Broken, but still together.

My parents have been married for 30 years. They met at a small institution and dated for five years before getting married. My mom was 25 and my dad was 26.

I was raised in a small home. We were part of the lower income families so we didn’t have too many luxuries. We always had bills though and we always needed money.

My mom is a secretary and my dad is a cashier at a grocery store. Dad makes more money than mom. Maybe two to three hundred dollars more. Mom gets paid every other week, dad gets paid every week.

I don’t live at home much because I live on campus at my university. My oldest brother moved out and lives in San Antonio. My other brother still lives at home with my parents and supports them too with his part time job at the library. You’d think they’d need less money now that they don’t have to support my brother who moved out and not too much of myself because I’m living on my own right? WRONG. If anything they need money now more than ever.

My mom pays for the house mortgage bill, house insurance, and electricity. My dad pays for the cable, water, phone, and car insurance. My mom has the most expensive bills while my dad has the less expensive ones. But why does mom have to pay for the most expensive bills if she makes less money than dad? because dad doesn’t have money.

Why doesn’t dad regularly have money even though he gets paid every week?

Because daddy likes to drink. Likes it so much it’s part of his lifestyle.

About 5 days of the week my dad will drink. Socially or non socially, he’ll go out of his way to buy a pack of beer and drink it all and I mean all of the cans. He’ll drink until he’s completely drunk and acts idiotic, making a fool out of himself.

My mom says that they don’t have much money because dad keeps spending it on beer. Dad gets mad at that acquisition and says “You don’t tell me what to do, I’ll drink if I want to.” and storms out the door. He’ll come back home, though. Maybe in a few hours completely drunk as the usual.

The next morning my mom tells my dad how drunk he was last night and dad just laughs it off. Mom is trying to be serious and gets scolded every time she makes a point saying he needs to stop drinking so much and wasting money on it. But dad doesn’t care at all. He just wants his beer because he says it helps him relax.

Argument after argument after argument. They both argue nearly every single day and it never ends in resolving issues. Dad will ignore mom for the entire day if she keeps protesting about his beer. Once dad leaves somewhere mom would come to me and tell me her problems about what’s going on between dad.

“I only have one problem with him. It’s the beer. If he didn’t drink so much everything would be okay. And I don’t mean he has to quit beer I just mean that he can drink two maybe three beers on the weekend when he’s off, but a 12 pack in one night? am I being too selfish? am I asking for too much?”

My mom and I will spend hours talking about his issues and what he should be spending that beer money on. Talk about how much healthier he’d be and how much happier we’d be. But it always ends in, “Well you know no matter what we do or say he’ll never listen.” and honestly, it’s true. We’ve done a lot to try and help him stop drinking so much, had one on one talks with him, but he’s just so stubborn and has no care whatsoever about what any of us has to say.

And then I’ll ask my mom, “How do you do it? how do you keep going on living like this living with a husband who ignores you and argues with you all day long?”

One of her responses usually sounds like “I don’t know, we’ve been married for so long that I don’t think I know how to live without him.”

I’ll sigh at her responses every time. It breaks me that my dad can’t be understanding at all and is completely selfish wanting to satisfy his needs all the time, every single time. What kind of love is that? What kind of husband who has been married for 30 years is that?

I want my mom to be happy. I want my family to live happier, but these days it all just seems to be getting too difficult to deal with and fix that it’s much easier in the long run to just try and keep living with the ways things are.

I love my dad, I really do. He just doesn’t know how to be a good husband and figure out his priorities. He doesn’t act his age and is simply immature at things he needs to be careful and wise with.

And then I tell my mom something she didn’t expect to hear. “I wouldn’t blame you if you left him because if I was in your position, I would of been long gone.”

This whole thing, this constant arguing and fighting, trying and pleading, this sort of vicious circle, has been going on for years. How many years? 10 too many.

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The same crosswalk.

I’ve lived in the same dormitory for three years. I walk the same paths to get to my classes, to go to lunch, dinner, everything. My dorm is across campus so I have to walk across the street to get on campus.

There’s this cross walk that everyone uses that lives in the same dormitory as I do to get where they need to go. You simply press a button and the lights turn red, signaling the cars to stop so that pedestrians may cross the street safely.

I’ve used it over, and over, and over. There are times where I’m crossing and a car is just barely coming to a stop as I’m crossing the street. I would always think, “Wow, that dumb car barely stopped in time to not run over me.” but now it’s more like I notice that the car had almost hit me but I don’t really feel any particular way about it. I just continue my strides to the other side of the street and go about my day. Three years ago, that would of probably terrified me. Now I’m at the point to where I’m almost curious as to what it would be like if that car hadn’t stopped in time and actually did hit me.

It’s not that I would purposely be careless while walking across the street to get run over, of course not. But if I’m being careful, which I always am, and a care happens to hit because of their reckless driving, then by all means.

You live in the same place for years, have the same routine, go through the same paths, see the same people over and over again. But then you cross that cross walk and think, what would getting hit by a car do to me that hasn’t already happened to me before?

End it all with out any more worries, stress, or heavy responsibilities?

You live the same life over and over, you’ve visited all hurt, fear, disappointment, and anxiety before numerous times that nothing really makes you feel anything anymore.

So then I lay on my bed, wondering and thinking, all the years I’ve lived here, all the things I went through being here that I never want to revisit again, what I’ve accomplished, what’s still unfinished, and everything else that lies ahead of me, that maybe that crosswalk gives me some sort of relief.