What Family Means To Me
Aren’t I such a fuckup?
Alexander Gordon Jahans
I am 23, I have graduated university, I finally have the testosterone I have been missing all these years. I should be a man, should get a job, should at least be trying to fall in love.
I am not.
Because I am broken and I am hurt.
I have been lied to, decieved, manipulated, betrayed and terrified by the people who call themselves my parents, and now I have pushed away the one member of my family that I do care about and I am raw.
I am a man of contradictions. I am the super ego and the id. I am the morality and reason and I am the anger, passion, lust, hunger and hatred.
I have been struggling to reconcile those halves of myself for as long as I can remember and have debates about which one is the real me. The Farsh-nuke personifies the id and the Doctor personifies the super ego (though ironically probably because the Doctor has the same struggle but one side won a long time ago).
The super ego understands love from definitions in the outside world. Love is supposed to be a bond of caring and compassion, of loyality, synergy and symbiosis. I have felt this. I have felt love like this. Not romantic love but familial love. Love for pets and friends. The protective love for the sister I have now come to hurt and seen the madness of my world infect.
The Id should feel love more keenly, should understand it better but time and again that word is used to describe malevolent actions, to describe great pain. Loss of pets, friends I don’t see anymore, the sudden betrayal or terrifying anger and violence of my parents, the grief and guilt at having hurt my sister and pushed her away. The pain of knowing I can never be a father like my father.
Which leads us to the crux of the matter. I hate my father. I hate all that he has done, all that he has become, I hate how he decieves, how he hurts. Yet his wretched behaviour works. So many times I have been the good little boy and espoused reason and morality and I have been ignored and manipulated while I have watched that vile creature keep things running. The washing up gets done, loo paper gets bought, bread and ham remains in the house and every so often my mother actually does as he asks...
I don’t know how I should be a man. I don’t know how to be a 21st century man. I don’t know what job I should do, what life I want to have or what sort of person I am. I don’t know. I DO NOT KNOW. And my mother wants an answer. She is freaking the fuck out that I don’t know. I want to tell her the answer. I want to tell her I know and I’ve got everything sorted but I can’t because I don’t. Yet she needs me to have it together. She needs a magic bullet, a pill to make everything better. This is a woman whose problems are solved by Doctors and counselling and she has anxiety and depression and she needs me to be her rock but I can’t because this mess is going to take time. This is not easy or fast. But she needs an answer, she demands an answer...
So I am now my dad. I am hard and cold and pragmatic and I don’t trust anyone and I react to situations with a raised voice because sometimes, very occasionally it works...
I can’t reason with a woman I don’t trust, who criticises my morality for not validating her lies, who thinks the sensible thing to do is keep pushing and leaning against a man who has so very little to live for. A woman who kicks me when I am down. A woman who criticises me for not being more pragmatic and greedy. A woman I have tried so many times to make see sense with reason only to be shouted down.
I am doing something I don’t like, something that makes me sick, something that makes me feel like a shithead but something that works...
If she just stayed away, if I could stop her bringing her - her bullshit - to my door... I should go, go far away and never look back. I understand now why my dad is so broken and I see that it doesn’t matter what man I become I will always have issues with my mum because she’s not going to change and I can’t make her understand how what she does is troubling to me. Love is a bond tying us to each other so we can keep hurting each other until one of us leaves.
I need to leave this place, need to leave these people, need to cut them off. I am the only one cold enough to do it. Us knowing each other just results in pain. It’s matter and antimatter, two things that are dangerously reactive. Her trying to kick me out at christmas was probably the sanest she’s ever been, just happened to be damn inconveniently timed.
Incidentally it now makes sense why I have such an interest with imbalanced power dynamics in relationships. It’s like my subconscious keeps looking for a way to make my parents relationship make sense. I could go into more but even for me this is saying too much about stuff that isn’t mine to tell.
The thing is that I do want to a family, I do want to belong. That’s what I had in Wolverhampton. That’s what I have at Nine Worlds Geek Fest, like minded people who I care about and can work well with. I want that. I need that. In a sense through the magic of the internet I still have that. I am still occasionally in touch with friends from Wolverhampton and Nine Worlds Geek Fest and it means a lot.
I am not someone who needs much, if any, social interaction to survive but if I have the right kind I light up like christmass tree. You see I want to make the most of my life, I want to be the best I can be, to give back to the world in the best way I can, I want to help people and make the world a better place, leave a positive legacy behind... So when I’m with the right people, when I click, when my cog is in just the right place to make the machine of society run better, I fucking love it and I will give all I can give.
I am not working. Literally and figuratively. I don’t belong and I should. I am broken and I need to heal. I don’t have a solution, I can’t reason my way around this. I just need to get out.
To my friends, I thank you and I love you, you make me better.
To my sister, I am sorry, I am so so sorry and I hope that one day when I’ve healed we can know each other again or indeed perhaps for the first time.
To my parents, I understand and I thank you for not letting me die.
Now I am going to finish skyrim, finish this story that is in many ways a love letter to skyrim and then I’m going to apply for job seeker’s allowance, a tefl internship and volunteering because fuck it the world is a corrupt and broken place and I need out so I will play it just enough to do so and man up.