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The 'Curse' Of Being The First- By an Anonymous Blog Reader






I’m glad I can go anonymous on this one…so I’m going to write like I deem fit and bare it all. If you find a typo, close your eyes to it. (Senses numb by the way not from the influence of alcohol neither from the influence of coke nor snort).

I wonder what my life would have been if I wasn't looked up to, if the pressure wasn't this intense. Would I have fared better? Would I have been more confident? Unafraid to explore? Unafraid to play and be less rigid? You think I am strong? No I am not. That smile is just a facade, a pretty disguise worn to put off more questions. People who really know me would agree it doesn't even last that long but the emptiness and blankness in my eyes sure do. I truly wonder what my life would have become...what would it have looked like without the constant nagging, the frets and fears? I am only remembered when it is bad news. I know I've always prayed to be a peacemaker but can I be a recipient of good news too? Every call is picked with trepidation and received with anxiety...who's beating who now? Who is dying? Who is losing his/her mind? Who is hungry? Who is sick? Who is naked and in dire need of *Tonia to come cover her up. Like I am some protector dropped from heaven? Like I am unfeeling and don't have a life too? Can anyone share good news with me for once? *Tonia this. *Tonia that. Can they call someone else? If it's bad, pass me over please. Tell someone else. I am atm deaf to them all.

My days start on a glorious note only for them to be ruined by messy news. Like I will drop everything that is 'mine' and start hailing back home? But of course they know I will...after all I am the first. Responsible me. Their big sister. Their sane daughter. Softhearted and kind. Never one to leave them to rot and writhe in pain. The last time I did, mama died. I'll starve myself even deplete all of the savings to keep them well. I am the predictable one never for once forgetting my people. I'll listen to all the cries, my eyes to the world is dry but deep inside my blood burns, not for passion but in pains. Tears turned blood. Unsettled. I try to think of any one time I have heard good news but I truly can't. Honestly, I can't. Even when dada shared the news of my younger step-sister giving birth to her second child, it was still a sad gentle reminder of my singleness.
I worry. I am burdened. Secret tears. Silent anguish.
Suddenly having a child out of wedlock is normal, walking out of a less than two-years marriage is normal. Physical abuse and cursing is normal. Verbal abuse is normal. Name-calling is normal. Public disgrace is normal. Mediocrity and failure is normal.
They come at me with their warts and all. They come at me with the entire plea to marry...how many of their blasted marriages is working? Until I enter one and follow in their trail? Leave a child behind in several homes? Many open their big mouths and make reference to my killer ambition, but of course I am the first and we are generally studious and ambitious. How else would anyone have been able to turn to me for support?
You wish you were me? Think again! Well I guess the saying is true...never wish to be someone else because you don't have the faintest idea where the shoe pinches.

I daresay having a mobile phone is one of the ills of modern day technology, if not handwritten; posted letters would take weeks in this country. The stress of sending one sef will cause them to zip the news.

Ha! The curse of being the first born child. Who laid a blasted curse! I have been a parent for as long as I can remember. Late nights tending baby to sleep. Doing all the hard and dirty job-chores. From ice-cold water tied in nylon to sachet water to chilled soft drinks. How I escaped the manhandling from the garage dudes, I don't know. Fast forward few years later...standing 8-9 hours on heels chasing rude and uncouth customers all in the name of lead prospecting just in the bid to earn an honest living. Men leering. The stupid looks they give. The ones that hit your bum and grope your boobs because they know you can't scream rape? After a first degree you get a job running around the airport like a headless chicken because sick mama must eat. Sister must go to school. Your friends pass you by in their fine cars, looking all dapper and all you can do is wear a smile! Thank God for a pretty face, it's all anyone sees and they forget you jumping buses or flying bikes.  Don't pity me I'm just venting. I am truly strong, just not as strong I guess. 
*whew*
****
One day later after writing this which was expressing my state of anger at a bad news, then came another. I can’t even begin to describe the content of the latest news, next thing I was clutching my chest. Air zapped out of me. A state of breathlessness.  Tightness in my chest. Cold hands…my first thought was high blood pressure, paralysis (I have since cleansed my mind of every negative thoughts & I was only having an asthma attack after about 7 months and it was a terrible one, not even the inhaler could suppress it). I couldn’t even walk. Legs scampered. Office was in total disarray as I got carried and rushed to a hospital. My colleague drove like a mad man; I know he was brushed severally. If they were women they would have cried at the state I was in…even I don’t have the words to describe it. In less than 1 hour, it could have been a different tale. Battling for my life only to get to the hospital again and all they could utter first was deposit? Ah! A life versus money??? Honest truth, I lost hope for those seconds. Prayed in my heart for God’s acceptance.

This was two days ago. As much as I hate to be a pity focus, I am glad when people called me it was my voice they heard at the other end of the line. Mine. My voice. My strong voice. My very strong, grateful voice.

Comments

  1. I feel ur pain,been in similar situation before,jst dat I didn't av to STAND on d road or b hit on d bum but I know wat it feels like being d first child ,everyone looks up to u n all dat. But I tnk God for Christ,knowing him has helped me a whole lot n he can do same for u too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can relate to a lot of the stuffs in this post and I am not even the first born! With my single-mother-of-3-playing-both-parents status, I still have 2 of my siblings staying with me with one fully catered for by me - school things and all. I dare not complain. At times, I go mad, really mad like I am losing control of my mind, emotions, spirit and soul. Sometimes, I think my world would just collapse under the heavy financial burden but God has been awesome in this respect. They come first in everything. Before you think about yourself, you think about them. However, one must stay strong and not do anything at the expense of one's health. You can only try your best and leave the rest to God.

    I have a friend - a first child who started playing the roles of mother and father to her siblings after her mother died at age 38 (she was about 19) and replaced with her closest friend. At the end of the day, all siblings became well-read and got juicy jobs but my friend? At almost 40, unmarried, no major accomplishments and siblings are not even willing to help. She lived her life for them.

    In my case, I am not the first but happen to be the one who cannot afford to see mama sad.

    -F

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the irony of life. Her siblings would be taking care of their own family while she suffers in silence. I always tell people that to take Care of ones parents is an obligation but that of siblings is a privilege!

      Delete
  3. WOW!!! I could swear this was me writing until I got to the asthma part. This was my life until 18months ago.
    Dear poster, We are twin sisters in different homes.
    Just 16months ago, I was diagnosed of Depression, missed Hepatitis B by a wink as a result of family wahala (80%) & boyfriend BS (20%).
    My Dr was screaming at me like I killed someone. Asked me if I birthed the world & gave me clues on how to Deal.

    Now people wonder Y I'm so excited all the time & how infectious my happiness is...
    This too can be U Dear Poster,
    1st Step, Realize U have a Problem in the way U care for your family.
    2nd Step, Pray for strength.
    3rd step, talk to people who have come outta similar situations.
    4th step, start making changes FAST, reduce ur ties & worries drastically, U are just ur siblings sister & NOT ur parents mom! Just be a child.
    5th step, Keep making changes.
    6th - 99th step, keep making changes!
    100th step, Don't stop smiling!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like your approach Ruth. The Lord will continue to be your strength.

      Delete
  4. Poster i feel your pain but what can one do? Kip trusting and hoping that one day you will look back and smile. it is well with you. Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the lord deliver him all from them. So in all you do never stop trusting God. I know there is a great blessing attached to the "FIRST BORN"

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Anon ur frnds case is similar to mine,in my own case,I started taking home pay for d family at age sixteen after secondary school,it has affected me badly dat at age 25 all I can boast of is an OND,I still tnk God though n m going bck to school next mth cos m done living for dem n dear poster follow ruths advice n above all like I said before,draw close to Jesus,only him can do , it,he did it for me too

    ReplyDelete
  6. I felt your pain as I read. Glad you survived the asthma attack. Let me tell you this blunt truth: Your family would have continued to survive if events turned otherwise! PLEASE, as you have given them fishing rod to fish, concentrate on yourself. Kpele.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hmmmn..this is really deep. I totally know what it's like to walk in your shoes though the difference is I'm not the first child..but,I've learnt to live life one step at a time,not allowing family issues weigh me down,not allowing life's struggles pull me to the ground,not allowing how things are going good for my friends while I stay stuck at a spot depress me..poster,please be strong and take a moment to think of YOU first while you're thinking of others..the Lord is your strength

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is just wrong, I am a first born too, if u don't want to help your family anymore , God would use someone else, wouldn't it have been worse if you couldn't help cos u had no job? U dnt even knw if its cos of ur family God even gave u a job, be thankful and stop winning, seeing the smile on their face and that fact that ur siblings and fam see u as a blessing isn't enough????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Abegi, oversabi first born. Im a first born as well and I understand what the poster is referring to. I dont have any of the issues she spoke about cos my family is quite well off so no burdens on me but if the situation were otherwise, id advise her to do what she can to help and not kill herself. Please shes a daughter and a sibling not a parent or Lord. Personally I have issues with parents who expect their kids to drop all they have to assist, thats sheer wickedness. Later when something goes wrong, they will open mouth and begin tales by moonlight. Yeah, thank God you have enough to spare doesn't mean you should become a living corpse.

      Delete
  9. Wow...I thought it was just me. Thanks for all the words of encouragenent, I appreciate everyone and I'll put to good use.

    However I did mean to imply I "stood" on the road, my work only involved me standing straight hours running after potential clients at the airport. If there is anything I am glad of it is never having to resort to sleeping my way out of anything.

    @ Dear anon 10.32; it's not about the giving neither is it about the dependency...that I would gladly do. It is about the news that are never good. How long can one stand such without cracking? Imagine having to pick your calls and all that ever comes is news of someone insane, or running out of school or in the hospital or anything. I am glad I am in a position to help but let it be for good & joyful things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *I didn't mean to imply...

      Delete
  10. I am a first born and I can relate to the story. Our stories might be different, but sometimes family pressure is too much. You feel as if they hold you back and you can become resentful. I am starting to let go and letting my family realize that I do have a life and I refuse to be stuck because of family responsibility. The only solace you get is a parent telling you "that's why you are the oldest sister." Sometimes I wish I could just run away and not talk to anyone for years and I do realize life will go on. My advice to you and I hope I take this advice too, is to live for myself because people whether they are family or not will always look out for their selfish interests. I do not want to be resentful of my family members, so I am learning to set limits and to stop feeling guilty. After all if they were in your shoes, would they do the same for you. I just finished venting to a confidante about my feelings about my family regarding a particular issue. The Lord is your strength my dear. I really do know how you feel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. forgive the typo. I meant to write "I just finished venting to my confidante about my family regarding a particular issue"

      Delete
  11. Seems the writer is me also. Being the first-child has a huge burden that most times I end up with intravenous injections and drips cause of asthma attack too. Was still ranting just as of yesterday not knowing someone, somewhere has similar issues. Been asked what have I been thinking (money, child, singleness or what) on different visits to my doctor of which I cant place a reason and I've been seriously warned 'Life has got no duplicate, if you leave, things will still roll". Worse is, everyone sees the smiles, admire the heels, long for the job but no one knows where it bites and how depressing the my inner self feels at times due to pressures from family. God Help me.

    ReplyDelete

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