Motivation and Parental Dysfunction

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Remind me to talk about motivation .. the kind of motivation that is used to create universes .. like the one that you and I are creating together.

I know quite a bit about the topic of motivation. (At a centurion level, which covers a lot of distance .. social and economic distance. And probably a few other ways, too.)

» My Parents were Counter-Motivational

My parents sucked at motivating me. They actually were counter-motivational. (De-motivating?) Seems difficult to do, I know .. but they somehow managed.

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You cannot motivate another person to do something by using something that motivates you. If you say to someone, "If you do such-n-such a thing, then I will take you out and treat you to a yummy anchovy pizza."

But, if you do not like anchovy pizza, this means nothing to you. And you might very well hate the taste of anchovies .. because of their strong salty-fishy flavor.

My folks kept trying to bait me, so to speak, with anchovy pizza .. and other things that did absolutely nothing to motivate me. (Because they didnt even know who I was or what I liked.)

The only thing that they ever really motivated me to do .. was to get the fuck out of there. And work long hours .. so I wouldnt have to be home .. listening to their wining and complaining and petty bullshit.

When, really, they were frustrated with themselves (.. for reasons that I could elaborate upon in great detail, but I will spare you their lamentations, their mourning and their woe).

They tried to dump all their toxic frustrations on me. They tried pretty hard. This is why I tried so hard never to be home with them. They were world-class bummers. (It gives me no pleasure to write this; I wish it werent so.)

» Toxic, Dysfunctional Family Dynamics

I knew, intuitively, when I left home for the Navy, that this toxic crap had to go somewhere. And since I wouldnt be there, it seemed like bro would be on the receiving end of it.

So, the very first letter that I wrote to my parents from bootcamp (.. they actually make you write home) .. was a simple note that said » "Dont do to my brother what you did to me."

There were seismic repercussions in our family after I left home. I wasnt really surprised, intuitively speaking, but I was still surprised at how strongly and powerfully these forces played out.

I could go into great detail here, but I wont.

» They were Trying to Blame All Their Fucked-Up'ed-Ness on Me

My point here, perhaps, is to illustrate that that they were dumping their toxic emotional shit on me, and when I left, that caused a big ruckus.

I was so happy to be away from them. I felt like I had died and went to heaven.

When they were complaining about endless bullshit that meant nothing to anybody but them .. it was really their own bullshit that they were trying to deal with. I could see that .. even at 15 and 16.

» We Made a Lot of Mistakes with You

Years later, and when we were finally in a good place, my mom said to, "Oh, honey .. we made a lot of mistakes with you."

And I thought, "You gotta be shittin me, mom .. you're just seeing that now? I could have told you that long ago."

Sometimes I wonder what I could have accomplished in my life .. had I not had manipulative, motivation-killing parents.

I did not need them to be positively motivational .. just dont be such an emotional drag on me .. complaining and griping at every chance they get.

» Her Tears Struck Me as Pathetic

My mom was crying when the recruiter came to pick me up that rainy November morning, and take me away for 6 years.

Her behavior seemed inconsistent, because she did nothing but complain about me, and everything I did, for years.

In reality, she was crying because now all that toxic, emotional dysfunctional vomit that she and pops had been spewing onto me would have nowhere to go.

I did not say this, but as I looked at her for the last time before I walked out the door, I thought, "You're pathetic, mom. I'm so glad to be leaving this emotionally toxic place."

» I Noticed that Dad Did a Lot of the Things They were Talking About

Years later, after bro had been to medical school, and we talking about his experiences there .. the topic of mental health and emotional disease came up.

Bro said, "They didnt get into the mind very much. We only had one class on abnormal psychology."

Their was a brief pause before he added, "You know, I noticed that dad did a lot of the things they were talking about."

Bro and I were sipping a little gin-n-juice out of mason jars at the time. I didnt say anything, but thought, "I bet."

I reached out my mason jar and clinked it against bro's and said, "Here's to dad."

Dad was smart, but not educated. We quickly changed the subject.

See, girly .. if somebody really knew me, and they really wanted to motivated me in a way that worked for me .. they would dangle somebody like you out in front of me.

And then they would have you sing songs to me. That would definitely motivate me. I would think, "Wow, my parents know me so well."

The end. ■

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on October 10, 2016 10:10 PM.

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