dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

The comfort-humiliation complex....

John's inability to be anything more than physically and financially there for his family is not a hang-up that only he has; the timidity, the need to shrink from a responsibility owing to an unfounded fear, the need to console himself with a self-serving and harmful delusion instead of embracing a disconcerting but helpful fact is about the only thing that he freely shares with his family.

Since the Housening still bothers me years after the fact, let's examine how his need to prefer a self-serving and self-defeating falsehood to a self-denying and beneficial fact made his and everyone else's life worse. As we saw, his need to not admit even for a second that he was being unfair to April, insensitive to her needs and unkind to everyone led to a lot of misery and ultimately to a loss of faith in him that drove her far away from the life that she knew; he might think that he's a good man but a good man would have done the right thing and owned up to behaving like a cowardly swine instead of fouling his nest with begged questions.

Of course, he's not alone in being the villain of the piece due to ignoring the dictates of duty because that would imply effort; Elly could have forestalled the worst of it if she'd have admitted that what she pretended was generosity to a family in need was actually wallowing in martyrdom to enable a pious, lazy fraud's need to take advantage of her. As for said fraud, Mike might have talked a good game about how his little buddy April felt out of sorts because she was the victim of forces beyond her control but that too was a self-serving lie. The only reason that he decided that he wasn't going to move was to be a dick to everyone and get praised for his clearheadedness.

In this, he's joined by Deanna who wanted a free babysitter and Liz who, despite claims of being a take-charge personality, acted like both a passive lump and a dog in a manger; the good intentions they professed to have were fig leaves covering up something repellent: sloth and vanity. Between a woman who wanted to make April into some sort of pet and a vain, whiny nitwit who set her younger sister's valid concerns at naught because caring about them would mean that the horrors she believed she was facing were merely the phantasms of a self-deluded and pampered twit who doesn't have what it takes to make it in the world, April had to absorb a lot of phony sympathy from vermin.
Tags: one big oblivious family

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