Excerpt for The Struggle Within: The Wind's Divine Melody (Vol. 1) by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

The Struggle Within

The Wind’s Divine Melody

Vol. 1

Arjuna D. Ghose

Halifax, Canada

Lotus-Dove Publishing

Copyright © 2017 by Arjuna D. Ghose

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner or form other than for “fair use” as brief quotations embodied in articles and reviews without prior written permission of the publisher.

This book is most humbly dedicated to humanity,
but especially to the little sweetheart...

The Greatest Love of All

Whitney Houston

Written by Linda Creed and Michael Masser

I believe the children are our future

Teach them well and let them lead the way

Show them all the beauty they possess inside

Give them a sense of pride to make it easier

Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

Everybody searching for a hero

People need someone to look up to

I never found anyone who fulfill my needs

A lonely place to be

So I learned to depend on me

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows

If I fail, if I succeed

At least I’ll live as I believe

No matter what they take from me

They can’t take away my dignity

Because the greatest love of all

Is happening to me

I found the greatest love of all

Inside of me

The greatest love of all

Is easy to achieve

Learning to love yourself

It is the greatest love of all

I believe the children are our future

Teach them well and let them lead the way

Show them all the beauty they possess inside

Give them a sense of pride to make it easier

Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows

If I fail, if I succeed

At least I’ll live as I believe

No matter what they take from me

They can’t take away my dignity

Because the greatest love of all

Is happening to me

I found the greatest love of all

Inside of me

The greatest love of all

Is easy to achieve

Learning to love yourself

It is the greatest love of all

And if by chance, that special place

That you’ve been dreaming of

Leads you to a lonely place

Find your strength in love

Table of Contents



Chapter One:

The Cup and Dish

Chapter Two:

I Am Found

Chapter Three:

It Is For My Own Good’

Chapter Four:

The Wind’s Divine Melody

Chapter Five:

The Little Sweetheart is Born

Chapter Six:

Will Guru Allow Me to Come Back?

Chapter Seven:

My Second Drug Addiction

Chapter Eight:

Introduction of My Friend, Tammy

Chapter Nine:

Trying to Teach and Inspire Abigail

Chapter Ten:

Perhaps I Could Start Stumbling Upon Fame

Chapter Eleven:

I First Mention My Concerns About Abigail’s Behaviour Problem to Tammy

Chapter Twelve:

Telepathy-Oneness with the Master

Chapter Thirteen

I Am Failing at My Job and Failing at Life

Chapter Fourteen:

Addressing the Emotional Hurt

Chapter Fifteen:

I Do Not Know What is Going On

Chapter Sixteen

The Reason Why Tammy and I Never Met Up in Person

Chapter Seventeen:

I Go to the Police

Chapter Eighteen:

My Misbehaviour Triggers Misapprehensions

Chapter Nineteen:

I Lose My Job Due to My Drug Addiction

Chapter Twenty:

More About the Little Sweetheart

Chapter Twenty-One:

Protecting a Child

Chapter Twenty-Two:

An Opportunity

Chapter Twenty-Three:

I Am Saved (Again)

Chapter Twenty-Four:

More About Abigail’s Behaviour

Chapter Twenty-Five:

The Days Before the Intervention

Chapter Twenty-Six:

An Important Experience with Abigail

Chapter Twenty-Seven:

The March 2012 Spiritual Improvements

For More Info

About Sri Chinmoy


Written to roughly seven fellow Sri Chinmoy disciples through email on 23 December 2016:

Hello Dear Friends, fellow lovers, lovers of goodness, God, humanity and Bliss:

This, I think, may be the final time I will send to you something you might find encouraging or inspiring about my story, which I have been writing since 2010, and which you may have found discouraging thus far...

Earlier today, Dear Guru guided me to read the following story from his writings, and I understand that this will be the prologue for my book, The Struggle Within. He also advised me to read the introduction to the book in which this particular story is presented within which he states that he did not actually write these stories, he is merely telling them from long ago. [Taken from srichinmoylibrary.com/lts-35:]

Punishment Pays

A father and mother were both extremely fond of their child, who was only six years old. They were a very, very happy family. One day the child did something wrong and the father was very upset, so he gave the child a smart slap. Then the child cried and the father felt absolutely miserable. The father tried to console the child by giving him four rupees.

When the child got the money, he started crying more loudly and pitifully. The father said, “Why are you crying? I gave you a slap, but now I am consoling you. I will not slap you any more. Why are you still crying?”

The son said, “I am crying more powerfully and pitifully because I have to ask you something.”

What do you have to ask me?” the father said.

The son said, “Will you promise me that each time you give me a slap, you will increase the amount of money you give me?”

What?” cried the father.

The son said, “I did something wrong, and you gave me a slap. Now I will do something even worse. Each time I do something worse, will you not give me another slap and more money?”

The father said, “What are you saying?”

The son said, “I want to be punished by you every time I do something wrong. Each time my crime will be worse, so you can give me a harder slap if you wish. I will not mind at all. But you have to give me a larger amount of money, too.”

The father said, “What kind of son do I have? He is ready to be slapped for money. Why did I make the mistake of giving him money the first time? Each time he wants the slap to be harder. He does not mind being slapped if he receives a larger amount of money!”

(Perhaps you can figure out what the story references)




This is the story about what happened to me and my daughter and is centered around my struggle within and the progress I make. You are reading Volume 1 of The Struggle Within: The Wind’s Divine Melody. Volume 2 hasn’t been published yet. The Wind’s Divine Melody is Part 1 of The Struggle Within. Part 2 hasn’t been written yet. As I write this in 2017, I’m not even fully sure what the struggle within is. But I do know my daughter would never even have been born if it wasn’t for it. In my story, I changed my name to Jacob to help protect the characters within it. Arjuna D. Ghose is also not the name I was given at birth. (I explain more about that over the course of this story.) I have also changed the names of my family and friends who appear in this story. Aside from the name changes, this story is an honest articulation of what I’ve experienced.

There are a few things I’d like to tell you about myself before I begin my story. First of all, I can be a space cadet, often forgetting things over the years and making silly mistakes. I definitely need someone to be my assistant to help me not forget stuff, among other things. Secondly, my feelings are easily hurt; sometimes. I can be too sensitive, and I don’t like it. I’m not generally the type of person who takes false accusations well; it’s probably the main thing that offends me. That being said, the third thing is that I often mess with people’s heads. I mean, seriously, I often don’t like to tell people when I’m really just joking around, teasing them, or tricking them. It’s almost as if I’m shy but not shy at the same time.

The final thing is that I love detective shows and would love to be one. When I watch TV, I almost always watch a documentary-style show called Forensic Files; it’s one of the only shows I watch. I like the idea of catching the bad guys and exonerating the innocent.

I would also like to tell you that I was born a Protestant Christian. And my mother took me and my sister to a Presbyterian church every Sunday until I was about 12. We weren’t a deeply religious family, though, and trouble at home certainly wasn’t conducive to helping me to follow the words of Jesus, which I never really learned very well anyway. I became lost; I never knew where I was going, and then ended up going nowhere.

In 2010, I started telling my story to my friend, Tammy, through Facebook because I had a lot of things I had to tell someone. I had gone through a lot. I chose Tammy because I like and trust her. I had to get my story recorded because I knew I was writing a story and I felt that if I didn’t record what was happening I wouldn’t be able to recollect it well, because I don’t have a good memory. It’s hard for me to articulate things from the past; that’s why the first few chapters of this book have been the most difficult for me. Aside from the journal entries to my friend Tammy and others, and some of those that I entered directly into my journal, much of the narrative in this memoir has been written in 2017 and later.

I began writing to Tammy because I felt something significant and important was happening through me, and I had to tell somebody. The reason I like this story is because it’s all about the truth. The reason why I am writing this book is because I know that if I just keeping writing about the truth Sri Chinmoy will reveal his Divinity in some way, and I knew that if I could record everything it could help people. The philosophy here is that the more you talk about the truth, the more the truth comes out. Although it's been a tremendous amount of work, this book has been very cathartic for me.

Sri Chinmoy (1931–2007) is a God-realized spiritual teacher and guide who came to the West from East Bengal (now Bangladesh) in 1964 to serve aspiring seekers. At age 13 he became again conscious of his God-realization that he already had achieved in previous incarnations. He has about 7,000 disciples around the world, and many admirers. From the Sri Aurobindo ashram in Pondicherry, India, he moved to the city of New York where he lived for the latter half of his life. In October 2007, Sri Chinmoy compassionately left the body to continue to serve aspiring seekers from the higher worlds.

(For more information about who Sri Chinmoy is and about his path, please visit About Sri Chinmoy at the back of this book.)

I am spending a lot of time writing this story, hardly making any money while doing so, taking a big risk, while not knowing how this story is going to turn out, whether it will have a good ending or bad ending. But what fuels me is belief and inspiration. I believe in my story, I believe in the divinity behind it, and I am inspired to write it. Even if I only sell a few copies a year, I will feel like I accomplished something major. There is a divine story in my story; God is looking out for me and my daughter, and I believe in it. But I am also a man of little faith, like Peter when he began to sink (Matthew 14:29–31), and I have thus had some struggles because of that.

My daughter, Abigail, was always adorable and very sweet, but, in addition to that, she started having a behaviour problem at a very young age. Due to the proverbial terrible two’s, I’m not sure if this problem developed when she was two or three years old. At seven years old, she often acted like a child still struggling with the terrible two’s. I had my suspicions for quite some time that it had something to do with her mother, Erin, but I didn’t know what.

I knew there was a problem with Abigail before she started school. It became obvious to me when she was attending swimming lessons and summer camps where I could compare her behaviour to that of the other children. When all the other kids would be gathered around listening to the teacher, Abigail would be off getting into things or doing things she shouldn’t. I never heard from her daycare teachers that there were problems with her behaviour there, but I did know within a year prior to the beginning of school (which here in Nova Scotia begins with Grade Primary) that there was something wrong with her and that I would have to work closely with her Primary teacher to help her.

In Grade Primary, her teachers and the principal identified behaviour problems that were disturbing to the class as a whole, just as I had predicted. When I met one-on-one with the Primary teacher, I suggested to her that perhaps the reason for her behaviour is because Erin and I are not together, but she dismissed that saying that she has other children in her class who have parents who are not together, but they do not exhibit similar problems.

A few months later, Erin and I were called in to meet with the principal and Primary teacher. The principal tried to come up with solutions, all of which were to be implemented at the school, however those solutions didn’t clear anything up. According to what I observed, the solution to improve her behaviour problem was that something had to be resolved at the mother’s house, as opposed to the school. I really wanted to say that but decided not to out of fear of being judged. I did hint towards it a little, but my suggestions were dismissed by the principal.

As I’ve said, I knew very well that Abigail’s behaviour stood out in comparison to other children her age. In fact, her behaviour stood out in comparison to children any age. However, knowing that, I asked her teachers, by email, to clarify this for me; just in case, for future reference, I would have to show other people what their professional opinion was. Here are those email conversations:

/ Mon., 07 Mar. 2011

/ To: Pauline [Grade Primary teacher]

/ From: Jacob

Hi Pauline,

How are you? I’m wondering if you can briefly answer a question on Abigail’s behaviour during her entire Primary year:

In your experience, does her behaviour generally stand out as unusual in comparison to other children her age?

Thank you

/ Wed., 16 Mar. 2011

/ To: Jacob

/ From: Pauline

Hi Jacob,

I apologize for the delay in my response as I’ve been out for the past couple of weeks.

Abigail’s behaviour during the Primary year was unusual in comparison to other children her age.




/ Sat., 05 Feb. 2011

/ To: Sandra and Shyanne [Grade One teachers]

/ From: Jacob

Hi Sandra and Shyanne,

I’m just wondering if you can answer a couple quick questions about Abigail’s behaviour:

1. Have you noticed an improvement since the beginning of the year?

2. Do you feel her behaviour stands out in comparison to the other students in your classroom?

Thanks so much. Have a good weekend/week, and I’ll be in touch again soon.

/ Sun., 06 Feb. 2011

/ To: Jacob

/ From: Sandra

Hi Jacob....At times I have seen glimpses of improvement in Abigail’s behaviour but overall, I would say no, and in fact the last couple of weeks there has been a regression in her behaviour. Abigail’s behaviour definitely stands out in comparison to the other students. At times the other children get annoyed because Abigail’s behaviour often interrupts class discussions. It is easy to see the frustration on the other children’s faces when they have to wait while Abigail needs to spoken to several times to put her book away and sit and stay in her seat. Sandra

Erin and I have not been together since Abigail was three-months old. We met on the Internet and lived together on and off for about a year and a half. We broke up twice, getting back together for various reasons. The third time I broke it off with her it was for good.

We signed a joint custody court ordered agreement which stated that I was entitled to visits with Abigail totalling at least 19% of every two-week period, or roughly 32 hours. I usually had her longer than what was stipulated in the court order, so I probably had her closer to 25% of a two-week period, roughly two full days. It also stipulated that I was to have her for two block-access periods a year for about five to seven days each, generally during the school breaks; I also had her for a block period during every Christmas holidays. When adding in these block access periods, I saw her for roughly 23 – 29%, or 90 – 100 days, of each year.

It can be extremely difficult to be taken seriously as a single father especially when Abigail’s mother has a background in Early Childhood Development and works at a daycare. People don’t want to believe she could be the cause of her daughter’s behaviour problems, but how else can I get this issue addressed if I am not taken seriously, at least to some degree?

This book is all about me addressing the situation my daughter is in, which, as another way of looking at it, has been harm inflicted upon my life. It is also about the struggles I’ve gone through and the spiritual gains I’ve made while doing so. My goal is to help my daughter, and the only thing I can come up with as a solution would be for me to have sole custody. I’ve been told repeatedly that that’s next to impossible. Regardless, however, no matter where she is, no matter where I am, no matter what our situation is, I will continue to fight for her well-being. My goal is also to realize God.

What you are reading is a memoir and spiritual journey in one. I may fail, suffer, and do stupid things, but, ultimately, I am trying to realize God in this incarnation, and this story is my journey towards that even though there are times this goal is less on the forefront of my mind than others. I either will or will not realize God in this story, which I still have not finished writing at the time of writing this portion.

You may not understand what God-realization is, and I don’t blame you; I don’t much either. I do know that I am trying to be a lot more fulfilled and I feel like I have to achieve many things. I feel like I’m on a mission and that I ultimately have a responsibility or a debt to pay (but the latter is pretty personal). Sri Chinmoy addresses this lack of conception of what we are ultimately doing, that is journeying towards God-realization (also called Self-realization) when we pursue a spiritual life with the following words. I encourage you to read them:

From Sri Chinmoy answers, Part 8:

Question: Guru, in the morning prayer that we are supposed to say every day, the second half says, “When I see my Master’s God-smiling eyes, my God-realisation-hope blooms...” Because I have no conception of God-realisation, I can’t really relate to the second half of that mantra.

Sri Chinmoy: In the spiritual life, we do not need to have a conception of things. We have not seen God, but we are taught from the very beginning by our soul and by our parents that God exists. We know that God is all kindness and affection, that God embodies all the divine qualities. God and God-realisation are part and parcel of one another. They are like the flower and its fragrance. If God is the fragrance, then God-realisation is the flower, and vice versa. If you say that you have no idea of God-realisation, then I will say, “You have no idea of God either, so how can you think of God and love God; how can you pray and meditate?” But you can and do love God; you can and do pray and meditate, even though right now God remains for you only a vague idea.

Before we learn a subject, we have no idea what the subject is all about. In fact, that is the reason we study it. In the case of God-realisation, we study the subject through our prayer, meditation and other disciplines. It is the most difficult subject, but whoever is praying and meditating sincerely, or even insincerely, is studying the God-realisation subject. To get the fruits of our outer study, let us say a Master’s degree, it takes many years. Step by step we proceed from kindergarten to university. In the spiritual life also, we start with prayer and meditation. Then we dive within and advance to contemplation and, finally, one day we complete our journey. Again, when we complete our inner journey, to our wide surprise we see that we are just at the beginning of a new journey! In the spiritual life, everything is a totally new beginning. It is like discovering a most beautiful garden. We feel that there cannot be any garden more beautiful. But God says, “No, there is a garden infinitely more beautiful.”

Before God-realisation, we can have only the vaguest conception of who and what God is. It is only after we become God-realised that God becomes an absolutely living reality for us. At that time, the Universal Consciousness becomes ours; consciously we become part and parcel of it. What is happening anywhere in the universe we can know if we want to. Also, there are thousands of things a God-realised person does every day that an ordinary human being cannot do. Before God-realisation, I used to do perhaps five or six things per day. Now there is not a single day in which I do not do thousands of things in the inner world. It is the same for all the spiritual Masters who have realised God. God-realised Masters can do all these things because they do not use their mind. With our mind, we can do only one thing at a time. The mind can work very fast; it can accomplish one, two, three things very quickly. But the mind cannot do two things at the same time, whereas the God-realised soul can do many, many things simultaneously.

God-realisation is oneness with God’s Will. Before we enter into the spiritual life, God’s Will is not our concern; we are doing whatever we want to do. But once we enter into the spiritual life, at every moment we try to know what God’s Will is. When we start practising spirituality, God does not come and stand in front of us and tell us what He wants. But always there is somebody inside us who is telling us the right thing and prompting us to do the right thing, and that is God. During our prayers and meditations, our soul or the Supreme tells us inwardly what should be done. If we do it, then we walk towards light; but if we do not listen, then we walk in darkness.

If the seeker is fortunate, God also sends His representative to tell His Will, and this representative happens to be the spiritual Master. The disciple may say, “If God Himself were standing in front of me, perhaps He would give some other Message.” Or the disciple may think, “This Master is not pleasing me; he is not fulfilling my desire. Perhaps God Himself is not hearing my prayer or does not even know what my desire is.” In so many ways the disciple can fool himself by separating God from his Master and convincing himself that God is somewhere else. But if the disciple is spiritually mature, he will feel that God and the Master know what his desires are and, if they do not fulfil his desires, it is because God does not want them to be fulfilled.

If the disciple’s aspiration descends and inwardly or outwardly he starts doing wrong things, the disciple may think, “Oh, the Master does not know what I am doing.” The Master does know; only he does not speak. If the Master sees that the disciple is always doing the wrong thing, that he is always walking in darkness, then eventually he becomes the silent witness; in silence he witnesses everything. It is just like our human parents. Our parents tell us to do the right thing. But when time and again we do not listen to them, finally they keep quiet and just observe.

I shall tell an incident from around 6:40 this morning. Five disciples were angry with me, but I do not want to say who they are. While I was looking in the mirror and shaving, such blows I was getting inside my head — one after another! Luckily, my face was not cut! I opened my third eye to see who was striking me. The culprits may say, “I was sleeping at that time.” True, they may have been sleeping, but last night their aggressive or dissatisfied vital was so displeased and angry with me that some wrong forces entered into me from them and I got such blows!

These experiences almost all the spiritual Masters have. Absolutely the way Muhammad Ali gets punched — that kind of beating we get! Sometimes I do not want to know where it is coming from, because if I see that it is my dear ones who are striking me like this, then I will feel more miserable. The best thing is to get your blows, suffer for a few minutes and then, if you have the capacity, throw the experience into the Universal Consciousness. This morning I did not suffer for more than two minutes. I was strong enough to manage it, so I did not have to bother throwing the attack into the Universal Consciousness. Afterwards, I went downstairs and did my exercises.

This is no cock-and-bull story. Believe me! One day you will have the same fate. All of a sudden you will ask yourself why you are getting such blows. What have you done? One does not even have to be a spiritual Master. Sometimes an ordinary individual may stumble for no rhyme or reason. While you are seated, all of a sudden you may get a muscle pull. It is not because something is wrong in your system, but because something has happened in the inner world. Consciously and deliberately someone was aiming such powerful undivine thoughts at you when you were not aware of it. Because your entire being was not energised or dynamic, your body could not resist and you got the attack. Many, many times you suffer from what you think is some physical ailment that all of a sudden appears out of the blue. But it is not a physical ailment; somebody has attacked you! This game goes on and on.

To come back to your question about the Master’s God-smiling eyes, I have shown those God-smiling eyes many, many times, and they are not fake. There shall come a time when each and every disciple of mine will see the truth of what I am saying, whether you now take me seriously or not. The higher you go, the clearer it will be who I am, and the more faith, love and devotion you will have. Again, the lower you go, the more confusion you will find. But when your God-realisation day dawns, somebody will come and give that realisation. At that time, you will not see a totally strange face or body; no, this very face and body of mine will come! But this applies only to the close disciples; I cannot do it for all.

In the spirit of Sri Chinmoy’s well-spoken words, I recommend that you keep an open mind and understand that, often times, while reading this story, you may not understand what I’m talking about before you learn more about it, and that is why you should calmly study it further. As Sri Chinmoy said: Before you learn a subject, you have no idea what the subject is about. In fact, that is the reason why you study it.

The same thing should apply to our relationship with God. Many times, in our life things may seem unfair or like God is not helping us in any way. But we have to have faith in Him and be patient for God’s Rapture, which I believe happens again and again in our lives. We have to be careful of preconceived ideas and not misjudge Him or expect Him to work within our expectations. God’s Rapture, God’s Embrace, God’s Touch, God’s Light will become visible for us again and things will fall in place and gratitude within us will bloom, rightfully so. God needs our gratitude and our patience at all times for it is with a vacant gratitude-heart and insufficient faith that we will misjudge. And who are we to judge Perfection? It is my misjudgment, my cynicism, of God and Sri Chinmoy that has caused me so many problems in this story.

This story, which I began writing in 2010, is not entirely pleasant. Yes, good things have happened to me, but there are also many negative parts to my story, some of which may be disturbing to some readers. As I said, much of it is due to being upset with God. But it is also partially due to the fact that, between 2010 and 2012, I was somehow trying to live (and thus write) the story myself in some ways according to what I suspected might be impressive, as the Lord Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 17:23: “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

I am recording my story as it happens and sharing it with the world because I feel that, in part, God has something to say through me. I try not to preach much in this story, except to share some teachings I have learned from my spiritual guide and sometimes some wisdom I am gaining from experiences I am having at the time I am writing. These teachings are integral to my story.

I have noticed that many Christians are concerned about hell, and they tend to warn (or even threaten) others about it sometimes. However, in my experience on Sri Chinmoy’s path, disciples on his path don’t devote their lives to God and try not to sin because they don’t want to go to hell; they generally do so because they are realizing more and more, and are feeling inspired, that this, along with prayer and meditation, is how to be truly and deeply fulfilled.

I personally have experienced a lot of fulfillment and good feelings this way, and it is my understanding that many saints have achieved a state of ecstasy through sincere and soulful devotion to the Lord (and, of course, good behaviour). An increase in how good you feel is part of the eternal journey.

God responds when you are sincere and devoted, when you soulfully pray, sing spiritual songs, read Scripture, and meditate, etc., and this response fulfills you and helps you understand, to an extent, that you’re going in the right direction. You get a taste of the Infinite. And this response is one of the main reasons why people perform these soulful efforts. Meditation itself is the seeker aspiring to be fed spiritually while receiving God’s response. (Unless, of course, if you are God-realized; then you are aspiring for the sake of others.)

These sorts of spiritual efforts feed the seeker; they are spiritually nourishing for the seeker’s heart and soul. On Sri Chinmoy’s path, the ideal way to be fulfilled is through aspiration, which is the secret of meditation, while desire is the way of short-term pleasure. According to Sri Chinmoy’s philosophy, for true happiness, and to grow closer to God, one needs not only aspiration but fewer desires.

But before I began to learn that true fulfilment comes from these efforts and through selfless service, I developed the delusive perspective that true happiness was the act of sitting around having a few drinks with friends or family. In other words, true happiness involved drinking alcohol. There is a difference. But in order to learn that difference, one has to be blessed.

Behold, you have in your hands the first volume of at once one of the greatest stories ever told as well as all the evidence from an actual investigation entirely done by me and my head officer.

Chapter One:
The Cup and Dish

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, so that the outside may become clean as well.

- Luke 11:25-26

Early Life to Present

Let me go all the way back to when I was about seven years old living in Fall River, Nova Scotia, Canada, a small community near Halifax. My best friend, Christopher, and I were first introduced to each other when my parents, my sister, and I moved to the area, from Halifax, when I was about six years old. Both of us were cute and a little short. With similar playful personalities, it definitely seemed like we were designed for one another. He and some other young kids came and greeted me and my sister, Belinda, who is one and a half years older than me, on our front lawn the day we moved in, and we all suddenly became good friends.

One of the things Christopher and I used to often do was play dinky cars. When we played with our little cars together, we usually played in an area of about 10 square feet of dirt near his house. We both enjoyed it, although sometimes had arguments. I used to spend 95% of my time creating the roads in the dirt for us to play on with hardly time left to actually play with the dinky cars before I had to go back home. I sometimes got mad at him for damaging the roads I created as he played while I continued to construct. But we were the best of buddies, and I admired him so much at one point I wanted to change my name to Chris. I told my parents, but they never obeyed. Evidently, I never grew up to be a professional dinky car road builder.

Chris and I became close and had a lot of fun playing together climbing trees, and doing other stuff little boys do, but I began to lose touch with him after my family and I moved to the town of Bedford about a half hour drive away when I was about 13. I didn’t even talk to him when we ended up going to the same high school together because I was psychologically unwell. These days, we no longer speak.

Back when I was about seven years old, I was in Grade Two at the time, and around that time I used to write long stories for writing assignments; I don’t know why I did that, but I liked it. At first, I copied stories that already existed, such as from Indiana Jones movies. Then I started creating my own. Eventually, my teacher expressed that she thought I’d become a great author some day. What seemed like a special skill of mine was quickly forgotten, though. My parents never helped me in any way to continue with that interest and instill me with aspirations, and I didn’t actually continue writing in any way. Perhaps you can notice that here, at age 41, I have a long way to go as far as technique, skill, and practice, are concerned. And this is by far my most difficult chapter to write. I think it is amazing at seven years old for some reason I loved writing long stories, but I am only realizing it fairly recently that this is a passion of mine.

Speaking about my Grade Two teacher, she was, for some reason, quite fond of me. (Not to mention she was hot.) It made me think that perhaps I was somebody special or that I would be somebody special. She used to look at me sometimes, just stare at me and go off in a daze. And there was one time, she asked us to gather around her for a story. I was one of the first to get up right in front of her. But one boy came up to me and asked if he could have my spot, which meant I would have to go to the back. So, I said, “Sure” (but didn’t think it over too well beforehand, being overly compliant, and immediately regretted it). Right at that moment, my teacher yelled, “No!” The boy and I were wondering why and what was going on, but she just said, “Nothing. Never mind.” I knew, however, that that meant she had some kind of special affinity for me. Either that or she knew that deep down inside I didn’t really want to do that and she had deep concern for me. It was as if she blurted it uncontrollably from her being perhaps not fully realizing what she had done until after she said it. I don’t remember ever seeing her again since I finished that grade.

Only after I became a parent and had the opportunity to support and inspire my daughter’s passions did I realize that my parents, Robert and Debra, failed to do this for me. Their way of giving love has been mostly through financial support and freedom.

One of the so-called passions I developed as a boy was to hunt for and capture toads. After capturing a toad, sometimes I would hold it in my hand and pretend that it was on some kind of (what I considered) super awesome amusement park ride and zoom it around from side to side, up and down, and around and around. I knew I’d enjoy a ride like that so naturally I assumed the toads were enjoying it too. Sometimes it would pee all over my hand, and I now know that meant I was scaring them, but I didn’t consider that much at the time. Despite the fact that they would urinate all over my hand, I would continue to hunt for these poor toads and give them a “nice” experience.

When I was young I often thought that someday I’d be really big and famous. When I was about nine years old I told my sister, “You watch. Some day in the future I’ll be really famous or something.” I felt like it would be cool or important to tell her because I thought maybe then she’ll see someday that I knew it all along if or when it does happen. I don’t know if this is something all little boys think, but it has turned out to be a significant aspect of who I am because I still suspect or think about it on some level.

As I got older, in my teens, I often imagined that my life was like a book or a movie being played out, or that I was recording it and that it would be published in a book some day. Although, I never imagined myself to be an author when I got older. In fact, I developed a severe anxiety disorder in my teens and I made the decision not to go to university, as well as many other decisions I would not have otherwise made, solely because of this anxiety.

Looking back, I recall that, as a young child, perhaps 10 or 11, I sometimes felt worried about having thoughts that I felt God would be disturbed about. Because I was worried or afraid of having these thoughts, I would end up thinking them again and again—thoughts like “I hate God” or “God is stupid”. I learned very recently that these kinds of thoughts could be called intrusive thoughts by psychologists. These are my earliest memories of anxiety, but, according to God’s Spirit, which I have felt is within me and inwardly connected with me since I was about 18 or 19, my anxiety problem began much earlier than that. My parents used to have severe arguments; becoming vile to each other, and sometimes to Belinda and me. It is my opinion that I developed my anxiety disorder because of fear of my mother, although I also feared my father’s anger.

First of all, basically my parents are drugs addicts due to their daily dependence on alcohol and have been this way all my life. And, like drug addicts, they are often not doing too well psychologically. Although I wouldn’t go so far as to say they are alcoholics, not one single time in my life have my parents helped me or my sister understand that there is something wrong with consuming alcohol.

My father had a bad temper and my mother said mean things to him during their frequent arguments, deliberately snarling out insults and accusations that she knew perfectly well would upset him and just add fuel to the fire. That being said, Robert was emotionally abusive towards Debra. Belinda and I had to endure it again and again as witnesses absorbing the poison from their toxicity, stabbing our hearts as though we were somehow at fault.

On Belinda’s tenth birthday, they had a terrible fight, being vile to each other once again, completely insensitive to how they were making my sister feel and more concerned with making sure their own hurt feelings were being attended to from the other. My sister cried bitterly, and I felt so sorry for her. Somehow my young, innocent mind knew that this was harming her in a major way.

There were times that they screamed at each other loud enough that I assumed neighbors could hear, which was embarrassing, and once or twice had a bad argument when my grandmother was visiting. How terribly uncomfortable my grandmother must have felt.

Their fights sometimes became violent. One time, my mother ended up with a black eye, and I was told that it was because my father was trying to protect himself from her attacking him. There were also numerous lamps or lights broken.

One day, when I was about 13, my mother took a butcher’s knife from the kitchen and was ready to attack my father with it. My sister, my father, and I were all trying to keep away from her and hide while she had it. At one point, we were hiding behind a wall, and I made eye contact with her; she looked at me with a craziness-cloud in her eyes while holding the knife in the air and said, “I don’t want to stab you, Jacob. I just want to stab your father.” Later, I watched her scrape the tip of the butcher’s knife on the carpet of the stairs. She told me she was doing it in order to bend the tip of it in so that it would cause more serious damage when she stabbed it into his heart.

I hid with my father and sister in my bedroom. We couldn’t figure out how to get out of the house, so we were in there for hours. I was disturbed about what was going on, but accustomed to it. We eventually ended up being able to get out of the house somehow, and, after it was all over, my mother went to her bedroom and stayed in there for two days or so. Afterwards, my mother came out and things sort of went back to normal. Nobody mentioned anything about what happened, and my mother said to me, “Why didn’t you come into my room to visit me while I was sick in bed? Belinda came in...”, implying that I should have since Belinda did. And that was it—that was their version of a resolution.

When I was younger, one day I got scolded by my mother, although not in a hurtful way, for telling my teacher about my parents’ arguments; I got no sense from my mother, whatsoever, at that time (or any other time) that she was acknowledging that they were doing something wrong by losing their minds in front of us. No. It was I that had done something wrong by revealing something private and personal to my teacher.

My mother always taught me to worry about what other people might think by scolding me, often in disturbing ways, on the basis of how she thinks so-and-so might think. As I got older and older, I realized the opposite is true, that we should not give a shit what people think about us, and I like that way of thinking much better. But, on another level, I am still to this day negatively impacted sometimes by how I think other people might be thinking about me; it is perhaps the main reason I am so quiet.

In our household, the parents were allowed to be disrespectful to the children, but the children were not allowed to ever be disrespectful in any way to the parents. This was never a rule that was discussed; it was just communicated with emotional abuse, a very mean or hostile tone and a face expressing the likeness of the devil.

Their abuse towards me has been in the form of false accusations and undo blame. They often told me I was ungrateful, that they do oh so much for me and then I behave in such and such a manner, that I cause them too much stress, or that I’m disrespectful, never effectively articulating that this is how they feel due to their lack of insight while upset, and, finally, and most frequently, and these sorts of things have been communicated to me implicitly on a daily basis, that I am incompetent or that they don’t have faith I’m going to do something right. Since I started my teens, my mother often falsely accused me of not liking her, sometimes saying (in a very nasty and hurtful way) that other sons treat their mother much better than I treat her. There were several times my father exploded his anger upon me (being disrespectful) because he perceived me to be disrespectful. And as I said in the Introduction, this is the kind of thing that offends me.

Robert is emotionally abusive almost daily in the sense that he often communicates to close family members in an insulting, blaming, and ridiculing manner. This is not when he’s joking around—when he’s joking around with friends and family it is completely different. And, like I said, there were several episodes of explosive anger directed towards me, which he somehow has believed was discipline. It was explosive anger coupled with ridicule, insults, and false accusations. He filled the house with a toxic atmosphere with his lies and abuse but blamed me for the difficulties in our home.

I’ve often felt that Robert’s anger is some kind of delusion. From the wikipedia.org article on anger: “While most of those who experience anger explain its arousal as a result of ‘what has happened to them,’ psychologists point out that an angry person can very well be mistaken because anger causes a loss in self-monitoring capacity and objective observability.” This description applies well to him.

I can remember my father getting very angry with me as though it was discipline and my noticing, as a young child, that he never apologized for how upset he got. Somehow, he fooled himself into thinking that his anger was discipline, so perhaps that is why he never apologized, although clearly (to me, not to him) deficient in sincerity and wisdom. For example, he seemed to cherish anger and taking blame out on others, getting a malicious pleasure out of it, at the expense of the well-being of others.

One day I accidently pulled too hard on Sheena, our border collie puppy`s, leg. My father heard her yelp and physically disciplined me for hurting her. After he hit me he exclaimed that if you hurt a puppy she will remember that for the rest of her life. I was just a little boy and I remember that he hit me so hard. I hope Sheena remembered my treatment of her was a one-time accident as I remember my father`s anger was neither. Unfortunately, both of my parents are hypocrites.

Poor Sheena, whom my father often disciplined with corporal punishment, was often stuck in the garage, at my father’s dictates, for most of the day, particularly at the times we all had to go out for the day, such as to school for Belinda and me, and work for my mother and father. I wasn’t smart enough at the time to understand that there was something wrong with it.

Sheena, was similarly affected by their arguments, as though she was at fault. I observed her many times while they were screaming at each other and it was as if she was experiencing a major scolding, looking scared and sad with her ears and head down.

When I was younger, Robert used to take me to hockey practice and hockey games and enjoyed watching my games. After practice or a game, he would always take me to get a chocolate milkshake at The Chicken Burger in Bedford. We bonded as I grew up, but I think he started to really withdraw, mostly due to lacking in wisdom and sincerity, right around when I stopped playing hockey around 16, mostly only speaking to me when he wanted me to do something around the house or yard or if I did something wrong.

Debra has been emotionally abusive almost daily by engaging in infantizing behaviour towards me and my sister, treating us like we are incompetent or an idiot, and, although less frequent, false accusations.

My mother appears to convince herself that she is some kind of special mother when she unnecessarily provides unwanted or unneeded “help”, treating her children like they are much less mature than they really are. Both my sister and I think this is due to some undiagnosed mental illness, but I am not clear as to what is going on. My sister thinks she has narcissistic personality disorder. If we didn’t like being treated like we were four years old, in other words, if we defended ourselves a little too harshly due to the fact that it is disturbing, that meant, to her, that we didn’t like her, and then she would become even more emotionally abusive towards us and accuse us in a nasty way of wrongly treating her. And it was just like when we tried to respectfully point any form of disrespectful or wrong behaviour out to her; she would often fall back on the only way she had of absorbing any form of criticism: she took immediate offence, sometimes claiming we were attacking her entire identity, everything about her, and accuse us of being the abusers or not loving her. She is almost all the time incapable of accepting any form of constructive, helpful, criticism instead choosing to deny there is anything wrong, covering her mistakes with excuses. This may have something to do with how she was raised and/or the emotional abuse she’s received from her husband. But I don’t know. I think it is due to some kind of underlying insecurity, without her fully realizing it, that she has to treat me like I’m four years old to convince herself that she is a special mother, and it has taken me over 40 years to develop this much understanding, although it is still unclear for me as to what is really going on. Like I said, Belinda thinks she has narcissistic personality disorder, but I don’t quite understand what that is or why it would happen in an individual.

One thing that seems pretty clear to me, though, which seems to be the reason why she is unwell, is she is not making an effort to change or improve herself, and I mean that on a deep, inner level. I told this to my recent therapist, and she seemed to agree with me stating she thinks my mother probably does not feel that she needs to change and that there is nothing wrong with her or the way she acts, or she already would have. To this I stated, “No, she’s definitely not making any effort to improve, and I do not know the reason why, but I’ve described it (in my head) as ‘surrendering to her delusions’ in the same way that someone might surrender to laziness instead of pushing oneself, despite laziness, to do better and be well.” She told me that she thinks I’m right and that she thinks it is sad. In fairness, though, my mother does seem to have improved herself somewhat over the years, and according to Sri Chinmoy: “The transformation of human nature in its completeness must unavoidably progress at the speed of a tortoise.”

My mother’s psychopathology and actions have always seemed more complicated than my father’s, perhaps because I never knew the right words to use to describe it. That puts me in a very painful and frustrating position many times because I have been unable to explain it well to others or better yet to her, and couple that with her lack of insight making it that much harder for her to be in tune with what I’m talking about. For example, many times, if ever I appeared to offend her, unintentionally, she would become negative and mean, and it was almost as if, during her negativity towards me, she was possessed by some sort of evil spirit, and I don’t know how else I could describe it. I don’t know the words to use to describe the emotions she is going through, because I’m not sure if it’s anger, but it certainly is very mean. She would have a very mean looking demeanor, she would stamp her feet, slam doors, and offend my feelings. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. And all this because she felt I did something wrong to her or was not nice to her. Although, she never once expressed to me that I’d offended her. It is only within the last five years that it has been dawning on me that I must have offended her when she behaves this way. But for the longest time I didn’t have any clear understanding as to why she would behave this way towards me, so, in the absence of that, I just felt misunderstood with scarred feelings. Neither of my parents even one single time explained their true feelings and emotions to me or my sister after (or while) getting upset. It wasn’t even until the last eight or nine years that I realized that the term for their negative treatment is emotional abuse.

I’ve never been vigilant enough to stick up for myself and articulate myself well during the sudden moments my mother (or my father) becomes hurtful. I could say, “Please don’t talk to me in that tone.” But it seems I’d have to be extremely vigilant at saying it again and again, and I guess I’ve been too weak and worried about upsetting her.

I should point out that my mother tends to be more loving, eager to help, and never ridicules, while Robert often has a harsher demeanor. He is often insensitive with little affection, and often is the opposite of a sweet and loving husband to his wife. He often jokes around, but, at other times, he is often ridiculing or angry towards me, my sister and my mother (not that Debra isn’t disrespectful to him). He has also been emotionally abusive towards me and my sister in the sense that he has often been emotionally abusive towards our mother right in front of us. But this is just part of who he is; he can also be loving and amicable, although tends to treat people outside of our family with more respect. And I do know that he goes through a lot with Debra mistreating him.

The National Clearinghouse on Family Violence states: “Repeated verbal abuse, such as blaming, ridiculing, insulting, swearing, yelling and humiliating,” (things Robert is guilty of towards my mother) “has long-term negative effects on a woman’s self-esteem and contributes to feelings of uselessness, worthlessness and self-blame.”

I believe in my heart that Robert, while angry with her, caused my mother to believe that Belinda and I don’t like her. Could this be the reason why Debra is the way she is towards Belinda and me? They go on to say, “Women who are psychologically abused but not physically abused are five times more likely to misuse alcohol than women who have not experienced abuse.” My mother drinks every day. She is psychologically addicted to it. And it is obvious in her well-being that it is not good for her. She once stated to me, after Robert yelled at her, “This is the reason why I drink.”

The National Clearinghouse on Family Violence also states: “Parental verbal aggression (e.g., yelling, insulting) or symbolic aggression (e.g., slamming a door, giving the silent treatment) toward children can have serious consequences.” Both of my parents are guilty of this behaviour towards me and Belinda; my father is mostly guilty of the former, while my mother is mostly guilty of the latter.

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