Saturday, December 3, 2022

 Life Is Messy

by Roger Mann

Life is messy. Messier than I ever imagined. I grew up in a house that celebrated truth and honesty. At the same time, I was told/taught to keep secrets and lie. I was just a kid but there was something about it that didn’t sit well with me. But being 9 or 10 years old, what did I know.? “Father knows best, I was told.

Even as a kid I got an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach about what was going on, but I was conditioned to override that and obey my parents. 

 But stuff like that won’t stay silent for long. As a teenager, I began to see that dad was not as all-knowing and perfect as I had been led to believe and that made me mad. I had been lied to, betrayed, and eventually set aside. He hadn’t given me much attention throughout my childhood but what he did give changed to less and less as I got older. I think he began to worry about what I might say or do.

I let it go. There was nothing I could do that would not cause even more problems, so I left home as soon as I could. I think he was relieved. I thought I’d managed to get away and put all that behind me. I was wrong. All the secret abuse and lies didn’t stay buried. The older I got, the more problems I seemed to have until finally, I had to deal with it all. 

The anger didn’t go away. The flashbacks and the bad dreams that scared my wife led to my trying to deal with it on my own. That only made it worse. I was a lost soul and the foundation I had so carefully laid began to crumble beneath me at around 45 years old. I needed help and I searched to find it.  

When we reach a certain age, we often look back on things. That’s when the fa├žade shows its cracks. For me, it was 45 and I have talked to many others around that age with similar stories. 

Whatever your age, get help.

You can’t do it alone.

The results are so worth it.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

 The Father Wound Discussion

I've been quiet and doing a lot of pondering lately. This thing about my loneliness and feeling like I need some guy around my age that I can relate to and form a deep friendship with is still doing gymnastics in my head. The last men's bible study I attended was very interesting. (I don't know why they call it a bible study because hardly anyone brings a bible and it is usually just a video and Q and A after which can turn into a chit-chat session.)

The vid was a guy talking about his relationship with his father which was complicated as usual and how God used it to give him insight and healing. The follow-up Q and A, of course, were the dreaded "How were you and your dad's relationship and what have you learned". 

I HATE having to go there but every group I've ever been to always ends up with the "father" session. I kept my mouth shut hoping we'd run out of time. It didn't work. I think I handled it well alluding to some unspoken issues that deeply affected me but that God helped me through. Later one of the men who does know my story said he was wondering how I was going to handle that. 

I admit I came really close to just vomiting it all out right then and there because I was angry. I just knew though if I did I'd regret it. The thing that made me so angry is being put on the spot again. I don't want to be the poster child for incest abuse and the token ex-gay guy in the church. Also, I was angry that I WAS that guy and full of shame to be completely honest. Having confessed that I struggled with P they would all then go "Ahhh, THAT kind of P" and then I'm watched to see if I'm checking out guys in the church. Which of course is only reasonable I suppose.

I don't want to share my story! I don't want to be that guy. I did it before and it always felt like poop after whenever we'd meet. These were two different churches and we eventually left. I just never felt the same acceptance after that. (Although one guy did slip me a small note saying you are not alone. He was killed in an accident soon after that.) Being friends, associating with "that guy" seemed to make them uncomfortable and me too.

But, the longing is still there to be accepted for who I am and completely comfortable around each other. Not having to watch everything I say and do for fear it would be misinterpreted.

And, then of course there's the effect it'd have on my wife and extended family. "That guy's family, you know, that guy" Arrrgh!

Well, my life is what it is. My history, what is known or would be known, would all be out there. Unless it's someone who has some similar history or struggles most men, especially Christian men would find it tedious and problematic. So, anyone who did reach out well would certainly raise the eyebrows of the more pious. 

Life is messy. The church is messy. Christ's body is messy just like our natural bodies are messy and require constant Hygenic cleansing in order not to offend the sensibilities. I wish we could all accept that and just love each other, history and all. 

God, I can be such a whiner. Forgive the rant. I apologize.

Just my thoughts. 

I need ice cream. 

Saturday, March 12, 2022

 We live in a world that is very hectic. We are inundated with news, requests for weird "How did we do?" surveys, not to mention all the usual work and responsibilities we must take care of on a daily basis. We hardly have time to keep up with our binge-watching. 

A hundred years ago life was much simpler. If something momentous or traumatic happened in our life, we had time to process it, accept it, and move on. But today, we have very little time to do anything with such things because there's a line of stuff waiting for us to deal with as soon as we turn around. 

I suspect this is why men in their 45 to 55 range are now suddenly overcome with feelings, memories, and confusion about their lives and who they really are. The life that has been stuffed down deep so they can keep moving, around this time in their life begins to surface and demand attention. I've experienced it myself and I've talked and read about so many other men to whom this has happened also.

It's unnerving, confusing, and can leave one feeling a bit lost. My own childhood traumas seemed all well taken care of for so long that when my own life began to unravel from the most unexpected places, I was ill-prepared and lost my second marriage over it. 

Lesson: Slow down. Give me a break and let me feel whatever I feel. It could be God trying to heal some wound whose bandaid has started slipping a bit and needs some air.

Just my thoughts