Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sins of the father passed onto the son - everyday damage from childhood

We don't see our own damage from growing up. I don't clean, my mom doesn't clean. Truth is when I really think about it, my mom never cleaned - that's a habit you gain and cultivate from your parents. I don't clean, my mom didn't clean, her parents didn't clean.. And I have to be 29 years old before I realize I'm a freakin slob living in a filthy house. LSD made me aware - but now that I am aware I see it in every day life. My moms (and mine) idea of cleaning is anything visible and easy to get to. Mop the floor clean the counters wipe down the sink. Furniture never gets moved, carpets never get vacuumed. Windows, blinds and corners full of dust and cobwebs. The shower full of mold and rust. Filth around and behind the toilet. Without LSD I don't think I would've ever known I was a slob... I have had roommates before but always picked on one of them for being a neat freak, and he would pick on me, "the whole house is clean except Nathan's room." It seems common sense to clean ALL of the HOME and to have it clean AT ALL TIMES but it slips through the cracks...To quote the bible verse Exodus 20:5 “ ...the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me.” Or the more commonly heard paraphrasing, "...the sins of the father passed onto the son." Baggage transcending generations. I am not religious by any means and not trying to turn the topic into one of religious doctrine but what does sin really mean? Sin is an archery term meaning failure, being in error, or missing the mark, especially in spear throwing. We grow up living a certain way and don't even realize the damage we posses. It slips through the cracks because of all the other things life puts in our way like paying bills, work, hardships, or if you're lucky actually doing something fun like sports or hanging out with friends... I was looking for something that dropped and moved 2 cupboards in the kitchen this morning to take these pictures.


I remember my parents fighting when I was growing up. My dad would yell at my mom that the house was filthy. My dad didn't grow up in a filthy house and my mom never cleaned, and they would fight about that, money, anything really. My mom was a stay at home mom, and even in hindsight some odd 25 years later I'm still not so sure what my mom did all day... Growing up with my mom I got to hear all about how bad and mean and abusive my dad was... I was always with my mom, my dad was an absent father. Dad was too busy working, trying to get various businesses off the ground while we lived in poverty. And my mom hated him for it. I of course was too young to see the dynamics at play... Only 15 something odd years later can I piece together pieces of history. My mom grew up in poverty, she was first generation to go to college, she was determined to leave that behind and not live in poverty, neither she nor her kids would grow up the way she did. And my mom worked hard to give us more than she had growing up. I heard the stories, saw and helped remodel my moms childhood home. We definitely lived better than they did, but it wasn't enough. My mom COULD have been the primary breadwinner as a nurse, but she put her faith in my dad and supported his Vision. And every time we fell on more hardship my mom resented him even more. There were periods where I truly thought my dad was evil due to my moms brainwashing. My mom was angry and bitter and depressed and (I didn't know at the time) even on Prozac and other antidepressants for a very dark period of my childhood. At about 12 years old I was able to question it and encourage my 2 younger sisters to question it as well... But it didn't help that my dad has his own flaws... My dad was an absentee parent - almost never there, we rarely saw his good qualities or much of him at all. My dad was so determined to make it work for him, he came to America from one of the poorest countries in the world, Bangladesh with only $200 in his pocket. America the land of opportunity and he was the most capable of his 11 siblings, the first to make it over here. He became an Occupational Therapist and shortly after started working on various business ventures to take control of his life and financial situation.

Dad never said a bad word about my mom. He just put up with all my moms flaws and her badmouthing him. He held shit in and blew up occasionally - Sometimes frequently. Dad had a temper and rarely hit us but did nonetheless. Never beatings or a closed fist and rarely more than 1-3 hits or a hard shove, but he slapped or hit or pushed you like you would an adult... Fierce. And then my mom would speak about how evil he was and how you should never hit your kids... It was hypocritical bullshit but you aren't self aware until you hit your teens, even then you don't take a critical look at your history until much later, all you remember is the pain. But the real flaw, the root of it all - the source of strife in my mom and dad's relationship, our relationship with our father, the relationship between siblings, all of that was worsened by growing up in poverty. There is a lot of family brokenness that can be covered up with a better higher-quality standard of living... And my dad had no business sense. Business books weren't written back then and he didn't have any mentors. My dad invented all sorts of cool stuff in his little workshop. I even worked with him on some of them. A collapsible-portable baby table (which i would years later see in supermarkets), an underwater blinking fishing lure (now out there in 2015 thanks to kickstartr), a humane catch and release rat trap. My dad learned the hard way with his best inventions stolen and sitting on top of 1,000 product inventory which he sold at a loss. Inventions would be stolen by the same guys my dad went to to do business with (I remember as I went with him to many of these meetings). Today nobody signs an NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) because of how easy it is to rush to market but back then you absolutely needed them! Patent lawyers charged $20,000+ back then so most people saved that step for last. People could see your stuff, patent it, then steal it right out from underneath you.

Only the internet has brought the costs of patent lawyers down and leveled the playing field for aspiring entrepreneurs... In 1994 who was there to teach a middle eastern guy how to do business? You know all those "Reflexology" and massage shops you see in malls all over the country? My dad was THE first one. Shit he probably could have even trademarked the term "Reflexology" and definitely could have built a franchise out of mall massage parlors. There were no modern business gurus like Tim ferris or MJ Demarco or Seth Godin to teach you about prototyping and rushing to market. There was no internet to tell you how to do things like boot strap or start a lean startup or fund raise or pitch an idea to angel investors or venture capitalist. No internet to tell you how to start a franchise from scratch or hire decent employees who aren't incompetent and don't steal from you or how to build SOP (standard operating procedures) to make them efficient employees or how to get rid of incompetent or thieving employees properly to not have to pay unemployment or be party to lawsuits. Nobody to tell you how to sell your big idea to corporations, get the deal signed and everything paid for then worry about finding a manufacturer after everything is signed on and "paid for." Nobody to advise you to move out of your little workshop and partner with an engineer who has access to tools and resources to help you go from idea to prototype much quicker. Of course I wouldn't have known all this either if not for the hundreds of books and thousands of articles I have read which didn't exist back then...

And then life gets even harder for my dad. For me it didn't rear its ugly head until after 9/11 but you have the ugly truth that people discriminated against middle eastern people in this country and possibly still do. My dad never spoke about it, possibly in his wisdom of not wanting his children to gain or accept a victim mentality but I was able to piece together all sorts of history. My dad was laid off or fired or something after 9/11 happened. He was forced to commute to another job in another city ever since.. With all his experience he couldn't get a job in ol' racist [insert metropolis name here]. It got bad for a period of time after 9/11, kids I had known for over 7 years were calling me a terrorist at school... And I look white! To this day It still eats me up inside (not punching those kids in the face) but just imagine how adults treated an Indian guy with an Indian name after the towers fell... Of course this is all plain to me in hindsight... My dad living out of his car and eating canned food to save money while his house sat empty in [anonymous metropolis name here], saving every penny he could living like he was practically homeless. Because he still hadn't given up, he wasn't working on businesses but he had dreams and aspirations like funding a family trip to Bangladesh or sending his kids to college. He still gave me $150 spending money every month even after I turned 18.

My parents with all their flaws didn't have access to the technology, internet, libraries, and higher standards of living that we have today. And even now, with an abundance of all the information in the world accessible from a mini computer in your front pocket, the bar is so low on "Adulting." We shun self improvement like its some scam industry, sure the self improvement industry has more crap books than any other area of the book store but few people read, even fewer self reflect. There is no guide or "how to" on raising children properly or getting rid of baggage you don't even realize you have... And if there was those books would be in the self improvement section. We leave it up to the public school sector to educate our children. Then after that its up to college, then figure it out on your own.  And then once you get a job you finish all the learning you're supposed to do.

My self awareness at 20 (pre-LSD) helped me to see that I didn't want the (obvious) baggage that my parents had, I would be better and I would overcome those negative character traits. I inherited my dads temper and I STILL hold shit in rather than vocalize my concerns or injustice as it happens.; its one of the reasons my dad and I had a falling out 8 years ago and we still don't speak (we both blew up at the same time). And it sucks because my dad is an amazing intelligent guy STILL full of potential but unwilling to let go of his baggage (hate and anger at the past) and repair his relationship with me. I no longer have a temper and have given up a lot of other bad traits that I learned growing up. But it would be a long time before I learned that I didn't know it all. I still possesses all sorts of damage and baggage that I wasn't aware of... And I have a more sympathetic view of my upbringing and the hardships my parents had to endure and the sacrifices they had to make. That is what LSD has done for me. Opened my eyes to take a good hard look at myself and how I live my life. What baggage have you gained from childhood? What details in your everyday life just slip through the cracks?

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