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#325881 - 03/22/10 05:22 AM Filling a Void
Charlie24 Offline

Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 562
So last night I went to Target to get some stuff I needed for my apartment, some basics of here and there things to help me live.

In chat I've heard people talk about Legos. I'm a child of Legos, god I was addicted to those things. They were so much fun. I've loved being creative and in a way they were an escape mechanism well into high school for me.

I remember when I was in highschool I built a school bus out of Legos. I was so proud of myself, I even built traffic lights and that hung from legos made from Legos. They were so cool. I would get into my fantasy world and just pretend. Make believe like Mr. Rogers told me too.

Well last night I bought some Legos. I thought they were gonna be so cool. I was jacked up, even telling the guys in chat last night that I was building Legos, was having genuine fun, really was having a blast.

But today I look at those Legos and just feel a void in my life. Why do I feel a void, not sure.

Maybe I thought the Legos could take me back, all they really did was distract me for a couple of hours.

I'm wondering if I'm trying to fill a void in my life with plastic materialistic things to replace missing things in my soul, holes in my broken heart or something more.

Whatever it was I just feel so awkward today and I look at those Legos and wonder why I had to have them and had to build them, they brought me temporary pleasure but not much more. Now I'm afraid they may become dust collectors on my book case, not a good thing.

I guess I wanna understand why I bought the Legos. Maybe I need something more in my life.


#325883 - 03/22/10 05:29 AM Re: Filling a Void [Re: Charlie24]
michael banks Offline

Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca

I think you just tapped into the loneliness that you used building things with Lego's to fill. Just part of recovery because over time some coping behaviors just no longer work for us. What once brought us escape and enjoyment. Now only reminds us of our loneliness and sorrow. Some behaviors we set aside as we grow in recovery. Nothing wrong in that.


To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

#325884 - 03/22/10 05:35 AM Re: Filling a Void [Re: michael banks]
Charlie24 Offline

Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 562

I gotta tell you bud. Thank you.

Your like a fucking therapist for me, but unlike the shitty ones I've seen in the past I actually get help and answers from you.

Your full of wisdom as of late. Thanks bud for helping me to this and understand. Your a great friend.

Your opening my fucking eyes tonight to really seeing myself man and boy is it awakening my past, which I feel is cathartic. Very helpful. Can't thank you enough. Hope your doing well friend.


#325922 - 03/22/10 07:19 PM Re: Filling a Void [Re: Charlie24]
TheBobcatAgain Offline

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 524
Loc: AZ, U.S.A.

I just wanted you to know that I also played with Legos well into high school, too. I started giving away my treasured toys when I was about 15; now, sometimes I would give almost anything to have them back. I tried around age 26 or so to play with a handful of Legos I'd kept over the years - just made me feel silly and foolish. And yet, there are some adults who make a LIVING off of building things with Legos! I don't know what I have to feel foolish about.

Maybe it is just that the things we loved in our childhoods are the most dear to us, because we loved them so much. I've had a lot of fun with my computer, bike, games, cards, music, etc., since I became an adult; but none of those will ever be as dear to me as a stuffed Snoopy I used to cuddle up with every night at bedtime. After several years of being loved by me, it had seams split with stuffing trying to escape and was turning off-white, and yet, it was the best birthday present I ever got, and more of a "friend" to me than anything I have had since. I threw my Snoopy away sometime in my mid-twenties, I think, probably to prove to myself that I wasn't a kid anymore. Now I wish I hadn't done that. It was symbolically a treasured memento of my childhood - what's wrong with keeping one of those around? Some days, I feel a great hole in my heart thinking of how I stupidly threw my "friend" Snoopy into the trash.

I guess what I'm saying, buddy, is that I think it is okay to treasure the things in your childhood that brought you joy. I know that stereotypically men aren't supposed to keep things from their childhood well into adulthood; but isn't part of the reason this website exists is so that we can destroy the myths of the stereotypical male (as in, boys/men can't be abused)?

My advice is, don't throw away the Legos, buddy. Put them someplace where you can pull them out again when you need to reconnect with little Charlie. Let them be a gentle reminder of a joyful childhood.

Sentimentality is something to be cherished; it's not a sin. I think it proves that you have a big heart, my friend.

Hope this helps you, buddy.


P.S. - Another idea might be to build Legos with a child, maybe a nephew or niece, or donate a box of Legos to a toy drive, perhaps? And by the way, if you ever get tired of your career, you can always see if they have any openings for jobs in LegoLand in CA! smile As I said, some guys make good money building Legos!

You don't have to be perfect to be wonderful.

#325961 - 03/23/10 02:28 AM Re: Filling a Void [Re: TheBobcatAgain]
ericc Offline

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 1986
My stuffed dog's name was Fred. He was donated to the Goodwill with some other stuffed animals without my consent some years ago when I was actually home at the time and could have been asked about it. I actually carried around quite a bit of resentment for that one for some time. Don't think about it now, though this post triggered the memory a bit. Obviously I had quite a bit of emotional attachment to the thing.

About those Legos. What Mike said makes lots of sense. Also, sometimes I think we try and revisit something that really did it for us in the past, but no longer really does it for us today. And for the nominal cost of a set of Legos, it sounds like you were able to learn a bit about yourself. Sounds like a bargain to me, so maybe it was a good purchase after all. And like BC said, maybe down the road you'll find a desire to play with them again, or you could give them to a kid that maybe doesn't have any.


#325965 - 03/23/10 04:16 AM Re: Filling a Void [Re: ericc]
Charlie24 Offline

Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 562
Bobcat and Eric, thanks guys for helping me understand myself a little better.

Great thoughts guys. Thank you.


#325971 - 03/23/10 07:52 AM Re: Filling a Void [Re: Charlie24]
Clockwise Offline

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 304
Loc: Pennsylvania
Hey Charlie, I totally understand the Legos. I played with them when I was a kid also as well as with diecast toy cars. I had a huge collection of model cars and Tonka trucks and Hotwheels. Everytime I go to Walmart or Target or even a dollar store I almost always make sure to stop by the toy section sometimes just to see what cars they have on the shelf. I haven't bought anything recently, but last year I did but some Hotwheels from the supermarket and spent some time reminising about being a kid and playing with them. I even made all of the engine and tire-screeching sounds like I used to do when I was little. Also, about a year ago, when I was still working at the supermarket, this little boy let his toy plane at my register by accident. It was the end of the day and I took it home with me for some reason. It sits on my computer desk with the propellers pointing out towards my window as if it's going to take off. When nobodys around I sometimes spin around in my room with it in my hand like I'm flying it.

These things bring back so many memories and I find myself smiling now that I type this. I'm 20-years-old and in my short like I've known a lot of pain and heartache so if being a pretend pilot or racecar driver is what I have to do to make myself smile then dammit I'm going to do it. There's no shame in wanting to be happy.

Yet another 24 hours.

#326013 - 03/23/10 09:50 PM Re: Filling a Void [Re: Clockwise]
Gus Bierer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/16/05
Posts: 160

i'm so glad a couple of guys here openned your eyes to something new. We need this kind of feedback, it shows that there really are solutions here at MS. I always liked talking to you in chat, 'cause you remind me of my younger friends when i went back to college in 2000.

I'm going to say this, not to bring anybody down, but because of the way the topic hit me. And it's good therapy for me to write it out when i experience something.

When you guys were talking about having things, like different toys, it kind of hit me that, i mean, i had toys too, but the truth is i wasn't allowed to have anything of my own. It's weird, i know, but what i mean is he, my perp, took everything away from me. That's how i see it anyways.

I had no power while i was with him, and that's from age 10 to 19. I couldn't do anything, couldn't really own anything. That's how i felt. I was like...his dog. He had total and absolute control of me.

It's why i really didn't try very hard, or i should say that if anything were challenging at all i wouldn't go for it, because i knew he could take it away from me. This goes for relationships too, there's this one girl in particular, i knew i could have made my girlfriend, but there was no way in hell i was going to go for it, because i knew he would take it away from me, and i mean my relationship with her.

He had me so scared of him that i wouldn't even ask to do things because he could explode on me, he had did it before, just for wanting to go to my friends house. It was so unfair, 'cause kids at school would do things with each other and i wouldn't even ask because i knew what he would do.

I havn't thought of this much, trying to see how that kind of treatment, lack of power, has affected my life. I guess when i got out of the house i just went ape shit, had no values, or limits or interests in anything good.

I don't know...i should think about this some more, maybe bring it up to my case manager next time i see him.

Thanks for the topic Charlie, you are a real good guy who is working real hard in college and it's going to pay off for you.


My Story

#326017 - 03/23/10 10:29 PM Re: Filling a Void [Re: Gus Bierer]
tomc Offline

Registered: 03/03/10
Posts: 22

Here's to you for being self-reflective. If you do have something missing, I think it is better to be on a journey for it than ignoring it. All too often we find ourselves ignoring our true feelings. I know that this first step will take you along the path that will lead you to this "thing" you feel is missing. I would suggest, however, like Dorothy you wont have to look farther than your own backyard.


Sorry about that last bit...I'm a sucker for the Wizard of Oz

#326045 - 03/24/10 09:33 AM Re: Filling a Void [Re: tomc]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2695
Loc: durham, north england
For me, it was figures. he man, starwars, wrestlers turtles, it didn't really matter sinse I always made up my own stories and rules with them, games that got more complex as I got older.

Galactic empires, spaceships, post apocalyptic worlds, universal battles for good and evil I had the lot, ---- pluss the odd one on one fighting tournament just for kicks. The odd thing was, because they rarely broke, i just kepts collecting them. I once even had a 256 man tournament, and I stil had figures left over.

i finally sold them off to an adoption charity when I was 16-18, not because i was tired of them, but because I felt i didn't need them to make up stories anymore, I could do it just with words and my imagination.

My abuse had finished, everything was new.

I kept the absolute most treasured one of my figures who's stil sitting at my parents' house on my book shelf, one of a short lived range called sectors dressed in silver armour. He was always the personification of good, the aboslute hero, ---- and of course there was another sector who was his evil counterpart. It's funny, he always seemed so tall to me, sinse he was a head taller than the he man figures, ---- yet, now when I saw him last he looked so small and insignificant, ---- and as for writing all those stories and making those worlds, ---- well I'm not even sure if I can do that anymore.

then of course, there was my dog who was with me from age 13 onwards. When I say "my dog" I mean that. I did all the cleaning up, and a good amount of her training. For a long while I think she was the only person I'd let close to me, certainly the only person I'd let touch me.

She died last november at the age of 14.

The last big child hood thing for me was computer games.

My favourite was the game turrican for the amigar, which got me interested both in games and in music at the age of 9.

After getting online, I find the game has a huge fan base, and that there are some fantastic remakes with player designed levels.

Sometimes I can play the new levels, and feel what I would've felt at age 12, ---- absolute and total pleasure! new worlds to explore, new landscapes, ---- indeed, often i see something in a newly designed level and think it looks familiar, only to realize I'm remembering a dream (in both senses of the word), I had at age 12-15.

Then sometimes, it's just a game on a screen.

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