You remember the movie “The Blob” don’t you?! It was made in the late 1950’s. I saw it on TV with him when I was a kid. It’s about a growing corrosive alien amoeba that crashes from outer space in a meteorite and enlarges as it engulfs and dissolves citizens in a small community in Pennsylvania. (Oh how ironic!) At the end of the movie “the Blob” is air lifted to the Arctic where it is separated from society, but doesn’t die and the question remained as to when and if it would return.
As a kid, when no one was around, he would make a silly scary face and call it “The Blob”. Then when others were around and I asked him to make that face for others, he would act like I was crazy and say he didn’t know what I was talking about. For the longest time I didn’t know whether to feel like this was something “special” between us or if it was just another way he used to manipulate and control me. I’ve come to realize that the Blob was a real monster in our home that engulfed the little people. He dissolved their boundaries, their emotions, their words, their dreams, their minds, their innocence, their self worth, their identity and their ability to feel safe in this world. I wasn’t afraid of the movie or his funny “Blob” face, but I have always deathly feared the Blob in our house.
Eight months ago I turned fifty and unfortunately, it wasn’t the joyous occasion I had anticipated and hoped for. I always tell people when they say they don’t like their birthday or they don’t want to celebrate it that this is a celebration of the day God graced the earth with your presence! My mom always made my birthday special. Though I didn’t feel seen or heard growing up, on Christmas in July, I felt celebrated. I haven’t felt that since she died twelve years ago. So naturally this being a “BIG” birthday, I had expectations. And I was disappointed. More than that, I felt forsaken. The Blob I have so desperately fought to please and be enough for blatantly ignored the day and didn’t contact me at all to wish me a Happy Birthday. So the day I tell others to celebrate no matter how they feel because that’s the day God was showing off His new masterpiece, ended up being the day I felt like an insignificant mess of nothing. Ten days after my birthday, I decided I couldn’t do this anymore and made a plan to kill myself. If he of all people can’t even acknowledge my existence then what am I even here for? I shared the plan with my therapist and she helped me to work through the issues. And obviously I didn’t execute my plan because you are reading this blog.
Today is Blob’s birthday.
A couple of weeks ago, I brought him a birthday card. I was going to honor and celebrate the day he came into existence even if he didn’t acknowledge me on my special day. When I got it home I immediately signed it, addressed it and put a stamp on it… like a good little girl. Then I put it on the table near the front door, waiting until it was closer to the date to send it. Long story short, we have been working on “Blobby” issues in counseling. I told my therapist about the card and she asked some questions to help me clarify my motives of sending the card. After discussing with my therapist what would be less anxiety producing: sending the card or not; she suggested ripping it up and not sending it…. because honestly, I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. I don’t want to engage in the dysfunction of this relationship and yet, I don’t want to be thought of as a “bad child” if I do what I think is not only best, but safer for me. Either way, I am engulfed and dissolved.
Being ignored really did break my heart and something inside me changed. I just couldn’t believe the cruelty of it. He of all people is suppose to love me no matter what! As I ripped up his card, a panic flooded me, a fear that I will be seen as a “bad child” and that I will be “in trouble” and yet I’m fifty years old… see the problem?
You know, I NEVER want anyone to feel as bad as I have and yet, I can’t hang on to unhealthy one sided relationships and continue to experience my own growth and healing. As I talked to Jesus and processed all of this throughout the days leading up to today, the panic soon gave way to anger as I remember the core of my pain. But here’s my continuing dilemma: How do you love someone so deeply AND hate them at the same time?
So I now struggle with sadness and guilt and yet some peace in doing what is right for me, not sending him the card and wondering: Will he be upset? Will he feel hurt? Will his heart break? Will he cry? Will he question if he is a good person? Will he question if he matters? Will he want to kill himself? Will he feel like a big mess (Blob) of nothingness? Will he even care to hear from me at all?
Just like his words and actions, or lack thereof, have made me feel and think for so long…
I have always been different than my family and today I have chosen to not be like him. I will make a better, healthier, more loving choice. I will not completely and blatantly ignore him. Because there is still deep love in my broken heart for him, from the safety of the my living room with written words in a blog that he will more than likely never ever read and yet he’ll still be acknowledged, I will simply say:
Happy Birthday Blob.