I was eighteen years old and just graduated from High School. I walked out of my family home never to return again. I never had a good relationship with my mother who was verbally abusive to me. She would tell me “I wish you had never been born.” This was devastating to hear as a child of 8 years old. She would yell at me in the supermarket. “I told you to stop your brother from crying.” I was embarrassed.

I am the oldest daughter of four sons. My two younger brothers were stars of the family. One was being groomed as a professional sports player of some sort. He couldn’t wash dishes because it might damage his hands for the season. He ended up being a pizza delivery guy for the rest of his life. The other brother got what he wanted most of the time. If he didn’t he would scream and have a fit until my mother would give in. He hasn’t changed. His wife walked out on him and my mother paid the attorney fees to fight and get custody of his kids. It worked. My sister-in-law had to pay every month for the maintenance of by brother and his kids. My brother didn’t even have a job. My last brother was born when I was twelve. I became is stroller pusher, feeder, and pacifier.

Ten years after I left, I returned with my husband and young daughter. Maybe things had changed. My hopes were dashed. Nothing had changed. My brothers would say “You think your so smart because you teach at a university.” They still treated me as if we were children. My mom still protected them. She never defended me. No one had grown up.

I haven’t seen my mom or brothers for almost ten years. My youngest brother and I have the best relationship. We meet at least once a month to catch up on family news. He lives with my mom because he lost his job two years ago and had nowhere to go.

My mom used to call. I never answered. Now, she doesn’t call at all.

I don’t know how this might come back to visit me someday. I can only see my brothers looking to me to provide for them when my mother is no longer here. Unfortunately this will not happen. This sounds really mean, but I don’t need my family. I have a great daughter and had a fantastic husband. Unfortunately, he passed away three years ago. I have a great circle of friends who I cherish. I also find solace in writing.

I know that I will be ok. Will my family be ok?

Life happens when you take chances.

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