Tell me I’m Wrong

Christianity is a beautiful religion if you make it one. There is a lot to love about it, and a lot to learn from the Bible. I would fail to reason if I only disputed Christianity by propping up stereotypes and straw men. So I will examine the deepest parts of my personal knowledge of the situation, compare it with the questions that can easily be derived from this knowledge, and hopefully form an inquisitive path into religion.

I’ve been raised to think a certain way about the Bible, yet my questions have proven the Bible to be anemic in many ways. There are tenets of the faith that most, or every Christian should agree on:

1-The Bible is literally true, and can be trusted as a resource to inform us of the afterlife.

2-The One True God has created rules which we have violated, thereby sinning and earning our place in eternal separation from God.

3-God sent His only Son to provide a human sacrifice, allowing sinners to have a relationship with God.

4-Christ gave us a new covenant which we must follow until He returns to us someday.

Now, there are juicy topics that I prefer not to touch…yet. Bodily resurrection, virgin birth, the trinity, the doctrine of heaven and hell, and others. In my mind today there are only four major intersections worth investigating. Let’s start with the simple assumption that the Word is infallible.

“The Bible is God’s word, infallible, literal, and inspired.” Ok friend, this is super honorable and I would love to see more people commit to their worldview like this. Having said that, is there anyone to answer a few questions before they start piling up? Or do Christians like to keep their faith simple, like a child? My first contention is that there is no proof that God inspired any of the Bible. It could be completely full of lies, passed down from generation to generation as a perspective that had never been challenged. Moreover, doesn’t it seem a little excessive to interpret the Bible literally? I mean, every denomination has it’s own variation. A literal interpretation of the Bible leads to extremists and a lack of love. Dangerous as it would be to believe in a literal Bible, there isn’t any proof that the words of God are anything beyond the metaphorical beliefs of a nomadic desert tribe

“God created us, which gives Him the unique power to enact and enforce a morality across all of creation.” Yeah, that’s fair. If I could created a universe I would also expect to be the only arbitrator of my creation. Yet, without diving into the rabbit hole of origin stories, why is it that we believe this one God who hasn’t manifested himself to us other than in cryptic ways? He claims to desire a relationship with us, yet He challenges us to make decisions based on faith alone. Why should I chase a God who left me an enigmatic book and peaced out after killing His own kid? God loves me, but how would I know? And what happens if I don’t follow the words of this crazy book? Well, I get to suffer eternally for a momentary decision without any hope of recourse. Real loving God, real loving. I know I’m watering down the concepts of hell and sin and salvation to a childish level, but we aren’t having this conversation with masterminds and social elect, we are talking to the dude at 7-11 and 20 year old college kids who can barely read. When the Bible says to have faith like a child, it didn’t mean for us to be stupid. I would argue that we should ask simple questions like “How do we know Christ was born of a virgin, cause that sounds a little crazy?”

“In order to be saved you have to believe in Christ and live according to His example.” For every person on the planet to be condemned to hell unless they believe in ONE path to salvation is simply foolish. A caring, righteous, moral God would have the decency to allow persons of other worldviews to discover Him in other ways. Would you be out of luck if you had never heard the Bible preached? Would I be up a creek because I came to believe in Christianity while in an alternative (non-evangelical) denomination like LDS, Catholicism, or the Mormon church? Also, does salvation have any external fruit? If it does, then who are we to judge whether a person has been saved or if they are just a good and decent human?

“Jesus left us for a while, but He left his Spirit to comfort and guide us until he gets back.” People have a hard time distinguishing the two systems of individual thought, so how can we expect to differentiate between a spiritual element and a physical element? For most of us we have never seen anything supernatural, and if we have, it proves nothing about Christianity. In fact, if we saw a metaphysical occurrence today, we would have to investigate the claims of many, many religions before finding one which happens to align with the occurrence, right? When people say that they felt “lead by God,” or “called to ministry,” don’t you assume that they have been operating their brains in the same way as a secular person would? Where is the proof that the Spirit of God is here? Furthermore, why is eschatology the most confusing thing ever? The parts of the Bible that predict the future read like a long con. “I’ll be right back, just watch for a bunch of weird stuff like wars (super common), earthquakes (huh?) and signs in the sky (weird).” Extremist Christians will be thrilled because they are waiting for God’s Theocracy to finally begin. Evangelical Christians are hoping that when God gets back from the grocery store He will confirm all of their claims that He is the coolest, strongest, biggest, smartest Dad ever. Catholics will be sad because God will tell them to stop touching little kids.

Darkest-Or Brightest-Secret

What should I write about? Where does my mind want to wander? What waste bin can I empty here tonight?

Suicide? No, I don’t have it in me to consider the inner workings of the mind and how we decide to kill ourselves. Plus, I need to keep my head in a positive place right now.

Work? Maybe not. After all, I have three jobs which a lot of people find amazingly boring. I just got promoted into a position I turned down six months ago because it would have conflicted with Red’s schedule. But now, I’ll take the job.

Hobbies? Nah, there’s no way I would be caught writing about going outside, camping, backpacking, biking, climbing, or fishing when I could be doing those things in this moment.

Sex? There’s nothing to tell. I don’t have any apparently.

More “About Me” type of stuff? Well, there’s not a whole lot to me that I haven’t already said. I identify more with where I have come from than where I am going, which has me stuck in a rut nearly every month or so.

Movies? Yeah, I like the ones everyone else hates and I hate the award winners and the popular types. Any Documentary recommendations?

My darkest secret? Ok, here goes. I have never felt attracted to men, although anyone by nature can identify attractive people. I have never fantasized about men. I have no desire to be with a man in a romantic way. Yet I have something in me that has developed my deepest and longest friendships with men who enjoy other men. I connect very well with homosexual and bisexual men, even in passing. There is one tiny part of me that confirms my opinion: sexual preference is a naturally occurring variance among people, and at some point in our lives we choose to either conform our preferences, or embrace them. So, here’s to those who have the strength to identify themselves apart from the cultural norm. I respect that as a man who loves women, but more as a man who thrives on challenging the normal life we are told to live. My secret is that long ago I chose one path, but the other path still exists below decades of life.

I Question My Motives

There is a part of me that wonders about my own motivations; I have learned to question everyone else’s, but why are mine closed off to my own scrutiny? Why am I motivated NOT to commit to my relationship right now? What is causing me to give up, not talking, not being romantic, not giving any effort towards fixing things with Red Riding Hood?

I hate our relationship and the damage it has caused to us, and to our friends. I feel like I have failed in many areas of life, putting my marriage first. Some of my dearest friends haven’t heard from me in a while because my energy and time was being spent on chasing my wife. Now, I would say that every relationship should involve lots of chasing each other, but right now I can only see 100 better ways to spend my time.

For years my wife has encouraged me and been there for me like a best friend. She has gone above and beyond for me, damaging her own relationships and life for the sale of our marriage. Yet after years of giving, it appears that I have given more than enough. She knows who I am, who I want to be, and how I treat her. As a result, I feel no need to bend over backwards one more time.

If I were to devote every waking moment to fighting hard for Red, this would do two things: prove that I am willing to forsake everything else in my life to earn a life with her, and show her that I am capable of romance and charm. Haven’t I already proved what I would give up for our marriage? Doesn’t she already know that I can do tricks (eg: surprise dinners, fun getaways, honey-do lists, subtle gifts, etc)?

If she wants to leave, nothing I do right now can change her mind. If she wants to stay, then she should be prepared for a long climb towards a better relationship built on better ourselves. Red was the one to get emotionally involved with another guy. Red came forward and asked for a divorce. Red has heard my commitment, and has answered with “I’m 60/40 leaning towards leaving you.” So what do I do? My motivations for existing in this state of limbo aren’t wrong, and my heart only wants to wait on Red to find the strength to decide. Is she going to end this, or is she going to pick up the pieces and find love for me again?

As a reader, you might be thinking “This guy doesn’t want to see his marriage saved!” I do, I desperately do. Without Red Riding Hood firing on all cylinders, what’s the point? She has attacked, I have parried and riposted, and now it is her turn to move.

Status Update on My Marriage

Red Riding Hood is away tonight, driving out of town to get some good food that we don’t have around here. A couple of girl friends went with her, which is really good. I’m glad she’s taking time to do her own thing. But we still don’t have the ever-pressing answer: Does she want to stay married, or does she want to leave? This may be crossing some private line, which is funny because I’ve hidden nearly nothing from this little blog so far. The following is what we have been saying to each other, word for word. Hello openness.

>>>>I’ve been trying to make it work.

I appreciate you trying to make it work. I just don’t think it is what you really want. If you were set on staying you would be doing everything in your power to make it happen. Until I see something like that I will continue to operate under the assumption that you are more prepared to leave than you are to stay.

I don’t know what to do.

Go prove to me that you’re worth fighting for, that I’m not going to loose you in a few months because you didn’t deal with your shit. Then I will be a total sellout for you, and be prepared for me to slowly but surely work on my shit. Or come get your things and we will make the arrangements for divorce. It’s just a decision. I think you’ve already made it, which is why I’m distant.

How can I prove it to you?

Be faithful to me. Stop shrugging the whole “I have feelings for another guy” thing off. Stop blaming me for all your unhappiness and fix what you need to for a happy life. Meet me where I’m at and stop waiting for me to be the one to get on your level. Bend over backwards for me like you know I have for you. Stop viewing sex as this taboo thing and use it as a type of communication. Listen to me when I tell you things you don’t want to hear since I would be worthless as a friend if I told you what you want to hear. Find a woman who can mentor you, counsel you, and provide some outside-reason into your life. Encourage me in a real way, no flattery and BS. Spend time with me in MY element, like I’ve tried to be in yours. Stop feeding off of everyone’s opinion of you and learn to do things that make you happy even if they’re stupid or different than other people. Get past your daddy issues enough to realize that you project them onto me. I am not the cunt hole that your dad is, and I deserve at least 7 shit loads of respect for being who I am. You wanna make this work? You wanna see if I’ll come through? Show me you’re willing to change. Be in the moment. If you and I are enjoying something, then who the fuck cares that we’re going through shit? Enjoy me, respect me, treat me like you treat your most loved possession, and for the love of all that is holy make up your mind. Should you stay or should you go? (look up the clash song) I can’t help you there. But realize that I am not the source of your problems (only some). If you leave I will be sad, lonely, and miserable until it wears off. If you leave I will do everything I can to protect you from your own sadness, loneliness, and misery. I’ll take the blame, I’ll defend your reputation. I would owe you that. I’ll be here when you decide.<<<<

That’s where we left it. She is too busy right now to talk about this, but I know the whole thing is crashing around in her head, just like mine.

My wife is not some Boogieman that wrecks my life at every turn. She is actually a very intuitive woman, full of wisdom beyond her years. She always lights up a room, always draws a crowd, and never seems to be capable of any evil. Red cares about people in a way that I’ve never seen. Her love for anyone and her inherent trust brings people together. Her outlook on life may be “surface level,” but after the experts of neuroscience and philosophy form their opinions we come full circle to the kind of woman Red Riding Hood is. I have no doubt that she could become anything, do anything, and create anything. She has the drive, buried far below her surface, to do magnificent things in this world. She has always been the handful of colored balloons, ready to drift off into the atmosphere. I have always been the “level headed, forward thinker” who ties those balloons to his wrist in hopes that one day he can fly with them.

A Simple Take on Marriage

I suppose that if you’ve read anything I’ve written here, you’ll assume I have nothing in me but a negative tilt. My expressions here are the freest outpourings from my heart, truth be told. Yes, my life right now has a lot of turns in the road. I’m excited, a little bit worried, and sometimes upset by those turns. Never think that I am sat in some dark room, waiting for the tears to stop. Every day I do something that makes me smile, and that’s all I have to run on right now. It won’t always be this way.

I’ve been severely depressed at about a six month cycle. Maybe once or twice a year I get to the point of self deprivation and that tell-tale sludge of life. Getting up in the morning, getting dressed, going outside, or doing almost anything else becomes just as hard as climbing a mountain on roller skates. Depression is no joke, and I can only imagine the struggle of those who deal with it on a more regular basis. We owe it to ourselves to make the best of every moment. All there is is right now. I have to remind myself that life isn’t going to be the same tomorrow, and that I shouldn’t be expecting anything but the best.

All of that said, I would like to lend a bit of credence to the idea of marriage, or long term relationships in general. Marriage, as I see it, is the easiest way to describe a whole-hearted commitment to one person. When I said my vows I was not going through the motions. That moment, in front of 200 people, was like being branded. I can’t remove it and I hope I never will.

Why do people get married? As a Christian at the time of my marriage, it was understood that the example of marriage was set by God and his bride, the church. Honestly, within the context of Christianity, I wondered why more people don’t get married. It is clear why they fall short and end those relationships, but Christians honor marriage deeply. One of the many takeaways from  biblical marriage is to love someone through the pain and the damages. Sacrificing for your spouse is one of the most honorable things I think we see in marriage. Outside the church, why do people have a ceremony and commit themselves to each other in such a public way?

In our culture it is normal. This suggests that one who doesn’t marry is for some reason suffering from a deficit. “Is she like a total bitch at home? Does he have some weird quirk like sleeping with the lights on or is he abusive?” If you see a 40 year old dude who hasn’t been married, our culture thinks of him as some kind of misfit. After all, we have a biological need to reproduce, right? This stigma is frankly annoying.

For me, in the most reduced terms, a marriage is a legal agreement and an emotional step towards a long-term projection of teamwork. Husband and wife working together towards a common goal. I like analogies, and one that I’ve found helpful (if a little simplistic) is that of a vehicle. If you went to sign the title on a vehicle you would wait until you’re prepared to take care of it. You would learn about your future car, take it out on a couple dates, run it past your friends, and seriously consider the commitment you are about to make. Once you have legally joined yourself to this car, you expect for it to serve your purposes. Now, of course a relationship should be about giving to your partner in order to make them better. With a car you just use it for your own betterment.

So why would anyone get married? Beyond fiscal reasons and other logistical attributes I consider marriage to be a way of carrying you across the troubled times. I am much, MUCH, less likely to “peace out” of a marriage because I made a very formal agreement. I have the accountability of a church full of family and friends. They would ask “Why did you divorce?” I wouldn’t get away with saying that we were just in different places in life. Once you are married, your reasons for leaving have to be damn good to pass muster. If Red Riding Hood and I were dating, we would have parted ways long ago.

This is such a shallow dive, but it puts me in the mind to ask: Why am I still married? I sense a Pros and Cons list in the air.

If I imagine a life apart from my wife I see a lot of really cool stuff. If I similarly imagine us together all I see is an insane amount of time spent on making our developing lives jive. She likes A, I like B. I knew we would change over time, but I never expected to have a wife that so thoroughly despises me and the life I live. If we met for the first time today, we wouldn’t be friends, much less lovers. We have more issues than a Nat Geo, as they say. So, should I stick around to see if we can’t personally grow to work together…or should I move on, round the corner, and embrace growth independently from Red? What do you think?

 

Athiagnostitian?

If I am remembering correctly, we seem to be fairly caught up. My marriage is probably on its deathbed, which leaves me with some shade of relief while still depressed. Maybe it is a good time to bring up religion and faith. What kind of man am I when it comes to belief and metaphysics?

Place yourself in the pew with me on a Sunday morning, let’s say about eight years ago. In reality you’ve been sitting in a metal chair among 250 of Christianity’s finest (read: 30 households with 8 kids each) for about 2 hours. The topic is whatever comes to the leader’s mind. This could be how American culture is pagan, paramount to Sodom and Gomorrah, or perhaps this weeks he is spewing bad statistics about how young men are to blame for the atrocities of rap music, college, and popular culture. After a couple hours of listening to this guy tell his community that they are the only hope for the world, you break into a weekly potluck. Bee-line it for the meatballs and pass the rows of gluten-free-sugar-free-MSG-free-nonhomosexual lasagna that somehow lacks noodles. Eventually you manage to agree with this guy, so much that you join an internship (free labor).

This was my religion, this was my creed. I even have a tattoo of a common creed that we studied. The tattoo came after I left the little cult. It was getting weird. My family stayed behind, but they respected my decision to seek God elsewhere. For me, elsewhere was anywhere I could go that didn’t bring judgment, hymns, white fifteen-passenger vans, or sad lasagna. I would say this was a turning point in my shallow, though expanding worldview.

At first I took the Bible for what it claims to be: exclusive truth. I had always wondered how the Abrahamic religions could be so different, yet claim to have the same foundation. Through some miracle I always managed to quiet those thoughts and return to hating myself for being the scourge of humanity. After I had distanced myself from this…group…I began to ask tough questions. How on earth does a world-wide flood make sense? Doesn’t the Biblical origin story seem poetic to you? Did God send his only son to be a human sacrifice, born of a virgin and raised from the dead? Why would God condemn everyone to eternal torment, yet make it difficult to be saved? Oh, how the list keeps growing.

If you talk to an average Christian, I doubt they could spell out the Bible in a way that would satisfy the average non-christian’s skepticism. That is to say, wherever I went I could not get good answers. All I’ve ever needed is an intelligent conversation about faith that doesn’t rely on the logic of a book written for illiterate farmers and shepherds. I’ve read Lewis, I’ve read Keller, I’ve talked to pastors, I’ve listened to lectures; they all fall short. And what if they didn’t fall short? Wouldn’t that lead me to believe in this ancient book of wisdom literally? Wouldn’t I reverse into the Christian extremist church I had just separated from?

Do you remember that one time when a bunch of Christians decided to go and fight a holy war against the Muslim nations? No, not 2017…try 1099 AD. If people follow the Quran or the Bible to their literal conclusions, we should see another crusade here shortly. So I’m a skeptic of Christianity. I’ve seen the man behind the curtain, and I can’t stomach the fact that people rely on religion as a means to define truth. Organized faith can be viewed a few different ways:

  • Religion is truth.
  • Religion is lies.
  • Religion is useful.
  • Religion doesn’t matter.

I stand firmly in the camp that claims religion is a useful tool to teach morality and to develop oneself towards enlightenment. I haven’t had to tell anyone my status as a Christian lately, but I feel like I should stop identifying myself as a follower of Jesus. There just isn’t enough proof that the religion I see in Christian churches is anything more than a show worth billions. I am not bitter or resentful, as many of my demographic seem to be. Rather, it seems that the Bible has a lot to offer as long as you don’t take it literally. Learn from every religious text. Walk among people who defend their views, but not so deeply that they forget to listen to the wisdom of logic, science, or other faiths.

Where is Here?

2/13/17. Red Riding Hood (you know, my wife) and I house-sat for someone and I introduced her to good old Indica. We sat on a couch and watched movies all night, devouring Doritos. Heck yeah. We didn’t talk much and since the house has no internet we were more in tune with writing in our journals and relaxing.

2/14/17. Valentine’s. I don’t remember what I had planned for us, but I do remember having a good day, driving through the backroads and sharing each other’s company. After a while we returned home. She showered while I dinked around, probably writing or reading about something “boring” like behavioral economics, religion, or philosophy. Little Red came and sat on the bed with me. Honestly I was kinda ready to get it on, I mean, she had nothing on the calendar, we had been getting along better than normal, and she couldn’t say “I haven’t showered” like usual. No, instead she calmly looks me in the eye and says “I can’t do this anymore, I’m done. Neither of us are happy, and we are both sacrificing for nothing. We would be happier apart. We won’t divest each other of anything at this point in life, so if we don’t get a divorce now we will suffer through a pathetic life together, bound by kids or money or houses or family.”

At that point I had heard it all. She has told me since…hmmm…maybe the second week of marriage that she regrets it. During our fights she would unleash a little and inform me of just how horrible she thinks I am, and how all of her unhappiness is because of me. Her words would go way beyond sanity and reason, and no matter how sweet, romantic, loving, or thoughtful I was it would never put me in the green. So, this seemed like another little spurt of vinegar, except that she was calm with no fight in her eyes. She meant it.

Little Red Riding Hood told me she had been talking to a guy at work and she promised that nothing happened between them. She “just had feelings for him.” This basically sealed the deal for me.

When we got married, I stood in front of everyone I knew, and a lot that I didn’t, and I promised to stay with her unless she abandoned me, cheated on me, or if she demonstrably left Christianity. I wasn’t sure who to talk to, so I went to a Pastor of the church we hadn’t been to in months. “You’ll never look back and wish that you hadn’t fought so hard for your marriage.”

And so, I stand by my commitment even though she has emotionally cheated on me, emotionally abused me, and has decried Christianity. I’m not sure I line up with anything in the Bible beyond the morals and the belief in a greater metaphysical power, so her denouncement hasn’t shaken me up. Her abuse is something I’ve always weathered, assuming that it was normal for someone to threaten suicide unless I leave her. Is it normal for a wife to exert power over her husband by ridiculing him after he bends over backwards to make her happy? Is it normal for Red to accuse me of abusing her when I suggest that we should maintain a shallow and distant relationship with her truly abusive father in order to receive the money she needs to go back to school? I would, and I have gone to him in the past to save her from having to deal with the piece of shit that he is.

As we have left it after having a few deep conversations and lots of yelling: I won’t leave even though I want to. If I walk away, I would never make a commitment like this again without doubting my own integrity. She won’t leave even though she has made it so very clear for a long time that she would be happier apart. I told her I will be here if she wants to recommit and make things right. So, the ball is in her court, and I’m in limbo somewhere between blazing anger and crushing sadness. I don’t know what the fuck to feel, so I don’t feel. I don’t know what will happen, so I don’t know how to act. I don’t know if I will have a wife at the end of every day, so I can’t lean into this any more than I am.

In the Sheets

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that line, the line I’ve never fully understood: “Sex isn’t physical for me, it’s more emotional.” Instant buzz-kill, right? Oh how I wish for the day when emotions would be set on the nightstand for long enough to satisfy the drive. Red Riding Hood is my only partner, my only kiss, my only experience. I don’t wish for more experience, since I’m more than happy to stick with the basics, although I do wish for more. More intimacy, less restraint, more passion, less drama.

Allow me to back it up (twss) for a minute and fill you in on my long, illustrious sexual history. I was born as a man. Not like 40 years old with a beard, but with those instincts that go along with heavy doses of testosterone and a masculine family culture. As I grew I discovered the amazingly vast amount of free internet porn. Every guy does, right? I’ve always written it off as a habit I’ll break someday, but someday hasn’t come. I have no kinkiness or fetishes, but I know my type damn well. I play that psychological game where you live a valiant life in order to pay for the regret you have once you feed your addiction. The goal was to save myself for marriage. By “saving myself” I mean that I turned my nose up at people who lived more physically liberal lives. I never held hands, kissed, sexted, or even really flirted with girls. It was so drastically different from what everyone else was doing that everyone assumed I was gay at one point or another.

Red and I took our time, pacing every little move until it felt like our bodies were going to be ripped apart unless we got busy. She was my first everything, my only everything. As kids with little to no outside influence beyond our families and very selectively chosen friends, we had no physical baggage to carry. That was nice. I don’t regret anything in my life; regret is like picking up the pieces knowing full well that your time could be spent on building things again.

I’ll always remember the first time we went past second base. In my Mom’s car, overlooking a huge canyon. Thank whatever for SUVs and tinted windows. At some point I think Little Red figured out that I would do almost anything to have her. That’s where things get sad and frustrating.

Have you ever waited all day to eat, starving yourself intentionally? Imagine that you go home, open the cupboards, and find food that you’ve made your own. Your body aches for your food. You want more of it, less waiting, more flavor, less guilt. Then the food goes and puts on fucking sweats and a hoodie, grabs some Girl Scout cookies, and settles into How I Met Your Mother reruns? Yup, story of my married sex life. You can’t reason, seduce, persuade, suggest, or tempt the food you crave. Nope, it doesn’t feel like you’ve paid it much attention all day and you “never even take it anywhere like dates.”

Ok, enough of that food stuff, I’m stretching it already.

Sex should be a free-flowing connection that can’t be broken by situational contingencies. Yeah, sometimes I smell like I’ve been rolling in carburetor cleaner and pipe tobacco…because I was. And yeah, sometimes she’s been on her feet for 11 hours at work and the moment just isn’t there. Withholding sex is even more silly than the silent treatment. It hurts. Sex is emotional on both sides. She wants to be shown that I want more of her than only her body, and I want to be shown that she appreciates me by loving my body.

If I had sex 20 times in the last year I’d be surprised. Red should publish a book full of excuses to sell to other wives who hold sex as the carrot to drive their mules insane.  At this point in our relationship we sleep in the same bed and cuddle when it’s cold. Sometimes we kiss each other hello and goodbye.

Maybe it’s time to finally define our relationship here on the old interwebs.

Apologies

I owe you an apology for my first few posts, allow me to set the record straight.

Writing for no one has been my one and only outlet since, damn, the fifth grade? It is my meditation, my introspection, my existential crisis brought to some distant clarity. So forgive the drama and the shitty writing. This is me, writing for my own gain, and hopefully I will grow the balls to share it with someone who will welcome the blips of teenage-style angst that boil over sometimes.

I hope to dive into less emotional things soon, but right now this is where I am at.

I work three jobs. At my primary job I deal with death in a very first-person way about once a month, and illness every single day. In my second job I check out 100% and perform mindless tasks in construction. And finally I work on cars, which indulges my OCD in a special kind of way, allowing me to be alone without being isolated.

You know I was raised as a radical Christian, and that my marriage is quickly disintegrating. You know I’ve got a secretly dramatic side. You know I’m (probably) a mid-twenties dude, and you know I’m running on fumes. What don’t you know? Mmm, confession time. Let’s talk sex! Next time….Red Riding Hood it home.

Honeymoon Phase (of life?)

My friend tells me I’ve been going through emotional abuse from Little Red Riding Hood. Now, I’m not one to focus on emotions, in fact I consider emotions to be hard to control and easy to stifle. I have to remind myself that this is not my “Bitch Book,” the secret journal, my little black notebook full of the emotional overflow that I cannot process in a public way. I let it simmer, reducing it to the simple emotions of fear, passion, and utter confusion. Then I fill pages with vile rantings and expressions that would probably land me in a mental health ward. Since most of my impressionable life has been accompanied by my bride, I won’t try to separate my life and my marriage.

I thought I was being sweet by booking us a honeymoon to Mexico. After all, I got what all guys want: a clear and explicit way to make my girl happy. I had actually paid for flights and a room in NYC, secretly of course, to be romantic. Then one day I asked what she would like. “Somewhere warm and beachy!” Done. Easy. Right?

Apparently not. Our first night as a married couple basically became Netflix and chill minus the Netflix, and almost minus the chill. When we arrived at our destination she immediately began complaining. I felt like our trip was a disaster from the first flight on. I had spent a lot of money, and had worked well over 60-70 hours a week to even get us to her beach. I wanted to show her I loved her, but it became one of those awkward weeks where you know you have a fight brewing, but you both avoid it. Little did I know that the rest of our lives would be like that.

I’ve had good times and bad times with my wife. The bad times seemed like “rough patches” and “bumps in the road,” or that’s what I told myself. The good times came at the cost of truth and honesty. We would hit pause on our stressful relationship and try to do things with each other, lying to everyone, “Our relationship is so good, look at our Instagrams!” Honestly, I would have rather been doing 100 other things, and the sacrifices I made went unnoticed. Sometimes she has mocked my efforts, putting me down as though I was the one to blame for her depression. I’ve grown, and I’ve been more honest when I look at my life. This sucks, and I am worn thin after years of hearing that I am not good enough to earn sex, love, attention, or a friend. She may be going through her own personal reformation, but she doesn’t see the pain and self-doubt that has grown in me.

At one time I would say I was confident, fairly outgoing, and determined to be an example of a good man. Contrasted with today it seems like the rug was pulled out from under me. I have bad enough social anxiety that I get physically ill before forcing myself into meetings, hang outs, or any group of people. I am confident in nothing, I am defensive and standoffish. Every day I struggle to drive home, knowing that I could check out, get high, get drunk, get lost and be alone. My faith once comforted me in depression, suicidal plans, and my relationship with the world. My faith is dying. But hey, on a good note: the first step is to identify your problem right? Obsessive compulsive, socially dysfunctional, addict, apostate, and angry; that’s the example of a man you see here.