Archive for Adult Children

These are days

How do you ask for help from the world around you? Do you yell at the top of your lungs? Do you whisper? Do you beg?

I’m crying on and off, choked up like I’m watching an Old Yeller retrospective. No rhyme, no reason just crying and sadness and a direct connection to the part of me that is very sad.

These days I miss my anti-depressants, my SSRI – the beautiful little bubble I used to live in that protected me from myself.

I’ve started yelling at people to defend the little boy inside from their shitty behavior. He loves it but, them? Not so much. He thinks its cool because I never used to defend him and would let people walk all over me. But I think I need to find a middle ground where I don’t sound so much like a crazy person that just got visited by aliens.

I’m a 16 year old boy in the body of a 41 year old man. My feelings are racing between highs and lows and my mind and my body don’t know what to do. I’d blame the alcohol I recently started imbibing again after a 9 year hiatus but that just seems like a cop out. Truth be told, this is what I should have been doing when I was young – to learn how to be stable, strong, confident, happy and content. So here I am in my 40ies when I should be going through a mid-life crisis and am instead having a teenage dream of growing up.

I will power through these issues, this maturity, the coldness of a world that just doesn’t seem to give a shit. And I will try my best to make these growths with grace and subtlety and avoid the wild mood swings becoming bludgeons with which I beat the people around me.

Forgive me world. growing up is hard.

Posted in Adult Children, Rant, Zombie Philosophy | 1 Comment

How come he doesn’t want me

Everything I could ever say about my father is said in this clip:

I don’t necessarily blame him because his father did the same to him but, without the ability to express it to him, this clip is all I have. Feelings of abandonment are the hardest to face. They reside in the darkest holes and deepest pits of our psyche. Thanks to the Fresh Prince, I can cry about it now.

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smeared

…across my face.

I send props to my creativity, while awesome it is hidden behind a defense system almost not worth fighting.

Maybe I’m not going to ever be a worthwhile writer, a worthwhile member of society. Might be that I am just a regular bloke that does his job, keeps his head down and muddles through life.

But Americans are taught they can be anything, do anything and shoot all the way to the top. They soaked my addled mind with such tripe when I was a little boy. My grandmother took me aside once and told me:

I see you becoming famous one day. Not sure why or how but I think you’ll be an actor.

Now, I’ve been waiting ever since, frozen and unable to act upon this bit of information. One thing to tell some kid that to help him along but to say that and then do nothing support wise, school wise, college wise – hell, how about require me to do my homework?

I lived a childhood where the most important thing was keeping things smoothed over to avoid the inevitable drunken fight between my parents. I didn’t care about books, just peace. And here I am decades later and I’m still that little boy – frozen, scared and motivated by a desire to be left alone and do nothing.

Maybe I will never reach escape velocity to leave my childhood behind.

Science has found that 75% of our adult behaviors were developed before the age of 10 and never change. And what if those behaviors were learned poorly or not at all? Nothing worse than an adult walking around with a childish mindset; making childish mistakes, using childish emotions, being an adult child.

Will I ever escape this…

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Go to tell your 16 yr. old self something

Oh fuck dude, where do I begin? Lemme see….

You’re not at all fat! Actually as it turns out, you are very handsome but just got lied to by people that should have been protecting you but instead destroyed you. Keep repeating over and over until you believe it the truth: you are aren’t fat. You’re very handsome and a really good guy. I am so fucking proud of you. Do you know that?

And what do you want to be? What do you want to do? And I don’t mean smoke pot all the time and get drunk. What else? You’re a great writer but your still illiterate technically at 16. You’re writing is like a really creative mess. Ask for help. I want you to apply yourself and if you do you will be so happy, I promise. Apply yourself, please? If you do? You can still smoke pot. Okay?

And pretty soon you’re gonna need therapy and I want you to start whenever you feel up to it, okay? You’re depressive, buddy. A big cute depressive guy. I want you to get help, okay? Check out ACOA and IBP therapy…get a head start cause your 30ies will be a fucking ride and a half :-/

But I’m so proud of you. I’m so proud of how you end up fighting through your depression and changed your life. I’m so proud of how good you are at heart and how you removed those defense mechanisms and let people love you. You can do anything buddy, so don’t ever sell yourself short and start writing more and you’ll be so happy.

I love you

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Rejection

Any relationship is under the control of the person who cares the least

I have been entangled with a female friend/lover for 15 years and it has been 15 years of “come here, come here” mixed with a lot of ‘get away, get away’. And as the both of us have gotten better in our separate ACOA-type recoveries, I find that neither one of us can change or stop this dance and the roles are desperately hard to change.

The first five years she was in love with me but I was living with a girlfriend. I think that bind-ed her to me through rejection. Then 5 years later we come together again and for a year we were able to be lovers…but our recoveries ripped our intimacy apart and we went our ways. But we never let go fully, always keeping a line open.

Fast forward to the last 2 years and I am better but can’t let go of her. Things have swung and I am seeing her for the first time; the beauty, the passion, the friend, the lover – but of course, now she is reluctant and doesn’t care as much as I do…she wants to be the super close friends we always were but doesn’t want the lover I can be and want.

And on the cycle will go as two people spin their sick dance of intimacy, unable to break free and live their lives in the new way they have discovered through recovery and unable to take the relationship to a secure and safe place of love and support.

The good news is that I am finally a man in my heart and cannot (for the first time in 15 years) let this twisted, unsatisfying relationship continue like this. I confronted her and told her the truth. Of course she didn’t reciprocate and wants me to remain as a brother-type friend which I refuse to do. I broke off any friendship and am respecting hers and my boundaries.

————————————-

It’s just so frustrating to realize the last 15 years were wasted when I could have been experiencing relationships and love and all kinds of things that were lost to my scared mind that holds onto sick relationships like a junkie to his drug. Releasing her this last time is so hard and scary but for the first time in my life it is not a dreaded thing that will kill me. I will be okay and flourish but I worry that my weakness for her will lead me back down the path of this sick intimacy that her and I share.

But honestly, I know this sounds a little dark and truth be told, I am so much better than I ever was and so much more mature than at any time in my life. The air is cool and the sun shining. i will be fine.

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These are the Universe

Get out of that skin and get
into that freedom

strip down
nothing in my pockets

run much slicker, safer
open toed and barely strapped

Fling a thing away
I’m choking collars and belts

spitting teeth plated
enamel too heavy

I want em floating in haze

___________________________________________________

Come on Universe, meet me half way. Feels like you’re not doing your part and letting me flounder about trying to manifest in a vacuum.

And I’m so lonely in my heart, so vacant in my love. Haven’t been touched enough, touch starved.

And no one holds me out as special, out above all else. I am just as unimportant to them as I used to be to myself. I don’t understand intimacy, I don’t know love and affection.

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What a Know-it-all knows but can’t prove – #001 – Inundation

We all carry a certain amount of inundation in our bodies for the perceived world around us. This amount is like a water level that when exceeded cause us to fight or flight.

In Adult Children, this normal level of inundation is increased by a certain amount causing the person to be walking around on egg shells just waiting for the other shoe to drop and the fight/flight to kick in.

I am an Adult Child and I get inundated by the silliest things:

– I hate wrist watches because they’re too constricting

– I avoid wallets because they feel uncomfortable to sit on.

– I rip all my clothes off when I get home from work and wear my boxers because clothes are too constrictive.

Inundation cause people to run from relationships, avoid advancement as well as avoid groups and other people. Inundation is sometimes the culprit behind loners and lifetime bachelors as well as mid life crises and mental break downs.

Sometimes my cat inundates me when it wants to snuggle. When I realized that, I realized I had a problem.

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Markers

I was at rock bottom when i started unearthing that ancient anger and pain from my childhood and as I gained strength to act on my own behalf, I was still at the maturity level of a young child and lashing out was all I knew.

That same Christmas I decided to let these two jerks (my parents) know exactly how I felt about their drinking and their drama. I got some big Christmas cards and in the ugliest magic-marker I could find I blasted them both back to the stone age.

I told them about themselves but good. I laid into their selfishness, their inability to make me feel safe, for all the years I had to be the parent, for the loss of my childhood, for the fact that I had to carry around a small pack in case I had to leave in a haste.

I got even nastier about their disgusting habit of drinking and cheating on each other. It was ugly and the magic markers made it look like a crazy person was stalking them-

My mom (who i am still close to) was devastated, but in a good way. She talked to me and held an ongoing conversation and this became the launching point for our further relationship. Dad said nothing. He never reaches out and I stopped trying. One for two…

Looking back I am so proud of the little boy who, even though he was scared and sad, still for the first time took charge and stuck up for me. He acted on my behalf and I will never forget what he did for me.

The anger I feel for what they did has totally subsided (coincidentally it has lessened at the same rate as my inner self-hate has lessened) But I will never forget what they did and never forget how I got out of that hell and became the man that I am…becoming.

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Head talk and will power

Foster a good relationship with your inner self. There is a lot we don’t understand about head talk but one thing we do know is that the head talk is what leads us to decision making and if that talk is flawed, negative and angry (derogatory) then willpower will be diminished.

I went through a lot of new-ish recovery the last 10 years and can tell you from experience that if you clean up the head talk and eliminate the negative talk, habits will change quicker and easier.

I created a third person (healthy Gary) to talk to and be the parent to the scared voice and the negative voice in my head (negative is my mom and dad – scared is my true sad self) – slowly but surely I negotiated, very lovingly (lovingly even to the negative voice) the stuff the voices were saying and developed a dialog that helped create a sense of safety for the weak voice and a sense of love for the negative one.)

And my weak voice began to feel more safe and protected, changes started happening at an incredible rate and will power grew as well. With my inner voices all on the same page, I made deals with them all to get things done: Little (weak) Gary would do exercise because he wanted to meet girls. Negative Gary turned into ‘warning Gary’ as he realized he was just going over the top and we would listen if he toned it down.

I created a safe place for my voices to thrive. I know this sounds silly but this shit works like no one’s business. It helped me grow my internal age from about 13 emotionally to about 27.

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Relating to men – as a man

That totally reminds me of my dad. All my life I hated the man and with good reason as he hit me and was drunk a lot and loved to make fun of my weight but there was always something really unnatural to the idea that I would hate my own father but I did with all my heart.

Later on in life, as I got better, I started to see the whole picture of my childhood more clearly. Because he was an alcoholic and less than the ideal husband for my mom, she turned me into her surrogate husband – I went everywhere with her, listen to her issues, her problems, commiserated with her about other men and especially about my dad. We would even go so far as ganging up on him and mocking him openly to his face. I would protect my mom at any price and he was no exception.

Now that I’m 40 and so much better inside and out, I can see how that dynamic ruined how I saw my father, how I ganged up on him for my mother and how her issues and inner hatred were transferred to me…a child who needed his father.

These days I have a horrible time relating to men which is all the more weird because I am heavily into sports and guy things but have very few guy friends. I am also rediscovering my ‘guy’ side and trying to do more guy things to offset this empty feeling I have for my father and for the absence of men in my life. I don’t blame my mom so much as she was doing what people do when abandoned by their alcoholic mate but I can now see how much stuff was put on my dad unfairly and without being true. My mom’s hatred became my hatred and my relationship to my dad has never been the same.

Now don’t get me wrong, he was a shithead for the most part but because of this sick and crappy dynamic of an alcoholic family, I was never able to see who he really was and I can now see that that guy was more than just a drunk – he was my dad.

PS – this exact same dynamic can happen in any dysfunctional family – not just for alcoholics.

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