To The Man Who Acts Like He Doesn’t Care


My first and only question: Why?

Apparently he does not want people to feel bad for him. He wants to be able to have something bad happen or get hurt and still have people believe that he is okay.

I don’t understand this.

Caring and pity are not related. And just because you are passionate about something does not make you weak, even if things do not go according to plan.

If you act like you don’t care about something that is actually important to you, then people won’t ever take you seriously for it.

I care.

I care so fucking much about things that don’t even matter, and if I try to act like I don’t care, I end up messing with my own happiness because then all these emotions just build up inside of me, nagging at my mind.

How can he be so chill about everything? How does he not become passive aggressive? Doesn’t acting this way make him fake? What does he even really care about then? Because the person I know does not seem to care about anything; just how he likes it.

I cared about him.

I did not want to show it, though, because I did not want to be the only one of us who cared. I refuse to be vulnerable. Yet, to be alive is vulnerable.

Let me tell you all a little about myself…

I push people away who care about me, but only the people who I worry what they will do when they find out the real me. I force them to leave before they choose to leave on their own because I don’t want to deal with the rejection. I reject myself. If others are smart, they will learn to reject me too. I feel damaged and therefore not good enough for anyone else’s time or love.

“If you’re afraid of everyone leaving you, what do you do?”

“Make them stay.”

“And if you can’t do that, or don’t know how to?”

Ellie shrugged. “I don’t know.”

“Yes, you do. In fact, you’ve done it. You leave first,” Coop said, “So you don’t have to watch them walk away.”

I am too self-sufficient and try to take care of my own problems without anyone’s help.  Secretly I do need help, but I’d never admit it.  I then grow resentful of people when they don’t seem to care about me, even when I’m the one who pushed them away.  I’m the only one to blame.

“You’re a classic type A perfectionist, and you’re afraid to go out on a limb because it just might break underneath you.”

I put on a mask with him and concealed my thoughts, hoping he would say something to show me that he cared. Something that would convince me to take off that mask and spill my soul. That didn’t happen.

“…I need a few minutes by myself.”

“Those few minutes,” he said softly. “They’re adding up.”

“For God’s sake, I’m in the middle of a trial! What do you expect?”

Coop let his hand trail off my shoulder, over my arm. “That one day you’ll look around,” he said, “and you’ll find out you’ve been alone for years.”

I can analyze myself until I am blue in the face. I can attempt to analyze him, too. But nothing will ever change if he is afraid to show he cares and I am afraid to be vulnerable. Maybe those are the same things. Maybe we are not so different after all. Maybe I do understand him.

*Excerpts are from Jodi Picoult’s novel, Plain Truth

I’m handing you my box full of darkness.

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