07 October 2009

Can vulnerability make me invulnerable?

I feel like an eggshell today, careful not to walk on me.

This week started with my friend L coming for a visit. L of the torturous relationship with my tortured brother. Soon after best friend J came for an overlapping visit. J of a full quarter century of friendship. All these chalice-holders of the past in the midst of the entire house playing musical rooms and a new roommate. Oh, and our room is being painted adequately by "stoner teenagers" as J likes to call them. Aren't all painters stoners? Isn't that a prerequisite, or perhaps a hazard of the job?

On Monday, well. I was not in top form. Actually a little thing, as anything forgotten is a little thing, but the subject might be big and in Monday's case it was pretty close to as big as it gets in my humble life. I forgot about my children. More specifically, I forgot to pick them up at school. This resulted, through the very powerful fact that my cell phone was dead, in my ex getting called and having to leave work early to pick them up. What actually happened is I failed, in all the action of the early week, to really mentally digest that it was Monday. I was aware of it, but the implications had not really set. This reality became congruent with another reality that I have observed in myself but never really seen communicated. I do not think about my kids when I do not have them.
Though this admittedly leads to problems which illustrate the need for correction, there is a real reason. When I think about them and do not have them, I am heartbroken. What to do? Walk around in a perpetual state of heartbreak, tearing up and breaking down at the slightest ruffle of emotional remembrance?

So I do not. I steel myself from that vulnerability. And practical and timely matters suffer, so does my relationship with my boys, co does with my wife and with my ex wife, and eventually with myself.

I called my ex immediately upon discovery of my inaction and offered an untarnished apology. I spoke to my boys. G was very upset. I apologized to him, but told him it was OK to be angry at me. He was. I apologized to E. I'm not sure he could have cared less. True to form.(after today, perhaps it is my job, in part, to help him learn how to care more.)

Are not we all so true to form.

Today I had to go to traffic court, 7:30am to set the 2pm appointment.
I saw the sunrise.
Then I went to therapy. My therapist, an intelligent man, is a Sufi. I don't know mush about Sufis. They come from North Africa. Whirling Dervishes. Fez caps. Islamic mystics. Misogynist? Probably not the bay area variant. I respect his intelligence and appreciate his mysticism.
Today, despite T's expectation, we focused on my relationship with my emotions - which seems pretty tightly bound to my thoughts. We did an elaborate and labyrinthine exercise of removing emotion from cause and environment. It was illogical, but so is emotion. It was extremely challenging.
Then, I think, he tried to hypnotize me. It is not that I was resistant to it, if not entirely comfortable - but my mind was.
I used to have a code for myself in the mirror of my bedroom: discipline thyself.
In meditation - of which hypnotism seems to be a guided variant, I do not believe that discipline thyself is exactly correct. The mind & soul must be disciplined so that whatever they encounter does not destroy them so much as to be nonworking. the ritual must be disciplined enough to be consistent in time. But the meditation is a practice in undisciplined.
So, in the midst of anger and frustration about my circumstances and confusion about the path of conversation, I felt a sadness with no root. He slowed me down and slowed my thoughts and spoke to go within and get a picture of the child I was. The child in a room with other children. Those children are active and noisy and this child, me, is quiet and in a book. Get a hold on what he is saying. He is going to say to you what he is feeling and remember it.
He didn't say anything. he seemed content and happy. he also seemed a little melancholy, but he didn't say anything about it. I think this is where the guidance broke down and my thoughts reemerged.
I think if he said anything he would have said: I feel alien.
Should my parents have helped me learn how to not? Am I projecting? What and where?

That was that . I went to court after that.
For me court is one of the more uncomfortable environments I have encountered. It is anxiety and impotence. It went well, though.

At the end of my day I remember some events.
Robert DeNiro is a trigger for me. A Boy's Life killed me. I couldn't finish The Fan (even though it was ridiculous) and I literally broke down weeping. Weeping at the end of City By The Sea. He reminds me of my dad, not always. Raging Bull doesn't, or Deer Hunter, or Meet The Parents.