Picking myself up off the canvas

Toronto, 2012. I reluctantly read an article I`d come across in a scholarly publication — Zara Phillips’ Adoptees as Parents*. Before I’d even had a chance to bite into it, I was struck by the following 3 short sharp sentences,

I was constantly running. I did not want to slow down and feel. I eventually reached a rock bottom and began to get help for myself.

In the blink of an eye, she had summarized a facet of my life that was always there, but never acknowledged. This way of being throughout my life led me to where I am now..

And so, I started writing Ghost Kingdom at rock bottom.

My kids and I were a day away from being evicted from our home, the sheriff had taped a notice to the front door … ‘he’d be back to escort (evict) us from the premises … in 24 hours’. This was the home they’d grown up in, the only home my youngest had ever known, the home where they’d played together during the most precious times … the home I’d played the role of Dad in.

I’d finally caved and sought out help for various physical and psychological pains that had, in typical male fashion, reached a critical state.

I have never seen so much interest in what I had to say than when I paid a visit to a physician and to a counsellor. I definitely piqued the interest of both by mentioning that I was adopted so … No, I don’t have any idea if I have a history of this or that disease in my family – I don’t have a history except for what you see right in front of you. And, no I don’t have any idea whether there’s a history of mental illness or suicide in my family history – I don’t have a history except for what you see right in front of you.

That makes you wonder if being an adoptee is a detriment or an advantage? Not burdened with a family history, we are free to make what we want of our lives – pioneers. For those of us with that pioneer spirit, it might work out. For others of us, the self-doubt, lack of self-esteem, constant questions, leave us paralyzed.

So, here I am, a year and half later and after acknowledging that being adopted has actually affected many, many of the things I have done in my life, I feel a bit more control over my life. I understand a bit more about why I act and react in certain ways.

And then, in the most unexpected place, I met the train wreck I call ‘Warehouse Mike’ and a 10-minute conversation on break sorted out what it was that I had to do.

* Psychoanalytic Inquiry: A Topical Journal for Mental Health Professionals |
Volume 30, Issue 1, 2009 | Special Issue: The Adoption Journey, pages 94-101

The End of Men

A writer reads, a reader sometimes writes … this writer reads, writes and looks for stuff to produce.

Here’s what I’ve got bookmarks in …

As we collectively told 2012 (with it’s headlines screaming of Mayan mishaps and the End of Men) to PISS OFF, I was desperately trying to find ways to rescue the rest of my miserable existence and guide my boys through their coming lives by chewing on …

Boys Adrift | The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men, by Dr. Leonard Sax

Understanding Men’s Passages |Discovering the New Map of Men’s Lives, by Gail Sheehy

Bringing Up Boys | Dr. James Dobson with wonderful chapters entitled, Men R Fools, The Origins of Homosexuality, The Wonderful World of Boys, and The Essential Father.

All present sobering slaps in the face about the faulty educational foundations available to men and the fate that may await them … if, they don’t grab life by the balls.

My overachieving wife (a well-read, educated socialist-liberal from a family of three girl and no idea of what makes men tick) put them down as ‘totally boring, useless and unreadable’.

Sadly for my relationship, these books (printed) have been the most uncomfortable truths about my life that I would leave my wife with … if she chose to try to understand what went wrong with me.

I don’t think I’m done yet, I’ve got a couple of decades of creativity left. But, most importantly, as she kicks me out of her life in ’13, I would hope that she might at least try to grasp what happened to my ‘inferior race’ after the feminist revolution by reading these books as guides to help our boys live truly productive lives.

M.

 

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