Sunday, September 4, 2011

Getting beyond upbringing and achieving excellence

I know a lot of people, who have grown up with inadequate parenting, myself included. While my mom is a fantastic mother and I wouldn't trade her in for ANYONE else, but my experience with my father and other male family members has been unpleasant to say the least. I missed out on having the fatherly input into my life I seemed to need and sometimes still feel this need. My father was the most severe epileptic I have ever known, he had some many insults to his brain and nervous system, he probably had some mood related issues, possibly ADHD, and was essentially a double genius. We suspected he had Multiple personality disorder as well. He was born breech, he survived the German Measles, Polio and I believe Encephalitis all before the age of 5 years old. Two weeks after my parents got married he had a severe seizure, hitting his head hard on the driveway, sustained has basaler skull fracture. The result was he sustained serious brain damage that also in turn made his epilepsy go out of control. He was deep down a really a great man, he was loving, a great listener, professional quality golfer, naturally respected women as equals, and had all the wonderful characteristics that is stereotypically accused of being a ''gay'' men, but was straight. He tried to be a great father when he could, but as his epilepsy and brain damage got progressively worse and as the polio caught up with him in his 40's, and as he deteriorated he became more abusive. He was far more abusive to my brother Nathan than me. Although I did experience moderate to severe verbal-sexual abuse from him. I also lost opportunity as he deteriorated to have a good father-daughter relationship, having the opportunity for him to cheer me on. It was tough to experience the abuse and watch a really great man be robbed of the chance to express his true nature. It took me along time to heal, but I have and continue to heal. I even come to the point where I feel more compassion for my father. I imagine him in his right mind in heaven, watching me and is so proud of me. I share similar brain physiology to his and how I honor him and his genetics, is to used the genes he passed on to me and transform them into a beautiful masterpiece. I take my ADD meds and my mood related meds, I strive to overcome and make a difference in this world. I have friends, professors, and professional supports who are male with similar traits to my father and allow them to help me heal that void that my father was unable to do himself. 

To my father, my dad Greg Gogstetter: I forgive you and I love you. I know Nathan and I will and do make you proud. 

To my mother: thank you for the wonderful job you did in raising all three of your kids. Thank you for being the unending support and nag. Thank you for being you. I love you so much.

To Nathan: Thanks for being a wonderful brother, for supporting me and mom through the years. Thank you for never giving up on us. Thank you for being you. I love you. Good Luck with the job and you education. I am proud of you.

To my Cousin Shelley: Thank you for becoming part of my family and supporting us through the thick and thin. I am also very proud of you for being a beautiful role model to many young and not so young, but strong women. Thank you for teaching me that there is no shame in being diagnosed with psychiatric disorders and your unending support and forgiveness to the round table gang and to all who love you. You are as cool as Ada May and Edna Pope were or are. I love you very much and pray for you. Thank you for teaching me to appreciate re-entry students and long-term challenged students. Keep up the great work. I'm proud of you Cousin.

To all my friends, family, and other readers: Thank you for being in my life and making it more interesting.

....enough of my cognitive hyperactivity and my hypergraphia. ENJOY!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your "hero's journey" with us, Sarah.

    I believe that something is inherently, physiologically wrong when people treat their loved ones and others badly. There is no benefit to it, no "reason" for it. There is only brain dysfunction.

    Connecting and loving is the ultimate reward. I just can't believe anyone jeopardizes that out of choice.