AmeriCAN-DO Attitude

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My Own Prison

So I’m down in the dumps tonight (to say the least). Which is pretty much SOP for me every night, but tonight it hit me worse than most. I had this deep hurt in my soul and part of me wanted to lash out in anger and part of me wanted to throw up my arms in despair and another part of me wanted to cry.

A feeling finally came over me of just wanting… a hug.

Not just any hug, but a hug of comfort, one which you can only get from certain special people in your life whom you completely trust and with whom you can be completely vulnerable and not worry about what they think of you… because they don’t think anything of you at that moment, other than wanting to be there for you. This type of hug. Or the kind where you can just curl up and lay your head in her lap, completely let go of all worries and just let her hold you, as only she can.  Unfortunately,  I don’t have that type of person in my life, so… there would be no hugs.

So… I ended up posting an update to my Facebook page saying I needed a hug. This prompted a few replies, to which I replied with a short explanation as to why I was needing the hug. This then prompted a few messages, one in which advised me that I needed to stop being so hard on myself and beating myself up about things. I was about to reply to the message with my usual explanation of why I am hard on myself, and was working out the message in my mind when I came across a realization of why I have such a hard time forgiving myself…

Usually, I explain it that I can’t forgive myself, because I don’t want to become my father and I don’t want to hurt anyone like he did. So, if I don’t forgive myself, I won’t make the same mistakes and I won’t become him and end up hurting anyone.

But then a thought occurred to me. Maybe I am punishing myself, because I really want to punish my father. And maybe I don’t forgive myself, because I don’t forgive my father. But, since I have lost faith in myself and have resigned myself to the idea that I am no better than my father, I now see myself as my father. So my way of punishing my father is to punish myself. And so long as I don’t forgive my father, I won’t forgive myself. In my mind, I have made us one and the same.

So basically, I am punishing myself for both my dad’s mistakes that I don’t want to repeat and for my own mistakes I have made in my life that I don’t want to continue.

By punish, I mean that I don’t date and don’t allow myself to get close to anyone. This leaves me lonely and alone — and having nights like tonight where I just crave a hug from a special someone — but it keeps me from getting hurt or, worse, hurting someone else.

I’ve rationalized this and forced myself to accept it, but, I’m human — and a rather sensitive and emotional person, more so than the average male — and I end up having lonely, emotional nights like tonight.

The thing is though, I used to believe that I needed to be as good a man as can be and I have wanted, since I as 14 years old, to be the best husband, companion and father in order to make up for my dad’s mistakes. I figured that if I was a good person, a good, loving husband, companion and father, then it would make up for my father’s treatment of my mother and my brothers. But, now that I have resigned myself to the fact that I am not a good enough person or man worthy of marriage and family, I can no longer make up for my father’s mistakes. Therefore, I am now punishing myself, not just for my own mistakes, but also for my father’s mistakes, since I can’t fix them through my life.

Unfortunately, this realization doesn’t really help me much. Because even if I stopped punishing myself for my father’s mistakes, I still wouldn’t stop punishing myself for my own mistakes.

So I guess this really just leaves me with nothing more than a little more insight into the many walls I build around myself to form my own prison

“These walls are funny. First you hate ’em, then you get used to ’em. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them. That’s institutionalized.” — Red, The Shawshank Redeption

July 5, 2009 , 12:20AM - Posted by | Life, Love, Marriage, Morals, Relationships

1 Comment

  1. Hi

    Have you ever read Deleuze and Guattari’s ‘Anti Oedipus’? Its quite complex but really interesting, it basically takes issue with the fact that post industrial capitalism/Freud, the human being has beeen oedipalised within the triangle of ‘mommy, Daddy, Me’, which means we psychologize within this framework. Its actually quite damaging, although I guess we have all done it. Freudianism (think psychoanalysis – really big in America) has become like a new religion, but really it makes people sick…it reinforces their dependency on the order of things as they stand.

    But I know exactly where you are coming from when you say you don’t allow yourself to get close to anyone. I recently split with a long distance lover because basically I never see him, and when we do talk he always seems to be putting me down, on top of which he doesn’t trust me. So in addition to these issues, I feel lonely and need him to be here and cuddle me when I’m low, and I become aggressive through sheer frustration, which he doesn’t seem to understand.

    Everyone is institutionalised. Thats a fact.

    But needing a hug is what makes us human.

    I need one too.


    Comment by seeker | July 5, 2009 , 5:01AM

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