Daily Prompt Shoulda Woulda Coulda Tell us about something you know you should do . . . but don’t.
“eh Maertha? Your super-ego? Eet is very strong in you.”
“What’s a super-ego?”
“It’s the parent voice. In you, ze parent voice is very strong.”
“Is that a good thing?”
“Eet doesn’t matter. It is ze way it is.”
Ah France. My wonderful (and French) therapist, helping me deal with separating from my alcoholic brother.
“Ze problem is your super-ego, eet tell you, ‘take care of your brother.’ Eet does not say, ‘take care of yourself’. We need to wake up your ego a little bit so you feel OK about taking care of Maertha. If you don’t, who will, no?”
Lots of people spit out the cliché, “There are no shoulds in life.” That’s just not true. There are MANY shoulds and they’re good things. When I hear one hammering at me, I usually pay attention, because, yes; my super-ego IS strong and often right. “You should exercise. You will be able to walk better. You’ll look better and feel better.” I don’t argue. I just do it.
My super-ego is formidable for a good reason — I had to raise myself. This brought my parent self to the top of the power struggle between it and the id and the ego. There’s a downside to it, but the upside, in my life, is that I’m here. I’m comparatively sane and successful, and I haven’t completely fucked up my life. There’s a downside to a giant super-ego, but for the most part I’m grateful for it. It’s a giant EGO that tries to control other people. I giant super-ego is concerned with SELF-control, and godnose I need it. I’m a temperamental person.
My brother, on the other hand, tried to force our absent parents into do a job they couldn’t/wouldn’t and probably shouldn’t have taken on by remaining an infant. “You MUST care for me. It’s YOUR job.” That’s somewhat charming in a five year old. In a fifty-five year old it’s a death sentence.
So… There is not much I know I should do that I don’t do. If I don’t do something I should do (like replace my garage) it’s because for concrete reasons I can’t. That’s why I don’t understand people who feel “guilty” for eating ice cream when they’re on a diet. I don’t understand people who say, “I shouldn’t but you only live once.” I think those people should develop the cojones to say, “I want ice cream.” It’s ice cream, not a moral issue, right? I think they should shut up and enjoy it. 🙂