I am to pay my respects in three more, different directions before the New Year’s season is out. Yesterday I paid respect to my parents and to their 40th Wedding Anniversary. I am happy that my parents are celebrating. I am glad they’re not dead or suffering in monumental ways. They are alive. This surprises me. The relationships we have had have never been easy. I am not a cardboard cutout, although I can stand very still like one. I have always disappointed my parents – not for any particular reasons associable with my character as such, but because I am not them. It is the separateness, the separation of identity, which has irked them. It was not supposed to have happened, as if children always remain children.
From my mother’s first panic attacks when I went alone to ruminate on life, down at the stables, to my father’s continuous howls of wounded animal aggression, the war continues for my subjugation. I have to understand it in this light, even though constant vigilance may now be partly redundant. Yet the punishments for my somehow striking forth with independence are still meted out, perhaps because this war is prosecuted quite unconsciously. I am the prodigal daughter and it would not seem right if I wasn’t actually depicted to be eating food of swine. I am invited to various celebrations, but the goal, the purpose of association has always been to exorcise the adult, though shaming, aggression, coercion, conformity and normalization. Enough of the tutt-tutting and the disregard for what I have to say! I do consider this to be parental punishment to be gender based.Babies are exploding out of bodies. I saw my brother’s wife, my other brother’s wife to be, last night. Ah but how we have all followed the conservative route, my family and extended family. The women – it is clear what their role is: pregnancy. How much unconscious pursuit and clamour must have brought about my sister’s subjugation. She has had three. One does not wish to know why, if one could know. The conversation bogs, I can’t find traction in it.There are three more celebrations, and one of them is compulsory. Justifiable excuses were not accepted. Rather, “Robert and your Mother consider it absolutely vital that you attend!” my father had intoned, with dark scowled brow, the weight of eternity clumped on his shoulders. I am to fly to Sydney with Mike, participate in such archaisms as Hens nights and Bucks nights situations. (“Mike I donate thee to this awful catastrophe for an evening!”) This is the youngest son we are celebrating. No family coercion like it was ever so exerted to bring associated siblings of mine from around the world, to attend our wedding. This is something different, something more powerfully demanding, perhaps intended as more catastrophic. Will the prodigal daughter, finally beaten into submission, finally reveal herself in this, most gory light? The results will have to be seen to be believed!
The Christians conspire. Such tendencies are shared by my sister, my parents and my parents friends, who are all inclined to actively or passively disregard my adult status. Maybe they will succeed through generic blandness and subtlety, in casting the demon of self-will out of me? Worse has been tried. A singular example: the refusal of a safe sanctuary from violent domestic outrage and religious persecution on a night when Christian conspiracy to reduce me to childlike status became more virulent. Heather’s house was not the place for me on that night, not unless I read the bible and confessed I was a sinner, so I beat it back into the night.
Malcolm and Robert. Good brothers both. I sent them both emails to inform them that my father was physically abusing my mother. I did not hear back from them on this matter, so obviously par for the course. Inevitably such behaviour is considered normal enough, at least not to deal with directly. More likely, I have been tacitly given a monstrous role, with various players or family members suggesting that I made the whole thing up. I would have had to be mad, out of my mind, spiteful – above all, a dark Jungian shadow, a projection –for me to have invented the dreadful apparition. Of course, I am not.
A few more strange conservative events and I am through the burning loops. I can, if nothing else, be sure that mystical compulsions,so prevalent within my family, have no tangible force over me.