Home > Uncategorized > In Need of a Lifepreserver

In Need of a Lifepreserver

As we learn how to speak beyond one or two-word sentences, we are told by the adults around us that we should always be honest. It’s one of  the first lessons a child learns and right from the start, we are also taught to bend it.

We learn to keep others at a distance, we learn to use phrases like “I’m fine” or “it’s OK” even when on the verge of breakdown.

We learn tact which I like to refer to as polite lying; for example, saying how much you love a Christmas sweater your grandmother gave you despite the fact that the sight of it makes bile rise up in your throat.

But the most numerous all are the lies we tell ourselves. We tell them to comfort ourselves or to try and glue the pieces of our lives back together. We tell them to make us feel better about ourselves. We tell them because, quite honestly, the truth freaking hurts.

It ostracizes people when they can’t handle hearing it.

It puts us out of our comfort zone and onto the guillotine.

The truth is really not what it’s cracked up to be.

This is why me and denial are such close friends, especially when it comes to feelings.

I had a conversation with Tinkerbell on Friday about denial, about how I was happy that she was finally letting herself admit she wanted a relationship with her beau Freckles.  Then in our typical rhythm, the topic turned to my own denials. One of which I’ve kept up for the better part of a year.

After advising her not to deny what she wanted, I would be a hypocrite (one of my biggest peeves) if I did not do the same.

Denial #1 – “I am nothing like my father.”

I often keep people at arm’s length. Before I really tried to control it, I had an explosive temper. I can be blunt to the point of tactlessness. I use sarcasm far too heavily. I can have a “fuck the world” attitude from time to time. I am happiest outside. If someone starts a fight with me, I’ll be sure to finish it. The reason I don’t get drunk is because I’m afraid I’ll have his same problem with alcoholism.  I look like him. I sound like him. My first name (not Kendall) is in honour of him. These facts bother me horribly. They probably always will.

Denial #2 – “I am confident about my teaching internship next year.”

It scares the piss out of me. Not even while I be responsible for the education of a group of children but this is on top of finishing my last year of undergrad and working as well. I’m all ready pretty sure I won’t be able to be a full-time UNC student between all of this which means I might not graduate until the summer or even Christmas. I’m going to be one tired man come Commencement.

Denial #3 – “I’m not ready to get a place with Eva.”

While yes we did talk about it at length, we decided not to just yet. She has some of her things at my apartment as do I at her townhouse. We have slept in the same bed on many occasions. While I want to say it’s because I’m afraid of taking that step, the truth is…I don’t want to have a live-in girlfriend I’m not engaged to. It’s the bits of my old-fashioned morals from my Nana rising up in me. 

Denial #4 – “I may love her, but I don’t see Daybreak as my daughter.”

This one is so full of shit that I’m amazed I managed to believe even part of it for a moment, much less for months. I was always afraid to call her my daughter out loud. Afraid that because of Denial #1 I would be a horrible dad. So when I called her my daughter aloud where both Eva and Daybreak heard me, I thought I would have a panic attack. When Eva didn’t immediately jump in and correct me, she instead just smiled and said she had known that for months.

As Grey’s Anatomy has said, “denial really isn’t just a river in Egypt. It’s a freaking ocean.”

And I seem to be drowning.

So what are you deluding yourself about?

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  1. February 16, 2009 at 11:43 AM

    I don’t like to think about my denials… so I can’t tell you about them… because I can’t hear them… la la la la la la la la la…

    Love,

    The Ostrich

    No one likes to think about their denials, that’s why they’re called denials. I love the signature Ma’am. Enjoy your time in the sand.

  2. February 16, 2009 at 11:53 AM

    I think it’s pretty amazing that you were able to pinpoint and describe your denials. I often find that it takes time to realize what’s going on underneath everything.

    I’ve been in denial about my relationships with my mother, which I have refrained from blogging about because she occasionally will glance at my blog and I just don’t think it’s appropriate for her to learn something from anyone/anywhere other than directly from me.

    We’ve been extremely close for most of my life and, within recent years, I have had to realize that I’ve denied the anger/resentment I have towards her. I think it’s natural for kids to resent their parents, to a certain degree. I never did. She was my best friend, the only person I felt like I really ever had. Now I know that she has affected me in so many ways, negative and positive, and I need to start embracing both sides of that coin.

    Denial is a tricky thing. Especially when it comes to people/issues that are so important to us, like your father for you or my mother for me.

    I wish you luck with overcoming it all. You seem to be making some good steps. I had a hard time even writing this comment! Even though I think about this whole issue nearly every day — I guess I’m making good steps, too.w

    I was never close to my mother and even now we’re still getting to know one another. I’ve thought about these for months but I never admitted to them out loud. -hugs- Good luck to you as well.

  3. February 16, 2009 at 12:14 PM

    Hun, anyone who has read your blog ever – not even regularly – can tell Denial #4 is completely false. It seems you’ve thought of her as your daughter for as long as you’ve known her … and I remember questioning once if you were her “real” father or not because with the way you talked of Daybreak, I simply could not tell.

    We all deny things, often. It’s a self-defense mechanism and seemingly both normal and common. If you can recognize that you are in denial about certain things, however, you’re making the great step in the right direction of accepting you and your life just as it is.

    Are you serious? I didn’t know it was that obvious that you thought she was my birth daughter. Considering I don’t really like putting pictures online I guess I can’t blame you.

  4. February 17, 2009 at 12:51 PM

    If we could all sit with ourselves and look at our denials straight on — like you — the world would be a saner place. You continue to astound me.

    I would like to think so. Then again, I’m not the most sane person myself.

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