This is the Part You’re Never Prepared For.
Minimizing the damage of the inevitable.
The part that no one can tell you how you’re supposed to feel, what you’re supposed to do. What the right thing to do is. What you need to do.
Only you know that. Somewhere amidst all the confusion and conflicting things you feel. Found somewhere between:
What you need. What you want. And what is best for you.
Those three questions only you knowing the answer to.
I’m left here now. Everything on the table. Yet it doesn’t really seem like the conversation has changed. Like anything has even attempted to change. Any desire to. Any want to. Like anything has changed.
Did you even hear me. Can you even. Do you even want to. Because everything from your response, reaction or more lack of saying no.
All the scenarios of how I thought it would happen. How you would blow up. Yell. Stop talking to me. Not be able to ignore any of it. Never be able to act like things were normal again. Every way that I imagined things to go down. For you to react. For us to be after. Somehow I still missed this one. And I wasn’t prepared. Now unsure of how to react. How to even feel.
The part that hurts the worst that I never expected was the volume of your indifference and in that your lack of care in your response and reactions succeeding the revelations.
All the ways I expected you to try to hurt me I was prepared for. Except for the one way you found to hurt me in a way I never expected. All the extremely and the method you choose not falling within those bounds.
Maybe it’s wondering how the hell you could have someone tell you everything and they still act the same as you did before. As if you had told them nothing. How you can pretend like nothing happened. How you can claim to always love me and be there for me but still refuse to acknowledge everything I told you. Like it doesn't matter. How I can present you with an opportunity that you push to the side and still try to push your agenda on. How I finally give you a chance to get to know the girl that you haven’t truly known for a very long time and you don’t jump at that. How everything you’ve always wanted to know I tell you, showing you how you can show you truly love me and support me and you’re still somehow blind to it.
How I can show you reality letting you see for the first time behind the curtain and you still choose to live in the delusions and falsities you create.
This is the part. The part where they act normal. Where they should be shell shocked but instead proceed to interact with you as though you didn’t drop a nuclear bomb on them. Something that should have shaken them to their core but instead shows no signs of any damage. No signs of even making any contact.
This is the part you’re never prepared for. Because this is the part that you never expected. At least not from both. At least a part of you hoped would dissolve or fade with time.
A part of you wanting to believe that they are better. Better than you've known them to believe and act. Capable of being better for you if not themselves. Guess that was a selfish hope and unrealistic that you should have known.
Wishing that there would be some sort of reaction where you only find the complete absence of. Anger. Sadness. Confusion. Hurt. Happiness. Eagerness. Pain. Something…Nothing.
The part where you want to move forward. You want to have your life and still have your family both enlightened finally on the same page. Where you give your parents the chance to be on that same page. But, they still want to stay in the last chapter.
Know it's too much to ever hope or ask for more than them to just acknowledge these parts of you in some way. Only ever wanting not agreement of each other but acceptance of each other. Respecting each other. Seeing each other for the first time on the same level as adults, individuals. Not them seeing you as less than them as you beneath them. Needing their guidance or approval as a scared little girl that doesn't know what she wants. Because it's been a long time since that girl has been gone them to blind to realize it. Them not wanting to.
This is the part where they are taking for granted you being in their lives and think you will always "want and need" them in your life.
That you'll always be there when they want you. That you will stay in their life no matter what. This is the part where they are wrong. Because you wont. Aware enough of yourself now and know to put yourself first even when it hurts.
This is the part where you wonder if they will ever be able to find that same page or if they will ever want to. If they are capable of it. If any part of them ever will. Makes you a little sad to think about it.
If maybe they will always be reminiscing in the fairytales of the last chapters that they had in their minds for your story. For who they think you are. Forever ignoring who you have now made them aware of you being. Wondering if they will ever wake up to see the reality of your story.
This is the part where you don’t know what you’re supposed to do. Where you want to give them a chance but are entirely confused by the way they have reacted and currently are acting. Not knowing where they stand in their processing of it all, if they are even processing at all. If nothing was even heard, if everything fell flat. If it always will. Questioning how much you should even try. Especially when it seems like they aren’t even trying for you.
This is the part where you aren't sure how long you should try to be understanding and hope for them to come around, show at least some sort of sign and when you need to draw the line completely. Lessening the pain of their lack of effort and concern. Protecting yourself from endless waves of hopelessness emitting from them. Bowing out gracefully.
This is the part where you finally decided to offer an olive branch and it seems to have snapped back to slap you right in the face never touching where you intended for it to hopefully be welcomed with an open hand. Where it would have been easy to assume the worst to not even try but still you did. Where you did your best to be respectful but still not sacrifice yourself or what you needed to say but somehow it goes completely unnoticed. Made fun of. Used at insults hurled back at you. Taken as fire fuel. Stabbed back at you as passive aggressive comments. Showing that the only pieces taken that were roses turned into thorns. Desperately trying to prove something as if they were being threatened.
Assuming intentions and assumptions never said, never implied. Misreading it all seemingly from a place that is unable of being receptive and open to what the words were really trying to say. What I was trying to say.
This is the part where you don't know what's the right amount of patience and empathy to extend hoping they will meet you before it is useless, only hurting you. This is the part where you aren't sure when to just stop. How much before you stop trying. Before you start losing hope. When you're supposed to just think they are a lost cause.
This is the part where you wonder if maybe you need to let them go. Completely, at least for now. A part of you believing that. The other wanting the be able to work through this time with them hoping of the best. Not seeing much hope though. Not wanting them for any other reason other than that they are your parents. Having other family but a tiny part of you wishing your parents would accept you and want to get to know the real you.
Thinking that maybe with your act of honesty and vulnerability they would have been able to see you giving them that chance. That with the support and understanding you extend to them, it may show them how to be better and how to love you better. More wholesomely, more wholeheartedly.
All your life you’ve known the real them, they’ve never known the real you. She’s been in hiding living a double life all this time, finally trying to come clean. Not for her as much as for them. A chance to have a real relationship with their daughter not one built on superficialities and exchanging commonalities pretending to play into their delusions when required.
A relationship build on respect of each other's individualities, beliefs and differences alike. This is the part where she’s no longer playing anyone’s games anymore let alone people who have spend their whole lives thinking that she was someone else never letting her think that she could be any other way. And maybe that is too much to ask for, to hope for even though it should be and isn't in actuality.
Life has just taught her that sometimes the things we think are common sense or just part of being good humans are expectations and hopes that some people aren't always capable of being.
This is the part where it’s different because she didn’t tell you because she was scared to lose you. That was expected, considered. She told you because despite everything that makes you who you are, good and bad along with things she agrees with and doesn’t she still wants you in her life as her parents. But is no longer willing to without the things she should've fought for all along, the things she deserved. The respect she deserved, the freedom she never should have been afraid to feel.
No longer her authority figures or people who think they need to protect her and control her, but as her parents. With respect for each other being something that comes from both ways. Not something only ever expected from her and used as something that you think she owes to you simply because you’re “her parents or because a book says it.”
She's been around enough other parents and family who loves, supports, and respects her for who she is that she doesn’t “need you.”
It’s only that she want them now. But not at the cost of accepting less than she knows she deserves in her life and from those she lets get close to her. Those she considers "family." That's the difference that you don't seem to realize. The game changed between who she was and who she is. Who you thought she is and who she actually is.
This is the part where you wonder what is even going on in their heads. If you even want them in your life if they still choose to ignore the things they have been made aware of, thinking they wanted to know all this time but in actuality not being able to comprehend. You told them because you’re tired of the kind of interactions and “relationship” you’ve had all these years, a sleep walking barely even half assed thing between you all. Wondering all this time what the point of it even is.
You’re better than that. You want more than that and you deserve it. You told them as a chance, a warning that you won’t settle anymore. That if that's all they want with you, you won't play that role anymore. That you don't want it. And if they can’t understand that, if they can’t grow and open themselves up to where they can understand and respect you as you are, then they don't deserve you. Because you deserve people who are all in for you. People capable and who exude the kind of love that you give them. Nothing less.
Not those carefully crafting their words to try to manipulate you or avoid bringing up something that makes them uncomfortable, covering their eyes only trying to see the parts of you that make them feel comfortable. Only acknowledging those parts and nothing else. Seeing life, others, and you through the filter they choose to use.
This is the part where you wish that one of the scenarios that you had played out in your head would have happened instead. One extreme or the other because that would be easier than this. Feels like it would be less painful than this. This limbo. The not knowing if this is a sort of in between and transition of them trying to figure things out, not knowing how to feel. Or if it's just me being way too optimistic.
Things feeling “normal” or whatever that is supposed to mean in their definition but you not wanting that and hating that things feel like that. That they act like that, are acting like that. Downplaying and ignoring everything that happened, that you said. This is the part where you are frustrated with where things are at, the lack of reaction in reality.
Because any reaction would have been better than invalidation through the maintenance of normalcy that they are trying to maintain and live in through this.
This is the part where you don’t even know what you ever expected from them. What you even hoped for. Just knowing that it wasn’t this. For them to act this way. To not really even react or show any emotion at all. Almost like they don’t care at all. Everything feeling almost like a dream because it not even feeling real, lacking any emotions. Anything giving life to what was just brought into their world of existence in terms of my existence.
This is the part where everyday that time seems to pass and they seem the same, act the same towards her that a little part of her dies. The part that tried for them. The part that wanted to believe they were better. That wanted to tell them the truth and give them a chance to know her. Makes her think it was all wasted breath. And that maybe they aren’t as worth it as she thought. Or maybe just that her hopes for who she thought maybe they could grow into or be for her were too high and that them staying the way they are isn’t what she wants anymore. It’s not what she needs.
Thinking the best thing may be to not have them in her life at all is a painful thing to think of regardless of how close she may or may not be with them now. It's the thought of not even having them at all even occasionally.
Accepting that her own parents may not be in her best interest is a hard pill to swallow, a long rope to let slip through her fingers letting go of.
One she’s been holding on to causing her so much pain for as long as she can remember that she just got used to having to hold by herself. Always expected of her with no one to share the weight and responsibility with. Burning for so long that even if she keeps hold on that it will break itself if there continues to be no one on the other end.
This is the part where she’s come to the conclusion that it might be time for there to be time and space. For her sake. And for theirs. That if growth may happened within them, if they for the first time in their lives think they might lose her or have an start to give life to the reality she tried to show realizing they need to see to be in her life that that is the only way they will ever be in her life again. Ever be deserving of her again, getting to know the real her. Because sometimes you need to lose someone before you actually can appreciate them and see them for everything they tried to show you that you refused to see before. Before you realize that you would rather be uncomfortable and learn to meet someone half way than to not have them at all.
And often, the only thing that helps to cultivate that level of change and openness is simply time and the space that comes with it. Time to heal. Time to grow. Allowing people to grow themselves before being ready to come back together or respectfully see others differently than they wanted to before. Respecting and not treading on boundaries that they never even flinched at before thinking they were too good for and that they had no right giving you any. But, respecting them once you show them that don’t have control anymore. Forcing them to choose what they really value and want. To stay in comfort without you or grow for the better and grow with you outside of that comfort.
This is the part where she's finally come to accept that everything she hoped for may be impossible. And that she can't keep holding on for her own sake. She can't keep waiting.
This is the part where she doesn’t want to have to lose hope and let them go but she questions if that’s what needs to be done. For her own healing. To love herself. To help herself find closure, peace. To grow. To move on, move past. And hopefully someday, maybe theirs too.
She deserve more than holding on forever with only the promises of hope but always left with uncertainty and pain.
Tired of extending hands ready to hold and give but only receiving empty ones in return. Trying to connect with others in her vulnerability, stripped while they come with an outfit they picked out for her to wear unable to come vulnerable as well.
This is the part where she will let the silence fill the absence of her and create distance until she can no longer be found. Slowing separating herself from those who don't know how to love her how she deserves to be loved and accepting her as she is in her full entirety. And that is the most painful part of it all.
This is where she will allow the distance and silence to improve her, to heal her, to help her grow even if they won't.
The ones who claimed to have so much love but in the end when given the chance to show it didn't know how to anymore. At least not in the way that she redefined the word. Not in the way she challenged them to. Giving them the chance to redefine it for themselves. Understanding it wasn't her job to do that for them. Accepting that truth a part of her heart breaking with the realization.
This is the part where she wonders if they will play a part in your life or if they will be left along with their part in the past.
This is the part you're never prepared for. No manual and no way to predict what will come from it. What you should do and what is right. No one knowing what the future will hold. Not knowing what to do and hating the uncertainty of it. And not knowing what will come of the choices you make.
This is the part that no one could have ever told you would happen faced with a choice you never thought you would have to make thinking it would have been made for you. Thinking they would react a way you expected.
Teaching yet again that life and people are full of uncertainty and unpredictably, full of surprises that you can never be prepared for no matter how much you try.
This is the part that you never expected. The part you're never prepared for.
Photo cred. Lyss x Chris Shepard