Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Regarding my unmet infantile need-as with most of us, much reflection and pain has uncovered a need to be nurtured and a need for security. In my unconscious search for these primeval needs, I chose women who I thought would take care of me. Obviously I didn't make good choices in this area. Both my son and I still live with the repercussions.

It makes sense how this came about. I was raised by a nurturing grandmother as an infant in the Philippines. My father was in America and my mother taught school just after I was born. Under my grandmother's care I felt safe. I called her "Ina"- translated, it means mother in Ilocano a dialect spoken in the Northern Philippines. We left the Islands when I was 3 and I told my Grandmother I would come back. I kept my promise fifteen years later. In between that time, I felt an anxious insecurity living in a brand new culture and with my father who did not treat me well because I competed with him for my mother's affection and of course my mother who controlled my soul with her fear of life. Upon my return to the Philippines and in the presence of my Grandmother-I felt an overwhelming feeling of safety. I stood up to my father and my mother during this time. I felt I could be myself. The anxiety returned with our arrival to the States.

It has been a journey to see both my father and mother as wounded human beings and not as the monsters I've painted them as. I don't discount my parents affect on me as I put on my psychological armor when I see my family. My sense now is that my mother was the better parent of the two. She did the bulk of raising me versus my father who I fought with constantly or was often away at sea. I want to declare this statement as my mother has taken the brunt of my anger-an anger I became aware of when I realized she cannot nurture me, give me security or keep me safe. Overall, I think I can grow to like this path of uncertainty and insecurity. It has enriched my friendships and my relationship with my Son both of which I cherish deeply. In this way I think I'm living a good life.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Witch Fire

I was with my girlfriend at her home in RB dead asleep. When the Reverse 911 call wakes you from a dead sleep. The first thing I did was put on my underwear while together we were trying to figure out what to take. It was simple-the laundry basket, passport, her kids pictures and the dress she's to wear to her son's wedding.

My immediate family and close friend were safe so she and I spent the week at my home safe but we on the edge listening to the radio. Anyone I contacted I let know it was okay to stay with me and a family stayed. Funny about what we forgot to take-her computer, and a keepsake from her father.

We gave money to the Red Cross at Gate F at Qualcomm Stadium where the Chargers play and we tried to give sleeping supplies but they had too much already. At the Boys and Girls Club of Poway, we gave supplies and lent an ear to an old lady (Sheila). She was full of life and thankful that she had a place to sleep. It felt good to be around the community of San Diego. I was proud of their goodwill toward each other.

We listened to the media sparingly to avoid being traumatized and did our level best to maintain normalcy though it is just plain difficult to get back to normalcy after the worst of the fire has settled. It wasn't until I wept that I became aware of how much tension I held. I suspect I wept because we were past the worst of it.

We visited my girlfriends house when they allowed us in. We wore N95 masks because the air was full of toxic particulates. Her house survived but others not so good. A man up the street interviewed by KPBS lost his first house-his dream house with his collection of 100 year old bibles. I'm reminded of what Wallace Stegner wrote and I paraphrase "just when life becomes orderly and predictable, something from out of nowhere comes in and changes everything".


Saturday, June 09, 2007



I don't see women as predators much these days. I was truly blocked and numb to see this before because it was the psychological "Casts and Bandages" I've used to protect myself from emotional wounds occurring during my nascent youth and which I've continued to use as an adult.

Though I talked all around the "Casts and Bandages" I did not talk about the wounds-my wounds that I protected. When it was exposed how much I needed parents that abused me, it hurt bad and I wept. Strangely it also freed and released me from these old bonds I've used to protect myself. I'm much more aware of my wounds which drive me and though the grudges are legitimate they don't hold much power. Each time these wounds buried deep in the past, haunt us by hurting others who have nothing to do with our pain. Breaking free from the protective ridgid bonds is allowing me to have real empathy for the wounds we protect ourselves from. Hence empathy for myself and empathy for others.


Sunday, April 15, 2007


Weaving Scenarios

My close friend's daughter is bi-polar and lives at home with her. The parents want their daughter to her own life. Many times they've implored the daughter to get an education or get a job. They've spoken to her about finding her passion. Nothing seems to help. Day after day she stays home watches TV or does nothing or does something harmful like cutting. The latest episode involves her grades in college-she's failing in most of her classes hence she represents a great anxiety to her parents.

This anxiety is where the parents exercised their greatest compassion. In their daughter's many failures they've been there to pick her up and dust her off and when deemed ready, will send her off again. Each episode is similar and its only difference is the context that takes its shape. With the failing classes, the daughter's professors have had difficulty dealing with her disease as she is disruptive in class. The failure feeds her depression and so my friend does her best to soothe her daughter and try to get her to see the brighter side of things. The father exasperated tries to convince her in the importance of goals and timelines. There are other influences in this young woman's life too. Like her mother's relationship with a man who is 6 years older than her daughter and the conflict this symbolizes for the young woman. We mustn’t forget the father who is insulated from his emotions and presents himself like he does his profession-a teacher. The mother tends to infantilize her daughter soothing each and every failure. The father infantilizes her daughter by patronizing every interaction much like a professor to a student. The daughter has no concept really of living with the consequences of her actions. One would like to think that if both parents can continue to be there for her or to say or do the right thing the daughter would "right herself". It hasn't happened yet and I doubt now that it would. Still, they both continue to get caught in the web of life that their daughter creates and find themselves tangled and unable to free themselves from the messiness she's in and time again.

So I ask this question, would they be monsters as parents if they cut their ties and have the world teach her how to function? My sense is this would be very effective. But in a worse sense, I think the parent’s motivation (another blog) to infantilize their daughter is responsible for her debilitation. It takes on this pseudo honorable form much like helping the homeless by giving them money. It is alive and insidious and it is not being talked about. It teaches the child dependency and worse stuffs their daughter’s choices on what her life could be-underground.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Speed Circuit

Let me begin by sharing that I submitted my resignation the first week in March to my boss. It came with a butt load of anxiety. When it was done, I had the weekend anticipating a full court press by management the following week. It came in full force: again my boss then the General Manager and finally the Operations Manager. That Monday I handled them with honor in responding to their counter offers by stating simply “it’s blackmail and I don’t do blackmail.”

Secondly, separation is hard for me. Confronted with separation, my pathological enmeshment almost overcame my own judgment. It almost caused me to buckle and stay ensconced in a place where I was willing to settle and become complacent. The next day Tuesday I had planned to meet with the owner of the company and just thinking about it, my resolved waned. Now I know what it’s like to have a split personality. There was a circular dialogue of two conversations occurring within me. The man who wants to leave was being overwhelmed by the pathos of wanting to stay. The “man within” wants to leave because the untenable systems that are still in place are still in place-it is not going to change period end of story. The pathos wanted the familiar and what it brings: security, relationships and the family he’s known for the better part of the day, almost every day for 10 years. For a time, there was no one to talk to. I called my inner circle of friends and confidants. There wasn’t much available through the height of my anxiety but I got something and fortunately, what little I got from them was a life line and I settled down. It also helped to shake the inner dialogue by journaling about it and see on paper the logic in the debate. I also took in the go-karts at the Miramar Speed Circuit to relieve the anxiety. Btw, I came in 4th because I slammed a car against the wall when I shot the gap-I was penalized for it. As an aside, the meeting with the owner did not happen and it is yet to come. However, I feel good about it this time.

The process of leaving has opened up my feelings of sadness for the familiar. It is counter balanced by my feelings of excitement of starting something new. A friend advised that I focus on enjoying the time “in-between” where current problems are past tense and the new ones haven’t surfaced yet and I paraphrase “Why don’t you relish and enjoy this special window in your life” In reflecting on what he said, in the past, when those precious few windows did open up-I was unconscious. I think this time it’ll be different.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Humming Bird Above my Lawn

I’m here at Starbucks drinking coffee when this dude walks past me with a blue parrot on his shoulder. He has bird shit on the back of his shirt. A woman/girl behind him is just grossing out. She’s got my attention too wearing an aqua marine pull over with brown printed rabbits and her blue sweats with the word “Pink” printed on her bottom. She’s wearing purple Uggs to finish the look.

This is good beginning for a vacation day. After my shower, the 45 minute one way walk to Starbucks was inspired by Larry McMurtrey’s character Duane Moore. He happens to ride his bike everywhere. A babe Annie Cameron finished telling him that he’s weak with women. Not a startling fact when I think about myself in that way. Recently at a Chinese restaurant called “Sam Woo’s” this waitress forgets my order and so I call her on it. In her own inimitable Asian way, she denies everything and blamed me for not ordering. I was immobilized at first and later reflected on how helpless felt even when I knew this restaurant has a reputation for good food and bad waitresses. This woman who doesn’t know me from Adam had just dismissed me and I felt insignificant and I was pissed off.

Nearing the anniversary of my brother’s death has me feeling vulnerable. This event exposed my distorted belief that my mother has her children’s best interest at heart. Bill’s death destroyed that myth. I held her accountable for her efforts in infantilizing her sons. Since then I’ve been outwardly angry at her and other women. It was about this time I started calling women bitches and meaning it. I had an uncontainable anger. It was like an affliction with Tourette syndrome. The underlying anger burst out at unsuspecting women. All I need to do is look back at my blogs. Several women wrote an email telling me to cool my heels.

Man the walk home zoomed. Less than 30 minutes. The time was spent thinking about my yearning for unrequited love and the dying dream that my mother cares for me. It’s a good thing I had new hiking shoes because I left rubber half moon marks on the pavement. I don’t think that path will ever be the same as I hit the ground with major intensity. I know what I yearn for and it is a dream that dies hard. When I hold on to my grievance-this period of righteous self indignation, this justifiable anger, I get the perverse pleasure of punishing women who don’t consider me whether it has anything to do with me or not. It didn’t matter that these women had their own drama and vulnerability to deal with. I have found it difficult in gaining my footing from this diabolical pathology. Sadly, it’s insulated me from connecting with women who want to get to know and love me.

Just out my window, there is a humming bird hovering over my lawn. It's so effortless and graceful. I can't imaging how much work that takes. Though I suspect it's easier than looking at the truth.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Twice Distracted

Can I see another's woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief,
And not seek for kind relief?

Robert Blake

I know I've been out of blogging commission for awhile. I've been distracted.

First on the professional level being wooed is very intoxicating. It isn't the first time but this time it is serious. I feel like a free agent a mercenary for hire. At the same time, it's caused me to rethink about many things from what I want to where I stand in the market place and yes my working relationships with people I've known for 10 years. It has also given me pause to look at the spectrum of options. Stay tuned for this one.

Second and more important, speaking in front of a group of women, I acknowledge to them how I've painted the face of my mother on the important women in my life. They had different recations: some felt awkward as I shared something deeply personal. Others admired my courage and some didn't care. I'm sure there were some who had an issue with it but they didn't share it. All in all, I was scared at first and settled down as the repercussions I girded myself against, never came.

If I was more religious, I might say God wants me to learn from my suffering. But on the existential plane that I ascribe to, I am responsible for my action. This is one action that I'm not proud of. The women in my life have been manipulated, coerced and ingratiated into a pathological vision of the woman who birthed me. This action has prevented me from seeing the women for whom they are and have had the affect of insulating them from man they see and know and want to connect with. This is tragic and sad as it leveled women who wanted to love me and prevented me from loving them back. Remarkably, sharing this has a calming effect on me and hence has given me hope that I can live with and perhaps appreciate another's humanity as Robert Blake wrote:

Can I see another's woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief,
And not seek for kind relief?

I feel for the first time, I have my arms around this emotionally and the fog is rising and dissipating.

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