As I begin writing the review of this month, there are still three days left of it until its close for this year. It is 18:14 on a Saturday evening and I am sipping on a homemade hot chocolate, which consists of half a mini Crunchie bar and a clatter of milk chocolate drops into a mug of lightly diluted oat milk, as I settle in to collate my thoughts. I am rooting around in my mind for things to inspire discussion about this month, but, as I feel so far, I don’t know where to start.
It is now 16:51 on Tuesday the twenty-eighth of February and this is the first time I have revisited this post since I wrote the above. It is ‘Pancake Day’, the latest in the month it could ever be, but there are no pancakes (out of choice, for me) and it is raining quite consistently by this point. As it stands, I still don’t know what to say to summarise the fleeing month, however, I do know that all of my negative emotions, thoughts, reservations and fervent protestations about an entanglement of things have surfaced, having been snowballing since the events of last month and, I would like to get them out before this one is over.
I came to the realisation, at a very young age, that the beauty and sweetness in life resides in having a number, be it a handful or a hoard, of quality people around you and, being able to share yourself, your life and person, with them as they do with you. Let me just say, before I get into it, that this awareness did not and, has not at any point, come to me through an example set by the real people around me- it is something I have always known and, intrinsically, always knew that I wanted to be a part of and I saw and experienced it in just about every place other than real life. My desire, then, was to be able to enrich some other’s life with my presence, to be able to share this with more than one person and, to embrace everything that they could give me and allow it to nourish and elevate my life in a fundamental way. This hallmark is still who I am and this aspiration is a very rooted part of my life and personality. It could accurately be said that I yearn for it, as I feel and, have always felt, like somebody who was born to love, both in giving and receiving it; it is something I was made to do and I know I have an earnest and bottomless capacity inside myself in which to home it and, an unrelenting inclination to express. To sense an absence of fulfillment in this immersive area is a true assessment, as it is exactly that. The most painful reality is that it is not my behaviour that is making it so: the resistance to and unwillingness for it are not coming from me, yet it is I who have to bear the complete emotional weight of this rejection and act of being shut out over and over again.
For some further context, I am married. My husband is my best friend: he knows me more than anyone in my life has ever tried to or wanted to know me and he relishes with an unselfish, unjudgemental and open heart everything that I have to give him, he understands me as I do everything that comprises and is unique to and about him. My feelings of repeated abandonment and, dejection as a result of this are not initiated or instigated by him and, not one ounce of the negativity I feel ever involves our relationship or him. I wanted to preface the meat of this piece with this as, even though I am fulfilled in my relationship and the love I express there exists strictly for us and for it, it is neither fair nor acceptable, in any way, to suggest that my ‘quota’ for sharing love, if there is such a thing, outside of this very personal part of my life is filled, as it very much isn’t. To say that the love of a significant other and the experience of life you share with them is in any way equivalent, or superior, to that of a mother, a father, a friend, or even a pet, for example and, vice versa, is, in my perception, lunacy and, my approach to life does not validate this kind of thinking.
I never wish or intend to replace one type of relationship with another, I don’t believe that people are disposable or interchangeable in the way that the behaviour of others confirms that so many people do, yet, more often than I care to recall, I have been and remain expendable and able to be cast away without reason or explanation. The fact that a number of these things are lacking in my life has little to do with my response to them, but, rather, the choices, criticisms, pre-judgements and emotional instabilities of those on who they depend- people who are either incredibly insecure and destructive, not only to themselves, but to others outside of them, or those who just don’t care enough or see any value in me to want to have me in their life, in conflict with the way I receive and treat them. Don’t misunderstand me, the act of pouring all of your love into one person and knowing only one person who truly loves you and, to say that you veritably only love one person in this World is a reality that does work for some people and is all that they desire and need, but I cannot attempt to interpret why that is because their reasons and reality are not mine- fundamentally, it is not how I function, but I can accept that some people aside from myself do.
An inherent disinclination by others to try and understand why, or that I am the way I am, I feel is at the centre of this heartache for me. I have been told, often fervently, by people who have the luxury of a stable family unit and friends who will always be around that my way of thinking is “wrong” and that my feelings and beliefs are invalid and, on the other side, I have had people who are embittered and relentlessly miserable also tell me the same about my approach to this fantastically natural desire. I don’t think that a lack of perspective is the issue here, but, rather, a decided opposition to wanting to accept the existence of a reality outside of theirs and, to belligerently deny anything and, anyone, who disturbs their perception of what is ‘normal’, or what they want to be normal, instead of trying to empathise with and understand it. In the latter instance, for someone, or a number of people, who are unmistakeably lonely and alone through choosing to believe in their prejudices- ingrained through fear, insecurity, a narcissistic view of their life and themselves, or a noxious potion of all of these factors- rather than surrendering their egos to the truth of the beauty, salvation and unmitigated joy in heartfelt and uncompetitive togetherness and love, I can only interpret as wanting me to be as sad and as sour-tempered as they are themselves, to, in some way, elevate for a second their own existence and feel some degree of twisted solace in not being the only ones with their disposition- the proverbial ‘misery loves company’.
I have within myself what feels like an infinity of questions about my life so far that are condemned to remain unanswered due to the harmful and unyielding nature of those who could give them closure. No matter how many times I break away, in communication, physical presence and overall involvement in order to care for myself, I feel persistently trapped in the motions of circumstances I experienced during childhood, adolescence and early-adulthood because the people who put me in them still refuse to take responsibility for their actions and accept that their emotional neglect and outright abuse of me was wrong- wrong to treat me this way at all and wrong to think that they had the right to treat me this way, even when I legally became an adult and, through my own desires and actions, no longer needed or relied on them in the way that I did as a child (and didn’t want to because of their unceasing ill-treatment of each other and myself). At the age of twenty-seven, I continue to feel every emotion that is associated and consequential of these events as I am still fighting for the child, the teenager and the young girl who experienced all the injustices that she did, as that girl is and, will always be me and she will always want a remorseful apology, to know that her physical identity is not completely nullified by the people with who she shares blood and who created her.
What do you do with friends for who you seem to be an inexhaustible source of emotional support and advice, to who you and your husband have continually opened your heart and home, but who are never available when you need or would like to see them? What do you do when these friends never seem to factor you into their plans, in spite of them always being approached by you or your husband, in every instance, when you’d like to see and hang out with them? What do you do with the knowledge of one or more of your family members, immediate blood-relatives, having been in hospital with serious conditions in the previous year, but, after they have been discharged, their personalities and respective and collective behaviour towards you remain the same and they appear to be unchanged by their ordeals, or any other experience that should make a person take stock of the value of and in life? What do you do when these same people, including a few others, continue to treat you like an annoyance, an inconvenience and an outsider and carry on behaving like you don’t matter or exist, but then continue to expect you to be there for them, when it is clear and constantly reinforced that they have no respect for you, your life or the decisions you’ve made? What do you do, then, when you have repeatedly been there for them in an understanding and emotionally-supportive way and appear to be the only one who has ever urged for the relationships to be improved, but these exact people refuse to talk about things that have happened, continue to deny that anything of graveness or importance has ever happened and refuse to recognise that it is their behaviour and refusal to accept culpability for their actions, the act of carrying on like nothing is wrong, that has severed the relationships? What do you do when these people deny that anything you’ve experienced, at their hand or otherwise, has weighed incredibly heavily on you, because they experienced the same or ‘worse’ than anything you could ever have endured (even though none of them know what it is like to be a child and adolescent caught between two warring parents and families, who treat you as sub-human because of your link to the parent and the family they hate, so you never feel like a whole person, having to live out of a bag between houses until your mid-teens and never feeling like you belong, or deserve to belong anywhere because the adults around you have incessantly taken their insecurities, their instabilities and their hatred of themselves, their lives and each other out on you, for your entire life so far)? When is the last, or first time, anyone has asked or considered what it must have been like to grow up in this way? Never. What do you do about the parent who, when they were the adult and were in a position of responsibilty and care towards you, refused to accept or take-on their parental duties and, continue to act like they were never in the wrong or culpable for their actions and, remain unchanged in this capacity in the present day? What do you do about the same parent who couldn’t even face the responsibility of telling their only daughter directly that her grandmother, their mother, was taken to hospital, so, instead, text her husband to do this for them? What do you do with the information that you, at no point, received any kind of communication from this person about the incident and, when you get to the hospital, they can barely look you in the eye, yet proceed, on several occasions, to thank you for being there, like you’ve just turned up at a fucking birthday party?? What do you do about the person, who is the oldest friend you have, but who never seems to be as engaged in your life as you are and, for years, have been in theirs and, even knowing some of the details about your relationship with that part of your family, never react as if they truly understand how these experiences have shaped you and fuel your life, even as an adult? Is it boring for them? Has knowing the fraction of truth they do know about your life desensitised them (like certain members of your family have said they were desensitised to your pleas for help when you were suicidal, others saying they ‘couldn’t handle it’ and that they ‘didn’t know what to do with you’ when you expressed your feelings to them at the time, others since not reacting like a live person to the knowledge of it at all), is it all just indistinct noise to them? How are you supposed to feel when so many people have made it patent that they don’t care what state of existence you’re in, they just don’t want to have to deal with you and, continue to craft a fantasy life where you never existed and they never had any responsibility or relation to you at all, but you must always listen to and be around for them, regardless of everything? How do you react when you are perpetually treated as a melodramatic person, but nobody seems to understand or put together that it is your life experiences and, how you are continually treated that influences your reactions and emotional responses? How do you react when people constantly treat you like you are a joke and feel like no-one ever takes seriously you or your life? How do you react when the image of you, the way others see and perceive you, very rarely extends beyond their own pre-judgements and false impressions of who you are, in battle with the facts and reality of who you actually are every moment of your life? What do you do when you go off one of the most-used social media platforms due to coming to the end of your personal relationship with it and, out of the two-hundred plus ‘friends’, consisting of relatives and people you’ve known during your life so far, not a single one of them has noticed, reached out to or attempted to contact you in any other way, or find out if you are okay? Where are all these people, the ones you have valued, cared about and expressed boundless affection for, where do they go and to where and why do they disappear? My questions, as I’ve said, are infinite. I just don’t know anymore whether there will ever be any resolution to them.