I almost got into a fight with my parents this morning. My Dad made a “joke”: international women’s day was invented by communists, so feminists must be pretty damn conflicted about it. I pointed out that equal doesnt mean the same, that nobody’s saying that gender doesn’t exist, that they’re judging a group by its most vocal, most radical members.
None of that convinced them though, and they accused me of taking myself too seriously & being unable to calmly discuss controversial topics, change my mind, or even provide arguments to support my POV — all things i constantly complain about them being.
So I shut up, which they interpreted as sulking — correctly, i might add. What’s annoying as heck is that they kind of had a point. I, too, am all of these things. The difference is, I know that, and I’m trying to change, whereas they are twice my age. They should know better. Or should they?
What im about to say is going to sound awful, but the main reason i find it so difficult to maintain my composure around my parents is that i know full well that I’m their flesh and blood, and I hate it.
I wish i could poke holes in my own reasoning as well as i can in theirs. But I can’t. And im scared shitless that all this effort im putting into trying to get to know myself better isn’t going to change a damned thing. and im always going to be the same stubborn, narrow-minded, unlikeable, unfunny twat that I always was. (with all due respect to my dear parents. Sometimes they’re just too much.)
(and also, i have no idea where legitimate criticism and acknowledging my parents’ humanity ends & where blame-shifting and projecting my insecurities on other people begins…)
identifying my flaws won’t make them go away. explaining away my flaws won’t make them go away. i’m not so convinced anymore that even i can do that. i just hope there can be some comfort in knowing why i am the way I am.
My parents react with hostility to (or simply reject) anything they don’t understand. They assume that if you hold an opinion, your conviction must be as strong, unconditional and unwavering, as their own faith in god. it’s either you believe and accept the doctrine as wholly true, or you don’t believe — there’s no in between.
they keep asking why i “abandoned my faith” when other kids, seemingly less religious, still go to church. and then, in one breath, they condemn the gay agenda. HMM IDK MOM!
they gave me freedom of choice, and then criticized me for making the wrong decision.
And yes, I know that religion is helpful to a lot of people. And for my parents specifically, it’s an anchor; the only constant throughout their life and a source of hope and strength and comfort. I wouldn’t dare take that away from them.
But not every religious person is as categorical or intellectually lazy as they are, and I’m afraid it has less to do with religion itself or their childhood trauma, and more to do with a general tendency to think in absolutes and be satisfied with easy answers.
what confidence have I that i actually understand everything i say and am not just parroting what somebody else told me? it’s probably in my genes, after all…
i could of course describe all of the above with one simple adjective, but I really want to believe there’s more to it than that. for my sake.