Wednesday, June 22, 2005

I think terribly about myself

One friend read my previous post and the responses to it and pointed out to me the folllowing: if I HAD gotten married and divorced, I would now be beating myself up because I'd FAILED at marriage and it wouldn't matter if the entire dating world saw me as a step above never-marrieds (because as a divorced person I'd have demonstrated committment), I'D still know that I was a failure. And I'd be seeing never-marrieds as the longed-for category because I'd be convinced that my divorced brethren were failures just like me, only they didn't realize it.

It all comes down to how terribly I think about myself. No matter what happens or doesn't happen in my life, I'm convinced that I'm a failure because I have a deep, inherent, flaw that can never be changed and that's why things have happened (or not happened) as they have (or haven't). And THAT'S the real flaw.

I am always with "We're doomed," and "We're all screwed," and "Why hasn't the human race died out yet?" I'm the worst of Eyore and Mr. Smith and Harry Burns. I'm the half-mad spinster in the attic, a wailing barren Llorona, a wistful corpse, painfully gazing from the wrong end of way too long a life. Jesus on a stick.

It's the way I think, the way I think, the way I think, the way I think, the way I think that's the problem. I'M my own problem and that's the problem, too. Recognizing what the problem is does NOT get you halfway to fixing it. It just gets you to recognizing what the problem is. I know it's possible to recognize what the problem is for years, for decades. You can rot your life from the inside out recognizing what the problem is, just as surely as you can die waiting for the Clark Street bus (it runs about twice a week, $*!&-ing Clark Street bus).

I'm the wrong flavor and thinking THAT is the problem. Writing it is the problem. Revelling in being my own problem is the problem. I can ring it like a bad Edgar Allen Poe rhyme or I can sugar it o'er like the worst of Gerard Manly Hopkins, but this train of thought is the problem. I can't let go I can't let go I can't let go I can't let go I can't let go I won't let go I won't let go I won't let go I won't let go.

I hate this thing, this hatred that lives inside me that hates myself and what I came from. My mother beat it and screamed it into place but it was planted even before her father first raised his fist to his wife, my grandmother who was a battered wife. This hatred was in place before that wife-batterer first took a stick to his first kid, my aunt. Nine children he beat, for years and years so badly that my aunt once told my grandmother that she should call the police but this was in Texas in the 1950's when Mexicans didn't call the police for anything so my grandmother never called.

Mental illness doesn't run in everyone's family, physical abuse doesn't run in everyone's family, rank barnacled-on unhappiness so that any movement towards sunlight is killed before it's considered doesn't run in everyone's family. I learned not to expect anything really good to happen to my family, to me. I saw my mother's unhappiness and she saw her mother's unhappiness and that unhappiness has been my inheritance.

I hate the hatred and that's the surest way to hold on to it. I believe in my own disease. I don't know how to get out from under it. I don't know I don't know I don't know I don't know I don't know I don't know.

The only man I'm dating right now is the only person I know who has no computer at all and little interest in reading this blog even though I've tried to show it to him and I don't know if that's good or bad. But I've told him all of this and more and still he doesn't believe I'm a bad horse to bet on. His world is so much better than mine but I don't know how to step into it.

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