• Vuyisile Sibeko

Forgiving yourself and the time Keifer Sutherland made me cry.

I shall title this: Forgiving yourself and the time Keifer Sutherland made me cry.

Are you allowed, truly, to forgive yourself?

Should you really?

I don't know if I've ever believed this because, to me, wrong is wrong. I tend to put things behind me and forget about them. But I don't think I actually forgive. I don't hold grudges because I don't have the will or strength to ever act on them. I guess in a way that does make me weak. Even though, technically that's what you're supposed to do. Turn the other cheek and all that good stuff. I don't believe I'm ever doing that. Because it never feels like I'm being the bigger anything. It's like I'm accidentally doing the things bigger men are supposed to do.

So, if that's how it is when it comes to being wronged by others. You can imagine what a nightmare it is when it comes to forgiving myself.

If you're still here, and I can't imagine why, and you're wondering where this is coming from, it's coming from two points. Jordan Petterson's talk which was cut into a song about 42 rules for life (Via Akira The Don, can't recommend it more) and a dream I had this morning. A dream that made me cry so hard I was shaking.

I'm not good at crying. Not for some masculine thing; not because I'm a MANLY MAN; Not because I can't acknowledge my emotions or some bullshit like that. I'm a writer, my thoughts and most especially my emotions are my fuel.

I just can't let go of what it is inside me to let me cry. I feel like the tree that falls in the forest where no one can hear it. I've been trying, lately, to articulate it. The closest thing I can word out is "My Tears Are My Own, You Can't Have them."

The Jordan person Talk was about one of his 42 rules for life. And it talked about lingering emotion. There was also a great response video that was turned into a song called Waves Of Contempt Keep Coming. The thing that went off like a light bulb were the words: "If you think back on something further than 18 months and it still makes you feel heavy emotion. Write it down, completely. This has hung in my mind for the longest time with things floating up and down in my mind. A great deal of them so petty I can't help but think of myself as petty.

The dream this morning is what set things off in my mind.

The Dream, like all dreams, was disjointed and strange.

Firstly I wasn't in it.

Secondly, it was a TV show. Staring the actor Keifer Sutherland( Jack Bauer from the TV Show 24)

He was playing a father whose son had died and he'd discovered something the existence of a diary that his son had left. They were estranged. I think the son was a rather gay dancer and that aliened the two. (Don't ask me why my subconscious it still leaning into the gay son, unaccepting father trope)

The father went to friends, he went to a restaurant the son had worked, dealing with junkies and drug lords, the father faced dangers he never expected to face from picking up the pieces of his son's story.

Then the climax hits, the son's former boyfriend resentful for some event sent his stuff away to China where he'd be moving, the boyfriend and the son were gonna teach and perform there.

The father chases the package down, unwilling to wait, unwilling to risk that package being lost, to a shipping container. Where he's met by the coast guard and Chinese soldiers.

His panic accidentally creates a standoff in a situation that was tense before he ever got there. And as the camera whizzes around to hard eyes, weapons, battle-weary faces and one desperate old man. Soulful violin music is playing, I say soulful because there's a sharpness to a violin's cords but I'm guessing through sound design the natural sharpness was reduced leaving an ever-rising but heartbreaking sound.

The whole time, in the father's mind, everything he should have said to his son; absolutely everything he should have seen in his sone that he had to find out after death comes back.

And that's when I started crying, for real.

This was a disaster because it shattered the dream, proving it was a dream. It even turned my tears off. And I did everything to try to turn the dream back on.

Because for some reason I NEEDED this more than anything in the world. And even though it wasn't the same, maybe because this time it was me, not my subconscious, I still managed to finish it and release the burst of pain I had in my heart.

I immediately thought of my brother and a thought I'd had before he died. About how lucky I was with my whole family, how tragedy free I was. God didn't punish me for thinking that by letting my brother die. Life just proved me wrong. Upon looking back I can't believe how stupid I was, I could count on one hand how few times I saw more brother in a decade.

And when he was here, and sick, how nonchalant I was when I saw him, I was just thinking, I'd seen him sick before, he got sick that was a thing that happened with him. I never thought he'd never leave the hospital again. How the fuck was I supposed to know? Why was I so FUCKING calm and easy! I saw my brother DYING and thought it will be fucking fine, everything will be, fine. I was beyond stupid.

Now I'm basically doing the exact something with my sister, except I bore no anger or resentment for my brother. None. That's its own cluster fuck. That I can't seem to get over.

And my younger brother just kinda does his own thing. That's what we do. We do our own things in this family.

I've always been a lonely kid. Going FAR beyond the curse of the middle child or black sheep.

Wanna hear something pathetic? When I was really small I used to pretend I was talking to Ophrah whenever something was truly bothering me. It eased whatever anxieties I had. I don't do it anymore. Now what I do, instead of talking to someone is imagine myself talking to everyone. Some quip at an award show, some comment in a movie interview. It is the trench that falters the rising tide.

It doesn't stop the flow but it helps. I used to play in my backyard alone. I do my shit alone, it's what I'm used to and what I'm good at.

I always thought I'd put this thing with my brother behind me. And now these thoughts are anchors on my feel. I've stagnated because of them.

I still remember the day I found out. My parents pulled my family into the room and told us. My dad wanted us to be together while we mourned, but I couldn't. So after a while of just being awkward and sad I went to my room. I stepped outside and just stopped, breaking down harder than I have ever broken down in my life. I was those screaming women flailing over a casket you see in funerals. I screamed it hurt so much.

Then my dad showed up... and pulled my back to that fucking fucking fucking room.

Like a radio playing at max getting the plug pulled, it all stopped. I couldn't shed another tear that, day, at the funeral and to this day. I will always and forever be furious for being pulled away at that moment to be with other people.

My tears are my mine and mine alone. Fuck! Why would he want to watch me cry? What the fuck would that fucking do? Why do people want to see other people hurt? Why the fuck would you cry with other people? I don't fucking get it.

This morning, with the help of Keifer Sutherland LOL and a Movie that LITERALLY ONLY EXISTED IN MY MIND. I managed to shed another tear and take a step toward finishing what I started that day.

I'm not mad at my father, he didn't know. They don't know me well enough. We don't know each other well enough. It's just that thing. That thing that is. But likely shouldn't be.

Jordan Peterson said there was a danger in telling the truth and speaking your mind, but the danger of remaining silent is far worse. So this is my truth.

It's been a bad week for my spirit with shit hitting my chest constantly, filling me with anxiety, dred, loss and grief.

So I wrote it down as completely as I can.

I feel better, only time will tell if it makes me better.

I love you all that made it this far.

And all that didn't I love you too.

#life #family #grieve #crying #emotion



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