This is my story, which, to the best of my ability, i have tried to make factual. Within this great illusion that we call "human experience" there are many lesser illusions, delusions, frames, lies, stories, etcetera which serve to maintain the greater illiusion of existence, or strengthen it, or alter it, or destroy it. This story is only one of eight billion now in circulation and only one of several hundred billions that hve been told and retold over the ages. This story is told about himself by a person with an ego.
Approximately 84 years ago, "i" became manifest as a future fetus within the womb of a 16 year old rape victim. Abortion and raising a child out of wedlock were equally unacceptable (and perhaps unthinkable) options for her. So a story had to be told that would account for "my" sudden appearance within her body and "my" equally sudden disappearance nine months later.
The story was that this supposedly nice Christian girl had gotten "naughty" and got pregnant while messing around with her boyfriend.
After coming to term, the fruits of her misbehavior had died at birth and was unceremoniously buried.
In the meantime the breathing baby was whisked away and shortly placed in the arms of a 30 year olld woman who had been tryingt for several years to have a child, and, after three miscarriages, had a stillborn male on th date of the younger woman's partuition. The sociogram linking these two women (which i learned of 64 years later) is interesting, but another story.
My new mother soon moved out of state to rejoin her husband,
My childhood was happy, or rather, the tiny bits and pieces of it that i can remember or fantasize were happy. My four younger "siblings" left no apparent impact on me. I learned much later, at age 74, that i was probably autistic and other people, especially family members were inadvertantly causes for either fear or indifference. My brothers told me, however, that i was a pretty good big brother. I have never dared ask my late sister about that. Between ages three and ten, although we stayed within a 70 mile radius of my birthplace, we moved at least once every year. Every grade from first to fourth was spent in a different school and fourth grade was spent in two different schools.
Just before age ten we moved out of State again and settled into the small town that would be my home for the next eight years. This stability was good for me, and this town and its children were good to me. Thouugh i still have almost no memories of whatever might have gone on inside the house, i have many happy memories of life in general and of school and friends in paarticular. Oh, yes, I lost jubs, took emotional loses, had periods of despair, and one particularly bad summer of nihilism, and in 1955, the woman i had hoped to marry broke up with me. But it was a good life.
It never occurred to me that life needed to be "managed"; and if it had, i would have thought myself quite capable of managing my own life without either human or supernatural help. During the ten years between 1958 and 1968 i had a growing awaremess of the need to put some order into my life and a growing sense that i was unable to accomplish that.
I was the minister of a small church in a small town feeling totally incapable of doing that job. Suddenly, i was a single, unemployed father living in a shack in Boise without any clear vision of a future. Then i traveled 400 miles north to take a job as as Public Assistance Caseworker for the State, a job for which i felt totally unfit despite a promotion in the first year. Though the job was no fun, i still did not feel that i had an unmanageble life. I even had the time and self assurabce to strike up a relationship with Dianne and look forward to having a spouse and family again. We married, moved again, so she could put me through graduate school to prepare me for a career as a college instructor.. We had a daughter in 1965, and another in 1969, In 1967 we moved to Boise where i began teaching.
By now, i had already spent ten years making Dianne's life unnecessarily difficult. I spent several years in therapy beginning in 1963 without knowing or finding out why. I was spreading misery around me without recognizing what i was doing. When called to account, i felt unfairly picked on which made me even harder to live with. In 1972, at age 13, my son was brought home drunk for the first time. Several teenagers had gotten into someone's liquor cabinet, but he was the one who lost control of what and how he drank.
Thoughts of suicide which i had had occcasionally as a child began to return and increase in frequency. My (our) son became increasingly sekf centered and rebellous. Dianne threatened on several occasions to take the girls and leave and once had bags packed and was on her way to the airport. Only our daughters' pleas forced her to return. My inner life was a shambles, incoherent and hopeless. I resigned myself to a divorce and the eventual drug death of our son.
When our son graduated from highschool (with honors in chemistry!) a collegue offered him a summe job running a small resort in Northern Idaho. When he returned, he tried to settle back into his customary ways. We gave him an ultimatum -- i knew i could not save him and would lose my marriage trying.) He could stay in the house three months, following house rules and staying drug and alcohol free. After that time, he would rent (from the job he would presumably have). Or he could leave. He chose to leave and we lostt track of him for two years. Then we heard from an alcohol treatment center where he ckecked himself in or been checked in. We attended family meetings and were instructed to go to Al Anon.
Dianne and I went to an Al Anon meeting and heard nothing there we thought we could use. Son finished treatment, went to AA meetings for a short time, then back out to his chosen (i thought) lifestyle. Six years later, our younger daughter, now 16 and a junior in high school told us she thought she was an alcoholic and asled to placed in rehab. Again we went to familty meetings and again we were advised to go to Al Anon. This time we went, and kept coming back.
After five years, Dianne's health began to deteriorate to the point that it became increasingly difficult to get to meetings. Dianne is a fast learner and had a strong spiritual side all her adult life. At this time she was 56 and i was 60. Her level of serenity, acceptance, and happiness were at a high level, which she maintained until death 23 years later.
Now there is not much left to manage; and what there is, im sure the higher power is quite able to handle