Life of excusesI don't care who's hurt me. I only care who I've hurt. I used to feel bitterness about people who had hurt me but then I learned they were just like me: working within the bounds of who they are.
But me, I feel like I should be broader. All the time I feel that. All week I have been the same neglectful, terrible father I have always been. And even though I say to myself, like a prayer, do not make it worse, work harder, do not break them more, I spin around in my own circle of pain and break them more all the time and can't do differently.
Sometimes I think about the choice I made to be here and wonder whether it really was better for them that I choose that. I won't lie to you and pretend that all I cared about was them and how they would be. I stayed because I could not bear to leave.
It was terrible when I said to B that I couldn't deal with her because I was feeling sad about Mum and she said well maybe you should have phoned her more. It was such a godawful thing to say and I wouldn't have been hurt if it hadn't been true.
When I think about B all I think is that I wish I had given her more. And when I think about Mrs Zen I think the same. I feel -- I know, I should allow myself the luxury of knowing it -- I am capable of being big enough to have made her happy. But if that's true -- and I will not allow myself to wallow in thinking it isn't -- isn't it like everything in my life? Like I have had an extended adolescence and I am still waiting to pupate, to become me.
I only feel low when I start thinking that is just a lie I have told myself. That I am not just flawed -- not just weak -- not just lazy -- not just stubborn -- but that I really am nothing much at all.
This week that is where I have been. Believing I am worth nothing at all. That anyone who thinks I am worth while, I have lied to or they are lying to themselves.
I do not want to believe that.
I was watching The Family Man the other night. It left me deeply saddened. And I was thinking, if I was with Tea Leoni, cute as a button, caring, gentle, would I be content?
Well of course I could but why do I want to blame women for not loving me when I am not loving them. I am just giving them a pale, unnourishing gruel. I could be Tea Leoni myself, couldn't I?
Mrs Zen used to think I did not love her enough because I got with her on the rebound from E and that I still loved E. Which wasn't true. I am capable of loving more than one woman and I can carry a torch like it's the Olympics in my loungeroom without that spilling over into other parts of my life. Mrs Zen wanted for herself what she believed I felt for E and felt shortchanged that I didn't.
But I did not love her enough regardless. And I don't know whether I would have loved E more or less if we had stayed together. By which I mean, love feels like something to give and something to receive, and those two feelings are not always the same. I suppose what appeals about The Family Man is its simple belief that they are.
We can only do what we are capable of.
But what are you capable of?