Since Michael's decision a little over two years ago to disassociate himself from me, I have wondered if he ever got my letter of April 13, 2008. Feeling it important to know, I contacted Ise, his significant friend at the time to whom I had sent it to give to him. I did this as the last thing I could think of after all his siblings had refused to do so at his request not to interfere. Ise generously replied the same day last week that she never got the message! She also expressed her regret for what has happened since. Thus that letter never got to Michael, which is why I am reproducing it here:
April 13, 2008
Just so you understand this from me directly: I will no longer respond to your DSM project nor use the family list. This does not mean a rejection of you or your stated intention for your project, but I am withdrawing from the “agreement” you demanded as the price for continuing our communication. You risked a lot and invested much energy and money in developing what you believe was an essential restructuring of our relationship and to help your father. The fact is: you did help your father immensely, albeit in a different way from what you expected. However, it was out of fear that I made that agreement. That was wrong and not brave of me. But that fear has now dissolved, thanks to Tolle’s timely wisdom, and I am now at peace.
In an earlier email, I wrote of learning from Tolle about how the ego functions and how to dissolve its negative effects. Tolle's use of "ego" differs from the standard psychological definition, which I understand is how you use it. But I have become more conscious of my own reactions in recent weeks, during and since
as they relate to your project, and have compared those reactions to Tolle's well-considered descriptions. In the last chapter of A New Earth, Tolle writes about “THE THREE MODALITIES OF AWAKENED DOING…as ways in which consciousness can flow into what you do…in which you can align your life with the creative power of the universe…” These are: acceptance, enjoyment and enthusiasm. “… If you are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm, look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others…” Virginia
The only one of these three modalities that I could identify with in
was acceptance. That is, acceptance from fear of your demands. With that awareness I have had to re-evaluate my decision and our "agreement". Virginia
A higher source of wisdom came to me yesterday in a conversation with a long-time and dear friend. He is just now retiring from a successful career as the principal police psychologist for a large city. As you would expect, he is well acquainted with the DSM. Because this project with you has not rested easy with me from the beginning, I wanted this man’s opinion. He listened carefully as I relayed my experience of the “ENKervension” and how it has subsequently developed with the family. He was quiet for a long time after I finished my story. Then he carefully asked precise questions from his clinical experience. Again he became quiet, after which he calmly expressed the opinion that if you were a professional psychologist, you would be disbarred from the profession. He then stated in unequivocal terms that this project and your administration of it is way off track. He knows me well enough to challenge your "diagnosis", but I won't go into details. This confirmed the decision I’d already made in response to reading Tolle.
If this disappoints you, Michael, and if your reaction is to continue to boycott your father, so be it. I wish there was a way for me to express my love for you, my dear son. Clearly I wasn't the father you needed as you grew up, but I did the best I could with what I knew then, despite inadequacies. In time, my hope is that you will accept my peculiarities and my love for you. The memory of those last few moments with you and other family members at Dulles airport is an anchor in my heart in timeless terms.
Love, DadOn Wednesday, June 30, 2010, Cathie60 wrote:
Eugene, I commend you for the effort you have put into trying to reconcile with your son and for finally reaching a level of acceptance for "the way things are" and finding a state of peace in spite of the rejection and hurt (valid, justified, or not...it matters not) you feel from your son. You seem to have owned your mistakes, asked forgiveness, etc. What else is one to do? It is all okay. Your friend, Cathie