TLDR : Doing much better, thank you.
Thank you everyone, especially Crafter Man for posting that thread. Looking back, it really was quite an experience. There will always be the memory of it, but the shear rawness of the pain has gone.
I remember the pain of losing my first girlfriend. The first one I really, really loved and wanted to write bad songs about. Thank the gods for no musical ability. And how much that just absolutely crushed me when she dumped me.
Swore I’d never love anyone again; no way that I’d ever expose myself to that sort of hurt again. A natural born drama queen, I thought that I had experienced the worst that life could throw at me.
Yet it’s incomparable in the way a cold couldn’t prepare you for pneumonia. It’s good because I learned that I really can’t understand what others have been through.
What a journey, including some self-inflicted consequences of less-than-ideal coping strategies. The childhood trauma from my family of origin, and then this just lead to some really awful methods of attempting to mask the pain, which caused additional stress, as one can imagine.
A few years of a gradual decent into a real darkness and then the road to recovery from all of that has taken the better part of the subsequent years. Fortunately, I’ve had the good luck of finally meeting a good therapist, a great mentor in a 12 Step program and some good friends who have their own struggles.
Thankfully, tragedies can present opportunities for growth, and I like to think that I’ve learned some things out of all of this. Hopefully this experience has helped me become a better father for our two other children.
I was just sharing this amusing anecdote with the kids. In both Japanese and Chinese there is a careful distinction between older and younger siblings. You always say “older brother” or “younger sister” rather than simply “brother” and “sister” and usually use that instead of their names.
While we were still in Tokyo, Pough’s picture was up in the living room, and when Taiwan Grandma was staying with us, she would always show the picture and say “Older Brother” to Didi, was 18 months at the time. Whenever we were out and about, and Didi would see a baby, he’d cry out “Older Brother.”