I recently started cleaning out my garage in order to make more room around my pool table, and to start using it more as pool table as opposed to just “table”. I came across a couple of boxes of photos with some dating back as much as 20 years — found a great photo of me, my kids, my grandfather, and my dads (Not a typo. I’ll explain later.) — and I also found things that went directly to the trash can. In a couple of other boxes of miscellaneous this-and-that stuff I found my old journals, and they made for an interesting read.
Twenty-seven years ago I was in a much different place in my life, and in my mind. I was dealing with a lot of stuff inflicted by my mother after my dad left and trying to become a young adult, with no parental help whatsoever. One of the things I started doing at that time was to keep a journal. I was very diligent at keeping it daily and every so often I would revisit that habit; later when I was in basic training, when I was activated for Desert Storm, during the rough parts of my marriage, etc. I think in some way this blog is the same thing; keeping a collection of significant thoughts, though this isn’t as daily as the journals were back then.
It was interesting to read through a couple of journal entries. They were written years ago, and I find it fascinating to see what’s changed about me. But it’s more fascinating to see what’s the same, or very similar at least.
For some reason that I’m not entirely sure about, I wanted to share some of that with you.
I’ve been planning, wanting actually, to share more about who I am. To most everyone out there, I’m this stranger that you’ve never seen. I think that anonymity makes this somewhat simple to do. After all, there’s some things in the journal entries that I haven’t shared with those closest to me. To those of you that do know me, I guess I trust you enough to look at this for what it is; a glimpse at my past.
With that said, I present to you the first entry to share. This was written in June, 1994; I was 27 at the time and three months from getting married. I wasn’t happy about getting married, but I felt obligated. (Though she was pregnant at the time we got engaged, we lost the child at about the time I wrote this.) I typically wrote when it was late at night and I was very tired. Many of the sentences seem incomplete, or left trailing. The brain isn’t always fully functioning in the late hours of the night. The entry is almost entirely in tact. I’ve only made a couple of modifications for clarification or intentional obscuration for items that are still too personal. So please excuse any typos or grammatically errors; I typed it as it was written. (Interesting how my style has/hasn’t changed.) Your comments are of course welcome.
JOURNAL ENTRY – JUNE, 1994
I know now that [an event of my youth] affected me and is still affecting me today. It keeps me from being close to the people that I love and care about. Not just in relationships but with my family as well. It was more than just the divorce [of my parents] that [distanced me from my dad’s side of the family]. I’m afraid of being hurt again, emotionally and physically.
I know that I’ve used sex in the past to feel loved and cared for. Brief physical relationships were the best part of it, the only part that really mattered was the sex. Even in loving caring relationships I never felt so good as when someone was holding me.
Case and point: Meredith. The majority of our relationship was sexual. I knew that after a few weeks we would be separated by other forces, and the best time with her was in bed. I loved that and I loved her for that closeness.
But consciously I’m aware that sex isn’t love. [although my youth] taught me that it is. It’s why being physical makes me feel loved.
My self-esteem only seems to do well when someone else cares. I want to recognized for things that I do before I feel good about them. Someone needs to tell me that I did good before it is good; at work, home, sex. To me, any job I do isn’t done well unless somebody else says it is.
It does hold me back, haunts me, and makes me regret so much. I think sometimes I put a lot into something and when I don’t get acknowledgement for it I try harder, and harder, until I can’t give any more, or I get told I did good. Sex is good when I make my partner happy.
I’m stronger in that I’m more determined, likely to get something done and done well. I learned very early that I must depend on me to survive. A lot of independence and self-reliance. Also a caring attitude for others, concern about their feelings. And the strength to say stop when there is a wrong.
I know that I don’t need anyone else to survive but the physical part is something that I want for the love.
Also a very strong sense of humor. The ability to laugh at most situations at make other laugh too.
Quick thinking and level headed under extreme situations, crises.
I’ve done a lot to survive. [section removed] I denied it by “recovering” and convincing others and myself that I was okay.
“Chaos.” I’ve created chaos so I could be around it, try to control something uncontrollable. Working in the E.R. or even the fire dept.
Humor. Pretty self-explanitory. I always have to be funny, sarcastically. Doesn’t always come out as funny though and sadly I’ve hurt feelings at times. But rarely will I be in a situation that I don’t try to be funny in.
Escape. I escape a lot in my mind into fantasy where at first I have no control then almost super-human powers to deal with and resolve the problem. I also escape into worlds where I lose control, motorcycling or whatever and I’m near death and people feel sorry for and show that they care, then do I get better.
I may be addicted to sex. And I’m good at pushing people away unless I need that love. “If no one is close to you, no one can hurt you…”
Do I fool people into thinking I’m letting them close or are they really close? Do I talk about events or true feelings?
“If abuse was your sole means of getting physical contact when you were a child, you may continue to look for closeness only in sexual ways.” I don’t “only” look for sexual relations but it is a big part. I enjoy being physical. It means someone cares.