There’s a girl that I met five years ago – I blogged about her a few times in the past. She was fun, quirky, smart and sexy – I always hoped for more with her. I tried many times to take things to the next level – but she was always avoidant. She always seemed to be happy as someone in my bed but never someone in my heart.
Two years ago when I decided to end my corporate life and start on this journey I decided to try one last time. One last ditch effort to try for something serious with her. She refused.
Her objection was that she didn’t know anything about my background and that was important for her. She said that she’d complained about it to friends of mine and they’d echoed the same sentiments. I just don’t talk about my family, culture or history. All I talked about was myself.
I was shocked but I kinda understood. Especially at that point, I didn’t talk so much about family and those things – I spoke about me. My kingdom, my hopes, my dreams…fears, heartbreaks. But never family.
She made me feel bad about it. She was so family orientated. She’d always talk about her family. She was daddy’s girl and her Facebook was flooded with photos of the both of them in loving embraces.
A part of me actually wished that I had that – that my family was cute and cuddly like that.
I accepted her rejection and vowed to never consider her as an option ever again.
Fast forward to a few months ago – I asked her how she was. She answered, Not so good, I asked why.
All of a sudden I got a flood of family heartache. She’d had a fight with her father and he’d gone on a tirade on Facebook about it. He’d tagged her in this tirade and his friends where helping in the attack on his children.
His main gripe was the usual baby boomer vs millennial fight – why were his children so useless, lazy and entitled. His posts were like a lightning rod for other boomers – frustrated by their own children – who wanted to complain about the lazy entitled children.
What became apparent was that my old flame had assumed that I’d seen this tirade - since millennials always assume that everyone is always monitoring Facebook drama - I hadn’t. She started to unpack the twisted history of her relationship with her father – a relationship which seemed so different from the cosy images that littered her Facebook.
Her dad was emotionally abusive, suffered bouts of anger, was addicted to drugs, isolated himself and his wife from criticism. He subjected his children to so much abuse that one of his sons hadn’t spoken a word to the family in years.
As this girl spoke to me – unpacking her painful relationship with her dad – I couldn’t help but shift from feeling sad for her, to feeling annoyed. Resentful even.
She had rejected me based on a lie. Some elaborate lie about the desire to understand my family because her family was perfect. But they weren’t. Her relationship with her dad is heartbreakingly complicated. Her family are typical Europeans putting on a brave face while living in pain.
When she had rejected me I had felt like my family situation wasn’t as fun or cool as hers. My family being very boring and calm – no crazy hugs, no crazy fights. She made me question my own love for them – when her portrayal of her family was a complete lie.
Fine – perhaps it was just a stupid objection to cover up a truth. But why that one? Why that specific objection? Did she want to make sure that my family had zero drama so that she wouldn’t end up going from the frying pan to the fire? Did she automatically assume that my family had to have drama because I’m African and she’s European? Why the fuck did she think it necessary to object using something that she clearly knows nothing about?
The irony is that she thinks that I’m one of the most supportive people during this time – not because I said anything special but because I said nothing. I was flabbergasted – speechless. I just listened as she told me about her train wreck family. She took that to be support. She’s clearly misguided.
Misguided is what I was to have ever wanted someone with such baggage. I don’t know what was wrong with me back then – why did I fall for these disaster cases? She clearly had issues – she was clearly running away from home, veiling it in some noble trip to darkest Africa (Cape Town). Bullshit.
I am so thankful that she rejected me – so happy that I didn’t have to ever meet her broken family. Elated that I never became a potential or actual son-in-law to some drug-happy broken man who raised a woman who has to put up the illusion of family joy – when the reality is anything but.