Oftentimes The Stepfather Is Welcomed Into The New Family Only To Unknowingly Clean Up Another Man’s Mess!

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It’s funny how your dreams can remind you of what issues that you have remaining in queue that must be dealt with whether you want to or not.

It’s natures way of helping you to rid and vent your mind of the many accumulated toxicities that you may not even be aware that are there lurking below the surface of a seemingly happy life like a dormant cancer.

Many times you might think that your dreams are meaningless shreds of data that have crept into your subconscious mind from the days or weeks before as an indication of what you have indulged in like the cut up pieces of fabric on the floor of a dressmakers shop or the balls of hair on the barber shop floor.

Sure, the data from the activities of days gone by may have crept into your dream to appear to be the first and foremost character in the nocturnal stage-play of the cerebral zone but do not be fooled into dismissing it as a meaningless regurgitation of the mind because you just might be missing out on a very important opportunity for some very crucial self reflection.

You have to give nature more credit for those mysterious mechanisms that we lack the knowledge to completely understand.

I believe if there is an issue that we suppress into our subconscious it will come out eventually in our dreams if we don’t address it with our conscious mind.

It’s almost like the girl who wants to be a beauty queen but can’t form the connection from the face full of ugly zits that she possesses in abundance and the toxic chemical laden artificial concoctions that she insists on calling food. In this life what goes in MUST come out and will do so sometimes in the most revealing of ways and the most inconvenient of times.

Or maybe like that alcoholic who thinks he can fool the world about his addiction by merely popping an occasional breath mint to mask the liquor on his breath but must face the reality of an extremely damaged liver when the tests come back from the doctor after a routine checkup. You can only fool yourself but for so long as to what lurks quietly below the surface and facade of our convenient lies.

So it is inevitable that we heed the signs shown to us in our deems and deepest thoughts because it will point us in the direction that we need to go in order to attain that much necessary level of self healing that we will never get if we don’t face the music.

Facing the music in our personal lives and neglected reflections of our upbringing? Most of us are quite guilty of not doing as good of job as we are capable of doing and can find some residue somewhere that we’ve overlooked of we look within ourselves deep enough. The sooner we master our demons, the sooner we will be able to live a fuller more satisfying life no matter what our prior circumstances were.

This morning I woke up crying after having a dream about my Brother and my Father.

My Father has been deceased since November of 1990 and my Brother is still alive although I’ve lost contact with him and haven’t seen him since a chance meeting in the street back in the late summer of 1998.

Damn.

At the time of this writing it has been a few months over 13 years and that really hurts me.

Why haven’t we spoken? I can’t find him. He is not living very stable and purposely flies below the radar in his dealings. Imagine how hard it is to do this in this age of GPS, computers, smart phones and the cyber fingerprint that we all make in our mandatory routine dealings whether we like it or not. You have to really have something to hide to be as invisible as my Brother, which is the case I believe from a lifestyle of lifetime substance abuse.

Hopefully this is still not the case where ever he is, and my very personal words shared is in no way an attempt to throw him under the bus or bring shame to him because even after all of the things that I’ve observed him do in those formative years of mine where he was driven to support his habit, I still love him dearly but refuse to internalize his pain because of his refusal to deal with his own inner demons head on as he should.

But when you really look into this phenomenon overall, this is what happens in families where you may have one acting out their pain through some type of addiction because they are trying to self-medicate the hurt away and as long as they do not go to disengage the source of the pain the addictions will remain and even increase!

To medicate a hurt soul and thinking that the substances will save you is like grabbing an electrician who mistakenly touched a live electrical wire and is in the unfortunate process of being electrocuted. You can’t do him or yourself any good by touching him because now you will feel the deadly electrical surge (pain and frustration) that flows through him and will now soon kill you too!

The solution is too find the power switch to the circuit that he is touching and cut it off! Until that is figured out then you can get ten people to try to pull the electrician off of the hot wire, that will only leave eleven people eventually dead from the inevitable electrocution.

Understand that result of any addiction is death! I don’t care what it is that you are addicted to! The very word “addiction” proves that one is living out of balance and an imbalanced life is one that will lack the longevity and stability to absorb all of the wonderful things that this life has to offer. It’s a very sad existence indeed.

But those of us on the very close inner circle and sidelines who have decided to get involved to help this individual must do so in a manner that is clinical and slightly detached. Why? Because to get too involved near the eye of this emotional storm will only cause you to lose your focus to your intended goal of healing.

As much as we love our family, if they get sick with the flu bug it proves absolutely to kiss and hug them tight while they are coughing, sneezing and bringing up phlegm. It will only be a matter of time before you will be sick with the same ailment and eventually making all who come across your path sick too when it all could have been avoided by not indulging in that foolish and badly timed display of love that got you sick in the first place.

The same is true when dealing with a family member with addictions, just like that person who has the flu, even though you love them dearly and will do all that you can within your natural powers to help nurse them back into a full life it would be foolish to allow them to stress you to the point where they have manipulated their addiction needs indirectly onto you where you now find yourself subsidizing THEIR habits!

There are too many people forced into this positioning of dysfunctional compromise because they were too naive to know the game of manipulation that they have been subject to or just refuse to want to know how bad their family members addiction really was in the first place.

You can spot and identify these individuals who are in the midst of a personal storm yet refuse to acknowledge it even to their closest friends. When greeting them with the intent on getting them to open up and address what is so obvious in their personal life they will oftentimes say that everything is just fine even though you may have observed a scene that was all to common at their home from the frequent police visits and embarrassing drama put out on display in a very public manner for the world to see.

Those who are enablers such as this are just as bad as the addict who has the problem because they sign off on the addicts behavior and act as a willing cover to allow the addict to get away with the things that addicts do!

If the addict gets caught stealing from a neighbors home, let’s say the addicted entity stole the television set or laptop when that neighbor may have been in their backyard tending to their garden, the enabler will foolishly reimburse that neighbor to compensate them for the total cost of the items stolen and in essence buying the drugs for that family member!

This goes deep!

Wouldn’t it have been better to just “give” the money directly to the addict and tell them to go shopping for the drugs instead of involving an innocent neighbor in their drug induced dance with the devil? No, I didn’t really mean that as I was being sarcastic but this is really something that pisses me off personally because I’ve had to observe this very dynamic play itself out time and time again with my Brother and my wonderful Mother who was one of the best Mothers that any child could have growing up except she did not know how to show my Brother the tough love necessary to give him the message that she would not be used for his drug habit.

He prostituted her Motherly love for him by manipulating her into a cash cow for decades never really caring for her in return.

How can I say this without the shadow of a doubt?

Allow me to prove this fact by reenacting an unexpected phone call from my Brother approximately four months after my Mother passed away in April of 1994. Remember, I knew that he knew our Mother passed on but I didn’t here from him ’cause I guess he realized that the cash cow was gone forever. (As you may have noticed, I have refrained from putting my Brother’s name out there although there is a part of me that wants to!) But I will never forget that day when he called, I was sitting down on the toilet getting ready to handle my business when the phone began to ring:

“Phone rings”

Scurv: Hello?

Brother: Hey Lancey!

Scurv: Who is this? (I knew exactly who it was, I was just making it hard for him because of the rush of anger that washed over me at the sound of his voice.)

Brother: Come on man! You know who this is! This is your

Brother Gary! (Whoops! I guess the cats out of the bag now as far as his name is concerned!)

Scurv: Okay then, what made you call now?

Gary: Well something told me to call, it’s been a while.

Scurv: (Feeling violently angry now but controlling it and maintaining a calm voice) Well it’s funny that you called now, have you heard about Mommy?

Gary: Yeah I heard. Is there any money for me?

Scurv: (While I’ve never been stabbed in my life, I now knew what it was like to be stabbed in the heart because I just couldn’t believe how cold he was and how he didn’t flinch at the news of our Mother passing away which was really the reason he called because he already knew and merely called because he found out that there was some money that was left to us from various sources. Unfortunately I couldn’t block him getting his half of the proceeds and had to include him in order for me to receive what was coming to me, which was not an issue for me because I would have given anything to have my Mommy back!)

Scurv: Yeah……. Yes there is……. We will meet with the lawyer next week sometime so we can settle everything.

Gary: Aiiight! I’ll swing through next week sometime so I can get my money! Peace! (Click!)

Peace? All I was left with was the cold sound of the dial tone ringing in my ear as I sat on the bowl bedazzled as to the wide range of emotions or lack thereof that this thing called human nature can encompass.

Is it just me or does it seem that fate always seems to catch you at an unguarded moment with your pants down?

Hurt. Shocked. Angry and pissed off on the toilet, it gets no lower than that. I didn’t even get to finish my business in “peace.”

So much for my Brother’s “heartfelt” sentiments.

The devil is a liar! Lol!

Even then I had the ability to laugh at the irony in a situation that would have driven most people over the edge. Humor is my secret weapon of self preservation. When things get stressful, I will always find a way to laugh. But isn’t something when they say that the best comedians have the most pain and tragedy in their lives. I think that the statement is true and if it is in fact the truth then I will eventually go down in history as one of the funniest men to hit the stage when I finally embark on my desire to explore this thing called stand up comedy. I’ve been craving to do that for such a long time so don’t be surprised when you see me up there one day VERY soon!

But back to the flow o what I was saying before – I now know why I woke up crying this morning because I have fully embraced the frustration of my Father trying to clean up the mess that another man left behind. You see, my Brother and I have different fathers, so my Father was his Step-Father, he was one who tried his best to embrace a kid who secretly wanted nothing to do with him at all.

My Brother tried his best to sabotage my Father’s marriage to my Mother and felt as though he was an outsider overnight to a family who resented that the head and provider of this family was someone else other than HIS father!

Well if the truth be told his father never was a factor in my Brother’s life other than the occasional few dollars tossed my Mother’s way as she struggled with raising my Brother alone until the time my Father came into the picture and showed my Mother what a real man was all about!

So I believe it was a cry for help and a failed attempt at getting some attention as to why he started using drugs in the first place. Over the years his addiction to the various available substances of the day was so obvious to me as a young child and affected my otherwise damn near perfect childhood.

No, I was not traumatized by my proximity to an issue that has affected in some way the vast majority of families in my neighborhood growing up in one way or another, but it affected me to the point where I never touched a drug or were ever tempted to do so ever in my life! Heck! I hate to even take an aspirin or cold medicine! Lol!

My issue is that I sometimes lack the tolerance in dealing with anyone who obviously has a problem and wants to lie to you about it as though you can’t tell that they are strung out on heroin, crack or crystal meth.

Because of my early up close and personal exposure and constant observations to one who possessed an addiction, I can smell an addict a MILE away no matter how well they are dressed they are, how good they smell or how good of a job they have. The funny part is when I encounter a well dressed covert addict in public, they KNOW that I can see through the facade to discern their little secret and I can see the panic in their eyes when they know that I am not going for their bullshit! They know that I haven’t fallen for their pseudo covering that they haphazardly wear like a child’s super hero costume while “Trick or Treating” on Halloween. Who do they think they are fooling?

It’s in their eyes. A certain look. It’s hard to explain but it’s an ability to discern this spirit that I have possessed from a very young age. Is it any surprise that I have this ability after what I have shared here in this blog article? But their physical and spiritual deception fools many for a time as they seek out those who are the weaker vessels to manipulate their energy for their addictive causes.

This is why I’ve always had a problem with those who exhibit these same traits. I don’t want to even waste the time in this little dance of deception when I know what the real deal is. On many occasion when I saw the sales pitch coming my way i would gently pull the addict aside and inform them that I know what they are up to and I know what they are into so please don’t come with the game because I know what they are up to so very well. When they lock eyes with me and see that I am really serious, I’ve never encountered any resistance whatsoever as they would then bring their traveling roadshow of enabler hunting over to someone else who just might fall for the okie-doke!

But my dear Father in hindsight from what I could see went through so much pain and frustration in dealing with the drug driven antics of my Brother who constantly stole from him and always seemed to character assassinate him at every turn. While my Brother would never come to me with this crap because I am eleven years younger than him, I would overhear him speaking to his other substance abusive friends in this manner whenever they would come to look for him so they could probably get their hustle on for another hit of dope.

But I also must say that my Brother never lived with us for any long stretch of time because of his lifestyle and the incarcerations that living in such a manner will bring. So I have always had this yearning as a younger Brother for his companionship and never got it. It created a void within me that would be reason for many of my later personal victories and favorable qualities as well as my unfavorable traits that I still struggle with. But overall, I’ve used that void to propel me higher instead of making me fall by the wayside in getting involved in any activities that would bring me to an early grave or encrust me with the many possible idiosyncrasies that would have kept me from creatively reaching for my destiny here on the pages of this blog (That hopefully you love so much! LOL!)

But I woke up crying this morning because after having the brief dream of my Father sitting at the kitchen table eating while my Brother cooked a meal up for himself, I relived those few times where my Brother wasn’t using illegal substances in those moments and loved how everyone got along so well! The jokes that my Father and Brother would share in my presence cracked me up and tickled my down to the core of my being as I would wonder how long would this camaraderie last as it seemed to only come around every now and again just like the sun shining through brightly and briefly on an otherwise overcast day bringing to me a sense of hope that one day all will be well with my Brother.

That day never came.

Overcast Cloudy Day

I still yearn and ache for that one time when my Brother is clean and my Father is happy that he doesn’t have to deal with my brother’s addictions and my Mother can enjoy seeing her sons live a happy balanced life. But my parents have gone on and my Brother is STILL doing his thing with the substances! (Although it is too long to get into here, I do know this for a fact! I still have a strong connection to the streets of New York City.)

I have embraced that fact that the time that I have yearned for will never come. But it still can manifest in a different form in a different scenario. This is why I reach out to so many who let me know that my expressions have helped them to see that they were not the only ones going through a particular situation. That in itself is very therapeutic to me and has pretty much filled that void as much as it will be filled much like the small spare donut tire will get you home safely but it wouldn’t suffice for any long distance driving.

I know the frustration and pain that comes from entering into “step fatherhood” and truly applaud my Father and any other man for stepping into a situation where a covert mess has been left emotionally and attempts to be that “donut” that takes them from a place of instability to the life that God intended of joy, love, nurturing and peace. But the majority of the time we find out the hard way as the very people that you try to embrace are the very individuals who will resent you for the very qualities that YOU possess that their father NEVER had!

Your pluses very quickly become minuses because in their eyes you are upstaging THEIR Daddy!

I can understand it at this point in my life but for you to do so would be like trying to explain to a young child who has just grasped an understanding of mathematics the concept of negative and positive numbers, everything is backward! Once you can grasp this concept as a step dad then you will be able to navigate the waters of rejection that much easier.

This is not to say that ALL situations are negative and that you will meet total rejection from your step-kids. There are too many factors and variables that will either make that a major issue or a minor concern. It depends on the Mother of those children and how strong she is in disciplining them. Is she an enabler or does she not allow herself to be manipulated? Are the children really young or are they already grown and about to leave high school and eventually go out on their own? (Hopefully the will understand that their asses ain’t gonna sit up under you and go out and fend for themselves! If not, be prepared for war my friend!) Another factor is to know what kind of influence is that father to his children, negative or positive? Constant or infrequent? Then you have to get to understand the temperament of each child because each one will have a different take on what is going on in their world.

Being the fact that marriage statistics these days are not looking good at all, know that when you enter into a union with pre-existing conditions that you really have to enter with caution and strong faith in God and His word. Not merely to go through the motions but a strong belief. Otherwise, your union will be doomed to failure. Doomed to being yet another failed statistic of two people who may have been in love but were ill equipped to sail the rough waters that are what the world calls ‘ready made families.”

Thank God my Father had the strength that came from the faith in God to endure a scenario that would have driven most men away, that and the fact that my Mother treated him like a king aside from the enabling that she did for my Brother. all in all my Father showed me over the years how much he really loved my Mother through it all and for that I am forever thankful!

…….and at the end of the day, Gary, I still love you very very much.

Maybe we can sit around my kitchen table one day soon and help to fill up each others voids…….

It’s not too late.

Call me.

407-590-0755…….Just make sure I’m not on the toilet this time PLEASE!

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About The Author

Culture Critic, Podcast Host, Blogger, Cartoonist & Social Media Activist who focuses on the issues that the Mainstream Media is deathly afraid to touch! Call/Text Direct: 407.590.0755

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  • upwardliving

    I can imagine the jealousy your brother must have felt. Having to share your mothers attention with a step-father. Some kids never really adjust to the new status.

    I know exactly what it feels like to have an addict sibling and how enraging it is to see one of your parents being manipulated into supporting his/her habit. Over the years I grew to resent this sibling. But I learned in maturity that the resentment projects itself through you and makes them feel more justified in their indulgence. Besides, you can't really pray effectively for those you resent. I am an advocate for tough love. I don;t believe in being sentimental in issues like this.

    What complicated the matter even more is the fact that I also had my own secret struggles with porn and sex. And I lived in denial for years. Maybe because in comparison to my bro,I felt fairly sane. But I wasn't. Sex is rarely seen as a drug but it's a powerful drug that can ruin your life if you let it. So I tried to suppress it over the years and act normal but it would trip me up every time. I had to face the issue squarely and address the matter once and for all.

    It never pays to live in denial. It's a waste of time.

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