It Must Be a Duck

The last few years have been pretty rough ones. My separation and divorce, being a part-time Dad, working the worst hours known to man, living in a state sleep deprivation trying to keep up with it all. My teenage kids have disowned me (my son sent me an email before Thanksgiving telling me so and what a horrible person / father I am, my daughter still smiles and talks to me because she has to.) and tell the little ones “their truth” about me. It’s a constant walk on eggshells which I can’t yell or discipline them. Well this last week there has been a lot of deep discussion in my house (where I live not where my kids live) and it has come to light that maybe “I’m” the problem my family member went on a rant talking about how I am a horrible person to live with, “You don’t do anything but eat, sleep, and make trash.” So that got me thinking maybe this is why my Ex asked me to leave in the first place, maybe I am the root of all the unhappiness in the lives around me. Sure would explain a lot why my kids barely want anything to do with me. Why my Ex has SO  MUCH venom toward me. Why most of my relationships are online. Why 99% of the contact I have with people is initiated by me. I must be the most rotten piece of Shit there is if no one would bother to say “Hey how are you doing?” if I didn’t say it first.

So sitting here thinking what to do about it. I just think that everyone would be better off not hearing from me ever again. But then I know my Ladybugs Love me even though I am the worst father ever. I just wonder if I’m damaging them more by being in their life this way. I wish I knew a better way to be for them, but I think I’m being a good father. But if everyone is telling me I’m the problem then maybe I am the problem. At this moment I’m so lost right now I don’t know what to do.

It has been a long night and I’m weary maybe sleep will bring answers. Maybe prayer. I don’t know. I just know I Love my girls and its ripping my heart out that they and the rest of the people around me just don’t seem to want me there.

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BB

Well the last few weeks have been full of adventure and self awareness. It all kind of started over a month ago when I did something completely uncharacteristic of me now and reached out to meet a total stranger online, that’s how BB came into my life.
Let me go back and give you a little (very little) history on me. I am in my forties and up until this year was married for twenty years (although we’ve been separated about two years). We had five kids together. (This will all come out in another blog later I’m sure). When I was younger I was pretty outgoing shy at times but very social I loved being with my friends and making new friends. I married pretty young but even before that I never went to bars or clubs, it was not really my thing. So fast forward to a few years ago my wife tells me she’s done and asks me to move out. Now I am on my own again. This is every guys dream right? Wrong, I wanted my family back in the worst way. It took a good year for me to face the fact that I was not going to win my wife back then I went into a depression only I didn’t realize it till I was in a meeting at work and they were discussing the stages of grief and it hit me I luckily held it together that day for the half hour till I was done work and got in my car and cried the entire hour plus commute home (I was a sobbing mess). I have since then been slowly rebuilding me into the person I want to be.
One of the first things I noticed was I did not go out of my comfort zone period. I only hung out with the parents I knew at the school organizations my kids were in or friends I’ve had since grammar school. I did not meet new people at all when I tried there was a sense of uncontrollable anxiety that would make me give an excuse to whoever wanted to take me anywhere and stay home in my pajamas. So one of the first things I did was join a new church cause as my oldest daughter was telling at the time “YA NEED JESUS!”. This actually was a great thing because the church I chose has a part in between the singing and sermon where you get up and greet everyone you can. This forced me to meet people in a safe environment. So like that I’ve been pushing myself out there. But I’ve been going on about me and I teased this is about BB so let’s get to her shall we.
So fast forward to the beginning of December I was at my house tooling around the old Facebook and I got a notification in a group I belong to about a get together they were having in PA the message was from a beautiful woman asking if anyone was going to the get together. I was intrigued by her beauty and looked at her profile this intrigued me more then I saw she had a blog. So I hit the link and started to read her blog and I really started to really interest me in her. She was so brutally honest with herself, yet hysterically funny and all with the underlying thread of hope and optimism. I had to try and meet this woman. Not feeling the usual fear I decided to go for it, not wanting to look like a creep I decided to email her and tell her how much I liked her blog and what it meant to me. Step one complete! Well would you know I got a very nice response to my email from her to which I responded back (I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M DOING THIS). After a few traded emails she asked me to friend her on Facebook so I did and we started messaging quite often. The more I found out about her the more I thought she couldn’t be real. We clicked on everything movies, music you name it. The joke I said to her was she was too perfect “she was either a dude, or a serial killer!” She claimed to be neither. So by now it’s getting close to Christmas and I’m getting smitten, could I have a chance with this exquisite creature? I have got to meet her in person, we were trying to make plans but schedules got in the way. One day BB asks me “what do you think would be the best way to get to Boston on December 30th? I have a ticket to the Bosstones concert and want to go but don’t want to drive all that way by myself.” She also needs to fly out of Philadelphia airport the next afternoon. She’s REALLY BAD at logistics. So after consulting train schedules and the like I looked to see if there were tickets available. I got lucky and scored a cheap ticket, so told her I’d drive if she helped with gas and tolls. She agreed and the planning for our adventure began.
Now I LOVE logistics, I was a truck driver back in the day, and still love planning routes and such. Make sure the van is running good, grab snacks, make reservations for dinner before the show, I was a man possessed. While all these plans were getting done we were both really excited, I finished reading her blog and there were a few entries about a guy, a guy who lives in Boston that she fell hard for but had never met in person, now I know why she wants to go to this concert so bad. Now in my delusional brain she’s over Guy and will see how cool I am. How Foolish I can be.

So the day arrives and I’m excited like it was Christmas morning and I’m 12 years old. I drive the hour to her place and pick her up. She is just as beautiful in person, seriously I didn’t think it was possible but it was true. So we set out. Now I’ve never been to Boston and she just moved to the Northeast so we were both like kids going through NYC and into Connecticut and then Massachusetts the whole way talking music, playing each other songs from our phones, singing (she has an amazing voice) and laughing. Now I knew from text and now in person she is a relentless Ball Buster (hence her name BB), but in the playfully smart ass way I truly love. We were just clicking. I couldn’t have planned it better even with traffic and stops we got to the parking garage right at 6pm and our reservations at the Pub were at 6 so we walked in gave them my name and were seated immediately. Thinking to myself “I’m pretty impressive”. Dinner is when I first noticed her getting distracted slightly. We didn’t have seats near one another so we made arrangements to meet up after the show. I had to run to the van to grab my phone so she got in line. Got in the show by myself found a good spot to stand and was just waiting when I got a message from BB “this seat sucks!” I snap a pic of where I am and send it and she tells me to send a screenshot of my ticket so she can come to where I am, now I’m excited she’s coming to stand with me. A couple minutes later I see the little beauty coming and she stands with me. We start people watching and the first two bands come on and we critique them, what we like and what we don’t. All the while in between sets and during she’s texting and searching for Guy. After the second opening act and just before the Bosstones I hear the words that change everything “there he is!” Now I have been in this situation before in my younger years, the perfect Duckie moment (if you don’t know Duckie is a character in Pretty in Pink stop reading this page now, Goodbye) he is so in love with her and gets upset when she starts seeing Blaine. But by the end of the movie he can see it in her face at prom that she’s crazy about Blaine. Now all of these emotions that Duckie processes over the length of time in the movie happened to me in a 2 hour Bosstones set. I was a little dickhurt that I did all the heavy lifting on this (planning, driving, and such) and this Guy comes in and is canoodling with BB (actually she as doing the canoodling in retrospect). But as we left Boston and we’re driving back to my place she was really quiet. Partially because it was a long day and was tired, but I suspect also she was processing seeing him, and was texting him the whole way to my home.

So BB stayed at my place so that morning so I could take her to the airport so she can go south to see her friends on her vacation. I was going to pick her up the next week and take her home. So she got up and showered to get ready for her trip and I made us breakfast. Our conversation was still really good and we laughed and joked. I was very conflicted now the deluded part of my brain was saying there’s still a shot with her, while the higher brain was remembering her face in Boston. I put her on the plane and tried to work her out of my mind. But like I told my best friend that night when he asked about the trip “I know she really has it for this guy and I should just write her off but she is just so cool and we connect so well that I need her in my life, if not romantically then just to be a great friend.” So we messaged while she was away and all was good. So the other night I went to pick her up late at the airport and brought her to my place to stay the night and I’d drive her home in the morning. We sat up talking for a while about real things not just the fluff everyone else does. Then I was happy for her to be my friend, a really good friend. So we both go to our separate beds (she was in the RV in my yard) I woke up a 6am and saw there was a phone call and text from her telling me she was sad. I was worried about her so I knocked on the door and asked if she was OK. She said she was but was just sad for some reason that morning I asked I she wanted me to come in and hold her she said sure. We laid there in the bed holding each other for a while when it hit me like a ton of bricks that I just need to be near her I don’t need to be romantic or physical with her. That I Loved her in the purest sense of the word. Not the boyfriend/ girlfriend, man and wife way, but that she is a being that my soul has connected with and I will look out and care for her as long as she’ll have me in her life, which I hope will be a long time.
So now the search is still on for someone to be the peanut butter to my jelly but for now I know I’ll have BB in my corner helping me out with great tips like “DON’T TEXT FIRST!!!!” I know I’ve truly hit the Jackpot having BB in my life.

“There’s not a word yet for old friends who’ve just met”

-Paul Williams

Merry Christmas addendum 

    Well it’s Christmas Eve about 11pm, a lot has changed in the last 2 days. I’m not as melancholy as I was the other day, so this won’t be as sad. I hope! 
      Yesterday after overtime I did a little last minute shopping on my way home. I was actually starting to feel a little of the spirit getting to the last things for my Ladybugs. Then I slept for a few hours and got up and ready to go out. 
    Had errands to run before meeting a friend for dinner and to watch a band play. In my errands I found the spirit more. First stop was friends and fellow band parents of mine, just dropping off a gift I painted for them. While talking to Jon outside his wife Naomi comes home and comes over to me and gives me the biggest hug telling me “we don’t see you enough!” It’s great to have friends like this.
    Next stop was an old friend Crissy. I had gotten some gifts for her two kids (who warmed my heart when I walked in and were like BRIAN). I also had two candles I had painted for her. Little did she know I had bought her a necklace and stuffed it in the gift bag with them. I was running late meeting my friend for dinner so I kind of dropped and ran with the gifts. Texting as I left asking if her kids liked the stuff she posted a video for me on Facebook. Then I asked if she saw hers, there was silence for a few minutes and she came back saying OMG THANK YOU! You shouldn’t have. The spirit was getting bigger with all the joy I was spreading. 
    Third stop was the bar I was meeting my friend Robin at for dinner and to see a band. After the drive I was starving. Robin showed up dressed to the nines (the drummer was her ex boyfriend and she was making honest his heart out). We were also celebrating her recent raise and home. I had an amazing cheeseburger with crab meat and old bay seasoning, LOVED IT! Now time for the band they were good but the drummer can’t keep time that annoys me. All in all a good night.
   Now today, a lot needed to be done today. Started by making Rolo pretzels, a favorite treat. Then out to the fray to get the last of the things I needed for my kids to have for Christmas. Movie theater, bakery, Target, Walmart, the Mall, and more Walmart, it was a crazy blur. Got home and was trying to decide how to spend the rest of my night. Decided I was too tired for church got some Chinese food and relaxed at home. Mom and Dad helped me with wrapping. Now time to relax and get this blog out. 
    So know I think I got it spreading joy and giving everyone the things I made them has really brought out the spirit of Christmas for me. Hope you and yours have a great Christmas!

Merry Christmas?!??

    Here we are 3 days from Christmas and I am nowhere near the Christmas spirit. Now Christmas and I have had a tumultuous relationship. Like all kids I loved it when I was younger (who doesn’t love presents). I even enjoyed the candles in church. The songs I’ve always loved singing, it’s my truly happy place, so the songs of my youth were always special. 
     Then things changed. My best and worst Christmas when I was a young adult happened in the same year 1985. I was 13 years old. My Aunt had just had a baby a few days before Christmas and this would be the first time I would hold her. She was so small and beautiful, in my adolescent mind I couldn’t fathom ever loving another being more than her. She was perfect. I held her a lot that day and she grew up with me always there like a big brother there to help her and her the same for me (closer to me than my own brother). That was the afternoon. For the evening we needed to visit my Pop-pop. Pop had had several strokes on the operating table as they were trying to clear some blockage from his arteries a few weeks prior to Christmas, leaving him paralyzed on the left side and non communicative. This was the hard part. You see for a long time me and Pop were inseparable. I was and am just like him rough and grumpy of an exterior but a giant teddy bear that will love you with every fiber in his being. So when we got to the hospital and it was time to feed him Christmas dinner with a syringe it was and still is a hard memory (tears are in my eyes typing this) so even at that young age I began to doubt everything question God, “why would you make him or me suffer like that?”

   After that for a really long time I hated Christmas until after I found her (she tried to get me into the holiday). Then He came into my life I loved him so much that I named him after my Pop. As he got bigger I made the effort to really like Christmas this was the time of the Santa hats and blinking red noses (which we would wear out everywhere, including the rest rides on Harley’s I fixed at the time.) Then my Ladybugs started coming and there were many years when we were happy all year but especially Christmas. Me putting the songs on my ipod a big deal every year so we can sing in the car. Last year was my first one outside of the house, and although it was different we still had a nice season. 

     Fast forward to this Christmas my two older kids have been angry with me most of this year (He disowned me via email at Thanksgiving) but my three little Ladybugs love me more than anything. When I asked the Queen yesterday when I get them for Christmas I was told 2-6 pm. So this season has been hard for me.

    So I’ve made the conscious decision to work overtime this weekend. I can make some money and keep my mind a little busy. It will also keep me away from the constant reminder that I had a family and I fucked it all up. I have a bunch of friends that have invited me over to share in their holiday, to which I am very grateful but feel like an intruder. So for me I’ll be occupied till 12/25 at 2pm then Daddy will be in heaven. 

   I wish you all (like there’s more than one person reading this) a Merry Christmas!

Still searching 

   I guess for a good part of my life I’ve been searching for something. But I could never put my finger on it. When I was younger it was the Love and acceptance of my parents and grandparents. Those were great times, simpler times, but that will probably be another story. In my young adult years I began searching for my tribe. You know those people who get your jokes, who get you, not just friends this is the elite of the elite of friends. That one or two that truly get you and care for you a great deal. The ones that you open up to about everything. The ones that know more about you than anyone in your family. I even started looking for God at this time. As an adult I was searching for someone to share my life with, start a family with that One that makes you feel special just being you. I found her, I had all of that and then I stopped searching. Cause that’s what you’re supposed to do right stop searching when you find HER. Little did I know that yes you stop searching for a mate, you got her, but that doesn’t mean you stop searching. It’s in our DNA we need to look for something to keep us interested and interesting to our mate. I stopped, got complacent, that’s when it all fell apart.       The ONE asked me to leave her and my five kids after 18 years. She was done with me. So reluctantly I did and I acclimated to my new life working, seeing my kids when I can, existing. I wallowed in self pity and depression for a while (still rears its ugly head now and again). Then a funny thing happened I started searching again first it was to reconnect to my tribe. Some of which were always there just waiting for me, some I lost in the divorce (life happens). I even found new tribe mates through helping with my kids. Those other parents who get me and care, there are a couple. I even broke out of my anxiety and fear to reach out to someone I had never met before a few weeks ago. If you are reading this you have her to thank/blame (she will probably be the first if not the only one to read it) I hope she understands she is in my tribe and she likes it. She encourages me to be me. I even reconnected with God along the way. That has helped me immensely. 

    So I guess this is what they mean when they say “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Well this is step one on this particular part of my journey. I’m still searching though!