Archive for the ‘Things That Give Me Anxiety’ Category

What We Learn From Failed Relationships

Posted: May 27, 2014 in Absolute Truth, Abuse, Anxiety, Arguments, Blog, Blogging, Change, Childhood, Children, Coping, Crisis, Culture, Dating, Debates, Depression, Diary, Dilemma, Divorce, Dreams, Emotional Abuse, Ethics, Evil, Faith, Family, Fatherhood, Fear, Forgiveness, Freedom, Fun, Greed, Grief, Growing up in abusive homes, Health, Humor, Inside My Mind, Journal, Kids, Learning, Lies and broken promises, Life, Lists, Living Your Dream, Logic, Love, Lust, Marriage, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Misc, miscellaneous, Moral Theories, Morals, Motivation, Mourning, NA, Opinion, Pain, Parent, Parenting, Personal, Philosophy, Poems, Poetry, Published Author, Quotes, Random, Random Thoughts, Rants, Rejection, Relationship Issues, Relationships, Sadness, Self-esteem, Self-Help, Self-image, Social Anxiety, Social Debates, Society, Sorrow, Spirituality, Stress, Suffering, The Invention of Lying, The Philosophy of Lyrics, The Philosophy of Quotes, Things That Give Me Anxiety, Thoughts, Top Ten Lists, Uncategorized, Unity, Verbal Abuse, Writing
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I would first like to start off by thanking all of my readers and subscribers. I learned today; I have readers from 61 different countries. I think that’s pretty bad ass. I am aware that my readership grew from the topics of philosophy, theology, and madness. So bear with me as I stray a bit from those topics. Today I would like to release that which has been permeating in my mind. I would like ponder for a moment the importance of learning from our mistakes in a failed relationship. Through all of this I am trying to maintain a positive attitude and outlook. So here we go.

The one thing I can say with out a doubt is I am far from sainthood. I have made my more than my fair share of mistakes, and bad decisions which played a role in the overall destruction of my marriage. I am ashamed and consumed with intense guilt because of this. This combined with my wife’s lies, and infidelity has allowed me to see the light. I am sure I could write a 200 page paper on this topic, but I will try to keep this short and sweet.

There are 10 main things I have learned in my failed marriage. Now mind you there are far more than 10, but as I said this is not a 200 page dissertation on my failed marriage. I will do my best to not place blame, because it doesn’t do anyone any good. Some things on this list will undoubtedly overlap, even though this is the case I feel each one deserves to be mentioned. Without further ado here is my list of 10 things I learned from my failed marriage.

  1. Never Lie: I did a lot of research after I found out about what my wife did. I learned that in humans our first response when we know we have done something wrong, that will ultimately lead to a negative outcome our immediate response is to lie. We do this for two reasons one we want to avoid conflict, and two we don’t want to get in trouble. Since I am a proponent of the tabula rasa theory (mind being born as a blank slate.) I feel this is a trait we learn as children, which carries over into adulthood. Lying to your partner no matter how small is a terrible idea. We can overcome this childish trait, by knowing our partner as well as ourselves, focus on understanding and know that mistakes are actually learning opportunities.
  2. Never Cheat: I think this one doesn’t need further explanation. It’s a painful and shitty thing to do to those we love. Even if (insert some attractive famous person) wanted to be with you, nothing is worth hurting the one you love.
  3. Trust: it should go without saying that if the two things listed above are followed then trust shouldn’t be an issue. Unfortunately we all carry the baggage of past hurt, what we need to realize is who ever we are with now is not the person who caused us hurt in the past. I would imagine it would be a good idea to be open and honest about these past hurts. A relationship that is not built on trust is like trying to build a house of cards on a windy day, neither of these two examples will be successful. The perfect advice one can give in fostering trust in a relationship is this; if you would not say or do something if your partner was there with you, then you definitely shouldn’t do it.
  4. Accept and Love Each Other For All Their Good Qualities, As Well As Their Flaws: let’s admit it people, no one is perfect, and those who claim to be are probably the most screwed up of them all. Initially I am sure that we all fall in love with our mates good qualities. During the “courting” or “honeymoon” phase of a relationship, it is kind of like interviewing for a job, you really are not being completely honest your just trying to get the “job.” As the relationship progresses and begins to become serious is usually when we start to notice each others flaws. The important thing is that we learn to love that person regardless of their flaws. In fact I believe our flaws can become the most exciting part of a relationship. When you love the good qualities along with the flaws you know you have found true love; when everything seems to fit like a glove.
  5. Never Put Your Partner Down and Break Their Will: this topic has a lot to do with item number four. There are just two things I would like to add. The first is from an article by John Gottman, PhD in an article titled “4 Signs of A Troubled Marriage” Here is the link.http://affiliatedpsychologicalservices.com/4-signs-of-a-troubled-marriage/ Gottman talks about “The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse” which are clear signs you are headed for a divorce. The first two he brings up is “Criticism” and “Contempt.” If anyone out there grew up in an abusive home where as a child you were faced with these two horsemen, having to deal with such things in a marriage is a key ingredient in a divorce. If you tell someone something negative about them enough times, with the right amount of nastiness it is only natural the other party will believe what they are being told, and inevitable this is who they will see when they look into the mirror. I don’t think people are aware of how serious the long term damage can be. My second point comes from a line from the song “Weight of The World” by Blue October. “Don’t bother changing things that won’t give into changing.” It is one thing to help your partner grow and become the best person they can be, but in the process don’t try to change who they are inside. If you are hell bent on trying to force someone to change, there is always medication. If this is your goal please take to heart one of my quotes “Medication is to fix the people we don’t like.” If you feel you need to medicate your partner, it’s time to call it quits.
  6. Freedom: As your relationship grows, it is imperative that you do not take away your partners freedom. When I say freedom I am not referring to allowing your partner to go out all the time neglecting the relationship, and engaging in behaviors which fall into the first three categories I listed. When I say freedom, I say that it is clearly healthy to share and be with each other, but it is also healthy to have a respectful life outside of the relationship. I have made this deadly mistake in one of my relationships, and I have now been on the receiving end of how damaging smothering and isolating your partner can be. If your relationship is built on a strong foundation of trust and respect this should be something you encourage each other to do. I have always admired the relationship between my best friend of 26 years and his lovely wife. I will not mention names, but I truly hope one day I can figure out whatever their secret is, and apply it to my future relationships. I am going to encourage them to write a book.
  7. Support Their Dreams: There is nothing more precious and sacred than some ones hopes and dreams. For some our dreams appear to us when we are young, others do not fully realize their dreams until they discover who they are. When I was young I had the normal boyhood dreams to become a professional football or baseball player, unfortunately like normal boys those dreams were not meant to be. Beyond those two options, I really didn’t have anything else that drove or inspired me, until the 5th grade. Long story short I ended up doing many writing assignments and I remember my teacher signing my year book, saying she could one day see something I have written being published. I was not a very well behaved child, so positive reinforcement from the teachers I tormented was rare, but from that moment my dream changed. I wanted to become a professional writer. As I grew older I held onto this dream, and wrote in private. I never thought anything I would write would be read let alone published. Again long story short one of my poetry books was published, I started this blog, wrote two children’s books, and two other poetry books. Needless to say this was the greatest I had ever felt about myself, because I accomplished something I never thought I could… my dream. I did not receive support from my partner, and in fact was highly put down and discouraged from continuing to write, until finally I had no option but to stop writing. The details behind this are not important at this moment.
  8. Open & Honest Communication: You would think this is a no brainier, but for my marriage and I would imagine many others this proved to be too challenging to overcome and sowed the seeds to our divorce. I feel if you have all seven of these things listed above then number eight would be a given, but if you take out one or two of the above it makes communication a challenge. I avoided and ran away from open and honest communication. I could make a laundry list for why, but this is already becoming too long of a post. Mainly I was afraid to honestly look in the mirror, I was scared I was going to receive an unhealthy dose of items four and five. Regardless of those reasons it is on me for failing in this aspect of our marriage. I need to take ownership for this, and like everything listed learn to not make the same mistakes. It is very difficult and challenging for me to be social, and communicate even with those closest to me. I know this is something I need to work on, but what always ends up playing over and over in my mind is the Pink Floyd lyrics from the song “The Final Cut” which I will add at the end.
  9. Be A Selfless Lover: This is actually one area where I have and feel the most accomplished. I felt I needed to add this, because in my experience men in general put their intimacy needs, or the final “outcome” before their partners. I will not go into detail in case my mom is reading this, but as men our primary focus and goal when it comes to being intimate is placing our partners needs before ourselves. Any man can do his business and be on his way, but this is a man who has failed. When it comes to intimacy your only goal and desire should be the feelings and ultimate “outcome” of your partners needs. Everything else should be secondary.
  10. Find Your Genuine Light: Tomorrow I am going to post a quick poem describing the meaning behind this comment. I do not believe in soul mates. I do not believe there is only one true love for everyone. I believe for everyone, there exists many individuals who could be considered your genuine light. I believe they are rare, but they are out there. My advice is if you feel you are holding your genuine light, don’t let them slip away because you cannot be certain another one will come around to light up your life.

 

“And if I show you my dark side
Will you still hold me tonight?
And if I open my heart to you
And show you my weak side
What would you do?
Would you sell your story to Rolling Stone?
Would you take the children away
And leave me alone?
And smile in reassurance
As you whisper down the phone?
Would you send me packing?
Or would you take me home?”

Pink Floyd

These lyrics describe perfectly why it is so difficult for me to open up to people, which hinders my ability to effectively communicate.

Yesterday I was told to move out immediately, and to go live at who was ever house I have been going to at night. I explained again as I have in the past that where I goes work. I sit in my office that is what I do. So I say no I’m not going to move out because I have no place to go. Things are said as they always are feelings are felt, and then a new day begins. When I get to work this morning I received an e-mail saying I need to move out now. My response was okay. She knows I don’t have a place to go, thus technically making me homeless. Now let me add that she expects me to pay half of the bills for June, July, and, August. Finally let me also add that she wants me to set up a visitation schedule. Visitation where there is no home. Stay with me here for a minute, because if what I am about to say makes perfect sense, then perhaps I am truly that mentally ill.

She wants me to immediately move out, with nowhere to go, because the wake of the destruction I am leaving behind by the thing said to her and the kids are irreversible. I know and admit I have not had nice things to say to her. This is not a byproduct of mental illness; this is a byproduct of her cheating on me. I know and admit that I used poor judgment in something I have said to my daughter. I have heard her use poor choices and say things that should not have been said to our kids. I am sure many parents out there have said something to their child that they regretted saying. But for me this is a byproduct of my mental illness and I am causing irreversible damage, and therefore need to leave immediately, thus becoming homeless. Does this make sense? Am I crazy because I do not see the logic or reasoning behind this?

She talks about making poor decisions and actions that are causing irreversible damage. Was her decision to be unfaithful a good decision, and didn’t cause irreversible damage to me and our children? Was her decision to throw all my clothes in the basement where our children could clearly see a good decision that isn’t going to cause irreversible damage? During this whole process can she truly say that she has not said or done things that haven’t caused irreversible damage? Because of this I need to leave immediately, and be homeless. Will her decision to throw me out of the house with nowhere to go, not cause me or our children irreversible damage? Does this make sense? Am I crazy because I do not see the logic or reasoning behind this?

I am going to move out immediately. I would rather be homeless, then beg to continue living there after everything that has happened.

My intended focus this week was to break down, analyze, and apply my methodology to three single events with the intended outcome of making the correct choice. Do I stay or do I go? I have repeatedly replayed the same haunting moment of seeing my son still and quiet on his bike as he watched me get in the car to go to work. In that moment I could see in his eyes the internal conflict between acceptance and denial that his dad is slipping away. I could see and understand all too well the sadness he was trying so bravely to hide.

It is difficult for me to release my sadness and sorrow through the shedding of tears. The only time the outside world can see what I try so hard to hide, is when I cannot hold back my tears. At that moment, just as in this moment writing about it I cannot stop the tears. Many people say that crying is supposed to be this wonderful release of pent up emotions. It’s not like that for me. Tears feel like razor blades running down my face, slicing through self-denial and exposing my weakness and vulnerability. Regardless of how many times I have been told I am selfish and only think of myself, at the end of the day my meaning in life, and my purpose is to not break his heart. I am well aware I will never win the father of the year award. To be honest with you I don’t even know if I’m a good father. Despite what I am told I know I have always tried to be the best dad I could be.

After the series of events that took place yesterday, or would it be considered today? I haven’t slept for days so time holds no logical meaning. After said events the only answer to my opening question; is to go. There are only so many pieces someone can be broken into before they are unable to be put back together. I now need to come to terms with the sobering reality that I will become in my own eyes everything I ever swore I wouldn’t. I will become my fathers son. I am desperately seeking, yet fear I will be unable to live with the guilt, or forgive myself.

Children are not stone, nor are they steel. They are dirt and clay, molded by the hands of experience. There is no way to reconcile the loss of my son’s happiness and hope due to the harsh reality of my life, which I have viciously infected upon my family. Despite my frequent mental transformations I made the decision to get married and have children; in that single moment I destroyed their lives. I suppose I was caught up in the perceived human need for significance, by my own sense of insecurity. Here is where I cannot deny my selfishness. Broken dolls are meant to walk alone.

In moments like this I want to hide within the minds of Soren Kierkegaard and Albert Camus covering myself in the blanket of Absurdism. Believing all struggles for life is for nothing. There is only birth and death, and everything in between is our feeble attempt to find meaning and purpose. This concept is wonderful, but in the back of my mind I’m burdened with this question. What if birth and death were only two points, that they were inconsequential compared to what happens between them?

I am currently burdened with this increasingly ticking clock looming over my head. I hear it every second of every day; sometimes it’s as soft as a pin drop, other times it’s so deafening it impedes on my ability to function. Loud or soft there is no escape it’s always there tick, tock, tick, tock. This metaphorical clock terrorizing my mind is the count down leading to the single most important decision I have had to make thus far in my life. Do I stay or do I go?

Regardless of how hard I try not to have this internal battle; I would question my humanity if I didn’t. I have spent 15 years of my life with this person, and raised three children with her. I would delusional to think, after 15 years there would be only happy times; that our relationship would be void of heartaches. I figure the best way to analyze this problem is through a Utilitarian view point. Which decisions creates the most happiness while simultaneously creating the least amount of sorrow. I have quickly learned that making a decision as a utilitarian when there are so many people involved is damn near impossible. What I have been doing is treating each situation as a single event. I observe how I feel inside; I try to imagine how those involved feel inside. I then proceed to estimate how many times such an event has happened in the past, and then apply the probability of this event happening in the future. This is the method I have been using to try and silence the ticking clock by making my final decision. Will this methodology sentence me to a life filled with tormenting regret, or will it be the key to unlock these shackles of hopelessness I have been chained to most of my life.

This week I plan on taking some of these single events; breaking them down as I have described above with the hope of discovering the answer to my question. Do I stay or do I go?

When I first started down the path of trying to become a professional writer, I honestly thought my target audience would be adults. Because of this I published dark adult driven poetry books, and started this blog with adults in mind. Once I made the decision to switch and pursue my dream by focusing my attention on children’s book, I have been concerned over what effect this blog will have on my chances of getting picked up by an agent and publisher. I have also grown concerned over the possibility of my dream failing, and being forced back into working for corporate America once again.  

I have gotten deeply personal about my mental illness, along with other personal things going on in my life. If you know this than you are also aware I am deeply opinionated, and I don’t hold anything back when I write. If my main audience will be children, then this blog serves no purpose since there is nothing on here suitable for children. I wonder what will start happening once I start shopping my stuff around to agents. I am trying to sell a product geared towards children yet my online persona is the complete opposite. I wonder what will happen when agents get my manuscripts and Google my name. They will not think I am very marketable once they read some of the shit I have written. Will they immediately reject my work in fear that parents won’t want to read books to their children written by someone like me? 

When I started this blog I had no intention of holding anything back. I was going to throw myself out there without any worries of what the long term consequences may be. I am sitting here now regretting my bold intentions, and wishing I would have shown some restraint or at least had the common sense to not use my real name. Hindsight is always twenty twenty, and I wish I would have been a bit more discrete. I will not be fully aware of how bad of a decision this was until I try to get another job or until I start getting rejection letters from agents. I suppose if they like the books enough they could always request I use a pen name. This is a possibility, but do I really want to risk this?

I just recently changed my profile, so it does not show my entire name, in hopes I can begin to undo over a years worth of damage. Up until last week I still used my first name, but I changed my display name to “Random Thinker.” I am hoping this will cure the problem, but I do not think changing this will go back and change all my previous posts. All of the stuff I have written prior to this will still show my full name. I am sitting here racking my brain trying to figure out how to fix this. The relentless reality of the internet is; once shit is out there it is there to stay. I have thought about shutting this blog down and go through every one of my posts and mark as private so no one can ever see it. The thought of this daunting task is giving me unrelenting anxiety.

I did a little research, and I think I may have found a suitable answer to this problem, but it is not the most ideal. According to what I have read if I delete my blog, then my posts may still show on the internet (although the help menu was not clear on this.) My other option is to just disable my account. If I do this then all my posts will immediately become private, thus solving my main concerns. If I did this though then I could no longer write on here. If this were true then I am confronted with a serious decision to make. I suppose I could disable this site and create a new one which has no direct connection to me. The problem I have with this is I have worked real hard and put a lot into this site since I started it over a year ago. If I were to scrap this and create a completely new blog then I would be starting over from scrap and thus losing all my readers. My wife made the suggestion to start a new blog, and just post something on here saying my site has moved. I could leave this up for a couple weeks then switch to my new blog. If I were to do this I would have to completely move away from WordPress, which would suck because I wouldn’t know of the best site to go to. I really need to analyze this decision more closely.  

We are traveling to northern Minnesota this weekend to see my family. While we are up there we are going to just hang out and enjoy some merriment while drinking and playing games. This sounds like a blast, but what I didn’t mention is we will be spending Saturday at the water park. It was a blast the last time we went, but I am having a lot of anxiety and shame over having to take my shirt off at the park. I wrote about this a month ago so I apologize for repeating myself, but I am tremendously insecure about my body. I have been intending to do something to lose this weight for sometime now, but it is just that intending not doing. I have been trying for years to either come to grips with my belly, or take accountability and do something about it. I am sad to say that I have not accomplished either. I feel confident that someday I will get around to it; I am just not sure when. There are a few body tattoos I want to get, but there is no way I am going to get them due to my girth.

I am desperately trying to find peace with who I am; both inside and out. I am 5’ 7” and currently weigh 188lbs, but when I look in the mirror what I see looking back is someone weighing 350lbs. I am in-between a 36/38 in pants size, which I do not think is a very good thing. I know I can lose the weight if I really work at it. About three years ago I dropped a bunch of weight. I was eating healthy and working out. It felt great because I was in-between a 34/36 pants size and weighed 160lbs. I still had a belly but it was nothing compared to what it was or what it is now. I had a bunch of energy, my moods were more stable and best of all I felt happy with my body. I was staying home with the kids at this time so when my wife got home I would head off the gym five days a week. Once I started working again I stopped going to the gym and hence gained all this weight back. It is very difficult for me to work all day, and once the home stuff is done it is eight o’clock and the last thing I want to do is lift weights and do some cardio. I think a bigger problem is I have my nightly routine and it is very hard to stray from that routine. I know all it will take is a week of following a workout schedule before it would be fully intergraded into my nightly routine. So why do I not do this? Why do I still eat extra cheddar goldfish at 8pm at night instead of going to the gym?    

There are many people who are overweight, but they carry their weight very well. I admire these people because of regardless of what they weigh they have this certain confidence in themselves. The only time I have confidence in myself is if I am dressed well. There have been a few times I look in the mirror and say to myself “damn I am sexy.” This is usually accomplished the first fifteen times or so times I wear new clothes. I just wish that confidence and sexy feeling lasted every time I wore those same clothes, but it wears off after time. I would love nothing more than to just embrace my appearance, and just live my life. What I try to say to myself is if it is good enough for the Buddha than it should be good enough for me. I would much rather be like the Buddha instead of some shallow perfect everything type of person.

“He hoped and prayed there wasn’t an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped there wasn’t an afterlife.”
Douglas Adams

Is there such thing as an afterlife? Do we live on as energy, or is there a magical place we go when we die? If the answer to these questions is “no” then this means we simply just cease to exist. We burn out like a candle in the wind all but being forgotten years down the line. Questions such as these are what have been fueling my desire to find some form of divine power and intervention. For the first time in fifteen years I need my life to hold some meaning even though I know it doesn’t. I need unequivocal proof that a God exists and there are better things waiting for us when we pass. If I am not able to get this proof I desire I will continue to live my life in fear and panic over what will happen to me when I die. I will worry so much that I will forget to appreciate and cherish the present. Next thing you know death will be at my doorstep and I will be met with regret over the time I have wasted worrying.

This newfound need to enter the realm of the illogical has been plaguing me ever since my friend died. I have been haunted with the stark reality that he may no longer exist in any form. This breaks my heart, but this also stirred up a buried internal fear of no longer existing. Wait scratch that the knowledge that someday I will be void of thought scares me much more. This is freaking me out, so what do I do to try and find peace? I turn to my archenemy; religion. This once perceived almighty evil is infiltrating my life, and filling it with passed down stories of better things to come. I can no longer rely on my logical atheist ways. I have caved, but do I turn to the mightiest of faiths, or do I stay with Taoism or Buddhism?

I hope to find an answer which I feel comfortable with, because the constant anxiety and panic is overwhelming me. Here is the problem though; if I pick a religion will I ever “really” believe the teachings or will reason and logic keep me from fully committing? Will I get so desperate I just try to live a lie, and constantly need to trick myself to stay on faiths path? I remember Trey calling me a “disillusioned Christian” awhile back, but I would consider myself more as a “desperate atheist needing reassurance that my life has meaning and I will be able to continue to think until the end of time” type of person.

The thing I do not get with this quote is why anyone would want to hope there isn’t an afterlife? Isn’t it ingrained in our DNA to survive? If this is the case than our brains would be hardwired to at least hope our existence lives on. Perhaps this hardwiring in our brains and instincts is the foundation of religion. I know by experience that atheists do not believe in an afterlife, but I wonder if deep down inside part of them is at least hoping they are wrong; I know I am. I must be completely honest I sincerely admire those who are truly in acceptance with the fact that one day they will just cease to exist. As for myself I am going to sit here and hope and pray there IS an afterlife.