Friends and Family
11/29/2017 @ 11:53:17 AM (EST)
One might wonder where these insights came from.
Ever since I was a child, I always loved thinking logically. The only real explanation can be my genetics and environment. As I grew up, my parents were always in conflict from a young age, and ended up divorcing when I was about 10 years old.
My mother lied to me and forcefully took me away from my father's care (whom I would have preferred to live with and I had explicitly told her that already) and throughout the time I was forced to live with her, she was very emotionally abusive and no matter how rational the thoughts I conveyed to her were or how logical my actions were, she always found some emotionally-rooted disgusting way to worm her way out of admitting she was wrong.
As you can imagine, this was quite traumatizing.
Fast forward to me hitting 18 years old. I enter university. At this point, I had already been programming for over 8 years as I first started with HTML already when I was 10 years old.
Upon seeing the first year course work literally being a joke for me, I decided to talk to some others (3rd/4th years at the university, as well as my 4th year cousin in Software Engineering at the time), and it was quite obvious that my programming abilities surpassed theirs.
As a result, I came to the probabilistic conclusion that it would be quite inefficient to continue going. So I decided to start looking for a job.
However, this seemed to pose a very real problem for my mother who was very against it, and as I kept adamantly searching for a job, within a very short period of time she caused an extreme amount of conflict which necessitated me leaving that environment entirely.
I decided that after seeing what kind of a person my mother truly is, my father should be a much better bet. So I called him up, and left my mother's house.
Upon initial arrival at my father's house, things seemed to be okay. Within a couple months, I managed to identify that I wanted to use my programming abilities to make a game, and not just any game, but the first ever truly multi-genre game. I threw together a core design document.
My father seemed mostly understanding, and even when I told him I was going to quit university because I already had the knowledge and passion necessary to do so, he expressed his concern but ultimately said he would allow me to do so as long as I could demonstrate clear progress and an end-goal. I had no issues with this as I was not attempting to deceive him so those things were only a natural consequence of my work.
The problems came though, as time went on. We had some very trivial arguments, and some not so trivial ones. He forced me and my brother to appear in court to force my mother to give up at least some of the RESP funds she would clearly no longer be entitled to if we were no longer living with her, since she had previously claimed he was lying about us living with him. This money he kept for himself, but I did not really have an issue with that since he was ultimately supporting me anyways.
Something really wasn't sitting quite right with me about why he was acting the way he was though, as I was showing him proof of my working and would literally sit at home all day everyday, rarely going out, and even when he came to talk to me or see what I was doing, I was pretty much almost always working on making my ideas for the game a reality, primarily through programming. He would say things like "you're doing nothing all day", even though that clearly was not the case and I had proved it to him on a very rational level as I showed him the game's progress in development.
I was starting to see a stronger and stronger resemblance to abuse just like my mother had done to me. But I had a goal, and I was determined not to let his fear, anger, jealousy, or whatever one might want to argue it was to stop me from succeeding in life.
However, in life, there are many limits. Unfortunately, one day not very long after that court case was settled, my father severely breached a very critical limit that I identified for myself.
He irrationally genuinely threatened to kill me for something completely beyond my control.
While I was always more of a thinker and proactive in using my thoughts to shape the objective reality in a fashion that maximized the value I can bring to my own life and others' lives, my younger brother (3 years younger) was not nearly at quite a capacity of functioning.
As a result, when he ended up finishing high school, he didn't want to pursue a post-secondary education while simultaneously essentially just playing games most of the day, and this understandably upset my father. Eventually, one day, my brother just snapped, completely lashed out at my father, and my father kicked him out.
Upon hearing the story from both sides, I came to the conclusion that this must have been what my brother wanted, since even I could sympathize with and understand my father reacting the way he did. So my brother left.
But as the days went by, my father was more and more persistent in telling me to try to convince my brother to come back. Within not even a month, he was already doing it almost every single day, and it was not a mere "tell your brother to come home, it's best for him".
It was more of a very emotionally manipulative harassment where he would essentially blame me for all the shortcomings of my brother including him leaving itself. As you can imagine, this was very exhausting to deal with, and within a short period of time, I was rendered completely unable to continue developing my game in that environment.
Within about two months of my brother leaving and not giving any kind of response to my messages, my father saw that merely asking my brother to come back would not be enough to get any kind of response from him.
So he tried offering money. He told me to tell my brother he would give him money to simply have a conversation with me in person, and explain what he's doing and why he's not coming back. So my brother demands $2,000, my father says $500 is as far as he'll go, and my brother agrees.
My brother comes over and explains to me that he loves being homeless, much more than he enjoyed living with our father. He didn't hate our father, but rather he enjoyed the excitement and opportunities that living downtown brought. He had also applied for welfare, and the welfare office had helped him land a job.
I was very happy for him and told him that since he is a legal adult, I understand and accept that it is truly beyond my control whether he comes back or not.
However, it is worth noting that
up until the conversation I had with my brother at that point, my father was constantly putting all the blame on me, for things my brother did, my mother did, and essentially many things beyond my control.
He literally went as far as to say that my ability to even function as a human being at all would be determined by if I was able to convince my brother to come back or not.
I knew my father would not react positively if I merely told him what my brother had told me. He would probably even accuse me of lying. So I told my brother to wait until my father got home from work, and tell him the conclusion himself.
So my father comes home, and a gigantic storm arises as I had expected. Plenty of emotional abuse and attempted manipulation flowing out of my father's mouth like the water flows through a river with a fast current. He just kept going. He even went so far as to ask my brother if he even needs his father anymore, and when my brother said no, my father said that he should give back the money he was given then.
When my brother questioned why, and rightfully so since
a precondition that my brother must come back in order to receive the money
, my father very aggressively stated that it was because it was "
the way things have to work right, and if things don't work right, people's lives become in danger
". I took this as an indirect death threat to my brother, but I suppose it is open to your interpretation.
Proceeding on, my father was
attempting to force my brother to come back. When I finally saw, after many hours of arguing, that my brother would really not budge and the whole argument was a huge shit storm going in circles with all of us only getting more and more stressed out, I finally had enough.
I told my father,
"Look, we both tried our best, but my brother is not coming back, and he is not obliged to do so. You already even took away the $500 he realistically deserves to have, and since he is a legal adult, we must both accept his decision. He's not coming back, and you should stop stressing us all out by continuing to have a circular argument going nowhere. You told me my abilities as a person can be judged by whether my brother comes back or not, but I know this is not the case.
What are you going to do, kill me over it?!
Do you know what his response was? His expression remained sharp, his eyes flared, and I could see the smirk clearly forming on his face. In a very serious tone, he responded. "
Faced With Death
At this point, I took this as
a very direct death threat
. I literally immediately called him out on it and questioned how he could even rationally argue my brother should come back despite literally just hearing that.
My father flat-out denied he had even made
anything resembling a death threat
I told him very clearly at that point that everyone better hold up because at this point, I'm even very seriously contemplating leaving with my brother.
My father, keys in hand, tightly gripping one pointed forward, aggressively walks right up to my face and says "You're all talk, you won't do shit." My brother ended up leaving, but I decided to stay at least a little longer.
However, I could not sleep. I was utterly mortified by what I had experienced.
My father had genuinely threatened to kill me over something completely insane and entirely beyond my control, not in any way my fault.
I had already made up my mind that I was going to pack up my things and leave.
For the next 2 days, I could not sleep. When my father was gone for work, I would work as diligently as I could to gather any and every belonging I had, pack it up, and prepare to leave. On the second day, close to the time he was about to come home, I left.
Only Fear Remains
Because of all the trauma I suffered throughout my life, I subconsciously fundamentally believed that logic was the only way to remain grounded and in tune with the reality around you,
however at the same time emotionally felt unsettled that it might never be enough.
This, I have come to realize, was a result of all my past experiences where no matter how rational I had been with my parents, they always found some emotionally abusive way to traumatize me further, fundamentally strengthening the subconscious belief I had ended up forming that
despite logic being the best way to align yourself with reality in an unbounded fashion, it still had some form of inconceivable bound that
could ever overcome.
This living in perpetual fear of existence
became my reality and my identity
. Upon understanding this, I felt liberated from that fundamental, subconsciously rooted fear.
Nowadays, my friends are my family.
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