Some Self Reflection…

Family, Life

It’s going on two weeks now since I had my big “aha” moment and oh, what a difference it has made.

Without the judgement, criticism and guilt clouding my heart and head, I am now at a point where I can begin to talk to myself and get to the bottom of my issues that had caused me to be the person I was.

And it has been very enlightening.

I’m learning a little bit more about myself everyday, and actually taking the time to hear what others are saying as well.

The walls are starting to crumble and fall all around me, in a good way. It feels amazing to be able to let the light shine in, letting others in as well after all these years.

One of the most surprising things I have found about myself is that I truly do care about people’s opinions about me. For years, decades even, I have been telling myself that no one else matters. Their thoughts and opinions didn’t make a difference. But in all honesty, I was way wrong. The comments and judgments have crept in through my cracked walls and have slowly, over long periods of time, clouded my heart. My anger and bitterness have been defense mechanisms. Not out of jealousy, not out of spite, but out of pain. I have not had a terribly difficult life, but I have still overcome a lot to get to where I am today. And it hurts when my morals, ethics, accomplishments, struggles and achievements are questioned or put down. Maybe that’s the reason I am never satisfied with my accomplishments? Maybe I try to distance myself through my career and achievements from those who put me down? Maybe .. 

I used to have a really close relationship with my three brothers. They would come over at least every other weekend and hang out with me. We would do all sorts of things – movies, video games, cooking, basketball. But then they just stopped doing that. I don’t remember the last time I actually hung out with any of them. It’s probably been at least 5 or 6 years.

And I guess that has created this feeling of abandonment. And because of that I started treating them like garbage. And any feeling of abandonment just grows into a fear of it. So I never let anyone in for fear that they will one day do the same thing. And, unfortunately, anytime I have tried having friends in the past it has always ended in disaster. Because I push people away, or I am critical, or something. Something always happens.

But I have to stop assuming. Stop thinking that just because it has happened in the last that it is going to happen in the future. Having friends is a good thing. It’s someone to talk to where I otherwise have no one (other than my wife).

I also am being honest with the fact that I have so many insecurities. I’m never good enough. I can always do better. I hate the way I look. These are the things internally I have been dealing with every, single, day. So I keep people at a distance so they can’t see the person I really am.

It’s been almost 2 weeks now and my heart has been opened. There’s room now. And it’s allowed me to be honest and open about things I would normally never talk about.

Last year I went through a period in my life where I just wanted to give up. I was diagnosed as depressed, I was put on medication, and I had to go and speak to my doctor once a month and be monitored. Things ended up getting better, as they always do. I had my wife to support me and stand by my side. But I still was never able to talk to her about some of the thoughts that went through my head. I was finally able to do that this week and it felt so freeing.

I’m able to speak openly and honestly now in a, mostly, positive way. The truth is what it is, and I don’t advocate lying, but it doesn’t have to be said in a hurtful way. Tact is something I’ve always been told I lack, and I’m working on it now. Other people’s feelings matter.

The biggest thing I’m working on though is guilt. And that involves forgiving myself, which I am having a harder time doing.

I had a good childhood and had a lot of opportunities placed in front of me. And yet I ended up being this angry person.

My wife on the other hand didn’t have it so easy, and yet she was the kindest person ever when we got married. Forgave everyone, gave them chances and opportunities, stopped to listen and understand. But after being married for almost 10 years now she started to be more like me. Pushing people away because didn’t like them. Avoiding her family because it was easier than dealing with me being grouchy. And she eventually became this person she doesn’t even recognize anymore.

But I do recognize that person. That person is me. Or rather, that person is who I used to be.

And it’s not fair to her because she truly is an amazing person. But because I have been so selfish she has suffered. She’s now as lonely as I am.

What kind of husband was I?

Not a very good one. But because she is such an amazing woman she has always been there by my side. And always forgiving me when I’m just a stupid jerk.

So this change is for her, as much if not more as it is for me. Because it’s not too late to be the best husband I can be. It’s not too late to be a good friend.

This past week has been a rollercoaster for us. We have gotten to this point now where honesty IS the best policy. So we have been telling each other everything. Instead of assuming, we ask. Instead of getting mad, we try to understand. She’s said things, I’ve said things, but we have been honest with each other. And we now get to grow from it.

And I’m glad I had this revelation before I lost one of the best things in my life.

I was a terrible person. My problems with people have stemmed from my attitude towards them. If I were just understanding, and patient, and kind, I might not feel so alone today.

I need to let people in. Literally. So I open my doors to my friends and family who I have pushed out before. To my family, I’m sorry for being such a jerk. For having a better-than-thou attitude. To A’s family, I’m sorry that you felt like you couldn’t come around when I was around. She needs you in her life. And I would be glad to have you around. Spend time with us, spend the night, be together again.

The first step in recovery is acceptance. I will not be that man I was before. No, you know what, I wasn’t much of a man. I will be a man now. I will be proud of who I am, and I will be someone others are proud to know.

I love you all, as much as I have shown otherwise in the past.


Parenting, and how somedays you just feel like a failure…


First things first, I love being a parent. It creates some of the strongest emotions I have ever had to deal with. Everyone wants to talk about the great times, the highs, when the world is going great.

I’m not going to talk about those times.

I’m going to talk about the moment I felt the guiltiest I have ever felt in my life, and when I felt like I had failed my child.

This was two days ago, and it’s been eating me alive.

I’m not going to get into all the details, but the basic background is this, Bud got in trouble for something he shouldn’t have done. Now when I say he got in trouble, please keep in mind that I have certain strong beliefs and never harming a child is a huge one for me. My kids don’t get spanked, they don’t get their hands smacked, or whatever else. They get punishments such as groundings, going to bed early, no tv, phones taken away, etc.

So Bud had an incident the other night and had to go to bed early. Mind you it was only 20 minutes early, but that’s irrelevant.

Regardless of if our kids are in trouble or not one of us will tuck them in every night. So I got Bud ready and put him in bed.

And the whole time he was upset. Naturally.

When I finally got him all tucked in and had the blankets wrapped around I asked him if he was mad at me.

Some quick background on him. He is a very emotional child. Bud has SPD and he doesn’t always know how to deal with his emotions. When he gets really emotionally upset he will do this thing where he tries to talk without letting the tears come flowing out.

So he shook his head yes and fought back the tears.

And I told him I’m sorry and told him I loved him.

And he tried his hardest to fight back the years but a few snuck through and he told me he loved me too.

I turned my head, got up, turned his fan on, shut off the light, and walked out the door.

And my heart shattered.

I have never felt such guilt and failure from anything I have ever done in my life before.

I felt guilty for having to punish him in the first place. This kid has a way of pulling at your heart strings, and although he can be a handful at times, most days he is one of the sweetest kids ever.

And the failure set in when I realized that he felt like he couldn’t share his emotions with me. That he had to fight back the tears. That even though he was in trouble he was trying to be strong and not vulnerable.

Have I failed my children in the fact that they can’t be open with me? That they feel like they have to meet a certain standard around dad?

It’s weighed on me. Heavily.

Even though he assures me he is no longer mad at me and doesn’t even remember, I have this nagging feeling in the back of my head that my son is going to remember that moment. And he’s going to resent me for it.

I can’t be that parent.

I need to be there for them.

I can be better.

I WILL be better.

I HAVE to be.