I really couldn’t think of a better title, I just wish it didn’t apply to 90% of my content. It’s fine, I guess. It makes me feel better to have a voice, even if that voice isn’t saying much of anything. Making thoughts, feelings, and ideas, manifest into typed word; this is the best therapy for me. It really is. It has kept me going for so many years when I really wasn’t sure how I’d do it. Even this blog has been around since 2012 solidly, but before that existed as a wordpress thing floating around the interwebs.
I’ve been having a hard time lately, and in having a hard time it becomes harder to examine why. When you feel depressed you don’t want to do anything, up to and including taking steps to feel better. You can’t fix something if you don’t know what to fix. The first step is always figuring out the “why” behind it. I think my “why” is the disappointment in seeing a ton of people moving up in my company when it’s been a long time since I’ve made any transition at all. Yes, I’ve achieved the next-to-highest level of engineering title at my office, but I’m still doing the exact same things I’ve been doing since 2016. I’ll readily admit that for the first two or three years my job has offered me challenges that seemed too large for me. I absolutely fed off of it, though. I soaked it in to the fullest extent possible, and the challenge just made me hungrier. Fast forward to today and I’m just a high paid babysitter. I write programmatic routines and occasionally software to make robots go brrr and I sit and watch the robots go brrr. I don’t feel that challenge anymore. There’s no sense of the tasks before me being much larger than myself. The challenges I experience now are getting a decent room if I’m out of town on business or the customer sending me garbage prints or CAD models. They’re the challenges of the mundane everyday things that someone who is no longer fully engaged just churns and burns to keep the paychecks flowing. I think it’s really disaffecting.
It just feels like I’m stalled really hard in my career, and I’ve used my career as a distraction from personal problems and issues for a very long time. So with the career focus waning I’m just finding nothing but shelved problems remaining. It always catches up to you if you don’t handle your business. I think I need to handle my business. I think it’s time for me to talk sincerely with my therapist about my dad, and everything that event in my life had influenced. Up to this point I’ve been more than happy to chitter to my therapist about all sorts of other accumulated traumas in my life, including the most recent traumas, but I haven’t dove deep into the feelings of loss or anger regarding my dad. I don’t really know how to address it, or frame it, or begin to understand it. How do you quantify the impact of loss of someone you don’t remember anymore? Even as a child he felt more like a dream than a person. I don’t remember what his voice sounded like. I remember his face from pictures, not from seeing him in person. I don’t know how he moved, I don’t know what he liked, I don’t know how he spoke. I couldn’t tell you anything about this man that supposedly was my father. I barely had a notion when he died, but he was apparently there enough that the loss was hard. It still might be hard, it’s been decades since he died, but I’m still making sense of all of it. I had a father who cared about me, but most people will attest that I didn’t get to spend much time with. He was alternately employed on midnights working long shifts and almost always through any weekends I would be able to see him, so I’ve been told that I didn’t see him much. I guess memory-wise that checks out for me, because I don’t remember much about him.
The thing I remember most about my father is an event that really didn’t involve him. He was already gone at the time, but the phone call in the middle of the night, which my mom answered. I didn’t pick it up, my mom did. I knew my parents were divorced at the time, but I’ll never forget one of the few times I’ve seen my mother actually cry. Not just a few tears into a tissue, but actually sobbing. I don’t remember what she said exactly, but she basically let me know what happened and that he was no more. I remember that night more than anything and at the same time that night didn’t change anything for me. I went to his funeral and basically lived my life almost completely unchanged. Every other weekend I would go to my dad’s parent’s house (he never moved out as an adult) and I would spend time with my grandparents, as I had done since I could first form memories. The actual shock of how things went could be glossed over for a long time because he was never really present. It wasn’t until years later in school that I would discuss stuff with other kids, who would variably describe their lives as I would describe mine, and almost always they would tell me about their parents. It would be then that it started to click that my home wasn’t like theirs, and that my childhood wouldn’t be like theirs. It’s a lot to unpack. I’ve never really sat down and tried before.
Alright, I think I’m going to cut it off here, but I guess it’s a start.