The quote by Edith Hamilton struck me the most of this entire book The Kennedy Curse because it pretty much underlines its premise. Here in this blog are to be my own words, but if you do not have the text in front of you, you might not know of that which I speak.
"It was an ill-fated house...A curse seemed to hang over the family, making men sin in spite of themselves and bringing suffering and death down upon the innocent as well as the guilty."
Even a family as esteemed and elite as the Kennedy's were not above misfortune, despite what they thought. As on top of the world as they thought they were, so many of them came crashing down, LITERALLY. Never did I know until I picked up this book, just how many of the Kennedys suffered tragedies. It was like reading Greek mythology when I was reading the "Chronicle of the Kennedy Curse".
As we all do when we read or watch the news about people and their successes or loss and misfortunes, I compared my life the best way I could to what I learned thus far of the Kennedys in the "Introduction". I may not have a wealthy family fully of former Presidents and Amabassadors, etc., but down the line, my family immigrated to the United States, and since it has appeared there is a curse hanging over us, stemming from both my father and mother's side. We haven't suffered the tragic accidents like the Kennedys, but there has been much "suffering and death upon the innocent as well as the guilty."
Only when I hit my 30's did I recognize this curse. Before, I always asked God, "why me?" But now it's more like, "why us?" And yet, if I look back far enough, I can see that it was because of one person's journey, the curse began and spread like wildfire, tearing down home after home, and destroying the good that many family members tried to make out of the bad. It is not just the family, it involves "those associated with the family on an average of nearly once every two years," just the same as with the Kennedys- from incest, to divorce, drug abuse, mental illness, disease, sickness, physical abuse, alcoholism, embezzlement, adultery, to even being barren.
I am not exempt. Although I take full responsibility for my actions, I think what I have suffered out of my control, has been the result of a curse. Where I am today, it is the result of a curse. Why I wanted to start this blog after reading this book, is a result of the curse. Seeing personality traits of a lot of these Kennedy's similar to my own, is a result of a family curse.
I relate to descriptions in the Introduction about John Kennedy, Jr. which result from such a curse - he was a narcissist who thrived on attention, who indulged in unsafe activities, who was a rebel, and who sought power because he dreaded the emptiness that came with being ignored. And yet I was able to relate to his crazy wife- she was a child of divorce and though my own father did not abandon me physically, he abandoned me emotionally when he decided to go off with several women, and therefore, I too, like Carolyn Bessette, am sensitive to any sign of male desertion. And I also can relate to the line in the Introduction "virtually every time a Kennedy was on the verge of achieving a goal or ambition, he was doomed to pay a tragic price" and as you continue to read this book, you discover it was by their very own hand, still due to a curse.
Anyone reading this can probably relate on different levels; as you see, you do not have to be a Kennedy or have the elitism of a Kennedy to relate to the life issues they struggled with. As the Introduction also stated, "all families suffer adversity". But something must be said about a "chain of calamities" and how it stems from a history of ill-gotten means and abuse of power.
How does this relate to being 30? Life really just seems to be beginning, yet, if I'm not careful, it could be close to ending. These reckless decisions I make, the desire for power, the hunger for success...it intensifies at age 30 because you start to look back and see where you are, or ARE NOT, today, despite what you swore. Though my focus might have shifted, passion has been replaced with frustration, and the latter can be the more dangerous of the two despite what others think.
My problem, much like the Kennedys, is I always want to be the "best". I am not happy with "good enough". Perhaps this is why I am so fascinated with the Kennedys and other powerful, wealthy families (I read a lot of literature about English Royalty, and Edith Wharton) because I wonder if I can glean something from the knowledge of their lives to advance me in my own life. I would not go to the extreme of calling myself a Narcissist, but again I can relate to something else written in the Introduction about that they are full of an "overwhelming need to... believe that they are entitled to get away with things that other cannot [sounds like my dad, eh, eh?] - in order to compensate for deep feelings of vulnerability." As such with the Kennedys, this can be traced back to early history "which [leaves an] indelible scar [on] the psyche".
In this book, we experience the Kennedy's "fatal collision course with reality". Doesn't this sound much like Anne-Marie's description of why we started this blog. Doesn't this sound like what happens by the time you reach your thirties? I am sure we are not the only ones who can relate. But in case we are, that is why Annie and I started this blog together. Annie, perhaps, we should use pseudonyms for this blog, now that I think about it.