There was darkness and in the darkness I decided to find some light.
It was either that or once and for all plunge into that darkness and be done with it all. I even had my point of exit planned. I thought if all else fails I will drive off a cliff at the Columbia gorge river. I had been there once before. It was a long fall that would have the desired effect.
No one would miss me is a thought that played over and over.
For unknown reasons I ruled that option out. I don’t remember why anymore. I guess that’s a good thing.
Where to he asks himself?
So I started to look into what I was and what I had become. I wanted to start somewhere. I had to start somewhere is a better way of saying it.
The sleep of denial had to end. Living a nightmare of my own creation had to go.
I wondered where the beginning was after I woke up late August in 2015.
Everything I had known was gone. I was a bloated corpse that had washed up onto a rocky beach, barely alive.
I fought the desire to survive many times.
Why bother was what I heard. And all I read about me was dripping hatred.
It was time to change. Finally change.
I don’t know if I was surprised by this or not. I finally stopped throwing grenades at my problems. Instead I launched a nuclear attack at my own base and destroyed it once and for all.
Now, here I was.
I don’t honestly know if I did it on purpose or not.
I knew the daily misery of being alone with someone that didn’t give a shit about me other than how much of my money they can spend to go party and figuratively and literally fuck around behind my back.
I knew enough of what was going on. I’m not innocent or stupid. Let’s not mince words there.
That comedy and tragedy is also a story for some other time.
Forgiveness Evolves from compassion and kindness.
For that I am glad I maintain a semblance of what I should be more often.
In that moment of haze while I stared up at the small window in my darkened little basement sanctuary I had better things to focus on.
Over time things becomes clear I kept thinking. Or, I kept wanting to believe at least.
Survive. Wish for the skies to clear. Leave your damage behind you.
Was there another choice?
The haze wasn’t there to make it harder to see. The haze was there so I would see what I needed to. To focus. To live when I had not been living before.
This was one of the first times I saw what I needed to. I laughed in the quiet of that cement temple. A shrine where my witch would dance to the rhythms of the unforeseen.
For many years I saw what I wanted to. It turns out those are very different edges of the sword; seeing what you want versus seeing what you need.
The beginning eventually became something I pondered often.
Where had I been?
It was probably the healthiest thing I did for a while after I washed up on that foreign shore.
I started traveling back in time. Deeper and deeper. More obscure, more remote, to places I hadn’t gone before. Places I had to go.
A sober mind and clear head was a dangerous thing as it turns out.
What were the oldest memories?
What memories was I afraid of?
What did it look like, or smell like in these memories? I had to visit each one many times to rebuild the past.
I found so many places I had locked away. I found some peace in the chaos. I find a few answers. Mostly I found questions.
Answers are a prison. Questions will set you free was my mantra.
Then I found a broken little key that opened a door to a place that was essential that I explore.
I don’t think it is necessarily where I went wrong, it’s just where I started embracing a darkness that I shouldn’t have.
I didn’t know better.
Mind you, this is the darkness of survival with no one to guide you.
This is very different than the choice of darkness that allows you to do harm.
Don’t fool yourself, I have also done harm in the past.
I have regrets.
This was where I started. Shoveling the sand against the tide one grain at a time. Many years before.
Which in hindsight is really easy. Back then I didn’t know what else to do.
Build it and they will come. Destroy it and they will come.
Embrace anything that appears to want you around.
If that meant build a wall, then, my grains of sand would become a wall. If this meant fill in a chasm. Then I would do that. If that meant blast over the writing on the wall as opposed to read it, then so be it.
It’s almost funny at times now to watch myself do those things.
My time machine has become rather proficient.
I would go back and forth into my past during the days and weeks with Tara. Some nights I could tell her of my findings, others I could not. Or would not.
As lay in the basement cave one night I went through what I suspected was a usual process of finding someone; anyone to blame (the denial cycle). I couldn’t venture back in time that night. I didn’t want to be introspective. I wanted someone else to take the fall in that moment.
It wasn’t me!
I regressed into that child state where I wanted someone to tell me they did this to me. I grew tired of looking into the mirror. I wanted some lies instead. I needed a person to blame.
It isn’t my fault.
Someone did this to me.
Or it was someone’s fault at a minimum because I wasn’t rich, or smart, or career driven, it was because of that. Maybe I should have joined the Air Force and the discipline would have made all the difference.
How come no one told me...
All I wanted was to be told what to do. To be told right from wrong. It never happened.
The silence of my cries went unheard for many sleepless nights. That particular night was painful. It was cathartic. It was part of the process of shedding my past and destroying my excuses.
I was fortunate that part didn’t last long. For some people the life of blame and victimization never ends. That is a fate worse than death. But that is only my opinion. I am just glad I saw it and didn’t stay there.
My journey was going to be about the truth. Not blame. So I went back to the mirror time and time again.
I wondered about my parents and the decisions they made.
How much of that should I look at?
While I have my issues with some things they did; it was never their fault entirely.
My mom has said a thousand times we should have never moved to Temecula because the school wasn’t good enough, or it was too remote, or their wasn’t enough culture.
I’ve told her an equal number of times it had nothing to do with the school or those other things.
I also don’t need to burden her with some of my opinion about being left alone for years as a latch key kid. She isn’t in a place that my story would help the greater good, so I hold it in.
Some day after she is gone I will dive into that abyss and see where it takes me.
I do however tend to identify the beginning as a period of being around eleven years old. This did coincide with our move to Temecula from a very different life in Northern California.
Part of this is simply when I fell out of what little nurturing I recall having and into the frying pan of starting of a long journey into the unknown; alone.
The beginning for me was more about not having anyone tell me what to do; tell me right from wrong. To give me wisdom.
I needed guidance. It wasn’t there to be had. To be heard. To be felt.
That part of my life was about trial and error in the mind of a scared eleven year old that was lonely and longing for attention. Any attention.
Even typing these words at 34,000 feet while I fly back to dallas for work is haunting. I can’t fix any of this. And I am a fixer or problem solver by nature. Perhaps a survivalist is a better label. I can help you with your problems but I don’t seem to have been very successful with my own.
There is an irony in that.
I have relived so many little events in my life going back to the early Temecula days I don't know some times what happened and what didn’t. Realistically I do, but some aren’t very pleasant. And certainly not things one would wish to dwell on. I don’t.
So many memories are dreams and nightmares commingled into a blur of time. So many hopes faded. So many wonderful experiences.
How did we end up in Temecula?
A little back story is that my dad got a job for the local real estate development company and we moved. Then my mom started doing something to get out of the house. Maybe she was tired of being a mom, or wanted a challenge, or was bored, I don’t really know.
My brother was always gone at school or something to get himself out of Temecula and on to college and a career in the Air Force.
So this all loosely translates to no one was really around much after we moved there. It was me and the dog and dungeons and dragons. Sometimes in a bing empty house. Sometimes in a small empty condo. The reoccurring theme was empty.
Eventually I got to upgrade my bike to my brothers moped so I had a little freedom to explore. But two of the three of those came to unpleasant demises and I was left with dungeons and dragons. A thing that is likely the only reason I never got into drugs. I made my saving throw.
So the beginning was empty. A void in the heat and drought of southwest riverside county. It wasn’t horrible, it was empty most of the time. There is a difference.
It was a wide open expanse of nothing wrapped up in a very small town with no stop lights, no police, a high school that was 20 or so miles away and one of several doors to a place that I seemed to live in alone. The only law enforcement I ever saw was the boarder patrol.
From there I just tried to figure things out. To find a way to fit in. I don’t think I ever fit in very well. And the figuring things out was a semi annual shit show also.
It it was the beginning.
It is where the bulk of this story starts.
It is where I came into the world as far as it matters.
So there was light and there was darkness and the planets formed and I began the journey.