Letting go

As I try to move forward in my life the number one thing that keeps holding me back is my inability, or perhaps my unwillingness, to let go. I can let go of things. I can let go of the past. I can let go of expectations. I can let go of shame, fear, regret, resentment, anger and pain.

Sometimes however, I simply cannot let go. I’ve been reluctant to write about this specifically until now. I have been letting it rattle around in my brain but it is weighing me down. I still don’t have the answer but sometimes writing can help me get a little bit closer.

You see, when it comes to moving my life forward there is no greater motivation than love. While I may not fully understand what love is, I know where it lives. It lives within each and everyone of us. It lives in people. My cat might have it too, I’m not sure.

I’m not willing to let go of love. I am not willing to let go of people. I am not willing to give up on anyone. I’m just not strong enough to do it all on my own. I need love. I need people. I need people who will not give up on me.

And there is the bind that I am in. That is my delima. That is my struggle and in it is where I find my suffering.

Knowing that I can’t get through this life alone I have been reaching out and trying to reconnect with the people who have meant the most to me. One was an ex-girlfriend. We broke up many years ago but I never stopped loving her. For five years she refused to have anything to do with me but we finally did reconnect a little over a year ago. I thought things were going fine but my recent attempts to make contact have gone unanswered.

Until I received this:

[Contents deleted – It’s not like to to censor myself but since these aren’t actually my words I don’t feel justified in posting them. You can use your imagination but in essence I was told that I was not trusted, that I was a violator and that this person did not want to know me anymore.]

Okay. That’s pretty clear. I can accept that. While much of it may be out of line and unwarranted I’m sure that there is some validity to it. I am after all the asshole who just posted the entire contents of a personal text message to the internet. I’m somewhat conflicted about that. I may come to regret that decision but it is my way of letting it go, moving on and finding peace. I may not be able to let go of the love I feel for this person but I can let go of the hate. I just need to take it out and look at it one last time.

[I did that and then I deleted the contents]

The next story is much harder for me to deal with. Over the summer I lost the greatest love of my life, the best friend I have ever had. There is no way for me to write about this without welling up in tears.

For the first time in my life I felt like I had someone who loved and accepted me for exactly who I am, warts and all. For the first time in my life I was able to completely let my guard down and just be me. For the first time in my life I didn’t feel like I was with someone who was trying to use me or change me to meet their needs. For the first time in my life I actually felt safe in love.

Maybe that doesn’t really exist. Maybe I was just under a spell. Maybe it was all a delusion but it felt real to me and I want it back! All I have ever wanted in life was to find one person who could accept me, all of me, just as I am. Maybe that’s not possible. I mean really, if anybody should, it would be me and I can’t do it. I want to be that person for myself but I just don’t know if I can do it without help.

Maybe that help doesn’t come in one person. Maybe it takes lots of people but I’m not willing to give up on this one. This is the closest I have ever gotten and I’m not ready to let go.

As hard as losing my best friend is there is one loss that is even more devastating.  I haven’t talked to my daughter in over two months. If I’ve done anything wrong here, I have no idea what it is. My suspicion is that it has more to do with her mother than with my daughter and that really frustrates me.

The cause is unimportant, the result is still unacceptable. I may not deserve a daughter but my daughter most definitely deserves a dad. I am not willing to give up on her, I’m just not strong enough to navigate her mother. I never have been and I’m feeling defeated.

Not letting go is holding me back but when it comes to the most important people in my life, I’m not willing to let go; especially when it comes to my daughter. I’m not willing to just sidestep the problem and move on. So that means I must carry it with me wherever I go. I just wish I was stronger.

Yeah, I wish I was stronger, I wish I knew more and I wish that I could just fix everything! But some things don’t get fixed. Sometimes there is no workaround. Sometimes there is nothing to do but go through it carrying the load that brought me here.

I had really hoped that I would have come to a better conclusion after writing this. It wasn’t easy but it was worth a shot. I still caved and made myself a cocktail to get through the last half. I had no intention of drinking today.

Anyway, maybe I’m missing something (I do have only one eye and I miss a lot). Maybe you have some insight. At this point there are nothing but wrong answers so don’t be afraid to give me yours.

Back to the city, back to my life

Life on the road can be so much simpler than life at home. There are so many things you just don’t worry about. On the road, you live life in the moment. All that concerns you is your immediate surroundings, your only responsibilities are what you brought with you. For a week, I didn’t pay any attention to the news, hardly looked at Facebook and wasn’t even that concerned with what was going on back home. I was only five states away but it might as well have been another planet.

That all ended yesterday. Much of our rush to get back was so I could do my CityPages route on Wednesday. Another 8 hours of driving around felt like nothing after the past few days. While driving I was listening to Minnesota Public Radio, catching up on what had been going on in the world. Apparently there have been a number of shootings in the Twin Cities lately.

One story struck me particularly hard. A St. Paul police canine officer was stabbed to death by a fugitive rape suspect. The suspect was later shot and killed by the police. That’s what happens. Police dogs are considered police officers just like there human companions. When you kill a cop you typically wind up dead. I have a feeling this alleged rapist knew what he was doing. I don’t think he wanted to face the consequences of his prior actions and wanted to die. I imagine one of the greatest challenges a police officer will ever face is having to assist another human being in committing suicide.

The dog’s name was Kody. his handler is officer Dave Longbehn. I didn’t know why that name sounded familiar and then it dawned on me. Longbehn was the officer that shot and killed my nephew nearly three years ago. My heart sank, not because I bare any resentment towards the officer, but because I feel a connection to him and he had just suffered a tremendous loss. I felt the same way when I learned the name of the person who killed my nephew. I felt empathy towards him. The choices my nephew had made in life were going to lead to him being killed. I don’t see any other way it could turn out. He was a cop killer and he decided that he was never going back to prison. He couldn’t escape so he was going to die.

Someone was going to shoot him. It didn’t have to be officer Longbehn but it was. He was the person my nephew chose to pull the trigger. For this reason, I will forever feel a deep affinity for officer Longbehn and I grieve along with him, the loss of Kody.

Officer Dave Longbehn & Kody – StarTribune

It’s just a dream

Wow, I just crashed hard. I was tired after today and feeling defeated so I went up to bed to watch a movie or something and couldn’t even keep my eyes open. Slept for over two hours. It’s now 10:30 at night but I’m awake so I guess it’s time to write.

I thought that writing would be a lonely profession but I’m actually finding it quite comforting. It’s not simply a matter of being alone with my thoughts. It’s quite different. It’s like giving the thoughts in my head a friend. It’s letting the thoughts in my head play with my fingers. Reading is also like this for me. A book gives my brain someone to play with.

Dreaming is different. I’m not sure exactly what dreams are but I like to think of it as my brain playing with itself when it thinks no one is looking. Kind of like masturbation for the subconscious. I don’t usually remember by dreams but when I do I try to hold on to as much as I can. I feel like they are important, that they can give some insight into what is going on up there in my head.

I did some pretty hardcore dreaming during my little nap. Most of it has already slipped away but I do remember the final scene before I woke up. It took place in a large inner-city high school. Things were pretty out of control, violent and chaotic. This one kid, not that tall, about my height but significantly overweight, was totally losing his shit. He was knocking other kids down, picking them up and throwing them around and generally causing a huge commotion.

I came in and picked this kid up over my head – I’m very strong in my dreams. I’m carrying him away from all the other kids when a school administrator starts yelling at me, “Hey, what the hell are you doing? Put that kid down!” I put him down and tried explaining to the administrator that I wasn’t hurting the kid, I was just trying to prevent him from harming other students.

Then another student gets up in my grill. I put my hand on his shoulder and say “It’s okay, I’m not trying to hurt anyone. I’m just here to help.” At which point he lashes back at me, “Get your hands off of me you faggot! You can’t just go around touching people. Who the fuck do you think you are? You some kind of pervert?!?” I was really taken back. I was trying to show compassion and understanding to these kids but they were incapable of receiving it. I began to imagine what it would be like to never feel love, compassion and acceptance.

I turn to the chubbier kid, the one who had been tossing students around and said to him, “You are clearly very upset about something. What is it that has got you so angry.” To which he replied, “Man, you don’t know what it’s like around here! We don’t even get no fucking popcorn anymore. We suppose to get popcorn on Fridays. That shit only costs like 25 cents a bag and those bastards took it away!”

Yeah… I understand loss. It can feel worse than never having anything to begin with. It can leave you feeling really pissed off – pissed off at the whole world. So I start asking him more questions about the popcorn and before we knew it we had a group put together to make popcorn of Fridays and sell it to the students as a fundraiser.

Okay… it’s just a dream but the feelings are real. Situations involving these feeling happen all the time. It’s very challenging to be a kid, to not feel loved, to not feel in control. Sometimes there is nothing you can do to comfort them and you certainly can’t control them. Sometimes all you can do is find out what they want and work WITH them to get it in a constructive manner.

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