OW, OW, OW, OW, OW, OW, OW!
You all right love?
Ann was lifting a heavy box of books. He lower back suddenly went sproing - a muscle pulling. Terry was watching the television. When he heard Ann, he looked at her, concerned, but as she stood up seeming to be all right and not saying anything more other than rubbing her lower back, he resumed watching the cricket.
After a few minutes, Ann, having gone in to the kitchen and then come back out and sitting gingerly on one the couch, said to Terry:
Don’t you care?
Don’t you care?
Yes, care about me. Don’t you care about me?
Yes, of course I do.
Well, if you do, then why are you still watching the television, you know I’ve just strained my back, so why don’t you care?
I do care, I asked you if you were all right. And you nodded, so you’re all right.
But I’m not all right Terry. I am very not all right, and I need you to pay attention to me. I need you to be there for me, to see if I am really all right, and to see if I need any help. But all you do is keep watching the cricket. I don’t feel loved by you, I don’t feel supported - that you care about me.
I do care about you. You should have said you needed my attention. But as you didn’t say anything and you seemed to be all right, I didn’t think there was anything wrong.
But Terry, you didn’t even look around to see if I was all right when I came back into the room. I’ve been sitting here for a few minutes not all right. I need to speak about all I went through, and not even that, I need to know you are just there, you know, that someone is there for me, someone who cares more about me than the cricket. You are always so self-absorbed, you don’t care about me, you don’t care about anyone other than yourself, you’re always the same. And I have to look after myself. It was a shocking experience, it hurt a lot, but because I’m not lying on the ground half-dead or something, I’m all right in your eyes and you can carry on watching the TV. But I’m not all right. Physically I’m sore but okay, I can still walk and do things, and my back still hurts; but emotionally and psychologically I’m not all right. I need you to attend to me, to just be there for me, to keep an eye on me at least, just to check with me that I am still all right. I need to know that someone - you - are at least somewhat concerned that I’m all right, that someone cares about me. I can feel it, it’s a new feeling, but it’s what I want now. I want to be with someone who cares about me, who genuinely cares about me, not someone who gives me a passing glance, sums it all up for themselves and then decides that I am all right. You don’t have to do anything, just see if I do have something I might want to say, to express some bad feelings. It was shocking, I was in shock, not much, but some, and it would have been really good had you been there for me, just with me, to comfort me. You could have at least got up and seen if I was all right, to help me if I needed a hand with the box, but you didn’t move, you just called at me over the noise of the television; and quite frankly, I don’t like you putting the television before me, I want to be with someone who cares more about me than about the bloody cricket.
But you’re all right, nothing bad happened, and I do care about you. I really do care, that’s why I’m with you, I love you Annie, you know that, that’s why we’re still together, and so I do care about you.
But it’s not good enough Terry, because that’s not love. It might be love in your world, but not in mine. I want someone who genuinely cares about me and shows me and makes me feel cared about; and you don’t, your actions make me feel unwanted, uncared about and rejected, like you actually hate me.
I don’t hate you, I love you!
But Terry, how can you say that when you didn’t even check to see if was all right. You haven’t said anything, you didn’t even given me another look. You didn’t ask me, or show any concern when I came back into the room, you have I bet, forgotten already that I did it.
I... I... oh all right, FUCK, I HATE YOU GOING ABOUT HOW UNLOVING I AM. I DO LOVE YOU. I DO CARE ABOUT YOU. I JUST WANT TO WATCH THE BLOODY CRICKET. I HAVE HARDLY ANY FREE TIME. I HAVE TO GO TO BLOODY WORK ALL DAY LONG AND ALL I WANT TO DO IS COME HOME AND RELAX. BUT I CAN’T, I HAVE TO LOOK AFTER YOU, SEE IF YOU’RE ALL RIGHT BECAUSE YOU HURT YOUR BACK.
Yeah, well, what’s wrong with that, you should care about me, isn’t that what having a loving relationship is about?
I DO CARE AND LOVE YOU, I DO, BUT... BUT I JUST DON’T WANT TO BE INTERRUPTED, I DON’T WANT TO BE INTERFERED WITH. NOW I HAVE TO STOP WATCHING THE CRICKET BECAUSE YOU FOOLISHLY CARRIED A BOX THAT WAS TOO HEAVY WHEN YOU SHOULD HAVE ASKED ME TO CARRY IT FOR YOU.
Oh I see, so it’s all my fault now is it? That makes me feel even less loved and cared about by you. Terry, it’s not going work, we are not right for each other. Increasingly I want someone who cares about me, someone who wants to be with me, be with me in all I’m doing. I’m not interested in the cricket, you need someone who is, we’re not matched correctly, we never have been. It’s all been just a fantasy, and I’ve had these feelings about us right from the beginning, but I’ve not said anything because I thought it was good with you and that we could make a go of it. But now that I’ve started to express more of how I truly feel; now I’m feeling more of my feelings and being more true to them; now I can feel and see that we’re not right together it’s not going to work, and I don’t know what to do.
Look Ann, you are right, I admit it. I can see what you’re saying. I have to admit that I am more interested in the bloody television than I am in you. I am, it’s very hard for me to have to admit it, but it’s true. And okay, fuck, I am not loving. FUCK, FUCK, FUCK - I AM A SHIT AND A HORRIBLE PEICE OF WORK; AN ARSEHOLE, AND FUCKER WHO DOESN’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT THE ONE PERSON IN MY LIFE THAT I THINK I LOVE. I AM FULL OF CRAP, FULL OF BULLSHIT, AND YOU ARE RIGHT, OF COURSE I SHOULD HAVE CARED MORE ABOUT YOU, OF COURSE I SHOULD PUT YOU FIRST AND NOT THE TELEVISION. I’M SORRY, I REALLY AM; I’M SORRY FOR BEING SUCH AN INSENSITIVE PRICK.
That’s all right Terry, that’s all I need. For you to keep expressing all you feel. I know it’s how you are, and that’s okay with me so long as you keep saying what you feel and seeing the truth of it. And for you to admit this about yourself, I can see that’s a huge thing, it is, and it must take a lot for you to see it. But it’s progress and so I forgive you, and it’s all right, and my back should be all right - thank you very much for caring about me.
There’s a fine line as to how one can be helpful supportive and indeed loving. My mother and grandmother were too controlling. They would just ask me if I were all right, and so long as I said yes, they’d get back to what they were doing. If I said no, they’d take me to the doctor and he could look after me. They weren’t there just for me, so I am not there for Marion as she has accused me of being unloving pointing out like Ann did to Terry, how I am only self-interested and all my so-called loving is false and meaningless - nothing more than a waste of time and something for my own ego to believe is good about itself.
My mother would have felt too vulnerable had she genuinely given herself to me, had she come over to me and sat with me, checked if I was all right, and just been there in case I had stuff to speak about, in case I had bad feelings to express. And then if I said I was okay, and she didn’t have to be with me, for her to still keep one eye on me, would have been too much. She felt too threatened, she was more like Terry who just wanted to get on with her thing uninterrupted, only the problem was she had young children. But the sad truth is, she didn’t want to be with them - with me. She only wanted to be with herself, which is understandable as her parents weren’t there for her.
So to hide her powerlessness and stop herself from feeling exposed and vulnerable, she would take over, control everything, “oh you’re all right, that’s just a slight strain, you’ll be sore in the morning, but nothing to worry about, and if it’s not right in a few days, I’ll take you to the doctor.” So I was all ‘patched up’ by her, I had nothing to worry about, no bad feelings even though I was in a semi-state of shock, so there was nothing further to do. So it was time to make a few more phone calls, she could get out of there just in case she was needed.
She wasn’t there for me, and so I learnt that I couldn’t rely on her, and buried all my pain. Through my healing I’ve come to understand that in many ways I’ve remained in my states of shock, never having actually being helped out of them. And I’ve had to keep all my bad feelings in, never expressing any of them, and pretending over the top of it all that I am always all right, that I never need anyone; and at the same time, that I am an all-loving and a caring person. But how can you be caring and loving if you’re all closed up and only looking after your own interests.
So I reject myself, as Terry was made to reject himself - his bad feelings, having to grow up to be a ‘tough man’ and not let such little botherations interfere. The cricket is far more important in a ‘real mans’ life, not all those horrible bad feelings, and certainly not caring openly and with love about his partner.
I also want to add that some people are too controlling, coming in and demanding the person does as they say, “now sit down Ann, you must rest, you’ve given yourself a nasty shock”, taking over too much, not allowing Ann to lead the way. It’s better to allow the other person to lead, the one who feels bad, and to just be there for them, all of which would of course come naturally to you if you are a naturally caring and concerned and person-focused person. Increasingly it’s become apparent to me, just how non-person focused I am. I am that way, and so I’ve had to admit it through my healing: that I don’t actually give a shit about the other person, that all my care and love is false and crap. And in fact I actually hate the other person, as I’ve also had to admit that I hate mum, dad and Gran, because they didn’t actually love and care about me. They didn’t allow me to put myself first, so that’s what I think the other person is doing to me, taking over and stopping me from being myself. I am a direct product of them, I am a result of them, I am in so many ways, them. And I didn’t have other people who were different to them in my early years to show me there were other ways, and that there was real caring and loving people.
And although a lot of what I might write you might already be aware of, and it’s obvious and wonder where I’ve been all this time, I am writing this to demonstrate that I was parented in such a way as to keep me hidden under my rock, and that’s where I’ve been, shut-off to all my feelings. And through this blog and all I write about my feelings and healing, I only want to give something of an idea and perhaps an appreciation of what my and Marion’s healing has been like for us.