Tag Archives: guilt

Slipping Slowly into Madness

I hesitate to write this blog post. Usually my strategy in life is to stay positive, keep chugging ahead, and things will work out. By all measurable statistics that’s exactly how things are going. I have a job that pays well and is full of opportunity, I have a loving and caring wife, I have a house that is well on its way to being paid off, I have money in the bank, and based on pretty much anything else one might objectively and statistically measure success by I’m doing good. The problem is I don’t feel that way. There’s a gap.

I feel like an idiot and a selfish asshole for even complaining. So much is going good for me, but some days I feel hollow. It’s almost like a depression that I can usually get over in a few hours by changing my way of thinking or just forgetting about it. The problem is I’m tired of “just forgetting about it”, and I’m tired of this feeling creeping up on me. The conflict is horrible and it’s not fair for anyone who has to put up with it (mostly my wife).

Sometime this feeling effects my personal life too. There are days when I can’t even begin to give my wife the attention and love she deserves. I’m too selfish and too self concerned with some fucked up feeling of being unfulfilled. God it’s fucked. Worst still is that I am a master at covering it up. I can throw a smile on my face and make almost anyone think I am the most confident and happy person on the face of the goddam planet. Hell, maybe sometimes I am.

The Problem, the Uncertainty

The cause of these undefined feelings are hard to nail down. Is it my life, my career, genetic, mommy and daddy issues, marital, spiritual, or some combination thereof? I have no fucking clue. Sometimes right when I feel like I might have a solution or the culprit of my emptiness identified I realize the actions required to rid myself of those feelings are risky at best – stupid at worst.

Why does the human existence have to be so fucking complicated. Maybe it isn’t – maybe I’m just making it complicated. I don’t know…

Honestly, part of me is afraid. Afraid of making a stupid decision. Afraid of making the wrong decision – especially when my current existence by most people’s standards is pretty fucking good (see paragraph one). I wish someone would just say to me: “Do it. Take the risk. Do “X”. That’s what you should do and you will be happy for it.” I’m no idiot though.

There’s no magical person out there that can tell me what I really need to do to feel full to the brim with satisfaction. If I wanted that kind of lie I would buy a fucking Joel Osteen book.

Vegabond

Also, I keep coming back to this idea of selling everything I own and just traveling and working by doing whatever I can do. Of course I would do a lot more planning than that before I actually took the plunge, but the idea keeps falling back to the forefront of my mind. I haven’t fully developed a plan here, but it keeps haunting me. Is this common? Does anyone else have this?

Every time I meet someone from another country I feel like I become twice as informed. Just having the slightest insight into another person’s thoughts from another place is probably the most interesting thing on the planet. That is definitely a shortcoming of the American lifestyle, but I’ll leave that rant for another post.

What’s keeping me from just doing it? Comfort and the feeling I’ll be giving up so much, in such a good spot, for a big mistake. It could be the biggest mistake or the greatest achievement of my life. The problem: I’m not good with risk. I’ve been calculated and conservative my entire life, but I can’t shake the feeling that I’m trading the security of mediocrity for the potential for a life worth living. Any advice?

Marriage

My marriage is rocky. I need to put in some work. We were married too early and been together too long. Sometimes I think that is both a lucky thing and simultaneously the worst thing.

To make things worse: I met a Brazilian woman while I was out of town at dinner the other night. She is 30, interesting, educated, had an amazing accent, eccentric, and was of course beautiful. We hit it off really well, too well, and I developed a shameful crush for her – and she for me. Those elementary school feelings will quickly leave and luckily she is going back to Brazil and I will never see her again, but sometimes I feel like being married so young to a women I’ve known so long has lead to missed opportunities. That’s probably the voice of ignorance speaking, but I know it is partially true. Maybe that’s a blog for another time too.

My wife is great and almost any shortcomings in our relationship are my fault. My failure to accept her for her own personality, my failure to give her attention when needed, and my failure to not marry her if that was the case. I’ve thought about this many times and even if I wanted to I could never bring myself to leave her. It’s the Irish in me, I’ve been told, we will live with something and be unhappy forever if that’s what it takes.

The End

This is getting long and I haven’t even read over it to see if my stream of consciousness writing makes any sense what-so-ever. I feel a little better and if you have bothered to read this far I appreciate it.

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Forget Vegas – What Happens in Chicago STAYS in Chicago

“Legendary-ish Stories” is a series I plan to write occasionally in which I describe actual incidents that happened in my life. These incidents often involve alcohol and at times immorality – neither of which I necessarily condone. With these stories I hope to add a touch of humor and display human imperfection while simultaneously eroding my credibility. Enjoy.

What I did was despicable, terrible, accidental, unplanned, unforgivable, and also memorable. What I did is something no one should ever do and no I do not commend my actions. If anything I discourage them, but as this blog is about being human, about the truth, I will shamefully tell it anyway – however hesitantly I proceed.

Let me start out by saying being a young man in a bar with your closest work friends (who have become personal friends) with an unlimited bar tab and tables that have taps of limitless beer and liquor – is a recipe for disaster and mistakes to be made. Even by a man like me who prides himself on having integrity. A word I can barely write at the moment.

The night started out innocently and unplanned enough. Of course we planned on drinking as much as possible on the company dime – who wouldn’t. However, when the bar closed at 1am and we had ingested an untold number of beers and two older women were hitting on me continuously – what was I to do? Resist?

I’m a young guy in my mid-20s. I am married, so I’m not proud of what happened. My conversation with the women started of completely innocent. I talked about my time in the city, asked for suggestions, and even talked about my wife and their husbands. It was a blur, I will admit, but to my knowledge I was completely forth-coming and polite – yet it seems that older women with husbands really, really like younger men with wives.

Upon blackout a friend of mine (also attached) and I teleport to their hotel room. I don’t remember leaving the bar, making the decision to follow them, nor arriving to the hotel.

Let me stop right here though and say that I was strong. Stronger than most in this position. I resisted their constant propositions. However, that did not stop them from undressing and that did not stop me from looking. I’m not proud. I shouldn’t have put myself in such a situation and how I resisted the desire to take full advantage I may never know.  Still, I deserve a kick to the testicles if nothing else.

Now this is where the story gets funny because if you know me than you would completely understand that this is something I would do. In the middle of all of this “excitement” somehow we get on the subject of politics. (Me being from the South they joked that I hated Obama) That’s when, in my drunken stupor, my mind went from thinking about sex like a 14 year old – to politics. I started in on all of my beliefs and proofs – many of which you have read in this blog. I think the fact that I subconsciously care more about economics and politics than a naked women is clearly more shameful than being in the room with two naked women while I’m married.

In the end I convinced two very liberal women that Ron Paul is an excellent choice for president and that many of my “pseudo-socialist-libertarian-naturalist” viewpoints are incredibly valid. This made me feel AWESOME since both of these women were clearly well educated executive types. They could have very well been my boss. To make matters worse I went on a rant about integrity (while ironically showing no integrity at all).

That’s about the point I felt completely disgusted with myself and realized I was about to force myself to leave and take a very expensive cab ride back to the hotel, alone. So I excused myself and took the walk of shame down to the hotel lobby and shook my head when I noticed the sun was coming up.

I hailed a cab, cringed at how much it cost, drank a lot of water and coffee, took a shower to rinse the disgust off of my body, and went back to work. Now I’m just trying to forget these memories of blatant idiocracy on my part. The shit I feel right now in the form of a massive hang-over, the credibility I may lose from all my “many” readers, and any negative consequences that come from what happened – I deserve.

I’ll leave you with a the most memorable quote from the night (please excuse the language): “You are an impressive young guy. I would hire you and I would fuck you, but not necessarily in that order.” How do you forget something like that?

Mankind is Flawed

The other night over beers my closest friend revealed a secret to me.  He has been cheeating on his wife for the last few months. 

I know it was especially tough for him to tell me because of how we have defined our relationship.  We hold eachother accountable.  We both have the same libertarian-ish attitudes toward life.  When I mess up he lets me know it, when he does something dumb I return the favor. 

Constantly we talk about being men of integrity, men who would set a good example for society, and men who would try our best to be pillars for our family and the community – especially since we didn’t have that type of example for ourselves growing up.  We have discussed, specifically, the value of being faithful to our family and wives – all the while he agreed whole-heartedly.  Yet I find out he was being a hypocrite. 

Obviously the situation is much more complicated than that.  Their marriage was far from perfect, but there is no excuse for his behavior.  There were other options.  Worse still – he has two children. 

He asked me for advice and I told him to quit the whole thing “cold turkey”.  I was disappointed, but haven’t ridiculed him for his actions.  There is no need to – he knows exactly where I stand.  We had a long talk about ways to improve his relationship – which he has implemented over the last few weeks.  It seems like things between them are on the right path.

The worst thing, for me, about this whole situation isn’t what he did.  It’s that his folly really brings to the forefront the flawed nature of men.  If he can mistep – my closest companion – then there is no question that anyone can.  We hold eachother to the highest standard, period.  So now it doesn’t surprise me when I hear of a President, a celebrity, or any other man in a position of power who does the same thing. 

People make mistakes – should that define them?  No.  If people make the same mistake over and over again – that’s insanity by definition.  I still hold my friend to the highest standard possible, but honestly it will be a while before I can learn to trust and count on him as much as I did before.  I’m not perfect, not even close, but the whole situation is an interesting insight into people in general.

Humans are such comlex and flawed creatures.

every intellectually honest American should agree: STOP TORTURE

I have always found it interesting that the United States has marketed itself as a moral lighthouse to the American people and to the rest of the world, yet embraces torture – and even lies about it. I think it’s kind of one of those things that people just pretend isn’t happening or even if they know it is happening they just ignore it. It’s not even an assumption that torture is happening and has happened. Techniques like water-boarding, sleep deprivation, face slapping, standing in awkward positions for prolonged periods of time, and worse are just the documented and accepted methods of interrogation used by the CIA. I question if there are worse.

Torture doesn’t work anyways:
Some people justify torture of supposed terrorist because they believe the information gathered during the process protects the innocent, but evidence shows that simply isn’t true – and even if it was true should we defile our morals in any situation to gather information and inadvertently create new enemies. In fact, numerous studies show that “Extreme pain and stress can actually impair a person’s ability to tell the truth”. Even when the informants did give up information, it is often unreliable. As one CIA officer wrote ““Torture [at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp] didn’t provide useful, meaningful, trustworthy information. Everyone [at the CIA] was deeply concerned and most felt it was un-American and did not work.” (re: Torture provides bad information)So why do we ignore hard science and keep doing torturing anyways? Does it make us feel safer – it shouldn’t.

You reap what you sew:
If the moral and scientific implications aren’t severe enough for you then consider our own troops. It’s no secret that retaliation is a popular result of our actions. Is it so far fetched to believe that our own troops who may become prisoners of war may be tortured just to spite the American military for the treatment of our enemy’s soldiers? I would be much more comforted knowing that the United States was a country of morality and justice to set an example rather than one who provokes or at very least sends the message to the rest of the world that torture is a valuable asset. Why encourage torture on any level? This point doesn’t matter though, what matters is our own moral compass and what America is supposed to stand for.

What type of country do we want to be? One that will treat our enemies like sub-humans or one that could rise above the violence, even in time of crisis, and show civility. I remember during the GOP debate in October of 2011 when Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann, and Mitt Romney all agreed that the CIA agreed upon methods of torture were only “enhanced interrogation methods”. I found it ironic that the most self proclaimed evangelicals were willing to accept methods of torture and war – I suppose that is exactly what Jesus teaches in the bible. How can we morally or spiritually accept torture? We can’t!

The Empathy Gap:
One study suggest that there is an empathy gap that causes people to downplay the severity of certain methods of torture. (re: Empathy Gap encourages torture) The basic idea is that if you have never experienced such a thing then you can’t relate, so you may downplay the events severity. For example, if you have never been locked in a cell for 24hrs a day, sleep deprived for days, and water-boarded – you may not consider it torture.

In fact, it’s not surprising that many conservatives with torture experience like Jon McCain, who has actually been tortured, agrees that these are all methods of torture. Another neoconservative ally, Chris Hitchens, agreed only after trying for himself, that waterboarding was in fact torture saying “believe me, it’s torture”. (re: Chris Hitchens gets waterboarded) So maybe a few congressman and CIA agents should try out these methods for themselves before declaring “it’s not that bad”. Not to mention torture doesn’t work anyways.

Let’s stop kidding ourselves:
Torture doesn’t work and even if it did we still shouldn’t do it. The moral consequences are far too grave. The facts are this: Torture is immoral, ineffective, and dangerous. We have someone misinformed ourselves about the facts and given up our very morality to feel a little safer. It’s all in vein. Torture has given the enemy more cause to fight, more fuel to hate their enemy, excuse to torture our troops, and a basic deterioration of our military values. There are more effective means of gathering information and it is vital we set a good and just example for the rest of the world. At this point, we are failing at both.

Support political leaders who oppose torture and have a serious talk with yourself about the cost of a war that we shouldn’t be involved in anyways.

fat kid billboards

So if you don’t live in Georgia you probably didn’t know that this existed, but it does.  I noticed the ad for the first time today right in Atlanta not too far from my house.  Some group of people thought it would be a great idea to put up giant billboards ridiculing fat children.  I suppose to shame them and their parents into being more healthy.  The billboards say things like “It’s hard being a little girl, when you’re not.”

I personally think the billboards are hilarious.  Hilarious in the kind of way that a comedian is.  That is one who has dove off the morality cliff, pushed over any sense of caring for others, but is so crude you can’t help but laugh.  It’s like a train wreck and you can’t help but look at the destruction.

The funniest/worst part about these billboards is that someone had to actually sit around and think these things up AND put in the foot work to put them up and pay for them.  Was there are large enough group of people that thought this was a good idea?  Also, I want to know who the hell agreed to let their child pose for these damn signs and do these videos!

On a side note, I just read that Georgia has the 2nd highest child obesity rate in the country.  We really do have a problem. Damn soul food and damn you Paula Dean.

Also, my wife, who is an art teacher for high school almost cried when she saw these videos.  She said she sees fat kids get picked on (her brother is also obese) and it really hurts her.  I guess I have to be careful not to let out a chuckle around her.  These adds are too rediculous to be taken seriously…

You can check out the website and laugh here.

mommy and daddy issues

My Mom sent me this email:

hey baby, first i want to tell you that i love you sooooooo much!!!!! and that i miss you really bad!!!!!!!!!! could you send me another e-mail with the pictures of ya’lls house, Jennifer erased mine, i wanted to save them and she didn’t know. me and daddy are both fine, just kinda stuck, but…. if i remember correctly, we won’t share each others personal problems or progress?????? when you said that to me (not in those words, yours were a little more harsh ! ) that day I thought to myself………. who is this person i’m talking to right now?? are you just trying to seperate yourself from me and dad? Christian, if you were ever lonely or thought I just checked out after you started high school , i’m sorry for some reason thats just how my body chose to deal with depression,insecurity problems….. etc. it really wasn’t like that until you were older, i wasn’t on drugs or any weird medication. it was just my body. I hope you were pretty happy for the most part growing up. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!

This email has bothered me to the core.  It really has.  I don’t know what to do with it.  In a way it’s almost like it is my responsibility to do something about her and my father’s problems.  It’s true I have disconnected myself from them, but that’s because I have to live my own life and get away from their mess.  I left for college and never looked back.  My Mother has done nothing to fix her own problems and maybe she can’t – so does this mean I should step up and try to make her life better?  I can’t help but be cold towards her.

To me she’s weak.  Other than raise me she did nothing for me.  My parents were on food stamps – didn’t pay for my food.  She recieved money from the Government – they didn’t pay the bills, the government did – they didn’t use the money to pay the bills half the time anyways.  From the age 16 I was in charge of my own life.  I paid my own bills, bought my own clothes.  I really think she still pictures how things were when I was in elementary school.  Things haven’t been right for decades.  I think the truth would destroy her.

Should I be the better man?  Should I forgive.  Should I be compassionate and listen to their constant ignorance, constant complaints, and constant lack of action?  Should I just deal with how shitty they were/are and be a good son?  Probably.  I don’t know if I can.  I don’t know if I want to.  I don’t know if it’s healthy either way.  FUCK!  Why can’t I just have a family that can fuel me instead of hinder my success.  I don’t want to have “mommy and daddy issues” – but lets just be honest.  I do.  I have fucking family issues.  I resent them all.  I want to start over and get rid of their shitty genetics and taught behaviors forever.

I don’t want to go to my Mom’s project housing and feel guilty like I should somehow put her in better housing.  I don’t want to see her depressed and leave feeling worse than I did when I got there.  I don’t want to see what a wasted life both of my parents have managed to create for themselves.  I don’t want to hear how “proud” they are of me.  I don’t give a shit – I did this – ME – on my own.  Maybe I’m being selfish.  Maybe I’m not giving them due credit, but I don’t know how I can give them any credit after all of the bullshit I’ve been though because of them.

On the other hand, I realize, it’s not my job to save them.  Maybe I should just do what I can.  Be a son.  Just be there.  I just hope that I can do it without hurting myself in the process.  It’s strange – not being able to know right from wrong – which choice is right and which is wrong – which is just?  Should I have a relationship with them or finish building this wall between us that I have constructed?  Shit.