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Consistently Inconsistent

by Heather

For any of you who don’t know, I am not a psychology major. It is my minor, but in fact the focus of my education at this point is to become an RN. I have an great interest in psychology because of the nature of my interactions and relationships with other people in my life. In my family, through my friends, within Christianity, and eventually entwined in my profession are men who exemplify to me so many different aspects of what masculinity looks like in society today. I have never had a “good” male role model, and I blame my skewed views of men greatly on this fact. I am not telling my story for sympathy, in fact I don’t think that it deserves any. I am telling my story so that you might understand my intense interest in this subject.

My parents’ divorce was finalized three months before my second birthday. The police were involved. I have heard so many different versions of the story so many times that I honestly don’t know what is truth and what is not. I stopped trying to understand it years ago. I do know that my dad was taken to jail, but he didn’t stay there. Something about a felony charge of spousal abuse was tossed around, but charges were never pressed.

This was also the time, when the divorce was finalized, that both of my parents were kicked out of the church that they attended. I have the letter that the pastor wrote to my dad, explaining that he was living in sin and was no longer welcome unless the marriage was reconciled.

So at this point, you have the abusive and abused man who never knew his father, and the Christian pastor who preaches forgiveness but has no grace. Let’s continue.

From the time that I was two until late in my high school career, I saw my dad every other weekend and on Wednesday nights for Taco Bell. We did things on occasion, but needless to say we were never very close. I actually resented him quite a lot because of things I heard my mother say about him. It took me a long time to even think about forming my own judgments. I trust him more now, I know that if I ever really need anything that he’ll help me out, but it’s all business with him. I’ve seen him cry once in my life, at a funeral for his uncle. My dad channels his emotions into Solitaire. He is a very closed person, and I wish I could know him better but I don’t know that it will ever happen.

The majority of the time I was growing up was spent with my mom. A couple of the men she dated lived with us at times, and I saw a very wide range of personalities through that. The main thing I saw, though, was inconsistency.

When I was in about sixth grade, she started dating a new man, and with him came another new pattern. Alcohol was a daily staple. With alcohol comes louder voices, inability to admit the possibility that one is wrong, and a new boldness to make one’s opinions known through violence.

The pattern usually went in two or three month cycles. They would be in love, then they would little by little start driving each other crazy. Next came intentional actions to upset the other, biting remarks and accusations. It would finally escalate late one night, and empowered by the self-righteousness that alcohol gives, a full-on brawl would break out. He would move out, the wouldn’t talk for a couple of weeks, and then the cycle would start over again.

And then they got married.

And then they got divorced.

And now they are back together.

So now we add to my schema the man who doesn’t know how to handle his own problems so much that he gets angry at those he loves and intentionally hurts them.

In addition to this as well, we have my own personal relationships with boys (honestly) who are trying to grow into men. You have this girl who finally lets herself trust this boy, and she falls in love with him. He’s a soldier, he says that he will always protect her. She believes all of his beautiful words. Two years later, she finds out that he’s cheated on her, multiple times with multiple other women. He lied to her. All of those beautiful words were what he wanted her to believe, and what he was trying to convince himself of. Her security in her future, her faith in her best friend, and her already shaky trust in all men comes crashing down oh her.

And the schema continues to be warped.

Finally, you have this man who is in my life who doesn’t fit any mold I’ve seen anywhere. He is gentle and kind, humble, trustworthy, passionate. He said that he would die for me, and he did. Just for me. The amount that he cares about me is infinite, and unfathomable.

His name is Jesus. And he throws into my schema the fact that I am worth dying for.

I hope that you understand my intrigue, my confusion, my intense lack of knowledge, and my drive to grasp how and why men work the way they do. Thank you for listening to my story.

Comments»

1. watcat - March 16, 2009

Hi this blog is great I will be recommending it to friends.

2. occhristiancounseling - March 16, 2009

Thanks! I hope you’ll visit the site often. You can now register online for the free teleclass, too.

Blessings,
Dr. Smith

3. Heather - March 30, 2009

Just so you all know, this composition was written for Psych 495, so if any of it doesn’t make sense or you have any questions about me or my experiences, please feel free to ask! Dr. Smith is awesome at clarifying the mysterious world of men, and I am on the website frequently if you’d like to ask anything of me.

– Heather

4. wendy - September 26, 2013

You have no idea what your blog just did to me. Thank you Jesus for the reassurance you have provided to me with this blog.

5. wendy - September 26, 2013

Also God bless you richly. Thank you for this!


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