"I am part of this family... whether it f*cks me up or not

My life so far is a series of diagnosis, a series of hospital trips, and a ton of trips to the pharmacy. However, none of which are for me. I have a brother with Aspergers Syndrome, a father recovering (ever so slowly) from cancer, and a mother in constant battle with depression. My house is a pharmacy, my emotions are not mine.

I am 17 years old, and my parents tell me i've "shouldered more than my fair share of pain" ... yeah, whatever. Growing up with a brother of Aspergers, an older brother especially, means that you learn to be what they are, do what they do, and say what they say, even if you view them as a fool while they do it. Aspergers is not contagious, yet it is.

In nature vs nurture, I side with nurture. Growing up around constant angry bursts, and fits of violence, I find myself with a short temper and a tendency to clench my jaw in tense situations. I do not have aspergers, I have no social deficiencies, loud noises do not bother me, yet I am effected by it in daily life. I am the way I am because of my brother.

Pam (code name of course) is a mother, a wife, and a sister. She is a daughter and a care giver. She is also my biggest cause for pain and fear and all those emotions that teenagers already feel overwhelmed with on a daily basis. She throws fits every holiday, for she feels under-appreciated based on the presents she recieves. I am the way I am because of my brother, and my mother.

My dad was a man of intrigue, intelligence, and "tough love." Ever since last February, he has been a man of sorrow, fear, and weakness. Cancer changes people. Cancer took my father from a dad, to a child. It took me from a child to a mother. I was his caregiver. He took care of me for 16 years, now it was my turn. "Do you want to know the facts, or the emotions?" Thats what he asked me after my mother told him his diagnosis... which i had been informed of before him.
"Facts." And then i left the room.
I spent months administering his medicine, kissing him goodnight, and trying to listen to his incoherance. All the while I left as soon as I could so that he would not see me cry. He did not see me cry. Except on prom.
He was at his worst, battling the bastard of a disease, and winning as we later found out. Hearing him say how beautiful I looked, meant more than anything anyone has ever said to me. I am the way I am because of my brother, my mother, and my father.

I am the way I am because of my family. I got away, and I could have stayed away. Miles away, but for some reason... 3 months after I left, I came running back into this house. Full of drama and sickness and meds. I am part of this family.. Whether if fucks me up or not.


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