A warning from below
I woke up to quite a distressing email today.
Yes, I have father issues. My father has father issues. It seems to be hereditary, which is partly why I am so relieved at only having daughters. Besides, I work damn hard to consciously do everything in my power to ‘remain their hero’ in all its forms.
Although I’ve had some issues in the past with him (which I would gladly chronicle in the forum), I have tried my best in the past to rise above the problems and maintain the relationship. My wonderful, loving (yet sometimes sadly misguided) brother has also made an effort to maintain the relationship.
However, it seems the father figure has totally gone overboard, as my mother and I received a distressing email from my brother this morning. With a 12 hour time difference, Hurtz must have sent yet sometime yesterday already. He is so fed up that he had walked out of the house and spent the night with an anonymous girl.
Typically Hurtz – bless his charming soul – went out and used sex as an escape mechanism. Wow, sometimes I do envy him. At least his had a lot of variation. So have I, admittedly, but I bow down to his prowess. On the other hand, perhaps I’m so bad at bedding girls because I wouldn’t be able to contain myself if I had his skills.
In any case, Hurtz was totally distraught as our father had made his life a living hell since he arrived there a week ago. He is visiting for three weeks on the shit side of the world, and has committed quite a lot of time, money and personal effort to get there. To date my poor brother has been bombarded with patronising statements about how perfect the shit side of the world is. This has litterally driven Hurtz out of the house, and he now spends most of the time sight seeing.
On the upside, it’s also made him loath the place, so there’s hopefully very little chance of Hurtz moving there.
It has been a monumental wake up call for me. Both Hurtz and I are cut from the same cloth (biologically speaking) as our father, obviously. If we’re not careful, we might end up the same way, especially as our grandfather is also exactly the same way. Of course my mother immediately slammed this viewpoint as biological determinism, but I disagree with her and still believe it to be possible to some extent. At least we have other biological influences as well, although they might be just as worrying: our other grandfather committed suicide at 33 leaving behind his wife and five children (aged between two and twelve).
In one of our infamous debates – this one concerning the recurrent topic of our father – Hurtz argued that one has a choice in what one becomes. ‘Sure there’s the raw materials, but what you do with it depends on your choices.’ Wise words no doubt.
However, some of the statements Hurtz made really struck home. Words like ‘irritating’ and ‘bossy’ sounded all too familiar to me. He also mentioned how no one could seemingly measure up to Father’s exceptional intellect. He’s a genius, and gets incensed when no one else keeps up. This shocked me as I am also sometimes guilty of these exact same sins.
If I intend to guard against these pitfalls, I have to work hard at it. As I have been endlessly told since childhood my intelligence surpasses my father’s, and this is dangerous. On the one hand it creates an immense expectation of what I am supposed to be(come) with the related disappointments and subsequent mood swings. On the other hand it means I might be even more prone to the terrible personality traits that Father exhibits.
If my life were a video game or novel – which I very often find myself fantasising to be true – it seems that these are all subtle clues left by the author. Were I more religious, I might believe it to be a message from God. However, I can’t decide whether he would be more obvious or less. I suspect he might expect one to work it out oneself.