NO!

When I came across this quote:

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Susanna Kaysen

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I recognised myself in it.

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According to my mother – myth-maker extraordinaire about all sorts especially who I was as a child and a person, personality, before I could access my own self-knowledge as a point of reference and even then… – my ‘first’ word as a child was ‘No’ rather than ‘mama’ or ‘dada’.

I don’t actually ever recall calling my parents ‘mama’ or ‘dada’, I usually called them by their first names. Which made me weird to my peers and my parents’ peers. Often embarrassed my parents… but only when others were around as an audience for them.

I suppose I did call them some version of ‘mama’ or ‘dada’ but… I don’t care enough to remember.

According to my mother, in another version of her many stories about me and my child self, etc, before I could recall my child self, another word was my first one – ‘Complicated’. Or more precisely – ‘It’s complicated’.

And according to my mother, in yet another version of reality, my supposed reality… according to her, I refused to speak as a child which was most annoying and embarrassing as it reflected badly on her… was her child a mute or something equally liable to make her look imperfect – she was a perfect mother, her child must support that or… suffer the consequences of being forced to support that. Or something like that.

“You walked before you could speak and got things for yourself rather than learning how to ask for them from me…” – was sort of what she told me with bitterness because I was required to need her to fulfill my needs rather than fulfill them myself because… that gave her power over me… but I knew she was never going to fulfill them. Adults are addicted to the power they feel from withholding things… which is really annoying but not embarrassing.

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Children often suffer at the hands of their parents because they’re too effing straightforward about life and people… they see things and people as they are, see right through the hypocrisy because they haven’t learned the ways of the hypocrite yet… and what they think of their parents. They tell it like it is… which annoys those who don’t want to hear it like it is. Their parents want to be viewed as gods by their child… okay, you’re gods… and effing useless ones. Happy now?

My mother was the goddess of embroidery and my father was the god of pretend… useful, when what I was praying for was to meet a god of things real and actually useful. I suppose I could pretend that an embroidered cake was edible? My mind could imagine that… my body might have a problem though and die of starvation… which is okay because my mother thought I was a fat baby and… sorted that problem she had with me out… on me, through me.

Vicarious ways… of working through issues.

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Ah! Life…

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Whatever…

should have been my first word.

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Where am I going with this?

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No!

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That’s all you really need to know about me… whether it was my first word or not, I embraced it and in many ways it defines me.

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Yes… took a long time for me to learn. I’m still suspicious of it, especially when others reject my ‘No’ and try to cajole a ‘Yes’ from me instead. Why are you so disturbed by my answer to your question?

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The way you react to my ‘No’ defines you not me… and now I’m looking at you, finding all the No’s you hide behind your Yes’… your seeming Yes’ which sound like a polite form of No.

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Today is Truthful Tuesday… what is truth?

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Once we learn to lie, and we learn it early on from our parents…

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Figuring out the truth is…

it’s complicated.

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No?

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