Friday, June 29, 2012

A Second Look

This is also a true story.


My jealous fingers slam the number keys on my phone.
Pick up, I growl to myself.
“Hey,” John’s voice comes through after two rings.
“Dood, she’s dating someone ten years old than her!  The hell’s up with that?”  I sounded almost exasperated as I ended the sentence.  John heard it, and I could very nearly hear him scheming behind his phone.
“Come over this weekend, I’ll introduce you to my boss, Gwen.”
“Ok, done.” I pause. “How old?”
“39.” He replies and this time I can most certainly hear the smile that appears on his face.
“Perfect.” I say, smiling right back.

That weekend, I drive up to John’s house on Saturday morning.  We chat for a time, then he ushers me to his car so we can run an errand – and pass right by the dog grooming business where he works.  His boss will be there.  A good plan, I think.

The windows are down and the wind spins through the car.  I feel it all the way down the hair on my legs.  We pull into parking lot of the grooming business.  A big blue fa├žade with a pun for a name: Purrfect Pet Cleaners, or Barking Mad.

A woman walks out of the front door toward our car.  Exceptionally straight black hair sit above a face that could pass for 30.  No make up, no blemishes either.  Slightly pointed nose, and a smile that hides some of her bottom teeth, but exposes all of her upper.  She’s not curvy but definitely enough to know where her butt and boobs are.

“That’s her,” John whispers out the side of his mouth, and he turns to her.  She’s just approaching the car.  They exchange playful banter, as John so normally does, and she takes in most of his flirting.  He introduces me.

I have a faint nagging somewhere behind my stomach that seems to tell me not to go through with pursuing her.  It’s almost like I don’t want to. But I don’t indulge that feeling for long and push it aside and resolve to court this woman.  That’s what she is: a woman.  I’m a kid, barely pushing 22.  I only think about the age gap.

In the following two weeks I manage to get her number, call her and set up a date.  We have some preliminary dates: to Sitting Pond or Steelhead Lake for public outings..  One of these times, she met me at my house, but did not come in.  I did not expect her to since she’s no more than four years younger than my mother.  Instead, she plays outside with my dogs offering them treats.  In the house I’m getting a few items.  My mother doesn’t say much, but does say to have a good time. It doesn’t seem that she’s really “into” this.  I know why, but I push that feeling away and be on my way.  This woman is only five years younger than my mother.

We soon move into more intimate dates, dinners and later nights.  The most intimate date comes during mid August.  We decide to go to The Great State Park on a whim, and we meet half way in a plaza.  We load up on sandwiches and drink, and we’re on our way.  The beach air is cool when we arrive, the sun is just beginning its decent past the far horizon.  We stroll down the beach, I reach for her hand, she accepts.

We find a place on the beach to watch the sunset, take out our sandwiches, and I make her laugh with some of my beach stories.  We finish and luckily, the sun has a long way to go before it’s fully down.

I feel romantic, but not outwardly so.  If any a time there was to have a first kiss, this would be it.  We are close to each other, she leans on me, her shoulder on my chest.  She turns to me.  She knows.  I know. Our first kiss.

We pull back.  We’re smiling.  We should do that again, I think.  She thinks the same thing.

Our first second ki—

My phone rings.  I’m almost mortified, but chuckle it off.  She chuckles too, I think she’s a good sport about it.

I look at my phone. “Oh no,” I say, incredulously.  “You’ll never guess.”
“John,” she said, and rolled her eyes.
Shortly after, we finished our second first kiss and packed up.  I hit the bathroom on the way out and as I pee, I call John.

“Yeah, you called?”
“How’s it going?” John asks, with zeal.
“Good, fine.  We kissed, almost twice when you called.  Great timing, by the way.”
“Ha! I knew it.”
“I’ll call you later.”  I hang up, chuckling more and as I leave the bathroom, I’m met a sight that very nearly stops me in my tracks.  Gwen is standing outside the stall, eyebrow raised, mouth turned up on one side.  She doesn’t have to say anything for me to know what she saying. I ask anyway.

“What’s wrong?” I have a cold feeling in my gut.
“Were you reporting back to John?” She fires at me.
“No, but he did ask how things were going.”
She has her arms crossed and walks slightly in front of me.  We’re silent for a time.  We also have a long car ride ahead of us.

We get in the car and I start to wriggle out of the situation.  I regale her with how I like her and compliments, and moderately self-depreciating comments.  I’m aware of how I’m manipulating her.  I have a growing awareness of how much power I have over her – how easily she can be manipulated.
“You’re good,” she says, with a smile that tells me I’ve won.
“Eh,” I say, putting the icing on the cake, and smile back.  Landslide victory.

Two weekends later, Gwen invites me to her house.  I offer to make dinner, and she obliges.  When I arrive, I’m certain she doesn’t use her kitchen that often – it’s much too clean.  Her grey rugs compliment the white walls and the sporadic decorations.  A vase.  A picture.  The TV is on the stair wall to my left, and the couches sit opposite them.  I bring in my materials and get to work.  Spaghetti, meat sauce, garlic bread.  Gwen digs it, she doesn’t have to cook, and it tastes good anyway.  The bread is a bit too crispy but I don’t let on that I feel this way.

She sits on the couch watching TV.

We eat in front of the television, small talk is barely present; only a passing comment on the show we’re watching.  I’m not sure if I like that or not.

Cleaning up.  It’s rather late now, surprisingly.  She’s going upstairs to get ready for bed, I remain downstairs watching TV, my nerves staring to gear up.  I feel them in my legs, slightly jittery, in my fingers which I squeeze to ease the pressure.  I wait.

I feel the silence very loud in my ears.

“You want to come up?” she finally calls down.
I pause for a moment, then slowly, “Yeah”.  This was new ground for me. I’d never been upstairs.  My feet tread softly on the gray carpet that continues up her stairs.  She’s in her bathroom, tank top and comfy sweats, not heavy though.

We enter her bedroom.  Bed is immaculate.  I suppress most of my emotion now.  It’s as if I’m going to bed to sleep, not with a woman.  A considerable difference from a few moments ago, waiting downstairs.  I don’t’ think about that long, just pull the blankets back and hop in.

Sheets are cool, somewhat stiff.  I don’t miss my sheets, but I think about them briefly.  She gets into bed.  I fall asleep instantly.

Next morning is Sunday.  I’m supposed to head to New Jersey to meet with Julia, someone I was trying to convince I liked.  I flirted with Julia heavily on and off for years.  This was to be the time that tied us together: we were getting tattoos.  This was planned for some time too, she even paid the deposit for me.

After breakfast, I send a text to Julia,
Can’t make it today, mom’s sick
Utter lie.
“What’s going on?” Gwen asks
“Nothin’, supposed to be going somewhere today but don’t feel like it, so I’m not going.”
A half truth, but that seems to satisfy Gwen.
Not this shit again, Julia replies
Wait, what, mom got stomach bug, throwing up everywhere. Jesus, I wasn’t sure if that was god awful or awfully good.  I guffaw under my breath and decide that the lie is gawd-awful.
Julia: Fuck you, you did this again to me. Second time! Fuck you.
I’m almost angry, but only because Julia is not buying my lies.  I thought they were so bad, they’d be believable.
Me: fuck you too, my mother is sick, I’m staying  here.  Three times. If I say the lie the three times to her, she’ll believe me.  I don’t hear back from her this time.
I stay at Gwen’s house not much longer after that.

I try to call her Tuesday of the following week, but she doesn’t answer. I leave a message.  She doesn’t call me back after a week of waiting. Then 10 days.

I’ve already moved on – there was never anything for me there anyway.  And I already knew that.

The Liar's Mind

I'd like to invite you inside the mind of a liar.  My mind.
This is a true story - obviously the names have been changed.


Hey, where you at?
I look at the text message with a dual sense of foreboding and curious excitement.  Somewhere I knew that this wasn’t right.  In a different somewhere I hoped that it would be fun.

I remembered back to when I first met Krystal, during the early weeks of my freshman year here at college.  She was on the second floor, I on the first.  We were a clan, the The First Floor troupe.  We’d all been assigned nick names too: there was Poop, Slappy, Dub, Ry, Dougie, Dicky, Chuck, Pringle, Lev, Chad, Diesel, and host of others.  I was Phantom.  I was given this alias because the first several weekends I was here, I returned home to be with my girlfriend, whom I am still currently seeing.  I read the text message again: Hey, where you at?

One of Krystal’s roommates began dating one of my friend’s roommates and so they would show up during our floor drinking parties.  Beastmaster, they called her.  I didn’t think this was very classy of the First Floor, but I didn’t say anything one way or the other anyway.  Krystal was just about six feet tall, not a hair over six one though.  Her sandy colored hair fell past her shoulders both when curly and straight.  A nose piercing the size of large grain of sand sat itself on her round nose.  Green eyes that turned gray when they felt like it completed her round complexion.  Krystal wasn’t fat or overweight, she was just big.  I always thought I would look like that if I were a girl.

Alcohol, ye olde ice breaker, was the catalyst in my flirtatious yet joking-but-really-not behavior.  I would talk to anyone when I consumed that firewater – and truthfully, I didn’t mind it one bit.  I knew something was different with her, that I liked her I mean, one night when several of us, including Krystal, myself, Dickey, Dickey’s roommate Wash, and Wash’s girlfriend Rachel ended up talking late into the night in one of the main buildings on camps.  I was next to Krystal on some weird red almost plastic, but mostly leather type couch.  She put her leg up and over mine and left it there.  I didn’t move it, I just looked at it for what felt like an hour feeling a raging storm of mostly “oh dear god what do I do?!”.  Part of me wanted to move it, but another part was advocating for me to screw any rational thought and just go with it.  And so, pausing for only a briefer moment, I went with the latter.  I allowed her leg to rest on mine because, honestly, she was showing interest in me at that moment.  I know I lack self esteem, and this was indeed an esteem booster.  So I left her leg, continually growing in persuasive strength.

I told my mother about this shortly after it happened.  “Oh, she likes you!” she was almost gitty as she responded.  I remember thinking at the time that this was strange but didn’t mention anything.  It was strange because I was still dating my girlfriend at the time.  She was never brought up.

Hey, where you at?  I stare at the text message.  I look at the clock: 2:33am.  What am I doing up?  What am I doing reading this text?  Think, boy! something said inside of me.  Somehow, I was looking for this.  Somehow, I want my cake, and to eat it too.  Somehow, I want the best of both worlds.

Coming, I type.  The soft click, click, click of the keypad was simultaneously gong-like and the fluttering of butterfly wings.  I couldn’t decide which sounds they resembled more or why.  I hit Send.

I slip off the top bunk and onto the exceedingly hard floor.  I looked down at the blue Berber carpet which I thought makes the floor ever harder than it already is.  The carpet needs vacuuming too.  I’m struck by a passing thought: This is how I allow myself to not think about my actions: I am preoccupied with the mundane, anything that isn’t the emotional situation at hand.  This thought passes quicker than it came and I move on.  My roommate, Ry, is sleeping.  His bed is overflowing with pillows and a super-soft comforter.  He smells like sleep too.

The room is mostly dark, but some light from the sidewalk lamps peeks through the awful grey-green shades.  I can see enough to find my sandals and my lanyard with the room key and my college ID.  I chuckle as I grab the lanyard thinking about the picture on the card.  In typical me fashion, I purposely took a goofy picture: one side of my mouth is turned up in a smile, but I’m also flashing some teeth so it looks a little like I’m saying “yar matey” out the side of my mouth.  I have several hairs sticking up on the top of my head too.  Super classy. 

Mind off of the matter at hand.

The door to the room shuts quietly with a little help and I make my way down the dimly lit hallway.  There are a few lights on, just enough to see where you’re going but not enough to blind those folks who are mostly sleepwalking to the bathroom.  The stairwell is colder than the dorm hallway.  The latch catching on the strike plate on the door echoes for a short time through the almost dank cavity.

I climb the stairs, slowly now, listening for the back of the sandal flop against my heel then the step.  Vaguely hypnotic were I to get completely lost in those sounds.  No more a battle rages inside of me, than it is daytime outside.  I resolve to go to her, though I admit somewhat hesitantly.  I knew that this wasn’t entirely right but I wasn’t about to fight myself either, nor her.  Somewhere, I think that made me weak, but I brushed that unpleasant thought about myself aside and got lost in the step flop of my progress.  I would deal with whatever fallout that was sure to meet me in the morning, but for now, I knew what this girl wanted, and I decided to give it to her.  Simple as that, I think.

The door to the second floor opens with the same screaming latch as first floor’s door.  This hallway resembles the other hallways exactly, save for the room numbers: they all start with a “2” and not a “1”.  Krystal’s room is six doors down on the left.  218.  I walk, as silently as a late teen in flip flops on a hard linoleum floor can be.  Seriously, I think the floor is made from steel or tungsten or something else as obscenely hard.  This hallway smells better than my hallway.  My floor smells of boy musk, a hint of sweat, some beer, and powerful cologne to mask this pungent party.  This floor smells lighter if that’s possible.  It smells fruity and only slightly dainty.  It feels like I can move through this air easier.

218 arrives in front of me.  I face a very heavy, but probably fake wood door.  I have trouble bringing my finger up to the door, but I manage to do so.  My right hand rests on the chilly metal handle while my left index finger is tapping on the door.

Tap tap tap, my fingernail raps quietly on the door.
Hello, I’m here, it says, then adds, to do things that I only slightly don’t want to do.

Pushing the door open, I’m hit with a wave of warm air, not so much it knocks me back, but the difference in temperature from room to hallway is stark, indeed.  This room doesn’t smell nearly as sweet as the hallway air, but still better than the man-boy smell from the first floor.  Krystal’s area is on the left side of the room, her roommate’s is on the right.  Computers are set up underneath the bunk beds, and dressers are either on end or the other of the bed.  Clothes and a beanbag chair sit toward the back of the room, under the window.  The clothes should be put away, I think.  I thought girls were cleaner and more organized than we boys are.  I shrug it off.  Krystal is at her computer, chatting online with one of her friends down the hall.

“You made it,” she says.  She looks over her shoulder and smiles what could only be an I want you, so lets make this happen smile.
“Here I am,” I reply, and attempt to shoot her one back.  I guess it works.

I feel this strange awkward tension building around us.  We both know why I made the trip to visit her that night, but I’m nervous.  I’m hesitant but not so much that I didn’t make the trip at all.  Part of me wants this to happen now, another part wants it to happen at a later time.  The part that I don’t hear at all is the one that tells me I shouldn’t be here at all. 

I make some off-hand jokes about what happened that day or the state of her room.  We small talk, then she gets up on her bed.  I follow, assuming I should. 

I feel comfortably uncomfortable up here.  Or is it uncomfortably comfortable?  I have a strange sensation that I like being there on the bed, but at the same time, it feels foreign.  I think about her pillow and how I like mine to be fluffier and fuller.  Hers are too flat.  Her sheets are softer than mine.  Typical girl sheets, I guess.  She is laying on my left so that her left arm rests on my chest.  Her left leg is bent at the knee sitting atop my penis.  I feel her as she puts a slight pressure on me, saying I know what’s there, I want it.  I feel her through my basketball shorts and cotton boxer briefs.  She is in a t-shirt just a hair too big for her so it falls loosely, giving just a hint that she wasn’t wearing a bra.  Her shorts are too short and exposes most of her leg up to a very high point on her upper thigh.  I see her skin shine for a moment as some lamp light outside slips through the curtain and bounces off.  I lay with my left arm under her head.  I suppose that is where it ought to go.  My right arm is resting on my stomach just below my chest so I can feel my torso undulate almost forcefully slow.  I can hear my breathing in my ears; inhale, exhale, repeat.  I’m hyper-focused on my nerves and yet, very nearly desensitized.

I still don’t think about my girlfriend, not really.  My nerves are prickling, in a wrong sort of excitement.  I’m not ready yet, as if something is stopping this from happening.  I have a distant idea of what it is, but I don’t acknowledge it.  My shirt is off and Krystal is running her fingertips over my sparsely hairy chest.  Goosebumps show themselves for a moment, but my nerves kick in and they are promptly extinguished.

“I have to go,” I say, as I get up and climb down off the bed, no shirt and all.  She resists my leaving, almost pleading.  I see now, that I can’t, I shouldn’t be in this room.  I am doing something wrong.  That distant hesitation, that pulling at my gut, it’s clearer now.  I mustn’t continue with this.  My hand is back on the door handle when she props herself up on her elbows and directs her grey-green eyes nearly straight through me.
“You finish what you started.”

I stop short.  I hadn’t expected this type of response from her; indeed I never experienced this type of direct communication before, this sexual command before.  I am intimidated.  I look at her for a very long moment.  She smiles again.  A coy, almost devious smile, but one I couldn’t help but notice and fall for.  She knows she’s got me.  I know she’s got me.  I don’t fight it anymore.  Without a word, I dropped my shirt, flicked my sandals off and climbed back up.

Krystal removes her shirt off exposing her bare self.  I look for another long moment then move my face down toward hers.  I close my eyes as I do so.  If I couldn’t see her, then she wasn’t entirely real, I think.  This helps me continue.  I never kiss her lips.  I wouldn’t let myself – that would be too intimate and intimate, I knew, this is not. 

All of our clothes are off.  I am functioning well enough to actually have sex.  I think about nothing but the sex in front of me.  We move from the bed to the floor.  Too many clothes, I think to myself.  Why have all these clothes all over the place?  Those thoughts fade and give rise to something more pleasurable.  An emanating warmness from my genitals permeates me.  It is not emotional.  Purely physical.  Biochemistry.

“Rocket man!” she chuckles when we finish.
I chuckle too, but more of a glad that’s over, now I’ll act like I’m fine, chuckle.  I still feel good; the residual warmness is subsiding though and with it, the goodness.   I’m looking at myself, not at her.  When I do look at her, she smiles her entanglement smile.  I get up to retrieve my clothes.  She’s cleaning herself up.

“See you tomorrow,” she quips.  Umpteenth smile.
“Yeah,” I say, as I try to not let her hear the cracking in my nervous chuckle.  Tomorrow, I know, we will act like acquaintances again, with subtle and not not-so-subtle flirting.  Sideways glances between us, that we know something others don’t.  I walk out of the room and check the time on my phone.  4:42am.  Good.  No bodies will be walking the halls, just the sleepwalking zombies making their way to the bathroom.  And I’ll even have enough time to get a solid couple hours of sleep in.  I slink through the lighter-than-boy-musk air, down the hall to stairwell.  Dank again, echoing latches, flip flopping of my sandals.  First floor now, potent man-boy musk, heavier air, must keep slinking.  First floor will know.  They will know I’ve been with the Beastmaster, they will know this and I will be ostracized. 

Must keep slinking.

Finally, The 127.  Phantom, my namesake, hangs on the door, an intricate pattern drawn by hand on, what else, college ruled lined paper.  Here, my sanctuary.  I open the door.  Still, all is quiet.  Familiar scent of a warm room, Gatorade, popcorn, and two late teens, one from Connecticut and the other from suburban New Jersey.  I’m very careful not to shake the bed as I climb back in my own bed.  My sheets are a bit stiff but they do the job.  Pillows of adequate size and volume: check.  I lay there staring up at the popcorn ceiling. 
Mind off the situation at hand. 

That was not as much fun as I thought it would be.  I can’t decide if it was worth it or not.  I have a feeling that’s not a good sign, but I don’t dwell on that very long.

Before I know, I’m dozing off, thinking about how I’m not going to say anything to my girlfriend the next day.  I’d done what I thought about doing and didn’t really think a whole lot about that.  I do not feel sorry, rather, I’m working out what I’m going to tell…no, lie…to my girlfriend about the next morning.  That’s what it’s all about isn’t it: doing what you want and not getting caught?  No one told me otherwise.  Tomorrow is a new day.  And with that, I sleep.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


My wife is fucking rage-ingly awesome.
Fuck.Ing. Rage-ingly. Awe.Some.

No Wonder

It's no wonder I latched onto Linkin Park's first two albums: Hybrid Theory and Meteora:

Click me for a whole mess of songs I repeated over and over again for many years.

Addressing Sadness

I had a dream last night that I was fleeing a giant hoard of what I think were robot zombies.  Tom Cruise and I were scaling large concrete buildings which I thought were much smaller than they should be.  Or maybe we were bigger than we should be, I couldn’t quite tell.

I spent a great deal of time talking to my Sadness during my latest visit to my therapist.  I told him about how I could feel the echo of sadness I’ve explained before.  I told him I felt a distant pulsating sadness that I knew was the result of what I’d done, but I couldn’t really feel it.  I told him I was scared of true emotion because I wasn’t familiar with them.  I didn’t know what would happen, or how I would feel when I truly let myself feel.   I told him I wanted to feel emotion though, especially deep empathetic sadness.  He believed me because I believed me.

He went to an easel he had next to his chair and with scissors cut three connecting lines in the middle of the paper so that he formed a flap.  This turned out to be a door.

What’s on the outside of this door, he asked me.  What do you allow people to see?
The only rule I had in doing this was that I couldn’t use words.  Anything but words.  So on the outside of the door I drew faces of moderate emotion: laughter, annoyance/frustration, surprise; I also drew the superficial – sports, weather, work.

Ok, what’s on the inside?
This time I drew one face showing sadness and crying.  I scribbled around it indicating what a chaotic mess it was behind the door.

So what kind of door is this?
It was solid, reinforced steel.  Thick.  Very thick.  Like that of a bank vault.  I explained that the door was rusted shut as I drew three large hinges.  He asked if I had any tools at my disposal to open the door when I was ready, so I drew my hands, two handles, a crowbar, and three cans of lubricant.  Those items symbolized my ability to open the door, I just had to be ready to use them.

My therapist asked if he could add something, and I obliged.  He added a small sliding window like those of prison cells in solitary confinement by cutting a small connection of three lines.  He did this because I said I had that distant feeling of sadness.  I agreed; that distant pang was the result of a small window, a passing glance at the deep empathetic sadness I’m capable of.

That’s when he had me address Sadness behind the door I built.  I became hyper-focused on what I was saying, on how I was feeling when I was addressing Sadness.  I let my insides spill out some when I spoke to Sadness, saying that I was sorry for keeping it locked away, but I was too afraid to let it out.

I switched chairs and addressed myself as Sadness.  I (as Sadness) responded with understanding and patience at first, calmly expressing the need for my release.  As I spoke I was less sad, but became slightly annoyed, and ended up saying to other me that I was near the end of my rope, and I didn’t want to be locked away anymore.  There wasn’t much time.

As I switched back and forth several times, I could barely hear my therapist making agreeing sounds, or saying “good”, and the like.  It was almost muffled.  Every time I would switch to me addressing Sadness, I felt heavy again.  I felt a burden on my shoulders, I felt a pulling down from within my gut, I felt was going to pull me right through my chair.  My therapist said that’s good, that’s emotion.  I tried to wipe my shoulders off of the Heavy, but I couldn’t seem to get it off.  I was squirming in my chair at that point.

At wrap up, I still felt heavy, but well enough to go home.  The door was wrapped up and placed on my therapist’s shelf for another day – perhaps to revisit at a later time.

During the drive home, I couldn’t stop talking to myself, scolding myself for my behaviors.  Apologizing to my wife.  I felt a strangeness in my chest where my heart was.  Like I had to constantly rub at that spot.  I rubbed, but nothing happened, the strangeness persisted.  I wasn’t sure if I needed to scream or break something.  Instead I white-knuckled the steering wheel and tensed my entire body.  That didn’t help, but it didn’t make my face hot.

As I compose this, my feet will not stay still, like they have somewhere else to be other than attached to my ankles.  The persistent urge to rub at my chest has passed for now, the Heavy has subsided, but I still feel its presence, like it’s laying in wait.

This is entirely new territory for me.  I’m almost terrified, definitely anxiety-prone, but still willing to dive deeper into myself.  This is the hard work.  And here’s the kicker, not only do I know it, but I feel it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ODF Reaching Out

In the past nine months or so, my Once-Dear-Friend has emailed me twice.  The older of the two emails went a little something like this:

LSV, I was going through some old pictures and came across one of you and your family.  I hope you and your family are doing well.

The more recent one that I received in the last few months went this way:

I’m still here.  I still care.

Admittedly, I did not save them as, erroneously, I thought them unimportant.  Ignore and it goes away I thought.  Not likely, and not with people with whom I have a demented, parasitic bond with. 

Somewhere in ODF’s mind, he really thinks he does care, that he’s being the “bigger person” because he’s still reaching out to me even though I’m not reciprocating.  All the while, he’s told me straight out, that out of “common decency” he’d still respond to my mother when she contacts him, despite when I requested he didn’t and that all communication made me uncomfortable.  I believe he was using his faith as a base for this decision, and he couldn’t see that he was forcibly and intentionally ruining whatever friendship we had left at that time.

I did not respond to his emails, I’ll point out, but I didn’t do anything further than that either, like talk about it, or write about it, which I should have.

He knows I’m not in contact with my mother anymore and yet he maintains his relationship with her.  He has no respect for the friendship we had, that’s for sure, and you know, he’s never really had respect for me either.  I’ve always felt a second class citizen to him, and I’ve told him this.  He brushed me off saying it was my fault I felt that way and that of course, he was sorry I felt slighted.  Not that he was sorry he was the source of the feelings, but sorry for the way I felt.  Took no responsibility for that one methinks.

Maintaining a relationship with him while knowing that he will respond to my mother out of common decency is a fool’s errand.  He will report back to my mother whether I want him to or not and he will end up being a spy for her, though he will see it as just tell her the facts of what he knows about me.  And of course, being a “decent human being”.  Yes, he said that.  He’s also placed the blame on me for the estrangement with my mother, and not that it was her behaviors.  Actually, he needn’t know those details, but as a best friend, should have respected my wished regardless.  He didn’t and proved he is not a best friend, a friend, an acquaintance.

He may actually wish my family well, and may still care but I’m not sure how far that really goes.  I suspect he’s playing the blame game still and it lies squarely on my and my family’s shoulders.  We’re the ones who need to reconcile, he thinks.  We’re the ones way off base.  Since, ODF, can’t or won’t see what I’m telling him, there was no choice really but to end my friendship with him.  He couldn’t be trusted and he did that to himself.  I’m reacting or possibly being proactive in my behaviors.

I think he “cares” insofar as he doesn’t mean for any physical harm to come to us (that would be ungodly) but he doesn’t actually have my best interests at heart.  How can he when his god is Number 1 in his own life to begin with.  I’m not saying I need to be number 1, but I am saying that when I request for him to stop doing something because it hurts me, AND I’m supposed to be his best friend, I expect him to do it.  That’s having my best interests at heart.

So, he’s reaching out to maintain some sort of “holier than thou” attitude, and a secondary reason could be to report back to my mother.  I don’t know what they say, or how they say it.  I believe ODF has straight up told my mother something like “LSV told me not to talk to you." 

Way to be on my side there ODF. 
Way to dodge all responsibility.

We have no friendship now, he made sure of that.  It is unfortunate that he chose my mother over me, but I can’t say I’m entirely surprised by it.  My mother’s tentacles spread themselves far and wide, infecting many, he was just the latest casualty, or willing victim, or fellow conspirator.

Monday, June 25, 2012

That's a Problem

My mother is looking at me.  She’s always looking at me.

At least that’s what I feel like now.  There are two people in me: a Little Me, crushed and broken, and the False Me, a distorted replica of my mother.  I share her behaviors, her thoughts, her lack of emotional response.

I am weak.  The difficulty I have overcoming the enmeshment with my mother is mounting.  Some days I feel it give slightly, and others I buckle under her weight.  That’s what I feel my mother is; an enormous weight that seems to pull me inward, like she surrounds my every molecule. 

She’s a Black Hole.

I’m so very heavy.  I feel it in my shoulders, like my arms and hands are too bulky for my body.  My hands feel swollen, pressurized from the Burden.  I clench them, attempting to free up some movement.

My knees are sore from holding up my enormous self.  Almost shaking.  My whole body feels tired, constantly tired from this ever-present Burden.  I want to give into it, it will be easier I know, it will relieve that crushing force.  I also know that giving in will ruin me, and everything I have.  Permanently.

I don’t want that.  Truly.  However, I have trouble showing that since I begin to give in and revert to old, familiar behaviors.  I’ve been using food to feel better lately.  I see its effects.  I don’t like it, but I’m not strong enough to will myself into do anything different.  Still, I’d like to.

Live by example.  That’s what I’m doing.  My mother spent my entire life teaching me to deceive.  I wasn’t very good at it, I got caught often, but I was also taught to not have any remorse when I eventually did get caught.  Such is the case today.

I spent a good twenty minutes raging at myself and my mother on a lonesome drive two weekends ago.  Using every derogatory word I could think of for myself and my mother, and our behaviors.  Still, I did not cry, but I was angry, and I could feel it.  I felt it in my gut (and in my hand when I struck my car.  I screamed so loudly, that a police officer heard me and turned to see what was the matter.  He was at an intersection directing traffic three or four cars ahead of me.  I felt that I needed to say all those things directly to my mother, but I doubt I am strong enough yet.  Also, I want a transcript of what I said, that would have been more than a little jarring to read I’m sure.

I’ve started to write out in detail some of my memories that I think taught me or can teach me something about myself.  As I write, I can remember what I’m feeling or not feeling during those interactions.  In some cases, I remember actively deciding to be dishonest and regretting nothing about it.  I cared only for myself and the “here and now”.  Tomorrow was a new day, a blank slate.  I suspect that was one of my defense mechanisms I developed as a child.  Maybe tomorrow I would feel the love I needed.  I didn’t actively think that, but looking back, that’s certainly a possibility anyway.

Still, even now, I find myself thinking it’s easier not to feel.  And yet, my mother has trained me so well that I still let guilt creep up in me, I feel bad for her and that she’s lost a son.  It’s preposterous, isn’t it?

I had to protect myself from her behaviors and I feel bad for her.  Absurd.

I feel like I have to learn appropriate and effective emotions because I didn’t get the proper training, something I’ve said before… I’m more willing to read now then ever in the past, books to help me rebuild myself.  I used to only read after a major argument, now I want to read all the time – and yes, time is still short after this latest death, but as I said, there was a Paradigm Shift. 

I want emotion, proper emotion to come flowing forth.  I’m scared of what that will mean though.  And that’s a problem.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I died.

Well sort of.  A part of me experienced a necessary death several days ago.  I was left raw and uncomfortably vulnerable - an extent to which I have not experienced since I was almost 17.  I set myself up at the executioner's line and asked for the bullet. 

Willingly asked for it.

During the ordeal, I felt enormously heavy, yet, I experienced a weight shift.  A Paradigm Shift.  It could only be a darkness I've been carrying around for so long.  I forgot what it was to see Light.

My brother in law called me yesterday morning and told me how he went fishing and detailed his haul.  I could ONLY feel happy for him.  I was excited that he had a good time.  Previously, I'd always felt dejected, rejected, envious, and maligned because he hadn't asked me to go.  Without thinking about it, I could be happy for him, with him.  Confidence.  Empathy.  I have it.  I just had to exorcise the darkness.

At the end of my most recent session, I told my therapist that I felt bad for feeling good for being able to see a clear path for a rebuilding of me.  He stopped me, "Did you just hear yourself?"  I hadn't, but he pointed out that I just said I felt bad for feeling good.  Empathy emergence.

Something happened those several days ago, and it should have occurred many many years ago, and I will make sure I carry that with me, that scar, until my final days, as a constant reminder of the terrible darkness I once possessed.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Liar

I lie.
It's what I know how to do best actually - especially to the people I care about most (supposedly care about anyway).
That's what I was taught at a very young age - be vague and lie incessantly.

I lie (I originally wrote "like" and that word fit all too well in this thought sentence too...) to avoid consequences and then preach that I never cared about consequences.  I thought I didn't, but perhaps I care so much about them, I ended up creating a life that was fraudulent.

I lie because I won't and don't like to deal with reality, even the good reality.  I originally thought that I couldn't deal with it, but it is "won't" because it's a choice now.  Survival it was at a young age - forced to lie to my mother, to be what she wanted, then lie to myself thinking that what she wanted was what I really was.

I lie out of habit even when the truth is right there and will take two seconds to spit out.  My first reaction is to lie.

I lie because I am selfish.
I’m selfish because I lie.

I lie to distort truth into what I want to see and what I want to believe.

I have (had) everything good but I too, it for granted.

I was convinced that I was to take nothing from my mother into my marriage but I ended up taking nearly all of her with me.  My conscience, much like my Little Me, is beaten and subjugated almost beyond recognition, much like Voldemort’s character was in the final scenes of Harry Potter (he was a pathetic, repulsive, withering, being on the verge of giving in to Death).  That thing would be me and myself.

I’ve filled up my mind with the superfluous, the superficial, the wretched and left no room for what matters: real life, with my real family, with real emotions.

And for shit’s sake LSV, you lied to yourself in your own journal.  The hell good is a journal if you don’t even tell yourself what’s real and what isn’t??

The scars will remind me how extensive the damage was, both that I have caused and that which was done to me.  I intend to experience real life with my family.  I only hope that I have not yet run out of time.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I had to lose everything to know what I really had.