No, i'm not a shrink, nor seeing one. But a few days ago, i did seriously consider finding me an empathetic stranger whom i could spill my guts to. I was willing to do the whole "lie on the couch and tell me why you hate your mother" routine, if i could be guaranteed the answer to everything and everything (no, it's not 42) about my world and why i feel i'm messed up. I ultimately didn't find the shrink, but i did find a friend who gave me an assignment:
Question: "Write a letter to your father which you will never mail."
I wish i knew you. I wish you knew me. I wish that when we talked, i felt that you were family, and not just some stranger on the other end of the line that i'm paying lip-service to. I wish i could talk to you about the boys in my life, and be able to trust what you say because you have lived an honorable life. I wish you were the person i would consider calling if i was in trouble, and not scroll down my phone list to find a friend. I wish i could believe in you and not always feel that our interactions are a negotiation of truth. I wish i could explain the feeling of loss i felt when you walked out of my life with a "see you later". I wish i could explain the betrayal i felt when you blamed me for choosing my mother, and thus 'becoming' my mother. I wish i belonged somewhere, to someone, to something solid, enduring, and not be the footloose nomad who was a child of the world. I wish i felt unadulterated joy when i knew that "dad" was coming to visit. I wish i didn't feel indifferent to you.
"Write a letter to your mother which she will never read."
I wish you would let me go. Not make me the receptacle of your joys and sorrows, not make me feel like the one who has to make up for all the wrongs done to you by your mother, your brother, your husbands, your son, your friends, etc. I don't want to be the de-facto peace keeper of the family, i don't want to be the soothing voice of reason when all about me are losing their heads, i don't want to be made to feel guilty for not calling 'because you know i'll worry' (don't worry.) or not spending enough time with you when you visit (nothing is enough). I wish you wouldn't be so verbal about all your stresses because I tend to absorb your anguish, and it pisses me off that you couldn't find someone your own age to do this with. I wish between you and B, both of you could have taught me the basics of having a normal relationship, instead of haranguing me with "what's happening with your love life?" I wish i didn't have to bear the cross of the 'one good thing' in your life, paraded in front of all. I wish i didn't have to be your knight in shining armour.
Now for the facts of the case:
A long time ago i had written something down in this very blog. At that time, it was about getting over a heartbreak, but the underlying emotion is the same. I have a choice - either blame my parents for everything wrong with me or accept that they're regular people just doing the best they can. The former leads me to a painful shut down of systems, wailing about the injustice of it all, while the latter leads me to the recognition of my parents as people and taking responsibility for how i let them affect me... in short, it leads me to adulthood.
Growing up is overrated.