Let’s delve deeper into my past, to the root of some of my issues if you will. I am in no way unaware of many of the causes to my psychological needs and wants. Of course upbringing colored my views. I always feel I am ultimately responsible for all of my own decisions. My choices are just that, MINE. That’s not to say there aren’t some amusing anecdotes that might mean more to a student of Freud than myself. We did a cast & crew screening of HORRORS OF WAR, my first feature film. You can imagine this was a big night for me and both of my parents came to this. It was a 300 seat theater with no empty seats. I felt good.
Two weeks later we did a public screening with tickets for sale. I was in shock when I saw both my parents there again. My father, who had unusually become a supporter of my artistic endeavors as I’ve gotten older and he retired, saw the line of people around the corner and wanted to give his tickets away. I told him to just go into the theater and enjoy the show.
We sold out. It was a great night. I was in heaven. A few days later I was at my parents house and I wanted to thank them for coming out again. My mother was at the kitchen table playing bridge with a few of her friends and loved having the public display of gratitude, saying”Of course we wanted to support you”, and as I was leaving my father pulled into the driveway.
I told him I just got done telling Mom how much this meant to me and he said I shouldn’t be too grateful. I had the obligatory “Huh?” and he asked me if I knew why they went to the theater that night. I said no, and he proceeded to tell me that my mother had FORCED him to go see that movie again. I asked why he needed to be forced to watch my movie again and he said “Your mother felt bad and didn’t want you to be sitting in that theater all alone”…
And that is the MOST supportive thing my family has done in regards to anything I’ve ever done.
I don’t view this as the most horrible thing ever. My family is who they are. I don’t ask them to change, nor do I expect them to. Yes, I do look for constant approval from others because I lacked the attention as a child, hell even as an adult, from my family. Duh. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out.
I have known for most of my life that I will never get the approval or respect from my family that most people might want. Or even need. It’s not much of a struggle or a roadblock. Maybe it makes sense I spent 10 years with an emotional equivalent to a glacier in this context. It was a step warmer than my family.