Doing the work part 1

This entry will probably be all over the place, it’s more me attempting to reconnect with myself or actually connecting to who I should be for myself and not what I think I have to be. I should probably keep this private, but who knows, someone out there will read it and help me or something. It would be preferable to talk to a therapist or psychiatrist, but that is really becoming a rich man’s thing. So this will not be a straight flowing thing, more of me stepping out of myself and looking at my life thing.

Let’s start at the start, my parents. Both of them were born in the 1930s. My father’s parents were born before the turn of the 20th century and my mothers were born a decade into it.  As far as I can find out, Dad’s family were farmers around the area I grew up. In fact, his paternal side was in the area since the 1700s. I never really got to know my Grandfather, I can remember just a couple of times, and mostly the quiet sad man who sat away from people at my Grandmother’s funeral. He didn’t last too long after that. I guess you could say he died of a broken heart because I’m told he was extremely healthy for a man pushing his late 80s. My dad was born and raised by parents well into their 40s. He had 3 adult sisters, the youngest I believe was in her early 20s. I think my grandfather work a farm for a bunch of years, but by the time dad came around he wasn’t. Anyway, I can honestly say that he raised my father as a man should do to make his son a man. My dad was one of the greatest men I have known, but unfortunately, life being what it was in the 60s and 70s when I came along, he couldn’t be there as much as he should and probably would have.  Dad worked a full-time job and an afternoon side landscaping job for several people who were doctors, lawyers, and business people, so needless to say, that “part-time” job was making more money for him than his full-time one, but without benefits and state retirement. He wasn’t an absent father but just wasn’t home as I grew up my first 8-9 years. Well, he was but I just really saw him for about an hour before I went to bed during the week. I don’t think I got the attention that my other 2 brothers and sister received as they grew up in their early years from him. Oh, I hear stories about the financial problems and how they say how “rough” their childhoods were, but they all got a lion’s share of growing up with his influence that I didn’t. I am constantly reminded by my sister because neither brother makes any effort to be in my life, that I was spoiled and got “everything” I wanted. Well truth be told, I kind of did, but not because I sat on the floor having a fit rather it’s because in 1971 when I was born my dad had a great paying job on the NY Thruway and an even better paying part-time one. Trust me I remember just as many gifts they got under the Christmas tree as I did. Heck, some of them were way pricier than mine. My sister could literally piss in dad’s cheerios and would not get even a raised voice and my brothers all were given his mementos from his time in the Army and Navy and the “passed down for generations” stuff.  When I was about 10yrs old my mom decided she wanted to go back to work and she got a cleaning job at school, a whole other bunch of craziness for me. So every day after school and Saturdays I was right there by his side raking, picking up sticks and leaves, and eventually mowing, but the damage was kind of already done. I suffered through it, damn it sucked even though to this day if I attempt any sort of landscaping job I follow the disciplined lessons that he installed in me. No, they weren’t lovingly discussed either, I can still hear him yelling to this day if I am raking or mowing.

That was it though. I know he loved me and would walk through fire for me and my family, but dad never taught me to shave, play a sport, or deal with life’s issues like love, relationships, and heartbreak. My parents had their time for themselves, they just didn’t live for their children as so many do in their marriages. I learned stuff either by trial and error, playing with friends, or dirty magazines. Television showed me fashion sense and how to be cool, just not in the real world as I found out constantly. All I know and remember is until I was essentially 17 I did everything to either please them or not enrage them. I learned how to not rock the boat from my brother’s stupid mistakes but what I didn’t realize until, well, now is that I was being who they wanted or expected me to be and not who I was. My grades were never good enough. I wasn’t failing but I wasn’t an A student either. Report card time was usually followed by the “you can do better” talk. As I told you, mom was right in the school mix. Any cough or fart I did at school she would have a full report on from my teachers and I would hear about it. Thinking back, I played baseball and football to have that look back towards the bleachers moment all the other guys had, only to not see them cheering me on. I realize now that they were both working and such. By the middle of the season, I just miserably push on because I didn’t want to disappoint them, my friends, and the coach and never because I really wanted to play. I would listen to the girls complain about guys being assholes and I immediately took on the “good guy white knight” thought even though it wasn’t who I was. Not that I was an asshole, I just betrayed who I am/was. It only got worse when I got the chance to touch boobies. I went against every core belief in myself for the next fix. For the next 36 years, I have lost who I should be, who I am, for the next “booby” fix.

So here I am, 51 years old, a father 5 times over that only flitters around the outside of my children’s lives, but is wrecked by pain that I am not with them 24/7. I have gone through 3 years of self-inflicted punishment because I didn’t keep Patty loving me only to realize she did want me to be who she wanted me to be but who I really am. All the people, which is mostly all of them, in my life, I acted how I thought they wanted me to be instead of just who I am. I sat here for these few years dying inside because of the loneliness from the people I called friends, who only knew me as someone I made up for them. When I say I have never felt romantic love from anyone, it is totally true. All my relationships loved me for who I tried to be for them and never for who I am. More than likely, it will never happen now, but there I go again, defining myself by what I think others will.

 

Have I come so far in life that it’s just too late for me to be… me? I don’t even know who I am anymore or for that matter who I was then.

 

To be continued…

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2 weeks ago

Hi Newt,

I see some similarities in what you’re going through and I feel for you. A good place to start from, though, is where you are now. If the point in life to some degree is to recover who you are, then it’s better to do it at 51 than at 61. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Is that the person you want to be?

2 weeks ago

@novilight Honestly, I am taking it day to day and week by week now. I don’t want to think about 10 years down the road anymore. I have done that for the last 40 years of my life and have constantly been disappointed and extremely hurt, so I am not going to go any further than the next couple months. I made a budget for financial stuff with some very hard choices. I thought about what I am getting my two oldest for their birthdays and I have let go of any expectations pertaining to friends and family. Believe or not, I have never thought or lived this way before and I’m starting to think I should have from day one.

2 weeks ago

We haven’t “known” each other long, but it is heartening to see you digging deep and really taking closer look at yourself and your patterns.  I’m a big believer in attending to patterns as they can tell us so much, but it’s amazing how easy it is to miss them if you’re not looking for them.  I think it will continue to be so helpful for you to recognize and remind yourself that you can’t live for other people’s opinions and perceptions of you – they’re never going to be flattering or accurate to who we really are anyways, no matter how hard we try – so we might as well live for ourselves and what we believe to be good and right.

2 weeks ago

I grew up with an emotionally absent mother and it has affected the rest of my life in a negative way.