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I was born the second child of three, and the only son of my Japanese American Mother and Japanese American Father. I remember when I was 5, my father put a knife to my mother's throat and yelled threatening things at her from behind while she sat at the kitchen table.
I had just come home from preschool. This was the culmination of quite a few events. Cereal thrown to the floor and my mother being commanded to pick it up. Trips to the battered women's shelter. Same throat, another knife. Soon after, my mother packed us all up and we headed north about 25 miles to her sister's house and never went back.
For the first few years after we left, my father would have us on a weekend here or there. He would test me on my long division, which I had no problems with. By the time I was 9, he was completely out of our lives. I remember being a combination of withdrawn, angry, extremely social, and observant. Trusting what people told me was always a hard thing for me to do.
Advice, none taken. Directions, done with an angry chip on my shoulder. Coaching, followed but with resentment. At school, I performed exceptionally well. Went to the gifted classes, took algebra at the high school while in 8th grade. At home though, I was non-verbal, and angry at my mother.
I still am angry at my mother. I was an angry child and she didn't ever find a way to connect with me or help me. She is also rather aloof and pretty scattered and has a lot of repressed hurt and anger that she covers with her solitude, sweet smile, and childish voice. At the age of 26, I am having a hell of a time feeling verbally at the stage of an adolescent while I know my intellect is years beyond.
Throughout elementary, middle and high school, and even college for that matter, I was socially flourishing, but now that I look back, in a very self-disrespecting way. I wouldn't pay attention to who I was, what I needed, and what I wanted and didn't want. Instead I would please the crowd. Sell myself to the attention. Be aloof and goofy to get by.
After college, I was completely lost and decided to volunteer in Northern California, just a 6 hour drive from my home in Los Angeles. I started feeling lonely and depressed and lost in this stage of my life. I seriously contemplated quitting and moving back before my year was up. I stuck it out though, whether it was a test for myself, or just stubborn stupidity. More likely, it was an inability to listen to my needs, or lack of understanding of those needs.
I stuck it out, and even went further to move to Seattle the next year, where I ended up feeling more lonely, anxious, and lost. Half a year ago, I moved back to LA, and my parents' house more specifically. I couldn't find a job, and honestly I don't know if I was emotionally stable enough to have my own place.
Since then, I have felt intense anger towards my mom and her husband, have had a hard time getting out of bed, and have read numerous articles online including a couple by Dr. DeFoore. Each article is a step closer to living with integrity and self-respect. I want to be healthy enough of a person to figure out my goals so I can follow and achieve them. I want to be a healthy lover and father. I want to let go of this anger and resentment.
But I first need to figure out why it's there, and where it is coming from. That is the hardest part. I am blaming my mother, though I know that is not fair or productive. I am angry and look down on myself and I know that's just not getting me anywhere either. I will get somewhere, it might take a while, it will be painful, but I am on my way. I might need to switch therapists while getting there, though.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello J, and thanks for telling your story here. Congratulations on the healing work you've already done. It is clear that you want to improve, and that you're on the journey to well being that you choose for yourself.
I suggest you move out of your mom's house as soon as possible. It could be that living there is more of a challenge for your emotional stability than living alone would be. That has to be your call, of course.
Here are a couple of processes I recommend for you. Follow all of these steps, and you will receive tremendous benefit. These exercises are designed to help you get in touch with your emotions, and who you really are inside--a good, strong man with great integrity. Here they are:
a process for healing your anger
a process for letting go of your parents
Also, J, check out our audio program on nurturing your inner child. I think you're a prime candidate for getting great benefit from this.
You're a good man, J. Believe in yourself and the vision you hold for your future development.
I have a strong feeling that you will succeed in reaching your goals.
My very best to you,
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