I remember my dad complaining at every meal when I was a kid about how picky an eater I was. How no one else was like this about food. How I didn't have a right to be this way. Every meal for years and years until I became an adult. And realized that not only am I not a very picky eater I wasn't even really a picky kid. And yeah, a lot of people are really weird about food oh and HI my dad is totally a fucking picky eater.
I remember falling and hurting myself and there he would be--telling me to toughen up, telling me how weak I was, complaining about how I didn't have any pain tolerance. I believed that until I was in labor--contorting myself in crazy ways for hours and hours and HOURS until the nurse confessed to me that most people quit after ten minutes because it hurt so much.
I remember him telling me how lazy I was, how I didn't know what hard work even felt like. And this one I internalized. I still sometimes feel like the laziest person around. I became a workaholic in the name of not being lazy. I don't know how to shake this even now.
I would guess that my father would never dream that those words would stick with me this way. He isn't a monster, he was just trying to prepare me for the world. If there was a way to know what words would worm their way into a child's lizard brain I am sure every parent would like that information. But those words are the ones I remember and though I haven't been a child for a long long time, they are the ones I hear in my head. The ones I can't shake.
I am not working full time. I am still trying to figure out whether I should go to school or not. I am doing 10-15 massages a week (20 is full time) and it is really hard. I feel exposed. And afraid. Last night J said something about how he didn't want me to be a stay-at-home-mom (which I don't want that either) and I started panicking that he thought I was lazy and a burden and gah gah gah. The anxiety and the fear.
I wonder how I am fucking up my daughter. I am probably giving her a complex because I keep trying to get her to pronounce DOG correctly--in 2039 she will be blogging about how she tries not to say words with the letter D because her mother was so crazy. I digress.
It's not my father's fault I feel this way--I just can't seem to get rid of the guy in my head. He isn't screaming or lighting things on fire. He just sits in a wingback chair--smoking all day long and usually drinking cognac--and says things softly. In a deadly way that I know is true. Things like "you don't really think that you can do that do you?" or "it's a shame how you have let yourself go . . .even further." There is no way to make him stop, getting angry only makes him stronger, move convincing. I am sure we all have that voice in our heads--mine just parts his hair on the side and smokes a pipe. I wish I could make him pipe down for a while, for five minutes. I wonder what it would be like to not hear him nagging me. I wonder if I could figure out what I want, what I dream of, if he didn't crush anything more complex than a piece of toast before I can even think it.
He's out tonight. He is talking me out of going to school. He has me opening up the browser to apply for jobs at McDonalds to earn my keep. He is doubt and fear and everything that deep down I know is wrong with me. I think to move forward I am going to have to figure out how to move him the fuck out.