Friday, December 30, 2011

Oedipus Complex & Breaking the Cycle

Trolling through my usual blogs, Jezebel, Love Maegan, and Penelope Trunk, I was expecting some light reading since it was the holidays. However, Penelope Trunk is rarely a "light read." This week there was a picture of a giant bruise on her bare hip under the words, "I am at a hotel. I think I'm dying. I have a bruise from where the Farmer slammed me into our bed post."

Cue record scratching noise. I read the rest of the post, which was a highly descriptive account of her abusive spousal relationship. It bothered me so much that I read all of the comments, like I was expecting for some big reveal to the story I ingested. Nothing. 

I like reading Penelope Trunk's blog, as her opinions are well researched, but slightly controversial. I found her blog when I was devouring content about Tim Ferris' book, "4 Hour Body," another well researched book about minimum effort/maximum benefit. One afternoon I read most of her blog, discovering that she has Asperger's, a horrible childhood, and some very deep rooted issues. Her writing is refreshing though, as she points out her limitations and how it affects everyday tasks like going to the DMV without incident, for example.

I couldn't understand how she could be in a relationship where the safety of her children was at stake (in my mind, it's not ok for kids to see grown ups take something out on other people). The last line of the entry, "That’s why I can’t leave. I want someone to miss me." boggles me. Is it the Asperger's? 

Are we destined to follow our parents' footsteps? I sure as hell hope you have more free will than that. But I constantly see old college acquaintances in shotgun weddings, live the single-parent life, or work at the local Applebee's for a career. 

Growing up, my parents fought. Mom got out when it got bad, to which I'm forever grateful. Later, I realized that most people are attracted to people who are like their parents. Would this mean that I'd be in an abusive relationship? Would I find someone full of charm who would later turn out to be hateful? I looked hard for these things in all of my dates. I didn't marry someone until we had dated for six years, just to be sure, because I wouldn't want that to happen to my future kids. 

Do we have free will, can we make a deliberate decision not to repeat a negative cycle? I hope that I have the clarity to see the beginnings of a bad situation, because I've spent most days thinking about how bad situations begin. Before dating my husband, my mind was in another place, and had no self awareness, therefore it was hard to improve anything about myself. Worse, I didn't realize I had no self awareness. Maybe this is where Penelope is - she has an inkling about why things are the way they are, but feels no control in the situation. No one gives you feedback these days (unless you consider internet comments).

Maybe we all can change, but it takes the right set of variables. I hope Penelope and her kids can find these.