For most people, children are a second chance at life. A second chance to make things right. They’re a way to prove to ourselves that we’re worthy human beings capable of achieving something during our lifetime. Whether we’re successful or not, whether our lives couldn’t be any more meaningless, a child is always the answer. A child is what keeps some parents going. And for children, parents are always considered to be a shelter, a sanctuary. A child’s safe place. Parents would never hurt their children, some say. Putting aside violent physical and mental abuse, parents can still very well harm their children without even knowing it. In my case, they can be the kind of parents who immerse themselves entirely in their child’s interests, activities and accomplishments.
When I used to be a swimmer, every time I would win a race I’d notice how my parents took credit for it. Somehow, my success became their own. They wanted it to reflect on them. At the time, I was happy that it did. Because I was a kid who desperately wanted them to be proud, and I thought that if I gave them that, then I’ll be worthy. It’s not until I lost interest in swimming and sports in general that I saw them to what they truly were: Narcissistic assholes. If I turned out to be their conventional, perfect family man, they would’ve been so proud of me right now. But they want nothing to do with me because I didn’t live up to their expectations. The saddening part is that they knew that decades ago; when I was eighteen and they knew how unpopular and antisocial I was. Still, they desperately tried to fix me and take away my flaws. The only way for them to survive the failure they’ve caused themselves is to focus on the only positive thing they have right now which is Rosamunde. She’s the one keeping them from going insane.
I’m writing about this because I’ve been spending quite some time with Ethan now that Matt’s back in Seattle dealing with child support issues with Gisele. I’ve been watching him very closely, trying to envision the grownup he’ll become. And although I bet he’s going to be different from his father, part of me is afraid he’ll get the crazy gene Matt and I have in us. I just wish for humanity’s sake that won’t happen because it’s the hardest thing anyone can ever live with.
We’re told by psychologists that we’re the smartest people in society. We’re good at lying, deceiving people, pretending we’re somebody else. Our brains are constantly analyzing everyone and everything around us. We don’t know what resting is because we believe every opportunity could serve us well. Normal emotional connections don’t matter to us, which I consider both a strength and a weakness. A strength because nothing can stop us from getting what we want. Not the law, nor religion, nor morality. A weakness because we’ll never have the chance to feel real human compassion. Love.
I want to believe what me and Matt had can be called love, but it’s not. It’s something different. I can’t even pick a word for it. I don’t know if there is one, to be honest. What people with a conscience have is usually the real kind of love. The kind that I know I’ll never have. Not just because I don’t deserve it, but because I can’t function with it. It’s an abnormal, strange feeling that I’ll never be able to understand.