So a certain someone is complaining on his blog about how he keeps sabotaging his relationships with people, that he has low self esteem about his body and how he’s fucked anyone and everyone he decided on his own to fall for before they realized how much better they could do than him and run off to find happiness with someone else.  (One hundred twenty-eight partners?  Really?  Dude…there’s a reason it’s called whoring around.)

It’s not about the looks.

It’s about the meanness, the nasty remarks about even the littlest things people say or do.

It’s about the abusive behavior, the violence.

It’s about the insane hate-driven vendettas that are carried on for years after they’ve ceased to have any meaning for anyone else.

It’s the endless blame-the-victims-of-his-shit games he plays where everything is his older brother’s fault and never his, because God forbid he should live up to his own ignorant, hate-filled lectures and take responsibility for his own actions.

It’s about the endless emo-ing, to the point of attempting suicide on more than one occasion, just to get attention and sympathy from others.

THAT is what drives people away.  It’s got nothing to do with physical beauty, which is subjective and fleeting.

Until this boy grows up and learns that his hatred is what’s preventing him from finding happiness, and lets it go, he will never find a moment’s contentment.

I don’t mean to come off looking like a heartless bastard who refuses empathize with what he’s going through.  I’m on this little rant because I’ve spent thirty-nine years on the receiving end of his hatred and it’s difficult to have any sympathy for someone who’s created so many of his own problems with people.  Yes, his “mother” fucked him up in the head with her abuse and her own hatred.  But he chose to follow in her footsteps to become a mean, abusive, obsessive, narcissistic asshole himself.  The things he’s done to me and to others are unforgivable.

Looking back at my own relationships with women, there have been several since 2008 with whom there was chemistry, but it never went anywhere because they weren’t interested or the circumstances in their own lives just didn’t allow for having a relationship, and I respected that.  I pined hopelessly for a girl back in the late 90s who had no interest in me whatsoever and I became a depressed asshole for a while, until I eventually grew up a little, realized what a tool I’d been, and moved on, I hope a little wiser in whom I give my heart to.  I’ve had exactly one real-life girlfriend in my life, and a couple whom I “dated” online but never met face to face.  My in-real-life ex and I were together two months before she dumped me over the phone (I’ll tell that story another time).

I could have spent years mourning the loss of that relationship, the way my younger so-called brother does for the 128 people he’s boned.  But why?  What would be the point?  All it would do is waste time, energy, and emotion better spent on doing something else, like trying to further my education or getting a job that pays enough to actually live on so I have something to offer someone.

I don’t know; maybe I’m just being a dick about this.  It’s just that after being told repeatedly to stop whining about my life and to own up to my actions by someone who seems to spend every waking minute not spent trying to wreck it further than he already has whining about his own existence, I’m not feeling very merciful.  I have no more compassion left for that evil asshole after everything he’s done to me.



Am I doomed?

I’ve been busy, so I will keep this as brief as possible.

Because of the shit parade instigated by the little clique of haters who’ve been stalking, flaming, libeling, and harassing me over the Internet, I lost a friend I dared hope would become more than just a friend.  She didn’t want the drama.  I understand her feelings, and I don’t blame her for not wanting to get involved, but it still hurts.

I started a job last week at the Subway franchise from Hell.  The pay is a joke, the training is practically non-existent, and the neighborhood is a ghetto, but I’m in no position to be selective about what job I work.  I feel as though I’ll be trapped working dead-end, poverty-wage jobs like this the rest of what passes for my life.  Certain people are just fine with seeing me stuck in this pit forever, and for the life of me I can’t understand why.

Am I doomed to this existence?  Did I spend six years trying to get my degree, hoping against hope that it would all lead to something better, only for it all to be in vain?

It certainly looks that way.  I’ve little to no hope of raising the money to make the move to California so I can get my Master’s in Film Production, not unless enough people are kind enough to donate toward my fund-raising goal, and I’ve had lousy luck on that front.  I have no transportation, so I really can’t get out to where most of the local film crew gigs are, and therefore I can’t build up my real-world experience or make the necessary social contacts.

And the worst part is that it seems like that small group of haters will hound me forever, sabotaging my relationships with other people, sabotaging any and all efforts I make to try and climb out of this bottomless pit I’m in, and all for what amounts to standing up to their endless, incessant bullying.  It’s insane.  It’s like I have almost no power or control over my own life, like I’m being punished for life for just trying to be myself and live my own life independently of users and abusers.

So am I doomed?  I’ve had to learn to abandon hope as a cheat, but every time it looks like things might finally be looking up, every time things seem to finally be getting better, something or someone comes along to remind me that I “don’t know my place” and that I’m not allowed to have a life, or any real friends, or a family, or a permanent home of my own, or any chance at happiness.  I let my urge to hope take over and every time my heart and my hopes end up shattered into a million jagged pieces.

I’m sure the merry little band of haters will read this and start in on me again, more vicious than ever.  That’s okay, because, you see, I’m not going to give up and stop trying.  I refuse to continue being beaten down, and I’m not going to let go of my life goals and aspirations just because certain people whose own lives are such empty failures that they can’t let their favorite whipping boy have a shot at happiness and success, actually succeed.  So yes, I’ll work at Subway or whatever other fast food job hires me, so I can survive and pay my bills.  But I’m going to keep trying to make my dreams a reality, and nothing anyone does is going to stop me from accomplishing what I want to do in life.

And I’m not at all sorry to disappoint you people, because in the end your opinions of me don’t matter.  What matters to me are the people whose lives have touched mine in positive ways, and who’ve enriched my understanding of the world in ways none of you can possibly fathom because you’ve chosen to limit yourselves to only your own selfish wants.

Maybe I am doomed.  But I’ll be damned if it’s for lack of trying.

My Life Story, Part Eight: On the Honesty and Reliability of Family

By age 3 or 4, most children have been taught the possessive distinction between what is “mine” and what is “yours.”

Connected to this understanding is the injunction not to cross that boundary without consent. That is, when desiring to use what is somebody else’s, one must ask for, and receive, authorization first. To take without asking or being given permission breaches the victim’s property rights.

It is considered ethically “wrong,” and is labeled “stealing” or “theft.” Because it is what belongs to a person, property theft is usually considered personal. “Take what is mine and you take part of me.” Hence when stolen from, victims feel attacked and suffer a loss.

Carl Pickhardt, Ph.D.

When we were in our twenties and still dwelt under the same roof, I would often come home from work or school to find that David had walked into my bedroom while I was away and taken something of mine.  Sometimes it was clothing, and sometimes it was something else.  When I complained about this and demanded that he get my permission if he wanted to borrow something of mine, his typical response was, “You weren’t here [to ask].”

If you want to know the signs to look for in order to identify a psychopath, you can click here, here, and here.  Tell-tale symptoms include, but are not limited to, a lack of empathy, lack of respect for other people’s rights and belongings, and a lack of remorse.  All the symptoms mentioned in the links provided apply to David.

Case in point:

In 2001 I enlisted in the United States Air Force.  Unfortunately, I washed out of basic training due to bum wrists from previous breakage, and was sent back to Ohio just over two months afterward.  I had entrusted David with my bank account so he could pay my remaining utility bills in my absence, since I wouldn’t be able to do so while in basic training.  When I came back, David admitted to having used the money I’d set aside for paying my gas bill to pay for his truck-driving license and get a job driving trucks.  That job lasted, maybe, a few months.  Meanwhile, I was out well over two hundred dollars.

Granted, it was stupid of me to trust David with anything, especially money.  In 2009 he borrowed money from me to pay his rent and promised to pay it back in a couple of weeks.  It took him something like six weeks to finally do it, with a little extra as interest.  And every time he paid me less than the promised amount, he would get angry at me for reminding him of his original payback date and yell about how he’d missed work because of illness.  David missed a lot of work from stress- and crazy-related illness, usually brought upon himself.  David flies off the handle at every little thing said to him.

Anyway, after another argument with “mother” in 2001 resulted in my being kicked out of the house again, I moved in with my aunt and stayed there until January 2002.  As my unemployment wore on I was given a deadline to find a job or else I’d have to move out.  With the deadline approaching and no job materializing, I knew I couldn’t stay.  David offered me the opportunity to rent the downstairs floor of a house on West 105th Street off Lorain, which belonged to the cousin of a friend of his.  Big mistake for me to take him up on that offer.  David had promised, in return for the money he’d stolen from me, to pay my rent of $200 until I got a job.  He paid exactly one month’s rent before telling me I was on my own, in front of my landlord.

So yeah, my mistake for relying on David to follow through on his promises.  I know better than to trust a non-family member with my money, or rely on non-family members with track records like David’s.  But I grew up with the naïve belief that when it comes to family, you forgive these things because family is supposed to look out for one another.  David never got the memo on that.

Neither did my eldest niece, Mallory.  In 2009, in fact, at around the same time David had borrowed a couple hundred from me (November), I got a call from Mallory, her voice sobbing, telling me she needed three hundred dollars to pay her rent or else she would end up being evicted.  I was short on money at the time, having already been screwed over by David, but I figured, it was family, and surely Mallory wouldn’t screw me over like her other uncle had.

So I wrote out a check and had my bank deposit it to Mallory’s.  I got a call from David a short time later informing me that Mallory had posted on her Facebook page that she was on her way back home to North Carolina to visit her siblings and parents.

Now, a little background is in order.  In 2007 my older brother Steven, his wife Teresa, and the three kids (Mallory, Randall, and Elaine) came up for a visit.  I could tell things weren’t going well because Elaine was acting really moody, and Mallory indicated there were problems between her and her parents.  At the time I didn’t realize just how bad things were, but I found out the next year when my nephew Randall sent me a message on MySpace detailing an incident in which my brother had chased him off the property following a confrontation over the mowed lawn.  Randall told me of how Steve was abusive toward his wife and children, and Mallory told my parents, David, and me about all the horrible things he’d been doing, which included making Elaine go to school for an entire month in the same unwashed dress and hair to teach her a lesson, breaking the arm of a thirteen-year-old in custody at the local jail (Steve was a sheriff’s deputy at the time), getting himself fired from a construction after blowing up at co-workers, and other horror stories.

To say I was disappointed and angry with him would be something of an understatement.  And this was the guy to whose house Mallory was traveling for Thanksgiving after borrowing three hundred dollars from me — three hundred dollars she has never made so much as one attempt to pay back.

Years later, Mallory would tell me some cockamamie story about how her friends used their frequent flier miles(?) to pay for her air fare.  Well, that was nice of them, but if they had money to spare so she could take a trip to visit her abusive father and her siblings, they certainly could have helped her with her rent instead of begging me for money she knew I needed.

Contrast this with my Aunt Kathy.  She means well.  She’s generous.  When family is in trouble, she will go our of her way to help out.  She can be aggravating sometimes in the way most family members occasionally are, and God knows I’ve lost my temper with her and chewed her out when she was only trying to help.  That’s more on my lack of patience than on her personality.  But my Aunt Kathy is a good woman, and she tries.

That is what family is supposed to do: help, and be there for relatives even when there’s nothing to be gained from it.  But with David and Mallory, and my “mother”, I never get the sense that they have any understanding of the word.  I remember once, when my father was in the hospital and our hot water tank went kaput.  My Uncle Jim bought us a new one, with the understanding that this was a loan to be paid back.  “Mother” kept telling Uncle Jim what kind of water tank she wanted, and his annoyed response was to tell her she would take the one she was given.  “Mother” claimed Uncle Jim had abused her by saying that to her, but having witnessed that exchange, I knew she was full of shit.  Years later, when my Uncle Jim was short on cash, “mother” paid back some of the money she owed him and told him he didn’t have to pay it back.  Well, considering it was money she owed my uncle, that was obvious, and I think Uncle Jim made some remark to that effect.  Oh dear; more “abuse”!

I sit here shaking my head.

Uncle Jim passed away this past January.  Neither David or my “mother” bothered to attend his memorial in June.  Well, David might have if he hadn’t lost his car to repossession for the zillionth time, or maybe he’d have concocted some excuse about his anxiety preventing him from leaving the house without crapping his pants.  I don’t know.  But it’s funny, isn’t it?  Despite whatever problems I’ve had with my father’s family, at the end of the day we are family and we recognize this, and what it means to be family.  But not David, not Mallory, and certainly not my “mother”, or her side of the “family”.


Blocking, A Couple of Interviews, and New York Film Academy

Yesterday I was reading a Facebook acquaintance’s status that had to do with someone removing as a friend yet still following her profile.  The thing is, she has her post default setting to friends-only, so that reduces the chances of this person seeing what she posts.

I’ve had to do that myself…set my status updates to friends-only, and block the accounts of certain stalker-assholes who like to copy and paste what I write, and take screen captures, and use those to trash me on their blogs and Twitter feeds.

This has me asking myself why I should even have to go through so much trouble.  Why should I be made to feel paranoid about the people who send me friend requests on social networking sites, because they might be alt accounts set up by my so-called brother and his friends trying to spy on me online?  The most basic definition of terrorism is to instill terror into another person, such that he or she is compelled to behave in a manner that gives control to the person doing the terrorizing.  Now, obviously, I’m not talking about the sort of terrorism that is at this very moment going on in the Middle East, or the political terrorism that occurs every election cycle by both Democrats and Republicans.  No, this is on a far more personal level.  But it’s still a form of terrorism.  How else can it be described?  When what passes for my life is in shambles and I’m trying desperately to pick up the pieces, and I have to worry about the hate-ridden actions by my brother David, my ex-friend Rick, and their anonymous e-mail stalker friend to the point that I must go out of my way and alter my behavior…really, what would you call it?  Certainly not nice, I can say that for certain.

At any rate, with luck, blocking them may at least give me a brief bit of peace.

So, this week I had a couple of interviews, one on Wednesday at a restaurant about five minutes’ walk from where I’m currently staying, and this morning at Dodd Camera, which if I get hired there would be like am eight-year-old getting to work in his favorite candy store.  The cameras…the lights…the scrims…

Sorry.  Almost did a very public (and potentially embarrassing) Homer drool.  Don’t go hating; my major was Film and Digital Media.

Now, speaking of film majors, I registered for the Master’s program at New York Film Academy, which if I’m able to attend will be an amazing opportunity for me because I’ll get to go to Los Angeles and work with equipment that’s used on today’s movie shoots, from 35mm film cameras to the Red Epic.  I’ve applied for financial aid and was granted a low-income student’s discount, but moving and living expenses won’t be covered.  This leaves me having to raise money in addition to getting a job, so I’m going to be really shameless right now and post a link to my Go Fund Me donation page.  If you can spare a few dollars, that would be great.  If not, that’s okay.  With any luck I’ll get that job at Dodd Camera or the restaurant, and try to save what money I get that way.  But every little bit helps, and my unemployed status being what it is, I can’t afford the luxury of shame.  Again, thank you.

Feelin’ a little whiny…

Seems like everyone I went to college with has, or is in the process of, moving on to accomplish his or her dreams.  And here I am stuck, perpetually on the edge of homelessness, unable to get or hold down even a minimum-wage job, hounded mercilessly by psychotic assholes.  And it looks like, barring a miracle, I won’t be able to get my Master’s.

So yeah, I’m feeling like a monumental failure right now.


My Life Story, Part Seven

So I’m gonna hurl myself against the wall,
‘Cause I’d rather feel bad than not feel anything at all.

— Warren Zevon

There’s not much I want to tell about the latter half of the 1990s.  In 1995, after my wrists were finally healed up, I began working at Faroh Candies as the janitor, at their main factory location on Pearl Road across from Southland Shopping Center.  The owner, Mr. Faroh, was already half-senile then, and much of the business decisions were being handled by his son, who apparently wasn’t half the businessman his father was in his prime.  His daughter ran the store inside Great Northern Mall in North Olmsted.

That job lasted until spring, when I was laid off for the summer due to the company not making candy during the hotter months of the year.  I worked for a week at Eyemaster’s inside Great Northern Mall, but again found myself laid off when their hours were cut down so badly they had to eliminate all extraneous positions.  This would be repeated this year, but that’s a story for another time.  In June I began working at the Blockbuster Video on Lorain and West 106th.

Before Westown Shopping Center was built in the mid-1980s there had been a large, grand old Sears department store encompassing what seemed like the entire block.  I have memories of my father taking my younger brother David and me there every now and then.  The store closed up, however, and was demolished in favor of a more “modern” shopping plaza, which was a real shame because the architecture of the Sears store was awesome.

I worked nearly five years at Blockbuster Video, going through something like six general managers.  On my twenty-fourth birthday, ten years to the day after my Grandpa died, my cat buddy Miu (pronounced Mee-yoo) died.  He was shutting down all that day, but held off death until I’d returned home from work.  That same month, the next door neighbor’s daughter died at the age of twenty-seven.  Her passing devastated her mother, who turned to drinking to cope, which itself ultimately led to the collapse of her marriage.

All this combined with a stupid crush I had on a co-worker put me in a depression that took me a while to come out of.  Needless to say, I was an asshole.

1998 was also the year I got temporarily kicked out over a bottle of shampoo.  “Mother” had been complaining about my having my shampoo bottle set on the left side of the upstairs bathtub faucet, where I could reach it easily when washing my hair.  The tub had no shower, so I had to stick my head directly under the faucet.  Having my shampoo bottle on the right side next to the wall would have meant having to reach out for it blind from water running into my eyes, so I kept it where I could pick it up without having to do that.  The shampoo wasn’t in anyone’s way.  But “mother” decided she didn’t like having it there and kept bitching about it over and over.

It got so bad she had my father order me to do something about it.  This wasn’t the first time she’d had him yell at David and me on her behalf, because she was too lazy to do it herself.  Once, she had him crawl up the stairs on his hands and knees (his back had deteriorated to the point he could no longer walk up and down stairs) with a written set of edicts dictating to David and me how we were to keep the second floor.  David yelled at my father for his unwillingness to stand up to his wife while I stood by and watched the spectacle with my arms folded.  I’d kept my own opinions to myself, mostly.

Not this time, however.  When Father began yelling at me over the shampoo, I pointed out that he was losing his temper over a bottle of shampoo.  And, before my very eyes, Father, sitting in his lounge chair, spiritually morphed into his wife, saying, “It’s not just a bottle of shampoo…it’s an irritating bottle of shampoo, which a certain person refuses to…yadda yadda yadda.”

I don’t normally lose my temper.  I’ve got a pretty long fuse, like my father.  But this was simply too much.  I told him to take his balls out of his wife’s purse and act like a man so I could respect him.  I ended up packing a bag full of clothes and stormed out of the house, and spent the next few days at my Uncle Jim’s house.  I eventually had a talk with my father and reconciled with him, and moved back home.  “Mother” made a show of leaving, a pair of suitcases in hand, because she wasn’t going to stay in the same house with someone who dared defy her, but as she had nowhere else to go, she was back the same day.

There isn’t much else of note to tell about this period in what passes for my life, so I’ll end it here for now.  In closing, I will say this: you know just how weak one parent is when he or she cedes all mental and emotional independence as a human being and becomes nothing more than an extension of the abusive other parent.  That’s what happened to my father, and I had the dubious honor of witnessing that.