I Grew Up In Calgary

I grew up in Calgary, in poverty, my father died at 40 of coal miner lung cancer, my Mom was a narcissist adult-child, who chose to stay home with 4 kids on living on welfare. She didn’t say, how will I take care of us, she said who will take care of us. A typical narcissist parent.

We lived in a neighbourhood of fascist tradespeople, a cab driver lived next door. Their abused children of alcoholics, in gangs, beat me and terrorized me after school. They hated difference and perceived weakness. Welfare families were a prime target for the community's cowardly bullyism. We raised their taxes, taking their money, causing them to have fewer opportunities.

The church wasn’t questioned in our home, we went every Sunday to signal our virtue, I sang in the choir my brothers were altar boys.

I was extremely lonely and isolated. I took refuge in the library, found science fiction for boys, written by scientists and began to question the teaching of the tradesperson's bronze-age beliefs.

Later, as young hippies, we rejected medicine and looked to yoga and alternative health strategies of my new cult yoga ‘family’ that was using me for cash flow. I used them for really bad communication, companionship and sex.

When I was inevitably devastated by the next in a series of narcissist (marry your Mom) relationships, I couldn’t stop crying and was referred to an evidence-based social worker family therapist at the hospital. I learned to question my beliefs by asking for evidence. Turning it around, I learned that I don’t have to believe anything, you have to convince me with evidence if you want me to believe something. De-programming.

I learned that I was an abandoned orphan, my upbringing had been dumped on my older siblings who also were without a functional parent resenting me and beating me emotionally and physically. They never taught me personal hygiene or emotional hygiene. I was 5 or 6 getting my tonsils out at the hospital where a kindly nurse taught me about cleaning my toenails and washing my ass. I was so embarrassed.

Embarrassment and shame as well as an over-fear of death resulting from my father's lung cancer kept me from the medical community and into the arms of ‘alternative’ health.

When I was deprogrammed I was taught the evidence-based emotional hygiene of Dr. Albert Ellis the foremost psychologist of the last century. My over-anxieties left on their own.

I feel now that evidence changes and evolves, it is never certain so it never lets me down. Dogma is belief in certainty and always lets me down. The search for certainty is the search for anxiety.

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meditation, reportage, blog, humour piece, eulogy, autobiographical slice, diatribe, list, collage, mosaic, lecture, or letter

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Jerald W. Blackstock

Jerald W. Blackstock

meditation, reportage, blog, humour piece, eulogy, autobiographical slice, diatribe, list, collage, mosaic, lecture, or letter

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