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

Sunday, October 18, 2020

I have a six-month-old grandson. I look in his eyes and he's so trusting and loving to me. I realize I too must have been like that at some point. But when a child looks at someone older and bigger and is completely helpless and they are let down, I suspect it begins right then. 

The child must trust the adults or older ones in their life for safety, love, and all their care early on. But what happens when they no longer, even for a few minutes feel safe? Or what happens when they become fearful of their caretakers? Or when they no longer feel they are loved and valued? 

I suspect it's at that instant they begin to lose some of their innocence and the sudden reality of how helpless and vulnerable they are at that moment hits them. That must be a terrible feeling especially to the very young. 

I'm not sure exactly when it happened to me. But at some point I realized, probably on some primal inarticulate level, I'm on my own right now. I do remember one evening I was about 14. I was talking to mom while she was doing dishes about how strained I and my father's relationship was. It got quiet for a few seconds and I decided to tell her why I no longer respected him. I can't remember the exact words but she must have known what was coming and immediately changed the subject. 

As I stood there looking at her back and realizing she had just shut me down, I got this sinking, heavy feeling in my chest and realized she didn't want to hear what I was about to say. I was on my own. 

Thankfully for me, as a Christian, I was never alone and never would be in a spiritual sense and that helped ease the blow that night. For many though, that sudden realization, whenever it happens can be tragic and devastating even if they can't articulate it. 

Just my thoughts

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

 Self-worth

Growing up part and maybe a large part, of my self worth came from my desirability as a boy and young man. I wasn't good at sports and I wasn't a rough and tumble kind of guy. I was interested in sports but not to the degree my peers were. If my team won that was great but I wasn't all "end of the world" if we did badly. It was a game, period and that's how I saw it. I went to school to learn stuff I felt I needed to know. Anything else going on was incidental. 

I was teased a lot, pushed around some too. I got into very few fights because I was pretty vicious when it came to fighting. I always felt if I hurt someone badly enough they would leave me alone and that's pretty much what happened. I always felt I was an outsider in grade school and especially in the jr and high schools.

Where I felt really desired, appreciated and special was during the abusive moments, even the unpleasant ones. I found out early how to open doors as the song goes with just a smile. And that eventually just made things worse. 

I had trouble with jobs as I got older because I craved the level of attention and acceptance that I seemed only able to get with those certain situations that seemed to harken back to my early abuse days. Maybe it would have been better if they all had been really scary and awful but most were not bad and the ones that involved my dad led me to conclude that was what I was really good for. 

I have spoken to others who were abused and ended up feeling similar. Their self-worth seemed only positive when they were in some form of reenactment of their abuse.

Learning to find value and self-esteem from healthier activities has been a life long process bu;t has definitely been worth it. I look forward now not back to find myself and it has freed me from a lot of depression and self-harm.