Monday, 23 March 2015
Oh my Weakness. 23.03.15
Weak people terrify me. This may sound counterintuitive, but if you think about it weak people are incredibly dangerous to have around. They can't watch your back, because they are too weak to protect you from others or from bad events. They can't be relied upon in any sort of emergency, because they will crumble. Worse, possibly, they can't be relied upon to keep their word. If things ever get difficult, they will give up on whatever commitment they have made with you. Their word, however earnestly given, just isn't worth the spit it carries.
On top of it all, they also totally justify their own actions or omissions, and expect you to do the same. "They just couldn't..." "They just had to..." And because the circumstances forced them, it's perfectly ok for them to have let you down, and it's perfectly heinous for you not to forgive them immediately. In fact, you ought to be supporting them, because being forced to let you down has upset their poor little squishy feelings. Don't you have a heart?
Am I being mean? Possibly. And? I want the people I trust to be trustworthy. I don't consider that an unreasonable standard. Anything that makes people untrustworthy is a problem, regardless of whether it's caused by wilful malevolence or an internal malfunction. When it comes to the crunch, I have to deal with people's actions, not their reasons. Yes, everyone has a breaking point, but when your breaking point comes as soon as you meet the least amount of resistance—sorry, but you won't be on my list of people to count on. Because of that, I'll also be a tad reluctant to be put on your list of people to call upon. Thank you, but I already have a job.
I know I have a bee in my bonnet about weakness, and how it causes weak people to let people down. This turns to an entire swarm of bees when the people who are being let down are those the weak people 'ought' to be protecting: for instance, their children. In my head, carers are supposed to defend their charges; no ifs, ands, or buts. It's a rock-solid mass in the middle of my brain that I can't explain rationally. I just end up going around in circles. You fight for your dependents because they are dependent upon you. The fact that they are dependent upon you binds you to fight for them. I know it doesn't make sense. I know there are exceptions and extraordinary circumstances and so on and so forth. None of it makes any difference whatsoever to me, which is why I class the whole thing as one of the very few beliefs I have.
Because I wear these blinders, there is a family dynamic I've never been able to get my head around. I know a lot of children who grew up in a family with a "bad" parent and a "good" parent. The bad parent might have been physically, psychologically, and/or emotionally abusive towards the children, and sometimes towards the good parent, too. The good parent not only did nothing to defend the children, but often also encouraged them to accept the abuse.
To me, that is a contradiction of such enormous proportions that I can't wrap my head around it. How can someone be a 'good parent,' yet allow their children to be abused? How the hell does that work out? Yes, I understand that there are situations where abuse can be inescapable. For instance, if you've married an abuser and are living in a culture where women are stoned to death for leaving their husbands, you're kinda fucked, and your kids too (sorry about the gender bias, but I don't know of any culture where it works the other way round). However, none of the situations I've seen were inescapable, not by a long shot. The "good parents" I'm talking about could have taken steps to curb or modify their partner's behaviour. They could also have bailed out altogether, and taken their children with them. They had the means to at least try to protect their charges, but they didn't. But that's ok, because it's not their fault, because they were just too weak.
Because of my belief about dependents, I find that hard to fit in my head. If you want to give up on yourself, that's your prerogative, but you just don't give up on your kids and justify it all away. What I find even harder to accept is how their children seem to end up idolising the weak parents, and idolising weakness as a consequence. I suppose it's inevitable, though; it's the necessary triumph of rationalisation over reason. If the good parent's weakness wasn't a sufficient excuse for their inaction, they would have to be considered accomplices in the abuse. That would make them 'bad'. So, weakness has to be a valid justification.
Weakness and goodness become intertwined. At the opposite end, badness and strength become intertwined, too; after all, if the bad parent wasn't stronger than the good parent, none of this would be happening. What you end up with is kids growing up to think that strength is bad, and weakness is not only good, but renders you sacrosanct. Weakness is their only strategy for navigating life. They tolerate people kicking them in the teeth as if that was a badge of honour. They shaft mercilessly those foolish enough to rely on them, and then expect their emotional support. They are victims and traitors and parasites, and they think it makes them righteous.
It makes sense, I guess. It still makes me want to throw up.