Am I doing to much? is a question I tend to ask myself a lot, but most of the time I feel like I am not doing enough. Although we are all different with different struggles, personalities and traits, we all are human and have certain limitations. Some of us have a ingrained spirit to not stop, slow down, relax. Some on the other hand can easily sit back relax and noting seems to bother them. Some of you may say, Well Joseph you don’t know me, I can sit back and relax because I don’t let certain things bother me.
The Pressure is Real
For myself having a family, a wife and daughter to support the pressure is always on, go, go , go. I have for years tried to look to see why I push myself to the brink of exhaustion. I guess it goes back to a time in my childhood where I was always on and doing things, not by choice, but at times by brute force. For those who have read a little bit about me, I grew up living with Mother, grandfather and sister. I put grandfather in a lower “g” even though not grammatically correct, because the value I placed in him in my life, which is pretty low.
For those reading, say with me, there is a point and this is not a blog just to complain, at least part of is not. Growing up from a young age, I was taught responsibility, put away childish things and “Grow Up”. You will respect me, and if you choose you not, I will bully you until you do. Imagine doing that to a young child growing up until adulthood, the child is bound to walk away with issues of self worth. Of course my Mother was there to defend and protect my sister and I, but it has a high price to her, because she usually go the worse end of the abuse, being called worthless until she died in 2015 at the young age of 56.
The Childhood Years Make or Break You
During the years I lived in the Hell House, I was tormented with not Chores, but work, physical work, sometimes hard physical labor. I had a pretty regular routine, go to school, do my chores, do homework and if I was lucky after a long day watch some T.V or Go online. Sounds pretty normal right, to certain degree it was, except during those days I was home which was most of time he would constantly berate me, call me names, continue to have me do things until I was exhausted. I believe living in that house my mother had to pick her battles which I understood and realize now, no use getting in a verbal fight every time I was told to do something.
Weekends were no better, wake up at 6:30, as he acted as my personal alarm knocking on my wall, (I didn’t have a door to my room) “Time to Get up”. From there I would work outside from Morning until night at times, doing whatever he wanted, no complaints or I would possibly get hit or verbally assaulted. This went on until I finally left the home, getting married, but until that point I was also his chauffeur, driving him here and there, take me here, I need to get this and buy this. Over time I grew to resent, I grew to hate the man, who people, society says you need to love, because he is your Grandfather, but he was not a grandfather, he was a torturer, a manipulator, a bully, a lier, a verbal assaulter, a user. Over time I have grown to see those people for what they are, people you can never trust to tell the truth, even over my life until he passed, never gave me a kind word, an ounce of love.
Due to living this way, I grew to live a life on the edge so to speak, depression set in, anxiety, constant worries, never voices in my head, but slight paranoia what people thought of me. I continue to have this slight paranoia today especially in my job, where I look for some form of validation to see that I am doing something right, but I hardly get anything like that. Due to this slight paranoia that is probably what drives me to continue to push myself, so that I can validate myself in some why, but truthfully it has Not worked.
Growing Up Takes Time
After getting married, that’s where I feel I changed, I grew up, which happens to most I will say, I was now responsible for a person, let alone myself, a big responsibility. Growing up I did not have the best examples of marriage, so I said I was going to be different. I was going to work hard, provide, be a good husband and eventually father. At first life was grand like many who get married, a new beautiful experience, having that person in your life who you will spend the rest of your life with, which I believe most who get married want. I am still married of course and I love my wife and my daughter, but over time it has gotten harder, because frankly marriage is hard work, throw in a child or two or three or four, I have only one and the pressure is on.
From 2011 until the recent closure of my college Mt. Sierra College, I worked two jobs, one full time and taught at night from 6pm to 10pm, pretty typical for adjunct faculties sometimes four days a week, which didn’t leave a lot of time for family time. Being the sole provider, Rent, Car, Bills, student loans, you name it, put a big pressure on me and I think it continues to this day. My wife and I made a choice together that she would take care of our daughter full time and I would go to work, a decision I Don’t regret, because my daughter had the love and attention she needed for her most precious years, until she actually went to school.
Many of those who read this may not agree with my choices, because in today’s day and age both parents work full time and drop the kid(s) day care and that is part of life. Due to high cost of childcare it would not be financially beneficial to do that and I have stuck to that, but now that my daughter is in school, my wife can and wants to work, great!
Hardships are Not for Faint of Heart
From 2014 to until 2018 life was hard, a moved out of my beautiful apartment and moved into the house of hell in Los Angeles, where you can read about in one of my other blogs. During those times money was tight, I decided I wanted to get trained in a new field which is where my life took a dangerous turn to fight to better myself and hopefully get better opportunities for myself and family.
Working day and night, I grew tired, my mind grew even more tired as I pushed, pushed and pushed myself for betterment of my families life and to gain what I felt I needed self worth and value. Although my wife and daughter bring me happiness and are a support to me, I feel something is missing, a sense that I am going in the right direction in my life.
From 2010 until Now, life has been a bit of roller coasters, first in 2014 when I attempted to go back to school at Northwest Lineman School, leaving my family temporarily to move to northern California to be an electrical Lineman, I failed by dropping out due to the strong advice from a faulty member, after leaving my full time job to take this risk, going back home to rebuild again. I was able to find part time work, two part time jobs, then eventually a full time job, things were looking up. But I took a hard hit financially after this risk and it affected myself and family for a years and will probably affect me years to come. I had choices I felt would help us but in the end hurt us.
But these events I have pushed myself , forced myself to grow, first with a new position in a field I have never done before, a huge learning curve, but finally getting it. On top of that taking Nightly online courses for web development and programming, on top of that begin to write again, taking a serious shot a something I have always want to do is write a book, an ambitious endeavor, this is something I do 7 days a week, on top of that have not taken a real vacation, my brain is fried. I have noticed differences in my performance at work, constantly tired, stressed and starting to feel like I once did when it came to my anxiety.
I feel I am on a hamster wheel never stopping , because I can’t stop, if I stop I fail, I fall. My Mind feels as though its constantly going, not even able to stop in rest. I feel over the years, I have pushed myself , putting myself last and although my family is there, there is not much they can do to control who I am or how I feel. I refuse to go back to antidepressants or meds, those were apart of my life at one point when I was at my lowest, a time I truly want to forget and taking pills will be a daily reminder.
I write this to say the struggle is real, if you are going through what I am going through, I pray for the light at the end of tunnel, I pray for peace, I pray for a day where I can enjoy life without the constant worry. I believe I am stronger than I think and probably would have given up a long time ago but refuse to take that path, a path I can say lead me no where but possible death in the end. My life I lived before, lead me to where i am today, a wife , a daughter who is my copy, so how can I not push myself to the brink of utter exhaustion at times.
I hope eat day I live this life, I can find the joys and the peace to know it will get better, it may not get easy, but I have my writing , I have my passions, I have the drive to hopefully get me where I need to go, thank you for listening.