New perspective 

I’ve been away from this for a while. Those problems discussed in previous posts continue to haunt me, but due to a series of very hard decisions I will finally agree with the counselor I was seeing that I Indeed saved my own life.  Saving in the sense that I’ve decided the slow painful emotional and spiritual death I would have undoubtedly endured from the abuser were not In line with the promises I had made to myself a long time ago.  I’m no longer in the beautiful location I was before, and truth be told, it’s a good thing.  A place is just a place as I’ve explained to many friends and concerned individuals regarding the circumstances I’ve dealt with the last number of months. It’s hard to actually see the beauty in anything when you’re so fucking sad and hopeless that the mere act of meeting the next day fills you with more sadness and more hopelessness.  A beautiful place is the stuff of nightmares when you feel that way. No amount of awe inspiring sights can remove that black veil covering everything. 

I do not wish to give in depth details into what all transpired. A very long trip back home with my belongings in a moving van gave a lot of time to recount everything that had happened.  To break it down simply I had a good month and a half, and the following five were unbearable.  

When you’re gaslighted often, your good nature and intentions frequently manipulated, and abused both emotionally and verbally with no known perspective to measure ‘normal’ against, it is terrifying what you will tolerate from someone who says ‘I love you’.  

What I have found more terrifying is the pervsere pattern of behavior of this individual and the insanity of what I walked away from as it pertains to myself and as I know now, many others from the past. To say the version of the world I was made to believe existed was warped is putting it lightly.   I’m yet another casualty in a rather long line. It fucking sucks and it fucking hurts but I gave it my best shot, I gave it everything I had, and no amount of my giving was ever going to fill that black hole inside of them. 
The amount of anger that had to rise up to gain the necessary traction to put the rubber to the road has continued to leave me feeling rather blunted emotionally. I went from crying nearly every day for 4 months, to being blindingly angry, and now to simply feeling somewhat numb.  It’s an old feeling I knew well for a very long time. I see the cracks forming in the emotional armoring of it, for which I am thankful. I will shed it one day, I hope sooner than later.  

The feeling of being back in a place where I am valued for exactly who I am has been a breath of fresh air and has given new looks to old things.  Glimmers of hope and rays of light shine on a spirit that was hanging on a razors edge. It feels good.   I have changed, I am not the same person that left. How I choose to embody that change and give it back to the world is up to me. I can choose to be bitter or choose to be better. My choices these days bring more smiles than tears and that’s a great feeling too.  

Chances are

Chances are people don’t change. Chances are always likely that past behavior is an indicator of future behavior.  Giving the benefit of the doubt in a situation I am dealing with lately continues to result in a feeling of having my heart ripped out and then set on fire in front of me.  They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I feel guilty as charged with that lately.  A nightmare loop tape I keep entertaining.  Strength is a hard thing to grasp at times.  In some respects holding on shows strength, while other times it is the letting go that shows the most strength.  I had a moment of clarity a few days ago, amid tears so heavy I could barely see the sheet of paper in front of me, I took out a red pen and wrote simply:

 ‘I never want to feel this way again.’    
In that moment I knew only one thing, the feeling in my stomach, as though all of my insides had gone bad, the feeling of complete betrayal, and the literal pain in my heart, made me contemplate some very scary thoughts, were not worth the efforts I’ve been putting forth.  It is not worth it to hope and to continually be made to feel as though the mere act of existing is a burden and a right I barely deserve. Faith can get you killed sometimes. I feel like I’ve died a few hundred times in the last few months. It’s as though I feel an emotional or relational ‘rock bottom’ and I come to find out there’s another level below as the floor is blown out from under me.  This post won’t have much of a feel good nature to it, I have nothing to give of myself at the moment.  I’ve been stretching the lifelines thrown by my friends to their absolute limit lately, and I feel I owe it to them along with myself to get to saving my soul and sanity. One decision means hurting someone I don’t think actually experiences any deep feelings, and another decision means cutting myself open continually on the whim that it might all work out.  What used to be a bonfire of passionate energy feels like a rain soaked ember. Lately, I am that rain soaked ember.   

I know that’s not the me that I want the world to experience, it’s also not the me that I myself want to embody.  I know one thing, the way I felt, I never want to feel that way again.  Ever.  

Closer away 

I’ve been sidelined with a few very pressing matters recently. So pressing in fact they have superseded any attempts at writing of any sort.  I can say that lately despite all the shit going on, I don’t feel the depressive fog.  I feel more clear, a bit more focused.  I still feel like crap often and the negative ruminating bludgeon that is my inner voice has been an unconquerable bastard lately.  However, I do feel some clarity.  I recently stumbled upon the term ‘codependent’, and I gave the article a thorough read and about fell over when I basically saw myself portrayed in the article.  Not a ‘go me!’ Kind of realization, more of a ‘holy cow I need to explore this weakness’ further type realization.  I’ve been devouring any and all articles related to the topic. As I’ve stated in previous blogs I suck and have sucked all my life with boundaries. I’m awesome at thinking whatever is wrong with you, is likely due to something being wrong with me and that is what is causing you distress. It’s toxic, and I think it’s why the inner voice sometimes feels like a Titan that can’t possibly be bested.  It’s been given millions of seconds of time to practice and hone its tradecraft.  I’m a bit perturbed to see just how long I’ve allowed myself to in a sense be trampled on by a fair enough number of people.  As they say, recognizing a problem is the first step, so I’ve added that to the list of things I’ve been delving into, and it’s been interesting to learn.  I’m much more aware of myself lately I’d say. That disembodied ability to look at myself and a situation, as taught with mindfulness, is being brought to bear more often.  I’ve got a much clearer sense of where my boundaries are now, which feels good.  I say it feels good but it’s also terrifying because now I have to walk the walk if I talk the talk. I can’t bullshit someone and draw a line in the sand then back up and draw another when they step over the first.  It’s a scary endeavor but having a better sense of ‘control’ does feel good and it’s given my confidence in some ways a bit of a jump.  

Until next time. 

Shut up and have a beer

Sometimes that’s all I think you can tell yourself.  I’ve fallen into that sort of mindset the past two days.  I’ve been thinking so much I’m doing nothing but redlining my stress level, burning up the tires, and going nowhere with it!  It’s stupid and I admit that.  The toughest part is getting ahold of that lead foot on the accelerator to Shit-what-if-this-happens-ville.  It’s a crappy town and usually you’re the only inhabitant.  The problem with tough situations is that they are already tough, and our human brain’s need to figure out damn near every possible scenario is to blame for that malarkey.   Hey as a human being I guess in a way it’s a talent.  Let me explain.  When I get fixated on some things, positive things, I obsess to an unhealthy degree over them.  It’s an internal obsession but still, the things I sink my teeth into so to speak keep me awake at night.  In those sorts of circumstances it brings about great things and great results in my undertakings.  In those instances I can’t fault myself at all.   There is always the other side of the coin to the obsessing though.  Grabbing a beer and telling myself to sit down and shut up is an attempt to get this negative series of worries and fixations to pipe down for a little while.  It’s exhausted me both yesterday and today, but prior to that I’d been having a string of pretty okay days. Nothing stupendous but not as many nose dives.  It’s frustrating how strong those tracts are in our minds sometimes.  A flap of the tiny butterflies wings sends a seismic shift through your mind and then you find yourself buried under fifty tons of ‘Im a sad sack of suck’.  Commence the digging out and rebuilding to try again tomorrow!  To start the process, I’m going to shut up and have a beer. Perhaps if you’re worrying yourself silly,  you should too.  

Eye contact 

They’ve done multiple studies related to depression and eye contact, or more to the point, the lack of eye contact initiated by depressed individuals.  Speaking of myself lately,  I will seat myself next to those folks doing a less than stellar job of maintaining even fleeting eye contact.  

It stems from what I am dealing with at the moment I have no doubt.  What I have been trying to understand is what factors are playing into that feeling of not being confident enough in myself to look people in the eye.  The most odd discovery is my inability to even look at myself in the mirror without feeling a sense of shame. Thinking about that, considering what’s going on, and what I’ve been finding, I’ve arrived at two big things and I will explain their impact.

-missing my daughter

-not living in a home I own

The first one, missing my daughter, is absolutely no shock to me at all. The shock comes in that because I miss her, I find myself afraid to speak of her.  Perhaps because it forces me to acknowledge inwardly how much I miss her.  Her name comes up, or children are discussed, and I feel this swell of love, pride, pain, and sadness.  It’s an odd mix, and given so much of my days lately are spent simply trying to stay level, I tend to fall into a feeling of despair because it hits me with such force. 

 The second issue I’ve identified is the lack of owning the home I currently live in at this time.  I own the home I lived in previously but due to my recent move, it is now being rented to a wonderful family. 

 I used to gripe about the stuff of homeownership, but I find myself missing that content feeling of ‘this is mine’.  Lately it’s a feeling of wanting to make a change to the home, or seeing something that could be fixed or improved etc, and knowing it’s pointless because I am a resident in the home but have no right to alter this place.

 I suppose it boils down to missing the feeling of control I experienced with owning my home, I could make any change I wanted, and I often did. I remember painting numerous walls, refinishing probably half the floors in the home due to my hatred for carpet, yard work, a paver brick patio, and countless other little home ownership memories.  

  I have control over a fair number of aspects of my life but none feel quite as concrete as having the controls experienced with the above two.  Control is the wrong word to use in Regards to my daughter, perhaps it’s that control of knowing I was only a short drive away. Now that short drive is a few hour plane flight, it’s quite an adjustment. 

Identifying those two things and their influence on me was a bit of a surprise for me. I’ve been forcing eye contact more the last few days, and it’s a task, I feel completely exposed.  Normalcy feeling uncomfortable is an oddity for sure. That’s the normalcy I want though, eye contact, confidence and ease. Fake it till ya make it, right?

That’s enough musing for the time being.  It feels good to express it, even though I likely know none of you that will read this.  I hope you, reader, are well and happiness keeps hold of your spirit. 

Preoccupied

It’s been too many days since I posted on here.  That sounded like a confession… anyway, it has been, and my only excuse is ambivalence and a busied mind.  

Lately I’ve had a fair amount going on that is consuming my days and my energies. Mostly work, which is nothing to complain about seeing as I brought it on myself in asking for more productivity. Something I am proud of and hopefully it continues. I’ve had a few happenings this week that have done nothing short of change the arc of my life and I find myself overwhelmed and nervous even though the changes are incredibly positive.  I think it may stem from the fact that I tend to see situations as never-ending.  Once I’m out of them I sometimes find myself looking around saying ‘now what?’.  It’s been an issue I’ve worked on for quite some time, looking past a problem or goal and into the future of what lies beyond them.  I’m noticing my set point lately on an emotional level seems to be dread,  which only hurts my happiness as it’s difficult to be present when I’m wondering what the hell is going to go wrong next.  It’s a stupid way to think but lately it’s as automatic as blinking and breathing, I’ve taken a big step back in that respect I guess.  The good part is recognizing, but the difference between recognizing an issue and taking legitimate action against it are two very different things.  I think taking things seriously all the time is to some detriment. I keep taking myself as not being enough, or severely lacking, very seriously.  The hateful inner speech has been after me again, I’m depersonlizing it to help separate it from myself to avoid feeling any worse.  I see it, now to do something about it 

I need to focus on the amazing possibilities that lay before me, things I’ve not dreamed of being able to even envision until a large span of time into the future.  It’s truly an incredible thing. I will make a better effort to embrace that I deserve to be happy, that the stormy seas are allowed to calm, and I am allowed to relax a little bit.  

I was gonna, but then you…

I was just sent a text of this nature and it cut me in two.  A nice gesture was proposed in a text. that text also contained the reason that the nice gesture wasn’t going to be done, the reason and justification for nixing the nice gesture was nothing in which I myself personally had any say.  

As I have recently learned, this constitutes abuse. 

This. Is. Abuse. I can not believe I am admitting that.  Even recognizing it as such, doesn’t make it any easier to swallow.  We are so willing to forgive and forgive those we love who show us a smattering of love but lack any and all consistency.  The ever present worry of stepping wrong is exhausting and unfair.  This is emotional terrorism, and I continue to allow it to happen.  I am making the choice to allow this torture to continue.  I could ask what the fuck is wrong with me, but I continue to search out just what it is that’s pulling me back to someone whose behaviors make me feel like nothing. Perhaps it’s that I am used to the abuse? That has become my normal?  As the victim always seems to do, I keepforgiving the abuser, when I’ve done nothing to deserve to be treated or made to feel this way.

  The sad part is I talk to talk to friends, were I to learn they are tolerating this, would I stand for it? Hell no.  I would pull them aside, give them a loving but stern talking to, and encourage them that they deserve better.  For the last 5-10 minutes I’ve repeated statements such as ‘I am worthy of love’, ‘I am enough’,’I have value’. I am both shocked and appalled I am actually saying these things to myself in reference to something that should at its top priority, never make me need to say these things to myself.  I’m sure others in these situations feel trapped as well. How do we know when to say when? The hammer is swinging today, and I’m keeping a hand on the handle and not doing anything to stop the beating…. 

What is wrong with me? 

A good go at the little things  

I want to say that since becoming a father my view of ‘grand’ or ‘epic’ has altered significantly. I find myself lost in the minutiae of small moments when it comes to my child or other tiny tots in the family.  I suppose it’s because I see the lightning storm that is their little minds taking in every single shred of stimuli in their immediate surroundings.  Little sponges as they are sometimes called. They miss nothing, and for better or worse on that one!   I have been exposed to the necessity and need for grand adventures, I’m almost always up for something new and love novel personal experience.  From the outside looking in many would probably say that is what my life resembles lately.  I took a big giant jump into the unknown about 6 months ago and to say it has been anything but a rather huge endeavor would not be proper. Fraught with ups and downs which is typical but lately many more downs than ups. Growth is never easy, evenly paced, or comfortable. I am trying to embrace that aspect even as tectonic shifts seem to move parts of my world daily.   

Lately I find myself missing the epic moments on the scale of that of a child learning, or small moments with another that the world at large will never be privy to nor would the world at large even bat an eye. The shoulder shrugging moments we take for granted all the time are what I find myself pining for lately. I realize the vacuous space where those things used to pile up and overflow.  I also realize the toll it takes on one when one sees the empty place where warmth used to reside.  Big happenings, magnificent goals and grand achievements are always noteworthy and fulfilling, but at the end of the day it helps to have the little things to turn to for some epic-ness of a different and just as rewarding kind.  

Train cars 

I am in the midst of fighting some very severe depression.  There, I said it.  

I feel that I have always dealt with it in some form or fashion, as we all have. I gave it a name in college ‘the black cloud’.  It was as real a vision as that of a storm rolling in off of the ocean. Oddly enough I never really looked at it as depression, just always wrote it off as something else.  Regardless, it has always been around, or over me.  My old coping mechanisms were the old standbys that we tend to run toward when we are young and think we are invincible.  You stare back down that timeline, at least I do, and I’m horrified by some of those behaviors I used to escape.  Granted hindsight is 20/20, and the birth of my child caused a tectonic shift in me.  In so many ways in fact it’d likely take a few days to describe the breadth of those changes.  Today I can say I’m very proud of who I am and what I stand for.

  ‘Well why the hell are you depressed then!?’ You may ask, honestly it feels as though it’s grown into me almost like a cancer of peace of mind.  I’m the first to admit I am hard on myself and demand a lot of myself, I don’t tolerate mistakes on my part very well, especially if they affect anyone I care about.  This self flagellating behavior is only good when it is constructive. This shit lately is not.   Part of the reason I’ve decided to finally get help is due to the fact that I feel almost devoid of the ability to be content lately. I can list blessings that would fill a notebook and yet it feels as though I’ve talked myself out of the ability to be pleased with them as soon as I write them.  I find myself constantly questioning every mundane action as though it’s completion or incompletion has potential cataclysmic effects on the whole of my life, which is STUPID. It’s not only stupid but it’s just not true. We all have choices we make to determine our happiness or undermine it.  I am facing up to those choices that I have made and/or continue to make. Lately, just due to the fear of ‘what if I make the wrong call on this?’  It borders on an almost total paralysis of the ability to choose.  I’m very much a heart and belly kind of guy. When I do that in life, I feel fairly good. When I do it in a race I am damn near lethal.  Even knowing those two things,  I’m all up in my head damn near constantly these days. It is exhausting and is enough to age you twice as fast I swear. 

Admitting a problem is a mark of maturity,  it is also a mark of humility and self love.  The blog itself stems from the need to unload some of this constant dam-breaking type overwhelming feeling of darkness rolling over me sometimes.  I feel as though I view the world with darkly tinted lenses lately. I recognize the beautiful colors and realize that I live in one of the most beautiful places in the country, it feels like I am not actually here.  I function with what feels like a brain running at 150% but only delivering 30% to the world around me.  Perhaps anyone that has experienced these symptoms can attest to just how ‘off’ you feel. It’s incredibly frustrating to feel like I’m well over a half step off the beat these days. I continue to push like hell through each day as best I can, it’s just tiring.  

I had a wonderful walk today, it began with ‘hey, let’s just unhook the rail cars for just a little while, let’s just enjoy this, enjoy us, then we can hook them all back up when we are done.  Be here.’   It was that obvious. Granted I had just come from a counseling session, which explains the outward storminess in my demeanor, but still.  So I bought in, fully, I unhooked the rail cars for that walk.  Crazily enough I didn’t feel them hook back up through most of the afternoon.  As the night progresses I feel them again, which always seems to be the case as I have experienced in the past.

I’m turning over stones and looking in all directions in order to get a handle on this thing. If not only for me, for my child and those around me I love and cherish.  A friend recently suggested I look within, as icky as that may feel. I have been and it’s been quite icky, but I’ve gotten myself a little more out of my head in the process. It’s a start. They are all tiny starts, which will hopefully aggregate and become a nice bit of momentum soon.