The Private Pilot of this Ship
The private pilot of this ship.
I have no idea from where the title of this post comes, nor what it means.
I saw those words scribbled on a notepad beside my computer in my handwriting. They obviously meant something to the me who wrote them a few days ago. I know it was a recent note to self as it is underneath a brain-numbing To-Do reminder to print dull documents out – I remember writing that on Thursday (or on a day I thought and still think was Thursday) and exactly what it means.
I wonder what this note is about, and where past me found those words.
I’m sure I found them somewhere else before I found them here because this isn’t something which I would come up with myself. The word ‘Pilot’ is not something I’d associate with a ship, unless it was a spaceship, but I don’t think this is about a galactic gallivanting.
What was it about that sentence which struck a chord enough to make me write it down in an effort not to forget, and which I felt was clear enough to not add anything else because I trusted future me to know WTF past me was saying, thinking, feeling… she should know me better than that.
I did see a shooting star the night before bloodmoon rising…
Some people think seeing a shooting star is lucky.
Some think it is an omen of impending doom.
I just thought it was beautiful to experience as it jolted me out of a heavy pondering of a decision made and the chance still available to unmake it, of the pending possible consequences either way and the paranoia those induced, of a moment hope was lost… perhaps… of changes and wobbles… doubts causing a camera to shake as it tries to capture a moment.
This morning, before I saw those words, I woke up with an unpleasant memory. It was a condensed version of an entire lifetime of one experience – a bit like those films where someone dies and gets to see their life in review in a few clips – a summary of my life under the influence of mommie dearest who had to sprinkle her special sauce over everything and everyone.
My mother started calling me ‘Mama’ when I was about 3 years old, she claims it was earlier… she claims a lot… it was supposed to be an amusing nickname which bonded us, I didn’t realise that this was bondage of an adult kind not really appropriate for kids, S & M for tots and parents without tot consent.
You know that jesting semi-truth about there being two types of people in this world. The glass half-full / the glass half-empty. The optimist / the pessimist. The dreamer / the nightmarer.
The one who sees life being born in every moment… the one who finds death and doom everywhere.
There are those who feel compelled to tell you when they find beauty in you, they feel good about sharing how much they love you even if it is only for a moment, and then there are those who only speak to you when they must dutifully point out your flaws because you need to know their ugly truth, they feel good about making you feel bad, even though they don’t really give a shit about how you feel it’s all about how this makes them feel and it will perk them up, give them a hard on, for a moment… before they have to do it again.
It’s the latter that came with the memory.
Of growing up with a mother who felt it was her duty to constantly criticise and critique, not just me, but everyone and everything at all times. She painted the world in black and white, with emphasis on the darkness, the dreary shades of grey, then demanded that I look at her as though she was the only rainbow full of colour.
Of never once being allowed to enjoy something as it was because it could be better, and the fact that it wasn’t as good as it could be was more important than that it was good, all the things which didn’t make it good enough had to be listed in detail until there was nothing right with it. Nothing could ever be accepted, not even a flower… that’s a weed! And someone neglected to tend to the garden until it was a sterile environment.
I once met my soul mate, and that meeting transported me to a place I’d never been, where everything and everyone was right, lovely, beautiful, fun, especially me, that was truly-madly-deeply-weird and different… nothing could possibly make this wrong…even if I was wrong about what felt oh so right…
My mother had another take on this.
She had warned me repeatedly of how terrified she was about me ever falling in love, because I would get so dreadfully hurt by it… and that would break her heart because she cared so much about me (never falling in love or being loved).
No one was allowed to love me except her. And I was not allowed to love anyone except her.
Ain’t love sweet!
No… no… no… you really don’t want this kind of love! That’s what stalkers, murderers, and destroyers of love and of you are made of… this kind of love only works in fiction, in RL this kind of love hates you.
For once in my life I refused to let my mother ruin beauty by making it ugly. Truth does not have to be awful!
So, faced with that, she gave up on me… I had been brainwashed by someone else. This was not acceptable, only she was allowed to control my mind, heart, soul! She decided to try and sprinkle her special sauce on him, the one who had stolen my affection and had somehow out-Mach-ed her.
She forced him to go out to dinner alone with her (he did this for me), and she spent the entire evening telling him about all that was horribly wrong with me…
I know this because he related their interaction to me, while fuming because he had been polite with her for my sake…
I know this because I know my mother…
I know this because he wasn’t the first person to report back to me on the things she has said about me when she thought I wouldn’t find out.
I know that she has always hated me, she’s told me that in so many ways I’d have to get a lobotomy to forget it and even that isn’t a guarantee. I ruined her life by being born and not living up to her expectations of what a baby was supposed to do for the relationship of its parents (even when the father has categorically stated that they don’t want children), it’s only fair that she ruin mine.
She is still immensely pissed off about the fact that somehow her blessing wasn’t one we needed then… and we don’t need now… how annoying is it that we’re still together after all these years, and how can she take credit for that without it making her confront her own lies.
She was an idealist, a perfectionist, a finder of flaws, faults, and ugliness, who thought she was making the world a better place by permanently picking on it.
She often used backhanded compliments, as this made her feel that she was kind for complimenting you, but, above all, she was an honest person, unable to lie. She would tell you how beautiful she thought your smile was, what a pity about your crooked tooth which ruined it. That drawing you’ve made is great, what a shame that your horse looks like a dinosaur otherwise it would be brilliant.
My mother is the sort of person who would say about my blog – She occasionally writes some interesting stuff, it’s a pity her posts are too long.
The genius of this is that if you call someone out on their criticism, they will point out how they gave you a compliment, it’s just a pitiful shame that you’re such a negative person otherwise you would be okay.
She wasn’t being mean, she was being kind. She saw your potential and cared enough to let you know what you were doing wrong so that you could be a better person thanks to her. You could be so much more intelligent if you’d just stop being so incredibly stupid. She could fix you if you’d only let her take control and pilot your ship.
I think I woke up with this because I was contemplating before sleep how others often see us as one-dimensional compared to them. Even if they are aware that there is more to you… that awareness is fleeting.
Tell them that you’re stressed out, and they’ll acknowledge it… seconds later they’re adding to your stress with some drama of theirs, and they get annoyed with you because you didn’t handle it well. Mention that you told them you were stressed and they’ll… maybe acknowledge that, but most likely they’ll ignore this detail.
Tell them you’re sad, they’ll commiserate… seconds later they’re whining about something personal to them, they’ll expect you to be understanding, and yet they can’t understand why you’re being so insensitive and unempathic.
Tell them you’re angry, and they’ll back away… then come back at you with a bug of a frustration they need you to deal with right now, and they’ll look hurt when you snap at them.Why would you do that!?! Gee, I don’t know… I guess I’m a rather selfish human being who didn’t put my anger on a shelf to make your frustration my only concern.
Tell them you’re busy, and they can see that you are… and suddenly they need you to do something for them, and if you can’t they get huffy about it. This proves you don’t care!!! You care more about yourself than you do about them!!!
Tell them that you’re in a rare good mood… and suddenly that means all you want to do with your good mood is listen to what a bad mood they’re in.
Tell them that you’ve just had some good news after a long spell of having nothing but bad news… and they’ll resent you for it if things don’t happen to be going well for them, just as they resented you for your bad news when they wanted you to be happy for them which you were, but you weren’t happy enough for them. They haven’t forgotten that slight and they’ve chosen to let it inspire them… to piss on your parade.
Of course they were very drunk at the time… either on alcohol or on some other emotion, pain, drama which was all about them and you somehow got caught up in their spin cycle.
They knocked on your door, you had to invite them in because you couldn’t refuse their plea of help in that state… or it’s your fault for leaving the door open, anyone could walk in and luckily they did.
They need love, someone has to do it, might as well be you…
They were rude to your friends, kicked your cat because it got underfoot and they hate obstacles in their path of destruction, pissed in your closet as your toilet is not where they needed it to be for them when they had to go, puked on your favourite rug as that’s what it’s there for you materialistic schmuck, and were horrible to you, but… you have to hurry up and be patient with them, cut them slack when they pull on your reins, let them do this without ever holding it against them or asking them not to do it again… don’t be such a tightass dickheaded twat!
THEY’RE SUFFERING!!! So you must suffer too… what’s that? Oh, yes, they remember you wittering on about going through some suffering of your own… THAT’S what triggered their latest bout of agony! It’s all your fault for sharing your pain with them! You knew how vulnerable and delicate they were and yet you shared your shit with them!
Their pain trumps yours and… well, since you’re suffering then you have the correct ingredients for understanding how much more in pain they are than you are, and you’re well positioned to be compassionate to the point of completely ignoring yourself for their needs, wants and… off they go again…
I know, I know, most people aren’t like that… thank goodness!
But that was life with mamma… and with pappa… but my father was adept at doing a disappearing act, and letting everyone else deal with the mess he left in his wake (recently that has been literal).
If I had a problem, she had an even bigger one to trump mine! If I had a sad, she was suicidal and it was the fault of my sad! If I had a mad, she had a frigging tantrum which lasted an eternity… followed by a lecture on the correct way to be for others!
If I had a happy… don’t be happy as that could lead to unhappiness! So… just be unhappy all the time, yeah? No, stop twisting my words just because I twisted yours!
If I had some good news, she grabbed it with greed and tried to take it for herself, my precious… if that was not possible, then I couldn’t have it either.
If I had bad news… oh, stop being such a misery guts! Things could be worse… think of the starving people of this world who aren’t as lucky as you to be fed with anything I effing put on your frigging plate!
Once she sprinkled her special sauce on them… things were always worse. But it was all for my own good, for the benefit of all… Mother Theresa, only better. She was being wonderfully selfless by destroying everything and everyone for me, and for others (never forget the others as that makes you a saint of empathy).
I was too naive… but don’t be such a cynic!
She’s getting what she wants now… thanks to my recent decision… but she’ll not take it as good news worth being thankful for, a cause for celebrating a victory over a foe whom she gave birth to and nurtured to be her favourite game… she’ll wonder about how it could be better, about what’s missing, what she’s not getting… and that will corrosively eat away at her until she can find another way to cause a problem, rather than just accept a solution.
Move on… ha! Let go… ha!
She has nothing else to do… it’s what she always does.
Please be patient with her as she pisses all over anything which matters to you… it’s not her fault, it’s yours… you’ve got too many things which make you smile in your life… nice smile, but ugh about the teeth! You… what a shameful pity that you’re you and that she’s not you instead.
She would be you so much better than you are… you’re doing you all wrong…
You suck at being the private pilot of this ship… and she’ll be the iceberg which proves it to you. It’s for your own good, she’s generous and selfless that way, you’ll thank her one day for killing you, destroying everyone and everything you love. Love hurts… she told you so. If only you’d believed her before you went and made that mistake…
She had to prove you wrong… to be right!
It amazes me sometimes that… I still have anything left.
But… shhh… don’t tell her, or anyone who is like her, that I have something… some people don’t handle that kind of news well at all, and because they don’t… you can’t either.
This is mine, you think with a gentle smile… NO! It’s mine, they say, with a boot kicking your ass out of your territory!
I wonder if I meant any of this with those words….
The private pilot of this ship…
I’m guessing… probably not… it seems more peaceful a sea than this one.