During therapy on Saturday, I used the phrase “I know I have a hero-complex” which my therapist was happy to latch on to, and point out that yeah, I really do. I want to be the savior of the world, or at least my family. It upsets me that I wasn’t able to protect my siblings from genetics- my sister has anxiety problems, and my brother has his own problems, both noted in childhood- potentially ADHD, though he refused treatment and again, our mother didn’t push the issue with him, any more than with me and my symptoms, or my sister and hers- and as a result of PTSD from being deployed to Iraq. I am still angry at my dad for that, for giving all of us some sort of mental health problem, and while it seems I took the lion’s share of it, I didn’t manage to take it all, and that makes me angry.
My favorite drug rep did a lunch presentation at our office on Friday (he brought the most amazing beef brisket EVER) and we talked afterwards. He mentioned that he usually takes that day off, because it was his father’s birthday, and his father passed away five years ago. He told me that his father had untreated schizophrenia, and talked about growing up with that, and being angry about it, and finally accepting that his father is who he is and there was nothing to be done about it than accept reality and try to encourage his father to seek appropriate treatment. That is part of the passion that I see in him, that makes him my favorite rep. I told him about how we’re very alike in that respect, as my father also had untreated mental illness, and I mentioned that I have no idea if my father is even still alive at this point, as he disappeared after his mother passed in 2008, and my mom even says he hasn’t emailed her anything bizarre recently.
“Do you have his social security number?” he asked me.
“Yeah, it’s written on my birth certificate,” I remembered, smiling as I realized where he was going with it.
“Well, I’m sure you have a contact at Social Security you could call, and he’s probably old enough to be receiving some benefits, so you could find out if he’s still alive that way. You could get his address, you wouldn’t necessarily have to contact him, but you’d at least know where he is.”
I talked this over with my therapist, as I don’t necessarily feel I need to swoop in and rescue him, too, but it would help give me some closure, and help with some of the anger I feel as well. I said that the drug rep makes me think of how I hope to be in 20 years, in complete acceptance of the circumstances of my birth and parentage. It surprised my therapist a bit when I said that, because she thought I’d more or less resolved my anger about it. I pointed out that I still get angry about things as I remember them, and have to process through new hurt fairly frequently, and my drug rep friend seems to be pretty much at peace with all of it.
After the holiday, I’ll dig out my birth certificate and give my contact at Social Security a call about it. If anyone can help me find out, it’d be him. It would definitely be a far less painful search than googling him, or searching on facebook proved to be. He wouldn’t even know I’d called if I didn’t want him to.
I don’t feel I need to save him, but I do need to know if he is alive. I want to know that he’s being cared for, rather than living under a bridge somewhere or still bouncing from friend to friend he meets at bars who let him crash for a week or two before his erratic behavior leads to him being given the boot.
Taking that step is going to be scary, though. We’ll see how it goes.