This is a rant. Why? Because I need a good rant. And since it is a rant that means it is unedited and possibly incoherent but it is a true testimony of my current mental state. A state of mind that is in need of change. I guarantee this won’t be my best work but it’s one in which helps me move forward. Something I desperately want to do.
In the past 12 months my family has suffered at the hands of people we know and people we don’t. Judgements have been cast, relationships lost, relationships challenged, there have been false accusations, the loss of our income, the loss of our hometown, the loss of our home, a robbery when we were already down financially, more money stolen, a back injury and surgery, backstabbing by family, and quite frankly I am just so tired. So tired of people. So tired of hypocrites. So tired of holier-than-thous. So tired of unwarranted judgements. So tired of existing in a society where the suffering are only offered more suffering. Tired of a society that believes they are entitled to pass quick and harsh judgements. Tired of a society where people have lost all empathy. Where money is king. Where lying is the standard. Where people have lost the ability to see their fellow mankind. Yep, I’m beatdown, broken and tired.
It all hurts. Deeply. It hurts to know how many people have judged a family they know nothing about. It hurts to know that people read a headline made by the media to sell and sensationalize and they make damning judgements that cost a man and his family so much. Nobody bothers to question the context, to look at the whole picture, to judge based on 34 years of life vs the two minutes they’ve seen. No, this society likes to judge. Likes to go to war. Loves the idea of revenge. Fuck empathy. Retaliation and humiliation is where it’s at.
Deep pain. A pain that many cannot understand. The pain felt when family members backstab, undermine, and threaten all in the name of “ethics”. The pain that is felt when people you have loved for more than 20 years and helped through many difficult trials in their lives don’t even make an effort to help your family when it at its lowest point. A stab in the gut. But cleansing at the same time. It was important for me to start weeding out people and when I wasn’t strong enough to do it, circumstances have done it for me.
It was hard to lose our hometown but now I can’t even imagine moving back. It’s no longer home. Home is a place where one is accepted and loved and relationships are genuine. I feel that here in Portland. And am so thankful to this community of people that I am getting to know and learning to trust. It was hard to lose my home. It was hard to know that people (more than one) would rob us when we were already financially struggling. It was hard to hear the depths people would stoop to in the name of money. It is hard to see how quickly people have forgotten how much we gave them in terms of financial and emotional support when we were in a position to do so. That’s all but forgotten. Our minds make up stories that benefit us, don’t they? It’s sad what people are willing to take from someone who is down so they can get further up. But again isn’t that what our society teaches us? Do whatever it takes (lie, cheat, seduce, manipulate) in order to be “successful”? That success, no matter how strategically corrupt will gain you admiration and praise. Who cares about the underdog.
And so it is that this year has been a lesson in pain, trust, humility, and looking inward. I’ve had to suck up my pride when the approval for food stamps arrived last week. Something I’ve never considered would be a necessity for my family. I’ve had to swallow my shame when the pediatrician spoke down to me for not having my two special needs boys in all the therapies they need, for paying for expensive dental care, and for not adding Vit D, flouride, and multivitamins to our daily regimen. Those things are very expensive on top of our $1600/month Cobra bill that I’m trying not to lapse on. Society, family, friends…they’ll judge me for this too. But that’s okay. Because I know that we are doing the absolute best that we can do. And I’m pretty damn proud of the way we have carried ourselves this past year. I don’t need their approval.
I’m finally coming to terms with the pain and with the acceptance that this is where life has us right now. It doesn’t change the fact that we are good people. We are people trying our hardest to stay afloat. To be honest. To remain upbeat. To choose our friends wisely. To give our boys the healthiest and most secure circumstances possible. We are people who care about others. We are now even more empathetic and can understand what a struggle life can be for many people. I’m in a position where I feel that I cannot judge anybody or their circumstances. My heart grieves for others who are put up for public execution. A mere display of entertainment for the masses of thoughtless mockers. It happens every day and I grieve for those people. I grieve for our society. I can only hope that I will go forward treating others the way I wish I were treated. I will not make flighty judgements. I will not persecute. I will not make room in my life for people (even family) who do not have my best interest at heart. I will continue to be the kind of friend I’ve always been because those are the kind of friends I deserve. I will allow myself time. Time to heal. Time to adjust. Time to pick up the pieces. I will not lose my spirit. Because there are parts of me…my being…that are only mine to own. And with that, it’s time I start working to make myself whole again. That I start trusting and seeing the good in those who are here with me right now. This moment.
The first step for me is to step away from the drama. I do not have to be an active participant. The second step is that I’ve started EMDR therapy. A first for me. And so far I’m enjoying the results. It was healing for me to know that the events of the past year are indeed trauma and my feelings of PTSD are in fact genuine and real. My defenses are in full force and I want to become vulnerable and trusting again. Not jaded and living in fear.
And so my journey continues but I’m going to decide the route it takes. I’m taking back control. Putting myself back in charge and ridding myself of any peace robbers. There’s just not enough time in this short life for living any other life than the one I’m meant to live.