The family rock

“You are our family rock.” “You are my rock.” “You keep me going.” Words that as a child, I adored hearing. I did not see how these words grew to change who I was and who I was becoming. As a child, I lived for these words of affection. It made me feel like I mattered. In the chaos that becomes life, I felt as if I was overlooked. While this was not the case, my undeveloped, inexperienced mind believed so. Little me could not see that my parents needed to focus more on my sibling. To her, she was forgotten. By claiming the title of “our family rock,” I became important. My immature mind saw this title as hope.
I began to do everything I could to protect this title. Hid pain, fears, sadness, anxiety, struggles, and so much more. I couldn’t be a rock if I was cracking. I could not be the glue holding my family together if I was tearing at the seams. It was my job to watch after my brother. It was my job to take care of him, my mom, and my dad. I kept my emotions to myself to avoid my friends from hearing. I began wanting to feel like the rock for my friends. I began equating the title of “my rock” to being loved and needed. I adored hearing my friends say things didn’t feel right if I missed lunch, PE, class, anything at all. I loved hearing that they missed me. It meant I was seen. I kept my struggles to myself, so they would feel like they could talk to me and lean on me. Lean on me the way I allowed my mother to lean on me so many times. I do not regret being there for any of them. It is something that I look back upon with pride and respect. I just see now how much it has affected me to this day. I fear opening up to others. I fear if I do, they will leave me for being weak. I fear they will not come to me when they need help themselves. I fear they will think they are a burden discussing their issues with me if I open up to them about my own. I find myself taking on everyone around me problems. Not with the intention to look like a saint. No. I could care less about being seen like that. I take on their problems because I do not know how to not.
I grew up taking my parents’ difficulties away from them. Or at least attempting to. I grew up covering up for my brother. In school, I would defend him as much as I could. I would protect his name and prevent things that I could. Some days I would ensure information never made it to him or my parents. I picked up his slack where ever I could, not for him, but for my parents. I hid in bathrooms, so my parents did not hear me cry. I do not know how to live without taking care of everyone around me. I do not know how to open up to those around me when I need them most. I do not know how to live without being everyone else rock. I do not believe I can live without being everyone’s rock.

Published by Kathrine

Emergency Room Nurse spends too much time thinking, reflecting, and over-analyzing every detail of life. Hoping to one day figure it all out.

2 thoughts on “The family rock

  1. This broke me apart. No one deserves this. As an only child, I feel this someway. I hope you get the best. You see, you need to reevaluate your thoughts on this. Being a rock means so many things but the childhood definition still persists which brings so much pain your way.
    You’re an amazing person and deserves the very best.

    Like

  2. I am not a family rock but, i really do some od these things. For sure i open up in front of my close friends and my family..

    Like

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