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#156114 - 05/14/07 02:24 PM I gave my parents an assignment
Hauser Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 2962
Loc: United States
I recently wrote them, I've yet to hear back from Mom, but my Dad is going to do it. Here is the reply to the letter I sent them. I will post the reply here when it's given to me.
___________________________________________________________________
You shouldn't feel sorry about asking. What you're doing now seems to be dissecting your past so you can put it away. Progress.

You were unfortunate to have parents that were both deficient for various reasons. Nothing is all your fault. I'll work on getting my thoughts and recollections down and get them to you in a day or so. I'm chagrined at how little I remember of the years 1969-1990.

Dad

Alan wrote:

Sorry, I was venting again.

But seriously, I think that what I was trying to get at was the
EFFECT(S) of what it did to me. I developed interests in NOTHING, hence I never developed skills in ANYTHING that were marketable and able to acquire me gainful employment.


This is one thing I DONíT understand about me. Why donít I have interests in ANYTHING? Nothing? All I want to do is numb out. Weird. Iím going to ask both of you to write a little bit for me shortly, as small assignment, are you up for it?

Would you please be willing to commit to writing a minimum of 400 words describing ME and what you witnessed of me in my growing years and what YOU think is wrong with me and what YOU think I should do? I want you to also be willing to share this (no personal information of course) with my online support group. I would like them to see what my parents think of me. Feel free to describe me when I was young, when I was doing things by myself. Feel free to describe things that Iíve not discussed with you, things that I have perhaps overlooked.

Mom? Dad? Iím sorry I didnít turn out better, I TRIED. I really tried but I couldnít get things to work. I appear to have what is called ďself-defeating behaviors.Ē]

About writing about me: Please describe the GOOD moments ok? Were their any GOOD times that we never talk about? What were they?

Just let it go ok? Just describe and talk about ME, ok?

Why am I asking this? Well, Iím going to share what you write (I will not edit ANYTHING, let the finger type-away), with my online support group. They have come to know me very well over this last year and a half, and I need EVERYONEíS help.

Please, no matter how ugly or seemingly unimportant, just talk about me and what you see is wrong with me ok?

Thank you.
_________________________________________________________________

I don't know what he's gonna write, I hope I don't cringe in embarrassment.


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#156158 - 05/14/07 07:26 PM Re: I gave my parents an assignment [Re: Hauser]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
I think this could really be useful for you, Alan. He should be one of the people that know you best, so his input could be very helpful. From his response above, he sounds agreeable to helping you however he could. My own father,....well, it just wouldn't work with him.

_________________________
Eddie

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#156198 - 05/14/07 11:09 PM Re: I gave my parents an assignment [Re: EGL]
indygal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 439
Alan,

i think this is very hard for you and your family but can really help both of you - just one point i'll make - i know you are anxious about this and really want answers - but make sure knowing them will do you good - you know? do you really want to know ?

also i'd ask for generalities first, then go for specifics, it might just smooth the path a bit for your folks - whether or not they deserve it (i don't know and am not going to judge) but if you want information it doesn't hurt to try and facilitate the opening up process.

i wish you all the best of luck with this,
indy

_________________________
my avatar is one of the Battle Angel characters, fighting the good fight.

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#156209 - 05/14/07 11:57 PM Re: I gave my parents an assignment [Re: indygal]
Hauser Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 2962
Loc: United States
Thank you.

I've been considering letting my parents in on my T sessions to help him understand me, but that is a very grey area to cross into.


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#156211 - 05/15/07 12:17 AM Re: I gave my parents an assignment [Re: Hauser]
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Hauser,

I think it is great that you asked them to do this. Just remember that parents have some very funny filters when it comes to how they see their own kids... I wouldn't just take their word as truth.

Your dad seems very willing to help you. If you are serious about bringing him to your T maybe you and the T could figure out some "safe" topics ahead of time so that you don't get into an area where you are not comfortable sharing?

SAR


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#156337 - 05/15/07 10:32 PM Re: I gave my parents an assignment [Re: SAR]
Hauser Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 2962
Loc: United States
SAR Thank you. My Dad is still writing, he knows how important this may be to me.


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#156923 - 05/19/07 01:44 AM Re: I gave my parents an assignment [Re: Hauser]
Hauser Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 2962
Loc: United States
I got the first letter from my Mom. Apparently, my Dad is still writing................

This will not be of great interest to any of you who don't know me, but for those who DO know me, and of what I've written about me and my life, it just may. So here goes:
___________________________________________________________________
RECOLLECTIONS FROM ALANíS CHILDHOOD by his Mom

Alanís father, Bruce, and I dated for a couple of years before marrying March 5, 1966. I brought to the marriage my two children from my first marriage, Rick, age 6, and Jill age 5. Bruce formally adopted Rick and Jill, at my request, and their biological father, Richard W., readily surrendered parental rights. We remained close to the W. grandparents for many years. In August of 1967, Bruce and I had our first baby, Lucas or Luke. That winter, while Luke was just a few months old, we moved from Michigan to Ft. Myers, Florida. On March 5, 1969, our third anniversary, Alan was born. He was a full term plus baby, and the labor went really fast, just a few hours, and with no difficulties that I know of. In those days, they still put you under for the delivery, so I didnít see Alan until I came out of the anesthesia.

I had breast-fed Luke for about 5-6 months, then going over to formula, and attempted to do the same for Alan. But I stopped breast feeding Alan after a couple of months, I think, because he seemed ďcolickyĒ and life was more complicated than when Luke was an infant, or maybe I was just looking for an excuse to stop.

We lived in a 3 (maybe it was 4) bedroom ranch house in a subdivision. We had one vehicle, the one Bruce drove to work. Our homelife was chaotic. A baby, a toddler, and 9 and 8 year old siblings. Alan seemed fine except that he was never cuddly unless he was sick. My housekeeping was marginal to poor. Our marriage was getting rocky.

Bruce was having a serious bout of insomnia, was put on Valium, still was unable to sleep well. Eventually, the Valium plus some alcohol took him storming out of the house one day, and he didnít come home that night. I got a call early the next morning from police in a town in central Florida (we lived on the west coast) saying he had been arrested on an alcohol related charge, and to come and get him. One thing led to another, Bruce went in for psychiatric treatment at a hospital in Tampa for about a week, this at the insistence of his employer. Not long after, Bruce was required to resign from his job.

Bruce was able to get his old job back in Muskegon, and in October, 1969, when Alan was about 8 months old, we moved back to Muskegon. We rented a house in Muskegon while looking for a place to buy. Alan turned age one in that rental house which was near downtown Muskegon in an old neighborhood. While living there, I would take Luke and Alan for a walk around the block pulling them in the wagon. They would spill out of that wagon like puppies and run off in different directions. Alanís main goal in life seemed to be getting out, whether climbing out of his crib, escaping from the house, and especially running out in the street. He was very persistent in these efforts. Once he was brought to our front door by a passing motorist who found him walking in the street in just a t-shirt and diaper and a dirty face. Itís a wonder I wasnít arrested. On the other hand, Alan had a sweet disposition in those days.

After a year plus of house hunting, we bought a place in Spring Lake, and older home with 4 bedrooms and 1.5 baths and a huge yard, just a few blocks walk to schools. Alan was now 1 going on 2, Luke was 2 going on 3. I have trouble remembering much from those days. Alan could be difficult. Luke started nursery school, and Alan would go hide in the closet when it was time to take Luke to school or go get him.

When his turn for nursery school came, Alan was an area of concern for the teachers. I think itís hard to say just what the problems were. Alan was not a people-pleaser. He was skinny, hot wired kid, not good kindergarten material. So maybe he was just disruptive, maybe he needed ďthe pillĒ, though no one ever suggested that. I did not envy his teachers.

The word I would use to describe Alan as a boy was ďearnest.Ē H was determined to ride a two-wheeler, to swing on the rope swing, to cross-country ski, even with worthless skis, In later life he showed the same determination in training his dog, Thor. Also in playing video games and collecting comic books. There was also a determination NOT to do certain things. He seriously did NOT want to go to camp. I think that was the issue when he ran away from home, carrying a little suitcase down the railroad tracks. He would NOT be sent to his room. He would just dump out all the drawers onto the floor.

Alan threw things. A favorite was the hot wheels cars through the windows of the French doors between the dining room and living room. Actually, come to that, his dad threw things too. He threw dirty dishes into the kitchen sink, he threw his hi-fi turntable into the canal in Florida. I also threw things while in the throes of quitting smoking when Alan was little. So maybe throwing hot wheels is in his DNA.

In the fall of 1976 I went back to school full time. It took two years of this to complete my bachelorís degree. There were various baby sitters who watched the kids when they were home and I was in school. During that period, Bruce acquired a small motorboat, and would take Luke and Alan for long rides up the Grand River. They would also go for extended bike rides, while I stayed home and did homework.

There was a break in our marriage during my going to school time. Bruce moved out over an incident for a while, perhaps most of the summer of 1977. During this time, Bruce continued to pay the household bills and gave me money for groceries. He spent a lot of time with the boys, they would stay overnight with him on weekends. They did not seem unduly upset by this. We went to a few sessions of family therapy, of doubtful use. Also during that late summer, I had some surgery, a hysterectomy, and was hospitalized for several days. Then Bruce came back and life went on. I graduated from GVSU in the spring of 1978 and was an at-home mom until getting hired at Hackley Hospital in November of that year. ****This at-home Mother time would be the time period, by my figuring of the dates, when Alan was victimized by a pedophile, which was revealed to his Dad and me many years later.****

After I had been working about a year at the hospital, I decided to leave Bruce and leave the kids with him. I had been wanting to do this for a long time but was afraid to. When I told Luke and Alan that I was moving out, Luke cried, and Alan acted indifferent. This was typical of Alanís behavior at that time.This was late in 1979 which would have been the year that Alan turned 10 in March. He had assumed a stance of nothing bothers me. My leaving the household was a totally selfish act on my part. It may have been good for me, but it was bad, bad for everyone else. I moved out, leaving those little boys alone with Bruce, the guy who threw things and had other temper outbursts. And now I know that I also was leaving behind a vulnerable Alan who was harboring a horrific secret.

At first I lived in an apartment in Spring Lake for about a year, then moved to an apartment in Muskegon, where I still live. We never did the every other weekend thing of visitation. I didnít ask for that and neither did they. I also never even considered asking Bruce to move out and leaving me to live the life of a single mom. In effect, I divorced them as well as Bruce. Bruce told me later that he doubted he would have let me have custody of the kids had I tried for it. As it was, we nominally had joint custody of the minor children ( Luke and Alan ), they lived with Bruce, and I paid child support until Alan turned 18.

I was very busy. I worked full time and on my days off I went to the bar. Eventually, in 1989, I got off alcohol and started in AA. Ten years of dedicated drinking was like getting a graduate degree in stupid living. Consequently the 1980ís are years of which I have poor recall of my kidsí lives.

I didnít see very much of Alan or Luke. I came to their house for Christmas and Thanksgiving and attended Bruceís annual family reunions. We went to some movies, Ghost Busters, Gremlins, the first Star Wars movie. We went on one real vacation together, to Disney World in Florida, flew down, rented a car. This was when Luke was old enough to have a learnerís permit, and would like to have done some of the driving, but that was not allowed in the contract. We went to Marlette where my sister lives a time or two for a family reunion. That would be overnight. A time or two, I would stay with the boys at their house while Bruce went away on business. For most of this time, their Dad had to be their Mom as well.

There was a major incident when Alan was about 14, I think. He had been out ďhuntingĒ with some other boys, Alan was carrying a shotgun, there was an accident, the gun Alan was carrying went off and hit one of the other boys, grazing the top of his head. The boy got over it, but with some nerve damage, at least temporarily, a droppy foot , and a lot of shot in and under his scalp, and maybe some hair loss. I was called about this, went to the house in Spring Lake. Alan was visibly upset by all this. That in itself was unusual, because by this time, Alan had become a person who wouldnít let feelings happen or show. .

Soon after I moved out, they acquired a dog, a female named Moshie, then a male named Felix. Alan was, it appeared to me, mean and dictatorial toward Felix. Felix had a muzzle which Alan would make him wear for hours for no reason. This was troubling to me, made me wonder what he did to the dog when no one else was around. I think this was the impetus for starting to take Alan to a therapist.

I remember that in his bedroom at the Spring Lake house, the shelves were lined up with empty six and 12 packs and later in life empty liquor bottles, like trophies. Alan stayed at home with his Dad for many years with a break of about a year in 1994 when he and a friend had a comic book store in Traverse City. Alan sort of camped out upstairs over the store. I thought Alan seemed to be good at this, running a retail store, chatting up the customers, knowledgeable about the merchandise. But the store didnít make it, and Alan came back to Spring Lake with Dad.

I will not continue this narrative right now, other than to try to fill in some of the many blanks. One that comes to mind right now is that Alan was the youngest. As such he was always in the shadow of his older siblings. The oldest, Rick, was born in 1959, Alan in 1969, a ten year span. That is a major age difference when you are very young, puts you in different generations. Luke, just 1.5 years older than Alan, seemed to have a much easier time of it with life, with making friends and with doing well in school
_________________________________________________________________

That's from Mom. Wow, "nothing bothered me"...........that attitude still persists to this day. Some of my closest friends here at MS would tell you that.


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#156928 - 05/19/07 02:14 AM Re: I gave my parents an assignment [Re: Hauser]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6401
Loc: 2.5 NATO Nations
OK H...there's a LOT here. Though I feel like I already knew all of this..but I did not. Clearly, you hide none of these aspects of yourself. You convey all of this about yourself.

Did YOU learn anything from this? Is it worth it to ask parents to do this? I'd like to know.

I'm looking forward to Dad's version.

(((((((((((Hauser)))))))))))

_________________________
Wishing You Were Here!

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#157035 - 05/19/07 05:56 PM Re: I gave my parents an assignment [Re: Still]
MemoryVault Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 693
Loc: NJ
Hey, Hauser --

She seems to have really put a lot of thought and perception into writing this. That's great. How did you react to it? It seems like she sees a real change from the "throwing the car through the window" kid and the "nothing bothers me" kid. She sees that something serious happened. How are you doing having read it?

David


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#157039 - 05/19/07 06:26 PM Re: I gave my parents an assignment [Re: MemoryVault]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Hi, Hauser. That's a pretty incredible read. Your mother has a memory and attention to detail that is amazing. It really is interesting to see the "total picture" like this. I would just echo David's question, and ask "How are you doing having read it?" Still processing it, I would imagine, but I think this can be a real opportunity for you to make some realizations with it.

_________________________
Eddie

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