Okay. I should have really documented when I was happy, but during August I was much too busy at work, and so the blog fell by the wayside. This little period of happiness, when I felt I could do anything and wasn’t hampered (much) by the past, appears to have lasted from roughly the 10th of August through… maybe the 6th of September. It started heading downhill then, I think, but it never seemed to for long.
But anyways, here I am, and I don’t feel so great anymore, and I don’t feel like I can do anything. I remember a lot more of what it’s like to be happy: I’m engaged at work and stand up for things, I help people at work, I make bentos, I go to work every day I can, I cook a lot at home (or try to).
Now that the happiness is evaporating I figure I’ll keep doing those things in the hope the happiness will come back. At times it seems to fleetingly skim by, and I think the long holiday might actually have done it a fatal wound, even though I don’t remember any times my father did something horrible to me purely because it was labor day. It was just the normal three-day-weekend of screaming and abuse for various offenses that I didn’t realize were not offenses (or at least, not to most people) years and years later.
Okay, maybe three-day weekends are just terrible to me.
Yesterday I kind of figured the walk in the park was over because I bought some reusable animal picks from Daiso for bento (not the ones I used recently, some longer picks) and realized that they were Chinese Zodiac animals, even if the ox looked like a cow (which is why I picked them up).
And I remembered suddenly my mother discussing the zodiac animals with me. By the point, my father had smashed her head through a wall some time ago, and she was no longer well in the head, but I didn’t know what to do about it except humor her. (Sometimes my life reads like a Brontë novel.) There was only one point in which she was saner: she hated my father. Every other point was fairly lost.
For instance, she believed that various men in “high” positions of power (i.e. management at the store where she worked as a clerk, and school principals, it’s not like we were middle class or even lower middle class) were in love with her and would take her away from all this. She thought I knew and was in contact with them. I think that’s when I learned how to tell stories, because I wanted to keep her happy when I was—what? Seven? Nine?
Stories are lies, really, just entertaining ones. She believed it all, and it disconcerted me, but I wanted her to be happy. She would talk about the zodiac animals and really did believe that the people she was in love with (or… something, it did get stalker scary at points) were tigers, or dragons, or snakes, or anything better than monkeys at least.
These are times when I feel like my attempts to be Lawful Good all my life were just a veneer over, at best, chaotic neutral. But I’m probably just Lawful Evil.
Gods, all that.
She never got better, and she always believed, and my gods. What a horrible thing I did to her for years. Can I even really blame her for becoming an enabler in her later years, when she thought that the only way to happiness was to stay with my father and force me to stay with them because I would feed her wonderful stories?
What a horrible, miserable, evil person I am. Sometimes I honestly think I’m only alive because only an evil person could survive this far, because they will have had to commit evil to live so long. And if they’re willing to commit evil to live—why should they live?
No justice in this world, really.
And yes, the thoughts that can spin out of a bunch of pastel cute animal picks for bento.
I’m working from home today partly because Seattle cares a little more for soccer than one would expect from an American city , and partly because I am a wreck this morning.
And this isn’t even the worst of the thoughts I’ve had the past week.
I’m actually not suicidal. If I were a good person, I would be. If I were a very good person, I would have shot myself in the head about five years back when I had the chance. But I’m not good.
You know why I have a passing fondness for Daigotsu, despite all the evil he has wrought in the fictional realm of Rokugan? Because he’s basically evil after being raised in a shadow land of evil, yet has just enough good in him to be Lawful Evil, but at the same time he can never be anything other than evil.
Characters like this break my heart. The idea of redemption is one that intrigues me, and I hate it when I see fictional villains fail this test repeatedly, because it makes me wonder if I’m just failing the test repeatedly and don’t know it—and perhaps one is simply destined to fail because when you’re evil, you’re evil forever and only dying will make you good.
… gods what a lot of emo whining and bullshit. But sometimes we believe in such bullshit because we are poorly designed creatures.
k, now I have to be a grownup.
7 thoughts on “Arriving in Depression City, Where the Tumbleweeds Blow Through Dusty Streets of the District of Lonely Regret”
You need to go hug a cow, right now.
You did your best in an impossible situation, with far more intelligence and sophistication than any child should be asked to display. I doubt very sincerely that there was a right answer to what to do about your mother; other answers might have got you killed or injured in other ways. It sounds like you chose the best of a bad array of choices
The person who was at fault was not you. It was the guy who shoved another human being’s head through a wall. Then you did the best you could with what you had left to work with.
Okay, maybe three-day weekends are just terrible to me.
Abso-effing-lutely. Mark ’em in red in your calendar.
And go hug that cow now. (*hugs*)
Is it wrong for a person to steal bread to feed his or her starving child or self? It may be illegal, whether or not it is morally wrong depends on the person considering the issue, but it is not evil.
The situation you were in forced you to make decisions that your current rational self finds repugnant. The thing is, you needed to survive. You did what you had to in order to survive and you made the best choices you could have. That is not evil. At the time, I would guess from what you’ve written, that those stories made both of your lives more bearable. Wanting someone to be happy isn’t evil.
This is probably something you should remember to bring up with your bartender too..for now, though, hug a cow and remember that this, too, shall pass. Happiness will come again. :)
*is hugging Large Round Cow due to need for epic hugs*
I didn’t enjoy telling the stories to my mother. It drove me slowly insane and was painful all the way, and it went on for years, long after I was in college.
At some point my father figured out something was going on, which fired up his jealousy to insanity levels. He eventually needed stories, too, because he would not believe this was all a figment of my mother’s insane ravings.
… for gods’ sakes my life was horrible.
Whee, it’s time to overload the comment form again!
The D&D system of alignments describes people’s inclinations, not the results of their actions. Good-aligned people don’t automatically make good (sensible, correct) decisions. And Lawful isn’t a form of Good; it just means a person who pursues their goals in an orderly, systematic way rather than one who pursues goals in a spontaneous, impulsive way. So if you try to do good in an organized way as part of a group, that means your alignment is Lawful Good.
Philip Zimbardo is a psychologist who studies the situational influences on whether people do good or evil deeds. He ran a famous experiment called the Stanford Prison Experiment that showed how a bad set of conditions can influence almost anyone to do appalling things.
So let’s consider your conditions: at ages seven and nine you were legally tied to your parents, physically unable to win a fight against them, and dependent on them for survival. An abused child’s position is not much different from that of a slave, or a prisoner of war in a country that doesn’t observe the Geneva Convention: in other people’s power, with no way to escape, and no way to control one’s own living conditions. In my view, that means the things you did to stay alive were self-defense. Self-defense is held blameless under the law and most ethical systems. You were like Scheherezade, spinning stories to stay alive.
Good conditions, on the other hand, promote good actions. You are not doomed. And I second Cori R.’s suggestion to talk to the bartender about this.
On a separate subject, “the thoughts that can spin out of a bunch of pastel cute animal picks for bento” is an example of how war stories can start almost anywhere. Mundane details connect to larger issues.
No problem with overloading the comment box. ^.^ Sometimes comments must be long when dealing with tough issues (heck, my posts are pretty long for a blog at times).
And yeah… so taking this to my bartender next week.
Yeah, war stories. Must tell more when I can. They are all so awful, sigh. I must start posting more bento cuteness to offset the woe.
Just remember to tell the happy stories from your life now to remember that the war is not all there is. You’ve been really in a good mood lately, even if it’s beginning to degrade. It seems to be really essential that you remember that you can be happy when things head south. Plus documenting cycles is a good idea and may tease out other triggers or natural rhythms that can affect the PTSD.
I’m going to have to work out a tagging system of some sort. (And then I can create PHP pages. Whee!)
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