Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween my ghoulish bloggers!

This is the first Halloween in 12 years that I am not home – I am still on my trip – but will be making my way back home tomorrow.

The past 12 years Halloween night has been spent sitting outside in our cul-de-sac with our neighbors and handing candy out to the little ghosts and goblins.  This tradition includes taking our lawn chairs, eats and drinks and sitting near our one lamp post on the small cul-de-sac and being neighborly and enjoying each other’s company.  It has always been a fun event to attend and with the lamp post being in front of my partner and my home, we always decorated excessively – but not even close to the Christmas decorations!

This year is different.  Do you remember the garage sale I had in September? (posts ‘Gremlins and their ‘stuff‘ & ‘Selling Gremlin’s Stuff’)  All of our Halloween decorations were sold then.  This year we decided to incorporate our trip for the next location of our next chapter to include spending Halloween with my partner’s family; namely his younger brother and mom.  This is very appropriate as his mom is from Salem Massachusetts and we always refer to her as the last living witch.

You know the story of the witch trials?  History.com has the following –

The infamous Salem witch trials began during the spring of 1692, after a group of young girls in Salem Village, Massachusetts, claimed to be possessed by the devil and accused several local women of witchcraft. As a wave of hysteria spread throughout colonial Massachusetts, a special court convened in Salem to hear the cases; the first convicted witch, Bridget Bishop, was hanged that June. Eighteen others followed Bishop to Salem’s Gallows Hill, while some 150 more men, women and children were accused over the next several months. By September 1692, the hysteria had begun to abate and public opinion turned against the trials. Though the Massachusetts General Court later annulled guilty verdicts against accused witches and granted indemnities to their families, bitterness lingered in the community, and the painful legacy of the Salem witch trials would endure for centuries.

Somehow my partner’s mom made it through this ordeal and is now the last living Salem witch.  To be over 350 years old, she does not look a day over 92!  So this Halloween is being spent in honor of her and her craftiness to miss out on the witch trials and hangings and to continue to live today to perform some black magic and scare kids!

Happy Halloween!

It was time to end my life

The following posts I mention the word suicide –

ME and OCD, Emotional Difficulties, The Great Depression of the 1980s, Thoughts From Years Past.4, Thoughts From Years Past.5, Thoughts From Years Past.6, Thoughts From Years Past.11, Nothing Really Matters – until now, What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger, I am not afraid to die, Thoughts From Years Past.19

My posts titled ‘Thoughts From Years Past’ are based on words I wrote in 2004 and describe the journey from a young boy to the time I decided to kill myself.  These blog posts build upon each other and provide the experiences, events and difficulties dealing with life that eventually led to my attempted suicides.

I was in my 20s and decided it was time to end my life – the time had come to kill myself.  I had no gun to shoot myself and thought using a knife might just injure me and not kill me.  I drank alcohol at the time and decided to take bottles of pills.  This was more than 30 years ago and my memory is a little vague about what pills I took or where I got them.  I do not believe my wife and I had separated at that point, because she is the one that found me having a mental breakdown after the pills had been taken.  After that I remember the bright lights of the emergency room and have a memory of my mom and one brother standing over me; I do not know if they were speaking.  The next memory I have while still in the hospital is ingesting activated charcoal and having my stomach pumped.

That was it – the experience of my 1st attempted suicide.  I was scared and most likely was attempting suicide as a cry for help and not really wanting to end it all.  Some people say those that attempt or commit suicide are cowards and want an easy way out.  But when you feel out of control and thoughts of hurting others are in your mind and there seems no end to suffering and pain and people are telling you they do not understand you or you need help but they are not helping or supporting you and your weakness prevails – how do you keep going?

Sometime after this event, I would attempt another suicide using the same method but this time no hospital visit, just a mom who was there at the right time and determined to assist in eliminated the pills that were swallowed.

When I hear about people who attempted or have committed suicide, I understand and they are not cowards to me.

My heart fills with sadness and heaviness for those that suffer with pain that they feel a need to end it all.

There is help out there and my hope is people who are suffering finds the strength and the courage to find that help.

My hope is those people who are suffering find the strength and the courage inside of them to help themselves.

A Week’s Occurrence

A couple of months ago I had an issue.  Without going into details, something was occurring with my body that was unusual and I had some cause for concern.  This occurrence started the day my son #3 married and lasted a week.  During this week I contacted my doctor who is busy and short on staff and therefore was unable to get in to see him.  I already had plans to schedule an appointment for my physical as I usually do this every couple of years.  I never see my doctor except for physicals because I am never sick and my physicals always result in being healthy with no issues.

So during this week’s occurrence with my body, I had a slight concern about it which resulted in me thinking about what was going on.  I then made the mistake and Googled my symptoms, not a good idea as the mind wants to take the worst and then expand on it, as I did.

During this week’s occurrence with my body, I am thinking the worse and rethinking what I have always said I would or in my case would not do if I became seriously ill.  When I refer to seriously ill I refer to a life threating disease – this is in my mind is the cause of my occurrence.  I have always told my partner if I ever become sick with a life threating disease, I do not want medical treatment, I accept the consequences and why would I want to extend my life when I will be dying someday anyway?

This post is by no means is to downplay life threating diseases and I by no means have intentions to disrespect those that have gone through a life threatening disease or have had a loved one that has.  So please do not take offense to my writings on this subject – remember we all have different lives, different experiences, different thoughts and different ways of looking at everything in this world.

Again, I have always told my partner if I ever become sick with a life threating disease, I do not want medical treatment, I accept the consequences and why would I want to extend my life when I will be dying someday anyway?  This is easy for me to say while healthy and based on my life; past and present, in my mind this makes sense.  But then there is that week’s occurrence with my body and I am thinking about this.  Do I really mean it?  Do I really accept the consequences?

Well, the occurrence stopped and I do have a physical scheduled in the near future and most likely I am over-thinking this.  (see post: overthink this)

At this time I will stop saying I accept the consequences and why would I want to extend my life when I will be dying someday.  Instead I will wait until that time arrives, if it arrives to rethink about what I will truly do.

‘Your Comment’

In my post ‘overthink this’, I wrote the following –

I especially apply my overthinking to my relationship with my sons and the thought of me failing as a father.  This particular topic, I most likely have overthought and I am moving on and no longer dwelling on this.  Through my writing and comments from you I see now I was overthinking this and was filling my mind with fault and disgrace.

In my post ‘Son #3 Now Married’, I wrote the following –

This past weekend’s wedding was beautiful; I was able to spend some time with all my sons and this I am thankful for.  I spoke to them words of encouragement, support, love and the proudness I have of each one of them.  I am grateful I played a small part in their growing from boys to men.

In today’s post, I write the following –

You the readers of my blog have written comments that are invaluable and provide light to me; they lift a burden I have carried for many years.

One fellow blogger Atypical 60, wrote a comment and here are some excerpts from that comment –

Hey Spear. Congratulations. I actually got a bit misty-eyed at reading this. Like you, I have three children.

…it was nice and refreshing to read about your son. Best for him and his wife and I do believe that you are the very proud dad.

Here is an excerpt from my response back to this comment –

Through my writing I am learning that I tried to be the dad I wanted to be, but could not. I am learning that I actually was a good dad because I have come to realize I had to leave their lives in order for them to have good lives. I think they are starting to understand that now – I am.

Another fellow blogger aidy193, wrote a comment and here is an excerpt from that comment –

I wouldn’t worry yourself too much; it is extremely important to make sure YOU are healthy and working well. Without that there isn’t much to offer anyone else. I think as we grow older we see this, and we realize why our parents did things we may not have understood when we were children. I’m glad your relationships are good; there is always time to make them stronger.

Here is an excerpt from my response back to this comment –

I am starting to feel my kids are having an understanding of why I was not there for them in their growing up years.

My fellow bloggers, you truly have helped me to release guilt that has plagued my mind for many years.

I am unable to put into words the feeling that overwhelms me when I realize the importance of this blog, but most importantly you the readers and the comments you so gracefully write.

I will end this post with a comment –

Your Comment

Anger Towards My Dad

I wrote in my post ‘I understand the words I love you’ the following –

The relationship my dad and I have had has not always been easy – many years ago I was angry with him – this was due to me going through my own internal struggles – and to a certain degree blamed my dad.  Many of us as adults with struggles seem to want to blame our parents for some of our life issues.  I overcame my anger and as my dad and I grew older and wiser, we started understanding our relationship and it has grown.

I write in today’s post the following –

As indicated in the first sentence ‘and to a certain degree blamed my dad’, was a lingering thought in my mind for many years.  Back in 1993, I moved from my current location to a different location for just a couple of months.  From this new location I wrote and mailed a letter to my dad; what prompted me to write this letter is unclear to me today.  I was 33 years old in 1993 and the path of my life changed in a way that my family did not see coming.  I felt this change had affected my dad the most and caused a rift between us.  If I remember correctly, I think it was the early 1990s that there was a period of time my dad and I did not speak to each other at all – I am thinking for at least a year.  These were years of anger toward my dad – I am dealing with new internal struggles due to my life path change – I am blaming my dad for my early life issues.

So I wrote and mailed a letter to my dad.  I do not remember everything I wrote in that letter, but it did have an impact on my dad.  I know this because I received a letter back from him; I will share portions of this letter in an upcoming post.

The letter I wrote to my dad I do know I expressed my feelings about not feeling loved by him, not feeling he was proud of me, not feeling he accepted me.  I also expressed to him the absence of him in my life when I was young and the feelings of my siblings being more important to him than me.

And I also believe that subconsciously he was at fault for the sexual violations of me by an adult male that worked for him in the businesses he owned.  After all I was 10 years old when I started working and not long after this I was left with co-workers my dad trusted to take care of me.  I know now, today this is in no way his fault, but as a young child going through this event; I had no one to turn to, not my mom and especially not my dad.

Today the anger has vanished, the relationship is good, but it did take time.

Other people’s stories

I often wonder what people’s stories are; the woman in front of me at the checkout line with food stamps, the guy that just angrily honked his horn because I would not drive over the speed limit.  And what about that overweight person who is at the local drugstore buying chips and soda?  And then there is the guy with all the tattoos and piercings who I would not want to meet alone in a dark alley.  What are their stories?

In my recent post ‘Easy to Label, Easy to Judge’ I started the post with the following –

I don’t know about you, but it is easy for me to label and judge people.  I see a news story with an interview taking place about some controversy and I label the person and then I judge.  It is easy to do, but much more difficult to not do!

I think I label and judge because of my opinions, beliefs and views on different aspects of life.  I do not like to be labeled and I certainly do not like to be judged by others – so, I should not label and judge others, but it is so easy to do.

Image Provided By dennispethers.com

Image Provided By dennispethers.com

In today’s post I write the following –

The judgement of the woman in the checkout line or the driver who is angry with me or the overweight person buying chips or the guy with the tattoos all have stories.  But I do not know their stories and I guess I will never know.

We all have a story; successes, misfortunes, missed opportunities, lack of love, love from the right person, a broken relationship, a job loss, a family/friend loss, a birth, an illness, the list goes on.  The stories of our lives make us who we are and what we are.  Whether a brief encounter or just people watching, I wonder what people’s stories are.

There is a good article ‘The Stories We Don’t Tell’ on the website psychologytoday.com and the author has an encounter with other people and writes the following –

“How come we don’t tell each other our stories?” one of the men mused.

It is a question that preoccupies me. Our lives are, in a sense, a series of stories. When we are gone, the stories will be gone. If we don’t tell them, no one will.

“I’ve always wanted to write my stories down,” one man said. “Maybe it’s time now, so they’re not lost.”

“Me too,” said a woman. “I have a lot of stories to tell.”

So I think and ask again –

I often wonder what people’s stories are; what are their stories?

I have a story – the woman in the checkout line, the driver, the person in the drugstore and the guy with the tattoos, they have stories too.

My story is being written in this blog – but I guess I will never know their stories.

Image Provided Bywww.oneaccordnonprofit.com

Image Provided Bywww.oneaccordnonprofit.com

May 1970 – Let It Be

May 1970 – a song popular in this month – Let It Be by The Beatles

Paul McCartney wrote this song. It was inspired by his mother, Mary, who died when he was 14. Many people thought “Mother Mary” was a biblical reference when they heard it.

Interesting facts about Let It Be & The Beatles –

Since Let It Be was The Beatles last album, it made an appropriate statement about leaving problems behind and moving on in life.

McCartney had a dream one night when he was paranoid and anxious. He saw his mom who had been dead for ten years or so; she came to him in his time of trouble, speaking words of wisdom. This brought him much peace when he needed it. It was this sweet dream that got him to begin writing the song.

John Lennon hated this song because of it’s apparent Christian overtones. He made the comment before recording it, “And now we’d like to do Hark The Angels Come.” Lennon saw to it that “Maggie Mae,” a song about a Liverpool prostitute, followed it on the album.

The Beatles weren’t the first to release this song – Aretha Franklin was. The Queen of Soul recorded it in December 1969, and it was released on her album This Girl’s In Love With You in January 1970, two months before The Beatles released their version.

In 2001, McCartney helped organize the “Concert For New York,” to benefit victims of The World Trade Center disaster. He closed the show with this, inviting the other acts and some New York cops and firefighters on stage to sing with him.

This information was provided by Songfacts.com

I am not afraid to die

There are references in some of my posts about my suicide attempts and I will have a future post describing these specific events.  I also plan to write about how I view suicide today from my prospective; a person who attempted suicide and went through a decade of major depression.  My point to this post is I am not afraid to die.

I view death as the end of everyone’s life, inevitable, it is going to occur, just when?  There is a date on the calendar for all of us – our last day on this earth.  So, why be afraid to die?

In my post ‘My Life My Way’ I wrote that I am living my life my way and though some habits I have may shorten my life, I still am not afraid to die.  This may sound odd, but actually, in a way I look forward to death.  Besides my attempted suicides there have been many other times I thought about killing myself but did not.

Prior to today, many days had come and gone and I on occasion thought to myself; I wish I were dead.  Because although I have overcome my major depression, I still had some behavior issues, some low self-esteem and some defects in my brain that want me to be unstable.  I try every day to overcome these shortcomings and to live the rest of my days with a sense of purpose and happiness.

I will be totally honest with you my readers – today the thought of killing me still occasionally crosses my mind and there are times I wish I were dead.   But the act of me intentionally killing me will not take place.  No matter the struggles I still have in my life; I understand the taking of my own life is not the way for me to deal with these struggles.  I believe all of us are on this earth for a reason, and no matter the struggles we encounter; we all have strength within ourselves to overcome, to move forward and to survive.  Sometimes that strength can be buried under all the burdens of despair and anguish and finding it can be difficult.

I rarely think about death or dying or my life coming to an end; I want to think about birth, living, my life beginning, the here and now, today.  I am trying to live my life for today and let go of the past and look forward to the future, no matter how many days are left for me on the calendar.  Just because I will die someday, I am not going to stop living for today or planning for tomorrow.

One reason for my blog is to write about my past and let go of it.  I want to live like I am dying – with the rest of my days for living to be for today, and if I am allowed, for tomorrow.

Thoughts From Years Past.19

Another documented ‘Thoughts From Years Past’ that reflects what was going on in my life at a particular time.  My post ‘I want to write a book’ describes my desire to write a book and several times in the past started this process, without proceeding very far. In my post ‘Thoughts From Years Past.18’, I ended with ‘It was not creating a state of mind that took me away from the craziness I felt: instead it created an evil person that hated life and everything about it. ’

The following documentation is the conclusion of those pages.

Thoughts I wrote from September, 2004 – (unedited from original writing)

I became extremely depressed to the point of not being able to get out of bed for days.  I hated myself and everything about life.  I hated everything, yes maybe even my kids or at least the stress they brought to my life.  I could not cope with life any longer and decided it was time to end it.  I had these thoughts many years before as a young child during those growing up years.  There was a time as a young boy, I felt depressed and wanted to kill myself.  I recall going into the kitchen and grabbing a knife out the drawer and thinking about stabbing myself.  I wanted to so badly; I wanted to be dead, to not experience the pain I was feeling at that time.  But, something kept me from going through with it.  I was just as scared of killing myself as I was of living.  Now in my late twenties it was the time to go through with it, to end this miserable and disturbing life.  I was older now with more stresses and struggles in my mind.  I was older now to have the strength to carry it out this time.  The time had arrived.  It was time to end my life!

Easy to Label, Easy to Judge

I don’t know about you, but it is easy for me to label and judge people.  I see a news story with an interview taking place about some controversy and I label the person and then I judge.  It is easy to do, but much more difficult to not do!

I think I label and judge because of my opinions, beliefs and views on different aspects of life.  I do not like to be labeled and I certainly do not like to be judged by others – so, I should not label and judge others, but it is so easy to do.

For reasons that will soon be revealed, I was granted labels and because of these labels now I am judged.  But then again, I think we all have labels and therefore based on these labels, we all are judged.  My post series ‘Thoughts From Years Past’ concludes this Friday and from the event that will occur and subsequent events I will receive many labels from which I will then receive judgement.  Judgement received from family, friends, professionals; and in future posts, maybe you who read my blog.

So the phrase ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ is such an easy phrase, but difficult to abide by.  Why is this?  I remember in high school labeling other students.  You had the ‘jocks’, the ‘socialites’, the ‘nerds’, and the ‘band queers’ to name a few.  Not sure what labels are used today in high school, but in society we have labels such as ‘losers’, ‘the 1%’, ‘slut’, ‘retard’, ‘homo’, ‘illegal aliens’  you get the idea.

Based on these labels, the judgement takes place – judgement based on attitudes, based on principals, based on observations, or whatever it is inside of us to judge people.

The elitedaily.com article ‘We Are All Human: 10 Labels We Need To Stop Using To Describe People’ begins with the following –

Humans have an innate desire to place labels on everything. Labels give people a sense of order, and a way of distinguishing things.

Yet, people aren’t things; they are human beings first and foremost. Using labels to describe people ignores deeper reflections of their personhood.

A person’s race, sexuality, socioeconomic status or geographic origins does not define all that he or she is or will be.

When it comes down to it, people have a right to be called whatever they want. However, as a society, we should consider the fact that labels often warp our perceptions of people. In essence, they promote both blatant and unconscious prejudice.

Likewise, humans are too dynamic to be placed in boxes. The labels we place on people will never adequately capture the complexity of the human spirit.

I make an attempt every day to not judge based on a label, or based on my personal opinions, beliefs and views.

Image Provided By quotesgram.com

Image Provided By quotesgram.com

It is difficult at times, but I do not give up on stopping this process in my mind.  There are a few of you readers of my blog I feel I know well based on your posts and your comments.  My hope is in upcoming posts of mine you do not judge me based on my labels, because if you have read my posts for a while now; you truly know me – the personhood with a human spirit.