Friday, November 26, 2010

Demented bankrupt teen-aged amputee zombies

Day 06→ Something you hope you never have to do.

For whatever reason, this one has taken me a million attempts to write. There are a lot of things I am not endlessly thrilled at the prospect of facing, but in every struggle there is a gift of some sort, so I have been struggling with how to answer this. Every fucked up thing I have faced has taught me incredibly important things that I very well may not have learned any either way, whether I realized it at the time or not.

So...The first things that come to my mind when I think of things that would top the list of "Damn, that would really suck out loud..." are, in no particular order:
- Facing dementia, in myself or anyone I love
- burying a child, or having a child face difficulties I am powerless to change
- bankruptcy
- having to repeat ANY part of being a teenager
- paralysis or limb amputation

Dementia, bankruptcy, paralysis, and amputation are all on the list for basically the same reason. Immediate association in my mind with a feeling of helplessness. Dementia makes me think of being a prisoner in my own mind, or watching someone that I love fade away right in front of my eyes. One of the most heartbreaking things I have ever seen is an elderly couple in which one partner has severe dementia and the other has become the doting caretaker. Now THAT is unconditional love.

Losing a child or being unable to ease whatever pain, be it physical or mental, that they may be going through, invokes a similarly helpless feeling. The best I could hope to do in that kind of a situation (the latter, obviously) is make sure that my child knows how much I love them, and that they have my unwavering support.

When I was a teenager, I was a fucking lunatic. Everyone is. Some more than others, of course. It is just so funny to think about now. Everyone tells you that you are thinking irrationally, things will seem different when you are older, this or that isn't the end of the world....and all it does is piss you off. Every teenager I have ever met thinks that they are incredibly mature for their age (even if you are, there are still things that make you distinctly teen-aged), and of course that they are ready to be doing things that are not appropriate for them to be doing. They think they know everything, do not need advice from anyone, and are indestructible. I was so heavily impacted by things that were going on around me. It all seemed like such a big deal. Not only that, but I was certain that the way I was thinking was totally rational, and couldn't understand why someone would be questioning me. After all, I was very mature for my age. Again, teenagers are fucking insane. I say this with love. It took me a while to look back and say "Wow...I was crazy," and by NO means am I claiming that I magically stopped being a loon when I hit twenty. However, I would certainly like to think I am at least slightly less out of my tree than I was at, ohh, say, fifteen. Otherwise I should probably be locked up.

1 comment:

  1. It is amazing to think that, for all the reasons we give for why we strive for the things we do, we are essentially motivated by the same things. Fear of helplessness. Being at the mercy of others and not being in control of our own situation. The truth is that we don't really control as much in our lives as we like to think we do. It is only by the vertue of some shallow success, at this thing that we call life, that we delude ourselves into thinking that we know what we are doing and thus can control our destiny.

    To be anything less than a functionally self-sufficient person somehow makes us worthless. We have become a society so hellbent on maintaining an image of success that we have lost sight of our innate value. Success or failure, worthy or unworthy and nothing in between. What went wrong. It seems that it has become a mortal sin to need the help of others. So much so that some people would rather end their lives then endure the shame of asking for help.

    I can defiantly relate to your fear of helplessness. Even thinking about the idea of being dependent on others makes me anxious. It's very unsettling. I have no faith in the professed good intentions of others. For all their talk you would think that they would have the worlds problems wrapped-up. I know from experience that they are full of shit. I could never trust another person with my welfare.

    On a more buoyant note. It is good to see that your twenties has put your teen years into perspective. Apparently even in our forties we still have a lot to learn and some growing up to do.