Exercising Edgar

A friend of mine grew up under a tyrannical and oppressive hyper-control freak father. His father’s name was Edgar. Edgar died a few years back, but he still gets exercised fairly regularly, or whenever my friend thinks he, himself, is losing control of the people closest to him.

Growing up as Edgar’s oldest son, as my friend did, was as far from idyllic as Hades is from Heaven. It had to have been a wretched childhood, although containing all of the trappings of the well-to-do—summer house on Long Island, vacations in the Bahamas, and a prestigious New York City residence. None of that could really be enjoyed, however, given that Edgar’s idea of how to start a day was pre-dawn bellowing throughout the house to his previously slumbering family, on vacation at the beach, to “Police the Yard!, POLICE THE YARD!!” What?

Edgar would have apparently noticed an errant gum or candy wrapper that had trespassed onto his property, and the only thing that would do, was to rally the troops at whatever ungodly hour that his noticing had occurred, to rectify the transgression and inspect the rest of the property to be sure no other such infraction had occurred. Talk abut control issues.

Edgar was never one to listen–to anyone, other than Edgar. Edgar ordered. Edgar demanded. Edgar ranted, raged, and roared. No one was allowed to speak, let alone disagree or, heaven forbid, challenge. It took a lot of energy to be Edgar, and it took a lot more energy and joy out of the lives of those around him.

Heavy handed dictatorship, imposed with abusive autocracy, ruled the day–back then, and still, surprisingly or not, now. It seems that Edgar still needs–or at least gets–exercise, even in his presumed non-physical state.

Ironically (or is it?), it’s his oldest son, who in many ways suffered the most among Edgar’s offspring under his rigid rule, who apparently has the responsibility of exercising Edgar. Edgar makes appearances by taking over his son’s mind, if not his body and soul, and then continues the rant and rage that should have ended with his transport to the spirit plane. Edgar rigorously imposes rules to limit everyone’s free speech–except his own. No one is allowed to question, forget disagree, with any Edgarian decree. And Edgar, through his son, makes it more than clear that he WILL NOT change. End of “discussion.”

Movies are full of stories like this in which the son becomes the father he so despised. I keep thinking my friend should watch two prime examples that came out in 1999. Kinsey and Sunshine each depicted sons who, as adults, unwittingly became their detested fathers. Maybe he would see himself. Maybe not. Worst of it is, is that the sons in these movies were totally blinded to the cause of their own undoings, even though it was blatantly and painfully obvious to everyone else. And so it seems with Edgar’s son–my friend, or at least I thought he was a friend until Edgar shut me out. Could he possibly recognize himself by watching a movie?

How can anyone be so oblivious to what is so obviously going on? We all are susceptible, of course, especially when it comes to seeing ourselves as we really are. Devastating as this news is, this could even apply to me. (Perish the thought.)

Even though I didn’t despise either of my parents, sometimes I nearly keel over from the shock of hearing my mother’s voice coming through my own, or my father’s bullheaded opinions reverberating about my brain. I pray that I am able to continue to at least be aware whenever these would-be takeovers of mouth and mind threaten.

If only my friend could be made aware that what he allows Edgar to say and do through him today, will not only alienate those who want to be his friends, but endure to have the potential for far-reaching deleterious effects into generations of his own progeny. The negative gets handed down as much or more than the positive. The Law of Perversity. Look at what Edgar’s legacy has already accomplished–perpetuating his reign of terror through his son. And who was the original perpetrator that passed this on to Edgar? So far my friend has no kids of his own. I hope he becomes aware of Edgar’s usurping and misuse of his mind before he does.

As I was waking up this morning, it occurred to me that what Edgar needs much more than to be ex-er-cised is be to ex-or-cised. Instead of watching the movies Kinsey and Sunshine, my friend might get more appropriate help from The Exorcist. But how to get this by Edgar? That is a project worth taking the time to figure out–before yet another life plays out in needless tragedy.

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