In the Shadow of the Asshole that is Me

I am sorry I missed Debbie Key’s 10-year vigil last week. I made a commitment to Bill to show up, but that got changed when my oldest daughter had a sleepover; I had no one to sit with the two younger kids.

And that’s about as personal as I’m going to get this go-round folks. The reason is simple. My family was getting tired of learning personal facts about my life from lookie-loos before they had a chance to talk to me. Have to keep it at a bit of a distance, my friends.

Suffice to say, I’m a single-parent with three daughters, I’m almost finished my degree, and – five years later – I’m still dealing with this shit.

So why deal with it in a public forum?

That’s very simple too. There are basically two types of people who go through these things:

1. The ones who are very vocal for a time, then burn out; they completely drop out of sight.

2. The ones who suffer tragedy, but always manage to keep things professional, they never let their personal pain interfere with the work they’re doing.

Though I admire number two, I feel it’s a bit of a sham, and not a very helpful model for those who run up against the system and tragedy . I always wanted to put it all out there – my frustrations, my insanity, my hi-and-lows – as a marker for others, as if to say,

“you’re not alone. What you’re feeling and experiencing is perfectly normal, and very real. Look at me, I’ve made an ass of myself for 5 years. But I’m still alive. I still fight the good fight. I lose my temper. I take extreme actions that later cannot be excused. I force, then bend, then apologize… but I keep a piece of myself for myself. There is joy, and pleasure. But that is separate, and I keep it for me.”

That’s my creed. If it’s helpful to others, if it gets them through the day – great. If it instructs – if you find yourself saying, “god, at least I’m not as f&*#ed-up as that guy” – even better.


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