It has been a very nice, quiet week so far. All the pieces have lined up in our favor. And we began to rebuild our empire from the pit we have been in for so long. The weather has been stellar as of late. There was cloud in the sky, and it piddled a little before the meeting tonight.
And looking out from my balcony, over to Cabot Square and as far as I can see, the first signs of Fall have begun to appear. On the grand scheme, the signs are still not apparent. But on the small scale, if you know what you are looking for, the signs are there, namely that there are a handful of trees in our neighborhood, looking down from above, that have begun to lighten, ever so slightly.
In the sea of green the one off tree amongst the many, lighter shades are there.
Amazing, we are at the end of August already. Labor Day is this weekend. Students go back to school next week, and the march to Thanksgiving will begin in earnest very soon. It will be a grand affair this year with the infusion of funds into the house as of late.
So that is a thing …
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What’s up with that car you ask ???
A good friend moved to Pittsburgh recently to pursue his PHD. A very daunting task at that.
Monday was his first day of class. And upon arriving at the university, this car, posted above (imagine in your minds eye, a fully operational and intact vehicle) was sitting on the quad, as you can see in the photo.
There were people gathered around it, and someone had a sledge hammer in their hands and was pounding the car with all they had. So He had to find out what was going on. Upon closer observation, a group was hosting this event, and for the price of a Dollar($$$), you too could bash the hell out of this car too.
Unable to pass up a great deal, (to work off those pre-class jitters) He paid his dollar and heaped tons of abuse on the already falling apart car.
Have you ever seen a “Let’s sledge hammer this car to death event” on a university campus before?
Not me …
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It was a regular Thursday night. I had stops to make on the way, so I left early. I had chores to do at the church, before we settled into the evenings groove. Namely, those little pegs you find in build project from IKEA, were a serious problem for our little “cabinet that could.”
Every time you put something on “that” particular shelf, it would fall, and the pegs scatter all over the floor or into the assorted boxes we have in the cabinet. So, with trusty Elmer’s Glue in hand, I attempted to fix said cabinet, which took me considerably longer than I had expected because the pegs were scattered all over the place and getting the shelf (out of/and into) the cabinet is a chore in itself, and trying NOT to knock the glued pegs out of their slots was the goal, that took some work …
Hopefully the pegs will never fall out of their holes ever again after tonight.
We sat a small group. We have been members short as of late. Our business meeting was painless and went off without a hitch. We read from the Daily Reflections, August 19 …
A Frame of Reference…
Which speaks to the 4th Step, even though we are in the eighth month of the year, which is solely centered on the Step of the corresponding month.
“Referring to our list (inventory) again, Putting out of our minds the wrongs others had done, we resolutely looked for our own mistakes. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking and frightened?” B.B. Pg. 67
This portion of the step concerns the fourth column. The one all about us.
There are many people working their step four,as dictated by the Vermont Men’s Step intensive group members. Myself, My sponsor, Other men who we are both sponsoring, and so on and so forth.
It is a departure from the normal “by the book” process. And is done in stages. Stage one deals with your history from birth to the present day, Stage two deals with Fears, Guilts and Resentments. I am stuck at this stage two until the end of the weekend, when my sponsor finishes his up while out of town.
And with tonight’s discussion, I am rethinking my Step as it has panned out.
As a child I grew up in a home that had mixed messages, and assorted frames of reference. I had no voice, no way to defend myself, and no ability to speak my mind. I was forced to play by the rules dictated to me. I made decisions as a young person.
The first major decision I made as a teen ager was to move out of the house and on my own.
I could not be gay in my home.
I could no longer live by the dictates of my father
The abuse was too much and too frequent.
Was that choice selfish? Yes.
But every decision after that was a total failure.
From the age of twenty six to twenty eight, I was forced to make decisions based on self preservation. And I am not sure if self preservation can be considered self centered or selfish? The times dictated that certain decisions be made or else death was a serious end of things.
So I made them. But not alone.
They say when you slip that in essence, “you are giving God’s gift back to Him, saying I don’t want it any more…” I made that decision, on my own, to my own detriment.
Purely selfish and self centered.
During that first sobriety, prior to my slip, I began to construct the life I thought I wanted at that time. Changes I thought were necessary to achieve that, had to be made, so I made a first decision.
Self preservation … Selfish or self centered? You tell me …
After my slip, and in a sober frame of mind, I chose to continue constructing the life I thought I wanted at that time. These decisions would be the final death knell to who I was, in opt for who I wanted to become and where I was going to live and how I was going to do that and get there.
Self preservation… Selfish or Self Centered? You tell me …
I pissed off the right people. People who made my life meaningless, and abused and degraded me. I took a spoon and dug my father’s heart out of his chest and handed it to him on a platter.
Fuck you. Watch this. This is totally about ME.
Coming from where I was (at that time) socially, mentally and economically, bankrupt and poor and living below the poverty level, to where I am today, food, meds, a roof and a life that I could not have imagined thirteen years ago, I made these decisions for self preservation.
Extenuating Circumstances you might say ???
To this day, for some, my voice has been silenced. To this day, for some, my life is inconsequential and unimportant and unworthy of mention.
I benefited from my decisions. Solely made for my benefit as an adult. I struck out for new shores with life and liber
ty and the pursuit of happiness in mind, and I got it in spades today.
You can’t choose your family. And having three strikes against you is terminal justice for them.
Every time I go back and look at this step as I am working it, I ask these questions of myself, in front of my peers and my fellows. I am not looking for approval. Because this is who I am today. I did these things. And if I am guilty for self preservation, then I am guilty as charged.
No one in my family stood by me when the chips fell where they did. And to this day, they refuse contact so my steps will be woefully incomplete when I finish them, because in the end I won’t get the end I think I deserve or what any loving, feeling human being is deserved by right of existence.
So be it … This is my lot.
So that is a thing as well.
It was a good night. Everybody is sober and happy.
More to come, stay tuned …