It was my birthday yesterday. I really tried to enjoy the first day of summer, the longest day of the year. I was able to hold dear the authentic and genuine well wishes from the few new people in my life who have been with me throughout the year and listened, heard and saw me. Who could appreciate and understand my current and old pain and hurts I continue to struggle with.

This past Sunday was Father’s Day. It was the same day last year which was the last lengthy conversation I had with my dad before he passed on July 29th 2021. I had made a huge breakthrough during that conversation. I finally accepted my father was never going to be the ideal father I had in my mind. My grandiose father talked at length of his life’s work. He was 82 and retired for over 15 years but he was still so wrapped up in what was most important to him… his life’s work as an academic a professor of political science. There was no mention of his wife of 59 years, his 4 children or 2 grandchildren. June 8th 2022 would have been my parents 60th anniversary.

I was able to recognize he was who he was. Not a horrific or malicious person. Just a man who did not have the capacity to authentically acknowledge, recognize and see anyone but himself. I can recognize my father was raised by a narcissistic mother as well and really did not have the capacity for empathy and compassion for anyone not even himself. Intellectually I know narcissists are made not born. This does not dismiss all the hurt and pain this caused me though.

Also at this same time last year I was also watching my cat, Micah was fade away. He died on July 13th 2021. I was made to feel like I had to minimize the impact of his death because 3 weeks later I was supposed to be grieving more for my father. Only 1 friend at that time truly understood the depth of loss of a beloved pet who offered me so much unconditional love.

Yesterday I got some genuine well wishes from friends who knew about my conflicting and overwhelming emotions. I do not consider the calls from my family to be amongst them. For 364 days of the year they do not call to say “hi, how are you doing”. Their continual impatience if I dare to try and talk about anything personal the times I do interact with them. So yesterday they were showing their frustration that I did not travel to my mother’s so they could celebrate my birthday properly. I repeatedly told them I had plans and other commitments and really did not want any kind of formal celebration. They kept pushing as if I was purposefully inconveniencing them.

2 days ago I posted a quote “Manipulation is when they blame you for your reaction to their disrespect.” This situation surrounding my birthday is an example of this. Todays post is about me being tired…exhausted at having to continue to tolerate what is becoming completely unacceptable for me. Why do I have to continue to suffer in silence? I also have begun to accept they are not willing to change. They are not going to acknowledge my wishes. What’s important and meaningful to me. If they can’t do that for me on my birthday, they definitely can’t do it the other 364 days of the year….year after year.

I’m trying to compassionately detach, create the healthy boundaries that keep me safe. That let me hold onto what is true for me and not get consumed and obliterated by those who are supposed to love me the most. I don’t need their kind of love. I need to unhook from being so emotionally enmeshed by them. I’m turning more and more often to healthier emotional connections with liked minded people. This is still really hard for me as my hyper vigilance can get in my way. My distrust of allowing people close to my vulnerabilities of my true and authentic self. I fear being used and emotionally manipulated and left to struggle alone and live in complete isolation. Thinking that is the only safe place to be.

It’s a huge risk to allow myself to open up and share my reality and true self. Being vulnerable is terrifying for me. Right now I can only do so with others on Mighty and/or consider themselves adult children of dysfunction (ACA). These are my only safe communities.