The Incredible Hulk, Child Discipline and some thoughts

Talking to a Friend

I was talking to a friend who asked me what was I like as a child. It was an unprecedented question that no one has ever asked me before and that I have never wanted to tell completely. Sometimes a bit slips out here and there, but that’s unintentional.

To talk of the past is to take a journey through the world as I saw it then filtered through the lenses of how  I see it now and that is what has always troubled me. To take a journey is to in part re-create the past with new eyes, it is in a way to blow into faded embers, and piles of ash in the hopes of getting warmed by the bucolic almost pastoral images and melodies of those innocent times. Innocence is truly the greatest seductress because it seems to me at least that for the whole rest of our life we long for those moments again, we long to be carefree, we long to live unburdened, we longed to be loved completed – all of which fade as we journey physically further and further into the night of a human life.

MrMary The Destroyer of Worlds

This is a figure of Shiva, the god of the Hindu trinity that is known as the destroyer of worlds. Oppenheimer said famously after the Manhattan project: "Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds" - a reference to Shiva the Destroyer of worlds in the Bhagavad Gita

I spent a lot of time to myself until I was 6 when my sister was born, and after that I spent also a lot of time by myself watching over her. I used to take empty bottles and bits of refuse  and build cities on the floor with my fathers small model car collection.

I would meticulous spend hours to build up vast elaborate cities and in an ironic twist I would  destroy it after I surpassed the expansive beauty and intricate design of the last city.  I couldn’t then think of a reason why I destroyed my refuse-city but it seems right, it seems to restore an order back to think my imagining and subsequent building has disturbed.

Aside from my parents I didn’t talk much to anyone else. Due to fear perhaps or just the novelty of living together in NYC after much hardship my parents  kept me inside. I didn’t have any friends, I didn’t have any past times, I had my refuse cities to build and destroy and the one thing that as I got older was a saving grace TV.

TV helped me understand how to people the world I created, it helped me to understand the importance of good guys, and bad guys, of fast cars and that everyone had to have something they wanted that they couldnt get:  everyone was a different version or take on Wiley Coyote -equipped with everything that could in theory get them what they wanted but still at the end of the day beat-up and horribly bereft of everything except the absurd fixation to repeat the day again and again. And why not? it was funny for the rest of us, until we too were force to see ourselves tirelessly repeating the same thing.

As much as I liked Looney Tunes though, my favorite show had to be the Incredible Hulk with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. As a young child I felt in many ways powerless. As I got older I found that my parents changed, they were more and more demanding, they were mean, more and more controlling. What I could watch, what I could eat when I could eat it, how I could talk the way I would talk and dress all those things I couldn’t decide for myself anymore.

There was no pleading, no freedom and from early on my life was planned for me and any deviations from the script was met with derision, harsh disciplinary measures, verbal abuse and silence- an uneasy silence. I can see now that after the birth of my sister, growing money problems difficultly to put food on the table, and their own person issues made the situation very tense for my parents as they had no family in this country and nothing to return back to.

I got reprimanded more and more, disciplined more and more. I don’t mean the time out of today’s parenting. I mean the leather belt cooperative beatings of the past along with the name callings, the tension. Not all of it was deserved, most of it wasn’t.

In no way am I implying that I was physically abused, my parents loved me very much and sacrificed a lot for me, but for a time I got whipped a lot to the point where I felt numb inside. I started to feel though anger, intense anger, hatred almost and sometimes outside of home I would get angry and flip and scare people. In many ways like the Incredible Hulk show I used to like so much. Like David Banner I was calm reflective, inquisitive, a scientist in the making, until someone made me angry. When in my teens that whole bipolar nonsense hit me it amplified things to a whole new degree.

Suffice it to stay, I don’t remember being able to smile for many years. It took a very long time to be able to get over that anger over a lot of pain, that sometimes when I get down rush in like a band of mauraders. I remember feeling horribly isolated and lonely, and unfortunately that song would play in my head from the Incredible Hulk TV show whenever I got down.

There were some happy times, it wasnt all bad. It’s just that some parts were very debilitating. Therapy working out, martial arts and other things have helped me  deal and I am better now. All one’s pain and suffering make one who one is and I am happy with myself. I wouldnt change anything in the past because it forced me to confront myself and push myself in ways I never would have.

But concerning my childhood, I think that’s all I have the stomache to tell for now about things

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  1. A haunting and moving piece this is, MrMary. I’m afraid I’ll run out of superlatives very soon to describe your writing.
    Your stories are authentic and your words have a way to puncture deep into your readers’ hearts.

    I hope you don’t get overwhelmed yet by my visits around here. I’m currently addicted to your blog. 🙂

    Quite lovely, dear blogger.
    More hugs from me to you..


    • I have always asked myself why do people write.It is an ancient question, as old as writing itself. While many are quick to say that we write to either inform, convince or whatever else they can gleam from Aristotle and the other Ancient Greek Philosophers words on expression I take a different approach.

      I think of birds i heard once in the forests of Virginia. Birdsong is pretty interesting. It changes every spring and it never completely the same. What strikes me the most about it is that there is no reason for it. Birds can communicate to each other certainly, but the song is different. it seems to be a naturally emergent characteristic of life. I feel teh same for writing, it’s a craft of course but its another face of the many of Life.

      The poet Rumi had this to say in a poem:

      Birdsong brings relief to my longing

      I am just as ecstatic as they are
      but with nothing to say!

      Please, universal soul, practice
      some song, or something, through me

      – Rumi

      Thanks for your comment and letting me pontificate


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