Sunday, June 12, 2011

Itsy Bitsy Spider

I wrote this about this almost two months ago but it still holds true. I need this to be out there so that I can remember why I am making the changes that I am in my life.

This is a song about resilience and so it's fitting that it be a part of your life soundtrack.

You were born to people who probably should have never been parents. To give them credit, they did the best that they could. Problem is that they were too self-absorbed to really be anyone's parents. They faked their way through the best that they could.

You were going to discuss them both but then you realized that they are each flawed in their own special ways. They deserve -- and would probably demand -- separate discussion. Well, at least one of them would.

Your mother wasn't like other mothers. She had no desire to bake cupcakes for your class. And after she divorced your father, she had no desire to cook dinner unless company was coming over. Hard thing to face at age eight. And with no siblings with whom you could commiserate. Your friends understood the dynamic of your household but others said nothing for nearly twenty years.

Your mother was a child dictator. She would announce edicts at her whimsy and then ask your advice as to whether she should make some purchase. It was usually about purchases because she swabbed her internal wounds with Liz Claiborne, Ellen Tracy, Noritake and other such purchases from Macy's. One minute she would chide you for not having your homework done when she got home from work; the next she would enthrall you with her purchases of the day. Sometimes you asked why she needed it. {There's that word again -- why.} And you would tell her to return the purchase the next day. She always complied.

But she did have rules. And there was no crossing her rules. You could never ask her, "Why?" Instead you held your tongue.

Occasionally she asked you, "Why?" though. At first you used to answer. Only to be subjugated to yelling and fist waving and threats of, "I brought you into this world; I can take you out." And so you learned to not answer. But that wasn't enough. You then learned to show absolutely no emotion while silently fuming. You who wears your heart on your sleeve most of the time learned how to hide it away. Your mantra then was, "They can only truly hurt you if they know they can." And so you learned to guard your heart. Not that people couldn't reach there; you would just never let them know that they had.

History had taught you that if she knew the slightest secret, she would use it to her advantage. Just another thing to throw into your face about how you had failed. While others around you thought that you had succeeded. She begs to be a part of your life now. And she is -- in limited amounts. There's only so much that one can take of someone who constantly thinks the world is out to dupe her. But this is not why you guard yourself -- this idea of duping. Instead it's the idea that someone will catalog your life and then pull out salient details when it suits them best. Because you have no brain, no will of your own.

Over the years you realize that this has colored your perspective on relationships -- including dating. There was a time that if someone was nice to you, you found yourself wondering what they wanted. Now you simply find yourself thinking that you are not willing to give into the will of another just for the sake of it. (Employment may be the exception but even there, there are limits.) Why must you constantly stroke this other person's ego especially when they take every opportunity that they can to destroy yours? Many years you questioned yourself on this. "Am I just being too sensitive?" But then you heard from your friends about their observations of your interactions. And you were happy to learn that this indeed was not "normal."

It took you several years to break through the bricks you had erected around your heart. While this woman contributed quite a bit to the process, she did not act alone. There were other actors. The thing is that you still allow her to be a part of your life and as such, she continues to try to do damage.

But you are the spider. You cannot be drowned.


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