I just wanted to use this platform as a sort of diary, to express myself and maybe look back on these entries years from now to see what I might've been thinking. I hope you find my posts entertaining or relatable if at least a little interesting.
I find myself digging up old memories from my childhood. Particularly of kids less fortunate than I was. And when you’re a kid it isn’t always apparent that something is wrong, until you do see something odd or off putting.
I was in fourth grade. This thin boy with shoulder length hair always came to school in the same outfit; oversized hoodie, jeans, and a pair of beat up sneakers. He was always targeted by bullies. Kept his head down, would put his hood up and had angry outbursts often with either the kids around him or the teachers. He was a nice enough of a kid before he started having these outbursts. Very estatic, just wanted to make friends. His name was James.
James was a cute kid. I remember I had a little crush on him but felt ashamed to admit it. All my friends thought he was weird. Which to be quite frank, so did I. He started to become less social throughout the year. Seemed angry at everyone and everything.
And that’s around the time I remember him coming to school with cigarette burns on his face.
Someone had taken their cigarette and ashed it out on his forehead and hard too because it had left a bloody crater on his face. At first he had a band-aid covering it but eventually that fell off during the school day. I remember all the kids were kind of staring at him during reading hour. A teacher was called in and asked if he’d go with her to the principals office. He looked scared.
A few weeks had past and the days he was at school I could see the cigarette burn was getting better. But, of course that didn’t last long because a month or so later, another burn was on his face, this time in between his eyebrows. And everyday he became more and more insecure. Hiding in his hoodie, looking down, crossing his arms.
I feel bad now that I’m older and can comprehend it all. I know he could have used a friend.
He had nobody. Every kid steered clear of him, either because they thought he was weird or didn’t want to be associated and have the bullies pick on them as well.
A few more months passed. Now he was starting to have outbursts. He would lash out on teachers because he’d get in trouble for not behaving or paying attention.
It was spring now. He had this awful purple and blue bruise on his throat. Looking back now, he was likely choked, but, to either cover it up and/or to inflict self harm, he started choking him self in class. He would take his two thumbs and wrap his hands around his neck pressing hard on the bruise. He’d choke and press till his face turned red.
He hated himself.
I can’t imagine his home life. To cause a little kid that kind of mental distress… he was only 9 years old…
I’m angry with myself for not standing up for him or being more friendly.
I saw him three years ago. Hadn’t seen him since elementary school. I was with all my friends who also all had gone to the same school. We were at Denny’s laughing and talking, waiting for our order when he walked in. He walked in with his family. He was still cute; long hair, big brown eyes, freckles. He was very tall now, but, still skinny. Suddenly memories came back and I remembered that purple bruise, the cigarette burn, and that sad, angry little boy. My friends remembered him too and started looking. Either out of awkwardness or just plain nativety my friends started laughing “Omg, is that James?!! I remember that kid! He was so weird…”. I was afraid he could hear, he was pretty close. And I didn’t want him to see me if he had, so I tried my best to not look and changed the conversation but I couldn’t stop looking up at his table.
His dad, mom, and his younger siblings were all there. They hadn’t even smiled once since sitting down. They all looked so down and gloom. They’d even sat in a darkly lit booth, so perhaps my memories hold them there in that depressive light. Doesn’t help I’d known all that had happened and why James had to transfer schools as a kid.
He caught my eye. And we kept making eye contact throughout the night. I saw sadness and worry in his eyes. I tried to keep my focus on the conversation because I didn’t want him to associate our laughter to his expensive.
Eventually we left and I hadn’t thought of him since until a few months ago. Something must had reminded me of him.
I searched all social media for him, eventually coming across his Facebook. Still a pretty cute kid. Didnt have many posts but did have one.. “In a domestic relationship” 2018. There were 33 comments. All his relatives were seemingly unapproving of the relationship. They all spoke badly of a women named Billy. Said she was trouble, a whore, and likely had an STD.
I looked her up. She was 26 years old, with a kid and looked as though she had some kind of drug habit. Her bio read “Tired and overwhelmed with life. biopolar disorder and PTSD making this crap hard”. I looked in our area for her name to see what kind of trouble they were all alluding to.
She’s had several encounters with the police, second degree harassment charges, failure to show up to court, etc. etc. I came across James name as well. Both of them had trespassed in August of 2018.
It makes me sad. How circumstances shape a persons life; poor working class families never getting to the latter, never breaking the cycle.
No one chooses their family. We are dealt a card in life, and that’s what you get. It takes real courage and strength to change the deep rooted beliefs in a family. And it just makes it 10x harder if they’re reinforced at school.
So be nice. Be nice to that weird kid, shy kid, or angry kid. You never know what they’re dealing with or the cards they were dealt.
I’m sure you already know that.
“Those faces you see every day on the streets were not created entirely without hope: be kind to them: like you they have not escaped.” – Charles Bukowski
Today, I had finals. My mom came along for the ride and waited in the car while I was taking my tests to get some paperwork done. Afterwards we got McDonald’s and headed back to the house.
We were just going to stop in to grab a few things and then head to Walmart for grocery shopping. But, when we pulled in one of my brothers friend comes out wide eyed and pointing back to the house saying “uh.. something just happened” in a panicked voice.
My mom runs into the house and tells me to call the police. I call, tell them the address, and the situation “we have a 17 year old kid here that just passed out unconscious”. As I’m walking into the house taking everything in, I’m in shock.
All his friends are running around, up and down the stairs with ice in their hands, one is on the phone with the police as well. His best friend comes up to me to tell me what happened. “He was walking in from the garage after smoking with us and then he just fell and hit his head, then he started to have a seizure”.. I’m in shock because as he’s saying this I’m looking at my mom frantically trying to get ice under his head and keep him calm. He was on his back, flaying his arms and feet trying to get up but had no motor control to move them, he was also trying to talk but it came out slurred and completely inaudible. He was scared because he kept trying to scream but the only thing that’d come out was an off putting moan like you might here from a mentally underdeveloped person. I look at his jeans… he peed himself.
The police are still on the phone. And I suddenly get snapped back into reality “you can hang up the phone, because I’m talking to them” my new step brother said. I hang up and walk into the room and kneel next to him. He’s freaking out but trying to keep everything under control. Finally he’s able to kind of make sense and form words. “It’s.. fine.. *mumbles* I’m.. fine”. My mom reassuring him “I know buddy everything’s going to be okay promise me this is it, no more smoking okay? This is it, no more of this. This is it.”. He’s still resisting and is embarrassed his friends are there so he keeps tensing his body and putting his arms and feet up a little as if he’s going to trying and stand up but can’t. I put my hand on his head and tell him to “relax, just relax, it’s okay” reassuringly. He does a little bit and calms down. He hugs my mom who is still over him holding ice on his head and panicing. He’s more coherent now and says “I can’t see, I can’t see you”. And starts to work himself up again. My Dad suddenly walks in and says to my brothers four friends standing near the entrance “hey guys how’s it going?”. He walks in and I see on his face he isn’t registering what’s happening. “Dad, something’s going on right now” “you got to…” He says “what do you mean?”.. I point to Colin whose laying on the ground next to me. He looks over to the boys and says “who is that?” confused and concerned. “It’s Colin”. He walks over clearly now realizing what’s happened. I get up now because I hear police cars and the ambulance arriving. I go out to move my car, as does the other boys so the ambulance can be closer to the house.
They check his vitals, his spine, and pupils and quickly load him on the stretcher. My Dad and I get clothes, while everyone else seems to still be in a state of shock. Then we all get in our cars. I go with my Dad, my mom goes in her car, and all his friends pack themselves in a car and we follow the ambulance.
We arrive and we all walk up to the hospital together. We get in, everyone’s still on edge, worried about him. We walk in and sit with him. He’s able to speak now and can talk. They hook him up to an IV and they take blood for testing. Everyone finally can relax.
He’s okay. He’s coherent, tired, with a huge bump on his head but, other than that, from an external perspective he looks and acts like himself. They change him out of his pee soaked pants. And one by one his friends come in. Then all of them come in and go over what just happened.
My brother says all he remembers was hearing himself trying to speak and not be able to, and it just made things scarier. He thought he was stuck like that. He was freaked out because he couldn’t see anything and voices of his friends calling his name kept coming in and out like an echo. “It was like in the movies, I couldn’t see and I just heard your guys voices trailing in and out” “it was freaky”.
His friends eventually left and it was just my dad, Mom and I. He had a little headache, and kept seeing stars, but other than that he was himself again.
I’m relieved. I headed back to the house after giving everyone a hug goodbye. I have a chemistry exam to study for tonight. His tests came back in about an hour ago and thankfully came back saying no brain bleed and no tumor.
There is still concern though. Why does he keep having these seizures? What’s causing them? There’s a potential it could be a heart problem because that sort of thing runs in the family. Maybe blood isn’t pumping fast enough comparatively to other people’s when theyre smoking. Could also be from vaping. You’ve likely heard of it, its all over the news.. “lung collapse disorder” caused by these juuls, and nicotine vape pens. Ones thing for sure though he won’t be smoking for a while now. I know it’s going to be hard because all his buddies do and that’ll be hard on his social life. But, hopefully they’re understanding, and hopefully my brother understands he’s got to take it easy.
My little brother is having a party downstairs right now. Things have changed around here since I left in 2017 to go live with my aunt, dad, and cousins.
Last weekend I made the decision, kind of spontaneously, to move back in with my Mom for a bit. I thought I’d only be staying for a few days but, my whole world has changed and that plan fell through. At my mom’s everything’s more relaxed, no one’s walking on egg shells here, and no one really gets angry or critical because they are dealing with their own shit. Of course, it’s not perfect, but the air here is less heavy than it was at my dad’s.
I do feel bad for leaving them in that house. The tension and negative energy there could be cut with a knife. I guess I hadn’t known how bad it was until I came here. The minute I walked in I physically felt lighter, like a weight had just been lifted from my shoulders.
Also met my mom’s new boyfriend, which I had been putting off because of irrational fears of rejection. He’s a real great guy and I realized when I started talking to him, how silly it was to have ruminated and been anxious over meeting him for the past three months.
Of course, my social anxiety isn’t gone, but, I feel like I have more control being here. For example, I went to go see my niece I haven’t seen in a year. We hadn’t been able to see her because my older brothers drug abuse and relationship fell apart. And for some reason his girlfriend blamed us? I don’t know but she decided to keep Lily from us. She resented us. So, meeting up and seeing her was a nice surprise. Especially since lily is going through a lot. I mean before all this shit happened in my family, she was here almost every weekend and to then all of a sudden be ripped away from us… She’s getting into trouble at school and getting in fights with her teachers, too, mind you she’s only in 4th grade. She’s very angry. She goes to therapy though and that’s helped a lot. But, my brother calling her on occasion makes her so incredibly sad. She cries and cries all day after getting off the phone with her dad. (Her dad, by the way, is having another kid with another woman in Florida). So, you can imagine how she feels.
Anyways, we met at sky zone. Sure, it was a little awkward at first. My mom and lily’s mom got in a serious fight about meeting up a few days ago. But, they talked things out and it seems like they worked it all out while my brother and I played with our niece.
I would have never even considered going if I was at my Dads. It’s sad to say but, even though I hadn’t seen my niece in so long, I wouldn’t have gone because of my anxiety.
I can’t do that anymore. I can’t avoid things that may potentially make me uncomfortable. The alternative is much worse. Lol. If I let my anxiety run the show I’ll probably end up a hermit in the woods somewhere living off the land. … Which doesn’t sound SO bad…. But, you know, deep down I don’t really want that.
Old family friend came to visit my dad this weekend. Went over to have dinner tonight. I felt anxious and that feeling of anxiety didn’t really go away. So, it just affirmed my beliefs of inadequacy and paranoid thoughts of “Does he like me?” “Am I being rude or weird in some way?”, “Maybe everyone can tell I’m feeling uncomfortable… does that make them feel uncomfortable that I’m feeling uncomfortable? Am I making them feel uncomfortable?“.. And it just spirals and spirals, until I’m absolutely convinced everyone is sick of me and I’m bad company.
I even left feeling bummed out. Still do because my anxious thoughts all say I made a complete utter fool out of my self and likely embarrassed my entire family by just being myself (anxiety included). It didn’t help the guy that came to visit was so intimidating. Very intelligent and nice enough of a guy sure. But, his laugh seemed forced. And every conversation seemed just a little off like everyone was analyzing and waiting baited breath. Strange I thought. But, then again that is just my perspective and because of my irrational fears I could be totally spinning that narrative… I’m not sure. It’s like I can’t even trust myself.
But, even though things felt odd over there. I still went. I still got through the evening. And I shouldn’t be so critical because I’m the only one thinking this. And it honestly. doesn’t. really fucking matter in the long run.
God I’m fed up with pointless anxiety. I didn’t die, nothing terrible or absolutely modifying even happened!
So, all in all things are getting a little better. Just best to stay away from my dad’s while everyone, again, slowly goes mad from cabin fever this winter.
“Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.” ― Charles Bukowski
Do you ever know somethings a bad idea but you do it anyways?
This will be my second thanksgiving I havent spent with the ones I love the most; my sister, brother, sister in-law, and niece. It’s all because I outted my sisters boyfriend for what he did to me when I was younger, and my brother isnt here because the same year everything went down with my sister, he was off doing crack. My sister and I havent spoken in 2 years. And my older brother is in Florida with a new girl he knocked up. We hope hes sober but you can never really tell..
This year I didnt even see my mom. She went to her new rich boyfriends house for thanksgiving. So, I spent this year with my Dad, Aunt, cousins, and little brother.
My brother is a pot head and parties all the time. He never used to be like this before I told him how fucked up things were getting within our family. In fact, he was a straight edge kid. Never even had a sip of alcohol when given to him. He always felt he would become addicted like his Dad. Which is fair considering..
I picked him up today and he said he wasnt staying long. He had friends he wanted to hangout with after. I told him “you sure you dont want to stay till dad gets home from work, he’ll be sad he didnt get to see you” to which he replied “I already made plans”. He never stays the night and he rarely ever comes over. I get it. My dad is really hard on him about grades and stresses him out bad about college, the future, money, etc. I see it in his face. He doesnt know. He’s only 17. But, anyways so I said “Alright well you’ll have to call him and break his heart”. He said “yeah… it breaks moms heart too that we arent all together during the holiday”… I said “yeah well its not just her, were all hurting this time of year”…
There was a long pause. Then I asked if she had cried or something, he said no. And we pulled in the driveway.
That hurts me. I feel like its my fault things are all fucked up.
I broke up the family. My older brother had a part in it as well, but, overall it was me.
I know its my fault because my mom has even said, numerous times, whether directly or not that its my responsibilty to bring the family back together. Something along the lines of “Your sister is in denial and you just need to accept she wont come around unless you are in her life again. Youre the bigger person in this situation.” Of course, that never happened. It would crush me to have her deny what happened and believe him over me, her little sister, all over again. So, I just wait with all this anger, sadness, and guilt. I’m not entirely sure what I’m waiting for. Her to finally realize? And say sorry? Slim chance. And even if she had, things would never be the same.
That hurts the most above all. Things will never be the same between us. We had the closest relationship. She was my idol, my role model, my “mom” basically. She was always there for me and I was always there for her. We were bestfriends. We had the best relationship. But, clearly not a bulletproof realtionship. Not a real strong one anyway.
I hate him. For what he did. For the pain he’s caused my family. And I’m angry at her for not believing me, cutting me off, and blaming me.
I know I need to forgive. I need to forgive them to be able to move on. But, how the fuck does someone do that??? I want to. But, I dont know if i can.
So, here I am. Drinking alone. Again.
I know I shouldnt. It’s very self destructive of me lol. But, sometimes you feel like you have to loosen the pressure gauge alittle. I cant keep all of it in right?
Talking with my therapist today made me realize how much alcohol has influenced my life. It was easy to deny anyone had any problem, I mean they aren’t drunk before noon or belligerent drunk. But, they are wasted drunk, dont remember anything the next day drunk.
Richard tells me I’ve internalized a lot of “constructive criticism” as a kid. I put that in quotes because its more like micro-manage, look over your shoulder, type of criticism. My dad’s not a bad guy, dont get me wrong, he’s probably the nicest person you’d ever meet, but, he has a drinking problem. And drinking makes things unpredicatable in a household. This past year of living with him, my aunt and cousins has really showed me that.
To understand, you have to understand my dad’s life. He grew up in Wisconsin. Lived with two other siblings with his mom. She was a single mother, had never gotten over her womanzing sex addict ex-husband, and was a drunk. She’d cry and cry everynight. She’d tell her little children how awful their dad was. They’d go to bed and she’d stay up drinking, watching tv, alone, sobbing and crying herself to sleep. When they got a little taller, old enough to drive, she’d start to get mean and nasty when she’d drink. Tell them they’d never amount to anything and that they were no better than her beloved brother, Jimmy, who had died of lung cancer. This continued to happen just about every night.
He was a teenager, so of course he got into drinking like everyone else in Wisconsin. Partying, drinking, doing whatever drug came his way. Come on, it was the 70s! But, then things started to not be so fun anymore. Came senior year and he didnt know what the hell he was gonna do. Next year and the year after that. Till he was 23 years old looking around and releazied he’d become a low-life just like everyone else in his hometown. I’m sure you’ve heard the story… So, he goes off to the military and things are looking up for him. He’s no dummy. Smart. Everything comes easy to him. He goes into nuclear egineering school in the navy and comes out able to make some good money. Here’s where the drinking comes to play.
He drinks because he’s depressed. He drinks to celebrate. He drinks because he’s bored. What ever the reason, he became dependent. And since 30 years old he “lost all motivation to do anything.”
Everything you expect, comes along with drinking; anger, frustration, sadness, shame, and isolation. Emotions are heightened, so you can only imagine what happens when everyone in the house drinks till they are glassy eyed drunk. Lots of nights crying, fighting, and collective feelings of guilt or shame. Not a great environment to be in…
Children of an alcohol dependent parent, I’ve come to learn through therapy, are very approval seeking because not only do they feel like they dont have a “normal” family, but, they feel the constant responsiblity to “fix” everything that’s wrong within the family. Or at least thats the case for me. I feel like I have to be the light house everyone can seek out for comfort. I’m an easy going person with my lack of confidence and constant need for approval lol. Enough said.
If you have a parent with a tendency to drink a little too often and in excess here are some traits you might have now as an adult.
1. Are more concerned with others than themselves.
2. Have difficultly following a project through beginning to end.
Oh and I’ll list some of the positives if you are feeling a little down about all the things I just pointed out.
We are very resilient people over all. We tend to be much more loyal, responsible, intuitive, empathic, and driven individuals.
So, some good things came out of it right??
Anyways, I’m learning to seperate myself from the criticism and not internalize it so much. Any micro-managing I do get is translated to “You’re not adequate”, “You’re not smart”, or “I dont have trust in your abilities as a person”. I internalize all of it and can be unrelenting. But, it’s not me it’s them. Their guilt, their shame, and their dependency. They have this impluse to control because they arent in control. It hurts to be constantly belittled, patronized, and criticized but, it’s how I react to the emotion or thought that matters.
Not everythings my fault.
“That’s the problem with drinking. I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.” – Charles Bukowski
It’s funny, the only time I want to blog is when I’m depressed and procrastinating on important stuff. Maybe I feel like 12:18 am is the time to write because nothing is too pressing or demanding and I dont feel so guilty for not doing work; anyways my brain is already dead past 11:00 pm right?
I’m listening to Elliott Smith right now, suprise surprise I know haha. I swear all my interests are centered around depressed poets, writers, or singers. When will I ever get out of this. Will I ever? I think about it often. I’m not depressed like I was but, I’m also not happy the majority of the time. Sure, I take the neccesary steps to help myself. I’ve been working out every day, listening to Alan B. Watts audio archives, going to therapy twice a week and reading “self-help” books. But, none of it seems to be working.
These past few weeks I’ve been really thinking about what I want to do with my life. I dont know who I was kidding, thinking I could be a Math & Science Major. I just wanted to make my Dad proud. My true interests lie in writing. My Aunt and Cousin say just pursue something I want, degrees dont really matter all that much anyways. So, maybe I will. I know if I’m to become a freelance writer or work at a publishing corp. I have to strengthen my writing abilities.
I’d love to be a freelance writer and travel while I write novels. Pretty good deal right? Maybe it’s unrealistic. I know my Dad would think so. I’m terrified to tell him what I really want to do. He’s very worried about money…. his entire life. Any money he’d get as a kid he’d save, never spending it on himself ever. Now, he never does anything but saves his money. He sits in front of the tv all day on his days off. Wakes up, gets coffee, sits and watches the news for 4-5 hours, needs to “get out of the house” and goes grocery shopping, comes back, sits down, watches some more news for maybe another 2 hours or so, goes to the liquor store, buys drink of choice; 6 tiny spirits, whiskey, wine, or vodka, comes home starts drinking, eats dinner with everyone, puts the news back on and gets wasted. Everyone at this point is so sick of the news and doesnt want to tell him to watch something else so everyone goes to their rooms and by 12:00 am he is hammered.
Came to the realization this past year living here that any conversation you have with him past 8 pm he wont remember. At all. This was kind of hard. It’s like he resets and any truly deep or personal conversation you have with him he wont remember the next morning.
It’s a very sad household. Everyones melancholoy all the time. Everyone talks in the past or the future. And no one does anything at all. Were isolated, cut off. It’s very lonely.
You know, my therapist one day said, “Some of the things that you’ve been so kind to share with me has led me to believe that maybe…” he covers his mouth and looks down for a brief moment muttering “Jeez, am I really going to say this”.. “that you seem very alone.”
I am lonely. And it’s me pushing people and friends away. It’s my fault. I push friends away because I’m afraid of what they’ll think. “Wow she’s changed, she’s weird now, I dont like the new her.” or “I dont know how to deal with her, she has too many problems, she’s messed up, shes no fun” are all the possible things they could be thinking. It’s irrational, I know it’s unlikely they are thinking this at all, but, some voice is constantly telling me all the things that could go wrong.
I try to silence these voices or replace it with a more contructive thought but, with every battle I win, every other I’m losing. And losing, surrendering, is so much easier than winning. Most of the time with my winning battles, I dont think really set in or change my thought patterns all that much. And I know writing this isnt the most helpful and reinforcing negative beliefs. But, it’s just how I feel right now.
My friends keep asking to hangout. I keep pushing plans off. I just dont think they’ll understand me. My therapist and family think it’ll really help me. I agree, it probably would but, it’s ironic, why is it always good advice thats always the hardest to take.
Maybe, I’ll just push myself no matter how shitty I feel or anxious.
Wow, how trivial. Sickening.
It’s like Alan B. Watts explains, the buddhists, christians etc. They believe there’s a moralistic self and a egotistical self that we are in constant battle with. It seems my egotistical self usually controls my thoughts, emotions, behaviors. Hell a lot of the time I just want to save my money and go live in a van for awhile, eventually settling down in a cabin in Ireland, alone in solitude living off the land with absolutely no responsibility. It’d be great.
But, my other self says pick yourself up. This too shall pass. You will make it through. And, you will be happy again, one day. I find it really hard to listen to this voice, even when it’s the most needed.
I guess we’ll have to see.
(Charles Bukoswki poem and Elliot Smith song below)
there’s a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out but I’m too tough for him, I say, stay in there, I’m not going to let anybody see you.
there’s a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out but I pour whiskey on him and inhale cigarette smoke and the whores and the bartenders and the grocery clerks never know that he’s in there.
there’s a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out but I’m too tough for him, I say, stay down, do you want to mess me up? you want to screw up the works? you want to blow my book sales in Europe?
there’s a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out but I’m too clever, I only let him out at night sometimes when everybody’s asleep. I say, I know that you’re there, so don’t be sad.
then I put him back, but he’s singing a little in there, I haven’t quite let him die and we sleep together like that with our secret pact and it’s nice enough to make a man weep, but I don’t weep, do you?