by Andrea itza garduno franco
“When your brother is born I am going to need you to do a lot more Andrea” … It all started with that. That one line changed my life. I had to change diapers, make my siblings eat something when my mom couldn’t, and take care of them when I was the only person who could. It sounds very bad, and neglectful of my parents, but in a family like mine it is like a custom and so normalized to do so. My father went through it (he is the middle child out of his eight siblings) and my mom had to go through exactly what I went through (she’s the oldest of three). It was very life altering for me, and I did not know what to expect. At first it was like “ok, you got this. I am only like this because we are all getting used to it”. My mother had postpartum depression, and it looked like my father was in the middle of a mid-life crisis. So I was kind of expected to be the one with a healthy mental state of mind. I was at first… up until I found out what it felt like to have anxiety. My mind seems to go into panic mode, but on silent. It finds a way to make me imagine crawling out of my skin and stuffing me inside a box. After my first experience it led to more and more. Till the day that I broke. I broke out into an argument with my mother, and explained that I am tired. Mentally tired. I tried and tried to hide my frustrations but it only works a certain amount of times. We spoke, argued, cried, and hugged. That one hug was the hug that I had craved for the past seven years. That hug seemed to have cured my loneliness, and sadness. It was then that I broke the cycle. The cycle that taunts and damages many young first-born daughters.