Ignore the video, it is a sucky thing, the track is
what I'm interested in.
When I was thirteen, before I started my GCSEs, I remember a journey back home. The whole family was in the car, we'd been shopping or something, it wasn't yet the summer holidays. I'd been keeping a diary on and off and had been down and melancholy for much of the summer so far. One of my friends knew someone whose parents had just split up. There was the standard teenage drama studio amongst those that I knew. But the bullying had abated, the two responsible had backed off for whatever reason, and so I was in a safer place than usual.
I was musing in the back seat, as usual, and I came to the conclusion that maybe things weren't so bad after all. Here I was, thought I, being all down and teenage depressed and I had loads of things going for me. My GCSEs were going to start soon, and I had chosen to ditch subjects like Technology and stuff that I did not enjoy in favour of History and Latin and German and Art. My parents were together, they didn't argue much, and they seemed to love one another. Sure, I was single, but so were most thirteen year olds, my younger brother notwithstanding, and I was enjoying things generally. Whatever the reason the bullies had backed off and I seemed to have friends at school. It is a very clear memory. I thanked God that things were going well and apologised for being so negative. I intended to have a new start. It would have been around June.
By August my father had left, having announced his affair to my brother and I after getting back from a holiday in Luxembourg during which my father's behaviour had become increasingly erratic. My mother started a campaign of emotional blackmail about how my brother and I dealt with my father that neither of us were particularly well equipped to deal with: shouting and screaming if he was late bringting us back; thorwing out toys and all sorts of stuff. We were encouraged to hate the woman that my father had left to be with, obviously, but in sly and carefully planned ways. And my mother used me as a confidante - as support for her own inadequate coping strategies. We would talk late into the night, with increasing regularity, and I was asked to take on a whole host of extra duties - those that were previously done by my father.
|I have played this very infrequently. About twice with|
family members. I still love it.
In Christmas of that year I finally got Risk, a game I had coveted since I was ten, but no one would play it after my father joined us at my mother's parent's house for a game. The game became tainted. My mother would pooh-pooh my prediliction for such games and pastimes and my friends, having 'done' the whole Risk thing years before, were not really up for it. In terms of females, I was now worried that I would be like my father (my mother would tell me things that he had done and would then comment in other areas about how like my father I was - I think she meant it as a compliment, but it scared me). Therefore, I was always concerned that I would end any relationship before it had even become one.
I didn't ask girls out - I could already see what was likely to happen and knew that most relationships begun between the ages of fourteen and eighteen were doomed to failure, I didn't want to be responsible for that kind of emotional upheaval like my father had been. He had had six affirs, I was informed, that my mother knew of. He had suggested that she sleep with our next door neighbour while he watched. My mother kept babydoll nighties for him. He had impugned her abilities in bed, she had impugned his. Sex had been withheld by both sides and used as a weapon for years before my father had left, so I was told. My mother delighted in telling me about the intellectual battles and the argument she had 'won' by pronouncing that my father had only ever given her two things, he of course expected them to be my brother and I. My mother's eyes had danced as she explained that she had pulled that rug out from under him in a sudden moment of genius: "Heartache and athlete's foot". As rejoinders go, it's hard not to admire the mastery of it, but on another level it told me that my brother and I were pawns in a game bigger than us.
Life generally became a bit harder. Not financially, my father is a good man and a man of conscience, notwithstanding his actual affair, he would never let any of us go without. I can relate, I have the same impulses that he does. No, as father-stand-in I was expected to shoulder some of my moher's emotional burden but I was still her son. As the nearest thing she had to my father, looking like him and having the same sort of impulses, she used me to vent frustration and anger. I was put down in public, small things, and told off for boasting or being too proud of myself in private. Achievements at school were congratulated, but in private I was reminded that these things were nothing special - she didn't mean to do it like that, I don't want to paint a picture of some evil woman, she wasn't, but this was how they came out to me.
For my father's part, he didn't want his leaving to affect us. This meant that he withdrew from us long before he left, he had known it was coming anyway - did I mention he thought he was going to be dead by the age of forty? He left before his fortieth birthday, by about five months. He continued the withdrawal, letting us hate him and beat him with emotional sticks as big as we could wield in our youth, inexperience and naivety - this left me without anyone to bounce off. Asking my mother for relationship advice turned out, on two occasions, to be catastrophically stupid. My mother was also clueless, when I explained about one particularly embarrassing episode where I didn't notice a girl coming on to me until it was too late in Sixth Form my mother's response was "Oh thank God, I thought you were gay!". Yes, mother, that was why I had so much trouble with six girls I fancied the pants off, clearly, I was gay.
Well, that introverted little boy had grown up into a bit of an oddball, an outsider. He'd just got to the stage where he could perhaps make friends and operate more normally when this all hit. He withdrew into his shell more than before, took on more emotional baggage than he could handle, failed to cope well with the stress and ran out of people in whom to confide.
When, in my final year of University, I revealed something of my addiction to my mother (keep in mind I hadn't dressed by this point) I was in need of some conversation. Not necessarily understanding, but something. My mother's response was "I've still got those babydolls if you want one". And that was the end of the conversation. I don't think it even registered. If I were to ask her now she probably wouldn't even remember that the conversation took place. That's "so what". At precisely the point in my life when I could have dealt with support I was thrust into the role of supporter. I have never learned to be supported or to have people concerned about me.
Oh poor me. Bitch, bitch, bitch, biiiiiiiiiiitch. Bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch.
|He did, y'know, but in this case I think I am the deebel. Also, go here.|