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  • Tonight, I've had a shock which has forced me to face some truths that are less than easy. Doing so has wakened some emotions that one might expect to be those of a little girl, not the balanced, measured woman I am supposed to be..

    What happened is this: I was due to visit my father and stepmother this past weekend. To contextualize, I am in my late 30's, they in their late 60's. I love them both so much. Him, because all I've ever wanted is to please him, yet his approval is always just out of reach. Her, because 12 or 13 years ago she rescued him and gave him the pure, clear happiness he never thought he'd have. Visiting them takes some planning as it is a good five-hour drive from mine to theirs, so I need to arrange free time either side of the weekend to make it worthwhile. My stepmother was recently diagnosed with a fairly serious - though not terminal - illness and this would have been my first visit since then; waiting, as I was, for the right time and so on.

    Anyway, I rang mid-week just to check it was still OK to come, at which point I was told by my father than no, it wasn't. The reason he gave was because they'd just found out that my stepmother would be having her chemotherapy on Friday morning and so would be pretty much knocked out for the weekend. No problem, I told him. I understood completely and was pleased I'd rung to check, otherwise I'd have just appeared as planned.

    A half-hour ago, I happened to discover through completely accidental means that they did in fact have company this past weekend and what a truly wonderful time they'd had too. The company in question was my step-brother and his girlfriend, who from what I can work out seem to spend almost every other weekend there. I confess now to a raging jealousy which I've kept more or less under control since it last reared its ugly head when both I and my sister were relegated to the far end of the dining table at my father's birthday celebrations, but which tonight has re-appeared with greater force than ever before. My inner five year old is winning outright - but quite frankly I have no desire to stop her.

    The issue, really, is why they had to lie when it was so likely I'd find out the truth (the joy of Facebook, no less). Yes, it would have been a tough lesson to be told I'd been forgotten, or that other company was preferred, but to be lied to makes it so much worse. The conclusion, then, is that the message is loud and clear whether they mean it to be, or not. This, on top of all the other times, on top of a total absence of effort to make any contact whatsoever is making the true intent really really clear, though I fail to understand why despite the most brutal bouts of self-examination. Continued effort on my part will, I think, make me look and feel like a desperate, jilted lover. I'm just not up for that.

    The minor miracle that is Cowbird has, on this Sunday night, provided a public/private corner of the world to tell all. For me, this place is a little bit different from everything else. Things go on here that don't go on my blog or on any other writing forums. I don't really tell people about it, choosing instead to re-post selected Cowbird work on the places I make public. Because of this, it feels safe, somehow, protected, and right now, that's just what this little girl needs.
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