Cake Doesn’t Make Up for Hate
I woke up this morning to a surprise delivery of some cake. It was from a relative I met only a few days ago; it posed as a New Year’s treat.
I don’t know when this cake was ordered by them, but I wonder if it was after they spilled a small portion of the vast ocean of hatred they have for me when I met them two days ago. This person desperately seeks understanding and approval of society in general and does more than is comfortable to even observe at times to please people. So perhaps this was a move to make me not think that they hate me, and thereby try to keep me from hating them.
You know what? I don’t have any negative emotion towards this person. When I think of them, I think of them rationally; I don’t feel rage or disgust, or even guilt, even though all their words are meant to send me into a guilt-trip and be defensive. However, I would much rather never meet them again, as I don’t think we think on the same frequency or level. It’s not that the differences in our mindsets and lifestyles clash, but my mind repels the bullshit and hypocrisy of their words, false expressions, gestures, actions — such as this person blaming me for my father’s death over and over every time we meet, yet sending me a cake only a couple of days after we met to, from what I surmise, remain in my good books.
Wow. The inconsistency is monumental. This person has had to live, I believe, their whole life in a way where they have had to reassure themselves that they are right over and over, perhaps because they weren’t listened to or supported, and were met with very little approval which they internalized. As I was leaving their house, they told me, yes, it was a long and pointless lecture I heard by them, but that they were sure that by hearing this lecture (I’ve had to bear several times since the death of my father) I too was getting something off my chest. This was repeated over and over because I wasn’t reacting or responding to it. I wanted to disagree, but I also didn’t want to elongate the conversation or my stay in this uncomfortable situation.
I remained cool and graceful — which in this context means, awkwardly silent — which I am proud of. I am incredibly glad that my attitude and emotions have been very stable and generally positive against the tumultuous waves of emotional, anger-charged words that have crashed against my ear drums. They entered my brain and were immediately sliced, diced and dissected. They were assessed as illogical and dismissed. However, I did draw lessons from them too.
This person cannot move away from the past. I believe even they know that and also know that it doesn’t serve them well to dwell on what cannot be changed. I also know that I will not let them stain the peace I’m in the process of developing in me, and the strength I’m drawing from my past experiences caring for my dying father. Yet, he died on my watch unexpectedly. And I blame myself a hundred times a day for all the little moments I could have made better for him. But I don’t blame myself wholly for his death. There were too many factors, too many players, too many things involved: misinformation, fear, awkwardness, secrets, delay, segmentedness… I could go on and on. But let me stop now and call it a night.
I shared the cake with some friends as we played cards. It was all right to eat. I can’t say it was the best cake I’ve had. And I’m definitely not a child who can swallow a bit of sweet cream frosting to defecate the reality of my relatives’ hatred for me. I see it as something that is unchangeable, much like my past. I shall continue to visit them out of a sense of duty, for my father lived his live very dutifully. Some of his spirit has taken home in me, so it’s easy now for me to be at peace with doing things that are counter-productive to my mental health, like visiting these relatives. But like my father’s will and conscience, mine is clean and strong too when it comes to these matters. I have rarely internalized other’s blame before and I don’t plan on starting it now. I’ve lived too careful a life to do anything incredibly, unforgivably wrong before and that also applies to how I handled my father’s declining health. Fuck everyone who thinks otherwise. They don’t know the barely formed egg-yolk of a heart I had then, which was incapable of knowing what more to do. I shall not apologize for my ignorance for my emotional knowledge was limited by years of abuse and neglect. I am not apologetic about being a victim. What I’ve learned in hindsight I wish I’d known before and that’s sorrowful enough for my ceramic tea-cup sized heart to now hold. Hopefully it shall grow stronger and bigger. My heart, not the space taken up by my sorrow.
#Day 2 of #100daysofwritingchallenge.