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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.

The Angel

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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I love William Blake!, 06-03-05 1:11pm

That's nothing to feel bad about, it's stupid that they got so angry about it. So what? They'll have to go pick them up know. If they knew he was coming, they should've took more initiative themselves.

I would've gone and gotten them too. It's a really ridiculous thing to get that upset about.

They're going to use up all their anger on small things and have nothing left for the big stuff.

I love you. I hope you're okay and it doesn't make you too angry.

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Re: I love William Blake!, 06-04-05 5:55pm

I wasn't angry... though I'd have felt better if I was. When I'm angry the only thing I have to be afraid of is myself, and that's easy enough to deal with.
I know a lot of people's parents use their understanding of their children to push them, reward them or punish them. I know it's possible because I've had teachers who operate that way. For my mother though, it's more of a strategic advantage. Like watching your enemy build their defenses so that you have a better idea where the flaws and weaknesses are.

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*sigh*, 06-03-05 2:06pm

Your parents need to chill about such trivial things as cell phones. It's not the end of the world, and it isn't like they can't just go get them eventually. You're far more important than any old phone (at least, I think you are), and they need to realize that. We all make stupid mistakes and mess up, but that shouldn't make us any less of a person in the long run. I myself am still trying to work through stuff like that. I've never been one to blame others for things, ever, even if it IS someone else's fault. I'm getting better about it, though, mostly by not getting frustrated enough to cry about things when I do them (or don't do them).

I don't see you as a child, though. You've always been one of the most mature, adult people I know, and I love you for that. People just need to quit being so uptight and realize that we all make silly mistakes, and at the end of it all, after all of the yelling, you're more significant than any replaceable machine could ever be.


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Re: *sigh*, 06-04-05 5:51pm

Well, I probably shouldn't think of myself as expendable. I know that there are certain functions for which I am better suited than another person may be. At the same time, though.... I've kind of always lived on the edge of being gotten rid of, sent away to someone else. Someone who can deal with the burden that is Ashley.

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06-03-05 5:52pm

See, I was raised to be exactly the opposite-- a headstrong, precocious, stubborn girl who spoke her mind exactly as she felt and was intelligent enough to be right a good amount of the time. And, okay, I suppose I'm like, but at the same time, I'm a lot like you in the sense of... 'not taking the initiative'. I hate calling people on the phone unless I -know- it'll be them who answers. I hate going to peoples doors unless I know it'll be my friend who answers. I always check twice and then second guess myself, and if someone is vague on the instructions, I'll end up just standing there for awhile, confused and dazed.

My mother has more than once tried to break me of this.. mainly by doing something along the lines of, "If you want ____, then you have to call".. but it's yet to work.

I think you're a fine adult. Just a bit more cautious than some. Certainly more introspective and intelligent, but that's obviously not a bad thing.

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Re:, 06-04-05 5:49pm

Well, the only reason I have any capacity for independent thought at all is, oddly enough, my father. In his condescending and dehumanizing way, he taught me to be witty and charming in conversation to make people see in me whatever they want to see. (All in the finest tradition of educating society dames in foreign languages and Greek philosophy and then laughing at the idea of them having opinions to share. Sit and drink your tea, ma'am. Enjoy your needlework. Here. Have a rich husband; we'll introduce you the day of the wedding.)

I'm just tired of needing other people to clean up my messes. I don't expect myself to be a forty-year-old woman after one year at college, but I'd like to go a few days without wishing I were somehow... better. More self-reliant. More dependable. All that good stuff.

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06-03-05 11:06pm

I dare suggest that you are sorely mistaken. I can think of few who're willing to make the effort and take the initiative that you are. How many people are willing to get off their ass and do so many calculations and recalculations to figure out their finances so that they can attend college?

It's not that you aren't capable of taking initiative, it's the fact that your parents have a paralyzing effect on you. I see you as being very capable of handling yourself--whenever they aren't around to potentially chastise you for not asking them permission to do something. Their proximity, whether they realize (or will accept) it or not, is a debilitating thing for you, and it compromises your ability to be the rational, enthusiastic, active, mature, organized person that I know you are and can be.

Don't let them get you down, especially your mother. She doesn't know what you're capable of because she's done everything in her power to rob it from you. She cannot and probably will not ever understand just how amazing you are and what you're capable of, and the minute she did, she'd be so terrified of your superiority that it would destroy every fiber of her being.

Be strong. "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Rooseveldt.

Don't give them consent.


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Re:, 06-04-05 10:41pm

What, no reply for me? =P

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