Date: 2/18/2010 3:40:52 AM ( 11 y ) ... viewed 1602 times
The mini-biography below was originally written about eighteen months ago with my daughter in mind and was preceded with a "forward" addressed to her. At the time that I sent off the original version to my daughter I was really wanting to hear back from her about what I wrote. That did not happen and eventually I let go of pursuing this with her and essentially "forgot" about what I wrote. My revisiting this now comes with some additional understanding of Human Design, Chinese Astrology and possibly more perspective/s that I may refer to in the course of the biographical narrative.
Also to be noted: I am posting this during a time of Saturn Retrograde during which I am ready, willing and able to review the things that Saturn rules. One of the things that Saturn rules is reality! I do not have the reality I had as a child, a young adult or even as a more mature adult. This point can be elaborated upon. Then there is the area of "shared realities". Firstly I am reviewing my relationship with my mother and find that I have major areas of self awareness that are not shared realities with her and consequently I do not feel the freedom, the connection, etc. to share my self-awareness with her simply because she just doesn't get it! If I can ever generate her Human Design chart I am sure that it will show some evidence of the separate realities. I have blogged about the blessings I have received applying the "Second Agreement" to a recent message from my mother through singing about that Agreement in a newly inspired song!
My mini-biography -
Starting at some point in my early developmental years and then running throughout my life (up to about two years ago) the emotion of anger has been a very significant theme in my biography! My father was my first "model" for the expression of anger and his expression of anger was always coupled (within my psyche) with the threat of corporal punishment! From about age one through at least age nine (but possibly later) I had received his corporal punishments and as of about age five (maybe earlier) from my mother as well. After the first encounter with my father, just hearing his angry verbal expressions alone always evoked fear in me because I knew he was capable of administering physical punishment! The anger that my father directed against me felt nearly life-threatening during virtually all of my childhood. "Life-threatening" was the way anger was "wired" into me from a very early age!
The "wiring" began when I was about one year old when my father hit me on the left side of my head so hard that it left a red mark of his hand print on my face for several days after the event and that the rest of the family could easily see! It was like I had been branded. (Maybe something like branding live stock!) From that time on I lived my entire childhood and my young adulthood in fear of my father and especially in fear of somehow provoking his anger. I would feel physically "scared to death" when ever he got angry! However I was not permitted to express my fear. My mother only recently admitted to me that he wanted me to be "a little man". I was forced to suppress any expression of fear, anguish, distress, upset feelings, sadness, disappointment, etc. Consequently the suppressed fears and all had an negative effect on me physically. I began stuttering as a young child, often "tongue tied", out of fear of being suddenly physically punished. Most always for things that I did in my childhood innocence. My parents apparently didn't have a clue about what actually was causing my inability to speak freely. All they thought was that I had a "speech impediment" problem! Yet even though they recognized that something was going on they did not care for it and it went "untreated".
Fortunately the speech challenges I had were not permanent however a few years ago I just happened to be talking with a speech therapist and she mentioned noticing a hesitancy that was still lingering in my speech! That was fifty years after the childhood trauma! In the same message that my mother told me about the "little man" she also said rather than leave the childhood issues behind (like she did in her own life) I have been carrying them as unresolved issues. Fortunately I am devoted to the Four Agreements and take the second one as my personal truth which says that what other people say is all about them! IMO my mother has been living in denial of having been domesticated by an alcoholic father and then further domesticated by a rage-a-holic husband! Her statement about carrying childhood issues is a projection of her own self-denial and a bout the suppressed little girl in her, the one that wanted to be an actress and / a dancer. What we deny in our self is the basis for what we deny from others. Unfortunately that self-denial is strong enough that I do mot care to be around it!
Another area of my life that had been most significantly affected by my abusive conditioning has been my relationships and especially with women as my significant other. (There are several examples that I could share but in this writing I will only refer to one.) When I first met the woman who became the mother of my daughter (nearly 28 yrs ago) I did not have the peace that I finally have made in myself regarding my father. I was still living in fear of him and at times even trembling just at the thought of his unpredictable expression of anger! So it is most fortunate that my relationship with him has been recently healed after many, many years of effort on my part (and I believe effort on his part as well). But during all of my daughter's childhood and even into her young adulthood I had a true mountainous impasse regarding unresolved anger inside me! The only thing I knew about the expression of anger was what I had experienced all my life and in my case I believe that was essentially the anger that was encoded in my emotional body from that initial "branding" and then reinforced during the remainder of my domestication process. (See "The Four Agreements" re: domestication) Consequently I was not capable of listening to other people's anger without having my own suppressed anger triggered.
I went to the Netherlands to visit my Dutch-born daughter on three occasions. Each time I had difficulties listening to her mother's disappointments in me not being more than what I was at the time. When I experienced having anger triggered in me with the mother I felt that I had to leave for my own sense of what I felt was good/safe for me. Someone can question my need to feel "safe", and say: what are you talking about? - This is a (small framed) woman who never even lifted a finger against you in an aggressive way; how threatening could that be? All I can say is that my deep fear of anger=punishment=life-threatening was not something rational for me. I did not even realize at the time of those visits that it was my own suppressed anger that was being "triggered". I had no knowledge of how to safely express anger. When I got triggered I felt I had no options but to just leave. It was an unconscious phenomena that when anger was expressed to/at (and at times simply around me) that I would get triggered and instantly be in a "fight or flight" mode. My Human Design is not strong for "fighting" and so I tend to avoid fights and that left me just with the "flight" mode.
I didn't know how to deal with what was triggered in myself and thought what I felt was all about the other, in this case my daughter's mother who was able to express herself more freely than I ever was allowed to in my entire life! Within my conditioning (of a severely restricted behavior that was continuously subject to aggressive behavioral modification) her behavior was absolutely intolerable! Now, so many years after the fact I see clearly that my resistance (and so forth) about her "unbridled" expression came from a behavioral program that my father hard-wired into my psyche! But I did not see that at all back then! If I had I am sure that I would have recognized my stuff, not blame the mother and possibly have responded in other ways even if just to at least take care of myself better. I did the best that I could with what I had to deal with at that time which (I think) unfortunately for my daughter included my intolerance about what was unconsciously judged as un-acceptable behavior! I also realize while I re-writing this (in '08) that I had unresolved shame in me as well that probably came hand in hand with the anger trigger. The anger was a defensive cover over feeling fear and deep shame.
Some of my good news is that I am no longer blaming the mother for what happened in the past! I actually have great admiration for her now and intend to have the best possible relationship with her from this time forward (and I feel reasonably confident that I can have that since so much healing and growth has occurred for me through over the years)!
So after my third visit in The Netherlands it was something like "three strikes and you're out" (although I wasn't playing a game). I just decided that I didn't want to be in "fight or flight" any more! I was born in the "Year of The Rabbit" and rabbits can't tolerate fighting so I was through fighting! Anger/life-threatening fear might work in a "Rambo" type but I consider myself to be more "Rainbow" than Rambo! My conditioning by my father into his idea of a "little man" was in ignorance of my true nature! I clearly remember being about five years old and telling myself that when I am big enough I will tell him his way of parenting me was wrong. Later in the 60's I realized that I was very much "a stranger in a strange land". (Read Heinlein's book by that title.)
When I look back on my life, starting from the day of my daughter's conception (another account that deserves to be told) and continuing throughout all of her growing up years I see a young man who was full of deep resentments, suffering life-long emotional trauma and suppressed emotional expression, unrecognized, etc. and yet who was emotionally starving for intimacy and love that he was willing to jump into sexua| relationships without knowing who the other really was! That is not a pretty picture from my present perspective! But it is the naked truth at that time. And because I knew in my gut that I had an unresolved psychological/emotional "case" at that time, I knew it was not the way I wanted to "raise a family" (let alone the fact that I never even had a conversation about having any shared experience of "family" in The Netherlands). In any case my own autobiographical account is that I was not ready, willing or able to start a new life actually being a father to my daughter. I had no idea at the time that I desperately needed to "father" my own inner child! Yet, I actually began to do that as of shortly after my last visit in The Netherlands! And I believe that there is truth in the statement "the child is father to the man".
Today, life is all in the now for me. I can see that my past was a time of trail by error, lessons learned and fortunately with the fruits of emotional/psychological growth! I started this mini-biography for my daughter because I was some how under the impression that she needed to know my past. I wanted to know what benefit could come from me sharing my past with her. Then I remembered my last visit with my father and how much he shared with me of his past. He said that I now know more about him and his past than anyone else! I accepted the confidence and trust he had in me to divulge things he had not told other people. As a result he called me his soul mate! I was closer to him during that visit and have continued to be since then! And he accepted me during that last visit better, in my estimation, than he ever had! All of that has meant much to me as it was the very closest I came to having the kind of loving, intimate relationship I had longed for over all the many years!
So I thought that maybe sharing my past with my daughter could benefit our relationship. I honestly do not know for sure. Yet, I am now ready, willing and able to share what I can with her. Whatever she may want to know. However, I haven't heard anything in response over the past few years since I had sent her the original version of this. I actually don't even know if she read what I sent.
Years before I met her mother I had someone look at my hands and tell me that I would have two children. That was surprising news to me as I had not ever really thought of actually having children. I only knew as a very young man that I didn't want to have children at too young an age. I had promised myself that I would not get married at a young age.  Although I did not get "married" with the mother this self-promise relates to similar thoughts that I had about wanting to have enough emotional maturity before parenting children. The idea originally came from my uncle Bob when he told me one day "don't get married young". It was the single most profound statement he had ever made to me in all the years I knew him! And he was my number one favorite uncle (and Godfather)! When he said that to me I took it in as deeply as I possibly could have by promising myself I would not get "married" young! I didn't know any details regarding his own challenge/s in his marriage but I recognized the deep sincerity, the strength of his conviction, the clarity, the weight/gravity of what he was saying and especially the wisdom he was offering me and I knew this was a very important gift that he was giving me and God knows I really wanted his gift! I completely received it! And I never got married - period! And I did take many steps to avoid having children based on my not wanting to perpetuate my own internalized poisonous pedagogy.
I believe that poisonous pedagogy (PP) can be recognized in the facts that my father first left home when he was just a big "kid" at 14 yrs. old! The PP included the fact that he was routinely and even ritualistically beaten by his father. (I think I was about fourteen when I first thought of running away however I didn't have enough "fortitude" then.) But I had decided at a very young age (of no more than about six) that I would not treat children the way my father was treating me! I also thought that I would give children all the respect that anyone else deserved. (Looking back on all of this I see how powerful decisions like these that are made at young ages can influence life later on! And if left un-reviewed are just as powerful as any contract in full force! At least that's how it's been for me.)
When my daughter was born and for at least the next fourteen and a half years I did not have any confidence in myself about being a father! And I simply would not allow myself to "just do it" because I literally could not see myself as a father! I had completely rejected the only model of fatherhood that I knew and I had no replacement to guide me. I didn't realize it at first but I would have needed to build a new "model" within me and the only way I could do that was to be a-parent with my own inner child and heal myself in the process.
That's my picture of where I was then and a small indication of the healing journey that I took to get to where I am today. I am absolutely not the "person" that I have described in the past even though I knew him better than any. What I am revealing is my own personal "hero's journey". I'm going to offer some examples.
I had come to a dead-end in my life at age 19. I was taking LSD in a desperate attempt to find deeper meaning in my life. I was having some bad trips but continued taking drugs because I thought there was a possibility of getting "it" even though I didn't really know what "it" was. In the Winter of 1970-71 I had taken a hit of acid one night and didn't feel that it was working (or that it was strong enough). I came back to the YMCA where I was living at the time as the sun was just coming up. I felt my life was without any meaning whatsoever! I had thoughts about the "end of the world" that I had read with pictures in a book (from the Jehovah Witnesses) years earlier when I was maybe about ten years old. I looked out my bedroom window and thought about the end and said either out loud (in a "normal voice") or to myself: "Let it be now". In other words: Let the end of the world come now! And as of the very next moment it was like my trip suddenly began - but this time it was an end of the world trip! I fell into my bed, closed my eyes and desperately wanted to sink deep into myself but instead felt I was sinking into a very dark and fearful pit! I felt all kinds of dark, cold, creepy energies completely surrounding me as if I had been swallowed up! I don't know how long that went on for. I then decided to get out from that and leave my room but I had horrible images filling my mind of the lowest imaginable hell in my hallway. Then suddenly something rose up in me. What rose up in me eventually moved me to walk through the hallway of my imagined hell even though I was literally expecting to be walking on the skulls of the dead bobbing in a river of death! (is that from Dante's Inferno?) I walked through the hallway and into the bathroom needing to empty my bowels. It seems that something really dark was being purged through me!
This is just one of several experiences I had during that time in my life; indicating to me the ending of my life as I had known it, yet not knowing what (if anything, including life itself) would be next for me. A day or so later I was approached by a man who also lived at the "Y" who said he had heard my music (8-track tapes) playing in my room. I was playing "The Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus" by Spirit among other pieces of music that I was into at the time. This man invited me into a meeting of Christians but unlike any I had ever known before. Within several weeks I moved into an apartment with other brothers within an apartment complex that was filled with these brothers and sisters. I was baptized into "the Church" that Spring and lived in the community of this very new Church-life for about seven years. My baptism was a choice I made to put my past behind me and I had identified with being "born-again" in a real way. Although I had lived as the older brother to my younger brother for over 16 and a half years at that time the term brother took on a whole new paradigm of meaning for me. I found great meaningfulness being a brother in the Church!
However in some ways it was like the old way of living under the hierarchy of elder brothers who were like surrogate parents. After several years under that system I had reached a point (and after a particular situation) where I promised myself that I would not let anyone "lord it over me" ever again. I left Chicago in the Spring of '78 and always counted that as the great "Exodus" from a way of living that I did not want to be in anymore.
My exodus ended one seven-year cycle and was the beginning of a new seven-year cycle for me. In this new cycle I was not identified with "The Church" any more and so I had to find my own way and on my own terms. That was as of about age 27. I was searching for community but not one as I had just left. Because I had been completely identified with being a brother in "the Church" I now was in search of something new and I wanted it to include healthy living (at that time that meant including organic foods). I felt California was the perfect place to search for this.
I am saying this to illustrate in a couple ways how I have crossed certain thresholds in my life regarding who I am and after crossing those thresholds my life changed in a number of ways. My last seven-year cycle threshold was September '07. Since then I left living in Northern California and finally have found "community living" that I have longed for over many years! And this last threshold was also when a rebirth occurred in my relationship with my father.
My focus these days is on learning what my true Human Design is and how to live according to that! In the meanwhile I am doing what needs to be done right where I am, with what I have to work with rather than continue searching for "greener pastures" (and at times it has been really challenging for me to not seek elsewhere since according to my "Personology" I was born on "The Day of the Wanderer"!). I also am convinced that I need to do the best that I can (The Fourth Agreement), be grateful and that I will co-create/manifest the higher visions this way rather than by searching "outside". So I am doing this everyday, taking responsibility for the quality of life here in the best ways I can and I see a lot of appreciation for what I am doing here! Life is really livable, lovable and I am eager to live it! I see big changes happening here where I live and I feel it is the perfect right place for me to be supporting the changes and that it will bring wonderful improvements to not only the lives of the people who live here but to others as well. I think where I live now can be the right location for enough of my interests to keep me going here until mu Inner Authority says it is time for me to move on.
I don't expect my daughter to accept my portrayal of my past as an explanation for why I was not more directly involved in my daughter's life. I accept my daughter's perspective that she hardly knew me. I simply wrote this out of a great free willingness to begin to be known by her now. Now that I feel I have made substantial progress in facing my own childhood-based past maybe I can begin to face my daughter's. In any case I have more hope for the future than I have ever known! I see more co-creations happening than ever before and all of this is very encouraging to me! The point is that the greater "light" that I see coming through the contrast/s in my life is all within the last couple years! This kind of seeing is really new for me! And the greatest new light of all is that my daughter's visits here (of about 12 and 30 months ago) made herself most real to me and that reality is what I really needed to fully connect with her! I can't emphasize too much how I really needed to see my daughter and spend some quality time with her! It is not like I didn't want the connection with her before; God knows I extended lines of communication to her but it is obvious to me that messages fall short when it comes to fully nourishing a loving relationship between her and me; especially when we didn't have all the foundation required to build upon it in the past!
At some time back at in my youth I began intending to get the clarity and focus as to what is really essential to live a happy, peaceful (the Rabbit) and "fulfilled life". At the time it seemed to me that life could be very, very simple. I figured I did not need more than a bed space for my living space. At about age 18 I had thought that I could live out of an old UPS truck if I wanted to. (I actually did sleep in a VW bus a block from the Beach for some number of weeks in the late 80's.) In 1971 I discovered "live-in" work and saw how I could live very simply by just having a room at my "work place". I have worked a number of live-in situations but that life-style did not include my other interests as much as I include them now. I did not articulate it in the midst of all my searches but I realize now that what I was really searching for was "to know the space of peace and ease so that (I) can live my life from the perspective of higher consciousness". Looking at what I have just written here I realize that it is this "perspective of higher consciousness" that I was desperately seeking for in my early "Hippie" days. So although I understand and accept a conventional definition of "hippie" I can now say that I was on a genuine spiritual quest that was well beyond the conventional understanding of a Hippie. And I was not willing to live life without knowing the spiritual. (I can back those words with another account.)
The strict requirement for a certain level of emotional maturity that I had given myself was all based on my relationship with my father and I felt this point really needed additional emphasis separate from the flow of thought in the writing above. My father left home at age 14. He joined the service a couple years later. From an early age on he was out of the conventional parent-child relationship with his father by his choice and he distanced himself from that relationship with whatever emotional "maturity" he had at that time. All my early life I had known him only according to the expression of his outer personality. He put up a tremendously convincing "front". He was born in the "Year of the Dragon" a sign known to have a "big mouth" / the mouth of the dragon! He knew how to play tough since he survived living as a vagabond that included some thievery and he had many situations where he had to think quick "on his feet". His life had been threatened on more than one occasion including while working as a driver making deliveries on Chicago's South Side.
Given this tough guy image it really "shocked" me one day when he finally began to open up and reveal a tiny crack that was inside him when I was about sixteen years old! I didn't know how to relate to his expression of doubt, (suddenly asking me if I loved him) his inter-social insecurity with his family of origin. I was totally unprepared to recognize and accept his wounded inner child suddenly walking around in his big adult body! He checked himself into psychiatric institutions on several occasions so that he could have a safe place to be. So I grew-up with a father who appeared (throughout my entire childhood and young adult life) to be a "big man", (maybe not a "Rambo" but his own kind of "macho" man) but who actually was grealy emotionally wounded yet had kept his wounding the biggest secret virtually all my life! And this "secret" was sealed with a show of hot dragon fire anger (that I can only suspect had beent partly "inherited" from his father). In any case I had decided at a very, very young age that I was not going to pass on this poisonous pedagogy to any of my children! However it has taken me the rest of my life (practically to date) to accomplish the healing that was needed to truly end the passing down of that!
I didn't know at the time of my childhood contract with myself that what I was really taking on was a path of healing known as "the wounded healer". (Joseph Campbell and others talk about this.) Twelve years ago when my sister died I was able to visit her by staying at a friend of mine, a professional therapist. He told me the single most influential source that made his healing work and that source was "The Course In Miracles" (CIM). I had known about the Course from my time in Southern California in the early 80's but didn't devote myself to it at the time. Now I had the best encouragement and incentive to give myself to that. So when I returned back to California after visiting my sister I started a CIM study group and went through all the lessons! That was a major contribution to my healing process as it gave me the right mindedness I needed for building a new perspective on life! It also took my Christian background to a new level! I had always thought that the power to heal that the bible says Jesus had was missing from Christian life as I knew it and the Course showed me the way to that healing power!
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