Saturday, November 30, 2013


Saturday, November 30, 2013

It appears that I might soon experience some form of resolution to an ongoing issue with a local organization that has been steadily grinding on my heart and mind since this past June.  Yesterday I received an invitation to attend a meeting of the Executive Committee of this organization this coming Thursday, December 5th.  I hope to finally address the harassment I have experienced in a way that will bring closure to the subject through a just and kind result for all concerned.  Am I completely confident that this will take place?  No I am not.  But I hope to finally ensure my voice is heard and honored.

It is no surprise that this issue of harassment would so trigger me and dredge up painful aspects of my earlier life.  Having gone through (yet again) a very difficult process in which I attempted to hold my father accountable for his poor choices that seriously affected my development during this past August and September (and having achieved nothing of any substance in that effort) I felt quite raw due to that experience.  It was thus quite painful to have other issues bubbling in my life that I found not only quite provoking but also challenging in that a suitable resolution seemed ever elusive.

Nothing unfortunate happened yesterday morning when I made my way to my current residence to retrieve some of my belongings.  I did have the pleasure of witnessing one of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever seen in my life.  I found myself marveling at the colors in the eastern sky as I neared my destination.  It was a sweet and amazing distraction from the demands of the morning.  I later met with a friend and chatted about my current circumstances and how the imprint of my earlier years of life is something I continue to address in the best way I can.  I also submitted a brief note to my primary care physician via my online medical record to document what seemed to be something like a flashback I had yesterday morning.  In the event something really harmful should happen to me in the coming weeks (something that I can or cannot easily foresee) I want to ensure that documentation exists as a way of protecting myself.

One of the themes that arose yesterday in my conversation with my friend Tom is the issue of what I will call intergenerational trauma.  It is my opinion (based on my personal life history as well as conversations with friends and reading) that trauma can impact not only those who experience traumatic events directly but also their friends and families.  This observation is borne out in some of the literature I have read on the subject of trauma.  When parents do not deal with issues in their own lives it seems quite natural that the unresolved issue will 'percolate' in their own psyches with the potential unfortunate result being that it impacts how they raise their own children and how successful they are in doing so.  I believe an excellent example of this lies within the realm of fathers and their sons.  I have been pondering this in my own life.

It is my sense that my father had unresolved issues with his own father.  Conversations that sometimes ended in a heated way between me and my father are but one reason I believe this.  And when I attempt to imagine what might have transpired between my father and his father in the immediate days and weeks after my father was nearly murdered I tend to wince because I suspect what I imagine likely happened is what did happen.  I know essentially nothing of what transpired after my father's parents learned that he had been nearly killed.  I suspect my grandfather did not reach out to my father in a way that my father probably deeply needed at the time.  And thus there would have been planted a seed of resentment.  I imagine my father was in deep pain (physical and emotional) during those days he was in the hospital in recovery.  My intuition is that he felt disappointment with how his father responded to him in his time of pain.  And thus does it make sense that my father would do the very same with me when I disclosed my PTSD to him this past summer.  As my father could only (easily) do for me what his father did for him it seems perfectly natural that my own father would not be available to me in a way that I needed him to be.  And so do the issues of our families translate down through the generations.

What I am attempting to render here is an image of the family system that shows the complex nature of interrelationships within families.  I have attempted to look at my own father with the eyes of compassion.  I have wondered about his own pain and how he dealt with it at the time when he nearly died.  I believe he did not deal with it very well.  But then again it would not have been easy for him to do so considering what skills he learned from his own father.

For today just holding myself and everyone and everything I encounter in the light of compassion is enough.

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