In a growth moment, I wrote about something that happened to me in a meeting and then again when I was meditating the next morning. You can read more about it here, this post may make more sense if you do.
When I was a kid, things were a bit crazy at my house. My father was a hard charging alcoholic that didn’t know it. My Mom tried to keep the lid on until at 29 years of marriage, my Dad decided he had had enough one night when the dog got sprayed by a skunk. Us kids were up and out. All there was left was Mom and the dog. That wasn’t enough for Bob. (Another story for another time.)
Dad was a small business guy. He owned some, worked with some friends to grow some always feeling inferior to people with college degrees. Dad liked things fast and furious and often that spilled over into the household. Many times he was pissed off and we had now way of knowing why. But he was and it was loud, Mom just tried to smooth things over, keep him happy. My brother would hide in his room, I often would go outside and play, be scarce as long as it was light outside. I had no friend’s houses close by to escape to. When I got older I was a competitive athlete and stayed away for practices and meets. I was pretty accomplished, Dad was proud of that.
I learned to be the peacekeeper. I learned that peacekeeping and staying out of trouble was so much easier than making a name for myself in the household. When I was winning in the pool my Dad was happy, home life seemed tolerable – I wasn’t home often when he was. Then there were the times that I would get home from a tough practice and be tired and Dad was pissed at somebody at work. If he asked how things went I would say, “Good workout” or something that would not lead to more questions. If the questions happened because I wanted to talk to him, he would turn that anger toward me and I would struggle to find a way out. I constantly felt like I was to blame for the unhappiness at home. Sometimes Dad would be mad at Mom in one of these “transference” events, when I got older, I stuck up for her. Later on, I couldn’t understand why she would put up with that constant “Sword of Damocles” hanging over her head. When I went off to college, another thing my father loathed (he had no money to contribute), I was on my own.
Every time I would come home to visit, I would bring straight A’s and then graduated with High Honors. I also found a way (Higher Power magic I am sure now), to get scholarships and loans to do it on my own. This action in itself fed my father’s inferiority complex. I thought I was “fixing things” by removing the worry and in reality, I fanned the flames.
My brother chose another way to deal with Dad’s tyrannic rule. Today, my brother is completely devoid of feeling – anything. While I seem to feel everything. My brother is not an alcoholic, but he is emotionally and spiritually absent in his own life. It is interesting how we can be so different coming from the same house with the same parents.