Day 94-96 – My DOUBLE Life – Weekend, April 29 – May 1, 2016 – I feel like I am living a double life. One side is who I really am and the other side is based upon how little some people care to know about me or what is going on in my life.
I doubt I am alone in what I am about to write. At the same time, it is often taboo to talk about how you really feel. Someone dear to me said, “You wear your heart on your sleeve.” While this couldn’t be more true, in many relationships, my heart and my true thoughts and feelings must hide. Thus, the dilemma of my double life. Sometimes by my choosing, sometimes by indifference.
Have you ever said hello to someone you know and they don’t even say “hello” back? You were two feet from them and you know they heard you. Their lack of response seems more like, “Hellno”, I am not speaking to you.
Or, after not seeing relatives since the last holiday, you walk into the house for a family gathering and when you say “Hello”, one or more relatives consistently won’t even look at you, let alone acknowledge your presence? Perhaps for the entire day.
Have you ever been in a room full of people who you know and yet you feel like a stranger? In fact, you realize that being an actual stranger might actually trigger more interaction and conversation?
Have you ever hosted a holiday or a party and if anyone says more than hello or goodbye, you are surprised?
Have you ever had dinner with friends or relatives that you haven’t seen for a while and they show no interest in hearing anything you might have to say, leaving you wondering why you even took time to be there? You want to share what is going on in your life but it is so off topic to what they are talking about that you refrain. You wait for an opening that never comes. A simple opening such as, “What have you been up to? Or, what’s new in your life?”
Has someone ever called you up on the phone, rambled on for 10 minutes about themselves and then said they had to go, without ever asking, “How are you or what have you been up to?” You’d like to tell them your good news or not-so-good news (you had surgery that day) but it’s obvious that they didn’t call to listen, they just called to be heard.
Has a friend or a relative asked you to meet them for lunch or dinner and then they ramble on about themselves without taking a breath to give you an opening or to inquire about you until the last few minutes when you are paying your checks? By that time, there is no time. They accomplished their goal. They vented. Their mission was accomplished.
This is what I consider indifference. And, indifference divides.
Family vs. Friends
I have had friendships end over the years, mostly due to our interests changing. I can deal with that. It is much harder to end a friendship when you enjoy similar interests and have fun doing things together but the emotional side of the relationship has become one-sided or sadly indifferent. The pros and cons have to be considered and personally, I always end up hoping for the best.
Family and sibling relationships does not necessarily imply friends. I think it is wonderful if and when they are but that is not always the case. I am always envious of siblings who actually love each other, enjoy each others company and truly consider themselves to be friends.
Life takes us in many directions. Some relationships will survive, others will not. If indifference is an ingredient, the chances of a relationship (family or friend) of surviving is slim. Over time, indifference hurts and can take its toll.
My Double Life
Thank goodness there are people and friends who do really know me and who get me. My husband being number one. People who know me, know my heart.
At the same time, I find myself thrust into situations and relationships that have eaten at my soul.
When it comes to siblings, often when I have chosen to do what is best for me, I have been tagged as selfish. In many situations, only one side of the story has been heard and instead of asking questions as to the rest of the story, accusations are made and judgments formed.
When I have a suggestion or difference of opinion, I often get shot down. Even when I asked for a meeting to discuss a situation, the buck was passed and my request to meet ignored, never to be discussed.
Over the years, when you are accused of saying or doing things with no interest in hearing your side of the story, combined with indifference, after a while, you just stop talking.
I wait for an opening. I wait for any interest. When there is none. I stop trying. I withdraw. I stop wanting to participate. I live the “I apparently don’t have a life” when I am with indifferent people and I live my real life when I am not.
Indifference is Deafening
Now that we have chosen to relocate for the benefit of our finances, our marriage and our retirement, the indifference is deafening.
If we were moving as a result of a job transfer. No one would flinch. People would probably be happy for us and our new adventure.
But because we are moving by choice, it’s somehow unacceptable. How can I leave my siblings? How can we leave my aging parents? How can I be so selfish as to put my marriage and what is best for us first?
How do I know our move is unacceptable?
It is not by what is being said. No. It’s the inability to be happy for our decision to retire. For one sibling, it’s the complete lack of acknowledgement of our announcement (never acknowledging). All they want to know about is what we are selling. It’s the lack of interest in what is taking place as we prepare to retire. It is the lack of even asking where we are retiring too or what the area is like.
I am excited about our retiring. I am excited about relocating to a warmer climate. I am excited about spending time with my husband boating and fishing. I am excited about not working seven days a week to stay afloat. I am excited about our move. I love life. I love adventure. I love challenges.
While I have spent over a decade living with indifference from my siblings. I know I shouldn’t be surprised that nothing has changed.
What I didn’t anticipate though, is how… indifference could feel more indifferent.
Day 94-96 – My DOUBLE Life
So many positive things are going on in my life now. I am losing weight, I’ve started a blog, I am preparing to retire with my husband. I am happy and I am excited.
On the flip side, other than writing these posts, I seldom get to share outside of here. I truly feel like I am living a double life. The lack of support and interest has been disheartening. I make it a point to be a good listener and I ask questions. The reciprocity is missing. Indifference can be a dividing factor in any relationship.
What I will never understand is why indifference has to be. Indifference is a lack of interest, concern or sympathy. Indifference signifies something or someone to be unimportant, insignificant, irrelevance. Lack of enthusiasm, apathetic.
I will be accused of being indifferent to my parents by moving. To this I say, between four siblings, I know how little say I have. If I had sole responsibility, I would do what I believed to be best, while putting my marriage first.
I know this post has been very personal. I don’t know if it will mean anything to anyone else. I can only tell you that it comes from my heart.
Although not always seen, I wear my heart on my sleeve.
Facing MY FAT,
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