Looking Back to Move Forward

I'm no Anne Frank. Let's begin there. I'm not trying to be famous after I die (what's the value in that?)
I'm not exactly sure why I keep these in the first place.
But what I do believe is that the diaries of my youth have no value if I never go back and read them. And since I'm going back to read them, I may as well share them here as weekly-ish blog posts.
Let's begin where I can begin: January 1, 1991… literally half my life ago.

January 1, 1991
This is the first day of the rest of my life. Knowing this, I have decided to change and grow into wellness and to experience all things human. I remind myself to think in terms of "today" and not "forever." The recent holiday blues left me alone today and I hope to keep the specters away again tomorrow. My goals for now are to begin to attend some ACA meetings on as regular a basis as scheduling allows. Carolyn & I got along famously today. We even expressed our love in a purely spiritually physical form on several occasions. Christopher (last name unknown) called from his father's place in New York. And I bought John Bradshaw's Homecoming. I hope it will be a practical guide to lead me on my path of self-discovery. So, book, meetings, friends & wife all plan for a truly happy new year. But let me remember to say only: Happy New Day!

January 2, 1991
Well, I tried that "One day at a time" thing and probably failed my Environmental Studies final exam tonight. Obsessed over it for one hour before the test, then put it behind me and went to the gym. I have much to write to catch up. I need to explain Christopher. We met on a BBS one night he was feeling… well… confused. We have had a great many talks and have even met. He is quite attractive, though in my present state of 230 pounds he offers little thoughts of pleasure. He is the one person with whom I have been totally honest, even disclosing my indiscretion in Colorado. More on that later. Taking it "One day" seems to have made a difference today. I just need to balance today with future goals, ie - study today for the test tomorrow. I have not yet given credit for this writing idea. It goes to Christopher, he has truly been a motivating influence.

January 4, 1991
My, my… speaking of Christopher. He called again from NYC last night. That makes 3 total calls in a nine day trip. He returns tomorrow and I hope he calls, though I may not hear from him until Sunday. He had a wet dream on the night of the 2nd; the first in a long while for him. I hope he remembers the details of the dream. If I was in it I'll go crazy! Going to the gym and dieting now to slim down to 175 at least. Trying to live in today and change only myself. It isn't so easy. I want Carolyn to read more of Homecoming but she is too involved in her "smut books" (romance novels). When I ask her about it, she says she will read it at her own pace. So far, I haven't learned much but it sure puts into precise words what I have been unable to express. That is why I want Carolyn to read it; so she can better understand me!

January 5, 1991
My little Mathew,
I just wanted you to know how very special you are! Do you realize the miracle that you are? There will never be anyone as special as you are to me. I am ready to love you and nurture you and help you bloom into the beautiful creation that is you! You are unique in all the world and I love you for that. You will be my primary concern; I will cherish you above all others! I am here for you now and will never ever leave you. I want to give you all the love that you need. Yes, I want to give you everything that you need. I am so glad you are here.

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Infancy Debriefing:
I have no clear memories prior to age 9, but home movies and family stories tell me this much. My parents married in 1965 and I was not born until late 1967, so… I was not the reason they married. I suppose I may even have been planned. My mother seems to have been raised by Ward and June Cleaver. Her father was a California Highway Patrol Captain and her mother was a housewife. I believe she had a good childhood. She had one adopted younger brother. She was popular in high school and was in many clubs and even on the drill team. My father, however, is another story. His parents divorced early on and he moved out here from Alabama. He hung around the Cholo, or Zoot Suit, crowd. He went to a Catholic school for a while and met my mother at Anaheim High School. He was a track star and played in the band. His mother is/was an alcoholic chain smoker. I know nothing of her life, only what I observed. He, my father, most likely played the roles of Rebel, Star, and Mom's surrogate, as well as Mom's Mom. My father's sister, Carolyn, was mostly the lost child and was my father's keeper. How or why my mother fell for such a waste of a person is beyond me. All Know is that he corrupted her and made her his codependent. He acted out as an alcoholic and both physically and emotionally abused my mother. I think many nights I cried alone in hunger as he was abusing her in another room. He was a policeman and often worked overtime to climb up the ladder of success. I rarely saw him and only then for short periods. Soon after I was born my mother abandoned me and got a job in a medical office to make ends meet. I was left in the hands of my alcoholic grandmother or my controlling maternal grandmother. Both, I think, resented the intrusion.

January 6, 1991
Christopher returned safely. I called him this morning and my own paranoid (hopefully) mind sensed a sort of distancing; as if he was no longer comfortable with the friendship. I told him to call later if he had nothing else planned. As of 9:15pm, no call. I offered to have him come over and see how I live, and to let him scan the vast files of photos that are my history, sort of as trade for the photos he let me see at his house. Carolyn does not yet know that we met. Oh, I didn't yet mention that I had lost over 11 pounds as of yesterday. Down to a whopping 226 1/2. Yuck. But with diet and exercise, I hope to be below 180 in less than 6 months. Carolyn is sick and is wearing down my patience. So much so that I really don't like her very much now.

January 7, 1991
I am sitting in the library of what is known only as "The Center" - the gay & lesbian center in Garden Grove. I am here to launch my rejoining of Adult Children of Alcoholics. This is a big step for me (again) as I had only gone in a passive way before at the request of my therapist - never really meeting anyone, never being part of the experience. The fact that this first of fourteen meetings in fourteen days is being held here is somehow fitting. Weight loss, self-help, and freedom of sexual expression. Strangely, I find myself afraid to look at the people in the room around me, more concerned with how I must look to them. The only word that comes to mind (two words now) are fat and oily. I am surrounded by magazines I once collected and sexual pamphlets, HIV information and ads for "Reverends" who perform "Holy Unions" for gay couples. So strange how all this makes me feel: a married 23 year old man with a terror of being though an "outsider." I am now facing a fear that this meeting is for women only. Seems that the only voices I hear and only feet I see are those of women, lesbian women. The meeting starts soon and all my questions will then be answered. So, I let go and let God help me through the next 15 minutes.

Have now lasted through 15 minutes of my first meeting of 1991. My flush has subsided, my body has loosed it tenseness. In all, a good beginning.
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