I just finished reading the Fifty Shades trilogy, if you did you’ll get it and if you didn’t…well you will. Now read.
I am half an Estrella and even half is overwhelming. By nature we are OUTSPOKEN, intelligent, headstrong, gregarious, overly analytical, political, psychological, passionate, compassionate, raw, real, honest, kind, generous, logical, and fair people. We analyze everything so we can understand people, ourselves, human nature, so we can be accepting and fair, to learn, and to continue to evolve, never stagnating. We aren’t overly gushy or huggie/kissie, or calling daily to say how much we love each other (well besides my Tia Caro), but we are loyal to each other no matter what. No matter what we are there to put each other in our places and to support each other and give each other the occasional kick in the ass. Distance never makes a difference. We are a unique family, anyone who knows us can attest to this, but as a whole we are good people who always seek to do the right thing no matter what that is or what it means. That’s who we were all raised to be. My mother learned from her father and I, my mother.
We are a family of psychology majors (myself, my mother, and my uncle) and wannabe ones. The two aforementioned people are two of the biggest influences in my life. My mother is my mother…bold, outrageous, kind, overbearing, generous, brash and brutally honest, smart; a true humanist is her best description. My uncle, my Tio Joe, is an intelligent man of many resources, an evolved man in an immense amount of ways and not so evolved in others. He is logical, a straight shooter, the most exceptional, dedicated, and involved father I know, one of, if not the most reliable people, and as my mother’s baby brother, so much like her and so opposite her. I could sit forever and talk to them about people and what makes us tick as human beings. They are two of the most interesting, smart people I know. (This is for you guys…)
Why do I mention this you ask? So you can have some small insight into who I am, why I think the way I do, why I am going to write what I’m about to write. I am a thinker, an analyzer, introspective, a perpetual psychoanalyst. I work to get to know myself every single day. With a little inspiration from my latest read, I am constantly trying to gain a better hold and understanding of my ‘Fifty Shades’, if you will. Here we go…
I love therapy. I used to go when my parents were getting divorced and as person who loves to talk and express myself, but is alarmingly private and forthcoming at the same time, it was a most welcomed outlet. At the moment I have this and I’m going to use this particular entry into my “blogatherapy” to discuss intimate relationships. The silly trilogy of books I just read, to see what all the fuss was about, actually sparked a thought in me.
Our life partners or any partners for that matter are, in my opinion, the greatest reflection of who we are and how we feel about ourselves. That isn’t easy to admit. Why do we choose who we choose? We go with what we know; you marry your father, the complete opposite, an exaggerated version, or a mash up. The results of this can be good, great even, or completely disastrous. What direction did I go in? I’ll let you know, but before I do let me say this…My father nor Tommy know I’m writing this, but they’re honest people who know who they are and I know even if they have a little reservations about what I’m going to say they’ll get over it.
My dad, my daddy, my dear father, the first man in my life. I love my dad, underneath his many layers he is a good man, a really, really good man with a gentle heart. If I picked up my phone right now and told my dad I needed something he would sell his kidneys on the black market to guarantee that I get it. He is so kind and generous, a great cook, smart, the HARDEST worker I have ever met, corny in a good way, and an outstanding handyman; but as there always is, he has another side. On the flip side, Mun is dark, tortured, scarred, a victim of a victim of a victim, as we all are.
Growing up my father was a good provider, that was his role, and really his only direct role in my life. Everything I learned from his was at a distance. He was not an involved parent at all, he worked obscenely long hours (as dictates his Asian genes haha). (I spent all my time with my stay-at-home mother, my sister, my most cherished grandmother, my Gommi, my Uncle Ming, and a huge chunk with my mother’s best friend and my childhood best friends, who I share most of my greatest memories with.) My father works well, it’s what he knows and does best. My grandfather who I never was afforded the opportunity to know because he passed away in 1980 was, as I am told, an incredibly reserved, old fashioned man who preferred absolutely silent dinners and spent six months of the year gone because he worked on ships for quite a chunk of my dad’s life. He’s who taught my father what it meant to be a father. As a result, my father worked and that’s how he showed us he loved us and he really did and does love us, he is a good, reliable man.
During my formative years it never really phased me that my dad wasn’t a hands on parent. It didn’t seem like it had a great effect on who I was, but it did. As parent we do all sorts of damage to our children, unknowingly, because on some level we are all broken people who have great strengths and equally great weakness. Also, human nature dictates that we are fallible creatures. We are all missing something that we needed, but that’s life. Doing our best is the best we can do and sometimes our best isn’t enough.
So you ask who I chose? He’s Thomas, my significant other, the father of my child, sometimes one of my best friend (depending on the situation and day), sometimes my worst enemy. I was nearly 16 when I met him; a completely foolish little girl who thought she knew it all, but in fact knew nothing at all. We didn’t date until I was 17 and he was my first real boyfriend. I was not a typical boy crazy teenager so the fact that I was so taken by him was a shock to my system. On the surface he is over the top friendly, a great time, really funny, and really attractive (that isn’t only about looks). If only I knew then what I know now, things might be drastically different. His life and upbringing was/is so chaotic. He comes from a very difficult, sad, sick, bad home, and that doesn’t even scratch the surface. Soooooo many people will say they know Tommy so well, but it is the farthest thing from the truth. After six years I’m still learning something new about him everyday. His overly outgoing personality, his giant smile are just masks for the poor, troubled boy he is beneath it. I could literally spend days delving into all the reasons Tommy is who he is and where he comes from, in fact I could write my senior thesis on the psychology behind Thomas Jr., but that would probably make a few people very upset with me (not that I care). Some people don’t like to face the truth and few can, but I do.
As I got to know him and peel back the layers to see what was underneath, I got a glimpse at the wounded and damaged person he was/is. I thought I had found my calling; I was going to save this boy from himself, from the damage done, I was going to make him better and show him that stability existed. That silly little girl deserves a slap in the face!! Who the hell was she to declare herself a ‘Knightess in Shining Armor’?! In a nutshell you can’t save someone who doesn’t want saving. Period. I spent a lot of time clinging to one good moment in spite of 55 bad ones. I felt a responsibility to make him better. He fed some dark need in me and I him.
Fast forward from 2006 to 2012 and this is what it is… We’ve been to hell and back 15 times. He’s made progress with his demons and then taken 35 steps back, we’ve grown together, as after all we were just children. He’s faced so many of his ghosts, kicked a million skeletons out of his closet (with maybe only 250,000 more to go). We’ve had a child somewhere in all that mess and he has made him better, taught him things, brought things to the surface, calmed him, put things to rest in him. He has improved ten fold and as we all are, is a work in progress. There are days when I want to strangle him, but if I see where he’s come from it is inspiring to see what he has become. Out of so much darkness there must come light at some point, right? Well it did in his case and it has been a long journey. Love isn’t a cure for everything, but we’ve stuck by each other this long acting as our respective medicines.
You still ask why him right? What was the point of this ramblings on? So, in conclusion to this seemingly never ending entry it boils down to this…After much soul searching and honest quiet time spent I know I chose him because he was emotionally unavailable to me like I felt my father was. Tommy is absolutely nothing like my dad in any obvious sense, but he is in that fundamental way. He grabbed my attention and catered to that innocent part of me that just wanted to make someone better in spite of themselves. I wanted to tear down his walls and learn about him and challenge him. I have done all those things, we have done them together. He has taught me things that no one else could ever have, and I him. Knowing him has shed a new light on so many things in my life. It’s made me see how lucky I have been, how fortunate I am to have the people I have. Our relationship has shown me how strong I really am and changed some of my innocent beliefs. Tommy will be the first person to say that he’s ‘Fifty Shades of fucked up’, but who isn’t in their own way? Most of us not to the exaggerated degree that he was (or even the tortured soul that is the character Christian Grey), but in time we either find our solution or we flounder; luckily he chose to grab the bull by the horns and face it. I am my own version of ‘Fifty Shades’, none of us are an exception to this. We all have demons, although some much darker than others…
E.L. James, I can’t believe your silly, sometimes sick book sparked such a large thought in me. Who knew?