The Sins of the Fathers (and Mothers)

I’ve been doing a lot of reading on psychology in the last few months and one thing that keeps cropping up is that childhood experiences are the basis of our lives. We often say that children are so resilient and they are, but what we don’t realise is that these childhood issues raise their ugly heads and fuck us up when we become adults.

I have been trying to understand why it is that my relationships with men fail and although I know that some of the men I’ve chosen over the years have certainly been less than decent, I also know I have a responsibility for my choices and choosing to accept and put up with what I’ve chosen.

I didn’t realise the connection until I received an email from my dad this morning, and I didn’t see the similarities between the men I’ve been with until now either.

It was like a lightbulb had suddenly been turned on and ironically enough it was the man who had originally hurt me who was able to shine some light on the situation.

It’s a multifaceted issue so let’s start with a few things my dad said and then I’ll relate them back to me.

Firstly he told me to understand myself and to never accept less than I want, need or deserve. I’ve been told this by a few people lately and I know it’s true but I guess the reason I keep some men around for longer than I should is also a multifaceted one. I’ll come back to this.

My dad said he doesn’t know how to love or feel it. Neither do any of the men I’ve been with. They feel something but they have no idea how to express it because it makes them feel uncomfortable. I’ve had men use jokes, deflection or simply get up and walk away. Many of them have told me their father or parents in general did the same or they just weren’t around so they have no idea how to love because they weren’t taught properly.

Is it coincidence that I keep being attracted to these men?

No.

On a basic level I believe it’s because I’m so used to this it’s comfortable and normal. But being comfortable in this case could also mean preventing growth that is so desperately needed.

I have also believed in the past that I could somehow make these men love and be loved.

Wrong and the reason is evident in my dad’s next line and I quote:

“Your mother said to me I would grow old alone, and she is right because it is not about how many people who are around you but the WHO that is not.

I am not sure if there has ever been a WHO for me and that is why I am who I am.”

I still can’t believe what is so blatantly obvious to me in that wording is something my dad hasn’t yet recognised.

The person he and the men I’ve chosen believe is missing cannot be found anywhere but within themselves. Yes, the WHO is themselves!

So yes, the reason I cannot ever help these men is because these men don’t realise that they need to love themselves in order to be loved.

And I guess that’s also exactly what I’m mirroring but in a different way when I try so desperately to love them.

I said the same thing my mum did to someone last year. The similarities between him and my dad are uncanny. They have a lot of similar traits and even a similar upbringing.

I also have a love-hate relationship with this man.

I guess the last thing I want to say is that subconsciously and now consciously, I stayed with this man because I wanted his approval and because in some fucked-up way, he was the second chance to make it work after my dad.

That is not good enough and definitely not a healthy basis for a relationship.

I’m not saying it would never work, but to be honest, I think I have come to see and accept why this person came into my life:

He made me see the motives for why I love and the changes I need to make for a successful relationship.

Funnily enough I can now also see the men I never choose, i.e. some of my best friends, are the best men to love and who love me in return and tell me all the time.

Without that email from my dad I would never have learned the lessons I can see now.

Thanks Dad.

xxxooo

I love when people…

Presume to tell me what I feel and best of all, what I want.

Let me tell you about my two favourites.

At the top of the list is that I will want children when I meet the right man.

This argument is so flawed you have no idea.

Firstly, I have never wanted children. Can I just repeat that for those of you who didn’t hear it? Sorry, I mean the people who haven’t LISTENED. I have never wanted children.

Unfortunately there are a lot of ignorant people in the world who might have heard what I said, but do not listen. I realise that some people don’t understand this because they assume what they want is also what everyone else wants too. NEWSFLASH! Not everyone wants what you have!

Not wanting children does not make me a children-hater, it does not mean there is something wrong with me, it just means I do not want my own. I’m a kindergarten teacher, I love kids, but I have enough of them to feel satisfied and not require my own. I like being able to play with them and give them back at the end of the day and go home to my apartment, alone and do what I want. That does not make me selfish, it makes me honest. Those people who have children and then dump them on their parents, friends, whatever so they can do what they want, is selfish. When you have kids you have to change your priorities. I don’t want to change mine. As my mum has always said, “The physical act of having a child does not make you a good mother/parent.” True.

As a young girl I was also told that I may not be able to have children. At the time I was having major issues with my periods and even now, although everything appears to be normal, I will never really know unless I decided to try for them. No, don’t feel sorry for me. That’s the way life is sometimes.

When I meet the right man? For starters, that may NEVER HAPPEN! Just because you want me to meet someone does not mean it will actually happen. Believe it or not, sometimes people do not meet anyone. I’m not being negative, I’m being a realist. It is what it is.  I did meet someone last year who changed my mind for a brief moment in time. For a zillion reasons we aren’t together anymore and so this case is closed. It will not open again under any circumstances. I will not compromise on this for anyone ever again.

That brings me to my second favourite:

Time heals everything and you will get over him.

No it does not heal everything.

This is the most ridiculous argument for so many reasons. I would love to bring those ignorant arseholes to Hiroshima and say, yes, try saying that to an A-bomb survivor who lost everyone and everything they loved.

In my case, no. Some things will have dimmed, I give it that, but feelings run deep.

I was just saying to a friend today and to reiterate this point I’m going to reveal something I didn’t want to tell anyone (let alone admit myself), but I just need to accept it.

In fact, let me type out the conversation I sent to her today:

 

I’ve tried. I really have.

I hadn’t seen him for 6 months. Nothing.

But it’s still there.

And to be honest, I know it’s not going to. I know myself well enough. I know my heart very, very, very well. 

I do not have any interest in anyone. No one. I haven’t had any interest in anyone and I always like someone. I cannot forget him. No amount of tattooing my body can change that. Fuck.

 

I don’t want to meet someone new. I like the flawed, pain-in-the-arse person who I met last year who is not my type AT ALL. I would rather be single than be with someone who I’m not really into and is second best. I wouldn’t do that to someone, it’s not fair.

Let me just say, I don’t want to like this person. It makes life complicated, filled with drama and stressful, but for some reason, I like that. Those of you who have followed my blog for awhile know the full story and had any of this happened to a friend I would tell her to run, but I am me and what I choose to do is my business. MY business.

So to the people who presume to tell me what I feel and what I want…

FUCK YOU.

 

 

The funny things kids say

Okay, this post is long overdue. I’ve been working at my new job, an international kindergarten where all students are Japanese, for the past few months. During this time, I’ve learned a lot.

Firstly, I’ve discovered that kids are wonderful. I mean, I was the person who used to say I didn’t like them. That wasn’t technically true, but I wasn’t sure if I knew how to handle them. It turns out, neither do some parents. Sometimes I have to admit that the physical act of having a child does not make you a good mother (or father if we’re not talking physical). Truth be told, most parents have no idea what they’re doing when they first start out. There isn’t a manual on how to ‘operate’ a child and thus, most people just make it up as they go along. Life is similar; just a collection of trial and error moments.

Anyway, tangent aside, I realised that not only am I actually a natural with kids this age, but I relate to them in a way I never have with adults. They’re honest. Brutally so sometimes. Somewhere along the way kids are told to stop being like that.

“It’s rude to say that,” they’re told.

“You can’t say that,” they’re told.

“You shouldn’t feel that way,” they’re told.

Fuck adults, I say.

The second thing I’ve learned is that you are utterly exhausted after a day with them. I come home most days now and fall asleep on my floor before dinner, wake up, eat and then crawl into my futon which I’ve barely been able to set up.

Perhaps the best thing though is that I’ve learned kids are hilarious. I mean, laugh out loud kind of stuff. Hence, this post.

Here is a collection of anecdotes I’ve been compiling since I started.

 

 

  • Friday is Snack Day. The kids get a snack if they’ve done good work and have been well behaved that week. Like a reward. Anyway, the other day I sat them down and said, “Why do we get snacks?” One little boy looked at me like I’d asked the dumbest thing ever (he might be right) and replied, “Because it’s Friday?” That wasn’t the response I was looking for, but yeah, he had a point…

 

  • I wear my glasses all the time and the other day I stopped to take them off to rub my eye. One boy started yelling, “Put your glasses back on!” I did because I wanted to stop him from yelling but was surprised when he said, “You’re not Jade without them.” His response was exactly what I wished some adult men and women I know need to hear. I have been told by some stupid people, “Oh, you have such beautiful eyes! You shouldn’t wear your glasses.” And the best one (by a stupid woman AND family friend I might add!): “Men would be more attracted to you if you didn’t wear your glasses.” Since I’m a contrary shit, that just made me wear them more often. Plus, A. Why would I want to attract a man who was that superficial? And B. I wouldn’t be able to see him anyway without my glasses. J

 

  • Ah yes, swimming. That brings up a whole new topic of conversation with the kids. I was telling my mum the other day that I have now seen more penises than I need (or want) to see in my lifetime. Four-year-old boys are obsessed with theirs and as I told the manager of the school, it gets worse as they get older. Anyway, the first week one boy jumped in front and me and said in Japanese, “Jade, look at my chin-chin!” Chin-chin is a slang word for penis. The thing was though, he used the honorific term with ‘o’ in front of it. Thus, he was basically saying, “Look at my magnificent penis!” That alone made me laugh and so I had to explain not to refer to his own as magnificent but that it was perfectly acceptable to say it to someone else. I may have scarred this boy for life… Dear God.

 

  • Second swimming penis story… The next one involves a different boy who decided to jump in front of me totally naked whilst I was supervising them getting changed and yelling, “Jade, look at my penis!” At this point I was so sick of them saying it that my response was, “You know what? I don’t care. Every week I see it and every week you want to show me and every week it looks the same. I’m not impressed.” He gave me a very adult male look that said I’d clearly hurt his ego and then tucked it back into his swimmers and said, “Ah okay, fine.”

 

  • The next swimming story involves a boy and a girl. The kids were changing after swimming and I turned around to find one of the boy’s eyes literally a few centimetres away from one of the girl’s pubic region. I yelled at him, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” He stood up, puzzled look on his face and asked, “Jade, why don’t girls have chin-chins?” In the two seconds I searched for an answer I found myself saying, “Because they’re girls.” It satisfied him and he said, “Hmm, okay,” and wandered off to continue changing.

 

  • We have a song and dance activity during the week where all classes sing and dance together in a circle with the songs they’re learning that month. One of the songs involves the words, “Baby shark, mommy shark, daddy shark,” etc. The other day during play time in the morning one of the boys told me he was daddy shark. Another little girl piped up she was mommy shark. I said, “I’m baby shark.” The boy shook his head. “No, you’re not. You’re grandma shark.” Shut down.

 

  • The last story happened just last week when the weather was getting hotter and the kids needed their hat to go outside. He was walking out of the classroom to line up with the others when I called him back to get his hat. He said, “Jade, it’s partly cloudy today, I don’t need my hat.” WHERE THE HELL DID YOU LEARN THAT LANGUAGE?! I thought to myself. Turns out he actually does listen and reads the weather chart we do each day. It was such an adult thing to say I had to laugh. And yes, I made him take his hat.