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kaboom my guts

It’s about a guy trying to hold it together while it all falls apart.

Truer words were never spoken. There is a panic. There is a desperation. Remember the scene in Forest Gump where Bubba is sitting there after being shot and he is trying to put his guts back in? Bubba does this amazing job of portraying the madness. He focuses on picking up his spilt entrails instead of the inevitable fact that he is totally screwed. His life is completely over, a moot subtext, a lost cause and he is trying to do the scoop and run with his alimentary canal.

I have felt that odd necessary sense of denial. IT is like the truth eludes you. It feels like at that very moment you have to believe in a unicorn because the horse is in the desert with no name. There is a scene in my life when I was shot. It was self inflicted, and more emotional then physical. I had a moment in time that I was holding all of my life in my hands. I was holding my career, my business, my wife, my kids, all of it, in my hands. I knew it was no longer part of me, but all I could do was to ask people to help me shove it back in. I knew in an instant that the horse that was wondering the desert was me. I knew I wouldn’t ever find my way back home and I had no idea how to move through the desert.

I asked many people. I begged for solution. I went to church, spiritual retreat, AA, talked to the guru, no one knew. I wondered and tried to bury myself in the sand. I remember the pain of losing my daughters. I can feel it anytime. It is devastating and humiliating. I want to fix it, I want to go back. I have this image of trying to put the pin back in the grenade.

It took my a long time to take any steps at all. I stood and peered into the distance in every direction. All I could see was absence. I couldn’t see anything.  I have friends that talk about the darkness. To me, it was blinding light. The heat was unbearable.

It has been years since that. I took cautious steps. I stumbled, bumbled, ran, walked, tripped, fell and got back up again to do it all over. Every once in awhile I get a reprieve. I get a text from my daughters. It is a moment of bliss as I trudge in the heat. Or I will get a kind response to an email, a friend reaches out. There are moments. Sometimes they are uplifting, sometimes remind me of the pain. However, I wouldn’t  ever not receive them. It is a blessing. Its a glimpse of the unicorn and I believe it.

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Posted by on May 14, 2017 in children, journey

 

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fascinated

It has been 5 years. 5 years since I consented to leave my house and wife. 5 years since I have had a thriving relationship with my daughters. 5 years of seeing the faces of former friends and heard the clicks of tongues. 5 years since the goal to humiliate and decimate me was paramount. 5 years since I heard the thud of hitting rock bottom.

It has been 5 years since I planted a new seed. It has been 5 years since I had to be an adult and learn to take care of myself. 5 years since I began to learn how to like myself. 5 years of learning to get back up after being knocked down. 5 years since I was given the gift of seeing who around me was really a friend. 5 years since I hit my rock bottom and bounced.

I cant believe it has been that long. It seems like such a short time ago that I was desperate to be liked. It was a short time ago that I craved intimacy on any level. It was a short time ago that I needed someone else to state my worth before I could see it.

I cant believe it has been so long. It seems like the pain should be over by now. It seems like my journey since then has been a million miles. It feels as though I have been in a sprint for the entire time. I scramble and collect. I trudge. I regroup. I stand firm and I waiver. I still hear the echoes of the clucking tongues. I feel the angst from my estranged children. I feel the thud of rock bottom.

I will trudge another day.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2017 in journey, life

 

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Counting with Mom

“Count your blessings, ” mom said. And then Id get the look when I started counting like the Count on Sesame Street. Good times.count

How come we only say this when stuff sucks? After I won the Pulitzer and the World Piece champion of all time trophies on the same day, not a single reporter said, “Count your blessings, Mister.” Its like this conspiracy to remind you that you are whining. I don’t need the reminder. I know I am whining. I want what I cant have, and I want it now. And as long as you are hurrying on my order, I would like more. “More of what?” you may ask. More of everything. The next time someone tells me to count my blessings and I begin to count like the Count, I want that stuff to go on a long time. Bwah ha ha….

I recently decided I needed to do a gratitude list. I sat down and began to write down my blessings. I had 3 and got distracted for about a week. I spent time on the delayed, but completed list. Many of my blessings were tagged with hurts or losses. I was blessed with marriage, but am since divorced. I have had wonderful friends. I have lost many, some to death, some to attrition, most to time. Each blessing had a bedevilment. As I read the list, the beauty grew from the pain.

pain

I think that the directive to count my blessings from my mom wasnt some condemnation of my tribulations. She wasnt telling me to pull myself up from the bootstraps or have some stiff upper lip. She was saying that I ought remember the beauty that can come from pain. She was letting me know that even when things were hard, God is there with me. She was letting me see that all the things I cherish came from the growth it took to get there.

Thanks, Mom.

 

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2017 in journey, life, Uncategorized

 

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I just sparkle

There is a great song. I think it is by Shawn Mullins. It talks about being born to shimmer and born to shine and born to radiate. I love that idea. I love the idea that we are meant to reflect the light of our creator. I love the idea that trapped inside of each of us is a spark that ignites who we are. I like that our fires can join and rage. I like that our candlelight can become a firelight.

I mourn that we dim our lights. I dimmed my light in judgement. I dimmed my light in rejection. I dimmed my light in low self esteem. I tried to drown it with alcohol. I dimmed my light in faking that everything was ok. I let the clouds roll in from the lands of conditional love and performance based relationship. I hid in the dark shell, trying desperately to warm myself by the thin waning light of my soul. The flame sputtered and choked. MY heart screamed, my soul cried. IT was just as cold inside as from the stern stares as outside.

I began to weep. I began to shiver in the cold. I whispered a small prayer, “Help me.” And He did. The shell cracked and I began to grow. I began to honor my light. I felt the warmth and I began to like it. I let God call the light, “Good.” I let the scales fall away and let Him began to rebuild. He comforted. He quieted. He ignited. He loved. I sparkled.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2016 in journey, life, Uncategorized

 

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Zelda meets the boy

zelda and meZelda the Wonderbus is magical. I knew it as soon as they unloaded her from the trailer. There was something special about her. I imagined adventures rivaled only by Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I jumped in and wheeled around the block. I got a few honks and waved proudly. The horn didnt work or I would have tooted gleefully. It was a few days later that I found out my brake lights and turn signals didnt work and decided the honkers were not waving at me like I thought. I had that fixed and got to work. I put in a laminated wood floor. I stained the cabinets and got new hinges for her. I put in a sound system. I bought seat covers. I sewed a new screen on her tent. We bonded. I think she cherished our time together. She always starts and she garnishes grins everywhere we go. She is even playful, once popping out of gear as I wrestled with the netting. She just wanted to be close to me as I had to scramble to the front to apply the brakes. Zany Zelda.

I have been in a quandry as of late. I find my self romanticizing the past and dwelling on love lost. I have oscillated between feeling like I should live out an 80’s movie and hold up a boom box or some other grand gesture or dive into self remorse and flagellation. I have been doing counseling and trying to learn about myself and why I function like this. It hasnt been easy. What I have found is that I have been unable to really relate to people my whole life. I have not been good at forming attachments or relationships. I, immediately, go to the needy stage and live only as others see me. I had no true self.

My long term relationship worked because she was all too happy to feed me an identity. After I got sober and started to come alive, it disturbed her. She withdrew and I panicked. I did not know myself and I did not know how to be in a relationship. However, I was tired of being dead and couldnt go back again. It crumbled and neither of us knew how to deal with it as evidenced by how nasty it became.

I spend some time trying to understand. I stood strong with my daughters and against some of the slings and arrows. I didnt crumble. I got knocked down a lot and always got back up. Things kept getting worse. I kept soberly moving forward. It started to brighten when I reconnected with an old friend of mine. We dated on and off for about a year. Looking back, I wasnt ready. I still had no idea how to be in a relationship. I had no idea how to love. What needed to start from the inside wasnt there. I quickly saw myself only as she saw me. I wanted to be that guy and was willing to try and be so. When I fell short, I would run away. It became too painful for either of us. However, I still cherish the time we spent together. I did better in that relationship than I had ever done before.zelda with seven

Zelda and I went camping this weekend. She is spruced up and full of style. We decided to stay close but go somewhere I hadnt been before. I have been really pondering who I am and how I fit into this crazy world and taking a break from that would be awesome. Zelda is magical. Not in the fortune telling way like the machine in, “Big”. Or in the fantasy way like in the video game way. She is magical as she just wanted to be with me. She trudged her way up the hill at 60-65 mph (impossible many VW owners say). We found an unoccupied free camping site right next to a stream. We parked and I set up the site. Really, I unfolded the bed and put my memory foam topper on it. I sat with her and read. I listen to her sounds. She listen to me breath. I will neither confirm nor deny that I spent some time talking with her. The magic part is that she allowed me to see what had happened to me and what was happening now. She opened my eyes to the fact that I had isolated all over again. I was afraid. I have ben afraid since I was a kid. I am afraid that someone will tease me. I am afraid that I wont be liked. I am afraid I will be called a coward. I am afraid that I am “less than.” When the bottom fell out of my life, I didnt have to be afraid anymore. I knew that I could survive and be ok with next to nothing. As friends, collegues, family turned their back on me, I saw the truth of who was left. As I scrambled financially, I saw the truth of wants versus needs. As I felt unforgiven and judged by the church universal, I say the loving and forgiving Grace of God. I felt the comfort of Abba. What Zelda showed me is that I am afraid again. I moved to an unfamiliar state, took a different job, left a love interest, set up house in a place 8 hours from anyone I knew. I went to meetings that have a different style and felt wrong. I agreed to restrictions I found silly and misdirected. I was over my head, alone, and without defenses. I was scared. I didnt think I was. I had fought hard to get here. I figured I would just keep fighting. The meetings got wierder, the job prospects unsteady. I wanted to go back to where I was before. I needed someone to tell me who I was and that I would be ok. I was addicted to avoiding my inner self, my true self. Zelda showed me. Under the fear, behind the locked door of my heart, hidden in the corner is that scared boy. He wants to relate. He wants to love. He wants to not be afraid. His arms are outstretched. I hugged that boy this weekend. I told him he was very brave for trying so hard. He was very smart for figuring out a way to get his needs met for so long. He is “just enough.”

Zelda started right up when I headed home.zelda front

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2015 in journey, life

 

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stop, drop and roll

I have emotions. Its a new deal for me. I don’t really know how to deal with them. Let me explain. As a kid, I was a very emotional child. I laughed and played. I was outgoing and charismatic. I also cried at the drop of a hat. I was seen as a bit of a cry baby. I remember very clearly my Dad telling me I had “a strange sentimentality.” I never understood that and he could never explain further. However, I took it as a judgment thing and set out to hide my emotions. I didn’t want to be seen as weak or emotionally loose. It really didn’t work out so well for me. I had a girlfriend in HS. She decided to break up with me so that she would be available if this guy wanted to go out with her when she was on vacation. I was crushed. I hurt. I cried. I called her often (probably more often then when we were dating). It took me a very long time to stop thinking about her. I was a love sick puppy for months. I did the same thing with a girlfriend in college. Both times I really crashed and burned. Each time, I decided that I would shut down my emotions. I would hide from them, rather than feel them. They leaked out over time and festered inside for a long time. They were caustic, humiliating, and damaging.

When I met my ex-wife, I had perfected the ability of hiding emotions. I had self righteous anger and indignation. I was humorous, but generally at the expense of someone else. I pretended nothing bothered me, but inside I was a bundle of confusion, slithering like maggots on a dead body. I tried to share emotions often, but it came out as a victim. There was so much hurt, pain, and despair that I had denied. When I opened up, it overwhelmed me. I had held on to it for so long, I didn’t know how to deal with it or how to let it go. Part of me didn’t want to. I had grown accustomed to feeling like that. It was awful, but comfortable. However, the maggot wiggled between my fingers and the emotions came out in spurts. She tried to comfort me and support me. It felt good and I liked the idea of partnership. However, subconsciously I figured that if she loved me because I was a victim, if I wasn’t, she couldn’t love me. I played the role. I resented it. I drank it away.

I decided to change. I decided to accept life on lifes terms. I wanted to stop being a victim of life and of myself. As I tried to feel again, to live again, it became clear that my wife would soon be my ex-wife. She liked being the hero. She liked being in charge. I imagine she thought, “If I didnt need her to take care of me, did I need her at all?” Either way, she and I became more and more distant. It freaked me out. I felt her pulling away. We became less and less emeshed and I bled. I hurt. I panicked. I felt the rejection from every relationship. I felt the rejection from HS, College, and beyond. I felt the rejection as my kids became estranged. I took on the shame.

I really worked on avoiding the shame and the fear of rejection. I thought I had learned new skills. When I broke up with the love of my life two years later, I felt the same rejection. I am so afraid of being unlovable. I romanticize the relationship. I slip back into the “need” to be with her, rahter than the “want.” I was afraid of being alone.

A friend talked to me about working through these emotions. Learning to understand them, accept them, feel them. I try. It is hard to learn how to do it after years of hiding all emotions, running from them in terror. I acknowledge them. I accept them. I even thank them. I diffuse the romantic picture and let it seep with the reality. I get to a point where I think I am doing well. I think I have resolved the hurt and pain. I get to the point that I have moved on. Then something happens, the full moon, a flock of birds, a gentle chill in the air. I hurt again. I brood and get lost. I feel the fear of rejection. I start to think about finding comfort in another person. I stop myself, realizing that fear is not a reason to get into a relationship. I am acutely lonely for a little while. I am in pain. I feel nauseated. I feel depleted. The victim mentality resurfaces and I want someone to take care of me. There is no one around and I feel the rejection again. It consumes me like a fire. I stop, drop, and roll. I start again. I accept myself and my emotions. I acknowledge. I thank. I forgive. Its another day. Maybe, someday, I will be able to do this. I have a strange sentimentality, apparently.

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2015 in life

 

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click three times….

I am the scarecrow.scarecrow2 I walk funny and have very little fashion sense. I also really want to be smarter. I keep getting myself into hurtful situations by not thinking it out. My dad used to say that I was thinking, just with the wrong head. My life in BD (before Dorothy) was not very exciting. I fumbled along looking for a purpose. I analyzed myself and could tell you all my shortcomings and faults. As I wondered around aimlessly, a smart and wholesome woman suggested I would like to be of service in the fields. She described how it would make me a good Christian to protect the food source and be of service. She suggested it was my calling and I could do it for a lifetime. I hoisted myself on the cross and hung there. I beamed at her and she at me. I had found love and a purpose at the same time. The woman grew to resent me. She wanted to control and for me to be in control. She didn’t like taking care of me. I grew to resent the woman. I tried to wiggle out of the victim role, but didn’t know how. I just hung around. The woman left and I stayed on the cross, lamenting. Dorothy came along and invited me to share in the journey. She wasn’t going to do it for me, and made no promises. I fell off the cross and learned to walk all over again, resuming the stumbling journey. I wanted a brain.

I am the tin man.tin-man I have been frozen in time by my ill timed tears. I have felt hollow and empty. I have longed for love and to be loved. I have felt like my heart was taken and destroyed. I have lived a life pretending to feel. I faked not having pain or despair. I have run away in fear from love because I was worried I had nothing to give in return. Dorothy came along and suggested a voyage to my heart. They would love me until I could love myself and then I could love someone else.

I am the lion.The-Wizard-Of-Oz-Cowardly-Lion I put on a brave front. I was a bully and fierce protector. I humiliated others and used my false bravado to intimidate. Inside I quivered. Inside I fled. Inside I screamed. I was afraid of life. I was afraid of risk. I was afraid that if anyone could see my insides, they would reject me. I set out to prove them right and rejected them or made them reject me. I was cowardly. I couldn’t state my needs or wants for fear I didn’t deserve to have them. Dorothy came and rejected only the exterior. She denied the bravado and slapped my nose. She loved my interior. She acknowledged the good in failing and getting up again. She encouraged journey, rather than destination.

I am Toto. Clueless and yappy. I offered little to the story but comedy relief. I existed and wondered, but didn’t really live. Dorothy didn’t help me at all, I got nothing from the Wizard. I didn’t change or adapt to any situation. I refused to grow, and just kept wandering, pointing out the flaws in everyone else’s story of magic.

But of course, Dorothy and the Wiz didn’t really give me anything I didn’t have. I had the brains to know how to survive in a loveless marriage, and the brains to get back on the path when that fell apart. I had the love to love again. I hurt not because I have no heart, but because mine works. I didn’t need a new heart, just to heal my own. I had courage. The courage to protect myself the only way I knew how, and when shown a different way, the courage to change. I had the courage to arise once again. I am not clueless or a clanging cymbal. I have experience, strength, and hope. I also have boundaries. I wont believe something or follow something just because everyone else is. I insist on reality and honesty. I desire relationship with authenticity.

and then I clicked the third time…

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2015 in journey, life

 

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