Friday, May 9, 2014



I mentioned that I tried to engage Nebraska yet again.  I won’t get too much into it here, as I do intend on discussing the particulars throughout my entry, but it made me think that maybe I REALLY should try to talk at length about my injury.  One of the side effects of a traumatic brain injury are changes to your personality and how you interpret the world around you and in your environment.  The changes aren’t always major, for instance, my equilibrium issues.  When I am performing movements in multiple planes, involving different dimensions, like walking down/up a flight of stairs while carrying a load, or balancing myself while doing lunge/split squats, I have issues.  But my perception, like my balance, can be worked on with effort and determination.  Still, working on something and bringing something back to previous levels are two different things.  I have a new normal that I am still getting used to, and a lot of it has been glossed over partially because of my reticence and that I have been busy moving towards my goal, heeding closely to the edict that I feel my life is best lived by which is a yes, a no, a straight line and a goal.

While I have my pride, it is sincerely pride of place.  I think that being able to handle the world within your grasp is something to be proud of, but never to the point of being egotistical about it.  I have never been the kind of guy that thought that making child support payments was in any way something to brag about or give me the right to claim that I was “taking care of mine”.  I don’t talk much about Skye as a little girl and giving her rides on my shoulders, nor do I spend time rambling about Lexxie and her fiestiness as we used to box one another, with me on my knees.  I have not spoken much about going over to Nixxie’s when KT was a smiling toddling baby pageant winner and watching her play with her then 4 year-old and 9 year-old uncles.  Who wants to hear some serial sperm donor talk about that kind of stuff?  The thing about it, IMO, is the lack of self-awareness of the Matriarchal Complex… and the boundless arrogance of its members.  For those whose connections to it are tenuous, I am sure that their perspective is warped by the consensus opinion that single motherhood brings nobility and father’s who don’t live in the same household with their children and/or those who have children with multiple women are loathsome.  This is something I have never tried to mitigate nor claim that the judgements that are made about me and my situation were too harsh.  I have found a place in my conscious that lets me function as a member of a society that would demonize me with knowing only part of the story, all the while lionizing my foil and partner-in-parenting, allowing only for them to have full consideration as a parent while simultaneously denying the same such consideration to men like me (to say nothing of the inherent flaws of SMC members character… those traits that often explain why they are single..!).  

Finally, if you did not pick up on it yet, this is going to be kind of a rant.  Strap yourself in, and yes, there is going to be some adult language in this entry....


One of the things about having a brain injury is that there are no set conditions, no one vector or group of issues that comes with a diagnosis.  Your primary central processing center for ALL THINGS has been irrevocably damaged and the possibily exists for EVERY FUNCTION as a human being to be compromised.  My body doesn’t operate the same way, though by sheer will I can feel the rust shaking off, but it has been a long slog and there are no guarantees that I will achieve any level of past abilities.  During training, the Bulgarian split squat was giving so much trouble… I had to hold onto the shoulder of my training partner to execute it, and when I would try to do them solo, I would endure tremors that prevented me from standing straight and remaining balanced, both keys to the exercise.  I can just about figure that I will have to really put some time investment so I can handle the movement.  That isn’t the only less-than-optimal functioning that I deal with.

As the name would suggest, there have been changes to my brain, from areas that are permanently inaccessible to adustments that I have had to make because of personality and character changes.  Since like all of the affected functions, I have no idea what they are and may be oblivious to them, it is possible for me to do something that does not seem to jibe with what not only an observer would expect, but from the things that I once knew of myself.

One of the things that has recently appared on my internal radar, is the desire to actually make friends with people.  At first I thought it was a by-product of the geniuine interest that people here in Omaha show in other folks, and that I was simply responding in kind.  But it is something that is deeper than the superficial niceities of politness.  I have always identified with being empathetic (which partially explains my broad characterizations of social groups), not only being able to listen to people, but be able to approach a discussion from an emotional and intellectual standpoint that reflects their perspective without any disparaging of their view or of them as a person.  This is a skill, something that has to be cultivated and is not something that everyone has.  In fact, it has been a rare thing in my life experience to find someone with this program installed in their personality, so I am not surprised when I have to be “beyond patient”, a level that is already exceeding my own nominal sense of thoughtfulness and appreciation, when dealing with people.  This was evident in my relationship with Mookie Dee, and while not detailed here, my ex-wife.  And it has also been evident with Nebraska, though she would disagree (and she has every right to disagree… and she also would be incorrect, but that is for later in this entry)

As I began to plan for not only my journey to Omaha, but for the journey I would be on for the rest of my life, I decided that I would expand my horizons by simplifying my focus.  Thanks to my ambitious pre-injury effort to actually study and quantify my life, predicating decisions and making choices that not only reflected “the man that we know and love”, but the person that I was, and the man that I wanted to be in the future.  So I set my mind to finding out what philosophical approaches I could apply to my real world life to make the things that were hoped for, morph from an uncertain possible future to a historic reality for me.

When I begin blogging, shortly after I decided to move to Omaha, I went through a detailed review of how I viewed “me, myself, and I”, the people that I encountered, as well as my processing of traits that I believe were present in the various relationships that I had had in the entirety of my life.  From a real and unfiltered self-assesment (because the person that I was did not seem capable of becoming the person that I wanted to be) as well as being as objective as possible and bias-free in determining the kind of character that I hoped to find and allow into my immediate and personal life.

While I had high hopes for Nebraska and myself, it never, NEVER was the primary reason for my wanting to move to Omaha.  Just as I had always told her about Marlon Perkins, Johnny Rodgers, and McCathorn Clayton, she was affixed to a dream of mine, not that SHE was the dream.  I feel that I had offered enough statements that indicated I was not some “internet love tragedy” waiting to happen, just as I was okay with never finding a lifemate, having admited to f*cking over a number of highly considered relationship partners in my life.


Whenever someone, anyone in like, ever, tries to throw the “bullsh*t flag” on my commentary in regards to relationships< I am generally quick to remind them that, “Hey, I know that men can be sh*tty … I have BEEN that guy!”  But what grates on me is how lacking in self-awareness some women are when it comes to owning their share of f*cktardedness.  It reminds me of the fable about the relationship that the birds of prey had with a flock of sheep.

One day out in a meadow, grazing under a sky of blue and flecked by puffy clouds, was a flock of sheep.  There modest number had never been great but it was more than a few.  One of the sheep looked to the sky and saw the birds of prey soaring above in the sun.  “The birds of prey swoop down upon the sick and the youngest of us, taking us off to their lofts and devouring us.  The birds of prey are evil and a plague upon us.  Should we not curse the birds of prey, with the hopes that they are fell and never bother us again?”  The flock agreed and shortly thereafter they begin to wail and curse at the birds of prey.

The birds of prey alit in one of the towering trees in the meadow, confused by the anger of the sheep.  They were astonished at the furor and did not understand why the sheep were so upset.  One bird of prey looked at the other and said: “Why do the sheep curse at us so?  Is it not true that nothing tastes as good as a tender, delicious sheep?” I think this story illustrates the core misunderstanding of ALL misunderstandings in relationships, that roles, and that interests, along with well-being sometimes clash and while men and women are not linked as the birds-of-prey and the sheep are, all too-often the interactions between men and women are marred by exclusive interest and under/over-estimation of the components of a relationship.

History,” said Karl Marx, “is nothing but actions of men in pursuit of their ends.”  While she would not want to admit this, I think this would apply to a degree to my in-state association with Nebraska.  She is concerned with her own sense of right and wrong, her own set of values, as we all should be.  My issue with her, or at least one of them, is that her indulgence in herself consumes the issues and concepts that are valued of another, leastways, of me.  While it makes for difficult and perilous discussions between us (after all, if all you are concerned with are the things that fit your own life’s paradigm, then what kind of mutual agreements are there for you to reach with consideration to fairness and justice for all parties?) I would be able to defend and explain my thinking IF she was truly open to hearing me and not berating me for … being a man, I guess, who doesn’t think like the ideal of a man she has in her mind (which I attach to another prevalent concept in relationships), an ideal that I never had any intention of aspiring to, nor did I lead her to believe was a part of my being.  The ideal of ones own interest” is not one that I am against… my being comfortable with the flack between us still providing a barrier between us is “okay, fine”, because it allows me to act in my own interest without compromise… of my goals or of a relationship, thereby pissin’ on someone elses’ dream.  And having dreams pissed on is why Princess was unable to bring herself to risk investing in someone who gets from place-to-place via the eponymously named “struggle bus”.  Her second husband and father to her two youngest sons was one such passenger which haunted her, to say nothing of her own dreams and goals that she had for herself.  So when I would describe our relationship as being under the “we knew the environment” axiom of my life, it meant that I fully understood what I was up against and had only hoped that my personal qualities and character (as well as my looks… that is a topic for another day..!) could have bought me the opportunity that I had hoped for… they did not, so que sera.

I think that to some extent that each and every one of our relationships are entered into under the auspices of “we knew the environment”, and if you get into one without knowing where you stood, then a pox be upon you!  Usually, I save that title when there is more than “some” risk involved.  Princess and I had a “contained relationship”, mitigating some of the hurt.  As far as Nebraska and I went, it was a bit more than that.

One of the primary things that always troubled me was the assumption that my move to change my life was about HER.  It was not about me being a lovestruck, immature, lost soul, hoping to find his destiny in a true love.  During the early part of our on-line relationship, predating the Mookie Dee years, I assured her that it was not the case, that I was not coming just because of her, but for reasons that made sense to me, that I foresaw that we would be a great couple.  Her then-consistent reply was that we could be friends.  And her rationale at the time was understood, similar to Princess saved that while I was in the Motor working in the cube prairie, I was hardly on the struggle bus at that time.  It was in anticipating the move at that time when I was stable, and making sure that finding a job that was equivalent (which likely would have been possible to have done, even then) to where I was working at in Southfield the time.  There were other mitigating factors and before you knew it, Mookie Dee and I had crossed paths again.  It would not be until I had committed myself to leaving “the provincial town that I once jogged ‘round” that I once again opened up communications with Nebraska.  But again, what is important to remember, is just as when we first met online, my desire to visit and maybe move to Omaha had less to do with falling in love with a stranger that I had met on-line (and in the era of people losing their minds over internet relationships) and more about my super peculiar affinity for Omaha.  One of the primary reasons other than the connections made in the firmament of my imagination, is one that endures to this moment.

See, I have had several women in my lifetime react to me as if I was “all that”.  It is not humility that has kept me from ever thinking that I was, indeed, “all that”.  But as my man Dres used to say, “not to be all that, though all that is my goal!!”, I had motivations and dreams that beckoned me.  Omaha, for whatever valid reason that I may deign to produce, was a part of that.  And it was NEVER for anyone else to make assumptions based on what was spun out of the timelessness of my destiny.  I think that Nebraska may have thought that it was all about her, when the reality was that it was more about THE TEAM.

When I first began to sow the fields of my mind for this current era, I guess that “Habits” was NOT the first song that jumped up and attached itself to a conceptual ideal of mine, and to have made this something exclusive to ANYONE much less Princess, was doing myself a disservice.  In a way that makes sense only to me, the Interpol song, “The Heinrich Maneuver” was a tune whose melancholy helped point me westward.

To be honest, there were times in our online communications where Nebraska “talked” pretty sh*tty to me and about my personal beliefs.  Again, only because I connected her to my attachment to Omaha, and only because of what I did, co-opting my vision, was I able to overlook any of her transgressions.  From her own words, there was NEVER a moment where I believed in any way that we were going to move from a mildly contentious online relationship to a full-blown IRL love affair.  And even had I, she was clear to remind me that my relocation was about doing what was best for me.

Anywho… the f*ckardedness and douchebag actions of my life I claim full responsibility for.  There are no excuses, no valid ones, anyway, than I can sue forgiveness for from those whom I have injured.  BUT… those are behaviours that I have left in my past, long since outgrown and matured through.  So any assumptions that I would make a late-night solicitation for nebulous purposes, that I would be comfortable with the comparison to anyone who may have hurt you in your past, or the misunderstanding of responsibility and security, if any of these things that bolster beliefs and greater values, cannot be resolved, well … is fine by me that I am “whatever I am” to Nebraska.  Clinging to the past, check.  Stubborn and refusing to move on “from the past”, check-double check.  And then, the most hard to understand and near-unforgivable issue of them all.


By the summer of 2012, relations between us was at near-critical levels.  I want to believe she was in a relationship and I was still involved with Princess.  That is merely background information, as the relevant issues are as follows:

Friendship:  It is cool that I sit alone in my apartment most every nights I have always genuinely enjoyed having  my own space so I have never minded being alone.  That is an ingrained trait that is currently at the base of my inner turmoil.

See, I have NO IDEA why I would want for ANY friendship, much less the friendship of someone who has confirmed some of the things that Nebraska has marked off on her ledger of mind.  But, I do, and it really isn’t against expectation for this kind of personality change in me.  I am prepared to overlook the things that I mark as “confirmed” about her and would be willing to -- uh, more on that later.

Respect.  Although we had a conversation where she put forth evidence of her being genuinely interested in gaining a greater understanding “an abstract brother”, it was hard for her to maintain the kind of respect that I feel that I command from nearly everyone else that’s not her.
Finally, her self-centeredness.  As I hoped the Ash Ketcham TED Talk showed, that it is compassion and understanding that is necessary for true empathy and the actions that define caring about another person.  I wonder where the person that gave me such a great first Christmas in Omaha and who let their middle daughter help me pass a class disappeared to?  “Middle daughter,” he says pensively as he thoughtfully rubs his chin.  “What is so familiar about incidents involving middle daughters?

I think this incident will also add to the support of bias against single Mothers.  See, some single Mom’s, particularly those who have bitterness and restrictions toward men seem to show their greatest hypocrisy.  Now I do understand what is at risk… my Mother made certain choices that shed light on the kind of processing takes place when it comes to balance adult desires and wants v. parental responsibility.  So I GET THAT. if not all (and who, I may ask, gets all of it?  If that were possible, this point I have to make would be MOOT if being a single Mother included all the understanding) then certainly enough to allow for commiseration.

Another concept I want to attach to this incident, is the one regarding the Carolina Girls.  Visiting their Father has never included “fun” although I make it my business to get the out and into any area I may be in… from taking Lexie to see a production of “Glengarry Glenross” in the “provincial town”, to KT sitting with me at a Woodward bus stop observing “big city life” when I lived in Palmer Park back in the Motor.  But the both of them know that I have certain rules by which they WILL abide and that any and all “fun” activities are far from the purpose of their visit.  They are here to meet and get to know ME.  As for me, as much as I enjoy showering them with hugs and kisses, I have said it in my journal before and will again, my NUMBER ONE priority is their safety.  My greatest and most important duty during their visit, is to be able to put back onto an airplane my daughter in the same essential state that they arrived in.  For a single Mother, this is something that goes without question, amirite?  But for a sometimes, once-in-awhile Dad?  I guess such protocols don’t matter… but even if they didn’t, that would not make them correct.

At the time I was scuffling out to West Omaha for work with the Gallup Company.  Being too new to be comfortable with taking off three weeks, I had hope that KT would spend time with Nebraska and her girls.  The only confirmed date that I knew was on the planner was a movie featuring the “talented” Tyler Perry and his then-current iteration of the Madea character.  Cool, I thought, leaving KT with money and the necessary keys to get in and out of the apartment and apartment building.  Given my stated approach to having charge over one of my daughters, you could imagine my surprise when KT told me later that night that her, and her hostesses for that day, did NOT go see the movie that I understood as their destination.  This concerned me for several reasons, but I am going to stick to those most relevant.

Being at work thinking that NIXXIE’S ONLY DAUGHTER was not accounted for was truly nausea-inducing.  I already had to deal with the fact that the Mall where the movies were located had also been the site of one of the worst mass-shootings in American history. Then moving beyond that, it was a great opportunity for our relationship to take a step forward.  That.  Did.  Not.  Happen.

Working at Gallup took a toll on me.  Not only was it difficult for me to get the polling accomplished, the offices felt as though they were across the continental divide.  Faithful Doug was up to the task of getting me back home, but I often felt as though I had been met in the face with the business end of a shovel.  Upon returning home to see KT watching television, I asked her about her day and the movie.

“We didn’t go to the movies.”
“Well, where did you guys go and what did you do?”

Her accounting of the her activities were recounted in the tired dronining lilt of a teenager.  I listened closely, because none of what I was looking for was include in her recollection, like a reason why her day did not go as I was lead to believe (see, those crafty Germans… this is the kind of stuff that they’d like for you to believe..!) it was to have gone.  And since NO ADULT called me or left a message that indicated what the plan actually was, I made a summary judgment right there on the spot.

Personal history lesson that really isn’t anyone’s freakin’ business and that I would feel it necessary to recount serves to only harden the mortar that hold together the walls between Nebraska and I.  Some of my early-childhood cases of “Longshot luck” involves a case of child molestation that took place in my family while I was growing up.  I did not find out until I came back to the Motor in the late 90’s, but it ratified the way that I am with my girls.  And this brings me to why I am not suffering from the loss of a friendship and more dealing with a clinical issue that I will carry from here on out.

Intellectually, philosophically, I have ABSOLUTELY NO REASON to miss Nebraska.  It isn’t that she is anything but who she is, but we do not combine well at all.  The things that I cannot, in her words, let go of, represent pillars in my thinking that cannot be diminished.  I had done away with treating women like objects for my pleasure and gratification in my late 20’s and early 30’s … not to mention that “booty calls” were never in my playbook.  Then, the one certifiable case of scarring that I carry with me from my marriage… that is something that I understand is not handled the way that I see it by everyone else.  BUT, respect my stance… I can TELL YOU THAT IF YOU MAKE NEGATIVE COMPARISONS BETWEEN ME AND ANY OF YOUR PREVIOUS PARTNERS, it will likely result in a summary termination of romantic interest.  Peri-f*cking-ed.  I don’t know what is there to get confused about.  So that I was willing to move through that, really was a big thing.

But it isn’t just that not taking Nixxie’s ONLY DAUGHTER where I thought she was going, especially when understanding of how I observe being a parent to my daughters, that an adult would enter into an agreement with a minor of any sort, which is by law, a non-valid contract.  In short, you CANNOT take the word of a child who has not reached the age of majority and has not been emancipated, as the word of authority on any kind of verbal agreement.  And you want to know who brought that to my attention..? MY FREAKIN’ MOM.

This is why, like the clarity of the birds of prey, I do not understand why these points can’t be discussed.  Just because one person feels that it is “this” does not necessarily make them “that”.  See, if you do/say this, I will react by doing/saying that.  How can we get around that, you ask?  Maybe by having a face-to-face, low profile conversation that does not has us at odds as adversaries, but as equals trying to find a solution to our missteps.


Finally… we are “here”.

There are but two cardinal sins,” Franz Kafka said, “from which all others are sprung --Impatience and laziness.” Perhaps I have been mistaken and made some incorrect assumptions with regards to our relationship, but as far as i am concerned, Nebraska has not come to terms with HER assumptions about “us”.  I always have allowed myself some slack, as my knowledge, beliefs and values are NOT absolute.  I maybe be wrong but I will strive to be correct and when contradicted in the face of valid evidence, of course, I will fit my perception accordingly.  Who wouldn’t?  While I am sure that she would dispute any claim I could make about the “impatience and laziness” of my participation in our relationship, I think that it is first necessary to understanding the interpretation and meaning of the two words and the interplay between them.

She is clearly impatient with me.  Her having “last strawed” the three points that are clear in my mind confirms this assumption.  I WON’T move until things are clear, just as I cannot take Bio 2 before I have completed Bio 1.  Makes sense, doesn’t it?  So why can’t it make just as much sense that before I am committed to you in a relationship that our values and sense of meaning to one another are closely aligned?  Isn’t that something that is a part of all good relationships??

So perhaps that is it… we aren’t good partners.  Having been raised by and having to care for a single Mom, living with and parenting children has not given me enough credibility with her estimation of being a parent, so she does not acknowledge my experience in such matters.  Or that our valuation of what makes a good relationship, spending time with one another, communal bonding, and shared experiences, does not quite jibe with her expectations.  Well, I can dig it (I thought you could..!).  Maybe like at the end of the “Road Warrior”  our paths will never intentionally cross again…

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And I -- I took the one less traveled by…
And that has made all the difference…”

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