Thursday, January 17, 2008

Took a trip with family to Monrovia. Dad revealed.

So, yesterday I found out that my aunt's daughter died. By the sounds of it - it could have been prevented. Her daughter was only 30. But I'm going to leave those details aside for a second because I want to talk about going to my parents home, and the fears I have about this. Or I guess - the realizations I'm coming to in the aftermath of being there.

This morning, I was talking to darkdaughta, and I agreed with her on a major point that is actually giving me some kind of release from the emotional bondage I feel when I think about my folks - specifically - my dad.

You see, last night, him and I had conversation. Nothing too deep, but it was - conversation. And it was for about an hour. It helped that the Shomalian was there. He is just so damn charming and smiley that your heart can't NOT MELT on sight of his gummy grin. Reminds me of Stinkapee. Lovely.

Anyway, in talking to darkdaughta, she suggested a couple of things that are really crucial. First, she remembered asking my mother about how I take in information, and then immediately wipe it from my mind - blank it in fact. My mother affirmed that this was my father to a T!

My dad also wants to do the least amount of work in conversation. He just wants to listen passively and take in info - letting the other person talk, and asking odd questions at strange points in conversation - oh my god! he trained me to be like this! holy shit! hedidn't say: ok, be like this, i just lived with it my whole life.

So, now i'm seeing him as man that has gone thru trauma, and not just as "this moron whose done wrong by me and that I will hate for all eternity". I wasn't getting anything out of that.

Now, i have been to this place b4, knowing my dad has context, and my mother - it's just that now I'm at a breaking point in my real and current life. I'm acting more and more and more like him and the results are rapidly destroying my current relationship with darkdaughta.

So, as odd as it may seem, I'm going to make a list of behaviours I have observed in father Monrovia, and put a y or n beside each one, to say whether or not I actually do these behaviours -or I should say, have taken up this method to deal with my stuff.

Let the fun begin! (laughter of the damned)

1. Not cleaning up and expecting others to clean up after him y
I can't believe I'm actually writing this down, but yes - I do do that. I was talking to my daughter about how important it is to clean up after herself and to not make a mess. DD just looked at me as if to say: how are you going to teach something to someone - when you don't even believe what you are saying. IN typing this, I remember my folks, and them always harping on about something or the other, but not really following their own advice. Often I'd heard: "those (fill in a name) are so out of order.They think they can treat me like that? I'm going to show them" And they would proceed to carry out whatever take care of the 'problem'.
Only thing is, they never took what was going on in the house between us brothers seriously enough to intervene. Really, I know it was because no one could see it, my terror, and no one would believe it, of course, because on the outside, we had a Cosby house. Two professionals, a mid-town house, and a car made in Sweden.
Ok, another revelation, I have walked with much of this knowledge for a long time, and have continued to make the same choices, over and over. Why? Because I'm scared of change. I'm scared of what's next. But I know I have too.

Right now, my partner is on a bit of a strike: meaning that she has given up a bit of the house maintenance because every time she proposes and implements a system (after waiting in vein for me to contribute my thoughts - which I will not) I start to take it apart. I'm in a hurry so I can't possibly put stuff back where I found it, that would be ludicrous. Well, for more, see below...(#2)
2. His work is important. It consists of doing basically the same routine repeatedly over and over again, but he believes it is important y
Yes, that's right. I kinda of do that. I am actually making a choice to do that. I just got out of the car with darkdaughta. I was talking about my feelings. Long time since I've done that. Really, I've felt like my life has been spinning out of control. (For anyone reading this, don't just read it and move on - leave me a message letting me know you've seen it - the connection is nice.)

Anyway, we were talking and I was saying to her that I need some kind of direction in my life. I know what I need to do, so why don't I just do it. I said that most of my movements are really rooted in comparison, and competition. My understanding of how to move in relationships has come from what I observed in my old family home.

So, on a daily basis, I had to make sure I wasn't like my brothers - either one of them. That was my daily routine: not being like them. And that wasn't questioned, it was celebrated. And I know what that's done for me now: it's completely messed with how I understand relationship building. Period. Take for example, my relationships in the past few years. I already talked about my brothers. Then there's my relationship with DD in our first few years. We had tons of arguments, and, lots of me trying to compete with her and - her fiercely trying to get me to actively take part in healthy relationship building. I refused.

I needed to win something from her. I needed for her to "be dominated", this didn't work, of course - but I tried. You see, the domination script always made sense for me because I always had my brothers, or someone from my home to fight against. And so, I wanted that in my relationship with her. That was normal for me. It made sense.

And DD loving me (in a way that was responsible and healthy - were I was actively asked to challenge myself?) was - well.. like ... huh? *Does not compute*

And so we struggled. I pushed her boundaries... I push her boundaries. That's all I seemed to want to do. No, really, that's what I wanted. No really, that's what I want - now. Make no mistake, I'm writing these words and I am actively trying to hold back crossing her boundaries. What do I mean? How about filling the air with conversations about "the latest ziploc bag techonology" - this is just an example - when she can't get me to have a real discussion about my feelings. I'm writing this now - but I fear the next few hours, and next few days. Will I last and stay present in this? I'm going to send my counselor the link to this posting so they can read it.

I mean, being shut down actually felt (feels) right. It made sense to me. I know, I know, you're thinking: But Seminalson, I thought you were a progressive man, a man with vision, and you read etc. Well, I do. But let's not forget point #1 right?

Anyway, let's go back to what I was saying before. And then, along came a new diversion. A group of people that could take the place of my family home. A group of people I could easily compete with because I saw them as worthy opponents - and definitely *beatable* Of course, this was my little boy talking. My adult self - let my little boy inside take the lead. [I am starting to figure out why - you see he (little boy) was never listened to or appreciated when he was small and talkative , so, he just tries to lead on everything and my adult body won't stop him. Well, I'm stopping him now.
Well, in point #3, I'll talk about the great intentional community, and how I used it to puff up my ego and continue to fuck up my life.
3. He believes in his books. He's only had them to distract him from his true self
He reads the same books and talks about the same things constantly. y
I'd say I believe in my films, but only the same old films. And it's a little more complicated than that. I like to see other films, it's just that I want to be distracted by them instead of having my true feelings. I have this feeling of wanting to be the knower, and so when I watch a program with DD, I point out to her - how it was made. And I insist, and she says: you're such a technician - stick to the story man. And I get angry. I feel like it has more to do with me being a knower and competing with her. "I's smart too ya know!" But now, it's gotten silly. I've stop reading and learning more about my profession. Can you believe that? I've even stopped right there. Why? cause I was reading and learning in relation to a competition. DD didn't want to take part and so who would this leave me to rebel against.
I remember taking DD driving a few times. I felt like was in my power place. I had managed to make myself the only person in my house who new anything about driving. This was a construction. MY partner is quite an amazing driver.
4. He dresses up nice when he's going outside. He's looks dashing to the perfect stranger. y
I used dashing cause i think that is the word people would use if they saw him. Well, maybe not. Maybe that's just me using "old" language cause that's what I grew up around. Really, he just looks neat, and well groomed, and that counts for a lot it seems. And well there's me. I don't actually think I'm attractive, much of the time - but I do know that most people (women and men) find me charming and well portioned. Ok -some have said attractive, but my point is that I do clean up nice. Little would anyone know about all the baggage I'm walking with. Ok everyone walks with baggage.
Really, often times, I dress in rags and it's hard for me to pull myself out of it. I'd like to wear more colours - hey I know.. - I'll have a photo shoot with all my boring clothes, then I'll get some new colourful ones, snap some shots and put them on-line!... Ok but what's the point if I'm not actually going to DO something with them.. like wear 'em?
5. He distracts himself with outside forces like CNN and CBC News to further move him away from being with his thoughts y
I am constantly trying to distract myself. Oh, let me count thee ways. Actually the media is a good one. I'm always seemingly checking the 24 hr local news website, for the latest "news" read: distraction. Today's item: a stabbing murder in the subway on the east side of town. Quite the event - it caused *commuter chaos* - and let me stay ungrounded.
Well, I'm here now, after much hesistating. Ok, I'm going to push out my men's group listing now. I've had enough of this...!
6. He resents his partner for not being the mother he lost (she died, which left him at the hands of an abusive patriarch) He asks out in extremely passive aggressive ways y
I really like being angry with darkdaughta. Yes, I do. I resent her and all that she understands and expects me to understand. I want to be left to do what I want and I don't want to be held accountable! Ever! Oh my god! she ses boundaries - she is like the mother I never had in some ways - in that I always a peron in my life that set boundaries that I HAD to respect. I didn't have that. Now that I'm in relationship - I don't seem to be functioning. Everyday, is a hellish day. Cause I want it to be. More coming...
7. Interesting that this next one is number #7 considering the importance of it: I think I still don't want to deal with this next one: HE actively jettisons information he deems is unnecessary. Only thing is, the jettisoning decision is, as far as I can tell, based on protecting him (and his little boy that lost his mom) from anything that doesn't fit nicely into his world - whether it is pretend or not. y
JUST ADDED: He like people do t things for him, because he believes he's owed it. y

I have now: teaching media literacy, and shooting some scenes from a film I'm directing. When I come back, I'm going to write about what I do, underneath any of the observations that has a <y>, I guess that'd be all of them.

By the way, post a comment if you're thinking about it. I need all the support I can get in this work.


Galen said...

Hey. I'm dealing with a lot of the same stuff right now. Taking stock of everything I learned as a kid, and seeing how that mess of unconscious cues and signals informs every decision I make... or avoid making.

I'm glad you're witing aout this. Good luck.

Redspiral said...

Oh it makes my guts ache to read this. I know this self-exposing-naked-ass-first walk you're doing where all your vitals are exposed and you're inching along because you know you should move but it's so fucking terrifying cuz you're literally ass first, everyone sees YOU and not your mask. It's scary.

I'm excited for you and reading your message it drags up these same questions in me... questions that you are courageous to ask at all, much less in a public forum like this. I want to ask questions, too.

I am inspired, as ever. Keep digging and choosing who you want to be.

You Are Blessed. :)

Loving Pecola said...

Hey there.

I read it. I hear you. I see some of the man in this post, but also myself. I remember when the man pointed out that I *liked* being angry at him, that I was very purposely directing my anger at him for so many things that started before I even knew him. And how that's how I release my emotion sometimes, right into/onto him, and then I'm all nice to him once I've released. I also used to be mean to him/angry at him because I noticed that it made for great sex for me...I'ma have to think about that one more...

But I'm here, reading between here and 1TBM in my spare moments...