Boo,,,

Dec. 18th, 2008 07:46 pm
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Feels like it's been ages since I've said anything about myself on here. Some of that has been holding stuff inside. I've been in retreat mode for ages, and in some ways, I'm always in retreat mode.

Someone very dear to me once cited my insecurity, my timidness as a reason to like me, a strength. And I don't think it is. (I suspect that person's opinion has probably been revised now .. I'm actually too timid to find out.) I'd say my tendency to run and hide, to not actually articulate what I want (leading to a place where I don't know even know what I want) is my greatest weakness. Pretty much every stupid thing I do comes from that. Comes from an eagerness to please.

I think about Ricky Gervais's two TV characters. David Brent from the Office wants to be liked -- it's his primary goal. And he's a monstrous person. On the other hand, his Andy Millman from Extras is far more openly sarcastic and confident, and yet he's a more likeable person.


All of which is vague and whiny, and none of this is as frankly honest, interesting and soulful as what my friend Diresquirrel wrote in his blog recently.

Oh well, I guess that's because my creative side has been channelled into thinking about tournaments, necklaces, carts, manacles and vassals.

Allen

Date: 2008-12-20 01:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] diresquirrel.livejournal.com
I've been thinking about it and I've been thinking about what other people have said about childhood and stuff. I think this "people pleasing" thing is a survival mechanism from childhood. I woke up with some really bad dreams the other night. I was thinking about blogging about them. They were about this stuff.

When we're children, we learn certain defensive behaviours. This fear of rocking the boat is one of them.

It's extremely difficult for me to confront people too. Extremely difficult. Even in the most stupid, small things. It's especially difficult when the only person who can gain from it is myself. Which is another survival trait. As a child you learn to not protect your own interests, because you want to pick your fights and only put your energy into stuff which directly threatens you.

So when parental figures or authority figures deny affection, ignore you, or say "you're nothing special" you don't complain because you've already learned that there are dire consquences to that. It's not a fight worth fighting. This too means that blows to your self esteem are just absorbed. It's more about survival. Lay low. Distance yourself from your emotions. Don't get your hopes up. Let people walk all over you. Learn to appreciate what little you have. At least things are not as bad as if you fought back. And you're USED to getting hurt. It's NORMAL. It's HOME... of sorts. You'd have to re-learn your role in society if you weren't quietly being hurt all the time. Drop yourself in a supportive, loving environment and you'll be so maladjusted that you won't even know how to answer when somebody says something supportive like "Wow, good job" or "I really enjoy spending time with you".

Somehow I think the trick is to recognize, forgive ourselves for our screwed up behaviours and re-learn what we picked up as children. We'll never be "normal" but self-destructive behaviours should be continuously correctable and nothing to be embarassed about.

I still think you need to get your driver's license :-) It's a right of passage thing in Canadian society which puts you on equal ground with a lot of people around you. It forces a very small amount of assertiveness and directly teaches that failing to assert yourself can really hurt other people.

Date: 2008-12-23 01:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] puckrobin.livejournal.com
The thing that scarred me the most as a child -- or at least the thing that scarred me the most that I'm not still repressing -- was the way my parents would talk about me in the third person when I was right there. "What's wrong with him?" "He's overtired, isn't he?"

And I caught my dad, his new wife and my half-sister doing it to my half-brother, but only about twenty times worse than dad ever did that to me. I listened in a restaurant as they all pontificated "God, he's annoying. He's just terrible." And so on, as if my half brother is somehow deaf. And took my dad aside and called him on his deplorable behaviour. He wasn't aware he was doing it. I doubt he'll be able to curb those tendencies much.

I still make the same mistakes time and again, despite knowing better. Still not content to burn bridges, I'm in the habit of blowing up bridges while still standing on them. I'd say sometimes that it's the only thing that forces me to move, but I suspect that's mistaking a character flaw for design.

But as you say, we all do make mistakes.

And yes, you're right about driving and God knows I've been berated enough times about that. I guess I should stop procrastinating about getting my eyes checked at first.

Thinking over the past six months or though, I think I made some very necessary mistakes. Necessary for me, of course. I suspect others might not see the necessity of them. I had new experiences, got some comfort, saw my options, and had a chance to assess what I really want.

And I realized that the person who texted me that I had chosen fantasy over reality was not correctly describing things -- just assigning elements of my life to pre-conceived patterns. Not entirely wrong, but not entirely accurate either.

Of course, if I were a better person, I'd have gained that knowledge in a far less asinine way, but then I probably wouldn't have needed the experience to begin with.

Date: 2008-12-23 09:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] diresquirrel.livejournal.com
But it must be wicked-hard to say that to your father. I mean, if you were saying it to anyone else, sure, easy, but given you went through it and you're so emotionally invested in saying it, that couldn't have been easy.

As long as your half-siblings know you exist and that you're sane (no, really), it might make a big difference for them.

Don't be hard on yourself. I don't mean to berate you about the license thing, I'm just saying that I was surprised at how it forced me to have a different perspective on people in the city.

I wish it could have ended differently for the girl at the other end of the text. It's kinda sad. That damned theatre stuff comes into it and I don't have a clue. It's not about relationships and it's not about money, but it's about the theatre stuff.

Date: 2008-12-23 12:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] puckrobin.livejournal.com
You're not the one who berates about the licence (a word I have to spell the American way at work, much like cheque - I must not let this corrupt my natural spelling). But you're both right.

And it wasn't anyone personally involved who made the fantasy over reality remark. A friend who was understandably concerned said it, and the point wasn't entirely wrong, but it implies that one experience is more valid than another just because it's closer to the norm. And it also wrongly implies that there isn't an element of fantasy, self-deception in "reality".

And yes, art did play a major role in my choices.

The theatre is a magical place.

And I was really worried about telling my dad what I thought. He doesn't take that stuff well, but he had no idea that he was doing it. So, it did affect him.

It doesn't surprise me - I remember once when he destroyed my computer room. When he was literally (and I do mean literally - not figuratively) going to throw a monitor at me. A few hours later, he surveyed the damage and said "I don't remember doing this."

My curse is that I do remember when I've been a jerk. It must be nice to be so forgetful.

I still wish I could encourage my half-siblings to read. I've been able to read since I was three, and I can't imagine not being able to. TV just isn't the same.

That's the thing I love about theatre and comics too. As artforms, they require something from the audience. Like the production of A Christmas Carol I saw - as theatre in the round, there wasn't the ability to create elaborate set changes. There was barely any set - a long table they brought on sometimes, some Christmas decorations for the past scenes. But the scenes existed in my head. I helped create them. In comics, I supply the movement, the progression of the story. In books, the sounds, the sights - all of it imagined by me. As much as I love some TV shows, everything is just thrown at you. Oddly, I think film is a bit more engaging perhaps because you're sharing in the vibe of a live audience. (Even if some of them snore, as when I saw Sound of Music the other day).

Allen

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