The time now is 7 am. I have yet to sleep; the demons of the night keep me awake. I say demons, but it’s really just the same recurring thoughts coming up again and again. Things I want to write about don’t just link up in a coherent manner for writing in the English Language; a series of drawings on a canvas might be a better description of what I’m trying to say. But then nobody will see it. Nobody will understand it. I guess this shouldn’t be called a journal entry either.
Before I devolve into too long didn’t read territory, this is not a farewell. It is a first, I hope it’s a last, but it is not me saying my goodbyes; I’m way too stubborn for any of that leaving this world nonsense. Although it is quite possible I might die to health problems if I continue to have insomnia like this (although this one was brought about mainly because I drank coffee at 6pm yesterday). Nonetheless, it’s the demons that keep me awake in bed after midnight.
I say demons, mainly to add negative connotations to these threads of thought. A more apt term that comes to mind is grudges. Suddenly I think about To Be or Not To Be the choose your own adventure book. Maybe this exposition should be in that form instead. But then it will be too difficult to read. I hope that the reader would treat this as an exercise in stringing another person’s thoughts together as we go along (I’m not really crazy, just trying to type whatever comes to mind, since the demons come and go as they wish, and I have this hope that writing it all here will let me put some of them to rest). Pause. Mind is suddenly clear as if the demons have fled after that thought, but I have some tales in hand to start with..
“Forgive and Forget” I don’t know when was the last time I heard this phrase nor where I learned of it. I don’t remember. In fact, I don’t remember a lot of things. I suspect this strange preoccupation of mine of holding, remembering and bearing grudges - demons, if you will - is taking up so much of my recollection time that I basically have amnesia. From what I believe is basically constructive memory, the phrase was probably introduced in one of the times my mother tried to tell me to forgive my father for something that happened. What, I cannot remember. Which is surprising, maybe my mother helped me with that demon. I want to describe these demons I have, but that’s the main reason why I’m writing this exposition and that can wait. Maybe some details on the amnesia would help more to describe this problem I have with the demons. After all, science has proven lack of sleep leads to bad memory, but this amnesia is not simple.
New paragraph for emphasis. I don’t know about my brother, but I cannot recall any of my family vacations. I don’t recall what I did in Thailand, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, or wherever else I’ve been with them. I don’t remember what fun I had on the several cruises to nowhere (even though I remember one of the cruises was Aquarius). The only fun times I could remember are a scattering of events that me and my brother had fun. Genting, for one. I remember the demons much more clearly, as I recall them diligently every time one of these bouts of insomnia occurs.
More Chinese proverbs come to mind, I’ll get to them in a second. I believe that most of my closer friends know about my relationship with my father. By know I mean that they know I have a/some/several grudges against him. The Chinese proverb is something along the lines of each family has a mantra that is difficult to read.
I just went to look at the puddle I was intending to reflect this on, it seems that it has been forgotten and left behind after all, I guess I will have to rethink the strategy of getting people to read this.
More distractions, as I slowly become less close to the demons and more half-awake. It’s okay, because I can summon them at will. Denial is a fickle thing, after all. Another Chinese proverb is that the ugliness within the family should be kept within the family. Somehow, I think that is true to a certain extent, but in this case (lol econs training) fuck that fucking proverb. It might be the reason why I’m still like that.
Finally there’s the idea of filial piety. The core of the idea is that the parents have sacrificed a lot of things to get their children where they are, wherever they are. They have worked, toiled, given up their wants and dreams, in favor of letting their children grow up to be… I realize I don’t know how to finish this sentence, because I cannot make any conjecture on what to fill it in with. The term that fits in a ideal happy world is “whoever they decide to be”. But that’s not the case. Linkin’ Park’s Numb, the angsty song that I scream out at the top of my lungs, summarizes it well. Parents have been kids too, with things denied them, with things forced on them. They try to make it up, tell themselves, no, I have to ‘do it right’ with my children. They see other families, the ‘happy’ side of everything (since the ugly is supposed to be kept hidden), and task upon themselves the need to make things right for their children. It’s easy to say what you want to happen, but the truth is, the best way is to act the way you want your children to act. I once said that I’m an asshole because my dad is an asshole, and care for people because my mother cared for me. I could say it again, but then I might as well end the thing here without talking about demons. But I won’t. The thoughts have refined themselves since then, since more bouts. The way I feel, in psychological terms, is very similar to penis envy. However I would like to think it’s not, mainly because of the demons. Either way, I love my mother very much. Not just because of her sacrifices, but because of what I’ve learned from her actions. She has her flaws, but some have also taught me a little about women, and I love her all the same. I hope she knows. As for my dad, he plays the role of the alpha male in the household. What else would I biologically do other than learn from the alpha?
The first thing I learned is to blame. It’s very common in people, but I see it as a weakness. Standard blaming is a technique used to shift responsibility on another. In my case it’s more of completely avoiding the need to take any responsibility, action or even apologize, regardless of whether the shifted blame is accepted by the other party. One might imagine that this does not work very well outside of an environment where one is the alpha male among dependents. And your image would be correct. However, looking at what my brother does now, he has learned it 100%, although I’m not sure if he also exhibits the apparent remorse when he takes it too far (which I barely remember my dad doing).
Second, I gained a quick temper. For me, I feel like it’s an uncontrollable torrent of emotion, primarily of anger, when I get ticked off. Within the household, the alpha has no need to control anything, and can just freely let his temper reign, only to show some apparent remorse after tears have been shed. For some reason, since one of the demons spawned after A levels, and possibly after listening to SHIN’s 从今以后I seem to have lost the ability to cry when I’m sad or depressed. Cold analysis leads me to believe that crying is used to let loved ones know that you’re hurt, so that you can be comforted. And since it’s pointless, I have lost that ability. Back to the volcano analogy. Now that I think about it, it’s a lot like a sudden pulse of insanity. I have only unleashed it once in full force before, shouting bloodcurdling death threats at an Indian kid who was part of a bunch of teens loitering about collecting
trash everything that we
neglected to keep watch on while we performed maintenance on vehicles under the
hot Indian afternoon sun. The second time I can currently recall the insanity
setting in was when I was in France with friends, feeling like I was depressed
from being forever alone. Many irritations were already in place, such as not
having any luggage, not getting any help from the unfriendly Air France and
French airport staff who kept pretending they didn’t understand English, knowing
I had no insurance coverage, no spare change of clothes in the carry on and not
having felt properly clean for most of the week, we went into an adult store to
look at sexy lingerie. I thought about how we just spent all our time touristing,
but nobody had bothered to ask if I might perhaps need a change of clothes or
even a towel. I could have asked, but I haven’t learnt how to do that. I’ve
never seen my dad interact with a friend or colleague in a non-hostile manner
before, and have never met any of my mother’s friends apart from my brother’s
wedding. Read: I don’t know how to ask people for favors. I spent all of last
year saying I’m collecting favors from people, but I’ve not really asked for
many back. Back to France. This was boiling point, but I instead said that I
was really tired and asked if it was the last place we’d go to. Someone said
yeah, but turns out of course it wasn’t. The next stop was Museum of Sex.
Remember depressed alone guy who’s thinking no woman other than his mom would
love him? I pretty much felt myself lose the ability to think coherently and
felt the need to shout at something, someone anyone. Instead I exited the store
and walked away.
I think Mr. Chen caught up with me, I don’t remember what I said, but I didn’t stop walking. He turned away, I continued walking. Nobody called out to me or caught up again, I just walked. The street was straight, pretty much, but nobody came to join me. I was alone, and feeling like an 80 year old with dementia. I don’t know how far I walked along that road, but I found a departmental store, and after some gesturing bought some new, clean underwear to go with the one I’ve been wearing inside and out since I left the house in UIUC. I felt a little better.
I saw Mr. Chen and possibly (I don’t remember) a couple others walk past the store, but didn’t call out to them. I slowly made my way out and nonchalantly rejoined them, saying something along the lines of “finding something more productive to do”, which made zero sense to a bunch of guys that just spent the last ? minutes trying to find their possibly kidnapped friend in a foreign place where they couldn’t speak the language. I don’t recall apologizing. Another demon, I don’t know what I’ve lost from it. I can blame a lot of things (see last 600 or so words), but in the end it is my own inaction that’s letting this demon persist. I’m sorry. The methods used to make amends that I learned at home haven’t ever worked properly.
The third thing I’ve learned is to hold grudges. To remember times when people did wrong, to use and repeat as if it were a tool to judge guilty in the next trial, regardless of what the next trial actually was. If that didn’t make sense, it doesn’t. It’s sort of like saying you’ve been wrong before, so this time you’re wrong too. Many demons seem to spring up when I think of this, but I don’t feel like listing them here. Gotta leave the ugly, character(me) development bits for the end.
The thing about the third one is, I’ve noticed how much damage it’s caused, and felt the brunt of the result. Now I have somehow rewired it so I remember things my friends did that I can use to tease them in the future. I don’t know if its equivalent, or whether I will end up holding grudges on ‘loved’ ones in the future. But for now, all grudges and demons are only against one man. And one way of looking at it is the blame game again. Everything, is really just his fault. Even my memories and the demons I might list later are all just endless examples and reasons why my blame is justified, as if that fixes anything. It doesn’t, because I do not forgive him for any of it, and possibly never will. It’s almost circular logic.
I’m at a loss for words now, I don’t know how to link it so there’s actually a reason to list the demons out. 8.35am. The demons would explain most of why I am the way I am, but only if it wasn’t just phrased so I can play the blame game. Persuasion is not the motivation of this exposition. Maybe I need some liquid courage. Maybe I should have been religious so I have random people to be emotionally dependent on. Maybe I’ll write another some other time. First I need to figure out how to get this one read.
This post might sound really depressing, but then I am rather depressed that I seem to have no terribly good friends with me at this point in life and haven’t spent the last year very well. In the sense that I see no way of fixing this predicament other than to shove it all into the denial bin and continue on with life. That’s what “Forgive and Forget” means right? But the demons remain and I remember them all. And forget fun times when I don’t have the photos to recall them with. When Dax ‘quit facebook’ I had no photos of most the France trip, since my camera charger was in the luggage and my camera was dead after the first 2 days. Most of what I could recount was the irritations I had suffered; I had trouble even remembering where we visited. Wonder why I bought my own DSLR? It’s not because I like photography.
Finally, if you made it this far, please make an attempt to refrain from talking about the contents of this post to anyone, especially me. Thanks.