Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Highly Personal

I've been thinking alot lately about why I'm a little bit of a nut. I guess I know why, I just don't want to think about it. So I might as well lay it out there...in writing...in public. Maybe it will help.

My one big personal problem is anxiety. Call it worry or fretting. Call it what you will. Sometimes it overwhelms me in a black cloud I describe to The Divine Mrs. M as everything being black. It is. Pitch black. Other times - like the last few months - the worry is just a interminable back of the brain nag. I can push it back but it's always there.

Mostly it's about money. I do ok. Never late on the mortgage or car payments...or any bills for that matter - at least not for quite a few years. The kids go to private school - for just a couple months more. And The Divine stays home with them. We're doing ok.

But the nagging remains.

Why? I think it's a deepseeded fear of failure demonstrated to the outside world - mostly family - by any financial setback.

As a kid I was terrible high strung. Easy to panic and fearful of many situations. The enviroment growing up was not supportive to a child needing to overcome those character traits. This is no Freudian blaming of the parents. They had their own problems. Heck, my mother was 19 when I was born, who wouldn't? I was just a nervous kid who spun himself into worry and a bit of uncertainty at home would just send me spinning off like a top across the floor. There was always uncertainty.

That plus the fact that I did as little work as possible through high school contributed to nobody placing much hope in me being a "success" (meaning cash) in any way. Kids are more perceptive than anyone realizes. When parents, relatives, teachers or other figures write a kid off, the kid knows. When a kid is told by one of those figures - he takes it to heart. It's internalized and become a part of the kids psyche.

Luckily and I don't know how, around senior year of high school, I developed a serious "I don't give a shit attitude". Not mean; best described as insouciant. Freshman year at college, being out of a negative environment, I discovered I wasn't that bad. I wasn't that dumb or as lazy as I was being told. Second semester I fell in with a good group of people. That summer after freshman year I met The Divine Mrs. M and have done reasonably well since. I've held down jobs, started a business, wrote a book, I contribute to a major US newspaper, own my own home, happy marriage (at least on my side?), two healthly smart kids.....Not bad for about to turn 36 in a few days, right

But we're hardwired in childhood. And I live in fear of setbacks or discovery that will prove those right who told me that I wouldn't amount to much and that I was stupid or that damned guidance councelor who told me college wasn't for me. Maybe in my gut - contrary to all proof - I think they're right and it can all be taken away. I know that no one is there for me if I fall down. I'd be fulfilling their expectations and deserve to be where I end up. Worthless and broke.

I don't know.

I think it's time to end the psycho-babble.

Stay You.
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