Had a nice time with the family on Saturday. Even though my son is getting to the age when he likes to spend more time on his own, he’s recently suggested that he, my wife and I go out to King Of Prussia mall to wander around and then have dinner. That’s been really nice.
Sunday and today are a struggle though. Even when there isn’t any tumultuous emotional situation or issue going on, the pain is still very much there. I’ve done any number of healthy, productive things to work at processing this pain, dissipating it, striving to be free of it. Alas, this pain is my constant companion. It makes my endocrine system illness more difficult to deal with and blunts the joy of living with a loving family of my own.
This morning, I looked up a few other things to add to my efforts. One thing I’ve found is that you just keep trying different things – and try them in good faith – until you find something that works. I’m going to try and add a Gestalt group therapy, a Zen meditation group and even CES (Cranial Electrical Stimulation). The “talk therapy” I’ve done has, overall, been very helpful. Though I still struggle, my inner world isn’t as dark and bewildering as it was when I was a teenager and younger.
However, as I’ve written before, that sort of therapy hasn’t been able to resolve everything. It’s not that I’m looking for everything to magically be gone. I realize that wounds don’t just disappear, they turn into scars which remain with us for all of our days. I don’t mind the scars. I can deal with that sort of thing. It’s the festering wounds which I want to be free of. In the past 2 / 3 years, some of those scars were ripped open again and I just haven’t been able to get back to some semblance of peace.
Emotional “thinking.” Emotional pain, has a logic all it’s own. I’ve only come to understand this in the past year or so and the challenge of understanding how it works and how to process it and accommodate it is something which I know will take some time. In my experience, there is no quick fix. There is no magic pill of relief. It’s all a part of the journey and the path that I’ve been placed on. My wife says that because I’m the type of person I am, I must have asked for a challenging life to be born into…just because I like to snub my nose at challenges and taunt that darkness and the Minotaur. She’s very sweet and very funny. I had to laugh at the apparent truth of this.
Things have gotten better than they were, but yes, I still do struggle. All the work I’ve done before has lead me to where I am now, with a deeper understanding of what else needs to be done. The challenge is that I haven’t had anyone to help or guide me along the path. Worse, I’ve come across innumerable people who’ve only made things worse. Most medical doctors I’ve been to misdiagnosed my physical illness to the point where they actually made it worse. Most therapists I’ve worked with have been helpful, but there have been a few who misdiagnosed me as well and pursued treatments which, at best, were not very helpful. I’ve always striven to do the “right” thing. Yet I’ve had no family, no friends who understand (or want to face) the depths of what I’ve been through, no mentors or kindly folks who have pointed out more beneficial paths. If anything, others have not been safe, nor trustworthy.
Certainly, I was looking in the wrong places, because I don’t believe that people are “bad” or “evil” by nature. I’ve seen happy, healthy families. I’ve met innumerable individuals who are good and kind and compassionate and caring and all the rest of the best of what humanity can be. Often, it’s seemed as if I’m outside in the cold, looking into scenes of people sharing warmth and love. Sometimes I’ve joined in. Many times I’ve been invited and welcomed. But there’s such a vast chasm between those who have grown up with and lived in that warmth and love, and others such as I who have demons writhing inside. People who’ve grown in healthy (or relatively healthy) environments seem uncomfortable with darkness such as mine. It makes sense, but it also means that in order to be a part of that world, I need to never speak of it and pretend to be someone I’m not. That’s the sort of life which makes wounds fester.
I’m struggling today. Certainly, that’s obvious. But I’ve come across a couple of new possibilities in order to deal with and process deeper layers of pain which I never fully understood before. This sounds like progress to me. This sounds like hope to me.
Though I continue to struggle with that inner darkness and ravenous, pursuing Minotaur, I’ve helped create a home for my child which seems to be free of what I fight within myself. How my son is happy and thriving, I do not know. But he is loved and supported by innumerable teachers, (physical) therapists and regular folks on the street because of the light and life which so easily shines from his eyes. We can’t go anywhere (most times) without someone running over to us and saying to my son “Hey! Good to see you man! How have you been!” The light which shines in their eyes as they talk with my son for a few moments is a light which I know he’s sparked and infused him with. My son is my Buddha.
If my son’s light and his influence upon others is the only thing I’m able to help create in this world, I believe myself to be most blessed.
Wish me luck on my path today.
Be well and at peace,