Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Inner Child

When I was young, people would tell me that I had an old soul. They would say that I was wiser and more cynical than my actual age would suggest. I suppose that was true. In high school, I was frequently mistaken as a member of the faculty by younger students. I've had some form of mustache since I was 14 (there are some who would say I was born with it) and was shaving by the time I was 15. So, I can see why people would think that of me.

Yet...I never felt that way inside.

My inner child has always been just that - a child. Oh, he aged with me of course, but not nearly so fast as the rest of me. Until recently, he was but a teenager with little concern for the world around me. Peter Pan syndrome, I believe they call it.It is a feeling of never growing old and never letting go of the dreams we had as children.

But the world changes and so must we.

It all began round about the same time. Events cascaded against one another like the rise of a hurricane in the tropics. The first happened at work. My day job, which is a source of contention at any given time decided that they required more of my time and my soul because I had reached some arbitrary salary plateau. I have seen what happens to people at that energy state in this company. I do not wish to end my career as a burnt out husk or an assimilated troll. My son will only be young once and I do not want to miss these precious years.Yet, to further my career and increase my pay, this is the path forward.

An adult decision to be sure.

Then came my Mother's collapse. I will not afflict you with the details, but this past month has brought mortality to the front of my mind like no other time in my life. Ten days at the hospital watching every manner of ill fated soul parade in and out of the wards brought death into the frame of my world view. I'm a biologist, so academically, I know how this works. Yet, that experience and then the three weeks at the rehabilitation center, made the frailty of our lives visceral to me. The people at the rehab center were nice and they tried their best, but it was an older facility on the eastside chosen for its proximity to my parents home rather than any other outstanding features.

These were sad places where Death lingered in the fringes.

My Mother recovered and is home now for the time being. The realization that my Father cannot manage her care alone even with my sister and I helping  has sent us looking for home health services and assisted living facilities. The fact that my Father is in denial of the circumstances only acerbates the situation.  This leaves my sister and I with the task of not only making him see reason, but also in choosing a facility that will be safe and affordable for my parents.Truth be told, my father needs help nearly as much as my mother does.

 More adult decisions.

So here I sit, dear readers, with a bruised and battered inner child. A part of me that wants desperately to remain as he was, but no longer can. Now, there are those out there who would say, "Quit your bitching. There are people who have it far, far worse than you." They are right, of course. All one has to do is turn on the news and look at Syria or the victims of Harvey and Irma. Certainly, my problems pale in comparison to those of the wider world. Yet, in my own personal world, these have been traumatic events.

My inner child is sadly no longer a child..

1 comment:

  1. Mike, I have started and stopped in commenting on this lovely introspective. First of all, brother; Mike, I give all my love to you and to your family. I hate that you are in this situation. Yeah, as you indicated we all have or will go through these stages in life when our loved ones need us the most. Yet, ubiquity does not dilute your emotional turmoil and hard decisions. Your family's situation is unique to you and real and pertinent. This is rough times.

    So, you have exquisitely detailed the supposed transition of an imaginative soul to an entity of responsibilities; a man who has to make adult decisions while he must lose the ability to see life as wondrous, mysterious...even magical.

    Yet, is it a true supposition? Must it really be like this, Mike?

    I get that as a scientist, you can explain how Reality is all that there is to be. But your inner child and creative self can show how Reality must not be all that there is to be.

    Humans must imagine. We cannot have culture or history or a future without it.

    Keep youthful and imaginative and creative and unique, especially for your son. Your inner child is the soul whom I --and many others --have ever known.