Monday, April 20, 2015

Baby Steps, Death Therapy, and Little Victories 4.20.15

Baby Steps, Death Therapy, and Little Victories-

Sitting here, bumblefucking around on the interweb, drinking a Dr Pepper 10 and getting ready to go drop my fatass in the pool I'm --- well, I don't want to disgust you too greatly with the visual image and TMI, but, I'm playing with the fatness. Trying to gauge it, so to speak. And I can pinch enough on the sides, and press in enough, I can actually feel something that's not fat. So, my current state- I seem to be losing enough weight for the fat to be soft and squishy, but the bowling ball of gut in the sack of skin droops lower- so that I somehow need fatter clothes than I did before (part of that might be water weight fluctuation; I didn't think about it at the time but the family ring was a little tighter than usual Saturday), but- for the first time, in a very long time, I can feel something beneath the whiskey flab.

There are times, when I sit, and marvel at the ridiculousness of it. What I've done to myself. I tried my best not to make it to 30, and in less than 2 months I'll be 36. At the time it seemed like I didn't have a choice. That it was the way it was, and that was that. One of the things the tough love advocates never seem to understand, is the resoluteness of despair. To feel like a circus grotesque, locked away in your cave, drinking 100 proof like breathing air, lost inside the worlds in your head to escape the one outside it. And here I am. Every new day is strange and wonderful, and I yearn for booze less and less. I don't deny myself it. It simply has no control over me. And that's the best gift I think I've ever given myself.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

No, You're Not Crazy. I Know Crazy.

Sanity is not something I take for granted.
Whenever I hear some spoiled tart giggle, and excuse their bad behavior as 'I'm crazy, lol,' I want to give them a glimpse inside my head. No, you're a stupid spoiled douche. Shut the fuck up and be decent.

Background- Several years ago, say about 2007-10, when I was at my worst, at the bottom of my darkness, I was drinking between 1- 2 gallons of cheap vodka a day, and sleeping for any extended period only once every 3-5 days, depending on factors I can't name. My days would consist of writing and drinking all night long, driving around the corner to Taco Bell about 10am, getting a bunch of shitty food, eating, and then sort of sleeping but not really in my recliner thru the afternoon, before getting up, maybe having dinner with my brother (though, unfortunately he could stand to be around me less and less, my madness on display), if not making a booze run and maybe getting some more shitty cheap food (Taco Bell was close, and cheap), and doing it all over again.

Most of the time I was writing. Especially when I couldn't afford internet.

I can remember being scared to go to sleep.
My dreams held frightening things.
Monsters. Demons. Unnameable macabre oddities I wish I could forget.

I had been fucking around with lucid dreaming for years, and then astral projection (I'll leave it to you, dear reader, to decide for yourself if that is a real phenomenon or awesome dreams or just more madness and mind fuckery).
Now shit was getting weird. Bad weird.
Also, fyi, this was before I discovered the genius that is the tv show Supernatural. So, for those who follow my ramblings, don't think it stems from falling asleep to that while the tv is on.

Once or sometimes twice a week, if I was lucky, I would crash for 10-15 hours. Once, I think when I driving a cab (I drove a cab thru the fall and winter of '08-thru early spring of '09), I slept damn near a full 24 hours.

I can remember, as scared as I was of sleep, I was more scared of sleeping at night. And I was most scared of sleeping between the hours of 3-5 am.

Because 'that's when the veil between this plane and the next is thinnest.'

I'm not sure where I picked up that tidbit, but in my state, it proved to be very true.

I can remember arguing with, fighting with, things that weren't there. I would wake, with strange scratches on my body. I remember one night I thought something reached into my chest and squeezed the shit out of my heart, pumping it twice. It hurt like hell, and my chest was sore for a week. I never got it checked out, though I've always been curious what the fuck the medical diagnosis for that would have been. I can remember sex with a succubus on the astral plane. On different occasions.

Worse, things would happen while I was awake. At least, they would happen in my head. Thoughts would appear like voices, their contents too horrible to relate. They're certainly not the thoughts you want someone who lives in home filled with weapons to have. Though, in all honesty, the only reason I speak about this is because I think deep down the responsibility of arms was itself what kept me from going completely over.

It was such a long, slow process back from that. It's hard to say what kept me from teetering over the edge. Publishing my first book, for sure. And Murph, of course. Not being a full blown, manic depressive alcoholic that drinks two big handles of Taaka a day probably helped. Maybe just a little. Going to the doc at the VA, finally getting some pain meds, because that was an initial source of my constant boozing. Though even that wasn't instantaneous. The three years I spent taking care of my grandmother were certainly beneficial. Exercise, losing weight, even though it goes up and down. I really am so fucking tired of being in constant pain it's not even close to funny.

The damnest thing about the darkness, is once it is in you, it's always there. It never fully leaves, shrinking into the rough edges of your mind, waiting to pounce when you're weak. Almost a year ago, I had a really strange, surreal couple of weeks that resulted in me taking up prayer. Every day, to a God I have claimed for years not to believe in, and placebo or not, I 'feel' like it helps. Last week, after I'd laid down to bed, I felt the cold hand of a hag touch my shoulder and felt her sensual, icy touch reach down my spine. Heard her whisper in ear, ask me, why not? Why had I forsaken her? Didn't we used to have such fun? And then total psycho-sexual abandon, right there. And I dreamed I turned and faced her, and strangled her, and watched her face contort thru her different masks. And then she/ it was gone, and I lay in bed wondering what the fuck was wrong with my brain, and I don't believe I slept anymore that night. Now, in the light of day, at 2 in the afternoon, I can tell you it was just a strange dream. In all probability that's exactly what it was. But then and there, in that moment, and for the moments after? I wouldn't have been able to answer.

I still hear voices, sometimes. Feint, as if from a distance deep inside my head. I do my best to ignore them. In the small alone hours, when I think about them, I worry they're just wayward ghosts who need a favor, a message passed on, something. Other times, I worry they're something much more sinister. I can tell you they're probably just echos in my head, an occupational hazard of a writer. Sometimes it just takes more work convincing myself to 'feel' the truth of that.

I've studied religion, and spirituality, demonology, and all all manner of fruit loopy New Agey bullshit, trying to make sense of it. My problem with a lot of assorted pagans, and wiccans, and New Agers, is the same problem I have with those in every other religion. They're all so convinced, not only that they're right, but that everyone else is wrong. And I really don't think it's necessarily that kind of thing. I have a lot of thoughts, on a lot of it, and I continue to study and try to evolve and figure things out. What I finally came to terms with, is, I think, is that whatever your belief system, once you close your eyes and drift off, I'm not sure it matters.


At the end of the day, what I believe are three things.
1. This is not the only plane of existence.
2. There is evil in this world. Not just bad acts, bad decisions, but evil.
3. Beyond these things, the only thing I'm certain of, is that I am profoundly uncertain.



Mainly though, the point of this, is that sobriety, and sanity are not things I take for granted. So when I hear some moron, excusing their shitty behavior as 'crazy,' I want to give them a spin in my head. Maybe then they'll shut the fuck up. These are not things anyone takes for granted if they've ever had to fight for them.





Sunday, January 11, 2015

Excerpt from book 3, end of act 2

We were sitting in my truck, nestled in a low spot at the bottom of a railroad grade, watching the back of a trailer park in the nether region of industrial buildings and extremely low income housing, where Dallas sort of bleeds into Duncanville. Close to the old Frito Lay plant, not terribly far from where what was left of my mother's people lived.
There was a line of tall but scraggly bushes separating the railroad grade from the back of the trailer park. My truck was just tall enough for us to hide right there and scope out the trailer.
There wasn't much to the trailer park. From what I could see it looked mostly empty and dilapidated, long headed toward ruin. The air smelled of lost hope and desperation.
It was the kind of place people stayed when they paid by cash in weekly and monthly increments.
Home only to permanent transience.
The rain had picked up some, but not much. Just a soft, steady beat against the windshield.
It's dark as shit in here.” He held his watch closer to his face. The engine was off, the lights killed by custom installed switch. I checked the Maratac on my wrist, the hands and numbers on it's face a subdued glow.
What are you packing?” I asked.
Monster smiled, picked up his nylon bag off the floor and sat it in his lap. From it he pulled a black Ruger P90 DAO, and then double barrel that had been cut way, way, way down on both ends.
Leave that shit.” I nodded toward the cut down shotgun. It was useless tonight. He looked at me like the thought gave him a bad taste in his mouth, but tossed it and the bag in the floor.
Assuming the intell was good, there were three inside with Chris and Tonya, which gave us a total of five. Not including the guy giving it to us.
His phone beeped in his hand, and he looked at it, touched his finger on the screen to scroll, before handing it to me.
The pictures were dim, taken without a flash. They showed three men lounging in the first room, on sofa and recliner.

I debated heavily what weapons to use. Long years at war, my time on the Task Force and after, had shaped my way of thinking. Very much a man of my generation and work, if I had suppressors available, which I did, my instinct was to use them by default.
The trailer was a 1970's era single wide. It one big open room split into a den and a kitchen/ dining room, and a short, narrow hallway with a tiny bathroom off it before the back bedroom. There would be another, smaller bedroom/ office off the main room, just to the right of the door.
I'd been in and out of more of them than I cared to think about.
The problem was that suppressors gave your enemy leverage to use against you when things got close and wet. There was nothing I had with a suppressor, immediately available,that I wanted to use in those narrow spaces. I'd fought in caves and tunnels and hovels with more room to move.
Actually, looking at the trailer park, it probably wasn't a fair comparison to the caves, tunnels, and hovels.
When we're going to do this, man? What are we waiting on?”
When we go in, I'm going to go fast. I'm going to move straight across the room. Hard. I need you to come in behind me, and peel right. I need you to check that little room at the end? We need to make sure we don't have anyone behind us.”
Now, see, I could brace 'em with the shottie.
No. We need the girl alive.”
Shit. That bitch is a bad guy to me. And you better have your head on straight 'bout that. She done lost her whiteness. She's pure nigger now. Straight up Oak Cliff. Trying to get over on her folks. She's gone worse than your girlfriend ever did.”
I took a deep breath, tried to will away the rage inside.
I knew there was truth in his words.
There were other things as well, but I didn't have time to dwell.
Shit, you the big bag gunfighter, Johnny Reb. You say we don't need the shottie, fine. I'll leave it.” He racked the slide on his Ruger, chambering a round.
Text your guy, tell him walk outside ten minutes from the time he responds to the text.”
I slipped out of the truck and quietly shut the door. The first thing I did was take a piss. I always pissed before an action. Next I opened the rear door, slipped my shirt off and dropped it on seat, and then pulled the heavy armor off the floor, and slid it on over my undershirt.
We might have been going in light and fast, but they still had AK-47s and who knew what else.
I pulled my Browning from it's holster, and exchanged the flush magazine for an extended 20 rounder. I slid it back in it's holster, and checked my blades before softly closing the rear door.
Monster climbed out.
He send the text yet?”
No.”
I'm gonna move up to the bushes, peek thru. When you get the text, come on up. Stay low, whisper.”
Monster didn't say anything, just waved his hand in the air, the big Ruger in it.
I moved up the grade, going lower with each step, so that by the time I came to the edge of the property marked with the bushes I was on a knee.
There was a broken streetlight, illuminating nothing. A narrow, crumbling, potholed blacktop that might have bene poured the year I was born. Maybe. I didn't see cameras, or sentries.
Thankfully, I didn't see any dogs. I hated having to kill guard dogs.
I didn't like it, but it didn't mean I they were or weren't there.
Everything I'd seen, coupled with instinct told me Chris, much like the man he'd been hired to kill, had been given a chance to play at a level out of his league. Being an amateur, he'd tried to get more and more elaborate and just made a bigger and bigger mess.
Now he was on the run, playing it by ear. I doubted this were something he'd set up before hand, properly equipped. This was the lay low of lore.
I heard the beep of monsters phone, and I looked back at him looking at his phone as he stepped toward me.
I moved the bezel on my watch, and finalized the approach in my head.
Monster trudged up the grade behind me, not bothering to stay low.
Single file, stay behind me. We won't to make as small a signature as possible.”
Man, are we gonna get bloody, or what?”
I turned back, and took a deep breath.
I said a prayer to the Old Gods, and then one to the God of my father. I believed in one about as much as the other, bastard though I was.
We moved calmly, but briskly, across the open expanse of the narrow blacktop and used a thick oak behind a wrecked, inhabitable trailer to cover our movement.
We paused at the tree, and I peered around it, looking for trash, fallen limbs, any sort of holes or debris that could trip us or make noise. Cataloging it in my mind, along with the feint light through the door on the side which I noted did not bleed through the dark curtains in the one window that could scope our advance. I moved again, staying within the envelope of shadows provided by the tree and trashed trailer.
At the end of the shadowed wreck, I crouched down and leaned out just far enough to confirm the emptiness, before finishing the last leg of the trip, moving briskly but not fast enough to raise the noise level across a small yard and another crumbling lane of black top.
I crouched at the end of the trailer, and grimaced as Monster fell in behind me with heavy stomping footfalls.
Short minutes dragged slowly past. I checked my watch twice in three minutes, just for something to do.
In books and movies the hero is always fucking perfect, always calm, cool, and collected. Zen'd out and zoned out on his own awesome, too cool to care. In the real world, your mind is in overdrive. Your senses are heightened, some animal part of your brain is collecting every sight, smell, and sound, the taste and color of the fucking air, and processing it at lightning speed. Your intuition is the alarm that goes off when there's something array.
You expect things to go bad, because there's no such thing as a perfect op. It doesn't exist. So when nothing pings you check your watch to measure.
Which is why you never look as cool as they do in the movies.
Inside the trailer dim words were exchanged, and I heard the front door open. I drew my pistol, and held it in tight, at a compressed high ready, left hand on the blade in my belt.
Heavy footfalls toward the cars in the drive way beside us. He was about 16, hard eyed but not nearly as hard as some I'd seen at that age. He walked between the cars and made a show of lighting cigarette. He stopped behind the sedan, the nearest one to us.
So how's this going to work?” He asked in hush, facing away from the front door so that I was looking at his profile.
Anyone in this room right here on the end?”
Naw, man.”
You strapped?”
'Course.” His voice was less than enthusiastic. Traitors very rarely can stand seeing owning themselves.
You finish that cigarette, we're gonna fall in behind you. Once you go thru that door, move hard to the left. I'm going across it. Monster is going right.”
OK, man.” He took a long pull of his cigarette, and blew smoke rings in the air.
Let's get to it.” He tossed the butt on the ground, and turned around.
Monster following I turned the corner, staying low, and moved between the car and trailer, falling in behind the turncoat as he started up the stairs. He opened the door, and stepped left and I rushed thru.
I moved quick and hard and I had I brought the arm holding the gun to full extension as the big man started to rise off the couch.
Stop right there.” I spoke low, held a finger to my mouth. “Do you want to live?” I asked. I could kill them all and sleep soundly, but it'd be faster, easier, and much more quiet if they'd just turn on Chris and give me the girl.
Oh, no, Johnny Reb. No sir. That wasn't the deal at all. They got to die,” Monster Maupin came just behind me, and to the left. His tone was normal, conversational, but there was something wrong.
He's not in his corner.
And then, gunfire.
Pistol shots, to be precise. Screaming between each shot.
I dropped the hammer on the big one and spun, dropping down, and trying to move on the lateral as I did so.
There was someone I didn't recognize, a kid, firing a Tokerev.
Monster's turncoat was falling, a line of bullets stitching his spine.
I snapped thru shots with barely a flash sight picture and the boy's head exploded.
A shotgun erupted from the hallway, and punched Monster hard, his arm and side visibly damaged as he fell.
And then more screaming, and the third guy was on top of my back, and my arm was a strange combination of burning numbness and then I was tasting dirty shag carpet.
I know well how it works. I even kind of love it. It's an addiction like no other. But I don't know if I'll ever get used to being so in tune. I could feel every strand of 40 year old shag carpet on face in the split second it took me to realize my gun was no longer in my hand and didn't have much use of my primary arm and I had an asshole coming down on top of me.
I managed to roll onto my side and get my good arm up and put a boot in his thigh as he came back down with what appeared to be a crow bar. This blow hit my collarbone, but between the heavy armor and the boot to the thigh, I managed to keep from it from doing any real damage, though it hurt like a motherfucker.
I managed to grab the crowbar before he could re-cock it, and pulled him closer, bringing him into a headbutt, and then another. I saw stars with the second one, but they were dim and I could feel his enthusiasm for the endeavor wane.
I pulled the Boker Tuff from my belt, and buried it as deep as it would go into his sub-clavicle.
Blood sprayed like a lawn sprinkler on the back spring, and I pushed his dying body away from me.
There was a moment, then.
A long, slow, meandering moment.
Tonya was standing just inside the kitchen, a cut down shotgun in her hands.
Monster Maupin was leaning against the wall, his right arm limp, useless, blood pouring from the side of his chest as if it were a quickly filling spring.
Tonya stood there, mouth open as she tried to breath, her eyes filling with wet as she took her new understanding. The room itself, that old familiar Pollack of red and black death tones, each of us included. Her hands, holding the shotgun, a little more loose each micro-moment.
I picked up my pistol with my weak hand.
Drop it, Tonya.” I told her. She looked at me. “Please.” It clattered on the floor.
Man, fuck this bitch!” Monster brought his left hand up, a second pistol, a small revolver, in his hand.
I put the front sight on his ear and fired twice.
Monster fell, streaking blood down the wall as he did so.
I stood.
Tonya was staring at me when Chris emerged, wrapping an arm around Tonya's head and pulling her close.
He sneered at me as I shifted, arm out at full extension, gun canted slightly for better visual reference with my right eye since I was firing with my non dominant hand. He sneered at me as I lined everything up.
He opened his mouth to speak.
I shot him twice, fast. The bullets punched through his upper lip at the bottom of his ocular cavity.
He dropped, Tonya scrambling as he fell away.
She stared at him a second, and then turned around the room, taking it all in again before her eyes settled on me. There was a chaos of emotion in here eyes, but the overriding one was fear. Fear of me.
I set the safety and slipped the gun beneath my belt.
Tonya, we need to go. Now. I need to take you home.”
You're not gonna hurt me?” she asked, meekly.
No.”
But-”
We're figure out what to tell your mother on the way. We need to go. Now.”
I need to get my purse.”
Please do. Phone and wallet, to.”
I watched her step around dead bodies as I moved the arm, feeling the dull, burning ache spread. Nothing felt torn or ruptured, but I'd still need to get it check out.
A second later she came out of the hallway, stuffing her wallet and thin cell phone into her purse.
You're do gonna exactly what I say, and not give me any trouble?”
Yes, sir.”
Good.”
You're really not gonna tell my momma?”
Not if you hold up your end and do what I say, no.”
OK.”

And then we left.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My Ever Evolving Spirituality, Today

If nothing else, being agnostic means being open. There was a period of my life when I was probably too open, and that opened the door to darkness that will always be there, at least in part. But I'm learning to be more open to other things, good things, positive things.

I tell my intellectual friends I've started praying, they look at me like maybe I'm an imposter. It doesn't matter how long I considered prayer and meditation the same thing, or the view I held for so long that, since, if there was a God, and he was omnipotent, and that prayer was essentially a conversation with God, because of his omnipotence, then every thought and conversation you have throughout the day is, technically, a conversation with God. And when I tell them, not only am I praying, but that it seems to work marvelously. That not only are several things finally seeming to come to fruition, but I feel better, lighter, happier, that my various and sundry addictions are, seemingly, non existent, they shake their heads. That the voices in my head, the shadows moving within shadows at night, the chills and bad feelings and dreams I won't talk about, these things are the products of a vivid imagination, long term depression, alcoholism, self loathing, angst over obesity and a lifelong obsession with violence. Manifestations of my subconscious trying to figure out how to unfuck itself. That if there is anything to it, it's psychosomatic. All the little ubermensch motherfuckers that are confident they know everything. In so many ways, in their utter certainty, they share more in common with those I normally call 'Bible Nazis' than not.

The only thing I know for sure is that I don't know. I am profoundly uncertain. I still doubt very seriously I'll ever again call myself a Christian. There are still, and always will be more about it, or at least what is taught, that I can say, without a doubt, that I don't believe in, that I refuse to believe, that I will fight tooth and nail against, than otherwise. People who take the Bible word for word still baffle me.

But it is insane, and perhaps a bit ridiculous, to invest so much in believing in man's fallibility, in the dark nature of the world, to not put just as much into the positive. To be an otherwise good person consumed by the darkness, shirking from the light of the world.

So, here I am.
Praying.
Often multiple times a day.
But most especially, before bed.
And I'm getting the best sleep I've ever gotten in my entire life.



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Matrix Re-Evaluation

I was recently asked to help one of my mom's besties, my "Other Mother," find a gun suitable to her for self defense. She has little to no experience with guns, and except for me taking her out to shoot whatever I find for her, she's probably never going to shoot it again, unless, Gods forbid, she has to defend herself with it. It may get carried in the car- occasionally, but mostly it will probably be for home defense.

 I'm looking to get her into a budget .38. Scouring the used market so we can afford some lasergrips to go with it. I feel this should meet her needs, given she has no history of shooting, and is not going to invest herself in the lifestyle or hobby of training, rather nicely.

I keep finding people who lament putting new shooters into revolvers. They cry about this being some thoughtless, antiquated technique with old technology. The tone I hear from some of these people, certain "instructors" in particular, is rather troublesome. The idea that anyone who doesn't have an interest in making training a part of their life doesn't deserve their life, I find distasteful, to say the least. I suspect their own financial remuneration, vindication, and insane narcissism are the real culprits here.

By far and away the biggest malfunction issue I saw was limp-wristing. With untrained women shooters, this x infinity. I'm exponentially more worried about bad things happening because the gun jams than I am her running out of ammo and needing to speed reload.I keep hearing people complain about revolvers and how semi-autos are always superior. I think an awful lot of motherfuckers need to re-evaluate their threat assessment, mission statement, and equipment matrix.

What are the most likely threats to this person?
What are their needs and capabilities?

We're not storming fucking Fallujah.
Training does not automatically equate mindset. It also doesn't even always equate skill. I can think of a couple of well known trainers and in some cases their acolytes, or franchisees, who I want abso-fucking-lutely nothing to do with.
On personal, moral, and tactical bases.
I'm not going to name names, engage in that sort of thing, but I hate these people and everyone like them.
Deep down in the bone, soul saturating hate.
You can starch your 5.11's, and bluster and condescend to everyone less ninja than you, but none of these things actually mean you have skill, common sense, or balls.

I would rather spend my time teaching old widows and single mothers how to use tools they can actually manipulate than I would get rich stroking the egos of tiny dicked, macho douchefucks who wear stupid clothes.
Fuck you.
I hate you.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Dear Tactical Ninja Douchefuck,

If you're going to put yourself out there as a weapons expert, quantifiable expertise in weapons is an important consideration. If you're going to put yourself out there as a expert in combat, quantifiable expertise in combat, might also be important.

You don't have to be a veteran to teach or share opinions on the mechanics of running a gun. That shouldn't have to be said.
But if you're going to talk specifically about violence and combat, then candor, decency, and knowing when not to run your brash, illiterate cumguzzler are all things a decent human being would take into consideration. If you're going to use the tool box analogy, it helps to have a solid working knowledge of the tools themselves, and what each one is for.
If you ridicule people for the pocket gun they will EDC, instead of the Tactical Ninja Douchefuck 9000 back home in the safe, instead of making sure they know how to use the gun they'll actually have with them when they need it, you are wrong.
No, don't say it.
Shut up.
Stop it.
You are wrong.
We're not assaulting fucking Fallujah.
I don't have belt feds, air support, and a radio.
 I'm as upset about this as anyone, but that's just the way it is.
You don't like my pearl grips on my nickeled snubbie?
I don't give a fuck.
 If you haven't at least been where I've been, seen and done and lived through the things I have, then your opinion on the gun I choose for self defense is literally not worth knowing.
If I catch you ridiculing people who want to learn, instead of imparting sound knowledge that is useful to them, I will call you out on it. If you force my hand, I will be rude about it.
I hate bullies.
More than anything on this planet.
To put oneself in a position of mentor and authority and to abuse that is unthinkable and unforgivable.
I don't care if you're trying to make money.
I don't care if you're trying to set a certain tone or make a certain brand.
I give not a single solitary fuck.







Thursday, June 13, 2013

Almost Middle Aged

Yesterday I turned 34.
I fucking hate it.
Not the raw number, so much. I long ago stopped giving a fuck about that. At least I tell myself that.
But the fact that, in my eyes, I don't have a whole lot to show for it.
I have a couple of books not very many people have read, obesity, a fucked up back, knees, and ankles, and intermittent alcoholism.
I take care of my grandmother, but really, I don't do much. I make sure she gets her meds, feed her, and try to keep her company.
Her dementia is getting worse and worse.
Most of the time, I'm not sure she knows exactly who I am, she's running on instinct and the fact that I'm always here.
I ask her who I am, and she'll tell me her nephew. Or her neighbor. Or whoever.
She may or may not remember my name.
At her worst, she's borderline violent. She has slapped me, and hit me with her cane. She had a grand time one afternoon stomping on my feet.
Usually I know this is coming, because it's after long hours of verbal abuse, argument, and crying.

Why am I doing this to her?
Why won't I let her go home?
Who the hell do I think I am?

And when she's lucid, it's worse, because we both know just how far she's gone.
And then we're crying, and she's apologizing, and insistent that I shouldn't be the one carrying this weight.
And what do you say to that?

While my family is not as close as we once were, things could be a lot worse.
Everyone is just busy with their lives, with their work.
And I volunteered for this.
So I can't cry about it.
But I'm going slightly nuts.
I had a daydream, not long ago, where I had a nervous breakdown.
I dreamed I snapped, went outside, and fell to my knees in the front yard wailing away.
Full on Russell Crowe, spittle flying, Gladiator breakdown mode.
When I woke up in my recliner, it took a few seconds for me to remember where I was.
My grandmother was sitting in her chair, crying, asking me over and over again to open the door so she could go home.

Honestly, I'm about as far gone as I can remember being since I came out of the worst of my depression.
I'm not suicidal.
I'd really like to think I'll never get as close to that edge as I once did, ever again.

But, I'm going slightly nuts.
Just fucking batshit.

The truth is, the inside of my head is already a macabre tapestry of self loathing and hatred.
In my head, no one actually respects me. In my head, the concept of that is insane. In my head, the best I can think of myself is that people either feel sorry for me, or see an opportunity to use me for something.
Whether or not this is true, it's what I fight. Everyday.
On one hand, I'm trying so hard to get my shit together.
Trying to start a business teaching gun stuff, trying to get book two finished, and fully realized, hoping I can get some traction with it. Trying to figure out a plan of action for the websites and blogs, and the blog/ e-zine I'm going to try to do with some friends. The youtube channel to go with it.
And so much of it right now is just spinning my wheels.
Because I have to rely on other people. Proofers and editors, bureaucrats, family members, possible writing and business partners.
Because the only income I have coming in is disability from the VA, I've got to be careful. I wanted to have hung my shingle by now, so income from teaching CHL and basic marksmanship could be put back in the business. I could use it to take more classes, which would go in the blog/ ezine/ youtube/ whatever, while learning more and further developing martial skills.
But right now it's just one more thing that should be that isn't.
And what I want more than anything, what I need to do before I can fully realize that, is reclaim some sort of physical fitness.
At the very least, I need to get much further toward that goal than I am now.
If for no other reason than my mental health.
I'm 34, and still fat.
Every time I've started to make some real headway, I've found some excuse to let the doubt and self loathing take over.
The Army shit still creeps up sometimes.
Not war stuff, but Germany shit. Fucked up spine and people thinking I was faking shit.
Father shit, holy fuck, do I have some daddy issues. I don't really know why. We had our differences, we had our issues, we nearly came to blows a couple of times, but it was never really movie of the week shit. We were always close.
And fuck, broken heart shit still comes back.
Why I should give thoughts of a woman who doesn't love me, and for all I know never really did any of my time is absolutely beyond me.
I go months without thinking about her and what we had, at least what I thought we had, not giving two fucks, and then bam. I'm a wretched mess.
I don't know why I carry this bullshit with me, but I do.
All my faults and failures.
And I don't know if writing about it helps.
I thought I did at one time.
Now, now I'm not so sure.
No doubt there will be people who read this and send me messages of support.
Which I will answer politefully.
But this isn't a cry for help.
I don't want an intervention.
I'm thinking very seriously about my online presence.
What I put out there, and how much.
If it helps or hurts.
Both professionally and personally.
We become who we train ourselves to be.
I need to unfuck myself.