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206: Jason’s Story – Part 1 (Sort Of)
Welcome to Recovery (Sort Of), the podcast where we explore the winding paths of mental health recovery. Join us on a journey of self-discovery and growth, as we navigate the highs, lows, and unexpected detours of the recovery process. From managing anxiety and depression to coping with trauma and grief, each episode delves into real-life experiences, insights, and practical strategies for finding balance and healing.
We are doing Jason's story this week. We explore themes of childhood trauma, what different life events might mean for humans, and how kids navigate the world. We talk about forms of abuse, societal rules of parenting, and the fear parents can succumb to.
Listen in to the conversation, and then share your thoughts with us.
How to find us and join the conversation:
Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/recoverysortof/message
We are doing Jason’s story this week. We explore themes of childhood trauma, what different life events might mean for humans, and how kids navigate the world. We talk about forms of abuse, societal rules of parenting, and the fear parents can succumb to.
Listen in to the conversation, and then share your thoughts with us. How to find us and join the conversation:
welcome back it’s recovery sord of the podcast where we explore the struggles of Life the challenges of mental health and recovery and the spaces between we express our personal views on life here and this podcast is not meant to replace medical advice or tell anyone the right way to live this podcast is best used as a place of curiosity and questioning to accompany you on your journey be aware there is strong language here we [Music] go [Applause] [Music]
good morning Billy good morning how are you today I’m doing all right now that we’re sitting down here doing this and I’m not carrying Christmas [ ] around the house so yeah uh I get here this morning um we come into our little room where we where we record which is in my mother’s house right thank you Mom for letting me borrow your room um but she has since I’ve last been here and recorded loaded it up with box is of Christmas stuff and you know my first reaction was like irritation like [ ] this shit’s going to be in the background of the videos this that and the other so I was like oh and and this is funny because I just told somebody yesterday that I don’t really enjoy passive aggressiveness but I texted her and was passive aggressive and I was like uh what did I say skill set you probably learned from childhood yeah yeah yeah it was a great coping skill U it was a way to be heard you know what I mean I didn’t have of those so that was mine sarcasm but okay yeah yeah so I texted her and I was like hey I don’t know if you know this but your office is the background of my video podcast you know and she’s like oh my God I’m sorry uh you know there’s there’s more space in the spare bedroom now but they’re really heavy boxes could you move them down there for me and I’m like yeah I will because I want them out of the way um but yeah I started thinking about it while I was carrying him around right and I’m like I is this the Story of My Life right right like are these and I keep wanting to overestimate when I say how many of these heavy rubber made containers full of Christmas stuff uh I don’t have to describe them if you have parents you know what I’m talking about um I don’t know maybe 10 12 of them and they’re heavy and this Christmas stuff is the stuff that was important when I was little right like I wanted it to be important but the Christmas was and like I don’t want to carry the Christmas stuff around anymore right like the Christmas stuff is more important than whether I feel like carrying it around whether I have the energy or motivation to carry it around like I’ve had to move it up here when we just moved my mom up here not that long ago like now it’s getting unpacked from the shed like everything about Christmas decorations even though I’m not a scrooge by the way I love driving around and looking at people’s Christmas decorations with my kids kids and [ ] but like everything about that process to me is like I don’t know it just seems to sum up the way I’ve felt like this is the important stuff these Christmas decorations and like I’m just here to protect them and not break them and put them up and down and put them away and [ ] that Christmas decorations yeah now you’re the server of the Christmas you serve them they’re the master right so maybe that’s where we start with the Story of My Life um I I tried to put together some [ ] to like remember what the [ ] my life was um don’t know how well I did with that but we’ll see uh so yeah I don’t I’m a person that doesn’t feel like I have a very good memory of anything ever uh you know I I know we’re learning in science and and therapy and everything like when you’re in survival mode you have less access to be able to store and recall and remember because it’s more of a momentto moment you know hypervigilance around the the danger cues than it is anything else that’s going on around it so I don’t know how much that plays into what I don’t remember or just I’m a guy that didn’t pay much attention or who knows right and I think there’s something like in uh like when we have done this or when I’ve done work on like my past or anything I’ve recognized an interesting thing there with memory okay so one I know that that memory is fallible like I used to think it wasn’t but now I’m 100% sure that it is yeah and not only that all the time until I either say it out loud or write it out or talk to someone or someone challenges me like my wife will say well you used to say this and now you say that I’m like that’s [ ] interesting like I don’t and to back to the life thing like I remember with my dad having issues you know with my dad being like oh he worked all the time he wasn’t really around he wasn’t really available but then I have distinct memories of him being at the Little League field and like umpiring games or or being there but the narrative I’ve told myself is he was never there but then I have memories that he specifically was there and he’ll talk about being there so it’s like which one is reality but what I’ve recognized is that story that I tell myself is the one that matters I mean that’s the one that I need to I’m Opera with right right no and I think that’s hugely important um when you talk about memory I completely agree with you from what I understand and reading science like basically we really don’t know what the [ ] we saw or did or heard or any of that and uh it’s all very skewed and in my mind it all points to I’ve been speaking an emotional narrative my whole life and we’ve all been looking at it as if we were talking about the real world right when I say my father wasn’t there he emotionally wasn’t there right doesn’t matter matter how close proximity his body was to mine you know what I mean and like the more I’m learning is our whole lives are based in this whatever you want to call it emotional spiritual place inside us and that’s what we’re all talking about and describing and that’s why we can’t agree on a truth yeah because we’re all speaking from a place of how we feel and not what we actually see in the world right that’s all interpreted through the lens of what we’re looking for yeah and I’m sure your generation My Generation might be getting slightly better now but your feelings didn’t matter as a kid you weren’t in fact you were just supposed to do what you’re supposed to do you know my feelings show up when you’re supposed to show up were something for my parents to fix like and and and I don’t mean fix like um nurture and right right right right right right they were they were like he’s [ ] broken and he’s not going to make it in the world and we better fix that [ ] you’re crying you better stop that I’ll give you something to cry about yes looking at it now and and I’m not look I mean we can parent blame if we want to do that we can also blame me for the way I parented my kids cuz we’ll get to that part of my story but that’s pretty ugly what I repeated um for me it feels like now that what my parents and what I was trying to do we we saw flaw in this child right and we saw how harsh the world had met us right and we said oh my God that’ll never work we got to prepare them better and we did that by trying to toughen them up right right get them ready for the real world and then we sent them out there and like I I get that idea but looking back now what I became was the [ ] person being the Tormentor right instead of just being able to remain the soft landing spot for when the world did meet him like an [ ] yeah well and not I mean just with our parents that’s a cultural thing too because there’s also that’s the messaging that we got in schooling like schooling wasn’t a place where you were taught about emotions and [ ] it was like do this work do this homework oh I don’t care what’s going on in your home life doesn’t matter if your parents are getting divorced your dad’s alcoholic your [ ] whatever like you got homework to do and that’s what’s important right right and so that’s the messaging we get from society you know as as children you know you’re supposed to show up you’re supposed to do you need to do x amount of activities you know when you get into high school oh you want to go to college well you got to play sports you got to do extracurricular activity you mean oh you don’t like that well it doesn’t that’s doesn’t matter if you want to go to college these are the things you have to do well yeah and the Assumption there like the assumption that all my 302 graders right their home lives are probably all great you know none I’m getting beat or anything but but we’ll be strict and why can’t you keep up with the work right we’ll never assume that like maybe they’re it’s rough at night or even just the vague assumption that 30 10 year olds are all emotionally at the same same place that they’re all you know physically and emotionally developed the same because you look at their sizes and you know the [ ] they’re not you know some are little tiny kids some are at the verge of puberty like you know and what kind of stuff have they been exposed to in their house how many older siblings do they have and are in proximity to like yeah so getting all that back to your story The the fun part of me telling my story and I hope this is what comes out for you is the reflection on some of that stuff and and some of the some of the narratives looking at some of the narratives I’ve told myself where I’ve gotten in my life now is it doesn’t even 100% matter whether they’re true or not it’s like this is the stories that I have told myself this is the foundation on which I’ve built my life now what can I do to heal those things or make them better or move forward from that so I hope this comes out as a kind of therapeutic thing for you maybe I I had never done anything like really laid out my story like that so it was kind of fun well I think of one time along the way where the goal was something like this in an actual 12-step uh variety and one of the programs I attended this was kind of how they worked their first step was to write out their life history uh generally and it was interesting I did a really brief one in my first go around through the steps and then I I kind of now think that’s more like what a fourth step is supposed to be although that’s not what it’s come out to be we get hung up on the word moral inventory and so we throw out all your emotions again but anyway okay so uh you know the old joke I was born at a young age of course um I don’t know much about this I was born in Baltimore City obviously uh you don’t even get really narrative memory which is like where you have a story because you have words to put a story together uh you don’t get that until you’re at least four so I don’t have any of that until four um the the things parents like picture people like do you have pictures of being a kid or family events and things yeah we got some uh some family photographed books in fact I think some of them might be right behind you over there Billy umash up photos I mean you feel free to glance through if you want I I know there’s one with me and my dad in a train um but yeah so what I can remember of people telling me uh I was told the story and I was told this very young uh elementary school early Elementary School often enough that I knew it that I was a tough child um I never slept that was the words never slept um you know I would get like maybe an hour of sleep a night and I kept my parents up all the time and they were going crazy and they wanted to take me to somebody to have me tested to see if I was possessed that’s the [ ] story yeah I actually told a kid in elementary school that my parents took me to the doctor and tested me for being possessed when I was was a baby to which they told me that was [ ] and then I found out that you know that wasn’t an actual thing you could get tested for uh so that was embarrassing thanks Mom for telling me that [ ] story anyway yeah so like that’s my first interpretation of myself without memory was that I was told it was I was really difficult and I cried and I was never satisfied now was that like the uh the trailer for The Story of My Life being a big whiny baby I don’t know maybe right well but did that stick with you because I was told some I was similar I was kicky as a baby and very difficult and all that stuff and I never like that isn’t the thing that’s stuck with me from my childhood but I heard someone the other day talking about exactly this kind of thing it’s like someone had said oh your parents told you this and that’s so terrible and the lady kind of said she said my parents told me all kinds of [ ] and like 90% of it I didn’t listen to at all and it didn’t stick but some things for whatever reason I decided to make reality man that’s taking a lot of ownership over that well she was talking about as an adult how do you find your way back to your dreams and back to you know freedom from what do they call that limiting beliefs and stuff like that and instead of blaming people for what’s going on you just accept and move forward anyway that was what she was talking about but anyway yeah yeah yeah so I I don’t know I don’t know I mean the fact that I still remember it like I and I don’t remember much you know so I’m assuming anything I remember must have some kind of significance for sure I I think it’s an interesting way to introduce a person to themsel you know like hey this was your Beginnings you were [ ] awful it’s like yeah that’s stinks right I said that about my daughter sorry yeah yeah yeah so uh my parents both worked at uh a phone company um my mother had a daughter from a previous relationship ship she was in a physically abusive relationship before my father ended up divorced um but like what I know from like therapy and patterns in life like you don’t generally just leave an abusive relationship and get in a healthy one right you get into a different kind of abusive one or a similar kind of abusive one um so there’s some context for meeting my father uh and then my father uh his [ ] story is a mess he grew up really super poor with like five brothers and like didn’t want to go to school but one day a week because that was the only day he had clothes to wear and like didn’t want to walk up the steps because people could see the holes in the bottom of his shoes like that kind of poor and um and then like dude dropped out of school in like 8ighth grade or ninth grade and got in the military at 16 because he got somebody pregnant and then I don’t know apparently came home from the military and his brother and his father had slept with his wife while he was in [ ] carea I don’t yeah what a [ ] mess right so he had that and then he had another divorce with no children so I showed up uh I got a a steps sister half sister half sister seven years older than me um who is sometimes part of my family household and then apparently a a brother that is 16 years older than me who I don’t meet until much much later um that was your dad’s first yeah my dad had a son my my mother had a daughter and here we are and I guess neither of them were in the house with you guys when you grew up the my sister sometimes it was a very volatile situation you know there was supposedly agreements in place and that would last for a short amount of time and then it would get all whacked out and somebody would not give her back and that would go on for a while and then it would be back to normal and I you know I’m sure there was like courts and police and [ ] involved in all that but I wasn’t pery to all that yeah as a kid you don’t know anything about yeah so um so my my mother took off you know for maternity to be with me until I was like three I think she was like daycare and other kids to help you know pay or whatever and my father was still working and then he got laid off in when I was three and then my mother went back to work and he stayed at home but I some [ ] happened in there between like those years um like he had he struggled with depression um I don’t know all the stories I know he was hospitalized for a suicide attempt at one point in my first four years-ish um I know when he got laid off he like you know became the stay-at-home dad and got that kind of stuff done like I got up and got to school and [ ] but generally I don’t think anything else got done for gear like just imagine we’re talking the 80s and was not near probably as socially acceptable as it is now and growing up if he was military and had all that mentality there’s a lot of so he’s sitting at home with Shan yeah you know um yeah so all that yeah that’s that’s the story right and so at elementary school he walked me to school every day and came and walked me home every day and like I mean he was my buddy in a lot of ways which was an amazing thing because he he did have a lot of love for me you know that’s uh that’s kind of the amazing parts and it’s it’s not to cut you off right there but it’s the similarities between it’s like your and it’s funny where the Opposites in a lot of ways it’s like your dad was that upbringing that stuff was very similar to my mom in a lot of way yeah it’s just it’s so weird and like my mom saying with the really you know poor family and the chaos and it wasn’t her specifically but like her oldest brother her father left her mother with her oldest brother’s wife and they went off and got married and had kids so now she’s got yeah you know I don’t know what you call that you know siblings from her sister-in-law like it’s just like the the yeah I mean my dad would tell stories about him and his brother that was a year older than him like when they were teenagers they moved out because everything was so [ ] poor in the house it was cheaper to support yourself out of the house than it was to live there and try to support everybody else too yeah and they talk about sharing cans of dog food with ketchup on it you know what I mean like and see my mom would never open up quite that much about most of her childhood most of what I know about it came from some of my aunts my mom just said they were very poor her father was an alcoholic he was abusive physically sexually you know just a horrible human being and that was as much as we’d ever get out of my mom she would be like well [ ] that son of a [ ] dude you know we’ll never never meet him that’ll never want you you’ll never know him incest and abuse runs [ ] rampant in poverty yeah and if you talk to people you will find that out like whole [ ] communities think that is the norm the children growing up think everybody goes through that because most of them are it’s [ ] crazy that we live in this world that we allow that [ ] to just be yeah and the emotional toll that that takes on people you know like for a long time I use that as an ex like for my mom I would be like well gosh she’s doing 10 times better than what she grew up in like she never abused us or anything maybe not physically but you know but that was the justification is like look what she grew up in and look how much better she and I’m sure that was for her too but you know yeah it’s tough man but I know she loved me and I know that she would have done anything she could to help me she was my biggest Defender you know biggest protector and yet it’s the most beautiful thing and the most painful thing at the same time because if they had not love me so much it wouldn’t have [ ] crushed me so much you know it’s because that I meant so much to them that it hurt so much every time they did what they did you know yeah um yeah I’m sure my father being laid off you know not feeling worthy feeling like a stay-at-home dad who’s not manly enough where in the 80s it was you know Common Place to make fun of the gays and the the [ ] man in every goddamn movie you had right like this was a different time and place and I’m sure he [ ] hated himself you know um H yeah he was angry man we we know these kind of links a lot more now like you said in the 80s this wasn’t really common knowledge but anger depression like it’s it’s ugly um so that’s what the house was like it it was uh calm than n you know it was explosive exposive it was who the [ ] did the thing and what was it today and what little thing was done wrong and not the way dad wanted it that caused everybody to be miserable you know or the house to be quiet or me to sit at the top of the stairs and hear Mom and Dad screaming at the bottom of the stairs and wondering what the [ ] going to happen and who’s going to be alive and like is that me telling a an exaggeration like there wasn’t that many times they got physical with each other but even the fact that I got to say well there wasn’t that many [ ] times like I’m a kid I don’t know I’m scared and they’re the people that are supposed to be protecting me not down there scaring me right yeah my wife describes that as like the walking around on eggshells all the time because you never know you know and it can be something you did or something not it could be something that just happened that you had no fault in but yet you’re the brunt of the the chaos you as the guy who has shown up in the world as that [ ] I can tell you it had nothing to do with anything except the fact that I don’t feel good inside right because when I feel good inside I don’t pick everything apart all the time and I don’t do it in ways that hurt people I just tell them when things hurt me I’m like hey this I don’t like that you know um but man it’s sad to think I spent a lot of my life hurting people so badly just cuz I didn’t feel good and we couldn’t point to that earlier as a as a species you know somebody couldn’t have pointed to me and said dude you don’t [ ] feel good and we got to help you yeah cuz that would have been great um so yeah um I know this timeline I guess there’s no way to stick to a [ ] timeline telling this story at all but so dad’s depression he didn’t work again until like the early 90s just to fill that portion of it in so he was just kind of at the house until then um which is cool to have a parent home I know people could sit here and tell their terrible awful stories of how they were left alone and their parents had to work too many hours and [ ] right latchkey kids I didn’t have to do that that’s great except when the guy is hypervigilant to my behavior you know maybe it’s not so great that he’s around all the [ ] time um yeah I don’t I don’t remember a ton from like I said before four I just what I was told I I was really tough um apparently I I was smart uh seems to be something I was praised for my ability to think and be logical and that kind of great stuff that worked for a while it got me some you know pets on the back and some adab boys um you know just thinking back to like that that early early time that I don’t remember much of like I don’t think I met my brother until until I was like six or seven maybe and it was because he was getting married and he decided he wanted to Recon my dad because they didn’t talk for a long time uh I don’t know that whole story I don’t think it was anything my father wanted I think he you know came back to that situation and then I think the mother was bitter and moved to Arizona or something crazy [ ] um I hate to say most of those situations I think now my understanding comes from [ ] movies that some of which are I’m sure based somewhat in truth of like there’s probably a little bit of hesitation on everybody’s part you know what I mean the kid wants to possibly rekindle but possibly move on the parents feels insecure and then the other parents bitter and angry and it’s just easier to not [ ] all sit down and hash out your emotions well and by the time I met him I’m like seven 8 n years old he’s coming over with like a toddler and a baby right who the [ ] is this dude showing up right here’s your brother uh it did get more interesting down the line with him anyway just a little bit um but we’ll get there one day uh well [ ] it we’ll get there now it turns out later on he went to like wrestling school and ended up wrestling in the [ ] WWE which was the WWF back then and there’s all these YouTube videos of him wrestling like [ ] Kevin Nash and all these big name [ ] wrestlers I’m like and he’s a nobody in the in the wrestling industry but like how [ ] cool right yeah that’s awesome yeah I know neat [ ] so um still don’t really talk to him but that’s okay um the only thing I can really remember that stands out from like that pre school age I I remember going to daycare across the street from me um was like across the parking lot from my house and there was this round circular table like you would see in any cafeteria anywhere ever that like separates pulls apart in the middle for extra sleeves and we were pushing it back together as a group the kids were in the daycare and I was on the side of it pulling both sides together and I was like Hey guys don’t you know make sure you’re real slow doing this because my stomach is going to get pinched if you’re not and of course we pinched my stomach and like I don’t know why Billy and I don’t know if this is like I think this is my [ ] something I need to do and adjust but this is a very frequent [ ] pattern in my life where I address a thing that I don’t want to happen in the future I talk it over with the intended parties we all agree that we don’t want it to happen and we’re willing to put in the work to avoid it and then we [ ] make it happen anyway I don’t know what that is but it keeps happening for me over and over and over again and that’s the first recollection of it happened I know such a weird thing um and I also remember getting caught by my dad I was on my back porch um playing Show and Tell with the little girls across the and uh I got caught and like shamed around that’s you know very normal four or five-year-old exploration of like I got these parts you got theirs what the [ ] is going on right um but yeah you know that kind of information wasn’t really out there then and I got to be honest Billy I don’t [ ] think people know that now either yeah it’s not no I think people would still [ ] shame their kids about doing something like that and think something’s wrong and that’s totally normal childhood Behavior at that age all right Elementary School we made it God damn are people like tuned out yet well not to you know whatever but more less than you kind of grew up as a only child your sister coming in and out of it’s hard to say right but she was so much older than you yeah so she was seven years older than me and uh what ends up happening since we’re getting there anyway is around seven or eight years old for me she ran away from home and accused accus my father of um sexually touching her and so that became a whole thing and then I didn’t see her again until I was like [ ] 30 or something something kind of something um one of the standout memories of her being in the house was my mother was somewhere which was unusual mom was always home really in the evenings um but she was out one night for some reason and we were me and my father and my sister were sitting in the living room watching uh something on TV but the lights were out in the house for the most part and I wanted something from the kitchen and I asked one of them if they would go out and turn the lights on for me and I was I don’t remember exactly how old 456 um and they told me no and I better be careful walking out there because my mother was dead and hanging in the closet and that was like the joke for a minute wow yeah what the f I’m traumatized still why the [ ] did you tell me that it was a oh man yeah that hurt that’s weird another thing that I I I glossed over a lot in my life and never really talked about and you know brought up in therapy and passing like it wasn’t that big a deal because I guess we’re men and we think that sex is fine for us even if it starts for us you know at age three months or whatever um but when I was like four or five or six my sister also started playing we would play Barbies um but we started playing Barbies in a different way where the Barbies were touching each other in in those areas the bathing suit areas you know and then it became our hands touching each other and we did that like once or twice and then I think she kind of grew out of it and then I kind of like started blackmailing her to do it a couple more times um but yeah that’s the thing that I glossed over and was like a that’s probably not that big a deal and no that’s probably a [ ] big deal buddy um what’s and I was the same with you know being molested as a kid and being like Oh that’s no big deal I mean it’s disgusting to say it feels almost normal nowadays but one nobody talks about it right and two there wasn’t really any sexual conversations between school my parents anyone else to kind of give you a sense of what’s right or wrong or somebody telling you like well that really wasn’t the best experience this is what this stuff is supposed to be about so then you’re just stuck with whatever [ ] narratives you start ing yourself in your own head about that [ ] yeah yeah and and there’s some uh obsessive and compulsive sexual use later in my story right there’s some sex as a form of um what we call addiction what I call seeking relief uh a little too often unhealthy ways um and like could that be from that finding coping and relief in that early maybe you know that was a way to disappear from The Real World for a couple well and we formed so many of these sto story lines and narratives subconsciously that we take in later in our life that are just what we think is you know quote unquote normal and that shit’s formed in our subconscious at these early ages these early events that imprint on us and we don’t even necessarily recognize where some of it comes from right right so all my little four five6 year old body knows that something’s going on but in that moment I’m getting attention and it’s not negative nobody’s yelling at me or correcting me right they’re happy that I’m there and I’m I’m being touched in a pleasurable way it feels good right I’ve been looking for that my whole life right like yeah I mean so so how much do I associate that with love and care and you know being tended to yeah and I remember hearing that with my daughters of like uh you know you need to give your kids a lot of healthy touches hugs holding hands like teaching them what healthy you know touches are because people Crave You Know touching they right we need that crave closeness that’s a part of human connection to be held to be nurtured and if you don’t get that in healthy ways when you get it in unhealthy ways it [ ] fills that void and then you think that’s what that is yeah so that’s the thing yeah um so yeah uh she was there I guess I I don’t know what their agreement was I think back then it was the stock ‘ 80s agreement which was you know you stay with the mother and then you’re at the father every other weekend um which was probably what it was but yeah hard to remember yeah but I just I don’t and recount you weren’t keeping track of every week in my mind it wasn’t like plus I don’t know Summers how much does that skew my mind like I don’t from what I remember there was times when we expected her there or expected her to leave and it didn’t happen and and I know her father was an alcoholic and abusive right so yeah I I’m just assuming it was a little little more chaotic unpredictable you know um anyway got to elementary school um I was a good student but that I was programmed to please people around me right and make them happy and like my father was so picky that I was programmed to do it pretty [ ] well um I I generally enjoyed School up until like third grade um that’s when I think I can remember kids being different around me you know I I could kind of see it in second grade but like I remember like kindergarten Elementary in first grade it’s just like everybody’s chill you’re learning you’re excited you play a [ ] game with a ball and y’all are in and everybody’s doing it and then you know you start to get those kids as you get a little older maybe they got older siblings in their house and they’re you know by fourth grade they already hate school and they’re tired of it and this was in the 80s I mean I think all kids by fourth grade hate school now but you know back then it was like the accelerated kids right like maybe the kids who lived on the other side of town uh and I don’t know I just remember it being different then it was about like having the right clothes and saying the right things and being cool and like I was none of those things um I always got the cool thing like three years after it wasn’t cool you know like the LA gears like way after they were the thing to do um but yeah I remember hearing somebody say that like it wasn’t just about finding a place to fit in because if they wanted to they probably could have fit in with like the Geeks and the Nerds and [ ] back then and and that’s how I felt too I was like yeah I was I could have been dorky with them that would have worked right but I wanted to be accepted by the cool people and I don’t know what that means for me yeah I still struggle with that too cuz same thing and I don’t even know what that means I don’t either I don’t either I guess that’s I don’t know maybe that’s the the inner critic version in my heads right it’s what the world well at least in looking at it I think there’s a part of that like oh look they’re successful they must feel good about themselves other people like them everybody looks up to them like I want to be that I want to be the person that other people look up to I want to be the person that looks confident like they got it all together like they’re the [ ] winner well well that and I think so in my mind what has happened to me in the programming of my childhood is that I was taught to be a subject right and and then the subject in the words of like a a king’s court right back in the 1500s or so Medieval Times like I was taught to be a person who bows to Authority in my mind because that’s what it is it’s some little authority due to my head that tells me all the rules that I’m not allowed to do what my body says I actually want to do right so in my mind cool people are the [ ] Authority they’re the people that everybody looks to for the rules right that’s what I think it is but I’m not totally sure uh probably everything um see yeah I was a pretty good student um you know I I got all the A’s or E’s or whatever the [ ] we were getting back then and um I didn’t being a good student came easy that’s why I was a good student it didn’t take a lot of work I didn’t have to study I was forced to do my homework as soon as I got home from school um because that’s just the way you [ ] do it you know remember I got into the the math contest I don’t know if you remember like spell and be’s math contest and [ ] so I did that in like third grade and I I won at the school so I went to the district level and I didn’t win the district level but the top three moved on so I went to the city level um and I came in second at the city level and like got this [ ] and I’m a short little dude at the time in third grade got this like 2 and a half threefoot trophy so [ ] proud of myself and um and I walked in in the door with it and told my father and he was like man we’re going to study and get him next year and it’s like such a crushing moment you know um I did not participate in the math context not the following year uh I remember wanting to read a book in like a poetry read because I thought I read with good inflection and I picked this poetry item out and like I didn’t know much about it it just sounded like the awkwardness of a kid getting older into like somewhat of a teenager right like that awkward phase there what it sounded like it was talking about so like I started practicing reading it and I told my dad I was going to read it and he was like oh well you know read it to me let me hear it so I read it to him and apparently it was like more tailored for females and like he talked me out of he I don’t know that he talked me out of reading it but he definitely made me think I don’t want to read this or I’m [ ] made fun of um I don’t know I don’t know if that was helpful or harmful right you know but it’s a thing it happened um another thing I wrote down here was that like in that idea of I could have hung out with like maybe the more nerdy people and it had to be the cool people was the idea that maybe what I was programmed for was to chaste my acceptance and validation specifically from where I don’t get it you know what I mean that’s why I was like I don’t know is that a thing am I am I programmed to go after it where people aren’t giving it is that why and like the people who would give it to me it’s like well that’s [ ] stupid you’ll just give it to anybody you know yeah I used to think that what I’ve been looking at lately because I have something sort of similar but what I think it more has to do with now is the way that I look at and receive love at least or or my pattern at I took from my childhood doesn’t necessarily uh doesn’t meet the need that I think it should like cuz it’s so unhealthy so it’s like my relationship with my wife like I put all these weird expectations and weird uh like oh well you love me so you’re obviously going to not be available for me and you’re going to let me down and you’re going to do all this stuff but these people over here that don’t love me like if they start to give me love then that feels good you know but this pattern of what I’m used to as love doesn’t necessarily feel all that great anyway I’ve been thinking about that lately that’s a just something to think about because I used to think the same as you I used to think why is it that the people that I’m closest to that tell me they love me and in certain ways show me they love me like they don’t seem to matter like it’s the people that don’t love me that I’m seeking love and affection from and why is that I think for a long time for me it was the idea of it was it had to be everybody I needed everybody to love me in order to be enough right there couldn’t be not one person on Earth that questioned it something to that eventually realized and I think for me at least that that’s actually just me in my head that I got to convince it’s not everybody out there um but there definitely is this Dynamic of like if you already accept me then I haven’t earned anything and my only understanding is I have to work hard and earn your love I don’t know what it’s like to just be love for being here so it right doesn’t feel rewarding yeah you know um fourth and fifth grade uh I I had a noticeable shift up until third grade I was like the model [ ] student you would want me in any classroom Ever every teacher would have picked me number one like that was just who I was fourth grade that changed a little bit and and when I say that changed a little bit the teacher corrected me one time for talking to a student next to me uh in the year um but I had never had that happen before I had never done anything wrong but I did start to notice a different feeling inside of me when that happened it was like there’s times I can’t I’m not the one calling the shots and I’m going to do something even though my brain is saying this ain’t the thing you do to be the model person that gets you all the love and I didn’t know how to stop it that was the beginning of that um also fourth and fifth grade the uh the bullying got a little more um I had a best friend that we were best friends I was over his house every other weekend if not every weekend spending the night we played [ ] Nintendo games all the time even stupid Nintendo games like Bubble Bobble I love Bubble Bobble by the way um but just stuff like that RBI Baseball trying to get one of those rob a home run moments you know we’ll play for hours and hours we made up games and played in his room with these little stuffed balls on the floor called hand hockey and [ ] where we had goals in the doorways like spent a lot of time with this [ ] we played wall ball and Like Home Run Derby in his back alley and couldn’t have owned it then but know now that I was the Funtime guy that we hung out all the time until the cooler kids called and then there wasn’t no space for me right you know but I was always scared that I would miss out on the fun that was going on at his house when I was home you know couldn’t have said this in these kind of words anytime before now probably but like that was my original version or at least my first outside of my house version of abandoning myself right oh I don’t feel good about me I’m lonely I don’t have nothing to do I’m bored I got to go be with him all the time I got to think about him when I can’t go be with him and be frustrated that I can’t go be with him and I should be down there and doing that and they’re probably having a lot of fun and I’m missing out and they’re all going to talk about it Monday at lunch and I won’t be a part of it and I’ll be excluded again and that’s my story that’s my narrative in my head y you know um I didn’t get in a lot of fights I was scared I was like Paralyzed by [ ] fear right and and I don’t know I don’t know how you give levels of intensity of the kind of bullying I went I don’t know right I got spanked in my house I got beat with a belt um a 2×4 one time one time when I was older and this made me cry the other day thinking about it Billy I was like 19 I mean I wasn’t a young man man oh I wasn’t a kid kid um but you remember the club that people used to put on their car to make sure it didn’t get stolen I think they just gave some out in Baltimore say they’re doing a big thing giving out them anyway but that was a big thing in the 80s or whatever but uh and this was like 99 we still had one apparently I think that we had it so that I couldn’t steal my parents car God which is kind of funny thinking back about it but I had done something and stolen something else from the house again and my father like choked me me out with that [ ] club dude not choke me out I didn’t go out but it [ ] hurt yeah right just looking back at that like I hadn’t thought about that for a long time for whatever reason I thought about this week driving to the gym and I was like ow yeah you know um see yeah I I don’t know I don’t know the intensity I know I couldn’t stand up for myself or speak up for what I needed I didn’t have a voice there wasn’t a space for that in my house um my father was 5’9 um kind of heavy and [ ] scary as hell basically and like I just learned the best thing to do is nothing my mom was five six and 90 lbs and scary as hell so it isn’t always you know size or what they look like that makes a difference it’s just feeling very good point what’s that called like de empowered or feeling like someone just takes all your power and just has all the power over you yeah I don’t uh you know I don’t know if I was born just an extra sensitive emotional person or whatever worldly words we’d like to put on that description of what kind of life my body goes through but like I do always feel like I have been like sensitive and on the verge of tears and like I put on our our social media the other day like a minor is the soundtrack to my life like the chord right and it’s if you don’t know what minor chords are they’re like just kind of a little sad and that’s what my feeling life is it’s like yeah it’s cool but it’s kind of flavored bitterly I don’t know um I remember going to school one day my father walking me down there and some truck didn’t stop very well at the stop sign and like kind of blew in front of us and he smacked the [ ] out of the back of the truck and the dude stops in the middle of the road and they’re [ ] yelling at each other and my dad tells him to meet him to [ ] back up there after we he drops me off at school in 10 minutes you know and he’ll show him and this that and the other and like I couldn’t function at school that day what the [ ] happened is my dad alive yeah wow and like I cried when I saw him after school and of course he was [ ] late that day and like don’t do that to your children right yeah um what’s funny like I’ve noticed at least as a parent and I’m better at it now it’s like we expect our kids to understand like sarcasm and nuance and all these things when they’re young because that’s how we operate but they don’t understand any of that [ ] like so much stuff to them is literal or they’re still trying to work some of those ideas out you know so when we say things you know and I again I can remember saying like crazy [ ] to my kids like oh I should just go punch that [ ] guy in his face you know like don’t understand that I’m not probably going to do that I’m not that’s not something I’m going to do I’m just saying that because I’m angry and that’s what I want to do I absolutely hopped out of my [ ] car yeah on some [ ] teenagers who were being [ ] to me but still like as an adult with my [ ] kids in the car I just did it like a year ago with my sonit at Walmart and I told him and I really wasn’t I said I wasn’t getting out of the car to fight the guy I just he [ ] flipped out on me he was in the wrong I don’t know what was going on and so he wanted to stop his car in front of me so I stopped my car and got out and then he took off so my son’s like were you going to get out and fight him I was like no I wasn’t planning to fight him I you know what the [ ] were you planning on then you get playing on fighting Billy just letting you know don’t get out unless you are yeah cuz somebody else getting out there ready for that um so I didn’t get out with the intention to fight I got out with the intention to intimidate yeah not any better not any better no angry dude and not in control of myself like those moments in school I can’t do that thing that my brain is saying I want to do right no [ ] control over it um I learned later that’s my nervous system overwhelming me nobody taught me that um you know this is [ ] that I don’t know I honestly have no idea if I’ve ever told anybody this Billy I’mma share about here honestly because of your bravery talking about your sexual abuse and stuff when you were younger and [ ] it we need to change the world and have a different narrative and be able to talk about this [ ] but I can remember in elementary school having a group of of a couple of guys that we played weird Truth or Dare games with each other and [ ] around you know touching genitals and stuff I don’t know man I don’t know if that was normal for every kid we did some of that [ ] I don’t know that it matters I think it is so I had a similar experience and what was weird about mine so a similar experience happened and I freaked the [ ] out but I think I freaked out because I had been sexually abused as a kid so when these couple of kids there was a sleepover at a guy and very similar type of thing and we were probably I’m going to say between 8 and 10 I don’t remember exactly what age but 8 and 10 and you know they had brought up and they wanted to play and I was like I’m [ ] sick I need to go home and I freaked out and I went to the and I was like I and I never like told anybody or got anybody in trouble or anything like that or I just was like I got to get the [ ] out of here but it was you know those kids had all done that and it was four or five kids there and that’s what was about to happen and I just like say for being sexually AB so I think some of that’s normal you’re a kid there’s normal sexual exploration but again all that [ ] there’s so much shame and unwillingness to talk about it or unwillingness right I think something’s wrong with me cuz all the messaging in the world is that being homosexual at that point in time in life in the 80s is wrong it’s [ ] wrong and you’re a lesser person for IT and here I am saying well I’m doing stuff like that we’re we’re playing truth or dare we’re playing uh hey I’m asleep but if somebody you know wanted to like pet me it’s cool kind of game right and nobody’s there to say hey that’s normal so all y’all dudes around my age that played that game there you are you’re normal nothing’s wrong with you or we’re all [ ] weird together either way yeah or just growing up with so much shame around like sex in general like oh I don’t know anything behind besides like Purity oh yeah like straight you know one man one woman like what do they call that missionary like that’s that’s it anything else is [ ] weird or you’re a pervert we put a sheet between us and cut a hole for the for the actual interaction right our skin can’t touch every now and again we push them together but yeah and it’s you know there just you since nobody as when you’re young wants to have real conversations about that stuff there’s all this shame and all this guilt and I think that’s where a lot of this you know unhealthiness around sex and why internet porn is so crazy it’s like because people can’t be open about it right you know right thinking about like that that transition period of like going from elementary school to middle school I didn’t go to the Middle School that was in my neighborhood where all the other kids basically from elementary school went um it was in my town becoming a rougher Middle School um and they didn’t have any kind of like Advanced um placement or education programs and so I I don’t know what happened but somehow there was a I got sent somewhere else where it was further away but they had it was a nicer school I didn’t I got bullied by nicer kids who didn’t bully me as bad I guess I know um probably a good thing but it was a weird time to like kind of be saying by to this one set of friends and like moving into some this other world you know the people I had grown up with it was it was freeing for me in a lot of ways because like I knew those weren’t really good friends for me anyway um I was mostly just kind of like the low man in the on the totem pole in the group um but still like you know damn I’m I’m moving away from these people that I’ve spent the last six years of my childhood with and the only people I really know in the world that is my world these people I go see him at school every day you know um but even then Measuring Up in some of our last interactions talking about like they’re talking about things that are that are Beyond me I’m like trying to walk around with them over the summer and they’ve done hung out with the older kids and they’re informed about sex and like no songs that have curse words and like right you know are masturbating and it works and they know how to do it and I’m like 11 and [ ] stupid to the world and feeling not enough and less than again you know just just another story in my mind in my life
um see yeah the whole thing with my sister that was weird she left ran away uh accused my father of touching her inappropriately there was an investigation people came and talked to me I had to learn all the gluteus maximus terms and [ ] to talk to him fancy and um you know nothing ever came of it um I actually I actually do think my father grabbed her titty or something honestly uh I don’t know I don’t know what difference it makes at this point right I’m sure it makes a difference for one of them too maybe uh just a weird thing to go through another [ ] stressful situation of like are do these people have the ability to take my parents away from me or me away from my parents in this situation and like I don’t know I’d have probably [ ] lied to avoid that if I had to you know um but then remembering like as I went into middle school one day a couple years later coming home from school she like pulled up in a car full of people my sister and like got out and hugged me and said she was sorry for and like this is what was weird at the time like she was like apologizing and I couldn’t completely understand this for like abandoned me and I didn’t get it right and I get it now I was in a [ ] abusive household like she was my protection I was The Golden Child until she left she was the [ ] bad kid right but then [ ] started all getting put on me right you were the only one there right and like I didn’t get it then but yeah she got out I’m her I’m sure her situation did not get better Billy right um but yeah I don’t know it was an interesting thing and then I remember telling my parents about it and like she gave me her number and I remember them having mixed feelings about it like very mixed feelings because on one hand it’s like it is my sister and it would be nice to keep in touch but on the other hand like she’s using drugs and hanging out with people that should not be around me that’s probably not a good idea so that’s probably confusing other memories is loving music but loving like adult love songs h like rush rush by Mariah K or Paula Abdul I don’t know if I know that I mean I know if I heard but like any any really heartfelt right like adult Love Song and all I can think about now is that that’s what I was sold by the world that was going to be my solution that was my magical solution as a kid for all the pain I was feeling that was somebody was going to come along and they were going to love me so right that it was just going to all make sense you know um that didn’t exactly happen I actually it kind of did happen it’s just me I came along and I’m loving me right godamn it um and there was another key point of like we were going to go to the state fair this one year and there was this huge [ ] blowout argument between my mom and my dad and like I was the voice of reason in the house I was the one crying saying can’t we just sit down and talk about this like adults and we did and my father ended up not going and like you know me and my mom went but like how the [ ] at 8 years old am I the one being the voice of reason in the house you know that parentified child role that I had to take on um taking care of my parents emotions and how that [ ] me up for the rest of my life middle school so I went to this other Middle School is pretty much more the same different versions of bullying um I was in Boy Scouts there was more bullying there of course it felt like these people just kept showing up like I would go to these spaces to get freedom from it and then these like bully-ish type peer and it’s weird cuz one at school and one in Boy Scouts were cousins with the same last name but different people but yeah like they just kept invading my world and like ruining the places where I enjoyed myself wow um but boy scouts was a thing that like I probably would have quit at that point especially with somebody there that really made it miserable and I didn’t ever feel like I could now did you play sports or anything growing up I I did play sports that’s right I didn’t mention that I played uh soccer ER outdoor and indoor soccer and then basketball and baseball and I was [ ] awful at baseball batting I was scared I was terrified to bat Billy people were throwing that [ ] ball at me that’s hard yeah so I was awful at batting uh struck out or walked basically every time it bat um I was decent defensively for the most part I had a glove I wasn’t as scared of the ball like and I kind of was ready for it to come at me you know different scenario there um but yeah soccer I was decent at I look at the kids my son plays against now and like the skill level in America has come a long way right I don’t think I’d be that good now but like back then I was like a [ ] Superstar running around everybody um but yeah Sports quickly just became another spot where it could be hypercritical about oh my God you got a hat-trick this game but here’s how you missed the other six goals you I just wondered for the bullying so I’ve always kind of had a theory and apparently not that like oh if you play a lot of Sports you don’t really get bullied cuz you in a team and there’s a camaraderie and you’re the dude who strikes out with all the players on base you always get bullied Billy yeah huh and because I was good at soccer the other kids on the other teams that were the cool kids in town would like be extra rough against me in the games because they didn’t like me basically hamon felt like it was all a bunch of cousins and me like everybody was [ ] related and Liv next to people and my parents came from like some other part of town and just moved there and I had no ties to the neighborhood so I was the outcast gotcha um and I’m sure just being me uh I don’t know I’m a guy that’s different and like being me tends to be pointed at by others I guess maybe that’s another story in my head I don’t know Middle School definite downward spiral of grades like lost the ability to do homework I just could not force myself no matter how much I knew my parents would be upset about their report cards and what punishment would be and that’s what I think it’s funny that we can’t understand about punishment like I know I don’t want that [ ] punishment that’s coming for that thing and I still can’t right why can’t parents see that I can’t as a kid you have to [ ] help me somehow um and Punishment ain’t helping eventually got to the place where I skip school towards the end only one day me and my buddy skipped and went and like [ ] played in a sewer somewhere and crawled around and explored the sewer drains and thankfully didn’t get flooded and die um but yeah that like things the rules started to become less my rules um or or I felt less inclined that to be able to follow them uh I I think I’ve shared on here before that I like took a glass a broken glass bottle before school one day and cut my arms up and went into class and like they just told me to go to the my teacher told me to go to the bathroom and wash it up I was like and I don’t remember what excuse I gave but like something seems wrong here if I got dried blood all over my arms I’m in class that’s crazy um I started like rolling up dried leaves out front of school and smoking them it was almost like these ways of trying to be cool or get attention or be seen and and I don’t say that in a negative light like I I needed some [ ] attention and I wasn’t getting it for just being ho hum ass Jason honestly like I needed some extra [ ] and these were the things that my body felt pulled to do I I don’t know why yeah and it’s interesting with the rules thing cuz I and even now I’m still a person that like I’m a rule follower I [ ] I I’m a rule follower but as I got to this age you’re talking about I started hanging around like what I got attracted to is the cool kids were all the kids that broke the rules that were doing whatever the [ ] they wanted and [ ] Authority and all that and when I started using that’s what I gravitated towards and appeal to like that felt so freeing than being like stuck into all these rules that I didn’t even like you know why because that is freeing for our soul to live our [ ] life right like that’s [ ] I still want that that’s was doing horrible things we were like vandalizing people’s property and stealing cars and like doing drugs and like it was all bad that I knew was [ ] wrong you know what I mean like it wasn’t like oh we were just whatever like you talked about ditching school like we ditch school all the time to the point they’re like if you miss another day of school you’re going to fail like you can’t miss any more days of school you know right and like my parents house was the house because both my parents worked we ditched school and went to my house and raided the liquor cabin had a buddy like y we were that house so I think I still think those people are cool they’re still the people that are living by their own rules and they are free they’re not living this life of I don’t I’m not trying to compare it to SL y indentured servitude like we are forced to do these rules I don’t want to I didn’t agree to that [ ] them rules right so anyway I still think that’s cool but I think what you’re saying things that are bad I think they are [ ] statements about what the world is doing wrong and how we’re ass backwards right oh that farm equipment is more important than me and my life [ ] that farm equipment I’ll defile it you know if you put stuff as more important in life I will break your stuff right it makes sense to me I don’t know I can’t be too mad at people who do that and at that age for a lot of us Looking Back Now at least a lot of the kids I hung around with and for me it was a point of like crying out for for help like we are hurting you know I’ve joke with Jen about this now like I still have points it’s terrible to say so we’re like walking through Home Depot the other day or you know Big Box store and a guy’s got this you know heart on it and he’s got a couple of the fake like Christmas trees all lined up and like I’m walking by and I just want to kick all that [ ] all over the [ ] floor and you know just like I just want you to [ ] [ ] your [ ] up yeah you know I just want to make you un I want to make you hurt like I feel like I hurt or I want to make you recognize that what you think is stable and secure in your life can be like just totally [ ] [ ] up in like 8 seconds and someone else is going to laugh at you like that’s such a weird feeling to walk around with you love to do that though so I don’t love to do it I don’t actually do it right right right oh but I would like to yes but I feel or the impulse is there I feel like knowing that that’s what satisfies you you should do go and be a Zen priest Dave always talks about that’s exactly what his mentor does for him is pulls the [ ] rug out from under him at every turn like we can we can please you Billy yeah that’s funny we did uh when I was working in high school at a summer camp for Scouts uh we used to drive around the local place and steal people’s lawn ornaments and then come put them in our campsite so I had like some Swan planners and [ ] that I ended up taking back to my parents house sorry little town around Broad Creek but it was fun um but some of that stuff as a kid that AG is normal I think some it’s when it gets to the unhealthy parts of it yeah I’m a fan of Mischief personally yeah you know nothing that harms things but yeah Mischief right I get it maybe you can say the [ __ ] Swan plant holders harm somebody cuz they didn’t get them back but like get over it yeah I don’t know let’s take a break [Music] yeah have you found that listening to the recovery sort of podcast has helped you in your day-to-day Journey please share the message of compassion and well-being with the loved ones in your life connect with us more at recovery sort of.com Facebook Instagram threads YouTube and other social media basis and have a great [Music] [Applause] [Music]
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