad I chose me, even if it took me 17 years to do so.