The party at Phil’s house was quite fun. Got to get together with friends and chat and play Apples to Apples finally. It went over even better than I expected it would. I’ll have to find a few more card games ppl will enjoy, maybe stop over at the UB office and ask around. There’s Civilization, but I was never a huge fan of that one. We walked to the square and got to watch the ball drop, something I’ve never done before, and I enjoyed that quite a bit. I do love fireworks, although I prefer to be sitting while watching them.
I’m not a huge fan of New Years Eve to be honest…I don’t know, it just seems more of a time to reflect on what I DIDN’T accomplish last year, and what never changes over time. Resolutions rarely work out, and to set yourself up for dissapointment seems just plain dumb. Either way I still make resolutions, so I should just shut up.
Resolutions for the New Year:
– To finish school
– To reach a level of fitness I’m comfortable with. I’m not saying I’m not fit; I don’t expect to die of a cholesterol-blocked artery, but I would like to be fitter than I am and once I reach that level I can simply maintain.
– To celebrate New Years Eve next year from a different city, state, or country. Or just spend some significant time traveling. Buffalo is so stagnant…
– To realize that people are far more resilient than I believe. That if I don’t agree with something someone says, they should know my view on the matter. That it’s ok to speak your mind and rip into ppl when they annoy you instead of letting it go uncontested. Why? Because of the block I’ve placed in my head ages ago. Not like an actual object, mind you, but a mental one. It’s an odd story, one that I’ve never bothered to discuss with ANYBODY, but to fulfill yet another pointless resolution (opening myself up more to my friends), I shall think and type about the one thing I hate about myself above everything else.
When I was far younger, I was free. I never obscessed about the things that I do now. If something went wrong, I bitched about it. If someone annoyed me, I told them. Or worse (or better?), I’d make sure they didn’t do it again. That was then. Somewhere along the way, however, I developed the idea that showing negative emotions was absoluetly anathema to my very being, and sought to bring complete control upon myself and my surroundings. The exact date is…fuzzy because there is no exact date. Whenever I think about it however, I always come back to one day. Exact date, I cannot recall. Annapolis, MD early 1990’s. The day my family sundered and my parents went their seperate ways. My father wanted one of us to change the cat’s litter box and my mother wanted us in bed for school the next day. I only remember the shouting and when they fought over my brother and myself and how terrified and confused we were. Or at least I was. Greg’s account is probably radically different, however I recall it taking place in our bedroom and him being physically tugged apon by both parties. Or maybe it was me, but I don’t think so. That wasn’t the defining point however. It was a gradual change leading up to there. I recall many times of stress in the family, people (mostly my father) leaving for long peroids of time inexplicably. We were a military family, so it was hardly unusual. Dad would be overseas for months at a time, however we were told when he was. Usually. Odd conversations, arguements, looks…All of this absolutely dominates my childhood memories (and I remember suprisingly little about my past, now that I’m rifling through my mind).
My early teens are no better. Visitations with my father. The thing I loathed doing above all else, but something I could never admit to myself until I turned 18. Every visit was an emotional roller-coaster. Routine yelling and crying. Each visit we simply had to have a discussion about the divorce and Mom. In the early years he was particularly bitter. It was a lesson in right and wrong. If we listened to her lies, we were going to hell. That’s a direct quote taken out of a photo album he had given us some years ago. And given his temper, I was not about to try and argue for either case. I shouldn’t make it sound so bad…We did do normal things like go to the zoo, go fishing, play ball, hang out. But it was never felt as genuine as it used to be. In the later years it simply became “dropping the boys off at the mall, or the fishing hole.” The physical interaction simply dissolved and it was just a series of uncomfortable car rides, emails and phone calls home telling everyone how much I missed them (which were spied apon regularly) and long times spent in our room playing video games or outside simply avoiding my father.
Looking back, it’s simply amazing to me that writing the letter (email) I did telling him I’d seen the light and never wanted to see him again was the hardest thing I’d ever done. Especially considering what had happened during the last visit. It was our second to last week visiting for about a month during the Spring Break, early 2001, I want to say…Wow, it’s really been that long. It was a normal dinner. Me, Greg, my father, and Mrs. Stella, his wife. I can’t even begin to recall how it started. My father had become very religious in recent years, and was telling us about lies and such, and how bad they were. I consider myself quite sharp when it comes to reading emotions but I missed out on the sinister undercurrents this time. Then he simply exploded on us. A verbal beating of our sins and how disgusted he was with us. He concentrated on my brother at first. who had immediately begun crying from the shock of it all. I was teetering on the edge of crying as well, simply dumbfounded, but trying to maintain the illusion of control even as my vision got blurry. I don’t remember words, just him slamming his fist on the table and me turning to look at Mrs. Stella, who simply stared into space away from my gaze, feeling bad for us but supporting her husband. And the look he gave when he turned to me…Simply inhuman. Like I had just shot his wife. I cried even before he started lashing me for my “half-truths” and sins.
We went to the batting cage the next day. Ice cream and baseballs makes up for the worst day of my life, let me tell you. And it was business as usual from there. We eventually came home after a visit extended by choice of my father to amend our sins, and we boarded the train home. That was the last time I saw my father. A few months after that, 8 years too late, I wrote him the letter telling him I wanted nothing to do with him. And even that letter was written to spare his feelings. Of all the people who deserved my wrath. I somtimes wonder why I didn’t become fucked up in the head like so many people who become murderers or suicide cases, or worse. I suppose it’s because physical beatings never happened. Emotional duress is important, but had he beaten me on a regular basis, I could see myself as a psycho. But then, I say to myself, “You’ve gotten off comparatively lucky. Why get so angry about it?” That was my exact thought just now transposed onto this page. I just tried to talk myself out of feeling anger for what happened, knowing full well that I have every right to be. It’s like a thought-virus, or something.
Last New Years, I had written a similar Livejournal post because I was feeling quite annoyed and needed to vent. I deleted it to spare people’s feelings. I made the same resolution last year secretly, however. And what changed? Absolutely nothing. I am as I was then, simply spineless. I don’t like causing others insult. I can’t stand the idea, even when I’m right to do so. I consciously alter my words so that they’re taken in the most favorable light possible and spend endless time thinking about how I may have offended a person, even when I KNOW without a single doubt in my mind they were only kidding about a comment or joke. It’s really amazing to me; it’s almost like having two personalities. The side of me that does whatever he can to please people, and the other side that simply watches in disbelief, chuckling at the scrambling other, but not powerful enough to bring about change on his own. Ok, now I DO sound psycho, and I’ve already typed enough uncomfortable material that I want to simply bury back into my past by erasing all of this and painting on a smile. But this is part of an experiment. I’ve always felt that I could never trust people with my inner thoughts and worries. I simply could not stand the idea of people thinking less of me because of them, or worse, sharing what I had told them in utter confidence to those who might find amusement from it all. My parents were never stable enough to talk to, my brother was too young to understand, and my friends changed all too often for me to ever build a lasting friendship. It wasn’t until relatively late in my life, when I moved here to Buffalo 9 years ago, that I found stability in that regard, and it wasn’t until 3 years ago that I started to wonder why should I care what everyone else thinks.
The whole post sounds like one-big father-bash, but it’s really not. The events that led up to my current state revolve around the age I had to deal with these issues, I think, and not having a figure I could work through some of my more troublesome psychological issues with. I was 10 or 11 when my parents divorced. I know myself better than anyone, after all; I’ve psychoanalyzed myself quite well over they years. It’s as much my own fault as it is other people’s, if not more. Interestingly enough, I did succeed in my goal of self-control. I think that I am far more likeable than most people. I make friends very easily, and generally maintain the ones I make by being respectful and adaptable. But balance is what I did not achieve. I wanted to try and achieve stability in my surroundings by the one means I did have some control over; mediating other people’s emotions. So I did whatvever I could to become likeable. Because when you’re a good child, you give your parents far less to stress over. That’s less ammo to fight over. And then there’s your friends, relatives, and random ppl you meet on the street. A favorable disposition gets you places with them as well. Perhaps my choices were not nearly as out of my control as I’d like to believe. Being in a constantly favorable position eliminates as much stress and conflict as possible, which is precisely where I prefer being when it comes to dealing with other people.
Re-reading this post, I realize that it’s a confusing bundle of random thoughts, but realize that I’m not typing everything I’m thinking, so naturally, many interconnections are not apparent. But I really wrote this more for my benefit than for yours. Please don’t call me up wanting to talk, I’m not manic-depressive, or anything. These are thoughts I’ve dealt with for years, except I haven’t gotten anywhere, so I’m trying something new. A step on a new path, for the new year. December 31st, 2006 should be interesting.
My Prime Resolution: To free myself from the shackles of worry I’ve created over the course of my life.
Wow, that was a long one. Could have been worded quite a bit more succinctly, but whatever. I’m going to go play some Marvel vs. Capcom 2.