Emotional Instability Might be Genetic But It’s Probably Just Life

I realised on a late night walk down to the sea that I’ve been making the same relationship mistakes my Dad made that helped to get him killed. Stress and nutrition related heart attack, also bad heart runs in the family. As do broken marriages. He used to try and give out all he could, he used to try to fix our lives, mine and the mother’s, even when we didn’t want him to. And, in constantly trying to do the superhuman thing of ignoring himself, he ended up just miserable, and just complaining that we should do what he thinks.

You can’t fix someone else. You can fix yourself, and you can try and help someone fix themselves. You cannot make the changes for them, even assuming you actually know what they’d need to do. This is just a fact. The impetus for change, the willpower, comes from within. Not without. It can be, must be inspired by the rest of life, but the rest of life will not fix you. You will fix you.

Dad forgot that, and me too, though this “fix yourself” message is a little too simple for either of us, even if it’s true.

The problem I’ve carried over is that I can’t get enough motivation from things I want to do. He ended up this way: only ever active when given work or given a problem by someone else. Left to his own devices he’d keep up basic vital signs and otherwise just mess around on the internet or watch tv, and, eventually, drink some whisky, make a cheesy meal. I’m now doing more or less the same. This doesn’t describe either of us completely, but the lifestyle fits. We’re mostly fucking hopeless without other people to give us a reason to live. Simultaneously, other people seem like the cause of all our problems.

Really, we just seem incapable of allowing that little bit of room for the self. That’s what I’m trying to fix by writing on here and the poetry site as much as I can. Trying to convince myself that I have a space where it’s worth being, just for the sake of me. Even with that attitude, I’m desperately clicking the notification bell to see if I’ve got a couple of likes yet. Still looking out for justification and meaning. Yeah, I mean, you have to get your meaning and value from the world around you, okay. But you can also get a bit of emotional fucking willpower, drive, a sense that you have meaning, from yourself.

I’ve grown to doubt that quite a lot: that I mean anything. I think Dad did too, though he was from a generation that would never say so. He preferred to pretend like everything is fine, and either pretend or exist in an alternate reality where he conversed with spirits. I believe he had the experience of conversing with spirits. I just don’t think of it in the same terms as him. For me it’s dreams, vivid imagination, and a serious appreciation of the way all life is interconnected. He would’ve said something similar, but with references to mythology and dragons. Fair enough, I mean everyone loves a good story, and the movie theatre in his head seemed like a uniquely fun one to be sitting in.

Part of it is him being dead. I mean he was easily the most important person in my life, and he just died while sleeping miles and miles away from me, without even knowing he might have to say goodbye. There was no warning, there was just “oh I’ve got some indigestion, might sleep on the couch tonight”. When the mother woke up and found him, he was dead asleep. But mainly dead. I don’t cry myself to sleep at night, I didn’t even cry at the funeral. I didn’t fall to pieces with the pain that I’d never see him again. My memory of him is pretty good. I see him whenever I want. The thing is, if the most important person in my life can just die like that…what’s the fucking point?

And I have some good explanations lined up discussing what the point is, but I’d already been wondering to myself before he died, ‘what the fuck is this shit all about?’ and then he just goes and dies, spirits be damned. He was having a stressful time though. I reckon his last dream was another one of those meetings with the myths-turned-real and dragons, and he went to join them, and finally fucking get a break. I don’t have his faith though. I have a weird kind of love of life, but not my life. My life is a small, possibly irrelevant piece of the puzzle. No I mean it is relevant, but mainly to me…and I’m the only idiot doubting it, so it’s relevance diminishes every day that I think “meh, I could just drink and watch tv and wait. Won’t make a difference.”

This fucking coronavirus, man. I like my politics but this era of airheads in government has really ruined me. There’s nothing to report on, because every time you break open a story about how shit they are, they get more money and more votes. If you mock or torture or murder them, they get more sympathy, more support, more airheads to fill their gap. And I believe in nonviolence and democracy. Feels like there’s no point for society, and no point for me. I’m not a happy bunny.

So, in what might be a bunny-like kind of behaviour, I mostly sit on a dildo and write poems about old lovers. And drink. And watch tv. And drink. Watch tv. Let my knees click for lack of use, fuck up my lower back. Occasionally I remember to do stretches and go for walks. In this virus world I can’t work. I can’t use this dead feeling in me to go and do some shit job and earn minimum wage at least. I can’t do anything, anywhere. Everything is fucked. But that’s not true.

It just feels like that. Feels, more so than in a long time, like it’s all hopeless. Somehow I got into the habit a while back of stepping out of my feelings. Doesn’t always let me act different, but it does help my understand what the fuck is going on. There’s this me that isn’t the same as what I feel, and that me has an amazing clarity. But it’s usually just forced to work out how to quickly satisfy the feeling me. “Where’s the food? Can I be bothered to make a proper meal? Where’s the remote? Where’s the bottle of rum from yesterday? Make the wank last longer this time.”

Those philosophers are onto something you know. And that Jung guy. It’s worth separating out the different parts of yourself, at least in theory, so you can see a bit of how you’re working, and maybe see what needs fixing. Not right now, but when you’ve got a moment.

Watching Movies and Remembering Dad and

Writing now is like going from a breakup straight into a new fuck – just dismissing all the shredded ends of what has been and starting something new, just to set your biological love clock back to zero. I’ve just been watching Last of the Mohicans, which I used to watch maybe every six months on average with my Dad, who’s now two piles of ashes in the dirt…but also memories. It snuck up on me. Generally I have an excellent memory for stuff that happens in films…so I should’ve seen this one coming. [Spoilers ahead].

Shit I’ve been at this for about 20mins and the fucking radiator started leaking and I had to stop and go and fix it and now my heart is stone cold again. Feelings paused. I hate this. I miss feeling awful when sad things happen. Sadness from love loss, and like right-on, romanticised sadness is my jam. I’m almost addicted to it, or I would be, if I could get more. It’s so much nicer than imagining death. Lightweight, entertaining sadness – love it. Sorry, I’m sounding like a dick. I’ll stop. Anyway, this is me writing this paragraph in later. The “breakup fuck” worked and now I’m just back in writing mode, not feeling mode. Fucking hate my own stratagems sometimes. Is it better to wallow in the sadness for a while? I don’t know.

I have a complicated relationship with Dad’s memory. He died when I was what, 21? 22? I try not to remember dates and times too much. For most of my life, or what I can remember of it, he seemed solely responsible for me becoming remotely smart or interesting. And he gave me my name, which is a pretty special one. And no, it’s not Rosa (which is more special to me) and no I’m not telling you what it is. You can work it out pretty quick if you really want to. I loved him and was utterly dependent on him, but he had a big thing about empowering me and making me independent. He was such a good guy, trying to make the world better, that I didn’t notice how far patriarchy stretches and how fucked up the role of the father is for many years. I chalk that up as an achievement for him – it takes some serious love and care to hide the obvious truth. Or fear and misery I guess, they hide truth too, but that wasn’t his style at all. For a pagan, he was oddly Christian…though Christians have a lot to do with pain and misery. He did have a secret BDSM fetish…

Anyway, watching Last of the Mohicans plugged me straight back into him, into the good times, and the times when I was a kid desperate to hear his wisdom and bask in his glory. Sitting below the wood timbers in our old house, around a fire, maybe a grey sky and rain outside, warm inside. Dark in a pleasant way. It hurts to think about it. Those were GOOD times, and now the poor fuck is dead and gone. Watching the film, I mean he’s a bit like Chingachgook and regardless he got me watching the film in the first place. I remember the first time seeing scenes from it, too young to watch it properly. Some of our favourite soundtrack music was from it, some of our stupid sayings were from it. The classic “I will find you, no matter what occurs” and the weirder “Que font les Hurons?” which isn’t necessarily an accurate quote but we loved it. He loved randomly quoting films. A habit real life me has picked up from him.

The movie also pulls my heartstrings because it’s a harrowing tale of war. I’ve been struggling more with war movies as an adult. Big change from how I was as a child. They’re now the thing most likely to make me cry. I try not to cry – something stupid about showing weakness (again, raised by a serious male, you get habits). But when you’re on your own (because watching a film) and when you see the pointless waste of life writ large, and you get a connection with some of the lives being wasted, not all of them completely fictional…fuck. Anyone who doesn’t cry at that just isn’t empathising. Like children – they don’t normally empathise with people in wars.

Last of the Mohicans…near the end [2nd spoiler warning], Uncas dies because he runs directly at the main antagonist of the film, treating him like one of the other redshirts. You know, extras. Not redskins. It’s also redshirts because all the British soldiers in the movie die except for a few at the beginning, and the British wear red. Anyway. Uncas treats the main antagonist, Magua, like some nobody. I noticed it more on this watch actually. Always used to get pissed off at how he (Uncas) didn’t put up much of a fight after being an ace for the whole film. It’s because he’s blinded by anger, and because he doesn’t know that he’s about to go after the main antagonist. Magua only means something to Hawkeye – Daniel Day Lewis’ character. Probably, to Uncas, he’s just another expendable extra ready to be hacked in the head. Instead, Uncas gets redshirted himself by what looks like several stabs in the gut and torso.

I’m making light of it (sort of) because it’s the heartrending moment that gives the film it’s title. Uncas is one of the only two Mohicans left. Now, his Dad, who’s had to see his own son get cut up and fall off a cliff for some lovey-dovey bullshit, is the Last of the Mohicans. This is compounded when a seemingly disposable and seriously PTSD’d Alice – Uncas’ lover – commits suicide. The scene is fucking hopeless (as in drawing all hope out of you like a black hole) and the film ends with Chingachgook alone and Hawkeye with a fancy new bride. It’s stressful for me to see that. It’s not a happy ending, as such. It’s just an ending.

Apparently it’s based on a pretty good novel and some of you American kids might have read it in school. The novel’s plot is pretty different to the film though.

Why did I start writing this? Oh yeah. I wanted to say something about being a liar. I miss Dad, but not like you might expect. I’m sad that I don’t get to make any new memories with him, but I also believe he’d want me to stop whining and get on with life, and I’ve taken that to heart. You’d think that’s just some bullshit I’m saying here, but it isn’t. Everyone at the funeral was surprised too.

I get to miss him sometimes though, and the emotional grind of feeling that and watching the movie, and feeling that, pressed me into this uncomfortable box of anxiety where I thought that everything I’m writing on here is shit. And not only that, but too revealing. Revealing parts of me that aren’t, well, that aren’t the most…I was worried I was lying, basically. Failing. Being wrong. But then I remembered the name of this blog. The name of my presence. Designed to help me cope with anxiety: “Lying Rosa”. You can’t be pissed off at me for seeming inconsistent and dishonest. It’s in the fucking name of the place.

Seriously though I pride myself on consistency and I hope – over a long enough timeline – that comes across. Also, once you look back on anxiety, once you’re over it, it seems so egotistical, no? Whether I’m good or not isn’t very important in the grand scheme of things. I guess it is to me though. Ah, I’ve caught myself there: you have to care about yourself a bit just to function. Damn.

Okay, so past me wants to say “I’m a LIAR”. And “I’m a shit person, not even a writer, don’t read this awful waste of time stuff, thanks.” Past me was having a tough day. I hadn’t sat down to write at all, apart from mocking some Metaphysical poets. And that’s not enough to keep you feeling good. Shit man, writer’s gotta write. And do stuff worth writing about. Don’t forget.

Ugh, I don’t like that as an ending. Let’s end it here instead.