trinsy: (I can see that)
I've figured out why I hate Jane Eyre. Or rather, I've figured out why I hate Jane Eyre so much more than my classmates. In fact, I think I've figured out why people think I hate men.

See here's the issue:

I've never liked Cinderella. I mean, I've NEVER liked Cinderella. As in, even as a four-year-old kid I hated it. I hated it because I didn't understand it. I didn't understand why Cinderella was such a doormat. I didn't understand why she let her stepmother enslave her. The only version of the Cinderella story I genuinely like is Ella Enchanted (the book, not the film, obviously) because that actually makes sense.

This is my problem. This has always been my problem. I don't understand how slavery works. As in, I learned about the events leading up to the Civil War back in fifth grade, and I didn't understand why, if there were so many more slaves than plantation owners, the slaves didn't just burn down the owner's house or something.

The same goes for Stockholm and Battered Wife Syndromes. I mean, I'm educated, okay? Intellectually, I understand the psychology behind all of those things. But I still don't get it. I don't think I'll ever get it.

Guilt trips, emotional blackmail, reverse psychology, peer pressure -- they all don't work on me. Not really. It's like, whatever part of the brain it is that causes people to act and react in these twisted ways is disconnected in me. It doesn't work. I just don't get it.

It's like when I was a kid and my parents split up and people would say to me, "You know it's not your fault, right?" And I'd be like, "Duh! Why would it be? I wasn't married to them." And I always felt like kids who did think their parents' divorce was their fault were stupid.

And that's the problem with Jane Eyre. I think she's stupid. The End. Yes, she's starved for love, and yes, Rochester is the first man she's really ever met (who counts, I mean), and yes, she's constricted by her time and class and whatever, I don't care, she's still a MORON! Intellectually, yes, I know why she does the things she does. But I still don't get it. It makes no sense to me.

I cannot comprehend letting someone treat you that way. I cannot comprehend allowing someone to make you feel that way. I literally cannot comprehend it. I just can't wrap my mind around it all. It doesn't make sense to me.

And to people who think this is some backlash from my dad or whatever: Guess what? It's not. Because I've always hated Cinderella. It has nothing to do with being angry or hating men or anything like that. It's just that a part of my brain doesn't work (or a part of my brain actually does?).

And you know what? I'm perfectly okay with that.
trinsy: (home)
We had my step-dad’s nephew, wife, and kids over today, and it was so strange because even though the task of entertaining the kids fell to me after dinner, really, I was one of the adults. I was part of the adult conversation, I understood the adult conversation, and afterward the girl was telling me all about the trials that come with being in fourth grade and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It was all so simplistic, so idealistic, so entirely naïve and wrong about the way the world works: wanting to get out of school as soon as possible, and thinking growing up will solve all your problems, and being most worried about having to pay taxes of all things! And I just listened to her, and thought wasn’t that me just yesterday?, and how did this happen?

But the strangest thing was that even as I looked at her and thought, You have no idea how good you have it: enjoy it, enjoy it, enjoy it! I knew that I wouldn’t really go back to that age if I could. There is beauty in the innocence of childhood, but I’m beginning to recognize that there is also beauty in the … awareness that comes with being an adult. Understanding now what I couldn’t understand then, finally appreciating the things they told me: don’t grow up too fast, don’t crave the responsibility, live in the moment, enjoy it while it lasts. There is a beauty in wanting to go back that you could never experience if you’d stayed.

I liked being seventeen. I sort of understood all this, a little, enough, enough to feel the ache of loss that is so terrible and so beautiful, and yet the remnants of childhood still clung to me, barely, just barely, gifting me with flashes of innocent hope, letting me believe for just a little longer that things would be all right in the end.

I wonder when you stop trying to hurl yourself forward and start wanting to go back. I wonder if you grow up the day you stop wanting to grow up. Maybe Peter Pan is the most grown up of us all. He knows that one thing other children don’t, even if he doesn’t fully understand it: to grow up is the least desirable thing of all.

Only it’s not, really. The pain of childhood is simple, straightforward: it hurts, and that’s all it does, and that’s all you understand. The pain of adulthood is a complicated, twisted, terrible, beautiful ache: it’s the good kind of pain, the best kind, shattering you and piecing you back together again, and even when it hurts you know, on some fundamental level, that it’s what you need.

There’s a reason adults cry during movies, a reason kids can never understand. We cry because we must. We cry because we know now what we didn’t know, what they don’t know, what they one day will know. We cry because sometimes beauty is so painful and pain so beautiful.

I cry because my life is one twisted, awful, beautiful, terrible, gorgeous, horrific, magnificent, fucked up mess, and when my heart is torn open and my soul laid bare, I know I wouldn’t really change a thing.
trinsy: (I came back)
Dear Dad,

I’m turning twenty in two weeks, and it’s putting a lot of things in perspective for me. I know we haven’t spoken in five-and-a-half years, and I know you never had a clue who I was even when we were talking, so I thought I’d tell you a little about myself and who I’ve become over the last twenty years.

I’m graduating from college next May. I’m actually genuinely terrified, which is strange. I’m not really one of those people who was meant to sit in a classroom –– my imagination is too active –– but it’s been the only constant in my life for the past fifteen years, so to have that all end is a pretty terrifying prospect, especially since it’ll mean I’ll pretty “officially” be an adult. This is who the almost adult me is:

I like to think you’d be happy to know I am and always have been a genuinely good kid. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs, I don’t have sex, I don’t cut, and I don’t have an eating disorder. I pay for all my own groceries at school, and I’ve never gotten below a B in any of my classes. Mom thinks I spend too much time on my computer, but if that’s the worst thing she can say about me, I think I’m doing pretty good.

I’ve never had a boyfriend, and my whole life my friends have always been prettier than I am. I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I can accept that, though. I’m never going to be gorgeous, but I’m not ugly either, and it’s not like it’s my ambition to be a model or something, so I’m not beating myself up about it. Beauty isn’t just physical anyway, which is one of those dumb things everyone says, but I actually get it now. As for being single, it’s awesome more often than it sucks. Sometimes I get jealous of what my friends have with their boyfriends, but it’s not very often. I have amazing friends, so it’s not like I’m lonely, and my sense of self isn’t wrapped up in another person. I’m happy I’m an independent individual.

Mom told me once that she hoped one day I’d talk to you again, just briefly, to say thank you. I blew her off then, because I couldn’t imagine what I would want to thank you for, but I do want to thank you for something now. I know it wasn’t your intention and you might not like being thanked for it, but you did it and I am genuinely grateful you did, so here goes:

Thank you for never being there for me. Thank you for never protecting me. Thank you for never supporting me. Thank you for never teaching me to do anything. Thank you for never telling me I was beautiful. Thank you for never telling me I was smart. Thank you for never telling me you were proud of me. Thank you for leaving me to fend for myself. Thank you for never being a part of my life. Thank you for not being a real dad.

You are not the reason I am as strong as I am. I am the reason I am as strong as I am. They told me I’d be messed up without a father figure, but they couldn’t have been more wrong. I had no father figure and I am awesome. I am a strong, independent woman with a healthy self-image and no self-destructive vices, and you didn’t contribute in a positive way to any of that. No man did. That is all because of me and the amazing women in my life. So thank you. You are the reason I will never believe the lies that I need a man in my life. You are the reason I know I am worth more than what any man thinks of me.

I used to think I missed out by not having you in my life, but I know better now. I didn’t miss out. You did. I am an amazing person, but you’ll never know that and you’ll never be able to claim credit for it. I’ve had and still have an incredible life, and the only person who lost by your absence in it was you.

You are not the reason I’m an amazing person, but you are the reason I know the truth of why I am, and you are the reason no one will ever convince me to believe the lies.

Thanks from,
The daughter you couldn’t be bothered to know
trinsy: (I'm always all right)
Sometimes I wonder if maybe I’m so insistent that being single doesn’t mean you’re less of a person because I subconsciously know I’ll probably end up single, and it’s easier to convince others – to convince myself – that that’s okay now. I hate myself for thinking that, but … I don’t know. To be known so completely by someone else. It’s not what marriage means, but it is what a relationship means, or should mean, or was meant to mean. I want that more than I want marriage and everything that entails, I think. To be known; to be validated. To not have to hide any part of myself, to not have to pretend. And that’s not what happens in a relationship, really. Relationships are compromise.

Well, I’m tired of compromising. I’m so, so tired. Tired of giving up little pieces of my soul every time I’m not alone. Tired of being stubborn, of waiting for the world to give me what I deserve, of thinking the world owes me something, when it doesn’t, really, nothing that I didn’t give it willingly, anyway, because I was four and stupid and thought that’s what it wanted. It’s funny, that, a decision you made at four haunting you into your twenties, practically (probably). It’s funny too, you get into college and people start telling you that “the decisions you make now will affect the rest of your life”, and I can’t help wondering why people weren’t telling me that at four, that the person I chose to be in public at four would be the person I had to be in public for the rest of my childhood, for the rest of my life, probably. Set down the neurological pathways, or whatever they call it. The cycle’s gone on too long, runs too deep, can’t be changed. Some habits are impossible to break, and if you choose to be who you think people want you to be when you’re four, you’ll always have to change for people; or, alternatively, the backlash will come, and you’ll be in your teens and hate people, hate them for doing this to you, for making you think at four, when you didn’t (couldn’t) know any better, that being yourself around people wasn’t okay, that it never would be. They don’t tell you to be yourself at four, not until you’re older and it’s too late, and they don’t mean it then, anyway, not really. They mean don’t be stupid, don’t be who the bad kids say “yourself” is. And you don’t know who “yourself” is anymore anyway, because you lost that at four when you changed.

And just … where did I learn that? Where did I learn that being myself wasn’t okay? How did I know, at four, that people will always want you to be someone you’re not? Tuck away your real thoughts and feelings in a corner of your brain, only visit it when you’re alone, live in your head and talk to those imaginary people in the bathroom because that’s one of the only places you’re alone and thus safe. It makes me wonder, really, how many people are just wearing personas, how different the people you interact with are from the people they are in their heads. You can touch a heart, fine, it’s just an organ, albeit an important one. But to hold someone’s brain.… That’s where they live, that’s where the true person is, and the heart swells and breaks in a firing of neurons, if you really get down to it. Hold someone’s brain? You might as well hold their soul.

My grandma had surgery and suffered some minor brain damage, lost a bunch of inhibitors, and it’s like she had this complete personality transplant. But sometimes she says something and I just sort of think … I can’t help but wonder if that’s who she actually is, you know? If maybe she’s become the person she kept tucked away in her head for seventy-five years. Like, there is the person everyone knows as me, and then there is actually me, the me I keep in my head, the me I know. And I can’t help but wonder if I suffered the same brain damage as my grandma, if I would become a completely different person, or if people would think I’d become a completely different person but I would actually become myself. Like maybe the person I present to the world would actually be the person I am inside, if that makes any sense at all.

Now I’m just rambling, and this went in a completely different direction than I intended it to go, so I’ll just wrap it up for now.

trinsy: (I can see that)
 So I feel kind of awkward saying this but ...

My GOD, Simba is hot for an animated lion!
trinsy: (awkward)
So earlier today I was procrastinating on Facebook, and I was using the Ten Second Interview application, and the question was, "What is/was your imaginary friend's name?"  This was my answer (emphasis added): "I don't actually remember (I want to say Vicky?), but I do know that we didn't get along, so I'm not entirely sure we could be considered friends anyway. There was also the community of inch-tall people that lived behind the toilet in the downstairs guest bathroom, but none of those people had names."

Suddenly, I realised what a bizarre child I was.  I didn't have an imaginary friend.  I had an imaginary enemy.

What sort of child has an imaginary enemy?  The saddest thing is, it wasn't like I was lacking real life enemies.  But apparently those people weren't enough.  I needed an imaginary enemy too.

Also, bathroom buddies?  What on earth?  Looking back, I'm surprised I made it this far as well adjusted as I am.  See, that wasn't the only weird thing about me as a kid, as demonstrated by my answer to the other TSI question I answered today (again, emphasis added).

Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: Well, I didn't realize until I was seven that kids actually grew up -- I always thought that was just a question adults asked to make conversation -- so I never thought very seriously on the subject.

This actually may be normal, I don't know, but it is true.  I distinctly remember the first time my mom told me a story from her childhood and being utterly shocked.  I thought there were two kinds of people in world -- adults and kids -- and that the adults had always been adults and the kids always stayed kids.  I don't really know what I thought the whole birthday and age things were about (actually, I also remember when I discovered that it was called a birthday because it was the day of your birth; I assumed it was just a random date they chose to give you presents, so ... I guess that answers that).

I also believed until I was four that my life was a reality TV show (kind of like The Truman Show, only I was four a few years before that movie was made).  When I was four I realised that life didn't make sense, and until I was eight I often contemplated the mysteries of life, the universe, and everything when I was supposed to be doing school (which is ironic now, given my aversion to philosophy).  I always assumed this was normal, but ... I also had an imaginary enemy.

June 2013

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