Some updates

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Individual
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Some updates

Post by Individual » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:05 am

OK, I know I post too much but you'll like this one, I think...

So my dad isn't talking to me anymore because I've been snapping at him almost every time I'm with him. You can call it anger, but really, it's been a long-time coming. Growing up, he intimidated and scared me. Standing up to him, though, and saying the truth, he seems cower and just be a big wimp. Growing up, he was an alcoholic and was very mean and abusive to me and my mother. He's done terrible things he can't remember (his brain oddly refuses to remember the truth), so of course he won't apologize for it.

I saw him recently and we saw some Chinese people taking way too long to back into a car space. My dad's often made racial remarks; I used to think it was funny. Not anymore.

I told him, "I drive like that now... I actually think it's their culture. They would rather drive mindfully than recklessly."

My dad said, "They drive that way because in their own countries, they don't have cars. They ride bicycles." It was so ignorant. Similarly, he seems to think the entire Middle East is stuck in the stone age; that all Arabs are impoverished and nomadic sheep-farmers. So I called him a bigot.

The other day, he called and was stressing me out, because he was helping us get the house fixed up. But he treats me like an idiot. He called three times to check to make sure the work was being done right. I asked him during his first two calls, "Do you want me to call you when it's done?" He said no. But then he called a third time! The third time I called, I told him I didn't want to hear it; I had to go. I hung up. He called back. We argued. He got on the phone with my mom and started to be nasty to her, saying all sorts of bad things about me. He also said he's going to move back to Scotland (something he's said for years while drunk, but never did).

So I took the phone and said, "You don't talk to your girlfriend like this, so why do you talk to us like this? Please stop it."

Then he said, "You know, I'll tell you what. I'm never going to call again and..." then I said, "OK", and hung up the phone. He hasn't called since. And I'm content! :)

It's not that weird. He's gone for weeks and months without calling before, because he treats me like a possession than a human being. He was drunk when my mom gave birth to me in the hospital. And after I was born, he wanted to name me after himself -- William Howieson Young Jr. -- what a horrible name, what an egotistical idiot! He doesn't like to be friendly with me over casual stuff; he seems to have a special hatred for religion, even though he apparently showed great interest in it when he was younger. So good to be rid of him. Not gonna say, "I hope he dies," because I don't wish that -- I hope he lives happily and stops being trouble for himself and other people.

Umm... I was working on a poem... I forget the specifics, but I could roughly re-create it from memory...
Yellow

It doesn't mean stop or go,
It means caution, warning,
And take it slow.
Like fields of wheat,
Beneath the yellow-orange glow,
Of beautiful sunshine,
Let seeds of wisdom grow!
In the process of writing this poem I got snagged by one of those damn traffic cameras for a speeding ticket.

...And finally... tonight, I had to drive my mom to the ER. She was complaining of various issues, and I've been living kinda like I should've been years ago, treating my mother well and doing whatever makes me happy. I've come to realize that my father has been a bit like Satan all these years, while my mom has been like the Dalai Lama. I told her the other day, "Mom, you're so nice to people but not that smart. You're like the Dalai Lama with a low IQ." That was mean and hurtful, and false. The truth: My mom is GREATER than the Dalai Lama!! :D

So, I drove her to the ER... expecting she had nothing wrong with her... And it turns out she has a UTI. While in the hospital, her heart-rate dipped a little low (not too low, but at a low enough thresh-hold that it set off beeps for the nurses' station and they decided to keep her overnight).

I feel kind of guilty. Because I've taken my mom to the hospital before, and she seemed neurotic about it, like it was a mental issue. Because I've taken her there so many times, like every 3-6 months... and in the past, it's pretty much just been the same... She's healthy, maybe with slightly bad nutrition, minor cases of cellulitis (skin irritation), etc., but over the years she's acted like a hypochondriac, always speculating that she might have this or that disease, and she's on a zillion pills. I get the feeling like it's the pills that have made her so sick. If her kidneys go, it will be because she's so loaded up with prescription drugs (the complex interactions which scientists don't really understand but prescribe anyway because statistically the drug BY ITSELF helps a certain statistical amount of people -- in studies that can later turn out to be messed up) and her kidneys have to keep filtering it all out.

A few days ago, my mom asked me to call 911 because she was having trouble breathing and thought she had a heart attack... I thought she was just having a panic attack and I felt like I've taken her to the hospital for nervous breakdowns so many times before; I don't want to be a burden to the ER, so that people who are GENUINELY sick have to wait to be attended to because of an old, crazy lady...

...Well, it turns out it might have been legitimate...

I won't ever doubt my mom ever again.

I felt like crying in the hospital... My mom told me not to. I told her I wanted to, though. So, I said I would wait until I got back into the car... I held it in, but I was a bit worried I'd lose the feeling. Crying is important because it keeps you warm, keeps you human, keeps REAL equanimity from being cold indifference. I waited until I got into the car... And for about 10 seconds or so, I started sobbing my eyes out, my nose stuffing up and tears streaming down my cheeks. Then, I suddenly stopped completely, like turning the faucet off of a sink, thinking, "I can't cry now. It would take up too much energy. It's late. I'm tired. And I need to go home." So, I stopped crying and went home.

And some you folks have the nerve to question my capacity for mental self-control! You think you're practicing dhamma, but sometimes reading Pali texts and talking to bald people wearing orange robes can be a form of devil-worship; that is, service to Mara rather than Buddha.

But I'm not too worried about that anymore. I know there's the demon and he still messes with me from time-to-time, I think, but it's OK because I'm mindful and I know that there are powers much higher than him who are there to help -- if the intentions are pure. :)
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra

Individual
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Some updates

Post by Individual » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:08 am

Individual wrote: but it's OK because I'm mindful and I know that there are powers much higher than him who are there to help -- if the intentions are pure. :)
Actually, I shouldn't say that. That's arrogant. I can't be deluded like that. I should be "normal" and not forget to be mindful out of some kind of bizarre spiritual beliefs brought on by narcissism.

But still... You have no idea how many times I've miraculously avoided death and jail-time!

If there ever were divine forces protecting me and I'm not deluded -- thank you, good spirits! Let me know how to repay you and I will! :)
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra

Individual
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Some updates

Post by Individual » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:14 am

BTW, a question: If I took the DSM-IV and then wrote a text of medium length (as concise as possible but not at the expense of clarity), relating the various conditions to notions of early Buddhism in unique ways, could anybody find that interesting and useful? Or would it just seem like the ravings of a crazy person -- like those people with odd-looking websites about the 9/11 conspiracy, or people who stand on the side of the road handing out pamphlets about Hare Krishna and vegetarianism?

I suppose I'll just have to make it and see what you think. :)

My guess is: Half of you will say, "This is really neat stuff!" The other half will say, "This is stupid. His crude, unacademic analysis is over-simplistic and clearly demonstrates a severe deficiency in knowledge of both modern psychiatry and Buddhist thought, all in a bizarre attempt to defend and justify his own mental issues."
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra

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Ben
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Re: Some updates

Post by Ben » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:23 am

Individual wrote:OK, I know I post too much...
You do, and that is why I have a big stick!
Individual wrote:So my dad isn't talking to me anymore because...
However bad your dad seems to you now, I suggest you don't write him off permanently. He's the only one you have and when he's dead and gone, there's no opportunity for reconcilliation and developing a meaningful relationship.

Individual wrote:
Yellow

It doesn't mean stop or go,
It means caution, warning,
And take it slow.
Like fields of wheat,
Beneath the yellow-orange glow,
Of beautiful sunshine,
Let seeds of wisdom grow!
In the process of writing this poem I got snagged by one of those damn traffic cameras for a speeding ticket.
Nice, though I wonder how you were writing and driving at the same time!
One of my best friends is a co-practitioner and poet. He teaches literature at Uni of Melbourne. His "dhamma" poetry is incredible. I encourage you to stick with the poetry.
Individual wrote:...And finally... tonight, I had to drive my mom to the ER. She was complaining of various issues..I won't ever doubt my mom ever again.
Don't be too hard on your self. People in your situation, carers, often have mixed emotions about their loved ones who they care for. Its natural.
Individual wrote:I felt like crying in the hospital... Then, I suddenly stopped completely, like turning the faucet off of a sink, thinking, "I can't cry now. It would take up too much energy. It's late. I'm tired. And I need to go home." So, I stopped crying and went home.
This sounds more like equanimity, according to my experience and understanding. If you cry, just observe.
Individual wrote:And some you folks have the nerve to question my capacity for mental self-control!
I think many of our members are concerned for your wellbeing.
Individual wrote:You think you're practicing dhamma, but sometimes reading Pali texts and talking to bald people wearing orange robes can be a form of devil-worship; that is, service to Mara rather than Buddha.
Are you suggesting talking to monks is devil worship? I didn't think so. There is more to practice than reading 'pali texts'. But reading the texts and discussing the Dhamma is an important way for people to develop their intellectual understanding of the Dhamma (which can lead to penetrative insight/realization), and remember that for many members, Dhamma Wheel is a venue to make contact with and develop a sense of community with people with a similar interest in the Buddhadhamma, as it is for you.
Individual wrote:I know there's the demon and he still messes with me from time-to-time, I think, but it's OK because I'm mindful and I know that there are powers much higher than him who are there to help -- if the intentions are pure. :)
Indeed, Sayagi U Ba Khin and Goenkaji have both said the same. Continue to workout your own salvation with diligence!
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

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Individual
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Some updates

Post by Individual » Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:18 am

Ben wrote: However bad your dad seems to you now, I suggest you don't write him off permanently. He's the only one you have and when he's dead and gone, there's no opportunity for reconcilliation and developing a meaningful relationship.
Possibly, but my mom has warned me (and I believe her) that after she is gone, my dad will try to steal the house from me... And if he did that, he might start to abuse me -- even take control over the house and throw me on the street.
Ben wrote:
Individual wrote:I felt like crying in the hospital... Then, I suddenly stopped completely, like turning the faucet off of a sink, thinking, "I can't cry now. It would take up too much energy. It's late. I'm tired. And I need to go home." So, I stopped crying and went home.
This sounds more like equanimity, according to my experience and understanding. If you cry, just observe.
I sometimes try to force the crying, though (real crying, though -- not little drips, "crocodile tears" but sobs) because it's useful and, in a way, pleasant because it seems to be purifying. You see things with clarity. The First Noble Truth.
Ben wrote:
Individual wrote:And some you folks have the nerve to question my capacity for mental self-control!
I think many of our members are concerned for your wellbeing.
:heart:
Ben wrote:
Individual wrote:You think you're practicing dhamma, but sometimes reading Pali texts and talking to bald people wearing orange robes can be a form of devil-worship; that is, service to Mara rather than Buddha.
Are you suggesting talking to monks is devil worship? I didn't think so. There is more to practice than reading 'pali texts'. But reading the texts and discussing the Dhamma is an important way for people to develop their intellectual understanding of the Dhamma (which can lead to penetrative insight/realization), and remember that for many members, Dhamma Wheel is a venue to make contact with and develop a sense of community with people with a similar interest in the Buddhadhamma, as it is for you.
Ben wrote:
Individual wrote:I know there's the demon and he still messes with me from time-to-time, I think, but it's OK because I'm mindful and I know that there are powers much higher than him who are there to help -- if the intentions are pure. :)
Indeed, Sayagi U Ba Khin and Goenkaji have both said the same. Continue to workout your own salvation with diligence!
kind regards

Ben
:namaste:
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra

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Vepacitta
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Re: Some updates

Post by Vepacitta » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:57 pm

If your Mum is concerned about your dad taking away the house - have her deed the property over to you NOW, so you don't have to go through probate to get the house.

She could also make her accounts POD to you - that is - payable on death - so that again, you can avoid going through probate to get your inheritance - and avoid your father.

V.
I'm your friendly, neighbourhood Asura

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Ytrog
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Re: Some updates

Post by Ytrog » Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:42 pm

I hope you find the wisdom to deal skillfully with the situation. Based on some posts here on the forum I would say you're in some serious personal crisis. I agree with Ben that you shouldn't write your father off. I hope that a compassionate stance towards him results in a likewise response towards you from him, eventually. :anjali:
Suffering is asking from life what it can never give you.
mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments
If you see any unskillful speech (or other action) from me let me know, so I can learn from it.

jackson
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Re: Some updates

Post by jackson » Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:07 am

Hi Individual, :smile:
A little while back I had a falling out with my father, and barely spoke to him for about a year. I admit that at first it felt good not to have to deal with him but over time I realized that the anger and dislike I was carrying around was only poisoning myself and fortunately after a while he apologized and I forgave him. Now that we've patched things up I am very glad that he's a part of my life and looking back I see that had he died when we were not talking I would be carrying around a huge burden today. Your post reminded me of me back then, it was so easy to disparage my father and see his faults that I couldn't see the good that he'd brought to my life as I was growing up. I know your situation is different, but I just thought I'd tell you my story because it seems similar in some ways. I liked your poem by the way, and agree with Ben that you should keep at it. Dhamma poetry rocks!
Wishing you all the best through these hard times, :smile:
Jackson
"The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice." - Ajahn Chah

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JeffR
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Re: Some updates

Post by JeffR » Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:05 am

Hurt people hurt people.

Have compassion for your Father, as he clearly is living in a hell realm in his mind. At the same time, keep your boundaries. Don't take on the same hurtful frame of mind; this is why it is important not to disparage others and to offer metta to the most difficult people in our lives. So we feel compassion when their pain is expressed outwardly, rather than feeling the effects of their pain.

-Jeff
Therein what are 'six (types of) disrespect'? One dwells without respect, without deference for the Teacher; one dwells without respect, without deference for the Teaching; one dwells without respect, without deference for the Order; one dwells without respect, without deference for the precepts; one dwells without respect, without deference for heedfulness; one dwells without respect, without deference for hospitality. These are six (types of) disrespect.
:Vibh 945

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octathlon
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Re: Some updates

Post by octathlon » Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:33 am

Hi individual,
I also like the poem. Just want to say regarding cutting off contact, there are different situations and in some cases it may be for the best, at least for a while. I did that with my father about 20 years ago, which was the correct choice for me at the time because I was in the process of dealing with all the "stuff", and seeing a therapist for it. Actually I didn't think of cutting off contact until the therapist told me that I didn't have to talk to him if I didn't want to (I got very upset about it every time he called). After I told him not to call me anymore I even had anxiety attacks that somehow he would "come and get me", even though I was by then living 1200 miles away.

It took time and work, but since then I think I have released the negative feelings and I can't detect any animosity toward him in my mind, and I even feel compassion for him. I think that is the most important thing, both mental health-wise and kamma-wise, to be able to release that in a healthy way. I can highly recommend seeing a therapist if you can find a good one who specializes in that area, whether or not you resume contact with him. At least in my case it helped tremendously.

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