This week's guest is George Pitagorsky. George has been a teacher of insight meditation for over 25 years. We talk about misconceptions that people often have about meditation and how to envision meditation beyond just sitting on a mat counting your breath. George brings his patience and wisdom to a very hard advice question - we all agree one of the hardest we've encountered - from a man who is unwilling or unable to forgive himself for his past. Warning: the advice portion of this episode addresses verbal and emotional abuse and may be triggering for some listeners. George Pitagorsky
I’ve never shared this with anyone except for my therapist for reasons that I think will be obvious: I’m 55 now. 20 years ago, I was a raging alcoholic. Not only did I drink a lot, I’m told I was mean and scary. I was also, incredibly, a functional alcoholic and managed to hold down a very well paying corporate job. Most of my anger and abuse was turned on my first wife. To be honest, I can’t remember most of what I said, but I’ve heard enough to know that it was the typical cruel, nasty things that an alcoholic might say. I accused her of cheating on me, I insulted her looks and intelligence.I broke things in front of her. I continued to do this after she became pregnant. I never laid a hand on her, but everything I did was abusive. 4 months into the pregnancy, she moved across the country and divorced me and has never spoken to me again. I have never spoken to my son and never reached out because of the shame I feel. Her family is very wealthy, so she never pressed me for child support, but I have been setting money aside each month.
It was the catalyst for me changing my life. I became sober, I went to therapy, I made amends with many other people in my life. I have dated since, but never seriously. I never had any other children. There’s a nagging feeling inside me that I am still punishing myself.
I feel like I’ve waited too long to reach out to my son and his mother. What if he’s a mess because he never had a father? What if he’s a mess because I traumatized his mother while she was pregnant? What if he hates me? I don’t want to face that but also don’t know what to do.
Alone in Astoria
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