Butterfly Cauldron

Friday, December 28, 2007

Separation anxiety

I'm mulling over things, figuring out what I want to do with my life and some of the decisions I'm contemplating are going to seriously upset my family. Not that I'm contemplating doing anything really awful, but my family has a certain....notion of what life is supposed to be like. So far, I haven't gone so far afield that there have been serious problems. (Partially because while they know I no longer attend church, they don't know about the whole pagan thing. Or the bisexual thing.) I'm not married, but that's not so strange. They can content themselves with thinking that my life is going pretty much according to (their) script.

I have a regretable, paralysing fear of rejection. Not by most people, but by people I care about. Frankly, I'm ashamed of it. I'm far too old to care too much about what my parents think of me and yet, there it is. On the whole, I have an amazing family. Very loving, very supportive. But there are places where, if you step out of line, well. And I think that often they don't realize how the things they do hurt me. Particularly my mother. Gods, my mother.

An example: Someone mentioned (Lilo? Geo? I don't remember, sorry!) she had dyscalculia . It sounded suspiciously like the problems I've had with math all my life, so I looked it up. And gods help me, but reading that site was like reading a checklist for me. And, while I'm no expert, I'm pretty comfortable in my self-diagnosis. So, over Christmas, I mention this to my Mom. Now, understand, that I was an /excellent/ student in any subject you put in front of me -- except math. I could not, not matter how hard I studied, no matter how much help I had, no matter what I did, I could NOT do math. As it stands, I can barely add. (And no, that's not an exaggeration. Though I wish I it was.) I'm feeling pretty damned relived to find out that ya know, it's entirely possible that I had a learning disablity this entire time.

So, I tell my mom about it. And what does she do? She laughs. Just smirks and shakes her head.

Do you have any idea how awful that made me feel? My entire life I have felt profoundly stupid because of this. I've felt beyond stupid. Like the dumbest person to ever grace the face of the planet. Like one-celled sea slugs was smarter and better and more worthy than me. I literally had fucking panic attacks in college because I was forced to take pre-cal. I didn't get into a gifted boarding school because of my mathematical inability.

And my mother, who has seen all this and should know better, laughed when I said it could have all been caused by a learning disability. Oh, I called her on it and my Dad, bless him, he understood. But my mother has done things like that to me all my life. I don't think she means to. I honestly think she just doesn't think about what she's doing. I mean, she's still in denial about my illness!

And I know, there's the responsiblity to live my own life, for myself, no matter what my decisions mean to my family. I get that. But I just.....I just wish I could be accepted the way I really am, with no judgements or pressure to change. *sigh*

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posted by Zan at 5:26 PM


The only thing you need to change is your geographical proximity to me. Everything else is perfect--you're smart and beautiful and clever and talented and silly and funny and MINE


11:37 PM  

I sympathize -- especially the part about family not understanding just how much hurt they are causing. And all the knowledge in the world that you have the right to live your life as your own doesn't do a thing to make it sting less.

(Side note: I'm glad you're back; I've missed reading your posts.)

4:31 PM  

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