Friday, May 1, 2009

Spin Cycle: Mea Culpa

"Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!"

This latin phrase from my childhood translates as, "My fault, my fault, my most grievous fault!" I don't know how it's used by other families, but in MY family it is ONLY used sarcastically. "You think that I made a mistake?! You must be mistaken!" "You're wrong for thinking I'm wrong, so that makes you wrong TWICE!" "Yeah?! Well, MEA CULPA!!!"

I've made thousands (and THOUSANDS) of mistakes! Pick a topic and I've botched it. Career, finances, health and *gasp* childrearing?! Check, check aaaand double-check! My greatest mistake(s), however, are the ones that are also currently causing me the most grief.

Growing up, it did not occur to me that I could go against my parent's wishes. Oh, I rebelled, but the idea of striking out on my own to pursue something that my parents had put "the kibosh" on just didn't register. This is hard to explain. Cases in point: My father refused to pay for my driving lessons and license until I was 18 years old. Did it occur to me to pony up my own cash and arrange rides and the use of a car?! Ummm, no. My mother offered to mail my college applications to NYU and Julliard and then DIDN'T. On PURPOSE. I did reapply on my own the next year, but my dad made too much money for me to get enough financing. (Colleges tend to mistakingly believe that teens automatically get money from their parents for college...not so, my friend.) My mother MOVED JESSE INTO MY BEDROOM. I came home one day, and there he was with a smile and a duffel bag. Oh, and I was dating someone else at the time.

Do I need to take responsibility for my own decisions (including the decision to take the easy road and let the manipulative actions of my loved ones stand?) YES. But that's not my biggest mistake. My biggest mistake has been allowing myself to be penned in. Being full of rage because the most important people in my life are FUCKING DIFFICULT. I've handled it badly. Leaving these people is not an option. Redrawing the lines between us is agonizing. I let myself be railroaded and I regret having put myself in a position where I have little personal freedom. I'm working on it.

For more mistakes, visit Jen over at Sprite's Keeper.