August 28th, 2000

Brown-eyed Stare

Black sheep, paradoxes, and the motivation of guilt...

I have always been the black sheep in my family. Where others seem to feel most "at home" I am still kept out, held at arms' length and kept distanced. I have been rarely, if *ever* understood, and only very recently accepted for who and what I am (and that comes in spurts, from a Mom who's been working on herself for a long, long time now). Dad *still* doesn't get it. And I'm not sure Suzan ever will.

"Oh, the fear I've known, that I might reap the praise of strangers, and end up on my own."

*My* voice, *my* thoughts and *my* perspective are important... and I never ever get any acknowledgement of that from you, Dad. That acknowledgement is something I have so much wanted from you, and yet I'm crazy if I think I'm ever gonna get it.

I'm putting my dreams on hold now, waiting to begin my new life because you might need me...and it seems that you don't even need me at all. And that really hurts - why did I even bother? I guess being the "dutiful daughter" gets no credit from you, and my neglectful, rude, abrupt sister earns your undying respect. What poignant irony. Funny how I've lived all my life surrounded by paradoxes like that.

Well, this little anomaly has run its course.

You don't need to worry about me anymore, Dad. You don't need to take care of me anymore, either. You've got way too much on your plate to try and just take care of yourself. And since my offer of support has only made me look weak in your eyes, and has only served to push you further away from me, I now give up.

And Dad, the *real* reason I don't call you is that I feel bad for *days* after I talk with you. Nothing I've done has ever been enough to please you. And even though I try to hold it together, I hear your voice and I feel guilty and selfish and stupid, even when all you talk about is yourself. And somehow, I never can understand why. I guess now is the time to stop trying.

"Fare thee well, my bright star;
I watched your taillights blaze into nothingness.
But you were long gone before I ever got to you,
Before you ever blazed past this address.
And now I think of having loved, and having lost;
You never know what it's like to never love.
Who can say what's better, and my heart's become the cost;
A mere token of a brighter jewel, sent from above.

So, fare thee well, my bright star..."

"It feels so funny to be free."

These are just some random thoughts that I've had this afternoon. Yes, my Dad called late yesterday. And, yes, he got after me again about not having a "real" job. I never manage to live up to what he thinks I should be doing, no matter what I do. And for the one big triumph I've had in the past several years, graduating from college, he couldn't muster the courage to attend; he got here, saw my mom and sister, and then called me to say he had a sinus headache, and was going to turn around and go back home. He just left a check with my sister. He didn't even attend my party, which was thrown by my friends in a beautiful old mansion. He just left the check . Heh. Just throw money at her... that's all she wants anyway.

Wrong Dad, how very incredibly wrong. And I'm done bathing in this hurt, thinking I'm doing all of this for you.

"I don't care what you say anymore, this is my life.
Go ahead with your own life; leave me alone."

Oh, how I used to sing that song... if only I could get away, and just be free… and be me. Well, I'm 31 now, and I'm "free".... but my acts are still governed by what I think my parents think and need. Or so I think.

Maybe I think too much. It makes me wonder how many decisions I've been making because I thought something else was needed/expected of me. And it's funny, because I advocate so much about "moving from your heart". And I'm too afraid of the guilt to listen to my own. Damn.

Guilt is a shitty motivator, even though it is a strong one.

More later.