how to trick yourself into telling the truth, part two.

This morning I got a case of the fuckits. (A marvelous phrase popularized by Dana Carvey. Did not think he was all that great until I saw "Squatting Monkeys Tell No Lies." Truly hilarious.)

It is my last day of work at this restaurant. No more constant low-grade panic from hosts of things not done or not doable. No more asking the kitchen to make me lunch like the other managers and having them forget. No more having hours cut back or extended based upon the fickle needs of the restaurant. No more everybody telling me I need to dress better, quit smoking and make my boyfriend get a job. No more lady boss calling up her dad's work and telling them I'd make a good receptionist, that I'd be good with patients because I'm "a very gentle person."

No interviews lined up as yet, either. Ater those first couple of enterprising days I haven't actually sent out any more. I think on some level I won't truly believe I have escaped this place until I leave today.

I'm not sure why Mom wanted me to read Aunt Crete's Emancipation. This is a Grace Livingston Hill novel about a Cinderella-esque maiden aunt, a kind soul whose sister and niece aspire to social climbing and snobbery. In that novel I saw a lot of how Mom seems to me to see herself: longsuffering, compassionate and much put-upon. I don't think that's the whole story, though; it might also be meant as an encouragement in light of my job situation. Happy thought. I have a bad history with "getting the message" when someone gives me a novel to read with an ulterior motive. If it's just something to read for funsies, no problem. But if they are trying to tell me something with it I usually don't get it until it's way too late and they've practically given up trying to tell me.

Sometimes, though, I'll read something that does cut me to the quick. And it's usually something I picked out myself. Case in point, The Wizard of London.

Wow. Two phone lines rang and somebody came over to ask me to unlock the storage room door as soon as I typed that. Must be what this blog post is really about. Interrupting Chao never interrupts anything unimportant.

More interrupting. Damn.

There was the conversation I had with my sisters about Mom over the weekend. Plus the scene in the abovementioned book where the one character has to forgive another character who isn't sorry. And then yesterday my Tori Amos Pandora channel plays Playboy Mommy, which has been stuck in my head on and off ever since. No matter what one's problems with one's mother may be, "Don't judge me so harsh, little girl" is always on-topic.

So it's time for me to forgive Mom. For whatever.

Dad's too dead to react to it in whatever way I knew he was going to have reacted that made me not want to try it. And he never really did, while I was watching anyway, and I saw how it hurt him not to be able to forgive her. Just couldn't wrap his mind around how her mind works. Well, I've got a ton of her brain chemistry and I know what it feels like to have a memory without a time track and to always be afraid of the little feelings you sense in the back of people's minds but can't talk to them about. That's why I've never wanted to cut Mom any slack. Because we're so similar.

Plus, I've held onto this anger for so long the force of habit makes it hard to let go. First it was anger at both of them. Then Mom made me realize how horrible and scary and unbearable Dad really was, and it was anger at him. Then Dad made me realize how horrible and scary and unbearable Mom really was, and it was anger at her. And all the time it was anger at myself for being duped and feeling like I didn't have a choice about it, that to feel anything meant being duped and used. That to be seen as valuable, as a person whose opinion held weight, also meant being duped and used.

I wonder if that is part of what's behind my fear of prettiness and assertiveness. That I don't want people to respect me because then whatever power games are being played, wherever I am, I will have no choice but to take part in them.

Knowing my parents the way I do now lets me imagine in some detail what it was like at the beginning of their relationship, how things went wrong, what they thought and felt about it etc. Nobody was a little angel or a little devil; they both tried really hard in the ways they knew how. They fell short due, I think, to not having cleaned up their relationships with themselves. Each being led out of reality or made miserable by things the other couldn't help with. Dog knows (and Dave knows, alas) how frustrating it can be when your partner is made miserable by something that is literally not explainable. Arising from the internal imbalance of assumptions and emotional forces in the personality.

But the thing I need to be beating myself upside the skull with is this. As long as you don't forgive a wrong done you, you remain defeated by it. You believe that the person (or thing within a person, or situation in which a person acted) is more powerful than you, is going to come and hurt you again in just the same way, and that you need to hold on to the hurt and resentment so that you can use them as a shield against the dreaded Next Time.

Therein lie two of my big problems, right there, rooted in unforgiveness: Panic and Dread. Two dreams I've had now with similar structure let me know just what I'm dealing with here.

First one (about Panic): I saw an ant scuttling across the floor of a room. Blam! I smashed and killed it. Went over to look--it was still antlike, but enormous, the size of a terrier, and like an Iz it had an eyeless head with wicked pointy sharp white teeth. It was dead, but I felt afraid to touch it because its teeth were still sharp. Then Stewie Griffin came up, took the ant's head, said something to the effect of "Victory is mine!" and made a necklace out of the head and wore it under his cloak like some sort of cool dark wizard.

Second one (about Dread): I was following around Eric Cartman. He was ordering people around and generally being a bastard. He took away somebody else's caviar and crackers and sat down next to a swimming pool. At that point I was no longer following, but was him. We looked at the container of caviar (crappy plastic container like the ones you get spinach dip in at the grocery store), and it roiled and swirled like something was going on in there. We picked up the cracker anyway to try to eat some, and this little octopus emerges. It was about the size of the ones you get in Tom Yum soup, but with features like a regular huge octopus, and it moved fast. It grabbed my/Cartman's face and pulled it down into the dish of caviar, while we were struggling and swearing in typical Cartman fashion.

So, to sum up. Panic I'm kind of getting to the point where I have it under control, but Dread still makes me look and/or feel like an asshole. Must forgive more, and be better and wiser. Must not be stupid cartoon sociopathic child. Must be me instead.