Ambivalence and the Tie that Binds

The last couple of days have been defined by project "fish tank in tv" and now that it's completed, I have had the opportunity to spend some much needed time with myself. The new tank is set up, filter humming. The tv with the moving pictures is off. I have been asking myself why I've been in such a weird funk lately. I have a tendency to understate the pressure I may be under, and I suffer from the refusal to ask for help of any kind. When the pressure is manageable and I don't need any help, I get by just fine.

However, as stated in my last post, I am no longer an island. Other people have to put up with me when I am wallowing in occasional puddles of quicksand, and there are people who would help me, if they only knew how. And I have been forgetting that the first blog I ever started was not a place for me to talk about things to other people, but a place where I sorted through the magnificent clusterfuck inside my brain in an attempt to save money on therapy. Here I am with a blog and the definite need to convert thoughts to words in the only way I've ever really known how. How did I ever forget the role that writing has played in my sanity for most of my life?

I suppose I let myself believe that "my readers" don't want to read "my drivel" and I should just write when I have something brilliant to say.

I don't have anything brilliant to say. I've been living without any kind of structure for about a month now, and that stresses me right the hell out. I never get up or go to sleep at the same time. I don't eat regularly because I have no routine, and no matter what I've done during the day, I have no way of knowing whether it was the right amount of things, or too few. Basically, I need to go back to school.

But I'm stressed about going back to school. All new classes means I have learn an all new schedule, I have to make all new friends. It takes me roughly one semester to make friends, and then it's over and I'll have to make new ones. Being back in school means that I switch immediately to the opposite end of the spectrum. I will leave the house at 5:30 am and come home around 7:30 pm..... if I'm lucky, and I'll have too much work to do all the time, it'll never be enough, and I'll never have any time for leisure activities. I will struggle to make time to spend with Astasia, or, god forbid, have sex.

Then there's my dad. My father has driven my stepmother out of the province, and now is busy training my thirteen year old brother to be as abusive as he is. They live alone together in a house in a backwater shithole of a town. My father has discovered facebook, which means he has managed to find some poor girl younger than I am to agree to marry him, but she lives in the Philippines with her tiny daughter. He wants to take my brother to the Philippines with him, so they can start a new nightmare there, the four of them, in which event I'd probably never see my brother again. Since my stepmother won't sign for my brother's visa, I'm hoping my father's selfishness will win over and he'll run away to the Philippines, never to return. My brother can witness what a douche he is and we can all be free of his bullshit.

But then, that probably makes me a bad person, because my wish for myself inevitably puts a young woman and her child in harm's way. I don't know what I'm supposed to do. If I do nothing to prevent this, do I bear responsibility for all the terrible things he'll do to her? Is there even anything I can do? Does anyone know a hired gun who will work for I.O.U's?

Since christmas back in Canada, the issue of my father, how much I hate him, how much I love him, and how much I wish me and my siblings could all just be free of him has been a constant theme at the back of my mind. It reawakens questions for me about my own upbringing, and whether I can break the patterns of my origin as I build a family with Astasia. I would happily die before damaging my own family the way he has damaged us.

But then, spending time with my mom and stepdad and the fundamentalism that defines their life and therefore my relationship with them provides me with an unwelcome perspective. It was likely my father's unconventional ideas and quirky influence that enabled me to step away from religion. If that's the case, I have a lot to thank him for, don't I?

Back to the fish tank. It is complete, and it was a lot more work than I expected it to be. I began the project with gleeful abandon, having wished my whole life that I could have an opportunity to do exactly this. In the back of my mind, I remembered my father, and the gleeful abandon with which he began all of his projects.

Then the project became hard, and tedious. The tank wouldn't fit and I didn't have the right tools. Work slowed down. I wanted to call it quits, and leave the project for a time in the future when I did have the right tools, and I had more time to work at it occasionally. But in the back of my mind I remembered my father, and the many times he abandoned a project midway through. The half built vehicles in the yard. The marriage he trashed shortly after I was born.

I will never be my father. It is the mantra I have repeated to myself since the day my mother told me she was getting divorced. I will never do what he does. If he does something, I will do the opposite. I will never ever, come hell or high water, torture, apocalypse, zombies, or plastic television molding melted to my cutting wheel, never no matter what will I ever be my father.

So I kept working. I finished it. Astasia and I set it up today, filled it with water. Soon Armani will upgrade to his new snazzy digs, and he too will have something to thank my father for.

This is not the end of the story, though, because I have to ask myself if my father is still controlling me. What if, from way over in that ramshackle house in Western Canada, though I haven't spoken to him in months, he still wields power over my actions?


  1. I love you.

    You are not your father.

    And I love you.

  2. I'd love to see a photo of the Fish Tank TV. It sounds like a great idea.

  3. I admire you for what you've survived, Grasshopper. You're amazing!