Category Archives: divorce
memory I miss you. As I say it, a multitude of people run through my head. I can see faces frozen from moments in time that our souls touched. I feel the emotions of that moment for an instant. I can latch onto them, but it feels like grabbing a cloud. Trying to hold them makes me feel their absence even more. The people that trapse through my memory are in tiers. The first round are those I miss more acutely. I see my kids. I remember the moments of tension and separation. I see moments in time of intense love. I feel the love despite the hostility. I see the love in good times and bad. I can feel it. I long for it, and I mourn its loss. I try and grasp it and I grasp at the giggle, like trying to hold color. I see lost loves. There are distant ones and recent ones. I can feel the connections and the laughter. I can feel it all over again and I hear the voice that explains why we couldn’t stay together. The soft echo of the inner critic whispers that I will never find a lasting love. I hope it isn’t true, but part of me is resigned to capturing the fleeting moments. I see old friends. Friends that stayed, friends that left. I see a journey of friends, some for a reason, some for a season, and a few for a lifetime. I long for those moments of kindred spirit. I don’t know how to make friends like that anymore. When I was a kid, you just asked if you could play whatever game and suddenly you had a new best friend. I tried that a few times as an adult. “Hey, I see you are doing that thing you do, want to be friends?” Heck, there are internet groups that try and foster that very thing. Meetup groups all over the world beckon the adult to make friends based solely on a common activity. I’ve joined several and soon I will go to an event, perhaps. The adventure after divorce is a fascinating one. I spent a long time being deliberately single. I heard the advice that I needed to like myself. I declared I was dating myself for a while and set out to understand and enjoy myself. It worked pretty well. I could be alone without being lonely, for the most part. I came close to living with a few women. I freaked out. I liked my routine. I wanted to be with someone and I wanted to not be with someone. I didn’t know how to be with someone and not completely sacrifice and forget who I was. I wanted to not stagnate again. I wanted to continue to grow and thrive in the newness of each day. I wanted to rejoice at this new day. I just don’t know how to do that. I’ve never had it. Heck, I’ve never seen it. How do you capture a Unicorn? I miss true relationship and I’ve never had it.
That is so odd to say. I frankly never thought I’d ever be 50. When my older brother turned 35, he said that was the age he thought of as old. I didn’t have a number chosen at the time, but 50 feels very old.
I’ve been sober 10 years. I have 2 kids under 20. I was married for 20 years and divorced for 4 years now. I have worn glasses for 32 years. I have friends that I have known for 35 years or more. I have been mountain biking for 28 years. I have lived in 14 different places, 10 in the last 5 years. I drink 3 or 4 cups of coffee a day.
I have been very pensive about this birthday. That isn’t really because of the number, but rather the circumstances of my life right now. I am 50, sure. But I am single. I have seen my kids sparingly over the last several years (not by my choice). I have moved, yet again, and started a new job, yet again. I don’t know many people here and am feeling pretty lonely as of late. I stumbled pretty hard 5 years ago. I was out of work, out of the house, and beat up pretty bad. I have clamored back to a stand over and over again. I have a job. I have a little cash in my pocket. I have a roof over my head and food in the fridge. Don’t get me wrong, I am so very grateful for what I do have. I just miss being part of a partnership. That ended for my 15 years ago or so. I haven’t lived in a partnership, a true dynamic relationship. Now is that because I don’t know how or it doesn’t exist? I read books and listen to experts talk and they seem to think it exists. If it doesn’t, what a cruel trick to play.
Anyways, I am alone and isolated. I am 50. I feel sad, but not because of the number.
What I do have is 10+ years of sobriety, despite the stumblings. I have Hope despite the darkness. I have had to learn to like myself and I can be alone most of the time without being lonely. I have perseverance. I trust myself now. I know that I will get back up. I know that I can survive and be content with next to nothing. I know that I can climb back up. I know that when Lady Luck grinds her heel into my chest as I lay floundering on my back, I will rise again. I know that when I am beaten and tormented I will heal. I know that I have the capacity to love unconditionally in the face of contempt and despise. I know that I crave dynamic relationship and don’t have to settle.
I am 50 and have just begun to grow, yet again
I’m sitting here alone in a much too big house, starting yet another year, watching the snow fall on a foreign and unfamiliar place. Ive done this a lot over the last few years. Nothing has been familiar or trustworthy. I have tried to find a solid to hold onto. I find myself grasping air, ghosts, at the best, liquid. When particularly afraid, I try to hold on tighter, which just makes me tired and more desperate. Ive been chasing ghosts, spectors, illusions, dreams, and lies.
It started a long time ago. I have always wanted the dream. I wanted to be happily married. I wanted to be popular, successful, brilliant, and tall. I led a façade life. IT was play acting. I was a good actor, well good enough to believe my own performance. I thought that was me. I pretended I was popular, successful, even brilliant. I never did get to be tall. As the turmoil of not being who I really was began to rip me apart, I ran. I was in full flight from reality. I hid. The separation of who I was grew from the truth. I chased the illusion of becoming what I wanted to be. I believed I could be what others wanted me to be. I kept running. I kept grasping. The wind ran through my fingers as I sank more and more into despair. The ghosts haunted me. They teased me. The pointed out how I failed. They showed me who I really was. Over 10 years ago, God spoke to me in a church basement through a group of people that also ran to ghosts. HE told me, “Find me or die.” He said I had a choice to keep moving away, or to stop and change directions. I have tried. I wanted life. I wanted to be whole. I wanted to be a real little boy. I learned. I clamored. I sought. I keep trying. But it feels lie chasing ghosts again. I feel the presence of the Spirit. I can see His hands, feel His love. When I try to hold it, it vanishes.
Since the original message, I chased several ghosts. I tried to chase the ghost of love. I asked for a time to heal my family. I sought real connection I was rejected and tried to seek heart through different ways. IT failed. The host turned on me, biting and hacking. IT was nasty. IT reminded me of the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, when they open the Ark and the beautiful angel turns into a ugly spector. It kept getting worse. My screams and pain only fueled the vengence. The venom, the hate would leak from my wounds. I would lose my life, my kids, my illusions. I would be erased. I held onto the ghost of love, hoping that the love of the kids would outweigh the hate and hurt. It didn’t. I keep sharing my heart. I keep putting the whisper in the wind. I speak love. I speak connection. I speak truth and solid. MY wind is not as strong or present at this point. It aches.
I chase the illusion of success. I have struggled to rebuild a life and a career. I make decisions that I think are the right ones. It all seems to fall in line and then crumble. The illusion is maddening. It taunts me that the success of being who I am is not as important as what I do. I know it to be a lie, however it would be easier to give in to the lie. It would be easy to surrender to the false self again. Chasing the ghosts has worn me out.
I search for the ghost of love. I panic when it eludes me. I open myself to its wind and am met with cold and heartless breezes. The breeze hurt, it leave icicles on my ribs, shielding my heart from the warmth. I close myself again, deciding to not open up again, only to find myself aching once again. The world is so worried about being hurt, we cant open, we can no longer love without fear. Again, I am confronted by the same condition, “Find God or die.” I can fight for that connection to God’s Spirit or die, existing for chasing ghosts. The same ghosts that my heart and mind crave, desire, ache for.
I’m sitting in a foreign land, watching the snow fall, covering the world in ghosts. I’m afraid.
Well Poop, I am Humpty Dumpty.
I was trying to figure out which Fairy Tale was most like my life. I really dont know why I was trying to figure this out, but it seemed to be the right thing to do at the time. I have had great perseverence historically and I thought about Jack and the Beanstalk originally. I couldnt come up with a specific example for an analogy of the beans. Sure, I could have called them the false gods I seem so attracted to. They could be emotional escape, intimacy, alcohol, television, whatever. But I dont think I would climb that high without a harness.
I kept thinking of the squeeky clean exterior I wore as a mask for decades. My outward appearance was pretty shiny. It became impermeable to mild assault. It repelled and maintained its luster. Inside was gelatinous goo. I protected the vulnerable insides with a smirk and sarcastic wave. I was deft enough to avoid many a calamity. In fact, when things did arise, I would immediately call attention to them so that others could tell my exterior how wonderful it appeared. I kept hoping the kind words and support would make it through the impermeable wall I had set up. Nothing could get in or out. The goo had spoiled and had begun to stink, the shell held its ground.
I perched on a wall, far removed from other people. I went to meditate and consider my plight. I had been told that an egg was only half a life. What I needed was another half. I needed to be completed. I had searched and found someone willing to take on the job. My shell grew thicker instead of thinner. We both faked happiness as we clamored internally to the sounds and fume of rotting souls.
I had been told that success, power, women, money, recreation, even God…. would restore my soul. It would allow me to relax and direct my life. The shell held its ground. I knew no other way to protect my fragile insides.
Ever wonder what caused Humpty to fall? Was he pushed in an attempted murder? Did the wind blow and he simply lost balance? Did he jump? Was he staring into the future and longingly trying to grasp it? Did he scream to God that he could no longer continue on? Did the pressure of the fumes and gaseous emissions inside build up an unsustainable level? Was it all of the above?
I hit the ground and cracked. I shattered. I felt the foul ooze seep on the ground. I watched as my shell splintered and scattered. I smiled. There was instant relief. I knew that the insides would repulse others. I knew that I was fetid and broken at that point, but I wasnt fighting to hide. Despite the relief and the freedom, I tried to put the pieces back together. It was a fantasy, but I thought if I hurried, no one would noticed. I could be decorative porcelin with age cracks. I struggled to imagine life without my shell. I was defenseless. I called upon others to help me. They were royalty in my mind, or near to it. I demanded they helped. I begged them to help. They tried, noses wrinkled. They tried to ignore the sticky goo. They searched for shell. They had creative substitutes for the pieces they couldnt find. I patched the shell with other false gods. I tried to be someone new with the same broken and now defunct shell.
I also forgot to collect the insides. I rebuilt the shell, but left the goo. I was hollow. More importantly, there was nothing inside to rot, nor to heal. I had effectively allowed myself to not hurt, but I wouldnt be able to love. I had a body, but no soul. I had a structure, but no function. I was inert.
As I looked at the goo on the sidewalk, I wondered if I was an unfertilized half being. Did I need something to complete me? Was it the insides that mattered and the outsides were useless? I imagined trying to be just the amorphous blob sliding through life. I would have emotions. I would be open. I would be vulnerable. There would be nothing hidden. The carrion birds I had in my life began to carry away parts of my goo. The soul and the heart of who I was were pecked at, tormented, and assaulted. With wrinkled nose and a fake smile, I was urged to climb. I was urged to perform. My non existent shell was beheld and complimented like the emperor’s new clothes. It felt great to feel appreciated. It felt great to imagine I was loved. I think I knew it wouldnt last, but I held on to it. I wanted to be seen and accepted for my insides. When it was exposed as a scam by the same people that had imagined it, I was again defamed and left to rot.
It came as a whisper. It came as the wind. It was a warm breeze and a chilling breath. I am not half. I am not inside nor outside. I am both and that is whole. I am permeable protection. I need shame resilience, and self regulation. I need to defend myself from the hate and hurt from others, but I also get to enjoy my insides. I get to grow and nuture. I get to cherish the stuff inside for its limitations and triumphs. I am a whole egg and a good egg at that.
I was the dead person the little boy saw. It was a long day, being dead and all. I wasn’t certain that I was dead at first. That made for some awkward moments. You may not know this, but when you are dead the living are not so polite to you. Its really criminal. I have started a petition for the equitable treatment for the living impaired, but that’s a different blog. My first encounter with this was with my ex-wife. Apparently, once you are among the soul less individuals, treating people as people is no longer required. The first step to separate yourself from the recently dead is to send an email to everyone you have ever had contact with. What you need to do is taunt the newly dead and point out all the things that have strangled the life out of the departed. IT is like a game. If you overshoot the victim role, you end up squarely in the perpetrator role. Its the balance beam of subterfuge. The next step is to turn to the family. This is a much more delicate operation. There is more history with the relatives. They understand that the loved one was once living and , in the living, had some very alive moments and some near dead moments. The way to circumnavigate this is to isolate them. You make sure there is no contact with the dead. Changing the locks and having the loved ones refer to the dead by a foreign name helps. Don’t worry about your own soul or about being honest, the dead aren’t welcome in courts and if you slid yourself into the victim role, the departed are now the perpetrator. Make sure that you are caustic and over dramatic each time you interact with the dead. You must keep up appearances at all waking moments.
The second experience was with a woman I dated. I still had not recognized I was dead and was actually feeling much better. Maybe I was only mostly dead. I enjoyed a new living with her. I loved very deeply. We played. We laughed. We cried. It was like nothing I had ever experienced in my former life. It scared the living shit out of me. A few months into the relationship, I started to feel my spector self. I recognized my death through counseling and some new friends I had made. The stink of death had not completely left me. I wanted to address it, but it is overwhelming. The spector weaved in and out of my new life. The taunts and humiliation of the past weaved through my being. I tried to talk about it, to address it. The living don’t want to hear from the dead. She pulled away and I panicked. I tried to re-engage in life and living. I feared the return of death. I died all over again. I didn’t like being dead, but I had not figured out how to be alive completely. I have only now recognized my re-death and progressed to live again. However, I am dead to her.
The fascinating thing I learned while dead is that our memories and unresolved traumas stay as ghosts. They are like the wind. The swirl around the living, blocking them from connection with the other living. IF the dark memories, traumas, and insecurities aren’t dealt with, they grow and multiply. The swirling becomes violent. They are isolated from the next step, the light of the world. The living cant see them. They grow slowly enough that the choking is subtle. You grow accustomed to it. The living wonder through a half existence in the midst of a swirl, a dermish. At variable intervals, part of the swirl dives into the corporeal. The ephereal infuses the body and mind. It taints and taunts. The dark diminishes the light. It confuses. IT misdirects. For my new life, it cost me love. IT always costs the price of the moment. IT seems real. It seems like a tangible force. IT feels like being hit by a truck. When it leaves the body, the ghost droppings remain. It stinks up the living. It has to be found and cleaned. Sometimes, the recently departed become part of the swirl. The pain and hurt and other emotions that accompany the memories are darker when compared to the light that was present days, months or years before.
Be Still and know I am God. These words to me quiet the swirl. It recognizes that the swirl and the turmoil are inevitable. Letting the swirl torment you is optional. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. The wind has to be recognized. It has to be addressed. If the pain is too great, too violent, it will be there when the living is able to deal with it. It will infuse eventually, the swirl is constant and unpredictable. Being aware of it, addressing it deliberately, honestly, and compassionately is the key to knowing God.
I will miss you.
I am saying farewell to my daughters for awhile today. It was a few years ago that my older daughter spewed venom at me. She was victim to some very nasty parental alienation. She was very similar to me and her mother spoke of how much she hated me and how bad I was. It translated to my daughter that 1/2 of her was less than dirt. She rejected anything that was like me. Her anger increased as she couldn’t get away from herself. I listened to her read the letter that stated she would not see me again. It was filled with hate, venom, and barbed wire. I listened. I thanked her for her honesty. I stated I wished she didn’t have to feel this way, and that I love her. It was the last time I saw her for any length of time.
My youngest daughter is ready to live life without me. It has been very hard on her. The difficulty of trying to be in two places emotionally and in two different attitudes was ripping her apart. She has stopped contacting me at all or responding to my contacts.
I miss them. I tried everything I knew to do. Then I asked what else to do and tried that. I tried to hold on. I tried to fight. But my holding and fighting seemed to only make it worse.
I thought of Solomon. Solomon stood before two women claiming a child as their own. The fight was brutal. He declared the child should be cut in half. The woman that couldn’t bare to see it was thought to be the mother. My fighting and holding has served to tear them apart. I have to let go. I cant hurt them anymore.
I thought of Hannah, mother of Samuel. She received a blessing from God and was totally willing to let it go. She released her son back to God.
I miss you. I love you. I release what I want more than anything.
There were 2 babies in the parable about Solomon tearing the baby in half to give one to each who claimed to love the child. The first child was being torn apart. One parent had made a mistake. IT caused the disagreement and the ensuing war. Still, there was love and tenderness. he longed to be with his children. The other parent was wounded. Their pride was damaged and out of fear and pain, poison had been given to the child to confuse the brain and cloud the soul. The only way to understand the child would be to look at her heart. The child wailed in pain and torment. The poison worked and fueled the anger and dismay. Solomon was frustrated and confused.
Both parents feigned caring. Both parents seem to want the child. He pronounced custody. The child wailed as she realized the torment would continue. One parent dropped to their knees. hearing the screams, seeing and feeling the pain, he let go. For now. He knew the child might not ever come back, the poison had gone deep and wide. However, he could not bare causing the pain he saw. He let go.
The other child swang on the hands of both parents. Happy and joyous, she seemed content and untainted. She loved well and she loved without reservation. It would be some time later. The poison spilled from the first onto the second. The parent who took the first, celebrated her victory of winning the child, lauded it over the second child as proof of how she should let go of the hand. He felt the hand slipping from his and tried to hold on tighter. He asked for help, he shared, he panicked, and he loved. Standing before Solomon again, he remembered the nights of horrific pain. He recalled the tears and torment. He felt the pain of letting go. He couldn’t imagine living through that again. He smelled the poison on his child and saw the venom oozing from the serpentine teeth of his former love. He prepared for a battle. He came to fight and win. There was a glimmer from the face of his child. He quickly glanced, wanting to keep his eyes on the attack. There was a single tear on her cheek. Her eyes seemed not lost, not angry, but confused.
He knelt down and dropped his weapons. He cried and told the child that he loved her with all his heart. He loved her, her sibling, and even her mother. He would always be ready to welcome her. He just couldn’t cause more pain. He let go of her hand.
The pain was excrutiating. The noise deafening. The smirk on the parents face as they led the child of joy away was nothing short of evil.