5.54: Weak

I went up to The Bluffs this afternoon.

It was the first time I’ve been there alone in years.

Some days, the place is packed with tourists scrambling to get a shot of the sunlight on the water, or catch a glimpse of the legendary ‘sea monster’ (which is just a load of crap, by the way). But if you know the right time to show up, you can have the whole place to yourself.

I’ve gotten pretty good at figuring that part out, so today it was just me, the sun, the clouds, and the ocean breeze. It was perfect. And I guess I never realized just how much I missed being there on my own. It always used to be one of my favorite places to go when I just needed to think, y’know?

It’s always been kind of bittersweet going there though. Maybe now more than ever. That’s where Hope and I ended up at the end of our tour of the city all those years ago… Even after all this time, I can still remember the way the sunlight hit her face. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.

But today, there was no Hope there with me. And when the sun finally set and the sky caught fire, I was the only one there to appreciate it.

But you know what? I didn’t feel alone. Not really, anyway. I know it’s so stupid, but I guess that’s when I feel closest to my Mama and Papa – when I’m up there at The Bluffs. It’s the closest thing to a grave that I can visit.

I just wonder what they’d have to say if they were here right now. What kind of advice would they give me? What would they think of what a fuckup their kid turned out to be?

Guess I’ll never know.

But I do know how Tante Joce and grandpa feel, and they’re the closest things to parents I have.

Tante Joce actually showed up at my apartment last week with Ur-Oma. And it was… rough. Okay, more than rough. It fucking sucked.

I was so damn pissed at first. I didn’t really wanna listen to anything Ur-Oma had to say. It just felt like a stupid lecture or something. And then it was like she was YELLING at me.

But by the time she was done… Well, I didn’t really know what to say. Or think. Or feel. I still don’t. It was a lot to take in.

But I’ve been thinking about what she said ever since.

I went over to the house for a visit a few days ago, and I was kind of afraid Ur-Oma or Tante Joce would start getting on my case again… But they didn’t. Guess they felt like they’d said everything they had to.

But apparently grandpa, Oma, and Opa wanted to take their turns lecturing me. I should have known.

Grandpa said pretty much the same thing Ur-Oma and Tante Joce did… A little nicer, maybe, but I guess his point was the same. I need to ‘get help’, he told me. I need to get over my fears. I need to work on my anger. I need to buckle down and start working on the restaurant.

But not for Hope. For me.

Now, I’m not an idiot. I know what they’re talking about when they say ‘help’. Therapy. A goddamn shrink. I can still remember how much I hated going to the therapist when I was a kid. It always felt like he was talking down to me or something. I hated it!

Of course, as soon as I made that known, that’s where Oma and Opa came in. I got this huge speech about going to therapy and how it’s ‘nothing to be ashamed of’ and all that crap. I guess I have to admit that it was… interesting to hear all that. Especially from Opa. He’s not really big on sharing all that personal stuff, y’know? But I don’t think I’ve ever seen him as serious as he was the other day. That really stuck with me.

It’s still just so overwhelming, I guess. They’ve never all ganged up on me like this before. They’ve made little comments here and there, sure… But this was different. And really uncomfortable, honestly. I just… I hate getting lectured all the time. I always have, for as long as I can remember. It always makes me feel like I’m some dumb little kid or something who can’t do anything on his own. Who needs everyone to hold his hand and wipe his snot for him all the time.


Okay, I fucking hate writing this. But maybe I kind of am one. I mean, that’s kind of how I’ve been feeling. For a while now. Maybe even before Hope left, to be honest. It’s like I’m this scared little kid who has no fucking clue what to even do anymore. Who can barely control his temper. Who keeps fucking everything up. And I hate it!

I hate feeling like this. I hate being like this.

What if they’re right?

Should I really go back to therapy again?

Jesus, it’s been nearly 20 years since the last time I set foot in a shrink’s office. I was ten years old. And I was so fucking happy to finally be DONE. The kids at school were always so damn brutal. As if having a big-ass scar on my face didn’t make things hard enough… The day word got out I went to therapy, my social life pretty much died for a few years. Kids fucking suck.

That just made me hate seeing my therapist even more than I already did. It always made me feel so weak, y’know? Like I wasn’t strong enough to handle things on my own.

But… My Ur-Oma is probably the strongest person I know. And she told me she went to therapy for years. And Oma and Opa… They aren’t weak, are they?

I dunno.

This is just… too much right now. I’m still trying to figure everything out.

I did a lot of thinking today while I was up at The Bluffs. I was just kinda waiting for some kind of ‘sign’ or something. Know what I mean? Like, an answer to…

Well, I’m not even sure what the question is. I feel like I have so many right now.

But still no answers.


38 thoughts on “5.54: Weak

  1. I’m back. I think this has to be an improvement from last week. He is seeing the way he is acting and realising that he isn;t acting great lately towards other people. I hope he takes their advice and goes to get help. He needs to know that it isn’t a weak thing to go to therapy but a strong thing for realising he needs it.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Teeny tiny baby steps…he has so much of a chip on his shoulder.

    I think this is the first time he has mentioned the scar on his face. I have become so used to looking at it I don’t notice it anymore. However for him it must be a daily reminder that he has no parents and he wallows in it. When he said he would never know what they thought about what kind of fuck up their kid turned out to be it was just so much more feeling sorry for himself. He must harbor deep seated guilt that he survived. Not only is it a reminder that he survived and they didn’t – he now seems to view it at something that makes him unloveable maybe? Ugly? He has felt this way for so long he can’t let go of it and it festers and gets more and more real.

    Zayne is so messed up. He has so many different destructive emotions going on. I am not sure he is ready to take ownership of his demons yet. Sadly, his ‘sign’ is probably going to be something tragic…😥

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yeah, Zayne’s scar is a difficult issue for him… HE’S used to it by now, but it’s the first thing anyone notices when they meet him, so he’s used to stares… and yes, it’s a daily physical reminder of his childhood trauma and losing his parents — one he can never escape 😦 I just haven’t had him mention it before because it’s all on a more subconscious level. But it’s always there in the back of his mind.

      And you’re also so right about the guilt he has at surviving. I really think that feeds into all the pressure he puts on himself to be strong and independent — like he’s trying to prove that him surviving wasn’t in vain. I could psycho-analyze my Zayne all day — like you said, he has SO many issues. Many he doesn’t even realize he has (part of why I’m getting all analytical here in the comments — these are things he’ll never say himself haha)

      In conclusion… he’s very messed up and he suppresses so much. 😦 But like you said, baby steps! I think he’s finally opening his eyes to what needs to happen to make him better… hopefully he won’t need any kind of tragedy to give him that last push!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Audrey!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lady WitcHazard: ladies and gentlemen I give you the infamous Rosebrook Life Epiphany moment! I expect great things from Zayne this moment forward!😊

    Anti Shipper WitcHazard: And a sexy new business partner!😝

    Charmer WitcHazard: Let it go man!😒

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Can we put some duct tape over Anti’s mouth, please? 😛

      Glad Lady is optimistic! Zayne definitely opened his eyes a bit more in this chapter.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I agree with Zayne on this. Kids freakin suck.
    Well, okay-not all of them and not all the time. But in general, they’re little, vicious monsters.
    *remaining silent on the important issues in order not to disrupt the process of figuring shit out*
    Edit: Nope, I’m not. I gotta say… faulty as Rosebrooks are, I love how understanding and supporting they are of Zayne. It looks like a great improvement from kind of ignoring Mari’s issues for years and alienating Joce. It sure helps that they’re financially stable, but still- they could have been all over his bum for wasting time, money and doing nothing for months. Instead they acknowledge his emotional struggles. To me, it’s a big deal.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thanks, peaoorko! I think you bring up a great point about how far the Rosebrooks have come in terms of supporting the youngsters through their issues.

      Back when Mari was young, Alex and Jade had zero idea how to properly handle her situation. They wanted to help, but they didn’t know what to do. They largely failed with her, unfortunately 😦

      As the gens moved forward, I’ve tried to have Mari slowly start stepping in more and more to teach the others how to be compassionate and supportive — things she wanted but never quite got. With Joce, Mari supported her more silently (as we kind of saw) but she didn’t want to interfere too much and let Tobi and Colette handle it (mistake!) but now that she’s older she doesn’t give a shit any more and is less afraid of butting in 😂

      Liked by 5 people

    2. I hit enter too soon! Haha I was just gonna end by saying I think the rest of the family is finally learning from her example and are being more supportive themselves too 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Yes, that’s exactly what I was thinkings, just better said. 🙂 Mari’s journey is reflected in the following generations’ reactions. Back with Joce, I wished she would be more adamant, but I could see why she took the back-seat. Now I’m glad she’s gone full-on Mari and that the others are following in her footsteps. That means her spirit will continue on living past her time, especially if Zayne gets better.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank god Zayne please. I did like the realization that he might still be a kid beneath all of it, and I think considering the trauma he went through as a baby it’s probably not unusual. It’s good seeing him take steps to move his life forward. It’s a good step.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, Zayne, I wish you’d realize how hard you make things for yourself. Although I guess he is slowly realizing that he can’t manage everything on his own and that he’s not quite as good at taking care of himself as he thinks he is.

    I definitely think he needs to be ready to see a therapist before he goes, though. That’s something that will only be useful if he truly wants to get better, not if he’s ‘forced’ to go.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So true! HE needs to be the one to make that decision. And he’s not quite ready yet, but he’s definitely thinking about it… and that’s a big step for him!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I wish he knew that asking for help is a sign of strength. Interdependence and combining talents is how the successful stay that way.

      He doesn’t know anyone who got where they are all on their own. Where did he even get this idea that that’s what he had to do??

      Liked by 2 people

      1. There was a super interesting analysis of Zayne in my thread from some readers where some people share really good ideas of why he feels that way! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  7. “But maybe I kind of am one. I mean, that’s kind of how I’ve been feeling. For a while now. Maybe even before Hope left, to be honest.”
    Look at you, oh Brat Prince! Using that space between your ears 😛 It’s amazing what honest self-reflection can do.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. Is with baby steps that you go far,Zayne…Good thing he has finally realized that he may need help, is healing time!Good that family is helping, I mean, you learn with your mistakes, and the rosebrooks made many,many,many,many mistakes! Lot of wisdow! Don’t worry Zayne, if it really is meant to be, you surely will find Hope someday!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, this was a very big step for him! (though still a baby step haha). And so true — the Rosebrooks have MANY mistakes to learn from 😉 Hehe


  9. Oh my gosh – I am finally caught up! What a fantastic series!

    Poor Zayne though, he seems so lost. I really hope he sorts his life out asap and sees a therapist… gosh I hope he is almost out of the woods though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh! Hi! 🙂 I always get so excited when someone leaves a comment for the first time! 😀 Thank you SO much for reading my story. It means so much to me that you took the time to check it out 🙂 THANK YOU!

      “Lost” is the perfect way to describe Zayne right now. I think he’s very very slowly finding his way right now, but it’s a LONG road. We’ll see in time what happens!


    1. Zayne appreciates it very much haha I think he needs all the encouragement he can get right now! Thanks for reading 🙂


  10. Surprise, surprise, he had no answers.

    I lowkey just realized how many Rosebrooks go to therapy. They are all about that *cough* delayed *cough* mental health. Eventually they seek out help to fix their problems. Zayne needs to get on board and fix his shit too.

    I’m glad he’s finally starting to be honest with himself about the reasonableness of the “lectures” he’s been getting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It an important step for him toward (hopefully!) eventually getting that help..: and yes, the Rosebrooks are all about therapy… just usually too late 😉 hehe

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Loving the introspection in this chapter. It’s really sad to reflect on how much tragedy this family has had to endure. I like that you touch on more than one facet of tragedy too. Like, the fire was a major source of pain for the whole family but even things like breakups can have a devastating effect on people.

    A lot of people still believe that there are only specific times when seeking therapy is appropriate, but I’m glad that your story doesn’t follow that same rhetoric. I’ve seen people scoff at the idea of seeking help after a bad break-up, but even those can really mess a person up psychologically.

    I really do believe that what you’re writing here is important. It might be fiction, but genre aside, I think that encouraging people to seek help if they’re struggling (regardless of the circumstances!) is important.

    I do hope that Zayne will be able to rise from all of this and ascend. He has so much potential, and I can honestly see myself in him a bit.

    (This is Lisha! Finally made a WP account/Gravatar thing so hopefully I’ll be notified if you reply to me. I can’t remember all of the chapters I previously commented on, but I did go back and read your replies on the ones that I can recall – like the wedding one, haha).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, welcome to WP, Lisha! ^_^ I really appreciate this comment 🙂 I have never been to therapy myself before, but I know many people who have and it has helped them so much. And I am a definite supporter of seeking help if you feel like you need it, regardless of the circumstances (though obviously therapy is not a magic cure-all of every problem, and sometimes it DOESN’T work for people).

      I’m glad you can see yourself in Zayne a bit. Honestly I do too. He’s the heir I relate to the most so far 🙂 Thanks again, Lisha! (And I’m glad you’ll be notified of my replies now 😀 Hehe)


  12. “I went up to The Bluffs this afternoon.” Don’t jump, for god’s sake! (Oh wait, he’s writing about it later in his journal 😅)

    I think his snot-nosed problems probably started after his parents died, where Joce was especially attentive to his needs and wants, and put him before her own kids – and he was maybe spoiled by his whole family? There definitely were a LOT of them to hold his hand while he was growing up.

    Someone said before Zayne seems entitled, which I can kind of see – it’s more like he’s just blind to how he’s making his life hard for himself. Which is frustrating for us to read, of course. All he’s ever focused on is the fact that he’s making his life hard. And he’s definitely like Mari 😁 Hopefully he can get his shit sorted before he starts having kids.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha he is very much like Mari, yes! 😮 And I think you’re right that a lot of his problems stem from the way Joce raised him. Hopefully he can keep making #babysteps and overcome! 😉 (lol I know you’re already in gen 6 now so you know what’s gonna happen, but I still wanna reply to your comments!)

      Liked by 1 person

  13. That first picture is GORGEOUS
    I like his little revelations and the internal dialogue of his struggle here. Therapy is difficult for a lot of people. My hopes for the rest of this arc is that he gets his shit together, has an amazing restaurant under his belt, runs into Hope, and they rekindle the end. Happiness for this family forever.


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