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Growing Up In A Broken Home

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My Experiences Living In A Broken Home
My Experiences Living In A Broken Home

This is presented as a work of fiction.

I have learnt quite a lot in just my twenty years in life so far. Coming from a broken family that’s still together, yeah, my parents are still together, but they don’t even look at each other. They are just together for the sake of me and my siblings, to make us happy. But now, for some reasons, my brother hates my dad, and I don’t know why. My dad does everything for us, from going to shopping, buying foodstuffs at the market, paying tuition fees… Virtually anything one could think of, yet his hate for him is indescribable. I always feel as if I’m stuck in the middle.

I love my mum and I love my dad . . . I would catch a grenade for them any day any time. Little things that I see shatter my heart and break it into pieces. Walking to the sitting room late in the night and seeing my dad sleeping on the couch, when he paid for this roof to be over our head. My Mum is a woman with a strong personality, a wonderful woman. . . but she’s from the street. She spends reasonable amounts of money on clothes and jewelries, which kind of leaves us in a financially unstable situation.

Both my parents have two different philosophies in life. My dad likes joint cooperation with mum. He likes to make provision for the future, he will work and work and work all, just so he can pay the bills and put food on the table. My mum on the other hand, she’s more of a “sit back and let the money come” type of woman, which dad finds really annoying and frustrating.

I can see where both of them are coming from though, because working so hard like my father can bring you to a horrible state where all you do is work and work, and get old, and not get rewarded or even appreciated at all. Sometimes when I see my dad I get sad.

My mum is a party rider and a spender, but she doesn’t admit it. sometimes she leaves the house for hours and hours or days as the case may be, and then comes back. We know where she was, but she always tells us she was at her shop . . . yeah right.

My brother is a very quiet boy, obviously on mom’s side. People think he is a gentleman, but he’s what I see as an asshole, excuse my language, but that is one way to describe him! He only listens to my mum . . . he ignores my father and sometimes picks up fight with me. But don’t get me wrong I love my brother. I’ve never told him this though.

Sometimes I sit in bed and cry all night because I don’t know what to do. My family is BROKEN and I’m trying to put it back together, but it seems like I’m trying to fix a broken mirror. It feels like I’m trying to fix what’s destined to remain broken. It’s better to leave it behind, instead of hurting yourself trying to put it all back together. I never seem to give up though. I always smile, not because I’m happy but only because my dad gets sad when he sees me sad. I try to leave the house as much as possible, but I feel guilty. I hope one day, I will somehow do something incredible and get a high paying job, just so I can come home one day and throw the money in the air and be like, ‘‘here, this is the cure for our problems’’ maybe then my dad can pay off our debts and then buy everything he’d always wanted to buy . . . and maybe my mum can just use that money to buy all the jewelries wants just so she stops starting fights over money.

So I’m here stuck in the middle. My dad doesn’t have a job, my mum has a job that he gets just enough money to pay for her bills and food. My brother is just twenty one, but still doesn’t know anything, he just sits at home in front of the television. Me? Well, I’m a twenty-year-old boy with a really really low self-esteem. I’m not a confident boy like the rest of my friends . . . but I always wear a smile on my face, everyday.

Sometimes it’s so much easier to smile rather than people asking you what’s wrong? I have people all around me, family and friends, but I still feel very much alone. I don’t find it comfortable to open up to anyone. Not even a single soul. And this is because I have way too much pride. People knowing about my situation makes me feel weak and helpless. So I keep my shit in and my dirty linen covered. I smile during the day, and the tears roll down my cheeks at night. People do say I have a beautiful soul and and a gentle personality. Compliments are often thrown at me from people all around me but I never except compliments because I don’t believe them at all. Year thirteen to fifteen were the worst years of my life. I was a chubby boy with a bent leg and long teeth, not too chubby though, but nothing about me makes me happy. I would see boys wearing their school uniform and sport wears looking perfect in it . . . but me? I would wear a long, black woolen jacket on a sunny day . . . just so people wouldn’t see how ‘‘fat’’ I was. I would always argue that I wasn’t fat but really I felt like fainting from the heat.

Year seventeen came, and with convincing from my friends that it would be better than the past years. From that year onwards I was seen as a really handsome guy. . . but I still didn’t believe it . . . because it still felt like I was the old me. I felt like this was a cover up. I looked good on the outside, but when I looked into the mirror. my eyes spoke a different story . . . one of a boy who felt fat, and didn’t have a happy family to go to. So here I am sitting behind my laptop writing a really long story cut short ..while I still don’t feel beautiful . . . and while my dad is still sleeping on the couch getting rest before he gets up to go out again. My mum, still a party rider, my twenty one year old brother still clueless, and me? Don’t worry about me . . . I’ll be just fine.

I love my family so much, words cannot describe . . . I would die a slow, painful death for them if I had to; I would do ANYTHING for them. My family does fight a lot, but we love each other. I know it just because people fight it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other and just because people don’t fight, it doesn’t mean they don’t hate each other . . . I believe no one knows anyone’s story. No one! And no one will ever understand the pain I feel. No one! I wish I didn’t love them . . . just so I could be brave enough to just LEAVE . . . just so I can get away but I can’t—and I will not leave until we are happy.

© Ajagbe Ayodeji

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