Self fulfilling prophecies explained  

Monday, November 1, 2010

I have a pain in my fingers. My skin is mottled under the crush of my cheap heavy wool knit cardigan. My thumb throbs from being temporarily squished under my anxious pressing. My joints are stiff and my eyes are wet. This evening I've been looking after my family; my sister and her girls. And I thank my uselessness at relationships, my fuck-ups and my pain for equipping me with the skills I need to offer her insight. I make mistakes so you don't have to...

She is falling apart. Her eyes are red and hollow, her throat crackling like the fire we used to polish brass beside when Mum was hysterical over a break-up with some unsuitable stepfather type. The children draw pictures of hearts ripped in two. They shouldn’t understand this pain at such a young age. Only... Well, only it prepares them for the world, right? They’ll know that nothing works out how you want it to. People leave and there’s nothing you can do about it. There’s no point in trusting people when people only let you down.

We were brought up believing this: Men will leave you. They will let you down. And we saw example after example of unsuitable characters making their grand exit. Leaving our mother depressed and in tears. We all sat by the fire and wrote poems of loss in an attempt to win affection from our broken mother. In her attempt to win them back with words: ‘Without you the stars are black’, ‘Without you dawn won’t rise’, ‘Without you I’m nothing.’

We became well versed at self-fulfilling prophecies because if the affirmation ‘they will leave you’ is repeated enough, it becomes the only way of life. A fissure so deeply carved into our own landscape that nothing can smooth it over.

So when someone comes and tries to love you wholly, see you for who you are and still stick around, the prophecy isn’t working. The fissure is hidden under a deep and complex ocean. And we panic. Everything we have ever known is beginning to come undone. We must stop this madness. So we push, and push them away until they must leave. They’d be stupid to stay. After all now we are breaking their heart. We have to; for their own protection. When they leave, the circle is complete. ‘They will leave you’ has become ‘they have left’ like it did so many times before and the only equilibrium we know is restored.

My only advice, then, is to try and break the cycle...

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1 comments: to “ Self fulfilling prophecies explained

  • angiesan
    December 1, 2010 at 11:33 AM  

    Good god, I am so upset, I never realised the way you two felt and the affect that my mistakes had on you, It is possibly too late to say sorry, but I am.
    I was stupid, lonely a lot of the time, your dad devastated me so much when it all went pear shaped, that I just went wild
    Do not expect love to always go wrong,but it is not a smooth ride ever, the main thing is to learn from experience, and from mistakes made
    I love you all so much

 

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