My Parents Died When I Was In Middle School

I have a younger brother, but we're not very close despite our shared history. My mother committed suicide when I was 14, and my father died of a heart attack about 2 years later. I don't have anything against my parents, but up until this year I was having the occasional nightmare about them. I never had a very close relationship to either of them, I feel that they were either embarrassed by me or afraid of me. I can't really speculate on the reason. For whatever reason, they left me alone to do my own thing almost all the time. I suppose I must have been a sensitive child, or perhaps they were sensitive adults.

They sent me to a catholic private school when I was in first grade, and I liked it well enough I suppose. I recognize now that the quality of the education was a little poor. I think I would have done just as well in the public school, and probably made more friends. I didn't return to public school until 9th grade, and by then I feel I was already skewed quite a bit in my thinking.

What really stands out to me now is that I never had any real mentors in my life. Parents can be so important for shaping a person. Now, I don't have a single teacher or any adult really that I can look back and say that they inspired me or took me under their wing. When you don't have your parents, you have to compete for the attention, the concern and interest of others. You have to compete a little bit within a family, but no one else owes you anything.

About 2 and a half years ago I left all of my friends behind. I used them as a sort of surrogate family for awhile, but eventually it became clear that I was kind of always a fringe element and that no one considered themselves close with me. I guess I never considered them close either, though I think that's because I never had a point of reference to judge it from. I just accepted everything as equally close. That was a mistake that led to some embarrassing memories. When I was young I had many girlfriends. Because of my education, I never had sex until very late, and I was always very conscientious about finding the elusive soul-mate. I was fair with every girl and often gave much more than I asked in return. My relationships lasted on average about 7 months to a year, with one lasting 16 months, another 17 months, and another almost 3 years. I believe the urban dictionary would label me a "serial monogamist." I can see how that's a phenomenon today. I think I can understand where those people are coming from. All of these girls, however, I never appreciated as real partners. They were more like sisters, someone who was obliged to be with me. I just took their interest as a natural acceptance and I never felt as if there was a big transition. With the longer ones, I tended to just accept their families as my own, never really understanding what is expected of children or how families perceive outsiders. As I said, this led to embarrassments, mostly in retrospect.

I remember my first really intimate sexual experience as extremely important. I had had other experiences long before, but she was the first to really love me. I don't mean that it was magic or that there was any romantic aura. She just wanted me, and she wanted to give to me. She craved my attention and she lavished hers on me. That night has been like the north star burning in my mind, orienting me in the world. Realizing this, how lost I have been, how it has determined my life and future possibilities, has been very jarring.

When I left my friends, I moved to a foreign country. This was shortly after I finished university. Living here has taught me more about being on the outside. I long to meet other people I can feel connected to, but I don't know where to look or how to interact when I find them. Each time I have found someone who could really touch me, they've turned out to be as unstable as me. I've been to parties a lot but there's always something off. I can't just be with people like I want to. I dance, I chat, I circulate, but I just can't communicate well with a normal person. I'm always thinking that they're inaccessible. I think it's just the same old problem that I've always had, that I just don't interest the average confident individual.

Then again, it's possible that people just don't have the same level of interest in others that I do. The same curiosity, the same need for intimacy in personal interactions. I just can't do perfunctory socializing. It hurts me in my daily life. At work, at school, in general. I don't network well. Everyone I meet I want to psychoanalyze and touch. I don't think I'm forward or overbearing, but I really just can't keep up a conversation sometimes. I talk, I can be very interested, but I just can't seem to get to the place I want to be, and I'm always dissatisfied.

I find that writing helps a lot. Just keeping a little journal. I buy small 40 page pocket notebooks in one dollar multicolored packs of five. I just write whatever though I'm having and date it whenever I feel like I should. I tend to go through one notebook in about a week and a half. When I have free time and I'm not writing in my present notebook, I reread the past notebooks and make comments in a different colored pen, which I also date. I typically go through one notebook between three and four times. After writing like this for a month or so, I may transfer a lot of things to an A4 size notebook in the form of a whole entry where I organize, reflect, and draw conclusions. This has definitely made me happier overall, giving me a sort of other perspective, or someone I can talk to. Generally, I'm disappointed with myself and my writing, but at least I can make improvements after a little time. Constantly revising my thoughts just seems to help me to fulfill my own desire for interesting new ideas.

Travelling by myself has also made a big difference. I try to leave my camera home when I can, but sometimes it's just nice to have the pictures even though I rarely look at them. I put them on my facebook so others can see them, but maybe I only do it to feel as if someone is looking at them. When I travel with others, I feel as if I have to worry about them. If I don't think they are having a good time, I feel that I can't have a good time. By leaving others behind, I can leave behind any shame, any embarrassment at confusion or feeling lost. I can just be lost and try my best in foreign languages to make my way to somewhere, maybe not the place I planned, but at least some new place and then make my way back. I don't judge myself or anything on these trips, I just accept them. It is the only time in my life I can do this.

tysonsettle tysonsettle
6 Responses Jul 24, 2010

Wow. I hope you will be able to read my post given it is 3 years after the fact. I just want to take a minute to tell you that you are one very brave and beautiful soul. You lost both your parents at a young age and the way your mother died was very inconsiderate of her, she should of held on for you at least. I want to commend you, you survived, and from the looks of it you turned out better than expected given your circumstances. I sdmire the fact that you are trying otherwise you would not be here. Also do not put yourself down for wanting a meaningful relationship, it only means you are mature and you realize your self worth. I really like the fact that you have been journaling, I do not think you should give that up. Keep believing because I know that in due season your time will come.

I leave you with this prayer that I read on someones post, it truly is beautiful and I know it can help you. Say the following to God every morning upon waking and just before bed: "God, because only you can see through people's hearts and read their minds and intentions, let me make real friends and family whom I deserve for you know That I am genuine and do not deserve to be betrayed because I do onto others as I would want them to do to me. You know that I am a good person. I have had many setbacks in life but I have passed my test now, it is time for my reward. Thank you 3X. Amen.

I believe if said in faith repeatedly for at least a week, you will be amazed at the results. Please try it, and God bless.

You were very thankful to have had your parents many years. <br />
I didn't. My parents and my three brothers were killed in a fire at our house. I survived because my mother th. Me out the window. I was 2-3 years old that was like 20 years ago. I really dont know anything about them plus I keep thinking it was not an accident.

Don't be so embarrassed Dude. Everybody has lots of things they are embarrassed about, don't dwell on it, it could lead to serious self doubt.<br />
You're not responsible for other people having a good time.<br />
You may have some people pleasing tendencies which stem from having to please your parents or lose their affections,( even your life in some cases), something no child wants to risk.<br />
Not everyone is going to like you or want to be your close friend. A few people will. Most importantly you need to admire them and want to spend time with them. When you find someone that you feel a nice connection with, nurture that relationship, don't push them away, treat relationships like a timid butterfly, you don't want to scare them away. Slowly they'll get closer. Enjoy your youth, your traveling, eventually you will build a family of your own consisting of friends, spouse, children.

I don't have family either. It sounds like you may be alone; but not lonely. I could be wrong. You seem to get out and have contact with others. It sounds you have not found the person that makes you want to talk. Someone you want to hold on to. People lack personality these days. Although you find it difficult to strike up a conversation, I believe it may be because you really aren't interested in who your trying to talk to. Keep trying, I believe you will find your way.

I wish I knew you in person because I could have written the same words you shared. Our lives are near identical except that I'm female, and been on my own a bit longer. Would say more, but need to sleep. Of course I would never want anyone to have to live life so alone, but can't help but also feel a bit better knowing that I'm not so alone or the only one.

I share your pain with the loss of a parent to suicide. I learned so much from your story...or maybe remembered so much. You called attention to so many details that I never considered. <br />
"but no one else owes you anything". SO TRUE! <br />
Anyway I thank you for sharing...and I thought I had writing skills.