I might have been a great artist or an inventor or the world’s youngest CEO, if only Mommy and Daddy had not wanted me. Or if Mommy had but not Daddy, or if Daddy had but not Mommy. Or if they had wanted me at first but then, for reasons no one could ever quite put into words, one day suddenly changed their minds.
I mean, I am gay and a little creepy-looking. Plenty of children have been rejected for less.
Or else my folks could have wanted me way too much, leading them to that kind of unnatural clinginess and dependency that goes on way past the age at which such a thing is really healthy. That would have been a way to screw me up something awful.
If my parents had died before I ever got to know them at all, I might have had a hole way down at the very center of ME that I’d always try and fill with a parade of slightly self-destructive but incredibly interesting things.
I mean, they did die, and when I was only twelve years old, to boot. But by then, the damage had already been done: I was already a happy, well-adjusted person with a positive outlook and a basic trust in the inherent goodness of the Universe, and that’s the kind of thing that sticks with you for life.
I was never rejected.
I was never abused.
As a result, I have never experienced that legendary drive to achieve that I hear comes with pumping one’s fist in the air and crying out, “Oh yeah? I’ll show you I’m not worthless, Daddy!”
My parents did not really fuck me up.
My childhood was just… happy. Comfortable. Ideal, really. I felt loved then, so I’m not haunted or compensating for anything now.
And for that, I will never forgive them.
I'm so mad my parents weren't rich and murdered in an alley in front of me when I was young so that I could become Batman. Stupid, regular childhood with divorce and flare ups of daddy issues. I might as well have been raised by narcissistic, speech capable wolves.ReplyDelete
See, you get it.Delete
I was raised in the damn suburbs, for God's sake. How am I supposed to work with THAT?
Cece's Pizza has never inspired anyone to greatness.
Pickalope is right! I was abused and became Superman! hahaDelete
Batman got screwed up by seeing his parents killed.Delete
Superman was screwed up in a different way. he's more of a Jesus story, actually... if Heaven had been about to blow up when Mary got pregnant.
Yes, that is the one flaw in the Superman story as a Jesus figure... unless Superman finds a way to restore Krypton. lolDelete
They just figured out how to restore the Doctor's home planet on "Doctor Who."Delete
They just need to get Steven Moffatt to write the next Superman movie and they can pull it off. if there are holes in the plot, he'll just cover them up with a lot of shouting in heavy British accents.
lmao! ok, i completely get this. papi lost his mom at 10. i think that grants you a 'reason' card. ;) i know i have my 'reasons'. we all get them.ReplyDelete
10 would have been rougher than 12.Delete
By 12, I sort of had a foundation that couldn't be broken. The few years after THAT were a little rough, but... I'm nice and boring now again...
I don't want to go into the details but my childhood was weird. However, this has all ways been my thinkingReplyDelete
"You are a product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective. Analyze your life in terms of its environment. Are the things around you helping you toward success - or are they holding you back?" - W. Clement Stone
William Clement Stone was famous philanthropist - His father died when he was 3, leaving the family impoverished because of his gambling losses. At the age of 6, Stone began hawking newspapers on Chicago's South Side, while his mother worked as a dressmaker. At 13, he owned his own newsstand. - Insert a rag to riches story here
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I've been reading a lot of biographies. It seems like everybody who is DRIVEN to go accomplish stuff either hated a parent or lost a parent very young, or both.Delete
I can't type that last sentence without singing John Lennon's "Mother" in my head. That song pretty much exemplifies both.
Apparently, a certain level of dopamine is necessary to trigger motivation. Stress is just one way to trigger it. This explains why some well-adjusted kids are more motivated than others. Damn that scarce dopamine.ReplyDelete
Maybe I need to keep a supply of dopamine on hand. There has to be someone out there peddling it.
Trust me on this. You do not want toReplyDelete
be born to parents who didn't want you,
who only had you because society
expected them to breed, and who
made no effort to make you feel happy
or secure. You don't need that kind of
hell. No kid does.
Yeah, I was really blessed for a number of years.Delete
But I was sitting around yesterday, thinking about everything that's been accomplished by people who were trying to get back at their parents and how little I've accomplished.
This is, in other words, the ULTIMATE FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS POST.
Damn, this is a pretty good point. My parents support me in pretty much everything I do. Therefore, if ever I somehow become extremely successful, I have no one to cuss out at the podium, except for a few middle school bullies and the old man that cut me in line at the grocery store. "That's right, old man! I hope you enjoyed adding 3 seconds to my day, because now I'm lounging in an indoor-outdoor-indoor-cliff hot tub and driving fast cars, and you're just old and have groceries!"ReplyDelete
If you ever do become uber-successful, you could say that at the podium, you could say that. Only you WON'T, because you aren't trying to spite anyone by becoming successful.Delete
We all have our crosses to bear, I guess. Being well-adjusted and pretty happy is mine.
My parents, to this day, are still happily married and supportive of me and my writing. It's unbearable. I want to be able to escape the ghetto and make my fortune while donating to inner city kids like me... but I can't even find the inner city. Or the ghetto. This sucks.ReplyDelete
Seriously, though: How am I ever supposed to be a great writer or great innovator of any kind if I'm not throwing myself into my work to try and hide from my childhood demons?Delete
Sometimes I wish I had that drive too. My mother gave me pretty much all that love and attention and support, and my father died wishing I'd got laid more often. I'm sorry I'm not a player, dad. Uh..ReplyDelete
Haha... Your dad sounds like my grandfather. He complains to me that with my education "and smarts" I ought to be drunk on a yacht somewhere with a bunch of nude models.Delete
I don't think he can fathom someone who actually likes sitting around reading and listening to music.
Apparently, he believes that everyone would be Patrick Bateman or Howard Hughes if only life permitted.
Ah, the horrors of having grown up in a loving, cushy environment. Don't you just loathe it? :PReplyDelete
It's like learning how to swim. Aren't they SUPPOSED to just throw you into the deep end to force you to figure out how?Delete
Sure, I mean, I learned how to swim, but it was so... comfortably.
We're currently writing a post about our concerns that our children are too well adjusted. If they are too well adjusted they'll never grow up to be tortured genius artists. I fee like I might be failing them.ReplyDelete
I wrote one a while back about the number of skinned knees I got as a kid compared with the number my kids were getting (http://www.lesbiansinmysoup.com/2012/05/skinned-knee-blues.html)Delete
That might have more to do with the kind of activities kids engage in today, I guess.
It's like Tyler Durden's line in "Fight Club": "I don't wanna die without any scars."
My parents taught me that unambitious is perfectly fine and 'just enough' is actually what should be most sought after and what leads to an overal happy life. Sometimes I wish they'd been a little more motivational and encouraging. And sometimes I think they might have been absolutely right.ReplyDelete
Exactly. I said elsewhere that this is the ultimate "First World Problem": I am merely happy, healthy, and well-adjusted, as opposed to famous and interesting.Delete
I suppose I'll survive, despite that.
I feel so sorry for you.......it must have been horrible!!!ReplyDelete
This blog could be a masterpiece of sadistic, Hieronymus Bosch-type nightmares, if only my parents had screwed me up a little worse.Delete
How very rude of them, your Mum could've had the decency to breast fed you until you were 8.ReplyDelete
That has surely got to give a kid issues.
I could write more, but based upon this, and my desire to have my Son make fuckloads of money to support me in my old age I am off now to beat, abuse and starve him.
At the very least that ought to teach the ungrateful wombfruit that it's about time he left home.
I've heard if you tell him he's worthless, there's a 50/50 chance he will be driven to success just to spite you.Delete
Of course, there's also a 50% chance that he'll believe you and crash and burn.
But what a ride it'll be finding out which one, huh?
I'm still pissed off that I wasn't molested as an altar boy when I was a kid. I mean, thousands of former Catholics are getting huge payoff checks from the Vatican to compensate them for their therapy sessions and eating disorders, and all I've ever gotten from the Church is an overdeveloped sense of guilt about everything I had nothing to do with. In a perfect world we'd all have someone or something definitive to blame for our success or failures.ReplyDelete
Instead, we have to carry around the burden of unfulfilled potential. How messed up is that?
Well, Squatlo, you are in luck, because it just so happens that one of my three jobs right now is working for an attorney.Delete
I think we might be able to not only find you someone to blame for your lack of success, but maybe even get you some money for it.
Have you considered the harm you have suffered due to Clergical Rejection Syndrome? How hard must it have been to see all your classmates getting molested by priests and wondering, "What's wrong with me? Am I not good enough for these priests to hit on?"
You're a white male in 2014, and I can't even imagine how much discrimination you must face in your daily life as work positions in day labor, road construction, and blues bands go to less qualified minorities.
Third, someone is responsible for your being in Tennessee, and that person ought to compensate you.
We can get started right away...
I will never forgive my dad for dying before I could kill him. I took all those martial arts for nothing?ReplyDelete
Seriously, we did make up over the phone before he died. He wanted me to come visit him that weekend but I had to study for a final so I told him I would come the next weekend. He kept insisting that I come that weekend but I told him that I really needed to study and would come the next weekend.
The next weekend when I was stepping out the door to go visit him, we got a phone call. It was my dad. He had been in a wreck and they somehow got a phone to him on the highway. He told me he loved me and wanted me to have his ring (which I never got because of my step-mother). He then died as I was talking to him.
You have heard me talk about Adri on here... She had issues with her parents growing up and always said she was going to kill her dad.Delete
There's no way to just "get past" some things, but I think you can try and deal with things in the most healthy way possible.
I'm kidding. We all do the best we can. It's never enough.
Drugs! That's IT!!! hahaDelete
Seriously though, I dealt with it through Christianity. It's very, very difficult to forgive some people sometimes, but that's what Christians are called to do. Sadly, not too many people who call themselves Christian seem to even know what Christ called us to do.
I did experiment with drugs in the late 70s but it was not over my dad. It was because of my first wife. She had been a heavy druggie that I tried to "save" from her destructive ways but I just ended up being dragged down with her. I mainly just did marijuana, though I did try other things once... twice if I liked it. haha I wanted to see what life was like through her drug induced eyes. About the only thing the drugs were really good for though was sex... especially Quaaludes (I don't even know if they make them anymore).
Works differently for different people. For me, drus and alcohol was a way to NOT think about certain things. To get to sleep at night without having to lie there, staring at the ceiling, facing the stuff I did not want to face during the day. For that, drugs and alcohol work!Delete
I used marijuana to try to meditate on religion. I knew the Native Americans used certain drugs to reach the Great Spirit. I did come up with some interesting ideas, but I don't know how practical they were. It was also a good way to relax after a hard day at work because everyone hated me for not being from Texas City. I also had no idea what unions were supposed to be like. When that was combined with an explosion, a fire, or an extremely upset unit, I NEEDED something to calm me down and make me chillax. Now I'm just a hermit and don't need illegal drugs. The Valium seems to take care of my anxiety attacks and mellows me out.Delete
I read so many great poets, novelists, and philosophers who used various substances to get creative or get enlightened. Most of it never worked for me.Delete
I can only write when I am stone cold sober.
If I'm not stone cold sober, it can only mean that I am either trying to stay awake or trying to go to sleep.
I don't think it REALLY makes people more creative. I think they just THINK it does.Delete
I believe that some drugs - particularly hallucinogens - can shake people loose of their moorings, break them out of mental shackles, allow them to see things in a different way than they usually do.Delete
But that doesn't mean they can WRITE while on the stuff any more than they could while drunk or stoned.
I don't really need anything to see the world in fresh ways, so anything that interferes with my ability to write is just bad.
I was thinking about this the other day, strange. Picture this: 4 kids, I'm the baby. I'm 7 years away from the next oldest, aka "the oops" baby. The first and second child, they were the strictest with. The third, strict but a bit lenient. They knew how to navigate through the woods by then. Seven years later, "Oh hell, let her do what she wants." I basically had ZERO discipline and if I got a D+, that was FANTASTIC! Meanwhile, my oldest sister NEEDED to be on that honor roll, and yes, she went to college, got her degree, has a 6 figure income, nice…….. But she has a "push" (or a kick in the ass) by Mom & Dad.ReplyDelete
Me? I'm STILL trying to find myself at the age of 39. haha…. But, I have to say, as the only lesbian in the family who hasn't achieved her doctorates degree or has a cushy job traveling the world, I feel happy with what I have and happy with what I "don't" have. Because those stressors of achieving greatness still continues into their late 40's now approaching 50. I am just trying to achieve …..happiness.
I so love this post! <3
I am pretty comfortable with relatively little, and sometimes it concerns me that i am. I feel as though perhaps I ought to be shooting higher.
If I was less satisfied with my life, I'd try harder.
P.S. I was supposed to marry a "nice Jewish doctor" too. Just in case plan A failed. Plan A, B, and C failed. But I'm happy. LOLReplyDelete
Yeah, but I bet the life you ended up with is a lot cooler than the one anyone else would have written for you.Delete
I can totally relate to this! Perfect childhood with loving parents and a slew of siblings, and somehow we all still get along today. Where is my trauma? Where is my torment?ReplyDelete
There are writers who get ALL of their material out of how screwed up their childhood was. Augusten Burroughs has made a career out of these memoirs: "Oh yeah, in my last book, I forgot to include the part about how my mom traded me to a circus for three years in exchange for money for crack."Delete