Friday, March 02, 2007 ______________________________________________________________________________

I Don't Want to Turn into my Father 

Interestingly enough, I have discovered that the way I relate to and subsquently how I interact with people mirrors my dad's actions.

The most telling examples of my behaviour come from the discussion of fights Jim and I have had after the fact (like a dissection of the events that led to the fight and things that resulted in escalation or resolution), deep soul searching moments (again with Jim) to determine why we act the way we do and plain ol' introspection. The flashes of insight into my father's behaviour come from long (duration and/or distance) conversations with my mother and to a lesser extent, my own interactions with him. Not that I fail to intuit much about my father when I'm with him, but that I rarely witness him firsthand.

I suppose it's interesting that I'm not lamenting about becoming my mother, like most women my age. I don't think I could've become my mother, what with the fact that we were all brought up to admire my father (with relatives fawning over him as though he is solely defined by his - admittedly impressive - achievements, my mother and grandmother constantly talking about even his smallest actions with awe - like how he's able to wrap books with the sticky wrap perfectly, etc.) and my father displaying thinly veiled contempt for my mother and her domain (recent quote: "I didn't worry too much about you when you rebelled because I know you have alot of me in you. Your brother [Isaac] on the other hand, I'm concerned about. He's got alot more of your mother in him."). I grew up adamant to reject any influences my mother could possibly thrust on me. I didn't aspire to be my father, but I suppose you have to learn to be a person from somewhere.

Maybe I did aspire to be like him, just a little. I mean there's a reason I can wrap books with that sticky stuff perfectly. There's a reason I was so enthusiastic about being a debater. There's a reason I treated my mother with thinly veiled contempt for the longest time - and am only now starting to break the habit. Goddamn it's a hard habit to break.

At any rate, I've noticed that I'm running the risk of becoming my father. Someone whose head is so far up her own ass that she can't parse what makes her happy from conventional measures of success. Someone whose eyes are so obscured by elements in her digestive tract that she can't see any viewpoint other than her own. Someone who is so wrapped up in viscera that she would gradually destroy the ones she's supposed to love just so that she would not be slightly hurt by the fact that she was wrong, or worse, vulnerable. Someone who doesn't really love anyone except herself. I just hope I manage to pull my head out of there before it's so far in I become a human mobius strip.

I know some of the things I do are wrong. I know some of the things I do can slowly wear down the self worth and confidence of people who get close enough to me. I know that I don't want to do these things anymore. The problem is that I'm not sure how to be any other way. I don't have behaviours that can take the place of my current ones. I don't know that I have the courage to admit any of this to the one person that really matters to me - and the one person this giant fucking flaw affects the most. You know what I'm really scared about? I'm scared that maybe this is just me. Maybe everyone's right when they say that people can't change. Maybe I am going to become someone whose family has resigned themselves to having an acquantance rather than a parent or a spouse. Someone who, due to her ability to stimulate her pyloric sphincter with her own tongue, never even realises that she's managed to alienate everyone who matters.

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posted by Joie! at 2:12 AM

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