Sunday, June 21, 2020

Father's Day,

Father's day; the celebration of Dad's everywhere is painful to me as you might imagine and I'm glad I'm not attending church tomorrow to see it all shoved in my face.

That said, there were some good things about my dad. First and foremost and probably his saving grace, was that He loved God. He may not have been dad of the year, but he taught me much about God, the Bible and gave me my first real study Bible that I read and teach from still today. He stayed with my mom and provided for us as best he could all his life. There were several things that I remember and things my mom told me that let me know there were times he was proud of me. I think he probably loved me as best he could in his twisted way due to his own childhood.

In my own way, I loved him back. Even though there were times I was really angry with him. As a kid, I really looked up to him. I can remember playing church with my little sister and imitating his preaching style. And of course, I took an offering.

I have a lot of his traits and mannerisms which I've mixed feelings about. Occasionally I'll catch his scent in my sweat which makes my stomach knot up but reminds me that he was my father and we share genetics. He gave me my work ethic too and that has stood me in good stead over the years for which I'm grateful. He was pretty intelligent too and I probably get that also from him again for which I'm grateful.

So, yes, there are things I'm grateful for and I hope in my heart I've really forgiven him. So I've tried to come up with some good things to remember about him today. It wasn't all bad but some of it was wrong and should not have happened. I guess many guys could say the same. No dad does it perfectly ever but it could have been much worse and so for that, I'm thankful.


Today, I'm thinking of boys everwhere and praying for their fathers. God bless us, everyone.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Control

One of the first things I've noticed in all of this COVID-19 nonsense is the growing feeling of a loss of control. Control has always been an issue in my life. As a kid, of course, there is no control. I was at my parent's discretion on what happened to me and how I was allowed to respond.

As a teenager, we start getting a little more control of our lives but in my case, my father being a pastor and all I was under an extra demand to be an example of what his teachings were all about. And then there was the other stuff that was going on that I was under an imperative to keep the secret.

When I left home at 18 for college, I pretty much went out of control. I went to movies, dances, parties, and listened to that awful music on the radio of the 60's and 70's. Really terrible stuff right?

Well, having my sexuality manipulated like dad did, I also explored a lot of things I'd only heard about. I was not a good Bible College Student and left after a year and went to Southern California. Again, not good, but I felt in control for the first time in my life. It was an illusion but I still bought it.

Now with all this pandemic stuff, those old feelings are creeping back up on me. I'm fighting to remember that God is still in control and he is not my earthly father. I can trust Him.

The world right not seems out of control. That's a trigger for sure, but I can work through that now. It's taken a lot of work and counselling but I'm in a good place now if I can just stay there.

Friday, May 15, 2020

I have often thought that if I'd had someone to talk to, someone to help me get out of the abuse early I'd have been able to live a more normal life. And I use that word normal loosely.

At one point I likened a child's psyche to wet cement. Things happen when you first pour it out in its form. Someone can step in it and leave a print, throw a rock in it and make a bad imprint. But when it's wet, things can be done to repair it and smooth out the blemishes. Over time though, if nothing is done, it's very difficult to repair the gouges and holes. It can be done but it's a lot of work and will still leave a mark.

I think as I said, kids are like that. Recognize the symptoms of damage and get them help early and they have a chance. Otherwise, as in my case it takes a heck of a lot of work and a long time. The conditioning is deeply ingrained.

Still, scars or no scars help is possible and just needs the will to do the hard work.

Just my thoughts

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Growing up my worldview was shaped of course, by my parents. As a child, it's all you know. We moved around a lot, sometimes twice in the same year. It seemed like I was eternally the "new kid".  One of the ways it shaped my ideas of boundaries is the way I always seemed to run into other kids who were sexually inquisitive like me. It wasn't until I was in my 60's that I really took a hard look back at that.

As a boy, I assumed because of that every boy or girl was curious about their body and wanted to "play". This occasionally led to some awkward and embarrassing encounters. Someone would say or do something that I would see as an invitation to go further and was surprised to discover that was not the case.

As I look back on memories of my childhood it becomes clear that my father had guided some or maybe a lot of my special friends to me. Some older, some younger and many the same age but all having the same leaning in common. I grew up believing anyone was a potential "playmate". And why wouldn't I?

It really didn't seem strange to me at the time. I had no experiences in which to compare. It just was how things always seemed to develop. So now in looking back, I've begun to see a pattern. I realize this was not normal. That I had been deliberately guided to certain families, certain friends and playmates and provided an opportunity to interact. This is more insidious than I realized. As I got into my pre-teen and early teen years I often caught dad watching or more to the point spying on me and my friends.

So, in my late teens and on I can see how I always seemed to see my friends and acquaintances as sexual beings first. A kind of automatic objectification of those around me. I find this really sad to realize and disappointed that in so many cases it became true and led to promiscuity instead of genuine friendships. Which also seemed to lead to isolation and confusion.

Train up a child in the way it should go and when it is old they will not depart from it. A Biblical instruction that when misused can be horrific. The ability to see this trend early on and do something about it is vital to the health and well being of a person.

More on this later.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Today I spent a few hours babysitting my grandson. I loved it more than I ever thought I would. One thing though that struck me hard, how helpless and small he was. Also how willing to trust me and fall peacefully asleep in my arms.

There was many a year that I spent berating my younger self for allowing the abuse to continue and not speaking out. I felt he was broken and I was angry with him, my small younger self.

As I stared into the tiny trusting eyes and the precious little face, it hit me hard and I began to tear up realizing how helpless, small, weak and clueless I was as a child in the middle of such evil. What else could I have done except survive and try to keep things from becoming worse?

I was just a kid, what did I know of such things or the ramifications of such a wounding of the soul. What does a child know of such things? So once again I feel the need to forgive my younger self. We don't know, what we don't know.

I survived.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Sorry, this is late, I've been struggling with some health issues. I'm over the worst of it I hope and will be back on a regular basis.

I've been sharing a little with my wife about the book I've been reading. I've mentioned it before in a recent thread. It's a novel approach to healing of sexual brokenness. It's been an eye-opener and as I've looked back at the various behaviors I've fallen into I've realized there was a definite pattern I was playing out through it all.  I've discussed some of this with my wife, things I felt pertinent to our situation and it's brought us to a closer understanding of each other's lives.

This is important to me because it has opened up a possibility of deepening our connection with each other. I find myself more patient with her sharing which she loves to do constantly. Well, maybe a little more patient, it's work but work I now want to do because it's important. I'm still working to opening up to her more but it's now a goal.

And just so you know, it's not like we are all agreeing on everything but I'm noticing less stress when we disagree. I'm trying not to shut her down and walk away as much as I used to. I think shes noticed.

I need connection, she does too. We both go at it differently but I'm working on changing my part. I suspect she will follow suit eventually also.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020


Triangulation syndrome

I've been reading this book, "Unwanted" by Jay Stringer. There's more to the title and I'll try and post it on the site's recommended books. He talks about how sometimes a parent can make a child their idol and become enmeshed emotionally and sometimes more, than with their spouse. I'll quote the paragraph that jumped out at me and got me thinking about me and dad.

"The other way childhood triangulation affects marriage is when you have separated from your parent, but then find yourself incapable of creating an intimate, lasting connection with your spouse. In this example, you find yourself resistant to deep connection, fearing you will be trapped or used all over again. You project onto your spouse that he or she is asking you to play the same enmeshed role your parent did. Once the projection is made, you feel justified, once more, to pursue unwanted sexual behavior."

I suspect the reason for my attachment problem which I shared with my wife, (who btw says explains a lot), is because my dad began using me for his physical intimacy in place of mom. I made no demands, laid no expectations on him and wasn't likely to complain if he wasn't interested. While I felt special and pleased with the secret attention and would imagine it was more than it was, it came at a price. 

Now that I see this I need to work on how to repair it if possible. I may just need to help on this one. I've carried it for a long time. 

Just my thoughts


Saturday, March 21, 2020

Attachment

My wife was complaining the other day that she wants more connection with me. She feels left behind in our relationship. 

I've thought about this a lot yesterday and remembered a book I once read on Attachment disorder. I think I do have this. I never got very attached to my mom. I loved her and I think she loved me but I had no problem leaving her and going off on my own at all. Same with my dad. My sis and I were never really close and often were at odds with each other growing up.

In fact, I can't remember ever being attached or feeling really connected to any degree with anyone. Everyone was at an invisible arms distance. I suspect I really don't know how to really connect with anyone. Could this be some form of Narcissism?

UGH.

And if that's the case, what do I do to change it? Can it be changed? Perhaps my hardware needs a reboot. Or maybe it's my software, the real me inside this hardware I'm walking around in. IDK

And could this be part of the damage from the years of abuse? Something to think about isolated at home.

Just my thoughts

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Why me?

I suppose we all have asked that question from time to time. I pretty much know why me. My father had a predilection for boys. I was born to him and mom and I'm sure he probably wrestled with his demon for some time before giving in. But once he did it was over and my life changed forever. That was my beginning and life as I understood it as a child.

But later, others began to approach me even though I never told anyone. I began to wonder if there was something about me that just screamed: "take me"? It happened so often and in so many different places that I thought maybe there was someone on my forehead that I couldn't see but certain others could.

In talking to others over the years I've discovered similar stories. It's been a topic of discussion several places about whether there is some look or attitude or stereotype that gets targeted that we all fit in.

Whether or not it's the case, it's the cards I was dealt with and now that I'm adult, the choice is mine to be a victim or victorious over it all. It took me a while but I've chosen the latter and have been much happier ever since. Like a friend of mine once said: I won't live in fear, but I won't live in stupid either.

Every day is a new choice and a new victory.

Monday, March 9, 2020

January has always been a difficult month for me. It's the month so many life-changing things happened. I admit I've not always handled it well. This past January and February was no exception.

That said, I've found a peace that I was not expecting. I've learned or been forced to learn to lean on my faith and my wife for support. I wish I could say all my close friends were there for me but I really don't have any. That's my fault. I don't reach out and I'm not good and making friends. A life long habit of keeping secrets and people at a distance is difficult to break.

We've just made the move to a new church and it occurs to me that this might be a good time to start developing some relationships with neighbors and good men in our new fellowship. Maybe it's time to let others see more of the real me. I know that I've never felt so isolated as I had this last month and it didn't feel good.

I can learn a lot from others and perhaps it's not too late to find a few good dependable friends. I know at my age group there still are some good people out there. Being alone felt safe but it really wasn't. And perhaps safe is not a good way to live anyway. That's just existing and I'm finding I really want to live.

Just my thoughts.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Fallout

My son took his own life last month from depression probably caused by being off his meds and family problems. He just couldn't cope. He was 48 years old and had a history of emotional and mental problems. He came into my life during the worst times of me dealing or rather not dealing with the effects of my own abuse from my father. I pushed him away and tried to avoid dealing with him and anything else due to deep denial. By the time I realized I had serious problems and began to seek help, he was already in his late teens and into drugs and alcohol.

While I wish I had sought help sooner, I just had not had any luck with counsellors and psychologists. The one time I was asked about my relationship with my father, I couldn't speak and almost passed out in her office. I never went back.

I can't help blaming myself for much of his early problems. I just was not ready to be a father and I knew it. It's a terrible tragedy and I will live with the regrets and remorse for failing him for the rest of my life. This stuff is far more damaging than I could ever have believed. There is much collateral damage from childhood sexual abuse, more than can be realized in one lifetime.

I did much better with my second son born eight years later. It's one of my better qualities that I can learn from my errors.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020


Happy New Year everyone.

This has been a decade of learning, growing, relapse, repair, and reassessment. I got married again this last decade. Something I said I’d never do again. For a couple of years, I feared I’d made a huge mistake but I vowed to hang in as long as I could. We are going on for nine years this coming March. I’ve grown, I’ve learned I still can change for the better. I also learned I was not as “over it” as I thought I was. That was disappointing. But I’m now doing so much better than I ever thought I would so I’m glad I stuck it out.

Jan. 10th is coming up again and the anniversary of my parent’s death and also my oldest son’s wedding. Very mixed feelings there. This time of year is tough but I think having a job and other distractions have helped distract me from the usual depression. I think I’ll get through it ok but I’ll still avoid the mother’s day and father’s day hoopla at church if I can. It doesn’t help.

This year I went back home to see relatives and to visit my parent’s gravesite. I was unable to do it alone as it is in such a weird place, I’d have easily gotten lost. No major scene as there were other with me so I didn’t feel like I could say what I wanted. It’s the first time I’d been there since they died in ’95.

This year looks like it will be even better. The decade not so much for the world. The world is in big trouble. Anyway, I’ll stop for now and just say Happy New Year and wish all who stop in a very prosperous and healthy new year in every sense of those words.

God bless us everyone.

Roger

“Life is a test of Character, not Skill”