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10:38 pm - Sun 6.07.2009
Getting Over It

Getting Over It

Having another one of those deeply frustrating periods where the merest hint of "writerly ambition" - whether thinking about stand-up material, pondering how I'd approach a memoir, or just wanting to do a better job in here - stops me from writing altogether.

(But that's enough about that...except to say that I've gotta get over that shit...! Cause if Daddy's going to make a living out here without having to work for a living, he's going to need to become a more multi-faceted talent.)

In therapy Wednesday, I told Javier that until something really great or really catastrophic happens to distract me, I'll probably be obsessing over my case file for quite some time.

I took it with me to the session, along with the photos.

I felt tense going in, because 1)I knew 50 minutes wasn't going to cover it, and I feared getting all "stirred-up" with no place to go (Which is kind of exactly what happened), and 2)I intended to ask Javier if he wanted to take the file home with him, and I was afraid he would decline, which would have been...difficult for me (I've never given him "homework" before, and thought he might have better things to do in his off-time than read "Jim Hoffmaster: The Early Years").

But as I have many times in the past, I lived through getting "stirred up". And Javier was eager to get the file - I believe the exact phrase he used was "I'd be honored" - which was nice for me to hear.

It's hard to explain, but when I got the file, and read it, my need to talk about it with people afterward made me very uncomfortable and unhappy; I knew before I'd said a word to anyone that I'd want to talk about it a lot more than anyone would want to listen.

And when you share with "regular people" how you were a foster child, and were neglected when you were a baby, and didn't learn to walk and talk until you were 2 and 3 years old, and they thought you were retarded, and you went through five foster homes and were never adopted...well, what is telling that story about?

Are you supposed to pity me?

Are you supposed to admire me, because I'm a "survivor"?

Are you supposed to "forgive me my trespasses", because, after all, "he had a really rough childhood..."? Does it become "okay", even laudable, that I'm kind of a loser, because "considering the circumstances", I could have been worse?

I'm not comfortable with any of that. Or be be more accurate, let's say, "the more I think about it, the more uncomfortable I am with any of that".

But my "story" has now had its day - It was "news", and pretty interesting news, and I got the attention and sympathy I was apparently craving, and now it's done.

But it's not done for me.

What I read in that file made me very sad, and sometimes very angry. Sometimes my heart broke for that poor little boy, as if I was reading about someone else.

While it didn't make me want to jump off a building, or go on a shooting rampage, it is weighing fairly heavily on me.

And here's why - As I told Javier on Wednesday, I've really had nothing keeping me going in life, beyond the guiding idea of "getting over" my rough start...and I haven't gotten over shit.

Yeah, I'm not dead, I'm not in prison, and I'm not in a mental institution, so "three cheers for me" (And I mean that - The stats on what becomes of kids in foster care are not very cheery).

But I'm a smart, talented, 48 year old man, with no money, no family, no career, no love life, and nothing to show for his time on earth. I've been lonely most of my life, and it looks, at this juncture, like it's going to be a lonely death as well.

If my big goal in life, the guiding principle of my existence, has been to "get over" my bad beginning, to "transcend my circumstances" and be a happy, successful, fulfilled person (Acting being part of that larger goal)...well, let's just say this does not feel like "transcendence".

This is the stuff I can't talk to anyone about...

But that's what therapists are for.

And that's what writing in journals are for.


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