Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Most nights I lie awake restless from the fact that I am not exerting enough energy throughout the course of the prior day to make me tired. What keeps me up mostly though are the thoughts in my head.
I keep replaying particular days and certain moments over and over in my head. Most of these moments involve my daughter and her sudden and tragic disappearance from my life. I'm no longer doing the "what if" scenarios in my head. I'm just replaying the events over and over and reliving the painful outcome.
I've done a lot of reading and a ton of writing in the last twenty years. I'm currently reading a book about forgiveness that was recommended to me by my current and latest therapist. It's divided into a few sections while those sections are subdivided by chapters. The first half of the book is a step by step self-help on helping us understand why we are the way we are. It explains what a genogram is with various examples and helps the viewer see that there are patterns in families and that these, healthy and unhealthy patterns, can go back many generations. It goes on about the different types of dysfunctional families and the many complex layers of relationships are in each.
Well after reading the first few chapters in this first section I was ready to put the book down for good. I have no way of creating a genogram of my own family and although I did see some patterns beginning to emerge I wasn't sure if it was enough. I already knew my family life sucked and there was no love or nurturing going on in that household between any two people for as far back as I can remember.
What I did get out of what I read thus far was a diagnosis or two of past girlfriends and even some strong opinions on the family dynamics of the woman I am currently seeing.
When I voiced all of this to my therapist she simply stated that the intent shouldn't be to formulate opinions or try to diagnose others perceived issues but that I should be reading the book for myself.
Last night... A few hours ago, I reached the halfway point. The book is finally getting into the steps of forgiveness. The reading isn't any easier but for different reasons. Much of what is in these chapters DOES apply to me and I can completely relate.
I've worked my 12-steps of recovery in the past, been to meetings, etc. I know all about how forgiveness is supposed to set you free and the fact that you can never forget your past. I get all of that. What I'm tired of is being a survivor. I want to grow and learn and break beyond my mind's grasp of what this current perception of reality is.
This is when the movie in my head starts to play the same loops over and over again, especially in the middle of the night.
Because it hurts living in my head.
Monday, January 14, 2013
I hate the winter. I hate everything about it. I hate the cold, I hate the snow, the shoveling, the plows, the ice storms and downed branches. I hate the fact that my Jeep doesn't have heat or defrosters making it near impossible to go anywhere when it is at, near, or below freezing. The dealership said that it has something to do with a flapper valve that got stuck in the wrong position and that it'll cost too much to fix. It involves removing the entire dashboard and takes many hours. I also have a right front axle that needs replacing and I don't have the money for that either.
In fact I don't have the money for anything these days. I haven't booked an hour of employment thus far this year and the days are starting to blur and blend. The hours drag on and I sleep most days until noon or later.
I hate being broke and not working. I hate the word "hate" as it is what my life has become these days. Hurtful and hateful and full of pain.
My daily diet includes a coffee when I eventually drag myself out of bed and make it or reheat the brew from the day before, and either a grilled cheese sandwich and a few hard boiled eggs (If I have eggs) or something canned from my pantry, usually raviolis or something to that effect. It's not that I don't have food in this house I just don't have the ambition to make it and then eat it. Depression is a real illness and I think I have it pretty bad. And although I see someone on a regular basis I don't know if it is doing anything to help me.
The bills are beginning to pile up and I'm not sure what's going to happen next. At 45 years of age I can't say I feel my age any more. I don't know what I feel. I thought I'd be in a much better place in my life by now. Instead, I'm a middle aged single guy, never been married, in debt with my house, and unemployed so to speak.
Just a few years ago I was on to making 70K+ a year in contracts and side jobs. I was pretty successful at what I did. I had my bills paid and had plenty of extra money. I was involved in my daughter's high school's PTO and had what I thought a pretty comfortable life. Sure it wasn't perfect but nothing is.
Now look where I am... Broke, tired, not feeling well and blogging about it. I don't want to be my own friend these days.
I'm also feeling that I am dehydrated these days. I guess coffee and beer doesen't count as liquids. I have been trying to drink more water as I feel I have not gotten enough in the past few weeks.
I thought I had a handle on this situation but I am beginning to thing that I don't.
To be continued...
Thursday, November 8, 2012
IMO, and I'm sure a lot share this opinion... It's really come down to voting for the lesser of the two evils these days. If the race is as close as the media has hyped it up to be, regardless of winner, more than half this nation will be disappointed in the outcome while the other celebrates the bittersweet victory knowing their candidate is not the absolute answer to what ails this country.
This country is anything but UNITED these days. This country is broken, regardless of party or political slant. The people with money will always be able to afford whatever they WANT while the rest will struggle for what they NEED. This country and most of the world is based on money and not trust, faith, or kindness.
Read this next line slowly, and let it sink in. I saw this on a bumper sticker many years ago and it has stuck with me. For some, you won't get it... (Your loss) But for most you'll agree.
[If everyone GAVE no one would NEED.]
It really is that simple. I'm not talking about being greedy. I'm talking about best practice common sense. I'm talking about treating others the way you would want to be treated. Most of this country is out to screw one another before being screwed themselves.
There is no simple solution and spending the amounts of money these candidates are spending is crazy. Why not put a portion of that towards the US debt? Or spend some of it on a program everyone can afford and enjoy. The American Dream for most, is over... has been for some time now.
I'll be glad when it is all over. I have not had a TV in over six years and do not miss it one bit. Who needs bits of scripted reality TV shows in between 15 minute commercial breaks when I can go outside and enjoy my own life? Or watch pro sports, where win or lose everyone is a millionaire or close to it. The average American family spends approximately $75-$100 on cable TV alone each month. With the money I have saved over the years, I have bought things to enrich my own life. Why would I want to pay to watch someone else live his or hers?
I can only imagine how bad the mud-slinging ads have gotten on TV.
It's bad enough I have to see it all over the web in spam mail, ads, and pop-ups and continuously see full page ads of it in the local papers day after day. This election has even infiltrated my smart phone with opinion polls from my carrier.
I'll be glad when it is over.
Regardless, our future president will never know what it is like to have to decide between paying the heating bill or buying food for their family. Our president will never know what it is like to go 15K miles on an oil change because there just isn't enough in the budget to get it changed. Or worry about affording health care insurance or our kids futures! Our president will never know what it is like to be human and have to struggle to have their basic needs met. NEVER.
They won't know because they have never been there and chances are neither has any senator or member of congress. Yet they pass the laws and write the rules.
Yea, The lesser of “THE” two evils.
Also a link to a very real and disturbing trend.
Sunday, September 2, 2012
This makes me want to add: "and would I feel any pain?" to the end of this post's title.
I have been seeing Angela each week for quite some time. The hour seems to be more of a getting current session where I wish it would be about figuring "Me" out.
Since my daughter's departure in my life last December I have been empty inside. For the last 17 1/2 years I strove to be a better person for her. To take care of her the best I knew. I know that there isn't an instruction manual to raising kids but I really was at a disadvantage. I didn't have the support of another parent, (her mom). I didn't have the support of a significant other either. I didn't have the support of my own parents nor any childhood memories of my own to pull up some examples of what good parenting was supposed to be. I just sort of did the best I could.
It is perhaps time I got this here in writing... I think I stopped growing emotionally when I was about 15 - when I became independent and was truly on my own in this world. I didn't have any role models. I had a good sense of right from wrong and built up some key survival skills for life on the streets. Eventually, I managed to hold a job and pay bills. I trusted no one. Did I have a lot of bad people in my life? Sure, but for the most part they served a purpose in my survival at the time.
Eventually, my daughter came along when I was in my late 20's and I went from an independent survivalist to a protector of sorts. Now, 18 years later, I am at a lost for direction. I'm not really surviving as so much to hanging onto the last shreds of sanity these days.
This summer has been one of the best in my life and also one of the worst.
The good: I got my Harley fixed and have put over 1000 miles on it this summer. That is more miles than the last 5 years combined. I have also shot a lot of great concerts and met some great bands up close and in person. I have been able to slowly work on my house and get some unfinished projects back into the "Getting Completed" phase.
The bad: I'm tired of coming home to an empty house. A house I can't manage the mortgage payments on because of the lack of employment. I have lost many of my regular customers due to the slowed economy while losing my one major client due to collateral damage from my daughter's selfishness to get her way. What little money I had in the bank for emergencies, my daughter's college fund, and someday a retirement is dwindling down to nothing at a rapid pace. I figure another month or two and I'll be penniless. Just in time for winter.
Now there are some other things that I don't know if they fall under the good or bad category. I have brought this up a few times to Angela but she has not said much. The freedom I now have is more than I know what to do with. I am accountable to no one but myself these days. I really have no responsibilities other than trying to pay the bills. I can do whatever I want for the most part.
Some days I stay in bed for almost the entire day knowing that it is beautiful out and there are a dozen things I could be doing outside. Knowing that the summer is slipping by and with each passing hour it is harder to get up and be motivated to do even the most basic things. There are days on end where I don't eat, don't care to eat, and cry myself to sleep knowing that I am dying from the inside out. A slow death from a broken heart and what has become my broken life.
I really don't have any close friends, or even a best friend. There is no one to call in the middle of the night when the darkness and solitude consumes me. There is no one to hold me and tell me it will get better. Night after night of reliving tragic moments from my past in my dreams forces me to self-medicate so as I may not remember them as vivid as when I don't. This is where I feel that if I just woke up dead it wouldn't really matter and would I feel any pain?
Recently I upgraded my old analog cell phone. I think I have had the same one for 8 or 9 years. It didn't have Internet access or text or do anything fancy. It made and received calls. I understand the advantages of a smart phone being the tech savvy guy and all but a few events in my life brought me to the realization that this was the next logical step.
First, My Android-driven Viewsonic tablet died a couple of weeks ago. It won't accept the charger as a power source so it won't charge. I used it to play some online games, do some light surfing, and check my email, but I mostly used it for showing people my pictures online. (This required an Internet connection when Wi-Fi was available.) I always wished there was a way to have this connection via a cellular link.
Second, My Jeep was broken into this past Monday. They smashed windows and took my GPS. The officer that responded to my call stated that the thieves are not even opening doors knowing that the alarm will go off so they are simply smashing and grabbing. Another GPS would cost me just over $120 so I began to look at smart phones.
I did a lot of reading and researched the various phones and plans. For someone that had as old of a phone as I did, I'd say I did great. I have a GPS, a way to showcase my online photos anywhere I go, and a device that does a thousand other things my last phone couldn't do.
What I was afraid of has started to happen though. I'm constantly checking my phone. In a way I feel a slave to it, something I didn't want to happen. But in another way it is keeping me plugged in (at least wirelessly) to the rest of the world. I'm still not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing yet.
Isolation is my worst enemy. It always has been. I like the freedom to make my own choices when it comes to work and the hours I keep but I long for the fellowship that coworkers can offer. I have no family so to speak of and the people I do speak with are not regulars in my life.
I need human interaction to survive!
With that said, I'm off to a church picnic over this Labor Day weekend which marks the official close to the summer. God willing I make it through the winter.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
July 3 - Trauma
When we are traumatized, we have one or more of the following responses:
(1) fight (aggression)
(2) flight (physically or psychologically leaving)
(3) freeze (becoming numb)
Any of these responses preclude the normal working through of a situation by experiencing and confronting it, assessing options and making choices. When life experiences are not "lived through," they are stored in an unfinished state, absent of adequate closure.
It is as if they are stored in suspension without the context that accompanies normal experience. When events are stored by the brain in this manner, they become part of our storehouse of "unfinished business." They form what comes to be the root of a hunger that cries out for action or completion.
It goes on to say the following:
Today if I see myself acting out impulsively, I will ask myself what wound is trying to be heard and seen. Rather than continue to act out, I will quiet down and listen.
I am willing to know.
God gives, but man must open his hand.
** My thoughts on this in a bit. **
Friday, May 27, 2011
So why don't I feel better about it? Usually the Spring/Summer gets me going and I'm working on a thousand projects at once. Instead I sit here on my back porch, sipping a freshly brewed K-cup blogging the Friday afternoon away. Could it be that I'm enjoying the moment for once and taking a break? Or am I just overwhelmed with the to-do lists I have created for myself and am just avoiding everything. Perhaps it is a little of both.
A fellow blogger called it getting your MOJO back. In my case, I've misplaced it. I'm a people person. When no one is around I need to keep busy on things or else I start to think too much. It is the way my brain is wired I suppose.
I could be at a coffee house tonight with the majority of my church. I could be busy taking pictures and eating and hanging out with all of them. Instead, I just wanted to just "BE".
I'm finding I've done a lot of that recently.
My therapist who assigns me weekly homework assignments (I need the structure) has asked me to do something I'm finding quite difficult. Part of this week's assignment is to make a list of 5 core characteristics that describe myself, with 2 examples to illustrate each one.
Now I've filled out surveys and tons of dating profile stuff in the past but this to me is very different. This isn't what other people think of me, this isn't even what I "want" other people to think of me. This is what "I" think of me. She doesn't say if they should be positive or negative either.
1. I'm DETERMINED. I am about as determined as anyone I know. With this core characteristic comes good and bad. When I put my mind to something I can get the job done. However I can be stubborn about certain things and even get my priorities mixed up at times. I don't like to be wrong and only when there is irrefutable proof will I concede to defeat.
I have accomplished many things to many. I'm restoring a beautiful home in a seaside community. I run my own business and have for almost 20 years. I'm raising my daughter on my own. Yet, I feel I'm missing something in my life.
2. I'm a SURVIVOR. This goes without saying. I'm always recreating myself to suit the situation at hand. If there is a bill, I find a way to get it paid. I struck out in the world at an early age with very little determined to survive the elements and make something of myself. I'm a chameleon of sorts, adapting to my surroundings. However, there is always the control I feel I need in these given situations. Perhaps it has a lot to do with my feelings of abandonment when I was a child. I can remember being 3 or 4 and being outside on my own and not having anyone to play with. I have always had a great imagination. I guess that leads me into...
3. I'm a VISIONARY. When hyper-focused I can clearly see the forest through the trees as well as the entire forest simultaneously. I can set the tone of a focus group as well as drive a point to the masses via any podium I step onto. I'm a people person and have no fear of public speaking. (Again it is that feeling of being in control that drives me.) I guess I'm a leader of sorts or at least that is the way I perceive myself to be. I have belonged to many organizations and it doesn't take long for me to be in some form of leadership role in the group. (Again, being in control gives me the power and the high that I feel I need to function in my capacity as a leader.)
4. I'm INDEPENDENT. I have been independent all of my life, but interdependent on others most of my life. I'm independent and try to do everything myself at first. I like figuring things out on my own and like solving problems. I'll think outside the box. Sometimes I'll do something and have people tell me, "You couldn't have done that." To which I reply: "Oh um hmm. See?" and show them that I already have. I am interdependent on others for my emotional needs and support. Something I never got growing up. I seek validity in what I say and do a lot because I feel if I don't speak up or say: "See what I did?!" I might go un-noticed.
5. I'm EMOTIONAL. I'm actually passionate to a fault at times. This ties into being a very determined individual. However, I used to get angry a lot and it took a long time to figure out why. Getting in touch with more than just the basic emotions is critical to the learning process called life. Now I know I can be disappointed in something or someone and not be angry about it. If I watch a movie or TV and there is a scene that I relate to even at a subconscious level I will get emotional. (I have to imagine that is natural and being human.) I have learned that I need to work on my empathy skills and have made some progress with those. Life is more about just me. I just need to keep reminding myself this now and then.
Well that's five.
The sun has set and the coffee is gone. I have survived another evening alone with my feelings. I'll be interested in hearing what my therapist has to say about my selections of core values.
It's time for some food.