“Loneliness is energy. Powerful as hell. People kill themselves sick on loneliness. They drink themselves into the floorboards. They do all kinds of damaging things to themselves to combat their loneliness. The loneliness is real. The energy is real. I can’t see what good it does to damage yourself trying to feel better. If one can apply all this real energy to damaging oneself, then isn’t it possible to harness this energy into something positive to combat loneliness?”—
Thank you. I still consider us friends, even if we have never met, and most likely never will meet. Anyone who is willing to put the pretend online persona stuff aside and not only read what I have to say, but be willing to raise a hand and say “me too” is special to me. I’m very lucky to have several people like that on tumblr.
One thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that, even when we go through some really terrible stuff and think that nobody could possibly understand, there is someone out there that does. It may not be me in all cases when you are sad, and it may not be you every time I am sad, but I guarantee that someone out there can relate to what we are feeling each time.
In real life, most of us put forward this illusion of ourselves as…I don’t want to say the perfect person, but the well-adjusted person. The person who has maybe been through some semi-hard times, but who has stayed strong. The truth is, there are times when I am barely hanging on.
And experience has taught me that most of you reading this have those moments too. We all wonder what could have been done differently. We all wonder at times if we did the right thing.
Rick Reynolds used to have a line in one of his one man shows where he said he liked to start conversations more deeply than “how’s it going?” He liked to be introduced to someone and say “You’re Fred? Nice to meet you Fred. What kind of emotional pain are you in, Fred?”
Naturally this may be taking it too far, but the fact of the matter is that the more we talk about our experience, our pain, and our feelings, the less taboo it becomes to you, and the less hold these emotions have over your life. I’m starting to sound like some new-age hippie (as my dad would have said it), but dammit, it’s true.
As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I have regrets. That’s not to say that I don’t believe people who say that they don’t, but I know they’ve spent time wondering “what if,” even if they won’t admit it.
So it’s OK for me to talk about this stuff on here. I know I’m not alone. You may or may not relate to everything I say (I mean I really hope I’m the only one in this group who knows that his stepdad arranged for the rape of their mom…did I mention it was done by a member of our church?), but I know that you’ve felt despair. And you know that I’ve felt despair.
I don’t post what I post so that anyone will feel pity for me. I don’t post it so I can say “look how much harder I’ve had it than you,” because I know damned well that other people have had it harder than me. I do it for three reasons:
1) So that I’m not just some random avatar flashing by on your dashboard as you scroll…you know me better than some people who know me in real life know me. You can understand who I am. I’m not just a guy reposting internet funnies (OK, I do actually do quite a bit of that, but it’s not ALL I do), I’m a real person.
2) Because I want you and everybody else to know that you aren’t alone in whatever you are going through. You may not ask me for advice, you may not ask your real life friends or family or teachers or whoever for advice. But at least you can know that it’s not just you going through whatever it is. If I won’t allow myself to give up, no matter how fucking much I want to sometimes, you aren’t allowed to give up either.
3) It’s therapeutic for me to let some of this stuff out. Otherwise it just eats at me (one part of what I posted has been secret for over 20 years, even from my closest real life friends…today was the first time I could let it out). It eats at my soul just a little bit less when I can put the pain out there for everybody to show it that I’m not ashamed of it.
So while I will never claim to have the answers, I am here if any readers need me. If you just want to vent, I’ll listen. If you want advice, I’ll try as long as you understand it may not be my strong suit (after all, I haven’t been able to fix myself).
I like that so many of you are enjoying my “look at this cool shit I found on the internet” posts, but this is tumblr. Once in a while I have to go all emo on you.
Before late last year, I hadn’t seen my dad since I was 18, and he hadn’t really been a part of my life since 6th grade, although in between I would see him once in a great while. I held a grudge for years. When I found out that he was dying of cancer, I didn’t know how I should feel. It was almost like a stranger was dying.
So I forgave him for, as I felt, abandoning me. We had a great time. And now? Well, it seems he’s already forgotten me again. I hear from other family that he’s still around and not in pain or anything, I guess I’m just not on the radar. So I can say that forgiving someone and then them doing the same shit again hurts. But because it’s something that I’ve gotten so used to, I could probably forgive it again.
But he’s not one of the two I can’t forgive. One is my first stepdad who beat my mom and sexually molested my little sister. He was manipulative, he turned our church against us, he even arranged for my mom to get raped on time when they were fighting. He once held a loaded gun to her head while I was in the room. I held it to his head that night while he slept, but I didn’t have the guts to do it. My mom literally almost killed him once, and I still wonder if I did the right thing by making her stop. In both almost-murders of him, the only reason I didn’t want it to happen was because I knew that my mom, my sister, and I would never be together again if we did it. He made our lives miserable from 1981-1992. I will never forgive that. He’s dead (no, I didn’t do it), so it’s not much of an option anyway.
The other was an ex-roommate that, one day while I was at work, changed the locks and held a yard sale where he sold everything I because over a dispute over $20. I lost everything and became homeless for a while, and it led to the first time I left Disneyland to move in with my parents in Illinois because I couldn’t get back on my feet from nothing. Sometimes I still look at him as the person who destroyed my life-long dream.
Even an old high school best friend who was destroying his life through meth, who I made choose between me and the drug (he chose meth) may be forgiven. I haven’t talked to him since then, but I can forgive that easier than these other two guys.
So that’s just a little perspective from me as to what I can and can’t forgive.