First let me preface all of this, that is is not directed at any one person, or comments made recently by anyone.
This is probably the toughest thing I have ever written in my life. I see everyone every day, dealing with personal life issues. Everything you could possibly imagine, and more. Things most people would never think they could survive. I honestly do want to be able to say that one magical thing that will make it all better, that will give you hope, make you smile, give you the feeling there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Most times I don’t, perhaps I will offer a /hug, or an offer of condolences. It is not because I don’t care.
Some may look at me and think, oh, he’s 52 years old, and average middle class married white guy, what does he know of my struggles. You’re absolutely right. I have no idea what you have been through with your life, I know nothing of what daily challenges you may face, what inner demons you fight every day. Just as you don’t know mine.
I have a sister. We both grew up to alcoholic parents, and I don’t mean they had a few drinks at night, I mean a cases of beer a week mostly consumed by my mom during the day while we were in school. They were not violent to my sister and I, We had a good childhood. My mom quit drinking in my early teens, joined AA and took it up as a crusade, we would routinely hear we could never have a drink, we would become raging alcoholics, it was genetics, we could never go to parties because there might be drinking. When I was 10, my father was laid off, and opened his own business, part of our allowance was being at home to listen for the phone to ring for service calls, we got 10 cents for every call we took. When I was 12, my weekends and occasionally some nights were helping my dad with his work. He would give me a dollar or two for working several hours on a Saturday and Sunday. I had some neighborhood friends, but mostly, I was in school or working.
My parents divorced when I was 19, my sister 16, I was at college ready for finals when I got a call, “Call your father, here is his new number, we are getting divorced”. I found out years later from my sister, they were fighting all the time but never let me know anything was wrong. I lost my father to Cancer when I was 23, my Mother in the last 10 years also. I have worked at the same place for nearly 30 years, I have been laid off for extended periods of time, not a few weeks or months, but more than a year twice, in recent years as a home owner to where I wondered if we might lose the house. For the past 9 years I have not had a pay increase, only this past year did I get back vacation time, I have worked 60+ hours a week for months at a time, I have had to help out elderly parents, have opened my home to an in-law, been in a car accident, lost relatives to drugs. I could go on for much longer.
There have been many tragic, life changing events in my life. Just as there have been many wonderful and happy moments. Meeting my wife, the day we were married, buying my first car, seeing my sister graduate from college, seeing my niece grow up to be the smart intelligent woman she is becoming, getting to know so many wonderful people that play WoW even. Are there more happy days than bad? I honestly do not know. Some of the bad certainly can outweigh any good days. But only if I let them. I do not talk about personal things in my life. That is my choice. I am not writing this to get hugs or sympathy from anyone. I am writing this to just say, you are not alone in your struggles. We all have had things come up in our lives that have hurt us deeply. There are days when we really could use a shoulder from a friend but we choose to not ask for fear of the looks from others.