The hardest thing for me is to be the football. (And, by football, I mean in the Eurpoean sense as a round soccer ball which keeps getting kicked or headed, not in the American sense as an ovoid gridiron ball which flies and gets caught.)
It’s when I get kicked from obligation role to cramming in personal role that I just get crazy. I get frustrated and raging, and then I tend to screw things up which makes it worse. Bouncing back and forth makes me bounce more, and that push/pull bing/bang just gets me lost, lost I tell you.
Once that spiral starts, well, getting out of it is almost impossible. Success is lost, as servant or as claimaint. I can’t just settle down and get something done, rather I tighten up and become inflammed, and calming down is almost beyond me.
This is why I don’t try to navigate between servant and claimant when my parents are around. Both roles are tolerable, dead or attempting to claim life, but living between them is intolerable, at least for me. I feel the kicks to my head, feel it throbbing and guttering, feel myself as lost as if I had eaten a chain saw.
I don’t know how to negotiate the peace, the smooth transition between, the easy sameness. I feel pulled apart and squeezed together, kicked away and dribbled between, and it’s just explosive and nasty in my experience.
That nasty churning rips me apart, leaving me battered and bloodied in a way that feels unfixable, even if no one has the intent to do that, only to get what they need. My mother once offered to call me Callan, but when I thought about having that secret name used when I had to be her expectation, it just felt like a grenade in my head.
Of course, this is explicitly difficult today, for this is the week when I have to find a way to create a nice little easy switch between, so I can pop somewhere, do something, and come seamlessly back to serve. Instead, I’m thinking “Shouldn’t I paint my nails?” something that is impossible to keep nice if you are always bouncing between.
It is my guy facade that is disempowered properly, surrogate spoused from an early age. That part of me knows how to crumple and hide, how to not have needs and how to serve expectations.
Empowered femme, well, when she is in play the game is different. That’s why we only let me write and dream, not dance though the world with resounding bells following me. Being “powerful in battle” is a strong space.
I know what I fear. I fear looking stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid. And I know who reminds me how stupid I am, how stupid I look, how stupid my choices are.
And I know that I have to keep that stupid tape in my head to protect myself around my parents, expecially my mother who got the gift of stupid from her mother, and passed it on to me and my sister. My father, well, he knows that he can’t get his ideas across to others with his limited empathy, and the only defense he knows is to assume that people who don’t understand him are stupid.
When one tries to place complexity into a comforting binary, it’s the middle that gets ripped and torn, and I am the middle. That rent leaves me feeling stupid, and feeling stupid leaves me feeling worthless.
I get kicked from pillar to post having to travel no-man’s/no-woman’s land, and my head explodes, as if it was being used as a football.
Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch.