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.


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.

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.

How I Got Here Part 1

During one of those frustrating introspective moments I questioned how I ended up in my current position. To remain anonymous and aloof I will spare the details, but essentially I am living in a location that is surrounded by unhealthy relationships, trying to pick up the pieces of a broken marriage, friendless, and questioning my religion at every turn.

How did I get here?

My family moved across the nation, homeschooling me through most of high school. At about 17 years old I participated in what could only be described as a Christian-extremist cult. The whole family was in it, but I moved in with the leader in order to gain insight and “wisdom” from a “man of God.” This is really where my story leaves the well-worn path of the average middle class Evangelical kid.

Skip past the long days working for free, spreading this heretical propaganda to whoever would listen and you’ll find me confused, depressed and angry at the world. Normal teenager stuff to be honest. Normal until you consider that teenagers have a social baseline, set by their families and confirmed by the American culture.  I don’t want you to think I had a bad raising, in fact, I consider myself lucky to have such open and honest parents. My family is never to blame, and I alone take responsibility for my formative years. I had opportunities to live like everyone else. I had doors opened for me into careers and strong relationships. I even had the opportunity to get ahead of the curve since homeschooling had set me a year ahead of my age group.

Intuition is a wonderful curse.

I left the cult, passed the final SAT, and started working 40-60 hours a week at 18. Sometimes I would help out with groceries and chores, but mostly I decided to race around in my Mom’s car, smoking hookah and watching previously forbidden movies with my new friends at work. I claimed to be going to church, but in reality I was hopping from building to building, comparing the performance. I never really did anything very rebellious, I respected my Dad enough to heed his warnings. I didn’t drink or do drugs. I didn’t even date because I didn’t want to dishonor my family in front of their cult.

Along came Little Red Riding Hood, my first love, my first girlfriend, my first sex, my wife (for now).