Texas

I booked a flight home to see my youngest brother. My older brother is around but doesn’t have much to do w/me. Mostly his issues, such is life I guess. My oldest brother is off in Alabama working a new job. True to form, he has stopped responding to the rest of us. It will just be me and the little ‘bro’. Well, that and his kids. My afore mentioned nephew and niece whom I adore. Little Ricky just makes my heart melt every time I see him. But I digress. I helped raise my little brother. We’ve always been the closest. We email/text each other a lot and it’s nice to keep up w/him. For a long time I kept my family at a distance. With the passing of my father, we’ve sorta reconnected again. Some of us anyway. It’s nice getting to know my brother as a man vs the boy I remember.

The land that I used to refer to as “my parent’s place” is ‘our place’ now. I keep forgetting and referring to it in the former. It’s odd. I still don’t really see it as mine. I still think of it as my dad’s. I guess that’s normal, I dunno. I’m supposed to help rebuild a fence when I get back but I don’t think my brother wants to. hehehe. We’ll probably end up just hanging out, going hunting, fishing or stuff like that.

People who know me now don’t often see my country side. Other than my twang and slang that is. Most of my friends think I’m just headed to another city. My parent’s place Our place is out in the boonies of East TX. Even though, it’s not so boonies anymore as the place is growing like crazy. But for now, it’s still pretty hick’ified. My closest neighbor is half a mile away and our place sits between a natural gas pipeline and a 400 mile slew (open wooded space). Sounds exciting huh? lol

I am grateful that I grew up in the country. I think it has added to my perspective on life over the years and helped to keep me grounded. There is something to be said for growing up close the Earth and raising food/livestock for yourself. I didn’t understand it as a kid but as a man, I see it all too clearly. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to live there however, I’ve learned to value my roots. (pun intended)

I guess my point in all these jabber is this. I used to dread going home. It was sort of like my once a year punishment. Now I look forward to it. The demons of my past are slowly falling away and in their place new memories are growing. The need to “get away” has left me. Ain’t life funny that way?

“Ding!” – Epiphany

This is probably the most significant post I’ll every write here. If you’ve ever wanted a first-hand view of my self-image, now’s your chance. Instead of making this a private post, I’ve decided to share it in an attempt to demonstrate what it is I struggle with. *I warn you, this is going to be a bit long winded so you might wanna grab some coffee.*

Before I start, let me just say thank you to my few faithful readers. Many of you go out of your way on a regular basis to boost my ego. For that, I am eternally grateful. I get many comments, often in private, asking why I am so hard or down on myself all the time. I’ve never really given it much thought until recently. With my growing feelings for someone, I find myself taking a much harder look at myself. Said person inspires me in ways I’ve never felt before. While he may not have my heart yet, he definitely has my admiration, respect, and attention. (And lets face it, keeping my attention is the hard part)

Ok, ok, I’m stalling. Cut me some slack here, I’m nervous. This is not the easiest post to write. The truth is, I’m hard on myself because I feel I have to be. I often see a clear confliction in how I value other’s kindness toward me and mine towards them. I think I understand why now. You see, being the person I am is still a choice for me. I didn’t grew up w/any sort of moral guidance. Kids are supposed to be given some sort of behavioral guideline to follow throughout life. It becomes ingrained as you grow older and eventually becomes the backbone of your convictions. Whether it be based on religious beliefs or accepted societal norms doesn’t matter. In my case, I just don’t feel that happened. I’ve always felt like an empty slate. I learned my perception of right and wrong from distant family, teachers, coaches, etc. Oddly enough, I got a huge chunk of my ideals from TV. I know what a shocker huh?! But, it’s true. I would often find myself emulating good TV stars. Never the bad ones, always the good ones. And I don’t mind telling you trying to ingrain these traits into my id as an adult has not been an easy task.

Among other things, my parents were selfish, petty, shallow, and even dishonest when it suited them. I was often told to do one thing while they did just the opposite. If you’ve been reading me for any length of time, you know I was NOT fond of my stepmother. In fact, she is the only person I’ve every truly hated. I blame her for a lot of my woes. And it’s not the physical abuse I remember. (Ok, that’s not exactly true. I remember the broken nose, the fists to the head, and the incident causing my deviated septum but the monotony of the daily beatings has faded away.) What I do remember most is living in a state of constant fear. Fear of never knowing what to do right. At best, my days were a confliction of events that left me paralyzed to rationalize my actions. Until finally one day the fear went away. In it’s place was left a cold dark emptiness. A place cold enough to allow me to almost kill my stepmother when I was only 12 years old. (She was a pill addict and I had a brilliant plan to dissolve a whole bottle of vicodin in one of her pepsi bottles. She was also addicted to soda.) I would have gotten away with it too. My father, siblings, relatives, all knew she was an addict. No one would have ever suspected me. I am deeply ashamed of that. I am grateful I never went thru with it. Instead, I continued on in misery.

Even though I couldn’t go through with it, the cold stayed w/me. I was a different person after that. And it scares me to this day. It gave me no qualms over lying, stealing, cheating, or anything else it took to survive. And yes, I have done things I am ashamed of. I can say I’ve never done anything I consider evil. I’m not vindictive. And I’ve never done things to hurt intentionally or out of some twisted sense of fun. But my life isn’t just about survival anymore. Yes, I choose not to be that person. Yet, I find myself plagued w/doubts over my progress. I know that cruel cold person is still inside me. I don’t dwell in it but it’s still there. I still have to choose to be a good person. It is not ingrained yet. And therein lies all my doubts. You are now privy to one of my deepest insecurities. I am in tears as I write this and I offer to you that I am ashamed.

*I had to take a break here. I’m back again…*

With all of that in mind, I still feel like my life has been blessed. As a child, I had a roof over my head, food in my belly, and shoes on my feet. There are those even in this country who can’t claim the same. Beyond that, there have been several sentinel moments where I felt things could have gone horribly unrepairably wrong. A good example would be my brush with god. (You should read it if you haven’t otherewise, you’ll miss perspective here.) It was a defining moment. That spark has stayed w/me ever since. It’s always there to give me that extra humph to better myself.

I know I’m taking a chance posting this but I don’t care. You wanted to know my perspective on things, well now you do. Comment if you like but it’s not required. It’s taken me over two hours to write this and I’m completely exhausted. I’m going to bed now.

Old Journals – 4.19.98

Ok, I’ve gotten a bit behind on my old journal posts. I plead for your mercy. I’ve been a very busy boy. This entry is significantly later on as I got distracted (yeah there’s a surprise) from my journaling.

In this enty, I find myself back in Houston and very happy about it at the time. I’d struggled very hard to make enough money to move as well as buy a car. Probably not the smartest move but it was very symbolic for me. A friend who managed the local bathouse gave me a job working the counter and catering the bbq’s on weekends. My thoughts were still very chaotic and my goals pretty much non-existent. I think I was still hoping for something to just fall it in my lap and make it all better. And while I was still missing the bigger picture, every time I sat down to journal a few more things would come into focus. All was not lost. . .

4.19.98
Well it’s been a very long time since I’ve written in this thing. I haven’t been keeping up like wanted but here I am again making the effort. I have come to a decision. I have no self-control when it comes to choosing what I want to do vs what I need/should be doing. That is something I need to work on a lot!

I’m back in Houston! I am so happy to be back. Even though I’m not working yet, I am still glad to be home. I’ve so missed all of my friends. However, as I feared, I’ve fallen back into alot of my old habits again. I’m trying though. I think I’ve made some very important realizations about myself. Now, I just need to work on the changes. I’ve started studing HTML alot. I need to study even harder if I want to learn it thoroughly. I’m getting concepts down right now and then I want to work on actual application next. I need to have a focus to help increase my self-control. I have no control sometimes when I should. I will work on it.
Continue reading Old Journals – 4.19.98

Insight

Wow! So many kind words. Thank you to everyone. I hope it did provide some insight. Many of the emails expressed shock that I would share such deeply personal feelings. I offer them freely w/o reservation in the hope that someone can learn from my growing pains and mistakes. The last entry was a collage of rather chaotic thoughts from a time in my life when I didn’t have any focus. I knew my life was out of control and was struggling to make sense of it. I hadn’t yet found the impetus to push me in the right direction. This only seemed to make my situation worse.

Al’s comment was particularly touching. The simple truth in his words really affected me. I forget to look at myself from the outside at times. I really am becoming the person that I’d like to date. Someone that can offer qualities that I seek in others. I guess I needed someone to point that out to me.

I often talk about my goals and where I hope to eventually be in my life but I don’t really see myself there yet. Or I guess I don’t ‘feel it’ yet. Don’t ge me wrong, I know w/o a doubt that I am kind and compassionate person. These traits are deeply embedded in my id. I also am discovering I have an innate sense of fairness. I like to see a problem from both sides. Lacking is the assurance of self that only comes from within. An assurance normally imparted as a child. However, in my case, something I’m learning as an adult. A hard task indeed. With that is the realization of character. And I am realizing that about myself. Slowly but surely, it’s sinking past the conscious to the subconscious. Hopefully, one day it will take root and become permanent. As I’m fond of saying, hope springs eternal…

Old Journals – 2.15.97

Ok, I’ve calmed down a bit and back on tract. I was all set to talk about my old journals before going off on a tangent.

This entry is particularly painful for me. The irony, even when I was losing hope I was still hopeful. How is that for confusing.

While writing this entry I was on a plane from Boulder to Texas for my vacation. I’d saved enough money to afford the plane ticket. I didn’t have a single credit card then. My boss from my previous job in TX had gotten me an interview w/his new company and I was on my way to make an impression. This was probably the only thing keeping my spirits up. I was really becoming alienated even though I had caring people all around me. I was also still waiting for Mr. Right to come along and miracuously fix my life. I hadn’t yet realized no one could fix my life but me. It’s funny, in some ways I was opening up and others I was closing myself off. I never saw that until now. I was so focused on not being happy in Boulder, I think I actually stopped giving it a chance. I had so much pain that carried over from my childhood and no matter how hard I pushed it away, it always seeped back in somehow. I wasn’t mature enough to face it and hande it. I’m amazed at times I survived at all.

2.15.97 Continue reading Old Journals – 2.15.97

Old Journals – 1.16.97

As promised, here is another journal from way back when. Not much had changed since the first except the desire to move home had intensified. It was obvious I felt alone. I felt trapped by my life and helpless at times to change it. I’d focused my energies on getting back to Texas. I just knew if I could get home everything would be all right again. (Not really the case but perception is 9/10 of reality they say.) The poem references a new friend I’d made. His name was Aubry. We lost touch a couple of years after I moved away but I still miss him in my life. He was the one thing that kept me sane thru my despair.

1.16.97
It’s been 15 days since I last wrote here. Not a whole lot new to tell. I am working out again. I haven’t done much metaphysical work lately. I guess my exercise is work enough. At least I’m doing something. I have been really really busy. I’ve come to realize I want to move back home. I miss everything! I talked to Steve today. NHP doesn’t have any positions right now. He is going to send me a paper on Sunday so I can look around with other companies. I came across a poem today that I kinda like. Here goes…
Continue reading Old Journals – 1.16.97

A Past Not Forgotten

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of my father’s death. For those of you long term readers, you know that his passing while sad was not overly traumatic for me. It did bring up many unresolved issues for me. Some of which I was able to resolve at the time. My father and I weren’t close considering our history. However, in the end, we did reach a sort of understanding and mutual respect for each other. One might even say love.

I look back today not w/sadness or regret. Nothing that was done can be undone. And while at times, I still resent the unnecessary hardships inflicted upon me by my family, I am grateful as well. Those hardships have helped mold me into the person I am today. Humility really is a good teacher. I never understood that as I child. As an adult, it is all too clear.

In slightly less depressing news, today is my Friday. I was only moderately bad last night. Home and in bed by 3:00am. This moring, I had a conversation w/someone which left me in very good spirits.

Old Journals – 1.1.97

Everyone was so supportive, I thought I’d go for it. Over the coming month, I’ll probably post from several old journals. They are very scattered as I hadn’t really developed the skill for it nor the habit of writing consistently. However, that’s not really the point.

This one was taken from an old journal entry back in 1997. It was my first real forray into writing down my thoughts. A relationship that I never should have been in had just ended and I was alone, lonely, and miserable. A relationship that I’d moved across three states for,Houston to Boulder. I’d heard about journaling as a form of therapy and thought it might be helpful for me. It is unedited for grammar or content.*


*While writing this entry, I was sitting on a giant boulder overlooking a creek inside a canyan between the Flatirons in Boulder, CO. It was one of my favorite places to go and relax. It was called Dream Canyan.*

1.1.97
This is a journal I have always wanted to start but never have. It’s the first day of the new year. Pat has left for Atlanta & I am still here in Boulder, CO. I really don’t know why I have stayed but, here I am. I really like my job & I guess I ‘m afraid if I leave I wont’ be able to find another job like this one. I am making more now than I ever have before however, it is very expensive to live here. I am barely scraping by. I am thinking of moving to Denver w/Daniel. As roommates go, he is not bad. A slob but not bad. I would, at least, be able to become a part of the gay scene there. Boulder has no scene at all. Something has to change soon. I have given up alot for love on different occasiona & I just am not willing to do it again. I want to focus on my own life & hopefully get it together. I have started working out again. I would like to get my ass in shape. At least, to tone up and be firm. Not to please others but to please myself.
Continue reading Old Journals – 1.1.97

Looking Back

I’m considering publishing some of my old written journals on the blog.

I found one of my old written journals from about 1o years ago the other day while unpacking some boxes. It was around this time I realized my childhood insecurities were crippling me as an adult. To say I was dysfunctional is putting it mildy. I was a mess! Oddly enough, most of my entries were optimistic. Often yearning for a better life, somtimes realistic, sometimes very UNrealistic. I kept waiting for something or more astutely someone to happen to me. I hadn’t yet contemplated the term of self-acceptance. My self-esteem and self-image were so low as to be non-existent. I was very skinny in a muscle bound world of gay men. Skinny w/a big butt. (Well, I thought it was big but, in hindsight, it wasn’t so big.) Throw in a heavy dose of low self-worth courtesy of my stepmother and you have a recipe for the classic dysfunctional adult. Not surprisingly, I lived at the whim of my emotions and desires.

I must admit, I’m a bit apprehensive. It was a time in my life when morals were foreign to me. I did things I’m not proud of. I was self-centered and selfish w/o even realizing it. Course, it’s hard to be moral and self-righteous when you aren’t sure where you next meal is coming from.

If I am to put my money where my mouth is, I should do it. Maybe my mistakes can help someone else.

Ding Dong The Witch is Dead!

** This was copied from my old journals and I’ve tried to condense it for clarity **

It finally happened! My stepmother is dead! Satan has left us once again for the underworld. May she reign in hell forever undisturbed.

This news is so completely unexpected as she is 10yrs younger than my dad. On top of that, they still don’t know what killed her. She went to bed one night and just didn’t wake up. It was your conscience that killed you, you mean spirited hateful bitch! (Yes, I’m bitter, and I have good reason. If you haven’t read the history, please do so now.)

I just got home from work and I’m so giddy w/laughter I can’t control myself. I know I shouldn’t be happy over someone’s death but I can’t help it. She was the bane of my existence for so long, I can’t help but be happy. She made my life a living hell as a child. Anything cruel or mean she could think of to do to me, she did. It has taken me years to work thru the anguish, feelings of inadequacy, and self-doubt that she instilled within me sometimes daily.

I have such a feeling of relief. As if a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. My belief is that, for whatever reasons, she was a miserable person in this life. A person who couldn’t be happy so tried to make everyone around her just as miserable as she was. All my puns aside, I hope that she has found some sort of relief from her grief. Maybe in her next life she’ll come back as a gay man adopted by white trash and they’ll kick her to the curb at the ripe age of 14.

I’m going out to celebrate tonight. I plan on getting snockered up real good!

****this is a from a journal entry about a week later****
They discovered what killed my step mother finally. Apparently, she had taken a whole slew of pills again (she was a severe pill addict) and some of the pills interacted and backed up into her esophagus. She basically choked to death in her sleep. Hows that for irony? I still say it was her conscience.