Hi. I’m Natalie. But I guess you knew that. Seeing as my file is on your table and everything.
It’s weird, seeing a counselor. But I really needed someone to talk to. I had to drive a long while to get here. I’m paranoid about anyone in my life finding out I’m seeing someone. It’ll just be one uncomfortable question after another; my best friend asking if she’s not enough, my mother hinting that I have little to no faith, my father grunting that this better not cost him anything. It’s always about money with him, and I guess also with me too.
Okay, I can carry on now that I know you’re listening. It’s always about money with me, because I don’t have any, and I have a host of things to do with the money. My major concern is earning enough money to get out from under my parents’ thumb. Or enough to run away and start a new life somewhere else.
I always want to run away. I think I’m just embarrassed of my family, honestly. My dad talks a big game, he’s always active in our local community, always ready to help others, but resentful about spending on us. Ever since we moved, and my mom couldn’t find a job, it’s been him supporting the family. And honestly, it sucks.
Sometimes I think about how we would all descend into abject poverty if he lost his job. He has no savings!! But how can he, when we take all his money every month?
Deep breaths. Calm down Natalie.
I am calm, I think.
Calm enough to continue?
I think so.
I look around, and I see young women of my age, with so much confidence, and all of the things they do, the things they wear.. I marvel at their self-containment, their self-confidence, even if they’re faking it, and I just.. I look at myself and I see disembodied pieces. I see half of a person. I try to find all the pieces of myself I erased, all the parts that I hid, just so I wouldn’t be a burden, just so I wouldn’t take more of my share of the paycheck.
I’ve always felt like a money drain. I mean, I went to private schools almost all my life. I’m only in community college because I screwed up at my old school and got kicked out. Also, somehow, I became ineligible for financial aid. And honestly, I want to get rich quick and pay my parents back. So they can have a tidy nest egg, and so I can be free, mentally. So I won’t have to do things for them out of guilt. Guilt that they spent so much money on me and I’m not even doing remotely good. I mean, I get good grades and stuff, my GPA is the highest it has ever been, but I’m not contributing to the family purse.And that makes me feel like a waste of space. Like I don’t deserve to have a voice in the family.
It feels like I’m in prison, and money is the jailer. Sometimes, I feel like money is an elusive lover, teasing me. A smile here, a flash of skin there, but I’m not allowed to touch or hold him.
Are you okay? Do you need a moment?
I’m fine enough to continue. Ignore the tears. It’s just that I’m so angry. I feel so restrained! But who restrained me? I did. So I would be acceptable. So I wouldn’t take up too much space. And now, anytime I’m happy, anytime I’m enjoying myself, I feel guilty. I feel like the other shoe is definitely going to drop anytime soon. I’m not comfortable.
Oh. Time’s up already.
Come back anytime you want, Natalie. I’m here whenever you need to talk.
Hi, Rosebuds. It’s a gray morning here, sorry to make it even more gray with this short story thingy. I have Anatomy exams later today. Gotta go impress my crush, Dr. Fischer. Tell me in the comments your favorite colour. Mine’s deep purple. Also, I’m so sorry there was no post on Friday. I had exams then. I will make it up to you guys soon.
Mahal kita, Rosebuds!