Monday 19 November 2007

Oedipus and Jocasta- A Modern Tragedy

I guess life isn't simple. I have spent the last few months in a situation that completely defied reason. Where was the logical explanation for events?

Soul searching, well, as you can see, I've done a fair bit of that of late, but those of you who have been reading between the lines may have been wondering when (and if) I was going to mention exactly what it was that was torturing me and how this situation arose.

And it's taken me a while to come clean with myself about that.
Because beaten down and tired though I am, I am sure the one who beats me down and tortures me feels genuine pain.
Does she really believe the things she says about me?

That's the hurtful part. I know I'm not the person she describes. I know who I am.
And now I can see precisely what went wrong.

These things shouldn't really be online, it is true. But I guess, I have no choice.

Sometimes, people don't always realise what it is they wanted.

I suppose I had better start with some background, and for that, we have to go to the topics of conversation everyone in RL, knows I don't like to talk about.
If I talk of the years before University, it is only really school and my part-time jobs I talk about.

My home life, I try to forget.

It winds me up when people bang on about how good the nuclear family is.
Crap. If you think that it usually means one of two things. Either you REALLY were one of the lucky ones and copped two good 'uns, or you are still wandering through life in your parent's shadow, living the life THEY wanted you to lead.

Well, not everyone has it that lucky. Being able to pass on genes doesn't make an expert in bringing up children and many parents have no skills whatsoever in that department.

Both mine were poor. Not ones out of ten, that would have put them in the nonce category, but certainly neither of them scoring above five.

Oh, we were well fed, nice house, the 'concern', the close reading of school reports, the family meals, all that crap.

But we were additions to it. As if two years after the wedding, starting a family seemed an idea. Honeymoon, tick. Mortgage, tick. Part time job for the Mrs, Tick. Three piece Suite, tick. Kitchen, tick. Eldest son, tick.

My father always said that he never really knew his Dad and regretted that, because they never got to know eachother, though God knows they had years enough. The lived near eachother all their lives, my grandfather dieing of colon cancer in 1989, a year after retiring.
He was a workaholic and never saw his family. It wasn't a happy marriage.

Well, let's just say my father and I were never close. He was the sort of father you get nervous of, because he DOES believe in corporal punishment. Right up until I was big enough to belt him one.
After which point we just argued at eachother, and once I was old enough, I just used to walk out and go live with my Gran for a bit.

Even now, we don't speak much. My mother tends to ask me round once every couple of months on a day he's gone to his boat. We can't be together in the same room too long. He likes to bait me by choosing topics of conversations that will provoke me, such as why the country is over-run by 'inferior races', or why religion is irrational. Occasionally we do have a pint together- he's less confrontational in the pub.

So I'm closER to my mother. Don't get your hopes up.
My mother's mother left when she was two and she was fostered. Maternal instincts, she has few. She's not the sort of mother who you can talk to. Oh, you can have great conversations with her about Russian history, or the Lord of the Rings. The peculiarities of your love life, no.

I can remember one occasion in my life, when I know she was very worried for me, and she put her arms around me and cried.
It shocked me a bit.

I was 25. She'd never done that before.
Three words I've never heard from her lips. I. Love. You.

Does she? Of course she does, I can see that. Has she ever expressed it, as a mother would?
She can't. I don't hold that against her. I'm actually quite fond of her, though or reasons mentioned above, I only see her about six hours a year, for of a couple of hours at time. And of course, most Christmases.

But I don't straight away see her, the way others see their mothers. I could see that even as a child. You could see going to your friends houses, their relationship with their parents was more natural. The way these things appeared in films.
Sort of, the ET family.

I remember a few years ago, I read a passage in Morris about Maternal bonds.

Morris states that the hugely increased period humans spend with their parents, means that the maternal bond is cut later than in most primates. This means most people have a need, once having cut it, to find a similar bond. That ONE human being, they can always trust. Hence, human monogamy

Morris states that those why DON'T have this bond, or break it early, or pretty much unable to make monogamy work, or take any relationship seriously. Interestingly, he also noted that the lack of a support structure as a child, often means they develop heightened understanding of spatial and interpersonal relationships. In other words, they get used to building large networks of people to protect them, rather than relying on a single person.

Well, that's ME down to a 't'. I knew that as soon as I read it.
But there is something Morris overlooked. And I only understood myself due to recent events.

Yes, you have no real understanding of what it is like to have that bond. But didn't you always envy those who had casual, laughing, hugging, help-yourself-to-some lemonade, mothers?
How many times have you thought 'I would think, right now, I want my Mum. But I don't. What I wish is that she was the kind of Mum, I 'd want right now.'

How many times have you felt proud of some achievement and wished your Mum would ring you and get REALLY excited, not just the smiling nod you get when you tell her weeks later?

And it's dangerous.
I have been in two very strange RL relationships with women significantly older than me, which were based on two completely irreconcilable dynamics. I now realise that, I just wasn't honest with myself about it. The complete disinterest in sex on both occasions on my part tells me exactly what both those women were to me. Someone to hold you tight as you sleep, stroke your head and tell you it was going to be OK. At those occasions in my life, that's what I wanted. You are culturally conditioned. Every man has a mother who will always care for them.

And you don't realise what it is you are really doing. In the case of the second, I pretty much declined sex most of the time, so my best mate saw on the side. It was no big secret. Though she was disconcerted when she found I knew all along, had in fact given my consent before she started seeing him as well.

Well, in May this year, I ended up in phone conversation with someone on the internet. And something went badly wrong. Had any degree of logic been applied, or objective analysis, alarm bells would have rung in my head. Because what happened next, ended up causing two people a lot of harm.

You see, this is where, to be fair, it gets a bit dark. Too much phone conversation about Nietzche, in which you also bare your soul to a total strange, with a lovely, caring, I-want-to-hold-you-tight-and-look-after-you voice can be dangerous. You're starting to really face a crossroads in your life, and then it happens.

The Love you've looked for all your life.
But not THAT type.
The other one.

I said I Love You. I meant it, I can see that now. But I can also see, that I was using a meaning that hadn't occurred to me. I was saying how I felt, it was completely illogical, and I should have thought about what it was that I was saying.

But it WAS a powerful feeling, and one COMPLETELY different to the many other times have thought I've been in love.

It was 'Will you be my mother?' Love.

Someone to call and say they love you. Someone to listen, hear all the stuff you WANT to tell your mother. And I did. I told her EVERYTHING I wanted to tell my mother. I told her all the sh*t, my mother doesn't know. I told her my fetishisms, my fantasies, my fears, the worst stuff I could think of, hoping that she'd still be listening, a tear in her eye, the unconditional love of a mother.

And she was.

Did I feel gratitude to her? Yes.
For weeks I just carried in this. It was unique, like nothing I've felt before.
Which should have been the giveaway. this was something wildly different.

Those of you who Do really have a maternal bond, imagine that bond. Now imagine you FELL into it.
Because that's what happened here.

But I couldn't see it.

Of course, after a while the novelty of actually having a mother, wears off. Your real mother calls you once a month, not every day, and she has no involvement in your social activities.
It only occurred to me recently, that the real divergence on viewpoint on so many things between me and this person boil down basically to the different roles we were playing for eachother.

I don't think I ever saw her, as anything other than a mother, not really. I get annoyed if my grandmother rings me. Because she would ring me non stop if she had the number, I call her once a fortnight to see if she is OK, knowing she doesn't know 1471. I won't give her a contact number.

Fact is, after a while, I didn't need a Mum to cry to any more. It was a confused time. She was saying, have your feelings changed, I was saying 'Please don't call me.' I guess she was confused. It must have seemed to make no sense, that you love someone, in a way that really makes no sense, because you don't want them to contact you, comment on your blog, or otherwise hear from them.

Because you wouldn't your mother to call you, uninvited. You call mothers, they don't call you. You don't tell your mother all the things you do, she doesn't expect you to. And you certainly wouldn't want her commenting at your blog.

And that's those of you who get on with their mothers.
Of course, I still didn't get this myself, really.

Suffice to say, Me and Mum fell out, many times. First was because Mum didn't like my female friends online. And then, oh, let's not go in to it. Suffice to say, there was always the danger she could get angry and publish my real name, at which point, my life would be ruined, ot at least the most important point in it, that this blog remains eternally separate from the name of its author.

And this is what never made sense to me. I knew talking to her was dangerous, I knew it was only putting off something inevitable, but I couldn't see what.

And she'd calm me down, the soothing voice of the mother.
And she meant it. I think, for her too, it was a mother's love.

And that was what I wanted.
And so it carried on. You'd go to bed, thinking 'But when does this end?', after telling her you still loved her, when what you meant was 'Thankyou Mum, for scaring away the woman who was scaring me earlier.'

The Baker finally put a halt to it, the phone calls anyway. He didn't put his finger on it, but he was pretty livid about the whole mess, and said I should have told him.

I think he sussed what was going on, because he did say in a roundabout way 'I can see how it happened, in that respect, you can be...unusually needy. You need to stop it, Crushed. Be honest with yourself.'

And so, I tried to. But it never quite worked. I didn't really understand what it was I was trying to say. I couldn't handle the situation, that's for sure. It just seemed impossible to draw it to an amicable close- all I wanted by this point.

Because yes, I wanted her to leave me alone. But I also wanted her to hold me tight and say 'It's going to be alright. You can face the world now. Your Mum listened to you.'

And so, to the closest woman to love me as a mother would, from the son my mother never had, Sorry.

Can't we just leave it be, and stop hurting eachother?


Anonymous said...

just be grateful that you werent abused but were loved and had a secure childhood, many dont.

Anonymous said...

Have you told her all of this yourself?

"Because you wouldn't your mother to call you, uninvited. You call mothers, they don't call you."

Out of everything you talk about on maternal relationships I would say that I disagree with this. I speak to both of my parent's everyday, I in fact see my mum most. I don't think the novelty of having a mum (or a dad for that matter) ever wears off. Just because you get older, doesn't mean you don't need your parents just as much as you did when you were young. They might not play as big a role in your life as they used (and neither they should) but they're still an important part of day to day life.

Anonymous said...

Hitch- I am. I see my parents regularly enough to suit as all. They want to know I'm still alive, and vice versa. But if we weren't related, we would despise eachother. That's reality.

Oestrebunny- Well, I'll be honest, I wouldn't really know. I know f*ck all about maternal relationships from experience.

No, my parents aren't any kind of role in my life. To quote my father 'I don't really care what you do, go to hell for all I care, I have one son turned out how I wanted.'

Meaning my brother, the respected Doctor.

They play NO role in my day to day, weekly or any kind of life. I have a family- every single member of which, I chose myself. People with whom I share something more important than genes- we share life.

Anonymous said...

at least now I see!

Anonymous said...

I guess coming from such a dysfunctional family has left its mark on you, as mine did on me.
But you have the opportunity to change any harmful effects that were left. Not only the opportunity but the intelligence and the insight to be able to do so.

As to this latter relationship, it was badly done because you were not honest with that person. Perhaps only in retrospect can you see that. I'm sure you know that you can't fix it, so be sorry about it, learn from it and move on. Closed chapter.

Anonymous said...

Crushed, I like reading you and I think you sound like a nice person, I do.
But referring that another woman made you feel like your mother is wrong wrong wrong. It's wrong for her and (obviously) wrong for you.

It seems like you used this girl ( I think I know who you mean?)
You have learnt the hard way I suppose that you cannot keep telling somebody you love them, but really just want them to go away.

Women like to nurture and 'rescue' and make men feel good about themselves. But I feel for this girl who got so hurt by you.

I read that you are hurting as well, but I think you hurt this woman more.

Anonymous said...

This marketing is unacceptable. MY comments being barred when I have a right to refute me is INGSOC . I think you are a disgrace to play this card and lie so. Does this mean you really want to fuck your mother Rex? Cuz I recall very sexual relationship between us, with you always talking about how you had never wanted to do someone so badly! More proof that you lie to your friends.
Now FREYA speaks you dirty cad!

Anonymous said...

City un- :) I didn't really WANT people to see this crap.

jmb- I agree with everything you have said, to be honest.
I have spent months trying to fix this, in vain.
I would like it to be closed, I would.

Betty- Yes, I HAVE learned the hard way. But I wasn't to know. And you have to remember, I'm not a bastard, yes I wanted her to go away, it didn't mean I suddenly hated her.
Jut that I could see that what we were doing was just- wrong.

Part of the problem was, in an RL sense, as opposed to in a conversational sense, I actually don't want to be rescued or nurtured.

Ubermouth- Oh. So can I comment on your posts? The one where why call me psychotic?

Look, I kept telling you we SHOULDN'T and should stop all contact.
Look. I have tried over and over again to explain this to you.

The underlying basis of our 'relationship' was profoundly unhealthy, and once of us had the sense to realise that, it needed to be stopped. I'm sorry.

Had we have met, then no, I doubt anything sexual would ever have happened, I'm sorry, but I'm being honest, because I wouldn't have seen you that way. But I probably wouldn't have known that until that point.

It was a bizarre fantasy that ran out of control, with a number of things blurring, because we were simply voices separated by hundreds of miles. Had we been sitting facing eachother, things would almost certainly have been different.

Look, I'm sorry things got confused. but it wasn't a life partner I was looking for when We spoke. I gave you that impression, I am aware of that.

But the nastiness has just gone on too long. Can't we leave it?

It doesn't make either of us look good, and we've been through enough misery.
Please? Can I get my life back to normal?

Anonymous said...

Wow. This certainly gives a lot of perspective on where the both of you are coming from. I can see where the panic came from on your end, but I can also see why she would feel so betrayed. I hope the two of you can find some peace and wisdom for the future amidst all this.

Anonymous said...

I understand a lot of the things you write about strained and distant family relationships, and I think you made a big mistake in letting this whole thing become so important to you. I hope you will soon put this behind you as I like to speak with you both...

Blogging is a funny thing, we can imagine we really know people when we do not. I have nearly fallen into that trap several times...

Come on guys - move on.

Anonymous said...

From my point of view, only having spoken to your mum on the phone a few times, she seems ok. Not the sociable type I have to say, but she gives me the impression she likes me (whether that's true or not I don't know) and even sent me a thank you christmas card a year ago, when you were hard to get hold of, to thank me for being there for you etc, which was really nice of her, and that warmed my heart.

My own mum and dad have had their ups and downs. They were both hard to live with, mum moreso, but I love them to bits, and are always on the other end of the phone to talk to, so I guess i'm lucky. Mum calls me if I don't call her at least once a week, just to check in, see how things are either end of the country, etc.

My folks were never huggy people, so I grew up with no physical love, in the form of hugs and kisses. I only ever got them from my nan, who I love to hug and kiss even today, because her hugs and kisses are always so inviting and warm.

When I moved to Brum, I became a huggy person. Not sure how it happened, but I started hugging them and kissing them when they arrived and left, or when I arrived and left theirs, and it's just continued, and I love it now.

I've always been into older women. I think this is because I guess i'm looking for that mother figure, someoen to look after me, love me, but also someone who can be my partner, the best of both worlds. I've been lucky to meet two women that fitted that role, one is not in her 50s, and the other in her 60s, but I loved them both while I dated them (individually). I guess I still look for someone older than me even now, in the hope that they will give me that extra love and support a mother figure could only give.

I guess i'm lucky in that i've always had a bond with my folks, probably moreso after I moved out, because I don't see them very often, maybe once a quarter, and my nan less, maybe twice a year. That saddens me about my nan to be honest, because I miss her, she's in her late 70s and I worry that i'm missing out on the latter part of her life, and of course she won't be around forever, and that saddens me.

My greatest fear is my parents and my nan passing away, and feeling the lonliness that comes with that, because my brother lives further south, and we hardly speak and only see each other about once a year, along with my nieces, whom i'm missing growing up.

I've not read anyone elses replies, but maybe you should sit down with your mum and tell her all this you've told us today? Tell her how you feel? Or print it off and post it to her? Maybe she'll be more of a mum towards you then, and show more affection towards you? If you don't, I will!! I have her address remember!! lol.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry all this has happened , Crushed and don't really know what to say, except to echo jmb and hope that now you feel able to move on. You have many years ahead of you and you can make them great years if you wish.

Anonymous said...

Princess P- To be fair, I have a lot to panic about. Aside from the fact that, well, this isn't the kind of blog someone in my sector of employment can have, unless it's anonymous. If clients found out a company employee of the company they trust to promote thei equipment ran a blog with the sort of ideas I have, it could threaten my career.

More, I allude to RL people with clear implications in ways things about them could be traced, which they wouldn't want their emplueers or family reading.

Lastly, is the obvious. Some of the rather colourful things that have happened in my life, don't need to be online- and SHOULDN'T be.

Mutley- That is all I have ever wanted. I just want it all over, like civilised people. Life is too short. I've got enough on my plate to deal with in RL. My flatemate's baby coming up, clearing a pile of bills before Christmas, a couple of parties, earning a good a bonus and trying to find a solution to the forthcoming problem of how to select a new flatmate. Plus finding the Baker a job down here.

SS- Oh, she's pleasant enough. No malice in her at all. But not a people person. I don't think she understand anyone in the world apart from my faher- because he's the only one, I think, who understands her. He IS her world.

Loving couple, but only really to eachother. I think that was the problem.
I think that's why I don't really like the idea of monogamy.

My Gran though, very loving person indeed. But her marriage wasn't. Go figure.

Talk to my Mum. You don't get it. She's just not like that. She's a fragile woman, really.
You have to treat her as under eighteen, for purposes of conversation, if you catch my drift.

Welshcakes- They really could be. everything else in my life is prerrt good, really. So many opportunities, true much decision still to go through, but there's much that feels exciting- like The Baker and my flatmate having a kid, starting to take job a bit more seriously, etc.

Anonymous said...

i understand what you say about saying stuff to your mum. mine is the same. there are some things i wanna discuss with hr about my past and how i was treated as a kid, but i know if i bring them up, she will flip, say i'm picking on her, and get all upset, then start saying she's a bad mum, get really self conscious about it all, so i dont say anything, so i dont upset her.

many parents know they didn;t do such a good job at crtain times of their childs life, but they dont need reminding of it by their own children, they brush it under the carpet in the hope it never surfaces again and gets buried away for good.

Anonymous said...

Damn. I know where you are coming from. Exactly where. I've been in the same kind of relationships, too. Older women--bartenders and professors, to be precise, the kinds who love to take care of people. I can't say there names because some of them are right here on the blogs, and I still love the memory of what they were, if not who they still are, even at a distance.

Obviously, it affects us all differently, but the core of the matter is remarkably the same. We have voids, and we sometimes find what seems to be that right opportunity to fill them.

Just, wow. Amazing post.

Anonymous said...

To get back to this one, it's not the people that we loved, or maybe I should just leave it at 'me'. It's often not the people that I loved, but instead it was their capacity to love, to listen even if they don't necessarily understand me. To take me and all of my quirks, hang-ups and negatives as I come, that was what I liked. And that something I also learned from them--to be more tolerant of the mistakes and misgivings of others. Love or not, I was (and still am) looking to become complete, or at least more complete than I am. And I know it isn't going to be another person that completes me, though they may help me to find those answers.

I think this is one of the most thought provoking and thoughtful posts I've ever read.