Stronger and harder than a bad girl's dream. (lost_angel) wrote,
Stronger and harder than a bad girl's dream.

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Willpower, Self-Denial, and Men

I posted this on blueathena's journal and decided I needed to chronicle it here as well. Although the thread started off about White Oleander, I soon turned the topic into something that has been on the forefront of my mind for many years. Thanks to blueathena for the spark to write part of my many-yeared self-reflection. I've made a few change and additions:

luv luv luv luv the movie White Oleander.

I didn't read the book, so thank you for the extras that I missed by not reading it, since I probably won't take the time to. Normally I hate spoilers, but there are so many other things slated to be read that I probably wouldn't get around to it.

Although my mother was by no means artistic, she was very anti-men for many years in her life after her divorce and still is to an extent even after her very happy and satisfying remarriage a couple of years ago. Perhaps I shouldn't call her anti-men and instead call her pro-self, teaching me almost militantly for many years that the only person you could rely on in your life was yourself, sometimes your family, but really just your bare-knuckled-self.

For many years during that time, I was too busy, too productive, for any male relationships, which is why when I finally let myself have a relationship (previously just many light-hearted flirtations) that I let it wedge itself so deeply into my life that other things that had been important to me suffered, floundered and fell apart. At first it was just time spent in their company from high school on, then more time, then self-doubt, then trips to Atlanta paid in time and credit card debt, then at the cost of relationships with my father to whom I'd become a stranger (but for more reasons than just this).

I blamed myself and my inability to hold the men back, block them from my life, and stop them from stealing my time and energy and soul. Each proceeding relationship was beautiful in its own way, but in the end came at a cost to me and my life's progress. I was trading away pieces of myself for in exchanged for pieces of happiness, rather than sharing my own happiness with taxing myself.

Until I realized that it probably had a deeper seed than just the men. It was my lack of willpower altogether and that perhaps what I had let into my life wasn't only men but myself and opened the floodgates to personal temptation to play rather than work. The beast wasn't men; it was my own laziness and distraction. The last few years have been a desperate struggle to rebuild my work-ethic and find pleasure in it again, to keep a balance between work and play, myself and other people. I suppose it's no different from any addiction, or just growing up and learning not to be lazy. But my willpower problem feels so chronic...

I've never had much willpower when it comes to denying myself things that I want. I think the conflict of temptation and refusal or acceptance is a bittersweet quality, as succulent and beguiling and interesting as the first tale of the Tree of Knowledge (akin to Pandora's box, or should it better be called the Tree of awareness?). The best stories are rich with gushing forth of denial and depravity. With it comes the question of sin and guilt and morality, but it doesn't always have to be so biblical and so condemning. Instead it can just be a story (a personal or fictional one) of balance and the struggle to maintain it.

Errr, I became very rambling and obtuse there. Sorry for taking up your journal space with it...I think I'll copy it over to mine so I can remember it or expound upon it later.

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