Thursday, October 20, 2005

You cut me and then blame me for bleeding

This is gonna be one of those rather personal and emotional entries. So I have given you fair warning.
Battling depression is tough.
Probably just as tough as my having to survive everything that has created the depression.
So this is what is sort of going on at the moment in my head and it seems that I can not get my head around it.
I had a session with my therapist where we discussed the film "A History of Violence." Now I was very eager to see this film becuase the trailer led me to think that the content would be different, but much like the remake of Amytiville I was not prepared for what I saw.
The film deals with a man who is possibly someone else, this someone else is a very violent mobster who is infamous for his killing abilities and the creativity used there.
The film is excellent, not overly violent, incredible acting and was shot in the small town of Millbrook which my father used to drag me to all the time as a youth because there was a tractor dealer there who he really liked. So I am quite familiar with the town, seeing it on the screen was kind of creepy.
But the thing that I found the most creepy was the allegory that the film created. That someone who is violent can turn it on and off, that they can appear lucid and normal until something sets them off and then they become vicious and predatory. In terms of this film it is a survival tactic, but within the film the fathers actions disrupt how the family functions and in the end everyone is so afraid of the father that they simply have no choice but to continue behaving in a manner that will hopefully stop from setting him off again.
This was shocking for me. This was my childhood and my relationship layed out with my father in a brillaint metaphor that totally caught me off guard. I became shell shocked from the film.
I have never been able to understand the logic behind the abuser in transfering their actions onto the victim. My father is an excellent example of this - the entire "you made me do it", "she was asking for it" mentality is his thing. To this day he denies that the violence occurred and that we are making it up to vilify him. I don't know what it is that he thinks we are so embittered about that we are out to get him, but I guess if I was someone who had behaved like my father I would want to pretend that I had not so I would be able to live with myself. I guess it is a survival tactic but it still pisses me off.
I had a conversation with my father last week (against my will, he answered the phone and asked me about my job) and in it he refused to actually admit that he had no idea what a librarian did, so the conversation was stilted and he changed the topic as fast as he could. I took this to be some sort of break through with him, that maybe he was accepting me for who I am. Becuase as much as I hate him, I still want him to love me.
Then I changed my mind. I realised that this was not anything to do with me, but the fact that I have acheived success. I am a librarian who is second in command in my library and I am the head of my department. I made the deans list both years in school and am now making decent money - so now I am something he can talk to his friends about.
In high school and my undergrad his attitude toward me was to always tell me that I was a complete screw up, that I would never suceed and that I should just give up. I am pretty certain that this was because he was jealous of me and that he wanted me to take over the farm, but could not bring himself to actually show he cared, he had to do it by being mean. This is the same as how he would tell me I was fat whenever I became thinner than him, he wanted me to feel bad about himself so that he could feel better about him - very high school of him.
The thing that threw me about this was when my Doctor asked me if my father could ever win. Would I ever be able to just see his actions as not having any negative implications and my answer was "No" My father has earned my distrust and my hatred and as much as I want to let go of it I am not ready because it is the one thing that keeps us together, if I stop hating him I have nothing for him.
Sooooo, what do I do with this? I don't know. It is progress, but at the same time all it does is confirm that my parents and I speak completely different languages and that we are unable to communicate in any fashion.


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