My Experience with Buddhism Pt 1 (Agnosticism)

by xeno6696 @, Sonoran Desert, Thursday, December 15, 2022, 03:39 (588 days ago) @ David Turell

Not really a laughing matter. I'm getting the picture of no father or a very ineffective one.

Gallows humor of a sort. Think of your ER docs. (I worked ER for 4yrs as a pharmacy tech, I fit in well with the old docs.) But yeah, only child, single mom.

Matt: I didn't view it as abnormal until I started seeing the reactions (as an adult) of people who I told that to.

As a kid you couldn't know what is normal

Great. You always did it the wrong way.

But then when I chose to stop doing homework and just fail out, my mom refused to blame me, only the teachers. I mean I get it, public school teachers get a bad rap but in my case it was totally undeserved. Like I said, the dynamic could flip on a dime. The only thing to be certain of and is a key to understanding my mom, is that whatever threatens her ego is the enemy. So if I threatened it, I was the black sheep. If someone threatened me, she took it as a personal offense against her. Trying to analyze those threads just isn't worth it, but it was impossible to navigate at the time. That's why I ultimately started shutting down at school.

Matt: The teenage years I still feel eroded any sort of normal "love" reaction that I *should* have--and simply don't. 2-3 years ago as a joke my wife bought me an audio book "How to live with a narcissistic mother," and after I got done with that book, it hit me like a ton of bricks--in a good way. For the first time I had as accurate of a description of my childhood as I'd ever had... My case is weird because there's normally several different roles in a Narcissistic family and because I was the only family member I literally played all roles. The Golden Child who was also the Black Sheep.

I couldn't have analyzed it any better.

I wanted to add--just to be clear--the "psychologist" approach of my teacher... he actually doesn't know about any of this history. This all came from me using the teachings and actually a mentor I had in a Buddha-based recovery program. (I wasn't going to do AA.)

Actually, on that note, I also didn't know that I did something that old head recovery folks thought was insane. I had actually been studying Buddhism since 2003. I probably mentioned that here a few times. But in 2017 I finally decided to practice the meditation part.

When I finally quit drinking in 2020, keep in mind--I averaged north of 750ml/day with a habit that had grown over 8yrs I did it cold turkey. My hospital experience taught me that if my vitals tanked I could titrate. In the pharmacy we kept liquor for precisely when the doctors would order it for that reason. The Buddha's meditation focuses on learning that all aspects of the mind, good, bad, neutral--has beginning, middle, end. I was afraid of the cravings. Literally it was like a hunger that would radiate numbness and I feared it would get worse. But over that first 24hrs, I slept fine. I was pre stage-IV hypertension (whatever 142/98 would be) a few months before I quit. So I watched it carefully on that first day. The meditation I used was the simple starting breath meditation: You focus on your breathing as the object, and anytime you "wake up" from being distracted, you bring it back to the breath. When negative feelings pop up, focus on them carefully, until they pass.

Nothing happened. They always passed. I was afraid of quitting but it was being afraid of a hallucination, really.

The next day, cravings still came at the usual times, but a little less powerful. That continued over a week.

By the time I hit a week, my BP had fully returned to normal.

But the meditation was my watchman. So at that point I began all the work that lead me to most of the story that I have already recounted here.

\"Why is it, Master, that ascetics fight with ascetics?\"

\"It is, brahmin, because of attachment to views, adherence to views, fixation on views, addiction to views, obsession with views, holding firmly to views that ascetics fight with ascetics.\"

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