forgotten

One of the hardest parts about being a special needs sibling is being forgotten. It’s like I don’t even exist. Forgotten, no one would miss me if I was gone. It’s hard to get over the voice in my head that is on repeat saying that no one really cares about me.

Yesterday I went out to eat with my mom. At the restaurant, my mom noticed our previous dentist sitting near us. He lost his license to practice dentistry over a decade ago. He wasn’t the first provider that we had lose his license either. Let’s just say when traditional medicine didn’t heal my autistic brother, my mom went the alternative medicine route and some of those doctors were quacks.

My mom went over to talk to our dentist about Matt. She showed him all of Matt’s most recent pictures. On the way out, we said good-bye. I told my mother that the dentist probably remembered me. After all, I was the patient with the small mouth that no dentist could numb for fillings. My mom talked to the dentist some more about Matt, then asked the dentist if he remembered me.

The dentist said that he did not remember me. He had a very large practice and wasn’t expected to remember every patient. I was in his office so often that I still remember his secretary’s name. It was like a kick to the teeth. The polite thing to do would’ve been to lie. Yes, I remember you. How are you doing now? Instead he asked for my mom’s phone number because he would like to schedule a time to come out and visit Matt.

I told my husband about the interaction and he was rather appalled. But I told Paul this was the typical response.

As a teenager, the rare time I was with family friends or family, they would pepper me with questions about Matt. They asked how my brother Matt was doing with the same sympathetic frown on their faces. I was barely holding it together, but no one ever asked how I was doing or how my other brothers were doing. Yeah, just trying not to swallow a whole bottle full of pills here. But who cares?

As a child, I wanted something to be wrong with me so that I would be loved too. My babysitter told me if I wore her thick glasses and looked in the mirror, I would need glasses too. I wore her glasses looking in the mirror with a metallic gum wrapper covering my top teeth with a paper clip. I wanted to be special too.

I had a lot of stomachaches as a child. I could barely eat I felt so sick. But I wasn’t as sick as Matt. I didn’t need to go to the doctor. Matt’s valve between his stomach and intestines closed, and he almost died. What was I bellyaching about? I just wanted attention.

But as I am currently facing health issues, I wonder if I am just being paranoid. Maybe it’s just me wanting attention. Maybe it’s nothing and I am just crazy. I am probably just being selfish to focus so much on myself. Look at Matt.

It was always that way. It will probably always be that way. Seriously, who cares anyway? My thoughts and feeling don’t matter. I don’t know why I even bother.

I remember a special occasion with family several years back. We were supposed to go around the room and share something special that happened in our family over the past year. My mom spent 20 minutes in tears talking about all of Matt’s medical needs. She did not once mention that my brother Luke, who wasn’t there, got a HUGE promotion at work that year.

We are the forgotten ones. It makes me feel both sad and angry, hurt. But it was always like that. I should be used to it by now.

I didn’t feel that way about my dad. He pretty much checked out altogether. But in my mom’s life, the sun will around revolve around her special son Matt. Our accomplishments don’t matter. It doesn’t matter that Matt hurt us or our children. We should all work together to worship our god Matt because his life sucks.

My mother is a great person, a martyr perhaps. I feel guilty for my disloyalty. But the one thing that grieves me deeply, far beyond the memories of the physical pain of being attacked by Matt, is being forgotten. It’s hard to get over feeling like no one cares about me. Sometimes it’s hard to be caring towards myself. I feel selfish for sharing my wants and needs.

Forgotten.

 

5 thoughts on “forgotten

  1. That dentist is a rude ass! Your mom may be a good person and maybe she did the best she knew how, but the way you and Luke were treated was wrong and is wrong. You do matter! I sometimes feel bad because I don’t think I give Grace enough attention or talk about her much. But I have five other kids that I need to raise. I can’t spend all my time with Grace like some moms I know who have only one child and the child has special needs. I think Grace is okay with it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure you are doing wonderful job. It’s hard sometimes to know if we are doing the right thing as a parent. I don’t think my mom made the conscious decision to favor my brother and perhaps she doesn’t know how bad we feel about it. I think all children should be treated equally although some children need extra care. It’s so difficult. There is guilt involved either way. I think my mom did the best she could, that is what makes it so difficult to feel angry sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • What matters is how you perceived it as a child and now . Your feelings are valid and it’s normal to want to be noticed and remembered . Your mom needs to acknowledge her mistakes and apologize.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so sorry that you had to go through this. I feel the exact same way in my family sometimes, especially when it comes to caring for myself. But know this: you are important, you do matter, and I’m sure your family would be lost without your help even when it seems unnoticed. It took me a while to realize this and sometimes I lose my strength, especially if my brother is having a difficult time or all the attention is on him. Hoping you find some peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting. Sorry that you find yourself in a similar situation. I hope that you find healing and peace as well. I understand how difficult it can be, but I can tell that you are strong. Don’t forget to take care of yourself! I always thought I was selfish for doing so, but I think it will be easier later on. There will be less regrets if you don’t let your own life slip by. Best wishes on your journey.

      Like

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