1. You married your first boyfriend. He’s the father of your kids, the only man you ever loved, the only man you’ve ever been with. For a time he was physically abusive, but you never told anyone; you just got over it. Then the abuse became emotional and psychological, and you bore the brunt of it. You still do. He cheats on you incessantly. He lies to you about money and finances. He’s even taken to lying to your adult children about his affairs. After 27 years of marriage, you finally decide that you love him, but you’re not in love with him, and you’d be better off without him. You want him out of your life. For good. It’s hard for you to summon the courage and tenacity, but you tell him that you want a divorce and you want him to move out.
Your husband has had chronic anal bleeds for almost 5 years. He’s been dropping pounds at a ridiculous rate. Your daughter convinces him to see a doctor and they tell him that he has colon cancer. It’s pretty far-gone.
Do you still make him move out?
2. You’re a 48-year old male with severe self-hate issues. You compulsively cut people out of your life for the slightest infringement of your comfort zone. It was in this way that you lost touch with your oldest brother; you found him guilty of some infraction, stopped communicating with him, and then he died in a car crash. Your oldest brother was your father’s favorite and your father never forgave you for your indiscretions. Years later, you decided that your younger brother was guilty of some personal crime, and you cut him off. You would’ve probably never spoken to him again – but he got into a near-fatal car accident, and you called him.
You know that you’ve fucked up. You’ve cheated on your wife, and she wants out of your sham-marriage. You have two kids with your wife who love you but know that you’re a prick. You have two kids out-of-wedlock who don’t know you but still think that you’re a prick. You came to America to make money and forge a better future, but all you did was dig yourself a hole of debt and self-pity.
Now you learn that you have cancer. And you don’t want to get it treated. Is there any way to convince you that you’re loved, that people want and need you around? What can change your mind?
3. You’re a 24-year old woman who has always been an academic overachiever. You’ve never had any real goals in life and have always rebelled against conventionality. You pride yourself on fitting in every crowd, and becoming an asset to every group you encounter. You’ve always been extremely introspective, and you’ve come to the conclusion that your obstinate nature might have to do with the fact that you don’t know how to be “normal”; if this were the case, it would explain why you’re afraid of trying to become normal. You wonder if it’s possible that you have a phobia of failing at the expected norm.
All of your life choices are strange and unexpected. The only pattern you follow is that there is no pattern. You have a corporate job and wear a pantsuit, then you become a dominatrix and wear next-to-nothing. Now you’ve decided to forgo all labels in order to pursue the purest form of happiness.
Are you simply masking your fear of inadquacy? And if not, if this is how you truly are, are you doomed to walk alone, with no one able to truly know what you’re going through?
4. You are in a relationship with someone for three years. They don’t say the right things and they don’t do the right things. Your needs aren’t being met. But they love you and they swear that they’re trying, and you know that despite your pragmatism, you love them, too. You try to reconcile your desires with reality: no one is perfect, right?
But your significant other always lets you down. They make promises they don’t keep. They are hard to get a hold of and harder to communicate with. They are not reliable or responsible. And they’re too old to have lame excuses.
Are they passively/subconsciously/unintentionally telling you they want out of the relationship? Does it matter?
5. You are born to a dysfunctional family. Your grandfather is massively depressed and on constant death-watch due to colon cancer. Your grandmother is embittered by her sullied and wasted marriage and life. Your mother is strange and unconventional. Your father is irresponsible and unreliable. The only near-normal person in your life is your punk/alternative uncle, who has dyed hair, lots of piercings and tattoos, and likes animals more than people. Despite their weird ways, every one of these people loves you to pieces and would kill/die for you in a heartbeat. They try their honest to goodness best to make your life the best it can be. They put you first.
Do you ever wish you hadn’t been born to this kind of dysfunction?