I’m not one to publicly rant about what’s going on in my life.  But recently I’ve found that by writing down the recent anger that’s been boiling up inside, it relieves some of the tension in my head.  And this is the only place left on the Internet where friends and family don’t follow me.  Well, except Sam (but she knows everything already).

I grew up thinking that family was supposed to be the one thing in the world that you could automatically rely on.  The small family unit would always be there when you needed them for support or to cheer you up.  I didn’t have any reason not to believe that; my mom’s side of the family was always very interactive and familial and though I saw my dad’s side of the family more often (simply because they were closer to us than the Pittsburgh side), I always attributed a feeling of “home” with them.  My dad’s side of the family was the younger, more adventurous side of the family.  We would get together constantly for random dinners or big parties at my grandparents house and just mess about.  Fun never ceased to be a part of that side of the family.

As I’m now 21 years old, I’m realizing more and more that all of that was just an illusion.  Sure, every family has their problems.  And my problems may seem minuscule when compared to those who have divorced or abusive relatives.  But, I never would have thought that my childhood would be the peak of my family’s existence.  And if things suddenly turn around, I will be thoroughly surprised.

Everything was just peachy until my uncle and my paternal grandmother decided to uncover the whole battle of religion fight that had been brewing for a while and then everything exploded on that side of the family.  My father and I were constantly throw into the middle of it.  And then when my uncle’s family and my family decided to go on a vacation, all hell broke loose between me and my cousin.  I’d like to say that our two families are finally okay, but we’ll never be as tight as we once were.  Though, strangely, I’m not worried about that.  I learned a lot about everyone involved in that debacle.

I never would have thought that my mother’s side of the family was capable of the same kind of ignorance.  And the fact that my grandfather is now battling Alzheimer’s, it’s even more baffling.  My mother’s younger brother always used to be the “cool” uncle.  But because I’m older, I can’t help but observe his disrespect towards my grandparents.  They’re not old, but they’re not young – both in the 80’s now.  And yet, he’s constantly asking them to babysit for him and making them drive a long way to their house.  He yelled at my grandfather for knocking over a glass at a dinner once.  A glass!  And my grandfather started crying.  I’m sorry, but if you make your dad cry, you are definitely doing something wrong.

I wish I could say all this dysfunction stayed out of the nuclear family unit, but that’s not the case.  More so these days, I feel like an only child.  I’m the oldest in the family and while I’m a senior in college and bracing for the outside world now, I will admit to being a very traditional person.  My friends all talk about talking about their brother and sisters and the things that they do together and I can’t help but feel a little bit depressed and jealous.  My younger sister absolutely hates my guts because I took the car she drives to school for a week.  It was a week without it and she hasn’t talked to me since.  So that’s nice.  And then my brother and I never talk.  Yes, I realize that he’s a freshman in college and he’s in his own little world, but just knowing he’s alive would be nice from time to time.  And I try to get him to talk, send him a few “Good Morning” texts or random Snapcht’s of silly faces…but I never hear back from him.

If this is what I knew when I was growing up, I would have tried my absolute hardest to keep it from happening.  My parents wonder all the time why I want to travel the world or move out to California almost immediately after school, but when the alternative is to be back at home with a skeleton of a family… I’d rather not.

So that’s my rant.  And I apologize.  Not like anyone is really going to read this.  But it was nice getting it off my chest.