My Head is Noisy Today

January 08, 2003

I think the biggest issue I have going right now is battling to overcome the false-personality stuff that I got from my childhood, especially from my father. There is a part of me that shrieks at the idea of doing what I want to do rather than having a traditional job.

Even as I try to write about this I find myself being distracted by the fit of my shirt and the song playing on the Nomad. My false-personality doesn't want me to go here, and doesn't want me to break free of the chains that have held me here so long. A part of me doesn't want to break free either, because I don't know what the future holds then. Not that I can see the future, but for so long I was comforted by knowing that if I played the game according to the rules I would end up in a certain place. I thought that if I did it the "right" way I would get the "right" life. Now I know this isn't truth, but for a long time it has been comforting to hide behind this falsehood.

Increasingly I can't hide the truth from myself. Playing the game isn't working. This isn't a game to play. This is my life and it is only about my goals and needs. Everything else is false-personality at some level or another. Love is all that is real, and pursuing material or temporal things trying to stop the fear is just acknowledging that fear and giving it a stronger hold over me.

I think that when I try to think of what I really want to do that I think in my father's way, which is to say in a mocking, you-can't-really-get-that-anyway-so-why-are-you-trying sort of way. Do you understand? My greatest childhood dream was to sail around the world. My parents scoffed and this and laughed. How cute their little boy was, how precious were his foolish ideas. The scorn and ridicule I felt scared me deeply and now when I have dreams or ideas I take their role against myself. This is the anger I have in me, that I direct against myself. It is the anger of my parents. They couldn't find a way to have what they truly wanted or desired so they were determined that I wouldn't have it either. Sure, they mouthed the expected 'I want my child to have whatever he wants' party line, but in truth my going directly after what I wanted scared the piss out of them and they didn't know what to do about that. So they teased me and laughed at my ideas and I turned that in to anger at myself.

I need to ruthlessly identify all the little tapes that I play that hurt me. It isn't the big things that are important but rather the little petty issues that bring me down. Both of my parents are nuts about changes in the routine, my mother especially. It wasn't until fairly recently in my adulthood that I understood she had so many control issues about food and the timings of things. I see those same habits in myself and I almost can't stand it. I want to be spontaneous and flexible but it is so hard to overcome the years of conditioning that they taught me, and that I rigorously applied over and over and over again. As Michele would say, I have a deep neuro-pathway for some less than helpful behaviors.

I am running out of steam here. I know that I have barely scratched the surface of this issue. But I have scratched it and I will dig deeper. Right now I need to stop and take care of me again.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.