My Recovery: Molly Says

wp-1484928101125.jpgI had an interesting therapy session today.  We talked about my interpersonal problems that I have experienced in my life.  Basically I am learning that I might have some issues with trust, rejection, and even self- esteem.  Wait, what?  Me?  Say it isn’t so!

Form the beginning my life was doomed to trauma.  When I was 1.5 years old, my 3 year old sister died tragically in her crib.  Then there was the sexual abuse.  Then came the absence of any affection from either one of my parents–perhaps there was a relationship between Gloria’s death and their willingness to show emotion Molly, my therapist, suggested.  Then came the death of my 8 year old brother when I was 11.

John was hit by a car on Christmas in 1975.  I was sledding with him.  After that tragedy my mother lost her shit.  And I became the object of all her rage.  I was beaten for anything of consequence.  I was locked in my room for months at a time.  When I would come home from school, the doors would be locked and I would usually have to wait until about 7 or 8 to be let in.

introspection on justruminating men's blogThey didn’t trust me.  By then I was stealing everything in sight and a real problem.  Then I was removed from the home and embarked on 6 years of Foster Homes, Group Homes, Juvenile Detention, etc.  No wonder I had trust issues, bonding issues.

Then I met alcohol and my life turned to shit until 7 months ago.  Yes, I am fast forwarding.  The issues I have today with reaching out to people.  The issues I have today with being able to maintain long-term healthy relationships have a lot more to do with my life than I previously thought.

Most people, when they first meet me, unfortunately think I am arrogant and condescending.  It’s been that way for a long time.  Only after several months of being around me, do I start to hear things like “Man, I thought you were such an asshole.  You’re actually pretty cool.”  Great, am I to spend the rest of my life playing catch up when it comes to interpersonal, and work, relationships?

I can’t afford to let the issues from my past define my future.  I have to get to work and fix these.  I am able to do this now that I don’t use alcohol and drugs to self-medicate.  I have done some serious work here in the last 2 months.  However, one glaring issue remains:  I do not interact with anyone outside of these confines, on any meaningful level.  I am avoiding building friendships.

Molly and I talked about the fact that being myself here on my blog is actually very easy for me.  I can approach you on my terms.  I can choose to come online or not.  The threats are at a relative 0.  Not so here in the land of “live” humans.  She suggested perhaps I have this approach-avoidance thing going on:  I crave interaction so much that I will bare my soul online, but I fear it so much that I refuse to open up “live.”

Hmmm, that’s going to be a problem moving forward.  Part of me feels like it’s so much work.  Part of me actually doesn’t give a shit; I’m happy relating to the world through my written words.  I have made some deep connections that I could never make in the “live” world.  Is this the sort of thinking that will prevent me from staying sober?  I think it could.

mindIf I maintain this approach to people, I will never learn to go along and get along.  That’s not to say I can’t maintain intimacy, I have had some very rewarding and satisfying relationships.  It’s the public world I have such a difficult time with.  Apparently I am a lot more fragile than I was willing to admit.

I’m always feeling judged, so I judge.  I am always having problems receiving criticism and positive feedback.  So what do I do?  I criticize and offer feedback even when it is not invited.  Am I rejecting people on my terms before they can reject me?  Is my self-esteem so low–because all of my early interactions with people were abusive and loveless–that I feel paranoid about not “being” myself the right way?whoami

Well, dear readers, I must say that today’s 1 hour session was chock full of “what the fuck.”  But, being the survivor I am, and being the sober man I am today, I will forge ahead and tackle on these new issues.  I never realized the extent to which I suffer emotionally.  I never realized that all my life’s trauma has resulted in me creating a persona that tells the world–outside of our hallowed halls, of course–“fuck off, stay away.”

And here I thought I was just an alcoholic.  “Of course,” I mutter to myself, “I couldn’t be so lucky that it was only that” (laughing).  And so I learn, and so I change.


  • Ditto to what EndlessRivers said. Good for you for opening up to Molly (and blogging on here) – it’s hard but a great alternative to numbing & self-medicating.

    Liked by 1 person

  • -And here I thought I was just an alcoholic.  “Of course,” I mutter to myself, “I couldn’t be so lucky that it was only that” (laughing). – little note about that Rob. Something I’ve learned- that my friend Gil made me see- was that the OTHER things are the ROOT of the drinking. So you ARE lucky if you’re getting to the bottom of it. I think that makes sense.:)

    Liked by 2 people

  • This was such an insightful and heart wrenching blog post. I will say that I am incredibly proud of you for taking a real good look at yourself. Often times our own mind is stronger than we are, and it is so incredibly hard to get past it and conquer our fears. But hey! Look at you! You’re tackling things head first and that takes courage. It’s all about baby steps, and you have taken a massive leap into recovery, which makes me very proud of you. You’re doing great. Try not to be too afraid of your own mind and what could happen. ‘What ifs’ are dangerous, please don’t let them hold you back. I am confident you can get through this if you have already gotten this far.

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  • Rob, this is utterly heart breaking! I admire you for getting this far and being so committed to recovery! I think what Molly said about having communication on your terms is actually true for a lot of people, that is why social media is so popular I think, why people even prefer texting to phone calls. I really hope you keep having such helpful sessions, and sharing it is priceless, who knows the other traumatised souls you’ll reach? But you also have my condolences and deepest sympathies on the loss of your poor siblings and the loss of love in your childhood. May the future be filled with all that was lacking then! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so very much you are very kind. I didntbpost this to make people feel bad lol. I thought I’d I shared my process, shared therapy, Simone else might see it’s ok to talk about their stuff and it could actually help them to do it. As always, thank you for your kind thoughts words and time!

      Liked by 1 person

      • No I’m sure you didn’t post it for that reason, it didn’t come across that way. Plus, you’ve blessed us all with some great art in the process, so thank you for that.
        And you are very welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

  • Whoops. I meant to say thank you so very much for your kind support and commentary. You’ve always supported me and my work. I only hope I have given you a small measure of that back


  • Rob, this was a deep and a very personal share. Sometimes you can’t help the past affecting your future, because your past wasn’t you fault, things panned out in a way you didn’t wish they did too.

    But the positive side to all of this is ‘I can’t afford to let the issues from my past define my future’
    Very true and your need to let it, you’re in control of what you do and what you don’t, and I believe you don’t have to either.
    You’re moving towards the positive way, leaving all that which was deteriorate you’re life, you seem to be trying to put things right by fixing what was affecting it.

    Thank you for sharing this with us Rob. It probably wasn’t easy but you did so well done .

    Liked by 1 person

  • Sounds like a very productive therapy session! I can relate to only being able to “open up” to humans in a way that I can fully control (online/blogging)…I don’t have the energy or the bravery to open up to people in a “live” situation. This has actually served me well on some level because all the people close to me in my “real” life got to know me/ I got to know them through writing first. Trauma is such a tricky thing…thanks for sharing your experience & thoughts!

    Liked by 2 people

  • Isn’t it so strange when we realize and figure out something about us we never knew ..
    and just becoming aware of it..makes everything so clear us ..

    Liked by 2 people

  • Hi Rob. This was a powerfully insightful post. Like always, I’m struck by your honesty and saddened to learn what you have had to go through. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not feeling sorry for you. You’re too strong of a person to warrant pity from anyone.

    One thing you wrote stuck out to me…you said, “I can’t afford to let the issues from my past define my future.” No, you can’t. And I don’t believe you have to. I feel like you have too much of your life left to experience to let anything get in the way.

    As for your opening up through blogging, regardless of whether it is easy for you or not, I think it’s a wonderful thing. And I hope you will continue to share your life with us. 🙂


    Liked by 2 people

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