Empty Days

Friday, July 23, 2004



I think a great part of my own conflicts is tied up to the contempt I can't help feeling for my father. I have no hate or dislike for him (like I used to before), but I can't get rid of the contempt - everything he represents is directly opposite to my idea of what a complete human being should be, whether man or woman. He is entirely dependent on others; he uses his prodigious loquacity to gain sympathy from strangers; he is always ready to eclipse himself for a warm hug. At the same time he is extremely self-rightious and easily condemns those who do not correspond to his ideas of right and wrong. This mixture of subservience and wanton superiority is somehow despicable - I think it is this uttermost insecurity that provokes my contempt.

I've tried to be kind and fair to him, but it's hopeless because of contempt. You can't be entirely fair with somebody you don't respect. You can be kind only in a condescending sort of way. I forgive his weaknesses but I cannot accept them. The most difficult situations arise when he attempts to play an authoritative role which doesn't suit him at all - then I have to watch out not to get angry (especially when I feel weak for my own reasons) and just brush him off without offending him.

***

My parents think I am crazy and need to be cured in order to be "happy" - as if you could get cured from the fact of having parents who are no less crazy ("not happy") than yourself and don't know it. It's pathetic. I don't mind having crazy parents - why should they mind having "crazy" children?

Of course, the measure of my supposed "craziness" is proportionate to my unwillingness to correspond to a certain stereotype of a well-adjusted easy-rolling individual - and the suffering this unwillingness necessarily bestows on me. I am not enjoying all I can enjoy - I am not seeking all the pleasures and opportunities this world provides, I am not fucking enough and I am not making enough money and I am not climbing the social ladder or exercising some other form of all-fulfilling success. In short - I must be crazy not to.

I can understand that point of view. But I am fast getting over this form of understanding. It's a form of self-torture to keep trying to "explain" yourself in a certain narrow set of terms, and then bemoan the fact that these interpretations are either lacking or you are lacking in not corresponding one way or another. Most forms of psychotherapy seek to redress the individual so that he may start fitting into the mold. Most psychotherapists are "normal" people - that's all they're about in the end, these peddlers of normality.

In other words, it's up to me to deal with my apparent non-comformity and apparent shortcomings. I do believe that I can achieve my own particular balance once I get over certain fears and misconceptions that have been with me forever. I can't stop to worry what my parents or anybody else might think - too bad it makes them feel bad that I don't correspond, but at least I am doing the right thing, crazy or not.

Can I explain that? I don't need to, I guess.





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