Thursday, February 12, 2009

Getting off the crazy train

Woman on a train

Photographed by Bruce Johnson AKA Lotus-7 His blog is here, more of his photos here
Thank you Bruce :)

My favorite episode of the Simpsons is the one where Lisa decides to become a vegetarian. At the beginning of the episode she is at a petting zoo, gently petting a lamb. Later, at dinner, her mom serves lamb chops. She looks at the lamb chop and it transforms into a lamb. It speaks in a lamb voice.

"Don't eeeeaaattt meee Leeessa"

This triggers thoughts and feelings in Lisa. She begins to think of the lamb as a worthy creature and feels nauseous about eating it. A fire is lit in her belly.

She looks up at her family around the dinner table. She sees Bart and Homer. They are fighting over a lamb chop. They are fighting in the way dogs do, by biting onto the meat, snarling and growling while twisting their heads back and forth. At this point, she fully realizes where she is and what she comes from. Lisa Simpson comes from meat-eating savages.

She stands up, knocking her cartoon chair backward, arms thrust down at her side, fists in tiny Lisa Simpson balls.

"THAT'S IT!!" she blurts out, "THAT'S IT! I'M OUTTA HERE!!" And she storms out the room.

Which I have done, in my noncartoon life. I had left where I came from. It was an act of rebellion and anger. Of my own righteous thoughts and feelings. My thoughts included thinking I was nothing like my family, that I was better than that. I though there is a different way. My feelings were hurt and anger about many things. Mostly though, I was hurt and angry that they never saw or accepted me. They still don't. They still suck.

These thoughts, I realize, may not be entirely reality based. After all, in the throws of being hurt and angry, rational thought is not always possible. I factor this in as I work through the next step.

Nowadays, I find myself back in the belly of the beast. Back where I came from. I am living with my parents. And if there was one thing I could have done to prevent it, I would have. This includes cutting my left arm off. Yet here I am, at least for a few more months.

All my triggers are swollen in this house. Black thinking clouds swirl around me. Overeating urges tug at my sleeve, begging to start up again. My intolerance of obligation and discomfort steadily sounds an air horn. My numbness is growing and I haven't fought it much. But most of all, the anger is getting twitchy. I am starting to slam and bang.

But. I'm a grown up now. Fully formed. My life was created as an experiment to produce my own happiness.

I cannot underestimate how much I have created, how much I am. I have this awesome husband who loves me to bits. And these kids, these kids are so golden. And I have achieved so much in my work life. All good, all in the service of others. I've created a life unlike my parents. It is a tremendous and mighty life.

My experiment is now cemented into who I am. This is where I start the next step.

There is no doubt there is unhealthiness and disquiet with my parents. At this point, my kids find all the disquiet kind of funny. Like slapstick comedy.

I am teaching myself, and the kids, how to live with this for now. That even though there is unhealthiness in their midst, we can be who we are. We can still thrive and be joyful.

As for me, I am shutting off the anger, shutting off the unease. I don't have to fix anything over there, their ugliness can stay were it is. It's not my responsibility to take care of them.

Their pain is not my responsibility. And if I feel angry, irritable or snarly, I can calm down. I can deboard the crazy train. After all, I got off a long time ago.

8 Left a message at the beep:

Anonymous said...

(Hoping I can get this comment down, my IE has kicked me off three times now!)

I too enjoy the musings of little Lisa Simpson. Here are a couple of her gems to make you smile...

Lisa: (tripping out after drinking water from Duff boat ride) I am the Lizard Queen!!!

Bart: Nothing you say can upset us. We're the MTV generation.
Lisa: We feel neither highs or lows.
Homer: Really? What's it like?
Lisa: Meh. [shrugs].

Lisa: [in her letter home from camp] Dear Mom and Dad: I no longer fear Hell, because I've been to Kamp Krusty

Lisa: Our lives have taken an odd turn.

(BTW-I am sitting here with the front door open, listening to Johnny Cash live from the Louisiana Hayride

Slyde said...

Many of us have trouble with our parents.... big troubles.

the best you can do it just grin and bear it and try to make the best of it. One day they wont be around, and you will regret every time you blew up at them...

Holly Hall said...

Cam: oh god, so funny!!!

Slyde: your're killing me slyde, keeeellllliiiinnngggg me. all because you make sense.

but still keeeelllliiinnnggg meee!

Kate said...

I went back to live with my folks again after being out on my own for several years while I was in my early 20's. It ain't easy.. but just stay calm crazy lady..
You can get through this very uncomfortable time!

And, yes. What Slyde said....

badgerdaddy said...

I have a unrelated question: in your new banner image, what's that in your hand?

In other news, I'm not sure I agree with the others. I jumped off that crazy train myself, and I stayed off. Myself and my parents now have a very different relationship, and it's one where I set the boundaries for myself. And because I is a growed-up, that's the way it has to be. My thoughts may change when they're gone, but I'd be surprised. I realised a long, long time ago that I really like my mum as a person, and that my dad is a tit. Will that thought change after his death? I doubt it. Why would it? I might regret not blowing up at him more. I don't know yet.

Each to his or her own, and all that. No rules.

Holly Hall said...

Kate: so true, so true.

badger daddy: it's funny how I was able to whip up a post before I could answer your question :)

good counter point in the comments

titwanks need to be yelled at sometimes


James said...

Is there no common ground at all between you and the Spartans Holly?

I mean , you must seem like a little alien to them sometimes, you don't care about the same things they do at all...and yet they must like you a leeeetle bit because they are letting you stay there. How does Mr Hall fit in when he gets there? Does it not affect him at all or is he glad to leave and go back to work again?

Just wondering.

You can never totally override your genetic inheritance. Although you can give it a damn good shot...

Holly Hall said...

James: I think the common ground is well, what brings me here. I mean, well.

but, the more I don't get drawn into their drama, the better it gets. and they become sort of charming in their insane way.

which is what mr. hall has been saying all along. Oddly enough, they look to him to solve arguments between us (me and my parents). he is, above all, a very calming influence on the lot of us. really, he just has a zen way with conflict. :)

BUT! I cam and will override my genetic inheritance !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mark my words ;)

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