Thursday, February 11, 2010

506. Scarring Childhood Memory Department... A Sketch.... Maybe a Poem Someday: The Greatest Love is the Greatest Sting (Live Twice!)

Today is the first day of mental recuperation from about a week... no... about a month of self-exploration of internal landscapes... in order to truly figure out where I was at before my intellectual-life-or-death-committee-meeting (which ended up being not that bad after all... more later!).

I found myself waking up to a horrible nightmare I had around 7am this morning... pertaining to my mother who messed up my room... as she did when I was around 11-12 year old, when me and my sister were bad girls... for whatever reasons.... I also found my mother upset because I was taking out student loans... that's where the argument laid... nevertheless, modern problems were overlaid with traumatic childhood experiences.

I called my mother around 9am at work and said, "I had a bad dream and it was about you messing my room when I was a child. And I wanted to say I love you because hey, I can laugh this off, and many other children were physically beaten, but you were very good at indirect psychological drama. So, thanks." My mother told me that when she was a teenager, she was slapped by her mother for no apparent reason--she was trying to help her mother, but her mother misinterpreted as back-stabbing of sorts--and my mother was permanently scarred, so when she was angry and frustrated with me and my sister, she really tried very hard to minimize her impact on us. Hence the Psychological Trauma Department of Mother-Hurricane's-Children's-Room! So, when I sing, "It takes one rock to make me, one rock to make me, one rock to take me, far far away. The very rock that holds me, can be the rock that harms me, the very rock that leads me, back on my way," this song is devoted to my mother primarily, and a couple of other individuals in my life who have been the same. The greatest, most visceral, instinctive love of mother and child... can also and ultimately be the greatest sting.

I had a conversation with a fisherman about subliminal childhood memories... and we had discussed childhood abuse.... Why? Well, because apparently he was at this shopping mall and there was this little girl who was shrieking and screaming and yelping so loud that you could hear her across a parking lot the size of 5-6 football fields (it's funny how the "football field" is the standard metaphorical SI unit of scale for Joe American). Her bawling wailed across the entirety of IKEA. That child was a mess-up, a failed biological art project. The mother had no control over the kid. The fisherman suggested a good smack for reinforcement. It was so loud, I would probably suggest the same. Duct tape as well? One way or another, that child was a nuisance to about 10,000 people at a shopping mall all at once. That kid was no good news to society... and the sad thing is that she was only 4 year old.

Many children have to deal with physical beatings, and that leaves detrimental, permanent scars for life. I told him about what my mother did to me and my sister. I only remember my mom spanking my sister once in our entire childhood (I think I was around 4 or 5 year old)... not much to speak of.... I remember my father whippin' my face once at a tennis tournament when I was ten years old... I wouldn't stop crying... but I don't blame him... my mother was this fanatic tennis mother who created this entire familial tension such that all of our weekends for about 4 years were filled with tennis tournaments, subliminal arguments, and overt family fights.

One of the most horrifying memories was the early morning (winter-time, it was dark outside) argument behind closed doors between my mother and father. I was outside the door in the dark hallway, crying, listening as to what was happening inside. My father had the most threatening tone-of-voice I had ever heard in my life, and my mother was shrieking. I heard bangs and shoves... I felt so helpless.

The worst part is that they were arguing over me. That's the very worst part. I was preparing for some STUPID exam on World History for my second grade class with 6'4" Ms. Christoffers and history was something I wasn't very good at remembering the facts, and so I had written in tiny words on my hand the answers to the questions (which actually helped me remember what I was supposed to learn!), and so my mother was testing me during breakfast, and she found out that I had written the answers on my hand... and she started excessively scolding me for cheating... it was so excessive that it became abusive and that's when my father intervened... and then the whole shebang of the dark hallway-behind-closed-doors-drama. I went to school that day partly in tears, and so my surprise my mother came to visit me around 1pm in the afternoon and she gave me a very big hug and said sorry, sorry, sorry. I was worried about my mother and father staying together... and of course they stayed together... but man... the beauty of emotions are that sometimes they just blow up out of no-where... accumulated suppression... but after a while... the emotions ware off.... about three days for me.... They say "wounds" heal with time... I do agree.... but there are permanent scars in memory.... This was one of my most vivid childhood memories... and it was negative.... The positive ones, I'm sure I'm full of those... but thankfully my "Collecting Bin of Negative Childhood Memories" is very small, finite, and quite containable....

I don't know how I got into this whole Obama-America-Helpless-Mother-Screaming-Child-metaphor, but here it goes....

I'm writing this and come to understand how stressful it is to raise a child... and I honestly don't know what people are thinking when they choose to have a kid in such a society as today. Raising a kid or running the United States of America? The problems of governance are equally as bad. I feel so horrible for Obama. I think the system right now is so massive and so inert that Obama is more so a puppet to the system, than a player. Just like that mother and that screaming child. America is the screaming child, and Obama is the helpless mother who can't rear or control the child, no matter how hard he tries. Obama didn't create the problems.... He inherited them. That screaming child embodies the rapid inheritance of a suite of American problems. The cart is running the horse... the horse has no control of the cart. I am not an anarchist, but I am a disastrologist. I am a perpetrator of the Phoenix; it's stage right now is that it needs to collapse into ashes. I feel that renewal in this global system will come bottom up, through disaster. Disaster speaks louder than dollar bills (thankfully the Supreme Court doesn't have to write that in the laws). It's just a matter of when, where, and how. Earthquakes and volcanoes are my friends... even though they may have the risk of taking my life... they will be good for society. Enough of my Jesxs Chrxst-kill-myself-save-society mentality.... It's not very evolutionarily... common.

Back on topic here... so my mother was the Master of Indirect Psychological Trauma. She didn't destroy and bruise our physical bodies, but she did destroy our "bowers," hence that being our "array of toys and clothes and tools" in our rooms. If my sister and I were bad for some reason... like for example, I was 12-years-old, I delt with my "friends" Marie and Jyoti who were making fun of me because I was probably the only person in class being nice (respectful) to this geeky dude with excessively huge glasses named "Andrew Wannemaker" in my middle school Algebra 2 math class. I came home crying to my mother, who told me to get a life and focus on "real" problems, which was superb advice, but at the same time, I was being abused by my miscro-cosmal suite of "friends," and so through the mechanism of psychological displacement, I would have these subliminal agendas around the household, like "dump unwanted toys in my sister's room without her knowing" and "putting water in the salt shaker to make all the salt sticky-stuck." And I would call my sister bad names for no reason (poor Jen Jen, she was such a cute wittle girl I wished I could have recognized what a cute little kid she was, I wouldn't have been so mean to her, I might devote a cartoon to Jen Jen to make up for all of my misbehaviors). So, if my mother was fed up with me or my sister, she would go into our rooms and be "Madame Hurricane:" she would tear a part our rooms, throw around everything until nearly ever element of the room was misplaced, and then she would command us, as we watched her devastation in horror, to clean up our rooms that day... which was a multi-hour ordeal. For one stretch of time, my mother threatened us that she would rip up some of our dolls or stuffed animals in to pieces. And then one time she did. She ripped my sister's Rosa Doll in two, and all this cottonish polyester fell our of the middle, and both of us were shrieking horrified, because our stuffed animals were our lives.... We would spend hours upon hours animating these stuff-teed animals and create fantasy worlds in our minds about how they interacted with each other... and for one of them to be ripped in two and see her insides? What was polyester to everyone else was our soulful, emotional blood and guts spewing on the floor.... I think after that super-angry moment, my mother was even appalled with herself, just as we were in shell-shock... talk about childhood shock doctrine. That afternoon my mother took the Rosa Doll and sewed her up very good, and said sorry to me and Jenny, and Rosa was back in business in our self-constructed stuffed-animal-ecosystem. I kind of wished real-life surgery were that simple, one day you get split in two by an act of violence, and then you get sewed up back together again... maybe grafting for plants... but not us megacorporate multicellular organisms of bloody, intricate interdependence of our bodily ecosystems.

The worst case situation of my mother tearing up our rooms is when I evolved such a lowly sense of self-worth that I ended up ripping all of my 6-year accumulation of awards and accomplishements in school (not to mention stamps and smelly-stickers of approval), from kindergarten to 5th grade, all in a few minutes... and now it's recycled, dispersed as whatever materials somewhere and everywhere in the world.... Three days later my mother had been very nice to me and my fickle confidence restored. I was sad that my trash can was emptied... I regretted that I ripped up my awards, and I wished I had kept them to this day... not because they were awards... but because they were memories of school, accumulated 6 years destroyed in 3 minutes....

More evidence of my mother being a master of psychological trauma.... She was very, very good at making me (and my sister, but more so me) feel guilty into continuing to play tennis even though I was philosophically resisting the game from the very start (the first time I ever played a tournament at age 9, I was crying non-stop for 1.5 hours; I felt bad for winning, I felt bad for losing, I am a win-win person and not a win-lose person, I had no incentive to beat people). My mother would threaten us not to going fun places... and she thought that getting sponsorships and tickets to Disneyland was going to convince us to perform... I think not. She threatened us to quitting but never gave us any other options... like volleyball or soccer or track or swimming or whatever sport.... Tunneling us into tennis without providing options. It was a classic situation in which my mother was trying to live her dreams through her puppet children. I sometimes call my mother the Stern Dictator of the Household (the need for regimentality) and my father the Gentle Advisor... he exposed me and my sister to stuff and made everything fun. He gave us options but no pressure to go one direction or another. He expected us to skin our knees and learn from our mistakes, but he would always be there for a hug and a wiping of tears. Obviously this characterization of my parents is different: my mother no longer holds this "Dictatorship" role, more so now a Gentle Advisor as well... but nevertheless the psychological turmoil was intense, and placed my mind in a Box of Good Child Obedience.

The external trauma of the household toned down toward the end of high school when around 16 I started to subconsciously impose trauma on myself during my studies... throwing away food... not eating... excessive OCD-type behaviors with exercising in my room... banging my head against the wall... on the floor.... Inside it was that horrible cannibalistic collectively-induced manslaughter when people passed through the Event Horizon (remember that film?). That was my interior for a while... suppressed interior for a while... only revealed ONCE through my teenage years... in art class... as "The Mask." (refer to Blogs "The Mask" and key words "Live Twice").

Well, what can I say? This is great material for an eventual poem. Woohoo! I had started a poem a while ago entitled "Scars to the Mind" referring to these past childhood memories... but somehow this bad dream I had this morning made this narrative thread of childhood traumas come to full life in emotional landscapes. I might as well capture it as it's fresh. I'm lucky to say that my childhood was benign, and nearly all negativity quarantined. Like I mentioned before, I'm called my mother to say "I love you, and thank you for only messing up my room, because I'm only laughing now."

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