I don’t make NY Resolutions, so this is not going to be about that. Instead, this is going to be about…well, you’ll see.
As I was driving back from the airport to my house, I felt some relief to be getting away from my family and the pernicious insidiousness of Taiwanese beliefs about women, family, etc. One thing my therapist commented on before I went on my trip was that the culture clash of family first v. independence was something I would have to deal with now. She said it much more eloquently, but it’s what she meant.
Now, I am not saying that putting family first is an inherently-dysfunctional thing, any more than I am touting the superiority of rugged individuality. I think both have their pluses and their minuses. What I am saying is that when you skew crazily to either side, then there’s a problem. In my case, in my family, the boundaries between each person are nonexistent. What I want isn’t a factor at all. It’s not that my parents don’t care what I want or think–they simply don’t realize that I could possibly think or want something other than what they think I want.
I have written in the past that my father is a narcissist, so the fact that he can’t fathom a me outside of him doesn’t surprise me. However, the realization that my mother is just as much a narcissist in some ways is really bothersome to me. I have spent much of my life grappling with issues with my mother (I gave up my father as a lost cause many years ago), and this new revelation throws things in a different light. In addition, her ability at revisionist history is comparable to that of a current GOP congressperson, which is really disturbing.
Because of her latter capability (she firmly believes that she and I were really close when I was a teenager), everything she says about my past is now suspect as well. I feel as if the sands are shifting under my feet. What really happened in my childhood?
There is one person who knows and who has a good memory: My brother. Yet, I hesitate asking him what he remembers from our childhood. It’s another unspoken taboo as he didn’t have a very cheery childhood, either. My father used to beat him (as per old customs) until my mom made him stop–or so my mother says. Then (again, according to my mother), my dad washed his hands of all disciplining thereafter.
I have heard this story since I was a kid, and it makes me so angry now. If it’s true, then that means that my mother stood up for my brother, but not for me. In fact, she’s never stood up for me in relation with my father. She takes his side and downplays any beefs I have with him. As I have written about before, when I confronted the family about my father’s abuse so many years ago, the first thing my mom said was, “It can’t be true. If it’s true, then I’ll have to leave him.”
Oh, in addition, she has a habit of forgetting that she says these kind of things. And, a few years after I told her I was bi (to which she said, “If that’s acceptable, what next, bestiality?”), I mentioned something about a woman, and she said, “Oh, you still like women?” She tries to bend reality to her liking and ignores all the parts she doesn’t like.
Anyway, this is a new year. Funny, it feels a lot like the old one, but a new one, it is. I made it back from Taiwan barely in one piece (though my mind is still fragmented, and my sleep schedule is more fucked than usual), and now it’s time to look to the future and what I hope to accomplish this year.
Which depresses the hell out of me. So, first up, my fantasy list of all the things I want to accomplish this year.
- Lose 100 pounds
- Become self-supporting and self-sufficient
- Buy my own house
- Get back into theater
- Become a published author
- Get my online literary mag up and running
- Get laid
- Start playing the cello again
- Finish the long form in taiji and start pushing hands
- Start dating
Since I am CDO, I’m limiting myself to 10 for 2010. Yes, I know the list is unreasonable. That’s kind of the point. I wanted to lay it down and see exactly how far I have to go.
The result: Depressingly far. When I look at the big picture, I am overwhelmed. Objectively, finishing the long form in taiji this year is doable. Taking up the cello again is doable. God, I miss playing. I don’t miss practicing or the pressure of performing, but I do miss playing the cello. What a beautiful instrument.
The rest will take lots of psychological fortitude as well as sheer determination. I am lazy by nature when facing things I don’t have to do and that are hard for me to do. I tend to get overwhelmed by the big picture. I know the answer is to break down each goal into smaller, reasonable steps, but that’s hard for me to do as well.
I am sad, cranky, depressed, and in self-hatred mode upon my return to the States. My mom emailed me that I made a couple errors in her manuscript, which means I’m not done with it yet. Plus, she still wants to make changes, which is up to the editor, but if he says yes, then that means more work for me.
The trip to Taiwan was intense. During the last two weeks (and about a month before), I was so focused on surviving the trip, I pretty much put the rest of my life on hold. Now that I’m back, all the shit I shoved to the background is pushing forward once again. On top of all that, I am still struggling with the utter worthlessness I felt while being with my family. It’s hard for me to think I matter after two weeks in which I did not.
The worst thing about being with my family is that I lose ground every time I spend an appreciable amount of time with them. They have me doubting myself and everything I am. It’s not intentional, but it’s the end result. By the end of the trip, I was more suicidal than I have been in years.
Anyway, I am done with today’s entry. At some point, I will write a more reasonable list of goals for this year. Maybe.
P.S. To justify the Alan Rickman category tag, which I haven’t used in a while, this is the year that I make my fantasy of Alan Rickman, chocolate, pizza, handcuffs, and a blindfold come true.