Days of impending doom

I don´t usually write about things happening in my life – but that´s because, for the most part, nothing happens. Right now, some things threaten to happen, however. Like: I might have to move out. First of all, though, a bit of background:

My core family consists of my father, my mother and my older sister, let´s call her Irene. We all used to live together in this flat I still inhabit with my mum. When I was ten or eleven, my mother kicked my father out for cheating on her. When I was 13 or 14, my sister moved out (she´s significantly older than me). And when I finished high school and started college…well, I stayed. My mother never encouraged me to take any steps towards moving out. Whenever I had a row with her and told her I wanted to move out, she´d said, “well, go ahead”, in that neutral, seemingly friendly tone, like she thought it might be a good idea after all. There was never any follow-up, though. No: “Listen, dear, we argue so often, maybe you do need a place of your own. Your dad and I can help you find one, you know?”  No. There was no such thing as active, genuine support. I always felt like I either had to put up with my mum, or pack my bags and leave through the back door at midnight.

I feel like a complete failure because I didn´t manage to leave; and, to be honest, I don´t even know why I never left. I knew that while my parents would not actively support me, they would still give me financial support while I was studying, even if I moved out. I could always give plenty of reasons why I didn´t think moving out was a good idea after all (it´s too expensive, the neighbors will complain about me for singing or playing music…), I have a million fears about being responsible for a place of my own…but I think they all cover up something else. Thing is: All my worries about having to provide for myself (both in terms of job and place to live) imply that the world is full of enemies. I envision work the way it was in the 19th Century. Factory owners and paid slaves. I envision renting a place the way it might once have been. If you don´t pay the rent on time, you are kicked out without a warning. My fears are absolutely unfounded. We have abundant social security systems. I´m not going to starve, and I´m not going to live on the street, even if I´d happen to be unemployed. Besides, other people make it, too! Managing to provide for oneself is the rule, not the exception. So where are those fears coming from?

It´s very simple. My family instilled them in me.

My father keeps complaining about our economy going downhill, about how hard it is for philosophy students to find a job, well…he complains about absolutely everything. Whenever I think aloud about a career choice, he sees a problem. He tells me that there are no dream jobs, and at the same time he says that you need a job that makes you happy if you want to be happy in life, because your job is such a huge part of your life. So – happiness is impossible, but it can always get worse? After discussions with my father, I always have to resort to suicidal ideation in order to maintain hope that a life of misery is avoidable.

Irene keeps on telling me that I have to start doing everything now because everything is “not as easy as you think” (WHAT!?! GIVEN HOW TOTALLY NOT EASY I THINK EVERYTHING IS, HOW DIFFICULT ARE THINGS REALLY, THEN!?!?), and on top of that, everything that is not as easy as I think is also terribly important. So I should start looking for a place of my own NOW (as opposed to in six months when I hopefully finish college), because “finding a flat is not as easy as you think”. “It´s not like you just decide you want to rent a place. You have to apply for it, the landlord has to accept you.”   Hear the message? From now on, you are at other peoples´ mercy. People who have no relation to you, people who don´t care about you as a person. You will have to be precisely how people want you to be; you will have to suck up to your superiors; your days of being an individual are over. 

Oh, and five years ago, she urged and admonished me to find out what career I want and then get as much work experience as possible while I´m still in college. Why? “Because that´s what counts later. Your future boss won´t care that you were the best student in your graduation class at high school. Nobody will give a flying fuck about your high school grades.” Hear the message? You think you have accomplished anything? You think you can lean back now and think you´re great? Think there is reason for optimism? Yeah, right. What you accomplished so far is completely irrelevant for your future life. Your high school graduation is trash, it´s worthless, it doesn´t matter. You are incredibly naive, you know nothing about real life. 

My mother, however, is the worst of the bunch. I feel like for years she inhibited my normal development. I really do feel like she kept me dependent on her on purpose. I can neither put my finger on it, nor prove it, but I do feel like she is a manipulative liar. Like she is constantly wearing a mask, like I have hardly ever seen her true face, and whenever I did, it wasn´t pretty. Maybe I just have an incredibly distorted perception. Maybe it´s me who´s crazy. That´s how absolutely everybody else in the family sees it. On the other hand, in the case of Dr. Stoneface, my perception was right on spot. So – anyway. I feel like for years my mum worked on disabling me rather than enabling me to lead an independent life. It was never desirable that I should move out and live on my own. Until now.

A year ago, my mother fell in love with a new flat in another city. You need to know that she spends her life entertaining dreams of the perfect place to live.  The perfect flat, perfectly equipped with perfect furniture, perfectly orderly and with a perfect panorama view. I think she believes her life will be perfect as soon as she has the perfect place to live. This is something she is really neurotic about. Anyway, a year ago she found a place she believes is perfect for her. And the impossible happens: In order to afford it (or for whatever other reason, I don´t expect to be told the truth anymore) she wants to move in there with my dad.

Granted, they never got a divorce and I have the impression that over the last eight years or so, they developed some kind of platonic relationship. My father has his girlfriend, my mother probably has a whole lot of affairs she´d never tell me about, but the two of them go to the cinema together, they go on holiday together, and my father comes over for dinner every other day. I never assumed, though, they would move in together again. This is beyond bizarre. My mother is anal and orderly and perfectionist, my father litters every place within seconds. How can they live together? They will bash each others´ heads in. I´m fine with that, but how can they not see this coming?

Irene keeps on lecturing me that how they manage this is their problem, and not mine (indirectly telling me to mind my own business and stop ranting about them). It does matter to me, though. Not because I´m so concerned for their welfare, I´m way too pissed off at them to wish them anything but a miserable rest of their lives in their perfect flat. Thing is: I don´t buy that even my mother doesn´t know there will be a myriad of conflicts. And if she knows it – why, then, does she insist on moving in with my father, and the sooner the better? It sounds strange, but I feel like in some way this whole new flat thing is also directed against me.

It´s crazy, really, but my mother makes me feel like I´m the evil mom, and she is the daring daughter running away from me, and be it to the wrong man. If life was a movie, my mother would be the main protagonist on the way to her happy ending, and I´m the villain who´s in the way of this. She´s trying to escape from a life of sacrificing herself for others, mainly her children (and since I am the youngest in the family this refers specifically to me), and now she finally seeks a modest piece of happiness, and I´m trying to deny her even that because I am so messed up, incompetent and unable to take responsibility for my own life and happiness that I need her to provide for me. I need her to stay in her role as my mother (and only that) forever.  This is a nice little myth, and I wonder who spread it. My mother would certainly deny that she sees things that way. Irene and my father, however, fully believe in this tale. It´s not them and my mother who kept me prisoner all my life, it´s me who keeps my mom prisoner. Who uses my mom as a slave or something.

And so when my mom suddenly tells me that she wants to talk to me about when I´m finally done studying and when I will finally move out, she´s not suddenly stabbing my back and letting me down after years of infantilizing me, oh no! It is the moment that exploitative brat aka myself gets what she deserves! Justice is done! My mother wins her life-long struggle for freedom and happiness! Go ahead and wank off to this epic tale of self-empowerment!

Well, that lovely talk will presumably take place on Thursday. Right now I´m just manically angry, or rather, I feel this whole thing is entirely ridiculous. For the most part, though, my emotions shift between humiliation and panic. I feel like, without any warning, I´m being cast out into a cruel dog-eat-dog world where no one will give a damn about whiny, weak, sheltered me – and then there is this nagging voice telling me that I deserve this because I was always too lazy and complacent to prepare for that world while I could have done so (that is: during the last few years).  The most humiliating thing is that without my mom wanting to move out I would probably never manage to leave myself. So should I be grateful for this or what!?

It makes me sick with anger. I may not be able to put my finger on this, and trying might lead to complicated, nonsensical blog entries like this one, but I just know, KNOW that something about all this is not alright! And I so want to get even with my family…




2 Responses to “Days of impending doom”

  1. Be Gratefully! I know that this is something that is going to be really hard for you t do but it’s important. Life is always giving you what it is you need most. The problems is that most of us don’t really realize what it is we really want because we’re scared. Scared to want what we want and have what we want.

    It may sound like I’m preaching and don’t understand what you’re going through but I do. I have been trying to run my own massage business for the last 5years – very unsuccessfully. Last May, I was told that I owed the government $1400 in personal taxes and $900 is HST tax. I didn’t even have $14. I found out this news at work and broke down: heaving sobs of tear. I’d never done that at work before. When I got home, I thought, ‘if I could kill myself . . .’ That wasn’t the answer. 2 weeks later, after much discussion with my accountant and believing I had reduced what I owe to under $800 in total I got a letter from the government informing me that I owed $1200 plus $1000 HST taxes. It was my birthday. I could barely breathe. “If I could kill myself right now and it not effect anyone . . . I would”. I didn’t even have time to cry because I had to go to work. 1 weeks after that I lost my part-time job – got laid off because the owners son-in-law lost his job and her daughter need to work. Once again, “If I could kill myself . . ” My world was crumbling in on me. I couldn’t catch a break. The scary thing is, I really would have killed myself if I could have done it without hurting the people I love. I’d never been this low ever in my life and I’ve had some really low points. I felt hopeless, angry (as hell), scared and all alone. I had know idea what I was going to do.

    Why am I telling you this (sad) sorry. Because I have HOPE! As I wallowed in my sorrow and thought about all the rough times I’d been through, I realized something: I made it through all those rough times. Some how, some way, I’d managed to survive and become stronger. I would survive this, some way, some how.

    I started to look at all the things I’d been doing in my live over the last few years and especially the last year. I wasn’t happy in my job and was looking for a way out. Financially, I was struggling and looking for a way out: I now had a legit reason to declare bankruptcy. Truth, be told, I got what I wanted – just not the way I thought I would get it.

    I took a deep breath and decided that I was going to be alright. It was my time to make my life what I wanted it to be. If I wanted things to ‘stop happening to me’ I needed to take full responsibility for what ‘was’ happening to me. That meant I was in charge of my life. Outside factors did not apply. Whatever was going to be happening was only that which was going to take me where I wanted to go.

    As soon as I made this decision, my life started to change. I had the busiest summer every massage wise. I started meeting people would were willing to help me build my massage business. And I started meeting people and reading information that help me realize that I am a SUCCESS!

    What helped me the most. I watched the movie ‘The Secret”. Best movie I’ve every watched. It really opened my eyes and made me Believe again. I now not only say that I can ‘see the light at the end of the tunnel,’ I know that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s just a pin prick but it’s still light and getting brighter every day. I highly recommend that you watch this movie and buy the audio book. If nothing else it will provide you with another view on life that you can choose to follow or not.

    I’m sorry I’ve been so long winded, but I really want you to know that there is hope. You’re life is just beginning. You’re aware that your life needs to change and you’re making a conscious effort to change it now. I waited until my 40’s before I decided to wake-up. As scary has you’re feeling now, the joy you’ll feel over-coming your fears will be 100xs more.

    Life throws a lot of crap at you. But, there’s always a treasure to be found in that crap and that what you focus on.

  2. Thank you very much for commenting and for sharing your story! I´m glad things turned out alright for you! A bit of encouragement is always good!

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