Crushed Delusions

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Some experiences we block out. They are too painful to remember, and they conflict with the delusions we have created. These delusions are often necessary for us to hold on to emotional sanity, and should not be shattered until we are strong enough to live without them.

Submitted: January 29, 2012

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Submitted: January 29, 2012

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Marie drummed her fingers impatiently on the steering wheel waiting for what was quickly becoming the longest stop sign in the world. The cars drove slowly in to town in an endless line; it seemed as though the whole town decided to go for a drive today. She was still trembling and kept shaking her head automatically it. She found herself mouthing words without sound, and ignoring what was on the radio. The sun covered her whole body, but she didn’t notice it trying to scorch her exposed face. The knot in her throat hurt as she held back inevitable tears.

Finally, the traffic subsided. She punched the clutch and smoothly shifted to gear. She pulled out to the road, trying to be careful not to speed too much. By the time she left city limits, her head quit shaking and body stilled. She quit mouthing words and started listening to the music on the radio. It was the Bee Bop song from that blonde kids’ band. She could never remember the name of it. She remembered listening to the song though, and singing it in the car at the top of her lungs with Karin though. The lump in her throat lurched at these thoughts, and she pushed in the C.D. that was sticking out of the player.

Kurt Cobain started singing about teen spirit after the player whined for a few seconds. Her knot lessened once the music filled the truck. She was five miles out of town now, and was driving 60 miles an hour. She stared absently out the windshield, unaware of who was in the cars driving past her. On any given day she knew most of the people on the road, but today she could not find the will or pleasantness inside her to wave or look.

She had no idea where she was going. She wasn’t thinking at all, any thought that entered her head would only lead to painful memories. She didn’t want to cry yet; she couldn’t cry yet. The trees on the side of the road blurred to a never ending brown and dark green. There was still some snow on the ground, but there had been a warm spell over the last week and it was now more brown than white.  Guard rails dipped in and out of the road, trying to keep cars from plunging off the scattered cliffs. Small chickadees scattered from the road when her car approached, but then quickly returned to peck some miniscule food from the pavement. A raven hopped around the center line, seeming to only be there to scare drivers into accidents. Marie didn’t see any of this.

By the time Kurt started singing about living under a bridge where fish feel no pain, Marie pulled off the road. She was at mile 41, and there was a trailhead she could park her car at. The driveway to it was long enough to keep her truck hidden from the road, but no too long so it was kept up. There were no other vehicles there, as she expected. She put the car in park, took off her seatbelt, hugged her knees to her chest, changed the C.D. to Tom Petty, The Wildflowers, and then cried.

She sobbed loudly and made all the crying noises she could never make when she was at risk of being heard. She hated making those noises, but here it was ok. No one would hear those awful animal noises out here in her truck. Her chest hurt as she let it all out. Her face immediately became a red, puffy balloon. Snot ran down her face mixing with the never ending tears. She hadn’t had a cry like this in years. In fact, she could not remember the last time. If her memory permitted though, she would have known that she stifled her crying and hadn’t had a true cry since she was nine years old, eight years ago.

“What the fuck is wrong with me?” she blubbered to herself the words she had only thought before. “Why does he hate me so much? What did I do?”

She took off her sweatshirt and blew her nose into it. She would just drive home with the heater blasting, because that sweatshirt would be completely wet when she was done.

“I’ve lost everything. I hate myself. Mom’s gone, Kara’s at her boyfriends, Jason’s at Dad’s, I lost all my friends,” she said, not caring it was all self-pity. She didn’t care at that moment. She never got to say those things out loud, and she always chastised herself for thinking them. She never let her friends or family point out these things, and how they were fucked up. Now she was going to say everything she pretended didn’t exist. As if she were tasting the way they sounded. They tasted bitter.

“Dad hates me. He hates me. He found a new family. He doesn’t want me or Kara anymore. He fucking hates me. He looked right at me. Right fucking at me! Oh my god, he fucking hates me.” Every time she said it, more tears spilled. She was no longer sobbing or making those god awful noises, but her eyes continued to flood.

She closed her eyes and pictured the incident that set her off only an hour ago.

She was in the grocery store carrying shampoo, bread and some bananas. Mom and John were out of town for the spring break, so she had to buy something for dinner. She didn’t feel like cooking, so she was just going to grab a roasted chicken. She had just gotten in a huge fight with her best friend the day before, and knew she would be spending the evening alone. All of her other friends were mad at her because she had ditched them for the friend who now hated her. Besides, her other friends had boyfriends they wanted to be with. Her sister was also at her boyfriend’s house. In fact, she hadn’t seen Kara since Mom and John left six days ago.

She was walking by the meat section towards the deli in the back of the store when she saw him. Her dad was walking right towards her. They hadn’t talked since last Easter, and she had long since given up on trying to call him. She had given her brother a Christmas present to give to him back in December, and a birthday card a week ago. She knew Jason gave him the presents, because Jason wanted them to talk again. She lived in the same town as her father, and they had seen each other before, but it was always him in a car. And even though she waved to him, he never waved back. She always convinced herself he just didn’t see her. She ignored her friends’ sad faces when she said that he just didn’t see her. They always turned their heads when she tried to convince herself by laughing about it. She knew the truth, but refused to accept it.

This time though, she could finally convince herself. He was only ten feet away; he had to talk to her. There was no way he’d miss her this time. She grinned and opened her mouth. She knew what she was going to say. She was going to say, “Hi Dad, happy belated birthday. Did Jason give you your card?” He was going to respond by saying, “Yeah I did, thanks. I’m surprised you remembered; I always forget birthdays. How’s school going?”

At first he would be shocked that she was being so nice to him; surely he deserved a bitchy confrontation for the way he had treated her, or rather hadn’t treated her. She wouldn’t be mean though. She was so desperate to have him in her life, to care about her again. To have him prove everyone wrong: he didn’t see her and her sister merely as financial burdens. He did care about them, he was just busy. He really didn’t see her the other day when she was walking towards him and could have touched his jeep as he drove by: he was just being spacy. She wouldn’t even mention the fact that he forgot her birthday; she planned on keeping everything pleasant. Even if he did buy his new girlfriend’s daughter a new iPod for Christmas and his own daughters nothing. Ok, he had been dating his “new” girlfriend for three years now, even though her parents had only been separated for two years.

With her mouth in an open smile, she inhaled to say hi. He looked right at her. He turned down the aisle. Her entire body went numb. He turned away. He looked right at her and turned away. He saw her and he turned away.  Her body remained there for a moment, frozen. Her mouth closed and her smile tightened to a straight line. She was so numb that someone could have punched her in the face, and she wouldn’t have felt in.

She put the armful of groceries on the nearest shelf and walked out of the store. She ignored her surroundings, seeing only a tunnel to her truck. If anyone said hi to her, she didn’t see or hear them.

And now she was parked at a trailhead hugging her knees asking why he hated her so much. He looked right at her. He couldn’t have missed her. She had lived with him for 15 years; he had to have recognized him. There was no explanation for his behavior. They never fought; they never had a falling out, so why did he act this way? It made no sense, except that she had done something wrong. Why didn’t he stop to listen to her? If he had, it could have stopped a year long silence. But he didn’t. He chose to turn away. And because of that, Marie sat in the truck crying, blaming herself for a mess that was emotionally unbearable and completely illogical.

Marie wished he stopped and talked to her, but he didn’t. For one reason or another, he had no desire to speak to his daughter.  If he had stopped, Marie may have suffered far less anxiety attacks in the future. She probably would have chosen to attend school in state.  She would have made more rational decisions over the next couple of years. She wouldn’t have turned to drugs, then suffered dreadfully when quitting. She wouldn’t have had to try to hide from her emotional demons. She would probably trust guys more, and maybe, just maybe be able to maintain better relationships. If she didn’t keep the motto, “If my own dad doesn’t like me, then how can I expect anyone else to like me?” then she may have had a healthier self-esteem.

While it wasn’t fair to blame all of these typical daddy-issues on him, Marie sometimes found she had to. For if it wasn’t his fault, then she truly was a messed up person. She tried to tell herself it was her fault, that she was an unlikable person. But that path led to nothing but self-destruction.

If Marie had known what kind of father-daughter relationship she had in store for the next half decade, then she probably would have followed him down that aisle. She would have called out. She would have said, “Hey Dad,” and he would have had to turn around. Because if that one unpleasant conversation would have happened, her future may have been a little bit happier.

 If she knew that that one conversation would have prevented her from sitting in her room wanting to kill herself, wishing she had more than 40 Ibuprofen and a bottle of Nyquil to take. Because those only made her sick, but she took them anyways, for maybe they would lessen her life a little.

If she would have known that that one conversation could have prevented her from smoking as much pot as Cheech and Chong and making dumb life decisions, then maybe she would have followed him.

 If she would have known that that once conversation could have prevented some embarrassingly low sexual activities, then she would have called his name until he turned to look at her.

If she had known anything, she would have grabbed his arm. She would have proved that she made an effort. She would have given him no reason to turn half the family against her because he said she abandoned him. She would have gladly made a scene in the store, because the lies he spewed and twisted later on would have been worth a thousand scenes. She would have forced him to say something mean to her. It would have been worth it.

But she didn’t do that. Instead she let the roof that had been hanging on by nothing but a thread of pathetic lies collapse. Her fucked up teenage life was exposed for what it really was, and she couldn’t hold on long enough to confront him. 


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