I haven’t looked at the old abouts but I’m sure they’ll make for a fun read some time. Anyway. I realized recently that two things have been working in tandem in my life against me – one a lifelong problem, and one a bit more of a recent problem. The more recent problem is that, beginning in 2010 and for reasons I could go into but are neither here nor there, I abandoned a once sacred virtue I held very dear and would’ve never compromised. That virtue was honesty. And in the spirit of being honest, I’m collecting all of the various things that I can which I’ve ever written, attributing my real name to them, and hosting them here for any old person to gawk at and ridicule me for.
Sometimes the truth hurts.
Beyond even that, I am going to be actively updating this domain with scathing – and probably, some will feel, almost masturbatory – introspective content. I have a lot of things I need to put to bed with some finality if I am ever going to move forward with my life, and the only way I know how to do that is with skill set for introspection I’ve developed over the years. I don’t expect many or any will read or follow this. If they do and they want to engage with posts I will respond to them. If people want to know what’s up with me or what’s going on I’ll direct them here because I often get frustrated and repeating effort.
One thing I’ve always desired desperately yet rarely ever had is to truly be known by another human being. Whether or not that’s completely possible is something I’m not sure of, but over the years I’ve tried my hardest to pour out my soul on the page so that anyone who wanted to could follow the breadcrumbs and try to figure me out. For other reasons – which I’ll get into in this next round of scathing introspection – the few people who DID take all that effort I tended to treat like crap and dissuaded them from continuing the activity. As the old cliche goes, I was my own worst enemy, and while I may have had (in my mind) noble intentions, it doesn’t excuse the behavior and it’s done a lot of seemingly irreparable damage. Some have been more willing to mend bridges than others, but many people important to me have flat out refused to engage with me for years and years on end. This is the only way I know how to release myself from the grief, shame, guilt and pain of all of that.
In most of these stories, I will be the villain.
And while my faith and spiritual walk are still important to me, a lot of the concepts and mental spaces and things I’m going to be discussing until I’m done doing the work I’m going to be doing… well… it’ll be dark. Again. I am being honest. I can no longer concern myself with how people are going to react to what I have to honestly (and unmaliciously) have to say. I cannot control what people think, feel, say or do. I can only control what I think, say, and do. And I am returning to a discarded code of total honesty. I am sure there are many people I’ve known who will be shocked, surprised, offended or even hurt by what I have to honestly document, but, this is something I need to do for myself or I will never grow as an adult and I will be stuck in the trap sprung upon me five years ago. I cannot be stuck in that trap for the rest of my life. I need to move on some how and this blog – as it has been before and may be again – will be the tool I use to do that.
Whether this ultimately becomes of some use to other people or profits and benefits anyone other than me – who is to say. A part of me hopes that those who consider themselves my friends will invest the effort to keep abreast of the things going on here, but the realistic part of me feels (backed up by the cold unfeeling science of empiricism) that virtually no one will do that. And that’s fine. Whereas audience reaction may have motivated or stopped me outright before – and considerations towards who was or was not reading may have tempered the honesty of the content – it just plain won’t be a factor at all moving forward. I am doing this for me, this is completely self-indulgent, and you have now been officially warned.
Welcome to the resurgence of Dead Men Tell No Tales.
When I was little, I had two great things going for me that I ended up giving up on later in life. The first thing was a relationship with Yeshua HaMashiach (or as he is more commonly known, Jesus the Christ), characterized by child-like faith and regular Bible study. The second thing was a passion and proficiency for writing, particularly creative writing. Growing up, all I could think I wanted to be was a novelist of some kind, or maybe own a publishing company.
But, as the saying goes, “life happened.” My brother – who was my idol and role model – fell into a dark period of alcohol, drugs, and womanizing. My grade school friends were all getting into drugs and drug dealing. My parents were getting divorced. I began to notice the hypocrisy of, first, my parent’s faith and then the church’s faith, causing me to abandon my own. I fell into depressive fits, and, though never attempting suicide, often wished for death. I kept a very poor diet, slept very little, had few friends in “real life” because it was difficult to get into town from where I lived, and spent most of my time in the bedroom on my computer. I obsessed over a novel I thought I’d write but never made it very far when it actually came to writing.
When I was sick enough of my mother’s constant verbal berating and emotional abuse, and the opportunity arose to leave home, I dropped out of high school and moved to Utah with a friend. I worked for about a year and was about to be promoted to manager – the youngest in the company – but realized I hadn’t accomplished anything I really had wanted to by moving. I was still lonely, miserable, not writing, and about to top out in terms of promotions because of my lack of an education. I started thinking about the military, and after a bit of research into the different branches – as well as to honor the footsteps of my grandfather – I chose to enlist in the Marine Corps.
It was at this point that I effectively gave up on creative writing, as there simply was just no time for it. My every mental faculty was consumed by trying to become a “better Marine,” reading all the training texts and manuals on ethics and leadership and so forth. But when I finally got settled in to my first duty station and had some free time, I started writing again, attracting a little bit of a following and eventually gaining some popularity on two larger sites, The Spearhead and the now defunct In Mala Fide. But I had a breakdown in 2010 that would change all of my plans, and eventually lead me back to Yeshua.
The breakdown put me into psychiatric care and treatment, and so I was pretty heavily drugged. I went through a tumultuous period where I would try to get off the drugs and end up back in the hospital on more drugs than I first started with and it had a zombifying effect on me. I’m now in an intensive program but on a light enough dose that I don’t feel like as much of a zombie anymore, and so I’m trying to regain that which I gave up – my writing.
I intend to update daily, and I’ll most likely be writing about different things I’m learning through meditation on the Word. I may also tie some of that back into subjects I used to be interested in, like metaphysics, philosophy, morals, ethics, and logic, to name a few. So feel free to leave a comment – especially if you disagree with what I post! 😉
Every once in a while I get this idea that I should try to tell my life story. To that effect, I’ve written probably more than a novel’s worth of words yet never really got around to organizing and polishing all these words into something digestible. More immediately problematic, people tend to want to know what I’m up to and I have a hard time explaining that without explaining a billion other things.
Since it’s unfair to expect people to go off and read 8+ years of old blogs and such, I figured I’d just start fresh. Sort of. Every(ish) day I should update with a post about what’s going on currently, but I’ll also be back-posting an older piece of writing or what have you (and talking about it in the current day’s post). If this sounds confusing, don’t worry, it shouldn’t be too bad.
Early on in my blogging experience, I blogged without an alias to hide behind at the url johndonner.blogspot.com. Things got a little too surreal for me when I found out people like my own principal (including dozens of people I wouldn’t have known otherwise via the burgeoning blog-o-sphere, including that Johnny Virgil guy of 15minutelunch.blogspot.com fame) were reading my posts. I went dark and started blogging as J. Durden at jjdurden.blogspot.com, using that name and also “Dr. Deezee” around the internet to mask who I was. Now I’ve come full circle.
I’m lazy so if you don’t like my super sleek default wordpress theme, make me a better one for free and I’ll use it. 😉
::EDIT:: AHYH ASR AHYH is the divine name given to Moses in Exodus 3:14. It means I will be who I will be.