Send your questions to Terrance: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Gay Best Friend,
I’m so stressed out, I feel like I’m losing my mind. I feel as if I have lost my way since I lost my grandmother. She used to keep me close to God. It’s only been a year since she’s been gone, and it’s been nothing but pure hell.
I’m arguing with family. I stop chilling with my girlfriends because they pissed me off. I was the one who would never take a cigarette, and now I’m smoking. I will be 22-years old next week. Why am I stressing at a young age? Aren’t I supposed to be enjoying my life, praising God and having fun? I don’t know what the hell is happening to me.
Take my sister, for example, she is so bitter that all her problems are everybody’s problems, including me. As soon as she gets out of bed in the morning, she is angry, like she is mad at the whole world. I am this close to knocking her on her ass. My mom and sister are always arguing. I’m just waiting for her to touch Mom and I will beat her to a bloody pulp. That is not a threat baby! It is a promise because I will do it. She acts like a child trapped in a grown woman’s body. I can’t take her at all. Sometimes I wish I can just leave and don’t look back.
As for my mother, she never does the things that she says she is going to do. I give my mother money when she needs it, if I can spare it, and she takes the money and gives it to her boyfriend. I was so mad at her. If I give my mother money or anything of mine, it’s for her, not him, because she is my mother. I can’t take care of him or anybody else. Does that make me selfish?
Bottom line is I’m getting tired of giving, and people giving me their ass to kiss. It’s the holidays and I’m upset and stressed out. My birthday is right around the corner. I want to at least be happy for that. So here is my question, How do I avoid family drama? How do I tell my sister to change her ways without having to use my fist? I can’t take it anymore and my mother can’t take it anymore. Please educate me on this one before I end up doing something I will regret. – My Family Is Getting On My Nerves
Dear Ms. My Family Is Getting On My Nerves,
Girl, please, just breathe. Come on now. Take a few deep breaths. I know exactly how you feel. Chile, that is family for you. Whew!
Okay, a few things I want to address with you. The first is your grandmother’s passing. I take it the two of you were close and her death has truly impacted you. The emotions you’re experiencing are part of the grief. Yes, darling, it seems that you are still grieving. There is no time limit on people and grieving, but I do suggest you find a counselor or therapist to talk about your feelings and what’s going on with you. I’ve addressed this before in another advice column on how everyone deals with grief differently. And, especially since your grandmother was probably the matriarch of the family, and losing the one person who held the family together is a lot to handle.
I’ve also lost my grandmother and without her it seems my family has truly fell apart. No more family gatherings, events, or dinners. Yes, I understand sweetie. As I read your letter it seems like your entire family is dealing with the loss. Everyone is acting out. So, again, I suggest you guys either sit down and talk about the loss of your grandmother and how it has affected each of you, or get into some counseling. I think expressing the emotions each of you is feeling will help you to see how it’s impacting the entire family. Also, again, a professional grief counselor can help you deal with your emotions and feelings.
Now, as far as your sister, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t! LOL. Again, it’s family, and sometimes family members fight, and go through certain stages where none of you can get along. I definitely think it’s a passing stage/moment and it will pass, but for now, I suggest giving one another space. If you can afford to go to a friend’s house, or she goes to a friend’s house, and spend a few days as a cooling out period. Sometimes we have to step away from people and give ourselves time to think, reflect, and gather ourselves. And, girl, don’t put your hands on your sister. I know her behavior is driving you insane, ‘cause there had been many a days I wanted to knock my brother out, but I refrained. Whew, lawd, knows I was close, and I mean very close to losing it. But, I didn’t. So, don’t you lose it. Remain composed and keep your composure. And, your sister is doing nothing differently, trust me, she isn’t. Again, because you’re all dealing with various issues, and the death of your grandmother, all of you are acting out and are on edge. Don’t let her get to you, and girl, try meditation. Yes, close your door, sit quietly in your room, relax, and just sit and breathe. Visualize a place where it’s tranquil, and peaceful. It will help ease your mind and alleviate the stress you are dealing with.
In my book, STRAIGHT FROM YOUR GAY BEST FRIEND, I have a chapter titled, Family Dearest: You Can Pick Your Friends, But Not Your Family. This chapter is specifically for all of us who deal with family, their drama, and everything that comes with them. I provide an illustration based on your issue and giving money to your mother. Honey, let me tell you, once you give the money away you can’t be concerned how she uses it and what she does with it. The money is no longer yours. In my book I speak of how to deal with this issue of money and lending it to family members. One thing I can say is this, don’t loan money or let folks borrow it. It’s best to just give away and have no expectations of what they will do with it, and if they will return it. I truly believe that money and family don’t mix, so instead of folks asking to borrow or me loaning it to them, I either give it to them, or tell them I can’t give it to them. It saves me the stress and headache.
So, Ms. My Family Is Getting On My Nerves, you’re not alone when it comes to your family. It’s normal and everyone deals with issues around their family. Now, what I do recommend, and it will save you drama, and stress, is that instead of loaning or giving your mother the money, I suggest you start saving it so you can move out. Yes, Ms. Honey, it’s time for you to move out on your own. You can get a little studio apartment, or a one bedroom someplace where you don’t have to deal with the drama and stress in your home. Trust me, living on your own is the best remedy and you can come and go as you please. Lastly, get into some counseling, or talk with someone about the grief you’re dealing with from your grandmother’s passing. It will definitely help you in addressing the stresses you are feeling, because like you said you are too damn young to be dealing with all of this, and, honey, you don’t want to wear stress on your face. It’s not a cute look. – Straight From Your Gay Best Friend
Make sure to get your copy of my new book, STRAIGHT FROM YOUR GAY BEST FRIEND – The Straight Up Truth About Relationships, Work, and Having A Fabulous Life (Agate/Bolden – October 2010; $15). It is available in bookstores everywhere, and on Amazon, HERE!