Monday, January 29, 2007

My Wife and I ... We are Siamese, If You Please ...

We are Siamese, if you please.
We are Siamese, if you DON'T please.

So it was in Disney's immortal animated classic that the Siamese twin cats inform the audience of their decent and their pleasure in it. I never gave two thoughts about that line from a silly song in an animated movie until just this morning.

Don't ask me why it crossed my mind today, but it did. And I realized, as it echoed through the empty caverns of my memory, that throughout our lives, my wife and I have been trying to sing that song to everyone that bothered to ask.

Most of them didn't. Most of them were trying to change us from what we were, and are, into what they wanted us to be. Tabby; Calico; Persian; Manx; it didn't matter. As long as we weren't what we are, it would suffice.

The two cats in the cartoon are simply saying, in their one line, that they are what they are, whether popular or not. They are, in fact, Siamese cats, and their genetics, appearance, and best of all their NATURE, could not be altered.

As long as I can remember, I was being "molded." Trying to be made more this, or less that; not so much to groom me for any one particular thing -- there was nothing so ambitious as a goal for my life -- but to make me something I was not in the moment.

That's the tragedy of it all. There wasn't a point. Had there been a goal, had there been a destination for the steering, it may have actually been beneficial to some degree. Because it was rudderless and was done just to suit the mood of the moment, or the hang-over, or to make me conform to whatever the image in the mind was at the time, it was just a constant beating down of what I was and trying to railroad me into being something I'm not. ANYthing I'm not.

I can't be too smart -- too smart exposes stupidity pretty quickly, and that would unmask them too soon. I'm programmed to believe that I am stupid.

I can't be too strong -- too strong causes loss of physical intimidation, and that eliminates the last line of defense for stupidity. I am therefore kept intimidated and punished for any physical demonstrations. I am admonished physically early and often in increasing degrees of brutality. First with the hand, then the belt, then the closed fist ... make sure that I am not aware of my physical superiority at all costs.

I cannot be more clever. More clever means being outwitted. Again, be told that I am inferior in every way. I will never be a peer. I will never be an equal. I cannot be, or control will be surrendered.

I cannot be better educated. Better education will mean better choices, and better choices will ultimately lead to growth. Growth separates reality from mental imagery. Growth must be halted at all costs.

I must not achieve more success. More success means there is no possibility for lording and denigration in that area. I was therefore told I would never amount to anything, that I would be a loser all of my life, a failure in all endeavors. This is primarily one-sided input; from the other genetic donor, silence and passive observation of the mental abuse, physical abuse, and occasional input of superiority messages, complete with demonstrations to enhance the feeling of inferiority within me.

I can only imagine that my wife feels similarly. In her case, however, the genetic donor input was minimal. They were absentee parents, abusive in another form.

Always, always the answer is "we did the best we could."

The idea that better educated means better choices which is bad is a subtle and insidious ploy, because it came coupled to being sent to an educational institution that was considered one of the best in the area. On the other hand, I think there was the perception that there would be more indoctrination into the religion of "choice" in the familial unit. The paternal genetic donor had already abandoned his own theological background for the sake of the woman. Things would be exactly as she imagined it or it would not be at all. This has been an underlying theme my entire life. Therefore, I must graduate from a prestigious religious institution, but I must be made aware of how superior they are at the same time. I must learn, but not learn to think. A balancing act that I think was far too complex for someone untrained in programming and manipulation to attempt. It failed.

Through it all, there I am, being what I am at least internally. I am what I am and can never be anything else. A leopard, as the saying goes, cannot change its spots. Neither can amateurish attempts at brain-washing make you what you are not, and even professional attempts at programming must be assisted by either drug-induced confusion and susceptibility, with isolation and threats that cannot be proven or borne out (such as with religious cults that threaten members with eternal damnation), or with physical torture. It must also be ongoing and constant. And the subject must be broken.

Amateurs don't do all that is necessary.

We have been, and still are, ourselves. That is a road of discovery in a time when we should be solidly set in our ways. We are still trying to figure out who we are, where we want to go, and how we want to get there. The delays are not directly the fault of those that tried to program us for failure, but they are likely indirect results of those attempts. We push forward; we have not conceded ourselves to what we were "imagined" to be, what we were "supposed" to be, what anyone "wanted" us to be. And now, we are dangerous for those that tried to poison us.

We are Siamese, if you please.
We are Siamese, if you DON'T please.


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