Believe Me

Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #60: Belief

This week, let’s think about the beliefs – personally, socially, culturally – that define our realities.

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bxw rock

 

The most profound disappointment in life is when your truth is not believed.

When reality becomes distorted. By people who matter. And even by people who don’t matter.

But those close to you…that’s when the knife cuts the deepest. Because the hope hangs on. And on. And on. Maybe if this, maybe if that….then they’ll believe me.

Wait, I know that’s what happened. I was there. I heard it. I saw it.

But what if we are programmed from an early age to tell the world – or, more specifically, our world – family, friends – no everything is just fine.

My father would stare into the sad face of one of his children and chant over and over: Don’t Smile! Don’t Smile! Don’t Smile! Laughing…as he repeated his mantra. He’d crouch down and get right in front of a small unhappy face, his mouth stretched tight in a wide grin. His brown eyes, behind thick glasses, betrayed the frivolity. They were mocking. Perhaps fearful.
As if we presented the impossible possibility that one so small and helpless could struggle with an emotion so complicated, so fraught with need.
Need for compassion, understanding, some measure of support. Validation. That we mattered.

I understand now why. He had no idea how to respond. Maybe he was overwhelmed. As it reflected his own dark emotional beliefs. The message: Don’t Be Sad. Deny the Sad. It’s not okay.

Of course, it didn’t take long for our smiles to take shape. If for nothing else, to make the laughing father stop. Smiles did not match up with the eyes or heart. And especially they did not reflect our truth.

My mother, on the other hand, would ask us what we did wrong to cause this emotion that made her so uncomfortable.

I didn’t know what to believe.

Now I do.

 

deering A

14 thoughts on “Believe Me

  1. Oh goodness…this cut me to the marrow, way too familiar. But you’ve got me thinking–my parents were no doubt too overwhelmed to care how unhappy/scared I was…and maybe it triggered their insecurities about being “good” parents… Still, I have trouble giving them a pass–they were the adults, after all–and made choices that shouldn’t have become my burdens. Gosh, I struggle with all this so much, and know I should be “over it” at nearly 67. Anyway, great post–intense, authentic–sincere thanks that you shared it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your thoughts and feedback. This kind of past is not something one “gets over” – at least that’s how I look at it. The struggle continues – with hopefully a shift in perspective to ease it a bit as time goes by. (you and I are close in age, btw, and it does feel odd to still be grieving).

      Like

      1. I believe you nailed it, there–that with time there’s a “shift in perspective to ease it”. I think that’s what I’m finally beginning to experience–and I’m grateful for any “healing” I get. One of the benefits, if sad, of blogging–is to discover that so many of us have had less than nurturing childhoods; the best part is meeting those who are brave enough to share honestly–it’s so cathartic to talk, even to strangers online…and know we’re not alone. Blessings to you!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. PS: I forgot to note the subject point regarding not being believed–yes! For me, it led to not trusting my own experiences as true…since no one believed me, and certainly didn’t want to hear me. Thanks for letting me get things out–you’re an angel.

    Liked by 1 person

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