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No, I’m not okay.

“Sometimes I think tolerance can be void of compassion and sometimes we can forget that in the end we’re all only human.”

This is for everyone suffering from any mental disorder. Because I believe if you have C-ptsd, ptsd, anxiety, depression, borderline personality disorder, or bi/tri-polar disorder, people often don’t understand the battle we fight every everyday. Because I noticed how fleeting everyone’s memories are, when I’ve told them I have c-ptsd, anxiety and depression. I have come to realize how quickly people tend to forget I’m fighting this battle everyday and how many of them think I’m fine, that I’m cured because I finally opened up and said, “This is me, I’m broken, but I’m working on becoming better.”

Even when my dad found out, his first response to me was,
“Why don’t you just let go of the past and live your life?” And I responded with a sigh,
“It’s not that easy. It’s like you asking me not breathe, I can’t help it, it’s both biological and psychological and its beyond my control. I don’t like being the way I am. I wish I wasn’t this way, I wish I was normal. But I’m a long way from being okay and I’ve come to terms with that, I’ve accepted it. I’m getting help now yes, but there’s no easy cure. There’s no pill I can take, or advice I can receive that will suddenly be okay. It’ll take time.”

Then he asked if they told me how long I will be the way I am. And I had to inform him, that no one knows and I doubt I’ll ever be completely cured. I can only get better by a matter of degrees and that’s the best I can ever do. Then he told me his solution for these problems and issues of mine, which was me going to church and finding a nice Christian girl.
I can’t expect anyone to save me, I used to look at those I’ve become romantically involved with as a solution to a problem I didn’t know I had. Looking back and knowing what I know now, I know a part of me had looked at every relationship as a chance to heal, to have them fix this broken part of me and fill this hollowness I often feel deep within my heart, my soul, me. I also grew up Christian and loved God with all my heart, but after praying everyday for years for my mother to love me, my faith became shaken. With every bad situation, or cruel act I had to endure, I often found myself asking God why. Gradually my prayers shifted, I stopped praying for God to let my mother love me, but began praying for God to kill me. It’s what I wanted at a very young age, because I was tired of hurting. I was tired of being abused at home, of going to school where I often got harassed and ridiculed, often trying to tell myself that old nursery rhyme about sticks and stones, but truth is, words do hurt more than a broken bone. As far as bad names go, I was called them all. Then I would go home, get beaten, or my older brother would mock and make fun of me and my mother would often be in the room and just laugh at his insults to me. When I asked him to stop, he would ignore me and make fun of me even more, when I asked my mother to make him stop, she ignored me. But the moment I insulted him in return, I would get beaten and grounded.  This was my life for years, if you want to know what it was like for me growing up go back and read my Scars of who we are series. It explains a lot. But I never told anyone about the abuse for several reasons. One I was afraid, I was afraid people would judge me, or think less of me, or worse they would think I was lying and making it all up. Second, she often threatened me with what she would do to me if Told anyone, if she didn’t think that was working she would blackmail me. By telling me my dad wouldn’t put up with my struggling grades and how he would think so much less of me. She would also fill my head with thoughts, that he didn’t really love me and was just pretending just so I would go and live with him, saying if I did, he had told her he would send me off to military school. Also, I was always afraid if I said anything I would hurt my older brother. Because he biological dad didn’t want anything to do with him after he divorced our mom, then when my dad and mom got a divorce she had told my brother that my dad didn’t want him. Which my dad says is untrue and I believe him.

When my dad remarried, his 2nd wife was a woman named Patricia. In the beginning she was super cool and kind to me. She had two kids from a previous marriage who I got along with and my step-brother would grow to become more of a brother to me then my own brother ever was to me. So when my dad got married to Patricia I found myself giving some serious thought about leaving my abusive home and taking the chance at this new family. I wanted Patricia to  be my mother, because I was growing to think of her as such. But then things started to change, Patricia began making subtle and not so subtle jokes at my expense, calling me stupid, lazy, queer, etc. Anytime someone broke something, or didn’t clean up a spilled drink she blamed me. Then she began making me do all the house chores, while telling me how pathetic I am. This eventually made me afraid of her and I would always try to avoid her. My dad knew that she was often a bit hard on me, but I don’t think he knew how bad it was whenever he wasn’t around. But I never said anything to him about it, because I believed she made my dad happy and that was all that mattered to me. So if I had to put up with my step-mother being awful towards me, I felt like it was the least I could do for my father. I wanted to see him happy. Also I loved having a step-brother and step sister, I thought of them both as blood related family and Patrick was my brother as far as I was concerned. It was Patrick though who taught me how a real brother should act and should be. Whenever he saw or heard his mother treating me poorly or unfairly he would always stand up for me, even though standing up to his mother on my behalf often resulted in him getting grounded, he never did stop defending me.

Years after my dad and step-mother’s divorce Patricia did eventually look me up and apologized for how she had treated me, telling me she knew it was wrong and explained to me her mindset way back then. She even apologized for hurting my dad and wanted me to tell him that she was genuinely sorry. Her and I did have a good relationship after that and I was moved when I heard her referring to me as her son and bragging about me. I don’t think I ever had anyone really brag about me before, so it was nice and I find myself missing her after she passed away.

  In a few years after I finally broke free from the toxic relationship with my mother, I ran into my older brother and things were different between us, because we got along pretty well. We started hanging out on a regular basis, talking and I was feeling like I was finally getting to know him, he was finally feeling like a real brother to me. I didn’t have a car at the time, so he would often have to pick me up and I would repay him by treating him out to dinner, even got him an air conditioner for his place when I discovered he didn’t have air at his place. When he couldn’t pay his rent, I helped him pay it. We began training in martial arts together, hiked the Red River Gorge, saw movies as he advised me on girls and tried helping me build up my confidence. He even told me he knew our mother, had a falling out and he began begging me to give her another chance. I had tried once before but things blew up in my face, when she let her family talk down to me and I overheard her and her sister trying to talk the first girl I ever brought over into breaking up with me and dating my older brother because they believed he would be a trade up from me. So when he first brought up the issue I didn’t want anything do with her, I even tried telling him the mother he knew, wasn’t the mother I knew. But he eventually talked me into it. Then when she and my step-dad accused me of stealing a large sum of money, they stole my laptop and I had to go the police to have my belongings returned to me. My brother turned his back on me almost immediately. It hurt seeing someone who I loved and greatly respected turn his back on me and forget everything I had ever done for him as if it was for nothing and like I was nothing.

I’ve had a cousin whom I saw as a best-friend and a brother who betrayed me for a girl and I got to see how he really thought of me, as I read him trash talking to me to a girl I was seeing and didn’t even know he was interested in. Also it bares saying my cousin has always been a player and never very interested in having a meaningful romantic relationship with anyone. Worse was he knew a lot about what I had been through, how I’ve always struggled with depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. So seeing how easy someone who I had grown up with, whom I always defended and how quickly and easily he’d unapologetically betray me and throw me under a bus, without any hesitation, really, really hurt.

Most of my personal, romantic relationships managed to further the damage already done to me. Because usually, whenever I entered a relationship I was all in. I wanted me and the girl I was with to go the distance. But I was almost always, used, taken advantage of, cheated on, or left for a better model. My second to last relationship was with a girl named Olivia. That one had hurt the worse until my most recent breakup. Because Olivia and I had both been hurt before and we had both wanted to take things slow. We were together for eight months and we talked every day. She would even come by my place to see me throughout the week, wanting to just spend time with me. Three days before my birthday, she had asked me if I would be willing to move in with her down the road. I said yes, then on my birthday, she asked me over to her house and told me she wanted to see other people. For a moment I didn’t believe this was happening, because we had never had a fight, or so much as a disagreement, up until that day, she would tell me how I was the greatest guy she ever dated, the best boyfriend she ever had. So I was more than a little devastated.

Worse was we had tickets to a comic con the following weekend, I had originally told her she could just have my ticket and take anyone she wants. But a day before the convention, she talked me into going with her as friends. I agreed, but when we got there we and into some of her friends who just gotten engaged and after congratulating them, Olivia began complaining how she was forever alone, how she wished she could find a good guy while I was standing right there.

Later after the second time she had blown me off to hang out with her friends who were also there, I had enough and finally decided to leave and let her get a ride home with her friends. But she ran into me as I was leaving and asked what I was doing and I told her I was going home. She was upset and more than a little angry that I was going to leave her there. Then she spend the next 20 minutes in the car telling me about things she thought I would do to her and how she would screw up my life. (Usually when I’m hurt, I just walk away. I don’t ever beg someone to take me back and I don’t resort to acting petty, because I believe all that does is tell that other person they might the right decision by leaving you.

It took me a long time to pull myself back together after Olivia, which is how I ended up meeting my most recent ex. In the beginning she wanted to date me and I insisted I didn’t want a relationship. All I wanted was to be friends, I was kind of done with love. I did everything I could to make Star disinterested in me. (not her real name, but I don’t want to put her on blast.) I told Star I was broken, she told me she was too. I told her I wanted my next relationship to my last and she told me she was also ready to settle down. I told her I was a geek, a cosplayer and a dork. She laughed and told me she was too. Two months later, she finally broke down my defenses and we started dating, that’s how without ever intending to do so, I fell in love. We were amazing together, or we were for about eleven months when she started cheating on me with her ex-boyfriend and I found out. We broke up and she kept sending me messages telling me how it was not what I thought, that she wished she could explain it to me, telling me that she loved and wanted to be with me. About two months later, she asked me to take her back and I foolishly did. I’m not sure why, or why I worked so hard to forgive and try to forget what she had done to me. Why I doubled my efforts to make her happy, but I guess I really did fall helplessly in love with the girl. I had believed we were working and that I was making her happy, then the lies and excuses started all over again, once more I discovered she was talking and seeing someone on the side. Which made me feel like a failure and like I was inadequate, broken, a mess of a human being. It also caused me to have an emotional breakdown, Star destroyed something in me when she hurt me a second time. I believe a part of me was so affected, because when I told her how I’m a child abuse survivor, she told me she was too and told me stories about things she’s endured, which lowered my defenses and made me see someone I could relate with, someone who understood things I’ve suffered ad endured. I can’t help but feel manipulated, lied to and used. Which doesn’t help me with my C-ptsd, anxiety and depression. I hate having these issues and problems, most days I hate just being me. More than anything I wish I could just get over it, forget it. But for people like me, please stop telling people to just get over it. It’s something we can’t control, or help and it makes me pull away and withdraw from whoever tries telling me those three little words, even though I know you mean well when you say them. I have an illness, when I talk about my past, I’m talking to you to work through them. What people like me need when we talk about it, is support and love. Tell us you’re sorry, hold us and remember we’re trying. I’m trying to heal.

I can’t help it when I push anyone away, or when I withdraw. I have been hurt by numerous people, numerous times who were varying degrees of closeness to me.

I look at scars on my body and think about how they healed in such an understandable process. Like, I could see it healing. I saw the bleeding stop. I saw the scab form. I saw the scab fall off into something else. I saw the car tissue form and watched as the scars healed and faded. But emotional healing doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t get lighter every month. You can work so hard, you can come so far and still fall back down without any warning. It doesn’t nullify what you’ve done. It doesn’t erase your progress. It’s just a reminder that healing doesn’t work in any linear way. It takes time.

 

I wish I could forget, I wish I could wake up with amnesia and not remember any of the pain of my past. I wish I could start over, with a clean slate, without these memories I sometimes feel as though I can’t escape. Because I’m not fine, I’m not okay. I have my demons, I have issues and problems I can’t even begin to describe. I have C-ptsd, anxiety, depression and that’s not going away anytime soon. They say for however long you were abused, or suffered, its going to take at least half that time to undo some of the damage done. So I’m looking at sentence of at least 15 years, but even then there’s no promises. I will still bad and have bad days. I may never be completely cured of my c-ptsd and I’m certain my depression and anxiety is going to be a life sentence for me. But I’m working on becoming better, but it will take time.

It hurts being me with these memories that I have, I wish I could forget the cruel things people I loved and who were suppose to love me. Sometimes the memories creep inside of me and I get angry, a part of me wants payback. But it mostly just hurts, somedays I go without sleep, because my anxiety kicks off at such a high gear, my resting heartbeat goes from 52 beats per minute to 140 and I don’t sleep. I lay there at night alone and in pain. Pain I wish I could shutout, I wish I could ignore.

It’s hard for me to trust or let people in because so many people who said they loved me, had hurt me and hurt me bad. So I sometimes lash out, say things I don’t mean, but mostly I just push people away and withdraw into myself. Because a part of me doesn’t trust people, I no longer see the best in people like I once did.

here are a few things that, if said to a person with C-PTSD anxiety, or depression, are more upsetting than anything. Here are some of them:

  1. “Get over it.”

This is one thing that someone with C-PTSD hates to hear. We want to move on; we don’t want to be haunted by our past. If it were a switch we could flip we would, but we can’t. Please don’t tell us this.

  1. “That was so long ago.”

The events we experienced may no longer be happening, but we relive them most days. The flashbacks, nightmares and daily reminders make us feel like it wasn’t long ago. It may have happened a long time ago for the person who says this, but for us, it’s still so real.

  1. “Change your ways; stop thinking that way.”

When people tell us to change our ways, the things we do because of C-PTSD, they don’t realize that this thought process or way of doing something has been drilled into our heads. We are scared of changing; we are scared this will bring back the abuse and fear.

  1. “I don’t remember it that badly.”

You did not live my fears and worries. I never asked what you remember. You were not there all the time; there were closed doors. I have reasons I have C-PTSD and I don’t want to argue about what you remember.

With PTSD or C-PTSD, even just the tone used and word choices can make the brain feel like it’s being attacked. Try and be there for the person, allow them to gain trust in you. Let them talk to you and cry on your shoulder. Ask how they are and if they need anything. Trust can be the hardest thing for many people with PTSD and things like those above can make us even less trusting in others. Think before you speak; it can save lives, confidence and friendships.

 

 

Please educate yourself before you try telling me or others like me, that we need to let go of the past and move on with our lives. It isn’t that easy. I’m not okay, I’m broken and I’m going to be broken for a long time. But I’m working on it, I’m trying my best. But you have to be patient with me and give me some grace. Going to church isn’t a cure all. I dedicated myself to a small church for two years. I volunteered, woke up early just to help then set up, stayed late just to help them break everything down. I met some friends, some who also ended up hurting me in the end. And every time I was struggling my fellow Christians told me the same thing. “You’re not giving your pain to God!” or, “You have to trust in God more!” “Let God move you” “God wants your brokenness! Give more!” I’ve heard it all. I’ve been prayed for, prayed at, lectured, preached to and at. No one knew how much pain I was really in. Or what was really wrong with me and their words were band aids on a wound that needed a real doctor and professional to mend back together.  This post was longer then I intended, I hope you were able to stick it out with me.

https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd-overview/complex-ptsd.asp

I need help from all of you. Not for me only but for everyone who is dealing with a mental health problem.

Friends, in our part of world mental health problems are still something we feel too ashamed to talk about.

Either they are misunderstood as some sort of witchcraft or the person is conviniently labeled a psycho and abandoned, mostly emotionaly.

A loved one of mine is living with serious disorders.

I have no strenght and adequate knowlege (as i haven’t seen it myself yet) to write about it, i will hold back my own stream of words for a while until i know what i am talking about.

But i want to raise awareness on the subject as this is consuming our lives and pretty much this era.

People don’t even care about it until unless it doesn’t happen to a person very close or them and then…

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My very personal PSA

I have depression, anxiety and recently been diagnosed with C-PTSD.

Several people like to tell me I should get over it, or say “Oh I’ve been depressed a few times, but I did this thing and it stopped it.”

Truth is, depression isn’t cute or funny and it’s definitely not sexy. It’s a living thing. It exists by feeding on your darkest moods and emotions and it’s always hungry. It never really goes away. Anything that challenges it, anything that makes you feel good, anyone who brings you joy, it will drive them away so it can grow without interference. Its goal is to isolate you. At its worst, it will literally paralyze you, rather than allow you to feel anything at all. At its worst, you are numb and you are drained and immobilized by it. And it’s not that those of us who suffer from the disease want to push you away. For there have been times I could be in a room surrounded by friends and family and still feel no one else’s’ warmth or touch. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been surrounded by people and still felt alone, hurt and like a burden or a joke to all those I loved and care about. Always thinking that everyone else would be so much happier if I just went away. You see Depression sucks, I mean it literally sucks, it takes away your happiness, your joy, leaving you as nothing more than a hollowed out husk of the person you were before. But that’s how depression works; it’ll drive you to your knees with the soul crushing weight that no one should ever have to bare alone. It will prey on your darkest thoughts, telling you that no one loves you and it’ll you that every negative thought you ever had about yourself is true, and how bleak your future really is. I’ve come to learned that depression lies. But I still wrestle with my depression; I have good days, bad days, and worst days. I often try to combat it by keeping myself busy.

Having anxiety on top of depression often validates your depression. Anxiety is debilitating. It feels like a constant heaviness in your mind; like something isn’t quite right, although oftentimes you don’t know exactly what that something is. But it feels like acid in your stomach, burning and eating away at the emptiness and taking away any feelings of hunger. It’s like a tight knot that you can’t untwist. Anxiety feels like your mind is on fire, overthinking and over analyzing every little, irrelevant thing. Sometimes, it makes you feel restless and constantly distracted. It feels as if your thoughts are running wild in a million different directions, bumping into each other along the way. Other times, it makes you feel detached, as if your mind has gone blank and you are no longer mentally present. You dissociate and feel as if you have left your own body. For me anxiety feels like there is a voice in the back of my mind telling me that everything is not okay, when everything in fact is. Sometimes the voice tells me that there is something wrong with me and that you are different from everybody else.

It’s like this voice that tells you that your feelings are bad and that you’re a burden to the world and that you should isolate. It makes everyday tasks, such as making simple decisions, incredibly difficult. Anxiety can keep you up at night — tossing and turning.
It’s like a lightbulb that comes on at the most inconvenient times and won’t switch off. Your body feels exhausted, but your mind feels wide awake and racing. You go through the events of your day, analyzing and agonizing over every specific detail. Much like depression, anxiety never really goes away.

When I discovered I’ve also been dealing with C-PTSD from the years of childhood abuse I’ve endured. I was like “Wow…aren’t I lucky.” You see In PTSD, your brain may replay a incident over and over again to help you process your emotions. It can become an endless loop that is actually more upsetting than the initial incident, as your unexpressed emotions continue to pile up.

C-PTSD is ongoing or repeated interpersonal trauma, where the victim is traumatized in captivity, and where there is no perceived way to escape. Ongoing child abuse is captivity abuse because the child cannot escape. Domestic violence is another example. Forced prostitution/sex trafficking is another.

The following are some of the symptoms and impact most felt by complex trauma survivors.

1. Deep Fear Of Trust People who endure ongoing abuse, particularly from significant people in their lives, develop an intense and understandable fear of trusting people. If the abuse was parents or caregivers, this intensifies. Ongoing trauma wires the brain for fear and distrust. It becomes the way the brain copes with any further potential abuse. Complex trauma survivors often find trusting people very difficult, and it takes little for any trust built to be destroyed. The brain senses issues and this overwhelms the already severely-traumatized brain. This fear of trust is extremely impactful on a survivor’s life. Trust can be learned with support and an understanding of trusting people slowly and carefully. This takes times and patience. Believe me when I say, people like me are trying.

2. Terminal Aloneness
This is a phrase I used to describe to my Therapist — the terribly painful aloneness I have always felt as a complex trauma survivor. I often feel little connection and trust with people, people like me often remain in a terrible state of aloneness, even when surrounded by people. I described it once as having a glass wall between myself and other people. I can see them, but I cannot connect with them. Another issue that increases this aloneness is feeling different to other people. Feeling damaged, broken and unable to be like other people can haunt a survivor, increasing the loneliness.

3. Emotion Regulation
Intense emotions are common with complex trauma survivors like myself. It is understandable that ongoing abuse can cause many different and intense emotions. This is normal for complex trauma survivors. Learning to manage and regulate emotions is vital in being able to manage all the other symptoms, but it’s not easy and incredibly difficult. Best way I can describe this is, imagine you’re on a strict, healthy diet, and every day you have to drive in a car, or sit at a table watch someone eat your favorite food, where they’re always asking you if you want some and you always have to say “No.” Now multiply that by like a thousand.

4. Emotional Flashbacks
flashbacks are something all PTSD survivors can deal with, and there are three types:

Visual Flashbacks – where your mind is triggered and transported back to the trauma, and you feel as though you are reliving it.
Somatic Flashbacks – where the survivor feels sensations, pain and discomfort in areas of the body, affected by the trauma. This pain/sensations cannot be explained by any other health issues, and are triggered by something that creates the body to “feel” the trauma again.
Emotional Flashbacks – the least known and understood, and yet the type complex trauma survivors can experience the most. These are where emotions from the past are triggered. Often the survivor does not understand these intense emotions are flashbacks, and it appears the survivor is being irrationally emotional. When I learned about emotional flashbacks, it was a huge lightbulb moment of finally understanding why I have intense emotions, when they do not reflect the issue occurring now, but are in fact emotions felt during the trauma, being triggered. But, there is no visual of the trauma – as with visual flashbacks. So, it takes a lot of work to start to understand when experiencing an emotional flashback.

5. Hypervigilance about People
Most people with PTSD have hypervigilance, where the person scans the environment for potential risks and likes to have their back to the wall.
But complex trauma survivors often have a deep subconscious need to “work people out.” Since childhood, I have been aware of people’s non-verbal cues; their body language, their tone of voice, their facial expressions. I also subconsciously learn people’s habits and store away what they say. Then if anything occurs that contradicts any of this, it will immediately flag as something potentially dangerous.
This can be exhausting. And it can create a deep skillset of discernment about people. The aim of healing fear-based hyper-vigilance is turning it into non-fear-based discernment
.
6. Loss Of Faith
Complex trauma survivors often endure a loss of faith. This can be about people, about the world being good, about religion, and a loss of faith about self.
Complex trauma survivors often view the world as dangerous and people as all potentially abusive, which is understandable when having endured ongoing severe abuse.
Many complex trauma survivors walk away from their religious beliefs. For example, to believe in a good and loving God who allows suffering and heinous abuse to occur can feel like the ultimate betrayal. This is something needing considerable compassion.

7. Profoundly Hurt Inner Child

Childhood complex trauma survivors, often have a very hurt inner child that continues on to affect the survivor in adulthood. When a child’s emotional needs are not met and a child is repeatedly hurt and abused this deeply and profoundly affects the child’s development. A survivor will often continue on subconsciously wanting those unmet childhood needs in adulthood. Looking for safety, protection, being cherished and loved can often be normal unmet needs in childhood, and the survivor searches for these in other adults. This can be where survivors search for mother and father figures. Transference issues in counseling can occur and this is normal for childhood abuse survivors. I can’t tell you how many times I met a girlfriend’s parents and would often begin viewing their mother as a motherly figure for me. Even my last supervisor, I found myself thinking of her as a motherly figure and she inherently had a very motherly personality, where my department would often refer to her as the mother of the circulation department.

8. Helplessness and Toxic Shame
Due to enduring ongoing or repeated abuse, the survivor can develop a sense of hopelessness — that nothing will ever be OK. They can feel so profoundly damaged, they see no hope for anything getting better. When faced with long periods of abuse, it does feel like there is no hope of anything changing. And even when the abuse or trauma stops, the survivor can continue on having these deep core level beliefs of hopelessness. This is intensified by the terribly life-impacting symptoms of complex PTSD that keep the survivor stuck with the trauma, with little hope of this easing.

Toxic shame is a common issue survivors of complex trauma endure. Often the perpetrators of the abuse make the survivor feel they deserved it, or they were the reason for it. Often survivors are made to feel they don’t deserve to be treated any better.

9. Repeated Search For A Rescuer
Subconsciously looking for someone to rescue them is something many survivors understandably think about during the ongoing trauma and this can continue on after the trauma has ceased. The survivor can feel helpless and yearn for someone to come and rescue them from the pain they feel and want them to make their lives better. This sadly often leads to the survivor seeking out the wrong types of people and being re-traumatized repeatedly.

10. Dissociation

When enduring ongoing abuse, the brain can utilize dissociation as a coping method. This can be from daydreaming to more life-impacting forms of dissociation such as dissociative identity disorder (DID). This is particularly experienced by child abuse survivors, who are emotionally unable to cope with trauma in the same way an adult can.

11. Persistent Sadness and Being Suicidal

Complex trauma survivors often experience ongoing states of sadness and severe depression. Mood disorders are often co-morbid with complex PTSD.

Complex trauma survivors are high risk for suicidal thoughts, suicide ideation and being actively suicidal. Suicide ideation can become a way of coping, where the survivor feels like they have a way to end the severe pain if it becomes any worse. Often the deep emotional pain survivors feel, can feel unbearable. This is when survivors are at risk of developing suicidal thoughts.

12. Muscle Armoring
Many complex trauma survivors, who have experienced ongoing abuse, develop body hyper-vigilance. This is where the body is continually tensed, as though the body is “braced” for potential trauma. This leads to pain issues as the muscles are being overworked. Chronic pain and other issues related such as chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia can result. Massage, guided muscle relaxation and other ways to manage this can help.

All of these issues are very normal for complex trauma survivors. Enduring complex trauma is not a normal life experience, and therefore the consequences it creates are different, yet very normal for what they have experienced and endured.

Not every survivor will endure all these, and there are other symptoms that can be endured. I always suggest trauma-informed counseling if that is accessible. There are medications available to help with symptoms such as anxiety and depression. But they tend to be fairly expensive.

Lastly, I advise that empathy, gentleness and compassion are required for complex trauma survivors. We are not people and trust me when I say, we are trying and doing our best.

A perspective about love and relationships.

I recently heard the Dierks Bentley song, “Different for Girls” Which is essentially a song about how it’s harder for girls to get over a broken heart. Which is all really just a matter of perspective, I know people who never really loved their S.O (Significant other) And when things don’t work out, they move on pretty effortlessly. At the same time, I’ve seen people break up because they didn’t feel that spark or attraction anymore, yet they still suffered, because they had grown attached to the other person, a lot of times they still even like the other person but things just didn’t work out.

As a guy, I’ve had female friends who I tried consoling tell me that I don’t know what it’s like to have a broken heart. They’ve explained girl’s feel things deeper and more profoundly than I ever could, because I’m a guy. But I can speak from experience, everyone feels heartbreak. Men are not immune to these effects; we can’t just turn it off, or rush into someone else’s bed and move on. In truth, we don’t know really know how to handle or deal with a broken heart. Partially because we’ve been told our whole lives that “boys don’t cry.” Or to Man up, whenever we’re feeling down, or depressed. So we don’t express ourselves by crying and eating ice cream, or having a girl’s night. Because a guy doesn’t want to bring down our friends, we really don’t want anyone feeling sorry for us, or looking at us like we’re weak. I’ve seen my guy friends drink themselves into oblivion and crying about the one who got away.

Heartbreak for me though always hits hard and it never gets any easier, it does in fact get harder. Because with every failed relationship, I learn more and more of myself, then I become more reluctant to get involved with anyone again. So when I do fall in love again, it’s never on purpose, it just sort of happens. Then I give that person more of myself than I had with my last relationship, because I’ve learned from past mistakes and I’ve been given the chance to mature more emotionally. But when those relationships fail, I can act childish, petty, sometimes I just break down and cry for days and weeks at a time, but most of the time…I just feel emptied out and hollowed. At my best, I can simply walk away avoiding any drama and the long drawn out breakup. You know when you find yourself both angry that they’re leaving, hurt by it, and depressed all at the same time, where a part of you wants them to hurt as much as you’re hurting, because if they’re hurting too, it must mean they love you too and maybe the two of you can work it out and get back together…But usually that never happens because of you said, it did something that’s unforgivable, or incredibly hurtful.
More recently, I suffered yet another heartbreak, now upon writing this as of now, I have no idea where our relationship stands, I don’t know if we’ll get back together, or not. But I can tell you it hurts. A hurt so profound I’ve been diagnosed with stress-induced cardiomyopathy, in lament terms, it translates to broken heart syndrome. Yeah I didn’t know it was a real thing either and as I sat there in the doctor’s office, I found out people can die from it. In broken heart syndrome, a part of your heart temporarily enlarges and doesn’t pump well, while the rest of your heart functions normally or with even more forceful contractions. Researchers are just starting to learn the causes, and how to diagnose and treat it.

The bad news: Broken heart syndrome can lead to severe, short-term heart muscle failure.

The good news: Broken heart syndrome is usually treatable. Most people who experience it make a full recovery within weeks, and they’re at low risk for it happening again (although in rare cases in can be fatal).

And I will tell you now, it sucks, from the shortness of breath, to the chest pains, and knowing the longer it affects me the more damage it can cause my heart. So the romantic part of me can’t help but think, it’ll be something else to someone who actually dies from a broken heart, not to sound morbid or depressing, but a part of me finds the prospect of dying from broken heart syndrome to be a bit romantic. The writer and creator in me can’t help but imagine what wondrous works of fiction someone might write about me upon hearing my story.


But I digress. Losing someone I care about…hurts, and I can’t help but sink into what feels like a bottomless pit of despair. I feel broken, incomplete and confused about everything that happened and what’s going on right now. Now I know for man being in a relationship with someone for over a year might not seem like much for them, but for me, it’s a lifetime. And it hurts, and all I want is to get her back, granted we’ll have to rebuild some trust to move forward and leave the past behind. I understand the situation, or I think I do. She was/is my best friend, my lover, the best part of me, who made me feel like the king of the world. I still sometimes find myself glancing down at my phone in hopes of seeing a message from her.

I won’t lie, I’m an emotional wreck, and I’m struggling just to hold it together, which I’m managing, just barely. I can barely sleep, I can barely eat, people at work keep complimenting my weight loss, and wanting to know my secret. So to say because I’m a guy, I’m incapable of getting hurt, that as a I guy, I’m impervious to heart break, I want to say bullshit. We’re all capable of feeling a vast array of emotion. I feel like a flower that spent years soaking up the sun and suddenly without warning the sunny skies turned to grey and someone took my sunshine away, depriving me light. I don’t even feel like I’m alive, or that I exist, I’m just going through the motions, pretending to be alive, fake smile, empty laugh, doing just about anything to just be left alone.

9

 

I believe the whole stereotype about guys just hooking up, or going to bars and drinking away their pain comes from how some of us just want the hurting and the emptiness to stop, to go away. So they try to fill the void with whatever they can, booze, women, even drugs. In the past I’ve tried two out of three but it didn’t really help, just made me feel worse afterwards. All any of us can ever do, is try to forget for a little awhile, but no matter what we do, the memory of what we once had and held so dear always comes back to haunt us. We hate ourselves, we might not always admit it, but we do. We blame ourselves for screwing up, believing that if we just did more, or cared less that maybe, just maybe things would have worked out. We regret every hurtful thing we said in a moment of anger, or jealously. I know in the past, I’ve occasionally said or done things that I regretted, and wished I could take back. But you can’t take back a word after it’s been said. You can’t turn a lie into the honest truth.


I guess what I’m trying to say is…everyone falls in love, but sometimes by different degrees and at different times. You may be with someone now who makes you happy but a part of you is scared, or thinks about being with someone else. But I have spoken to several people who told me they had their doubts in a relationship, thought about calling it quits, but for whatever reason they chose not to and realized they did love the person they were with, but didn’t really appreciate or understand the scope of that love. Sometimes it’s when you risk losing something forever that you realize just how much it means to you. Which is why I think we say the phrase, “If you love something let it go, if it comes back it was always meant to be,” but I also believe in fighting for what you want and I believe the moment you stop fighting for love, it can become stale. Which is why I always try to find new and cool things to do together a couple and I why I never stop flirting even after I get the girl, because I learned to appreciate love and I learned how to make sacrifices, as well as compromises.
I don’t care what anyone’s sex is; we’re all still capable of feeling things like joy, sadness, love and heartbreak. My dad is one of the strongest people I know, I can count the times I’ve seen him cry on one hand, using just two fingers. The first time being when he and my mother got a divorced, it didn’t matter that they fought all the time, or that he would sometimes avoid going home just to avoid another fight. He still loved her, as flawed as she was and is, he still loved her, even though he really didn’t even know, or understand why. But that’s how love is, it’s unexplainable, it’s crazy, and it makes morons and fools of us all.

Good M’orrow sirs and ladies.
Sorry for the super long and overdue to post. As per usual, this time of year is generally very busy for me, since this is the time of year for Comic cons and Renaissance Fairs, but I’m still alive and still writing.

Admittedly, I have been debating what to actually write about for a few months, there have been a few subjects I’ve been wanting to touch on, gender equality, the upcoming election, ( Which frightens me more than I care to admit) But I’m still hard at work trying to edit “Losers” As well as jumping back into Scars of who we are and prepare that for a book format, which I’ve had a surprisingly number of people either ask, or have suggested that I do, so I decided to finally oblige those fans. But this time I’ll be taking my time and will be focusing more on my struggles with depression and anxiety in hopes it may help someone on their journey through their struggles. Because I’ll admit, that first time was just me getting everything that happened to me out there, it was my therapy which all of you had helped me get through, because putting all those experiences down on paper, which wasn’t easy for me, but I do feel better because of it.

But what prompted this particular entry was the other day when I received a random facebook message from a girl I used to date.

Girl: You’re pitiful.
Me: What I do? (My interest peaked since I haven’t spoken or thought of her in years.)
Girl: You’ve been befriending my friends to get closer to me.
Me: Lol what? Well I assure you, it wasn’t intentional….also I was the one who broke up with you and don’t get me wrong, you’re very cool, smart and absolutely gorgeous woman, up until recently I had thought we had parted on good terms, I’m sorry it happened, I never meant to hurt you in anyway.

Me: (Continued) I had hoped and tried to make us work, but I quickly realized we were two very different people. Plus you lived over an hour and a half away from me at the time and you didn’t drive, so distance had become a bit of an obstacle. Secondly you didn’t seem to ever want to do anything before midnight, which would be the only time you’d tell me you were free to go out and when we did go out, the only thing you wanted to do was go bar hopping. Now I don’t mind going to a bar every once in a while, but the bar scene isn’t really my scene. I’m a dork, a gamer, writer, and a geek. You struck me more as the partier sort.

Me(conti)But still I am really sorry if I hurt you, more so if you really did like me. But seriously, I’m an insomniac so I’m no stranger to staying up till two or three in the morning, though there was no way I could keep up with you, I mean seriously, I don’t have it in me to stay up till seven or eight in the morning, then spend two hours driving home. I’m sorry if wasn’t that clear when I ended things and I’m sorry if I hurt you. I still wish you the absolute best.

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Now
I really have no idea how she managed to connect the dots she had and then assume it was me trying to have another go at her. I find the though process baffling and even though I don’t really get it myself, but I guess I can understand the feeling a little somewhat. I admit I used to get a little mad when I saw my friends had become friends, or were still friends with someone who I either broke up with, or who shattered my heart into a hundred million pieces. But then I remind myself I’m being an idiot and need to get over myself, then I move on.

It’s important to remember we all been hurt in a relationship before and I think on some level most of us do hope to run into an ex who broke our heart or that person who turned us down and to have them ask us out again, or to realize they made a mistake. Maybe it’s because we’ve never really moved on from that particular someone, or we never really stopped being in love with them. Maybe a part of us wants to get even and feel the same feeling of rejection and inadequacy they made us feel, maybe we can all be a childish and never want to admit it to anyone, not even ourselves.
Now this girl who contacted me, I had and still have nothing against. I wish her the best and to be honest if she lived a bit closer and if we had a bit more in common I don’t think I would have ever broken up with her. I was being honest when I told her she was beautiful, smart and funny, however I hated going to seedy looking bars all the time, I hated becoming sleep deprived and I REALLY hated he drive. But she was cool, and every time went out, she would play keno, then share her winnings with me to compensate for me my gas and the cost of the drinks. She didn’t have to do it, I never asked her to, but she did it anyway because she was both kind and generous. But I had nothing in common with her.
So I broke things off and had assumed we had managed to remain friends, but I was wrong and wish things were more amicable between us, which saddens me a bit… But there’s nothing I can do, so I’ll move on and hope she does too.
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In general, I typically try to remain on good terms with the women I’ve dated, but it wasn’t always and I’m ashamed to admit how childish I would act and the hurtful things that would spew like poison from my mouth and would constantly slander the other person in that after breakup bitch fest that so many of us are guilty of. Where we vent about everything we didn’t like about that person, or make jokes at our ex’s expense, while exclaiming how free we are and how much we’re now better off, awhile missing them terribly and glancing down at our phones in hope we’d see a text from them, saying they were sorry and asking how we were doing. It’s always that weird moment where we find ourselves feeling incredibly hurt, angry, disappointed and yet we cling to those feelings because we were so in love, or become so attached.

I too used to be bitter, childish and spiteful, until one day I had an epiphany. Which was I was being ugly and I didn’t really hate any of the girls I used to date and that me speaking poorly of them, only reflected negatively back on me. Like when you complain and run your mouth about an ex and someone eventually says, “Wow, what did you ever see in them?” Then it slowly hits you and you start thinking about everything good about that relationship and how when you or they decided to end the relationship for whatever reason we’ve handled it poorly. It’s to be expected that the other person involved is going to be a little hurt, upset, wanting to know why and wanting more than anything for it to workout, wanting to know if there’s anything they can do to change to make it work. So it’s very important to be an adult in that situation and be honest, but nice.

I think we’ve all heard “I don’t think we’re going to work…” Or some variation of them saying they don’t feel the same about you anymore, which happens, it sucks, so we try to find out why, beg for a second chance, then we devolve into petty children trying to say some hurtful thing, or doing something out of spite, just to make them regret breaking up with us, for hurting us, while secretly hoping they’d change their mind want to fix things. But usually by then, we’ve already burned that bridge, salted the earth, and dropped an 18 gigaton bomb on what had once been a relationship, then wonder why we never hear from them again.

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Yet, I understand most people think it’s weird to be on friendly terms with an ex and even understand some of the jealously that follows when you finally meet someone new and they find out your friends with an ex. But here’s my two cents, you spend anywhere between a few weeks to a few years getting to know each other, bonding and opening up, so throwing all that away the moment things awry. I think most everyone has had that moment, where we realized we had fallen out of love with the person we’ve been with, it’s no one fault, maybe you moved a little too quickly, or maybe you just got comfortable with someone, or maybe one of you stops trying, which causes the fire to out in a relationship. One of you could even meet someone knew who makes you feel invigorated and live, someone who challenges you, then before you know it you find yourself falling deeply and madly in love. Then again, sometimes two people just grow apart, it happens.

I once dated a girl for a few months and as time wore on, I gradually found myself liking her less and less. Then I panicked when I realized I didn’t have any real feelings for her and I was bored. She didn’t challenge me and I had overheard her more than once complaining about our dates. (She didn’t like it when I took her rock climbing, she thought laser tag was too childish, thought the Renaissance Fair was boring, wouldn’t let me buy a magic wand and play the wizard game at the Great Wolf Lodge, got 2 out of ten questions right about me in the couples game we played, while I had gotten 8 out of 10 questions about her right.
Unfortunately, I realized all of this while on the phone with her and in my ignorance, I let it slip,

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“Hey, I don’t know how to say this, but I don’t think it’s going to work out between us.” And then she hung up on me and wouldn’t answer my phone calls or texts. I don’t blame her for being angry, or upset at me, but breakups are hard, and the suck for all parties. So if I’m dating someone and they tell me they want to break things off, I will naturally try to see if it the relationship can be saved or not, and if not, I don’t see the point at making it an ugly, grisly affair. So the lesson here is be nice, listen to the other person and swallow your pride. Yeah it sucks, it hurts and you want to know and understand why, but sometimes it’s just easier and healthier just to apologize, thank them for their honesty, wish them best and walk away.
Being kind at a relationships end have helped me to remain friends with my ex-girlfriends, who have become some of my best friends and confidants. The people I go to for advice, knowing they’ll give me the truth and won’t be afraid of telling me when I’m in the wrong, or being stupid. I do fall out of love with them and learn to respect them and love them as a friend, who also knows they can trust me and ask me advice knowing I’ll answer them honestly. Because they know as much as I do, I always strive to see and understand both sides of an argument, or a person’s motivations. But most importantly I always make a point of reminding them not to launch into her accusation, to be calm, and say something akin to “Hey Tom, I’d like to talk to you about something, you know how I said I didn’t mind if you wanted to take your brother to a strip club for his birthday? Well ever since I said that, you’ve been going every weekend and that’s making me feel like I’m not good enough, that I don’t turn you on anymore and it’s been making me really self-conscious and its really starting to hurt me.” (I find it best to refrain from using the word “you” as often as possible whenever you have a problem with an S.O. Because if you come off too accusatory you’re going to throw them in defense mode, and they’re going to stop listening and beginning telling you everything wrong with you, even if they don’t mean it.)

Seriously though, breakups suck for everyone, even if you think the person who broke up with you is out there right now enjoying themselves. Which isn’t always the case, even the very few times I had to breakup with someone, I’d still be depressed, and would miss them, miss their company even if they made me miserable most of the time. I can’t help it, I become attached to people fairly quickly and hate cutting them out of my life. But I do my best to move on and to make the most of it. So even though breakups may leave you feeling empty, hollowed out, angry and bitter all at the same time, you don’t have to drag it out for so long. No one wants to hear you complain about the person you used to date, but your close friends and family will listen because they love you. (Some may even be toxic and fan the flames) But the best of friends the people who’ve had a chance to grow and mature will all tell you the same thing. Move on, take the high road. If you’re angry, be angry, if you’re sad, be sad, cry all day. But come tomorrow, it’s time to start putting yourself and your house in order. It’s time to get back to living. Being nasty to the person that broke your heart, accomplishes very little, if anything it makes it harder for you to move on and may make them believe they made the right decision, giving them reasons to justify their actions. However if you’re the bigger person, sooner or later they’ll realize how badly they messed things up.letting-go-of-a-relationship-quotes-5

If you follow my advice, you may or may not find yourself one day becoming friends with an ex. Maybe but remember, don’t force it, the key is to leave them alone for a while, (several months-a year or more is the recommended length of time to lost those pesky feelings and jealously issues.) it’s far easier to rekindle a friendship when you end things amicably. And yes, some people may think it’s weird. But the way I look at it, you can spend weeks, months or even years getting to know one another, bonding and it just seems a bit like a waste to throw all that time and effort away. Plus in my experience, being friends with an ex, can be mutually beneficial. Because you have someone who knows you intimately, who can tell you when to just shut up and listen every once in a while, and they say, “Stop being such an ass,” You know it’s coming from a place of love. I still love some of my exes as I know many have love for me. Not romantically I assure you, and I would say like siblings or family, because well that’s just weird, it’s more like loving someone for just being a friend, as being happy for them when they meet that someone who can give them everything we couldn’t, or didn’t feel. Love and respect is the key and always the way to go.

 

 

Lexington Comic CON!!!!

Hello world!

I would to like to apologize for neglecting my little blog once again, but life happens and for the first time in a long time, I’ve been just enjoying it, in all off its ebbs and flows. But I’ll try my best to post more regularly, I have a lot I’d like to talk about and share with you all. I’m still working on editing and doming some rewrites of “Losers” and I started reworking my series “Scars of who we are.” Into book format, going a little more in depth about my battles with depression, anxiety and how to keep yourself living when all you want to do is quit and cash out. I’m still learning how to just let myself be happy and live in the moment, and I’ve been doing pretty okay.1618419_1082606068429011_6597914198783442686_n

So I started off this year right, or as right as any geek like myself can and I went to my first convention of the year, Lexington Comic Con! Accompanying me on this trip was one my very best, and dear friends Rachel and I gotta tell you, it was great going to a Con with a fellow geek for a change. Although we didn’t have time to go to any panels and we did miss out on the VIP party. But truth be told, we had a lot of fun exploring the con, buying things we didn’t need. (Which, let’s be honest is a part of the fun) And meeting a few of our fellow favorite celebrities, for me I was excited to meet James Marsters aka Spike from Buffy, and the guy was awesome, very cool, down to earth and we talked about Buffy and the movie Dude’s and Dragons which I bought and had him sign. He seemed pretty genuine and interested in making sure everyone was having a good time and was kind enough to let me take a quick table photo with him. Which I wish more celebrities at these conventions would let you do. I’m looking at you Eliza Dushku. But I didn’t get anything signed by you, because I forgot to bring you the bluray I wanted you to sign and I was hoping to get a table photo until the helper told me I couldn’t. Which was a bit disappointing, partly because I had a crush on her since she appeared as Faith in Buffy, but maybe next time, live and learn I guess.

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Here we see Harley Quinn trying to adopt a new cat.

But on the flip side, I did stay with Rachel who wanted to meet Jason David Frank, the Green Ranger. I knew who he was before going down, and as a kid, he was always my favorite Power Ranger. But I thought it’d be cool to meet him and even paid for Rachel and I to get a photo with him since it was only like twenty bucks, that and another friend of mine wanted me to get a photo with him for her nephew.  Jason David Frank was surprisingly a class act. You see Rachel paid to get four items signed by him and he saw she had another picture of him as the Green Ranger in her bag, and what followed was this,

JDF: Hey you want me to sign that too?

Rachel: No, its okay I only paid to get the four things signed.

JDF: I know how it works here (Then whispering) If you want me to sign it, after all you
brought it here.

Rachel: Are you sure?

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A new Client for Nelson And Murdock Advocados at law.

JDF: Yeah, you bought that here didn’t you, and you brought it up here, so let me sign it, besides it’s supposed to be all about the fans here.

And so she pulled the picture out of the sleeve and the guy totally signed it free of charge, which I thought was completely awesome, and I never saw a celebrity do anything like that before….Well except for Allen Bellman who insisted on signing my captain America shield, but I think that was partly because I was dressed as Captain America and he claimed that I looked like I just stepped out of the page of one of the books he’s worked on. So for me that was cool, for my friends who never read a comic book in their lives didn’t much care, but it was cool for me. But anyway if you ever get a chance to meet Jason David Frank, go meet him, get something signed and get a photo with the guy because he’s awesome and very loyal to his fan base. Which is always cool to see, especially these days, when some celebrates seem jaded, loathing the movies, or series that so many people fell in love with, instead of just embracing it. I’m a fan of geeky things and comic book movies because of what they meant to me, and sometimes it’s been just what I needed to help pull through or get over a personal trauma or struggle. Heck, I can’t tell you how many times listening to Hollywood babel on with Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman got me to laugh when I was feeling incredibly low, or how binge watching a comedy T.V show, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” actually helped me feel human again after a bad breakup where I was struggling just to find a reason not to just give up on everything. If you’re a celebrity of any kind, you offer hope, an escape and wonder to those of us who needs it the most. If I ever strike it big, I will always try to be there for my fans, no matter how tired or worn out I am and like JDF I will always strive to show them respect and my consideration.
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But I digress and just wanted to say, this was my first time at Lexington Comic Con, and I had an absolute blast. Sadly my friend Rachel and I didn’t get to see any of the panels, and I didn’t get my costume finished in time to participate in the costume contest. But I still had a very awesome time, met some incredibly cool people, and seen some very impressive cosplays. So I will most likely be returning to Lexington’s 2017 Comic Con and hopefully I will be able to talk Rachel into flying back down to attend the con with me.

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And can we please stop this?

And can we please stop this?

Sorry in advanced for not being as active as I would like to be on my blog, have been really busy for the past few weeks. I’ve been trying to edit “Losers” so I can begin shopping it around and well, life happened. But I decided to come out and speak on a few subjects of note that have been bugging me lately which is, if you find something offensive, ignore it and go on about your day. Because if you’re easily offended by such things as something you see in the media, or hear someone say you should be thankful. Because it means there is nothing else that concerns you in your life. Because you’re not worrying about anything that actually matters, or means anything to anyone. You’re not hungry, you’re not worried about feeding your family, paying bills on time, you’re not worried about your job, or having to go to way in some foreign country, or land not knowing if you’ll ever make it home. You’re not worried about supporting your family if your spouse goes to war. It also means you’re not one of the ones who are fighting for you life in a hospital bed, you’re not struggling with your health, paying medical bills, or watching someone you care about pass away. If you have time to complain about something as silly as Starbucks cups, your life is fine and everything is okay. The world as you know it will continue to turn and turn, the sun will rise and the sun will set. This is how time passes and while you’re busy trying to find a sound and just cause, desperately trying to join a movement, that you can blindly attach yourself to, and join the bandwagon crying about how someone, somehow, somewhere hurt your feelings, or did something you didn’t like, or approve of. It’s all childish in the end. because you haven’t actually been greatly wronged by anyone, you just want attention, to have someone look at you and say, “Hey, you’re right!” But you’re not, you, really, really aren’t.

61787575So let’s all do something together, let’s all find and so something that can actually give your life some purpose. Because a big brother, or a big sister. Go to work in a soup kitchen, or a charity, join the national guard, invent something, write a book, channel all that rage, angst, and contempt into something creative, something positive! make art, help a neighbor, talk to a stranger, meet someone and strike up a friendship, let’s ignore all the drama and sensationalism in the media, on facebook, twitter and Pinterest, and let’s make the world better and into a more positive place to live in. We only have until now, and until the time we go to really leave this plane of existence to leave something long lasting behind. You only have one voice in the world, and you have to make sure that when you speak out, it’s for something that matters and not for spreading prejudice and hatred. I’m sorry here are the facts, not every cop is racist, or crooked. not all Muslims are terrorist, most of them are just people trying to get by and want to see their children grow up and make something of themselves.  I think we lost our semblance of self, in a world where everyone wants attention and wants to place blame somewhere else on someone else, rather than just being accountable for our actions and believe a harmless gesture is a personal attack against us, when sometimes a red cup, is simply a red cup, and sometimes you’re not really being persecuted, sometimes you’re just being an asshole.  0vNbnsa

 

And on the whole matter of the Syrian refugees, I’m proud to see so many people wanting to help them and wanting the American people to accept them with open arms. However, we’re facing an ever growing deficit in this country and I know we have solders and veterans we need to take proper care of, but keep getting denied certain benefits they were promised because there’s not enough money for it. Also our elderly keep getting denied a cost of living increase from social security because (there isn’t enough money in social security) plus we have a fairly big homeless problem here. And realistically, if we can’t get the money to  help these people, how are we suppose to take care of over twenty thousand refugees? These are questions I believe we need to all ask ourselves, and take a good long look at our underfunded educational system and how college graduates are hundred of thousands of dollars in debt, trying desperately to pay off their student debts, living to pay check, to pay check as the try to find employment in the area they’ve studied, just to find no one is hiring.  I think today everyone is too concerned with being guilt police, and are into the fad of taking on any movement that can gain them facebook likes, retweets, favorites, or just so they can feel as though they’ve taken up some cause to feel better about themselves.

But that’s just me and my thoughts, and this is my voice.

 

This is my voice

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Confession.

So I have a bit of a confession to make. It’s a bit of a doozy. So please bear with me if you can. Because it’s one of those things most people hear and immediately begin rolling their eyes and begin seeing me as some kind of monsters. Sharpening their pitchforks and lighting their torches. Especially these days, because my confession is that I’m (Okay deep breath) a Christian and I’ve been hiding.tumblr_m7bydoXFLt1rukhkdo1_500

I rarely talk about my faith in public and even more seldom do I admit it. Part of this reason is because I’m ashamed. I’m ashamed of how others claim to be Christians but don’t act like it. Unfortunately many of my fellow “Christians” seems to keep missing the point and they’re also the ones who seem to always be the loudest, turning their faith and religion into something bitter and obscene, preaching hate and discrimination over love and acceptance.

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we need less of this

When I read my bible (Which admittedly isn’t as much as I wish it was) but when do sit down and read it, I don’t see condemnation; I read a message of love. I read about a father who loves us, drunk on the love he has for us, half angry because His beloved mankind had cheated on Him, or had forgotten his name, use his name to preach a gospel of hate, arrogance and bigotry.

If you really sit down and pay attention to the words, you’ll see it’s a story about a God who made us all in his image, making us all equal. It tells of a God who sent his only begotten son to us, who didn’t just die for us, but who had suffered for our sins. Who even cried out the words,

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” While they were nailing him to the cross and He still loved them, no matter how much they hurt him, betrayed him, or disappointed him, he loved them still and he preached a gospel of love and compassion. I don’t know about you, but I would have a hard time forgiving and asking my father to love and forgive anyone who was torturing me. I would be wishing nothing but misery upon those who caused me such agony. But I keep trying to walk away from that part of myself; I keep fighting to do more good in the world than bad.

no more of this.

no more of this.

Now I may not be the most elegant of speakers, and they’re many who know the bible better than me, who can quote any scripter, who know the bible backwards and forwards, but I can’t help but think some of these people lost the message a long time ago. The bible tells me that if you preach hate at the service, those words aren’t anointed and that Holy water that you soak in becomes poison.
For me, many Christians lost their way the moment Jesus had gone. Or maybe it was even before then, when they doubted him, challenged him, longing to prove that he wasn’t who he was or claimed to be. Back when he was visiting the leper colonies and ran into woman accused of adultery, where many sought to trap Jesus, because the law then was to stone any woman caught committing adultery and when they told him this, he responded,John 8 Jesus eye level with woman holding her hand
“Let any one of you without sin be the first to throw a stone at her,” Then one by one those who heard began to go away. Because this is God’s love, it’s not a hate thing; it’s more of a love thing. It’s not about your beliefs being better than his, or her beliefs, it’s not about who’s right, or wrong. It’s about love, the Bible tells us to love our neighbors and yet almost every time I get on social media, I read, see, or hear something about Christians damning homosexuals, soldiers and the homeless.
But People don’t need division we got Gotta stick it together and love each other. Father, brother, sister, mother, uncles, cousins, aunts, forget about the chance, the cheers, the jokes, the jeers.
After 2000 years, you’d think we’d know by now. My grandma once said, “We will only find equality in the number of our tears.”

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We need more of this.

And she was right, because I don’t know what injustices you have suffer, based size, sex, race, religion,
Or the political pigeon crap on the shoulders of Us versus them. Like in Bethlehem, when a man said, “Hey I could be wrong, but can’t we all just get along?”

No! And we nailed him to the cross. See justice isn’t justice, it just is, and I can’t change it, you can’t change it, so we just have to try and rearrange it.

I’m a Christian and I support same sex marriages. I support it because I’m a heterosexual and I’ve seen people struggling with their sexuality, because they had grown up hearing how it was wrong, a sin, I’ve seen some of these people take their own lives. Thirteen, fourteen year old kids who are driven to kill themselves because of the “Christians” who think they can just pray the gay out. The Bible says, the most important commandment is loving God with all your heart, mind and soul, and the second most important commandment is this, “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” Something I feel gets lost on most everyone. I know what the bible says; I know the scriptures and I’ve been preached at and preached to by people telling me I’m not a real Christian, because I believe in loving others as much as I try to love myself. Some insist on telling me how I need to be educated and really read my bible. (Whatever that means) But my bible tells me to love my neighbor, to honor and respect those of other faiths and beliefs, reserving my judgement of God alone to decide. Because only God can be my judge and know what’s in my heart.

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You never hear of a Jewish person declining to let Christians to get married, because they aren’t Jewish, or of anyone getting upset because a Hindu, or a Buddhist wishes to marry. To me it’s just people, people wanting their love to be accepted in the eyes of the law, to each other and their faith. You can choose to accept it, or just ignore it.
I believe Christianity needs to be more of a love, forgiveness and a grace thing, not so much about hate, and using their gospel as ammunition to spread a message of hate and condemnation.

I feel like several times people pick and choose what they want to believe in the Bible and the lessons they wish to follow. When very plainly the bible says “Do not judge or you too will be judged for in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, “then it repeats in the bible, in another line, which reinforces the message that God doesn’t want us to pass judgement on anyone else, in a passage that reads,
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
To me this often speaks volumes in itself. To me it says we as human beings can’t hold judgment over others, and yet it’s what I see many Christians doing and they do it all the time. When we’re supposed to greet everyone with open arms, with love, understanding and grace, much like Jesus Christ had done during his time here.

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I also speak as someone who’s spent a lifetime being judged by others, hearing others of my faith tell me I’m a not a real Christian, or tell me how I or someone I care about is going to hell. But none of us knows what battles someone else is going through, or if God already has a plan us or for them.

So that’s my confession. I’m a Christian who believes in a loving God and I also believe in science and evolution. God gave us brains and the potential to grow and learn. Whose say a cosmic creator didn’t instill in us the building blocks to grow, change and adapt, because that’s always more exciting to me. Instilling change in something and sitting back to see what comes of it.

 

“Bullying builds character like nuclear waste creates superheroes. It’s a rare occurrence and often does much more damage than endowment.” ― Zack W. Van

Hello again and once more I regret for neglecting my blog for so long, but I’ve been busy, which is good. I’m still writing, trying to wrap up “Losers” before beginning the long arduous task of editing, proof reading and finding the best route to get everything published.  But I hope everyone reading this, or not reading this is doing well. But I would like to take this moment to talk about a rather big issue plaguing todays’ youth, bullies and those pesky internet trolls, who once upon a time, all their kind lived underneath bridges and now their plaguing us with their anonymity and cruelty.

Internet-Troll

It wasn’t until I began this blog that I started opening up about being bullied back in school, where I mastered the art of trying to be invisible and to ghost my way through the halls doing my best to go unnoticed. However try as I might, I always did everything I could to just be ignored and to just ignore those who relished taking pleasure from my pain. Most of the time I managed to just ignore it and disappear into a book, or by surrounding myself with good quality friends, who would always help me forget, or jump to my defense. But more than once I came across a bully whose approach was more hands on. Who didn’t just call me names, or made fun of my speech, or how I looked and sometimes played that ridiculous rhyming game, where they would almost always make fun of me for my last name.
Sometimes I even come across the occasional internet troll, who are always  trying to crush the spirit of others, as if it would make their mirrors cast a better reflection of the one they gave, as if it was the only way to save themselves is to make the ugly so that no one would notice them hiding it. Personally I believe trolls were simply school bullies, who one day looked around and saw how much the world had changed, while they stayed the same. Who then turned their hate into stones and hurled them at beauty, as if they can’t bear to see anything other than ugly, anything Different. So they enjoy the anonymity of the internet where no one else knows who they are and the believing that being a troll somehow makes them better than who they’re trolling. Failing to see that it isn’t cute, it isn’t funny, talking others into death, while they sit back and laugh, as each family learns to graft skin over the wounds they gave them, coaxing the sober back into bars, offering nooses, cliffs, and pills to those who unfortunately found them before they found help. These internet trolls, have praised suffering in others, waltzed in between tragedies, dipping misery as if we would somehow be impressed with the dexterity of their animosity. But once upon a time, they and all their kind lived underneath bridges, but now they live online, in basements and attics, trying project their ugliness unto the world.Monstaa-991x1024

But let’s talk about bullying, I know some say they deserve our pity, our empathy, because they don’t love anything like the way some of us loves math, science, history, or literature. Some say that bullies are born from neglect and abuse themselves, so they take our their pain and frustrations on someone else, creating a never ending circle of prejudice and hate. But I don’t think this is always the case. Sometimes, yes this may ring true, but I think more often than not, and some people are just assholes. There’s no reason, no excuse and to pick on someone else, to make them feel like less of a person.

We see it all the time and everyone always acts surprised when we see or hear about a kid committed suicide because they just couldn’t take it anymore, or decide they have enough and go to school packing heat in the waistband of their jeans, turning their school into a shooting range. The media always seems so quick to blame music, the violence on t.v, religion or videogames, very few ever take that look and ask,

“Did I cause this?” Because a person can only take so much and everyone always wants to compare bullying to when they were a kid, or down play the harassment and ridicule, by saying they never meant anything by their words, or actions, saying they were just playing, or messing with someone. Always quick to laugh it off and say how they treated someone was just a joke, harmless teasing, etc. In reality, that kid they picked on, the person they teased, and harassed in the cafeteria, school halls and locker-rooms soon become a ball of TNT lit from both ends.

You see, I wasn’t the class clown, I was never really much a rebel, and I wasn’t a skater boy, a musician or a band geek. I was just me, I was the weird, awkward Stephen King kid who loved to read, write, watch tv and play videogames.  I never had very many friends, but the ones I had were quality over quantity and I love each of them as family because in my mind they are and have been family to me. But I never really told any of them about my problems with being bullied, because I was terrified it would cause them to think less of me.

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The first real bully I ever faced down, was a guy name Goliath  (Not his real name, but I feel the need to protect his identity.) Anyway, Goliath was one of those kids who failed his freshman year at least two or three times, which mad him older than any of us and Goliath was also much, much bigger than I, he stood at 6’4 and weighed somewhere around 280 lbs. and unfortunately he was the first real bully I ever faced. (Although I did have the occasional bully who stuck to mainly name calling, whom I either ignored, or managed to use my wits to humiliate them with a truly perfect comeback) But then there was Goliath, who harass me, almost daily. He sought me out no matter where I stood or or hid, and it wasn’t just names he hurled at me, it was spitballs, paper wads, etc. And he was always followed around by a pack of hyenas who egged him and would take their shots at me whenever they could. The hyenas were my peers, always cackling, always laughing no matter what they, or Goliath did.

Now I tried all the tricks they tell you to do when face to face with a bully. I tried befriending him, finding some common ground which never really worked, and then I tried ignoring him, which also failed miserably for he would seek me out and get hands on. Twisting my arm, or hand painfully back, shoving me, putting me in a headlock, etc.  Also to me, and to all victims of bullying, we learn very quickly how little going to a parent or a teacher actually works. It often at times makes things worse, and earns you the nickname Narc, crybaby, or tattle-tale, etc.

But as Goliath’s harassment grew more and more frequent and physical, I finally decided I had enough. Now I was much shorter back then, around 5’4 at most and weighed about a hundred pounds soaking wet, so advantage was clearly Goliath. But I didn’t care; I deiced to fight back, but with fist, not a gun or a knife. It was his respect I wanted, not his life. So I waited for him to find me in the school yard. Which he did with remarkable ease and I braced myself for whatever was to come as he lumbered towards me, with his pack of snickering hyenas following close on his heels, but I stood with my head held high.
Goliath knew something was different about me almost immediately and asked if I was afraid of him.overcoming-giants-quote-e1361853718801

“No,” I whispered; as he proceeded to mock me and tell me how he was going hang me up from a nearby tree by my feet. But I didn’t move, I just kept my jaw clenched until he went to grab me. Which was when I punched him as hard as I could into his abdomen (Foolishly believing a shot in the gut would drop almost anyone, but it didn’t, it felt like punching a monster truck tire) But gave him pause and he grunted as he looked at me and I dropped back into a fighting stance.

“C’mon asshole ogre, you might just kill me, but I won’t make it easy and make it cost you!” I shouted, barely noticing his hyenas hoot and practically salivate at the prospect of watching me get my butt kicked, but I didn’t care, I would fight him and I wouldn’t fight fair, I’d do whatever I could to hurt him as much as possible.  But he didn’t do anything, he just stood there, rubbing his stomach and started shaking his head at me, then he said something I’d never forget.

“You have some major balls on you and I can respect that. We’re cool, I’m not going to fight you and if anyone ever gives you trouble, you come and get me and I’ll take care of them for you.”

Goliath and I never really talked much after that, we would pass each other in the hall with a nod to each other. Once we even shared a class together where he would occasionally ask me for help with some of our assignments. He never asked me to do his homework, or asked to copy mine, or any of that nonsense, he just turned out to be the type who was too embarrassed to ask the teacher for help and would ask me to clear up his questions instead. But not all giants I leared are so easily defeated.

 

But I learned my lesson with Goliath, if I was to stand up for myself, I would have to study and I would have to work on myself. So I started working out in secret. Push-ups, sit ups, pull-ups, lifting free weights, running. I would also read and watch everything I could get my hands on about fighting, self-defense all things I would practice alone in my room, or out in the woods around my home. My training would then come play the following year when I ran into yet another bully who’s approach came hands on.

Caleb Tyler Bullying

His name was Smaug and we had gym together. Now Smaug wasn’t much higher on the social ladder than me, but he desperately wanted the approval of the “Cool kids” so he began giving me a hard time in attempt to humiliate me on a daily bases, most of his attempts often failed, but I think he believed if he made me feel inferior, he would somehow manage to elevate his own status. I managed to ignore most of Smaug’s taunts, while occasionally shutting him up with a well-placed comeback of my own.

Then one morning, I arrived to P.E a bit early and Smaugh saw me and immediately broke away from the circle of “Cool kids” and approached me, I immediately knew that no good was going to come of this and I was already having an awful day, so I raised my hand in surrender and said,

“Please don’t start with me, I’ve been having a bad enough day as it is.”
Then he smiled, glanced over his shoulder at our peers whom he desperately wanted the approval of and when he turned back to me, he shoved me, and then he grabbed my backpack and tore it from my shoulder and threw it to the floor.

I blinked, and said, “I’m warning you man, I’m not going to take this from you today.” He laughed, asked me what I was going to do, and then he slapped me. Earning a guffaw from our classmates who had begun gathering around us for the show and then he made his mistake by laughing and turning his head to see the attention he was getting, which was when I did a straight punch to his solar plexus, dropping him to his knees like a sack of bricks. Our classmates all had a good laugh, some cheered me on, wanting me to press my advantage and a part of me really wanted to. A part of me wanted to just let loose and let out all of my pain and frustration on him, to beat him so badly he’d think twice before ever picking on someone else. But When I looked down at him, hugging his chest, with his head down, I knew I didn’t need to, I had already won. So I just picked up my things and stepped over him to go change. It was strange to me how quickly some of the crowd turned against me that day, calling me pussy for not beating the crap out of the kid. I just didn’t see the point.

 

Smaug didn’t come charging into the locker-room for a rematch, in fact he stayed out of the locker-room, and after I changed I saw him sitting at the top of the bleachers, still hugging his chest and just glaring at me. But at this point I felt confident I could handle myself if he came at me again, but just to be safe, I kept a watchful eye on him throughout the rest of the period while he sat in the bleachers. After class, he approached me I was leaving, and asked me why I hit him, so I told him, he was asking for it. Later to my surprise, he actually befriended me and we remained friends for the rest of the year.

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Now I’ve never considered myself a violent guy, considering myself more of a lover than fighter. But sometimes I think you have to fight, because sometimes it’s the only way to make it stop and I know all about the fear that comes with fighting. I honestly believe that no one really loves to fight, I’ve done my fair share of trying to talk myself out of a violent confrontation, but sometimes you do have to make a stand. I went into every fight with the knowledge that I may lose and will probably lose. (thankfully the only fights I lost were on the mat and not in the real world) But to me it’s about going as hard as you can for as long as you can manage, there’s a strength in not retreating, or giving up. It may not always be true, but I’ve always felt that if you make bullying you more hassle than what it’s worth, if you hit back and keep getting up every time you get knocked down, that person or persons will eventually give up. All you ever need is one good punch, kick, knee or arm bar. But study up and don’t go into a situation blind. Watch MMA, watch boxers, read books on martial arts and fighting, if you can take classes, train with friends, workout. Stop thinking a gun, or a knife, or a homemade bomb is your only solution. I know they’re kids at school who don’t make it easy and more often than not you just want to find a way out. But if you survive and come through the other side, it does get better.

I’ve had to deal with one kind of bully in one form or another, but one lesson that always stuck with me, was that no one has to and you don’t have to go at it alone.

I went to School with a guy named Allen Shafer, we weren’t really friends, but he in my opinion was always a very stand-up guy and in High School, that sort of thing is very hard to come by. Admittedly, I never knew Allen well, I only had a few classes with the guy and he was always the coolest in my opinion. Because he was popular, cool, funny and he was jock, but he never acted like it. He always treated me like a person, not a geek, a dork, or a dweeb or like another outcast. He was cool.

I remember we had this cooking class together and him and I got assigned to the same cooking group, and in all honesty it felt like someone was really looking out for me. Because his was the first group I was in that I didn’t feel excluded. On some mornings he would get to class early to make himself and our group (including myself) breakfast, which immediately struck me as odd, because I wasn’t really used to people doing nice things for me. So at first I was suspicious, but in time he proved to be a cool guy, going as far as teaching me how to make different types of eggs, omelettes and etc.

He would also talk to me, ask me how I was doing, wanting to know what I did over the weekend and a few times he even invited me to some of his parties, which I never attended, but always appreciated  that he asked,  and he always promised a good time if I ever ended up going. Which I believe he meant, but as cool and as accepting as he was, I doubted his friends would share the same sentiment. Fact is Allen was one of the few who went out of his way to make High-school a little more tolerable.

Allen Shafer today

Allen Shafer today

We also had a Gym class together. I can’t remember which class it was, (advanced P.E) or regular (P.E)  but I appreciated him being there. Because whenever we played any kind of sport and someone on my team would give me hell because I messed up, missed a shot, or struck out. He would always jump to my defense, calling out all my good plays, or the times I managed to steal the ball from the other team, or prevented the other team from scoring, then he would rattle off all the times the person giving me hell screwed up, or missed a shot. Which really kind made me admire the guy, because he would get in heated arguments with the same guys he played with, and the people who were his friends, defending me.  In all honestly I never seen, or heard of anyone ever doing anything like it before, he owed me nothing, he barely knew me, but to me it just felt like he had my back. Which was cool.

But the one thing I’ll never forget, is how during a game of flag football (which often turned to tackle when you’re a teenager) He made me feel like a hero.  I was on his team. We were tied, with one just enough time for one play and it was our ball. I was expecting for the rest of the game to go as these normally went, which was for me to never get the ball or have a chance to score. Which I was perfectly okay with, because I didn’t want to get blamed for being the reason my team lost. But low and behold, during the huddle, Allen turns to me and says,

“Alright Cooper, during this play I want you to run as far and fast as you can, but count to Ten, one thousand, then get ready because I’m going to pass you the ball.”

Needless to say my team was less than enthused about his plan, but he told everyone to shut-up and to trust him and have faith in me. Then just as we broke the huddle, he grabbed me by the shoulder and whispered,

“Don’t be nervous, remember count to ten, turn around and I’m going to pass you the ball. Don’t worry about anything else, you’ll do great, just score us a touchdown and win this for us, I’m counting on you.”

Then it happened, my heart was hammering almost painfully against my ribs as I ran and turned to see the ball spiraling straight toward me, all the while hearing the mocking laugher and the ridicule of my peers and team-mates once I screwed up, or fumbled. But I didn’t. I caught the ball, tucked it into my chest, turned and ran harder than I’ve ever ran in my life, scoring the game winning touch-down!

I never had so many people cheering for me in my life, everyone was giving my high-fives, patting me on the back and for that day and the rest of the week I felt like a hero. All thanks to one guy who treated me and saw me as a human being. I’ll never forget that. He owed me nothing, but I owe him a lot, he made me a gym-class hero plus, it’s always a nice feeling whenever the cool kid in class or school makes you feel like you’re cool too.

So that’s how you stop bullying in my opinion. Don’t ignore it when you see it, don’t join in thinking its just harmless fun and don’t thing it’s cute. Instead Step-up, stand-up and remind the world there’s more of us then they are dragons, giants and trolls and together we make up a dynasty who can slay anything.

 

 

J-Cooper.

Closure

How-to-Forgive

“Sometimes the door closes on a relationship, not because we failed but because something bigger than us says this no longer fits our life. So, lock the door, shed a tear, turn around and look for the new door that’s opened. It’s a sign that you’re no longer that person you were, it’s time to change into who you are. It’s going to be okay.” ― Lee Goff

First my humble apologies for neglecting my blog for so long, I’ve been trying to finish my book “Losers” and have been juggling work, the gym, a social life, and for awhile a relationship with a truly spectacular girl, who in the end, became too afraid of her feelings, so she pushed me away. That hurt and what hurt more was the asshole I tried being the last time I saw her, because I wanted her angry at me and I wanted her to make me angry with her. Because, I had fallen head over heels in love with her and having that suddenly taken away from me, hurt me more than I dared to admit. Just made me empty and hollowed out, that feeling by the way sucks. It’s the stay in bed all day and try to sleep, or drink your life away just so that you could go a little while without feeling. I just didn’t want to feel that way anymore. But I eventually told her I was only acting like a jerk because I thought it’d be easier, and maybe give me a little closure. While in truth I’m fairly certain love just makes us crazy. So I blew it. But in my defense, I guess I was also a bit frustrated, because we went from being great, and perfect and suddenly, one day it was over. We went from her telling me that she missed me everyday, to nothing, it took less than a day to go from her telling me how she couldn’t wait to see me, how great she thought I was, and how she always wanted to look pretty for me, to “I don’t want to do this anymore” Maybe she got scared, maybe she was hurt badly in the past, or maybe, she just moved on, I don’t know, I don’t know because she never told me. And I don’t think talking about it was something she could do. I don’t blame her, we’ve all been there. I still miss her though and think of her every day, her smile reminded me of the sunrise and feeling her next to me was the closest to heaven I’ll ever be.

I was still limping along the road of broken heart recovery, when I on a whim checked that folder marked “other” on FB and when I did I saw a message from my mother. Four in fact, from January, the first simply said HI, a few days later she said “Hey Josh, we can text if you want” Which made me think maybe tbis was her reaching out,  wantingto make amends and maybe just talk to me without making any waves with her husband which I could understand. Divorce always sucks and is never very easy.

But then her third message a few days later irritated me a bit as it said, “I can’t believe you don’t want to talk to your own mother!” Yup, that one sounded more like her.

The fourth message she sent me, really bothered me, because she said, “Hey, I just wanted to say I love you and miss you!!!!”
Now, if it hadn’t been seven years since we last spoke, that might have been acceptable, it may have been okay. So I apologized for not seeing her message and explained that not all messages come through if you’re not friend’s with them on facebook and explained it was just chance that I happened to even see it at all. I told her if she wanted to talk, I’ll be okay with that, but not to expect it ever become more than a text message. I press send. Then I sat back and thought about it as I stared at that message, her telling me she loved and missed me.

So I wrote her again. I told her she wasn’t allowed to tell me she loved or missed me, because it had been too long, seven years, and not so much an apology. I told her that she put a price tag on me, and that price tag was 300 bucks, the money she had accused me of stealing. Which prompted her and my step father to steal my 1,200 dollar laptop, with threats of selling it, or outright smashing it if I tried getting it back and I told her how much that hurt. I told her, if she loved me, she would have messaged me, called, texted, or send me a letter when my grandmother passed away, knowing how close her and always were, but I got nothing. I told her how I didn’t hear from her when I went through my cancer scare, or when I found out that I just had a hernia and needed surgery, or when I needed to go back for surgery two short years later. I told her about my car accident and how I  still hadn’t heard so much a whisper from her.

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I told her just how much she had hurt me, how she took away my younger brothers and broke the budding relationship I was developing with my older brother and how much they had all meant to me. I told her everything I wanted and needed to say, how all my life I never been arrested, or been trouble with school, or the law, yet she always made me feel like some sort of failure, a delinquent, a criminal, the blacksheep and the trouble maker. While my older brother, had been suspended, expelled, gotten into trouble with the law and how she always knew about it. I told her how I always struggled to just stay out of trouble, keep my nose clean and to live up to this impossible standard she set before me. How up until that Christmas 7 years ago, she was still accusing me of things I did when I was 7 and 8 years old, using everything I ever did wrong when I was just a child to judge me in the present. How with her, I was always guilty until proven innocent, which wasn’t very often. It’s hard to convince someone you’re telling the truth, or innocent, when they keep bringing up how you lied when you were eight, because you didn’t want to get a beating. I told her how most of the things I confessed to, I did so because I had no choice, how she wouldn’t stop beating me, or grounding me, until I confessed.

Then I told her, if she was serious about talking, just talking, I’ll be okay with that. But it’d be a long, difficult road for her to ever gain my trust, but not impossible. I told her I forgave her and had forgiven her a long time ago, but just because I can forgive, it doesn’t mean I can so easily forget.
Then I told her, the things in my life she’s missed out on, my promotion at work, my charity work, about my writings. I told her about my book, told her how I went back to school and graduated with 4.0 average, how I became a notary and how I’m liking it. I told her, I was doing okay.

I don’t know what I expected….but I had hoped she’d show some remorse, I had hoped for an apology and that she would take the time to read everything I wrote and let the words really sink in. I had hoped she’d respond with a simple “Hey, I got your message, I’m still reading them, but I wanted to thank you for letting me speak to you.” Or you know, something along those lines or just something other than what she actually said.

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I’ll I’ll spare you the details, but it turns out she lied. She wasn’t contacting me because she missed me, or just to tell me she loved me. She was contacting me because word had spread about this here blog, and she didn’t like what I revealed. She didn’t like the truth. It’s almost kind of funny, she loves her own image and pride more than she does connecting with me. But it’s okay though, I spoke my peace, told her how she hurt me, let me down, disappointed me, and I told her all was forgiven, but not forgotten. And I wished I would have said, how she runs from the truth, because of how much she fears what’d it’ll mean. But I feel good, I said my peace, I said what needed to be said and I told her all was forgiven, but I’ll never be her son again and I feel okay, I feel alright, in fact I kinda feel like a weight has finally been lifted, so life is pretty good. I didn’t get what I wanted, or what I had hoped for, but I did get some closure.

-Josh