Part of me doesn’t care about anything, which means I don’t care about anything.
- Living or dying
- Personal suffering
- Suffering of others
- Mental health
All the normal things, I don’t care about any of them. You might think this is melodramatic and you’d be right. You might also think of me as a sociopath. In this case, I’d have to remind you that this is one part of my personality – a normal part of a normal personality.
If you looked around at the millions of other people in this world who are committing daily acts of slow suicide, you’d instantly know that I am not alone in having a part of me that doesn’t care.
People are slowly killing themselves with drugs, food, alcohol, overwork, and all kinds of self-sabotage. It’s common. There’s also something wrong about it, right? But let’s not deny how often people say, “Screw it! I’m just gonna __________ .” (Fill in the blank with some self-sabotaging behavior).
Anyway, I thought I’d call forth this uncaring part of me and have a little talk with myself. Not corny at all. It’s beyond corny to pretend you have no such part, all the while catering to its whims.
Why Do We Refuse to Care?
As kids, we learn to stop caring when we’re chronically hurt or disappointed. Saying, “I don’t care,” is a defense mechanism against an onslaught of the emotional angst that you cannot do anything about, other than emotionally distance yourself by not caring.
Interestingly, not caring becomes a sort of comfortable default that saves you from all kinds of things. “I don’t care” becomes the easy way out of many uncomfortable situations. Ultimately, it gets applied to positive circumstances as well. We may even enter adulthood totally out of touch with our feelings. How common is that?
Or perhaps the only emotions we experience regularly are mild resentment and anxiety. It’s depressing.
I’ve been very successful in life because I’ve compensated for not caring about anything. Others see me as Mr. Wonderful. If they only knew. How’s that as a perfect set up for imposter syndrome?
A Conversation with my I Don’t Care About Anything Part
I Don’t Care About Anything Part (IDCAA): Fuck off!
Why do my parts always start conversations this way? They hate me!
IDCAA: What else would you expect? You’ve been pretending I don’t exist forever. Do you like to be neglected for decades?
Me: I see your point. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry that I overlooked you for so long. Worse, acting like Mr. Wonderful was probably a continual slap in the face.
IDCAA: Yep. But don’t worry. I have my ways. I always come out. Because of me, you don’t behave well in one form or another. You’re passive-aggressive. You have an eating disorder. You can never get enough of anything you like. No satisfaction for you! So – like I said – fuck off.
Me: I want to change.
IDCAA: Too late, mother fucker! I won’t change a thing.
Again, it always goes this way with my inner parts. Can you relate? Maybe you don’t hold conversations with yourself like I do (you should) but I am sure, if you take a deeper moment to think about it, that you have such dissenting voices in your head. Everyone does.
What should I don’t with this part of me?
The same thing I always do. Listen, empathize, get to know it and allow it to know me.
IDCAA is screaming in rage at me.
Me: I’m listening.
IDCAA: More screaming….more. And now it’s crying.
Me: Why are you crying?
IDCAA: Because I don’t care about anything. And you’re going to ask why I’m crying if I don’t care and you can go fuck yourself for that. Just leave me alone!
Me: Okay. I can do that if you want.
IDCAA: No, wait. (silence – 30 seconds). What the fuck do you want from me?
Me: Nothing. For me, I just want to start caring about you. I believe you don’t care about anything because you’ve been hurt and – well – no one has ever care about you before. So, I don’t expect you to be comfortable with it. But, I still care.
IDCCA: Oh, fuck you. So fuck you! Soooo Fuck Off!
Me: I won’t fuck off. I care about you.
IDCAA: Who the fuck are you, anyway?
Me: I am who you turned out to be. I’m your future. How old are you?
Me: I remember! So much was going on. Mom was left destitute by her husband and then searched high and low to find him when he disappeared. He’d spent all their savings in Las Vegas on god knows what. Then, she relocated us to live with him again, which sucked! He did it to us all over again in six months.
IDCAA: Yes. I want to kill that fucker! I want to kill everyone who has ever hurt you.
Me: Thank you for caring about me so much!
IDCAA: You’re the only one I ever cared about.
Me: How old do you think I am?
Me: I see. You’re stuck in the past. Take a closer look. I’m 52 years old now. And life is actually wonderful. And safe. And full of people who care about us. It’s a dream come true. I’d love for you to be a part of it and leave the past behind.
IDCAA: For fuck’s sake. Well, I’ll be damned. But I can’t leave my home.
Me: Where is home?
IDCAA: Wherever you are. Yes, the seven-year-old.
Me: Can you show me the seven-year-old you are tying to protect?
An image comes to mind of a seven-year-old inner child. This mini-me looks forlorn. His parents just divorced (first of three divorces in childhood). No one seems to be there to support him. He’s soaking up blame like a sponge. He doesn’t know what to do with the pain. And this is where “I don’t care about anything” is a welcome respite.
Me: Would you mind if I spoke to this little kid that you’ve been protecting?
IDCAA: Be my guest.
This is how it often goes with protective parts. They are protecting more vulnerable parts. Now, I have some work to do with this seven-year-old inner child who seems to be carrying the world on his shoulders.