I am the child of an Iron Butterfly and a Flawed Leader. That in itself is something that rested so deep inside of me, I marvel that I spent many years on resisting and denying it. When you are a child of this particular breed, male or female, you learn quickly where your place is. My place at first as an accessory, for the Iron Butterfly loves attention and the oohhs and ahhs are unheard symphonies to her love starved ears. All was well with the world until Life kicked down the door with addiction, infidelity and divorce. On top of that, I was finding my personality and my voice. Saying what I thought, or what I felt didn’t serve me comfort from her. Indifference, anger at my audacity to think and feel was my response from the one person who was supposed to understand my childish words and questions. I became something else, unworthy of attention unless someone was present then I would be entertainment for unsuspecting and uncomfortable visitors. This didn’t stop her, the thrill of hovering above me was too intoxicating to notice their foot shifting. While Flawed Leader stood on the sidelines and did his best to avoid or enable, it didn’t make a difference which.
Broken and damaged, they found one another but couldn’t hold on through the symptoms of the sicknesses that dwelled inside of them. The jealousy, insecurity and selfishness chipped at their words until they grew silent. Then they started to use their hands, objects and screams to communicate their fears. Often I would pray to be stuck in school, just not to open the door to destruction. Scattered through the apartment, I could almost feel the pain and the terrible feeling of being trapped within the war that wasn’t mine.
I was a captive audience to their misery and neither spared an ounce, both would bury their marriage deeper every day in some way while blaming the other. The strange thing about their relationship was that they would not be able to accomplish this without an intimate knowledge of what made the other tick. The same knowledge they could have used to make their connection deeper, but instead chose to ‘water their own lawns’.