Portrait of My Life in Not-So-Hypotheticals

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?


7 responses to “Portrait of My Life in Not-So-Hypotheticals

  1. Gawd girl.
    I don’t know.

  2. *sigh*

    The problem is, I dunno either.

    I’m just hoping things work themselves out.

  3. Things *will* work themselves out…..
    Dysfunction is everywhere.

  4. Thanks, Kaila!
    Here’s hoping!
    *hugs back*

  5. Not in a million years. . . love overcomes even the most dysfunntional of dysfuntions. I didn’t realize I was in a “dyfunctinal” family until I started watching TV and comparing my family to so called functional families. All I knew is that I felt love, functional or not. Hypothecally speaking, I’m sure that this child will feel nothing but love. And. . . don’t let him on the fact that he comes from a dysfunctional family…he may never realize it!

    Peace, Light and Love to you and yours…

  6. Thank you so much for your kindness and wisdom, Cordie B!

  7. shit. *exhales*

    hypothetical answers to not-so-hypothetical questions

    (1) nah. i dont know. things change when life or especially death comes into the picture. i wouldnt, but youre not me.

    (2) i think, the power dynamic has already begun shifting. and soon he will become dependent. its time to work on her strength, around and beyond the reality of it. she’s closed a chapter and stopped needing him. build!!!!

    (3) who cares? we’re all, in the end, selfish beings who act on the compulsion of our biggest weaknesses. It makes you who you are. and if youre lucky, it makes you better. youve been successful, dude. fear of inadequacy is MUCH better than acceptance of it, which clearly comes out in other ways of attempts at control.

    (4) dont know. every relationship is different. it does matter, but not in any way anyone can advise.

    kryptonite had all of my fathers worst traits inside him. (ew.) while im now glad that seed never had the opportunity to take root, if i could have done it all over again, i still would have.

    how important is love, the experience of it, to practicality? it has its best and the worst moments. but is it all worth it, in the end?

    i dont think it matters too much, life keeps bringing him back to you.

    (5) I fucking love that. born into dysfunction? I’d rather be born into eccentrics than stuffy, conservative oppression. Every family has its closets and every family has its dysfunction. It’s the strength of the child that allows them to deal with those dysfunctions and abuses in a positive manner. Make sure you just do your best to build your baby’s mental state into a sound, stable one. environment can be overpowered by the way its raised, just remember that consistency, strong support, and trust is key!

    sounds like your kids gonna be a fuckin artist. salud!!!!

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