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Oh Those Daddy Issues...

Jack is supposed to be our hero and yet he is flawed. We all long to be heroes and yet each of us, like it or not, are flawed as well. In Episode 1 of Season 3 of Lost, "A Tale of Two Cities", we get deeper insights into the origins of Jack's developmental issues. Many of his weaknesses seem to be rooted in his dysfunctional, mistrusting relationship with his father. We all have fathers and some of us, like Jack, have daddy issues. Anyone have the courage to discuss? What's going on with Jack? Can you relate?


Blogger Love Pirate 77 said...

first! All I gotta say is wow. Still digesting all of the new episode. Just gotta say... incredible.

10/04/2006 10:31 PM  
Blogger Dark Angel said...

Ok, So I haven't seen the episode as you may have seen from my post on TLC that my laptop died and because I am really busy next week I probably won't be able to see the episode until the end of next week.

But hey ho - these things happen and on the bright side I'll be able to watch episodes one and two back to back.

So until then all my comments will be based on the episode transcripts and what I can find on the web.

10/05/2006 2:18 AM  
Blogger Dark Angel said...

Ok So I'm going to start the discussion here. I think the issue here is not so much that Jack has been let down or cheated on it is who he is done for. As a child we have total belief in other fathers. My oldest not quite 3 still believes that I can control almost anything "Daddy, can you make another train come along" or "Daddy the Suns too bright can you turn it down". As we grow older we learn that our Dads are fallible but there is still that trust and belief.

Jack's dad was the great surgeon and Jack believed in him, he followed him into medicine but as an adult he discovered his Dad was not the perfect father-figure he believes he was an alcoholic and an adulterer, then worse still he has cheated on his wife. Jacks world falls apart, how can his father love him if he has taken his wife, how can he trust his father and if he can't trust his farther then he can't trust anyone. Jack therefore turns to the only thing he knows is solid, science. That is why Jack cannot accept anything that is not based on science; it is the last Bastion he has to hold onto, if that goes he has nothing.

Locke had a similar experience except he had a fantasy of his father that he discovered as an adult. A father it turns out didn't love him and just used him. Like Jack, Locke's life was shattered but Locke looked for a purpose. If he felt there was a purpose to everything that his father’s betrayal was part of some big plan then he could justify his father's actions. So Locke builds up this undying faith and like Locke he can't handle the loss of this because it would mean facing the fact that his father was a good for nothing con merchant who didn't care for his son.

Kate in a way had a similar situation. She believed Sam Austin was a her father, and in all but a biological sense he was, but when she found out who her real father was she couldn't handle the fact that her real father was a lowlife wife beater who didn't care for Kate. However while Jack and Locke looked for another crutch for support Kate decided to destroy her real father, simply remove him from her life and so she wouldn't have to face the truth. So we get three different ways of essentially dealing with the same problem.

1. You look for an alternative
2. You try to justify your father’s actions
3. You destroy your real father so you can continue with the fantasy.

At least I guess Locke and Jack tried to resolve the issues with their fathers rather than just blowing him to smithereens! Maybe it's just a guy / girl thing? I'm lucky I have no 'Daddy issues" with my own father and my two kids are a bit young to have Daddy issues being almost one and almost three! and to be honest I hope they don't.

But how do with the rejection of love, the destruction of trust? The answer should be to forgive them, but that's often easier said than done. Sometimes it's easier just to get rid of the whole problem and just ride away into the sunset!

10/05/2006 6:44 AM  
Blogger oxillini said...

i can certainly feel for jack. he was still deeply in love with sarah, even as the divorce proceedings were progressing. when that occurs, people can be so hurt that they reel against anyone and anything, even those who try to help. you can see it in that scene where he is standing in the street, after sarah bailed him out. he can't believe what he just heard. not only is the woman he loves walking away, he knows he has done irreparable damage to his clearly fragile relationship with his father. that episode tells me volumes about jack. i have been through a very similar situation in my marriage, the difference being that we did get back together and put our life back together.

10/05/2006 8:52 AM  
Blogger cyberyang said...

dark angel-

very well written.

10/05/2006 10:41 AM  
Blogger Thrasher76 said...

Coming from a divorce myself I can truly relate to the pain and anger that Jack was feeling. Granted I was the one that wanted out but I can relate. Sara truly struggles with her pain and built a nice wall to protect her from breaking down and taking Jack back. There are times when you just can't sit and talk about the past or the future. It is hard but it must be done for the sake of both peoples happiness. Jack is the guy who realizes he made mistakes and wants to make things right, but that ship has sailed with Sara. It drives him crazy because he knows he could make it work. To make matters worse his paranoyia is making him think things that are not true and he feels like his own father is letting him down.

10/05/2006 11:10 AM  
Blogger capcom said...

You all are so right. And as hard as Jack tries to be logical and scientific and do the right thing, in the end of every struggle he is more and more just a bundle of nerves and emotions. After all that has happened (by his own doing or others') he seemed to be ready for the big breakdown in the cell. Unless he has some reserve strength up his sleeve, so to speak, he was most likely ready for Juliet to knock him over with a feather by that point. Although, just giving in to sitting in the corner and receive his food quietly does not really constitute 'giving in' to me, but Benry seemed duly impressed with Juliet's apparent progress, so I guess at this point we can assume (till further notice) that Jack is caving in and getting very vulnerable.

I think also that Jack seems unreasonably disappointed in himself that he is actually not able to juggle the whole world's problems all by himself, and not drop the ball anywhere or fail at anything as long as he is trying to help people. He was very willing to do whatever was necessary to save Boone's life, and (if I recall correctly) very reluctantly let him go, even though it was Boone's wishes. Living up to those standards is impossible for anyone to do. No one can live up to a standard of absoulte perfection without it taking a toll on the body, mind and soul. I have to give Jack credit for one thing though, he didn't hold others up to perfection and not himself....he held himself up to the same impossible standards that he held everyone else in his life up to.

Ox: glad things worked out for you. :-)

10/05/2006 6:32 PM  
Blogger Administrator said...

Dark Angel,
Excellent. Your ability to form coherent thoughts and communicate them in a compelling way is a true gift.

I'm hung up on Jack righ now, so I'll only be able to lend a response to your assessment of him. I agree with your observation that Jack feels like he can't trust anyone...the kicker for me is that he has ended up (especially after "A Tale of Two Cities") at a place where he can't even trust himself. What I believe was inferred last night is that Jack made the false assumption that his dad had been with Sarah. Jack's false assumption and subsequent accussation and attack is likely what drove his 50 day sober father back to alcohol and by association led to the crumbling of his career and then end of his life. Jack's guilt over his father's death has brought him to a place of complete disillusionment not only about his dad but also about himself. Beyond disillusionment, he feels hopelessness because his father is no longer alive and he has no opportunity to seek forgiveness or to make amends. You said that the answer should be to forgive them but for Jack, forgiveness seems to be an impossibility.

The funny thing about Jack is that, in the midst of disillusionment and hopelessness, he has somehow found the strength, courage, and will to rise to the occassion over and over again on the island. It's like he has an instinctive need to prove his feelings wrong. He's searching for an empirical truth that will prove his feelings wrong...empiricism (science) is the only thing keeping him from being completely overwhelmed and broken. It seems like Ben & Juliet are trying to take him to the breaking point. For what end...I do not know.

10/05/2006 6:49 PM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

Ya'll, I'm sorry to have missed out on the last thread's conversation. You all rock! I haven't started reading this thread yet. Loved the car analogy and it can be taken to so many different levels. What do we do when someone we love is taking a road that we know is dangerous? What do we do when someone we love is stuck in 2nd gear when they were made to race?

Ok, back to the top to catch up!

10/05/2006 6:53 PM  
Blogger Administrator said...

One of my hopes for this blog is that we would engage in character analysis but that we would also talk about how our actual, individual, diverse lives relate to these characters in a real world setting. In the spirit of making it personal...

"Every boy, in his journey to become a man, takes an arrow in the center of his heart, in the place of his strength. Because the wound is rarely discussed and even more rarely healed, every man carries a wound. And the wound is nearly always given by his father." — John Eldredge

I believe that I live as a person who has been wounded by my father. Not in the same way or to the same degree as Jack, but wounded nonetheless. Based on my observation and reading, the “father wound" is not uncommon and is most often as the result of sons not hearing or receiving what they needed from their dads. Males develop identity largely (not totally) based on how their fathers (or father surrogates) notice and reflect their sons’ evolving man-ness — competency, mastery, strength, bravery, intelligence and so on — back to them. This happens under a variety of circumstances and is typically lumped under the category "male bonding" and includes shared adventure or accomplishment (hunting, camping, auto restoration, model planes, etc), affectionate and approving gestures, and through a variety of verbal and nonverbal “you’ve got what it takes,” “nice shot!” and “atta boy!” messages. In this way, fathers are the ones who have a strangely powerful role in BESTOWING a growing sense of identity onto their sons.

But when this bestowal doesn’t happen, or when a father instead reflects criticism, disdain, disappointment or ambivalence for his son, the son never fully matures or never matures in a healthy way. Instead, he lives with a private fear that he is not really an acceptable or worthy man. Jack lives with this fear and it is very private to everyone but the LOST viewer and maybe to the Others. I'm going to go ahead and admit that I too live with this wound of fear and I have chosen not to keep it private any longer. The bonding was there for me to some extent but somehow the bestowing of identity got lost in shuffle. I came out of my formative years unsure of whether or not I "had what it takes" to be a success in this world. I can relate to Jack's state of feeling like he'll never be good enough. All I can say is that I know the wound exists, I'm done with hiding it, and I'm trying to figure out what it practically means to offer forgiveness and move on.

I'm not there yet but I'm moving towards a healthy place. I'm rooting for Jack and I know why. I see in him the potential that I want to see in myself. I desperately want him to find freedom, to find himself, and to be the hero because that is what I believe he truly is and that is what I want to believe about myself. Regardless of what happens to Jack, I think I'm heading in the right direction.

What a cool ride!

10/05/2006 7:11 PM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

It is interesting that last night's episode showed Jack's possible role in the undoing of his father. I'm having conflicting feelings about Jack right now. The point in the episode where I liked what he did the best was when he asked if Sara was happy. Maybe he's grown since the night at his dad's AA meeting. Maybe I'm feeling "hung up on Jack right now" too. Jack seemed to form his identity based on what his father thought of him. Not that he was what his father called him, but that he struggled to be the opposite of what he percieved his father thought of him.

Funny, because I just listened to a talk about this type of identity problem recently (What is it to you?, about how we can define ourselves through our relationships with other people. There's a story in the Bible about two friends of Jesus who seemed to compete for his friendship. One day Jesus is telling Peter what his future would hold (how big is that?!) when Peter turns around and sees the other guy, John, following them. He asks Jesus, "What about him?" and Jesus replies, "What is that to you?" So often that's the case, we're focused on the stuff, abilities, luck, etc... others have or on how they percieve us and use that to form our identity.

I talked a little about my father issues in the last thread. Thankfully many were dealt with before he passed away. There was a significant portion of my life where my identity was formed in contrast to my father. He chose to leave God and the church so I chose to join it. He chose to not read the Bible and pray, so I chose to pursue those things. I became known as a very religious teenager and when I left home to go to a Christian college I crashed. With so many other students who followed God, who had stories about living on the mission field with their parents or lived as good a life as I did, who was I if I wasn't the "spiritual one?" How was I special? I needed an identity apart from my comparison with other people.

The story of how I got from there to here is very long, pretty much includes every major event in my life. I continually try to craft my identity from what other people think of me or how I measure up to others. I hope I've made some progress and if I have, the credit isn't mine.

10/05/2006 7:28 PM  
Blogger capcom said...

Admin, I like your thoughts on Jack.

Jack flaws (as mentioned on the SotL main page) and his ability to draw his strength out at the worst of times, is what makes him a hero. To me, a hero is the flawed person who doesn't give up and still keeps trying to do the right thing, even in the midst of everything falling apart. Like the saying that courage is not doing something without fear, it's doing what needs to be done when you *are* afraid. For the most part, Jack seems to look around at the mess (in the hospital or after the crash, etc.), sizes it up to see what needs to be done, and then does it. As opposed to someone like conman Sawyer, who looks around and figures out the best way to get himself on top of the situation, everyone else be-dammed. (And unlike another type, who looks around and then panics and is no help at all) But, as I said before, I think that one of Jack's biggest problems is that he wants to be a superhero that isn't allowed to fail every once in a while. His other personal flaw seems to be that he isn't able to see the situation clearly and objectively when it is his own problem.....but most everyone does that to some degree.

10/05/2006 7:32 PM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/05/2006 7:35 PM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

Admin, thanks for sharing about your and many men's fear wounds. I sense this in my husband too and strive to do what I can to show him he "has what it takes." Not easy sometimes. If he were a girl, I'd know exactly what to do, but then I wouldn't be married to him. :-) I think that a wife though plays a key role in either tearing down or building up a man's sense of ability to succeed. So often I haven't realized what affect I was having on his heart wound.

So what does a father bestow on his daughter? Ladies? Maybe it's whether or not she is worthy of love?

capcom: Ya'll are right. I need to lighten up on Jack. Last night's episode, seeing what his self-centered stubborn pride led him to with Sara and his father, really made me not like him. I already know I prefer my fictional heroes to have few faults, but I think my reaction may go deeper. I recognize that stubborn, self-centered pride, and I hate the things I've done to others in the tunnel vision that state of mind creates.

10/05/2006 7:40 PM  
Blogger Administrator said...

Thanks for the encouragement guys. I want to chat more on this topic but I'm on east coast time and gotta get to bed b/c I've had a long day and have another early morning tomorrow. You guys are awesome! I can't wait to see where this thread takes us!

10/05/2006 7:45 PM  
Blogger capcom said...

Admin and Twinkle, thanks for your stories. XO

OK so, here are the eyes through which I watch the parent/child relationships on Lost. As I said also in another thread, I had Mommie issues in my life. My mother was very hard on me and I never could please her. I can hardly remember ever getting any positive feedback from her, ever. It turned out that she criticized me so much, that she eventually pushed me away emotionally forever. I truly cannot say that I love or like my mother. I really don't feel anything. I always wished that I had the kind of mom/friend type of relationship that I see that others have, but I've learn to live without it, and to substitute it with my friendships with my female buddies. I think that I really do understand what you are saying Admin.

I finally lived enough years to realize that her opinion and definition of me, was not me. I could chose to be what I wanted to be, no matter what someone else said about me. But until that revelation, I had no self-esteem whatsoever. Thank the Lord, now I do, due to the many lessons that He has taught me along the way.

Unfortunately, over the years, my mother told other people in the family untrue things about me, so now I have to deal with that at some point. I don't know when, it's just too unfair. I just tell myself that *I* know me and *God* knows me, and for the most part that's what matters. Hopefully someday He will open the doors for some understanding and wisdom for me in that area.

Admin and Twinkle, I think that you are both headed in the right direction, and should feel good about your desire and will to "get past the past" and work everything out. I've found, in my 50+ years, that wounds only start to heal when they are acknowledged and treated. Left unfaced, and untreated, they just fester forever. They don't go away by themselves. That's courage too, of the biggest kind.

BTW, from what you've said in the blogs Twinkle, I would suspect that you measure up very well, to yourself. :-)

10/05/2006 8:02 PM  
Blogger capcom said...

P.S Twinkle, I have always like that "What is it to you" story as well. :-)

10/05/2006 8:07 PM  
Blogger Dark Angel said...

Hi Guys,

Wow , a lot to catch up on both here and over on TLC. I have to revise my earlier post slightly in that I know realise that Sarah's affair was not with Chrisitian, however Jack still thought at least for a time he had been betrayed by the two people closest to him.

Capcom I liked your comments about flawed heros and I agree, we like our heros to be less than perfect. I guess it's what makes shows that they are human, we like the ordainary person doing the extraordainary. That's why we prefer Han Solo to Luke Skywalker ;)

I also think your point, Capcom, about trying to like up to others expectations is very important. We have all these pressures to be the perfect parent, son, daughter, employer, friend etc. It is easy to forget to be yourself and whilst in theory it would be great to ignore these pressures those anoying emotions get in the way.

I'm quite lucky in my relationship with my parents. I have a great relationship with my father although it is never been as close as I would like but as a child my dad would be away at sea for six months at a time and then more latterly doing 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off on oil rigs. I also spent 11 years at boarding school (very Harry Potter!) so from the age of 8 I only spent the school holidays with my parents, which makes me quite independent.

My relationship with my mother has always been quite fiery, we used to get on fine but we were a bit too similar and would flare up and not back down. It probably came to a head on Christmas when (with the entire family present) I told here to F@~* Off. It actually really need to be said.

The funny thing is since the birth of my two sons, my relationship with my Mother has improved no end. I think she finally sees me as an Adult (I was 30 when Jack my eldest was born!) and we've probably mellowed a bit now. What is difficult now is that my parents live over 600 miles away (yes the UK is that big!) where as my in laws live 15 miles away so we end up doing a lot more with my in laws.

On the Jack front, I think that the others are trying to break him down, as they are with Kate and Sawyer. It's a bit like joining the army (I'm talking about the British Army here), as an officer you go to Sandhurst for training, they pull you to pieces and then put you back together in their own image. It was probably the one thing that stopped me ending up as an Officer in the Royal Army Medical Corp, I almost did it but luckily never went further than being a reservist. I'm not sure why the others want Sawyer. Jack is an obvious catch, a skilled surgeon is a pretty good find and I wonder if Sam Austin had any links to Dharma through Kelvin.

Anyhow the work is pilling up here , better go....

10/06/2006 3:37 AM  
Blogger oxillini said...

admin: you make some great points about the social and emotional development of boys. i think the commonly used term "male-bonding" downplays this a little. it's not just playing catch and learning how to change the oil. it's about approval and molding. i'm not sure women realize the import of this as they develop their self-image through (probably) a larger sample of people in their lives.

anyway, i too am now a little jack-fixated, so i guess you could say tptb really hit one out of the park with this jack-centric episode. seeing his relationship with sarah completely transforms him from this one dimensional (to me at least) hero archetype to a fully formed person. i'm not sure words can really capture the anger, hurt frustration and disappointment involved with the dissolution of a marriage, especially if one party is still more invested in the relationship.

10/06/2006 6:12 AM  
Blogger Thrasher76 said...

There is so much I want to say here about Jack and his dad and how Admins thoughts on the father son bond. I don't want this to become my free therapy session. So here is the short form. My father divorced my mother at a young age and happened due to his infidelity, why a 7 year should know the details is beyond me, but I do. Anyway, I resented my father until I was 21 and we did not have a very strong relationship. Thankfully my mother re-married a wonderful man that treated me like the son he never had, he had 2 daughters. Somehow I was able to take the best of both of these wonderful men and repair the tear in my relationship with my birth father. My Birth father and I have a strong relationship now and I am still very close to my step-father even though the marraige to my mother did not survive.

How does that make me feel like I can relate to Jack and his Dad's relationship? Well, it is how through all of there differences there is a strong bond of love and admiration for one another. I think I would be more screwed up than I am if I had not had 2 father figures in my life. Somehow I was able to take the good, and some bad, from both of them and be a strong person today.

Jack had the drive to be the person his father wanted him to be, where he got this drive I am unsure. I received my drive from my step father to be a better person and forgive my birth father. Both them gave me the strength to make them both proud of me and my accomplishments.

I know, I have an extremely interesting and messed up life, huh? If you had the time and were willing to listen I could blow your mind. My best friend asked me once how it is that through all of things I have been through in my life I am not a total reck or a menace to society. To that I have no answer, I guess I am stronger than I think sometimes, and that is a credit to my father, both of them!!

WOW! That was not so short was it? Sorry for that...

10/06/2006 7:11 AM  
Blogger Dark Angel said...

Thrasher76 said

If you had the time and were willing to listen I could blow your mind.

Hi Thrasher I can't speak for the others but I'm willing to listen :)

10/06/2006 7:30 AM  
Blogger oxillini said...

as my top 10 poster ranking at tlec would indicate, i have the time to listen too.

10/06/2006 7:48 AM  
Blogger capcom said...

Dark Angel, I'm glad that things got better between you and your 'Mum'. :-) Ditto for you and your Dads Thrasher. BTW, we are all here to listen to each other so fire away! And I'd bet that we all have some weird stories that would shock each other. It sounds in the Admin's comments like that is just the kind of lost and found stories that are good for this blog.

It is amazing how we manage to come out intact on the other end of things that happen to us in life. Although excessive pride is bad, I believe that we can humbly pat ourselves on the back when we can accomplish personal milestones in our lives, be they emotional, physical, or intellectual.

Twinkle, I used to get very ticked off at Jack when he would be rude and flippant to Locke when Locke was just trying to be positive and helpful. Seeing what we saw this week, we can start to see where that behavior comes from. But I still think that Jack's impatience and treatment of Locke was wrong.

10/06/2006 8:42 AM  
Blogger Dark Angel said...

Hi Guys

Just a quick post - I'll be offline for most of the weekend as I have guests staying and I have to rebuild my laptop. I look forward to catching up with you on Monday.

Stay safe, have fun



10/06/2006 9:02 AM  
Blogger Thrasher76 said...

I would really continue with my story but at the moment I am feeling a little shy about it. Just trust me that it was not a good period in my life.

10/06/2006 9:27 AM  
Blogger Love Pirate 77 said...

Hey y'all, sorry I haven't been able to post in a while, things have been crazy. (And, to top it all off, I'll be out of town all weekend). I absolutely love the discussions going on.

Thrasher I definitely look forward to hearing more about you and from you. You don't have to worry about us not having the time. We wouldn't be here if we weren't willing to commit the time.

I can't say I've ever had daddy issues. My father is and has always been my hero. He has always treated me fairly, with both encouragement and discipline when needed. I am an only child and have very close bonds with my parents, and very comfortable relationships. My fiancée’s father has always bullied her, not intentionally though. He loves her so much and she means the world to him, but he just has a short temper and tends to explode when he gets disappointed. Part of this is his attitude, and part of it is her perception of him. This has caused her to overly punish herself (both mentally and physically, which just breaks my heart) whenever something goes wrong, whether it is her fault or not. It is something we have been working on, and it will be a lot better once we're married and not on opposite sides of the country.

I can't relate to what Jack is going through on that front, but I do know (as many do, I'm sure) what being cheated on and having a relationship dissolve feels like. I can totally relate to that desire to know everything about what has gone on. Who the guy is, what have you done, what is he like? I asked all these questions when I was cheated on. If you want an interesting take on this, you should see the film "Closer". Both the men in this movie go through similar things, repeatedly asking for details that don't really matter in the end.

As for myself, I asked all those questions and more. And when she answered me it only made me feel worse. In part there was some closure to it, I suppose, but knowing the details only makes it more clear in your head, and harder to get out of your mind. The best choice is to accept it and move on, and realize that nothing good will come from knowing everything, but that is very hard to do. It tore me up inside not knowing (I had to drag it out of my ex that she was even cheating on me) but it's equally bad once you know. I think Jack may have realized that to a certain extent last night, only asking if she's happy instead of finding out what he'd been asking for all through the flashbacks.

Sorry, this post was longer than I wanted it to be. I really enjoy being a part of this group, and I just want to say thank you to all of you for it :). Gyarr...

10/06/2006 9:41 AM  
Blogger Love Pirate 77 said...

I can't really speak for anyone else here, of course, but I know you can trust us. I'm sure we all feel shy about certain parts of our life, I know I do. We wouldn't want you to do anything you're uncomfortable with, but if you want to open up and tell us, we'd welcome it. We're all here to learn about Lost, and about each other and use that to learn about ourselves. We're not here to judge people based on how their lives have gone. What matters is who you are now, and we all can tell that regardless of what's happened in your past, you've turned out alright :). This goes for any of you others who are feeling shy or worried that we might judge you in some way. I don't think that's why we're here.

10/06/2006 9:46 AM  
Blogger capcom said...

Ditto Thrasher, what Love Pirate said. :-)

10/06/2006 10:40 AM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

Thanks for sharing, everyone. It's hard to share about difficult relationships, especially those that never healed.

Love pirate: Your fiancee's story sounds similar to mine. My father adored me so much that he took some of his worth from what I thought of him. I felt really awkward that my dad needed my approval to feel good about himself. He also was a stubborn, angry man, having many issues from conflict with an overpowering mother and a father who didn't really love his wife (at least that's the way it seems to me from the stories I've been told). Both of those things resulted in some very strange relational stuff during my teenage years. I think he was so mad at me for wanting to follow God because he felt guilty over giving up everything he had previously believed in. I spent as much of my time away from home as possible those years.

When I got married at 19 to a Christian man from college, the poor guy hardly knew what he had gotten himself into. He knew my family background but neither of us new that, because I was now relatively safe, all those years of pain would come out in night after night of tears. My husband played a key role in showing me how I should think about myself, similar to how it sounds Love Pirate and his fiancee are working on things. I praise God because he really used my husband to start my healing process. Of course then I started to take my identity from my role as wife and had to learn later that there was more to me than that too. My relationship with God played a key role in how I got from stage to stage and everything I've learned.

One thing my father did right was making me feel like I was worthy of love. Fathers who are distant often create women who so long for male affection that they seek it in ways that are bad for them. Fathers who abuse their daughters often create women who feel that's all the deserve. As my father was emotionally abused by his mother, my mother was physically abused by her father. It is an absolute miracle that they were able to have as healthy of a marriage as they did and not continue the abuse they received.

I never know where to end these stories. I really appreciate the parts where we can relate to each other. It's been 12 1/2 years since I got married (since we're being honest about our ages :-), going on 14 years since my dad was diagnosed with the cancer that saved our relationship, and almost 3 years since my dad passed away. The years since have been about restoring my relationship with my mother which has its own struggles.

10/06/2006 11:16 AM  
Blogger Love Pirate 77 said...

Twinkle Thanks so much for sharing. Yes, my fiancee definately feels like she deserves to be punished when things go wrong. This comes from her dad's anger at her and her mother whenever something went wrong. I wouldn't call him sexist by any means, but he definately gets angry with them and yells and says mean things to them but he won't to his son (who is known for his short temper, like his father). It's taken a lot of work to get my fiancee to the point where she realizes that she doesn't have to treat herself that way. The next step is trying to get her to stop instinctively blaming herself when something goes wrong.

As I said earlier, I have a pretty much perfect relationship with my parents. I do know what it feels like to have let them down, usually in regards to grades at school, so I can at least get a slight idea of how some of you feel. Admittedly, my parents were only disappointed when it was appropriate, and they didn't have unrealistic expectations of me. But I feel for those of you who have shared stories from being in situations similar to Jack. You all are amazing people to have come through all that and to still be here today, and to be willing to open up like y'all have.

10/06/2006 12:36 PM  
Blogger Administrator said...

Thrasher76 said...
I don't want this to become my free therapy session.

I understand your feeling of the need to be courteous about what and how much you share. I think most of us feel that "hesitancy" because we don't want to monopolize the conversation or appear needy for attention or whatever. But let's all just agree...THIS BLOG IS FREE THERAPY. To me, sharing is so cathartic. Can we all agree on the following conditions for this blog?

1) Everyone should feel free to share as much and as often as they like.
2) Nobody is required to offer a lengthy response to everyone else's sharing...meaning...Common courtesy would only ask that if you add to the comments, you also read the comments of others and in some way acknowledge them (i.e. "Thrasher, I hear you man. Thanks for sharing.")
3) Any specific advice or encouragement will be appreciated but not expected.

I only offer these conditions as suggestions to try to help people feel the freedom to share in an unrestricted way and also free people from the responsibility of feeling like they have to respond thoroughly to everyone elses comments.

10/07/2006 3:32 PM  
Blogger Administrator said...

I'm humbled and inspired by all that you have shared.

My "father wound" has flared up recently and I wanted to share. Basically my parents did an excellent job throughout my upbringing of making life feel PERFECT for my sister and I. We both grew up with a belief that our family was the quintessential American family of four. There were no problems that we could see. As I progressed into my later teens I began to feel an uneasiness about my family's apparent perfection...for some reason I began to suspect that it was too good to be true. And yet, any of our family's disfunction remained carefully hidden from the eyes of us kids.

Today, my sister and I still have a very blurry, largely glossed over view of what life was (and is) like for my parents and the rest of our family. We have learned about a few skeletons in the closet only in the last 5 years. Things like, my grandfather wasn't actually my dad's real dad. My dad struggled (struggles?) with addiction to prescription meds. My dad has a rich personal history of dark depression (possibly with intermittment "manic" moments) that we were always shielded from. My mom may not be as happy-go-lucky as she has always (ALWAYS) let on. In many ways she's been an enabler and has endured much in the process. To some degree, my sister and I feel like we were deceived about our heritage...does that make sense?

This feeling of possible deception makes us question our heritage and ourselves. I can't speak for her anymore but for me...that confusion is hard and kind of haunts me. I'm feeling very clear about who I am, about who I have become since leaving the nest, but now I am feeling increasingly insecure about my role in the family because what my family is/was is very unclear. I feel like there are parts of my parents lives that are largely left to fester in the darkness...I feel like what has been happening all along is unhealthy for them...I'm learning that they aren't really as happy as they've always let on...I love them and I want to help them but I don't know how. They still want to believe or at least pretend like nothing is wrong so I feel completely unable to offer my love and my help to someone who refuses to acknowledge a need.

I have been slightly encouraged recently. I found out on Thursday that my dad has started attending AA (even though he isn't an alcoholic). Maybe he is recognizing a need and searching for help afterall. It's weird, very weird, for me to think that and especially type that since I have always thought that he was the most "together", strong, wise person who ever walked the earth. It was also a strange irony for me to find out about him attending AA immediately after watching and processing Jack and Christian relate to one another on screen in the middle of an AA meeting.

There are still many parallels between them and us that I am trying to understand and apply. It's a very interesting process for me and I'm glad I have you guys on board with me.

10/07/2006 3:58 PM  
Blogger capcom said...

Gosh Admin, I'm sorry to hear about these recent developments for you in your family. I've come to believe that every family has some kind of secrets or hidden areas of their own. I realized things about my family too, and as I grew older and got close to friends and peers outside my family, I found that they had discovered revelations that ranged between the realm of embarrassing to downright horrifying. So that made me feel less like there was something terribly wrong with my own family, or at least that my family was not so different than all others in that way. My family's problems were actually pretty tame compared to some of my friends' stories.

No matter how good or wholesome a family may be, or try to be, all families are made up of humans, and humans make mistakes. With themselves and with other family members. I'm going through something a bit similar with my mother, but her refusal to come to grips with the reality of the past stems from her inability to admit that she can make any mistakes, so she puts all blame on me instead. Which is pretty convenient, and would be nice if we all had a sidekick to blame our mistakes on. So I experience that kind of frustration.

Now that things are starting to come out in the open for you and your family, give it some time to become a "normal" act to accept these things. The fact that your dad is getting some assistance, is a very good step, but I'm sure you know that. Just be supportive and let your parents know that you appreciate that they did their best to give you and your sister as perfect a childhood as possible in this world, which is what good parents try to do. And that the family is strong enough to hold itself together because of that, human foibles and all.

It's hard when there are family problems or secrets, to figure out the perfect time to reveal them to family members, and most of the time people mean to but just can't get the feel for when would be the right time to do so. I feel that there is no perfect time, it just has to be done, i.e., if it comes out, then it was meant to come out and now is the time to deal with it. Once in a while the timing works well, but most of the time, not so well.

I'm sorry that now watching Lost will perhaps bring painful feelings for you, but you are not Jack and if your dad has problems with depression, etc., they were not brought on by any failure of his, i.e., if he has depression from chemical imbalances that cannot be repaired on one's own. If his depression comes from his life situations, thank the Lord that he is getting help now. Your mom will follow suit, as she gets used to living with the admission and cure for their human problems. Since my dad died, because of what I have learned about him since, I believe that he was suffering from depression and intense worry all his life, and maybe if he had gotten help he would still be alive today. He was a great guy, and I did not realize that about him until after he died and I started to put some pieces of his life's puzzle together.

TPTB have written so much of the Lost series about human nature, relationships, and reactions to human evnironments, that most of us are going to find ourselves or our situations in some form of the storyline in the series. More and more I get the feeling that this is the intent of the TPTB. To perhaps create an (incredibly great!) intruiging storyline that can also teach people about human nature, as well as being very entertaining. I wonder how many other people have been affected in the same way by the series as they see it unfold, as you have Admin? God bless your family's journey into the future. :-)

wv: musiz....perhaps we can all be "muses" of inspiration to each other here on this blog. :-)

10/08/2006 10:25 AM  
Blogger capcom said...

Wow! Sorry what I wrote was so lonnnnng, you don't realize it when you are squishing it all into this little writing box!

While I'm here, here's a Post Script....I truly hope that TPTB start giving some of our Lost characters some redeeming and resurecting qualities, and don't only dwell on their weaknesses and "bad" sides. Some peple need to start turning themselves around, about now. Although Penny and Desmond are pretty good and honorable people so far.

10/08/2006 10:34 AM  
Blogger Administrator said...

Wow! Thanks for the generous and thoughtful response. You said, "I'm sorry that now watching Lost will perhaps bring painful feelings for you". Thanks for saying that...gives me a chance to add a much needed Post Script to my previous post...

Watching Lost (especially stories like Jack's) does make me a little sad sometimes, but that's why I love the show. I don't mind the sadness. I would rather be made aware of it than to go through life ignoring it. I have so much hope and support in my life that sadness really only serves to lead me towards freedom from it. I'm grateful to have found a show that really makes me feel.

10/08/2006 3:20 PM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

Hey, all! Happy new Lost week!

One thing I love about this blog is that there are people from many different stages of life. In my "land life" most of my friends are stay-at-home mom's just like me. It's nice to hear from people who've experienced more of life than I have. It's also nice to remember stages that I may have left behind, like the first year of marriage or getting engaged or wondering what if anything you want to do with your life. Oh, and male perspectives are interesting too. :-) I like what Ox said about last week being a pivotal episode both for people to relate to personally and for our understanding of Jack. I like what Admin said about this being "free therapy."

We had a scary incident last night. I caught my 20 month old daughter in the bathroom eating chewable Tylenols. My husband and I had to decide how many we thought she had eaten (probably only 1 or 2 which was the right dose) and decide whether or not to take her to the emergency room. It was so scary. We decided to wait to see if she exhibited symptoms of an overdose. We were right and she is fine. What came home to me was how much power a parent has over a child (whether they want it or not) and how easily it is to make a simple decision that could change the rest of your child's life forever. We try our best, but I know I'm not perfect. I pray God will make up for my lack.

So I had a thought - What could Jack's father have done differently in the episode? When he confronted Jack about his behavior with Sara, how could he have gotten through to him better? What could Jack have done differently in the episode? How could he have broken out of the "tunnel vision" that his pride and broken heart trapped him in? He is not responsible for his father's choice to drink again but he did show his father a lack of love and respect. In fact Jack didn't show love or respect to Sara either. Did his hurt give him the right to do that? If not, where would he have gotten the strength to behave differently?

10/09/2006 6:40 AM  
Blogger Dark Angel said...

Hi Twinkle

I know what you mean. I found some painkillers on the floor this morning that had fallen out of a medicine cabinet unnoticed; luckily they hadn't been discovered by Ben (my youngest who is one in two weeks time). anything where your child is in danger is terrifying, I remeber when our eldest was only 7 weeks old and had breathing difficulties, I was so scared.

It's funny though, Last week seemed to be disaster after disaster, My Wife crushed her finger, my laptop died, as did the food processor, the car stopped working, the microwave went 'bang', the list goes on... I got so angry, I thought I was cursed but you know I'm sitting here at work dealing with a child abuse case and suddenly everthing has been put into perspective, so what that the laptop died, that the car is dead, it doesn't really matter and I guess whilst it seems like there's all this bad luck I might not be aware of all the good luck I am having. For example I might never know that the truck driver on the motorway next to me this morning almost fell asleep running me off the road, I might have just avoided death by the narrowest margins and never have known . I kind of work on a luck points basis (now this might seem really odd but bear with me). The theory runs that for every bit of bad luck somewhere along the line I get an equal amount of good luck. I work on luck points, the worse the luck the more points I accumulate, whilst when I have good luck I spend the points, the greater the luck the more used. Now I realise this is very silly but the idea is that if I break something I can think 'oh good I'm due some good luck to balance it'.
Of course it's silly because some poor individual in Darfur or Palestine or running up Omahah beach under fire, or whatever must be owed a hell of a lot of luck points but hey it works for me (sort of) - mind you still didn't win the lottery this weekend.

Now what this has to do with Lost I haven't got a clue because I just started typing and um this is what came out.

I think maybe in the way that I was just really anoyed and failed to but things into perspective, so Jack has lept to the wrong conclusions and has alienated his father who was trying to help him, in a way Jack was ultimately responsible for his father's death by pushing him back the bottle. He is so blinded by his emotions that he cannot get a perspective on the situation.

On a side note my wife has a theory that Jack and Ben are brothers. This is not based on Lost really it is more because I am called Chris (not quite Christian) and my two sons are Jack and Ben!

10/09/2006 7:18 AM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

DA: Jack and Ben! Funny! Sorry you had a tough week. I sometimes work on a "luck points" basis too, though I don't believe in luck. For me it goes - My life is really good and other people have it really bad so to even things out something really bad is going to happen to me. You know, "To whom much is given, much will be required." I know God doesn't look down and say, "Ooops, I've blessed Karen too much so now she needs her life to fall apart," but sometimes I find it hard to trust that.

By the way, the guideline for acetametaphin overdose is here. It says anything above 15 mg per 1 kg of child's weight or 7 mg per pound neccessitates a trip to the emergency room.

Admin: I've been thinking about what you shared. It took me a while to realize how fresh and raw your pain is. I didn't realize much of my family's dysfunction until after I left home. I know I still don't have a clue how much my dad suffered from the cancer because he hid a lot of it. My dad didn't admit to the dysfunction of his home growing up until he already had kids. I think it's better to deal with this stuff young, but it doesn't make it easier. Anyway, can I pray for you? Does anyone object to me praying on the blog (without taking up the whole thing of course)? I find it easier to type and pray. Just let me know; either way is fine. Thanks.

10/09/2006 8:22 AM  
Blogger oxillini said...

i also had a kind of revelation where i learned my parents' were not as ozzie and harriet perfect as i had believed. it was during the painful time when my wife and i were separated. i was talking to my mother about it and she said that she and my father had gone through a similar thing when dad was in the navy (68-72) and she had two kids at home. she told me that, by the time he got out of the navy, they were on the brink of divorce. i'm not sure why she told me that. perhaps it was to let me know that other couples (even the ones i thought were perfect) go through similar trials. more than anything though, i felt anger at this revelation. the more people i talked to, the more people i learned had been through something similar. i felt angry that no one had told us this could happen. we went through pre marital counselling through my church and this was never broach, my parents never mentioned this. i felt like everyone had a painted a rosy picture for our future while holding their own scarred stories behind their back. i'm sure some of this was due to the fact that it was a very angry time in my life. as i've said in earlier posts, we're back together now and things are great, but i know that i'll never see my parents relationship the same. that is just something i have to come to terms with.

10/09/2006 10:07 AM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

Yeah, Ox, I know where you're coming from but related to a different matter. Don't mean to monopolize the conversation today either. Still why do people hide the truth from each other as if we can't handle it? (Ok, maybe sometimes we can't.) There are things that I found out later others had difficulty with but no one talked about it with me until after the fact. I would much rather have been prepared, to not have had an unrealistic view of the way things would work. And church is notorious for this - just act like everything is rosy, like we have it all together, because we can't let anyone see our dirt. [insert expletive here] There's a cry in many people's hearts right now to be real with one another, including in the church.

So this gives me courage to say something to our young lovers. When everyone was sharing about their soul mates and how in love they were, it warmed my heart but a caution also entered my mind. In the spirit of not perpetuating a perfect ideal no one can live up to, remember *Just because you find your soul mate, doesn't mean the relationship won't be a lot of work.* It's not like we don't know this anyway, but it's still easy to get disillusioned when the feelings wear off. I don't want that to happen to any of you. And I'm grateful that a good relationship is a lot of work because it helps me not take my husband for granted as much.

10/09/2006 11:19 AM  
Blogger capcom said...

Hi all!

Twinkle, your last paragraph a few posts up about Jack and his father is very good. I was also thinking while watching the ep that no one but Christian is resposnsible for him going "off the wagon". But Jack definitley could have handled his emotions better, to say the least. I also think that TPTB could have made Christian a bit more verbal and comforting to Jack, he kind of just went blank and stupid when Jack asked him questions. I myself really don't believe in argumentative confrontation, it's very unproductive. But maybe with some men......it's natural?

As for real life, on the subject of why people don't talk about problems, I really don't understand it. I believe that talking things out is the best way, but not everyone is so eager to do that. Some people are very private and/or fearful. I'm very private myself, but when a problem surfaces, I feel that you have to "nip it in the bud" ASAP, before bad feelings have time to foster and make things worse.

I hope that you can forgive your parents Ox, I'm sure they didn't mean anything untoward by keeping that a secret. Maybe they were just thinking about things on a need-to-know basis, and since you were having problems, then you needed to know about theirs. Also sometimes people just get embarrassed about what they perceive as their failures, and they are ashamed to tell anyone. I'm just guessing from experience.

DarkAngel, that is strange that you and your boys have those names!

BTW Admin, you and your wife wouldn't be putting all these observations down in a notebook and putting them in a vacuum tube for further analysis would you? :-) Totally kidding!

10/09/2006 5:52 PM  
Blogger Dark Angel said...

I think one of the reason that people hide the truth is that if no-one else knows about something then it is easy to deny it. I think if no one else knows about a condition or situation it is easier to stick your head in the sand and pretend that it's not real. Once you admit a problem whether it be emotional or medical or whatever you have to face the reality of the problem. That is the reason why at AA meetings they get you to say "Hi, I'm Bob and I'm an alchoholic". Admitting a problem is often the first step to dealing with it.

10/10/2006 2:53 AM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

Great point, DA! Very good point.

capcom said:
when a problem surfaces, I feel that you have to "nip it in the bud" ASAP, before bad feelings have time to foster and make things worse.

This is the very reason I cannot watch Seinfeld (or many other sitcoms). They are painful! If people would only talk to each other! My husband finds it funny but I find it embarassing. Guess it takes all kinds... LOL!

10/10/2006 5:31 AM  
Blogger capcom said...

Right Dark Angel, I totally forgot about the denial thing. Probably the biggest reason for not facing the facts and truth about our lives. And it is also the biggest reason for trying to face the truth, because you can't even begin to fix it until it is acknowledged, as you said. Jack's wife (as far as we know) apparently didn't tell him that she was feeling neglected, she just went ahead and got hooked up with someone else. Or if she did tell him (and we just haven't seen that flashback yet) Jack was in denial and ignored it.

Too funny Twinkle about Seinfeld. Also, they are just too mean! :-p

10/10/2006 8:00 AM  
Blogger Amused2bHere said...

hey all, this is deep stuff, and i'd like to comment more but I'll save that for later. Right now I just want to say how touched I am by all your sharing, and I feel honored to be part of this group.

10/10/2006 12:57 PM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

Amused: Welcome to SotL!

Narrim: Miss "hearing" your voice, man. Have you heard of the hikikomori? You're not alone in your worries about life.

10/10/2006 1:19 PM  
Blogger Love Pirate 77 said...

Hey y'all,
I just wanted to say that I'm sorry I haven't written in a while. I've kept up with reading all the comments/discussion, but I haven't felt like I have much to contribute to the daddy issues topic. However, I think y'all have had some wonderful sharing and discussion, and I know that we are all benefiting from it more than we can understand.

I'm looking forward to tonight's episode, and I can't wait for more discussion in the next few days.

10/11/2006 1:43 PM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

Yeah, love pirate, wonder what deep topic will be next?

Admin, I owed you a blog prayer. :-)

God, please show David where you have been in his past, taking care of his family. Nothing is a secret from you and you know who every member of his family is and who they are meant to be. Help David's family to bond through this time and grow stonger. Rid them of any unrealistic definition of what it means to be a family and help David as he forms his own family with his wife. Guard them from any inherited depression or problems. Show him how to help and love his parents, and enable them to receive it.

If anyone finds it offensive, I can delete this post.

45 minutes left!

10/11/2006 4:22 PM  
Blogger Administrator said...

Thanks Twinkle.
I don't see how that sort of sincerity could possibly been seen as offensive. I am truly encouraged as I prepare to engage with my family this weekend.

New post on the front page for "The Glass Ballerina"

10/12/2006 9:18 AM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

Thanks! I just didn't want it to come off as pushing God on people. Or turn people away who don't think he exists.

10/12/2006 11:07 AM  
Blogger coley said...

I would just like to say what a remarkable place this is. I've been longing to find someone around who wants to have these types of conversations. Great compassion, intelligence, eloquence and insight.

My 2 cents come from having a mother pass away when I was 10, leaving me with a father who wasn't equipped to care for children. He wasn't able to (and still isn't) to express any sort of personal feelings, and only really offer negative feedback when we weren't living up to his expectations. Hence three kids who never feel like what they do is quite good enough.

Now I'm not blaming him, and I've forgiven him (not that he asked for it), because I honestly believe he was doing the best he could at the time, and didn't have a great example in his own father. He will never admit anything was less than perfect, though, and prefers to carry on as if we were all in a Norman Rockwell Painting.

I suspect (actually, I know) it must be very difficult when one discovers the person they were most trying to please isn't what they thought. Jack found out his father's shortcomings, and the rock on which his own house was built, was shaken.

It goes back to a previous comment about founding our identities upon others' perceptions of us. Is it human nature? Imitating those around us? I find once the bad habit repeating patterns are rooted out, they are much easier to see and break. It's the discovery that's the trick.

10/18/2006 1:08 PM  

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