Hotel Chronicles: The Unbearable Ugliness of Cheap Stucco

20190310_152433What color are these walls?

I’m not sure. They seem to be some kind of blend of tan and something else – perhaps peach and vanilla and some kind of red berry you get in the special section at Wegmans. In any case, it’s a color scheme you often see on commercial buildings in the late Capitalist period.

The front of the Hyatt House (Short Pump, VA, just NW of Richmond VA) is more interesting of course. Interesting in that there are some reassuring late Capitalist architectural doo-dads that seem to indicate some kind of old-timey lodging with enough modern panache to reassure the somewhat upscale traveler.

The Short Pump Town Center Mall (that’s the official name) that the Hyatt is attached to, was completed in 2003. The hotel came along 2009. It looks to me like the hotel was assembled somewhere else of compartmentally segregated Lego block-type materials and then slid right between the Dicks and the restaurant. It was a piece that fit to complete the puzzle.

There are many like the Hyatt in America but this one is mine for the spring. The staff is friendly, the rooms are, as I’ve said before, somewhat bland and sterile but comfortable, well-appointed and well maintained. I can’t quite say the same yet for the pool area, but that’s another story for another day.

What I ask of these places is this: are they even trying, in the least way, to inspire people? What I mean is, the grand hotels of the past were of themselves as destination. They offered excitement, breathtaking architecture and the assuredness of good service. Each of them had it’s own character and style which was, after all, the point.

Nowadays, since the rise of the Holiday Inns, certainty has replaced discovery in most aspects of American travel life – hotels, chain restaurants, rest areas – all seem to look faintly the same at any give time of history since the 1960s. Recall what these three buildings looked like in the 70s – homogenization had taken hold. So they ‘evolved’ in a certain way to a new style. And today, the Hyatt looks like the attached outdoor mall.

Is this bad? Many people my age might have some nostalgic pangs for the now-disappearing mansard-roofed McDonald’s but be honest: don’t you like the new designs (minus the kiosks) better?

And yet I look at the Hyatt and Short Pump and wish, for nothing but a splash of color here or an unexpected architectural quirk there. At the mall, even the different fountains look like they were ordered from Home Depot.

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The hard cold charm of the Short Pump Mall

But over all of this, the Mall and the hotel need to pull off one big thing – they have to look rich while being made cheaply. This they do and you can tell that by looking closely at the materials used, especially the God-awful stucco that is so in vogue nowadays.

If I’m honest, I’m as guilty as anyone. I could have stayed in many different areas of Richmond but I carefully chose this monstrosity of modern commercial convenience. I’m assured that even though the architecture of the place will be soul killing, the bed will be comfortable. And if I need anything, anything at all, it’s probably less than a mile away.

I was warned about the commute I bought myself. In the beginning, the 30 minute drive to work was irritating but now I accept it as the cost of staying where I’m at.

But still, after everything I’ve written, I am absolutely fascinated by this place. It’s almost a world unto itself. It succeeded before, during and after the Great Recession because people wanted it. And still do. It may not say great things about our taste or sense of adventure but sociologists and cultural anthropologists would be wise to come here and study the place and its people.

Short Pump, which was named after the short-handled pump under a mid-19th century tavern may share the line that Gertrude Stein said of Oakland: “The trouble with Oakland is that when you get there, there isn’t any there there.”

At least Oakland was a city – Short Pump is a vast wasteland of upscale shops, notwithstanding the Wal-Mart that the community tried so hard to hide from the road.

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Straight ahead to the right. What? You can’t see it? It’s right there. Sign? You need a sign?

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Ah yeah, that man-made forest hides Short Pump’s shame. They’ll take Wal-Mart’s money but for God’s sakes, don’t tell the neighbors!

I would call it ‘the nowhere that everyone wants to go there.’

But again, if you’re going to put art in a hotel room, give it some thought.

At least most of the buildings around here are too short for suicide attempts.

Posted in Adventure!, art, Distractions, Richmond, VA | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Hotel Chronicles: The Art of Uncertain Despair

P1000373This is a painting, perhaps print that hangs in my hotel suite that can be seen from every angle of the main room.
I have found in wandering the halls of this place, that every single room, to the best of my knowledge, has this . . . this thing, hanging in the exact same space.
It seems to be, for who can really know these things for sure, a painting/print of a streetlight under two phone or electric wires on which sit fat blobs with legs that one would assume are birds.
For reasons unknown, the light has a number: 10. I have no idea what the significance of this number to the artist might have been although this may have been some kind of awful photograph that went through the process now available to anyone with a smart phone, of ‘paintifying,’ that is, making it look more arty than it has a right to.
The background is a dystopic blue that has the vague hue of a sky in which the nuclear fallout has all but settled, leaving this not-quite-normal blue sky which makes me wonder if the birds are actually dead lumps of carbonized flesh where the feathers have been fused to the rest of the body.
There is no life, no joy, no meaning whatsoever in this ghastly thing hanging on the wall. In it’s own way, its deliberative meaninglessness matches perfectly the sterile starkness of the room and, by extension, the hotel, and, by extension, the created village of upscale shops that this hotel is attached to, as if by some umbilicus.
Sadly, other than the faux wood cabinetry, this thing is the most colorful item in the room.
Every time I notice this thing on the wall, I lose at least an hour of my life as the joy of living is sucked a little more out of the marrow of my being.
Why did the hotel management, the Hyatt chain, think that this thing would be appropriate for any hotel suite? Or perhaps, it was sold to the idiots running the chain as some kind of example of modern avant garde art. So sophisticated it must seem, this nightmare fuel.
Or perhaps it’s designed as a form of corporate mind control. After all, the maids have to look at it all day in every room they clean. It’s message of utter hopelessness must be designed to keep the maid class believing that there’s nothing better out there and the Hyatt will become both their prison of work and prison of the soul. At slightly about minimum wage.
No sane society, no people of empathy, charm, caring or base humanity produces artwork like this. This is produced by empty, cynical, predatory souls who would sell a dying man a capsule of cyanide.
I can’t remove it or turn it around. I must face it and think dark thoughts of the people responsible for this atrocity. What level of Hell to consign them/him/her? I must give it some thought.
Now I am no stranger to dystopian art. Check out my favorite artist of this genre Simon Stålenhag. But this thing reminded me of an apocalyptic novel written decades ago, Whitley Streiber and James Kunetka’s ‘Warday.’ 
If you look closely at the cover, you will see why:
images
There, at the bottom, are telephone poles and a street light with a more appropriate red sky.
In any case, the whole thing is disturbing but what the hell, everyone who stays here has to look at the damn thing so why not me.
But do they every really look at it?
And if so, what do they feel?
Posted in art, existential dread, factory of sadness, society | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What I’m Giving Up

trained-seal

How do you like me now? Can I have this job? Can I be your friend? Would you invite me to your party? Will you respect my opinions?

I had just written 400 words into an MS Word document for a post today explaining my previous post and it disappeared.

I’m used to being disappointed at this stage of my life so I didn’t put my fist through the computer screen.

I’ve decided to write on the program now instead of Word documents and then cutting and pasting.

And since I don’t want to try to recreate 400+ words, I’ll try for a synopsis here.

When I say I quit I mean this.

To quit trying to adopt a persona that will, in my mind, keep me safe, successful and reasonably popular.

With Borderline, you’re never sure of who you are since any development of self as a child was beaten out of you. I had to act like a trained seal so as not to incur the wrath of my father, the indifference of my mother, the ridicule of my sister and the scorn and humiliation from the nuns.

I can’t do this anymore. I had one last chance, in my mind, to come to a place no one knew me or my history and become the person that fits in with normal American society, as rotten as it is.

But I failed and my track record is 100 percent consistent. I can’t do it. I can’t pretend but can I be myself? That way lies disaster. But what is ‘being myself?’ I don’t know.

So I thought the worst part of this condition is trying to be a people pleaser. I people please to a nauseating degree. It never works.

But I’m afraid that if I stop being a people pleaser, I will lose everything. It’s scary when I’ve been this way all my life to contemplate actually going back to speaking up for myself. I used to. I was crushed as a child. But that child had some guts. But if you smash a child’s will early enough and often enough, you get me – an inveterate people pleaser.

And I worry. I worry about losing that little I have left. I worry about losing my job and leaving my wife penniless. Well, if it looks like that’s about to happen, well, I know how to show myself the door. I won’t leave her penniless because I can’t live in this world.

(As an aside I’m jealous of the kids who are being raised to speak out and express themselves – that’s a luxury I was never afforded. They will know who they are – lucky them. Those that spit on them are people like my father.)

At my age, I am just so so tired of living this way. Of the constant fear of people’s judgments; of feeling like I have no power – that others always have power over me. I’m just so tired. I always say I welcome a terminal medical diagnosis because that is the only way I can live the rest of my life truly free to be whatever I feel I need to be. If you’re staring death in the face, what do I care about someone’s judgment of my political, religious or social views? God, how freeing!!! But as long as we depend on others for our paychecks and social position, we have to care. But wouldn’t it be great not to have to care about pleasing people? Just for once? That would truly be Heaven to me. But there is no Heaven in life.

So I give up caring about it. When I do my socially acceptable trained seal act, people land up disliking me just as much as when I explode from the weight of carrying the trained seal act.

So if it doesn’t matter, I might as well do and say what I feel. At 56, I’ve failed at adulting, I’ve failed at maturity, Hell, by any measurable standard, my life has been one big clusterfuck, and I see now I will carry this miserable BPD demon to the grave.

So just stop caring about what people think of me. I give up. I can’t carry this burden any more. I will probably never know who I really am. But I’m tired of being the trained seal.

Posted in anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, Catholic school, death, fear, getting old, ImNotAshamed, mental health, my father, parents, regret, self care, shame, social anxiety, suicide | Tagged | Leave a comment

Control

The meltdown on Wednesday followed a predictable pattern. It’s simple – I was already tired and experiencing anxiety and then I almost got into an accident in an unfamiliar city. When I arrived at work, I faced a mountain of things that I brought on myself (to prove my worth to the office who had been nice enough to choose me for this detail) and then the computer started to malfunction. Then the co-worker whose constant snacking I could tolerate (loud chewing), suddenly I could no longer bear in the slightest.

But the main thing is that I lost control – I lost the ability to control my emotions. OK, partially – there were moments I could pull it together, but overall, my mind was somewhere else: somewhere dark and desperate.

I was invited to take the next day off which I did. I returned yesterday wondering if I could ever overcome the stigma. I didn’t know who talked to who, what conclusions they had drawn, how I would be looked at for the next 90 days this detail runs. I felt humiliated. I had blown it again.

going-home-with-bus-upper-caseSo now I know: no matter where I go, there ‘I’ am. Nothing will change. I look forward to going back to Pittsburgh and resuming the rest of my life and certainly my work ‘career’ feeling the dread of knowing that these demons will never leave me. The farther away from one incident, the closer I’ll be to the next (like California earthquakes).

I’m 56 and never felt like a real adult. I’ll always be the alienated 12-year-old looking for a clue how to grow up. I mean, it’s too late now and perhaps ‘growing up’ is overrated.

I’ve worked in Pittsburgh for almost nine years. I have been through every possible cycle of acting out and melting down I can think of. I managed to keep my job but at a great cost. I will never be the person I was in 2010. I must live with that. I must live with this. So, it’s the devil I know and there’s enough familiar places to run for comfort when things get too bad. There’s a hotel room here. That’s it. I would rather work with people I already have a history with than work with people that I might land up creating an even worse history with – and having to go through the rigamarole of moving. I don’t have the energy for that.

The scariest thing is that I don’t realize when I’m falling into these states. Sure, all the symptoms were there, caused by all the triggers. But when you’re ‘in the moment’ your brain isn’t working to the point where you can just say – time to go home. In fact, my supervisor said it might be best if I went home – she wasn’t angry but concerned. But I get stubborn when these things happen and dig in my heels and insist on fighting through – even though it’s akin to fighting to get out of a pool of molasses. You can fight, but it can make things worse.

I don’t like walking away. It makes me feel weak.

This . . . thing makes me feel weak and worthless. I constantly fear what people think and constantly fear the next episode that I won’t be able to pull myself out of. I know I’ve mentioned this before. I guess perhaps, I thought I had one last chance to start fresh with people who didn’t know my history.

But the devil will follow me everywhere I go. So, I might as well go home.

Posted in Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, getting old, mental health, paranoia, PTSD, shame, social anxiety, stigma | 1 Comment

Cover me

anomie-in-the-ukIt’s been difficult to adjust.

I didn’t anticipate the nervousness, the fear, the anxiety. I guess it was from the loss of the familiar, or that I took the familiar for granted.

It was supposed to be an adventure, this move to Virginia for four months. A chance to see how another VA public affairs shop operates, to see another part of the country and to break out of a hermit state I had fallen into.

Apparently, I was more hermetically sealed than I knew.

Don’t get me wrong – the people at this office have been overwhelmingly nice. I’m doing work I wanted to do. The surroundings are great.

So, what’s my problem? It’s the same problem. It’s one that may have no solution other than muddling through. I hate muddling through. I’ve been muddling through since 2011. A life ended and another one started and it was an internal life that died and what replaced it was someone I didn’t want to be but was afraid to not to be.

It’s not Pittsburgh. But then, once, it wasn’t Cleveland. Or Cedar Rapids. Or Bloomington, Illinois. Or it wasn’t this newspaper or this radio station or it wasn’t a bookstore in Chardon, Ohio.

When I used to be braver to the point of recklessness. When I lived on the edge and didn’t know it. When I moved on impulse, rationality be damned.

I left a lot of wreckage. I ran into a buzz saw. I fought for three years to keep my job and my sanity. I got PTSD. I got new drugs. I got paranoid to the point where I cannot stand people being decent to me.

No therapy, no drug, has worked. The drugs may be hurting me in ways I don’t know. But which ones? I don’t know.

What do I want? I don’t know. I’m alone in this room in Richmond, Virginia and I still don’t know who I am or what will make me happy. I lost my energy and zest for living and I don’t know how to get it back.

And the thing I really hate is that to an objective observer, I have nothing to complain about. Nobody sees or feels the loneliness in a crowd, the maddening anxiety, the crushing depression. I don’t really want anyone to see it anyway. I try to practice gratefulness. It just doesn’t come. I try to reconcile what happened in my childhood. It never leaves me – I still dream about all of it and I can’t stop it. I can’t stop my mind enough to meditate. I can’t forgive myself for what I’ve done. I feel ugly on the inside and outside.

What does a person like me do? I don’t expect anyone to understand the totality of it all.

But deep down inside I know I have so much to offer. But like the person who got burned too many times on a hot stove I’m afraid to try again. People scare me in a weird way.

Example.

I have the day off. I went to Planet Fitness here. There’s a guy in a beat-up little car with a wild red beard and he’s out of place. He’s looking around in a strange way. I think he’s looking for cars to rob. I tell myself this is irrational. But aren’t we supposed to trust that little voice inside us to protect us?

I leave to get gas and fiddle with my dash cam and return to the parking lot but if he’s still there I’m not going in.

His car is still there. I don’t see him.

I park a few rows away. I move closer row by row. He’s not there. So, I pull up next to his car and then I see it: all the clothes and stuff in the car. He lives in the car. He’s at Planet Fitness to take care of personal cleanliness. I should go in and work out. I don’t. And I hate myself. Classist. Yes. Fearful of the other. Yes. Does it matter if I’ve been burned before? Or is it just an excuse to be a shitty person? The fear is genuine. Hell, I’m weird and broken enough. I go back to the hotel.

The woman at the desk is joined by another woman. When I left, I asked for a light in my room to be changed and for maid service. I also explained about my 30-day vouchers I had to file for the government and wondered if I could keep the room, etc.

Now they just want to know which government agency I work for. Friendly like. Just curious.

So, I tell them, nervously making small talk. Later I wonder if I would have created tension if I had offered to retrieve my government ID?

Am I overthinking everything? Yes, always. Can I help it? Apparently not. The world which was once so wondrous and open for discovery is now so threatening.

Outside’s the rain, the driving snow
I can hear the wild wind blowing
Turn out the light, bolt the door
I ain’t going out there no more

This whole world is out there just trying to score
I’ve seen enough I don’t wanna see any more
Cover me, come on in and cover me . . .

  • Bruce Springsteen, Cover Me

 

Posted in anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, depression, existential dread, fear, loneliness, meds, mental health, over-analyze, PTSD, social anxiety | Leave a comment

A philosophy worth exploring

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Currently reading

So, I have an opportunity to learn something that I feel will help me master the issues caused by Borderline Personality Disorder.

The discovery has arisen from discussions about toxic masculinity and the constant reference to men who are victims of a mindset which turns them into malevolent Gary Coopers – strong and silent but destructive due to not being able to cry or show other emotion. The word stoicism generally appears in these discussions and, having only a passing familiarity with the term, decided to do some research.

When you look up the online definition of stoicism, this is what you will see:

sto·i·cism

/ˈstōəˌsizəm/Submit

noun

1.

the endurance of pain or hardship without the display of feelings and without complaint.

synonyms: patience, forbearance, resignation, lack of protest, lack of complaint, fortitude, endurance, acceptance, acceptance of the inevitable, fatalism, philosophicalness, impassivity, dispassion, phlegm, imperturbability, calmness, coolness, cool; More

2.

an ancient Greek school of philosophy founded at Athens by Zeno of Citium. The school taught that virtue, the highest good, is based on knowledge; the wise live in harmony with the divine Reason (also identified with Fate and Providence) that governs nature and are indifferent to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain.

When talking about toxic masculinity, most people making their points seem to refer to the first definition. I wondered – yes, this is part of stoicism but not all of it and, in of itself, is this a completely bad thing?

The more complete and accurate definition is the second one. There is a LOT to unpack in that definition and I won’t get into it here, but I was intrigued and in between watching football, I started researching online resources of stoicism and stoic thinking. The more I read, the more intrigued I became.

I will continue writing (or journaling, although I hate that word, just write for Heaven’s sakes) about it but I put some of what I read last night into immediate practice.

We have two small vintage glass bowls that were part of a serving set, circa 1960. I use them to put salsa and dip into. Last night, watching football, I had used one of them for salsa. My wife dropped it on the ground and it shattered.

I put what I had just read into practice immediately. What I usually experience when things like this happen is being easily startled which makes my nerves jump. This is because I fear how my wife will react and how I will react and equally important, how I will feel about the loss of this small bowl. When my wife gets angry, I get nervous, feeling that if I do not react the right way, she will turn her anger on me because that was the mechanism of anger/fear in my childhood. Also, the loss of an item like this bowl most often makes me upset since it is a vintage piece and I will feel as though the universe has chosen to break it to spite me. In addition, this incident interrupts my watching of football which would normally cause me to become irate and angry.

Whew – that’s an awful lot of bullshit over an accidental breaking of a small glass bow isn’t it? And that is precisely the point.

So, my new thinking process was this: the small glass bowl is not worth that much money at all and is easily replaceable. We had two, now we have one. My wife should not be made to feel bad over an accident like this – no one is hurt, the bowl is easily replaceable, it will take a but a few minutes to clean up. I assured her that it was no big deal, she needn’t be upset, and I resolved for these reasons, not to be upset over it either. As for the game, it is a game, you will know what happened, it will not impact your life and to ascribe that kind of importance to it is silly. It is one of many games and you’ll only be distracted for a minute or so and that’s why instant replay exists.

Here’s practical wisdom from the website Daily Stoicism that sums it all up:

Every situation is made better by a cool head. Even powerful people who know that anger is a powerful and effective tool will tell you that there is a big difference between deliberately expressing your frustrations (to make a point, to motivate someone, to defend yourself) and flying off the handle. Without the ability to recognize and direct your emotions, you become a slave to them.

Not getting upset over so small an issue may seem like a no brainer to you. But for someone like me, it is hardly easy because I have trained myself to see such irritations as being specifically visited upon me because the universe or God, hates me and wants me to be miserable.

Crazy, isn’t it? Crazy it is.

Part of the whole philosophy of stoicism is that bad things happen, and that one can only control one’s reaction to them. And, I wondered, how many times have I heard this from therapists? Why do I take stock in it now – simple: because I discovered it on my own.

The more I read, the more it made perfect sense to me – I could get angry – but what would anger change? If could only make the situation far worse than it is and it wasn’t a big deal to begin with.

It’s funny how lights can go off in our heads when we discover classic truths like these on our own after being told the same thing literally hundreds of times. But these are not ideas in isolation – they are part of a whole body of philosophy that addresses literally ALL the issues that our BPD amplifies to make us miserable. So, in this way, it was different for me. This was not just some pseudo-babble catch phrase but a building block of an entire philosophy which offers great relief for those like me, who are prisoners of their emotions and their past reactions to adversity.

What I will close with is this thought – reading the first building blocks of stoicism, it was obvious that even though the concepts seem blindingly simple and sensible, nothing about it would be easy in practice. But therapy isn’t easy, life isn’t easy and nothing good comes easy. After 40+ years of misery, it seems like it is time for me to give this century old tried and true practical philosophy a serious try. I have nothing to lose but anger and fear.

Posted in Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD, bullshit, childhood terror, stoicism | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The Sins of the Father

I had, what for me, was a disturbing revelation a few days ago.

I recently strained my rotator cuff in my right shoulder. I did it in my sleep, which is another story entirely. I was prescribed physical therapy and off I went.

My therapist is a woman but one-time last week, she had a male student therapist assist me.

This is hard for me to write about. I had a problem with him touching me, even just on the arm and hands. He was consummately professional and there was nothing untoward in the slightest. I just couldn’t wait for the session to be over.

I don’t have this issue with being touched by a woman therapist. Or doctor (almost all of them have been women my adult life). Or seeing a female therapist (all but two of the 33 in my life have been women).

Why?

Believe me when I tell you it has nothing to do with homophobia. I have been a strong supporter of the LGBTQ community all my adult life and have had many gay friends (when I used to have friends). In fact, they are the men (and women) I feel most comfortable being around.

I gave it some thought and the answer came to me although it should have been obvious from the start. Like so many issues with my fucked up mental health, it wasn’t so obvious until I decided to deduce the reason.

My father. As I have written in previous blog entries, he was both physically, sexually and psychologically abusive to me growing up. The sexual abuse was only a few years around the ages of 5-8. The other abuse started shortly after that and continued until he died when I was 20.

There’s the whole ‘good touch/bad touch’ methodology that therapists have used with people who were abused, most often with children. Sadly, it seems the need for this kind of therapy and training is growing as more abuse that was either hidden or not talked about comes out into the light.

A bad touch is a bad touch, there is no denying it. I’m feeling nauseated even writing about this now as my memory runs back to those days. I ask myself – what was the ‘worse’ of the bad touching: fondling or getting smacked in the face? I guess it’s a tossup for me.

What I am gradually coming to realize is how much this has affected the trajectory of my life. And the more I realize this, the more I hate it. It’s not that I didn’t have male friends – I did and still have them on Facebook. But men don’t talk to men about these things and, by extension, they don’t discuss feelings of inadequacy or unease in marriages, child rearing and relationships in general that go back to childhood abuse. There was no reason to talk about these things to my high school friends since I didn’t even realize what happened to me was not normal until many years later.

High school memory – we had this kind of a deacon, the ‘Reverend Mister’ and I’ll leave his last name out of this (typical Catholic school sex pervert). He was later busted for molesting underage girls, many of whom had their school photo pinned to the wall behind his desk (there were like 150 photos). Anyway, I’m 18 and he keeps asking me every time he sees me, when I’m going to come into his office and ‘talk’ about my future or some such nonsense.

I wanted to tell him ‘NEVER, BECAUSE YOU FREAK ME OUT YOU FUCKING PERV.’ To say I got the creepy vibe from him was a gross understatement. I count him as the first guy I backed away from. Considering I had a bad experience with my first therapist, a man my mom forced me to see when I was 14, a trend was even then starting to develop.

(deep, heavy, sad, sigh)

I keep coming back to this essay and so it gets longer. Sorry.

hostages

Hostages, at left. His moods could turn on a dime, at right.

Or when I was 15, when my mother decided the whole family needed group therapy so she dragged us in to a small room with a male therapist who tried to figure out what our problem was.

My problem was the man sitting right next to me. But what was I going to do – tell this stranger about the hitting, the threats, the put-downs and how my dad made me feel like a worm? Was this therapist going to come home with us with a couple of cops to make sure I didn’t get the shit beat out of me for revealing that information? Of course not. We sat there like a hostage on a phone call telling our loved ones were being well treated and would be just fine as the ransom was paid.

Strangely enough (or not), it was my mother who much later would deny that my father ever hit me. It was also my mother, when I scalded myself with boiling tea and ran frantically into the living room trying to tell her what had happened, slapped me full across the face. And my father drove me to the ER and I thought HE was going to slap me on the way there for breaking a glass pitcher and inconveniencing him.

(OK, I’m DONE FOR NOW. But great gracious fuck, all this stuff happened 40 years ago and YOU NEVER EVER FORGET IT. In my mind and my nervous system, it was still like yesterday.

I created this blog and the Facebook page so I could keep this stuff off my regular Facebook page. I still would rather my male friends from high school not read it.

So, look at the people who like this page. And look at my friends list on my main Facebook page. What do you notice? 154 out of my 192 Facebook friends (not counting 1 cat) are female. Draw your own conclusions.

No great revelations here – abuse fucks up a person’s life. The only new nugget of wisdom to me is just how much it does and how in many cases, the realization of the degree only comes gradually throughout the years.

But I’m not sure of some things even now. Like, how much of my self-hatred is rooted in this abuse? Did I somehow cause a feedback mechanism in my behavior as an adult to reinforce these negative feelings about myself, meaning, did my actions cause people to react negatively to me in ways that reinforced self-hatred?

I suspect the answer is yes, but over the span of a lifetime, it’s hard to be completely sure.

I don’t have completely healthy relationships and never have. I know why but it’s too late now to do much about it except try to recognize my motivations and reactions and mitigate them.

I am really nauseated and getting a headache as I write this essay. But for some reason I had to write it. But now I have to stop.

Posted in abuse, Catholic school, childhood terror, Facebook, growing up, mental health, my father, shame | Tagged , | 2 Comments