Friday, August 04, 2006
Being the Rock...a blessing and a pain
It's funny...I never thought, at 24, I'd be in a position of leadership in my family. Don't get me wrong, I knew the responsibility was coming...but not this soon. I expected a little bit of time, at least my 20's, to be able to spend being self-centered with my time and energy. I guess that's not the plan God had for me. Whomever made the expression about the youngest of the family being the 'baby' and the 'spoiled one' is a DAMN LIE! Hell, spoil me with attention and free me from obligation...I wouldn't mind one bit! But hey, we all have our roles in life, and I guess this is mine...that of the "Rock" of the family.
Before my mom passed, my role was much easier to handle. She was the matriarch, CFO and pretty much the H.N.I.C. My dad was the keeper of the house, protector, and counselor. I was the 'Pacifist'. My job was basically to keep peace and balance in the family...keep my parents from burning out, set a good example for the nieces and nephews, handle disputes and drama between and with the siblings, and serve as the "master brain" when the circumstances required. I liked my 'job' and was good at it. And folks in my family became accustomed to me in that role.
NOW, I find myself having to step up and assume many of the responsibilities Mom held. It's a big job, but somebody has to do it. Hell, I was handpicked by the H.N.I.C. personally so I don't have much of an option :).
I'm not even gonna lie...this shit is TOUGH! I give props to all the 'Rocks', 'Patriarchs', 'Matriarchs', and 'Big Mammas' out there because DAMN, you all are amazing. My father and I met with a financial advisor to get our house in order, and we spend over 2 HOURS just scratching the surface of trying to figure out how my mother handled the money and actually finding all of her assets, liabilities, and expenses of the house. After that meeting, I was like "crap....what am I getting myself into?". I'm not fretting though...our financial advisor is very talented, patient, and willing to teach me how to keep everything under control with efficiency. A true blessing indeed.
Shit gets even tougher when it comes to dealing with family....OOOH LAWD HOW DID I NOT KNOW FOLKS COULD BE SO TRIFLIN AND SHADY!!! I can't BELIEVE some of the craziness and hot mess some of my family brings to the table. I don't see how my mom was able to deal with these fools without turning into an evil spiteful biotch or RUNNING LIKE HELL. She was definitely a bulldog, and now I see why...you would have to be to filter through the straight up BULLSHIT that some people are working on. I could get into examples, but I'm not trying to win any awards with this and I don't feel the need to be even more long winded :).
Another interesting shift in our family's dynamics is occuring. I find myself as less of a 'Pacifist' and more of a 'Regulator'. Folks are NOT taking too kindly to this. So far, I've had to regulate on just about all of my brothers, my sister, three of my cousins, my crazy ass aunt (sweet jeezus help her), my former sister in-law, and even my father for not having their shit together or living up to their promises. I get the feeling they are shocked by my change in demeanor, and a little put off by being 'read' by somebody younger than them. I still communicate with tact, but lately i've been all about the business, my tolerance for bullshit being EXTREMELY LOW. Some folks don't quite understand why I gotta be like that... and they are taking it very personally.
For example...i get a letter in the mail from Cingle-Bar Wireless :). Turns out my brother has a past due balance, and has racked up over 550 minutes in overages, making the bill a grand total of about $650.00. Keep in mind that his cell phone is in my mother's name because his credit is so jacked up. His lack of consideration and discipline has become OUR financial responsibility. I call him up to inform him of the bill. He gets defensive and starts rattling off these excuses as to why he over-called. I listen for a minute, interrupt and say "That's great D, but is that my problem? The problem is that you didn't pay your bill and got sloppy with your minutes. How are we going to fix this?" He suggests that I pay the bill for him cuz' he's 'a lil' short this month'. I responded with a 'HELL TO THE NAW!' and proposed that he allow Cingular to disconnect the phone, get the account changed to his name, pay his own damn bill in whatever way he chooses, and opt for a pre-paid Boost Mobile if he needs a phone. Well...he proceeded to attempt ripping me a new one for "telling him what to do" and "getting in his business". I'm thinking...WTF! If you would have done what you were supposed to (aka. pay your bills and get off the damn phone) I wouldn't have to read your 35-year old grown ass!
I wish my folks understood that in order for me to take on these added responsibilities, my time must be used as efficiently as possible. I'm attempting to juggle school, work, the house, and my own personal affairs all at the same time...I don't have the time or the energy to deal with stupid ish or unneccesary crap. If I come off as a prick, it's because I feel irritated that you arent doing your portion of the work and are forcing me to work harder. I'm sorry if being like that isn't "like me"...but it's the only way I know how to get your attention. Times have changed, all of our roles have shifted, and it is up to ALL OF US to mobilize and keep this family functioning. And don't be so friggin' sensitive when I bring something up! I'm not being a bitch on purpose, so stop making me out to be the asshole.
UGH....responsibility. A blessing, AND a pain in my ass. Pray for my strength and sanity, y'all.
And while you're at it, pray for a brotha to get some lovin' too. I ain't had much of anything in that department in a minute, and a brotha is feeling the withdrawals :) Maybe getting some action and affection would have me chill the f**k out....sigh...only time well tell.