the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero


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[WIP] Return with Elixir, Rick Belden is Iron Man

Nerve pain… excruciating nerve pain…

I just haven’t had the energy or wherewithal to write a full post.

What’s under the hood right now:

  1. My father saw the razor cuts on my forearm… all about sharing with my father what I’m learning about survivorship, recovery from abuse, and so on.
  2. Mother’s Day, my mother retired from Social Security, and my daughter had a birthday.
  3. Rick Belden shared some posts about Iron Man on Twitter that IMMEDIATELY caught my attention.  The first one was a review of the 2008 movie with Robert Downey, Jr. and the second one was an essay of why he had been drawn to the character of Iron Man in Marvel Comics as a boy.

Rick Belden’s treatise of Iron Man seemed especially apt as he references Monomyth stages to the plot of the movie: the wasteland, the wound, and the cave.  He also references “confronting the false father”, which I remember being mentioned mostly in feminist treatises on Monomyth stories featuring women heroes (the Heroine’s Journey, if you will).  It has shown up in other contemporary works featuring male heroes.  I recognized it in the Equilibrium series of posts here, specifically: Final Fight: Confronting the Powerless Father and Atonement with the Mother.

In short, just as John Preston had to face Vice Counsel Dupont as the political figurehead known as “Father”, so also Tony Stark had to face Obadiah Stane.

Cover of Iron Man Family Outing. All rights reserved to Rick Belden

Belden, of course, explains that his inspiration was the basis for his first book, Iron Man Family Outing : Poems About Transition Into A More Conscious Manhood.  Also not surprisingly, the Masculinity-Movies site is connected to Robert Bly’s Iron John: A Book About Men, or at least by way of Robert Moore and Doug Gilette’s King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine.  (TL;DR: Jungian archetypes.)

 

 


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…the father becomes the son. (more thoughts)

[ADDENDUM: 11 January, 2015]  When my father first told me of his near-death experience, many years ago, a flash of memory hit me, like a curtain being drawn from my mind, to reveal the light of the morning sun.

I remember begging, pleading with him, to go back, so that I would have a chance to be.  I did not remember all, but over the years, I came to know the deep sacrifices that were made in those moments.  I would revisit them when he nearly died, again, and each time I climbed up on the surgeon’s table, the last time being the 7th of January, 2015.

This is my Atonement with the Father.

JOR-EL: Once, when you were small, I died, while giving you a chance for life.

It was a shock when I saw him.  He was wandering around aimlessly, obviously not in his body.  He was NOT supposed to be here.

“What are you doing here?  You need to go back, and be my father, just as we planned!”

“I’m tired.  I hurt.  I don’t want to go back to a broken body.”

“But you need to go back!  We agreed!”

My father first got really sick in 1992, when I was hundreds of miles away going to college in Rexburg, Idaho.  When I crashed out of school and took the rebound to community college, I came home one day to see him carried out on a stretcher into an ambulance.

Almost two decades passed and he got really, really sick again.  As in deathly ill.  He could barely move and he grew a beard because he didn’t feel well enough to even shave.  “Not now,” I thought.  “I still need you.”  But I talked with my youngest sister about it, and we made peace with it; we were ready to bury him if that was really to be.

I sent him pictures of me and my son to try to cheer him up.  He was in really bad shape.

A Boy and His Dad

It was obvious that I was not going to persuade him by plans of the future.  I would have to appeal to his here and now.

“What about your family now?  Won’t they miss you?”

That seemed to be more persuasive.  He softened a bit and looked more ready to turn back.

Dad found a specialist in Walla Walla that seemed to know what was going on, finally, and he recovered.

JOR-EL: And now, even though it will exhaust the final energy left within me…

CLARK
(turns frightened)
Father, no!

JOR-EL
Look at me, Kal-El!

“Wait, before you go.  I have to do something.  I… I will carry a part of that pain for you.”

“You don’t have to do this.”

“Yes… yes, I do.”

“No, you don’t.”

“I do.  I promise, I will help you.”

“Very well.”

My back was thrashed– not too long  after my son was born, I found out that some of the discs in my spine were wearing out, and one was being crushed like a pancake, pinching the nerve (sciatic) in my right leg.  In the first week of October in 2009, I had a fusion surgery, but the nerve damage was done.

I found myself comparing notes with my father on pain.

JOR-EL: The Kryptonian prophecy will be at last fulfilled. The son becomes the father – the father becomes the son.

My father later apologized to Cimmorene, and to me, for his mistreatment of me in the past.  He got it.  Things would never be the same again.

HeroesjourneyAtonement


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How to Be a Man – For My Son (jak responds)

Laura Lord at History of A Woman wrote a wonderful article called How to Be a Man – For My Son a few months ago and my thoughts on it were long enough I figured it would be courteous to write a post in response rather than a really long comment.

She writes:

Awhile back I wrote a post for my daughter: Life Hacks for My Daughter. I was struck by the unfairness of that. I mean, here I am, a mother of two wonderful children, and I only dedicate a post to my daughter.  I mean, surely there are some “life hacks” out there for boys…ones I would want to share with my son.

But I’m a woman.

I don’t have the necessary equipment to figure out what is hack-worthy when you’re a grown up of the male variety.

Yeah. A lot like Horshack. Ooh, ooh, Ms. Lord!

Now the inner little boy inside me says, “Ooh, me, me, me!” while raising his hand.  “I’m a boy!  I know!”  Hehe.  Yep.  There’s actually some great resources on the Internet– one of them The Art of Manliness, which I will refer to a few times in this post.

Laura’s a smart cookie, though, and I think she understands that good advice is good advice, even if it doesn’t come from a gender-specific authority figure:

I may not have life hacks for my son, but I have some serious advice on how to be a man I won’t be afraid of passing along to some unsuspecting woman some day.

It is good advice.  Consider, dear readers, since I do have the necessary equipment, that I can confirm it as such.  So, on to her list of advice.

1. Hold the door (and other good manners)

The business world has changed this a bit, since manners are not dictated so much by royalty anymore.  It is for everyone, and I think it’s built on common courtesy and respect.

The Art of Manliness has an illustration series called “Dim and Dash”, which is based on the “Goofus and Gallant” feature from Highlights magazine.

Here’s an example that would apply specifically to the examples Laura gave:

Obviously, the McKays and Ted Slampyak are drawing on a familiar idea, but upgrading it for young men.  If you’d like to look at more of Slampyaks’ “Dim and Dash” illustrations for The Art of Manliness, click here.

2. Learn to Cook…Something

As Laura points out, this is a domestic skill that benefits men and women.  But I’ll put this from a guy’s perspective– cooking for a potential life partner DEFINITELY says, “Hey, I’m ready to settle down, quite very possibly with you.”  Now, I was born and bred to be domestic.  Although my blogging started out sorting out how my mother hurt me, I have to give credit where credit is due.  I learned a lot of domestic skills from my mother (and her mother too, actually), and one of them was to cook.  When my son was born, I decided to take over the bulk of the cooking… and I found I really liked it, and that I was pretty good at cooking.  After a while, my mother started to feel jealous.

jak likes this very much

I’m actually doing some canning/preserving here, but, you get the idea.

Cimmy knows how to cook, but she’s much more talented at baking, especially since she knows VERY well how to make bread completely by hand.  So one of my pet nicknames for her is Baker, because I’m the Cook much of the time.

Kneading dough prep table

My mother overkneaded bread, so it came out crusty. Cimmy kneads no more than 10 times.

Smells good!

Cimmy bakes bread just right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Grooming.

Yep, The Art of Manliness has this covered, too (although good manners of dress, i.e., wearing clothes, is included in this category).  I learned about wet shaving with an old-school safety razor from the site.  Even more specifically, Brett and Kate wrote an excellent article called Heading Out on Your Own — Day 4: Keep a Regular Grooming and Hygiene Routine which covers most of the basics.

Laura speaks more particularly about facial hair, though.  I usually keep some, because I have a boyish looking face (and I’ll use the same image she did):

Yep, I relate to this.

But I won’t tolerate ANY man who tells me facial hair is to save food for later.  That is DISGUSTING!  I’d much rather someone give me a “beard check” (i.e. let me know I’ve got food in it).  I use a fine-toothed comb– one to nitpick head lice out, even (it’s disinfected regularly, settle down)– to make sure the face dandruff, food, etc. is picked out.  I don’t always oil my beard, but, in general, some vitamin E and tea tree oils do a lot to keep things clean, disinfected, and healthy.  Tea tree oil has a strong scent to it, but Cimmy likes it well enough.  And while I tend to let my beard grow out full and bushy in the wintertime, by the warmer months, I prefer to keep it neat and trimmed.  (Sometimes even in the winter I get tired of it looking too bushy.)

4. Self-Control

Verbal self defense, or what the late George “Doc” “Rhino” Thompson called Verbal Judo or Tactical Communication, is a must here.  Words, carefully and thoughtfully chosen, can actually help to prevent, de-escalate, or even end confrontation, and physical violence.

Dear readers, I would recommend that you look into this further– it is difficult for me to sum up these techniques succinctly.  It is far more than Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.  It is tactically engaging people with respect, clarity, and precision– even when people are difficult (Doc Thompson said he was one such person) or cowardly (who he simply called “wimps”).  Thompson applied this specifically to law enforcement first (in fact, the L.A. officers who beat Rodney King had been scheduled to receive such training), but he wished to share it with everyone– parents and anyone working in a service profession.

It works.  I have seen it for myself.

5. Learn to Clean

This is something I actually teach my son– and I have him wipe the floor too, if possible.  I started doing more maintenance cleaning– cleaning and squeegeeing the shower after I use it, and scrub and wipe the toilet and countertop, etc.

This goes for everyone, of course.

There’s something to be said about cleaning up a mess immediately after it’s been made!  I still have some areas I need to work on, but trust me, it does a lot in the long run.

And Cimmorene has turned over a new leaf and done some great tidying up.  (I used to be a neat freak– she is the more slobby one.  But her side of the bedroom now is the tidy one.)

6. Hands Off! (I will add: have some decency and modesty)

Generally speaking, scratching your nether regions, picking your nose, breaking wind, popping acne pimples, etc. in public is a bad idea.  Also, know what is considered appropriate dress and behavior.  Many people aren’t terribly interested in buttcrack, man cleavage, or T-shirts with stupidly crude messages.

Please don’t be like this guy.

…or this guy, for that matter.

7. You Are the Handy Man
Well, Laura, actually, Cimmorene will fight me to fix lots of things.

Finished cabinet drawer repair (with Cimmy)

She fixed this drawer…

Table repairs finished

…helped me fix a table

All done

…built a new step to the front porch

fence section backyard side

…built most of this fence section herself

Replacing the switches

…but electrical work is my job.

Cimmorene jokingly calls me “The Foreman” much of the time, because with my sciatica and chronic back pain, I can’t effectively do some jobs and I just engineer and direct projects now and then.  But seriously, we both do the work– it just tends to be an arbitrary decision of who does what, and it’s not divided by she does the stuff inside, I do the work outside.

8. You Are Not a Robot

I don’t think I have to worry about this too much with my son… he is rough-and-tumble, but very sensitive.  I was teased mercilessly for crying as a boy, so I am still trying to figure out the balance.

There is a time and a place to show emotion, that preserves dignity and composure, yet punctuates thoughts and sentiments perfectly.

Here’s a wonderful example Aussa Lorens shared with me:

I think Kevin Durant shows the appropriate amount of tears here– he expresses love and respect for his friends, and especially his mother, giving her credit for her part in his success.

9. One day… (about sex, love, and relationships for the long haul)

To sum up and add to what Laura said, I want my children to know the reality of sex and sexuality.  My daughter is learning that quite nicely, especially thanks to Cimmy’s part.  My son is still too young to grasp such notions– we’re mostly working on #6.

But she is absolutely SPOT ON in pointing out that children will learn what romantic relationships are about by observing their parents.  I am grateful that my daughter is still willing to hug and kiss me on the cheek before bed, although she is 12 now.  I want my son to know that how I treat her and their mother is a template on how he should behave for women.

and adding one more item–

10. Take the Hero’s Journey, my son.

I know that my posts about the Monomyth/Hero’s Journey are deep, esoteric, and sometimes very hard to understand.  But I think there’s a reason why this cycle is told over and over again (and it’s not just for men– it applies to everyone).  It tells of how societies regarded the transformations of boys into men, as well as girls into women.  They speak of rites of passage, of overcoming obstacles, outer and personal struggles, to find a place in society.  They are not just about superheroes becoming gods… they are about grasping responsibility, maturity, and happiness.

Heroesjourney follow-the-journey

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…the father becomes the son.

JOR-EL: Once, when you were small, I died, while giving you a chance for life.

It was a shock when I saw him.  He was wandering around aimlessly, obviously not in his body.  He was NOT supposed to be here.

“What are you doing here?  You need to go back, and be my father, just as we planned!”

“I’m tired.  I hurt.  I don’t want to go back to a broken body.”

“But you need to go back!  We agreed!”

My father first got really sick in 1992, when I was hundreds of miles away going to college in Rexburg, Idaho.  When I crashed out of school and took the rebound to community college, I came home one day to see him carried out on a stretcher into an ambulance.

Almost two decades passed and he got really, really sick again.  As in deathly ill.  He could barely move and he grew a beard because he didn’t feel well enough to even shave.  “Not now,” I thought.  “I still need you.”  But I talked with my youngest sister about it, and we made peace with it; we were ready to bury him if that was really to be.

I sent him pictures of me and my son to try to cheer him up.  He was in really bad shape.

A Boy and His Dad

It was obvious that I was not going to persuade him by plans of the future.  I would have to appeal to his here and now.

“What about your family now?  Won’t they miss you?”

That seemed to be more persuasive.  He softened a bit and looked more ready to turn back.

Dad found a specialist in Walla Walla that seemed to know what was going on, finally, and he recovered.

JOR-EL: And now, even though it will exhaust the final energy left within me…

CLARK
(turns frightened)
Father, no!

JOR-EL
Look at me, Kal-El!

“Wait, before you go.  I have to do something.  I… I will carry a part of that pain for you.”

“You don’t have to do this.”

“Yes… yes, I do.”

“No, you don’t.”

“I do.  I promise, I will help you.”

“Very well.”

My back was thrashed– not too long  after my son was born, I found out that some of the discs in my spine were wearing out, and one was being crushed like a pancake, pinching the nerve (sciatic) in my right leg.  In the first week of October in 2009, I had a fusion surgery, but the nerve damage was done.

I found myself comparing notes with my father on pain.

JOR-EL: The Kryptonian prophecy will be at last fulfilled. The son becomes the father – the father becomes the son.

My father later apologized to Cimmorene, and to me, for his mistreatment of me in the past.  He got it.  Things would never be the same again.

HeroesjourneyAtonementNEXT POST IN THE SERIES: A Blogger’s Journey: Seizing the Sword/Grasping the Hammer


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The son becomes the father…

I would have put “10-year blogging journey” in the title, but that was starting to become clunky, and so I omitted it.  But just for your reference, dear readers, I’m picking up where I left off from New Life and the VOX years.

“One must have a faith that the father is merciful, and then a reliance on that mercy.” — Joseph Campbell

I had very mixed feelings about having a boy in my family.  Memories of being bullied by boys was too fresh in my mind.  Middle-school classmates called me “faggot” and “queer”, and chastised me for discovering I was into hardcore porn.  I was deathly afraid for years that the homoerotic aspects of my otherwise heterosexual fantasies would be discovered.  It took me a lot just to admit this to Cimmorene, much less to anyone else.  I also repressed a lot of memories of my father beating me as a child– it wouldn’t be too much longer until I remembered.

Masculinity was in turns fascinating and repulsive to me.  How could I be a good father to a boy with that conflict churning inside of me?

I had already come a long way in understanding the buried rage at my mother, for all those years she chipped away at my self-esteem, then strangely turning to me as some sort of surrogate husband.  But I was only just beginning to understand the anger I had towards my father– not even so much for beating me (that did terrify me)– but for not protecting me from my mother and grandmother.

“The problem of the hero going to meet the father is to open his soul beyond terror to such a degree that he will be ripe to understand how the sickening and insane tragedies of this vast and ruthless cosmos are completely validated in the majesty of Being.”

How do I describe this?  It was one thing for me when my daughter learned to say “dada” and then “Daddy”, but yet another when my son spoke those words.  I knew I was a father to a boy!  But how to reconcile mixed memories of my father?  There were good ones as well as bad ones.  As my son grew, it slowly became apparent to me.  My son demanded my physical touch.  It didn’t matter too much then whether I was paying full attention to him or not, as long as I put my hand on his head, shoulder… he was satisfied.

It awakened something deep inside of me.  Something that had been missing, for a long time.

Some time later, I remember my father telling me how much I had matured over the last five years. When I told a friend of mine about it, she didn’t miss a beat. She said, “That’s because that was when your son was born.” Indeed, it had been five years since he was born.

HeroesjourneyAtonementSee also A Hero’s (Inner) Journey: Atonement with the Son

Next post in the series: …the father becomes the son.


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A 10-year blogging journey: New Life and the VOX years

So next was a post about fleeing the terrible fourplex.  I’ll just link to it, since I don’t feel like summarizing it much.  Then there was a post about crime at the apartment complex (the new place).

After the miscarriage, my next big LiveJournal post was Bun in the oven.  This was nine weeks in, yet I knew it was going to happen.  Right at the moment of conception, even– with me grunting “have my child” at… well, you get the idea, right?  It was like the stars aligned and I knew it had to happen, right then.

October 28, 2006 I left the Camarilla.  Toxic people, toxic effects, but sadly it happened because I realized I’d alienate my sister if I stayed.

by distemper at DeviantArt-- presented by claim of fair use

This was as close as I could get to a parody some LJ’er in the Camarilla made of the old TNT network logo (it said “CAM” instead of “GOTH”). So true, it hurts.

Then we got confirmation the little wombmate was a boy.  We knew this already, as I said– our kids made themselves known.

Twenty days before he was delivered cesarean, I started blogging on VOX.  We were nervous up until the delivery day:

Well, not much of anything of import to say, save that my wife’s recent pregnancy has been a rollercoaster lately.  Last Saturday night and Sunday morning, we had a false alarm– 11 hours in the hospital during nighttime hours, only to find it was likely a UTI that triggered contractions. (March 14, 2007)

It’s down to the last week or two now, but babies do come when they want to. (March 20, 2007)

I felt a mixture of emotions when he finally came out.  He was so quiet, even when I was helping one of the nurses clean off the white stuff off him.  (By constrast, his older sister wailed.)  I was so impressed.  But later, I wondered why I didn’t feel as much excitement with him as I did his sister.  I thought, “If they took him back, that would be okay.”  What was wrong with me?

The Hero's Journey: Ordeal, Death, Rebirth

The Hero’s Journey: Ordeal, Death, Rebirth

Next post in the series: The son becomes the father…


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Why do I write about this 10-yr blogging journey?

campbell-cave

What is *your* innermost cave?

I managed to emerge from the cave.  Yes, starting from the beginning was opening a can of worms, and being a trauma survivor, it brought some flashbacks.

But things got better.  The treasure was finally won, almost right up to the end of that ten years.

You’ll have to keep reading to find out what it was.  But, if you’ve been reading for a while, there’s been some hints already.

Next post in the series: A 10-yr blogging journey: Approaching the Threshold


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A Blogger’s Journey: The hidden beginning

This actually was my first post on LiveJournal, on November 12th:
(it’s been so long that I forgot I had to be logged in to see restricted posts):
groups: Julie [this is my wife, and was locked to only her at the time]
mood: nervous nervous [I did not like the prospect of sharing myself to the public]
music: “Head Like A Hole“– NIN
[from Pretty Hate Machine, of course– played this during my last OD, or anytime I was terrified]

And so all things begin.

Nycci told me about LiveJournal, suggesting that it might be a good idea to write down my thoughts– to make them solid. This all came about through roleplay on #cam-mage on IRC, through our characters… her character Dani Fox said the magic phrase “men suck” which means fairly little to my character, but just pushes a bright red button for me. I graciously separated myself from my character, and explained such, and hence her suggestion.

Spoiler: it would be years before I came to accept how my mother abused me emotionally, mentally, and even sexually.  (It also took some time before I felt comfortable sharing these posts with even my wife– this post originally was completely private.)

The next post is… much too painful to share right now.  Some of you recall me saying that I was accused of rape, and I got into a roleplay that triggered memories of that.  It didn’t help that the gamer in question was a bit predatory, and there was a lot of blurring of boundary lines as far as intimacy (it led to sexual content).  The flashbacks were awful, and I forgot that I had written about awakenings of bondage kink, dirty rumors, and a twisted sort of “sackcloth and ashes”.

The next post still delves into my struggles with my orientation, my fear and loathing of women– just really dark stuff I’m not sure how to address properly.

Next post in the series: Why do I write about this 10-yr blogging journey?


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Family Secret Leads Photographer on Unexpected Journey

The step of Atonement with the Father is a very, very powerful one in the Hero’s Journey. This weekend’s Flickr Blog touches firmly on that point, in a spotlight on street photographer Zun Lee, in a search to connect with his own unknown father.


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A Hero’s Journey: Autistic Abyss/Death/Crisis

I have mentioned a number of times that I am learning about my son and his experience with autism.

I don’t think I have mentioned that I am finding it in myself, namely, Asperger’s.

Some of it is freeing, an insight into understanding myself better.  But most of it is painful memories.  Memories of being teased and bullied because I was different… even by parents.  The more I study, the more I seem to find reminders of the nightmare.

I *hate* the term “little professor”.   Hans Asperger may have used it with love, but “big” professors already bear some scorn: “the ivory tower syndrome”, and “people who live inside their heads.”  If my experience runs anything true to that detestable term, then that ivory tower is actually a cage, like the stocks or the pillories, where passers-by can throw rotten produce at the hapless person within.

Here’s a bitter irony: I had a band director in my first year of college (a religious-affiliated junior college) who I thought was a putz.  He was not overtly mean, but he did seem to me to have an inflated ego and the group played better when he was gone.  He’s one of a number of reasons why I don’t play golf: would you, slicing bad on the 16th hole, walking the course, like golf if your host rode up in a golf cart and shouted, “Hey, what’s taking so long?  Hurry up!”

I remember a performance review at the end of the first semester: the classic fill-in-the bubble multiple choice sort of thing.  He promised that our comments would be anonymous, but he hauled me into his office after reading mine.  I will never forget what he said: “You think differently.  You need to think more like the way other people do.”

It was 1992.  Asperger’s syndrome did not appear in the DSM-IV for two more years.  If I remember right, that was about when my cousin was diagnosed with it.

My undergraduate studies came to an end in 2000, a full eight years later.  I was at a university where a divorced professor was waging political war with another professor.  She had managed to wrangle the directorship of the choral department away from him a few years earlier, and that year, she managed to force him out of the university entirely.  The music department brought students into the mess, and they all had their political alliances for her, or for him.  Now, the spurned professor was married.  The department did not want to lose his wife, who was very talented as their music education specialist, but he got the axe, so she was rather forced to go with him.  So we students also had to choose her successor.

I was locked in battle with the Curriculum & Supervision department.  I had failed the pre-Autumn experience.  I had failed student teaching, while repeating pre-Autumn along with it, back to back.  They were supposed to be providing me disability accomodations.  They dropped the ball.  I walked into a meeting where a man turned from a hungry jackal to a mortified deer in split seconds, I suppose because I met his searing criticism with a look of burning rage.

Other professors were going to the local news media, their faces and voices obscured, with one phrase ringing in my ears: “I am employed in a hostile work environment.”

I flash back to a time in my early childhood, when I excitedly started describing something I was interested in.  “You’re such a little professor”, my mother said.  Fast forward again and speaking with my father, he recalled the moment, or moments: “You were such a little professor.”

FUCK.

More racing thoughts… I hate this, but can I use it to connect more deeply with my son?  The school evaluation said he was right between high-functioning and Asperger’s, if such a designation even exists, because the two terms were also used interchangably.  I did not struggle especially academically, only socially, and very much so.  Boy struggles socially, but he does have some developmental delays that are documented.

But Boy changed my life.  Ever since he started to walk and talk, he demanded physical touch.  Hugs, pats, whatever.  If I provided it in some way, even if I was distracted, he was usually satisfied.  He demands more, now, but again, always with touch.  He is starting to say, “Daddy, pay attention to me!” even as he is head-butting and wrestling me.  That touch fills an emptiness in my soul, even though others in his life (women, for some reason– Cimmy, Princess, his schoolteacher) find so much of it annoying.  I want him to be well-mannered, but secretly, I love this.  I want him to spar with me, or that he suddenly decides he is one of our favorite foods, or that he is a pet dog, or any other number of his imaginations.  I  enjoy and love it.

My father was not cold and distant, but in my early childhood, he tried to be.  He responded to my social awkwardness with harsh discipline or angry words.  I learned that it was a mask of sorts, or rather, he didn’t know how to deal with me.  Recently, we have found common ground in shared pain.

But… the touch is not there.  It’s not the same.

Dear readers, let us revisit a clip I’ve posted here before.

Compare this with Joseph Campbell‘s observations of inititation rituals in tribal societies:


(start at :43 if that helps)

Note the mask in the repowering scene, and Jor-El becoming corporeal to put his hand on his son’s shoulder, repowering Kal-El to one again become Superman.