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My Path (6) Family

I thought my family was normal.  Dianne insists that, even though her father was an alcoholic, her family was far less dysfunctional than mine.  She is right.  Does a normal family, however boring, produce not one clear and accurate memory for a child.  I know now that my father ws a very insecure person, a rager, and that he did not like me.  I know now that my wonderful mother was a people pleaser and a liar.  I know now that i have been a rager and a liar much of my life.

On the surface. Dianne was a married mother with three kids (Younger daughter was born in Boise in 1969.)
In reality, she was a single mother with four children, one of whom had sex privileges.  Just as i had been a non participant in my family of origin, i remained a non-participant in my family of generation.  I simply was not there emotional nor practically for Dianne and the children.  Dianne suffered most from my indifference, incompetence, and lack of presence.  But she was an adult, and resolute, and Scandinavian/Mormon tough.  She accompanied me through years  of fruitless counselling, threatened to leave me several times.  In the end she put up with twenty-five years of my not being there for her.

The children did not fare so well.  The middle child (older daughter) seemed to cope most successfully.  She has always seemed calm, steady, reliable, sensible even with losing a beloved husband way too early in life.  Son ane younger daughter were outwardly troubled.  It took thirty years for my daughter to get her life together.  I'm not sure my son ever did or ever will.  (Well, maybe i batted .333, which is good enough in any league.)

After age fifty, after 25 years of marriage, i seemed to change.  Others noticed it long before i did.  A niece told my daughters that she thought Dianne had disposed of me and replaced me with a less dysfunctional lookalike.  "This guy smiles and talks and doesn't leave the room at the slightest sign of tension."

The last thirty years have been great, but not perfect.  About eight years ago, i made some commentrs which, in retrospect, were clearly inappropriate and caused disppointment and infuriation to the others present.  I started tp go back into my shell.  Then i made a discovery that put much of my past life into perspective.  I came to believe that i was autistic.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 17th, 2015 08:34 pm (UTC)
It is very interesting to look at. How had you been living through all this years with all these thoughts. Can you show me your photos when you are thirty?
Sep. 17th, 2015 11:03 pm (UTC)
I am not much for pictures. My daughters post a lot of pictures and i will sometime ask them to help me do it. You will have to wait a while.
I don't think i can answer your other question. How do i live with my thoughts? I don't know. How does anybody do it. The sages say, "stop thinking." but i don't know how to do that yet

Thank you for reading this and finding it interesting
Sep. 17th, 2015 08:58 pm (UTC)
You call yourself a liar...but you are being very honest now. I am so glad that *something* caused you to change and that you and Dianne persevered because it is so obvious how much you love each other now.

Nothing is ever perfect, my friend. Rejoice in what is good. That's all we can do.
Sep. 17th, 2015 11:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you. And i am slowly coming to that attitude. I would even go so far as to say that i am trying to learn to see everything that comes to me as a gift which i should appreciate and use wisely,
Sep. 18th, 2015 01:05 am (UTC)
It seems from here that you are doing very well indeed with this.
Sep. 18th, 2015 03:35 am (UTC)
Sep. 18th, 2015 12:34 am (UTC)
It sounds a tough haul. I'm glad things got better.
Sep. 18th, 2015 04:07 am (UTC)
There is an Ojibway saying that i like:

"Sometimes I go about pitying myself
and all the time
I am being carried by great winds across the sky.

I don't know how one gets through it, but we get through it.
Sep. 18th, 2015 11:36 am (UTC)
I think Tolstoy was entirely wrong, by the way. :D
Sep. 18th, 2015 09:18 pm (UTC)
I ran across this quote in The Rise of Silas Lapham many years ago and always attributed it to Howell's, I did not know that he had taken it from Tolstoy (or they got it from a common source). I have never read beyond the first fifty pages of "the greatest novel ever written" so i do not know what Tolstoy had in mind.

I guess i'm thinking something like: all great paths are really a single path. (The Tao Te Ching is the Sermon on the Mount is the 8-fold path, etc.) Happiness comes from seeking first the "kindom," detachment, finding one's original Self. Real happiness is formless, but the delusion can take many forms all of which will leave the soul unnourished.
Sep. 19th, 2015 12:04 am (UTC)
I've read Anna Karenina several times. And it only just occurred to me that the family depicted in it-- Levin's--is pretty thoroughly peculiar. :D

I'm afraid I'm not that into the perennial philosophy, though it makes tons of sense that the quote functions that way for you.
Sep. 19th, 2015 10:51 am (UTC)
Your openness and honesty inspires me. Telling our secrets is certainly a way to healing.
Sep. 19th, 2015 05:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you, though i doubt that i am as open as i seem or even as i think i am.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )



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