Do you ever carry the weight of the world on your shoulders? Or feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world? The weight of the world would be really damn heavy, but what about the weight of your own personal world. The world that you live and exist in. Do you ever feel like you have to carry the weight of that world?
I’m moving to Louisiana in one month. I’m nervous. I’m scared. I’m anxious. But, I’m also relieved. I’m relieved because the people who have been dependent on me for far too long will finally have to stand on there own, or at least find someone else to be dependent on. And I will be forced to let them go and find my own independence away from them.
When I was sixteen years old, I started taking care of my older sister. Her mom (we have different moms) called me, a teenager, a mere child, when her child was in trouble. She chose to burden me with the responsibility of a child in trouble instead of dealing with the matter with my father (our father). And ever since, I have been taking care of my sister. I took care of the bail money or the rent money. Maybe taking care of is not the right terminology. I love my sister. I love her with every part of my being. I have idolized her and cherished her. And taking care of her hasn’t been all a burden (how can it be when you love them so much?), I was allowed to be with her as she gave birth to my beautiful niece. But I have also been burdened with the worry and the stress and the fear when she was unable to take care of herself. And even to this day, I worry and I fret over her well being. It’s part of being a sister, but sometimes you can take it too far to the point that you start damaging yourself, which is what I have done. It is this worry and fretting that has recently turned to anger. And I don’t want to feel anger towards one I love so much.
I’m tired. God, I am so tired. I am tired of the stress that bears down on my soul, stress that she may not even think about, but I do. I am the worrier in the family. I worry about everyone’s well being. Even if they are not. I worry if one member of my family is not happy, and how can I make it right. I worry about their financial concerns when I am the youngest and the baby of the family and it should be none of my business. I worry because I want them to be happy. And wanting so desperately for them to be happy is killing my happiness. It has gotten to the point that I am so empathetic that my happiness is dependent on theirs – and that is an unhealthy place to be – I’m ready to be free of that inter-dependency.
Today was a rough day in therapy. I bawled for the first time since I’ve been seeing him. But he asked a very poignant question, “Do you think God has put you in this role? The role of being responsible for everyone else?” I thought for only a moment then replied, “No. Because I don’t think God would be that cruel. I don’t think God would ask me to do what he knows is breaking my heart and killing me from the inside out.” If my God desired me in that role than he would essentially be giving me what is his role in our lives. And that is something he would never ever ask of us.
And yet it is a responsibility I do take on. For how can I be happy and secure if those I love are not happy or secure? So I am scared to leave. I will miss my family immensely. But I am excited and a little relieved. I am excited to find an independence I haven’t yet experienced. And I hope that others can also find independence. I am happy that I will no longer have to be the mediator between members of my family (and if they try, I will hang up on them). I’m ready for my sister to call the parents instead of calling me and telling me to tell the parents. Sorry family, that’s not happening when I’m 1600 miles away.
I am ready to just be a member of this family, a happy, healthy, independent but integral, member of this wonderful, crazy family, not the one everyone leans on, because you can only lean on something so long before it breaks. And I’m reaching my breaking point. God kept me strong until he gave me Louisiana, now he is going to give a different, wonderful, new strength. I’m ready to love my family with a full and open heart that’s not burdened with stresses I can’t control. I am ready for the weight of my world to be taken off my shoulders before it crushes me, and I have a God strong enough to do just that. Because the weight of the world or of my world is not for me to carry but for him to carry for me.