Sam (jevim) wrote,

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How My Dad Damaged Me

I am set adrift on a sea of emotions that I cannot navigate. Uncertain of the currents, unsure of the wind, the only guarantee is that the heat of my thoughts is beating down on me.

Where the voyage started, it is hard to tell. For a long time, the clouds in the sky have prevented me from seeing the journey that I am on. My attention wandered elsewhere, forgetting that I am adrift on this sea. My thoughts just accepted the situation, and proceeded from that point. But with the clouds burned away by my thoughts, I question the entire situation of me.

I look around, and I can see and feel the echos of my friends, yet at this moment I feel solitary and alone. I am surrounded by people, yet so alone. My thoughts have me cornered, yelling at me, directing me, pushing me somewhere.

I have been on this voyage since high school, at least. A long time ago, I developed the belief that I cannot have fun, that having fun just leads to pain. That it is better for me to accept where I am, and tolerate it. Easier to accept than to desire better.

It is why, despite my desire for something more, nothing has really changed for me in over 10 years. I still fear the water, and cannot leave my small raft. I have no sail nor oar, and my own arms feel ineffectual against the strong currents of the sea. The harder I paddle, the faster the current takes me in the other direction.

I cannot do anything for myself. If the goal is to have fun, I have a problem doing it. Yet I give freely of my assistance to others. The best I could do to enjoy myself was to help others, and through them gain some happiness. I am at my best, and most confident, when I am helping my friends and loved ones.

My thoughts scream at me to hide inside a shell again, to drift away from everything and just accept that happiness, fun, and enjoyment are things that I have not had in life and that I will not have in life. That is about the only lesson I learned from my father, but he taught that lesson so very well I believe.

I can't get past it. I can't turn it off. I just want to relax and enjoy something. But I can't really do that, unless I'm doing something for someone.

When I was a kid, my dad always--always--had work for me to do. If I was just doing something "for me", I had to stop doing it and do something for him. At least, this is the part that I remember and recall. But if I was doing something for someone else, helping someone out, then I was allowed to do that. But I couldn't just say "I want to play" or "I don't want to do that now, how about later."

But it always felt like, if I was just sitting around doing nothing--not actively doing anything that I enjoyed doing--my dad seemed to not have anything for me to do. I could slink away into the corner, be quite, find something boring to occupy myself with, and I would escape from my Dad's plans for my labor.

The biggest current effect of this is that I really can't do something "for me". I can do something to learn, or do something for someone else, but when it comes to doing to "for me", I can't deal with it. I just want to go hide.

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