Tuesday, 17 December 2013

I (don't) blame the parents



I used to be one of those people who just blurted out whatever I thought about someone, but I am getting a little better these days.

I blamed my mother - who was the queen of insensitive comments - for this trait, but I decided long ago that you cannot go through life - even early adult life - continually blaming your upbringing for your behaviour, let alone as you start to enter old age.

Sometimes saying what you really think does some good, though.

I had a good friend who was having a bit of a crisis aged about 40, and she would come round almost every night and end up weeping all over our kitchen table. She had good reason to blame her mother for the way she turned out, but after a while, her visits became extremely taxing. I discovered that my well of sympathy was not bottomless after all, and we both began to hanker for a normal, peaceful evening after about 2 weeks of her emotional outpourings.

One night, she sobbed and spluttered out the same question one too many times, and so I gave her the correct answer.

"What am I going to do?", she wailed.

"I'll tell you what you are going to do," I said, "You are going to PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER!"

She stopped blubbing for a few seconds and looked at us thoughtfully through rheumy eyes before saying, "That's exactly what my psychoanalyst said after my last visit."

And he was being payed for it!

Next time she came round, she was back to her old, cheerful self. I could have saved her a lot of money years ago.

18 comments:

  1. Philip Larkin wrote a poem about parents which starts: "They fuck you up . . ."

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  2. I made an early decision in life, never to let other peoples problems become my problems; it's worked so far!

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  3. It is at best a gamble saying what you really think. At least it is for me and usually if I do, I regret it later. Glad it turned out well for you and the gripless gal.

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  4. They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do.
    They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.

    But they were fucked up in their turn
    By fools in old-style hats and coats,
    Who half the time were soppy-stern
    And half at one another’s throats.

    Man hands on misery to man.
    It deepens like a coastal shelf.
    Get out as early as you can,
    And don’t have any kids yourself.

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    Replies
    1. Don't pay the psychoanalyst/ferryman.

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    2. Don't play the psychoanalyst either!

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  5. There's an alternative career for your old age there somewhere Tom.

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  6. You're clearly sitting on a fortune Tom. Perhaps Jeremy Kyle should step aside? PLEASE come and blurt something out at my mother as soon as possible. Name your price.

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  7. Would you describe your comment as Showing Empathy ?

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  8. More detailed comments to all of you tomorrow - if the paint's dry.

    H.I. has painted right in front of the FUCKING Mac, so I am hovering over the FUCKING table like a cunt.

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  9. A friend and i were commenting about people who seem to like being stuck in their problems. He was saying that his wife is a counsellor, and while we both agreed it's all well and fine to tell someone your troubles, we'd not be good therapists, because as he said, "After a bit, I'd say you told me all your problems already, now what the f*ck are you going to do about them?"

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  10. Sometimes a " grenade" of truth, no matter how un PC CAN be therapeutic
    But it can also lose you a friendship

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    Replies
    1. I think that such a friendship is dispensable, when (as in the case of the 40year old woman) there is always ONE person taking, and always the other giving. That I wouldn't call friendship.

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  11. The truth is often very difficult to handle.

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    Replies
    1. Especially when the handle is painted black. See below...

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  12. The paint is still wet, so I am leaving it until later for anything else... it's difficult to type standing up with hovering fingers...

    It reminds me of when someone painted the door-knob of my cottage in the middle of a dark wood a sticky black, which I only discovered when I got home. That took about a week to dry as well.

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