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Don’t Believe Your Therapist

March 15, 2013

I spent a lot of time being pissed off at my mother’s funeral. At all those people who showed up but who could never find the time to visit her when she was alive, but so sick, in those last months. The entire time I felt like screaming at almost everyone there. You fucking assholes, you don’t deserve to be here. You don’t deserve to call yourself her friend. Don’t tell yourself you’re doing it for the bereaved family (that would be me), because I couldn’t care less about you or your fake, self-serving show of concern. You’re going to go away from this funeral feeling good about yourself, when in fact you should be ashamed. You can’t imagine how happy it would have made my mother to see all her friends together, showing their love & caring to her in person. Paying their respects–but to her, not me. But no, you were too busy and you hoped she would understand. Well, she didn’t. She died incredibly lonely because her “friends” couldn’t get away at a time when it actually would have meant something, would actually have done some good. But now that she’s dead and won’t know and it won’t make any difference, here you are. Now that there is something you can get out of it. Free food and the smug, self-righteous feeling of having “done your best,” when in fact you did nothing at all. Well done you.

News flash: You know how, when someone you know commits suicide, everyone loves to say “There was nothing you could have done”? Well they are wrong. There was a lot you could have done. If you believe there wasn’t you’re just following the lead of your therapist, who loves to tell you nothing is your fault. But that is just New-Age Wacked, spoken by someone who, at the root of it, is a business person who has a lot hinging on your success at their brand of yak; the word-of-mouth that will issue from their success at generating language that lets you, the patient, off the hook. But it’s completely untrue; it’s a fabrication, a construct. Not to mention, s/he is also (like you) probably one of those people who never puts put anything in a street-singer’s case because it “isn’t enough” (see Oh That Magic Feeling). I suppose something can be said for trying to stave off pain, but not the pain of missed or abandoned or avoided responsibility. Not the pain of remorse because there were things you could have done, moments you could have spent, offers you could have made–but didn’t. A generation full of people who are Teflon to responsibility has led to this absurd truism. But as someone who spent a lot of last year hanging on by a thread, I am here to tell you: You could have called. You could have written. You could have come. You could have asked. & don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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