My older brother Jerrod didn't want mom to get pregnant because then his friends would know his mom did sex. My older sister Stacy thought it would be cool if step dad Glen got a chance to be a biological father. Stacy's vote won but the doctors said it was risky for my mother, Nancy, to get her fallopian tubes untied to try and breed at the ripe age of 40. Not risky like you could experience a traumatic humping accident, though that's always on the table I guess, risky as in the mother and baby have a higher risk of experiencing health issues.
But my parents are risk takers so they loosened the tubes, took the plunge and voila! A package would be delivered in 9 months with shipping fees of weight gain, nausea, discomfort, pain, pushing and at least 20 years of supporting the little alien. For real, I looked like an alien. My head was deformed and still kind of is but it has nothing to do with the fact that I'm an alien and everything to do with the fact that there was a knot in the umbilical cord and it was wrapped around my neck. My mom was in labor for nearly 3 days. Talk about a workout! Thanks mama, I love you.
The medical term is a true knot. The doctors were worried I was going to die or suffer brain damage from lack of oxygen so they called in a team of nurses and prepared the vagina vacuum. For real. The vaj-cuum was the only way I was coming out alive. Ssssssssllurrrrpop!
"Hola mudda fuckaz, it's good to be back" were my first words seconds after arrival and legend has it I was holding a baby shot gun. Thanks to the vajcuum I made it out alive and hopefully without any brain damage. I had a slightly deformed bubblehead but whatever, I would grow into it eventually.
On my 25th birthday my sister was telling me stories about when I was a baby. She said that since I went through a difficult birth the doctors told my mom to feed me lots to make sure I was getting enough nutrients to help compensate for any potential troubles caused by my stubborn birth. To put it simply, I was sucking a lot of titty for a long time. Does this explain my addiction to breasts? Maybe. But it also starts to hint at reasons behind future eating disorders. I guess I’ve always kind of been an emotional little monkey because apparently when I was young I would cry until I puked. This became a worry for my mom because she was scared that I wasn’t absorbing the nutrients from my food. This fear transformed into my family freaking out every time I started crying. They would stressfully surround me and feed me desperate affirmations telling me I was happy and I soon learned that crying was bad because it made my family upset. I also learned that eating a lot was good.
This simple equation shines light on behaviours I’ll talk more about, like people pleasing, pretending I’m happy, overeating, binge eating, and feeling guilty about my emotions. My sister gave me more therapy in a single story than anyone behind a clipboard ever has. Thanks Stacy, I love you.
I was blessed with the easy version of how a childhood can be. Healthy, white male, born in Canada to a financially stable family with a mom that nurtured me, a dad that told me he loved me, an older sister than snuggled me, and an older brother that played with me. Even writing that makes me laugh. It was super easy. My family will come up lots in the story because they are pillars in my journey but let's set it straight from the start, my family is imperfectly wonderful.
Our flaws have created conflicts, anger, resentment, deception, arguments and the whole puddle of dramatic, negative battles that many families experience. But our gifts have created unconditional love, support, cooperation, fun, adventure, and an unfathomable amount of laughter as well.
It's the mystical paradox of love-hate that our families bless us with. Though hate probably isn't the right word so let's call it reflections that remind us of how worthy we are and reflections that trigger how unworthy we feel. They represent the origins of where we come from and that often gives us feelings of "wow I'm so lucky to have you in my life" or "holy shit you are so frustrating right now because you are reminding me of a piece of myself that I can't accept!"
My family is amazing and I'm far beyond playing a silly blame game with them. I went through that phase during my depression and some of the greatest medicines were forgiveness, acceptance, gratitude, and building new relationships based on taking self-responsibility for having a positive perspective. Healthy boundaries have made a magical difference as well. My dad and I can jive and be best buds all day but by day 10 of a family holiday some sort of shit will hit the fan. It's just how the math works so now I make sure to take as much solo time as I need to feel balanced inside. Accepting my inner introvert and not guilt tripping over wanting to be alone has made all of my relationships way healthier. This can be a slippery slope but I'll talk about that later.
"If you are going to blame your family for shit you have to blame them for all of it, including all of the great things."
- Tony Robbins
My family is made up of some of the most loving, supportive, inspiring people I know and I am beyond grateful to have them by my side. They have always had my back and I've never for one second doubted their love and support for me. But come on, they created a beatboxing psycho that raps, sings, and screams about psychedelics, God, demons, lies, and tantric sex while dressing up like a monkey prince to dish out lap dances and flail to trippy space beats that he made in his music cave with all his instruments and knobs that he obsesses over for hours on end until his eyes burn. My childhood was pretty damn easy and amazing but I can't say it was normal.
But what is "normal"?
- The way it usually is?
- The way it should be?
- The average of the whole?
- The way the majority expects it to be?
- The way we think all the happy, content, balanced, "regular" people have it?
For real, what the fuck is "normal" ?
Look at mother nature and the wide variety of creatures it has created on our planet. What's more normal, a bird or a jellyfish? A giraffe or a turtle? A volcano or a hurricane? Corn or blueberries? Wind or water? Nothing is normal it just IS WHAT IT IS and if being normal means being what you authentically are then I think our societal version of "normal" is often very abnormal.
The force of nature doesn't think about normal it just creates things using a formula made of concepts my little monkey brain can't remember all the steps to. But I think it involves physics, chemistry, and biology inside a mixture of math and chaos creating a process that you can and can't predict.
Call it Mother Nature, God, life, sacred geometry, Fibonacci sequence, reality, infinity, universe, the All, the One, the Source, the Force, Yahweh, Allah, Brahma, whatever you want. It doesn't care what you call it and it doesn't believe in normal. You are a part of it's eternal creative process and you belong here for now you lovely little creature you.
Continue reading the "Mental Breakdown" series.