Pricey Peace

My father passed away.

Two and a half years ago.

I still don’t know how to be.

I go through many emotions:

Sadness – because he’s not here anymore.  He was my go to guy for certain things.  Especially when I was stressed beyond my control.  His favorite thing to say to me was “Don’t let that shit rent any space in your head”.  And he was depressed….just like me.  Stressed beyond his control.

Anger – because he left me with a mess to clean up.  He had no insurance and none of his affairs were in order.

Guilt – because…I kept my distance from him.  Kept him at arms length to protect my own peace.  He was my father.  But he was also the man who once tried to rape my barely legal girlfriend….because he was a perv…under the guise that he “didn’t want me to be gay”.  

I didn’t allow him too much access to me….because he didn’t always have my best interests at heart.  But at the same time….he was human.  He was dealing with his own demons.  And I left him.  I didn’t support him.  The more I learned about him and his situation after his passing, the worse I felt.  

I could have helped him.  I don’t know if I could have made a difference in the outcome.  But I could have done something.  I listen to his voicemails on my phone and….he just wanted me to talk to him.  To call him more.  A couple of times I could tell that he was high.  But the drugs were never a secret.  My sister told me that he’d fallen on some very hard times. And it really bothers me that he was probably calling me during those times.  

But I didn’t answer.  Because I wanted to preserve my peace.

It bothers me that someone I love…even from afar….could be that low and I did nothing.

One of his….”extracurriculars” told my sister and I that he was partying with her the night before he passed and that he was overindulging.  She kept telling him that he needed to slow down.

I can’t get out of my head that he was doing that so that he could not…feel feelings…anymore.  Just like me.

When it all balls down…he was depressed.  Just like me.

He tried to handle it by himself.  Just like me. 

But he needed people.  Just like me.

I didn’t answer when he called.  He kept begging me to call.

Me…with all of my years of education and training.  Didn’t lift a finger.  

To protect my peace.

He faced his demons the best way he knew how.  And now he’s not here anymore.

What the fuck am I supposed to do with that?

Boy

If anyone is paying attention, I’m pretty sure you’re sick of my shit.

I’m sick of my shit.

I don’t write most times because I don’t want this blog to be comprised mostly of my venting and rants.

Where to begin?

Work is starting to pick up.  The stress is back.  But it’s manageable so far.  

I guess my honeymoon phase is over. 

My Maintenance Director (MD) is sleeping with my Director of Social Services (DSS).  

It was evident from the time I started, but I let it be known that I know.  

At first they both denied it.  But, as I became less “stranger danger”, they got more comfortable with the fact that I know.  

I’m not bothered by it.  Neither reports to the other, so we’re clear on that front.  And they seem to be maintaining in the workplace.

Of course there are rumors.  But this staff is so fickle, ANYTHING can become a rumor. 

We were doing well….until I hired a new Business Manager (BM).

It all went to shit.  Quickly.

My MD lost his fucking mind!

I swear he has become the most desperate looking thirst bucket I have ever encountered.  

The amount of times that I have had to shoo him away from the conference room (which is right outside my and the BM’s office) and out of the BMs office directly, is ridiculous. 

I had to pull him into my office and inform him that he is being painfully obvious…and MESSY.

I told him that the BM is my right hand and I need to vet her to see if she is a good fit for me and for the site.  Told him I can’t do that if he’s there trying to push his own agenda.

I need to be able to trust my BM which is why I took my time selecting a replacement for the last one. 

I did NOT trust her.  And was happy to see her leave.

The BM handles all of the money for the site.  They need to be solid.

I further impressed upon him that I would not be able to trust a BM that would risk it all to become romantically involved with him.

Asked him to maintain professionalism and fall back.

He continues to hover.  And his demeanor has changed drastically.

To the point that my DSS noticed.

It got to the point where she informed me that she intended to talk to him and let him know that because of his change in behavior, she wants to take a step back from their…..situation…in order to preserve the friendship.

They talked.  And he seems to have calmed down a bit.

But he’s still lurking around the BM.  

So we will see.

Did I tell you it has only been a week….since the BM started?  

One week.

We’ll see. 

Be The Change…

When I was younger, I used to wet the bed.

It wasn’t for the popularly believed reason that I was too lazy or too scared to get up and go to the bathroom.

I would literally wake up wet.

Too late to do anything about it.

My parents’ solution?

Beat me.  

Every morning, I got a beating. 

And then there was the embarrassment and ridicule.  Because my mother would tell everyone that would listen that I wet the bed. 

As an adult…having earned three degrees in Psychology, I can now identify probable causes of my wetting the bed.

Perhaps it was the fact that I had to watch my father beat the hell out of my mother on a regular basis.

Or maybe the fact that I had far too many run ins with substance abuse from a young age.

OR…maybe it was the fact that I was being molested and wasn’t protected even after I told the dirty secret.

There was absolutely no rationale.  No investigation.  

Everyone was comfortable believing that I just consciously wet the bed regardless of the consequences.

I cannot fathom how….as an adult…I would believe that a kid would just opt to get fucked up every morning if they could help it. 

Why would a kid voluntarily do something that would have such a traumatizing result?

Physical, emotional, and mental pain?  On purpose?

I remember waking up in a panic.  

So scared.  Because I knew what was coming.  

There would be no chance for me to explain.

No one would listen. 

They wouldn’t even ask.

Everybody was so disgusted by me.

And they had no qualms about showing me. 

My parents would make fun of me.  

It was bad.  

Nobody tried to help me.  I never saw a doctor to try to find out what was wrong.

The assumption was that I was doing it on purpose. 

I carry a lot of anger and resentment.  Still.  Today.  Right now.  Behind that situation. 

The topic still brings fresh tears. 

I was defenseless.  How could I protect myself?  Against adults?  My caregivers?

What could I do?

It’s part of the reason that I don’t condone spanking now.

It’s not fair. 

Whatever we as adults believe, we act on.  And because we’re the adults, our opinions are valued more that those of children.

Even if we’re wrong, who’s going to correct us?  The child?

Not likely.

A kid has no choice but to take whatever punishment the adult wants to dish out.  

I hate that.  

Fast-forward to 2021.

I’m in the car last night talking to JO.

She had just gotten home from a night out and Babies had fallen asleep in her bed.

All of a sudden I hear her striking Babies and Babies crying. 

JO goes on this rant about how she’s going to spank Babies every time she wets the bed.

I asked her how she’s so sure that Babies is awake when she wets the bed. 

She responds by talking about the smell.  

I asked if there was a difference in the smell if the person was awake or asleep during urination.

She stated that there wasn’t and that it was the “same shit”.

I asked again how she could be so sure that Babies was awake when she wet the bed.

She started talking about how she had to do the same thing for D1 and D2 and that she was able to rectify the problem in a week. 

I reminded her that I lived this same situation when I was younger.  

That I would wake up and already be saturated in my own urine.  I had to ability to stop it as I was asleep.

I asked her what logical reason a child would have to choose to be physically hurt instead of doing whatever needed to be done to avoid that outcome. 

She kept referencing what she did with D1 and D2.

I told her that I still carry a lot of anger towards my parents for this same situation.

Her response?

“Well she bout to be one angry ass.”

What do I do with someone like that?

Babies isn’t my biological child.

This isn’t a situation where I can pack her up and just leave.

How am I expected to live with someone like this?

To maintain a relationship?

With someone that refuses to see the error in her ways.

Not just in this situation, but across the board. 

We don’t agree on EXTREMELY important things. 

Raising children for one.

Her children fear her.

She misinterprets fear for respect.

If a child is truly respectful, they would maintain that respect no matter what situations they are placed in.  

That’s not the case with her children.  

They know that if they act out with JO, she will cause physical pain.  

With everyone else though? They act OUT.

It’s part of the reason that she basically had to run out of the house leaving D2 with me (after I told her that I couldn’t handle that responsibility) when she went to the academy.

No one else in her family wanted to be bothered with him.

But do I just stand idly by and watch her cause the same trauma for Babies that I had to endure?

How am I supposed to be the change that I wish to see in the world….or be the adult that I needed when I was a child…when I have no say so whatsoever in how someone else raises their children?

Reason 1,175,362 why JO and I don’t live together.

Don’t Let Go

It is so rare and such a treasure to find someone who truly understands your mental health issues and remains true to supporting you while you navigate through….the muck.

People claim all day long to understand and support.

But I find that, unless your mental illness is made-to-order, most people don’t have the time or the energy.

Once it gets to the point where the “hang in there, baby” and other such motivational quotes no longer work.  

And pointing out that you should be grateful for the breath of life that The Creator has blessed you with.

Or calling your attention to all the things you have that you should be happy about.

Once people come to the realization that your issues can’t just be “prayed away”, you become a cancer.  A pariah.  

Because how dare you darken other people’s day, with your shit. 

All of that understanding, patience, and support?  Right out the fucking window.

And you’re left alone to deal with your own shit.  Because you’ve missed the set deadline for you to “snap out of it”. 

It’s a vicious cycle.  

But if you have that person…that really has your back for the unflattering parts of mental illness….the good, the bad, AND the ugly?

Hold on to ‘em.  

My two cents.

About Last Night…

Why is the mind trained to only remember the good parts of past people?

Why is it that only the good and special moments play back in your thoughts?

Why can’t I recall the debilitating weight of it all?

The muck is thick tonight.

I’m trying like hell to remember the hurt.

The sleepless nights.

The inconsistency.

The. Fucking. Tears.

Feeling like I wasn’t enough.

Like I was not worthy.

Like….I shouldn’t make noise.

I am trying.

With everything in me to unwrite this fairytale that my brain is fervently trying to piece together from the slivers of happiness.

To remember what was….and why we are no more.

Out of the Dark

I used to exist in such a dark place.

My apartment in Harlem had become my own living hell.

There was so much negative energy in that space it was unbelievable. I didn’t realize it living there. I would have left on my own instead of being asked to leave. It was the space that I had. It’s where I went to hide. It didn’t feel like MY space. Ghosts of all of my past relationships lingered there. Personal items, clothing, jewelry, birth certificates, energy, memories, gifts, etc. All remnants of my exes, lived in that space with me.

It wasn’t until I started purging for my move that I realized HOW MUCH of that physical baggage was still in the space. I experienced some of my lowest lows in that space. So many sleepless nights. Gallons of tears deposited into well-stained pillows. In that space. Not caring whether I lived or died. In that space. Girlfriends came and went. Both voluntarily and involuntarily. In that space. Bargaining with God. Apologizing for messing up the life that He gave me. In that space. Lost myself. So much emotional, mental, physical pain. In that space.

I lived for like a year without a working refridgerator. I would store my food in the windowsill (or in the care) to keep it cold in the winter months. There were problems and issues with that apartment that I didn’t want to report because I was illegally sub-leasing and didn’t want to cause any trouble.

I felt like I was breathing in black mold.

The air conditioners there looked older than me and no matter how hard I tried or who I asked to come help me, we could not get them out of the vent. The owners of the apartment installed air conditioners that were too small for the vent so they used wood and towels to secure it. Becuase they were too small, the air conditioners leaked into the apartment soaking the towels which then dried in the vent until the next time. The towels were black. They were originally white. I could tell by one corner of the towel that had not yet been darkened by the moist and mildewy goings on of the air conditioning cycle.

I know that’s the reason I suffered so many upper respiratory infections and bronchitis and “all of a sudden asthma” living in that space. The windows stayed dirty but I couldn’t clean them because the building locked the door to the balcony two years ago for repairs. The balcony door only opened about an inch and a half.

It got to the point where the windows had begun to rust shut. I could barely get them open. There were only two windows in the apartment. One in the corner of the bedroom and a big one in the living room that lead to the balcony. The view wasn’t much. It overlooked a parking lot and was partially blocked by a storage facility. Across the parking lot and across a small street though, there was a park. When I was able to go on the balcony, I could see a sliver of the Hudson River. Or whatever body of water it is that runs along the FDR Drive. I would stand on the balcony and look between the high rise buildings at the small slice of the water that I could see. It was enough.

I don’t know when things got so dark. I don’t know when things went South.

But….I’m not there anymore.

I wake up to this view now.

I didn’t even bother putting curtains in my new place because I don’t want anything blocking the sunlight. The sun invites itself into my bedroom every morning. Pouring in new possibilities every day.

Even though the experience this move was a little demeaning. Being asked to leave an apartment because the owner’s son, who was a child when I moved in, is now an adult man in need of his own space. I am entirely grateful that that change was forced upon me. I feel so much better in my new space. I’m not hiding behind the owner’s name. My own name is on the lease. The space feels like mine. I am making it more mine every day. I threw out a lot of things in my old apartment. Things that didn’t belong to me. Things that no longer served me. I am actually putting effort into tailoring my new apartment to suit my needs.

Things are not perfect yet…but definitely headed in the right direction.

There are still dark days. But they are visitors.

They don’t live here anymore.

Sadness, Guilt, Anger….repeat.

Clearing out my drafts.  I wrote this almost 2 years ago. 

October 22, 2019.

It’s unfinished.  

I don’t know why I never finished or posted it.  It still feels surreal I guess.  Writing about it makes it…permanent. 

Maybe one day I’ll have it to finish it…and release the flood of emotions that go along with it.

Anyway….here you go.

“This is my range of emotions for the past two months.

My father died. At the end of June. June 22nd.

My life has been one long descent into fuckery since then.

I got the call that morning. I was on my way to pick up my client and meet my family at the beach. I don’t know his fiance that well. I’d only seen her once or twice prior to his passing. I was on the phone when the call came in. I didn’t know the number so I let it go to voicemail. I finished my conversation almost an hour later. I hung up and noticed a text from the same number to myself and my sister: “Please call me. It’s an emergency about your dad”.

I called and she introduced herself as his fiance. She was speaking through tears. I made out that they were in the yard cleaning and he complained of not feeling well. He told her that he couldn’t do the chore anymore and she advised him to go inside to rest. He collapsed in the driveway on his way back into the house. The paramedics were able to revive him twice. They could not bring him back a third time.

“I’m so sorry to be the one to tell you this….but….your dad has passed away”.

I just held the phone. In disbelief. All I could muster was “whaaaaaaaaat?!”

Then I told her that I had to call my sister. I hung up ubruptly.

I called my sister. No answer. I called my sister’s fiance. My sister answers. I asked her if she talked to my dad’s fiance. I didn’t even know the fiance’s name at the time. She said she did. I asked if she believed it. She said she did and that she doesn’t think that he would lie about that. She couldn’t really talk details because she was in the car with my nephews and she wasn’t ready to share the news yet.

We hung up.

I called my stepmother. She didn’t know whether to believe it or not. She told me she’d call me back.

I called JO.

I called Missy. She talked to me for a while. Gave me the words that JO did not. She prayed.

I called my mom. And that’s when I lost it.”

Where I’m At!

It took me a minute to even start this post. Why? I don’t even know where to begin.

My writing here is so sporadic. I hate to jump in and just start telling stories and everything is all over the place and difficult to follow.

But I guess I just need to start.

So here it goes.

Remember my girlfriend JO? Okay well, she’s still around. Last I spoke of her, I mentioned that our relationship was coming to an end. Since then though, she has suffered some major losses and I felt really screwed up just walking away. So…I changed my expectation of the situation which made it easier for me to deal with. This way, I could still be there for her while maintaining my sanity.

I know, I know. Toxic much?

Anyway, prior to the heavy losses, JO and I came to a place where our sex life was….non-existent. She gave me the green light on an indefinite Hall Pass while she worked through…whatever she was going through.

At first I was offended…because…it felt like I was being thrown away. But then…the old me showed up.

My desires got the best of me and I quickly became….entangled.

Thing about me…I can’t do casual sex. I mean….I COULD…but it would be absolute trash.

In order for me to become intimate with someone, there has to be an emotional connection.

I explained this to JO while we were having the Hall Pass discussion. It didn’t change anything.

Of course…with my luck in love, I chose a Narcissist.

Let’s call her….Forbidden Fruit (FF).

FF wanted to maintain contact with me, even after breaking it off with her SEVERAL times, purely for her benefit and her mental well being.

The interaction was doomed from the start. FF is married. Her wife was NOT aware of her self-issued Hall Pass.

I know, I KNOW!! I can FEEL your judgment and I haven’t even published this post yet.

She wanted me around because I provided the validation and support that her wife did not. At the time that I decided to be with her, she filled in all of the blanks as well.

That took a quick turn.

It took me longer than it should have to realize that FF wasn’t my person.

I tried to walk away several times.

I even went as far as creating a fake person that I was spending time with because I knew FF’s ego would not be able to handle someone else getting my attention. It would have caused her to walk away and save me from having to do more heavy lifting.

And it worked! To the pure shock and amazement of my best friend who thought I was absolutely insane when I came up with the idea many months ago.

It only lasted for a while though. FF kept reaching out to me. Knowing that I would never NOT answer.

The last time I attempted to walk away was Monday before last.

Sent her a 15 minute message about why I could not be the person that she needed me to be. She responded with “SMH…ok”.

Two days later, she’s sending me things on social media. I still have feelings for this woman. So that opened up the line of communication again.

By the very next day, I regretted it.

So…I walked away again. Which made her VERY angry. She immediately responded with the best gaslighting statements ever created: “You’re insane”. “You’re fucked up”. “Diiiiiiiiisgusting”. “This is crazy”. “I can’t believe you just ended this friendship”. Etc.

Oh and my favorite “Don’t bother ever again. Even if I die, you won’t be welcome”.

LOL!

And now she’s blocked…on every forum. I’m learning. To love me most.

My problem is, I know what it’s like to feel abandoned and thrown away. I don’t wish that hurt on anybody. I hate the thought that I could make someone feel that way. I’d rather let you think you dumped me or made the choice to end things rather than believe you are unwanted or unloved.

I KNOW!!!!

The “friendship” with FF was to basically have me on standby for whenever her wife fucked up. Giving her unlimited access to my time, my attention, my energy, my body…without the committment of a relationship.

But…I ended the relationship because I wasn’t getting what I needed from it and it didn’t make sense to carry on a second relationship and still not be getting the bare minimum of my requirements. So the solution was to end the relationship and just be friends. The “friendship” turned out to be a disguise for a one-sided relationship where she reaped all the benefits and I am still left with not even the bare minimum.

No thank you.

So…I’m healing….again.

But enough about that.

I have an anxiety filled, overly intrusive zoom meeting in 15 minutes.

My next post “Day 129 in the Life of Running a Homeless Shelter” will be up shortly.

Quick Update – 9/29….or 30….I don’t remember

Hey guuuuuys….welcome to my channel.

Okay no.  Let’s be serious.

Today?

Shit.

I’m currently sitting in my apartment drowning my sorrows in Lindt Lindor Truffles!

Who the fuck told me to take over a homeless shelter?!

Sheeeeesh.  

I absolutely don’t feel like writing….but this week is heavy.   Monday brought feelings that I haven’t felt in years.  

Like….I’d be okay with not being here anymore.

Typing this right now is fucking exhausting!!!

I don’t have peace.  

My person turned out to be the opposite of my person.

I feel alone.  Surrounded….yet alone. 

And….I suck at weight loss surgery.  I stopped losing weight in January. Next month is my year mark and I feel like I failed. I’ve only lost like 50 pounds.  

I’ve been awake since 4am. It’s 9:34pm.  I’m gonna lay down. 

On my couch.  In my new apartment.  Down the hall from JO.  

Long story.  I will share later.  But I moved!

No more moldy, tainted Harlem apartment!

This is my view now.

We done moved on up!

Grateful

I woke up this morning determined to set the tone for my day. I woke up with the idea to start my day doing something that I love.

So guess what?

We outsiiiiiiiiiiide!

I took my 50mm on an early morning stroll. Like 7am early. On the beach.

I’m just out here. Clearly a visitor since there are MANY camps already set up to fish, write, talk, exercise, etc.

I found this rock. Please don’t judge my beach sneakers, man. It’s still too cold to walk barefoot.

This scene is….amazing. And just what I need to start a great day. This is me….actively trying to stay out of the dark.

I’m grateful for all of the things that I have. My health. My support system. Thankful for all the people and things I’ve been blessed with.

I lack nothing.

I am enough.

Happy Sunday, everybody!