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Every summer, I go on vacation to Florida to visit my cousin, Ashley and her family. I like it—don’t get me wrong—it’s fun for about a week at least. I miss my home in Illinois and the simplicity of it. You’re probably asking what I mean by simplicity and if you give me a minute I’ll tell you.

I’m 22 and I have problems like everyone else, but sometimes I feel like my problems are worse. I live at home with my non-functioning alcoholic mother and my Catholic step-father. The reason it’s simple there is because I have no distractions besides my mother. I didn’t grow up with cable and internet like most kids my age, which I am grateful for because I wouldn’t be who I am today if I grew up surrounded by technology. (No, I am not Amish). Now, I decided to start this journal because I need someone to listen (or read, for you smartasses that are bound to correct me) to what I have to say (or type) because I feel like no one cares anymore. It's like I’m alone. I’m getting off topic.

Vacation…if that’s what you want to call it. I sleep until noon, I get up and do laundry for my Aunt’s when they ask, I sweep the house when I’m asked, and do other things like the dishes. (I do fun things like go to the bar on the weekend, but I’m not a big drinker. I also go to the beach on the weekends, which I don’t mind at all besides the annoying ass sand). The problem is, I can do that shit at home (well not the beach part), why am I doing that here. I should be home helping my step-father not here doing other people’s chores. Now, I think it’s time to tell you about my step-father.

My step-father, Tim, is a pretty good guy. He’s taken care of me since I was three and I owe him a lot for it, especially since my mom’s drinking has gotten worse in the last six years. He could just have walk away, but he needs us as much as we need him and I thank god he never told us to leave. He’s kind of a spectacular guy because he works from 6a.m. til 8p.m. all to support our family. He and my brothers (Tommy and Todd) farm over 2700 acres a year in Illinois, so it’s safe to say, I have a middle class life. I don’t ask for much because I know he works really hard and asking him for money is crazy. In return for his hard work, I cook dinner, clean the house, and help him in at night. I forgot to mention something, Tim’s paralyzed. He’s been that way for 30 years and still wakes up every day and goes to work like it never happened. He’s someone to marvel at, and most of all he’s someone to look up to at least I do. That’s why, I’m having a hard time on vacation. I don’t know what I should do.

I don’t leave Florida until August and the truth is I think I should be home helping not here having a good time while my step-dad is probably having a shitty time. I’d love your feedback so please leave a comment and in return I’ll read and comment your journal as well.


Well first of all , I understand the reason you got an online journal for. A lot of people suffer loneliness in some point in our lives.

Your step father sounds like an amazing man actually. But I wouldn't feel bad about vacations if I were you. It's hard I know probably because of how great man your step dad is but sometimes you need to have a escape from reality and leave stress at home. Take this time to be problem free and once you go back home just show everyone how grateful you are for this time.

Thanks for adding me
Thanks for replying. I'm sure he'll be fine until I get back. Thanks for reading.
Thanks for the suggestions, but the truth is, he doesn't like me being away from home. I'm the only one that cooks for him. I haven't talked to him since I left and I'm thinking of calling him tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
Thanks for that intro...wow about your step father...just shows the spirit he has. What type of paralysis does he have?

I relate to the feeling lonely bit...
He's paralyzed from the chest down, his arms still work. He was in a farming accident when he was 27. A 1500 pound round bail of hay fell on top of him. I really admire his drive. I hope to put that towards my future career. I'm writing a piece on him and his accident in my creative non-fiction class next semester.
Yikes... well, I'd talk to him and explain how you're feeling and that you want to help him out - just be open. He may appreciate the offer of help, or he may just want you to take a break - either way, I think being open is the best thing.
I know. It's hard though, we don't always see eye to eye, but I definitely think I might cut my vacation short.
I don't think everyone sees eye to eye all the time, but what matters at the end of the day is the caring about each other that drives everything
That's very true. I think tomorrow, I'll post more about me. I've forgotten to give some information about me and what I'm all about today. Tomorrow, I'll focus on me. Technically, it's already tomorrow here. lol
Well it's almost 6pm Monday evening here (c:

I should do an 'about me' entry given I've started up again and I have a few new folks on my journal too!
You should, I'd love to know more about you.
Wow, it's 6 on Monday night there. It's only 4 a.m. here. =] I kind of suffer from insomnia.
Get some sleep!
I was going to wait until 6 to go to bed because everyone leaves for work then and I'll have time to myself to sleep with no disturbances.
Ahh ok... how long will you get to sleep then before people come back?
It depends if I get woke up by my cousin's boyfriend. I'm an extremely light sleeper so the littlest things wake me up. I swear, I was awaken by the sliding door today. lol They don't get home until 4 in the afternoon, but I have to do laundry for my aunts tomorrow. Hopefully, I'll sleep until 2 in the afternoon. I don't do this always. I usually get up at noon despite not going to bed until 5 in the morning.
You ought to move to Australia, then your sleeping patterns would fit in perfectly! haha!
I've always wanted to go to Australia. I kind of want to see a Kangaroo before I die. That's probably weird, but I think they're interesting animals. What part of Australia do you live in?
What do you do in Melbourne? Have you ever been to the States?
I'm about to write an 'about me' entry now.. although I'm always terrible at writing those!

And yes, I have. I've been to California and Illinois (Chicago / St Charles) for work.
Illinois is where I live. I was born in Chicago, I haven't been there for awhile though. It's a great city, but I'm more of a small town person.
I would love to backpack Australia or Europe before I have to start my career.
are you on google talk or yahoo messenger or facebook ? If you wanted to instant message that is...
You can add me on Facebook, my name is Tammy Goad (I really hate my last name). lol. My profile picture is the same.
Is there any way possible that you could go to Florida for less time? Personally I think the time away to clear your head & give it a good shake is a very good thing. Sometimes there has got to be a spot when you can lift your head up for some clean air. Even if it's just for a weekend, say. Taking time once in a while does your soul good & allows you to be stronger & better for them & yourself.

I have to agree with you that Tim sounds like a spectacular guy. It's hard for me to imagine his position. My dad has always been a workaholic - 7 (sometimes six, but not as of the past few years) days a week, as a labourer. He has always worked exceptionally hard & it was always for us. He is the most unselfish person I have ever met (to the extent that I worry about him because he doesn't ever take care of himself) however, my Mum kinda is selfish.. even though she does have a heart of gold. But even still it can be draining. I won't get too far ahead of myself into gory details but I feel like I can really understand your point of view.

I can say that it sounds like you have a really good head on your shoulders, though. It seems like I can really relate to you or at the least your day to day. It is also admirable the way you are paying the favor forward to Tim. I'm sure that makes his life much easier.

My vote is that your happiness is just as important as Tim's, your mother's, or anybody else. You also need to take care of you so you can do even more for them. I'm sending you as many good vibes as I can must in hopes that thinks ease up a bit ASAP!

Thanks for the support and advice, it means a lot. =]]]]]]
No worries, lady :)

& I meant *muster* not must. haha me & the edit button are best friends, I swear.
Even though, I'm a year from getting my BA in English, I have 'typing' issues too. =]
Your step-father sounds like an amazing man. You're very lucky to have someone like him in your life. I'm envious. And I agree with the person above, any way you could cut your visit short? If you tell your aunt and cousin how you feel, I'm sure they would understand.

Also may I ask where in Fort Lauderdale you are? I used to live there when I moved to the States. I just left there actually.
He is a great guy. And I'm planning on leave either the end of this month or the beginning of July.
I am staying in Hollywood/Dania Beach. Right off of Federal Rd. 1.