Well, well, it seems like some people do read the blog after all. The parentals, to be more specific, pulled a flip-out on me, because of what I wrote yesterday about my future, and about how they controlled me.
Hear ye, hear ye, the point I was trying to make, was that my parents brought me up a certain way, and it strengthened me in certain areas, while weakening me in others.
The phrase “ultra-controlled sterile environment” seemed to strike the deepest nerve with the rents, and while that might be exaggerating, it’s also not exaggerating. As a slack-ass student of the financial markets, the main lesson I have learned is that extreme conditions lead to a snap-back. If a stock shoots up parabolically, odds are that stock will fall parabolically, and vice-versa. Similarly, as a 16 year old, I wasn’t allowed to go out past 11 PM, which basically translates into I wasn’t allowed to go to parties. Upon my arrival at college, I became a full-fledged party animal. Sterile might have been a little harsh, and implied that I was stuck in a bubble studying algebra, which isn’t exactly true. However, I consider it an undeniable fact that I was brought up differently than most rich whities, and I have acquired a certain ideological slant based upon my position in the word. Do I want to be like everyone else, hell no. I’m proud of my individuality, and know it’s based on how I was brought up, but that doesn’t mean that I am not allowed to question, to point out the way I feel.
What is that slant, what do I feel, who the fuck knows, certainly not me. I think what I was trying to do, and I’m still trying to do, is figure out who I am, and why I am who I am. That’s really what this blog is for, for me to just write and write about what I feel, and hopefully come up with something meaningful, even if it’s just a notebook of my thoughts. My dad told me that I should keep a private journal, just for myself, but I think by flashing the world my insecurity, doubts, questions and rants, that I have to bring more to the table. Yes, of course this is an ego trip, but in the end, it’s still only a diary that I’ve opened up for other people. Or at least that what it’s become after Roughty’s egregious abandonment.
Anyway, back to what I was talking about, with the parental control, another issue that keeps coming up is the fact that they don’t have to physically tell me what to do. In my 24 years, I have come to learn what I should be doing in their mind, given a set of choices. In other words, if I have the choice to smoke weed or study for my CFA exam, I can hear my mom/dad telling me why I should be studying, what opportunities are there, etc. And in the end, it all points to a positive existence, a good thing. In the end, if I did follow my parent’s advice, did what they thought was right, then I would probably lead a happy, healthy life. It’s no question to me that my parents are both successful, happy people. Married for 25 years with 2 grown kids, and they are still a team and help each other, they are my models for positive adult behavior.
Should my behavior, and thoughts about my upbringing, be considered a slap in the face to the parents though? I really don’t think it should be. I know for a fact that my own dad, a Virginian savage, snapped in his own way and went off the deep end. A son of hardcore Pentacostal Christians, he was a drunkard hell raiser, and without ever hearing about, I can only imagine the throwdowns between my dad and my dead grandparents, who I never had a relationship with.
Little kids, it’s just a human fact of life that each generation cannot escape its elders. My dad, in his heyday, was running as fast as he could away from the place he was born. Here I am, living thousands away from my hometown, for no other reason than some ridiculous primal urge that I cannot explain or understand.
While I’m talking about the grandparents, it’s interesting to me how far removed I am from my roots, ideologically and stuff. So many people talk about “their roots” and stuff, and their culture, and I feel like I am missing that part of my life. Just two generations ago, at least on my dad’s side, what I know of my family paints a picture of hardworking, Depression-age Christians living in Virginia. My grandfather was a preacher, while I question all faiths on the basis of underlying human error and wrongness. I do feel like I have a relationship with god, but it’s just for me, not for anybody else, surely not for a room full of people. Surely, what I feel inside myself about god and why we are here should not be judged by another human. It’s just not right, talk about the blind leading the blind.
But what would happen if I could tell my grandfather about how I felt about god? Would he disown me? Would he never talk to me? Would he pray for my soul? I’ll never know, I never knew him. Personally, I can’t remember one single time when my dad ever ever talked about God or Jesus or whatever, not one single time. Now to me, an amateur thinker and psychologist, that points to some deep conflicts between the beliefs of father and son. Which also brings me back to what is the original point, which is why my mom and dad flipped out so hard about me judging them for being too controlling. I can see why they think I judge them, but it’s really no judgment it all. It’s just me, trying to figure out who I am and where I came from. To deny that my parents controlled me is to deny one of the basic tenets of my childhood.
Quite the opposite of being a shitty thing, by guiding me through childhood, my parents set me up with a library of tools and skills to do what I need to do. I can do anything I want, with my education and personal background.
What pissed them off the most was that I hinted at they were trying to control me now, while I’m in California. I’ll be the first one to say that I cannot be controlled by nearly anyone, that I will do what I want when I want. But, I will also say that because of the way I was raised, and because of the close relationship I have with my parents, that what they say and suggest to me does in fact severely effect the way I think. Severely severely. So when they tell me that I’m fucking up, or that I need to get my shit together, then I really feel something inside of me motivating me to get to work. If you don’t want to call that “control,” then maybe we can call it “remote control antennae in my brain directly connected to the proverbial mothership.” Whether or not they are actively pressing that button doesn’t matter, because that link will never be severed.
Like a phantom limb, the rents will itch my brain until the day I die. I love you both a lot.