A Classic Play That Never Ends
Present for this scene are:
The Father: Stone Wall,
The Daughter: Perfect Wall, at this time aged 13
The Other Daughter: (and future ''schizo'':)Crystal Wall, here aged 15
Today's Topic: Stone teaches His Family About the True Colour Of Snow
Crystal: ''Oh look...It's snowing. Everything always looks so fresh and clean when it is under a new blanket of white snow.''
Stone: ''What are you going on about now Crystal?''
C: ''What do you mean? Going on about?''
Stone: ''Everybody knows that snow is red.''
C: ''What? Snow is white father.''
Perfect: (looks slightly alarmed, frowns a bit, but says nothing)
Stone: ''You must be thinking of some dream you've had--or some movie fantasy-'' -(laughs derisively)
Crystal: ''Why are you saying that?''
Stone: (turns to daughter Perfect and smirks saying, ''She wants to know WHY I'm saying that...''
Perfect: (smiles back at Stone--she feels quite close to her daddy)
Stone: (assured that his daughter Perfect will stay with him on this) ''It should be obvious to you Crystal why I am saying this. Why are you so stupid?''
Crystal: ''Why are you calling me stupid? What did I say that was so stupid?''
S: ''You're SO stupid, you don't even know why I'm telling you you're stupid. You can't get much dumber than that!''
Crystal: (looking confused and hurt, sheds a few tears)
Stone: ''That's right crybaby- show us how touchy you are. (glances at Perfect who is now smirking along with her daddy) Always have to be playing the victim don't you? Can never get enough attention can you?''
Crystal: (bites her lip) ''Why are you doing this to me?''
Perfect: (speaking up for the first time) ''Oh Crystal....come oooonnnnn now! No one is doing anything to you. Stop playing the victim. Our father has the right to talk to you anyway he feels is right. You should not be so disrespectful to him. No wonder he gets so frustrated with you.'' (Perfect looks at her daddy and rolls her eyes as Stone smiles lovingly back at her.)
Stone: (to Crystal)''Why aren't you more like your sister, Perfect? She never gives us a minute's grief. You should try to develop a personality more like hers; more outgoing and friendly and more respectful.''
Crystal: ''I don't want Perfect's personality. It changes constantly to please whomever she happens to be with at the time. I don't even know who she really is...''
Stone: "Well I do, and if you don't then that is your problem. You are just resenting Perfect because she is so much better than you and you're jealous!''
C: ''That is not true. I am not jealous of Perfect.''
Perfect: ''You just don't want to admit it and that is one of your biggest faults.''
C: ''Why doesn't anyone in this family ever LISTEN to me? Why won't you hear a word I say? Why do we always have to have these insane conversations that just go around in endless circles? What is the point of all of this? Why don't you just admit father, that snow is not red, it is white. Perfectly, obviously white!''
Stone: ''Well, I've had enough! Come Perfect. We have better things to do with our time than to keep listening to Crystal's nonsense.''
(they get up together and walk out of the room as Stone asks Perfect how she would like to have her own T.V. in her room?......)
Some Missing Information: You see, when Crystal and Stone were at home alone together once last week, Crystal mentioned she wanted to buy a small T.V. of her own, with her own money, for her room. Stone told her then that she did NOT NEED, and would not be allowed to buy a T.V. of her own since she would only be using it to pout in her room alone, away from the rest of the family. So now, as he asked Perfect if she would like him to buy HER one, he glanced back at Crystal to see if he was getting a reaction. He was of course. Crystal's jaw had dropped in bewilderment.
Outside the room, Stone told Perfect that all the rest of the family could do when Crystal started seeking attention like that was to ignore her, get up, and leave the room together. ''She will soon stop that whining and complaining if no one is there to listen or respond to her won't she?''
Perfect nodded at her daddy and smiled in agreement. Then, they went out together to shop for her reward for being such a good daughter.
As usual, Crystal sat in her room alone feeling totally isolated; not just physically, but emotionally and psychologically. She was constantly bewildered and confused by her family relationships. She could not understand what they thought they were doing, nor WHY they were doing it. It had been like this since she was a pre-schooler but it was getting a lot worse now. Crystal was fifteen now and she noticed as her awareness increased, the pressure on her was increased also. Why? Why? Whenever she asked the family members what they were doing, or why they were doing it, she could not get any answer from them. Why wouldn't they talk about it?
As she sat and watched the snow falling, creating a thick blanket of white over the bushes, she asked herself, ''How did I end up being the horrible, disrespectful, whining, jealous daughter simply by saying, ''Everything looks so fresh and clean under a blanket of fresh snow....?'' What is this REALLY about? And Why do they look so pleased with themselves, especially her father and Perfect, when they see she is getting distressed by the situation?
What Crystal Needs To Know:
This isn't about snow, or truth, or reality, or reason. It is mostly about Stone and his need for power and control over the members of his family, especially women, and more so anyone who challenges his feeling of entitlement about it. It is also about the blindness of his enablers, about denial, about manipulation and about the fantasy of the Family Romance that most people do not want to see. That is because seeing it will mean the loss of the grand illusion and the need to face and deal with a sometimes, horrifying reality.
How far the dysfunctional ''game'' will go depends upon the particular participants involved but, it is always a matter of degree, not substance. Basically, the ''game'' remains the same; only the degree of destruction, and the willingness of the group members to let it happen, varies from group to group. When Crystal gets lucky, or gets some validation of her perspective on reality from an outside source, someone who is NOT caught up in the automatic responses of the family system, she will come to understand that the topic of the interaction, or the concrete details are all but irrelevent. She will understand that if she looks for logic in this, she looks in vain. Logic has nothing to do with this.
This dysfunctional game is only about power, control, domination and submission and is played for it's own sake. The only solution is to get outside of the game and stop playing it. It will take Crystal a very long time to work her way out of this. She will be past fifty before she sees the whole thing. These scenes from the experience will show the many aspects of the problem as she makes the long and difficult trip down the winding road of family tradition.