Friday, August 27, 2021

 Not sure if this qualifies as healing but...

I've noticed this past year that I'm much more comfortable in my own skin. I had an occasion not too long ago to have to tell my story once again. It had been a while and I approached it with no real nervousness. I made my introduction to the Zoom attendees and began with the account of my abuse in a vague general way. I'm not sure why I was reluctant to admit certain detail but I found myself skirting details. That's when I realized I was feeling the shame all over again when I'd convinced myself it was gone. That not only shocked me but made me a little angry with myself. At that point, I stopped and told them I need to be honest here and really opened up with at least the PG version as I call it. 

I became emotional as I waded into it and I just let the tears flow. I didn't care. It happened, it was bad, I didn't handle it well and it messed me up badly. That said, I'm ok now and I'm working on being better, at a lot of things. 

Life happens, but it's not all bad. I've worked hard to address and repair as much as was within me what was broken and I've had a lot of help from some really great people. I thank God for that often. I thank God for this site and I know I should be here more. It helps. 

I realize I couldn't do this alone. God knows for a while I did try. It was awful. But the support I've had has pushed me to keep reaching for this elusive thing called wellness. People tell me I've come a long way. I'm just glad it shows. I'm too close to the trees sometimes to tell if the forest is still there. 

Thanks for reading this.

R

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

 My wife and I were watching a movie last night called Mistic River. It was painful to watch and had a rather bad ending and I found myself upset and disturbed after for a while. This happens every once in a while. I've been doing some reading and research on human trafficking too which doesn't help. Still, I want to educate myself on this stuff and what to look for. I have grandchildren now that are in the at risk demographic for being kidnapped and sold and it haunts me. I remember my youngest boy age 9 wandering off from my backyard in Long Beach, CA one day. The panic was awful but he was found safely twenty minutes later watching a neighbor working on his car.  

I've never been stolen away although back in the day kids were pretty safe in most areas. I was sent to others' homes a couple of times for "play" but came back with no trouble as they were friends of my dad.

Still, it brings back uncomfortable memories. If other stuff happened I don't remember and that's probably a good thing. There's a lot of my childhood I can't remember and I'm ok with that given the alternative. I've had enough nightmares to last me for the rest of my life. 

I think God watched over me and protected me a lot back then. That's what I pray for my grandchildren too. I had bad stuff happen but I know it could have been much worse. If it was worse and I can't remember, that's another reason I'm reluctant to do any more therapy. 

While I'm dealing well I guess with all this right now I'm sad that the world is getting so much worse for kids. You just can't let them out of your sight anymore it seems. Still, there is a lot of people going after these scumbags that prey on children and that's encouraging. God bless them all. 

Just my thoughts

Friday, April 30, 2021

 Misdirection

I've always been short-tempered especially in certain situations. These special situations are always where I'm being criticized, attacked for something I've done or said, or when I'm working on something and can't seem to get it accomplished in a manner that doesn't make me feel adequate. 

Feeling helpless and/or inadequate is a real trigger. I feel suddenly overwhelmed and furious and sometimes will break things in my frustration. 

But most of the time I feel quite in control and can be pretty full of myself if not careful. In thinking about this the other day I began to wonder if maybe my bravado and pride if you will, is not just masking my insecurity. And I do have a lot of that if I'm honest with myself. I've been such an ass most of my life due to feeling like I'm less than most other men I meet. 

In High School is where I first began to sense this. I was not athletic in the more common sense. I liked math and science instead of football and basketball. I was drafted into my freshmen football team due to the size of the male population in my school. I was humiliated in front of the whole school and just dropped out. I've always felt other boys seem to have some secret "book of rules" that I just didn't get. Growing up that way and failing at my first marriage didn't help. 

So I think maybe I've been lying to myself a little, pretending to be so together and feeling betrayed when put in situations that I'm at loss to navigate thus exposing once again my true inadequacies. At this stage of my life, I know intellectually that all men are broken and failures in some area or another. But that doesn't help how I feel and feelings are difficult to shake. 

One thing that has helped me is a group of men that I'm allowed to be perfectly honest with about my true self. This has been huge in helping me deal with this attempt at misdirection I've tried to accomplish my whole life. God bless me I may turn out to be a fairly decent human being probably just before I die.

Just my thoughts

Monday, March 8, 2021

 Isolation

If there's one thing I've learned this last year it's that I cannot isolate and stay healthy. Since about February of last year I've been pretty much stuck at home. Not as much as my wife but too much for me. It's brought up a lot of bad feelings. I remember back in the 80's struggling with it and not really understanding what was going on. I can remember feeling desperation and a hunger to get out and meet someone, anyone just for the company. I can remember putting up with all kinds of stuff just to be with someone for a while. I didn't have to like them but to be with someone, to feel human touch was almost intoxicating I was so needy.

This plandemic and brought back a lot of that. Not nearly so bad and being married has definitely helped a lot. Getting out to work at my part-time job is like a fix though. I look forward to it each day I'm scheduled and when they call me in on my day off it like a present. 

We were made to be connected and social. It's part of our makeup psychologically and maybe spiritually too. I think this is why so many young people are deciding to off themselves rather than depend on social media alone. We're not wired to exist on just that alone. 

Those of us who have been severely abused and deprived of healthy connections tend to deem connections as all unhealthy and withdraw from people. We build walls and while it keeps the hurt out it also keeps out the love. We become numb and even though we might be in a crowd, we are still isolated. Maybe we get it, or maybe we just accept it because we know nothing else, I don't know, but the result is a handicap emotionally when in social situations. A real awkwardness that we sense but everyone else can see. 

We have started attending church again. No masks, no social distancing and it feels good to shake hands and even hug occasionally. Even though it's uncomfortable for me, I've come to realize I need it and I'm not going to avoid it anymore. 

Just my thoughts

Saturday, January 16, 2021

 Housekeeping

I've been alerted to some spam that has come across the comments section. I've cleaned it up and all comments will be sent to me before posting. We've been packing for our move to a new home and things I've not been on here as I should have been. Thanks for the heads up. 

And speaking of moving, we moved a lot when I was a kid. I'm not kidding, once or sometimes twice a school year I was once again the new kid. It's hard to make friends when you think you might be leaving before the end of the year anyway. It wasn't until I was grown and married that I found out some of those moves and bankruptcies were because of my Dad's fooling around. I know for sure there was one because he was being blackmailed. There was another one where we ended up in a trashy apartment in San Diego. 

To this day I have trouble making friends and every time my wife and I have moved for whatever reason, I get a little crazy. Even changing the churches which we have done twice, I just don't feel comfortable making new friends. I know I have to get over that but for some reason, it's difficult and brings up a lot of emotions. How I longed to be able to grow up in one place and have a few best friends my whole life. I'm so jealous of guys who have best friends they've known forever.

One of the things I love about God is that He says he will never leave me. Not much else I can count on these days. 


Just my thoughts

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

 Looking back from the age I'm at now I'm beginning to see how difficult parenting is for someone so flawed. Yeah, I'm thinking of my dad too I guess but I'm also thinking of me. I did very poorly with my first son. I did better with the second but that's in large part to him being around his mom more than around me. Those were difficult years for me. 

I thought I'd done better with my daughter but that's not the case. She struggles and has her own difficulties probably stemming from the time she spent with her parents. We were both pretty selfish and we raised a selfish kid. 

As I've improved in my own character and behavior I've tried to impart some of that learning experience to her but she doesn't listen to me much anymore. Truth is truth but it can lose credibility with the next generation if we have not established some kind of credibility with them. I've apparently lost much of mine. She receives my advice from others better than she does from me.

There is much-needed room for giving some grace and allowing her to make her own mistakes and loving her through them rather than pointing them out. I've received much grace for my own failures. I need to extend that to others. 

Just my thoughts

Thursday, November 19, 2020

 Not sure if I'm alone in this or not but all this election and political nonsense are giving me some anxiety. While I was thinking about it I realized it was triggering feelings I had of the insecurity I  had with my parents. They never argued in front of us kids or fought about anything that I know of but the feeling of my parents not having my back, so to speak, and not being about to really know what was going on with all of our moving around was telling on me especially with my grades and school work.

I think that's why I spent so much time in my head and alone with a rare friend or two. Home held a deep undercurrent of uncertainty that I couldn't articulate back then but was definitely felt and impacted me. I immersed myself in books of fantasy and science fiction and television shows like "The Outer Limits", "Twilight Zone" and "Science Fiction Theater". I couldn't go to movie theaters till much later in High School where I was able to sneak off with a friend.  But when I was, it was mostly science fiction or horror. 

I liked a happy ending where the monster got his comeuppance. I hated the ones that left you wondering if more was to come or if it really died. It felt too much like my life. 

My faith has been a great help in dealing with all this. I'm learning over and over again that there is someone who has my back, watches over me, and will always be there for me no matter what. 

Just my thoughts