[T]he hero’s self is not transmuted by spirit but inflated by violence. [i] When you look at the two men in the pictures to the right and left, it is reasonable to perceive the man on the right to be the strong one. His facial features show an intensity that the man on the left doesn’t have.[ii]
Traumatized males display a proclivity toward “externalizing’ distress by inflicting it. [iii] That is a nice way of saying that men get to project their anger out on to others. I did. My first job out of high school was in a winery. It was run by a immigrant from Germany who was full of rage. His overt rage gave me permission to express mine. By the time I was 20 years old I was the assistant foreman. The reason why I became assistant foreman is because I drove the people that worked with me. I could yell at them and pretty much do anything I needed to do as long as production increased.
“A boy may cry, a man conceals his pain.” [iv] That’s how I grew up. During this time I only saw my father cry when he was drunk, or at my grandfather’s funeral when I was 11 years old. When he wasn’t inebriated, if he expressed any emotion it was anger, or more times than I liked, rage. So what did I learn to do? To not cry and be pissed.
The typical father averages eleven minutes a day with his children. [v] This statistic was drawn from a book that was printed in 1997, so the amount of time that fathers today spend with their family is hopefully more. I don’t believe my father spent 11 minutes a day with me when I was growing up.
The relationship between emotional numbing and overt depression is well documented. [vi] I believe that my time since my diagnosis of depression has been the time where I have allowed the “emotional numbing,” to come to conscious. It has been a confusing, unnerving, frightening, “blindly going forward,” journey. In “Pass it On,” there’s a description of how Bill Wilson was when he was in his deep depression in the middle 40s. I can relate to that part of healing from the depression where I can’t make any decisions about anything that is far-reaching, complex, or make commitments beyond what is in the moment.
All of what I’ve just described in the last paragraph is absolutely the opposite of how I operated just a few years ago. Therein lies the befuddlement, fear, self-doubt that the ego wants to dance with. I appreciate those few who have been here for me without judgment, without question, without that unspoken but clearly communicated disagreement with how I am walking through this that many others in “recovery” express to me. Most of the communication of the disagreement is non-verbal of course.** I adopted Real’s assertion that the only way out of covert depression was through overt depression. Overt depression sucks. Being immobilized, living out instead of avoiding the fear that I’ve carried my whole life and not acknowledged is not something I enjoy.
As I have said before, I would not wish this journey on my worst enemy. I also totally understand people when they say they cant or wont go on this journey. My buddy the painter said the other day that I had a “resolve,” that most dont. I dont know if that is correct, I only know that I was sick and tired of that gnawing fear that I lived with and through running my life.
*Bruce This Depression[i] Terrance Real I Don’t Want to Talk About It. P.69 [ii] Both of those pictures are Bruce Springsteen. The first one is circa 1975 and the second one is circa 1984. [iii] Terrance Real I Don’t Want to Talk About It. P.147[iv] Nelson Mandela. [v] Terrance Real I Don’t Want to Talk About It. P.143[vi] Terrance Real I Don’t Want to Talk About It. P.147** I wonder if they have to distance themselves from it out of the fear that they may “catch” it!
Welcome “Dancing Baby” to the family of pictures at the bottom of the page. For you who dont know, the wolf’s name is Baron and thats “Pointy Boy,” at the bottom. He is for the Fanatic! 123
Better to seek forgiveness than permission!