I posted this on A Lonely Life forums. The heading was “Hate Me.” For what it’s not really worth but what the hell, here it is…
NOTE: OK, so I deleted it from the forum but whatever…
Blue October. I love those guys! They so speak to me!
OK, so here’s the thing. I’m just all fucked up. Always have been. Oopsidoop kind’a nailed a big part of the reason in her post about being a bit too attached.
Ever since I was a kid taking crap from bullies most every day and coming home to a family who didn’t have a clue and who at times threw the same things at me that I got at school I did not, like many kids in that situation, get bitter. Instead I developed an incredible sensitivity to suffering people. I never understood why bullies are bullies. Still don’t. I have always identified with the victims.
For decades I was on a quest to find out why. Just why. WHY?! And what I could do about it. I could write a book about the times I either started up or was involved in efforts to help people. Every time I crashed and burned. Bam! The way people acted, what they said contradicted what they did. It’s probably my fault in the end that everything went to shit but still I did all I could.
I have studied in great depth many, many subjects that most people run from or hide their eyes from. I had two classes on Nazi Germany/holocaust. I studied satanism. I’ve been personally involved in an assortment of dealings with demonology. Once I worked for a christian counselor friend as his office manager. His special clients were satanic ritual abuse victims. On top of what I already knew about the incredible cruelty of nations, dictators and despots I learned about things humans do to humans that I simply cannot tell anyone. These were not the kinds of things one hears or reads about, they were case histories about the deepest levels of horror reality. When my wife and I became foster parents I dug into child abuse and was horrified to discover how some humans destroy their own children. What I’ve learned has so fucked up my head it just ain’t funny.
In the world outside my window I’ve seen bullies and fools run right over everyone else and take power. I’ve stood with my hands in the air trying to figure out how the public can be so blind and stupid. My generation failed miserably, chasing a buck or wallowing in entertainment that has taught them and their kids and their kids’ kids the worst kind of nasty shit. Courtesy, friendliness, kindness, respect, all gone. My wife and I are complimented so many times about our kids simply because they know how to say yes ma’am and yes sir and thank you. They are polite. What a horrid, nasty attitude people have. No wonder so many young folks show up here.
I cannot understand humanity. I’ve been married to my wife for over thirty years. I know her extremely well. I can taste something or see something and know precisely how she will react to it. But still how her head works is a puzzle. Because I cannot fathom how people think, why they say one thing and do another, how they will react, I have always fucked up.
I have never once given a damn for my own safety, pleasure, or financial status. Who knows how much money I’ve put into efforts. I never counted myself important. That’s pretty much why I’m stuck where I am with nothing.
For too many years my quest to save the world over-rode everything and I failed in being a steady provider. But that wasn’t all. I refused to compromise ethics and what is right. I’ve walked away from crooked employers. I filed a complaint about a supervisor who was a bully and incredibly cruel to people in our unit. One of my co-workers wound up having a nervous break down because of it. Being ordinary humans they did not in the least have the guts to stand up to her and when I did I was framed and summarily pushed out. …I could tell other stories, too, with similar endings. Bullies win because the majority kow-tow to them. Whatever it costs, I’ll never hit my knees or give in to them.
I’ve always been good at my job and I’ve had lots of jobs, so many that most people think I’m full of shit when I tell all I’ve done to earn a buck. If you’re curious I’ll give you the link to my blog. Anyway, I can DO a lot of things. Like that matters. I’m not working now because in ’03 we took in foster kids and my boss fired me for asking off to take the kids to the doctor. Another story for another time. I became full time foster parent, hell of a job for a forty-something who has never even been a babysitter.
Since then I’ve been “blessed” with physical ailments that severely limit my ability to do any kind of steady work. In this market, at my age, with my disabilities, I don’t have a prayer’s chance in hell to find work. I’m a good writer and have sold pieces, too, but everybody with a keyboard thinks they’re a good writer so the market is way over saturated and nobody is making money at writing unless they know someone or are a celebrity. So, I am unable to contribute to our household budget. This just makes the shit in my head worse.
I have never written all this out before and probably will not ever again. I will regret it. But it’s cathartic so here it is. Critique away.
I have always been plagued with two deficiencies. Although I can write a short story to make people laugh or cry, in general conversation I have found it impossible to convey what I think or feel without someone taking it the wrong way. Some on this forum have concluded a few things I wrote were meant unkindly but they were not. The other deficiency, related to this, is that in my experience people tend to judge superficially, or mis-judge, and leave me in the dust. I’ve become a bit paranoid, expecting to be criticized when I really mean no harm.
How or why people accept others is beyond my comprehension. I tried most of my life to “live up” to certain expectations. I put on the plastic face as best I could. It rarely worked but I played the game. But then, a few years ago, I said, “Fuck that!” Why should I play the stupid game? Even if someone became my friend because of my plastic face then I’d have to glue the damn thing on. I looked inside myself, figured out who I am, and I’ve been me ever since. I make no apologies for who I am, what I think or believe, how I live, or how I look. I’m genuine, I’m real, and what you see is what you get. This has not endeared me to plastic people… which is the majority of people I’ve known.
Christians constantly blather about how atheists have no moral standards or do not live by any ethics. That is bullshit. My atheist/free thinking online ‘friends’ are screaming about injustice, war, etc., while the religious nuts hate the poor and promote war. I believe in the value of the human race. I believe in the value of life. I don’t subscribe to bullshit religious rules that mean little even to those who promote them. Instead I respect every human, no matter who they are. Some things, many things, people do is horrible, but the person, the life, is valuable. I respect laws designed to keep us safe. Basically I am a nice guy. My wife has seen all my incarnations and even though she’s entirely puzzled about what goes on in my head she has stuck beside me all these years. She knows I am troubled but she does not know why, and does not want to know, and I wouldn’t tell her if she asked. What I know would fuck up her head. But she knows my heart. Nobody else does, with one exception, a young friend who is too much like me for his own good but too far away to spend time with.
I’ve been thinking about all this shit for a few days. I debated on laying it all out. But there seems to be a few here, at least, that might in some ways identify. Most won’t. But one of my other quirks has been saying too much, telling too much, putting people off. Whatever. I have nothing to hide.
The last thing I have to say is to the many young people on this forum. You should not disregard the advice or views of older folks. We’ve been on the planet long enough to pick up a lot of information by default. It’s true many of my generation and the older ones are full of shit. So am I sometimes. But we have been there, we’ve watched the world go to hell in a gunboat. We can give you a few pointers. Respect the elderly, they’ve paid their dues.
Another thing, when you’re twenty or twenty five and “different,” when you are stuck in an apartment alone or can’t figure out what life is about never forget that as long as you are breathing and are fairly healthy, you can do something. You can figure out who you are and be yourself. You can chose to be not necessarily “better” but more aware and more determined. Don’t run to shrinks or pop pills to fix your head. Figure your head out and learn to control it and move forward. But you have to have guts. You have to have a lot of guts. I’m not talking about walking over other people, I’m just talking about stepping out and being a part of the human race, learn to forgive, learn to keep your mouth shut sometimes, learn when to speak up, and for heavens sake don’t fall into a pity party and sit around waiting for someone to feel sorry for you. They won’t.
OK, that’s it. I feel better now, for a while. Take what I said however you want to. Like the song says, “hate me,” if you like. But I sure as hell do not want pity. I showed up here because there are times hanging around this house alone all day drives me up the wall. A friend with whom I can talk freely about the shit in my head is all I’ve ever wanted. Ever. Otherwise, life is just peachy.
Have a happy day! Time for a smoke…
This morning a question was posted on a group I participate in on Facebook, The “A” Club, that asked members if their value system changed when they became an atheist. Some folks said it was their value system that led them to atheism. I must say the same is true for me. The constant lying, denial of truth and reality, refusal to consider any point of view not consistent with their programming, these things drove me crazy for years before I abandoned faith. It was not the beliefs but the failure of ‘believers’ to actually live their faith that ended my sojourn in Christendom.
Another person, however, said he was happier now as an atheist. I cannot say that I am. I am no more happy now than I was before. Nothing has changed within Christianity. The millions I once called my brothers and sisters remain deluded, programmed, and confused. They practice a moral standard far removed from that taught by their Jesus. And worse, they dismiss the whole of humanity and life on the earth as unimportant, fleeting, and temporary. Their obsessive and insane belief in heaven leads them to devalue life. I cannot be happy when so many people–including every member of my family–are so oppressed and oppressive.
I moved from Christianity to Buddhism. What most people do not know is that Buddhism is an atheistic religion. It hardly qualifies as a religion at all in the general sense. Buddha believed there were ‘spirits’ or other realms. He believed in a form of reincarnation. But he did not believe in a ‘god’ in the same sense that religion does. Buddha was the first evolutionist. Essentially he believed in the existence of a ‘life force,’ for want of a better term, a thread of energy that moves through every living thing. I do not translate the beliefs very well but the fact is that a true Buddhist is an atheist; he does not believe in a god or a ‘creator.’
I miss the idea of a creator. It was a comforting thought. Many people leave Christianity and other mainstream religions only to become Deists or New Age mystics or something similar because they can’t abandon the idea of a god altogether. Whatever I may have thought about Christians it was still very difficult for me to put aside the thought, “I see a sunrise and know who to thank.” Nothing in Christianity destroyed that feeling. Something else did: a photograph.
Ever since I was a kid I looked at the stars with a sense of wonder and excitement. The night sky has always overwhelmed me. Knowledge of the universe has increased exponentially since I was a kid. I was as excited as anyone could be when the Hubble was launched. Little could I know then that the Hubble would prove the death of faith for me.
Christians so blithely quote Genesis, that god created the ‘heavens and the earth,’ without giving a single thought to what they are saying. We’ve become aware of how incredible and immense the universe is. The simple, medieval belief in creation does not fit. It makes no sense that a creator with such power and ability would be all that interested in an obscure planet such as ours. I managed to rationalize my beliefs for a long time. Then I ran across the Hubble Deep Space Survey. That single photograph changed everything. It hit me that the idea of a creator was ridiculous.
With my discovery of the Hubble Deep Space photo came a total realization that belief in a creator was absurd. Thus the final string was cut between me and religion altogether. But that does not mean I like it.
Furthermore, I am, unfortunately, still far too “attached” to ideas, ideals, and humanity itself to be content with the knowledge I have. It was much easier to dump stuff on god than it is to face it directly.
I was taught to believe in the value of mankind and the necessity of ‘making a difference.’ These things remain a part of me. I am not content just to know truth myself. I am driven to figure out a way for all of humankind to find truth, too. Truth, I believe, is the answer to all our problems and conflicts as a race. But truth is very hard to pin down. Truth is much more a recognition of “what is not” than an understand of what “is.” I very often get the overwhelming sense that truth is in some way being withheld from us, not by ‘god,’ but by someone/something beyond our known world. That feeling really pisses me off.
I cannot accept the general scientific theory that we evolved. The gap between humanity and all other species is too great. There may be some superficial similarities between us and apes or chimpanzees but there is no other species that comes close not only to our intellectual abilities, our ability for abstract thought or appreciation for art and beauty. Apes do not make cave paintings. Chimps do not gaze at the sunset with adoration. And no species is as capable of selflessness or selfishness as humankind is. We are too different, too far removed from the nearest species to be directly descended in an evolutionary way.
I am forced into isolation for an assortment of reasons. Were I living in a place where there were a number of people who thought as I and I had a social life I might not dwell so much on these thoughts. But here I am, stranded, and thus forced to ask the proverbial ‘why?’ I ask, ‘who,’ too, but discard the idea that the ‘who’ we do not know is a ‘supreme being’ or god. I’m somewhat like the child crouching in the corner of a shack surrounded by the ravages of war asking, “what the fuck is going on?”
I became an atheist with reluctance. I did not want all I believed in for forty years to be a lie. I could not, however, hide my head in the sand. I cannot accept any notion that is not provable, logical, rational. But in loosing ‘the faith,’ I am bound up in a conundrum. The ‘god’ idea wrapped life in a nice little package and placed ‘the unexplainable’ in a little corner where I could say, ‘some day god will show me.’ God went away but all those unexplainable events, ideas, realities, did not. They’ve come out of the corner and dance around my head like a troop of malevolent ballet dancers.
Worst of all, I realize now that it’s unlikely I will ever know the truth. All I have is the life I live. Time is very short. My ability to discover truth is extremely limited. And that ultimate expectation that god would explain it all to me ‘over there’ is completely gone. Thus there is no happiness. There is only longing and desire for answers. So I continue to seek, to question, to look, and, in total contradiction to what I believe, to hope.
Whatever we may be. Wherever we come from. Wherever we’re going, there are answers and solutions. Either my days will end and I will dissolve into nothing and it will not matter or at some point before my last day it will all become clear. Until then, I remain, the seeker.