Tag Archives: Life

Fast Forward

18 Apr

Fast forward is the speed I am most accustomed.

You see, I am terrified.

Terrified of what I’ll miss, what I’ll leave behind.

So, I rush.

I go.

I run.

I flee.

As fast as I possibly can, I navigate through this little thing we all call “life”.

Without hesitation, I leap.

I dodge.

I dash.

I absolutely must find the quickest, most efficient way from Point A to Point B.

Stop and smell the flowers, you say?

Nah.

Those flowers are surely a waste of time.

Sure, I am certain they will undoubtedly amuse me with their ever so intoxicating scent. Their dazzling colors a welcomed distraction from a lifelong race.

But If you even think of actually stopping to experience them, I will leave you standing there alone in that pasture.

You see, I have to go.

I’ve already wasted so much time.

I am convinced I am missing something.

I just wish I knew what it was I was missing.

Part One: The Beginning Of The End

6 Jul

Okay, let’s slow this train down a bit.

Actually, let’s bring it to a screeching halt.

Over the past couple of weeks, it has come to my attention that the story of my last year or so hasn’t been told in the clearest of ways. As I sit back and read through my entries, my life on virtual paper, I realize, to some, this may be very true.

You see, in order to protect certain individuals involved in my mess of a life, I tend to take a different approach to writing about my everyday happenings and emotions. I do not do this to hide my responsibility for my own actions, but rather to not tell too much of the story and let the reader develop their own sense of relation to what I may be experiencing. In doing so, there have been sentiments and sympathy thrown my way from the best of people. And even though these words of encouragement helped me get through some of the hardest of times, I now realize that certain people may feel that I was not deserving of such kind words and that I was, in fact, playing the victim role when I shouldn’t have been.

Over the past couple of months, there has been a lot of twists and turns in my so-called life. Some have been bad, others have been extremely good. I have hit a new level of honesty with someone that I’ve hurt really bad. And in the interest of opening the book for everyone who has questioned me to see, in interest of keeping a level of honesty so high, I have decided to tell my story as purely and blatantly as possible. This is my attempt to set the record straight, to expunge and dispel any rumors and untruths. Some of you may hate me even more after this. And you know what? That’s okay. I am not doing this for the sake of your comfortableness. I am doing this for me, for her, and for the myriad of others I have hurt, confused, and completely baffled over the last year.

So, here goes nothing. I hope to see you on the other side.

(***Please note: This is my life. This is real. I am not doing this for sympathy or for personal benefit. I am not doing this to look good or to be played up as something I am not. This is my account of events and craziness that this last year has brought. You can do with it as you will.***)

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Part One: The Beginning of the End

Shortly before the birth of our second child, I started to get really ill. Daily, new and mysterious symptoms would seem to pop up out of nowhere. As any good patient would do, I spent loads of time and money hopping from one specialist to the next. I mean, if they had an “ologist” added to the end of their specialty, I had one, if not two or more appointments scheduled with them. Test after test revealed a bunch of obscure abnormalities, but nothing that fit a bigger picture, nothing that seem to fit any type of diagnosis. On a daily basis, I could feel my mood decline, my happiness seem to sleep almost completely away.

Without a doubt, around this very time, I am convinced this is when a fickle little bitch called “depression” started to take hold. Of course, my wife noticed and urged me to get help. Me, being the alpha-dumbassmotherfucker-male, denied up and down that I was anywhere near that hideous label of being one of those “depressed” folks. I could surely handle these feelings on my own. I sure the hell didn’t need therapy. And medication? Heh. Medication was for the weak. I was NOT weak. I was a man, dammit.

With my mental status and physical status both quickly declining, thoughts of divorce crept into my mind constantly. I mean, I had fleeting thoughts about it before. But they were just that. Fleeting. There one minute and gone the next. What married person hasn’t thought about it one time or another? But this time around, it was different. Those thoughts that were once just an aberration, were now front and center on a daily basis.

At this point, I had been married for over 8 wonderful years. On the outside (and even on the inside) our marriage was rock solid and except for a few revolving issues (which mostly had to do with my emotional unavailability), we were the epitome of a successful marriage. But still, I felt broken inside. I felt like I never could fully open up to her and reciprocate the type of love she deserved. I felt like a coward because I couldn’t tell her what was going on in my mind out of pure and simple fear of hurting her feelings. I mean, what if these feelings all the sudden just went away? Why would I bring them up if they surely would soon disappear? But alas, the cowardice built up inside to a point that it brought another emotion in with it. Hello, guilt. How very nice to meet you.

As the months went on, my health was declining and failing fast. To make matters even more complicated, we now had a newborn in the house with a four year old to boot. Combined with the lack of sleep and an extremely colicy baby, my health was nearing a breaking point. Little did I know, I would be hospitalized soon. And not just for a quick moment either.

For the better part of a month, I was in and out of the hospital. I accumulated a total of 18 days in aggregate being poked with needles, blasted with radiation, and put on every type of intravenous medication known to man. In and out of drug induced consciousness, I could see my wife standing, sitting, sleeping, and watching over me all the while keeping a house together and two kids safe, healthy, and satiated. Not only was this very comforting to me, it was also crushing at the same time. Here is this remarkable woman keeping her vow to me in sickness and I am consumed with thoughts of divorce. Whatever was left of my happiness was wiped clean off the earth at this time. I despised myself. I hated everything I was. I was a fucking loser. I wasn’t a man. I was weak, lost, and above all, a terrible husband. Who could you even think of a divorce after she stood next you rock steady during your worst of times? What a despicable excuse for a human being I had become.

After an EUREKA! moment by a couple of physicians, I was finally released from the hospital and sent home to start my recuperation. As I arrived home and settled in, I was convinced that since we had made it through this toughest time, the thoughts that screamed so loudly in my head, would certainly reverse course and cease to exist. We had, once again, made it through the dark and there had to be nothing but light ahead, right?

But there was never any light coming out of my little tunnel. And being the intuitive, caring wife, she started to notice my attitude had changed. Still, I pressed on. Her questions about my happiness where quickly answered with a wide array of reassurances. For the most part, those reassurances were completely true. You see, I did love her. And I was happy on some levels some of the time. The problem had nothing to do with her. The problem(s) were all self contained. That is, until that night.

As the tears strolled down both of our faces, my mind finally came to terms with what just came blurting out of my mouth.

“I want a divorce.”

After 9 years of marriage, I had just brought down the entire relationship with four words. I felt sick. I wanted to vomit. At that point, I truly wanted to die. My mind swirled as she lashed out in anger and sadness. Throughout our entire marriage, I was hellbent on never making her hurt or sad. I tried my best to always insure there was a smile on her face at all times. But there I was, doing the very thing I promised I would never do. Hurting her was one of my biggest fears. And I was solely responsible for the tears, I was the only one causing the hurt.

That night was one of the worst nights of my life. My heart still pounds and my hands still shake when I think about it. A lot of people think that once you ask for a divorce, that’s it, that’s all there is. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Reality hits you harder than you ever thought possible. The hatred, the loathing, and the fear quickly invade whatever emotional vacancies you have left. Nobody ever wakes up wanting to voluntarily hurt the one they love.  I, for one, never thought I would be that guy.

But I was.

And unfortunately, this was only the beginning to the end.

(To be continued…)

What My Dreams Have Become

14 Jun

You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach the moment your body jerks awake from a bad daydream?

You know what I am talking about.

The kind of daydream you would only experience right smack dab in the middle of fourth period your sophomore year in high school.

The kind of dream that jolts you so hard, each and every appendage flails about as if you suddenly were the recipient of some archaic form of electroshock therapy.

The kind of dream that instantly makes your blood pressure skyrocket and your control of normal bodily functions all but cease to exist.

The kind of dream that combines all your greatest fears into one, mimicking and cloning all your secret worst case scenarios you haven’t told one single soul about on this earth.

As secret as these scenarios might be to the outside world, to your brain, they aren’t a secret at all. Not even a little bit. See, your brain knows you. And it knows you well. It has the ability to prey and feed on all your worst fears and insecurities no matter how laughable or valid they might be. Around each corner lurks another threat drummed up by your mind to taunt and horrify you. Finally, your body’s natural self-preservation mechanisms kick in and you find yourself the subject of ridicule and jokes by your friends for being that kid that fell asleep so hard in algebra, he actually slobbered all over his desk and screamed like a little girl as his brain finally allowed him to come to his senses.

As embarrassing as that sounds, that’s what is supposed to happen. Deep down, your body shuts off that threat your mind concocted and hands you back, for better or for worse, over to reality. But what happens if you never fully wake up? What if your mind still wreaks havoc on your soul although you are actually awake? Or even worse, what if what you thought was actually just one repetitiously brutal and terrifying dream was, in reality, nothing but your only known normalcy?

For the past year and half, I have been living in this nightmarish state of mind. Each and every single one of my fears and insecurities have been laid out for my brain to fiddle and fondle with unabashed recklessness. You see, my mind knows me. Over the years, it has grown, evolved, and even invented new and interesting ways to tease and shame. My brain, without a doubt, will always be at the finish line waiting for me to chug along and catch up. No matter how clever I think I may be, I will never be able to outwit it. I’ll never be able to out run it.

So, with each and every day my head lifts off of my pillow as the sun rises in the sky, I will myself to wake up. I will myself to stop dreaming. I do everything within my power to shout, fight, scratch, and overcome. But alas, there’s no use. Because this is not a dream. This is my life. And I have all but given up looking for the alarm clock.

Roller Coasters

8 Feb

My feet dig into the floor beneath me as the padded vinyl harness encompasses my torso. As instructed, I fasten my seatbelt and prepare myself for what’s to come. Beads of sweat trickle down my forehead as my anxiety skyrockets past its normal limits. Without warning, I begin to climb.

At this altitude, I can see everything. Each thought that bounces around my mind exhilarates and excites me. Smiles come freely from up here. You can hear my laughter for miles and miles. As slow as the ascent was, I am happy to be this high.

But I know what’s coming. In fact, I can already feel my stomach start to drop.

No matter how much I try, I never fully prepare myself for the freefall. I reach out trying to grasp just one tiny branch to halt my descent. Before I know it, I am right back where I started, standing in line waiting to buy another ticket.

Suddenly, it’s my turn again. Reluctantly, I purchase my ticket, sit down, and fasten my harness. As my hands grab the seatbelt, something inside me changes. A calm and serenity fills each and every part of my weary soul.

“This ride is not for me.” I mumble underneath my breath.

No sooner did those words stumble over my lips, I found myself walking away from the pavilion, feverishly searching for level ground. As my feet pound the unfamiliar soil beneath me, I realize I am lost. Gone are the maps. Gone are the tour guides. Gone are the recommendations from others on what path to choose.

Over my shoulder, I can still see that roller coaster off in the distance. As I trudge along this beaten path, I wonder how I will ever get back to the top again.

I know I will get there.

I will just have to find my own way.

 

The Day My Life Changed

17 Jan

As the very first cries came from your tiny lips, I found myself lost in you. Up until this point, I had been nervously and anxiously awaiting your arrival for what seemed like an eternity. All of the sudden, you were here in my arms. I could hear your voice, your screams as they alerted my soul to your long-awaited entrance into this world. With my hands trembling, I brushed aside your whimpers with nothing more than a simple stroke of your hair.  Seconds later, you were asleep. A moment in time, frozen in my mind for the rest of my life.

Five years have passed since that cold winter day. I’ve watched you transform into this brilliant, kind, and loving human being. As eager as I am to teach you everything I know, you have been the one to show me all that is right in this world.

In many ways, you are all me. From the way you get frustrated at the smallest of things, to the way you walk, to the way use your hands when you are trying to illustrate your point. But as we are one in the same, we are different as well. You have taught me things that nobody else could ever even possibly do. I watch you interact and love without fear. I watch you make your mother laugh and cry with happiness in the very same moment. I watch you take your sister’s hand and lead her through this world with a passion and devotion like I have never seen. These not so little things seem to be so natural for you. And that warms the inner most part of my soul.

You don’t know it, but as I watch you, I am learning. With each one of your actions, you teach your father the simplest of things he should have already known. I know in the future, you’ll get frustrated with me. You’ll want me to just understand and pick up the simplicity of life the way you do. Just know that I am working on it. I am a slow learner as far a life is concerned. But I know that I’ll get it sooner or later. I have one of the best teachers a man could ask for.

Five years  ago to this very day my life changed for forever. It’s uncanny and heartwarming for me to witness this perfect human being make his way through life. I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I am.

Happy Birthday, son. I love you more than these words could ever convey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And In That Moment, My Mind Was Free

1 Sep

As I threw the tiny plastic ball towards him, I could see the setting sun laced with dark clouds in the Western sky. Brilliant oranges and reds peered through each and every crevice in which these enormous masses of vapor could not cover.  A gentle breeze cooled my skin as it passed us by. For a moment, time had stopped. I was transfixed and quickly ushered to another realm of reality. I am not sure just how much time had gone by, but judging from the inflection of his impatient response, I am sure it had been a while.

“Strike One!”, he yelled followed by a mischievous giggle.

That was the last thing that I heard. In that few minutes we played in the front yard, the real world no longer existed. I’m sure he said a bevy of things during our time together, but my mind would not allow me to process them. I watched him scamper about the yard as if he were some kind of wild animal just set free from a life in captivity.

Most days, the world does nothing but create confusion and angst. It tries to ruin your soul and eliminate the hopes built up in your mind. But on that day, it was just me and my son. Nothing else matter, but him, that ball, and that bat. For once, my vision was clear. And in that moment, my mind was free.

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