We remember when this ‘voyage’ started – way back in 1986 or so – or perhaps even earlier (’84?).
We were in the process of ‘starting’ to ‘stock’ for our voyage then: journaling and writing, attempting to discover why we were a) so mad all the time (being enraged would be more like it), and b) beginning to question our childhood (after being adopted into a ‘real’ family with children who taught me to love – and even more importantly, that I could BE loved, and c) to discover (though I did not know it at the time) – why I fought suiciding ‘on out’ on a daily basis – often a dozen times or more during the day.
We didn’t get real far: we discovered this: a) You can’t be happy if you’re mad all the time, and b) we began to seriously suspect something was wrong with our childhood, and c) we found our wife (a woman with 3 children: an almost exact mirror of the family which had taken me in – and in our eyes, the EXACT definition of what we’d been praying for after discovering our love.) God is funny that way: sometimes he gives us exactly what we are wanting (and leaving us to find out: it ain’t exactly what we had wanted it to be.)
But that was then, and in the era before computers (yes, we were on the ‘internet’ at the time: the ‘arc-net’; the Unix based world of college computing; very little interaction at all, no chat rooms or blogs to be found: all technical dryness and theories based upon college curriculum and military outposts.)
And yet … things are weird for me – always are – and I mean the physical things – and my own selves. Already we were planning our route, charting our course over oceans unseen – the internet didn’t really ‘exist’, not in the way it does now – but ‘looking ahead’ we could see this thing and what it’s become (As well as where it is probably going). Thank the reading of every science fiction novel ever published up to the date of 1977 for that one. (Given so many futures to choose from from the minds of so many creative authoring – nothing ‘surprises’ us anymore. It’s just a question of ‘where are we going with this thing?” – for there are two ways, according to scientific and social theorizing.)
But then . . . ‘we’ wanted a CAD machine; obstinately ‘for work’ – but unknown to me (the Captain of this Insane Ship) – ‘they’ (the crewmen) had another plan in mind.
Despite it costing me $3,500, we had a special system built (that was back in the day when a 40Mb. hard drive was supposed to last forever, and 1 or 2 Mb. of RAM was considered ‘far outstanding’ – and a single Mb. of Compaq RAM cost over 500 dollars.)
Then the very first thing we did (this was now about 1994? I could look up my AOL sign-up date to know exactly when) – was to go onto AOL, then to a Mental Health Chat Room, and ask the major question that had been bothering me for some time:
“Is it normal for a person to want to kill themselves each and every day?”
And the answer was a resounding “NO!”.
And so the voyage began.
Visiting the chat room on a daily basis (call it ‘calling in’), or docking at a foreign base – we discovered other things:
That by other folks definition, our lives had been ‘bad’ – meaning that we had been abused badly. This was something we’d been suspecting, but having it said by other people’s mouth confirmed what we had suspected: we had been abused. Just goes to show how long a person can go thinking their childhood was ‘normal’ – the sex and things. It was a gradual realization, even with other people saying it was so.
Just goes to show how strong the feelings of denial (as well as minimalizing the symptoms) can go.
Then …. we fell on hard times (not physically – but mentally then.) We had to ‘give our child away’ (Brandi! Where are you??) in order to ‘protect him’. We cut; made our own suicide attempts … (sigh) … and the list goes on.
But we had entered therapy, and here’s the other deal:
I discovered this “Crew” of mine. And again: it’s been a slow unfolding of a deal.
First I found out that most people didn’t think in terms of “we” and “our(s)”. That was a startlement, I’ll tell you! Here I’d been thinking we were all the same, ‘you people’ and I. That you, too, thought in terms of “we”, “he” and “I” when it came to internal dialoguing.
Little Mikie was first, followed by some others: The Beast was a main player (not a good thing, BTW!) – and the ‘teen’ was outed. From there … well, my ‘family’ has grown. But we’re quite happy with that one, now. For in doing so I can give ‘myself’ so much more loving, care and compassions – and ‘feel’ them from the inner souls in me. That’s a good thing in my and our opinion – even if by technical standards, I’ve gone ‘insane’. Whatever: as long as we are happy, I don’t care.
So there you have it: a short concise explanation about how this Ship of Fools of mine got started on our endless voyaging – and why we are on it. And I guess the lesson learned: the lesson for YOU, my friend, is:
If you’re feeling suicidal on a daily basis; then you are not alone – and it is NOT a normal kind of thing. Neither is cutting or doing your own self damage (and some damage comes in terms of drug addiction; risky behavior patterns, et cetra ad nauseum).
And if you think in terms of “we” and “he” and “ours” – you just might have a little more of something going on. Just a hint: from me to you.
Until later, my friends.
Jeff & Co.