Monday, June 15, 2015

Sometimes I idly wonder if my father knew what he was doing. I usually tell myself "No, he's just caught in a web of his own" but I don't know how true that is. Surely you know what you're doing when you lock yourself in a room with an eight year old for hours and tell them about how sick you are, how unhappy you are, how no one cares about you (wanting them to throw themselves with care upon you even as you both know you'll reject them anyway when they do), how everyone in the world is selfish and cruel and powerful except for you. I mean, you would think. But I don't know.

I want to say he lacks self-awareness. He only ever talks about the feelings of others ("you hate me," "you're trying to destroy this family," "you've never loved me"). He never says, "I am afraid" never says "I feel neglected" never says "I need someone else to make me feel better because I don't think I can do it myself." He is a perpetual victim, and me you and everyone we know are the perpetual perpetrators. And I want to say he's just constantly reacting to a fear of something not happening, to words not said, to thoughts not thought, to slight twinges of emotional reaction on my face which make him feel so out of control he lashes out in shaming accusation to bring it all in line. Perhaps the actions lack conscious intentionality. But surely the desire to never remember those actions does not.

It's sometimes scary, to see how he's trained me so well. To silence myself, punish myself, shame myself. I can say so many words, but my feelings all leave him unscathed and me with nothing but guilt and recrimination over how terrible a child I am. My chest feels like tar, bubbling and black, swallowing any cries for help. And I don't want to hurt him, don't want to break him, don't want to avenge myself upon him. I just want to be free. I want to be free. But the tar pulls me down, pulls me back inside myself, to fight and choke and die bit by bit as I continue his work of self-annihilation.

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