The Tragedy of No Loss
I’m pretty sure my shrink thinks that I am a little too casual about the loss of my relationship with my parents. Part of me wishes that she were right.
It is like a little over a year ago, when I walked away from my relationship with my father. The first Sunday I didn’t see them, I felt a little better, had a little more energy. The next Sunday, I felt surprisingly better. What was going on? I had energy! I had to ask myself why. The answer I came up with was that I was no longer allowing the narcissist to feed off my energy and was reclaiming it.
It is hard to miss something you never really had in the first place. For example, I never really had a relationship with any of my brothers. So when they made demands upon me, it was like attempting to make a withdrawal from an account that had never been deposited into. I never saw their demands as valid or legitimate because they had never done anything for me. Any withdrawal would be an instant over-draft. They were trying to cross a bridge that had never been built. They were a lot older than I was and the relationship never developed. They were very close in age to each other and they shared a different father than I had. There was no “there” there. Any attempts on my part to create a relationship out of thin air felt forced and artificial. It never felt real.
Not seeing my parents has improved the quality of my life. No more dread or “Oh crap. What do I say now?”
What makes me want to cry is that lack of a sense of loss. I feel like I “should” be devastated.
I have always had to protect and defend myself. My parents are proud of how independent I am. In other words, they are proud that I have never been able to depend on them for the basics of protection and defense. “Congratulations. You’re worthless. And always have been.” And they pat themselves on the back for that. Pathetic.
What I want to impress on people is the importance of investing in other people. It is the only thing worth investing in. I am really trying to invest encouragement and reality-based assistance (like rides in the cold, nasty rain) in the people in my life now. Don’t make demands upon people you haven’t invested into. It simply comes off as controlling. Reciprocity is the name of the game.
If you died now, would anyone care? Would anyone miss you? Would your being gone be a tragedy? A relief?