How Life Has Changed

Long foregone is the time of blog posts being what I looked forward to writing. It seems to be a thing of the past, an online journal to express ones thoughts, feelings, actions. This mystifies me, it also troubles me on a deep level.

This blog was a gift to me by one of my life’s heroes, Editor B. I grew up in a lot of ways watching his antics on local cable access. The show wasn’t exactly “suitable” for kids of my age, but I had already experienced much of what was in the show anyway. None of it was new to me.

Since then, he’s also my friend – not just a hero. My heroes in life have always been regular people. I’m not sure why people get attracted to celebrity, nor why people want to be like celebrity.

I documented much of my life between 2006 and 2015 on this blog. It’s contents hold a treasure trove of “me” in it. This also documents the change in my writing and vocabulary, as I only have an 8th grade English education. I may hold an Associate’s degree from Indiana University, but this blog helped me get there.

But life has changed for me, in significant ways that I’m still trying to figure out. I’ve found myself retreating from social media, and society. Work is no longer the adventure I loved but the thing that sustains me. My love of technology is just something I handle now. I’ve changed. I still don’t know if it’s for the better or not.

These days, I have been depleted of energy due to my ongoing skin disorder primarily. Slowly but surely I have been restoring my fathers 1988 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z. He purchased it new, with my stepmother eventually selling it to me after his passing.

Me and the car when it was new
Present day

Speaking of that, the anniversary of his death is approaching. It’s placed me into a bit of a downward spiral emotionally. He was the singular true champion of my life. Since then, so much has happened that only his voice, his mind, and his actions would have helped me with.

I have my girlfriend of 3 1/2 years, I have my daughters, and I have my ROX friends. I also have lots of online friends, but that hole in my life from the loss of my father still weighs heavily on my soul. Many times, I still feel lost and completely alone, even when surrounded by many who care for and love me. It’s baffling, and mightily frustrating.

I will be moving this blog to a new domain soon per Editor B’s polite ask. I dare not remove this archive of my life from the Internet. I will always want this as a place to let those inner thoughts out, to show progress on projects, and to give a written record of the life I have led. I would have loved my father having something such as this in his time. I don’t know where it will move to yet, but it will be something that signifies me.

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Four Years

It’s been four years since my father passed into the afterlife.  It’s almost hard to believe when I think about it.  Time stood still for me for quite some time after that tragic event in my life story.  He was the man I admired, he was the man who conquered all.  Most importantly, he was the man I wanted to be when I grew up.  With him gone,  I didn’t have that example to turn to.  I didn’t have that voice telling me to “quit getting the cart before the horse, son.”  It rattled me to my core.

I had to start over in life, figuratively speaking.  Financially and career wise my life is in the best place it has ever been.  But emotionally?  It’s a tough tale.  That’s where I’m still picking up the pieces.

I try to look at when my grandfather passed, and how my father coped as a guidebook.  My dad, did everything he could – including trying to get a 21 gun salute for him.  Emotionally, that’s where my dad seemed to be a black hole however.  He wasn’t very talkative about how he felt about the situation surrounding my grandfathers death.  I know he wasn’t happy with the “family” decisions that basically led to his untimely passing, but that was all I got out of him.  When it came time to write dad’s obituary, guess what I copied?  My grandfathers.  Dad had written it.

His urge to make the trip to Oklahoma lessened after that.  He became more about life here, his granddaughters and his First Baptist family.  He became the de facto caretaker of his mother, my grandma.
His love for me?  It never faltered.  It never failed.  It only blossomed over the years.

So why do I feel stuck in an emotional labyrinth?  Why?

Each and every day I feel tormented.  Not by the loss of patriarch of my family, but by the feelings of helplessness with my daughters.  I don’t feel like I give them enough of me, enough time to enjoy things with their dad, or enough adventures with the man they look up to.

Each and every day I fight it.  I try to do something, reach out.  SOMETHING.  But it never feeds the torment, it only seems to expand it.

I have been embraced by a wonderful, yet crazy family.  One that sees me for who I am, and doesn’t give me too hard of a time about it.  It helps, but only takes me so far.  My experience with the “blended family” situation has not been the most idealistic.  I hear this is a common situation.  I often feel much more at ease when I am solitary.  I think I pushed the healing of my losses, and still need that time.

In the end, I have a roughly set plan for how I want my life to be from here on out.  The loss of my marriage and the loss of my father taught me this.  If it isn’t going how I want it, I will make it that way, no matter what the costs or consequences are.
The torch has been passed, not in a way I wanted it to.  It is now up to me on how to handle and direct this sect of the family to proceed.  I just have to pull myself up by my boot straps and take care of what needs done.

That is what I’m having trouble with.  I’ve never been one to proclaim what I want, or expect anything.  It’s part of that humble nature.

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Let Us Smash Some Pumpkins

Many don’t understand my taste in music, and never will.  I’m fine with that.

Friday night, Lyndsey and I saw the Smashing Pumpkins.  A group that gained notoriety in my pre-teen days.  It wasn’t until my later teens that I became curious, and later, enthralled.  Primarily due to a couple of girls I had an interest in singing the lyrics while on the bus to high school.

With songs ranging from “Today” that is sweet sounding and generally a happy tune, to “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” which explains the human rat race in a post apocalyptic world, their lyrics run the spectrum.  Their gritty guitars and electro synth stylings are quite literally music to my ears.

I was nervous about this concert, as Lyndsey has some serious mobility issues.  Our seats were right off the floor – but I knew she would have to do a tremendous amount of walking.  It wasn’t too bad on her, she was a trooper.  Due to her issues, the ushers advised us to take a different exit.  Instead of going out where everyone else does.  We got a little bit of a backstage tour.  One that was closely guarded so we had no opportunity or way to go venturing.

I was disappointed that the group isn’t whole, as they have continued without their original bassist, but sometimes that’s the way life goes.  Billy Corgan has received a lot of flak over his political views, which I honestly do not care about.  He was a professional and didn’t use his band to continue those views while on stage.

It was an enjoyable evening on this year, the year of concerts for me.  So far there have been three.  One of which, the Foo Fighters, I was unable to attend.  I have one more left.  Alabama with Travis Tritt.  Two acts I never thought I’d be able to see.

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Sixty Seven

August thirteenth.  For many, it’s just a normal day.  Some years, it’s the dreaded “Friday the 13th.”  But for me, it’s my father’s birthday.  A day of eternal celebration.  Sixty seven years ago, my father was born, at a soon to be decommissioned hospital where me and my children were also born.

That’s me, and that car is only a couple of years old.

From the beginning of my memories, he was my hero.  My dad and I were like peanut butter and jelly.  Good by ourselves but better together.

I only regret the times that in hindsight I could have spent more time with him but didn’t due to “marital obligations.”

I’m only thankful that his passing has given me guidance on what is important in life, and those are the ones you have, the ones you love.

I have almost every one of his worldly possessions.  Some of which are valuable, some of which are not.  His clothes are being transformed into quilts for me and his granddaughters.  His vehicles are at my house.  The thousands of pictures and video he shot over his lifetime are in the process of being digitized.  I just need to find a good way to share them with the family – for input on who/what/where regarding a lot of them.

Sitting in my garage, the same car.

Happy birthday dad, I’ll be forever missing you.

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What were you doing in 1968?

1968.  It was a big year in the United States.  I only know of it from second and third hand accounts, due to being born in 1980.  Little did I know however, how important the events of that year and the sixties in general were to my fathers worldview.

A few months ago, the newspaper from the town my father grew up in said they were looking for him or his ancestors.  He had placed something in a time capsule that would be opened.  How exciting!  Why did he never tell me of this thing?

That day was the start of 3rd grade for my youngest daughter.  As soon as I got her contact information, I emailed her explaining the importance of this event to our family and that I would be taking her from school early to attend.  My oldest daughter is out of school, but working.  She got permission to leave work early to attend as well.  I wanted them to be present.

The small meeting room, where the time capsule would be opened was over crowded.  The three of us crawled onto the floor and kneeled on the floor between aisles to see it be opened.  The event was also live streamed on Facebook.

The tears started flowing as soon as dad’s envelope was called out, with my youngest daughter handing the envelope to my oldest.  We left the room to get some space.  We were then video taped as I read the letter.  I tried but couldn’t keep composure of the words a sixteen year old version of my father wrote.

The contents of the envelope were a typed letter, two newspaper clippings and a post card.  I came to tears when I saw the post card.  Whenever I would travel anywhere – he would say the phrase “send me a postcard.”  Which I did, often.

The newspaper clippings were from both of the assassinated Kennedy brothers, lying in state.  His letter primarily spoke of the Kennedy’s.  I’m attaching a scan of that letter for the world to see.  My daughters and I are continuing this trend, and will be adding something to a new time capsule to be opened in 2068.  We will see if I make it.  Dad’s letter closes with “see you in 2018.”  It broke my heart, and brought my oldest daughter to tears, as he didn’t get to see us.

The loss of him from our lives still breaks our hearts, and forever will.

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The Summer of Discontent

This summer has been a hard one on me, for a multitude of reasons.  Reasons I will outline below.


There have been some changes to my work environment.  The director that hired me had to step down and officially become an emeritus due to policies I don’t exactly understand.  The new “interim” director isn’t exactly as social or open, and it has the staff and faculty mighty concerned.  For instance, he has requested several things that I should have been in the loop on, but I’ve found out third hand about them.  We will carry on, but it’s a time of a lot of unknowns.  I’m not a fan of unknown.

Fortunately I work for a different department technically, so he does not have the capability to fire me, or even discipline me.  But these are my people, and I will stick up for them with everything of my being.  It’s who I am professionally.


The girlfriend had planned a vacation for all of us, and I left the details up to her this time.  It seemed like a fun time, but quickly turned into a nightmare.  We went to Williamsburg, KY.  They have a waterpark there.  What caught my eye was that the fee to get in was only $2 more than it was to get into the local city pool.  Attached to the waterpark is a campground.  We were all going to camp there for three days, go to the waterpark and try to visit any other sights in the area that weren’t too far away.

When originally planning and booking the site, the weather was supposed to be comfortable, it turned out to be the opposite.  We had absolutely 0 shade at our camp site.  The tent camp sites were relegated to an area around the “backwash” of the waterpark.  It seemed very 3rd class.

Our Campsite

After a day at the waterpark, I got the worst sunburn I’ve ever had in my life.  With the combination of the heat and humidity, it felt like it was at least 110 degrees.  I was done.  My anger and frustrations at this situation couldn’t take anymore.

So I sat in my vehicle with the air conditioning on most of the day.  Later, I took a couple of the kids with me, and we drove to wherever.  Eventually making it to Chatanooga, TN and turning back around.  Me and her got into a fight.  For some reason she thought I was going to leave her and her kids there, five hours away from home without a way back home.  Did I think about it?  Yes.  But I could never do something like that.

We ended up staying for the Independence Day fireworks and leaving immediately afterwards.  I told her things would be different after this.  I needed peace, I require peace.

The next weekend, I took my daughter on a trip she deserved.  It was short but sweet.  We went to Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace, then went over to The Biltmore Estate.  Something her mom and I did 13 years prior, we even stayed in the same hotel.

Lincoln’s Birthplace


The Bathroom

We get home, and my main bathtub faucet wouldn’t stop dripping.  This remodel that I had been putting off for 12 years decided for me that it must be done now.

I have 3 bathrooms in my house, and this one has for the most part remained untouched since I purchased my home in 2006.  I knew it would need a complete gut, and I wasn’t prepared for the expense.  There was mold that would keep coming back.  This told me that it was in the wall.

So, after taking essentially two vacations – I am now knee deep in a bathroom renovation.

I have removed the tub surround, purchased a new one (that was just delivered to the store today), had my tub refinished and purchased a new tub faucet.

Now it’s just a matter of installation, and that disaster will be over with partially.  Once I get some of these debts paid off, I’m going to complete the rest of the renovation.

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Catching Up – Saving My Home

Divorce, it’s an ugly word.  It brings out the worst in everything involved.  The people and the government.  Fathers of children are typically taken for everything they have or are attached to, and mothers are given sainthood.

Well, that didn’t happen here.  I wasn’t about to let it happen either.

All she wanted to do was run away and start a new life with someone new.  This left the house.  As I said in my previous post, at the time – I didn’t make enough money to even consider making the mortgage payment, which was $960 a month at the time due to her mismanaging of our finances.  That was literally my entire net income.

She wanted to give it back to the bank in a short sale, but agreed to let me try to save it.  I knew that I couldn’t afford to rent an apartment, and I knew that I would have to get a room mate if I got an apartment.  So why not use this asset of mine for my own gain?  Right?

As soon as I could, I put an ad up on Craigslist and all other sites trying to find a room mate.  My area has a problem with rentals, as they are typically priced to a point of luxury.  I’m not trying to make any money here, just trying to survive myself.  What I charge for rent basically pays the utilities.

I also refinanced the house.  I didn’t want to, but needed to for two reasons.  To get my ex wife’s name off of the mortgage, and to make that payment lower.  It set me back a decade, but now it is mine.

It all started with phone calls and emails.  I would get calls with nobody on the other end of the line, and emails with nothing in them, not even a subject line.  It was constant, it was nagging and it was frustrating.

Once I was able to actually communicate with this person, he ended up being the best room mate a guy could have.  He was originally from the area but had lived a life of adventure, traveling the famous trails of our country.  He had to come back to town to take care of things due to the death of his father, needing a place to stay for a few months.

He kept his area clean, and would even clean the entire house!  I loved that guy.  When he told me that he was done here and going to pack his bags to move in with his brother in Bozeman Montana, I was a little heart broken.

I then got another room mate, this time a female.  For a period of a couple of months they were both in my house at the same time.  This is when I learned that more than 1 room mate just doesn’t work well.  Too many people.

She is the polar opposite of Tony, on the level of hoarder.  I try to do my best to have more of a friendship than straight up business relationship with my room mates, to weed out people I would not be comfortable living with.  I will be more cautious with the next one.

A few months ago, her mother passed away and left her the entire estate, including a home.  She is currently working on fixing it up and will be moving out when she is ready.  So the search will be on again for a person to help me sustain my home.

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Catching Up – Midlife Crisis

This is a bit out of order, forgive as there is just so much to catch up on.

The divorce didn’t leave me with much.  I got lucky on several things except for my method of transportation.  I was left with the car my now ex-wife had when I met her, a 2001 Kia Rio.  I referred to it as the “Clown Car.”  As there was literally no leg room in it in the back seats when I sat up front.

So I did what I had to do.  I didn’t make enough money to afford anything.  I was trying to save my house at the time.  I took ownership of it, did some maintenance on it, tinted the windows as it was the hottest vehicle I’ve ever seen in my life.

That was until I took my daughters on a shopping spree for that Christmas following the divorce.

We were on our way back from Indianapolis, when suddenly smoke started filling the car.  We suddenly had no heat.  I knew any repairs to this car were going to be costly.  The car was only worth about $1500 as it was.

Throughout the divorce process, I had been interviewing for the job I currently have.  When this car broke down, I made enough to afford that car payment and extra cost for full coverage insurance.  So I started thinking, just what do I want?

That’s when I came to the sad realization that manual transmissions aren’t something you can get easily in a lot of vehicles these days.  It broke my heart.  I wanted a manual transmission, as I’ve had several issues with automatics.

So it came down to the final 3.  It would be either a Jeep Unlimited (4 doors), a Chevrolet Colorado (4 door) or a Chrysler 200.

I ended up just buying the first Jeep I saw.  A 2010 Jeep Unlimited Sport.  The first thing I did was jump in the back seat – to make sure my very important passenger would have enough room.  This was critical to me.  Boy did it.

Even though it was used, I still had to pay out the nose for it.  My credit had been ruined by the ex-wife, so I had to pay an exorbitant interest rate and my monthly payments are almost as much as my mortgage payment.

But seeing the smile on that little girl’s face, makes it all worth it.  Every single penny.

Two and a half years later, I’ve put over 40k miles on it.  We’ve criss crossed the country.  Going as far west as Yellowstone National Park, and as far north as North Dakota in it.

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Catching Up – That Was Unexpected

As I said in my previous post, I started reaching out to old classmates of mine for IRL social needs.  I met one of my old classmates at a BBQ joint for lunch one day.  Instantly something just felt different about her.

We never really knew each other while in school.  She was in a polar opposite world than I was.  I was what was commonly referred to as a “hick” in my outward appearance.  She on the other hand was all heavy metal, and even had a mohawk in high school.

But on the inside, wow.  I felt drawn to her.  I didn’t know why, and I still don’t fully.

She invited me to go to the drive-in with her and her kids.  Something my ex-wife hated, another thing of life that I genuinely missed.  So I went, it was a no brainer.  We went to the drive-in several times together.

We talked non stop, about everything and anything.  We quickly became close.  She was my best friend, my confidant, the person I ran to with new and/or exciting information.

When talking with other friends of the female persuasion, they told me that some of the things we discussed weren’t things that girls normally talk to “friends” about.  My mind wondered and stewed on that heavily.  Do I make a move?  Do I ruin this good thing I have going on in life?  I’ve had so much bad stuff happen, my fragile soul just can’t take rejection right now.

So one night, after bringing her and her kids back from the drive-in, I made a move and kissed her.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I showed where my mind and my heart was to her.  I was going to leave it up to her on where it went from there.  I would be okay with any direction it went.

After a day of biting my nails until they bled, she was receptive but anxious at the same time.  Life hadn’t been so good to her, with health, vocation or relationships.  She was still technically married to her husband but had long since been separated and apart from him.  He had a girlfriend, and she had went through several boyfriends since they parted ways.  She too was done with the opposite sex.

We just sort of fell into this whirlwind romance and lived by our hearts.

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Catching Up – The Plan

My life post divorce was that I didn’t have one.  For a good while, that didn’t bother me at all.  I was always doing this or going here, and I was tired of that.

I worked my job, I binge watched TV shows I had never been able to see before and for the most part I was happy.  But how much happiness does that sort of life lead?  I’m somewhat of a social creature, for the most part the internet helped fill that void.  I was lonely though.  I needed touch, I needed affection, I needed intimate physical contact.

So I did what most people do these days, I put ads on dating websites/apps.  What a disaster that was.  It instantly showed me what our society had turned to, and I didn’t like it.  I dated a lady who lived 50 miles away for a few months.  We had some good times, but in the end, she turned out to be completely not trusting and wanted to control how I operated my life, and my actions.  That’s when I said goodbye to that world for good.

So, I had to formulate a new plan.  I was done with the thought of dating.  That’s when my next step came to be.  I was the guy in school who everyone knew.  I was social enough to be noticed.  Not everybody knew me, I only had 2 close friends ever.  But, the thought of reaching out to those people I could find and catching up with them, to see how life has treated them seemed really appealing to me.

So I started reaching out.  I haven’t had that much luck, but it’s a goal.  It’s something that keeps my social needs met.

One of those classmates quickly turned into a relationship.

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Catching Up – The Charges

Lots has happened in my life since that dark and horrible time in my life that I last really used this blog.  I’m going to try to update as best I can.

My now ex-wife and her sister formally filed criminal charges against me.  I discovered this only when what appeared to be an advertisement from an attorney came in the mail.  It said that I had a warrant out for my arrest!  Not believing everything I read, I looked it up through Indiana’s online court system.  It was true.

This news came to me on a weekend, lawyers typically don’t work on the weekend – but the one that sent me the flyer/ad did!  So I hired her.  I wanted to get that warrant taken care of as soon as possible.  I felt like I was running from the law, and it kept me up at night.  Unfortunately due to the charges, there was a 24 hour hold if I were to turn myself in.  That was the test I gave the lawyer.  She was ineffective in removing that hold, which I read lawyers can get done.  Due to this, she refunded the retainer I had paid her and I moved onto another attorney, purportedly the best in town.

The retainer and fees were almost triple what the first lawyer charged, but it was worth it.  Every penny.  He was able to get that hold removed, and I turned myself in.  That was an interesting experience, one I had never experienced before.  I sat in the “drunk tank” for 3 hours.  There was a gentleman who was apparently passed out/under the influence in there, and another gentleman who was speaking another language primarily.  He could speak some english, but his accent was very thick.  I couldn’t make out what language it was exactly.  Then came along an inmate from one of the state prisons, he said he was convicted of murder and there for a court hearing in the morning.  He and I had a good conversation.  It was odd/scary/weird at the same time.  A good friend posted my bail money, to which I paid back asap.

The charges, which I won’t explain in detail were 2 felonies.  I was looking at a maximum of 6 years in prison for the events of that night.  It destroyed everything I had worked for my entire life, my character.

My lawyer told me 1 piece of advice, that really was odd to me but makes sense when I look back upon it.  He told me to just live my life and not try to get into trouble.  Don’t try to investigate or solve anything, that was his job.

He filed for discovery documents and mailed me copies.  In it were pictures of my ex-wife and her sister, the police report, everything from that evening.  I was appalled at the gross mis-representation of the situation by the police officers.  The pictures were such a staged thing to me.

I didn’t have much communication with my lawyer except for our initial visit, and the court date.  But man did that guy work miracles, some of them wouldn’t come to light until a year down the road.

He was able to negotiate the charges down to the lowest level a criminal charge can be, an A misdemeanor.  He was also able to get those charges changed as he put it, “on the front end.”  This meant, I wasn’t taking a plea bargain.

I am one to always take responsibility for my actions, and while I do feel like I acted improper that evening, I will always state that I had never had an anxiety attack like that in my life.  I do not understand how this might have played into a trial, but it was something on my mind.

My court hearing was quick, and very confusing.  I spent more time watching a video about pleading guilty to a crime than I spent inside the courtroom.  I was convicted and sentenced to 1 year of probation, with the sentences running concurrently, meaning both sentences ran at the same time.

Due to this conviction, a report was sent to the state police and then onto the federal government.  My 2nd amendment rights had just been removed, and for a while I thought permanently.

I was then told to report to the probation department immediately after leaving the courtroom.  While there, they took an intake interview and made a follow-up appointment.  I then had to go a block down the road and take a drug test, as no drugs or alcohol was a part of my probation requirement.  I was unable to urinate and was threatened about being thrown in jail until I could.  This is when the reality of the matter set in for me.  After about three months, I was released from supervised probation and moved to unsupervised.  I didn’t have to see my probation officer (who is a pretty cool guy), I didn’t have to do anything but live my normal life.  I was one step closer to getting this monkey off my back.

When my probation term was finished, I received an amazing surprise.  One my probation officer and judge just couldn’t believe.  My lawyer somehow got wording in my guilty plea that once my sentence was finished, the charges would be dismissed.

They were.

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Long time, no see

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on my blog.  There’s been a myriad of reasons.  I was overwhelmed with my new position with CAITS (where I still am).  I started a new whirlwind relationship (which I’ve put off kinda at this point).

But I will return.  I need this outlet now, more than ever.

I’ve just started a bathroom remodel that I’ve been putting off for 12 years!

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First Day Complete

Today was my first day in my new position with CAITS an acronym for Clinical Affairs Information Technology Services, as a Computer Support Technician.

It’s a new role in a location at the university that I’ve primarily stayed away from, Jordan Hall.  In essence I am the IT guy for the Medical Sciences department of IU.  This is where people become doctors.

Today was a large dose of information overload for me.  I’m in a period of flux, as my accounts and permissions are being created.  After a period of up to 2 weeks I will be on my own.

Right now, the person I am replacing is showing me the ropes of the department.  Once he feels like I’m up to handling things on my own, he will move to his new position within the department, which is in Indianapolis.

Tomorrow I have my ETC course, then he will be showing me the other buildings to which we have labs and equipment in.

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One Year

Today marks one year since I’ve seen my father alive.  It was at our annual family Thanksgiving celebration, which I’ve been told by my uncle has been happening continuously since the 1950’s.

Here’s the last photo I took of my father, acting in only the way my father did, he’s the one on the right.

That’s him proclaiming “something” to my uncle Larry.  He was always so social, something I really didn’t understand until I went through this divorce.

This year really changed as far as our family gathering are concerned.  It’s compromised of a gathering of clans of our family.  3 to be exact.  This year one of those clans decided to go on their own, which reduced the number of people by half or more.

At first there were questions as to whether it would happen or not.  With all of the things I’ve lost in life this year, it really concerned me.  This was really the last thing I counted on in life left.

Fortunately, it did happen.  For that, I am thankful.  I am also thankful that I was able to share this day with my beautiful daughters.  They are the light of my dark life.

When I got home, I had a message from my mother.  It’s the first time I’ve heard from her since Valentine’s day.  Sadly, I must keep her as a piece of my past.  If she even knew what was happening I would not receive any support.  I would be greeted with “I told you so.”

What are you thankful for?

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After the incident that happened on that Friday the 13th, my now ex wife filed for an “emergency custody & visitation” hearing.

It rattled me to my core.  Indiana is known for taking the mother’s side of anything in regards to children unless the mother is a known drug addict or prostitute.

In the document I was served with, twice, she claimed that my child was not safe with me and that my mental status was questionable.  Nothing in the document had anything to do with my parenting abilities or lack there of, it had everything to do with what happened between my ex wife and I.

I got some legal advice from a family law attorney.  I wanted to hire him, but I didn’t have the ability to cover his $4000 retainer.  I was hoping she hadn’t hired one.

I showed up to the hearing late, as I was sitting at the wrong court room for 20 minutes.  When I showed up, the proceedings had already began but I was welcomed in by the judge.

She swore me in, and I apologized for being late.  It was me, my ex-wife and the judge, all within 3 feet of each other.  She then simply asked me what happened.  I told her the same story that I posted here.  I also mentioned to her how when I returned home from the hospital, all of the things we agreed on keeping at my home of our child’s was gone.  The only things remaining were toiletries and coloring books.

The judge’s eyes opened wider, and she told my ex-wife that what she did was wrong.  I could tell my ex-wife was scrambling to explain her actions, but no explanation was needed.

My ex-wife lied under oath and stated that I “pushed her down the stairs.”  That was impossible as a hutch was blocking the stairs at the time.  Her sister was at the bottom of those stairs, which provides a witness to that event.

The judge said that she saw no reason to modify the custody & visitation agreement, plain and simple.

I told her that I want to have my daughters together and will have my eldest with me when I have my other child.  She said that was good, and wants me to do just that.

At the very end the judge then proclaimed that “he gets her on Thanksgiving.”  I’m not sure how to take that exactly.  Before I walked into that courtroom was she trying to keep my child from me on the biggest holiday of the year for me?  I guess I’ll never know.

In the end, the justice system surprised me.  I’m grateful and appreciative.

On my way home from the hearing, I started receiving friendly texts from my ex-wife concerning bringing items back to my house.  It’s brought a flood of questions into my mind.  Is this really the woman I call the love of my life?  Is this really the person I vowed my life to?  Is this really the mother of my youngest child?  Perhaps one day, I will discover those answers, but for now I’m just left with questions.

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Starting Over

As of this moment, I’m basically starting over in life.  Not a move I wanted to make, but I digress.

I’m starting with my girls.  My first mission is to revamp what is now their space.  I just purchased a very nice bunk bed for them and will eventually have their room stocked as it should be.  My now ex-wife took everything of my youngest daughter’s except for her toiletries.  I’m not asking for them back either, like a phoenix I will rebuild.  Dad’s place will be special to her.  The home she came to from the hospital will always be a home for her, even if she isn’t there full time.

Then it’s a matter of building a new identity for myself.  I built my adult identity as a family man, but I have no family now.  I don’t expect or want a new one either.  I’m my own man now.  I’m not going to get anywhere by sitting at home like a bump on a log either.  It’s not going to help me, it’s only going to hurt me.  I need to get out there, unfortunately the peer group I typically hang out with is either 15 years older or younger than me.  It works against me in many ways.  I need new friends, I need single friends.  I need new experiences.

The first step is to blank the canvas that was created in my home.  I have a lot (and I do mean a lot) of holes to patch.  Once I get that completed, I think my mind can finally start to settle.  I’m just having some trouble with motivation.

I have a room mate, and I feel like I’ve won the lottery with this guy.  My home is cleaner than I think it ever has been at this point.  I only wish he would be here longer, because before you know it he will be leaving for his home in Oregon.

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It’s final (in many ways)

Friday the 13th, a date that will and already does live in infamy.  That’s also when my divorce was final.

It started as a typical day, but turned into something very dark, something I might pay a heavy price for.

My now ex wife (which I didn’t know at the time) had spent the day moving most of her things into the garage to prepare to move out the next day.  Her sister came down from Indianapolis to help.  I was under the assumption that she would not be there when I got back home from work.

I wanted everything she was taking to be put either downstairs or in the garage, as I didn’t want a bunch of people I don’t know walking through my house, potentially ransacking what they please.  I was going to do the good thing and take Amelia with me and we were going to have a fun day together, see a movie and go to the Wonderlab.

So I started moving what was left, heavy furniture.  There was a chest of drawers, a cedar chest, the dining room table and chairs and a hutch to be moved.  I figured it could be done that night, and I assumed that I could do it on my own (as she was supposed to leave that night and take Amelia to a birthday party).

I started with the hutch.  Rachel provided some assistance, but was not happy about it.  She kept saying that I wanted to break her things, I didn’t.  I just didn’t want them where they were.  We had problems getting it down the stairs, and that’s when she told me the divorce was final, and in a very snarky tone.

I don’t know why, but between that and the situation which was escalated by her sister, my anxieties got the best of me and I lost control.  I had to end the feelings within my body by any means possible.  I felt like I was going to literally explode.  My heart was racing so fast it felt like it was going to burst out of my body at that moment.

So I did something I greatly regret.  I pushed her.  I then got my handgun, loaded it and was going to end my life.  I never pointed it, but held it at my side.  Then I saw the tattoo I had put on my arm of my dad’s handwriting.  It reads “Try to do me proud. This is ol’ Dad signing off.  Love, Dad.”  It stopped me in my tracks.  I knew he would not be proud of my actions, I knew he wouldn’t want my life to end like this.

So I put the gun away, unloaded it and sat on my couch.  I knew the police were on their way.  I just wasn’t sure what was going to happen.  Was I going to jail?  Am I now a violent person who just did a cruel and harmful thing to my family?

Sure enough, the police did call.  They asked me to come out of the house.  I didn’t want to escalate the situation, so I did.  They had me put my hands on my head and kneel.  I was then cuffed and the handgun was confiscated under Laird’s Law.  The sheriff’s deputy said that he will try to have my lifetime concealed carry permit stripped from me as well.

They asked me what happened, and I told them much like I’m telling everyone here and now.  I’m fully aware this is publicly viewable, and that’s okay.  This is what happened.  They were obviously checking to see what the truth and what the facts were.  The police (and I can only assume my ex wife) took mercy on me.  No charges were filed.  Instead I was taken to the hospital on a 72 hour law enforcement hold because of my suicidal action.

The law enforcement officers were kind to me, and I understand what they did and why they did it.  I thanked them for their efforts and their jobs.  On the way to the hospital, I had a good and genuine conversation with the Sheriff’s deputy.

I was then placed into the detention center of the ER, a place I had never been before.  It was as interesting as it was frightening.  I had to remove all of my clothes and wear a gown.  A nurse graciously let me keep my cell phone until I was moved to the “crisis” unit.  I was then sold/pressured to sign myself into the hospital voluntarily as it would let me get out in 24 hours or less.  I came to find out later that was a complete lie.

That unit was what I like to refer to as “jail-lite.”  My room was very much like a jail cell in my opinion.  There was a jail like bed, a single chair and a camera pointed straight at the bed.  The room had 2 doors to it and it was cold, so very cold.  I was strip searched and they attempted to do a metals scan on me, but did not due to my VNS implant.  It was a small unit, and I was allowed to move freely around it.  There was a single bathroom for the entire unit.  There was a phone that I was told I could use freely.  I called my ex girlfriend and told her what had happened.  I was not able to use that phone again.

That night, nurses checked on me and I sobbed at times uncontrollably in that room.  I was scared, I was frightened and I was regretting the events that had taken place.  It was the closest thing to jail that I had ever experienced in my life.  I tried to sleep but couldn’t due to how cold I was.

The next day, I saw the psychiatrist and a counselor.  He obviously didn’t care, and the counselor took my statements and was consoling.  Within 3 hours I was moved to the “stress care” unit.  I was told how much better it would be there, and indeed it was better.

I had space, and I wasn’t as cold.  I was given a room with a room mate.  He told me that he was “hearing voices” which creeped me out a bit, but he stayed primarily in the room – so I stayed away.  I spent much of my time walking the unit, which is a U shape.  Walking 12 complete legs is a mile.  I can only assume I got in at least 10 miles or more in.  They had “day rooms” with TV and such, but I couldn’t access a newspaper.  That made me sad.

The nurses and staff were much more helpful than in the crisis unit, even though they were the same people.  One in particular was especially kind, giving me information that I wouldn’t have found out for hours had she not told me.  I went to a couple of group therapy sessions, one of which was very helpful for my anxiety.  Something called HeartMath, which is a way of meditation to control your heart and in turn control your brain.  It has helped me, and I’m currently on a regimen of exercises 3 times a day.  I was told that once I can notice the control, I can back it off.  But I don’t have that control yet.

Not an hour after that session, I was dismissed from the hospital.  My ex girlfriend picked me up and took me home.  It was a sad sight.  All of the things we discussed, all the things we agreed upon, she threw out the window.  All of Amelia’s things were gone, things she wanted to stay at daddy’s house.  The only things left are her toiletries and the coloring books she wanted to keep.  No clothes, no toys.  Her car seat was taken from my car and her bike was even taken, when she had previously said that it should stay there “because daddy is going to show me how to ride it.”

I couldn’t stop the tears, so I left.

On and off throughout my stay, I tried to contact Rachel but never got a response.  She then blocked me on facebook.  That let me know, and so I sent her a final email message.  I won’t contact her again.

I’m left with puzzling questions.  Questions that I probably will never get an answer to.  I was supposed to pick her up from school all week, and take her to her soccer lesson this week.  This weekend, I was supposed to have her as my first official weekend.  To poke and prod would just make things worse than they already are.

I’ve discovered that she’s requested a hearing to change custody and visitation.  This saddens me, but I understand the concern after the acts I did do.  I’ve said from the beginning, I must pay the price for whatever I have done, and that I will.

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It Doesn’t Feel Right

Today is my first full day back at work since my surgery, and it doesn’t feel right.  I would have never started or even thought of working at IU if it weren’t for Rachel.  I wouldn’t be a man with an open mind and heart if it weren’t for Rachel.

I wouldn’t be the man I am today if it weren’t for Rachel.  The woman who has shown through her actions that those things mean little to nothing to her.  She’s said many times that she “needs a fresh start.”  I don’t think she realizes that she doesn’t need a new relationship to have a fresh start.

Yet here I am.  Sitting at this help desk contemplating the past, because that’s what it really is.  I’m thinking about a person that no longer exists.  A figment of my imagination as it were.  I only want her to get better, and she’s in counseling but I haven’t seen how she’s benefited from it, other than giving up and letting go of her life.

On Saturday, my entire life will feel this way.  She’s moving out with the assistance of her new lover, his family and her family.  I’ve been tasked to stay away and keep our daughter.  It’s my first official weekend of visitation.

I know I’ll heal from this.  It will just take time.

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Goodbye IU

Suddenly this week, my soon to be ex-wife left her position at IU.  She didn’t leave for another position, she just left.  She had a good paying position in what I always thought of as a prestigious department.  In her 13 years at IU, she started as a temp worker then landed a job at the Kelley School of Business in their MBA program, then moving to Informatics and then where she was (which I will not name), then became the VP of the Bloomington Professional Staff Council, which she recently resigned her duties from.

I was very proud of her professionally.  She embodied everything I hoped to be in life.  I was not jealous, just proud.  I was proud to be her husband, and I’m sad to no longer be.

I don’t know how to take this news.  I’ve been a flood of emotions about it myself.  The only thing I want in my heart is for her to go out and do this thing she’s so hell-bent on doing, and see that guy she left is the same guy she married and upon seeing that, want to come back to me.  Of course my mind knows this is more than likely a dream, if I could only get those two organs to speak to each other, I wouldn’t be such a split man right now.

She’s a smart, and strong woman.  I know she will get back on her feet quickly, or at least I hope she does.

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Upgrade Complete

I’m not sure how long it’s been since I’ve written about my health issues.  Today I had surgery to replace the battery on my Vagus Nerve Stimulator.  It’s primary function is to control my epilepsy, and has been the only thing that has kept my seizures under control.

This is the 3rd time I’ve had this surgery, as the batteries last on average between 5 and 7 years.  The surgery went better than I had expected it to.  I actually woke up from anesthesia this time without any issues, which surprises me.  I really like the stuff.  The biggest difference is that they did not suture me this time, and instead used derma bond, which is essentially superglue.  I have basically no pain.

The model I now have is upgraded.  It has on board diagnostics and even monitors my heart rate and activates automatically if a seizure is detected.

By textbook terminology, I am a cyborg because of this implant.

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