Monday, March 14, 2016

Quick observations: Looking back at a child

Sometimes I just write for the sake of writing. I decided to ask myself why and actually look and listen for answers. Once in awhile I feel as though I need to perform an "honest assessment of" myself. It's amazing how quickly and deeply I can fall back into thinking that is not realistic. As I typed that last sentence the memory of once living in a mental and emotional fantasyland popped into my head.

I remember playing when I was a kid, like all kids do. It's make-believe. It's guns and police cars and robots and starships and heroes (super or otherwise). It was riding an imaginary horse, packing everything I needed to go off into the mountains and capture the bad guys. I was the best shot ever in my head. It was traveling alone into deep space and finding ways to escape the clutches of bad people.

All in all when I look back (on those rare occasions I let myself) I see a kid that wasn't really that "different". I do remember having a feeling that people just put up with me and if they had their way they'd just as soon not have to deal with me. I'm still working on how an alcoholic/enabling home contributed to feeling that way by the time I was - ?? - 8?... 9?

I know for a fact that by age 11 I was dealing with some version of anxiety or panic. I can remember that my mind would never shut down. Especially when I was trying to go to sleep at night. I was never afraid of the dark, but I was deathly afraid of the silence. The overwhelming thought that I was going to die....someday...gripped me and would NOT let go.

One of this things that I've learned (notice how I moved off the previous topic) is that, my childhood mental/emotional state was not that far removed from other kids. The observation I make these days, is that it just lasted a couple decades too long.

Substance abuse causes a stunting of natural, emotional growth. I see that EASLIY from a recovery point of view at 49. But the alcohol abuse didn't begin until I was 18. It seems between 11 and 18 the anxiety/panic/OCD was at it's peak (well...first peak) during those years. It was post-adolescence; pre-alcoholic.

It's intriguing/maddening/aggravating/sad/exciting. Many times I just don't know what to do with the information I've had revealed.

Other times I know exactly what to do....and don't.

One thing I certain: I don't live back there in those days anymore. I have too much to do now that is productive. Ahhh yes, productive. The polar opposite of how I used to see myself in this life.

But there has to be room for that dramatic, dreamer. That kid who never did much with the stories of heroes and villains. Who always won the big one in his head, but knew nothing good could come from him in the future. Now that I know that isn't necessarily true, I sometimes feel too serious and wish that boy was as vital, energetic and imaginative as he was back then.


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