Thanks Trace and Ahzuri. I know there is truth in what you say, and I know that arguing or countering those true sentiments is a symptom more than a coherent thought, but this is where I am.
I feel trapped. I can't change the past. Past decisions leave me exhausted emotionally and physically, and now I have to get a second job, which won't help the exhaustion. The need for a second job is a consequence of past decisions. Working 2 jobs and providing most of the emotional and logistical support for two teen aged daughters (ex can't be bothered) all of which is high priority stuff, leaves not time and none of "me" left to do anything practical about my situation, like going to school. At my age that's not a solution anyway. It's not real to think that in a couple of years a 55 year old man will get a job worth having. The paltry one I now have is my best chance to survive financially, as slim as that chance seems.
So I try to cope. I focus on the positive things in my life, and there are some. I have 3 kids I dearly love. My role as there parent is very important to me. That's why the threat to that role that my present stuff presents is so frightening.
I have an SO I love. Not so sure how she feels about me right now. I'll see less of her and be less available when I'm with her as this progresses.
All this prompts me to look backward. I know that's not healthy, but simply distracting myself leaves the issues back there, ready to mess with me in an hour or a day or week. It seems to me there is a way to reach some peace with the past, but it so thoroughly ****s with my present that I can't get there. I believe that you can make the past a more integrated part of your life by learning from it, or by making current choices that honor it. My biggest mistakes were made so long ago, though, and I don't know how to apply any of those lessons to now. Like I hinted at, I'd manage my early life differently given the chance, even with how socially withdrawn and depressed as I tended to be. I'd work with what I had and try to make the most of it, rather than deferring everything to some future that never came. Those choices are all long gone.
It's like I learned how to drive just when my sight failed to the point that I couldn't drive any more (speaking metaphorically, eyes are fine). What good is knowing how to drive to someone whose driving days are done?
Then there's trying to find some outlet for the regret, a channeling it into some positive activity. I'm talking about something like counseling people with substance abuse problems as a means of making ammends for the damage your substance abuse did (again, an example but not my issue). So I try to help my kids avoid some of the mistakes I made. People don't really learn so much from someone else's mistakes though, so my 30 yr old son is busy making his own. I can't get through to him.
And when I think of channeling my regret into some outreach effort, I just get incredibly sad. This little boy in me looks at those ideas like a neglected kid whose parent has stood him up, again, on some special day. "What about me?" the little guy whimpers. When can I just take care of myself, or maybe more to the point, when will someone take care of me. And then that little boy becomes a surly adolescent wh gets disgusted with all this and says he doesn't want any ******* help anyway, so **** you.
I have to go now. My daughter is sick and I need to check on her before I go to work where it's piling up. But I'll be there til 8 so I'll have time to apply on line for a couple of jobs that look aweful, but hey, who am I to be choosy?
Edited by faintlyfalling, 21 April 2011 - 10:16 AM.