When I was a little kid, my dad would sometimes to pick me up on Sundays, which was the day he was supposed to see me according to court papers. *
Back then I was one of a handful of kids whose parents were divorced and we’d sort of cluster together in Bedford, New Hampshire, surrounded by McMansions filled with parents where there were two parents and normalcy. This was made super obvious during an assembly in seventh grade where the counselor made all of us kids with divorced parents stand up in front of everyone else.
“There is nothing to be ashamed of,” she told us while everyone else stared.
It was the first time I felt ashamed of my parents being divorced. A kid named Erik stood next to me and muttered the f-word under his breath. This made him ridiculously cool, but it also made me feel better because he thought it was ridiculous, too.
But even compared to them, I knew I stood out because everyone else went to their dad’s for the whole weekend and their dads never actually forgot about them. Not like my dad.
I’d stare out the bedroom window at the long driveway. He was always supposed to pick me up at 10. He rarely picked me up at 10. Sometimes Mom would have to call to remind him.
“He’s a forgetful man,” she’d say.
He was. He rarely knew the day of the week or people’s phone numbers. But their stories? He would remember those perfectly.
I’d climb into his beige Ford Escort, horrified that my rich friends might see me in such an uncool car, and he’d hand me the check for my mom and apologize for being late.
“I didn’t forget you,” he’d say, tearing up. “I’m so sorry. Time got away from me.”
Or sometimes it was, “I didn’t forget you. I forgot it was Sunday!”
Or sometimes it was, “I didn’t forget you. I got to talking to Uncle Kilton.”
My almost-always response was, “Mm. Hm.”
“I don’t want you to feel forgotten.”
He always said this and I knew he meant it, but I did feel forgotten a lot of the time, my poor dad. He tried so hard.
The thing is that it’s pretty normal to feel forgotten or looked over sometimes.
And there are ways to fight that. I want you to fight that. I want you to realize how awesome you are, which is why I’m blogging this again. It’s not because I’m being lazy – I don’t think – it’s because I really want you to feel okay.
So here’s how to fight that forgotten feeling.
Expand Your Social Circle
If your friends fail to invite you to things enough to feel forgotten. Find new ones. They are missing out on your fabulousness.
Honestly, my poor dad, when this kept happening to me when I was little I found about 800 father figures to fill in. I had teacher-fathers, cousin-fathers, theater-director-fathers, piano-playing-fathers, random-family-friends-fathers, boating-neighbor-fathers, uncle-fathers. So many.
Tell People You Miss Them
Seriously, if you’re missing your friends, tell them. They might be clueless. They might even be feeling forgotten, too.
Realize That Your Important in This World
Yep. You are. You matter to your dog, to your cat, to your ferret. You matter and it’s good to remember that, but sometimes it’s so hard.
What do you do to make a difference in this world? Do you volunteer? Help your parents? Help your kids?
I bet there are more ways that you matter than you realize and when you remember those ways? It’s easier to not feel so forgotten.
Be kind to yourself. The worst is when YOU forget you.
IN THE WOODS – READ AN EXCERPT, ORDER NOW!
My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!
It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!
You can order this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?
You can buy limited-edition prints and learn more about my art here on my site.
PATREON OF AWESOME
You can get exclusive content, early podcasts, videos, art and listen (or read) never-to-be-officially published writings of Carrie on her Patreon. Levels go from $1 to $100 (That one includes writing coaching and editing for you wealthy peeps).
WHAT IS PATREON?
A lot of you might be new to Patreon and not get how it works. That’s totally cool. New things can be scary, but there’s a cool primer HERE that explains how it works. The short of it is this: You give Patreon your paypal or credit card # and they charge you whatever you level you choose at the end of each month. That money supports me sharing my writing and art and podcasts and weirdness with you.