Monday, December 19, 2011

Still And Always

Every time I think about being able to say I have a son or daughter, I can feel a deep vibration in my core.  It moves me in amazing ways that I can't begin to describe.

I love raising them.

I love that I helped to create them.

I love that they exist.

I love the way I have watery eyes as I write this and think about them.

They are me and I am them: wholly together and entirely separate.

Healthy, able, loving, giving, cherish, wonderful
Many words to describe them
Describing us.

They will live well because I am bettering myself.  They will thrive in spite of my shortfalls.

Something just happened.
Some part of me just opened up right there.
This is good...this is very good.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Conversation With Myself

Is it contradictory for me to say that I don't care about my FOO but at the same time care about my behaviors and how I need to change them because of how I was raised?

On the one hand, it really is easier for me to cut out my FOO while not putting any stock into what they say/gossip - that way, what they spew shouldn't hurt...right?  On the other hand, I have to "care" insofar as I have to be aware of their attacks, who they are, how they behave, and extrapolate that to other people, in the hope that I won't fall for similar tricks.

If I stop "caring" -- I don't know what other word to use here! -- or don't "care" about them, then they really are shut out, aren't they? 

Mourn the loss of the dream of having a mother that nurtured Little Me as she should have.  I think that's coming in bits and pieces, like the dream I just wrote about.  Or when I looked down at my son and said, holy shit, that's me, I have the chance to raise "me" as I should have been raised.  So no, I don't really want to mourn the loss of a dream because I'm not sure that will get me anywhere.  Though, I've never really mourned for anything...ever.  Or grieve.  So I'm not sure what that's really like.  "Hey, I'm real sad for 5 months. Dang."  See?  No idea.

Do I have to get angry with my FOO for their deceit, their gossip, their behavior?  Perhaps, but this goes back to how much they actually matter.  Perhaps it's that my FOO never really mattered to me so why should what they say or have said mean anything?  Am I just letting this go too easily?  Should I have a fire burning under my butt because of everything they are?  My wife says it's about passion.  I still don't understand, why, if they truly don't matter, should I be angry with them?  Especially when they're now...just nothings. 

Nothing doesn't matter right?  Nothing only matters when the Something that is supposed to replace Nothing isn't there.  So then, is Something missing?  Well no, Something (true love and caring for a child, me) was never there to begin with so it was always Nothing. 

I think it's important for me to understand my behaviors, and part of that has to do with where I came from.  But that's also why I'm in therapy, to understand myself, to root out the causes of my behaviors and modify them, and in doing so, alter my mental paths.  And I've always taken the path of least resistance, but not when it came to choosing a spouse, so that in and of itself, must mean something!

So I need to make Something from the Nothing from which I came.  No wonder why I never really thought before...I don't make any sense!

Monday, December 12, 2011


I had a dream the other night...

I traveled back in time to get myself as a baby.  I found myself and picked my little self up.  My little self looked at me and smiled a bit.  And my big self began to cry.  I was also looking for a woman named Melinda Gates.  Melinda Gates is Bill Gate's wife, however, I think that name was in my head because I listen to NPR and an "ad" that I always hear is that funding comes from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  So I believe the woman I was looking for was not in fact, Melinda Gates but someone who is as rich in life as she is in her philanthropic ways (or so I hear).  I was looking for her because I was certain she could stop me from eating hooks.  I could not figure out why I was eating hooks but I knew I was older (teens maybe??) and I could feel myself eating these hooks.

That was the "whoa"est dream I've ever had.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cleaning My Glasses

I looked at my son the other day and I had a revelation.  It didn't slam into me like I thought it would.  There wasn't a profound ringing of the bells.  It was hardly even a light bulb moment. It was like wiping my glasses off in a steamy bathroom, but still swimming through the residual steam.  There was definitely something different when I looked at him and had a thought.

I looked at him and said, you know, he's me. This little guy is me.  I have the chance to raise him like I should have been raised.  Provide him the emotional support and foundation that I should have been provided.  I will raise my son and in doing so, raise my Little Me in the way that they need.

I told my therapist this and got all misty eyed - both for my son and for Little Me.  I cannot and will not let them down.

Monday, November 7, 2011


I came across the existence of To Train Up Your Child.

I have not read it, however, from the stories, such as this one, and reviews...well it is among other things, infuriating, gut-wrenching, vomit-inducing, nauseating, sadistic, and quite possibly downright evil.  The authors of the book, Michael and Debi Pearl advocate various forms of corporal and demeaning punishment as soon as the child is mobile -- that's about six months old.  The idea is to literally train the child in to the parents' servitude.  But it's ok, they say, corporal punishment is advocated in the Bible.  So it MUST be right!


**I'm not bashing religions, I'm merely emphasizing their justification for this behavior.**

What, Mike and Deb, nothin' to do down there in ol' Tennessee but smack around your kids?  No dogs to do that to?  No horses?  No mules?  What's that?  Oh you did that already?  And it didn't work?  I see, so then, you tried it on your kids, and by golly, it DID work!  Makes sense to me.


So go ahead parents, smack your six month old for crying in the middle of the night when you think s/he shouldn't be.
Knock your two year old around for becoming aware enough of themselves to being to make their own decisions about their surrounds (I want this toy and no one else!).
Muzzle your five year old for being excited in store.
And make sure to fully break the spirit of your 10-12 year old for going through puberty.

Congats, parents that read and implement the strategies in this book, you've successfully transformed your children into little more than dog slaves.

Fucking assholes.

Friday, November 4, 2011


I recently posted a letter that was actually a work in progress and to those that read it, thank you (Judy I read your comment).

I decided that I would remove the letter to continue working on it.

Sorry for the confusion.

The Dark Puzzle

I believe this was a creation of the year 2008. Indicative of my emotional deleriosity? I think so.

Piecing together the puzzle in my mind
The picture is blurry, I’m scared what I’ll find

Rummage, pillage, porous and goo
It’s difficult for me to know what to do
Swimming in that garbled mess
Causes me substantial distress

My heart is crushed, flat, and cold
Now it is nothing, where once it was gold

For again I am a nomad, a seeker once more
But in my mind rages a seemingly endless war
Between what is right, and what is wrong
I want truth, a solution; the soul’s fruitless song

I hide in the shadows of the day
Hoping that these incessant pains will die away
Leaving with me with a numbness I can bear
And hopefully a face I can wear

Where a smile once found its place
Now is tainted, twisted, turned, disgraced
A false happiness is what I see here
One of suppressed burdens and secret fear

So now I wait,
An ambiguous misshapen identity
Wondering who
Or What
Can relieve me of my depreciating pity.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I felt It

I recently blew up at my wife in front of our two small children. I left immediately afterward because I couldn't be there.

I was standing in the front porch and thinking about what I had just done, I started to cry. I felt awful for what had just happened. I felt remorse. It was a wonderfully awful feeling, but I was feeling it. I did not push that feeling away. Instead I let myself be enveloped by it, I let it wash over me, and puddle at my feet. I thought about the look on my wife's face, I thought about the two small people behind me.

And I cried.

I went back into the house and apologized for screaming as I had to my children and kissed them on the forehead. I apologized to my wife for erupting as I did.

I have not had such a reaction to my own behavior like this in a very long time. I relish the fact that I can feel appropriately. My behaviors were out of line and I knew it. My eruption is a result of my unearthing deeply stagnant and stunted emotions. It will be a challenge for me to work with myself to right these wrongs, but I am so wonderfully satisfied that I was able to feel so appropriately awful.

But not completely satisfied - I want more feeling and I believe I'm working my way there.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Possible Roadmap

I’m currently reading Homecoming, By John Bradshaw. It’s about regaining and championing one’s inner child. I’ve heard this term some time ago, but I never really understood it. I still don’t but as I read more of this book, I’m beginning to understand what it means to be an adult child.

My emotions are stunted. Severely so. I believe they were stunted when I was a toddler, which happens to be the same time which my mother and father divorced. I didn’t realize the divorce had that much of an impact on me – mainly because I thought I was much younger when the divorce occurred. I mentioned I thought I was only a year old at the time however only a year ago I found out that I was around three or four years old.

My mother let me believe that I was a year old thereby downplaying whatever effects the divorce may have had on me. She let me be “fine” with it, so she could have her next victim in her poisonous game. I can’t recall a time when she actually told me at what age the divorce occurred, I just always remember it being when I was a year old. My guess is that she never corrected this thought I had since it allowed me to be right where she wanted me.

It was my father (who as it turns out, is only slightly better a person than my mother, but then again, that’s not saying much) who told me last year that she and he had spent several years married with me before they divorced. This came as a shock to me and my wife who I’d already told what I thought my family history was.

Anyway, the reason I feel that this book is so wonderfully wonderful (in so far as that it’s telling me how awfully broken I am) is that the author already presents many ideas that so severely resonate with me. In one particular section, and why I focused on the toddler stage, the author writes,
“Children arrested in the toddler stage are often fascinated by buttocks. Fascination with a genital part is called ‘sexual objectification’, and it reduces others to genital objects.”

This is important for me because … well … that’s me. Far back as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with rear ends. And not just those of women either. I can remember, both in the distant and not so distant pasts, seeing people walking by, my eyes would inexorably slide to the ever-moving backside. Looking back now, I see that I treated even the girls I grew up with – whom I was always told were “family friends” – as objects. They were at my disposal and my mother allowed these types of thoughts and behaviors to proliferate.

These early behaviors and thoughts mutated my little malleable mind, and my emotions along with it.

I was always engaged in relationships that would never be fully emotionally satisfying. Three months and done, but never by my hand, always by the other party. I thought that these relationships would fill an empty space I had in me. One that I couldn’t put my finger on, but I knew I needed to fill. It never worked, not until I met my wife. I guess it’s hard to fix something when you don’t know quite what’s broken. That was my problem.

I feel like the author, Mr. Bradshaw is speaking to me when he writes some of these passages. I like that some of what I’ve been feeling my entire life, is beginning to take shape, have purposes, and roots. It helps to see that the author takes his readers through his path of self-discovery as well, detailing his toxic and devastating behaviors, then chronicling his recovery.

He speaks of magical beliefs, of which children cradle almost exclusively. I retain some of these beliefs still: the “what if’s”, and “if only’s”, etc. Most of if had to do with money and my mother. The two go hand in hand, as my mother always had money to spare and she put the idea in my head that money=goodness and happiness.

Another “fairy tale” I held was that, if I were to do everything that my mother and my father didn’t do in their marriages, then my marriage would no only survive but thrive in the most ideal of ways. I thought when I got married, everything would be fine, and the only work would come in getting to know my mate, and then raising children. I never thought that the entire thing would be more work than I ever thought possible. I believe this is part of the reason I’ve been having so much difficultly being in a marriage – not that I don’t want to stay married, it’s that I want to, but it’s the HOW I’m struggling with.

Mr. Bradshaw also writes:
The wounded inner child contaminates intimacy in relationships because he has no sense of his authentic self. The greatest wound a child can receive is the rejection of his authentic self. When a parent cannot -- and I’d add will notaffirm his child’s feelings, needs, and desires, he rejects that child’s authentic self. Then a false self must be set up. In order to believe he is loved, the wounded child behaves the way he thinks he is supposed to. This false self develops over the years and is reinforced by the family system’s needs and by cultural sex roles. Gradually, the false self becomes who the person really thinks he is. He forgets that false self is an adaptation, an act based on a script someone else wrote.
I’d add that I think the false self becomes the self after a long enough time and the separation of the authentic and false selves becomes nearly impossible. Not entirely, but just nearly.

I had to be what my mother needed. I had no choice in the matter. To please her, to satisfy her, I was what she required, and that became my false self at the time. Gradually, that false self became my true self as I was never able to develop the authentic self I was born with.

I imagine my mother felt that she was nothing and so to compensate for that, she had me satisfy her emotional needs. She molded me into whatever she needed at the time, which was an emotional spring, and eventually, a father to her daughter (emotionally). My inner child, which was also me, stopped developing properly as early as age two since that’s when I believe my mother “checked out” of her marriage to my father. And my father at the time, may or may not have cared either, he doesn’t talk about his past. I suspect my mother had begun to treat me inappropriately since my birth, and stifling my emotional development even then. According to Mr. Bradshaw, because the target of my "sexual objectification" was buttocks, and not an oral fixation as he suggested with earlier emotional stunting, I'm more inclined to believe that around two, my mother really started laying it on, so to speak.

Despite setbacks, I believe things are becoming clearer for me. I don’t believe anyone in my former life cared about me – friends or family. I don’t believe I really cared about them – I mean how could I if I was never really taught to feel in the first place. Something deep within my terribly shadowed soul sparked when I first met my wife and I am now just unearthing what that spark means, and attempting to stoke it into something more.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Lack Thereof

I am beginning to dive more into the self-help books I should have gotten into some time ago - like "Children of The Self-Absorbed".

I jot down notes all over the page and most of them are along the lines of "me", "I do this", "YES".

It is startlingly heartbreaking - although I am discovering that I have a severe case of  lacking empathy. I believe this is because I was never taught it, and through the years I repressed any extreme or intense emotion I've ever almost experienced. This is catastrophic to the healthy family life I want.

Logically, I get it. Well most of it. Emotionally, I've yet to fully feel it, and perhaps that's in part because I've never really felt, and it's so emotionally intense.

I am not sure, but I'd rather understand myself and my situation, sooner rather than later.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fun Facts

Some things that just recently popped into my head:

I used to listen to Carly Simon, NRBQ, and Bonnie Raitt almost exclusively and over and over and over again before I was ten.

What I called my "default song" - that is, whenever anyone told me to start singing, or when I just decided to sing - was If I Could Turn Back Time, by Cher. I don't know why I always always sang this particular song, I just did. Always.

Another song that I played continuously before I was ten was "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes.

In middle school I once bought a Teen People magazine not knowing at the time, it was geared towards teenage girls.

Around age three, my maternal grandmother had sewn for me some Russian-inspired dolls. They were severely lanky. The male had on a red shirt and brown pants and wore a hilariously goofy smile. He had three red hairs sticking out of the top of his head. The female counterpart had a light blue dress, an equally hilarious goofy smile and lots more red hair. I used to take them, and at the top of the stairs in house we lived in at the time, look over the banister, and drop them down two flights and watch them land. On the way down, I tried to imagine what they'd be thinking but instead I could only look at their goofy smiles and laugh.

Again around age three, I took a pack of Trident from a purse (either my mothers or grandmothers) leaped over the bed in the bedroom, hid there and ate the whole pack.

At age eight, I memorized my parents' credit card info, went online and bought a Gameshark for my gaming console - I think it may have been a Super Nintendo, but it's kind of fuzzy. At the time I thought my parents would never suspect anything. The Gameshark didn't even work.

I remember pooping in my pants between ages two and three. I was at a sitter's house walking in a room with a deliriously blue shag carpet and brown (now I know it was wood paneling) walls. It was warm. And uncomfortable.

I once walked into my dad when I had a Blowpop in my mouth and it went down my throat and got stuck. Enough of the stick was sticking out of my throat that I was able to pull it out myself. I was an early teenager at this time.

I had two stuffed bears that I used to sleep with: Brownie and Grey Bear. I also had a giant six foot carnival bear that I just to jump on until his innards spilled out.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Gag Reflex

I wrote the following fictional story when I was college. I'm not a writer by trade, but sometimes I surprise myself. The title of this piece is called "My Gag Reflex". I'm thinking of continuing this story too, this is the first version of what I presented in college. This is based on true events.

     Rain was pelting the windshield as I drove into the night.  Trees, mostly bare now, loomed overhead as I sped.  Mark was unconscious in the back, my mother silently crying next to me.  I knew she dared not make a sound.  It was only seven but the autumn nights come early and stay late.
     “How could you do this…”
     My mother didn’t respond, she just looked at me with eyes that pleaded for forgiveness.  What could she say?  Nothing that would make the situation any better anyway. 
     Ask me a few days ago if I was happy in my house and I wouldn’t have given it a second thought: Absolutely, positively, 100%, not a fucking chance.  No, my home’s been broken for as long as I can remember but my parents always stayed together, citing “the kids” as the reason.  Neither of them wanted to go through the hassle of a sticky divorce and I thought they had too much respect for each other to do anything rash.  What’s an 18 year old to do?  I think I was justified.

*    *    *

     I was 13 years old when I first noticed something had went wrong with my parents’ relationship.  My best friend was over.  We had a little game going and it went something like this:
     I looked my enemy in the eyes.  Blue.  Soon to be blood red, I thought.  A healthy steed stood under me, idle, waiting for the moment I would tell it to erupt forward.  Opposite me, my adversary, with the same pride and determination that I carried with me.  He too had a similar steed.  It was a good day for battle.  I held in my right hand a sword with which I would slay the demon in front of me.  I had to: my kingdom was depending on it.  I couldn’t break his stare.  I wouldn’t.  Then, all at once, we were off.  Charging toward each other like two bulls enraged by red, we still barely blinked.  We rode faster, faster, raising the sword in my hand, he raising his, we rode.  We hit hard, swords and steeds flying out in all directions.  My best friend was laughing.  I was laughing.  So hard in fact that tears were forming, and I was doubled over, scarcely able to breathe.  Our “swords” had turned to waffle ball bats, and “steeds” to bikes.  I remember the sky was dotted with several clouds, some I could barely see.  The day was comfortably warm, so as we stood outside we could just stand there, soaking up the sun rays.  We didn’t sweat, we didn’t feel like we were gasping for air when inhaling.  It was comfortable.
     We then walked down through the back yard.  My old house sat on a hill, but the back was only slightly sloped.  It was about 100 feet across and 75 feet wide.  A rock wall bound the pool area from the grass.  We stood at the threshold of the woods, looking at our world. 
      Stepping in, we were adventurers, crossing into uncharted territory, naming the newly discovered areas as we trekked.  I stopped abruptly 20 feet in.  Something on the woods floor was looking back at me. A black nose connected to a snout that rose into a face with two black eyes.  The face extended up and back into a head.  Atop the head, ears, longer than a dog’s, then further, a neck thick as a small tree.  Ah!  A deer!  I called to my friend.  He turned and saw a most disgusted look on my face.  Looking where I was, he found out why: normally a deer, no, any animal comes with a body below the neck, but this particular animal was without a body.  The head simply ended six inches down the neck.  What a glorious find this was for anyone!  So we thought.  Quite obviously we had to do something with this deer head, it couldn’t be left to do nothing! 
     Rummaging around the area around the head, we found a lead pipe about 10 feet long.  This would work perfectly.  My friend had his foot at one end of the head while I shoved the pipe up into the neck toward its brain.  It would make a fine trophy.  Propping it up, we marched down into the depths of the woods, proclaiming to anything that had ears (head included) that we were masters of this place, those who defy us will meet the same end this poor creature did.  We were left alone.
      I remember so vividly this day simply because it was the first time I saw my mother and father fight.  This was not just any fight however; it too was a battle.  Yes, there were words exchanged, some that my ears never heard before.  More than that, there were violent fits of yelling and it had escalated into the physical realm, not just the verbal.  It wasn’t so much my father as it was my mother.  She was doing most of the yelling and all of the hitting.  My father tried to subdue her, just by catching her slaps and holding her wrists.  She did not like that very much.
      There were of course many more instances of this sort of behavior throughout the next several years.  My mother would be the one yelling, crying, swinging, cursing.  My father would be the one sitting, standing, hands at his temples, eyes at the ground probably wondering when the beast of a woman will drop dead.  I didn’t blame him.

*    *    *

      I arrived home from school as I would any other day.  Parked in the driveway in front of me was my mother’s SUV and a black BMW.  The fact that my mother was home was out of the ordinary but even stranger was the BMW.  This was foreign. 
     I walked into the house.  Stifled laughter and muffled noises vibrated in my ears.  It seemed to be coming from the bedroom.  Creeping over towards the sounds, I made my way down the hall.  I found that my parents’ room was the source of the chatter.   Opening the door just a crack, I looked in.  The image was forever burned into my brain.  It elicited several gags. 
      “Mom, what the hell is going on?!  Who the hell is that?  Dad never did anything!”
      “Listen, just list—” My mother was trying to maintain a soothing, calming voice.  I heard it crack more than it should.
     “No! No!  I can’t believe this!”
     “Where are you going?” turning to her lover, “Mark you better leave before he gets back, I don’t know what my son is doing.”
      Stumbling backward some, I put my hand to the wall to steady myself; I was utterly disgusted.  I knew exactly what I was looking for when I sprinted to the garage.  Up on the shelf, my father kept a box.  In it held several cases of ammunition and a hunting rifle.  My father used to take me hunting so I knew where to find the gun.  Loading the gun as I walked, I marched back towards the bedroom. 
     I was so furious, hot tears formed at the corners of my eyes.  I was fighting a personal battle:  No, I can’t do it, what am I doing with this thing?  But I have to!  Dad’s a good guy, I’ve got to stand up for him! 
     Through the kitchen, passed the front entrance, into the hallway and finally at the door I stopped.  I could still hear them arguing and fighting.  Idiots.  They were caught in the act and still had the nerve to blame each other.  Barely hesitating, I kicked open the door and pointed the gun directly at the nude man scampering away from my mother.  The look on his face was of complete shock and utter fear.  I felt the corner of my mouth turn up ever so slightly; I tried to hide the satisfaction I got from making this wretched human being shit out his soul…or what was left of spiritual fungus that was decaying inside him.
     “Jesus!  Goddamnit kid, put the gun down.”
     “Fuck you, don’t you fucking move.” I was so angry, I could feel the tears running down my face.  I was hurt.  I was deceived to the utmost extent.  By my mother of all people.
     “There’s no need for this honey, please, I made a mistake.”
     “You make me sick; I don’t even want to call you mother.”
     “Kid, for God’s sake…”
     “Sweetie, this is insane, just stop.  Your father’s been working so much th—”
     “Damnit Carol, shut up!  I’m outta here.  What the hell, I gotta get outta here.”
     “No, Mark don—!”
      The nude man, whose name I’d gathered to be Mark, lunged towards the bathroom door to my right.  Without second guessing, I leaped toward him with the butt end of the rifle.  I came around hard and a low “thud” told me I landed a solid hit on his temple.  Almost immediately he fell to the ground.  I was satisfied.
     I was both fortunate enough and dumb enough to forget to unlock the safety right above the trigger.  It would have been atrocious for all three of us in that room if I had remembered to remove the safety, for the barrel of the gun ended up pointing in my mother’s direction.
     My mother was screaming at me.  She was screaming in general, but the sheer gratification I got from slugging Mark who had the nerve to defile whatever goodness was left in this house, in MY house, drowned out any and all yelling that my mother could get out.  I had to take matters into my own hands if I was to save the family, no, if I wanted to save my father.

*    *    *

     My dad has been a decent man.  In no way was he perfect as a father or a husband, but how can anyone be.  He always worked himself to the bone to provide for the family first and himself second.  He was not weak but my mother thought he was.  We are created with flaws and will thereby die with them.  I think it’s the acceptance and understanding of these flaws that will allow us to get through life amicably.  My mother had other ideas.
     They met in college as most couples did in their generation.  My father was a senior, my mother a sophomore.  She was a stunning red head, bubbly and kind of slutty.  My father was (and still is) a burly guy, but he’s withdrawn; he’s not cocky, never has been.  Whenever she walked into a room, she stole the show and she knew it.  She was used to guys hitting on her, making passes at her but this one night at the bar would prove to be slightly different.
     Within only minutes, several guys were buying her drinks and spitting out pick-up lines like they were going out of style.  Of course, she took them without batting an eyelash and slid them right into her pocket.  She spotted my dad (his name was Greg):
     “So Greggie, buy me a drink and we’ll see where the night goes…” So heavy was the seduction that I’m surprised my father could still stand up.
     Before my dad could answer, Justin, this multi-sport meathead, stepped in between them,
     “Listen baby, don’t waste your time with this guy.  His mama still picks out his panties for him.  How bout you hit some shots?”  The guy’s cronies laughed and high fived.  Poor guys thought they were invincible.
     “Hey dickbag, you know I pick your mom’s panties for her right?”  My father wasn’t blessed with superior wit, but with his size, he rarely needed it.
     Justin turned around just in time to see my father’s fist heading straight for his face.  There was no time to react whatsoever.  Justin took the hit right on his nose.  It shattered.  Blood poured from the broken mess on his face as he fell to the ground.  My dad just stared at the cringing kid on the floor.  Justin’s cronies dared not make a sound, with their leader down, they could not function as a group.
     Stunned, my mother-to-be moved over towards my father, took his hand, and they walked out.

*    *    *

     I turned down Vera Drive.  It was an old dirt road, which, if one were to drive down it during the day in the summer, so little light would shine through the thick canopy created by the hundreds of trees alongside the road, it would seem like dusk.  Tonight though, the bare trees were menacing giants, looking down at the nearly invisible car as we sped under them.  Mark’s BMW took the divots, bumps, and rocks rather nicely.  In fact, the car rode well in general, so I thought why not test the limits of this luxury vehicle.  I went just a bit faster, slid around turns. 
     Mark was confined to the back behind my mother.  He was face down on the seat.
     I didn’t mind much when I heard the squeal and scrape of rock against metal either.  This wasn’t my sinful car, it belonged to a sinful man. I tied his hands behind his back so, if he decided to come to, he wouldn’t be a nuisance.  I also opted to bind his feet just for insurance sake.  I smiled.  A job well done.

*    *    *

      I had met Mark briefly when he stopped over the house to set up a network so my mother could work from home.  As an up and comer in the business world, my mom was putting in too many hours as the office and not enough at home.  She needed a way to resolve that so she had her computer guy come over and link her computer at home to her office.
     I was oblivious to any relationship that Mark and my mother had at that point, so I had no reason to suspect anything.  The only reason that anything seemed out of place was that my father had offered to help her the day before.  She refused explaining that Mark was familiar with her computers and her network.  A blind man could see through that.
     I was inside when Mark came in.
     “Hey how are ya?” He was jolly man, not unlike Santa Clause.  The red beard he sported on this face looked like he hadn’t shaved it in awhile.
      “Not bad.” I cracked just a hint of a smile to show a hint of courtesy.
      “What a day huh?  Shame I’m stuck in one these all day,” he motioned to the tower that he brought with him. “I’d rather be out there.”
     “Yep.”  I didn’t give him any wiggle room.
     “Hm.  Right, well, is Carol here?”
     I hesitated.  I wanted to tell him that if he did anything to her that I would take his BMW and run over his legs just so that he would know what he was doing this family.  I wanted to tell him that he should probably move out of state and change his name.  I wanted to tell him that he should be careful who he talks to.  I wanted to tell him this but instead I pointed to the back.
     “Yeah, over there.”
      I watched him meander over to where my mother was.  I could see her face light up when he walked in.  Odd, I thought.  There was too much touching.  The seemingly innocent “laugh touch” where my mother threw back her head, obviously laughing at something that wasn’t funny, and in the process put her hand on his shoulder—the fake stable herself routine—and slid it down to his forearm.
     That was unpleasant.

*    *    *

      So here I am, driving like a maniac down a lonely dirt road.  Already they can pin kidnapping on me, auto theft, assault with a deadly weapon.  Sweet.  Whatever.
     I hadn’t really planned to drive out this way.  Truthfully, I hadn’t planned anything, everything just happened.  I’m not one to do anything rash like this, nor am I one to advocate doing anything like this.  I didn’t know where I was going, I just knew that I had to go somewhere.  I didn’t know what I was going to do, I just knew that I had to do something.  This man destroyed my family, ruined my father.  This man burned a scarlet letter on my mother.  This is the only thing I will see when I look at her. I couldn’t just stand idle and let this happen.
     I know for certain that I will never, ever look at a computer the same way again.
     I also wish I remembered to tell my father what the hell was going on.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

You Called, Again?

My dad called me this morning and left me the following message on my voicemail,

"Hey LSV, it's dad.  Um it's been awhile. Just wanted to give ya a call to say hi. Uh i hope everybodys doing good, [wife} I hope she's ok, I hope that uh [daughter] and [son] are doing good, they're getting bigger now. Um I hope things with you are doing good too, um things over here are good.  (garbled) works three jobs now instead of (laughs, garbled). Uh all the kids went and bought a boat now they're restoring it, sort of like a kid family project kinda thing, hoping to have that in by the end of the boating season, so they're all excited about that.  Umm gimme a call back LSV, umm I love you, and I hope things are going great, alright, call me back, alright bye."
And that was it.
No mention of the letter.
No mention that he's going to do anything about the letter.
No mention of anything wrong at all in fact.
Additionally, he called me on my cell phone while I was at work. Granted I've not told him not to call me, and I have picked up whilst at work before. I guess common sense on his part is lacking.
I am now playing with the idea of sending him something in writing, probably an email saying something like, "If you want to communicate with me and my wife further, you will have to do so in writing." I'm not sure if it's worth it though. I've not responded to his request to send my response to his letter via email so "he can better read it". I've not returned any of his phone calls since either.
I just had a thought: it wasn't too long ago that my mother sent her form letter, in what appeared to be a last ditch attempt to reach out. Could be that his phone call had something to do with that, but I doubt I'll ever know for sure.
What strikes me, is the fact that his son poured his heart out in a lenghty response to his letter, and all he could muster was a measly, "I'm sorry you feel that way, about everything". He didn't even try to respond in writing, just wanted me to make it easier for him. Hogwash! Again, I wonder what, if anything, will happen should I send that email to him. Worth it?
Not sure. But, I feel like if I do something like that, it would at least be setting a boundary, something solid, that I can see, that I have a firm grasp of. At least I think so anyway.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Gone and Done It

I poked my head in Dr. Coleman's "Hurting Parents" forum, and, well I dug myself in....

Have a look.

I probably shouldn't have stuck my head in like I did, but I just couldn't NOT do that. I felt like I had to stand up for myself and quite possibly the other adult children who've taken similar paths as I have. My saying anything isn't going to resonate with anyone there, but I felt good about it. I felt I was fighting back for myself, against my parents and their poor behaviors, who they are.

I'll say it again: I felt good standing up for myself and my beliefs.

A piece of my life puzzle fell into place...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Snack Time

I'd like to give a shout out to my new favorite snack, Greek Yogurt. It's yogurt AND it's protein; what's not to love!

So here's to you purveyor of protein, squire of the snack! You're good eatin'!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Send Off

I wrote the following to my sister as she graduated from the 8th grade and transitioned into high school (I believe it was something that school required from its graduates):

[Sister (nickname)] 
            I write to you as a holy man… 
Just kidding. 
But seriously folks, I just want to say how proud of you I am.  True, for several years, you were like a paper cut between my fingers but it was only because you got all the attention of the family.  And at that time, I was a pudgy, goofy, booger kid with glasses that took up most of my face.  You were a cute toddler and I just couldn’t compete.  But I got over that though, and finally started to like you (don’t get me wrong, I always loved you, I just had a hard time liking you).  You’ve blossomed into a phenomenal young woman (and I use that term loosely—haaaaaaa) and I have no doubts that you will become a phenomenal woman.  It’s too early to think about that though, you still have to be my little sister whom I scare and bother from morning till night.
So what advice can I give…
Don’t take anything personally, that’s for certain.  People will dump on you and kick you to the ground, but that’s only because they can’t handle themselves or what lives they lead.  You can because you’re always going to be better than them.  Always.  And a little tolerance and understanding go a long way.  It’s never too late to learn something.  It will make you more worldly and knowledgeable, and that is something that will impress people.  You know the old saying “knowledge is power”.  That, as corny as it is, holds true.  I really don’t want to preach to you.  Goodness knows how I hate that, and if you’re anything like me (which you are, HA again) you aren’t a fan either.  I tell you these things from experience, as a brother to a sister, and a friend to a friend.
Don’t let the world get you down, because there’s so much to see when you rise above the rest.

I love you little sis, silly little bag of muffins.

[LSV nickname]  J  ß ha ha ha look what I made!!!


This letter is what led my wife to her revelation that I may have been the scapegoat for my mother. The whole first paragraph I'm telling her how much I didn't like her and that she got all the attention and I couldn't "compete" with a cute toddler. I put myself down but still managed to point out that loving someone is not the same as liking them, in that I loved my sister, but that didn't necessitate me liking her. This was a strange line for me to read because when it came to other relationships I was all about the idea that loving someone meant you  A L W A Y S  liked them. I held this idea when it came to most of my romantic relationships. I think that's an important piece of conditional love too, which is what I was subjected to, so it's not really a great surprise as I look now, that I had the equation, LOVE = ALWAYS LIKE.

The second paragraph, the "advice" section. I think some of what I said is sound: knowledge is power; a little tolerance and understanding is a good thing. However, my wife picked up on something that was more truly telling -- that knowledge, while also giving the wielder power, will also impress people. Now, why would I say that if I didn't really think that to be true? And wasn't that always what my mother was about - giving people a nice show on the outside, impressing people with...whatever? Yes, that is what she was about and I was feeding that to my sister, another malleable mind. My mother was getting what she wanted, her son to play the part of father/brother/caretaker to feed her daughter with the same poison apple that she fed her son and it's all the more potent because it's coming from a male figure her daughter so highly regards.

Sick sick treacherous game that was.

Wishful Thinking

I've said this before: I don't remember a great deal from my childhood. As I read many other posts about narc parent behaviors, I want so badly to be able to recount some of that from my upbringing.

Was I trained to not remember it?
Perhaps a useful tool for my mother to instill that sort of mindset in her malleable child?
What can I do now? Force myself to remember? Are they stored somewhere in my memory banks?

I'm hoping that my dreams and my subconscious will provide some insight on that. I never journaled (boy THAT would have been helpful though) save for a short time years ago when I was about middle high school age. Actually, I was basically blogging: writing down everything I was thinking and everything that was happening to me in an open forum with an option for it to be private. I can't remember nor do I have stored anything I posted there but I had a sense of community. I can't imagine that I was posting about anything super-deep back then, but there's also that possibility.

Should I be able to do it again, I would attempt to write everyday -- what happened, with whom, how I felt, even if it was just a blah, I stayed home and watched tv and this show was on. Writing things down helps to solidify those memories in the brain. There was a study conducted at a university which put forward the idea that currently, our minds need not remember as many things since the advent of the Internet. Everything is litterally a click away: fixing computers, a house, a relationship, phone numbers, directions, names. You name it, it can be stored somewhere that isn't the human mind.

My wife and I were discussing something of a revelation she had and it damn near took my legs out from beneath me. She asserted that I was the scapegoat of my family of origin, specifically the scapegoat for my mother rather than the golden child. I could do no wrong because I was trained to do no wrong.

Now, I've already said that I believe my mother and father did not want, nor were ready to have a child when they got pregnant with me. I think they got married becuase that's what they thought they were supposed to do and, hell, they'd just make the best of it. My mother was 22 at the time and I think that she was angry at me for being born, for taking away her freedom from living her life the way she wanted. Couple that with the fact that they didn't want kids and I was just as useful as a wart. I believe my father checked out (of emotional commitment) long before I was born. According to my mother, they'd fight all the time, and he'd be out doing what he wanted. I didn't ask my father about this, becuase at the time I was talking to my mother, I didn't have reason to question her. This was years and years ago.

You know, I don't even know how long they'd been seeing each other at the time they concieved, married, and had me. My father doesn't like to talk about his past -- he's said this to me, and I've never pushed the issue. My mother made mention of some of her childhood and what it was like, but I've to take with a grain of salt. The memories are most likely distored or a blatant lie.

I never thought to question who my mother and father were. Not even the slightest bit curious of who they are, where they came from, what kinds of things they went through. I just accepted them at face value, after all, they were Mother and Father. Who else need they be, right? Now though, I kick myself some for not asking questions of them, I can speculate off of the vagueities that I do know of them.

My mother's second ex-husband, the father of my sister (technically, half-sister), was a piece of work himself. Knew next to nothing about him also but knew enough as a boy of 10 that he was not capable of being there, emotionally or physically, for his daughter. That's why I stepped into his role -- with no objections by my mother of course. I thought I was doing the right thing, doing what I was "supposed" to be doing for my sister, after all, she needed a good male role model, right? In that respect I was not wrong; she did in fact need a good male role model, however it should have been her father. My mother didn't say this. I'm betting she didn't even think it. She was too busy working and having extra marital affairs. And my sister now, is so much a part of my mother I don't know where she ends and my mother begins. I believe my sister will never see our mother the way I do; it will go against everything she is.

I got into talking about this guy because I remember one time I'd done something to get into trouble, I was around ... gosh, 11 or so, maybe 12. But anyway, I don't remember what I'd done to get into this trouble with my step-father at the time, but I was in my room and I was upset and crying, we were yelling at each other, and he flat out tells me, "don't be such a dope". At the time, I was super-hurt by this and started crying even more (gosh I cried at lot at 10/11...). I'm not sure if he apologized to me, or if it was my mother who said that he didn't mean to call me a dope. Also, I can't figure out why I was so crushed by this, perhaps I still longed for a father who was there and who actually wanted a son. I'm really not sure what the case was with my former stepfather and I'm not sure if he even really wanted kids. But I do know that wouldn't call my 11 year old a dope and I know that I'm a better parent than my mother, father, and former stepfather.

My father remarried too, but since he didn't get custody, I barely saw him, from what I can remember, on weekends and some holidays. He was the one who told me about "the birds and the bees" and yes, he actually called it that. I can recall his discussion with me regarding Santa Clause. This was before my sister was born so I wasn't even 9 years old yet. I hadn't even gotten to 10 and my little boy spirit was being forcibly taken from me. Why even have that discussion? Let the magic of that time of year last for as long as possible.

No real conclusions here, just a little wandering of a brain.

Monday, August 8, 2011

What Dreams May Come

I was sprinting through a mall. My legs pounding on the tiled floor struggling to build speed. I was trying to churn my legs as quickly as possible but I just wasn't going as fast as I thought I should be. I saw people I used to know go by - people from high school mainly. Their eyes wide as a I ran by, but not saying anything.

I was outside a roadside convenience store on what looked like a derelict part of New York City streets. A blue metal gate was locked in front of me. Another man was next to me - I knew him somehow but I can't recall a face or how I knew him. We were attempting to get over and we did, but another fence/gate blocked our way. I don't know why we wanted in this convenience store.

I was on the opposite side of the street as what I think was an undercover police vehicle - it was some sort of supercharged Ford Focus. The female officer came over to me and asked for my license and registration. When I opened the glove compartment, I was covered in opened mail and what I think was bills.


I'm not sure if those dreams were all part of the same one or separate bits from separate dreams. As I've said, I'd like to begin writing as much of my dreams that I can remember.

Icing on the Cake

See, here.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Rest of My Life

My mother just recently sent me an email at my work address.

From: Mom
Subject: if you could please read this...
 Dear LSV,

You are my son and I love you dearly. I know I have made mistakes and for that I am so sorry. I am so sorry for the pain it must have caused. As you know, i carry regret about all that. I have tried hard to make ammends and will always be willing to start talking again about whatever is important to you about the past if it would move us closer together. I do want to hear what you feel and would always be open to a letter, a phone call or even a meeting with the therapist that we had tried to do.

I really want you to be happy,happy with [your wife], happy in your life, and I know you do not want to have a relationship with me. It's heartbreaking as your parent, to not be able to see you and your family. At the same time, if you believe it is in your best interest, then i respect that. You must have good reason and i accept that. I want you to know that the door will be open for the rest of your life if you change your mind.

All my love,


Right then. I was surprised when I saw the email in my work inbox - obviously I had not expected this. After reading this once over, I was admittedly sad. I wanted to believe what my mother was saying was true during the first read and very nearly did. But then I read it a second time, and a third, and that feeling began to dissipate rather quickly.

Some things I noticed straight away:
1. she apologized for her wrong-doings but she called them "mistakes". Her actions and behaviors were not mistakes as they were done intentionally. They were purposefully harmful transgressions. Now, I am not asserting that the apology was genuine, nor am I accepting her apology. It is vague, which indicates to me that she is saying what she thinks I want to hear. She has not directly apologized for causing me pain, or my wife pain, or even my family pain. It's just too general, what she said.

2. She said that she's been trying hard to make amends. Well that's just plain untrue. She's not been trying hard, nor has she even been trying. I've not seen these efforts of amending.

3. She sent an email to my work address. Is it really that hard to send a personal email to a personal address? I guess so.

4. I've already expressed to her how I felt - it was in a letter that I read to her then handed over to her. For her to say that she'd love to hear how I feel is just crazy talk. What makes her think that her saying that she's open to my feelings now will make me want to regurgitate everything I've already told her? Read the letter! It's all there!

5. While I do hold a sentiment of "don't want" when it comes to a relationship with my mother, there's also a very large "can't have" sentiment and this is the result of my mother's behaviors and her choices that refuses to take responsibility for. Well fully anyway. It's true that I don't want a relationship with her but it's because of her actions. It's also true that I attempted to have a relationship with her and gave her an outline of what I needed from her in order to have a relationship with her. She chose not to use that guide.

6. My mother has put all of the responsibility of our relationship on me. How is that fair? Where is her response to the lengthy letter I wrote? There was never any mention of that...ever.

7. The "good reason" for choosing not to go no contact was explained succinctly in both the first letter and the second one.

8. My mother mentioned that it was heartbreaking to not be able to see me. I think what's more important is the fact that we don't have a relationship at all. That she's made some very poor choices that's led to the current state of affairs. She should have said that it's heartbreaking to know that she caused her own heartbreak. But that's all in the category of "shouldda, couldda, wouldda".

All in all, I'm unimpressed by her "effort" to reach out to me. It didn't seem like she put anything into writing this. At least my father spent a little more time on his letter, though his didn't say anything worthwhile either.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Several days after this, my once-dear-friend sent me this:

Since you haven't gotten back to me I simply sent your mom a short message saying that you asked me not to contact her, that I was going to respect that wish and that you and your family are all safe and healthy to the best of my knowledge.


So, he not only expressed to my mother some pieces of a conversation he and I had about her - which I expected to stay between he and I - but he contacted her even when I told him not to.

He does not have the friendship he claimed to care about in his mind at all. He has put "common courtesy" above all else and in doing so has effectively said that he doesn't care about me at all. His "common courtesy" is completely disrespecting me and the friendship we had. He does not do well with change. He is too pompous and on-high to see anything but what he wants, even if it's his supposed best friend expressing to him something that he really needs.

I don't believe he's got any idea what friendship is.
I don't believe he's got my best interests in mind.
I don't believe him when he says he cares.

It's dead Once-Dear-Friend. Our friendship is dead, and YOU killed it.

He's a real piece of work that guy.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I had a dream last night and I can’t remember much, but I remember this:

I was in the car with my family (my wife, my kids) and there was another car filled with my mother, my sister, and other non-descript family of origin members. I could not see their faces but I knew that’s who they were. I got out of my car and walked over to the other vehicle. My mother was already crying, not hard, but just under her breath. I looked at my sister and I could tell she was angry with me. I told her how she needs to get away from these people, they will only hurt her. She lashed out at me, kicking, yelling and screaming. My mother openly cried hard. I felt I had spoken my piece and walked away from the car, got into my car with my family and that’s when I awoke.


My analysis: I began in the car with my family - my wife, my children. I see this as where my loyalties are. Were I to begin anywhere else, I would have said perhaps they lie elsewhere. I got out of my car and walked over to the car with my family of origin. I can see how this might seem that I am abandoning my family, however, I felt in the dream that I was confident enough in what I Saw, in the Truth, that I could go over to the other car and be unaffected. At the other car, I explained to my sister the Truth about the family, how toxic they really were. Even with my mother crying I was calm, and resisted manipulation efforts. I saw how my sister reacted and felt that I had done what I could and I could not spend more time at this car with my mother weeping, and my sister following suit. I was satisfied with my actions and my efforts and calmly went back to the car to the family in which I belong. I believe I was showing myself that I was no longer a part of my family of origin; that it was not my responsibility who could make my sister See what was going on; that I had the ability to resist the negativity and manipulation of my family of origin; that I truly belong not with my family of origin, but with a healthier, more loving family - the family I helped to create. I was not sad when I woke up. I was pensive. I would even say I was satisfied with myself for having the confidence to stand up (even in a dream) for what I believe to be right. Now, I know this wasn't focused on my family, it was more focused on me and my feelings, my behaviors, but I don't see this as a negative. I had no negative feelings toward my family, in fact I was satisfied to be back where I belong.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

To My Face

A once dear friend of mine who has proven that he is not interested in my feelings or my needs sent an email to me today. It read:

Your mother sent me a facebook message asking how you and your family are doing. I haven't responded yet. I previously told you because you asked I would refrain from any real conversation with her; but if she did contact me that, out of courtesy, I would at least and say hello and wish her well.

I still do intend to say hello. Is there any message about you, [your wife] or the kids I can also pass along?

Ok, so I told this "friend" that I was not comfortable with him communicating with my mother. I told him this several ways and several times. I did not want him doing this and told him so...several ways, and several times. He replied that he would not intentionally seek out communication or contact with her, HOWEVER, if she reached out to him he would respond out of courtesy.

Can anyone else hear the sound of a friendship dying?

Yes, he is choosing to be courteous to an abusive mother rather than to accept his supposed best friend's requests. He has told me time, and time again that he cares about me and is my best friend. This is not a best friend. This is a person who does not care about me or my feelings. He is flat out disrespecting me to my face well, to my face via email. What a friend, huh?

I would like to respond to him with a simple, "It is apparent that we have nothing to discuss."

Is it worth it though?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I Don't Want To Go Swimming

I saw a very unsettling series of events occur several days ago.

A child did not want to go swimming anymore. His father, in an attempt to play with his son, began teasing him, pretending to come after the child and eventually picked the child up. The child was continually asserting, “I don’t want to go swimming”. I could not hear the father’s reply but the father threw the boy in the water.

The child came up and repeated, “I don’t want to go swimming”.

The father picked the child up again and threw him in the water.

The child repeated now with deep melancholy, “No, I don’t WANT to go SWIMMING”.

The father picked up the child and they both jumped in.

The boy swam away from his father. The boy’s face clearly showing a very hurt and discontented spirit. On reaching the beach, he would not look or speak to his father.

I watched this scene before me. Immediately when the father first disregarded his son’s feelings, I felt deeply uncomfortable. Something told me that this wasn't right. A deeply seeded part of my being was communicating with me. I could not understand why this father would and could so easily do that to his son. The boy has a choice, as do all children. They have a voice that should be heard, and in this case should be listened to.

I did not do anything to help the boy. I watched. I felt more and more that something was very wrong in the interaction between parent and child. Could this father not see how his son was reacting to his behaviors? Could the father not see the consternation on his son’s face? Or hear it in his voice? Does he choose not to see, simply ignoring the glaring signs? Does he truly not understand what he is doing to his son?

Either way I have been very distraught over this scene and having done nothing in at least attempting to protect the child who cannot protect himself. I realized – with the help of a very intelligent and observant wife – that this father was in fact, bullying his son. The victim of bullying myself, I can certainly relate to this poor child. Interestingly enough, I recognized that something was wrong with the father’s method of interacting with his son, however, I just didn’t associate the term with the behavior.

I was then even more distraught: I could not protect this child, as no one protected me. I need to protect me. I need to protect my children from this sort of behavior. More importantly, it is I that must not engage in that kind of awful behavior as well.

I am at the very very least glad that I was able to recognize an unhealthy behavior between parent and child and have the wherewithal to understand that this behavior is unacceptable. I have a part of me that wants to protect children and I believe that's an essential piece of me, especially when it comes to Transcending Indifference.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Throwing Stars

The other day I remembered a recurring dream I had about my father.

He and I were walking on opposite sides of a traffic jam. Next thing I knew I saw throwing stars (the four pointed very sharp instruments of death used by the elusive ninja) hurtling towards my father. They hit and killed him.

I had this dream long before I was a teenager and just remembered it the other day. I remember waking up being very upset and often I would be crying when I awoke. I cannot remember if I was the one that actually threw them or if I was just unable to stop them from hitting him now.

Points of interest:
- he and I were walking on opposite sides of traffic
- he died
- if I threw these weapons, I was most certainly trying to kill him

I think I'd like to start a dream diary. Or at least just write them down somewhere.

A Good Idea

My father left me a voicemail on my birthday pleading, "please don't separate yourself from your blood family. It is not a good idea".

To that I say...why?
Being related doesn't necessitate an avenue of communication. I'm realizing that more and more as of late. Thankfully it's not too late.
I am not obliged to remain in contact or associated with people who are destructive to me or my family.  Regardless of what my father believes or what my family of origin believes, those beliefs don't automatically pertain to me simply because he says or they say they do. I have a right to determine for myself what is best for me.

How am I to develop my sense of ... anything really when I'm constantly told what to do and how to behave? The answer is: I can't.


On a very very separate note: I'm very nervous for the future of this country.
Corporations escape taxes.
Millionaires escape taxes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Taste For Dirt

The title of this post was taken from Republican Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman's announcement video. It's a very...unique video. See it here if you'd like.

***Please note: This is not a political commentary post nor is it an endorsement for any such political ... anything.***

I chose this phrase because it seemed so very appropriate and I'm not sure why yet. My reason for writing today is because it's my birthday and this of course opened up the doors for those I chose not to contact to contact me.

My mother's best friend contacted me and left a voicemail saying essentially that she misses me terribly, she thinks of me "as she often does", she's going to send a present for my son, happy birthday (seven times), she misses me and thinks of me, and ok bye. The last time she contacted me was I think mid-2010 to ask if I wanted an old TV back that I had given her at least five years ago! I know why she called and it was not to wish me a happy birthday. It was to reach out to me for my mother because if my mother can't reach me, by golly someone will. Yeah... I did not return the phone call. During the entire message my face was twisted and wrinkled in such a way that could only say, "what in the hell is this woman doing calling me?". Then I chuckled at myself and excitedly played it for my wife. She shared my response.

My aunt sent me an email this morning saying that she wished me a happy birthday and she misses me. Also that she realizes that I don't want anything to do with them but she still loves me and thinks of me often. She hopes I take care and have a wonderful birthday. Right, so it's MY fault that I don't contact people who are hurtful to me and my family. And I want that? No, I need it and it is a result of the treatment I received from my family of origin (e.g. YOU PEOPLE) and that is most certainly   N  O  T    my fault. I did not send a response.

My mother's second ex-husband called me. His voicemail was more expected: Hey LSV, just wishing you a happy birthday and have a great day, take care. His voice was flat, he didn't care, nor did he want to be doing that. He did because of obligation, in the hopes that maybe I would pick up because, after all, he'd called out of the blue the week before, and on Father's Day, and now on my birthday. I did not pick up. Nor will I return his call.

It's only noon now, and I fully expect more of my old life to come crawling (or charging) back today, like my birthday gives them an excuse to show that they really do care, see how much we care by calling you even though you hate us?

So I think the "taste for dirt" comes in now, like these people are some mutant form of human beings, contorted and deformed so that they walk on both their hands and feet and their faces are so close to the ground that their mouths drag, and subsequently eat dirt.

Call us, contact us, come back to us they say, in a hideous, raspy whisper.
I cannot and will not, I say.
Come back, we forgive you, they say. Their voices are vaguely hypnotic...
I force myself to focus...You forgive me? That is absurd, I say.
Everything will be back to normal, they say.
Stronger now....I don't need you, and I don't need your "normal", I say.

And here we are.