the happy valley sham

I’d been sitting on a post for some time now, well since the start of the New Year actually, and I’d been contemplating about sending it to you; mostly afraid about jinxing the situation with my humble words. You see things here at home had been rather civil. Everything has been fine and dandy. Sunshine, lollipops, rainbows and all ever since Christmas day. It’s been easy street. Happy families and happy valleys twenty-four seven. Though I’ve had to tread cautiously most times, taking care with my words, editing them in case something I said sparks those hidden ghouls that lay buried deep inside my mother awake.

Ghouls who’d lain dormant until yesterday.

And obviously I wasn’t expecting it.

I came home at dusk to a barrage of twenty questions and insulting insinuations. No answer given was sufficient considering their shallow minds had been made up. I was simply babysitting for a dear friend that afternoon, but since they happen to look down upon these friends of mine and all for living on what they consider to be the wrong side of town, I opted for a little white lie. I was instead helping my pregnant high school buddy move into her home. And alas, they wouldn’t buy it. For them I was at a job agency for a mandatory appointment or something to do with welfare. Yes Maria, I told them. Well I no longer denied that I was unemployed to my mother. I let go of that farce at the start of the year in hopes of mending fences with her. Keeping a promise of staying honest to her while she tried her hardest to be kinder to me.

Promises break easily these days and like a case of easy come, easy go she changed back to that rigidly resigned, depressed and far away stance. Refusing to met my gaze or acknowledge my ‘disgusting’ presence. My father threatening to boot me out of his home all because I was unemployed and a drain on their hardworking selves and society. According to him I do nothing but play games on my laptop. But despite that I tried hard to carry on a conversation with her but it was only met with familiar distant silence. I even asked if she’d like to accompany my sidekick and myself on our nightly walks (yes, we’d been going for hour long walks after dinner too) knowing full well that the conversation between us would not be pleasant and very much awkward but in good faith I asked anyway.

And she ignored me. She ignored both times I asked so I went on ahead without her.

Image via Pinterest

After the dust had appeared to settle, after I ran to my room crying like a baby I realized just what a sham it had all been. This happy family bullshit was nothing more than a dangerous act that was only ever going to end in the reopening of old wounds. I took a massive leap of faith with her this year, believing in the changes and the promises which led me to soar perilously higher. Opening and displaying parts of myself, no longer hiding them fully away, but it was all in vain. I came crashing right back down to that bone crushing dusty surface, with no safety net to break my fall.

And all it served to do was further destroy and break me from within.

So out on my walk with my sidekick, for the first time in a very long time I weeped in a public space, far, far away from prying eyes. Opening myself like that had left me completely exposed and vulnerable to attack. 100% unprepared. Alone and broken over the thought that I’d have to return home to continuing silence and indignation. I considered homelessness. Considered living out my vehicle with my sidekick by my side, opting to do so now rather than waiting for the inevitable. When the tears subsided slightly I took comfort in forgotten images of a crimson watery grave. Of a bathtub and the way arms appear to float listlessly. A red plume snaking its way out in the most enchanting and dramatic fashion. Releasing the world off my shoulders and emptying out the venom. A life force slowly making its sweet escape to freedom.

I continued down a path of darkness until I spotted my mother entering the park. Hope annoying fired right up only to be decimated yet again. She caught up with me, my tears now dry, poker face in tact, hers still of a distant one. She wanting to continue with this pointless fight, me just needing to move on. She was now convinced, utterly convinced that I was not with Liz but that I was looking after someone else’s kids while they worked. Her problem was that I should be the one working not helping others. Nevermind they actually pay me money for looking after their darling daughter.

You see for her it’s fantastic for someone to come along and give her a helping hand when in need. But for others, when they are in need? No way. I pointed out a fine example of some family friends, whose husband practically renovated your house Maria, for free mind you. He was there, rain or shine doing what he could to ease the burden and pain they were faced with. But should the roles be reversed, well I doubt they’d be as committed as what this friend was to them. This infuriated her further but it was the truth. I’ve noted that selfish quality in my parents long ago. They don’t like helping people, at least not those who truly need it and only if it serves them some kind of purpose in the end. Maybe it’s just a Baby Boomer generational thing. Their need for constant dominance and playing the victim, damsel in distress syndrome. Pointing the finger at younger generations at how easy we have it ‘made’ when it can be nothing but further from the truth. Complaining how their children don’t move out of home when most simply can not afford too. Mortgages impossible to obtain for a single person alone and renting opportunities found far back towards suburbs surrounding rural communities. People can not simply run away and hide from their pasts, put distance between what hurts or hitchhike their way across country to start anew.

Not these days.

Either way my parents will never see, never understand how much damage they do to something that remains so weak and twisted on the inside. They’ll never notice the enormous amount of scaffolding that encompasses myself, keeping the facade from toppling over. Most importantly they’ll never understand that they are the hand that rips away the band aid. The band aid that catches on the open wound and yanks away that thin layer of fresh skin, painfully exposing raw red flesh to the elements. They’ll never see the pain because they don’t want to and don’t care to. No matter how hard I may try to bury it all away, my eyes will never deceive. They reflect the true emptiness and sadness from within. You’d notice it if you looked hard enough away.

As for today, I don’t know where we’ll go from here. I’ll be babysitting again this afternoon so I’ll have no idea what to anticipate for when I return, I hope not another repeat of the silent treatment because I don’t want to go through those motions again. Think those thoughts and cry those tears. I want to go back to how it was last week.

Smiles, candy canes and unicorns please.



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