All those years ago when I was supporting my mother and sister, I knew that if I broke everything broke. That might sound dramatic, but it was true. At one point, soon after my father left, the rent and all the trappings of supporting a family fell on me. Anyone would have done that– in survival mode, we do what we have to do. Still, until I got in to a stride and a routine, I felt that as a heavy weight on my shoulders.
I feel that same weight now, but it’s not as easy to take on, for whatever reason. I have this constant knowledge that my biological family are gone. They weren’t particularly helpful when they were alive, in all honesty, but I still felt like there was a safety net in place. Just a precarious one. A recent really negative performance review brought to the front of my mind the possibility of finding myself without a job. What happens from there? It took me 18 months to find a job. I feel like I need to take time off from everything and just rest for a while, but there’s no one to fall back on.
Let’s look at this realistically. As my therapist is fond of pointing out, I’m not the only person out there who hasn’t got biological family. Somehow, she thinks that should make me feel better. I’m also grown. Even if my family were alive, they wouldn’t have an obligation to take care of me whilst I stopped to figure things out. Still, there’s something about knowing that isn’t even possible. The fact that I did keep things going with two other people to support should give me some confidence, but I feel like I get overwhelmed much easier these days. I’m not sure I *could* have kept our family going if I were as I am now. Back to that if I break, everything breaks feeling. Only this time, I seem to be breaking regardless.