As an A Level student winging my way through the first of two unchallenging years in the Windsorian education system I came across the poetry of Philip Larkin. I don’t much care for his work; I find his indulgence in misery really off-putting (and that comes from a girl who spent her childhood being molested by her step-father and then having her mother envy her for it). However, there was one line that really stood out to me from This be the Verse (the literary ‘know-it-alls’ wrinkle their lip as they foresee what’s coming):
‘They fuck you up, your mum and dad.’
Because My God! – they really, really do. Now in the specific example of my parents it was taken to the extreme I grant you, but there’s an element of ‘fucked up-ness’ in us all stemming from the transference of parental issues inflicted upon unsuspecting off-spring. Dickens was right; we are empty vessels to be filled with knowledge but, unfortunately, this knowledge is often tainted with the disappointments, grudges and negative experiences of our makers. I read on Google that we are at our most impressionable between the age of 0-5 so we are totally at the mercy of our parents and it seems to be at that time they are muddling their way through life, adulting in the best way they can and we are just there, sponging it all up like brillo pads.
I would like to put in a small disclaimer here that not all parents are terrible, especially not as bad as mine were. Similarly, not every child is psychologically scarred by the efforts of their elders. This blog is for me to work my way through a smorgasbord of issues through the medium of comedy and writing; it’s not a critique on parenting and it’s not meant to be taken as a ‘one size fits all’ deal.
Now, that being said, while I judge my mother and father…and step-father, for the issues they felt compelled to disease me with, I also feel a weird sense of gratitude. Thank the Lord they messed me up just enough to make me a comedy genius. Because being funny really has seen me through some pretty horrendous times. Never were truer words spoken than the old adage ‘if you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?’ Don’t get me wrong, there’s no way to make the abuse of a nine year old funny – it’s completely not a laughing matter…but that’s a really tiny part of an otherwise highly comedic life and in a roundabout way, life is comedic because those early experiences have given me a warped sense of realism. So, if you find yourself chuckling with equal measure at the story where I shit all over my monstrous ex-boyfriend’s peen and my psychotic mother knocking me out with an oil-filled frying pan, it’s all good. Life has handed me the sourest of lemons, and while I use my oven for storage so the thought of making lemonade is inexplicable to me, I’ve made some pretty amusing juice out of it nevertheless.
Stay tuned. You’ll laugh, you’ll maybe cry and you’ll definitely know someone a little like some of the featured peeps you’re about to meet.