A few of my friends have been talking to me about attachment. I’ve mentioned it a couple of times here. My friend Deb said something to me the other day that really resonated. Another friend wrote me a very long comment on how my attachment to my family might be unhealthy for me. I’ve been trying to be open to this constructive criticism and trying to process it. What can I do to be more healthy? This morning the song Lonely Boy came to my mind and some things clicked for me. The song is a very simple song, nothing super profound about it, but it always spoke to me because I have always been a lonely boy. I nearly cried when Andrew Gold died because of how much that song means to me.
I grew up in a church that spoke of death and hell often. For some reason I took this to mean I was going to die soon. Besides the fear of hell that was instilled in me, my biggest fear of death was being alone, of leaving my family. I couldn’t imagine being apart from my mother and father. I would lie in bed and cry all night just thinking about it. What Deb told me is that I’m probably a type 9 enneagram. Another friend had told me that she thinks I have an issue with attachment. Deb gave me another word. Type 9s don’t just attach to people, we merge with them. Wow! That really struck me. Yes! That’s me. I’m an introvert. I don’t like being around a lot of people and I like my solitude, but the reason is I don’t like surface interactions. I’m not interested in talking about sports or the weather. I want to talk about your soul. What keeps you up at night? What gets you out of bed in the morning? What are your fears? What are your aspirations?
Interesting enough on Star Trek my favorite character on the original was Spock (the logical one). I always liked him more than the hot-headed Kirk. I loved the Vulcan mind meld and the fact he meditated. He was so cool. But on Star Trek the Next Generation it was Deanna Troi- the empath. I wanted to be Troi.
Reading about NDEs, one of the overwhelmingly common aspects of them is unconditional love, of meeting a “being” that knows everything there is to know about you, that knows you better than you know yourself and loves you immensely. Man, just reading about that makes me want to go! That is the kind of relationship I have always sought and never found on this Earth. When you meet this being (and other beings) on the other side you kind of merge into them. No communication is necessary there is just knowing. The only three people in my life that I’ve ever had close to this kind of relationship with are Ty, Kayla and Shayna. People have told me that I need(ed) to spend more “Brian time” I needed to hang with the boys more, golf, go to sporting events. I pretty much gave up golf when Kayla was born. I was getting pretty good back in the day, but four or five hours on the golf course versus spending time with Kayla. There was no contest which I would choose. A short boys trip. Sure. I did a couple. But, I always longed to be home, home where people really knew me. Home where I could just be myself. Home with my girls. I don’t regret a single moment I spent with them rather than hanging out playing golf. Not one.
Some would say my attachment, merging, etc. is unhealthy. Maybe it is. It certainly hurts now having Shayna ripped from me. It’s a pain that I could not have imagined I could endure. Some have said it’s a control issue that I want to control the people I’m attached to. Not really. I got pleasure out of seeing them get pleasure. I really didn’t care what it was, whether it was Kayla swimming, or Shayna playing basketball or volleyball or their academic achievements or them just having fun together, when I looked at them doing it, it was like I was doing it. I was never with my family wishing I was somewhere else. That was no sacrifice to be with them. My last birthday my mother had made a chocolate pie for me, my favorite. She makes a chocolate pie like no other in the world. She lives two hours away so I rarely get it. Shayna had already had two pieces on previous days. There was one piece left that I was really looking forward to having. Shayna asked “Can I have this piece of pie?” I said “Shayna, that is the last piece. My mother made that pie for me and you have already had two pieces.” She looked at me with her big brown eyes and said “Yeah, but can I have it?” “Yes, Shayna, you can have it.” I am glad I gave her that pie. The joy she got gave me joy the pie could never have given me. My friend Chuck got it when I tried to describe it to him this morning. I became one with them. I view our family as a unit. Inseparable. That is why losing Shayna hurts so bad. It’s like losing a limb. Is my identity lost in my family? Probably so. But, that’s been my choice.
So, yeah, I’m still a lonely boy and what I’ve realized is, on this side, I always will be. I have found the closest thing I can find to heaven in the three girls in my life and That’s just the way that is.