Three Lies I Tell Myself

I can be normal.

I suppose it depends on your definition of normal, but I will never meet the status quo and that makes me sad so I tell myself that one day I will even though I know that I will not. Sometimes it is better to openly lie to yourself instead of completely accepting something that will crush part of who you are.

I will be Superdad.

I will be the best dad I can be, but that will never be enough for some people. I have days when I think it won’t be enough for my kids either. I have already failed my six year old, will I fail my two year old as well? Will good enough be good enough for me and my kids? Will I be what they need or will I fall short giving everything I can? I will never be Superdad, I will be lucky if I am Decentdad.

I will one day be healed.

This is the big one. I will never be healed. I will be “sick” for the rest of my life. I will be a burden to those around me forever. I will always be that guy with schizophrenia. AND as an added bonus I could pass it on to my kids. Yea!

We tell ourselves lies to soften the blow of reality, but when we live in a world of lies reality has a way of breaking through and crushing us. I try not to be crushed, but I fail most of the time.

Another Birthday Gone

September 6th was my birthday. It was a day that I would have rather slept through. A total of 8 people wished me happy birthday and one of them was not my son. I had to take the dog we just adopted to a rescue because my chiwawa mix (Beverly) was vomiting on herself, peeing on the floor, refusing to move, shaking and had been tossed around a bit by the dog who was an English Mastiff. A big dog was not a bad idea, a HUGE dog was a horrible idea. My wife and mother-in-law hate me, if only temporarily, for getting rid of the dog, but I really had no choice as I could not put my Beverly in any more danger. I cleaned the couch to get rid of the big dog’s smell and I made dinner. I took care of my daughter so my wife could work and I got no time to myself. My wife did not even wish me a happy birthday until after 5pm. She did say that we could observe my birthday some other day, but it was my birthday and it seemed like everyone just forgot and didn’t care which makes me think they didn’t care about me. I don’t want a party I just want a little “happy birthday” form those that are supposed to love me and be my friends. My family even fell short, but I stopped counting on them years ago.

Another day, another year, another disappointment.

The Loss Of Personal Freedoms

As a parent I find that my spelling has improved immensely as my two year old cannot yet spell and, at times, it is the only way my wife and I can communicate. The fun part is when we have an argument in front of the toddler where we have to control our anger, breathe and spell out hateful and spiteful words so the parrot (kid) does not repeat them. If we slip up you better believe that she will repeat that word over and over again, especially to those whom it will offend the most. So our freedom of speech goes out the window.

A gun safe can be safe, but it is not impregnable, especially for a nosy toddler. Freedom to bear arms – gone.

The freedom to do what you want, when you want to is also gone as you have to watch what is done and when it is done so that the toddler or older child does not think that just because mommy or daddy or other relative did it that it is alright for them to do it as well.

Staying up late is pretty much out of the question as well. We put the child to sleep and then wait for her to fall asleep, watch a show and go to bed. I am in bed no later than 11 pm every night because my alarm (the crying toddler) goes off at 6 am every morning and if I want any sleep as I use the restroom several times a night, I need to go to bed even earlier than 11 pm. I am usually in bed by 9:30 pm. Early considering I used to stay up until 2 or 3 am and then not get up until 11 am or noon. Freedom to sleep on my schedule is also gone.

Now everyone does not follow these rules, but I would have to say that good parents do. Good parents do not have their child out until midnight or later. Good parents do not argue or curse in front of their children. Good parents do not leave firearms, knives, or other instruments of harm where their children can get to them if they keep them in the house at all. Keeping you kid out on a rare occasion is not being a bad parent, but doing it every night or even more than one or two nights a week (this is even extreme) is too much.

I am not a perfect parent, no matter how hard I try. I do not keep a perfectly clean house so that my child can get into nothing, but I try. I have a firearm, but it is in a safe on a shelf in our bedroom where the child is not allowed and would have to stack two chairs on top of one another to get to it. She would also have to take the key off mine or my wife’s key ring. I do occasionally keep my toddler out late, but it is maybe twice a month and it is only a few hours past her bed time as when we break the routine we pay dearly for it. We would not keep her out later if that was not the case. If she would sleep somewhere other than her bed or at her mammaw’s house then we would also consider staying out later, but she won’t so we don’t.

No one is perfect, but some of us strive to be and I commend those people. Those who just don’t give a rat’s ass are the ones whose children I feel sorry for.

We lose certain freedoms, but we gain a precious child who we help shape and mold into a wonderful human being.

First Chapter of Fiction Memoir Based on My Life

Below is the first chapter of the book I am working on. I am almost finished with the first draft and will begin editing soon. It is supposed to be difficult to read: halting, uncomfortable in places. If you find yourself being able to flow through it with ease then I have not done my job.

The Madness That Lies Within

Metal folding chair kicked back on the back two legs, my legs propped up against the wooden railing of my current place of residence, my apartment that I shared with my wife and soon to be mother of my child. I was out there to smoke. I was out there to let the tendrils of carcinogenic pulls of nicotine laced smoke into my lungs, let it process – slowly crystalizing my bronchial tubes – and then exhaling, that part being one of the parts that I enjoyed the most. Sometimes I French inhaled, allowed the smoke to creep out of my mouth and inhale it into my open nostrils, letting it snake its way down my sinus cavities and into my trachea, making its way into my windpipe and back down into my thorax. I was smoking clove cigarettes before they stopped making my brand and then before they made them illegal because the government released propaganda stating that flavored cigarettes, including cloves, were targeting children. Fuck that. Children should be governed by their parents, not the government who can’t run an insurance program that nearly ran itself for years that assisted those who could not assist themselves, like those who had terminal illnesses, including cancer and AIDs, and other diseases that are well known but I can’t think of right now.

My significant other, my wife, the future mother of my daughter, was asleep so I was not out there to get away from her as I could’ve just as easily have done that on the couch in our crowded living room where my desk also found its home. My desk, that I spent more than seventy percent of my life at, not just my waking moments, but all of my moments, was like a well-loved pet, I took care of it, gave it a bath when it needed, relied on it for companionship, and was more comfortable when it was around. Most of my friends were on there and I created my own little niche on there that needed me, I made sure of that. I had spent so much time on my computer, and would continue to spend just as much, if not more, in the coming years, that my best friend (other than my wife, the future mother of my daughter), was on there because I had just been approved for a disability that was the reason I spent as much time as I did in front of the computer. My disability was not because I was blind or because I was missing an appendage. My disability was not because I got injured at work and I had most of my body crushed, as a matter of fact my body was in pretty good shape, or it would be if I took care of it, which I didn’t and did less and less as the years went, but I will get to that … eventually. No, my disability was because I was fucking crazy, certifiable, insane, and just not legally declared so.

I saw things that weren’t there; people, alive and dead, those I knew and those I didn’t, people who existed and some that my mind made up, just for me (wasn’t I a lucky fuck). I saw things move where nothing should move, I saw the walls breathe, I saw the ceiling bleed once or thrice. The floor opened up and tried to eat me, but I jumped to my couch, which became a rickety old life boat, to save myself. I saw my wife, the future mother of my child, when she wasn’t there, when she was at work, when she swore that she was no one near our dirty little apartment that we called home. I made phone calls, crying into the phone to people who had no idea who I was because I couldn’t figure out the right buttons and, because of my severe anxiety (which I will get into in a bit) I couldn’t tell them anything like, most important, who I was and where I was. I saw birds flying at my head when there were no birds, or were there (you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you). I saw animals in the grass, but the grass was left undisturbed. I saw my neighbors covered in blood, running around, but I had no neighbors in that unit. And worst of all, yet one of the smallest things, was that damn black cat that always showed up. It showed up so much that I asked my wife, the mother of my unborn child, if it was real and she confirmed that I was, again, seeing things. I even tried to take a picture of it which resulted in odd things, from flares to darkness to a regular shot with no cat in it. I hated that fucking cat.

I heard things as well, auditory hallucinations they called it. It was not as bad as the visual ones, but the disembodied voices were freaky and the people that I talked about earlier, they talked too, a lot. Sometimes these people, bodiless or not, were so loud that I couldn’t hear anything else. I even bought a pair of headphones, well I had my Rachael, my wife, the mother of my unbo – you get the idea, buy them for me. They did nothing to block out the voices. A lot of people, including the mental medical professions, psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and others, would ask me what the voices would say. Sometimes they were just a running commentary of my life. Sometimes they tried to convince me to do things, good things, bad things, indifferent things, just things. Sometimes they sang, loudly. Sometimes they tried to have conversations with me and if I wasn’t paying attention or the voice had a body, I would talk back, these hallucinations becoming good friends of mine.

But they weren’t always voices that I heard. I heard cars starting when they weren’t (I looked). I heard car horns and people knocking on my door. I even called the cops on a neighbor because I thought I heard a party going on but when the cops got there, I watched out of my window, they were just talking to the young couple for a bit, I watched the whole time expecting a gaggle of people to pour out of the unit. When the police were through with my neighbors they came and talked to me, my wife wasn’t home, and said that there was no excessive noise, no noise at all as a matter of fact. I apologized and they went on their merry way. I would hear people pounding on the walls and, unless Rachael was home, I never knew what was real and what wasn’t. Some days I would find myself, because I wouldn’t realize what I was doing, which was not uncommon, lying on the couch, you guessed it – in the fetal position, fully dressed, silently crying until my face was soaked and my shirt was marked, leaving a tell-tale sign for my wife when she got home so I took to changing my shirt often and burying clothes in the dirty clothes pile. I would’ve done the laundry, but we had coin operated machines and a specific day for laundry where Rachael would stop and get quarters just for the event.

I mentioned finding myself on the couch. I frequently found myself in places that I didn’t remember going. Nowhere too far from our apartment and, actually, usually not out of our apartment expect out on the balcony where I usually had a cigarette in my hand which was occasionally burning my fingers because it had burned down so far. I was not the crazy guy walking down the street, twitching, talking to himself. I was the crazy guy sitting in his apartment, twitching (because of the anxiety issue) and talking to myself, of course I didn’t know I was talking to myself, I thought there were people there.

The severe anxiety was really tied in with a bit, and sometimes more than a bit, of paranoia. I didn’t like crowds, so I didn’t want to go anywhere, but I hated being alone so I constantly shook when I was at home. When I did go out, I thought people were not only following me, but listening to my conversations, and I don’t mean on my cellphone, which was there as well, I thought people were literally getting close enough to me to listen to what I was saying. Because of that, I spoke really low and annoyed the piss out of my wife. It was hard to go out to dinner somewhere because I had to have my back to a wall or I freaked out the whole meal and couldn’t eat. I was constantly afraid that Rachael was going to leave me for any number of reasons. How long could one person put up with all that I was dishing out. I had more issues than all the versions of Superman put together.

And the crazy part (weren’t all the parts crazy with differing levels and variations of the crazy) was that the psychiatrist I was seeing considered me ‘high-functioning’ because I could take care of myself, drive (even though I shouldn’t have), and had someone who loved me and stayed with me even though I had so much going on. Yes, that was a part of the diagnosis. Because of Rachael, I was high-functioning.

I didn’t just start off like this randomly. I had been going to see a therapist or some other level of mental health professional, most of the time was seeing more than one at a time, almost my entire life. I had used and abused drugs as a teen and much younger (which I will expand on later), and had many traumatic events happen in my life. Oh, and I had a childhood that was less than favorable. I wasn’t physically abused that much, I was extremely emotionally abused and ignored which is a form of abuse, and I wasn’t sexually abused by a relative, but some therapists and psychologists say I could’ve repressed those memories. Since the rest of my childhood fit it, they said that it was a good possibility that it happened and I just don’t remember it, of course there was one significant incident that could account for that, but I just never thought of it like that until very recently.

I quit using drugs when I was twenty-three and not much later I met my first wife (yes I have been married more than once). She was married at the time and I helped her get away from a relationship where her husband wore more make-up than she did, yes he was a ‘goth’, but he was stealing the make-up from her, trying to sneak around with it and not being honest to her about it or anything else, and she was beginning to be, not exactly creeped out by the make-up wearing issue, but uncomfortable with it and the dishonesty thing was wearing her down. We were together for a short period of time before we decided to get married. Bad idea.

It is now my opinion, from experience (bad or good), that a person should spend time with their perspective spouse for at least a year, more than three is better, and live together first, for a while preferably. Now if it is a same-sex relationship than I would imagine that less time would be required because while they would still need to get to know one another and understand how to co-exist, while their bodies aren’t identical, they are more alike than an opposite-sex relationship partners’ would be, there would be a little time cut off for that, at the very least, of course I could be completely wrong as I am only trysexual – as in I will try it once, maybe twice to see how I feel about it and then maybe continue with it, if I like it, and I don’t know everything about relationships that I have been in (both same and opposite sex) so how much do I really know about any relationship and, besides, I am not the one to be handing out information or advice on relationships at all since I have had so many failed ones.

But, my first wife and I had very little in common and I rushed my feelings for her since I had so little love in my life and after a series of one night stands and meaningless sex that my life consisted of, this relationship that lasted longer than a few weeks immediately seemed like it was the one that was going to go the distance and I also thought that the metal clips that were popular in the seventies that were most often attached to feathers were all used as roach clips and if someone had one then they obviously smoked weed religiously.

I found out that I didn’t love her shortly after we married. I tried, I mean I liked her a lot, she just wasn’t my world and that seemed wrong to me. We decided that it might be a good idea to add some spice to the relationship since it wasn’t ‘perfect’ (this was mainly my idea and she went along with it to make me happy) by including other people for sexual variety, but there wasn’t supposed to be any emotional attachment to the other people. Problem was that the first girl I decided to add to my life for ‘sexual variety’ I became extremely emotionally attached to, so much that she became my world, which was exactly what I was looking for and expected in a long term relationship, especially a marriage, if I wanted it to last anyway.

I tried to work it out by having two women in my life but after several months I realized I was not being fair to any of us and it was extremely taxing on me emotionally, mentally, physically, and especially sexually. I had to drop one of them and I loved the wife less, so much less that I am sure that I didn’t love her at all. A divorce was the only logical option, to me. The first wife was devastated. We also found out she was pregnant during the whole process. What could’ve been a clean break and the continuation of a wonderful relationship between Rachael and me as well as the start our time together starting the rest of our lives became scarred by the fact that the divorce could not be finalized until the baby was born.

Rachael and I waited the nine months, lived together, and then waited another year and then some before we decided to get married. It was the best choice I have ever made. I hope to be with her forever. She is my world.

So after my happiness, Rachael and I ran into some financial troubles because I couldn’t hold a job because of anxiety issues that we didn’t really know were issues at that point. We moved in with her parents and they were wonderful to us. Two kinder people I will never meet. They love their children with an unyielding strength that they show it at every chance they can. They would literally not only give an arm for them but all of their appendages, their organs and anything else they could.

I got comfortable. I believed and so did mental medical professionals that I was Bi-Polar. I had depressive states where I wallowed in my own self-pity and I had manic phases where I had no sense of right and wrong, doing some really stupid fucking stuff as well as was violent at times, but not often enough that it was an issue at all.

During a severe depressive state, I was on Percocet and Oxycontin for a Discectomy that was performed. I was laid up in bed and didn’t move for nearly anything. If I could’ve had a bag to piss and shit in, I wouldn’t have gotten up at all. The drugs were a great mask for the mental state I was in, I convinced Rachael that I was just ‘out of it’ because of them. Part of that was true, but part of it was because I hated my life and wished nothing more than to lie there and die. Several times a day I thought about taking a few too many pills and ending it, but I thought I could not leave a body, which had evacuated its bowels, for my in-laws to clean up. At that point in my life suicide was not really an issue as I had more respect for myself and those around me than ever before, even at my lowest. In the past and the future suicide had and has been an issue as my sense of self-worth fluctuates more than a barometer.

After I pulled myself out of that depressive state that was aided by pharmaceuticals, which caused me to soil my sheets several times, thank you (again) to Rachael for cleaning up after me time and time again, I quickly entered a manic phase and a fucking righteous one at that. No violence, but the ability to care what was right or wrong was gone. I still knew, I just didn’t give a shit (okay, maybe I didn’t know most of the time, but I liked to think I did – it gave me a sense of rebellion).

So I ran a credit card scam on my wife’s sister’s husband. Not that it matters, but I just want to talk about something and this is my story so I will.

Heather, Rachael’s sister, is three years younger than she is. Rachael got married to me when she was almost twenty-two and she became a part of my life when she was nineteen. Heather’s boyfriend, who was her high school sweetheart, proposed to her and signed up to join the Marines while they were in high school. They were going to wait until he got back from all of his training to even start planning a wedding. It was still a bit young, but not horrible and not too far off from when her sister would get married, of course the fact that her sister and I were getting married, let alone when, had not even entered the picture yet. Instead they decided they couldn’t wait and that he would get more money from the military if they were married. So just after she turned eighteen, before she graduated high school, they got married.

She was divorced not long after. She decided she couldn’t wait on her husband to get back from Iraq, so she decided to fool around with a Navy boy while Michael, her husband, was on active duty. This has nothing to do with my story and her story is extensive, but it’s not mine to tell, even though I really want to. I mainly won’t tell it because her parents will probably read this and, not knowing what is fact or fiction, would have a doubt in their heads about the integrity of their daughter and I really don’t want that.

So the credit card scam on Michael while he was in Iraq was shitty of me, I know, but, as I told you, I was in a really bad manic state and I didn’t care what was wrong or who it would hurt (not an excuse, just the fact of the matter). So I didn’t even do anything special with it. I got a Sears card and bought a DSLR camera and some gear for it. I picked it up at their automated pickup center (what a good idea that is) and no one knew any difference.

I hid the evidence, not the camera itself as I told them that a friend had sold it to me really cheap, for a few months until Martin, my father-in-law, got the bill in the mail as I did not get to it first. It apparently wasn’t the first one he had gotten either.  He and his wife confronted me about it and eventually I broke down with lots of shameful crying. My manic state came crashing down around me. I nearly went into a rock bottom depressive state when they kicked us out. I didn’t care about me, but I cared about the relationship between Rachael and her parents. Michael, being such a wonderful kid, didn’t press charges and convinced the credit card company that it was a misunderstanding with a relative and all was not forgiven, but I was not sent to jail or charged at all. Thank you, Michael and thank you Michael’s family.

Rachael and I moved in with my parents. It was a mess. We moved into the unfinished basement that we were not allowed to do anything with for fear that we would get comfortable and think we could stay longer than they wanted us to. My sister lives there now with her husband and two kids. It kind of felt like a kick in the balls when they partially finished the area for her, including putting in a bathroom. They are good people and I love them, but I doubt they are ever leaving. I can’t fathom why my parent’s thought it was a better situation for my sister and her husband and kids to live there than us who were much more productive, but perhaps they just wanted more for me, I have to tell myself that so I don’t get pissed about it from time to time even though I still do. We were not there long, a few months tops, before we found our first apartment together. It was not our first apartment together, truly, but it was since we were married.

Sometime between Martin kicking us out and the mess at my mother’s house was when I had my breakdown. It progressively got worse. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and will spend my life jumping from drug to drug attempting to find the right combination that makes me “normal”.

Hard At Work

I started working on my almost fictional memoir/biography quite some time ago. It has gone through many titles and I recently gave it a new one: Ramblings of an Uncut Mind. I chose it because my poetry collection is titled Poetic Visions of an Uncut Mind and when doing nonfiction (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) I am trying for stability that way if the book gets picked up then perhaps they will pick up the collection for republication. I have big hopes and dreams, but if you can’t dream big then why hope to dream at all?

I say the piece is “almost fictional” because I am not sure what is real and what is not. What is fact to me, may be a lie to someone else. My therapist told me I should leave it alone (trying to figure out what is real or imagined) and just live my life, but that is hard when you are a writer, especially if you are writing a memoir. So I have taken what I think I know and written it down and if something contradicts that in my mind then I write that as well, explaining that I have two or more memories of the same event or time period.

So most of my time has been spent working on that. The rest is spent writing poetry, cleaning the apartment, trying to buy a house, taking care of my daughter and finding time to show my wife some love. As I write this I have to say I feel sorry for her because as much of a bitch that she can be, she still has to deal with a (medicated)schizophrenic, former drug addict, smoker, pathological liar who happens to be an aspiring author. That is not to say that I don’t feel that she still treats me unfair at times, it is just to say that she has it just as rough, if not more, as I do dealing with her unmedicated ass who is sick constantly and whines when she is not bitching, screaming, or not listening to a word I say, not to mention never taking my feelings, thoughts, or sicknesses in mind.

So if you are wondering why I haven’t been posting so much, now you know.

A quick update:

  • The 2 year old is sleeping through the night in her own bed, but never past 6:30 am.
  • The wife is looking for a better job that won’t treat her like a door mat.
  • We have found a house, pending inspection (Monday), that we should be in by mid-August.
  • I think my best friend is trying to get in my wife’s pants as his wife’s pants are currently in the possession of another of our friends (complicated). I may write about this when I have time.
  • My medication is working splendidly. Anxiety is at a 25% level and paranoia is at a 35% level, but the hallucinations are at a 5% level and the emotional response is up 300%. Moods are stable for the most part and I am seeing signs of real happiness.

Would love to hear from any of you readers that would like to say something.

Happy Anniversary/Father’s Day To Me

My five year wedding anniversary was Friday the 15th and we stayed in a cabin at Hocking Hills in Central Ohio for the weekend. It was a wonderful three days with my wife, alone – with not even cell service. We went antiquing (and I liked it) and we saved the hiking until Sunday (our last day there), after we checked out.

Trekking through the mud (it was lightly raining) was a wonderful Father’s Day start.

We didn’t get home until 6 pm and my daughter fell asleep at the dinner table not long after we picked her up. I spent about fifteen minutes with one of my kids on Father’s Day, but it was still a wonderful day and a great close to an unforgettable weekend.

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On Saturday I faced my fear of heights and went on a 3 hour zip line tour. The zips were, on average, 60 feet up and 500 feet long. we did 10 of them and 5 cable bridges. It was one of the best adventures of my life. I would do it again, over and over again. I am jealous of the guides as they get to do it 2 – 3 times a day.

Great anniversary weekend capped off by a quiet Father’s Day. Sometimes it is not a bad thing that the kids aren’t al in your face on Father’s Day. Sometimes it is nice when the day is about the Father having time to think.

I hope all of your fathers and all of you that are fathers had a wonderful day and spent it how you wanted to. Sometimes that is the greatest gift.

A Little Poetry

I am a professional poet, which some of you may already know. I thought I would give a small sample of some of the recent pieces I determined were good pieces, but not suitable for professional publication.

The many, The downcast, The Children

In the land of the free and the home of the brave
sat a young man locked in his room so full of hate.

He wanted to know how anything could ever be okay
ever since his daddy died and his momma flaked.

It used to be games of planes, trains, trucks and guns,
but then his daddy left to play with sand, fleas and bombs.

His momma used to say, “Daddy’s havin’ so much fun”
when in reality it was momma’s fun that had just begun.

There came a nonstop barrage of new men
and then he was locked up in his room again

hearin’ all those moans, screams and cries
knowin’ then that his momma’s words were lies.

When the day finally came, they told him daddy died
and reality finally became everything he had denied.

Now, years later, with a new man on the throne
he found that pistol daddy had made his own.

Mamma never noticed a single day in his life
and new daddy barely noticed the loss of his wife.


Springtime fallen leaf

(Painfully)
Noticing
the (lack of)
time

that is
(not)
going by

and yet
another day
passes
and you
are
still (not)
here.

What is
here
and
yet
not?

All those lost
before their time

and (your) time
was never to be now
(or then).

And yet
your time
(never)
began.


Gone

We used to meet,
but never eat,
at White Castle
on Monmouth street.

Now it’s just a lot
with shit and squat
where poor kids play
in holey socks.

At home Reap died
and we all cried.
Death to an era
and one last ride.

Feedback is welcome. I would actually appreciate some. I know this is not what I usually write about, but you get a little of me in every entry.