Pitiful Me

I think the thing that annoys me the most is that they seem to have this new weapon in their emotional arsenal–pity. Oh, poor Betsy, doesn’t have any kids. Lives so far away all alone. Isn’t it a wonder that she can even show up here looking like a person?

I mean, if you’re going to pity me, pity my fucked up anxiety brain.

But this idea that all this–my cool weird life–is something small and sad?

It makes me feel nuts, but it also makes me very angry. Even if my life was small and sad, it’s mine. Don’t look down on me.

4 thoughts on “Pitiful Me

  1. I think your family can see that your life is cool/weird/great and can’t stand the thought. (Not that they’ve sat around and planned this- it’s all running around in the depths of their brains.) So pity has been the easiest way to try to drag down your life and avoid knowing that maybe their lives aren’t as cool as yours.
    And as the unmarried, childless sibling (with all the pets I want!) who live 200 miles from family I get a feeling of resentment from my family sometimes. Especially my sister who has done everything ‘right’ but isn’t very happy with her life.
    So family. Sigh.

  2. I think rheather has it figured out here.

    Many years ago, I had a friend who saw herself as having done everything right (gotten married, planned to have kids, started a career) but she was deeply unhappy. Her attitude toward me was always, “Bless your heart!* You dragged your sorry ass out into the world today, and you’ll just keep doing it again no matter how you continue to screw it up. You’re so funny and wacky!**” At the time, she saw me as doing everything wrong – going back to grad school to make a change to a lower paying field where I’d have to start from the beginning, not actively dating by choice, and wrestling with the new idea that I wasn’t weird, I just have generalized anxiety disorder. So there was all pity all the time.

    Later, when I had done the right things by her terms (gotten married, had a child, moved along in the new career) it was like she couldn’t shift her perception even though I’d checked off all her boxes. “It’s so funny watching you try to do all these normal things!” I pointed out one time that I didn’t need her guidance, judgment, or pity masked as amusement and she could fuck right off. Cue massive gaslighting. We haven’t spoken other than being cold but civil in public since. I’m told she claims to have no idea why I gradually dropped all contact and didn’t reciprocate when she reached out.

    Sometimes people seem to need a designated person to look down on so they never have to examine themselves. It adds another layer when it’s family.

    This makes me think of my gentle almost never outwardly angry mother flipping out on someone for telling her someone else’s life was “a nice little life.” I’ll spare you the sermon (you know there was one) on how no one’s life is small.

    *I think I’m using this right but I’m not of the south so there’s a very good chance I got it wrong.

    **Beware you’re so funny, crazy, wacky, hilarious, etc. used to disguise pity.

  3. Also, there is much to admire in your life. Some people’s version of admiration is jealousy.

    I’m all riled up but I’m going to stop now and put my energy into seeing if Cracker Barrel wants to buy my second sentence and sell it on various types of tchotchkes in their gift shop.

  4. Am applauding rheather and SuperGenius for their succinct wisdom, and you, ma’am, for putting these abusers’ nonsense on the level where it belongs:

    Pitiful.

    When they treat someone with contempt for their life, their choices and their actions, when the life, choices and actions harm no one else – indeed, when the life, choices and decisions often HELP others – they’re the only ones to be pitied. It’s pitiful to be so small, so envious, so unable to feel joy for another’s happiness, contentment and accomplishments. It’s pitiful to be so lacking in self-control and self-awareness that you can’t simply shut up instead of insulting another to make yourself feel better.

    These people are raising children who watch and learn from their behavior. That may be the most pitiful aspect of all.

    You wrote here, many years ago, about needing to “trust in (your) inherent awesomeness.” Please continue to do that, ma’am. These pitiful people really don’t deserve your light in their lives. 🌟❤️

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