I’m back, chapter 1

•2 November, 2014 • Leave a Comment

So it’s been a looooong time since my last post and nearly everything in my world has been turned upside down so this is going to be a series of long catch-up posts broken up into chapters. A little less than two months after my post in February of 2012, my then wife took me out to dinner at Olive Garden and broke the news that she was leaving me. It was totally unexpected and came in the wake of being completely let down by missing out on what I thought at the time would be a life-changing 1st teaching job after I had put in 5 years of hard work as a substitute building a good professional reputation. She had been thinking about separation for a while and had already made her peace with just living out life as a single woman in a small house with my son as the only man in her life. I didn’t know how to react or really think she would go through with the divorce, so she started staying with an older male teacher she coached track with who was her BFF at the time while I stayed in our home with our son except for a few hours each night when she would visit him while I left the house. This arrangement was my idea to appease her and accommodate her early morning CrossFit workouts and coaching schedule. After about a week of this her parents convinced her that I should be the one to move out since she made more money and thus had more of a claim to live in our home we had purchased jointly in 2010 after becoming pregnant with our son. I believe her parents made her the narcissistic person she is by always teaching her to look out for number one. This just further reinforced the feeling of being a second-class citizen due to our individual financial contributions to our marriage that had already been an ever looming issue since I had originally moved in to her first home part time while I was still going to college back in 2006.

I started binge drinking to try and drown the feelings that come with the ultimate form of rejection that absolutely crushes your sense of self-worth as a human being and changes absolutely everything you thought you had planned for the rest of your life. I became hypomanic, sleeping for a few hours a night and trying to validate my self worth by sleeping around with women I picked up at the bar or strip club. Of course that would only numb the pain for a few hours. At the same time however, I was doing everything productive I could do to try and save our marriage. I was doing CrossFit almost every morning at 5:30 before work to make myself more attractive and feel better, and was dragging my wife to counseling at the same place I had done my Intensive Outpatient Program following my DUI conviction back in 2011. She seemed to be just going through the motions for the first few sessions just to make me happy and say she tried, and things hadn’t really changed much until an anonymous letter arrived in her mailbox at school from the friend of one of my one-night stands telling her what had happened. We were separated but my wife called me furious asking if I had cheated on her. I thought we were separated so didn’t see the wrong in it, but of course I denied everything and so did the woman I slept with when my wife confronted her at the softball fields, mostly out of fear. The funny thing is that event lit a fire under my wife and made her realize that she wanted to be with me again. Maybe I was on to something, people generally want the things they can’t have or are jealous of the things others have, it’s one of the oldest tricks in the book. I’ll never forget the night I was washing dishes in the kitchen and she came up behind me, wrapped her arms around to hold my stomach and told me she wasn’t ready to be done. It was as if the governor had given me a pardon just as the executioner was about to throw the switch on the electric chair. The knot in my stomach and tightness in my heart was gone, and for the first time in forever I felt the sensation of happiness and joy.

It was at this point my wife came up with the idea to move to Texas for a fresh start away from the black hole that is my hometown. We had talked about moving there back when we were both in college because it would be an awesome place to live with many more opportunities for activities and better weather. People almost never leave my hometown and hardly change from high school, it’s a very stale, cold, windy, and depressing place to live, especially in the long, bleak winters. Throughout this process we fell back in love and I couldn’t be happier, I bought her a wedding band and re-proposed to her at the lake we had fallen in love at back in 2003. Soon after that, I was offered my first official teaching position at a middle school in Austin, Texas. She didn’t have any luck with jobs since art positions are pretty rare, so the plan was for me to move down first, and her and little man would follow later. I imagine that pioneers felt the same anxiousness and optimism I felt as I packed my car to the brim that August and left behind everything familiar in search of a better life and to save my marriage somewhere I didn’t know a soul.

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Defeated/Discouraged/Dejected/Despondent/Disillusioned/Depressed

•8 February, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I haven’t posted for a while, not that I have throngs of readers anyways. This blog is more for getting things off my chest, and if that is entertaining or enlightening to someone else then great, I love helping and pleasing others to a fault. I am always putting my needs on the backburner to make people happy. I felt Debbie Downer coming out yesterday, not that the preceding week was a cakewalk but now things are really shitty as I move through the grieving process.

I got completely fucked out of a position I had been told of in advance by someone with some pull who had given me the explicit impression that when the next opportunity opened up it was my turn because I had put in my time and done all the right things and the decision should be theirs to make. It turns out it was not ultimately their decision. Another person was in fact chosen, a person who had been handpicked for a similar position at another school I applied to where I didn’t have an “in” and didn’t even get an interview. The building administrator gave me a bold-faced lie when I went in to talk to him about it. This position is something I’ve been working towards for over 5 years and would have literally been life changing for me to have gotten, especially financially, but instead I’m left holding a pile of shit.

At first I was in disbelief that the rug had been pulled out from under me like that. After taking mental ownership for the position a month before it was even made official and posted for applications I felt absolutely betrayed and crushed. I honestly didn’t know about the dog and pony show I was expected to put on for the interview. Instead of answering questions concisely I needed to say the right things and hit certain talking points to score enough points to meet the selection committee’s preset criteria. I’m pissed that something was taken away from me and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m pissed that the person they selected thinks he earned the position. I’m sick and tired of all that shit I have to put up with from administrators and students and parents and politicians. So that’s where I’m coming from.

I am mad at the world and feel like rolling over and staying in bed pretty much every day, yet I trudge on for my family and hoping for redemption at some point. To not let this setback get the best of me I have been trying to stay positive and keep up with my workouts and diet. I have tried to keep a positive and optimistic mindset knowing that another similar position will be opening up in the not so distant future at a school where I do have an “in” and now that I know which buttons to push I should have a shot. That and I haved worked there and my wife works and coaches there. But I really wonder how much loyalty and integrity is left in the world.

Road Trip!

•19 December, 2011 • Leave a Comment

For the most part this weekend was pretty awesome, aside from some minor drama between my wife and I. I drank without getting more than a slight buzz, made good food choices and ate without getting full and feeling shitty and had a lot of fun in the process. It’s like I was normal the whole time, except for one stinger I sent my wife’s way. We actually ran into who you would call my wife’s nemesis, a psycho bitch who always says mean shit to my wife even though she’s never done anything wrong to her aside from being long-time friends with her crush, who has never wanted anything to do with her stalker tendencies. I of course made the blunder of saying “at least she’s never sent me naked pictures”, referring to the chimo I mentioned here. This was a dick move on my part, and I felt terrible for mentioning it because I really do believe my wife carries a heavy burden for what transpired, but at the same time I can’t get past the memories and emotions that I relive so often and I feel like I have to remind her to prevent something similar from ever happening again. This time was different though, as I laid all my cards on the table. I told her that I wanted to kill him and myself. Whoops!

I meant it, not that I have ever really planned anything, just had ideations. More or less I day dream of just working him over in front of everyone at school, like I’m in fucking junior high again. I really feel it would bring me peace and closure. Respect means everything in this world and to me he completely disrespected me and my marriage and still does. He is arrogant and disrespects pretty much everyone but somehow still has a job. Throwing him a beating would make so many people happy, and that’s what I do best, often at my own expense. It wouldn’t be the first time I fought someone else’s battle out of pride with consequences all my own. In this case however, these consequences would affect my family, so as a husband and father I have to leave it alone. That night however, she seemed to fully understand the severity of MY burden and came around. The rest of the trip was perfect, much better than this asshole’s did. I really hope this changes things in North Korea for the better. Maybe the political prisoners he sold to Siberian work camps in order to raise capital for his military ambitions will be set free now, though I doubt it. As the senior leadership will undoubtedly test his successor, I hope the ensuing political instability will not cause another war.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease

•16 December, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Yesterday really drove this point home to me. The government is at it again with Regulation D, which caps transfers between savings and checking accounts at 6 per month. Unless done in person, anything above that incurs a fee, even though it’s your own money! I had been charged some in the past for $3, which I didn’t think much of because they were so small. The rationale is that you aren’t to use savings as checking and banks have to keep 10% cash in reserve at any one time. But then I was charged $30 for one of these transactions because $6 was pulled from my savings to cover a purchase the day before the end of the month and consequently payday. Bullshit!

So I naturally made a big deal about it, the girl on the phone didn’t have the power to fix or adequately defend the charge, so I escalated. I cancelled our appointment to refinance our home. I sent an email and left a voicemail for the branch manager, who called a few days later offering us a high-yield cashback checking account. The account also refunds atm fees nationwide. She also gave us a great deal on an auto loan for over book value that was 3% lower than our other credit union had offered. After I signed everything she asked if I was still interested in refinancing our home, and an hour later the mortgage loan officer called. The lesson of the story: leverage and knowing how, when and who to gripe to can get you ahead in this world. You also catch more flies with honey than vinegar. They have our loyalty, which goes a long way in running a successful business.

Thanks to our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines

•14 December, 2011 • Leave a Comment

They are the brave ones who have chosen to put their lives on the line in the name of liberty, and by lives I don’t just mean either being alive or dead. They miss out on so many milestones and moments the rest of us take for granted. The birth of their children, their first words, first steps, first homeruns, first dances, really the first anything and everything. Milestones like weddings, birthdays, school plays, anniversaries, every important occassion you can imagine. But for what?

After having a child of my own and experiencing the unbridled love and devotion that comes with being a parent, I can’t imagine missing out on a single milestone or moment. Just thinking of it makes me start to tear up, which only the national anthem, taps, my college fight song, dead dogs on the side of the road and videos of servicemembers’ homecomings can do. If I ever did commit myself to a cause, it would have to be for an extremely vital one like defending against Chinese and/or Russian paratroopers touching down on U.S. soil. Having quite a few friends and family members in the service I appreciate it more because I’ve experienced the sense of lost time and strained relationships at a more personal level. But for what?

Thousands of American servicemembers have been killed by roadside bombs, suicide attacks, snipers or whatever other sneaky tactics terrorists have employed. Many thousands more have come home missing limbs, and even many thousands more have brought back a closet full of ghosts that will haunt them for as long as they live. One friend I knew since elementary school and played football with shot himself, another I lived next door to since jr. high and wrestled with came back with PTSD. I think he’s gotten past his darkest hours. He’s told me about his best friend’s gruesome death in Iraq and about having suicidal thoughts. He’s even had the gun in his mouth a few times. But for what?

Not that our country’s leaders have a great record of making good decisions, and not that I expect that to ever change. But as the military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan draws down, yet appear to be headed for escalation in other parts of the world, I keep asking myself “why”? Actions to disrupt terrorist organizations really should have and could have been handled much differently. Our vaunted leadership rushed headlong into a situation they had no understanding of and got us bogged down into two absurdly costly wars under the false pretenses of finding WMD and one dude named Osama. Our children and grandchildren will be stuck footing the bill. But for what?

Sacrifice

This week is a blur

•13 December, 2011 • Leave a Comment

It’s only Tuesday but I’m already burnt-out. I only slept 2 hours Monday morning before I had to get up and work until 6:30. I protect the public by trying to teach kids how to drive after school but couldn’t stop nodding off and jerking awake. I time-travelled a few times which looks really professional and adult-like. Last night my teething son woke up screaming bloody murder for an hour but luckily my wonderful wife took the bullet and stayed up with him since I was so wrecked. My wife and I are also in the process of refinancing our home, buying a car and switching credit unions, so I have a lot on my plate right now. I hate when people tell you that you look tired because you know you look tired because you ARE tired so they might as well say “you look like hell”.

This leads me back to my quest for becoming healthier and more effectively managing my affective disorder, bipolar II, by not poisoning my body. At this moment I am nursing a Cherry Pepsi, but I feel it’s a necessary evil so that I can avoid a catastrophic auto accident with my drivers this evening. Since my last update I have had a few beers and I still chew every other day or so, but aside from that have had virtually no refined sugar or caffeine. And I have tried to make good decisions for all of the small food choices throughout the day, however, I haven’t noticed any real change. If anything I have been really moody and scatter-brained here of late and minor set-backs cause disproportionate frustration. I know I don’t have the motivation to sustain an Amish lifestyle for more than a few days, so this is about as good as it gets from a poison avoidance dietary strategy. I know I really need to pick it up in the fitness department but right now I barely have time to spend with my family so I’ve enacted austerity measures for that arena of life.

Well, off to ride with teenage girls for 3 hours!

Good weekend

•11 December, 2011 • Leave a Comment

My weekend didn’t start out too promising. I felt like absolute shit all day Friday after the argument with my wife that morning. I was lethargic, distant and every bone in my body was sore. Could have had something to do with my son’s crazy night throwing up. So I did what comes naturally, I self-medicated. I took a couple of her Nucynta, the trade name for tapentadol. This was one too many; they always make me feel tired and kind of weird, which shouldn’t surprise me because they are closer to morphine than tylenol. My wife went to a holiday party with her colleagues and I stayed home, although my buddy came over for some guy time, having beers and catching up. I destroyed him at NCAA Football before I introduced him to “Get Him to the Greek“.

Saturday went really really well, aside from being really sore from sleeping downstairs on my couch. Sometimes I just like to change it up and curl up with my dogs, until they fart or otherwise annoy me and get kicked off. My wife and I went out of town for the day to shop for a more family-friendly AWD vehicle to replace my car 😦 We found a really nice local bar and grill and checked out the mall for a bit. It was nice to get out of town and just spend some time together.

Unfortunately, our little dude got sick again and vomited twice Saturday evening, so today we were all pretty tired again and not a whole lot got done except naps. We did however go to my cousin’s for a chili dinner and a few games of Mexican Train. I’ve been staying up too late but we only have five days until winter break so whatever. On a side-note, his bullshit has finally caught up with him and the aforementioned homewrecker is in some hot water at work for some inappropriate shit. Whatever it is, he deserves getting the book slammed over his dick!