This post will be out of place. It will not be in content consonant with the tone of the articles or essays that either tend to grab my attention and therefore end up being reblogged, here, or that I myself admittedly very rarely write. It will be personal and forthright and extempore. I don’t know where I will begin, though I already have, or where I will end up . . .
So here, sit down, make yourself comfortable. Let me pour you a cup of coffee or offer you the smoke of your choice, and listen (or not) to what I may have to say, as the person that I truly am, as the child that I once was, to recollections that in their general outlines, if not in their detail, I know are not mine alone, but those of all too many who grew up and still grow up in circumstances similar to what mine were . . .
My life, like yours, has been both a disappointment and a satisfaction. Like most, I’ve lived through difficulties. My childhood, when I recall it from the standpoint of the matter of fact, no-nonsense adult that I think I’ve become, was certainly a difficult time.
I and my three sisters were witnesses to more than a few scenes of brutal domestic violence and to drunken brawls between young men that I imagine had been deeply frustrated in their own lives and aspirations.
The bloody fist fights and broken furniture and, yes, even threatened murders, left us as children, and later as adolescents and young adults, thoroughly traumatized. As children and youths, some of us even now as adults, did not then, and even now do not, really recognize or understand the trauma. A child suffers enduring injury but does not know it; and later, as an adult, the person remembers while not being able to remember, at least not exactly.
Only in retrospect, at a great distance in time, with a mind seasoned by experience, a hard-won education, and years of strenuous reflection undertaken under the guidance of psychoanalytic therapy, did the injuries of both class and upbringing become quite obvious to me.
As for my sisters, the two who remain living, I do not know how they now see and gauge the tribulations of their childhood and youth. I do not often see them nor do we communicate much, no doubt because we remind one another too much of what we would all rather remained forgotten, not to mention that we live in a society that makes of the working class “family” a thing that is truly more fiction than reality.
Certainly, the second to oldest of my three sisters never managed to truly come to terms with any of it. On the surface she was always all laughter and joie de vivre. Because she had a more kind and motherly disposition toward me, her little brother, the youngest of four, she was the one I felt closest to. Then one fine September evening, in her mid-to-late-thirties, herself then living in an abusive relationship that doubtlessly recapitulated much that she had already lived through as a child, she decided that she had enough, and emulated my mother’s father’s suicide by sitting in her car and letting it idle on to the end in the enclosed space of a tiny garage. They kept her on life support for several days, to get all of the proper legal permissions and then harvest what organs they could.
I was deeply saddened, but I was not surprised. In fact, from a conversation that I had with her only a week or so before, I had sensed in what she said, and more so in how she said it, that things were quickly coming to a head for her. I tried to talk her down from the ledge, so to speak, but it was not to be. There was also the complicating fact that two thousand miles of distance separated us, so I could not really be of much immediate assistance to her. She lives in my memory now, at this moment, as I write this, an unforgotten sorrow that might have been otherwise under circumstances only slightly different than they had been.
She had an only son. Not yet a teen but almost at the time. He was also roundly neglected by circumstances, first, by parents who had been too immature and emotionally conflicted to undertake the responsibility of raising a child, and, second, by a society that constrains people to be far too taken up with the business of earning a living to really nurture and protect their children. Now that he is in his thirties, neither I nor anyone I know seems to know what has become of him. The last I heard about him, he had been crippled in an accident. He had been working as a window washer in Calgary, and the highrise window washing rig he was in collapsed. Apparently, he was, at the time that I was receiving word of him, then in receipt of a permanent disability and deeply into drugs.
At about the time that he had just turned nineteen, hearing that he lived more or less abandoned by family and the world, I got in touch with him and enjoined him to come and live with me, my wife and our two children. For the better part of a year he stayed on, and I had even managed to get him into therapy with a competent psychiatrist that I knew personally, and his only other responsibility, as part of the deal for living under our roof, was to attend a remedial education program into which we had him enrol. But after flying home for a short Christmas vacation with dad, who was deeply prejudiced against the idea of anyone needing to have his ‘head examined’ by a shrink, he returned only to abandon his sessions. Then the drug use became even more frequent than it had been, as well as the alcohol binges. I made a decision: if he wasn’t willing to at least try to help himself, there was nothing I could do for him. Besides, my own children were my priority and utmost responsibility. So one dreary winter morning I told him to get his things together, and I drove him to the airport, bought him a one way ticket back to British Columbia and wished him well. My wife got a letter from him once, thanking us for having wanted to help. So it goes sometimes: the hurt lives on, a gift and legacy from one generation to the next.
My father was not really a monster although he committed acts that were in themselves monstrous and unforgivable and that left wounds that would never heal. When he was drunk – a thing that happened frequently enough in the early years of my childhood, say, until about my eighth or ninth birthday, after which the drinking seemed simply to have entirely ceased – he was completely transformed into the opposite of what he actually was when sober.
Sober, he was a genuinely loving and caring person, proud and dignified, self-confident, non-judgmental, very much egalitarian in his behavior, deferential, and above all always, but always de bonne humeur. Drunk, though he did not instigate confrontations with his peers, he was quick to take offence, and once offended, he struck with his fists without warning, viciously and with effect. As a child, witnessing such scenes of sudden unrestrained violence, caught in the midst of it, you know only uncontrollable panic and fear, as if the entire world is about to be annihilated, smashed and broken beyond redemption. And in a way, it was exactly that, emotionally speaking.
However, my father never with intent physically or emotionally abused his children. I can remember one spanking and only one that I myself received, and yes, in my retrospective estimation, it was perhaps a bit overdone. He lashed me with a belt that left welts on my back and legs that lasted for days.
On the evening previous to that lashing — I think I was about nine or ten — I’d gone out fishing for mud pout, and as anyone who fishes them knows, the biting doesn’t start until at least nightfall and sometimes well into the night. My parents had no idea where I was. And when I returned some time past midnight, the two of them were still up and sick with worry. I was admonished not to do that again, at least not without letting them know.
On the following evening, as was quite usual, no one was at home but me and I was terrifically bored – my mother had some years previously bought a flower shop, while my dad worked as a shift-boss at one of the local mines; her days at work started at around seven in the morning and never ended until around nine in the evening; my father’s day would start at around four-thirty in the morning, and since he would go directly from his job at the mine to the flower shop to do his part, it would end when my mother’s did. So it was that in my intense boredom I came to fancy that the fishing would be as good as it had been on the previous evening, that it might be even better, that it would probably never again be as good as it was probably going to be on this particular evening. I couldn’t help myself. I got my fishing rod and headed out into the evening suffused by a sweet anticipation.
It wasn’t until I was walking back home and could see on the stretch of the trail that permitted it, the kitchen lights blazing up ahead, that I realized I’d caused another upset for my parents, that I might be in trouble.
When I entered, I held up my string of decently sized mud pouts, hoping to deflect or soften whatever might be coming my way with my prized catch. My father stared fixedly at me and sternly asked, “what did we tell you last night?” I didn’t get a chance to answer. In the next moment, I was dangling upside down, as he held me in one hand by an ankle, arm outstretched, while whipping me with his leather belt with the other. I don’t know how many lashes I took, but I do remember screaming out in pain, but probably more out of fear, for all that I was worth.
My farther regretted what he did because the following evening, he came home early from work, so as to go fishing for mud pouts with me. That ‘spanking’ was the first and last to which I can remember being subjected.
I want to say that my father was not a control freak, not that I can recall. He let me do pretty much whatever I wanted to, never restricting my comings or goings, or my choice of friends. Not that he would have had to be heavy-handed with supervision or rigid in setting limits, anyway, since I was not a kid apt to go looking for trouble or committing the slightest mischief. And then, I didn’t see much of him, anyway. He was always at work, it seems, and when he wasn’t, he’d be out and about town, doing whatever it was that he was doing, and to me, it was an unknown about which I lacked the least interest.
My sisters, when asked, flatly deny that he was ever abusive with them, too, in words or in deeds, although perhaps he had been a bit stricter with them in terms of what they did in their free time and with whom. But again, it wasn’t really in his nature to be an enforcer of strict rules, and even if he had been tyrannical in this respect, he would never have been around to ensure that his prescriptions would be strictly adhered to.
The domestic abuse for which he was responsible and that deeply affected each of us as children was pointedly directed toward my mother.
My sisters, being older than I, and because my father eventually grew out of his binge drinking, witnessed and remember more than I do and were therefore subjected to more stress. I’ve heard them recount scenes in which my father badly beat my mother, sometimes having gone so far as having punched her in the face. And I assure you, this man had paws for hands, was in his prime powerfully built, and was an accomplished street fighter. Indeed, people in town, when I got older, men who had known my father in his more volatile years, told me that they knew of no one who then dared to or could stand up to him when his mien had become sour and threatening. This is not a fancy of mine. It is the plain and simple fact of the matter as recounted to me. So what my sisters witnessed when he flew off the handle and took it out on my mother was nothing less than absolutely terrifying.
Indeed, of a time that I myself do not remember, being far too young, my older sister recounts that my father had once been put on trial for attempted murder. This is something I would have to actually verify by consulting court records, but my sister assures me of its truth and I have no reason to doubt her except for the fact that she may be misremembering the details of what were the reasons for the court event. If it wasn’t that he had been accused of attempted murder, be it in the second degree, it had certainly been at a minimum for grievous bodily harm. What isn’t in question is that he was indeed tried as a result of having committed an assault.
I bring this event up merely to underscore two points, one about my father, the other about some of the things my sisters and I, but mostly my sisters, were made to witness: he really had been capable of the most extreme violence; and as children we were more than once exposed to it as horrified witnesses. And as pertains to the charge for which he was put on trial, that assault and battery also took place in our home. Only in this case, as the court was to find, my father had been justified in his extreme act of aggression.
Apparently, in the middle of a party that my parents were throwing, one of the male guests slipped upstairs into the room two of my sisters shared, and was there caught by another guest in the middle of sexually assaulting one of my sisters.
I do not know which one of my sisters was assaulted. My oldest sister has never volunteered to divulge the information and neither have my other two sisters. But I do have a hunch.
Anyway and needless to say, when the alarm was raised about what was happening to my sister, my father lost it completely and got hold of the child rapist. And once again my sisters were caught in the middle of another storm that affected them beyond the limits of terror.
As for myself, I witnessed all-out brawls, in our house, on a couple of occasions. Both times, there had been anywhere between half-a-dozen to a dozen individuals. Men that my father had invited home from work. Things got broken. Faces got smashed. People knocked unconscious. My father appeared to me like he was hell-bent on murder and well on his way to achieving his objective. In a state of terror, I cowered under a table or a chair, waiting for an opportunity to make the door and to exit the house, to get as far away from the mayhem as I possibly could. On both occasions, instinct propelled me to the storage shed out back, where I took refuge, certain that people were being massacred.
Then there is this memory: I’m probably not older than five or six. It’s the middle of the night. I’m being swept up into someone’s arms. I’m not certain who it is in my recollection, but it is one of my sisters. Whatever is happening, panic is what is driving the motions of the entire scene. As I’m being carried out of my room, I see my father at what I know is the bathroom door, and he is either pushing at it or flailing at it. I remember making eye contact with him, which we held for a moment. The scene is in my recollection otherwise imprecise and somewhat chaotic.
Next in the sequence, clear as day, is that I’m being carried through deep snow by someone who is scantily dressed and struggling to make headway, and I, too, am in my pajamas, and we are moving in the direction of the neighbour’s house, which isn’t that far away. Then whoever has carried me, frantically knocks at the door. Someone opens the door and lets us in. I also remember that I was at that neighbour’s house for some time afterwards. Maybe a day. Maybe longer. I do recall that it felt like an eternity and that I could not wait to be back home.
So this, according to my sisters, is roughly what had taken place: there was a row between my parents. My father started to beat my mother. She managed in the course of being assaulted to take refuge into the bathroom. My father got his hunting knife, returned and called to my mother behind the door and told her he was going to rip through the door with the knife and that when he got through, he was going to knife her to death. This is all according to the way that incident was clarified to me by my sisters, who evidently witnessed the scene pretty much from the start, up until my father began knifing the bathroom door, whereupon they all exited the house, but not before one of them remembered to fetch me out of my bed. So what I saw as I was being carried out of my bedroom, was my father beginning his business with the bathroom door.
How the confrontation was resolved, I don’t know. My mother was not knifed to death as my father had promised he would do. The police or neighbors must have intervened, but my father, I don’t think, was ever charged with anything relating to this matter, and my mother never left my father, despite all of what he put her through. It was really fucked up, and I could go on and on, as for many years and in my childhood the domestic situation was punctuated with such incidents.
Of course, there wasn’t really any option for mother. It was the 1960s. She had four kids and she was in an economic trap, thoroughly dependent upon my father for both her and her children’s economic welfare. No doubt, breaking this dependence had been the primary motivation for her buying the flower shop, which was eventually made possible for her by a loan made to her by her father. And as if by coincidence, coincident with the purchase of the flower shop, my father’s moments of insanity simply ceased. Of course, there is no mystery to this. Suddenly, whatever financial pressures he had until then been under began to be alleviated by the additional income now being generated by the business. It made a world of difference. Everything changed, for him and for the rest of us.
I also believe that despite everything, my mother really loved my father, as we all did. As I already hinted, he wasn’t only a monster. When not unhinged — most of the time he was not — he was without artifice genuinely gentle and loving, capable of much laughter and mirth. But he was afflicted, at least for a time and as a younger man, with a terrible temper. And though I know he would never have intentionally harmed his children, he actually ended up doing more harm than he ever regrettably knew, but probably no less than was done to him by his own childhood circumstances. Life had been hard and it had left its marks, and we bore part of the brunt of that.
So now we live, those of us still living, in the aftermath of such childhood incidents. They don’t explain everything about us, but do explain some things, I think, in the way that many factors always combine to pressure and mold a personality into this or that manner.
One of my sisters is dead. I was myself often on the verge of committing suicide from adolescence on through to my early thirties; I was also mistaken by a psychiatrist to be suffering from schizophrenia in my early twenties, not because I was, but because at the time that she made the diagnosis, as someone recently suggested to me, I was that disorganized emotionally and cognitively. That period of disorganization in my life is well behind me, now, and on the whole I am probably better adjusted than most. I couldn’t have reached this point in my life without a great deal of help from a handful of individuals, but primarily on account of the support I received from my wife, who I met in high school and with whom I’ve been living for more than 38 years. As for my two surviving sisters, things remain tough emotionally.
You do not have to directly either psychologically or physically abuse a child to traumatise him or her. Merely witnessing such things is enough to break a child’s mind, and the break is not necessarily immediately evident. The depth and breadth of it manifests in time and later, as the pressures to mature begin to intensify, in the years of adolescence and early adulthood, and even later. I myself was lucky, I think. Many are not.
So there you have it, a brief and partial snapshot of one aspect of my childhood. If I decide to follow this up with anything else, maybe I’ll follow up with some personal reminiscences of what it was like outside the home, in the neighborhood and at school, places with which all of us are also familiar, having experiences that more or less overlap.
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I don’t know where to start. I think you are very brave to throw out for all the world to see, the nightmare that was too often your childhood. Unlike you, my father never dared raise his hand to my mother, she made it quite clear that not only would she defend herself but she would use whatever she had to hand to inflict as much damage as she could.
My father, was basically a coward. He had no status and had married a woman he believed was too good for him and resented her intelligence. He resented anyone he perceived as superior to him. He resented the whole world for not giving him a better deal. He vented his rage against us, the children. He’s the reason I left home and also why they were not able to report me missing. I was an alcoholic by the time I was seventeen and at one point homeless, living rough.
Reading your words was a visit to my own past. I admire the fact that you have acknowledged the memory and managed to put it, without forgetting it, behind you and that you succeeded in coming to terms with the mental depravity such a chaotic childhood would inevitably visit upon you.
Your ability to assert your own identity and flourish despite, or in spite of, the ordeal which left an indelible imprint on your psyche makes you all the more remarkable. Even as children, if a spirit is indomitable, we can hide the fears and scars behind a never ending and engaging smile and a feverish hyper active happy chatter. But the damage is done and ever will it be present in our lives.
Learning of your own strife and vivid snapshots of a past best consigned to closed doors(but not locked) in the mind and knowing how successfully you have overcome adversity marks you as a conquering hero, rather than the defeated victim you might have become.
To now say I am pleased for you may seem strange, but you have lived your trial by fire and come out the other side triumphant. A “hat tip” to your enduring spirit.
Many thanks Norman.
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Norman Pilon said:
Sometimes I do wonder about whether I should have posted the piece for “all the world to see.”
I don’t think it was a mistake. My two surviving sisters, who rarely visit the blog, found the piece. I can’t recall if I signalled it to one of them or not – I might have. Regardless, they both read it as I had hoped they would.
I wanted them to read it because, on the one hand, I wanted confirmation that I had a real handle on what I thought I could recall and, on the other hand, I wanted to get them to realize that in some respects they had me all wrong.
But there was also a third reason: I hoped the piece would help them acknowledge to themselves where we really had been as children, a thing about which they always seemed to me to be to some degree in denial.
The piece, as it turned out, did the work that I had hoped it would: my recollections, as since confirmed to me by my sisters, are neither misconstruals nor exaggerations, and indeed, both of my sisters now see me in an entirely different and more forgiving light, and also have a better appreciation of what it was that we all grew up under as children.
Furthermore, the piece, as short as it is, bears witness to a situation that was and is still not all that uncommon in blue collar communities across Canada. There was nothing unusual or extreme about what happened in our household. The fact is that I grew up under perfectly normal circumstances for where I was from, and so it still is for a great many people, for far too many still.
As to whether I’m “remarkable” in any way, I don’t think that I am. In fact, what truly is “remarkable,” in my opinion, is that so few people who do grow up in such circumstances do not go insane, either altogether or in part (as I did), or end up putting an end to their miserable lives as my sister Renée eventually felt she had to. It would be interesting to know, however, what the incidence of such things is in communities similar to what ours was then and continues to be now. I suspect the numbers are disquietingly higher than the national average even as their disproportionate numbers contribute to that very average.
I brought this piece to your attention to underscore – what? That we really are dominated by images of ourselves that are “in fact” not ourselves but that imprison us in set patterns of reactions that prescribe to us the limits of “who we can be” and “how we can be,” quite literally in a sense that very much is prescriptive and arbitrary, at least on an emotional plane. When I say that I was “lucky,” that is exactly what I mean. For my foregone decision to re-fashion my sense of who I was into what it has become was very much “a decision” and fortuitously so. I might just as well have chosen to believe in a different picture of myself and eventually would have put a bullet through my brain. I’m not saying that the refashioning of one’s self-image is an easy thing to do, but I am saying that the “self” is an image and can be refashioned. I know. I have travelled down that road. That was the upshot of the link – I think.
It also looks as if we do have something in common. The details may be different, but the underlying circumstance is exactly the same: the degradation is the degradation of the working class and the injuries are working class injuries. And somehow most of us endure. As you also did. As most of us do.
You and Binra are somewhat akin to Guardian Angels, whether you would accept the title or not. Between you both I have gained an insight not only of myself but so much and many more. I wrote to Binra on your recent OffG article and the replies sunk in. Coupled with your question you posed to me the other day, I suddenly found an enlightenment that should have happened quite some time ago in the last century, I don’t think realization would have dawned if not for you both and with any luck, other people carrying baggage that should have been sloughed off will find a reality previously obscured or at the very least, some small comfort from understanding.
Thank you Norman.
Norman Pilon said:
I’m quoting from the comment you left for me over at OffG:
“I read your blog because you seem blessed with an astute mind and a degree of self awareness that I could only wish for and in reading your words, you challenge me to take the hurdles in my stride. “
When I read a comment such as this, my first impulse is to be suspicious. Why? Because when I was a kid, I encountered time and again other kids who were from more favored homes, better schools, who were better dressed and better equipped than I was, who were “English” (I was not, but a “Frog”), and who fancied themselves more clever than I was, some of whom may well have been — but that isn’t really the point. The point is that in their fancy they believed themselves to be inherently “superior” and in their “inherent superiority” thought to amuse themselves with me (or others like me), by trying to win my trust, only to betray it later, once they thought they had the full measure of my weaknesses, of my faults, of my untutored misconceptions, of my linguistic misunderstandings, in short, of my “cultural inferiority” or “inherent obtuseness.” Sometimes it wasn’t a matter of future betrayal so much as imagining they could string me along to inflate my sense of worth completely out of proportion to, as they saw it, my “true” standing, and their weapons were blandishments and flattery: “you seem blessed with an astute mind” – indeed. Or you seem blessed with “. . .a degree of self-awareness that I could only wish for . . .” These ascriptions of yours echo gambits that were tiresomely used in my childhood and youth to entice “the Frog” that I was into opening himself up to a degree that would leave him vulnerable to merciless humiliation, and if not a public or overt humiliation, then a quiet condescending private amusement.
That is my first reaction to such ascriptions, and especially from someone that I barely know.
But then I step back from that reaction and consider that if the intent behind these allurements is to “draw me out,” so speak, to make of me a sort of ‘object’ to play with, that in no way reflects upon me. It betrays more about the moral quality of the person offering up these blandishments than about me. If anyone is compromised in such a scenario, it isn’t me.
On the other hand, I don’t know that this is the scenario in which I find myself with you. Maybe you are sincere in what you say, though I cannot really comprehend why you would be sincere in that way, since I have already read a great many of your comments over the last year or so, and nothing at all suggests to me that I am in any way either more astute or self-aware than you are. So either you yourself think yourself to be in that position of ascendancy and are therefore “playing,” or you are seriously deluding yourself about how perceptive you actually are.
So, if you play, I’m really quite indifferent to your intention. For I do not think of myself in terms of being more or less astute or self-aware than anyone, and if I should be so, it is a matter of pure contingency or, if you will, it’s entirely accidental.
But if you are sincere, in my estimation, you suffer from what most people suffer, namely, from an inferiority complex that is “typical” for people of working class origins.
The education we receive is in part designed to inculcate precisely an insecurity about one’s ability to think for oneself, and doesn’t that “anxiety” work wonders to create in the working class person the sense that they don’t really have a right “to be here,” that they don’t quite measure up to anything at all?
BTW: written into this reply is the pattern, in part, of the “paranoia” that I suffered from to a very acute degree in my adolescence and into my twenties. Don’t be alarmed by it. It no longer has any potency over me. But there it is.
OMG. The scenario you describe is both hideously cruel and beyond my comprehension.
I’ve never thought of myself as either deceitful or malicious and I do not have an inferiority complex. I have an O level education but no more than that, never really gained the ability to construct a composition and know my limitations and am honest about it. No more, no less.
I feel quite unnerved and upset that at any time during our to and fro you would think me some kind of evil trickster.
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Norman Pilon said:
You misapprehend the meaning of my comment. Slow down, take a deep breath, and re-read what I wrote — slowly, at a measured pace . . .
Norman Pilon said:
I’ve posted this comment at your blog, but I’m posting it here as well so as to help other people, who might be wondering, get the gist of the “reply” which seems to have upset you, Susan:
First, if I’ve upset you, I apologize. I was not making an accusation. I was making “explicit” the manner in which “conditioned” reactions operate in a person (in this instance, “me”) always on the basis of “past” experiences, and how one can either remain at the level of the “reactions,” to experience [them] at “face value,” so to speak, or to “step back from them” to evaluate their possible meanings in a given context.
The childhood experience of being “mocked for being French” was something that really happened to me and that left a deep impression on me, that “conditioned” me in terms of “what I could expect from other people.”
That “conditioning” remains with me to this day and it is triggered in “contexts” that “echo” past encounters.
Thus, at one level, a person (whether myself or you or anyone) often relives in the present what is actually the “past.”
Psychologists call this the phenomenon of “transference.” If one isn’t fully aware that that’s how one’s perception often operates, then it may be difficult for one to recognize that a “triggered” emotional response (and all such responses are “triggered” and as “triggered responses” are “transferences”) is [possibly] “inappropriate” to a “present” encounter.
What my comment does is “parse” the automatic “reactions” to “stimuli” that “I” experienced and how, faced with a “paucity” of information, I had to “interpret” the reaction (the “reflex”) to dampen its “effect” so as to better grasp or approximate to the actual and present content (i.e., not that of the “old content of my childhood”) of our (Norm’s and Susan’s) emerging “relationship,” of if you will, emerging “friendship.”
Note how I ended my comment:
So whatever may be my “tentative” appraisal of where we stand with respect to one another, that tells you less about “you” than it tells you about “me,” my past experiences, how these shape my present perceptions, and how in the present, in a moment of “reflection,” I interpret my “perceptual reaction” so as to adjust it to a current — and not a past — situation.
I don’t know if any of this will make any sense to you, but I really am trying to make a point, and the point has nothing at all to do with you or the quality of who you are as a person.
Again, I hope that I haven’t caused you undue duress. That certainly was not my intention. And yet again, we have an example of how “misunderstandings” over complicated issues can land us into trouble.
You will forgive me. AT least I’m hopeful that you will.
Do try to get a handle on what I’m trying to underscore — clinically and academically speaking . . .
Dear Norman. I put the shrinking violet(the tearful oneT!) to bed and in the morning I gave her a good slapping and told her to “get a grip” and get over herself. Now we (shrinking violet/T1 and Superwoman) with the occasional and alternating appearances of Arnold Schwarznegger, Sly, Robert Duvall and Kurt Russel are again, ready to take on the world. I must apologize for the other one’s silly and overly sensitive’s pathetic “falling down” moment, she has a tendency to do that until I whip her into shape. On the evening I was reading your comment I was also in a state of terror because Gracie was refusing her food. Gracie and grub are synonymous and she has the constitution of a crocodile and since I nearly lost one of my previous dogs to enteritis, I was left reeling in dread and extremely vulnerable. I stayed up with her till early morning and she seems to be making good progress, so panic over, I can now face the world from a platform of greater strength. It wasn’t you Norman, it was, most definitely me.
My calm exterior belies a mind in turmoil but determined to face whatever challenges may present themselves. Which translates roughly into “I panic at what might be before it’s happened, but look and present myself as the confident and capable/dependable rock”. I fool everybody most of the time, including myself.
Right now, I’m in charge and the shrinking violet has been consigned to the compost heap until the next episode of fear invoking incidents rears it’s ugly head, then SV grows legs and walks right back in, uninvited.
And you thought you had problems with a previous paranoia? Try living with SV and Superwoman, it’s quite a challenge in and of itself.
I’ll be back!
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Reblogged this on Worldtruth and commented:
This contribution needs no words from me, but admirable and brave spring to mind.
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