trinsy: (home)
The Ache

This is the house I grew up in
Sixteen years
Other people live in it now
They don’t know its history
But that doesn’t matter
I’ve got a new house
And it’s comfortable

So why do I want to walk up those front steps
Open the door
Reclaim this house?
Why do I feel like without this house
I’ll always feel homeless?

How can a building mean so much?
Just two-by-fours and drywall
A giant, hollow, inanimate object
“If these walls could talk…” we say
But they can’t
They’re just walls
And they’re mute by nature
Mute to everyone
(Mute to everyone but the ones who know them
Who knew them)

Why do we miss these things?
It’s not the superiority of the building
It’s the memories it holds
But buildings don’t hold memories
We do
We still have the memories without the building
But we value it anyway

Why do I still long for home?
How can that building hold it prisoner?
Why can’t it let it go?
(But I’m the one who needs to let go
Aren’t I?)

They say “home is where the heart is”
But they’re wrong
Or they just never tell you
That your heart can divide
Into so many pieces
So that no matter where you go
A part of you will always long
For somewhere else

They don’t tell you that a piece of you
Gets left in the past
Where you can’t retrieve it
Don’t tell you about the ache
That never goes away

It doesn’t matter what happens
What you do
Where you go
You can stay in that house
Until it crumbles around you
And you’ll still be aching
Because somewhere between childhood and adulthood
A piece of your heart breaks off
Stays behind
And you can never get it back

You think if you go back to that building
That first home
You can retrieve it
But a building’s just a building
And hearts don’t come when they’re called

So you learn to live with aching
With homesickness

It’s called growing up
trinsy: (hug)
When I was little, you sang me lullabies.  You took me shopping, and you didn't care about the price.  You took me out for milkshakes, and you bought me stuffed animals just because.  When I was sick, you got me juice and ginger ale.  You taught me to play cards without making me overly competitive.  You drove me to school and choir and the dentist.  You bought me pizza or chinese if I expressed a craving.  You listened to me and laughed with me and loved me unconditionally.  You are the only person in my life who never let me down, and even though I learned early not to trust people, I always trusted you and you always proved yourself worthy.

It's Mother's Day, and even though you aren't technically my mother, you are so deserving of that title.

I've never been big on writing cards, and I know you don't want them anymore anyway.  But if you did, this is what I would write in yours.

Happy Mother's Day, Grandma.  I will always be grateful for the seventeen years we had together, and I will never stop missing you.

All my love always,
trinsy: (I came back)
We are not our parents. We live in a different world - one where college degrees are common, jobs rare, and marriage optional. One where there's not as much pressure to stick to one path for the rest of your life. One where you aren't necessarily expected to be married and popping out kids by the time you're twenty-four. One that is a bit less limited and a whole lot scarier. We are not our parents. We can't be, and we need to stop trying.

I keep having to remind myself of that. I've got one semester of college to go, and I'm terrified. When my mom was my age, she was married and had a career path in mind and knew what she wanted to do with her life. And you know what? I don't know what I want to do with my life. I haven't got a clue, and even if I did, I haven't got a shot at a career with my current qualifications (or lack thereof), and I couldn't be further from marriage if I joined a nunnery. And everyone tells me this is fine, I'm young and it's good to have my options open. The world is my oyster. I can do anything I want, have anything I want.

You know what I want right now? Stability. Security. I want to go to bed at night with the assurance that I won't spend the rest of my life living hand-to-mouth in some studio apartment working a minimum wage job. Sure, it's nice that I have "options", except that isn't one of them. I don't have a guarantee of anything: career, job, family, house, nothing! If the world is my oyster, it's one that's keeping tightly shut. I'm secretly an optimist, so I'm about 90% sure there's a pearl in there somewhere (on a good day; on a bad day I'm convinced there's nothing but sand), but I don't know what it looks like or how to get it. I'm scared and directionless and you know what? Sometimes I wish I lived in the world of my parents, because maybe if there'd been more pressure on me to find some direction at this point in my life, I'd have worked harder and discovered something I could do for the rest of my life, even if it didn't make me completely happy.

That's the problem with our world, really. We've been conditioned to reject anything that won't make us happy. I know I couldn't live with myself if I ever settled for less. But honestly? Sometimes I wish I could. Sometimes I wish I could settle, because frankly, I haven't been happy for twenty years. I know I can deal with that. And maybe it'd be okay if I were suffering for my passions, but I'm not. I don't even know what my passions are! I don't even know if I have any! But I've been conditioned to not betray them, even if they only exist in theory, so I'm unhappy and directionless and passionless and poor and terrified, and I can't even guarantee I'll get anything out of it.
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: (don't be so daft)
**I feel like this is way more coherent in my head than it is here, but I think this conveys the basic idea...

Here’s the message I’ve been sent since I was a child, and I don’t think it’s specific to me: “You are less of a person because you don’t have the daddy-daughter bond. You are less of a person for something you have no control over. You are not worth as much. You are inferior. You are less than.” I actually used to believe that, too. They throw statistics at you all the time, and it’s hard not to assimilate the idea that you’re messed up because you didn’t have a daddy. You never stop to think that actually, it could just be you’re messed up because people are telling you you’re messed because you didn’t have a daddy. You actually can have only one parent and still be fine, funnily enough, as long as you don’t have people insisting the opposite or you’re smart enough not to believe them. It’s a rare person who’s that smart when they’re nine.

I figured it out eventually. Looked at my life one day and realized that, hey, incredibly, I was okay. I lived in an all-female household, and we were all okay. We did basic household fix-it jobs (painting, plumbing, putting up the Christmas tree, etc.), we made it through, we were happy overall, and we didn’t need any men to do it. I’d always been told that I needed a man to take care of me, and suddenly I realized that, actually, I didn’t. I’d been taking care of myself for years, and my entire life I’d been taken care of by women. And I was fine. I am fine. My entire life is one big argument against the idea that every woman needs a man in her life. You know what I found out after I realized that? To society, realizing that isn’t okay. After I started telling people about my epiphany, I was warned that I needed to rid myself of that notion at once because no man would ever want a girl who didn’t think she needed him.

I used to be pitied and patronized because the man in my life left me. Now I’m condemned because my very existence proves the societal myth of female dependency is a lie. Apparently, if you don’t have a dad, you aren’t allowed to be happy. You aren’t allowed to be okay. Your fate rests in the hands of that man, and if he doesn’t choose you, you can’t win. Ever. Maybe one day, if you somehow, incredibly, manage to stumble upon and/or seduce some other man who, against all logic, actually wants and chooses you, but even then there will be whispers of “daddy issues” or “problems submitting”. Your dad sets the tone for your entire life, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.

That’s dumb. Even the women in my life have perpetuated this idea, and it’s not true. My mom says that maybe I’m right, but “I have to accept the reality of the world.” I have to accept the reality of a society that won’t accept me because my dad couldn’t be bothered to know me, and yet I refused to let his selfishness break me. I’m too scary to fit in, and that’s “just the way the world is”.

You know what? I’m not going to keep apologizing because my sense of self doesn’t conform to societies expectations for me. “That’s the way the world is” is the argument that sustained slavery, and it’s just as unsound in this case. Perpetuation of oppression does not validate it. You’ll never get me to pretend that it does.

You know what else? If –– whether because of social constructs or your own insecurities –– you need me to downplay my own strengths to make you feel better about yourself, you don’t deserve my respect. Especially if you feel it is my duty to do this simply because you happened to be born with a penis and Y chromosome and I did not.

Also, men don’t get to claim “respect” as their gender-specific desire, any more than women get to claim “love”. I am a woman, and I also desire respect. That’s really the issue. I’m being told I have to choose one or the other (and to a lot of people, by not valuing love above everything, as my gender supposedly dictates I should, I’m essentially choosing neither). I want both. Everyone wants both. I don’t think anyone, male or female, would say, “I hope to die unloved but respected,” any more than anyone would say, “I want to be a person everyone loves and nobody respects.” They’re both important. We all want both, whether we pee standing up or have menstrual cycles (or both). Honestly, I fail to see how sexual organs and hormone levels would have any impact on these basic human desires.

Contrary to how I’m sure it appears, I don’t actually hate men. I really, really don’t. I’m just sick of being told that I’m wrong. Not that I’m wrong about this issue, but that my very essence, my awareness of who I am as an individual is wrong. And yeah, men get the greater part of my ire here because apparently they’re the ones who are too insecure to handle the existence of girls like me. But that’s their problem. Why should I suffer for their insecurities? You know what the whole issue stems from? It’s insecure men trying to make women insecure so they can feel better about themselves. Well I’m not playing, and threatening me with a lack of romance isn’t going to get me to do so. If that’s what romance costs, it comes at far too high a price, and honestly, why would I want it? Why would I give up my independence and individuality to become a kowtowing bimbo for some chauvinistic asshole? That sort of romance sounds like it sucks. It definitely doesn’t sound like love.

My existence is not wrong. I don’t need a man to take care of me. My father’s inadequacies don’t get to define me, and neither do the insecurities of other men. And society may condemn me for that, but it will never be able to convince me otherwise.
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 can see that)
So yeah, finally saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince yesterday. I actually didn't hate it. It was pretty good for a Harry Potter film (because the Harry Potter films are not the same as regular films -- they're not Lord of the Rings or Pirates of the Caribbean, and they never will be, and I think a lot of the problems in the films stem from the filmmakers not realizing this). I mean, every film the cast is always like, "Oh, this one is so funny!" and then you see it and the humor is totally lame and it's kind of a letdown. But this time it actually was funny, and not just because some of the lovelorn angst scenes were unintentionally hilarious, but the scenes that were meant to be funny were also funny! It was such a pleasant surprise!

Spoilers, spoilers, spoilers! )

The weirdest thing about seeing this movie, though, is that it made me realize how much I don't care anymore. And yes, I just wrote a ton of crap for someone who "doesn't care", but I'm usually such a nazi and I was just so incredibly forgiving of stuff this time. I guess I'm growing out of my Harry Potter phase? I don't know. It's been a huge part of my life for so long, and I think the weirdest, scariest thing is that it feels so natural not to care.
trinsy: (hug)
 So, I just finished my last final and am officially a university senior.

It's horrible.  I don't want to be at all.  I want to be a freshman again, when everything was new and exciting, and school seemed hard but actually wasn't.  Or maybe a sophomore, when I was comfortable and experienced, but graduation was still far enough away that I didn't have to worry about anything bigger than a World Civ exam.  I don't want to be a junior again, because that's when reality starts hitting.  But the first two years ... those were good.

I had a friend in high school who did her freshman year twice.  She didn't fail or anything, she just switched schools after freshman year and decided to start from the beginning again.  I thought she was crazy, doing an extra year of school she didn't have to, but now I know better.  I skipped a grade, and now I wish I hadn't.  She did one more year of school, and I did one less, and now I know she had the right idea.  Because she'll graduate when she's nearly twenty-three, but I won't even be twenty-one.  We'll be in the same life place, but she'll have delayed it two more years than I managed to; she got to hold onto childhood two years longer.  She was right, and I wasn't.

I remember when nineteen seemed so old.  I remember when being a senior in college seemed so old.  It still seems so old.  It's old, and I'm not, and that's the terrible truth of it.  I'm not ready to be an adult.  I've never been ready to be an adult.  I'm not sure if I'll ever be ready to be an adult.

I used to imagine this time in my life.  I never imagined further than graduation, because I didn't know then what I'd want to do, but I always imagined that by this time I would, and I'd be able to project myself further into the future than the cap and gown.

Well, I'm at this time in my life now, and I still can't project myself further than graduation.  It's still the same vast, frightening, unknown blank it's always been.  After graduation, it ends.  After graduation, I die, and I mean that in every sense of the word.  I can see nothing after graduation, literally nothing.  Nowhere I want to be, nothing I want to do, no one I want to be with, and I've always said I wasn't meant to be a student, but the frightening thing is that it seems that maybe I wasn't meant to be anything.

I literally cannot imagine one day beyond graduation.  Not even a single day.  There's graduation, then there's nothing.  I may as well be dead.

And yeah, I've still got a year to figure it out, but the years that used to stretch infinitesimally before me have all squeezed themselves into yesterday, and time has become so fleeting.  I may as well have a week for all the good fifty-two will do me.

I just ... I feel like I should be happy, but I'm not.  I'm just scared.
trinsy: (hug)

I have stood at the edge of the ocean
Before I could stand
The waves’ edges gently
Teasing my feet
Marveling because others
Told me to marvel
Too young to be awed by
The illusion of infinity

I have stood at the edge of the ocean
Unable to stand still
Darting forward then back
To the dry sand’s shelter
Playing tag with the forever
Reaching water
Too young to be frightened by
The power of nature

I have stood at the edge of the ocean
When the edge was not enough
Waded into the crashing waves
And overcome
Rising, falling, rising
In the deeper sea’s gentler flow
Too young to understand
The pain of going back

Now I stand at the edge of ocean
See it laid out before me
And wonder how I am expected to choose
Only one drop for myself
Or even just a handful
When all its vastness
Has never been enough
But I have become too old to ignore
The terror of possibilities
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'm always all right)
Right. So Thanksgiving is Thursday, and all my friends keep going on about how excited they are to go home, and … it hurts, frankly, because I don’t get to go home. I keep trying to think positive, like, “Less than a month!” and “It wouldn’t be worth it, anyway,” and “I’ll have more fun at my roommate’s,” and those are all true, but … I still get homesick. And it’s not even about not getting to go home, it’s why I can’t go home, and how going home isn’t even going home anyway. And I just keep thinking about all those stupid, boring Thanksgivings with just the five of us – me, my mom, my sisters, and my grandma – and …

Anyway, in my emo-ness and self-pity, I made a mix, not just about homesickness, but also about going out on your own, but still wanting an anchor to come back to, and the ache when that isn’t there. So yes.

Homesick 'cos I no longer know where home is... )
trinsy: (I'm always all right)
I always think about my dad in May.  May is when he moved out, and for some reason ever since I was nine and noted the one year anniversary, I've always counted up the years in my head -- one year, three years, seven years now -- like it somehow makes a difference.  But I've been thinking my dad more often this May because this year it's the ten year anniversary of my parents splitting up, and I can't really believe that it's only been ten years.  Last year in February it was officially half my life they'd been split up, and I knew it because in a weird way I'd been counting down until I could say that, like somehow them being split for the majority of my life would give me a license to do ... something.  Be okay with it, or move on, or put it behind me.  Stop getting those looks from my friends when I talk about it like it's no big deal.  Something.  And when that didn't happen, I started counting down until the ten year, like that one would actually make a difference where the halfway mark couldn't.  And in a weird way it has made a difference, because I've had fifteen more months to think about things and sort them out in my mind.  It's not going to change those looks I get, but for the first time I know what I'm planning to do with this situation, and I know why, and I know that I'm strong enough to do it.  That does make a difference.

After my parents split up, everyone told me it was a bad thing that good things were going to come out of, and as the years went on they would point out these "good things" like they were trying to justify this point of view to me.  But I didn't need it justified because I don't see it as a bad thing that good things came out of; I see it as a good thing that a lot of bad things came out of.  The more I hear about my parents' marriage, the more I'm amazed it lasted the nearly twenty years it did.  It seems like it should have ended so much sooner, and it's hard for me to believe that when two people so utterly wrong for each other get married, their inevitable divorce is a "bad thing".  But the things that resulted from it?  Yeah, those were bad.  My dad yelling at my mom in garage, and my grandparents sending my mom hate mail, and my dad falling into depression, and my sisters and I forced to go out for an awkward dinner with my dad once a week.  The emotional wounds and scars were bad things.  But the split needed to happen.

I've been thinking about that recently, but more I've been thinking about the awkward dinners, and the fact that I haven't spoken to my dad in four years.  When I first stopped talking to him when I was fourteen, everyone told me that it was fine; I just needed space, they said, and time to work things through.  "But someday," they would add, "someday you'll have a relationship with him."  Even my mom told me that.  Even my grandma.  And I always wanted to ask why this was such a given, but I didn't because I couldn't really justify why they were wrong.  I can now, though.

It wasn't until I was sixteen that I finally worked out why I was so angry with my dad.  In January of 2006 I wrote what I believe is the single most revealing diary entry I've written to date, beginning with the words, "I don’t know why I reacted the way I did to my parents’ divorce."  What followed was a thousand word entry, around the middle of which I was finally able to verbalise what made me so angry: "My dad never showed the slightest interest in me for nearly nine years.  The whole time he and my mom were together he couldn’t have cared less about me.  He didn’t care about spending time with me.  It wasn’t important to him to make it to my birthday parties or plays or piano recitals.  He didn’t have a clue ... who I was or what I liked or anything about me!  But suddenly, after he left ... then having a relationship with me was his topmost priority!"

Maybe the split was a wake up call and he actually did want to get to know me afterward, I don't know.  But to me it looked like a power struggle with my mom, and I was the weapon he was vying for; and even if that wasn't the sole reason he wanted to spend time with me, I do know that that element was still there.  I'm his daughter, and I'm sure he loves me in his way, but throughout the years he's seen and treated me as a responsibility, a duty, a weapon, a trophy, and a right.  He's never seen me solely as a person.

People think that because he's my dad he has a right to have a relationship with me; he thinks that.  But they're wrong.  He isn't entitled to a relationship with me just because we share DNA.  That's something you earn, and he didn't bother trying to earn it when he had the chance.  Sure, I can look back and say that I was a "Mommy's girl", and that I hid behind my sisters, and that I didn't seek my dad out, and that's all true.  But at the end of the day, he's thirty-eight years older than I am.  At the end of the day, it wasn't my responsibility as a three/six/eight-year-old to plan out father-daughter dates.  Cultivating our relationship was his responsibility, and he didn't bother to do it.  And now it's too late.  He's never given me a reason to want to have a relationship with him.  I'm not going to "rebuild" our relationship, as people keep telling me I will, because there's nothing to rebuild; there's no foundation; there's nothing.  We didn't have a relationship to begin with.  And I don't even have childhood memories to incite me to start one with him now.

Contrary to popular belief, I don't have a heart of stone.  I'm sure it must awful to be fifty-seven years old, and divorced, and have three kids who won't talk to you.  But you know what?  It's not my fault that that's how things turned out for him.  Those are the consequences of his choices and his mistakes.  He screwed his life up, and it's not my responsibility to fix it for him.  And I couldn't fix it even if it were!  So I'm not going to be guilted into having a relationship with him.  It's not fair to me, and it's not fair to him.  And it wouldn't be worth it to either of us.
trinsy: (wall)
Today is my eighteenth birthday. I’m not very excited about it, to be honest. I liked being seventeen. Seventeen was an age that suited me: hovering on the edge, old enough to join in with the adults but young enough to avoid the responsibility, almost grown up but not quite there, in transit between child and adulthood.

Eighteen is legally an adult. It doesn’t make me one, but now more is going to be expected of me, and it makes the idea of being grown up even less of a distant dream and more of a frightening reality.

This is it.

Time flows relentlessly forward. I won’t be a child forever. The government considers me an adult now, and that means that someday in the no-longer-distant future real people will too.

And that scares me.

trinsy: (too late)
Was there ever a time the living room wasn’t full of boxes?

Was there ever a time a Christmas tree stood where the treadmill is now, and I taught myself piano facing the same wall I now face when I eat in the dining room, and a door sat in the now empty doorframe that leads from the dining room to the kitchen?

Was there ever a time when the now noxious room my uncle sleeps was called “The School Room” and my mom would sit in the middle of a futon with my sisters on either side and I would lay across the top while she read?

Was there ever a time when there were three windows in my sister’s room where now there’s only one, and above these hung a valance of carousel horses to match the wallpaper border lining the top of the wall, and the carpet was rough and a hideous color?

Was there ever a time when the shower curtain in the downstairs shower was a plain and faded pink, and my mom and I would have to walk down the stairs, past the front door, and down the hall to that bathroom in our towels to shower?

Was there ever a time that the kitchen was blue, and our microwave sat on the counter and only had two buttons, and the cupboards were plain wood, and the dishwasher and refrigerator were off-white, and the Kitchen Aid was yellow, and the floor an ugly, sticky linoleum?

Was there ever a time when the family room was cut in half, and the half by the window was our dining area, and we extended the table weirdly into the family room on holidays and during parties?

Was there ever a time when we pulled beanbags in front of the fireplace in the winter and drank eggnog, and made fudge and caramel corn and then gave it away to our friends and the neighbors?

Was there ever a time when my room was peach, and my closet doors opened out instead of sliding open, and I slept in a waterbed and kept all my Bernstein Bear books on the shelves of its headboard?

Was there ever a time when my sisters shared the room next door and I’d bang on the wall at night to tell them to shut up so I could sleep?

Was there ever a time when my shelves were filled with books and stuffed animals and glass dogs, and a green dresser sat to one side of my desk (though God knows why since I’ve never kept clothes in my room), and I could hide myself in the toy chest in my closet?

Was there ever a time that I could fit in my wardrobe or the linen closet, or fit under the coffee table (long since gone), and a yardstick was not much smaller than I?

Was there ever a time when the patio floor was half concrete, half bits of old carpet, and one whole wall was rusting metal shelves, yet the awesome blocks, and the Fisher Price kitchen and hair salon and dollhouse, and the PlayMobile ranch and fort made it a child’s paradise?

Was there ever a time where a pomegranate tree grew where a rosebush now blooms, and the tree outside the kitchen window was much larger and dropped disgusting-smelling berries every fall, and a peppertree flourished where a stunted orange tree now languishes, and I thought a bloodstained old man lived in the hedges surrounding the central power controller in our backyard?

Was there ever a time when there were swings in the backyard, and we actually walked on the grass, and we pretended to go down the manhole or through the mailbox to emerge into another world?

Was there ever a time when the house rang with laughter, and children played, and memories made?

Was there ever a time when people actually lived here, instead of just eating and sleeping and existing?

It’s been sixteen years but really eighteen, more than my whole life though, twenty-one years, and twenty-three, and thirty-six. But it’s a been over a year since this house was a home, more than that really, years since any of it, since all of it. Years since the caramel corn and the eggnog and the fire and the Christmas tree and the tea parties and the piano lessons and the swings and the patio and the best game ever invented. And all I want now is out, out of the oppressiveness, out of the room with the bare walls and empty shelves, out of the house with the stained, faded carpet, out of it all.

Maybe it’s better this way, better that I was forced to put away the stuffed animals and the glass dogs, better that I was forced to do away with the remnants of my childhood in one swift stroke, because that’s what this house is, my childhood, and tomorrow it will be gone. But I hate to think that this is what I’ll remember: boxes and bare walls and that oppressive emptiness.

Was there ever a time the living room wasn’t full of boxes? I’m not even sure now that there was.
trinsy: (resurrection stone)
This would have been more random if I'd written it just after I'd completed the book, nearly fourteen hours ago.  (1 PM - 4:45 AM = 16 hours/759 pages;  that's like, not super fast, but it's still a record for me!)  I was on the point of setting down the book and going to bed many times last night, but I couldn't have slept even if I had stopped reading, and as it was, I barely slept upon its completion.

Spoilers! )
trinsy: (rose)
I've been putting off doing this because, to be honest, I didn't want to follow the trend, to be like everyone else, to fall into the cliche.  But I've been going over all these memories the past few days, and even though I know this is so late that no one will read it, I still have to write them down, so here goes:

I remember when I first heard of Harry Potter, back in the Spring of 2000.  I was ten at the time, and I didn't understand what all the fuss was about over a book.  I remember what a huge deal it was when Goblet of Fire was released a few months later, just weeks before I turned eleven.  It was all over the papers, and again, I didn't understand the phenomenon.  But then my sister, who was fourteen at the time, decided that she wanted to find out what the big deal was, so she read SS.  She loved it, and gave it to me, and I guess I can't really say that HP showed me that reading could be fun because I stopped reading about halfway through The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters.  I got frustrated that I couldn't pronounce a lot of the words, such as "Privet" (I was reading it "Private") and "Diagon", and then I got to "prefect" and read it "perfect" and completely lost patience.  I was just like, "What the hell is a 'perfect'?  Brits are weird!" and threw the book down.  I guess it's probably a good thing that I stopped before I got to Hermione.  But then my mom got me the books on tape and I just flew through them.  I think the tapes were good for me, because I have a tendency to read ahead in books, but the tapes ensured that I was always faked out the way Jo intended.  It's hard to remember, rereading SS for the fifteenth time, what it was like reading the first time and being totally faked out with Snape and Quirrell.  But the past few days I have remembered.

I remember being shocked when I found out that Quirrell was after the stone, and revolted when it turned out that Voldemort was sticking out of his head.

I remember laying in bed listening to CoS, completely terrified as Jim Dale hissed in a bone-chilling whisper, "I smell blood.  I smell blood.  Let me rip you.  Let me tear you.  Let me kill you..."  I remember totally buying into Tom Riddle, and never figuring out that the monster was a snake, and audibly gasping when it turned out Riddle was also Voldemort.

I remember believing that Sirius was evil.  I remember completely falling in love with Lupin and feeling just like Hermione after he hugged Sirius ("I DON'T BELIEVE IT!"), only to, a few chapter later, fall in love with Sirius as well.  I remember being like, "OMG, Scabbers killed Harry's parents?"  I remember hating the fact the Wormtail escaped and that Sirius had to go on the run again (something I still hate every time I read PoA).

I remember absolutely adoring Moody after he turned Malfoy into a ferret.  I remember that sick feeling I got in the pit of my stomach when Harry said to Ron, "You might even have a scar now, if you're lucky.  That's what you want, isn't it?"  I remember every desperate moment of the first task.  I remember crying when Harry and Ron made up, and again when Harry said, "They've got Ron?" and dashed off to the lake.  I remember never seeing Hermione and Krum coming.  I remember Cedric dying and not giving a damn.  I remember the horror of Voldemort's rebirth.  I remember the biggest fake out of all, Moody really being evil.  Even when he turned out to be an imposter, I still couldn't believe it.  But most of all, I remember Jim Dale saying, "What would come would come, and he would have to meet it when it did. ... This has been Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire..." and shrieking, "THAT'S IT?" and my mom being like, "What?  What?"

I remember being fourteen, and my grandma bringing me home OotP.  I remember curling up in the corner of my mom's couch and reading for three days straight, pausing only to eat and sleep.  I remember reading through the first three chapters and being like, "I can't take it anymore!" and flipping to the back to see who died.  I remember sobbing when I saw it who it was.  I remember hating Umbridge with the fire of a thousand suns.  I remember loving the D.A.  I remember despising Cho.  I remember being super annoyed with Harry.  I remember loving the Marauder scene.  I remember crying all over again when I got to the death scene.  I remember crying through the last three chapters.  I remember crying when I finished it.

I remember being not quite sixteen, and HBP arriving in all its purple-and-green glory, and clutching it and jumping up and down and shrieking, "IT CAME!  IT FINALLY CAME!" and my cousin being like, "What is wrong with you?"   I remember being really annoyed that Harry got over Sirius's death after two weeks at Privet Drive because "life's too short", when it had been two years for me and I wasn't over it!  (It's been four years now, and I'm still not over it, and damn it, I want some Sirius mourning!  "Life's too short" what the hell is that?  He was your freaking godfather and it's your fault he died!  Cedric got a whole book of angst {the longest book, in fact}, and you didn't even like him, and it wasn't really your fault he died, and Sirius only gets one shouting scene, a very good line {"He didn't want to go at all!"} and a passing reference!  What the hell is that?  Damn it, I WANT SOME SIRIUS MOURNING!)  I remember being totally faked out with Slughorn and Snape and Potions and D.A.D.A. (Come on, everyone was faked out the first time.)  I remember being rather irritated with Ron and Lavender.  I remember not realizing what Draco's mission was until he was on the tower with Dumbledore.  I remember feeling so betrayed by Snape!  I remember sitting on my bed with my mouth open for a full minute trying to process that for five years I'd really believed Snape was good and then he'd killed Dumbledore.  Just like that.

And now, in a few hours, it'll all be over, and Deathly Hallows will just be another string of memories.  It's so hard to process.  In some ways, I suppose, I have completely grown up with Harry.  I started this journey when I was eleven, and I'm ending just before I turn eighteen, just like I imagine Harry will.  It's strange really.  I've been waiting for this for nearly seven years, and now that it's here, I'm not sure I really want it to all be over.  It's like a part of my life gone.  Gah, that's insane!

Now's the part where I say something inspirational or funny, or I quote some part of the books that fits, talking about "nitwit", or flighty temptresses, or how I'm not worried because I'm with you.  But I can't bring myself to do it.  Partly because it's just another cliche, but mostly, I think, because it will make the end too real.
trinsy: (diamonds)
It hit me last week that I’m closer to being an adult than a child.

Actually, it hit me that I am going to be an adult.  The truth is, I never realized it before.

It’s funny, because you spend so much of your childhood talking about “when I grow up.”  But I think the thing is that when you’re a child, time drags on so painfully slowly (I can’t tell you when it starts to speed up to scarily fast; it seems like one day you wake up and the more recent half of your life all squeezed itself into yesterday).  And I think that you spend so much time (I’m finishing up my eighteenth year of it, currently) talking about becoming an adult that you stop believing it’s actually going to ever happen.  It’s like it turns into one of those ridiculous daydreams that’s fun to toy around with, but is too far out of reach to ever be a danger of becoming a reality.

Only I realized last week that it is going to become reality.  I am not going to be a kid forever.  I’m not going to go to school for the rest of my life.  And even though I complain about it and always say that I wasn’t meant to be a student, the truth is that school is all I’ve ever known, and the thought of not having that as the constant in my life is more terrifying than anything else I can imagine.

One day I will buy a house.  One day I will have to pay bills.  One day I will have to make myself dinner with groceries I went to the store and bought with money I made from the grown-up job I have in the career I chose.

One day I am going to be just like the adults that surround me.  The only thing more frightening than the thought that every adult was once a child is the idea that every child is {barring tragedy} going to become an adult.  I mean, I’ve always known that this is what happens, but I’ve never really understood it.  It seems like I’ve watched everyone around me going through this cycle – all this bother of growing up – and I’ve stayed just the same. 

And I can’t decide anymore if I’m a kid playing at being an adult or an adult playing at being a kid.

June 2013

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