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How I got Here:

This has been a year of turmoil. 

As I write this I'm two days away from the 5 year anniversary of the day Lyndsay came into my life.  More importantly, if I were to jump back in time 1 year (Oct 2016) to what I thought was my life direction in at this time last year it would have looked like this:

1) I was working for Sentient, and that was going to be my last job ever, I would retire from there

2) I was going to buy a house in the bay area with a guest house or mother-in-law apartment to give my daughter stability and the freedom to seek the life she wants while not being in my home and under my thumb

3) I was building a future for the woman I love who I was spending the rest of my life with

3a) That future included some vacations and travel, maybe some cruises

3b) That future maybe included a boat and sailing to exotic places

3c) That future included working Ren Fairs together with my wife and daughter as fire breathers

I was very secure in these thoughts and beliefs. I made good money, I had a loving wife, my daughter seemed a little adrift but who isn't at that age, and I was sure my wife and job were loyal to me as I was to them. 

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30 March 2017 @ 11:00 am
  Baily said "There is a sucker born every minute" but I don't think I completly grasped that until I started thinking about quantum physics. You see, one way it was put to me a long time ago is that every choice we make creates an alternate universe, there for you are born as a new person with every single choice. That means, that every minute we are making a choice, and at least one person somewhere is making a choice that makes them a sucker as they are reborn minute by minute with each choice.

Don't blame the wolf for eating your sheep, it's a wolf, it's what wolves do. Don't blame the mouse for eating your cheese, it's a mouse it's what mice do. If you did not protect your sheep or your cheese then you lost it to natural preditors.

So, when someone who doesn't love you says they do because it's in their best interest to do so and they see a better life for themselves in doing it: don't blame them. They are doing what they were born to do, they were just being themselves, when you were born into the decision to believe them or not you were deciding to be a sucker or not.

I did this. I knew better. Everyone who knew me knew I knew better. I knew I knew better. And yet, I went against every indication to the contrary and tried to believe she actually loved me. That was a bad choice. I can't even blame my friends because most of them were like "DUDE! What are you doing?!?!?!"

This feeling in my gut, where all the lies and betrayals of the last so many years fall on me at once, that's what I get for not believing my own eyes. I get the bag I deserve. I was born to this.
26 March 2017 @ 03:43 pm

I'm on the edge of that moment where there is no looking back just because of logistics.

I've received a few texts from the VP of Engineering at O.G. claiming that he'd be willing to work with me if I could clear my head, get my mess behind me and come back to work. I have 3 days until I'd sign the lease on the apartment I was approved for in redwood city. If I was willing to be an adult I could push this back, go step up, do the job, get the apartment and have a tech life in Silicon Valley.

if at any point in the last two weeks she had once said "I love you and want to figure this out" I'd have the strength to do just that, but I don't think I can go to work every day just to come home to an empty house and miss her. She seems so happy with him and I'm so lost without her. I feel like a failure because I can't step up and "be a man" either way and just do the job take the apartment and move forward.

Am I about to go chase my identity, or am I a coward who runs away?

I'm about to lose the ability to make the choice.

26 March 2017 @ 09:00 am

I cry for her to love me.

She is done.

We've fought so much the last few weeks but it's it took me a while to realize this is unlike the fighting we'd done in the past.

I knew her sins going into this fight but I did not completly comprehend mine. If you start to take all the little things that seemed so petty that are her complains now about and assemblem them to a single entity that entity would be a cage. It would not be a cage of straight bars but more like an oversized iron maiden with sharp things poking in from all sides and her having to navigate the walls constantly. I build this cage. I built this cage with my fear. I'd fear she would do things that my heart couldn't take and instead of trusting her I made "rules" and "decrees" and tried to control the situation. Through her eyes I've been a monster.

I want to look back on all those things that were so important at various times and say they weren't that important, but at the time, to protect me from the things I feared she do I felt they were required. The were required because I had lost trust in her long ago and never regained it. Oh, I see her sins in our relationship, they are clear to me, but now so are mine. I don't know who's are greater, but in the end mine were enough to make me unforgivable. She has lived in darkness with the monster that is me.

She gets a text, her face lights up, she smiles like she used to smile for me and I pain. I miss her touch. I miss her smile. I miss her love and affection. These things were not as important as all that I just didn't know until I was looking back. I want to say it's her fault because she didn't push back on those things. I honestly believe many of the building blocks of her cage would never have been placed there if as I picked up the block she said "No, that is not ok and was passionate about it." I could use this belief to blame her but no, that would be wrong, I'm still the one who picked up the building block and added it to the cage as monsters are want to do.

I'm done fighting, I'm done bargining, I'm done believing she will relent on this stance of apartness. I've been done for about a day now. I had held up home that like so many other fights that looked like the end of us this one would just be a pressure valvue release, it was not, and expecting it to be that completly misses the point that we should have managed the pressure better.

We sat on the couch last night and watched TV together. We did not fight. The fight was out of us both. It was calm and natural and felt like many days we've had over the last few years. I was sad for a moment to see that go, to know this comfortable familiar nest was going to be nomore and it was my fault, I'm also a little scared about this future I'm choosing because I'll be doing it alone, it would have been easier with her with me, but probably healthier alone. I can shed the skin of the monster alone on the road.

I worry about the kid. I hope she will be ok, but she has picked her path as well. Have I abondoned her by not staying and working and enabling her dreams or am I making her stronger by giving her a chance to stand on her own feet? Am I a different kind of monster for my child, one that never gave her a chance to do for herself because I was always too afraid of hurting her to let her struggle enough? Am I the monster that oppressed my own child's growth?

I have a guitar to love again. I have my fire toys. I'll have the dogs (the kid would but it's not feesable for her). I'll have books to read, and I phone to facebook. I'll not be alone, I'll just be without the one person who is always there to reasure me that I'm the most important person in their life and I have purpose. I hope to find purpose again in this walk about, a purpose that leaves the monster behind.

I have my fantasies about how this plays out in the end, but they are just fantasies, they aren't real. They distract me from truths that need to be held and cuddled and nurtured who in turn when fully grown will become a guide through the next labrynth. There is always a monster in the labrynth though, and if you don't hear it's foot steps it's still you.

I can't say if her new relationship will last, and it's not my place to speculate, but I hope some day she can look back on our times together and see the things she loved about me that gave her reason to allow me to build the cage rather than just seeing me build it. I hope she remembers the man, not the monster.

I could have changed, I could have made this better, I could have worked through it. I just needed her perspective clear enough to understand it, and her patience to make it happen. But, monster's eventually lose the right to patience, because eventually, the person being attacked by the monster must just get away from it. I might have shed the moster with her, or I might have settled back into old paterns, but I will shed it alone if I must.

I was a monster on the job as well. "Bad Culture Fit" really means "We don't like you" and again, by the time I was starting to grasp the issues it was too late. I'm not such a bright monster, I keep seeing my monster ways just too late.

I wish to be monster no more.

25 March 2017 @ 09:49 am
I knew when I first met her she'd leave me for someone else.
I told her.
She told me I was crazy.
I told her it was her patern.
She had no answer.

The problem here is perspective. When I used to say she'd leave me for someone else to me that meant that some day she'd find someone better than me that was worth more than me and she would basically take the upgrade. Thats what I saw had happen when she left the last one for me. I watched her break him in front of me like a sad farmer from a Kenny Rogers song almost in tears and she talked with me in a bowling alley.

But, I never really got it, now that she has found love elsewhere she has the strength to leave me. It is not about him, it's about me, all she needed was someone other than me to be there for her so she could draw on his affections to feel empowered to tell me that she is done. She has probably been done for a very long time and just biding her time until she could find someone to lean on to help her leave me.

Yes, she left me for him, and it confused me because I didn't see how he was better than me, it wasn't until I realized he was better than me because he treated her well and he just wasn't me that I got it.

She didn't leave me for him, he just enabled her to do what she had wanted to do for so very long.

I was right, for the wrong reasons, and being right for so long is part of what made me right.
25 March 2017 @ 08:55 am

She keeps telling me it's too little too late. She keeps telling me she doesn't believe I'm changing. She keeps telling me she doesn't trust me. She keeps telling me I used up all her love and it's gone. Yet I keep trying.

The problem is that when I don't have answers to questions that plague me the deamons speak up, they give me their answers and I struggle to find other answers but sometimes the other answers are impossible to find and when those voices come through and she says "you are wrong" I beg her to give me a different explination or paradigm and she just lookes like me like I'm a monster. She won't tell me how or why I'm wrong and I'm stuck with it trying to fight it alone with no tools.

And then, worse yet, when I open up and tell those who care about me that these are my thoughts they lash out and feed the deamon with their anger at her in my behest. I never asked for you to be mad at her, I asked you to help me, and the help I need is to help me pick the right sword to fight the deamon who tells me why this is not ok. When you get indignant on my behalf all you do is feed the deamon. I'm trying to find love. I'm trying to find balance. I'm trying to find connection.

Don't say "you could do better" or "you don't deserve that" because I know that for me she is the better, I know that we get what we deserve in this life because we bring it upon ourselves. Tell me "here is one way to look at it from her side", remind me that I love her and I'm just hurting. Don't fan the flames that I don't reall want in my heart.

She says there is no going back, and I keep stepping over the line the wrong direction, but once it's done I can't undo it, all I can do is draw a line in the sand across the path I've already crossed and say "that was yesterday, today I willl do better"

If you are my friend you will help me do better not feed the deamon.

I'm stilly trying.

24 March 2017 @ 09:56 am

Q: Why this sudden change?

A: It's not sudden.

Q: You can make so much money working tech in the bay area.

A: Money isn't everything, I finally get that saying now, it's not just rhetoric.

When Raven was just transitioning from Jr High to High School I could see the begining of the end. I love her and want the best for her and wanted to take care of her, so I've done the best I could to do that, but with school going soon, I knew that I would soon not need to live a "normal life".

When I'd had that thought I was still "The Frog Guy" and I couldn't wait every year for Ren Fair seasons so that I could crouch on counters and make people scream ribbit, and I could flirt with random women and they would be excited that I was doing it, and I could make children smile. I knew I was the best "Frog Guy" anywhere because my boss had told me, he ran this booth all over the country, and because I became an attraction to a select few, the people who come to me weekend after weekend and tell me "You were on my list of things to do." So, back then, at the begining of the end I started envisioning a life on the road follow this boss from fair to fair flipping frogs.

Then, when she was in High School I fell into this fire act and I was on stage again, it's like the difference between eating a piece of candy and eating a piece of cake and a new dream was born. Take the act on the road (soon as we are free of legal obligations to the ex wife). The kid was on board with this plan.

But then my dreams were tested, I had a year left before she was 18, a year and a half until she finished collage and I was offered a job in California that would have been a dream job for the kid I was 30 years ago and it paid twice the best income I could make in MN. So, a new version of the plan hatched quickly. Sell the car and buy a truck, go to CA, earn lots of money and go on the road in style instead of with a beat up piece of shit. But, still the dream was always the road.

But while working the job that was enabling me to prep for the dream I started to get feedback from my wife and child who I thought were onboard that they weren't. They had become comfortable in a life where I was responsible for their survival and living in the bay area. I started saying things like "I could get a work remote job and do this on the road" but they weren't having it. My dreams were no longer in alignment with the people I loved. This is a pretty depressing realization.

But now, at this moment, when all ties are in cutting position I've got my knife out.

This wasn't sudden, it wasn't over night, it isn't running away from being a responsible adult, it's running towards the life I've craved for years and letting people who want to make different choices make them without me taking care of them, and I hope, that like at the end of Kafka's Metamorphisis that they find happyness in their own independence.

Of course they are both welcome to join me in my travels, but then they are living my dream not theirs and I'm not convinced they'd be happy like that. I'll leave the door open but try not to press.

I am running towards happiness.

24 March 2017 @ 09:02 am

I've always said I struggled with deamons, I lied.

It wasn't really a lie, it's like when I thought "hyper tention" meant being super stressed and tense, I just didn't know what it means.

Now here we are, the deamons of my distant past thrust on me, the deamons of my recent past thrust on her. I'm so sorry. I can so clearly see the things I failed.

I say I'm sorry, she looks at me blankly like she doesn't believe me then gives a grudging thank you for my appology.

I say I'm going to change, she doesn't believe me.

I say I'll be different, she say's it's too little too late.

I say I want to kiss her and she says "you don't like to kiss", but I did, I did like to kiss, I stopped liking kissing because it made me vulnerable to women who said they loved me but I was sure didn't. I stopped kissing because it was too intimate. I stopped kissing because it opened my heart too much and made me feel too close.

I beg her to start over with me. She won't.

Now I struggle with deamons. Before I had no idea.

Before, it was like walking through deep mud where the deamons were the mud, I wasn't struggling with them, I was struggling with my life because of them.

Now, when she says these things that cut me to the quick the deamon is there claiming "She doesn't love you, she never did, she won't go with you because you are not going to provide for her anymore" and it is time to change my pattern so instead of holding back that deamon or letting it lose and echoing it's words (neither of which is really struggling with it) I have to take a moment in my head to correct it. Tell it that it's wrong. That is struggingly with your deamons, that is fighting them, tell them they are wrong. "No Deamon, she did love me, she loved me enough to put up with my shit for a long time"

I wan't to kiss you.
No You Don't.
Can I kiss you anyways?

She is myered in her own deamons. I know that, and her choices and struggles are hers.

But, now, when I say I struggle with deamons it means I'm activly fighting them, not just struggling to exist in a world that has them.

24 March 2017 @ 05:21 am

"Please love me, I'm trying so hard"

"Yes, you are very trying"

And so went the conversation, her defenses were so high and hard that the moment I became vulnerable she was not becoming vulnerable in kind, she was just in for the kill.

I've used that response "you are very trying" so many times since that day nearly 20 years ago like it became a tape in my head just waiting for someone to push play. Some times I use it on myself, some times on others, but the lesson here was that vulnerability is not ok and I need to be ok.

But, when you can't be vulnerable you try to control, this is how "rules" in your relatioinship happen. Instead of saying "I love you and trust you not to hurt me" you say "You hurt me. I'm sure you did it on purpose because you don't value me, but I can't stand to be without you so here is a rule to keep you from hurting me that way again." This never works, and yet, time and time I've tried to do it. On a mechanical level, there are always ways to bend rules, get around them, or interpret them differently, but that is not really the problem. The problem is that the rule is a guard, it's a wall, it's a defense, and not all defenses are passive. The more defenses you have the more likely you are to go into the kill the moment the other person drops theirs.

So, here I am, 20 years of trying. 20 years of doing my best to hold my world together for the sake of everyone around me feeling like no-one else was trying to help me hold it together. 20 years of exhaustion. I'm ready to let go.

What an ass hole I've been, to my wife, to my kid, to my co-workers, to random people at the bar because I was so mad and so hurt and so alone and taking it out on everyone else there by driving them away and making me more hurt and alone causing me to lash out more in this unending cycle. Time to break the cycle. Time to accept alone if alone is my fate, time to recognize walls and defenses when they happen and say "not this time wall"

My brother says that when he and I look back on the same moments in our childhood we see different things, I remember all the bad stuff that happend in that event and he remembers all the good. My defenses tell me that he remembers the good because I worked hard to shelter him from the bad, but that is trying to be controling and take ownership of another's life. No, the truth is that I've been hurting a long time and I draw on those memories to feed the hurt and no-one can undo that but me, and I can only do it through practice. So i'll practice, I may not be perfect but I'll practice...

Practice #1: Stop sharing negative memes, in life and facebook. They reinforce it all.

Practice #2: seek positive in everything even when all you can see is negative

Practice #3: stop sharing the negative with people, they don't want hear your self doubts, they don't want to hear your anger, your pain, you sadness. Yes, they want to support you, and they wish you didn't have those things and they feel helpless to change what is happening in your head, so the only thing they can do to make themselves feel better about the fact that you hurt is to throw platitudes or try to empathize, but there in lies the problem. Why should they need to do something to make themselves feel better about a problem you handed them? Sharing the negative thoughts with others is a thought crime of it's own.

Practice #4: You have no value as a person, good or bad, we all exist and then we don't, but dwelling on the value of our existence doesn't matter, it doesn't help, it just makes our existence less plesant. Examples of this are things like "I'm unlovable".... sure, I'll think these things from time to time, but speaking them allowed gives them power, and even having the thought is not the issue, it's holding it, it's feeding it, it's keeping the thought warm at night that is the problem.

Practice #5: Try to get the most out of what is in front of you. This sounds like a platitude in and of itself but really, I could stare at facebook while my computer is up and hit space bar over and over hoping to read something that lets me distract my mind, or instead I can use my computer to write stories and thoughts, I can use it build apps and games that other people might enjoy, I can use it to read articles that make me better understand the world or myself. tap tap on the space bar is nothing, it's a distraction, it's ignoring the world.

Today I get my camper top for the truck. Eventually, I'll pack the things I care about in there and ride off into the sunset, but the thing about riding off into the sunset is that eventually the sun comes back up and you are still there, you still exist and need to move forward. So, my time needs to be time of moving forward.

Mean while, I've stopped trying to fix things with my wife, she is done, I need to accept that, but if she will accept my affections before I go then I'll give her as much as she will take. I want to spend this last bit of time with her being the loving, affectionate man I always wanted to be, not hiding behind walls, not afraid to be vulnerable and not having the words "you are very trying" ring in my head. I want that when I look back on my last days with her that I feel like I was emotionally available in those days, I can't fix the days before, but I can make these the best I have.

I Love her, I've Loved her since the day I met her, but I've always been scared, I've hidden behind my own mental couch crying when all I wanted to do was call out and say "I love you, I trust you, I'm here"

I'm sad that my behaviors have drained her love away but blaming her or me doesn't help, I can just do what I can now, and move forward from there.

Today I am trying, tomorrow I am trying, and the next day I am trying. Some times trying doesn't mean succeeding but it's still trying, and the goal is to not be trying.

21 March 2017 @ 12:04 pm

Long ago I suffered enough pain that I couldn't sit still, I had to move. So, I did, I ran away from my life, I took a back pack and traveled, we will call it "an adventure".

During that time I met a woman I was so drawn to that I couldn't stand to not be with her, I wanted her more than I wanted breath and I didn't know why. I know now that it's a reflection of my own tramas that she represented. But she was always just out of grasp. Until the day in Cedar Rapids at a stop light she pointed to a tricked out truck and said "See that truck, that is why I won't marry you, you can't buy me that" and I thought "Money? That is what is between me and the woman I love, I can do that" and I went from being a paupper to making a 6 figure income in under 2 years and married her.

After that there was a baby, and I needed to stay on track with jobs and such to make sure the baby was fine, and then eventually there came my 3rd wife when the baby was grown who did not want to leave the life I'd built. She craved stability while I craved escape. I resented her for that and would tell her she was using me for my money and that she didn't really love me. These are the phrases that drained the love from her and sent her from me.

Now, I don't know if I was truely happy on the road, when I look back it seems like I was, but I'm just not sure, but what I do know is that every time I think about lots of money I think I'll get just enough to travel and entertain and use the rest to help my family. I worry about my brother, and my daughter, and my sister, and my nieces and nephews and my mom, and I feel that because I have this capacity to earn it's almost irresponsible of me to not do it, and yet, it makes me misserable.

Sure, I'm good at it, and sure I can find excitement in it and challenges, but that doesn't mean it makes me happy, it just means I'm making the best of the situation.

So, that's it, there are two ways to be free in this world, have so much money that you never make a decision based on money, or have no responsibilities. She doesn't love me anymore, the kid is grown, it's just me and the critters.

Time to return to vagabonding at least for a bit.... I might write some apps or something, I might just perform, who knows.