Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Guilt is a powerful drug. Chapter 2.

When I first rolled up to my Uncles place, a black woman was the first to greet me. I don't know why that matters other than accuracy. Immediately she says - your Uncle gave me a whole bunch of your Aunts ear-rings. Since you are family, I think you should look through them first. Which sort of touched me because I know even very poor people have a code of conduct. In my head I'm like - the code still exists.

She brought boxes and boxes of them back. She didn't even have pierced ears. She was trading them at Bingo. I went though the whole lot and kept three sets. I told her I thought my Aunt would have wanted her to have them.

Over the days I found out this woman was my Uncles neighbor. She had been helping him pack. She was the sweetest thing. But she had a familiar story. She got into drugs, and then needed to sell her body to pay for drugs. Her pimp nearly beat the life out of her. A few days later I found out she had a sister in Hayward who is a doctor. She is less than 30 minutes from me.

They say that income disparity is the greatest in families. Not between white people and black people. But between siblings. And I've seen this phenomena many, many, times in my life. One sibling can be quite wealthy and another is living in the projects.

This woman was a living breathing example. CONTINUED....


  1. The sibling thing?
    Siblings are unique individuals, sometimes it's hard to see but they are.

    I have zero experience with identical twins..

  2. I think all people are unique individuals. But what I am saying is that presumably they start out with similar opportunities in life, and they can wind up in vastly different socio-economic places.

    1. Different kids don't necessarily see the same "opportunities".
      One kid might see the opportunity and the next one just does not see it, like it's not even there.

      "You can lead them to water but you can't make them drink".
      Maybe if I was a different/better parent I could get them all to see that there is water and that drinking it is good... but it didn't work like that with my kids.

  3. The worst part of sibling diversity like that is that the parents harp on it, guilting the less productive sibling, driving them away from family support (whether they mean to or not), which only makes it worse. I'll note that it happens even in families where the "bad" sibling just doesn't happen to have the sort of job that the parents think is best.

  4. I think this might have gotten internalized in a way I didn't expect. I don't know anyone else situation here.

    I don't have siblings or children. So I haven't had the same pull as other people have. I want people to be better than me so I can learn from them. No one ever expected anything from me. My destiny was the projects. When you start from that low of a bar, everything is gravy.