Seems appropriate as my city goes into a much more egregious lockdown than the one that kept us from getting sick. Seems like Fort Worth can step up in a timely fashion when it comes to coming after its own citizens but can take their sweet ass time when it comes to a pandemic.

I try not to get political on here. Maybe I'm wrong for that, I just feel like there's enough opinions on Facebook and mine isn't terribly special. I believe people should all be treated equally regardless of anything that can be used to make them feel "other." Radical, I realize.

I believe in the rule of law. I believe in the basic rights of the Constitution.

I do not, however, believe in blind faith in anything, particularly when it comes to authority. Trust and respect are earned, not expected, and that applies not only to individuals but to institutions as well.

I support the police insofar as they do the job they're hired to do and do it right. Serve your community and protect those people. When you don't do that, you don't get some special status because you chose to do a job. You break the law, you get the same penalty the rest of us get (assuming all is fair, which it's clearly not for a whole other set of reasons).

"Blue Lives" aren't a thing. No one is profiling smurfs. Cops are people and and should be held accountable as such. Murder someone? Go to jail for a long time, especially if we have the whole damn thing on video.

As much as it'd benefit me, how stupid does "Back the Salesforce" sound to you? Also, we just got done all having to homeschool our kids for three months and while we may appreciate their jobs a whole lot more than we did before, I don't see anyone racing to give them a race (and if I'm wrong on this, please correct me. I want to be wrong about this).

TL;DR Stop treating police like they're special people until they start acting like special people. They're paid by our tax dollars, like it or not, and therefore are public servants. We're the boss here. Let's hold them accountable across the board and try to change what's broken. Your manager or boss isn't allowed to gas and beat the shit out of you so it's not acceptable for police to do it either.

That feeling when you come in to type your emotions...

...and your past self left you a note just short of a year ago that really helps put some shit in perspective. Way to go, past me, on that wisdom stuff. I guess you're okay after all.

I'll still go into what bothers me currently because it needs to be done; I need to get things off my chest. There's therapy in that.

I can't shake the feeling of not fitting in when it comes to my career. I won't go into details, because really, this is only for my edification anyways, but also there's the fear that this gets read by people in my company and I don't want to affect my career with my personal/mental bullshit.

I feel like I'm not living up to what I should be doing with my life. Of course, I've always felt like that, but in this instance I feel like I'm in too deep where I'm at and I'm stuck. I have a great job but upward mobility is fairly limited unless I want to uproot my family. Also, I don't feel as though I'm "chosen" to go on to do other things, and it feels like that's something this company does. It is what it is, but I also don't want to be doing the same job for a decade. I've technically been doing the same thing for over 5 years now, albeit at a different, way more shitty place before.

There's still a part of me that expects my band to get big or something. I'm still clinging to that dream, for whatever infantile reason. I still crave being seen and heard. Perhaps that's just who I am, on some level. Maybe it's okay. Society makes it seem like it's not, but these days, what the hell does society know? Look who runs this country. There's hope for me yet.

I guess I need to do something about feeling restless, and this certainly helps. I need to make a routine of writing and disregard form or content. I just need to write. I think I'm a writer at heart, even if it's just a means for me to process life. Why am I not updating this daily with something? It's free, it's archived, and I have complete control over whether or not people see this or not.

I am in control of myself. That's a hard thing to remember. It's easy to blame the world for one's own circumstance. I see a lot of that lately, and it makes me sad. People feel powerless and I don't think that anyone completely is. There are people that have the deck stacked against them, for sure, but where there's a will there's a way. I don't know, that becomes a political slippery slope.

Anyways, yeah. I'm okay. I still exist and that's a start. The rest is just semantics.
  • Current Music
    "Helpless" by Metallica

Updates to Myself

Hey, reliable reader. Yes, you Tank. Archaic nickname was dropped, yo.

Friendly reminder in case you forget between now and your next existential crisis: you're doing okay. Love and play with your kids. It's medicine.

Don't get too hung up on other people's emotions as they don't dictate your own (and not should they). Their feelings are not an attack on you. So just be there, man.

You have the ability (and have always) to create beautiful things with other people. Go do that. It's medicine.

Avoid things that are marketed to you as medicine. Unless you have high blood pressure or an infection, medicine isn't a pill. The pill is only a mask, and it's more fun to build your own mask instead of swallow one.



The usual back and forth between the past and the further past

Forgot about the whole "memories" thing so I looked at some of those I had saved. Some good ones in there to say the least.

The big takeaway today though, is how I used to use this thing vs. how I use it later/now. Back then, I used to write very conversationally, as if my blog entries were me talking to a friend and catching them up (which, in a way, it was, on a little larger of a scale). The later it gets, the more it reads like traditional diary entries, kind of like this one. I wonder if that makes a real difference in how I related to what I was writing. Is there a further detachment to this style over the other? Was the old way more therapeutic in some way?

I guess it doesn't matter. It's just an observation. I'm just looking for a place to be me, at the end of the day.

Funny note: Voted in the primary today. It's interesting to see how short the Democrat line was at the poll location. Welcome to Texas, y'all.

(no subject)

Jesus, I can't even type in a song title on LJ and it not sound like a 15 year old crying about bullshit like who doesn't like him at school. Ick. There's gotta be a less loaded way to do this. Maybe I shouldn't listen to mopey people music, or adhere to the paradigm I set forth back when I started this thing back in 2002 (What the actual hell?).

My wife found a meme the other day that she said reminded her of me. I found it today. It says, and I quote, "I thought I was in a bad mood, but that's been a few years now so maybe that's just who I am."

That's the thing though. I don't want to be that person. Yeah, I'm kind of an old cranky bastard wearing a younger man's clothes, but to hell with that. I hate that I'm being perceived that way too. Things were much better when that feeling was internalized and no one else knew. Now it's a sad joke. I don't want my life to be a sad joke. I don't know what else to do.

I feel like maybe it isn't a terrible idea to be medicated but I know how I am and I know that I'll stop working on being a better me. I keep going back to the idea that I want to smoke weed or get on an anti-depressant, but that'll just be more attempts at pouring concrete into the everlasting void within. It'll never fill. It just keeps going deeper and deeper. It's the ultimate experiment in futility.

When will I get to the point where I'm comfortable in my own skin again? I don't even want to be happy, because I think that happiness as fleeting as sadness. I just want to be okay. When does okay happen? What path must I take to get to okay? Why isn't there big flashing fucking lights and arrows pointing me toward okay?

I'm frustrated and impatient when I know better than to be either. It manifests itself as sadness or boredom or just plain anger. Is this what my dad was, essentially? Was he living with the void and he just made shitty choices? Perhaps but I'll never know that at this point.

I think if I could just not give a shit for awhile that'd be great, just like a vacation from my own head. There's much bigger problems in the world than my middle class white collar ass has.
  • Current Music
    "Dying" by Hole

Questions following my viewing of Making A Murderer

I've already talked it over with my friends that have viewed the show, as well as my wife, so at this point I have a pretty clear idea of the general point of view of others regarding the show. I have some pretty huge questions though, because I don't know and I feel like it helps put some pieces together in this case. It was not the documentary's job to answer these questions, I understand, but they still weigh on me because in my completely unprofessional opinion, there are two innocent people serving life sentences.

My questions center around the victim, Teresa Halbach. I don't feel it's taboo or distasteful to ask questions about her life because the answers could reveal some truths that were either missed or dismissed in the original investigation.

Do we know who she was outside of the creepy-ass video we get glimpses of? The video is creepy even without the context of her fate. It was filmed, if memory serves, around two or three years prior to her murders. When I was 22, I don't remember worrying about my death or talking about my death like that. I also drank a lot so memories may be fuzzy. At any rate, that was a a rather dark thing to have committed to video tape in an age before people committed every waking thought to video. Begs the question: Did she have a livejournal?

I just feel like if there was more known about her, we could put more together about other suspects. Like I said, I think that Avery and Dassey are innocent, but that isn't based on anything other than the circumstantial evidence and the timeline of its discovery. Doesn't look good for the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Office. But if she had enemies, or if she was into drugs, there'd be more terrain to cover. Some things just happen and go unexplained and that's life. However, if anything can be ruled out, it should be.

I don't know. I need to know more.

Can't you see how easily I'm bothered by persistence?

One step from lashing out at you...

I never realized how much I really liked this song. I embodied it all too well, and I don't know that it was the best adoption of emotional experience I would go for, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Walk is kind of a catty song when you really break it down. "Is there no standard anymore?" I can imagine Phil dressed in a Victorian-era suit shooing off some peasent, talking with a terribly affected British accent.

That image actually makes the song even better. That needs to be a thing that happens. I'd watch that music video all day.

That is all. I'd go for some deep insights but I'm much too tired at the moment. Had a good day though. Saw an old friend (Travis) and talked with him for almost two hours. I felt like myself and I didn't feel awkward or strange. It was good to be in the presence of someone who I have a great deal of shared history with, and someone that despite some times of getting weird (which is just an occupational hazard of getting close to people) at his core hasn't changed. He's still a sweet smart dude that at the end of the day understands a lot about life and doesn't let as much of the bullshit get to him. He has had the bullshit get to him, he's not immune to it, just like the rest of us, but he doesn't have any illusions about it or himself.

And, if I stop and think about it, I guess this means that in spite of my long-held practice of external validation, I managed to actually make some friends in spite of my best efforts to do otherwise on some weird level. For that, I'm grateful. 
  • Current Music
    "Walk" by Pantera

This is simply self-distraction.

Working on an essay for my Anthropology class. The reading assignment part is dry as hell. I still find the Depeche Mode discography much more interesting, though I know it like the back of my hand. I guess some things never change.

I just put Violator on, and I was kind of taken back to when I first bought the album. I remember I bought it at Wal-Mart in Mesquite after eating breakfast with the guys. I think I was 17, it was junior year of high school.

This was back in the good ol' days of listening to everything on my portable CD player with headphones. I think that's why I fell so in love with music, because there is this immersive effect when you listen to something on headphones. It feels like you're in the center of the world that's being created around you with sounds. You can close your eyes and you're somewhere else, and depending on what you're listening to, that place is sexy, or scary, or, in the case of listening to something like Nickelback, complete and utter hell.

I remember when I got home from school that day, I popped the CD in and put on my headphones and I was instantly taken away. The opening synth bass part has this great groove, and then the drums kick in and you've jumped in.

I guess I had, on some level, forgotten the joy of losing myself in music. I don't do it near enough anymore. I still listen fairly often and I'm okay about listening to new shit and not just the things I love. I also listen to a lot of podcasts, though. Perhaps I need to swing the pendulum back the other way.

Back to reading about migrants and refugees. 
  • Current Music
    "World In My Eyes" by Depeche Mode

Fake it 'till you make it?

So last night I had an episode that I haven't really experienced in about 10 years. It was an episode of deep, deep depression. It was triggered by a conversation I had with my wife about an off-handed remark I had made. I'm not going into too much detail here because there's a lot of shame and guilt around it and I'm already addressing it in therapy so I don't feel the need to go into it here.

At any rate, this was a deep and quick plunge. I immediately felt physically ill, nausea and the whole bit. Basically, it boils down to some things I've covered in recent entries: my need for external things to take care of internal issues.

I spent my last therapy session talking about this a lot because I don't feel like things are getting any better, in fact I think things are getting worse. I basically see life as a pointless endeavor at this point, and I don't think I actually ever really thought that way. All I seem to be able to see is the damage I cause. I used to be relentlessly and annoyingly optimistic about my life, and that seemed to work for me, but there is this inner logic that exists in me that lets me rationalize that everything is nothing. There is no point to anything, so fuck it. It's a subtle shift from how I feel like I used to think. It's subtle in that I used to think the same thing, but the tone was light instead of dark. It was more of a "fuck it! Carpe Diem!" Such a thin line there. Hair thin.

In therapy we discussed the idea that I'm an overthinker. In going over my LJ from the past, that's a laughable understatement. I am THE overthinker. I think everything to death and take myself out of the moment constantly. I've ruined many a good thing because of this trait, namely my past bands, my self-worth, and my marriage. Luckily I'm still married, because we both have our own issues to deal with and we realize that dealing with our own baggage will help toward our mutual baggage. It's really hard though.

It's hard because I crave so desparately for someone to love me and tell me everything is okay and it's impossible to ask that of someone who you've managed to hurt. Emotionally, I expect that of her. She's my wife. Wives should support their husbands. Simple enough, right? I feel like I try to support her as much as I can, much more than I try to support myself, in hopes that when push comes to shove, I get that love right back. But how fucked up is that? Love shouldn't be some weird banking system where you're issuing out loans and hope you get some love back in interest. It should be given freely, with no expectation of return. The return should be a surprise, a present, a pleasant byproduct of putting that out into the world. You shouldn't dwell on what you're getting back since love shouldn't be so transactional. It's not business. It's negotiation, but not a positional bargaining situation, it should be collaborative experience where there is a common goal and that's what's being worked towards. And the irony is that all this time I've been calling her out for not honoring what I saw as her end of the deal, I was doing the same thing by pointing it out in the first place.

I've realized through reading old entries that this is how I've lived my life for as long as I can remember, because I wasn't given a framework to show me otherwise. I had an alcoholic, bi-polar father who used booze to fill the void within him. I have a mother who works herself to the bone and avoids having to face any of the realities of her situations. I picked up on that tendency myself, however I've found it's yet another fruitless endeavor. Not totally fruitless, but it's not the crop I was trying to cultivate. I've come a long way in a short time in terms of a career, and I'm starting to get the hang of what I'm doing now that I'm batting in the big leagues, but if I can't find it within myself to enjoy that for what it is (and it certainly is something I could and should be proud of), then like everything else, it doesn't actually matter.

And it doesn't. And nothing really does.

My personal beliefs play a big part in this idea as well. I'm an agnostic, and to me that means that I don't believe in a particular deity, but I'm not completely shut off to the idea (although I lean pretty hard in the "shit just happens" direction). Manyard James Keenan said in his WTF interview that you can't be an artist if you don't believe in magic on some level, and I completely agree with that. There is a magic to the emotional connection of comedy, or music, or fine art, or film. It's insane how much a temporary mood boost I can get from listening to one of my favorite songs, even if it's something dark and depressing. Particularly in the "dark and depressing" example, it takes away my loneliness, at least for the 3 to 4 minutes it's on. I can hear someone else expressing something that I feel deeply. Somehow, this stranger who I know not from Adam knows exactly how I feel, and put it into words and melody and gave me a hug through my ears.

That all said, my beliefs almost reinforce how I feel about the pointlessness of life. Which is silly, because that's just it: The point to life is whatever you make it. People use religion to answer that question for them because it's the path of least resistance. It's easy and it's comforting. It gets problematic when those same people are telling other people they're wrong for living their lives the way they do, but otherwise it was designed to serve a purpose. I could also argue that there was political motivation to the development of religion, and as true as that could be, it doesn't change the fact that life is subjective. Bill Hicks said it way better than me when he talked about how there's no good LSD stories on the news. To butcher relentlessly, he says that we are all part of the same conscienceness experiencing itself subjectively. If that's the case, which I think is fairly accurate if you look at how religions have developed and the Jungian theory on the common story arcs, then that does ultimately leave me in control of how I want to live that life.

So now that gets to the subject of this post, because I've gone way, way off-course from what I intended to write but that's okay. Again, this isn't meant to be something to be sold or whatever, this is really just a place for me to take an emotional dump.

I find now that I'm in a place where I don't even know if I want to live this life, which is the scariest, saddest place one can be. Thankfully, I'm too much of a pussy for suicide, I think, because I'm scared of my own damn shadow, and my lack of religion puts me in fear of death on a fairly regular basis anyways. I don't need the help from anything self-inflicted.  Given my usual propensity for leaning on external things to try and get by, I've read up on some possible things I could try.

Let me start this part by saying that my intentions were less than pure from the onset. I looked up amphetamine last night on Wikipedia since that's what I'm on for ADHD, and it was the harshest thing I had on hand in case I wanted to take myself out. The state I was in, I was trying to at least develop a plan to get out. This is probably the furthest I've ever taken a suicidal ideation. I looked it up to see how much it'd take to kill me. If I'm going to do it, I don't want to leave a mess, because that's the polite thing to do I guess. I just think of how Terry found Jay in the bathtub with blood and gore everywhere and I don't want to put anyone through that (since you know, suicide's totally okay if you do it any other way. Even at my most selfish, I can't help but put others before me). Turns out you have to take a shitload, and the chances of actually killing yourself are pretty low. The worse case scenario would be I end up a vegetable for a time, and if I was going to do that, there's much better ways to go about it. Again, laziness and fear prevail and I live to see another day.

I finished reading the Wikipedia article this morning because I'm a data junky and was reading about amphetamine's effects on dopamine and how it can sometimes be used to treat mild depression (cute little side note: it's also really good at keeping you depressed if you already are there. Joy.). So I go down that rabbit hole of reading about everything dopamine does for you, which I've known a little bit about but never really gave much regard to. So then I google ways to increase dopamine levels naturally because at the very least, this can be construed as a stop-gap solution while I'm in therapy. If I can boost my dopamine levels up, at the very least I can raise my baseline emotional level enough to not feel like complete shit all the time (even in my sleep lately: past two nights I've had dreams about people sending me texts basically saying I'm a shitty human being and they no longer want to communicate with me. One was a guy I work with and the other was my wife).

There is a very real possiblity that this is a big part of my problem. I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but at the very least, the idea couldn't hurt, right?

The symptoms match up pretty well: Lack of motivation, fatigue, apathy, procrastination, inability to feel pleasure, sleep issues, mood swings, HOPELESSNESS (all caps because duh), and inability to concentrate (even whilst on my meds). The only two that don't seem to match is low libido (it's hard to tell given that that hasn't been a thing that I've actually had to worry about in over a year), and memory loss, but that would could match and I'd have no clue because I forgot.

It's an ironic thing because all the remedies for it are either supplements (which I'm leaning toward for other reasons), or "get up and go exercise," or "get more sleep." Dude, I'm lacking motivation and feel tired all the time and I clearly don't give a shit about anything really. You really think I'd do any of that shit? No.

It's an issue I've had for a long time and I've discussed this with my wife quite a bit. I'll do something good for me maybe one or two times, and I'll feel great from it, and I'll be so pumped, then I'll discontinue it almost immediately. The closest I ever came to having a good habit that felt great was in the month before Dayne was born, I was going on hour-long walks at night by myself. I'd listen to music and walk about two or three miles. I'd be tired out by the time I got home, and I'd go to sleep and sleep hard and feel decent the next day. After Dayne was born, this got discontinued because having three kids is insanity.

The other thing it suggested was setting long-term and short term goals that lead to those long-term goals. Thanks to reading Four Hour Work Week, I've become quite good at that, however there is a disconnect between my planning and any action that could take place. I can make plans all day but I lack something (motivation? time? care?) that would enable me to make that plan actionable. That's been my problem my entire life, and while it's gotten better with age, it still hasn't taken off in a lot of ways. I now make less goals, and I make more reasonable and specific goals overall, but I still don't stay on the bandwagon. I've tried a bunch of things that Tim Ferriss suggests because that dude has his shit together pretty well and the things he suggests do work, but I still don't stick to them. It perpetuates the feeling that I'm broken and beyond repair. It makes me think there maybe is a chemical component to my issues. I still don't want to take more medicine for it because again I don't feel like it will address any issues, but be another external security blanket for which I can hide under.

Lastly, it basically suggested "Fake it 'till you make it" in the handful of websites I reviewed on the topic, which goes back to what I just mentioned. I'm not even motivated to fake it anymore. I alluded to that in my last post when I talked about that Ministry song: faking it is just what people do anyways. I'm still faking it, for the most part.

A big part of a different discussion I got into with my wife the other night was about how she wants me to be authentic with her. I want to be authentic with her, and with everyone, including myself, but I don't know what that means or what that looks like. I've always been taught to work through it, pretty much. Not in the proper way, mind you, but work on external shit and ignore it. I don't know that I can do that anymore and that's probably the best thing for me. Last night was very much a breakthrough in that regard, and the silver lining to that particular episode. She asked me if there was something wrong with me and I told her yes, and I told her how I was feeling. I didn't quite get into where my head was going with it overall, but I was honest that I felt like I was spiraling down a black hole. She said she felt some pressure to make me feel better, and instead of denying it, I owned it, and I wasn't angry about it. I was very matter-of-fact about it. I told her that yeah, I did want her to comfort me, but given the situation, I understood that she couldn't and shouldn't. She said she wanted to be comforted considering the nature of the situation, and I told her I couldn't do that for her, and she isn't expected to do that for me, as much as I put that vibe off emotionally. It felt like growth a little bit, but I also didn't like it. All I wanted to do was cry into someone's arms, and of all things, I fixate on her because we're married and dammit, that's the way it should be, right? I'm proud in a way because I did do the right thing by her in that moment and I didn't project my inner hatred onto her, like I've done to so many other people and situations in my past. I have been a shitty friend in a lot of ways because of that. For once, I don't look back and feel intense shame, I see it for what it is, and also, it's done. The likelihood that anyone else even gives a shit about those things anymore is pretty low, and even if they have lingering resentment about something, that's not my job to draw that out of them, just like it's not my wife's job to draw it out of me. It's my job to be honest about how I feel in any given moment and go from there.

Does it suck that I know that letting those feelings out in the moment isn't going to make me feel better or yield the result I think is ideal? Well, yes, of course. I guess that means, like I've said before, that my only way out is through. The only problem with through is that it's dark and scary and I don't know what's in there for the most part. I want someone to hold my hand. I take that back, I want someone to carry me through there, but that's not realistic or fair.

When I think on it, the idea of that makes me even more sad than I already am. It just reinforces the loneliness I already feel. It makes me want to reach out for something even more, and then I feel even worse still because I know that's not the answer and that probably won't help matters at all.

Ugh. Just gotta get through it I suppose. 
  • Current Music
    "Hurt" by Johnny Cash

Perhaps I'll kill two birds with one stone?

So I want to talk about two things: A song that I've really liked for years but I'm finally starting to understand, and the original point I was going to get to early today but got sidetracked with my emotions about Jay. If I were writing this entry for anything other than my own personal release, I'd make it two entries, but fuck that, and fuck you too ("you" being the person reading this who I don't believe exists. Maybe I'm saying fuck you to myself... how meta...). I'm just going to do both of these because this isn't about being accessable so much as it's about having an odd scratchpad for my soul.

So first: the song. My current song, Everyday is Halloween by Ministry.

A little personal history: I first heard this song at The Church, at a time when I was very young and impressionable. What first struck me about it is how dancable it is. Great driving synth bass line, creepy high counter melodic pad synth, it's got a lot going for it.
Of course, because I was too busy focusing on the music, I didn't catch the lyrics. As an aside, one of my favorite movies is Music and Lyrics with Drew Berrymore and Hugh Grant. Don't care if it's a romcom, because it was obviously written by someone with a deep love of music. Drew Berrymore and Hugh Grant are arguing over what is more important, the melody, or the lyrics, and Berrymore's character points out that the melody is the sex, the initial attraction, and the lyrics are lasting love, the thing you don't notice right off the bat but the part you want to marry. This song is a good example of that. Here are the lyrics:

Well I live with snakes and lizards
and other things that go bump in the night
'Cuz to me everyday is Halloween
I have given up hiding and started to fight
I have started to fight
Well any time, any place, anywhere that I go
all the people seem to stop and stare
they say 'Why are you dressed like it's Halloween?
you look so absurd, you look so obscene'
Oh, why can't I live a life for me?
why should I take the abuse that's served?
why can't they see they're just like me
it's the same, it's the same in the whole wide world
well I let their teeny minds think
that they're dealing with someone who is over the brink
and I dress this way just to keep them at bay
'Cuz Halloween is everyday
it's everyday
Oh, why can't I live a life for me?
why should I take the abuse that's served?
why can't they see they're just like me
it's the same, it's the same in the whole wide world
Oh, why can't I live a life for me?
why should I take the abuse that's served?
why can't they see they're just like me
i'm not the one that's so absurd
why hide it?
why fight it?
hurt feelings
best to stop feeling hurt
from denials, reprisals
it's the same it's the same in the whole wide world

On the face of it, it's kind of juvenile. It's very... kind of that punk rock tell-your-parents-to-fuck-off kind of attitude. It's a little whiny, too, truth be told.

But today I was listening to it in the car and I started to actually listen to the lyrics and I realized how true it was, especially in light of all the emotional bullshit I've been dealing with as of late. It supports my thesis that most people are walking around pretending to be okay with life and not being themselves because they don't feel like their truth will be accepted by others (sad reality is, it probably wouldn't be. We live in a society that feeds on judgement). No one, this includes me, is really living their lives for themselves. They're living their lives for someone or something else, whether it's somebody's love, or money, or fame, or pretty much any of that external bullshit that ruins everything for everyone. And maybe that's the problem I have with the song, too: it highlights the problem, but I don't know that it provides a solution. Saying that, of course, makes me sound like the asshole. I should solve my own damn problems, right?

Okay, enough about a song that's thirty one years old. I still really like it and I still really relate to it.

Now onto the other idea I wanted to tackle: My further analysis of my core group of friends from my teens.

I finished reading Jay's LJ, and I ventured through Jesse, Stephen's, and Travis's because I like getting the other side of my story.

Before I get into my "where are they now" thing that is nagging me, let me just go into a couple of more revelations (I should say reinforcements) about myself I found:

  • Turns out I put A WHOLE SHITLOAD of emotional stock into EVERYONE. Jesus Christ, no wonder I found myself constantly disappointed with how things would turn out.

  • I was a child, and I don't think I started not being a child until I stated having children. Bad form.

  • I clearly (good ol' hindsight working overtime here) was using other people to make me happy, but I think we were all doing that because we didn't know how else to conduct ourselves.

  • I can now see that these things are formative in my development since I am technically a late bloomer emotionally.

  • I also, and this is a first, don't feel a profound sense of shame or guilt regarding who I was then. I'm accepting of it, and I think it's interesting that I'm not beating myself up about it. Perhaps eleven years is the statue of limitations on feeling shitty about things?

The core group that was Jay, Stephen, and Jesse has been identified. The reason I call them the core group is because I think I spent the most amount of time with them and had the most invested in those relationships. Like I referred to in my prior entry with Jay, I think we, on some deeper level, had an understanding of one another's voids.

Reading Jay's journal, holy shit, no wonder things ended up the way they did. He made direct reference at one point that the only place he felt at home was in my house with my mom and I. That made me so sad and happy at the same time, because his own fucking parents treated him like shit, but I also feel like my home felt more like a home with him there. We used to drive each other insane because we were both fundamentally needy and obnoxious people, but at a certain point that was the norm and we accepted it to a degree.

I did remember a huge falling out him and I had, because we both came at each other on LiveJournal like the mature grown-up men we both were at 18. I forgot a lot of the details surrounding it, but in reading the exchange a lot of stuff came back to me. I was right to be upset with him (long story short: he basically banged a girl that I had be talking to for awhile and had some feelings for, at least that's what I remember of the situation. He had sort of done something similar with a girl I dated Junior year, not to the same extent, but there was some unresolved tension there) but I wasn't right in how I handled it. There were some other issues afoot there too that got taken out on him, and that's unfortunate, but it happened. We made up about a month later.

I don't know Stephen's damage, really, as he was (at the time) the most guarded of the four of us. He had a fairly normal upbringing, and like me, he's an only child. I think, based on my reading and my memory, wanted to be loved like I do, but I don't understand the source of that. Unlike Jay, Jesse, and I, Stephen was usually the most level-headed, logical, and reasonable. He'd get angry, but he handled things much better than the rest of us. He was rarely as passive-aggressive as we tended to be, but I think we drug him down to our level quite a bit too. There was a certain way we conducted ourselves to and around one another as not to upset the applecart. We were so fragile and insecure that we didn't risk upsetting one another because we feared that'd be the end of our friendship. I'm speaking for myself there, but I think it's fair to project that on Jay and Jesse because we all three were products of divorce. I think that's the tendency with children of divorced parents, to make sure to keep everyone happy so nobody leaves.

Stephen now has two kids and is living as a single father. We don't talk often enough, and that's my fault. I'm too reclusive as of late. I need to change that. That's the one thing from my youth that I should hold on to because it obviously kept me sane on some level. Maybe I should plow through some of my bullshit first, though. Anyways, back to Stephen, he seems to have turned out alright. After reading his journal, I realized some things about him that I didn't see before, and that's because at that time, it was hard to see past myself, and like I said, he was relatively reserved compared to the rest of us with our hearts on our sleeves. He's got some great qualities and he's an emotionally strong man. He's a hard worker and he does things with some level of thought behind them.

Jesse was kind of lost, I think. He didn't really find his groove until much recently. We were terrible about using him as somewhat of a punching bag. On some level, he shouldn't have let us, but we shouldn't have been assholes in the first place. I do feel bad about that, but him and I have talked about that semi-recently and those hatchets have been long buried. I really miss him because he truly didn't give a fuck about what people thought about him, to a fault almost. He did his thing. It served him well. He's living with his high school girlfriend, has a job now, and seems to be living well. I'm really happy for him because he took a much harder road than I even did, and I know he dealt with some crazy shit growing up. I love both his parents, but they are not without their issues. His mom seems to have really gotten her shit together and is an addiction counselor, which I think is one of the most noble things a person can do. His dad's still kind of a wildcard, always was, and I know that relationship wasn't always the best. One of the glowing gems from reading my old journals though involves Jesse's dad. I didn't explicitly put it in the journal but I made mention of the incident and it sparked the memory.

This is a little off-subject but it makes me laugh and I feel the need to include it because it tells you a lot about how we lived at that time.

I was dating someone at the time, and she was the first girl that I had any sort of regular physical intimacy with. One day, and I forgot how the hell this happened, but I had to ditch a condom really quick and get dressed, and I threw it into a mop bucket of water that hadn't been thrown out. The mop bucket was my closest target as it was right next to my bedroom door. Days later, Jesse's dad comes over to help fix something and finds it. I don't know that I heard the end of that one for at least three months. It was hilarious though.

Back to my original point: we are were the lost boys. I was Peter Pan, I think, but it wasn't about not growing up so much as it was just about finding what we could call a family, and for about a year, I'd say we were a pretty tight-knit family and we genuinally loved one another and our extended network of friends. We somehow survived, how, I do not know, but we did.

What makes me say this is all the entries I've read regarding our big Thanksgiving dinner we had in 2004. All the orphans at the Keller Krackhouse (which is what we affectionally called it) pulled together their resources and made this huge awesome dinner, followed by a game of football in the front yard whilst freezing rain started falling. It was a beautiful thing, and it gives me hope to think about because it reminds me that at one point, even though I may not have realized it at the time, I knew how to be a person in a group of people and not feel weird. I wasn't an outsider with that group. They were my brothers and sisters (except the thing about the girls was that at one point or another I had a thing for all of them that hung around with us, because I thought a girlfriend would solve all my problems. I'm very glad that my good friendships with people didn't get ruined by attempted relationships) and we lived in this moment at which we were all one.

I know that I can be there for someone and I know that I can be secure in a friendship to some degree. And while the idea of having all these people living with me like some freakish commune has absolutely no appeal to me in the least anymore, I at least can be okay with the fact that I had that experience and move on to something more favorable, or at least figure out what the hell that even means once I figure out who I am. I think I'm getting a sense of that but I know better than to speak too soon about that because life isn't that simple. I guess it's just a moment to moment thing, who one is in a certain moment.

That's way too big a question, though.
  • Current Music
    "Everyday Is Halloween" by Ministry