The Opposite – a story

2.21.19

The Opposite

Story by @jenm_curry – possible trigger

I imagine a few at the service. A service sprinkled with an occasional photo of her looking happy.

Looking.

I imagine a couple of kind words; maybe a story or two. I imagine a child in anguish, wondering why more people weren’t in attendance, and then the sadness that will overcome his face when he realizes she was alone, followed by a brief moment of terror on his face. After all, what if this is his fate down the line, he thinks. I imagine a couple of acquaintances, or someones who knew someone else.

They might take a few minutes after they’ve left the service and are back home changing clothes, readying themselves for dinners with families and friends wondering to themselves, what did people do to her.

The reality being quite the opposite really.

Because in fact, it’s all about what people did not do.

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(Photo credit: Google images)

Not Even One

I’m so lonely. I’ve been in this quaint, picturesque, small town for almost three years now.

I do not have one friend.

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It’s not as if in the area back where we lived most of our lives I had dozens of friends I went out with, but I certainly had more than where I am now.

With my physical limitations, being a caretaker to my mom, a parent to a Bipolar teen and wife of a hospice chaplain, I cannot make plans and confidently, consistently meet penciled in dates because I hurt so badly one way or another. Back home, if I had to cancel, the people around me knew me and the situations well enough and understood. We just rescheduled. I don’t have that luxury here. I am just so, so lonely. Like crying buckets of tears alone kind of lonely, and I’ve no clue how to better my situation.

Hope you guys are doing well. Thanks for being part of the #bipolaruninvitedblog family. Take care of yourselves and each other when and how you’re able. ✌❤🌹

Open

OPEN ~ 6.1.18

It’s an absolute crime not to get up from my seat and walk over and open the blinds to allow sunlight in and see the birds flying about. It seems I cannot will myself to get up and do it, though. The cat seems intrigued as to what’s going on out there. Hmm.

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I’ll have to look and open the blinds, just because I don’t want to do so. It’s important for me to take steps like that and not slip into a rather deep, dark hole.

I’m feeling alone today. Have been for a few days. I feel like even though I am busy and ill, I take the time to reach out to others, but I don’t feel any reciprocation. Not from friends or family.

I just want to retreat further within myself. Trying not to, though.

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Trying…..

FAKE

FAKE ~ 5.16.18

So, I was going through an album in search of a couple of photos in particular, and I ran across some of interest. This won’t have a tremendous amount of rhyme and reason, but there should be some continuity throughout.

First photo of discussion, I had short hair, not really dark yet, pink shirt. I was in 5th grade. Eleven years old. When I see this photo, here is what I see.

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A girl who is trying. Trying to smile for the camera. Trying to keep curly, frizzy hair under control. Trying to be skinny enough, which I maintain is different from thin. Thin is healthy. Skinny is too much. In this photo, I was neither, but I wasn’t obese, either. However, people in my class called me names, especially one boy in particular named Robert. I can still remember the day Robert called me a fat pig. I stopped eating and began exercising all the time. I lost weight fast. I didn’t feel well. I wasn’t eating properly, and I had no parental guidance helping me lose weight in a healthy way. I should have been told that I was not fat, but that I could become healthier in even healthier ways. That didn’t happen, though, because my mom was busy being depressed and hiding away from my horrendous step-father, and I was busy myself ducking and hiding from said monster.

Next two photos with that weird vest thing I’m wearing, well, I was forced to wear that by my step-mother.

She often had my step-sister and I dress alike for some reason. I never understood it and was allowed no decision making of my own, even though I packed and took my own clothes along to wear at my dad’s house. And I was always made to pose for pictures.

Step-mother would chatter, “Smile. Don’t pout. Why do you look like you’re hurting? Stand up straight. Fix your hair; see how nicely your sister’s hair looks?” On and on that would go.

I ask you, if you took these photos of your kid, and the same expression was on his/her face over and over, would you want that in the photo album, and more importantly, why in the hell didn’t anyone ask me what was going on in my life? Dad didn’t. My mom didn’t. Step-people didn’t care. Lord, if you just look at a few photos, can’t you tell I just wanted to be left alone to find my own happiness?

Next photo of me in the green dress, with the purse and bonnet, I will admit I loved the dress. But that smile was fake.

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Flip through most of my photo albums. Fake. Fake. Fake. I got really good at it in my later years. The pic with my hair a bit longer, pink backpack and wearing a skirt, still called fat by my step-mother and step-sister.

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And hey, again, Dad, what the actual f**k? Why did you allow them to do that? Oh wait! I can’t ask you because you’re dead. In fact, you knew you were in serious medical trouble and close to dying, and you still didn’t seek help and ended up dropping dead on a baseball field. Always a good time when I drive by baseball fields. Thanks for that.

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Then that fabulous photo with my mother, you see how we’re smiling at one another, that’s one of the first times in my whole life we began to get to know one another, because my step-father kept us separated, though in the same home, for years. I can say that to a certain extent only though because we could have gotten out of there, left, broken free but she chose not to do so. His ultimate removal from our lives had nothing to do with a decision she made.

The continuity I mentioned earlier, the common theme is what? Bingo! Faking it in every photo.

Pay attention to the people in your life. Treat them well. Love them. You don’t want to be left with a bunch of photos that only serve to tell lies.