Friday, December 2, 2011

"Would you rather not exist?"

There are questions and statements I'm angry about and feel the need to answer in advance. Because I've been made my whole life to feel guilty for not feeling perfect gratitude for having such perfect parents I keep attacking myself and then needing to defend myself from myself. But these attacks are out there as well, I didn't invent them. So I'll start with my personal favorite: "Would you rather not exist?"

Because, apparently, not feeling just wonderful about one's conception and parentage means you'd rather not exist.

It doesn't make sense. I could be the product of rape, a drunken one-night-stand, incest, a silly teenage relationship that ended before I was born, you name it - and still not wish my existence away. And not be expected to love the circumstances of my conception.

But this question does reveal something else to me - I do feel and always, it seems to me, have felt, an ambivalence towards my very existence. I have felt worthless and depressed and unworthy of love and life and at times suicidal. A failure. Never good enough. Incapable of pleasing.

I am now convinced this has something to do with my parents' ambivalence towards my existence.

I was proof of my father's fertility in public, a source of his shame in secret.

I was my mother's dream come true, and a source of her guilt in front of her husband for getting her genetic child when he didn't get his, which is why she probably allowed him to appropriate me and sabotage my relationship with her from the very start, when he persuaded her she couldn't nurse me, although she wanted to.

I was someone who constantly had to be lied to and about.

A part of who I was was unacceptable to them. And I just didn't know which part, as I had tried so very hard to completely please them. And still there was this sadness and anger and hatred in my "father"'s eyes. And this guilt and fear and retreat in my mother's.

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