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|Jaganshi (profile) wrote, |
on 6-3-2005 at 12:28am
|Subject: Cut tag to preserve you from angsty introspection
It's hard to get away from what you've been taught. The things which protected you and the tools that helped you survive your own childhood. Much harder than I ever expected it to be.
I'm still a child. I was raised to mistrust my instincts and ignore my own feelings in favor of the directives of another. I was taught that it is wrong for me to speak, inappropriate for me to think. All that was required was obedience. Do no more and no less that you're told and maybe you'll escape attention. Don't ask impertinent questions and don't try to think of another way. You can't. There is no better way than the way of your betters.
So, you take it to heart. You surrender your will to others, convinced that it's the only way to survive. For a while it is. YOu equate your worth with your usefulnes and capacity for obedience... and so do they. As long as everyone agrees there is no other truth. No other way.
What spurred this sudden introspection? My parents asked me to catch the mailman if he came with their cell phones since they had no chance of hearing him knock from the living room. I was on the computer when he came an hour or so later and he rang the bell. I didn't get up immediately because I thought they'd heard. Mistake number one. When I didn't hear them coming I went to get them. Mistake number two. By the time they got to the door he was driving away and now they'll have to go pick up their cell phones if they want to make use of the services they've already paid for. I should have just gone myself and told him to wait before I went to retrieve them.
Once he had driven away, the house filled with the sound of my mother screaming profanity. I couldn't even apologize through the hailstorm of fucks and dammits. There was nothing I could do to try and make it right. Even Mitch was angry, and he seldom shows that he's upset with anyone.
I stood in the den alone, away from them. I didn't need to attract any more attention than I already had. I tried to call up the same cold, calculating armor I need so often up here... but she wouldn't come. The taste of fear and guilt prevented me from hating anyone or anything but myself. I pressed my hand against the window screen with the sudden impression that it, and it alone, was keeping me here, binding me to this place. Even as I begged it to let me go, I could feel that it didn't matter.
What's keeping me here is something they've known all along, and I'm only beginning to grasp the depth of it. I'm trapped here because I'm helpless in the face of my own idiocy and dependence.
When I left the window, having seen everything it had to show me, my mother stopped me on my way out to my room. I apologized, and she told me that they weren't as upset about missing the package as they were about what she called "the thought process." The fact that it's like the mind of a ten-year-old. Instead of taking the initiative like and adult would and stopping the man, I "had to run to mommy and daddy" to find out what to do. She (and Mitch by extension as always) was "terrified" by it. I was apparently so enthralled by whatever I was doing on that damned computer that I didn't even see the mailman walk by the window right next to me. (For the record at and the risk of making excuses, I would have had to notice him in the peripheral vision of my bad eye. It's no excuse, but I think that was part of the problem.) She wanted to know if I'd even notice the house burning down around me, or whether I'd wait until it was too late to even look up from the screen. It wasn't just the cellphone delivery, it was the whole mindset, the whole way I approached it. I told her that's what I was apologizing for and she seemed somewhat mollified.
Later on they seemed to be making some attempt at civility. The kind of small talk not meant to do anything but re-establish communication. We also did end up going out with my mother's friends last night, and I enjoyed seeing some of them again.
It doesn't matter, though. What's done is finished and I've already proven once again that I'm a poor excuse for an adult.
What I hated was that I couldn't apologize. Every mitake is fatal and irrevokable. I couldn't apologize in the midst of her screaming theatrics. All I would have done would be to offer her a defenseless victim. I'm not so stupid as all that.
Something about the inability to apologize when I know I've actually done something wrong is unpleasant. People have opinions about the actions they take, and feelings about their mistakes. But a person is not how I'm defined. I'm an appliance. A household commodity that the salesman told them would change their lives and bring them delight. Then they got it home and realized it's put together all wrong. It breaks, it malfunctions, it chortcircuits, damaging the appliances around it. No one cares whether a computer is sorry it crashes.
All they want to know is whether or not they can still get their money back.
I dreamt a dream! What can it mean?
And that I was a maiden Queen
Guarded by an Angel mild:
Witless woe was ne'er beguiled!
And I wept both night and day,
And he wiped my tears away;
And I wept both day and night,
And hid from him my heart's delight.
So he took his wings, and fled;
Then the morn blushed rosy red.
I dried my tears, and armed my fears
With ten-thousand shields and spears.
Soon my Angel came again;
I was armed, he came in vain;
For the time of youth was fled,
And grey hairs were on my head. ~William Blake
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