Friday, April 11, 2014


Thursday, April 10, 2014

my father has never been anything but a self-absorbed phony

On the Bank

I was 13. We'd driven from Amarillo to Grand Lake in East Central Oklahoma for the July 4th weekend, caravaning with a family from our neighborhood, the Babbs.

We were staying at a cabin owned by an oilfield service company, free of charge. After getting settled in, we decided to take the ski boat out on the lake. My friend Chuck Babb and I went to the boathouse where the Chris Craft ski boat was. It was an inboard/outboard walk-through model, probably 18' or so.

Chuck and I were careful about reading the start-up directions, running the blower in the engine compartment for several minutes before turning the key. As we got the motor running a few of the others got on the boat, including my father.

After we were backed out of the boathouse, I walked to the back of the boat to sit on one of the seats next to the motor cowling. As I leaned over to unsnap the seat, letting it down to its sitting position, there was an explosion of fuel vapors inside the motor cowling. The next thing I knew I was all the way in the front of the boat where the explosion had thrown me.

The back-end of the boat was engulfed in flames. Just as I turned around, looking for my father, I saw him diving into the water, away from the boat, swimming towards the shore about 50 yards away.

Someone grabbed me from behind, throwing me into the water on the opposite side of the boat, away from the shore. When I came to the surface I felt something on my neck, like a leaf or weed; I reached up to pull it from my neck, looking into my hand to see what it was. Skin. I'd been burnt pretty badly, my skin already bubbling up.

I looked around to see a boat full of people coming towards me, arms reaching down, pulling me to safety.

I looked back, towards the shore, worried about my father.

There he was, sitting on the bank, alone...

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Robert Barris claim thrown OUT!

Have another drink AND another pill Pam, oh, and don't forget to abuse someone it's still daylight somewhere !


Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Sunday, March 23, 2014













Saturday, March 15, 2014

sober & enlightened

John,

I've seen this happen with each & every mental health professional that's gotten a little too close. Great effort is made to paint a picture that covers up anything that may have been said, recounted or revealed in therapy.

It must be an extremely convincing act. 

There's been a consistent pattern & method of mental/emotional abuse since I was a child. I'd never been able to put it all together before Alina because I'd always blamed myself and it was so confusing.  

When I first saw the behavior, sober & enlightened, after Alina, it was totally unexpected, as it had been 20+ years since I'd put myself in a position for it to happen, and because I was unaware I was being set-up, I thought things were OK, not at all rewarding or anything approaching truth, just OK.  

I'd made numerous attempts at "real", expressing my feelings several times, looking for a spiritual connection with this guy, but it was not gonna happen, as he has no clue who he is, along with having absolutely zero interest in truth.

Here's how it shows up, maybe you can relate:

He gets 5 or 6 pieces of information on me, i.e., I told my sister the driving range was close enough to work that I could hit a bucket of balls during my lunch hour. So, she tells him this & then he confronts me with it, after changing it to this: "I heard you've been playing golf two days a week instead of going to work." 

He's got 5 more of these, and he goes right down the list. None of these silly "complaints" have anything to do with our relationship, it's information he's gathered and then embellished, ridiculously, knowing it will possibly infuriate me, as it did when I was a child – same abusive methodology, different decade.

Of course, unless I'm the Dalai Lama, I get defensive and the dance is on. The exchange is juvenile, name calling, etc., with him coming to a Godly, Soothsayer-like conclusion, prophesying a horrible ending for me, always financial, because I believe, that is his greatest fear - no money. 

When I was a kid, it ended up with me in his closet getting whipped with a belt. None of my siblings have ever experienced my experience. He has his own tailored method for each of us, and I believe, everyone in his life, to exert this false, dishonest power over others.

Makes one wonder what those three old women did to him to make him feel so very little.

The ranch foreman and the wildlife manager both told me they suspected he had the place bugged, but that's not it, what they don't understand is that everyone on his payroll is just like my sister Pam - observing and reporting, 24/7, gossiping with him about mutual acquaintances, all day long, month after month, year after year.

Of course, the purpose is to scare, overpower, control, etc., but for there to be a different method for each person is something to be noted. It prohibits the comparing of notes and complicates efforts to out him by people not on the payroll, like me.

Like you, I believe he needs me to fail. If I succeed, his godlike view of himself is whittled down a little, just a little, because this guy has set his world up with many, many people in it for one purpose, he never runs out of scapegoats. 

I bet if you looked closer, you'd see that your situation is very similar, everyone is being abused, especially if they're on the payroll, however small the check may be. You may be one of the most abused but no one is exempt, not even if they're dead.
mike

Mike,
Damn, that's insightful. Amazing what 5 years clean & sober can reveal. I totally relate. My old man constantly put me down and tried to convince me I was stupid even though I was single-handedly running his company. My brother was the "smart one." I finally realized I was a hell of a lot smarter and a hell of a lot more capable. My shrink used to tell me my father was in competition with me and had to use his influence, scare tactics, and $ to keep me in my place. I thought she was nuts. She's right, of course. I just got back to Charleston, but I'll check back with you. Great to be in touch. 
John 
Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Be a Giver, not a Taker


Truth, Authenticity, Spontaneity, Service, Living in the Present & being Spiritually Fit are important to me today.

I have no time for dishonesty, delusion, invented or dreamt up internet created personas, treatable yet ignored mental illness, lack of integrity and/or personal accountability.

I've wasted too many decades with no purpose in life, other than that of me getting for me whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it. 

Self will run riot is not a valid inheritance.

I was taught to be my own God of judgment, while knowing absolutely nothing about anything, including myself.

I am getting better at life. I have come a long way in just 7 1/2 years, and I have a long way to go.

I've found that the longer I'm on this road, the narrower it becomes.  

This work will never come to an end. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

the ego serves no legitimate purpose


from intherooms.com - excellent resource

InTheRooms Daily Meditation

February 17

Dealing with My Stressing, Stressed Out Reactions

Not all addictions are rooted in abuse or trauma, but I do believe they can all be traced to painful experience. A hurt is at the centre of all addictive behaviours. It is present in the gambler, the Internet addict, the compulsive shopper and the workaholic. The wound may not be as deep and the ache not as excruciating, and it may even be entirely hidden-but it's there. The effects of early stress or adverse experiences directly shape both the psychology and the neurobiology of addiction in the brain. -Gabor Mate, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction
I will obsess less and relax, breathe, and step back more
Oftentimes it isn't the actual events, situations, and people in my life that are my biggest problem when it comes to feeling stressed out. Rather it's what I do with a stressful situation within myself that gives me trouble. If I overreact on an emotional and mental level to something that someone else has done or said, or to a circumstance in my life, my stress gets compounded. I obsess in a way that can make feelings seem overwhelming and unmanageable, and I pound that stress straight into my body. I undermine myself-I take away my own voice and vitality. Today, I will be honest with myself about the ways in which I make my own stressors worse because of what I do with them in my mind.


One Foot in Front Of the Other © 2013 Tian Dayton. All rights reserved. Health Communications, Inc.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

co-dependency


CoD

At the very root of my addictions (symptoms), is child abuse.

During my stay at Alina Lodge, I lived 92 classroom hours of Co-Dependency - we called it CoD, for short.  

We were issued, for this "class", 'Facing Codependence', by Pia Melody and the 'Codependent No More' workbook, by Melody Beattie.

CoD was of intense focus during my 18 months at the Lodge. I was shocked, initially, when I began to get into CoD; these two books, the weekly lectures, and the laborious homework we were assigned. It took me awhile to get my head around it because, quite simply, the books and classroom study were all about my life, my childhood, and my family of origin.

CoD was then "taught" by the Executive Director of Alina Lodge at the time, Mark Schottinger, a well known, long-term pioneer of the North American 12-step Recovery community, hand picked by the founder of Alina Lodge, Geraldine Delaney, to be her successor, just prior to her death in 1998.

We were given assignments, long and involved written assignments, and then we were called upon, randomly, to "present" these assignments to the entire Alina "community", always 100 people or more, requiring we spend a minimum of 55 minutes from the microphone equipped podium in "Memory", the lecture hall at Alina Lodge. 

Co-Dependence is the always, inevitable result of child abuse.

There are 5 different categories of child abuse, each of which is explored and then dissected in both of the text's cited above: Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Spiritual Abuse and Intellectual Abuse. 

I was a victim of each of these forms of Child Abuse, some from my father, some from my mother and some from both. 

I never had a chance, ever, nor did my siblings. 

The proof is in the pudding. 

So, for my father, my paid-off siblings, their attorneys and/or various other, what now looks to be, uneducated, uninformed, or just generally, ignorant, so-called advisers or experts, to say or imply that child abuse has no place in my story of addiction, is blatantly, ridiculously, false. 

This, is Truth.

If any of these people had conducted proper due diligence in this regard; taken the time to find out, to learn exactly, where I've been, what I've learned, and how this has become a part of who I am, they would have never, ever gone down the various legal and other roads they've chosen to go down, with me in tow, over the last 5 years.



Sunday, February 9, 2014

Patterns and Characteristics of Codependence

These patterns and characteristics are offered as a tool to aid in self-evaluation. 
They may be particularly helpful to newcomers.

Denial Patterns:

I have difficulty identifying what I am feeling.
I minimize, alter, or deny how I truly feel.
I perceive myself as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well-being of others.
I lack empathy for the feelings and needs of others.
I label others with my negative traits.
I can take care of myself without any help from others.
I mask my pain in various ways such as anger, humor, or isolation.
I express negativity or aggression in indirect and passive ways.
I do not recognize the unavailability of those people to whom I am attracted.

Low Self Esteem Patterns:

I have difficulty making decisions.
I judge what I think, say, or do harshly, as never good enough.
I am embarrassed to receive recognition, praise, or gifts.
I value others’ approval of my thinking, feelings, and behavior over my own.
I do not perceive myself as a lovable or worthwhile person.
I constantly seek recognition that I think I deserve.
I have difficulty admitting that I made a mistake.
I need to appear to be right in the eyes of others and will even lie to look good.
I am unable to ask others to meet my needs or desires.
I perceive myself as superior to others.
I look to others to provide my sense of safety.
I have difficulty getting started, meeting deadlines, and completing projects.
I have trouble setting healthy priorities.

Compliance Patterns:

I am extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long.
I compromise my own values and integrity to avoid rejection or anger.
I put aside my own interests in order to do what others want.
I am hypervigilant regarding the feelings of others and take on those feelings.
I am afraid to express my beliefs, opinions, and feelings when they differ from those of others.
I accept sexual attention when I want love.
I make decisions without regard to the consequences.
I give up my truth to gain the approval of others or to avoid change.

Control Patterns:

I believe most people are incapable of taking care of themselves.
I attempt to convince others what to think, do, or feel.
I freely offer advice and direction to others without being asked.
I become resentful when others decline my help or reject my advice.
I lavish gifts and favors on those I want to influence.
I use sexual attention to gain approval and acceptance.
I have to be needed in order to have a relationship with others.
I demand that my needs be met by others.
I use charm and charisma to convince others of my capacity to be caring and compassionate.
I use blame and shame to emotionally exploit others.
I refuse to cooperate, compromise, or negotiate.
I adopt an attitude of indifference, helplessness, authority, or rage to manipulate outcomes.
I use terms of recovery in an attempt to control the behavior of others.
I pretend to agree with others to get what I want.

Avoidance Patterns:

I act in ways that invite others to reject, shame, or express anger toward me.
I judge harshly what others think, say, or do.
I avoid emotional, physical, or sexual intimacy as a means of maintaining distance.
I allow my addictions to people, places, and things to distract me from achieving intimacy in relationships.
I use indirect and evasive communication to avoid conflict or confrontation.
I diminish my capacity to have healthy relationships by declining to use all the tools of recovery.
I suppress my feelings or needs to avoid feeling vulnerable.
I pull people toward me, but when they get close, I push them away.
I refuse to give up my self-will to avoid surrendering to a power that is greater than myself.
I believe displays of emotion are a sign of weakness.
I withhold expressions of appreciation.

(source: www.coda.org (CoDA) for use by members of the CoDA Fellowship. )







"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain -- and most fools do."
--Benjamin Franklin







Saturday, February 8, 2014

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Margaret


While on pre-trial supervision in 2005, a woman in the US Attorney's White Plains, NY office was assigned my case.

Margaret's job was to find out whom I was, completely, for the court and the Judge.

Margaret and I met 4 times, in White Plains - she even came to Alina Lodge, the rehab where I spent most of my 22 rehab months, where we had lunch and talked more, after which she toured the facility and met with my counselor, Gerry Gunnels and the clinical director, Greg Varley. 

I had my last meeting with Margaret in October of 2007, 2 months before my final sentencing date. 

We'd been working for almost 3 hours so I knew the meeting was about over. Margaret was looking over her notes. She became still, not looking up from her desk for several minutes. I knew she was in deep thought; I'd been in rehab for 17 months and had become observant, keen to emotional presence.  

She continued to sit quietly for a bit, a few minutes. She looked up from her desk, into my eyes, intently and with purpose, saying to me:

"Michael, I'm retiring at the end of this year. I've been working for the government for almost 40 years, doing my best to find out who people truly are, from birth to the present; where they came from and how their many life experiences, primarily those beyond their control, influenced their involvement in criminal behavior. I've worked cases from courts all over New York State with thousands of men and women from all walks of life, each of which had their own story. I've never told any defendant what I'm about to tell you.
You Michael, need to write a book."