Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Question Become Reflections, Viewed For Your Satisfaction

There are moments in life where asking a question can be the dumbest act you can do but somehow end up being the best thing you needed.

            A.’s parents are in town today and there have been conversations between her and I that have been friendly, supportive and joking proving that she and I can be friends. Naturally I have to find a question to ruin that attitude, because I’m stupid.

            A little background as I explain the situation further. Last year when A. and I were seeing each other and her parents paid her a visit for a week. During this time, she distanced herself from me and most other people due to the discomfort regarding her family. The reasons for that are hers and I won’t begin to analyze that situation. With this being brought into play along with other issues that were secretly eroding what little of a relationship we were forming, it made things even more volatile and would eventually cause a meltdown stemming from so many different avenues of insecurities from both of us to lead us to where we are now.  I had already began to react badly to smaller issues, such as being in a “dating” relationship and hiding ourselves from her children and some of her friends, our level of intimacy that we began last winter that added to the equation and  made an already bad situation far worse. I didn’t like being a secret. I didn’t like the feeling that I was not good enough to discuss with others or to not be introduced to loved ones. I had a history of being a secret with others for much more valid reasons than the reasons she had brought to my attention, Her explanation, though it made sense, made me feel lower than I had ever felt before with her.
            Returning back to the present, I asked the dumbest question I could have ever asked her. Has her new guy friend, the one she spends most of her time with today, met her parents? I knew it was a mistake the second I asked and I dreaded the answer because I already knew it. She informed me that he has not met them but it was a possibility. And with that possibility, it solidified that feeling I had last year to a point where my state of mind is permanently changed.

This time I honestly don’t care of her reaction to what’s on my mind. We aren’t together, so vocalizing my issues no longer frightens me. I felt that in her eyes I was less than sewage. (That may be a bit overdramatic). I reminded her that I felt as if I was a big secret to her last year but now this friend has a better opportunity to meet them than I ever did when I was more than just a friend to her then. She reminded me that the chance he has to meet them is only slight, same as it was for me. But I don’t think she remembers the conversation we had last year before their visit. She had no intention of me meeting them. It was awkward to her and her mother. This was a big step for her to introduce me to her family as she was still going through a divorce with her husband. She stated in the end that she had no intention of hurting me because of these facts. I believe her.

But intention means little when you’re hurt regardless. Not to mention a phrase of hers I have begun to despise, “I’m not perfect, I mess up, I’m sorry I made you feel this way”. It’s the closest she has come to an apology with me recently.

This isn’t a deal-breaker and I don’t hate her because of this. I was clearly hurt and upset but I won’t lose myself in a fit of anger. Instead I went over to my new favorite diner to hang out with my friend I. who has a way to let me vent without letting the anger in me from blowing up. We’ve only been friends for a short time, but I am more comfortable with her than many other friends I have. We get each other and find our revelations about each of our lives amusing and helpful to each other.

            I. is right, I am a caring person, which is a dramatic difference from the “Asshole” I tried so hard to be over my adult life to mask the pain I was going though and reflect it on others. I realized two things after I cleared my head.
1.      Two things that are the core of a relationship are communication and self-esteem.

2.       With that in mind, had my self-esteem been the way it is today and I voiced my issues to her, we’d be in a better place, no matter what the outcome was.

Today I realize that the person I am will not be a secret to someone I intend to have a relationship with. Secrets are for lovers having an illicit affair, not for a growing relationship. I will voice the problem early on to prevent the growing concerns I may have, from erupting into hurtful reactions stemmed from my beaten down self-esteem. I should have placed an ultimatum back then about being a secret about being titles at a level less than what I felt was right.  Had I done that, no matter what the outcome, it would have ended better.

In one outcome, she could have made that move forward with us, placing us in a situation where we would have grown together instead of our first defining gestures of moving apart. We may have worked out and been in a strong trusting relationship that we both sought after.

In the other outcome, she could have kept her stance of not being ready for a relationship and we could have understood for certain that we had hit a point where our paths were no longer heading to the same destination. We would have ended before our attachment grew too strong for us to ignore, causing us so much pain as things went on and we may have become different people than we are now.

Sad thing is, the “what if’s” never happened. My self-esteem was already in the toilet from years of hurt and self destruction prevented me from making that choice. I would eventually find myself on the path of recovery, but it would be another year of pain, reflection and consequence before I would reach the point where I am today. The fact remains, each day it gets easier. Mistakes are still made between us and it becomes apparent through each of them that the hurt gets easier to deal with. I see things much different now. I am aware that even though the pain, the outcome is not a negative one. I still care, I always will and I don’t regret for a moment in having that quality.

A. is a huge part of why I am the way I am, through the good and the bad. I have grown so much recently and much faster since the break up. One day I will meet someone and it will all come together because of who I am becoming. My reactions are different and my standards are higher. My smiles are real and the negative in me no longer has the control it once did. I know I will have my bad days, I know there will be moments where I wish things could be different, but those moments will be less and less and I will simply see things as they are and not what they could have been.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Meltdown Through Analysis

            I have been in this funk for several days. I can’t get out of it no matter how much I try and to be honest, I am not sure what’s causing it. After so much thought I realized it could be any number of things or all of them combined. It’s difficult to sort them out and deal with their fundamental sources. It simple boils down to these factors.

1.      Relationships

2.      Money

3.      Career

4.      Children

5.      Self Worth

This is not directed at my break up. Not entirely. I spent so much time feeling this emptiness recently, I immediately attributed it to A. and the breakup. But in the end, what I’ve noticed is when I look to find ways to get rid of the emptiness; it isn’t always toward her. It’s looking at several people. People I feel close and comfortable with and want to be around for a chance of peace. It is sometimes picturing intimate encounters but not necessary sexual ones.

Tonight for instance, I wanted to just sleep next to someone. Somebody I could be relaxed around. It made me realize that even though I don’t always sleep well around other people, I have come to enjoy someone being there. A. was always here in my home, she even made mention to the fact that she was at my house more than she was at her own. I think I got used to not only here, always around and sleeping next to me, but just the mere presence of someone being there.

It isn’t just in the bedroom though, it’s a general feeling of being alone. It’s that feeling of being accepted and love. It is very rare someone comes to visit me and it’s an issue that’s actually a huge pet peeve of mine that stemmed from early adulthood. I was the one always driving to see my friends and to hang out. There are two times in my life I was without a car and during those times, I seldom or stopped seeing almost all my friends. These days I’m more aware of that situation and it bothers me when people I know won’t hang out unless I drive out to meet them. Very few people ever come here. Even fewer are the people I know who have even been to my home. It reminds me of my childhood when I had a ton of friends in the summertime because I was the only one in the neighborhood who had a pool. I’m now they guy with the car ready to take people to where they need to go. Or the guy who indulges them to their wants but to hell with what I want because there’s nothing to do. (Insert extremely low self-esteem).

I feel alone right now, not because I don’t have a girlfriend but because the only one I really hang out with these days is C. who is wonderful but I feel like such an ass for how I’ve treated her before and the fact that being around her is a huge secret with people from both our circles. I don’t want to cause an issue by being around her and for that I feel like an ass because she’s the only one I feel I can count on these days. Most of my friends I meet at anywhere but my house. I feel like a huge secret in A.’s life more now than when we first started dating. And everyone else I merely communicate through the internet. I feel like that guy who does a lot for others but is almost at the level of an Untouchable in other people’s eyes. Where’s the fairness in this? Why do I have to almost always leave my house in order to be with friends? Why is it that I feel that I have so many friends because I go to them? Because I am the one always going to them. Facts are facts.

            Without going into too much detail of my financial situations, it’s best to say I am broke to the point of being broken. This recession beat the hell out of me after leaving Paychex. I managed to find income to survive though luck and a ton of help from friends, family and others. But right now I have literally nothing. This issue is only made worse through other factors in my life. Relationships: I can’t afford to go out. Career: I can’t afford to start this business. Children: I can’t give them what they want and sometimes what they need. They are always asking why and sometimes I find my patience slipping. Self Worth: Money isn’t everything, but living off the charity of others is humiliating. I am working my ass off to get Xcom up and running and I am constantly finding new ways to get tasks done on zero spending. And that leads to other problems.

            I know Xcom Radio will work, I have planned it, ran S.W.O.T Analysis on it. Plugged every detail on it, found ways to save more money on the startup than I thought possible and I now ask myself for what? I have put in months of countless hours in action and research to get this project in motion. I am depending on my partner into providing funding to make this a reality. So far everything on my end is done. All we have left is the automation software to be purchased, the website designed and hosted and we can begin the process of dry run to give us a structure to obtain clientele. All of which needs money. Money I don’t have the money that has yet to be provided because of so many reasons and excuses that have me wasting more time by adding more tasks on my plate with no sign of a realistic outcome. I am so scared of this not becoming something more than just a written and planned concept because I am waiting on others. I feel my life and self worth are relying on this and I have gone too far to have it collapse.  

            A few months back I took time to think seriously about getting a loan or venture capital and starting this on my own. All the work had literally been done by me at this point and I still see nothing contributed by my partner other than concert ideas that we seldom agree on. I asked A. for advice and she said I would lose so much respect from her, my partner and others if I went this route. I doubt I have ever had professional respect from my partner, her or anyone else directly involved with this. It’s time I take things into my own hands and finish what I started with or without him.
            I have two children, my daughter Michelle who is 13 and my son Nick who is 11. Michelle has Autistic Spectrum Disorder, which means she is mentally handicapped but it is not defined as traditional Autism. Essentially Doctors can’t agree as to what she has so she is thrown into the ASD pile or as I like to say, Autistic-like. She is beautiful, she is wonderful and she is fantastic in her own way and as much as I love her, there are moments I feel like crap because I feel totally helpless. I feel like I am doing everything wrong at times, even when people tell me I am a great dad to her. I feel that my patience should be so much better with her and I find myself loosing that patience because it feels like a never ending uphill battle with her. I have no doubt in my mind that I love her and will be there for her. I feel horrible that I set these expectations for her when she was born and when the autism showed up, all those plans fell apart. I hate the fact that I am embarrassed at times when she talks in her mono toned voice that gets stares from children and adults alike. And it pisses me off when my mother tells strangers around us that Michelle is her very “special” to her. “Do you get what I mean by special”. I am her only parent and the fact that everyone feels like they need to either interfere or avoid us because of how she is upsets me over and over again.

            Nick does not live with me but I do spend every other weekend with him. I have so little time and I feel that as much effort I put into raising him; I feel that it’s never enough. I deal with the issues and grudges from his mother who if she had her way, would totally have me out of the picture. I have no say in what he does, I have no say toward his well-being. I have no say in his schooling and when I do bring it up, I am quickly shot down by her. I am protective of him and there are times I seriously disagree to how he’s treated by his mother and grandfather and in a moment of pure stupidity I voiced those issues without thinking of the damage it did to him. It devastated me when I was told what happened after my actions when I dropped him off after out last visit. No matter how angry I am at them, the regret I have toward my actions that caused him grief is far greater. I want more time with him. I want to raise both my children right. I want the best for them and yet by totally different reasons, I feel I am failing them.

            No matter how many times people say I am a great dad to them, I am constantly seeing otherwise. The only reason I know I have not failed them is because I am still here for both of them. I keep trying no matter how impossible if feels or how little I think I do for them, I still know I am doing something.

            Now with all this on my mind I have to figure out how to juggle it. A. was right, I have too much on my plate to successfully add to it. But I keep doing what needs to be done. I can’t walk away or quit anymore because it’s all I have, good and bad. I can do the best I can to change things I don’t like but other things are more of a challenge than dropping the dead weight. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dream a Little Dream . . . . Of Horror

If Dreams are a way of your subconscious telling you what’s going on in your mind, I’m really loosing it.

Two dreams last night I can still remember. The first one has me stealing the Ajanti Dagger and then trying to fight Sardo Numspa both in human and demon form (Kudos to the readers out there who recognize this 80’s movie reference). It got very frightening when he landed in my pool, creating a cloud of steam, giving him stealth for that dramatic effect. In the end, my dear sweet brother Numsy got what was coming to him and I woke up.

You’d think after that my mind would cut me some slack and give me a dream where I was on a date with Hope Solo. But sadly this was not to be. Sorry Hope, I had a fantastic night planned for us but my subconscious cock-blocked me.

So instead of the Hope Solo dream, I found myself trying to escape a city while being attacked by the local military. I wandered through city blocks looking for a place to hide as random soldiers tried to shoot me. This alone was terrifying but what was on my mind at the time was getting away from the impending bombing raid on the city. I finally found a good, safe hiding place that kept me covered from the soldiers and would protect me from conventional bombing.

This is simple right? Can I get one good break in these dreams?

“No!” said my subconscious.

Turns out that conventional bombing was a tactical nuclear weapon that would kill me no matter where I hid. On a plus side, I saw a fantastic light show above me before the blast vaporized me.

Now I’m awake. And now I am not going back to sleep. It’s time to start my day out right and give me a clearer head for tomorrow night’s round of dreams.

So Goodbye Sardo Numspa, goodbye soldiers and goodbye fifty megaton yield nuclear blast. Hello new morning let’s have a good day.

Guarded Feelings and Release

The problem with blogging is that there are some things you aren’t ready to share with in the open public. It’s not like a journal where you keep it to yourself till someone finds it and reads it, invading your privacy. It’s open for strangers and friends to see. The issue I had today is how do I release my issues without blogging to the world about an uncomfortable subject?
            This is my problem, normally I would try to talk about it to someone I knew and trusted. Sadly enough, most of the few friends I have that know this chapter in my life can’t directly understand what I’m going through and in turn make the sympathy feel a bit hollow. It’s not their fault nor am I angry at that fact. It simply is the way it is and there is not much I can do about it. There are a few other friends, who can relate to it, but there is a sense of awkwardness I have about talking about it and in the end I still feel that I am alone with the exception of the others who were a part of the situation. And even then they may not be as inclined to talk about it, making my stress grow more.

            One other way of alleviating my issue would be through emotional release. Sadly my social upbringing of my gender role hampers that action from happening or being able to do it enough to feel better. I suffer from the “Man Box” syndrome Tony Porter described at TEDWomen in December, 2010. Essentially I have been given this idealism that men do not do certain things, crying being one of them. Because of this, I have trouble allowing myself to cry, in private or more especially in public view of others, whether they be friends, family or strangers. Because of that guard I have on myself, my mind tries to find other ways of release; very few of these are productive or safe and are based on the deep seated anger and frustration from being able to find salvation from something simple. Because of that, I have been violent to people and objects and verbally abusive toward others because I can’t properly rationalize my stressors and deal with them in a more simple benevolent manner.
            So instead I let the stress build and build to the point of breaking until I eventually gave in and talked to the person who was involved in the particular issue in my life. I felt lost still as I talked to her but I did notice that just talking to her about it was helping me get through it. The problem was not gone but it was releasing some of the pressure until I could find another was to get through it. I feel the pain of it still, even as I write this blog post, but I know I can last a little while longer before being in danger of hitting a breaking point. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friendly Territory

I wanted to post earlier, in the heat of an argument, but I’ve learned that posting when I’m angry is not pretty and often not the whole picture. It’s better to let things play out and let heads cool down before making a written account of my thoughts and feelings.

What end up happening was I finally gave in and contacted my ex about not asking for me to come to her rescue when she had a breakdown. It hurt me too much, being pushed away to the brink where I wanted nothing to do with her, only for her to ask for me to be there when she needed it. Why does she think she has that right? Why is it that I am almost certain that if I asked the same, she’d never do that for me?

Normally you’d expect someone to just say “OK” and “I’m sorry I hurt you that was not my intention”. But those comments didn’t happen. Instead there was blame for me not coming to her rescue. She was unapologetic about my feelings and it gave her the impression that I saw her as a horrible person. (Note: I did say “I hate you for that” so I get why she thinks I see her as a horrible person). The argument escalated and quickly turned into “Delete me off facebook and call me when you want to be friends again.”

That’s when I felt like blogging. I wanted to be mean, hurtful, nasty and cruel. But it’s not what I wanted to be. Instead I calmed down and tried to explain the situation. In the end we managed to be cool again. We both want to be friends and that should be simple.

It’s not simple. What I lack in my “tone” while texting, she lacks in actions. Her version of a friend isn’t my standard. Walking up to someone to say hi and take off with others isn’t a friend. It’s an acquaintance. I can live with that definition, but don’t refer to me as a friend.

A friend is something more. A friend is there for you because they know you’re there for them. A friend takes the time for you. I treat my friends with that level of respect. I care for them and I show my loyalty to them and voice my concerns for them when I feel they’re in trouble. I am a friend to many and what I give is what I know they will do in return.

I recently posted something in facebook asking my friends to put a memory they have of me. I was surprised to what I read. One read “you showing up, (without) me calling you, when i needed you the most taking me out to relieve my anger and stress from that day. i love you much for that one ! :D” another said “The time when we were roomies. When I had bronchitis (sic) and I was having a coughing attack and you stayed up all night with me trying to get ste(a)m in my lungs”. Another one stated “You and Melissa showing up in AZ in the middle of the night to take me and Daelan home to Cali ;). . .Wow! I just thought about that lol. Almost 13 years ago! Ty” and another, “Many nights of coffee after (Klub) empire and conversations at clubs or in the parking lot after clubs. Me pouring out all of relationship problems to you. And then in turn being the voice of reason for you.” And finally “You have some friends with great memories of you including me... where do I start?! Club Metro...Rocky Horror in Encinitas... taking care of me when I got my appendix out and had just finished getting my first Corolla and going through a divorce... being there for me no matter what, including times I am sure you wanted to hate me... U are awesome! :-)” This is how I treat my friends and I know they would do the same for me.

I love my friends, I will be there for them and I may not always agree with them but I will stand by them and voice my concerns when their action can do serious damage to themselves and those around them. I do this because I care for them and I do it because I know they’d do the same for me. The word friend is a sacred word for me, all others below that are simply acquaintances or just people I know civilly. I don’t mix them up and I won’t drop that standard with them or except anything less of them toward me.

My ex said to me that she missed our friendship and so did I. But we don’t define friendship the same way and that is why we are no longer close. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ex Marks a Sore Spot

                There are always going to be issues with a break-up. Whether you’re the Dumper or Dumped, your emotions are going to go haywire. Depression, anger, regrets, those are all the negative emotions that dwell in your conscious minds and vary depending on what side of the fence you end up on.

                In my life, I was the one who guaranteed the relationships demise by my own self destructive actions that I started because of my unusually low self-esteem. So when the relationship ended, It was either me doing the dumping or a mutual decision. I did it to protect myself from depression and loss from being dumped. My low self-esteem is an evil S.O.B.

                Recently I made an effort to change who I was. Relearning how to be the nice guy I used to be instead of the selfish, mean cold hearted person I was turning into. I made the attempt to let go of a lot of anger built up inside of me, which was seriously doing damage to my emotional and social selves. I learned to open up and communicate about what’s going on in my head, rather than bottling it up. I learned to listen and be more attentive to those around me, at least the best I could do from the habit of years of selfishness.

                Somewhere in this endeavor, I met a woman, a very social, kind, loving, beautiful woman that had an ability to be open and understanding. I saw her as a new friend with little interest in pursuing any relationship past that. Somewhere in the middle of it all we began to flirt, using private jokes, witty humour and an ice storm that took us from friendship to a slightly higher level. As to what, we had no idea yet.

See, a little background into her was she was going through a divorce and had recently ended a relationship with the man she was with post-separation. Her desire to be in a relationship was as slim as mine. Not to say we didn’t have feelings for each other, but we had issues with trust and attachment due to our own past experiences. (This should have been a huge red flag).

In the beginning, past the question if this was only going to be about sex, our titles toward each other were strictly “dating”. This was a phrase she applied to us that I agreed to in the beginning. “Dating” was a title commit-aphobes could use easily. It means the fear of attachment and relationships aren’t there because the title isn’t there. (A rose by any other name. . . ).  It sounded like a good idea at the time. Here is the issue, when you’re around someone that you click with on so many levels for a period of time; your natural instinct is to be more bonded to them. Well, it was my instinct at least.

 I adored her by then. (My code word for “I’m falling in love with you”). I hinted that I wanted more from her and I was informed that I was still that guy she was dating. This really messed with my head when all actions say we’re more than dating but we’re still dating.

This is where my anger kicked in. I didn’t handle the rejection well, but instead of an ultimatum or just walking away, I began to get involved with my ex-girlfriend. I did it for two reasons:

1.       My ex and I were together for 5 years and even though I did a ton of damage there, she was the only one who knew me at a level I didn’t know myself and If I needed to vent, she was able to help me better understand.

2.       I was really angry and I really wanted to hurt her.

The problem with that is I couldn’t admit to the damage I was doing. I didn’t want to lose her. So I lied and messed with people’s heads in order to keep a secret. But that kind of secret never lasts and eventually I got caught.

                This is where it should have ended. I was caught, end of story. But instead she showed up and went through a locked door to get to me, and forgive me.  I never understood this and I think my lack of understanding made things worse. We managed to make it work for some time, even when I pushed the hardest when I had an emotional breakdown. But then things came crashing down after the Holidays.

                From my point of view, there were constant issues with those two weeks I never addressed. She and her kids were at my house. It was loud, crowded, issues came with the actions of her kids in my home and I have an issue where I see the negative in everything. From New Years Eve till the big fight a few days later, she became very cold and finally mentioned that I was doing some things wrong by her standards. Let me remind you again that I only see and hear the negative.  Low self esteem and anger are a bad combination and the fight was bad. We were finished. A few days later it really sunk in and I hit a bar, drinking myself stupid, all for a woman.

                This is where is should have ended. This is when I say we parted ways and that was all.

                Nothing ever goes to plan.

                A few days later I get a text with one word, “FUCK”.

                And now we’re back to talking.

                I’m not ready to share what that was about yet. It’s still a difficult subject for me.

                We tried for a few months to make it work but in the end, when I began to finally understand my ways of thinking and seriously make the changes I needed for myself, she ended it. I begged and pleaded for us to fix this but in the end she was done. She had been for some time and her pushing hindered us for months where things would have gotten better. I didn’t see it that way though and merely blamed myself and my actions for leading us here.

                Eventually grief changed to anger and being pushed would end us as friends as well. I left for some time, hoping I could clear my head of here. Twice though, she sent me heartfelt text messages. One admitting she pushed me away and was out of control and the other wishing I was still there for her when she was in a time of need.

                I can’t be there for her anymore. Not at her beck and call, not in a moment of convenience, not as a half-assed friend. She pushed me away, she got what she wanted. I can be civil with her to a point but the pain and anger are still in me from this and I don’t think that will go away anytime soon. I miss her terribly. I miss her children and her pets, I still dream about her from time to time and I still want to scream at her, making it clear of how much her actions have done damage.

               I’m honourable, I still keep her secrets, I still speak highly of her as a person, but the last thing I can handle at the moment is seeing her.  Now if only I could gain the courage to totally break away from her. But there are other issues with that.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Where it All Starts (Background)

Blogging used to be the “in” thing when Live Journal was around, back in the day. Then My Space created Bulletin Post, facebook made Status Updates and Twitter made Tweets. Shorter and shorter our messaging got and now maybe it’s too short. We have so much more to say than the 400 characters facebook allows and the 140 characters twitter allows. Maybe Blogging is the answer.
I was told by many people that I should start writing things down. If anything else, it would make great therapy for me. Blogging is a chance to hash out my issues or even my daily routines in order to better understand why I am the way that I am. The big question is, where do I begin?
Let’s start with basics; I am a 34 year old single dad living in Southern California. I live in a 3 bedroom condo with my daughter, who has a form of autism, my dog Dresden and my aunt, which will be several posts all in themselves. I have a son nearby also who doesn’t live with me but is here enough for me to be his dad but not enough for my liking.
I am trying to start a new business called Xcom Radio, which is seriously behind schedule and funding, but somehow I am still making progress with. I put in way too many hours in a day for it sometimes but I know this will work.
I have several friends in my life, although it seems a bit crazy sometimes. The friend I see most often is actually one of my ex girlfriends who may know me the best. Sometimes things are awkward between us but she is someone I can talk to about most things.
And I am going through the issues of a recent breakup. By recent, I mean two months ago. On month for me to realize it’s really over without any hope of reconciliation and another month to realize we can’t even be friends. I do still care for her and that makes it difficult because there are now issues concerning her that I can’t have in my life at the moment. I can be civil with her but I can no longer be there for her in the ways she asks me to be.
This is the major points in my life right now and my future posts will have these as topics. I can say you have been welcomed or warned. It depends on how you take it.