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Friday, January 1, 2016

It Is What It Is

Circular Reasoning; something like saying "literally" to punctuate the physicality of something being real. Usually, it is descriptive of something that has no name or description. For instance, my Dad sat at the end of the table during meals and when one of the kids would set their water glass on top of the silverware he had this nervous reaction where he needed to dismiss himself so as not to be very angry and inappropriately lash out at the offender. He could not bring himself to simply correct them kindly. It was a nervous reaction that my mother tried to run interference on endlessly so that we were all on eggshells, as they say. If he suppressed his internal reactions, usually for customers of his business as an Electrician, the tension remained and he would either avoid us or lash out at us inappropriately. We did find out later in life that he often would hang out with people who had a tavern or drank at home. Dad was not an alcoholic, but alcohol tended to be a reinforcement and refuge from the internal anger that he apparently struggled with. So, he didn't learn to deal with his feelings very well until he died.

Dad was a World War Two veteran of the Navy as a Radioman First Class in the Pacific Theater for most of his six years in service. He joined the Navy primarily to get out of the tensions in his place of origin on the farm where he monkeyed with electronics and radios. The Navy gave him a very basic education because he had already taught himself many of the principles in radio, telephone, telegraph and electronics at home on the farm. After beginning his own electrical and radio repair business in his home town, he married my mother and took a job at a missile operation in California where my brother was born. Upon returning to Wisconsin, he was as hard on my brother as his Dad had been. I always felt bad for my brother because of the way Dad abused him. It protected me, to some degree, from receiving the same abuse, being the youngest. By the time I was a teenager, Dad was in his 50's and he had lost some of the intense fierceness he once had after he almost died from a bleeding ulcer. My sister and I were spared the worst. In some ways it was more painful to witness it all happening.