Sunday, May 06, 2012

Love, Loving, Loved - too little, too much

I always said my epitaph should be "she lived, she loved". Now I'm wondering at who's expense have I lived and loved. Even though I'm the one who has lived my life, I found that I needed to research some of it. My remembrances were not clear. In researching my life, I've figured out some things.

My mother loved me. Yes, she loved my brother more. She understood him. But, she spent a large part of her life and income trying to make it up to me that she loved him more. I took it - sometimes easily, sometimes with dread, sometimes with rancor - but I took whatever she offered. And, I took advantage by knowing that she would offer. She kept trying to fix me and my life. But, she did love me. I just didn't turn out to be what she wanted or expected.

My brother was my hero, my protector, my teacher. He was a whole lot more than I had from any other male relative (or any relative) but he wasn't that grand. I don't know if he had dreams, vocation, or didn't know how to have them. His life was small and full of bravado. A slight man, he tried to increase his power through guns, knives, and violent accessories - black jack, brass knuckles, studded belt. If he had ever tried to fight, his hands would have been broken horribly. His long fingers were beautiful but more suited to guitar and piano than fighting.

My father ran away from responsibility and futility all his life. The eldest son of a mediocre farmer, he did not want to farm. I've seen pictures of him cutting timber - not sure where - huge logs. Perhaps with my maternal grandfather's logging crew. My maternal grandfather was also a bootlegger. My father drank a lot before the war, according to Mom. And, World War II sent him back a miserable alcoholic with nightmares, delusions and straight into a family dependent upon him for their welfare. He tried to farm. He tried to be a carpenter. He failed, and he returned to the Navy. After 12 more years, he failed again and was discharged before retirement - without pension or disability. And, he drank. Then, he became violent. The remainder of his life was alone.

And me? I was the princess, cossetted but never learned responsibility, adored but never learned how to love. I grasped at every opportunity to leave a family where I didn't fit. But, then, I didn't feel as if I fit anywhere. I did love - a lot of people along the way. But, I hurt a lot of people also. I ran from responsibility, I ran from hard work, I ran from people who wanted me to be more than a spoiled brat. I gave a lot of love until I was afraid to give. And, I left. I worked a lot of jobs until I might succeed, then I left. I learned a lot of things until I might have become knowledgeable, then I left.

Being what I think you want me to be is my modus operandi. Leaving is my solution. Depression the chronic malady. Someday I may learn that wherever I go, there I am.

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