That's a lengthy and hopefully amusing introduction to the world of fucked up Jewish childhoods. I assume that Chaim had one (is there another way to end up middle aged in faux armor with a painted face and softcore pornqueen for a lifemate?) and I'm pretty sure I did too. My father was a fairly hardcore perfectionist when it came to me (I remember that when I turned 10 and was still reading Archie he used to mock me mercilessly and quite juvenilely, even though I was ALSO reading some pretty good literature and had even dabbled in Shakespeare) and I saw my mother rarely. Then during my adolescence my father commited suicide, my grandfather died in a horrible horrible drawn out melodrama involving his housekeeper, hundreds of thousands of dollars in theft, and an old Jewish/Marxist man hidden in a Catholic nursing home just so they wouldn't execute his DNR order and force her to stop paying herself and her cronies out of his estate. That wasn't so good. I also have a mother who is pretty damned harsh on me at times. I remember many incidents of not so great grades (but I had so much potential) and screaming matches about the fact that I didn't want to join Chess clubs. There was also the still reverberating comment when I left college at 17 and said I might try to write while I was out. My mother responded that there were hundreds of people writing crappy screenplays all over the country and there was no need for me to join their ranks. I never got more than 2 pages down after that.
It didn't surprise me when today, upon hearing that I might decide to drop out of the honors seminar, my mother said it would be a horrible and possibly life altering mistake. I'm not sure how it'd be life altering since I never intended to become a political scientist and while honors are nice for a law degree or potential pursuit of other related endeavours they are hardly mandatory. On the other hand I am now sitting here thinking about how I have come to a possible decision after facing the fact that I am getting depressed and really don't want to undertake a massive and difficult project to look at one tiny portion of the American political system, and in return I am being told that it would be life ruining. That really does hurt. It also might explain why I've been hesitant to try various new things in the past. The idea that if you try something and don't follow through or don't continue it you have somehow failed is an unfair and unreasonable one. I also know that should I decide to leave I will NEVER hear the end of it and thus I face either dealing with a harpy on my neck for the next several months or getting involved in something that might be beyond my current capacities for focus and work and REALLY fucking things up by failing to produce what I should and commiting murder against my GPA.
It shouldn't really get to me but it does, at least on an emotional level. Intellectually I know I will never please either of my parents (my dad's dead so he's REALLY out of that picture) and I should just do what I think is right while trying to get adice from people who are less judgemental. Funny how the mind can't rule the emotions isn't it? Not funny Ha Ha either.
I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to grow up with actually supportive parents. I know that it's damned rare, most people have a parent who'se needlessly nasty or a drunk or absent or whatever, but that doesn't stop it from being an attractive scenario. Instead I am faced with the old cliche of facing down the breeders in order to deal with neurosis and other side effects from human beings who didn't CHOOSE to be saddled with eachother living in one of the more intimate relationships that exists. I firmly believe that most people never truly come to grips with the side effects of being reared in the real world and I think that's a reasonably large portion of why so many people are so damned unhappy.
On the other hand it isn't exactly an easy task. Unfortunately it's not one that can be safely avoided with an add/drop form.