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  September 20, 2003

 

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July 20, 2003 - Sunday

Still Angry
(after all these years)

Iím like my father in that anger comes easily and like him, I'm usually angry about something. His drinking makes it worse but even without the alcohol, he has always been an unhappy person.  I grew up on tenterhooks; always waiting for him to explode about something. He never hit me. His verbal wrath hurt more than any physical blow and he dished it out at the dinner table every evening. 

Too often I find myself behaving like him and because of that, I think I understand him.  Heís my example of how not to act and in that respect at least; heís been an odd sort of father figure.

Iím told that anger and depression go hand in hand and Iím predisposed to both. For me, itís a fascinating subject and I often puzzle over how these feelings came about.  Itís the ďnature vs. nurtureĒ question.  My doctor says that my personality was probably determined on a ratio of 60/40 with the higher number on the side of DNA.  In other words, even if my parents had been June and Ward Cleaver, Iíd still be struggling with these feelings.  Most likely my father drinks because he has these feelings too and his way of coping led to alcoholism.  Because of that I try to cut him some slack but Iím also trying my best not to be like him.

Letting go of anger is difficult and being thin skinned, I could never be a politician.  Someone would make a comment about my wife and Iíd put Edmund Muskie to shame with my weeping rebuttal.  People who can let things drop and go smiling through the rest of the day fascinate me.  Jon Stewart made an interesting comment about having to do a comedy show even when heís feeling nothing but rage. He said you gather all your anger into one place, and then swallow it.  Thirty years later, while sitting around the thanksgiving table, someone spills the gravy and all hell breaks loose.

When is it appropriate to show anger instead of repressing it?  Punching a pillow just doesnít do it for me and Iím usually compelled to go to the source and confront the issue.  Dwight Eisenhower said a key to being a good leader is to postpone talking to someone when youíre mad. He always forced himself to wait till the next day before reprimanding any of his officers.

Boy thatís hard.  I want to track them down at that moment and settle things once and for all.  Eisenhower is right of course but man, itís hard to do.

 

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THEN

July 19, 1967 - Wednesday

Yesterday Barry and I went over to San Diego and looked at sports cars.  It was pretty educational and today I started my search around here.  I've raised my purchase price to $500 but it's still doubtful that I'll find anything soon.

Today was my day off and I really enjoyed sleeping late.  However, I've come to like my job much better and it's getting to the point where I almost like getting up at 5:30.  I like Ron a lot and being the only ones in the vet hospital so early, we have a lot of fun talking and goofing off.

Ron is quite a bit like me. Although he goes out for track, he never goes to any dances and tries to stay away from the school as much as possible.  Like me, he also dislikes the socialites of the school along with all the good looking girls that only go out with the socialites.

In all, we get along pretty well and it makes the work a lot more enjoyable. Ron lives in the Navy housing on the Strand and his parents aren't very well off. Unlike me, Ron isn't saving up for anything. He has to turn his paycheck over to his mother who uses it to pay for groceries and bills. He has two sisters and two brothers and his family really has trouble making ends meet.

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The other day Catherine and I went geocaching on Mount Laguna.  3 miles and hot.  We're still hoping to do our backpacking trip next month and we gotta get into shape. Well, I do.

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