Wednesday, October 24, 2012



I never thought to try and keep track of anything like this before… in my life as a Neuro-typical, there was never any real need to annotate and record my life before.  There was no reason to share what I thought or how I came about those thoughts, either.  After all, nearly everything that I held was confirmed, though that still means it was malleable enough to have been altered upon further review of all the surrounding circumstances.  Think of my brain as a smooth and efficient working environment like that in the way that it wasn't in dystopian future of  the movie “Brazil”, and you will have an idea of how I imagined my brain as working (there is a lot of Orwell in that image… like Rand’s pseudo-philosophy, I did not think that Totalitarianism was bad on an individual… just not as effective on a group level).  Somewhere within, beneath the surface levels and the superficial exo-decks or the universal vessel named Mark, guarded and shielded by layers of space-mined ore from other planets, lay the kernel, the ultimate program that ran the machine.  Self-sufficient and constantly upgrading as I encountered more and more, this where the life-altering decisions were first heard and made in my mind.  Whenever I mentioned how I made the choice to ignore the bullies and go on and BE, which I have NO DOUBT gave strength to my darling brother, it was there that case was heard and decided on. 

My decision to ignore the outcome of the hearing on whether or not I should have gotten married is one that has lingered, if nothing but in tendrils of smoke and ash blowing in the air on occasion.  I think I had consciously got over my marriage the last night we were in the same home, and she threw me and my belongings out, to the shock of my sister Jan, and to the distraught cries of our daughters.  Just because something is “heard and decided on”, does not mean that it is implemented.  I guess this is what many people would call their “first mind”.  And like many other “first minds”, the kernel of my brain’s processing unit has an incredible “correct rate”.

Getting back to the decision in junior high not to let the teasing get to me and my Aunt’s affirming words guiding me into high school, the idea of me and depression as a concept was non-existent.  “Sad”, was the most I could admit to being, without any understanding of what it meant to be “beyond sad”.  For years and years, the saddest moment of my life was September 16, 1981, when Tommy Hearns lost to Sugar Ray Leonard.  And I mean that too.  Even now, it is still one of the top 3 sad moments of my life.  The other were similar, in that they involved a relationship ending, Delta Girl deciding to part ways with me and my choice to go my own way from Tee Jay.  Those relationships ended with so much “air” between them that they would become the haze that surrounds the light as it hangs from the ceiling of my bedroom, waiting for the touch of darkness to cover my eyes and for my spirit to lift out of the shell that is my body, and for it float, float to find a purpose and then return to me.

My spirit (or astral form… thanks Dr. Strange!!) does all the time-traveling… and anyone who is versed in the 20th century view of time travel (whose physics all come undone in a quantum universe) knows full well that a future person cannot occupy the same temporal plane as their past self.  So with that, I have written about “who, where, when and why?” and thought about the past without ever getting lost back there.  There was one more thing… something that I have not spoken on too frequently, and that is HOW.  How do I comb through what happened before without being lost to those moments?  Easy, that is how.  I simply said to myself that I could.

My past is where I get the majority of my object lessons from and I let my own history inform me as to what step to take, what I should anticipate, and most importantly, what I have  learned from this experience that I can take away and grow from.  It is also why as those relationships became stored away and entered into the “brain computer”, they immediately became what I had learned from, and having learned from them, I felt obliged to move forward.

That is why I had to come up with an “ex-List”, so that I could call it a “new experience” and continue to pine for Tee Jay, and also why I ended up with Mookie Dee instead of directly approaching Tee Jay.  It was more than just pining away over a lost love… it was a design that met the standards for enter in as a purpose statement of policy, and allowed me to go forward from “there” to “here”.  And where is “here”?


Even before my finding out that I was suffering the effects of TBI and still mourning the loss of Tee Jay from my life, I was developing the outline for my next life.  Detroit is still and always is my home, but it has never been “for me”.  And with my life being a “presaged bucket list fulfilled”, I merely needed to look to my childhood for inspiration.  Of all the likely places and “usual suspects” that remained on the list, only one, Omaha, resonated with me.

By now I had made the acquaintance of my friend Nebraska, and that further cemented the decision for me. And whether or not I had heard anything good, (which I had) or bad (of which attempts to warn of were made), I KNEW that it was the place for me to set down and grow from, and I set my course accordingly.   It would be a very long journey with detours between me from my destination, but it was a destination that I was determined to reach.

From time to time in my journal, especially prior to 2010 when my SFC came back into my life, I had adopted a “Nebraska or bust” platform regarding relationships.  What I thought was the genius behind the “ex-List” is that by getting with someone who already knew me, that a lot of the “blah, blah, blah” between couples would have either been dealt with or easily managed.  This former love would already “know the environment” and would have an expectation of me based on their experience with me.  If they wanted to get back together with me, they would also have more than facile understanding of my character.  To me, it was a great idea… as long as the person who I was getting back into a relationship recognized their flaws, their contribution to our original fail, and was willing to work on them, to NOT let them determine the fate of our “second time at the rodeo”.  And so, with that as the foundation, I got at Mookie Dee after a chance encounter spurred me to get after her.  The result from that, as they say, is history.

I don’t want to be dismissive of the SFC, but heading to the Metroplex was not a good experience.  Other than seeing someone who I had and still hold in the highest of regard, it was a detour on my way to Omaha (but I wonder if I had finished with the FOC would I have been less distracted..?).  Returning to the Motor and tying up major loose ends, I would have the opportunity to aim directly for Omaha and BAM!  Here I is!!

One of the lingering ideas in my mind has been is “what if I was left alone”, like Nigel in his bathtub and his drawings or, the preferredNigel, who “likes to speak and loves to be spoken to?”  It is ironic that now the case can be made for me actually needing to be a part of something, I have finally achieved the kind of autonomy that I had long sought!!

When I mentioned David Foster Wallace (who I have never read but was by most accounts a wonderful writer) in my previous entry, I had hoped to expand on how the condition of clinical depression never rests in a person.  Here he was, super smart, talented, and part of a great family, freed from some of the more mundane trivialities of life, and he could no more be “not depressed” than we not observe the sun rising.  It followed him all of his adult life.

I don’t wonder why those closest (or claim intimacy) to people who make the decision to end their own lives are shocked when the affliction does take their own life.  Often, people who are being overwhelmed by the pressure to live up to the impossible standards and expectations of people, along with those who suffer clinical depression, are no different from addicts who can hide their various addictions.  They are experts at acting and covering their tracks, and they even know their own “tells” better than anyone else.  And in many ways I have believed that for the first two groups, the pressured and the depressives, that adds to their problems.


I think that those who would cut the social safety net and remake government simply do not get it.  Just as those cats that the GOP campaign tried to sell as the “we didn’t build this” guys conveniently overlooked the role of community (which I feel is a legitimate way to think of “government”) and how that contributes to the successes of those who have built their lives themselves.  Using my own experience in the extreme micro-verse of humanity, I could not stress enough how much the support that I have received through my blogging has meant to me.  From being inspired by those whose journeys I have read, to those who offer encouragement to me when I am faced with my own obstacles to overcome, it has meant a lot to me.  But what, I wonder, would happen were we friends IRL?

Skipping all the details, what would be happening if someone was here, right now, able to interact with me, what would happen?  Would I reach out to you for help with my invisible ailment, where perhaps the best treatment is not found in a bottle but simply in your companionship, your time??  Often I have wondered if this was presented as a “treatment option”, would the people in the afflicted life find the time to cease focus on the spinnings of their lives for a moment, for an hour, nothing more or less, and devote their attention to the needs of another person?  Who can be that selfless??

I can.  And I have been, many, many times… and that is just the way it goes. (And please indulge me with this moment… this is not that kind of party!!)


LceeL said...

I can, too. And I have many times, as well. And I ALWAYS feel better when I have done.

Beth said...

Having met you IRL, I would imagine that both Ken and I would be there for you...even if you didn't want to discuss some of these things, having someone you can work out with, or hang out with and play records (!!) can provide a connection. I enjoy the interaction I have with people online, and they have definitely gotten me over some rough spots. But it's a whole 'nother level entirely to look someone in the eyes, see their body language, and connect in that way. We'd be there for you in whatever capacity you needed us. :)

Thomas said...

I think the health benefits of "community" is much overlooked. I see people sometimes with a thousand Facebook "friends" and wonder how many of those friends would really lift them up when they were down?

FrankandMary said...

Some key people did not stop their spinning when I needed them most, but, truth be told, some other key people I distanced, so they could not help me.

I have traveled across the country in the past to help friends who needed me, & I would definitely do it again. I got a lot out of it as well. It wasn't a selfless act, it was a human act.

Ken Riches said...

As you have said, wish you were local with us, it would be so great in many ways...