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A Family in Denial – It’s All Pretend

I’ve accepted the sad truth that I come from a family with poor communication skills, however, when serious issues surface – like someone nearing death – you can’t deny it. When my loved one died of cancer it happened pretty fast. No one wanted to talk about it, and, as a result everyone suffered. Post death I made a point to make a conservative effort to speak up and communicate on family matters, even when they are difficult to broach. But, I’ve come to realize that I am quite frankly the only one trying to break the cycle of non communication and denial and it’s just not working.

Recently a family issue was brought to the table, and I felt awkward and uncomfortable so kept my mouth shut till I could collect my thoughts and figure out what I wanted to say and how to proceed. I took a couple days to think about my response and, next thing I know I get an email from a family member something about the 90210 reunion and I was like what? Are we just going to pretend nothing happened? Are we just going to pretend a bomb wasn’t dropped? Yup. So now I’m at a crossroads where I have to ask myself, do I want to address the issue? Then I think of the years of lack of communication and denial that has reigned in my family and wonder, what’s the point. Is it possible to remove decades of silence or just more simple to continue on and pretend. If I am the only one trying to try and break this cycle how does that work? It’s only going to throw a wrench in the comfort of pretending. It’s a weird thing to say – comfort in pretending – but when that has been the norm then that’s a safety zone.

I don’t want to be the jerk that opens my mouth on issues that might not fully impact me immediately but, I also don’t want to be the one to continue the toxicity of denial and pretend. I can’t say that the times I have actively tried to communicate has gone my way. But I can say looking back the times I did not communicate resulted in bad outcomes; worse outcomes then not communicating at all but, when you boil down to it, denial results in pretend and both together stand at the root of dysfunction.


A Family in Denial – It’s All Pretend

Erica Loberg

Erica Loberg was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She attended Columbia University in New York and graduated with a BA in English. She is a published poet and author of Inside the Insane, Screaming at the Void, What Men Should Know About Women, What Women Should Know About Men, Diamonds From The Rough , Undressed, and I'm Not Playing.

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APA Reference
Loberg, E. (2019). A Family in Denial – It’s All Pretend. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 12 Jun 2019
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