Sunday, January 24, 2010

My Yearend Evaluation 2009

I had a moment of clarity the other day.  When looking back at the year, I had completely forgotten about all of the awesome things that happened in 2009.  I didn't blog about most of them.  I probably should have or at least made some mention of them somewhere.  Hell, I don't even have any journal entries of most of them.  I seem to just want to stew in the drama and I failed to really dive into a lot of the fun and positive moments, and there were many.

So what are some of the cool things that are worth mentioning?  Well, for one, I had my first real gay date this year!  I lost my gay virginity during that date too.  Just a few months before my 40th birthday!  That 40-year-old-virgin thing was a stigma in my family that I DID NOT want to try and live down.  Seriously!  How funny is that? 

Well, I guess you would just have to understand my family.  

OK, so what else happened?   I don't remember a lot of stuff.  I should have written it down.  I think the "losing my virginity" thing has completely overshadowed anything I care to think about at the moment. 

Anyway...

I think this goes without saying but I'll say it anyway, this blog is a small part of my life and it's an even smaller part of my daily mental process.  I have used it to open up an even smaller window into my head.  Sometimes the view was an honest and sincere searching of my soul, other times it was wrought with whiny, self-centered, self-pitying and otherwise pathetic pandering of my ego.   But, either way, it was the shit in my head at the time it was written, so at least that accounts for something.   Right?   I think it does. 

I'm a normal, happy, person most of the time.  I have an OK job where I write software (sometimes) and I do it really well.  I have hobbies in music, filmmaking, writing, photography, renaissance festivals, dressage, walking/hiking, biking, BDSM, yoga, blogging etc.  The list goes on.  I stay busy. 

But like all normal people, I have my bad days.  And it just so happens my bad days get dark, really dark.  Dark, in that I will have those moments where I swing to the irrational suicidal thinking.  Rest assured those moments have been happening with less frequency and shorter in duration.  Two years ago, I would be in a stupor of suicidal planning for months at a time, long gut wrenching months of anxiety and despair.  Now, the anxiety bit is missing and the rest only lasts for about an hour, then it's gone.

However, no matter what, I always feel a deep heavy sting moving into and during the holiday period.  That sting I noticed became more and more prevalent around 2004 after the last of my siblings got married.  It reached its worst in 2007 right after my mental breakdown and has tapering a little bit since, although, this year felt like a step back somewhat.  That's something to explore some other time.  I may even write about the event in 2007 too.  I still have some work to do to sort it out though.

Most of my posts happen after I've been pondering a concept or situation in my head for a while, in some cases months.  Some of them have been rants, some of them haven't. But all of them have been a process for me to clarify as to who, what, when and where I am, and what I'm trying to accomplish.  And in the end they have succeeded in getting me to see, albeit sometimes grudgingly, what my hang-ups really are. 

No matter what the realities of my mental state, conscious or unconscious, I needed to sort some things out in a public way.  So this blog, in addition to the comments I got back, really ended up giving me some profound self-realizations.  Not the ones I was setting out to realize, but nothing ever happens the way we intend. 

Because I worried too much about making my blog some sort of self-important, quixotic, beacon to the world, I got too self absorbed which weighted it down on the dark side.  Not that would be a worry to me but, -- and here is me pandering to my readership again -- it did leave the impression that I am unhappy.  Ironically, unhappiness was precisely what I was worried people would think.  Well to be honest, the last three months I was very unhappy.   And, as much as my ego hates to admit this, I was very much using my blog to bask in my own self-induced victimhood.  Not that there is anything inherently wrong with that per se, it is what it is.  However, it ultimately accomplished something good in the end.  In order for me to understand what was happening, what was going wrong for me, I had to travel that path of wrongness until I hit a brick wall.  It seems unfortunate but how else do we learn?  I have a hell of a lot of book knowledge on these subjects, but awareness and perspicacity only comes from experience.

I'm proud of myself. I really came though this year.  After all of that coded nagging in my writing and day to day life, I finally cracked the code.  I finally faced my fear of what people think of me.  Not only did I crack the code, I processed it so that I would no longer get stuck on it again.  I had a sudden and dramatic shift in my thinking when I hit that point.  So, from this point forward, I know things are going to be very different.  I don't know how or in what way, but I do know it's not going to be the same old shit that I have been doing.  Granted, it will probably be the same old shit I write though.  The ups and downs are still going to be there.  But, will I care what you think?  Yeah, in some ways I will, but not in the same way that I've cared in the past.  It's different.  How different?  It's wait-and-see.  I don't expect any reader to notice but I will and that's all the really matters.

It amuses me when the media looks back on a year well before the year was even over.  I can't really look back on something until it's in my past and I've had a chance to let hindsight and my shady memory shape it into some sort of perspective.   It's still too soon to get any real sense of the profound impact this holiday season has had on me.  All I can say is that it was profound enough to cause a shift in my thinking, a shift in my consciousness.

So, looking back on the year, I have been able to come to two absolute conclusions.  1) I realized I had set out on this blogging adventure for completely the wrong reasons.  2) No matter what the original reason was, it didn't matter; I still learned a shit-load about myself in the end.  

So, here is to a new year that just happens to be called twenty-ten. 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Claiming My Life

This blog isn't working for me anymore. In particular, the current format of trying to maintain my anonymity.  What was this anonymity suppose to help me with anyway?  It's has a good side but it's mostly been a curse.

The good side is that I was able to work out my feelings somewhat publicly and vent my real frustrations openly and without restraint and fear of retribution from someone that would take offence of what I would say.  Although there isn't that much evidence that I'm in any danger of retribution.  But, I certainly don't want my co-workers, relatives and friends to read a lot of this drivel.  Even so, a few co-workers and family have read this blog.  But then I actually went as far as inviting those people to read it.  Duh! 

The curse is that I feel restricted in what I can talk about as long as I'm trying to stay anonymous.  I thought anonymity would make it easier but the way I see it, the situations, conversations and events that happen in my life, the ones I want to write about, are so bloody public already that mentioning them here would give me away.   There are many things I would like to have posted but didn't because the events were too specific.  I've tried to avoid mentioning specific people and, if I do, avoid using real names, but even that isn't good enough.  I realize the chances of the wrong person finding these posts are slim, but they are not none. 

But one thing is for sure, this anonymous game has taught me that I'm still in the closet.  I'm still trying to live a double life. The life of how I really feel verse the life I want people to think I feel.  But ultimately, it's apparent that anonymity isn't my real problem.  It's just the symptom.

My real problem is that I worry about what people think.  Especially if I believe it's negative.  I don't usually get hurt by negative comments like I used to but I still have my moments and naturally want to avoid them, especially here when I'm trying to express my more authentic self.  

Most of the rude and negative people I've had to deal with were in email, on Facebook, and in person.  So, I naturally assume that the same thing is going to happen here.  This is 100% public.  Not limited like Facebook and email.  Any crazy asshole can post here.  But, it's not the assholes that worry me.  It's everyone else.  The ones I care about.  The people that have gotten to know me here.  And the ones I know in person.  I care about people.  I care too deeply.  And I'm embarrassed because I haven't been 100% truthful.  I'm still hiding myself, I'm still afraid of letting people into my life and letting them see all that I'm about. 

So, part of me is bristling to shed the anonymity and bust out of my shell.  The other part is still scared as hell of rejection.  The more people I know who read this blog, the more I plague the course of my writing with assumptions about what I suppose people want or don't want to read.  I thought by making it anonymous I was avoiding that.  But it didn't matter.  They didn't even have to say anything.   I assumed what they were going to say before they even say it.  And 100% of the time, my assumptions are wrong. 

So, when the comments came, very few were negative, most were encouraging.  The ones that were negative came from my mom. But she didn't post a comment; she called instead.  What she said actually didn't bother me.  This seems ridiculous but what she said actually didn't bother me, it was the positive comments that fed my ego.

By avoiding certain subjects or areas of my life, I could continue writing about things that would appease to get more pleasant comments, rather than go in my desired direction.  I did more than keep the status quo.  I started to gear it back.  In one of my posts, I even made a big deal out of not taking a direction that I really wanted to take because I was afraid of possibly displeasing my readers and eliciting negative comments.  I even found a way to convince myself it was what I wanted to do.   Looking back at that, I am still angry with myself for copping out.  This non risk-taking pattern had been building for the past three months in all aspects of my life.  As I fell into the trap of not thinking for myself, the frustration and anger built up and I exploded. 

Even so, the comments that I've received have meant such a great deal to me I can't even begin to explain how.   Even the simple acknowledgments that I'm not alone are very rewarding.   But I continue in fear that I will write something offensive and drive someone away.  Hell, it may have happened a few times in the past as I've seen my followers list shrink.  But then I've stopped following blogs before, and getting upset for losing a follower makes me a hypocrite.  They went a direction that didn't interest me so I left, ironically the ones that have offended me I still follow.  So, I would hope that they left because I'm not of interest as opposed to being offensive.   Yeah, I see it as rejection either way and I hate it but I hope I'm getting better at not caring about it. 

Some aspects of my self-esteem are still dependent on outside validation.  And thus, I want comments.  I want to know what others think.  I want people to interact with me and be frank and honest.  If they don't like what I say, and feel a need to disagree, then by all means I want them to.  So far the only comment that came close to stating a disagreement was in green and purple's comment when he said, "I agree with almost all that you say."  I'm curious what the little bit was he didn't agree with.  He's right in that it doesn't matter, but still, my curiosity gets to me and ultimately the disagreements can be learning experiences in and of themselves as they challenge my ego; help me understand the holes in my self-esteem. 

But, with that being said, I've started to get a sense that the comments left by readers are not always there for me.  They're for the readers.  As I've been poking around the blogosphere making comments on other people's blogs, I've noticed that when I've written comments I was essentially venting.  That, in effect, actually helped me clarify a thought in my head.  In the end, the comment was just something I needed to get off my chest and didn't matter if the author of the blog read it or not.  Although, whether they agree or disagree, it's still quite satisfying when the blogger or someone responds to it or references it in a future blog post.  At least it's evidence that someone noticed it.

The other aspect of all this is that I'm lonely, desperately lonely.  I'm acutely aware that my desire to fill that loneliness hole, a hole that severely depresses me often, feeds my desire for comments.  And that is a hard thing to admit openly because this depression and unhappiness is all some people in my life need as evidence to fuel their anti-gay religious shit and throw it in my face.   If I can put on that happy face they have no case and will leave me alone with their silly "wickedness was never happiness" bullshit and how turning way from God and the church is the reason I have these holes in my soul. 

It's so fucking pathetic.  I'm right back to where I was a few years ago when I was a miserable, Mormon, fuck with a plastic smile so that I wouldn't make the church look bad.   Now I'm a miserable, lonely, fuck with a plastic smile so I don't make the Gay, ex-Mormons look bad.  Fucking bullshit!  And I'm being a drama queen!  Yes, it still makes me angry; I still have a lot of bitterness left in me.  But I should be 100% honest, I'm not as miserable now as I was then.  But still, any misery sucks and I hate it and I just want to scream.

But, as of late, not all of the bullshit has been related to Mormons or their silly beliefs.  It's been bigoted and ignorant co-workers, slummy landlords, thieves breaking in to my house, distant family, shitty job, distant friends, my shrinking bank account, and no one to talk to about any of it at the end of a hard day.  For the last few months I've been wondering, what I am going to do? Where am I going to go?  And with all of that, there is the added frustration and anger of not finding an answer.  Again, another aspect of all of this apparent misfortune is that those silly Mormons are going to use it as evidence that God is punishing me for leaving the church to have gay sex. 

It just keeps coming back to worrying about what people think.  And it goes back as far as I can remember.  Hell, just read some of my past posts!  I totally dwell on shit from my past over, and over, and over...ad nauseam.  Yes, we all know now that my past sucked and I'm still not over it.  Give it a rest, right?  Easier said than done.  Besides, I get to decide when to give it rest anyway.

I've been struggling for a long time trying to find a way to reconcile or connect in constructive ways with my past.  I wanted to remember all of those times were I got misdirected so that I could change or realign the beliefs I formed around them, beliefs that misinformed me later in life and continue to do so; such as why I still care what other people think of me.  But it got daunting.  My past was so vast and my memory so jumbled and broken, I was getting frustrated with that alone. 

A few days ago, I stumbled across a photo album that my dad sent to me few years ago.  In it were miscellaneous photos of me mostly between the ages of 3-16.  Many of these struck me as odd because I had no memory of the event captured in the image.  Others, I had a clear memory of them and was surprised by the memory.  Some were good, many were bad.  But all of them invoked a thought or emotion of some kind.   I realized that some of these pictures captured events in my life where a belief was forming or being exercised, a belief about myself, about the world or about life.  Some were positive.  Most were negative.  That's probably why I had the photo album shoved deep in the back of the filing cabinet rather than on the shelf or with all of my other pictures. 

I've been told that worrying about the past is a waste of time; it does nothing to serve the present moment.  And exploring those moments would just be wallowing in the past.  So, I've convinced myself that these moments are not important.  These moments are all just shit that happens.  They don't affect me now.  But is that really true?  I feel like I'm wallowing in my past more than ever because I refuse to accept it.  All this drama I face in my life came from somewhere and the same shit keeps happening to me over and over again.  Why?

So I'm going to call bullshit on the non-importance of my past.  I've come a long way by looking at my past, piecing it together, and figuring out what happened.  How dare anyone tell me it's a waste of time.  It's bad enough that the feelings are not easy to confront, I don't need people telling me that I'm doing it wrong just because they think they know what's important to me. 

Fuck them.  This is MY life. 

Through the course of writing this post, I continue to have moments of worrying about what people are going to think.  It's always been my problem even before I realized it.  I'm more conscious of it now.  The anger for it has surfaced so as I move forward, I'm going to be confronting that head on, even if it means starting every post with the phrase, "This is my life, if you don't like it, then fuck off."  Anger serves a purpose.  I have not been honoring it and so now, it is seething.  If I don't let it out, I will continue to wallow in it.  I definitely know that that doesn't serve the present moment.

Because my life is so multifaceted, so esoteric and so gut wrenchingly depressing, sometimes I'm pressured to spare people the "Too Much Information" (TMI) that will eventually come.  Of course, I'm only assuming it's going to be TMI mainly because I've had many people who were eager to point that out to me.  Having people do that only feeds my habit of editing myself, smoothing things out or censoring things so that I can spare other people my most intimate details, the most important things to me.  What I end up with is a thick layer of orange paint that covers or obfuscates who I really am.  And I resent that.  Orange is a nice color; it's just not MY color.  This orange paint represents that nasty habit of self-deception, a habit that has managed to totally fuck up my life and continue to make it difficult.  Well, no more.  If anyone thinks that any aspect of my life is TMI, then they too can just fuck off.  

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy New Year!

Before I go off on a heavy handed tyrannical rant, I would just like to pre-apologize for the offenses that I will deliberately be dishing out.  OK, to be honest, this is only a partial or rather fake apology.  What I'm really getting down to is that this is just a preamble to some serious and offensive ranting and I'm not holding back.  Why I'm even bothering to warn the reader?  Why don't I just start ranting?  Because I seriously don't want to hurt anyone's feelings with what I'm about to say.  As I'm currently in a state of some deeply hurt feelings myself, I wouldn't wish such things one anyone else.   With that being said, I'm going to start off my little rant by first inviting anyone who might be offended to seriously fuck off.  I'll recap on that later.

Anyway...I just got past the holiday season.

Oh My Fucking God!

I have a love/hate relationship with this time of year.  But this time around it's mostly the hate.

How did the year end and how did the new one start?  It ended with a crash and a bang and bunch of other complete bullshit.  It was an otherwise great year that came together in the most fucked up holiday season ever.  And it's still not over yet.  In fact I think I'll still have a few more months of this shit before I might be clear enough to start thinking and feeling grounded again.  It's not to say I'm in a constant state of rage.  I do have moments throughout the week of positivity, but it's only about 0.6% of the time.  I think that equates to about an hour per week where it's just me and the equines.

I debated if I should even bother listing all the shit that has gone down since October but I don't think I will.  There is just too much of it.  Perhaps it would have been better had I made small blog entries for each incident as they happened.  But it really came down to the fact that I'm still relatively anonymous on this blog and after considering the implications of revealing the nature of the shit that's gone down, it would seriously compromise my identity.   Besides that, listing all that shit would incite a pity party.   It's bad enough that I pity myself as much as I do.  Getting it from others doesn't feed my ego in healthy ways.  And right now the combination of all this shit going down and the affects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), regress me to some serious irrationality.  Besides, all of the shit that's happened is actually incidental and doesn't really have any real meaning.  The important question to ask is: How I've been handling it all?  To which I would respond: GAH!!! 

Needless to say I've got so much pent-up anger right now I could bite anyone who crosses me...until they bleed of course, and then I would let them go.  I'm not a vampire and don't like the taste of blood.  Don't worry.  I am seeking counseling. 

But for now I feel like ranting about shit that I've wanted to rant about for decades.   And to make it even worse my rant is all a fucking cliché.  When ranting about the so-called Holiday Season how could it not be? 

When I see people walking around wishing each other "Merry Christmas" and "Happy New Year" and all that crap, I want to gag.  And yet I find myself going along with it anyway so I don't come across as a complete asshole.  But deep down inside I'm screaming, "Whatever!"  That alone pisses me off further.  It's hypocritical and I'm angry at myself for playing the game.

It's a pointless and mindless time of year where people try to act extra nice.  Why now?  Why not all of the time?  These holidays and their dates are utterly arbitrary to me.  Take New Year's Day for instance.  That one is especially pointless to me.   It is a week and a half after the winter solstice.  To me the solstice is more like a new year than January 1.   A solstice is an actual measurable physical phenomenon that can be used to mark the end and beginning of a solar cycle.    January 1 is just a number on some made-up calendar.  Who made up that calendar anyway?  And why does that calendar say the year has to be 2010?   Why not 8302 or some other number in say, base 12?

And then there is the Christmas holiday and all of that crap.  Set aside the fact that December 25 is not even the actual date of the birth of the Christian religion so to speak.  But that doesn't really matter.  What matters is that it's the one time out of the year where all of the hypocrites can come out in droves and be EXTRA hypocritical.  Personal experience has allowed me to witness many so-called Christmas holidays where Christianist behave in some of the most unchristian ways ever seen.  That really doesn't bode well for celebrating the birth of their Savior™.

Another thing that doesn't bode well is that most of the modern Christmas traditions claimed by some Christianist come from the Pagans!  Yeah, PAGANS!    After all, to trick the Pagans into becoming Christians they had to assimilate their traditions.  But don't worry; it was all done in the name of Christ.  Too bad that Christians don't know who Christ really is anymore.  Not that they would care anyway.  And they especially wouldn't give a shit what a godless heathen such as myself would have to say about it anyway.

Sorry folks, I guess I just don't have the Christmas spirit.  Well, I guess if I stick with just the hypocrite part I do have it.  I get that.  But the rest of it?  Whatever!

Am I waging a war on Christmas?  I don't think so.  Christianist are doing it themselves just fine.  I'm just watching them go at it while I do my own thing.  Such as: no lights, no tree, no music, no shopping, no family, no handouts and no Christ.  Selfish?  Meh.  If you want all that stuff, great!  Go for it.  I don't care.  Just don't expect me to do it to. 

God, I'm glad the holidays are over!

I guess this makes me a scrooge or a curmudgeon or something.  It doesn't matter.  I'm hated by one group of people or another no matter what I think, say or do.  So I'm going to do my own god damned thing from now on and if you like it, join me, if not, FUCK OFF!  I'm serious.  I invite anyone who finds my little rant offensive to seriously fuck off.  I don't mind at all.  It may sound like I mind because of the seemingly harsh language but at this point I'm really not talking directly to anyone.  It's more of a proverbial use of the phrase to anyone in my life who really does need to fuck off.

Postscript: It was the Christians who came up with the word 'Pagan' to call these unbelieving, polytheistic, heathen, low life, evil people.  I'm proud to be called a Pagan.  It's like taking back the word 'fag', which I'm am one of those as well.  :)  Happy Xmas!  (Nov 20, 2010)

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