Friday, June 11, 2010

Blah, blah, blah...

A low self-love in the parent desires that his child should repeat his character and fortune.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.
Dr. Seuss

There is, I used to think, the me that I like best, the me who only comes through when I'm in a good mood, when I feel cute, when I've had enough sleep or enough to eat, when I feel a sense of all is well in the world and in myself. The me who can go to a party where she doesn't know a single soul and, because I am being the me I like best, others gravitate towards. She is sweet, funny and light hearted. She likes herself and she, you sense, likes you too just the way you are.

The flip side of this is the other me. The me I don't like so much because I haven't slept in two days, because my hair has decided to do its own thing, because I feel disappointed or worried or scared. This me tends to hide behind her sketchbook or her shyer, quieter facade because she is afraid you will judge or hurt her. This me must be coaxed out of her shell as if she were a wild animal. She longs to join the party but because she doesn't like herself, you instinctively worry she may not like you either.

It is an exhausting, sometimes maddening, push me pull you path between these two extreme me's. Because being the best version of me is always on condition of something else being this way or that. And so I waste a lot of energy trying to ensure that the conditions I encounter are supportive of the me I like best.

But, maybe because I've made myself suffer enough, maybe because the time was ripe, maybe because I sense deep down that the only way forward is to get off this roundabout path, it's dawned on me recently that the me I like best is not the me who appears only when conditions are favorable. That this me is simply me. The real me.

So...I visited my father a few days ago, not because I wanted to but because I was doing a favor for my brother which meant going to my dad's place to get a few items out of my brother's room---which is usually locked because my dad, using a logic all his own, likes to throw his children's possessions away when they aren't looking.

And when my dad, after finding I had locked the room behind me, began to scream about some guest he was having over, one of his coworkers who needed a place to stay for a few nights, so I had better fucking open that door or else---I naturally didn't believe him. Instead I pointed out that he was showing this (fictional, I thought) coworker more consideration than he was showing me, his own child. And he basically said, well you fucking deserve to be spoken to this way, you...

I tried to cut him short with a, "Don't talk to me like that!" Slam! But he followed me out the door continuing to say fuck you and other nice things until I drove out of sight.

I'm not laying blame here. I've long since forgiven my father for, well, being who he is. And I drove away more amused than anything else. Oh, asshole dad! There you go again! What I'm saying is that he, in large part, is how I learned to view myself in this either or way. If I am nice enough, if I do this or that, if this or that happens, then I am my number one fan and like to assume that everyone else wants to join the club. If I don't, if I can't, if conditions are not right then da fences go up again.

When I told this latest dad incident to life long friend, Lita, she said my response should have been, "Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Dad. That's all I hear when you talk to me that way."

"Ooo, wish I'd thought of that!" I said. "Next time."

Yeah! Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, asshole dad.

And if I should find myself fretting because I have fallen back into the either or habit, I will tell myself, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Cheryl. That's all it is. Because you are love. You are lovable. You love.

I am love.
I am lovable.
I love.


  1. Oh Cheryl... You are love. You are lovable.
    Never doubt it.

    Tons of hugs XXX

  2. I think your dad and my mom may have been related. I like the blah, blah, blah, blah, blah response because that is what it starts to become, sort of. Deep down, there is a small part of me, that always wished it would have been different, some miracle, but I know this, it was not ME, not matter what she said and I did not deserve that and neither do you.

    You and I are a lot alike in the two sides of us. I do the exact same thing and I feel the exact same way, depending on how I feel. I've come to accept that that is a part of me (both parts) and I'm okay with that. As long as I don't get stuck in the side that never goes out,lol. I've grown to listen to that part of me that says I need that down time, for me. Maybe it is because when I am "on" it takes too much energy out of me, I don't know. I do know, that having that down time, is important to my well being, and I've integrated both parts of me into one and given myself permission to be okay with that. When you are doing your down time, your sketching,working, taking care of yourself, loving yourself. I really don't see anything wrong with that.
    Never, ever doubt that you are not lovable because you are. You are very lovable, don't let those old tapes of the past tell you other wise, focus on now and how amazingly kind, talented, creative and beautiful you are (inside and out).

  3. You seem like such a wonderful person that it's hard to imagine anyone treating you poorly.

  4. Dealing with our parents is never easy. It does sound like a good idea to repeat to yourself your mantra.
    Have faith in yourself.

  5. You are perfect just the way you are, Cheryl, and you are loved, lovable, and loving in every way. Lots of hugs, gorgeous girl. xx

  6. They say that to learn to love oneself is the best way to be loved by others. Maybe? Perhaps rather replace "love" by "accept"? That's already a large step. Love, the real one, is probably a further step!

  7. It is SO hard to have the self love and confidence in yourself and that you are lovable when confronted with such bad parenting. Some people never do and they find comfort in drugs or harmful relationships.

    I'm glad you are a survivor and you are strong as well as loveable and love.

    Big hug to you and a high five for being who you are!

  8. this might be good advice. it just might be. i tend to want to blah blah blah others, but maybe i can direct that towards myself. particularly when i am having my own pity party. humph. will give it a whirl. :)

  9. Thanks Lena :)!!!!!! What a sweet thing to say!!!
    Hugs back XXX

    Hi Cheryl, yes, parents (and people) make you feel like how they treat you is all your fault. Emotionally they are stunted at two or three when screaming louder and louder to get their way might have actually worked. Now it just drives people away. And yet they keep doing it! How crazy is that?

    And yes, I definitely love my down time! I like my quieter, more thoughtful side. It helps make me a nicer, more creative person. I just meant that maybe I can finally take 'not good enough' (except concerning artwork) out of my vocabulary for good.

    And thank you so much!!! Yes, focus on the good. I hope you are doing likewise! Maybe...the good thing about having had parents like that is it makes you a more compassionate person. That's probably why you're so good at what you do :)

    Hi Rick, aw!...yeah, you'd think! Quelle pere dumbass. Oh well, he is the one missing out.

    Hi Dedene - I have been actually! It's been coming in handy for all sorts of situations.

    Hi Carol Anne, thank you! :) So are you, beautiful! Hugs back!!! xx

    Hi Peter, yes, I definitely think so. And accept/love for me they are the same. Though I understand the distinction you're trying to make. Accepting things as they are is not always the same as loving it.

    Hi Shannon, yes, it's taken me a long, long time. Not to say I'm fully there yet. Do we aver get fully there? And I'm trying not to look back, either, with regret at how I might have done this or that differently in the past if's pointless.

    We're both survivors. Hugs back! :)

    Hi Drollgirl, hahahaha! tell me how it goes! :)

  10. Interesting. I have a similar mantra.

    I am love.
    I am lovable.
    I love.
    I love being armed.
    You should love me when I'm armed.

  11. HAHAHAHA! I was wondering how or if you'd comment on such a touchy feely girl talk kind of blog post. Would De Campo talk about his feelings in return? No! Thank goodness, Amusing Army Dude! :)

  12. Thanks, Cheryl. I appreciate your honesty so much, as I always have. I understood everything you're saying. Brava to you for knowing just to walk away, that his behavior is about him and not about you.

    I learn something new every day about how I talk to myself, when and why I "like" myself, and how I can change the things I say to myself. It's a lifelong project.

    I love the Emerson quote. Didn't know that people used concepts like self-love in those days. Cool.

  13. Hi sweetie, just wanted to pop by and say hi. I've been a bad blogbuddy and haven't been staying up on my reading. I've got caught up on what's going on with you and what is up with your traffic thing? That's unbelievable. Here in Vancouver you wouldn't even have been stopped (as no one stops at stop signs or even red lights).

    And this post has me thinking about the book I'm reading right now "Incontinent on the Continent" and how parents can be, well, difficult. Never ever forget that you are loveable!!!


  14. Thanks Sallymandy, for telling me that. It's always so nice to find out others can relate to what I'm saying here.

    Me too. It changes from day to day, moment to moment, depending on my energy level and what's going on in my life. Learning how to be in the world really is a lifelong project. But if it was all easy how boring life would be...

    Hi Lianne, hey! No problem, I know you've been busy. Yeah, that really sucked. I think the cops are finding ever more creative ways here to make up for budget shortfalls. Just got another ticket Sunday for parking in a parking spot which--despite the parking markers---the meter maids claim is not a legal parking spot. Think I might start taking the train more often...


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