Where Do I Begin

Note: In this post suicide, family violence and dysfunction are discussed. If you are in crisis get to an Emergency Department right away.

That is a good question. I am a writer for a number of years and of a number of sorts. To write is to be a writer. Being a writer does not depend on anybody else’s approval. I love that about writing. I thought writing would be a good place for me to hide. But writing doesn’t hide you. It exposes you. It exposes you in that at some point in your writing, you come to know yourself.

In less then eight months I will have my sixty-fifth birthday. So I am sixty-four. I am retired after a twenty-five year stint working for a Class 1 railway. I enjoyed running engines and trains.

I am a quiet person and getting quieter. I think listening is a good talent to have. I am single. For me being single is a bit of a double-edged sword because I like women. Most of my life I was involved in serious relationships with a woman. I miss all of them. Every single one of them. But I am invested in this new life design which is sixteen months old and still in progress. Writing has become number one in my life, along with study. The two are tied closely together.

My adult children live Ontario. They are 34 & 31. They are the best!

I have always been an adventurer of sorts. That should qualify as a pre-requisite for writing and studying, I hope.

But seriously, it is a good life. I also had to move to Montréal to execute the plans. Sweet Montréal. That amazing European city in the heart of Canada.

I did a lot of things. I am not wealthy, although I probably should have been. I have spent fifteen years in recovery for addictions. One day at a time. Not today, thank you. I can do this. Right now, this is the best I have ever been in my life.

I have been retired for four years and ten days. Life’s challenges gave me the gift of resilience.

I find the discipline required for writing and studying a character trait that needs constant practice. Constant means “everyday”.

Briefly, without shame or blame; there were a number of serious character flaws developed in the family of origin that have been remedied since 2003.

I have given or do give generously to worthwhile causes. I am a good person.

I am grateful that I am able to work from home.

That’s the good stuff. Here is the other side, this inconvenient truth. Both of my parents were cruel, child abusers. There were four children. None of the siblings are in contact. It has been that way for decades. None of the children committed suicide. Gratefully, I am a failed suicide; thoughts of suicide were a constant companion for a number of decades.

Family dysfunction is not conducive to teaching and learning about relationship structure and dynamics. The principle that applies here is trust. Negative trust issues are difficult to remedy even in adulthood. It takes time and consistent personal re-enforcement. It also requires a faith of sorts. It can be a negative loop; people with trust issues usually have a difficult time with faith. The enemy of faith is fear.

But at least all four children survived. No-one got murdered or committed suicide. As a child I believed that in all likelihood I would be murdered by my parents. All four of us had children. Those children are all doing well. The only person connected to me that doesn’t do well is my mother. She is still the vengeful, angry, narcissistic, self-entitled train wreck she has always been. It’s all about choices. I can only change myself. I tried for about fifty years to change my mother but it never happened. Choices.

Mother is now eighty-five. A recent widow. She is going blind. I don’t know if any of her few friends are still living or not. I like to think that it is never too late to change but eighty-five maybe pushing it a little. Besides if my mother hasn’t had a burning desire to heal or improve herself by now, it probably won’t happen. Change requires major effort; honesty, kindness, faith, etc. Mother is more inclined to proudly brag about her awful temper.

Mother never did depend on herself. She gauged herself by the man in her life. That was who validated her as a person. Needy? Yes. Desperate? Absolutely! Her concern has always been “things”, usually her man’s things. I will stop talking about her here because it becomes a useless criticism session. And she doesn’t abuse me anymore. I will never have to see her or listen to her again. I’m off the hook. And I am out of the will. Not to complain but the will is where her lack of recovery or change is most obvious. Her youngest son will receive 10% and my children will split the remaining 90%. I will be blunt; it is all blood money to me. However, she has four children, etc. Altogether there are fifteen kids, grandkids and one great-grandchild. This would have been an excellent time to see some honour in her, or from her. I knew that, because it was her, it would be difficult.

My son is very good to her. I do admire him for that because he was ignored by her when she had been quite capable of having a relationship with both my kids. We were all in the same city. My son will not be available to her forever. He is seriously considering a move to another city. Part of the issue is that my mother’s family live into their later nineties and their early one hundreds. My mother could end up blind with no-one because of the way she chose to treat people.

There is no victor. This hurts but it is par for the course. She always leaves a trail of pain.

How did those two jerks end up with a nice guy like me for a son? Lol!

The journey continues; learning to write; writing to learn.

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