Prison Pete

Monday, May 23, 2005
  Well, no letter went out to you yesterday,
but I did end up writing four and a half pages to Mom and Dad.

I spent most of the morning and afternoon reading and clipping my way through the New York Times. It is amazing the amount of information one can gather from that paper and not even try hard.

I was listing to the Tom Likas show the other night (blowmeuptom.com). He has a one-track agenda that is based on the premise that men can treat women badly and get all the sex they want. Marriage is for suckers. He apparently made a statement on the air that he world sleep with a fourteen year old girl if it was legal. Someone had called in to challenge that statement, and he simply stood by the statement.

I think that it is interesting that he can say that the only thing stopping him from doing this was the legal system. Does he always obey the speed limit? Why is one law more important than another?

One of the guys from Long Island is having his son come up and visit him this weekend. They basically only have two types of cars. Big gas guzzler Suburbans, or a Corvette. The son is a contractor and owns the company. To save the gas, he is renting a mid-size car and writing it off on the company. Legal? No.

Last night, on Love Line one caller was concerned because his seven month pregnant wife was turning into a sex machine. She wanted him to take her anally. He was afraid it would be harmful. What is normal?

I am working this into something along the lines that one must not lay back and let life just happen. Why can I convey my feelings about Frank and have Summer respond so specifically to what I am feeling?

My mom would never give me that same response. The only time she ever said someone was wrong for me was when it came to Karen. Obviously I was able to put the feelings down in a way that hit a chord with her. I am able to drive Frank crazy. In the past I would have done anything to be his friend.

The point, one has to be proactive. Since you can not force a person to change, you have to change. That is certainly one of the things that are threaded all through the "Worst Enemy" book. I do not do this from a position of a know-it-all. I have come to realize that you can possibly get something you thought impossible, if you are more aware of the position of the other person. This goes for parent-child relationships too.

I was thinking that it would be a credit to any parent if each of their kids actually grows up with different personalities. That hockey story of the mom with cancer and the brothers both in hockey sounds nice to have the whole family involved in the same activity, but what if the younger child found that the only way to get attention was to do the family thing.

Yep, there are no right answers. I am not really as obsessive as my letters portray, I do become overly zealous on some subjects, and it is the preacher thing. I think I speak from a position of more knowledge and do delight in the possibility that I might eventually come up with something you can use. You have been good at telling me when a particular idea is something you can relate to and I thank you for that.

I am babbling a bit here and hope some of it makes sense, but a lot of what I am saying is now backed up with real life experience. In the past this experience I might not have had in the first place and then even if I did, did not pay attention to the meaning of it.

Being willing to change my own behavior instead of ending up beating my head against the same brick wall, opens up all sorts of new avenues. Now it is almost like a game, which way am I going to deal with this issue now. Mind you it does also carry a high degree of risk, in that you could end up making a real boneheaded move that might make things worse.

I have to be honest; as I am typing this I am having flashbacks to Karen. Again if someone is willing to go to such extremes for me, why did I not get the damn message? She had certain behaviors that I could depend on. I mean this in a negative way. Those things that she did that I could use as justification to not do something. The old keeping score thing. Remember also that it is easier to blame things that are not going well on others.

But once I accepted the possibility that I could actually change the way I reacted to things, I could also begin to gather much more relevant information to base further changes on.

One really simple example, I realize that you are never going to match my output as far as writing goes, but the fact is that once I got myself up to the point where I was putting out five to eight pages a day, well I actually feel like I am letting myself down if I do not type that much each day. They say the average writer aims for doing three pages a day. Hey if I can do six, imagine the possibilities.

It is that type of thinking that keeps me moving forward. I do admit that I am still not operating in a vacuum. I do depend on feedback from others. Yes I do look forward to your letters, but I also try to build in a level of expectation that is within the realm of what you are most likely to do.

I will still let you know when I think you are not telling me something I was looking for, like the mention of the hot pot not getting in, but not mentioning the court action.

I have taken on the same approach with Mom and Dad. Instead of harping them for their answer about the monthly allowance thing, I wrote a more upbeat letter about what was going right. I sent them twenty more completed crosswords.

I have now completed, in order, the first 54 out of 1,000 puzzles. I keep grinding them out and hate to admit it but some of the clues that I could never remember are now beginning to become permanent.

Yes I could always find a puzzle in the book of 1,000 that I could complete without breaking into a sweat. Now, by pushing myself, using the dictionary to look up the ones that I am having trouble with, sure enough some of the hard work is paying off.

This some of the stuff flying through my mind. I am here to offer you my support. I am here to offer you my support. I am happy to listen to your bitching. Lord knows you have read a ton of mine. That also is a part of the strength in our relationship.
I have full moon fever today, so if I ramble forgive me. You're right in that you cannot change another person. No matter how hard you try to be empathetic or sympathetic, or love them, or encourage them, it's not going to happen. Changing yourself is the only way to survive. That person can come along with you or they can stay and probably will, remain in their own misery. I think possibly you've participated in a few co-dependent relationships. Am I right? As far as parents are concerned, I have a suspicion that you were raised much like me, in that the parent is always right and the child has no valid opinion or thought. That's not going to change. Period. The only thing you can do is protect yourself. That's easier said than done because your reactions to them are so ingrained. The first three years of your life were the formative ones, they had the control. I think that maybe setting up boundaries with parents is the best thing to do. They will step over them and sometimes they don't get it and in a basic sense they will probably become insulted or even pissed. They will strike back. Not sure why. A control issue? Imagine telling your child that she ruined your life. The ultimate control. Guilt. Keep fighting the good fight Pete!
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