Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Briefest of Updates

I called the therapist and had a very short conversation with him this morning.

Because seeing two brothers is a conflict of interest, he cannot treat me and I will have to begin sessions with someone else. My parents are currently reviewing their insurance policy to see the professionals in the area who are available to us, from which group my brother's therapist has promised to make a recommendation.

It would be very easy and very satisfying to blame all of this on them, but the sheer truth of the matter is that it's not all their fault. At least I don't think so.

The main issue that has caused me grief, the mental condition I have not yet decided to share with you, could simply be genetic. Of course, elements of it might be tied to the insecurities and second-guessing borne in my childhood through constant put-downs, but that's speculation. I would, of course, prefer that. The idea that I was somehow broken is much easier to digest than the idea that I came into the world already abnormal.

A great deal of it, though, does go to my mother and father, and that, too, must be worked through.

My father returned from Ugly State last night, and thinks his interview went well. Following an explosive argument that occupied much of Sunday afternoon, we had not exchanged any words. The barbs that flew back and forth this weekend were too venemous to permit a return to normal conversation immediately.

To give you an example of how truly acrimonious this became, there was a point when I looked at my father and told him acidly, "I will never be able to pay you back. There is nothing I could ever do to you that would be the equivalent of what you've done to me."

To my mother, I simply declared: "Fuck you, you fucking bitch."

As she jumped up and down in the foyer, hysterically screaming, "I pay the fucking mortgage!!!" I added sweetly, with the nastiest smile I could manage, "And you're still not good enough."

Then, just before leaving the house, I yelled up the stairs, "I hope Pie grows up and puts your head through a wall, because I can't."

"Since I'm not a woman," was the response I gave to my father's look of boiling rage. "Not because I actually can't."

Accordingly, it wasn't until Tuesday evening that my father and I shared any but the most customary of words. He paused in the kitchen doorway before going upstairs and turned to me.

"BB," he said, tears in his eyes. "You have no idea how much guilt I feel. It eats me alive to think about it. I know that might not mean anything to you, and you have every right to be angry, but I wanted you to know. I have not done right by you. I have said and many things, and, when I look back, I feel so bad about it."

We hugged at one point, and he said, "A lot of it has to do with my childhood, and what happened to me. I know that's not an excuse, but that's part of it. Looking back, I was more like my dad than I ever wanted to be. I was...I did the exact same thing to you."

I told him I shouldn't have blown up the way I did. I love him and he loves me, and somewhere in there my mother and I love each other, too. It's all very confused and twisted, though, torn by the awful history and the memories that can never go away, by the fact that their faces are the same faces that screamed hurtful words and burned red with psychotic anger for so many years.

What do I do now? Do I hold a penitent man hostage to the past? I guess I just work on myself. This really is a bad situation.

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