topiary cats

topiary cats

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Pretending is Worse

Sometimes it happens that the people who are supposed to care about you...... a parent, for example, doesn't.

But they pretend. Kind of.

They do just enough- actually not even enough but you are so used to nothing that scraps seems like a goldmine. And you believe it, sort-of, until you grow a little older and things aren't properly congruent.

And it is very confusing.

So you think it is your fault somehow, because you're getting things wrong- because that's what you are told directly and indirectly.

So you try harder. You try to say all the right things and do the right things because somehow if you get it right, it will work out. And it doesn't because it cannot, because there is a big lie happening. And you are the one being lied to.

And then you grow up a little more and have a bit of a freak-out because the confusion and hurt is finally too much and you have to know- what is true and what is not true? And you are willing to face it either way.

And when you learn once and for all that your parent does not, in fact, actually care about you- AND THIS IS A VERY, VERY DIFFICULT THING TO HONESTLY FACE- it is almost the last time they can inflict pain upon you. They might keep half-ass pretending, but they aren't lying to you any more. They are lying to themselves so they can feel like a good person and sleep at night.

You stop trying and just give up because there is nothing else to do.
And you feel really silly for actually having thought they cared.

Because you see through it, the dynamic of getting hurt over and over slowly stops. The few "first times" that are left- forgetting about birthdays, for example, happen.  The first time is bad, even if you are expecting it.

Daya, however, still gets hurt.

I told her not to expect anything from them.
I told her not to expect a visit over spring break, even though she mentioned it to them last December.
I cautioned against calling and asking, though I can't stop her.

Of course they are unavailable.

She spoke with her grandfather for about 5 minutes.
I think it is the first time they have spoken this year.
He asked if I was home.  She said yes.
He did not ask to say hello to me.

Daya cried after the phone call, but less than she did when she asked to see them last summer.
She is starting to hold onto it inside.
I told her not to, but we all know that isn't always possible.

My heart absolutely breaks for her. Because I know. I know exactly what it is like.
She has already been completely abandoned by her father.
And she will figure out that my so-called family doesn't care.
Until then, she cries.

I think it will not be too much longer until she stops asking to see them, even if she still wants to.


  1. I'm so sorry that you are in this situation :-( I cannot imagine what it's like to have a parent who doesn't really care about you.

  2. Jessica I feel so sad for both you and Daya... I know what you mean, it's an awful feeling to know what you do as an adult but much worse for children... I'll never understand how people close down... unfortunately children have to learn the hard way... no matter what we want... :-(

  3. That really stinks. I'm so sorry.


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