I had a blowup this morning, or the Nest version of such. I was mad at my computer, which turned into something else.
It does this thing–I’ll be working hard on a facebook post–writing lovely sentences, tagging people and orgs, putting the link, getting it just so, as is my pleasure! And I’ll be like–no, I can get a better picture. So I open a new tab and find a better picture, then switch to the faceboook tab…and my whole proto-post is gone. Vanished to the ether.
I’m like, wtf. I worked 20 minutes on that thing. My computer can’t handle me switching tabs? I have only six tabs open! One of them is not a super intense game! It should be able to handle this.
Then I get mad, my computer sux, and it’s only half a year old. It was bad to begin with!
I was emoting about all that, and I started blaming my parents. They taught me I’m wrong and my needs are wrong, and I can’t trust my own desires. Everything I needed and wanted, I had to ignore, because they couldn’t handle how I felt–their needs came first, always. So I learned to doubt my impulses and developed intense difficulty, trusting myself.
My intuitive sense of whether what I need is ok was totally destroyed. So now as an adult, I expend this fuckton of energy, trying to figure out if my needs are ok, denying my needs, and struggling with bullshit like a bad computer, because I thought I wasn’t allowed to return this one.
My spouse was listening to me talk about it, in the kitchen. “I agonize over how my behavior affects people! Agg-oh-nize! But what about my own parents, who could bring another person into the world, and not care about that person? Did they ask–gee, Nest has no skill at identifying her own needs, since we destroyed her respect for her own needs, by totally disregarding them! Should we try to help her with that? No! They didn’t care! All they cared about was their fucking selves! Who does that?”
My spouse looked at me. He was beautiful, in the early morning light, listening, with an earnest look on his face.
“Right,” he said.
“Thank you for listening to me. I’m so mad. So tired of thinking about this.”
I imagined my parents, both 19 when they had me: clueless, beautiful teenagers with a vibrant, brilliant, weird baby. I was bald and wild. They did what they thought was best. So broken by the abuse they had endured at the hands of their own parents.
But also yeah, selfish, swept up in their weak attempts at normality. Unready for a disabled kid, so they tried to make me not-disabled, which was full on abuse. My dad’s drug addictions were not that fun, or the intense daily violence. But I’ve heard voices my whole life. I think I was born crazy.
Blaming parents is such a cliche thing to do. They are both dead, and that whole family of origin is no longer a unit. I blame my parents for their failures, and how all the wrong I learned is so much work to unlearn. But I also do a lot to heal.
It’s not either-or. I can blame them for what they did, as I did in this blowup. At the same time, I can work to heal all that, release my pain, develop new skills. My blowup-blame is truth, and it’s good to tell the truth. But of course I can’t stop there–I learn how to hear my own needs and be kind to myself in ways my family of origin never was.
It was an ok blowup. I can move through it and have a good day. The sun came up, and my spouse is doing his own things, as breakfast cooks.
I’m going to care for myself as best I can, be kind to my spouse, respect others’ needs as best I can, and not have kids.