Rat in the attic

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by A New Man, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    So this week at kids sport (haha i lied) it was uncomfortable to watch two other dads go through ego crises of their own. Maybe it's something every person must experience when they step up to the plate and out of their comfort zone. I'll try to help them out, hopefully they don't relapse to whatever their drug is over the next few weeks.

    Bought my wife the blu-ray of Cats for Mother's Day. My kids watched it very intently and now they are obsessed with it. It's nice when you find something that resonates with them.

    One of my kids attended a birthday party this weekend and the home she visited was very fancy, in a nice part of town- probably the nicest house she has ever seen. Afterwards we got lots of questions from both kids about why they couldn't live in a house like that. We tried to explain, not all people are born with the same wealth, people make different choices about how they spend their time etc, but it got to the point where it felt like i was just making excuses and i shut up. I don't usually care about keeping up with the Jones but when your kids ask you a bunch of questions about their living conditions its hard to ignore.

    Australia had an election on Saturday and returned our conservative government. I worry a lot about climate change and so this was a blow, because our conservative party does not intend to do anything about it. Our seat was one of the only to come close to kicking out their incumbent MP, so at least I can still feel good about my neighbours.
    Gilgamesh likes this.
  2. Gilgamesh

    Gilgamesh Seize the day

    This is so interesting. Something similar I remember that made you feel so bad about yourself last year. And now you experience how not only you went through this learning curve already, but also how we are all human beings and encounter the same difficulties. We must be kind to ourselves.

    Indeed, let's hope they don't relapse, but in anyway they are stepping up to do these things so I guess they are going to be alright.

    I guess that Australia is a country that is going to suffer a lot from global warming, also economically. It is frustrating that most people can only think short-term.
  3. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Yeah. it's interesting watching these guys and knowing what they are experiencing and seeing them push through it in their own ways. It's inspiring actually.

    Slept badly last night. Woke at 3am and didn't get back to sleep till 5.30am. Stayed in bed and had a think about the reboot, and wondered what caused my last relapse, which made me think of the videos i found on youtube that were the cause (not the cause of course, but the immediate manifestation). I started to drift into the memory, "checking out" of the present moment. It felt like I was disappearing into a warm, dark room inside my mind, and pulling up the rope ladder so no one could reach me. Which made me think of a tree house and how porn and fantasy are like having a tree house in your mind, where you can disappear and pull up the ladder and everyone will leave you alone (add a box of old playboy mags in the tree house for good measure). But the fact is you're a grown man sitting in a tree house, pretending the world outside doesn't exist, and life continues on around you, the kids are like "Where's daddy?" (He's in the tree house), the wife's wondering why shit isn't getting done (He's in the tree house) and we're wondering why everyone seems so distant and our lives are on standby (You're sitting in a tree house dude). It sounds childish and ridiculous, and it is. The tree house will always be there in my mind, just got to remember to keep walking past it, remember what it stands for.
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
    Gilgamesh and Bobo like this.
  4. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Great analogy. I like to think that we can burn the tree house down. It's part of the revolution.
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  5. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member

    You have the ability to call things the way they are! Thinking in this way is very positive!
  6. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Quite tired today after another bad night. There must be a local cat or possum that jumps on our bins around that time. Last time I had a bad night i posted here and then did chores around the house instead of doing my day job. Reorganized the bedroom, and moved a lot of the crap out of there. In the past I would have spent such a day feeling sorry for myself and looking at porn. The wife liked the changes to the room- wife's approval is still nice to have now and then, just not as necessary as it once was.

    Tomorrow morning i'm reffing a game for one of my kids. This is something i would not have agreed to do in the past, but i'm feeling more confident in my ability to handle stress and also improve at doing new things. I also get a big "rush" when these things work out, or at least I walk away intact, which is the pay off of stepping outside your comfort zone I guess. Tonight I embarrassed myself at another sporting event (yeah, we do a lot of sport) by calling out the wrong name from the sidelines. This might not sound like a big deal, except I was shouting the wrong name at my OWN kid lol. I felt foolish and on the way home was beating myself up badly, but slowly the old Buddhist practices kicked in, or letting go, being kind to myself, reminding myself I am no use to anyone up in my proverbial treehouse.

    This week I started timing my swimming sprints for the first time in 27 years. I'm 8 seconds slower than the last time I timed myself, so plenty of room for improvement there. I will keep you guys posted on my swim times.
    Gilgamesh and Thelongwayhome27 like this.
  7. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    It's been an interesting week. The reffing went badly. Thankfully i was mentally prepared for it, because a) it's unreasonable to expect a great performance the first time you do anything and b) no one else put their hand up to do it, so I was basically taking one for the team. No one got hurt, and my decisions were not good for either team, which evened things out in the end. In the days leading up to the game my anxiety started building, but i didn't fuel it with negative self-talk. It did ruin my sleep the night before, however. Fuck you anxious lizard brain, you didn't take me down with you.

    This year the 30 year anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre has been all over our news and the internet. I cried quite a lot watching the footage. I feel like i have a heart again, and it is working in the right way. I remember tearing up watching the news in the first year of the reboot and being surprised by it. These days i cry a lot more, but it feels normal and right. I don't care if my kids see me crying at sad stuff. It's probably good for them on some level.

    Kids are doing well at sport. My wife's parents never really bothered to take her to many sports when she was a little kid, so she always had this idea she was not a sporty or physical person. My parents did a little better, at least i learned how to swim properly. Now i have kids myself i see that the kids who are good at sport are actually the kids who do a lot of sport. They tell you to read to your kids a lot- it's the same thing.

    This idea, to not worry about what others think about you, is so powerful. Reading Pema Chodron she talks about becoming "fearless" and i really had no idea what she meant at first. But, like with so many of the things she talks about, the truth of it becomes apparent in time. As i understand it now she means we need to become more "outcome-independent". When I came off the field last Saturday after doing a bad job as ref I felt fine, just talked to people as usual, hugged my kids and got on with my day. People who take pleasure in other people's failures probably had fun. People who like me probably felt bad for me, but none of that matters because I did what I did and I know I'll do better next time. I still have a long way to go, relearning how to approach challenges after 45 years of doing it the old way, but it's a start. Not fearless yet, but fearing less.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
  8. The crying thing got me. I noticed myself crying more in the last year. However, this last month much of that compassion has disappeared again as I have fallen into old patterns. Did I fall back into the old pathways subconsciously? Maybe I lost sight or control of what I was doing. Though, I do believe that subconsciously I've avoided Pema Chodron, my meditation, and art work because these things were helpful in keeping me mindful of what I was doing. Time to pick up Pema Chodron again. In fact, I looked at my reminder to meditate and avoided it today because "I have to make this call before they close and send this email quickly." That was over an hour ago when I sat down to send the email. Thankfully, I came here instead of running to P. Time to go meditate. So glad to see you still sharing your rad thoughts.
    A New Man likes this.
  9. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Reffed my second game today. It went much better. Some other dads were asked to do the job by the manager beforehand and all turned it down. Some of them are better qualified than me to ref because they have better knowledge of the game and better skill, but everyone has that initial reluctance i guess, regardless of their actual capacity.

    Finally posted a Success Story called "Came for the erections. Stayed for the happiness." It's pretty much a homage to Pema Chodron. Writing it I realized i have been putting off writing my story because the reality of "succeeding" for me (learning to manage my emotions) has proved to be very different from my old definition of success (getting arousal erections).

    3 days ago had sex with the wife using morning wood. It was very nice, although i had some fantasy intrude. That makes it sound like it wasn't deliberate. It was. Got to take responsibility for it. That evening I felt fucking incredible, just this amazing positive energy coursing through me. The following day one of my kids scored at a sports game and i felt elation. There are few times in my life I can say I felt really "elated". I didn't even think it was on my emotional scale, until yesterday. I once wrote on here that real life would never be able to provide the same high as porn, but i was wrong, life can and does. How fucking cheap and just poor quality is the experience of pmo in comparison to dopamine highs derived from truly positive experiences like making love to your wife, facing down your fears and seeing your kid shoot a goal. One is true gold, the other is fool's gold.
  10. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member

    Your logic is impeccable. You are able to see things as they are. Proud to have you as a brother on this forum.
  11. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Active Member

    Well said and inspiring. We often don't even know how incredible life could be like if we up our potential. If we become more of who we can be, deep down (not becoming someone else, someone we're not, but becoming more of our best possible version). It's almost tragic, because down there in the shades of who we could be, stuck in unhealthy patterns, we forget what could actually be. Or we never even discovered it. And it's hard to find a way out without being guided by a vision of what could actually be. But the good thing for those that often fall back down is they can get tastes of what could be. And gradually, hopefully, start living more and more in those "spheres".

    What you wrote reminded me of this passage in the Recovery Nation Workshop (Lesson 1), I find inspiring :

    "Continue to fall helpless to your compulsive patterns and the change will be a deeper ingraining of the addiction and a greater swath of destruction. Continue to engage in a pattern of relapse/recovery and the change will be a reinforcement of your inability to manage your life without addiction. Continue to pursue a sincere, complete commitment to rebuilding the core of who you are — building a life based on an evolving value system — and the change will involve living a life that you simply cannot currently comprehend."

    This passage always rang true to me.
  12. Outsider.

    Outsider. Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success

    You made my day ANM !
  13. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Any talk of a "value system" rubs me up the wrong way... But thinking about it, that's exactly what happened. I incorporated Pema Chodron's teachings into my life including kindness to self, the basic goodness of people, avoiding poisons or pitfalls. I made an effort to stop objectifying people as rivals and sex objects, which could be viewed as a "values" thing i guess, although my motivation was not moralistic, more about survival. Chodron says her message really hits home when people are desperate to change and I was definitely fertile soil. The cool thing about what she teaches (and Buddhism in general i suppose) is that it's not prescriptive, it's more like "Just quieten your mind and see what happens..."
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  14. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Active Member

    I'm definitely gonna check her talks on Youtube. Thanks for pointing me in her direction. I really enjoyed your success story as well!

    For the passage I posted from Recovery Nation I hear what you mean with "values". For me though, I think the main reason I feel pretty disappointed in myself (or ashamed ?) when I act out is because somewhere deep down in me that kind of action doesn't concord with the individual I think I could be (while still remaining myself). Well, with the values said individual expresses. But yea too much "value talk" can perhaps feel frustrating. I tried, though, not caring about acting out, not feeling ashamed, but it's hard. It's as if truly deep down there is a core value against that kind of behavior. (I'm not too clear right here cause I have to type this fast lol)..

    I especially posted it, though, because of the idea that when we are held back by various addictions or other unhealthy behaviors and that becomes our "normal", we often don't even know what life could be like without them. What healthy life can be like, how incredible it can be. "We can't even truly realize how rich life could be like, even for us". What you wrote about feeling elation that day, at your son's game, made me think of that.

    I sometimes get glimpse, fleeting ones, of what healthy life could be like. How much richer it would be then all I've been trying hungrily to get with unhealthy behaviors.
    A New Man likes this.
  15. Outsider.

    Outsider. Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success

    You got it ANM. Too much people here tend to be harsh on themselves. We like to beat us up, and then it's a vicious circle. Self depreciation/bad self esteem/no self confidence/bad and tough socializing etc etc... Everything is subtly linked. We do have to accept ourselves as we are, and be kind to ourselves yes! Each of us is the most important person of the world. Let's focus on our qualities and improve them.
    I'm currently reading a very good book on the Subconscious mind. Having a positive attitude and state of mind is crucial, so it's more than true that we mustn't see others as rivals. Life is finally simple. Simple and good values, a good state of mind, and good daily actions.
    Keep going on ANM !
    A New Man likes this.

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