Shame on me…

It’s funny how sometimes it takes awhile to realize what is the cause of increased fear. The sometimes, was my gift this past weekend…

My daughter Annie, who lives in Los Angeles, was taking a wine tasting birthday trip for her best friend, Tracy, who was celebrating her second 39th birthday.

They had done it right, renting a vehicle that would hold some twenty people and was driven by a non-wine tasting person. Like I said, they had done it the right way, the safe way.

But, how would Annie get home from Tracys? I wondered to myself . . . and the impending doom grew.

Knowing it always made me feel better to talk to someone else, I refused to call my son, Jason, because he would just tell me she will be fine. . .and he would be right. . . .and I would feel better. But, I didn’t want to bother him and most likely didn’t want him to know how crazy I was.

I sure couldn’t call Annie, after all she’s a woman who is in charge of her life and doesn’t need an over protective father.

I know I am NOT in charge of my daughter, or anything else, but when the impending doom is in full swing, I suffer. I know I have unwittingly given the damn impending doom to Annie, and that hurts me. . .badly.

By Saturday night I was a mess and couldn’t stop thinking  the worst would happen if Annie dared to attempt to drive home after a wine tasting journey.  I told myself trust God, he is in charge, but I went deeper into fear. How could I trust some one or some thing I believed in, but no one alive has ever seen.

I refused to call Annie because my struggle with this negativity made her angry. . .and it sure as hell triggered her struggle with impending doom, but I hadn’t thought about that until now.

Then it happened.

I realized that when Brannon and I went wine tasting… I went wild. Drank a lot, smoked dope, drank some more.

I thought about all the times I drove drunk, and by the grace of God wasn’t stopped by police.

It was then I realized that Annie was not Jerry. That she is a smart woman. I was feeding my impending doom and fear by projecting that my daughter was acting like I did . . . and that was my gift.

Annie is not Jerry.

It was my shame driving me. Shame for the way I had acted.  Shame on my shame.

That truism took 30 years of sobriety to finally surface.

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Impending Doom

        Impending doom crept into my being when I was very young. The fact is, probably when I was born and as I grew bigger, it grew worse all the way into adulthood.  It has caused a terrific amount of pain and I’ve lost many hours to it. I’ve said numerous times, this has got to stop but the demon did not stop.

It came from my mother, who was born to an unwed woman in 1908 and was raised in several foster homes. Never knowing her mother or father she searched for years trying to locate them and the parental love she never got.

Her tragedy was my reward and my terrible demon.

My reward?  My Mothers lack of parents helped her become a loving mother. The demon was that my mother was a control freak.

She always feared something bad had happened if I were just minutes late.She had to control absolutely everything.

As a result, all of my life, I also feared something bad had happened to my kids if I didn’t hear from them regularly.

That fear would cause worry and my imagination would run always to the negative, to the worst happenings and then I would obsess on that fear.

Impending doom stole hours of peace and replaced that with worry. I recall one time my mother was supposed to be home at a certain time and she didn’t show up. I was probably 10 years old at the time.

When she came home, it seemed like she was an hour late when in reality it was probably twenty minutes. I freaked out and started yelling and crying. I told her all the bad things I had been thinking and imagined and she told me not to worry because she was home, safe and sound. I can’t recall if she apologized or if my first session with impending doom caused her to think about her problem with the gloom of doom or not. The impending doom didn’t end. . .it grew.

I joined the army in an effort to get away from the doom. I didn’t get away from it. I married and was father to three children. The doom grew stronger and seemed to affect my daughter most of all, probably because I raised her from the time she was six years-old.

I struggle with the feeling, the belief, that life is always going to end in doom until I realize that only I can change that.

I, with the help of God.

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 Jerry writes on personal growth, happiness and life, including lowering stress in the work world. His book “Life is a Joke and God Wrote it” can be ordered through www.jerrystanecki.com

©Stanecki 2018

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Thanks, Jerry

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