I am spoiled, not in the sense that I grew up having everything handed to me, but in the sense that make parents dote on me emotionally. I have no doubt that I am their favorite child out of three. They make it seem that in their eyes I can do no wrong. But it wasn’t always that way.
I was never impressive as a child, not in the way that my parents wanted. I sucked at sports, where both my brothers were track stars. I never had a boyfriend in high school and instead just hooked up with assholes at party when drunk. I was smart…ish, but not enough to get a full ride to a college for 4 years. I was just kind of there. I wasn’t ugly but I was no fucking prom queen.I was the epitome of plain.
When I was 19 I decided I wanted to bar tend, cause it was a lot more appealing than working a minimum wage job throughout college. I made it happen and began working at a few whole in the wall bars in northern Vermont. I made really good money, and not just for a college kid but in general. I had plenty of money to stop needing anything from anyone…but that was not enough to make my parents proud. Instead they were embarrassed that their college going daughter was just a bartender, not embarrassed enough not to borrow money from me when they were in need. But when they were talking to their friends, it was a different story.
Then I lost my shit, I had a mental breakdown because I had apparently been suffering from severe depression since I was 15. I tried to kill myself, quit all my jobs (I had three at the time) and slept on my parents couch for about two weeks before running away to South America. That’s when things started to change.
It was a slow transition, from being the disappointing child, to being the favorite. But my parents were always so worried about me, my happiness became an obsession. Once I moved to California it really solidified their need to make sure I was okay. They stopped making any comments about how I chose to live my life. They encouraged me to travel, be transient and explore life. They avoiding asking about my love life, knowing full well that I was completely fucking that up. They basically turned a blind eye to all of my faults, flaws and shortcomings. I could do no wrong. I even told my oldest brother that if he wanted them to stop harping on him he could just cry suicide and they would quickly change their tune. It’s hard to criticize someone when you are worried they may just off themselves.
This may seem like a great thing for me, and for a while it was, but now that I’m older and still fucked up I wonder what it would have been like if I had never been a manic depressive. I know for certain that the strange Californian lifestyle I am living now would have pleased them. The fact that I’m turning 33 and have nothing to my name, nothing even close to resembling a functioning relationship and no desire to ever reproduce, although I’ve slept with almost a nation’s worth of men at this point, would not have been on their wish list for me. But instead they are driving 3000 miles across the country to be with me on my birthday. This effort, at least of the surface, seems to be an incredible act of love for their favorite child, but in all actuality it is an act of fear, because they are worried that if I’m only on my birthday I’ll kill myself. So i guess I may not be their favorite, but rather just their most fucked up. Either way at least I no longer have to hear about all the things I already know I am failing at.