I can’t think of myself as a victim. I absolutely cannot. If something happens in my life then that is what happens in my life. It doesn’t happen to me, it doesn’t get done to me, it just happens.
More disturbingly is my ability to make things my fault. Theres a magical working, I can’t remember which one just at the moment, but you’re not supposed to do it until you’re an incredibly competant magician and when you’ve done it, or part of your doing it is taking absolutely everything in your life as being caused by you and this working somehow. (Yeah, this is why you don’t do it til you’re competent). But, when I’m stressed or even sometimes when I’m not, I can persuade myself that actually I was at fault. I don’t think that I could ever take the argument ‘She was asking for it’ seriously unless, of course, someone said it about me.
Me? What, asking for it? No…oh, well I suppose… actually, yeah… my body language, the tone of my voice, yeah, yeah, I should have thought. All my fault, don’t worry about it. These things just happen don’t they.
I am incapable of believeing in an entirely happy, ‘normal’ life, as promoted by TV or whatever. I just don’t believe that anything like that exists, it’s just some people saying thats what people should be aiming for. I assume that everyone has been on pills at some point, self-harm is just what happens when you’re a teenager and everyone has some sort of ‘thing’ in their past that according to the unbelievable statistics of happy, normalness shouldn’t be there. Tha’s what a happy and normal life is. But people seem to be saying it shouldn’t be and I’m not sure if I’m right anymore.
It does mean that when people are dealing with their issues, sure I think good for them, but I don’t connect with why they think that something is wrong in the first place. Afterall, everyone has something, that’s just life.
I especially find myself reacting badly when people keep blaming their parents for things way after they’ve grown up and left home. Now, don’t get me wrong, if your parents actually did something to you, then you’ve got grounds. If you developed a phobia of clowns because your parents took you to the circus when you were four then you can’t accuse them of anything, no really, you can’t. They thought you’d like it. Me and my parents find it easier to have a relationship when we’re living on different sides of the country. Maybe it’s a sad fact, I don’t know. The fact remains that I’m kind of a difficult person to have as your daughter and part of not letting myself be a victim or letting things happen to me means I have to take on board a certain amount of personal responsibility.
I guess what I’m trying to say, is I can’t always tell when I’m going too far in making things my fault and where it is my responsibilty and thats where my problems lie. So I get annoyed when people try and totally blame someone else, because there are two sides to each story. Theres what people do and theres how you react, and sure, sometimes your reactions need to change and that takes work. But thats your part of the deal, and the other person’s part isn’t the only thing that happened.
Like, when your parents took you to the circus, they thought you’d like the clowns.
3 thoughts on “I barely know”
I especially find myself reacting badly when people keep blaming their parents for things way after they’ve grown up and left home.
I’m curious here Mish … are you suggesting that parents should stop having any negative effect on their children’s lives after those offspring have moved out?
Do you have to live with your parents for them to have any sort of effect on you as a person/on your life?
No, not necessarily, but I find it difficult when people in their forties are still saying ‘because my parents did X I am Y’ – if you know that then you should be able to take some sort of action to make it better. You have to take responsibility for yourself no matter how difficult that is.
Parents may fuck their children up, meaningfully or not to misquote Larkin but realising that they have is only a first step. You can’t rely on it as a crutch of some sort. (Also I do draw a line of difference between parents who have actually done something and parents who have caused something unintentionally.)
Ahhh, now I get you. I agree with your philosophy. I do have sympathy for people whose parents *continue* to try fucking them up even after they’ve left home (and some I know are very adept at it, despite how their offspring battle against it), but yes, if it was something that happened sometime ago, you need to take action to deal with the issues you have been left with.