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News for December 2011

A Few Things to Keep in Mind When Helping Someone Heal

So I am in the process of reading this great novel, Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind,¬†and I am enjoying it even more this time around. As I read I find passages that the first time never really caught my eye, this time though they give me reason to pause and think about what lies behind the words. What they really mean in the world.

I just came across one of those now. It is a very simple one but it makes one really think about what they do and do not do when being a ‘healer’:

“…I will remember, and know what not to do. Sometimes, when you are a healer, it is more important to know what not not to do.” p267

So often in life, we worry about what we need to do in order to help people, be they loved ones, friends and even strangers. We ask ourselves what do we do to help them rather than what things should we not do. Sometimes in our eagerness to help and heal, we can do more harm than good by doing things we never should have. This ties in perfectly with Wizard’s Second Rule – The greatest harm can result from the best intentions.

Edited: December 25th, 2011

A Look Back … An Angry Young Man to Today

The song “Angry Young Man,” by Billy Joel, sooooo used to be my theme song. Over the years though I have mellowed a lot. The person I was ten years ago is long gone in some ways. So much of the anger and rage I used to have has calmed. I still have moments of rage don’t get me wrong, but it is rare now. The intensity of my anger was so … I don’t even know the word for it. If my anger were a fire, it would have wiped out an entire town at least. There is a reason why I told my ex-wife that I wanted to name a first son ‘Ares,’ the Greek god of war, between our tempers the child would have been just that.

I have never known anyone whose rage was as off the scale as mine. Even the anger that came from me toward Brenda last year was nothing in comparassion to my rage in the old days. There were those who when they saw me get angry, were literaly terrified because of how intense it was. They didn’t know what to expect and some at least worried I might hurt them. I once half-seriously, half-jokingly told someone I wanted to date, that ‘if ever ‘had to’ I could/would kill someone with my bare hands,’ (something to that effect). She looked at me and said that she knew that and that was why she would not date me.

Back then I was so easy to anger, so volitile. I had no qualms about getting in somones face, screaming and yelling at them, cursing them out. I didn’t even need a good reason, so many times it was over stupid shit. It could be something as simple as a comment muttered under someones breath that I didn’t like or a look that pissed me off. I would fly off the handle so quickly. My parents were afraid I would get myself arrested or killed because of my temper. They even called the cops on me one night because I was so out of control at home. By the time the cops got there I had calmed down and my parents said that it was ok etc. The cop told me that if he had to come back out, that he would take me in regardless of what my parents said.

I can’t even begin to count all the times I slammed doors, threw things, broke doors, put my fist and head through walls, stormed out of someplace, screamed at people and lord knows what else. I was a powder keg ready to explode at any moment, all the time. I really don’t know how I survived those years between my teens and mid-twenties. Hell I was still full of anger by my mid-twenties, though not quite as bad, but still bad. I would guess that the rage lasted about 15 years. Can you imagine being full of so much rage for so long?

Starting around the time I entered high school, I began to ‘hate everyone.’ I cannot even begin to count all the times I said I fucking hated people, that they were all a bunch of fucking assholes etc. I walked around full of hate for everyone. I can’t tell you how often I felt like the entire world hated me, that everyone blamed me for everything, that nothing I did was ever right or good enough for anyone.

Coupled with that was all the pain I carried from those things. The feeling of loneliness, that no one understood me, that I was totally alone in the universe and that noone loved me or ever would love me. I even felt that even God hated me, that he took joy in my pain. There were so many times I would just break down into tears and cry, sometimes for what seemed forever. At times, the tears would come in the middle of the storm. All of a sudden the rage would turn to pain, the same things I was angry over causing me to break down into tears.

At that point in my life, I don’t know if I was capable of loving or being loved by anyone. My family loved me, but they were never really affectionate. They were not the kind to hug and kiss or to say “I love you.” I don’t even remember seeing my parents say or do any of those things with each other.

I do remember their fights, the way my mom would throw pots and pans at my dad. All the yelling and screaming, all the anger, I remember hiding under the dining room table while they fought, scared to death. Maybe that is why I later became like that with my anger? I saw examples of anger and rage as a child, but don’t remember ever seeing any affection. I will need to talk to my therapist more about this.

My parents also thought that because I was as smart as I am, that I could ‘figure out’ all the ‘social things’ in life on my own. I don’t think they really did a lot to help me develop social skills. They were also the kind that stayed home alone for the most part. I never really had friends over or went out with friends.

The first of the two great teachers I had about love, I met when I was 25, at the time she was 38 and lived in TN. Her and I had a wonderful online relationship for a while, she was the first woman that ever loved me for me. I think she was the first woman to ever love me at all. She taught me that I deserved to be loved and that I could be loved for myself. She was the first person to really show me how beautiful love could be and what it could be like. That was back in 1996/1997. She also taught me how much love could hurt. She had a friend come visit her from Spain, and while he was there they got married. I remember crying over the loss, but telling her that as long as she was happy and he treated her and her daughters well that was all that mattered to me because I wanted her to be happIy.

Then ten years later, in 2007, I met my second great teacher in the area of love. The irony of it, is that at the time I was trying to show her the beauty of love and pass on the lessons that Kim had taught me all those years ago. I don’t know if I ever succeed or not, but without realizing it, she reminde me of the very things I was trying to show her. But it didn’t end there, she built on those lessons in her own ways and showed me just how self-less love could be and so much more. Even now I am still processing all she showed me and still learning from it on a daily basis. Using those lessons to try and be a better person and learn to love people better and more important for me, to learn how to let people love me for me.

Then there is Brenda and the others I have shared time with, each have had an impact on me and what I know about love. Some in larger ways than others, some showing me the painful side of love, others the happier side and some both sides. But those two great teachers, have taught me the most and at crucial times in my life, the two of them have made lasting impressions on me and have left me with nothing but wonderful memories that I look to when I feel alone and unloved in the world.

I guess I had something meaningful to write after all.

Edited: December 24th, 2011

A Few Thoughts on Anger and Hate

I spent almost twenty years full of anger and hatred at one person or another and I can tell you from firsthand experience that it does tear you apart inside slowly and can turn you bitter towards everyone and everything. It is something that I am still trying to recover from completely. It’s only the last few years that I have started putting all that hatred behind me.

Hatred is a dangerous thing; it consumes you without you even realizing what it is doing to you until it is too late usually. Hating people is a very easy thing to do; it’s a lot easier than the alternatives. Don’t hate any person no matter what they do to you or how they treat you, but feel free to hate the persons’ actions and behavior.

When you hate someone you give them control over you, a control that they have no right to. There is a line in the song “The Great Wall of China” by Billy Joel which is very true. The line goes, “You only beat me when you get me to hate”, and in other words when you give into hating a person you let them beat you.

Don’t get dragged down to their level and hate them, hate how they are treating you. Be angry at them, but use that anger in a positive way. Use it to show them that you can and will succeed, that you are a stronger person than they give you credit for and a better person than they are.

Edited: December 24th, 2011


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