i have been reading Robert Greene’s book, Mastery.
i reached the chapter on social intelligence and it talks about having a naïve way of thinking that projects identities, ideal identities onto those in our lives, which of course leads to devastating disappointment when these people reveal themselves with time. And you think, “but how?” because you never took the time to see them for who they really were, you just imagined they were this dream person that you always hoped for. This can apply to any person in your life.
i realize that from the age of 6 to 17 I prayed to have my mother and my sisters back. Every. Day. i imagined how much better my life would be, getting out of my abusive household, where i was punished literally every day for literally everything about myself, getting away from school where i was teased constantly for being smart and being myself. i naively made up stories about how great my mother, sisters, and stepfather were. it was almost like a fairytale that i literally sat at my window everyday, crying, hoping they would come and get me.
this was my naivety
i was unaware of how much this story would hurt me in the future, because since then i have been confronted with the reality of who these people actually are. and it literally wasn’t until i read this chapter of this book, just the other day, that i realized what i had done to myself. the book literally spells it out and how damaging this is.
my mother is not the person i imagined her to be, she is whoever she is. as are my sisters. as is her husband. and they never dreamed of having me in their lives the way i dreamed of having them in mine. and now i really understand. they literally only care as much as they care.
when i was 17, i found out that no one even knew my mother had a son. why? because she never mentioned me to literally anyone in her life.
which explains why she asked me how old i was.
i always imagined that my sisters would be so proud of me and the talents i developed all alone for 11 years. but, that is not true at all. my sister’s friend would actually come to me and tell me how my sister speaks negatively about me, saying, “i’m so surprised you are so cool, because all your sister does is complain about you. she said you were spoiled and selfish, but you’re nothing like that.” my other sister’s friend would say, “your sister got mad at me for coming to support your show, because she said it made her look bad because she didn’t want to come.”
and all these things hurt me, but still i didn’t accept that i was naively painting a picture in my head that my sisters and mother were not living up to. because they literally were not the people i imagined all those years. they were whoever they were.
i thought my stepfather would be some lovely man, who would actually like me. but, no. he didn’t. he told me, “i didn’t need to get to know you, because you are temporary.” when i was a teenager trying to adjust from living in an abusive household to living in the nest of compassionless resentment that i moved to, he told me about my past, “just get over it.” he was the first person to call me a failure and every time we were alone he would drop the smile that was stretched across his face and say something that was revealing who he was and how he really felt about me. since i was 8, he never hugged me, he would literally put his hand out to shake mine and yet somehow i still didn’t accept that is who he is and this is how he feels about me. i thought he would be like my male teachers, one of which said, he thought of me like a son. Another of which cried when he gave me an award as student of the year. but, my stepfather did not see me that way, because that is who he is. and that is okay. he deserves to be accepted and appreciated for whoever he is. he owes me nothing. no one does.
it wasn’t them that was hurting me all these years. it was me. not accepting them for who they truly are. they never lost any sleep over me and even to this day, if they never saw me again, i don’t think they would care. they built their lives without me in it. why am i having trouble understanding this?
it’s my perception that has done the damage. not them.
and they literally never knew how much of a pedestal i had put them on. they never knew just how fondly i would talk about them to every person that i ever knew in my life.
i always imagined my sister being sweet and loving and bragging about me, but im pretty sure she has always resented me for being who i am. and everyone in my life always comes to me to tell me something she has said about me behind my back, from my mother, to her friends, to literally anyone with a pulse. i just kept it to myself, never confronted her and all these years i would defend her to the death, even to these parents. defending her honor. crying to my mother that she can’t kick her out in the middle of the night, because its wrong. walking miles everyday to go visit her because i was afraid she would be lonely and sad. and somehow i expected it to be returned. but, its not, because that is not who they are. when i was in the hospital at the age of 14 afraid that i was going to die, they didn’t even call. they never did and they have never even mentioned it. and i laid in that hospital bed, looking at the phone hoping it would be them calling, but, it wasn’t and they literally never lost sleep over it. they don’t even know what a traumatic moment it was in my life. and. they. don’t. care. i always thought my other sister would be so excited to spend time with me, but she has friends that are built into her life and they are her priority. my mother’s husband is her priority.
perhaps, i am exactly as he said, temporary. he was doing me a favor. and i could not see it. this man who i also defended. who i called the police for to make sure he would be okay, when he was attacked. and then argued with the police when they tried to blame him and kick him out of his own house for something that was not his fault. and later i found out, part of the cause of the altercation was because he wasn’t accepting of me being gay. like how fucking dumb am i? i cried because i thought something might happen to him, but he literally did not care and when it came time for him to defend my honor when later the police wrongly accused me of something, he literally did nothing and it broke my heart. but, why? he owes me nothing. absolutely nothing.
and it’s not like they haven’t helped me in other ways. he bought me a laptop. they bought me a car. they got me into college. i should just shut the fuck up and be grateful.
i never could understand why every teacher, professor, coach, colleague loved me and celebrated me so much more than them. but it’s clear. it’s because that is who they are and we have been living in different realities all these yearrrrrrrrrrrs.
now, i understand. and i get it. i really should move on. and just accept it. my mother will never be who i thought she was. she will never scream from the rooftops about how proud she is of me. she will never make me the number one priority in her life. she will never devote her life to me. she will never be like the mothers of my friends or the mothers i would see on tv, that i would literally cry at the sight of. and it isn’t fair for me to expect her to be. i should just move on and accept that i will be there for myself.
leave them alone.
its like the movie, “he’s just not that into you”
they are just not that into me.
will never be the people you dreamed they would be. they just are who they are. they are focused on their lives and not you. and all these years you have naively believed they felt the exact same way about you, as you do them.
its the same with my aunts and uncles. all those years, i thought so fondly of them. i cherished all the memories i had of them from the time i was 3 and i just imagined they thought of me as much as i did them. but, they didn’t. they literally don’t care and they almost never think of me. and that is okay. it really is.
as long as i don’t expect them to be anything but who they are
just like my mother’s husband said, “get over it, sean”
i have to let that dream go. it has taken me this long to understand
it’s like in the movie angel’s egg, when she discovers that the egg she has been caring for all this time is empty. she had built so many stories around this egg and what was inside, but it wasn’t real. there was nothing in there and when they boy broke her egg, he did her a favor. he showed her the false reality she had been living in. i did this to myself. now i am free.
no one has been thinking about you all these years. they moved the fuck on and they think of you as they gay whoever, who thinks he knows everything and doesn’t do what he is supposed to do and literally no one cares what you went through because they all have their own lives and problems.
there is no person in the WORLD looking out for you in that way.
accept it and move on.
sean, let it go.