The Definition of a Burden

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“I am helping her out as much as I can because I don’t want to be a burden.”

This is the sentence that makes my blood boil.  This sentence makes me see red. This sentence makes my chest hurt, my eyes fill, and my head light and heavy all at the same time.

The definition of a burden isn’t one that one would usually have to have explained to them, but in this case I feel that I must be obliged.

You don’t seem to understand the impact of your careless words.

You don’t understand the sting of frustrated tears burning your eyes as you try so hard to choke your emotions away so that you don’t step over the invisible line between security and chaos.

Without further explanation, I will give you my burden.  If you choose to take it, I would be surprised, as everything else that you have done thus far has been in a self serving capacity.

My first burden. Your promise.  The promise, that KNOWING I grew up with an abusive alcoholic, and then married one later on, that you would abstain from alcohol in the house, near myself and near my children. I realize that it is hard for alcoholics to be sober.  I recognize the struggle, but you were informed that my children are too precious to me to have to watch an idiot throw their life away.  How long did that promise last.  I come to find out that it was less than two days.

My second burden.  The loss of your job.  Great, now not only are you drunk all of the time and everywhere, but you are also a financial strain on a single income household that is working its ass off to make a move THAT YOU HAVE KNOWN ABOUT FOR YEARS.  Our timeline is coming up, so let’s do everything that we can to sabotage the work that we have already put into our move.  You want us to stay nearby, but we want to be far away from you.

Our savings are drained now.

I should probably thank you for that. How do I spell that again?


F-u-c-k  Y-o-u.

The third burden. Your blackouts.  Congratulations, you are a very serious alcoholic.  You have a grandchild in the home that has recently fallen off of a bike and had to get stitches for a rather nasty head wound.  Great way to follow that up?  Blood all over the garage.  Blood all over your bed.  Blood all over you.

Let me take a moment to remind you that at this point, you have taken ONE bath or shower in the two months that you have been here so far.  ONE.  After six months or so, you have taken FIVE.

Blood all over your arm.  A huge gash above your eye. Bruises that last for over a month because alcoholics don’t heal properly.

My fourth burden.  Your attitude.  We replaced a broken television.  It was for the entire household, not for you.  It is in the front room of the house.  It is to be used by everybody.  You still come in and push and push and push at everyone until they just hand you the remote and walk away.

Your fucking nerve and audacity to raise your voice to my child because he set the remote “On the wrong spot on the table”.  It was about a foot to the right of where you kept setting it, but by fucking Gods, it nearly found a new home in your ass.

My fifth burden.  My children’s hate for you.  You are a person that my children should love.  Your consistent horrendous treatment of my children has developed into a full blown hatred.  When my son comes to me after dealing with you with tears in his eyes asking me if it’s OK to hate you, HATE YOU, well that hurt me.

My answer was a simple “It’s ok to love a person, but to hate everything about them.”

My sixth burden. Hate. We have received so much hate for dealing with you, and we have been treated like shit for it as well.  You own this home over our heads. What would have happened to us had you decided to make a big deal over anything that we said or did that didn’t meet up to your standings.  We couldn’t risk your possible wrath.

My seventh burden. You.  Somewhere along the way I became your mother. I hardly came near you again after the one time you were too drunk to think about who I was and you kissed my neck.  I did not wear my hair up around you again. Somehow still, I ended up cleaning you up and bandaging your wounds. I had to check daily on a schedule, literal words here, “Just making sure you are still alive”. You fell into stupors.  I didn’t understand that this was only the beginning.  I came to miss the quiet.

My eighth burden. Your blame.  I am a writer.  I am not famous yet. I am not published. I am working my ass off on my first series, and I could not do that around you.  I am also inherently a night owl, so it was easy to flip myself to a night schedule to continue working. I work in my room, with the lights off and a pair of headphones on, but somehow, you, sleeping on another floor, could hear my typing or SOMETHING because “It’s your fault that my sleep schedule is all thrown off”.  Fuck you.  You are an adult, and are responsible for yourself.  I have slept on that floor and you can’t hear SHIT from downstairs unless it’s LOUD.

My ninth burden. The emotions of my family.  I get the fallout that you leave in your wake as you walk out and leave insecurity hovering over our heads.  I get the children who will always have a harder time trusting the people in their lives because you have betrayed them.  I get the man that has grown up from the little boy that you could never bond with to the man that tried to love you.  I get his eventual heartache at the loss of a family member.  Whether the heartache is great or not, it will be there to some degree.

My tenth burden. My anger and my tears.  Oh how you have frustrated me.  I have been sick for months, literal MONTHS since you have started smoking in the house after you KNEW about the allergies. You suck. I will always wonder what could have been different, but I will never know. I wash my hands of you and this whole situation.  Your time with us is now on a clock.  I hope, for your sake, that you stop wasting your time, because we are through wasting ours.