August 18th, 2001


The Razor Perceptions That Cut Just a Little Too Deep

I'm going to be leaving for my countryhouse tomorrow and then on to Maine on sunday. I'll be able to post from up there, but I don't expect to maintain this pace since I'll hopefully be too busy relaxing (Ha He Made a funny.) I'll be out of email contact probably, since I don't really want to download email that I might want to keep on to my mother's laptop. I could set the mail program to download off the server without deleting, but since my mom will be downloading email too it's just easier to not bother with it for a week.

I have mixed feelings about going up there. That house has SO many powerful memories for me, and as usual most of them involve my father. His ashes are up there scattered in the lake. I can still remember cutting the bag open and watching my dad's earthly remains drift down to the surface of the lake and disapear. I can't say that it wasn't painful.

I'll be up there alone with my mother too. That means that we will probably interact and I'm not sure how I feel about that. I mean she's been MUCH better recently but if she goes bad up there I will be the only available target. That scares me a little, except I think I'm tough enough at this point to take it. In fact I KNOW I'm tough enough.

I'm mostly scared of the memories. I'm so different than when I was there as a child. I've grown stronger in some ways and I'm weaker in others. I still haven't recovered from the blow. Now I will be the only guy up there. The one starting the fires and syphoning water into the pump and hooking the motorboat to its mooring and setting up the sailboats etc etc. I know I can do it but I don't know if I can do it without hurting. The thing is that I've gotten used to living down here without him. I've gotten used to sitting in an empty house until midnight when my mom gets home and disapears into her room. I've gotten used to having nobody to turn to but myself for academic help. I've even gotten used to having nobody to really TALK to although Jeff helps with that some. But up there....up there the memories are fresher than they were in Millerton and they are different. Whereas Millerton was a part of my life that my dad dominated, Maine WAS my dad. He was THE force there and now he won't be there and I'm scared of how I will feel. I am still vulnerable to feeling that loss in the pit of my chest where a heart should be. I can still feel his missing presence. I HAVEN'T gotten over it or even fully faced it. Even right now my eyes are welling up with tears and one is running down my cheek. And that's just thinking about the place. In 36 hours I will BE there.

I will BE there and I will BE there for a week and I DON'T know how I will feel. I'll only have a week to recover afterwards before school starts and that scares me because I know how much I have to do and I know how important this semester is for me not only as a student but as a person. I can't force myself to grow, I understand that, but I feel as if I'm ready right now and I'm a little worried that this experience might make me temporarily less ready. On the other hand it's probably something I need to do in order to heal.

Something that I have to do because he IS dead and I DO have to go on with my life and I can't hide from my childhood anymore. I can't preserve the old memories by not making new ones. No matter HOW long I stay away he will never canoe with me 3 miles to the gingerbread house ice cream store or take me on an impromptu 20 mile bike ride or catch crawdads with me beneath the dock at night.

I still need him though and he can still make me cry. Right now is proof of that. My father always told me that the macho attitude towards crying was bullshit and that men needed to be in touch with their emotions as much as women do. He taught me it was okay to cry. How proud he would be right now.

I've been up there after his death a couple times, but it was many years ago. Back when I didn't understand what it was not to have a father. Back when I didn't know about learning to shave at camp or not wanting to go to High School graduation because I didn't want to look out into a crowd of smiling fathers and not see his face. Back when I didn't know how hard it would be because I was still so young and the concept of actually NOT having a parent wasn't even within my universe let alone my world. Back before I learned what it was like to tell people "My father commited suicide when I was 12" and watch their faces. See pity or contempt or indifference.

Now I know. Now I UNDERSTAND what loss is. Now I know that there are things that once torn assunder can NEVER be put back together. Now I know what it's like to have a lengthening life and dwindling supply of anecdotes and memories about him and what it's like to be unable to explain the pain that lurks at the edges of everything good because he won't be there to see it and because it's only been seven years and he still MATTERS to me.

Do I sound self pitying? Maybe I am. I don't know.

The thing about this kind of pain is that you can't push it away. It just grows stronger in the background and comes in at unexpected moments to overwhelm you. Occasionally you need to let it course through you, let it push tears from your eyes and words from your fingers and accept it as a part of yourself. The other thing is that it seems like it will never go away. It feels like it flows from an eternal spring within you and that you will always carry it with you. I don't know if that's true. It's only been 7 years.

I do know about hurting in a thousand little ways that you would never guess a person could hurt until you do though.

So I am afraid of going up to Maine and awakening all that lies within me waiting to be released. All the howls, all the tears, all the sobbing for a childhood cut short. Of swamping my friends with my sadness and driving myself further into isolation. I am afraid of the things that I don't KNOW I will be feeling but that will come in time.

Maybe this fear is groundless. Maybe I should have a zen attitude and just let life happen. I'm not that healthy yet though. I'm sorry if I sound like I'm on the edge of a breakdown because I'm not. I'm just...feeling the hurt and acknowledging what happened and trying to be honest here. I feel like this will make people think less of me but I also feel like it'd be pointless to try to deny this part of myself.

Here I am world. Feel free to reject me and send me packing. I'm used to it.

That was not a constructive thing to say. This is a part of my transition. Being able to say vulnerable crushed unhealthy things AND recognize them for what they are. The next step is accepting that I said them and moving on. I think. *sigh* this entry is way too long and fractured. Oh well. I promised that I wouldn't obsess over that anymore (fat chance.)

Jeff asked me yesterday whether I had a "father" transference to him. I wasn't sure how to respond at the time but I can safely say no. I'm still too hung up on my father to look for any sort of father figure elsewhere. It's one of the reasons I don't really react well to people who want to mentor me, although I can remember a few awkward moments in high school where I called teachers "Dad" because I was so screwed up back then.

Of course this is also one of the things that I thought we'd agreed not to talk about because Jeff has several times said things like "I love you like a son" or "I guess you inhereted blah blah" from me which have made me uncomfortable because I don't need to think and because they decimate the theraputic distance. Because if Jeff wants to play a patriarchal role (Which I don't think he does) then he knows he will awaken all sorts of destructive needs to please and such within me. And that will be murder to any sort of therapy. I'm writing this here because I doubt very much anyone BUT Jeff will read this far into this entry and I am too fucking chicken to say it in person because I don't want to come off like I think that I'm something special to Jeff beyond being one of his patients. THat's too fucking presumptous to fathom. But I also don't want to ignore my need to say this. So I compromise.

And that's okay.

I'll probably post again before I leave for Millerton. My mind is a whirlpool of emotions which I haven't come close to sorting through yet and I am going to type things that are boring and things that are pathetic and things that nobody would ever want to read about me before I can come close to understanding what is going on inside.

And that's okay.

Because in the end I'm only really responsible for my own emotional well being and I need to make sure that I'M okay first and foremost. So if I lose readers or friends or even a therapist because of who I am or what I think so be it.

Christ, now I'm being pessimistic and self critical again. I NEED TO STOP THAT. Of course criticizing myself for being self critical is the height of irony, but whatevers yo.

I am what I am.

And that's all that I am.

And that HAS to be okay and enough.
  • Current Music
    Counting Crows

She says baby, it's 3-AM I must be lonely

My cat woke me up today. I hadn't slept well and I wanted a few more minutes but she squeaked relentlessly until I got up and petted her. She's never done that before and I have no idea what it was about, since she wasn't trapped under anything or hurt in any way. The believer in me wants to say that she knows that my mom wants to leave her here while we go on the trip and that I want to take her, but the logician in me says that she just wants attention/possibly food. Now she's in here rubbing up against my legs. When in doubt believe logic because logic rarely lies maliciously.

Beliefs do.

Dr. X says that all friendship is based on compramise and I guess that's true to a point, but aren't there ANY people who just LIKE being together and don't do it just so they don't have to be lonely? I don't know, maybe I'm just feeling lonely right now because I realize that my friendship structures are built around the person I used to be and not the person I am. On the other hand most people DO bore me. Ahh life. I wish I was wise already but I think I'm too much of a pipsqueak to be so at this point. One of the funny little things about wisdom is that it often comes after you've made important decisions rather than before. I guess TRUE wisdom is being able to use wisdom that comes too late to change a specific choice? Because as long as we are alive and healthy we have choices and every choice relates to others.

Dr. X also says that sorting out someone's love life in Thailand while you're in England isn't fun, but I think that I disagree. I mean maybe it is not fun for HIM but I think personally it would be quite interesting. I also think that far too many people use the term "Isn't fun" when they mean "Isn't easy". Since when did fun and easy become synonyms. I don't particularly like easy things but I think that most people in this age of manufactured musicians and new age mumbo jumbo DO. I'm not saying that Dr. X is mistaking difficult for un-fun but just generally making a point I feel merits making.

Dr. X asked me what scares me most with respect to women. I think the answer to that is twofold. The first is being betrayed, picking the wrong one, ending up investing emotional energy and a place in my heart into a relationship with someone who will abuse it or doesn't deserve it.

The second is failure. I know that at this point I would not make a spectacular or even neccesarily good boyfriend. I have far too many hang-ups issues and just plain problems. I would vascilate wildly between sullen, domineering, concilliatory, confused, unemotional, scared, bored and a thousand different moods none of which would be very pleasant to be near. The thing is that none of these would neccesarily show through nakedly so they would be cloaked in kindness and therefore all the more deadly. Jeff, despite his perscription of oral sex to cure what ails me, has said that I shouldn't be in a relationship right now because I'd feel that I had to be the best at it and that's an insane viewpoint to take. I agree. But it scares me to KNOW that I might very well be the problem. Because I hate failure even while knowing that it is neccesary for growth. Because I don't like to think of myself in terms of someone who might find a great girl and totally blow it. Because it wouldn't be fair to blame it all on her but if she doesn't exist then it's easier. If I say that any potential girlfriend would likely not be good enough for me then I'm really just creating a fictitious character and blaming things on her. And that's okay, because nobody gets hurt or judged. I think. I'm not sure. This sort of parsing my thought processes really does require Jeff's assistance.

Dr. X says that he hates manufactured boy-bands and loves the beach boys. It's funny because I think that a lot of boy bands are trying to be beach boys and beetles successors. Of course the beach boys were even LESS deep on the surface than the Beetles, but I know that if you scratch away the image and get down to the song writing and some of the later work that they did have musical depth. I just find it kinda funny how two things can come from two totally different directions and end up looking similar on first glance.

Dr. X says that he senses that I think he advocates holding out for something good that may never come. I don't think that's what I meant (although I don't 100% remember because when I'm writing these I sort of just let them flow without worrying too much about it, Zen like. It's one of the reasons this is a good process for me) What I believe I meant was that I think he advocates taking a known quantity over an unknown one. Safety over risk and all that jazz. I understand now he has good reason for it.

I am of Jewish descent but of extremely nonpractising Jewish descent. I am moralistic for so many reasons it's hard to explain. Impossible really. Has to do with dad and my young life and being teased and being intelligent and being afraid and a thousand different things.

Dr. X asks me to share revelations about him from my grand mind (yeah, that WAS sarcasm) but I wonder where he wants them shared. Out here in the open of the journal? If so that's fine but I'll have to give examples and it will start mixing some of who Dr. X is into the journal. I'm probably wrong on most of my intuitions anyway. Or not.

I'll await his response before I delve.

Another little thing that I guess I should write but I feel the need to hide at the bottom of a long entry because I don't want people reading it before they get to know me at least a little, is that there is a neat little thought circle going on in my head. You see I judge people, especially female people, for their sexual history and mistakes. I know it's an untenable position but it's one I hold because.....I do...and until I jetison it I cannot start making my OWN mistakes without being a hipocrit. Maybe I hold the opinion partially because I haven't made my own mistakes. I don't know. I think it's all bound together far too tightly to easily dig into it. This is one of the judgements that I almost never allow to leak out of my brain but part of journaling is admitting the flaws that make us human. One of the reasons that I am loathe to mention this is that I know some of the people who read this have made the sorts of mistakes I tend to moralize against and I don't want them to feel judged because it ISN'T FAIR FOR ME TO BE DOING THIS.

I am faced with the double bind of being unfair or being a liar. It's an untenable position like so many others. Maybe I'm totally wrong. Maybe they won't care. Maybe they won't think less of me (which is one of the reasons I don't want to be writing this) but if they do I'm sorry and while I won't beg forgiveness I will admit that I'm wrong here.

Life and living and the mind are all quite complicated. Sometimes there is no such way as right or up.
  • Current Music
    Counting Crows

It's funny how things don't turn out like you want 'em to.

I can already tell this is going to be a very difficult trip. My mother is making itenaries and plans and they are, as usual, overblown, impractical, and INCREDIBLY stress inducing. We have very very different priorities and she thinks that mine are unimportant. She announced this morning, as if I were like 5 years old still and she had the right to set up all my activities, that we would be taking advantage of the trip to Maine as an opportunity for me to learn how to drive. I flat out said no and a fight ensued. *sigh* Doesn't she understand that I'm going back to school soon and am not interested in burning the dregs of my vacation on driving instruction from a hick? She can't fathom why I don't really seem to be concerned with learning how to drive. Doesn't she understand that it's because I have practically nowhere to drive TO? I won't use a car in the city because it's impractical and expensive (parking can cost more than cab-fare) and I'm not going to drive up to our countryhouse on my own. At least not yet. If I do go up during this next semester it will be with friends and about half of my friends do know how to drive. Plus there are added insurance costs from having a teenager drive a car etc etc.

Hee-Ann has offered to teach me how to drive and I think that's the best option out there. He's young enough to not be irritatingly stodgy and he's 28 and from Las Angeles so he's been driving for over a decade in some of the worst traffic out there.

I dunno, I sound juvenile and petty. It's really not who I am. But it is in some respects and I don't think that I can HIDE that in this journal and still grow out of it. Grrr....I really don't like the parts of myself that I've written about in these last few entries. The incompetant parts, the childish parts, the irrational parts, the BAD parts. I am putting my flaws down on paper and it's not pleasant and it makes me insecure and feel like I will drop in the opinion of anyone who reads this even though I think that by ADMITTING all this stuff I am taking an important step. It's funny how by growing I become less respectable.

Although my image is another thing I have always sought to control in one regard or another. Not physical, but intellectual and emotional. Don't care what people think...right? I do. But I guess your image is something that you can control only if you make sacrifices that just aren't worth it. If Paul or Kawah read this and think less of me so be it. If I drop in Jeff's esteem..okay. I need to learn to deal with that.

I'm still going to Maine. In the past I might not have, and I have called off trips to avoid the kind of friction that this trip will probably have, but it's time to get past all of this. I think I've grown enough to easily deal with a lot of the stuff that used to paralyze me and it's just time to put that growth into ACTION and DEAL with it. So far I've gone from excited to sad to fearful to aggravated in less than 24 hours. I'm leaving for the first leg in 2 hours, and you know what....I DO wish I knew how to drive. But I don't. And the fact of the matter is that I don't feel confidant to pass the learners permit test so that I could learn to drive up there.

You know when I look over what I've written recently it looks like I am nothing but a mess of insecurities fears and inadequacies. That's not true at all. The thing is that I think most people don't take enough of a harsh look at themselves in the mirror. Too many people are content to ignore their flaws, problems, and deep issues. I don't want to be one of those people. I don't want to be complacent with my problems. I want to be proactive and face the things that I need to face, without overwhelming myself. It's a balancing act.

But I think I'm coming off as pathetic and uncentered and basically a rotton human being right now and so I will feebly state that I don't think that's the case.

I'm so confused and conflicted right now that I can't say for SURE that it's not the case....but that's....okay.

I will try to make my next entry less muddled and more upbeat. Not for you, for me. Because I don't like myself this way, fuck everybody else.