On Whys, Regression, and Leaping Before Looking

When I was around ten years old, I wrote the beginning of a story (never completed) that began like this:

Every night blood seeps under the door of [my apartment number].

There was a drawing of a door under which a pool of blood was seeping. Or perhaps it was so vividly in my mind that I remember it as a drawing.

I wrote this when all I had been exposed to, media-wise, was My Little Pony and the tamer Disney movies.

Sometimes I wonder how it would have ended, had I continued.


So I spent most of my birthday weekend crying. Grief over the past, over what happened in my childhood and my young adulthood and so on, those things that should never have happened to a child or young adult or frankly to anybody. There was anger, too, though it was pointless and only made me sadder instead of… I don’t know… absorbing sadness? So: mostly crying.

Gradually the grief began to transmute into an existential grief: why did what happen have to happen? I mean, I get that it was my parents’ fault and not my own as to why it all happened; but why did it have to in the first place? I realize that this is placing an amount of blame on something I can’t put my finger on; and I understand that, in a lot of ways, this question not only doesn’t make sense but it doesn’t have an answer.

I talked with my bartender, and we talked about the how of the matter: how did it happen? Part of it is institutionalized shit (like teachers who knew about the abuse but did not report it; a high school counselor who did not believe me when I reported the abuse and instead reported me to my parents), part of it is my parents (like my father who acted psychopathic, which has been remarked upon by my candyman and multiple bartenders; like my enabling mother). And as an answer, I guess I’ll have to be satisfied with it. I mean, it’s a hell of a lot better than “God meant it to be that way” or “Everything happens for a good reason” or “Everything works out in the end”….

And now this is going into some deeply personal stuff, but basically I turned the conversation towards “How I annoy my friends and lose my standing.” This was more confession than figuring things out, but my bartender helped me put things into words. Like, for instance, my tendency to fall back into a bad groove despite experience with getting out of it; it’s regression, almost textbook, in reaction to change, which I have problems with (probably dating back to a childhood full of chaos, and other influences I can’t put a finger on but which I think involve some sort of training by my father). Or my tendency to leap before I think, getting myself into trouble in both my personal and professional life, which doesn’t really have a succinct word.

Actually, “tendency” is too kind of a word.

Leaping before I think… that led to talking about my job, where I had been weighing leaving my current position. But there’s a hierarchy of needs to consider here… first and foremost is my health, and that means no pager, and that means staying in my current position for the forseeable future despite my job dissatisfaction, at least until I leave the company for one that doesn’t attach pagers to their developers.

And then the session ended. Dammit.

2 thoughts on “On Whys, Regression, and Leaping Before Looking

  1. There’s a definite warm-up phase in my bartender sessions. I begin to think most productively around 35 minutes in :(

    • I sometimes bring in notes on my iPhone that I’ve written during the week so that inspiration comes faster, or at least that we knock things off a list until it hits….

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