Fuck it's been a year since I last wrote for this. Life's changed unbelievably since then. Going back over this has been an interesting experience as I try to re-order my thoughts some. This last year has been truly unbelievable, but I remain here. It's strange to think of a thing like this Discordia we are all here for as a supportive constant in one's life. Stranger still to find one day that it's a sane island paradise by comparison to the events unfolding worldwide and ALSO all too personally. Something told me not too long ago "2016 is just the tip", both in the sense of getting fucked and as a tipping point, also the tip of a deadly iceberg. Seems about right.
As for "what I'm doing on your lawn" these days... I feel like I'm an accepted resident in this sort of digital House of Eris now, looking out at the world as the world does EXACTLY what the writing all over the walls here indicates. The Beth Discordia clinic for the incurably lucid, an asylum from a world madder than I by far, it would seem, and this is truly saying something. Sometimes I scratch at the walls with the others. I occasionally wander the grounds. Mostly, lately, I watch the sky turn orange as the dawn and dusk are one and the same here, never touching daylight. I sometimes think it's the world burning... I'm not sure if that makes me crazy for thinking so or for ever thinking otherwise. Nero sang about Troy, you know. Fiddles weren't actually a thing back then, when Discordia was still a... notedly public force you could say. I shudder sometimes, still, at the feeling of her rough-hewn hand on my back. I think she's been shoulder-surfing me more than I know sometimes. But THIS piece of scratch is about me, and I just have to swallow my pills and get this out. She's got plenty of room to wander... I just have to let the pills settle in.. it's ok. It's just my turn to stand and speak in group-hour now.
Find a spot in the circle and listen, if you like.
My father is a strict disciplinarian raised by an even more strict pair of disciplinarian parents. My mother a narcissistic psycho that was most fond of using my father as her violence-proxy against us when we weren't up to her impossible, profoundly hypocritical, standards. This is my perspective now as an adult after much healing and better knowledge as such. To say this was all that they were would be very wrong. To say my father doesn't love me and my brothers would be wrong. Mom, so much as she's able to actually love, also did, but her delusional image of herself as "a good mother", among others, was the only thing that was really important to her, not anything else. She'd play shocked and wounded PERFECTLY were she to be so accused in public, but in private she was a very different person, even more so in private with my pop, as it turned out. We don't talk anymore by my choice for both our sakes. After my parents went through a messy divorce I don't intend to detail here anytime soon her true colors were on display for everyone who knew her to see. She lives far from where I grew up now, and dad remains in the house he built with one of my brothers and my brother's fiancé. That house has many, many patched walls and other signs of 30 odd years of violent intra-family strife, and a love I only still hold for my father. He did the best he could for us, being who he is and just a man after all. I'll get to the part where I realized this eventually.
Dad taught us boys a simple philosophy about violence growing up. It might be summed up as, "Always be the one who walks away, no matter what that may take." By this he meant that needing to attack people was a sort of weakness, but if you had to fight commit totally to being the only one still walking if that's what's necessary. He was not a man given to violence, and certainly not criminality, and it wasn't a glorious thing to him. He raised us in this perspective from a very young age indeed while in many ways preparing us to be very able as needed, and most importantly to have each other's backs as brothers, as family.
So much for that shit, but I'll get to that later.
By many folk's standards my dad would be called abusive because of his use of corporal punishment in discipline of his children. This is a matter of philosophy and perspective. I would call him abusive for other reasons. When as little kids my brothers and or I did something against the rules set by my dad it COULD mean a very sound spanking after he sat you down and explained why, asked you if you understood, made sure, then informed you that it hurt him more than you and meant it by his eyes, and proceeded with a moderate hand to ass cheeks only. I have met many who were raised by sadists and criminals and true madmen. My father was not like them, but a man doing what he knew, the ONLY thing he knew from his own upbringing. That doesn't mean it was ok, just that I was fortunate to also be loved by at least one my abusers.
You see as we grew a bit older and found more and more ways to buck the system the punishments became harsher and fighting, verbally at great volume and physically at even greater volume, became standard by the time I was in junior high. As a child I had no idea how much influence my mom had in this, but I still blame dad for letting her push him for her insane sense of control and then play the "good cop" so she could continue seeing herself as a good mother. Violence and anger became steadily more and more central to my life as a little fucking kid in gradeschool AND at home. Being bigger and smarter gets you picked on. Being known as the strongest scrapper in school, like it or not, makes you target number 1.
I was both, and it got really bad. I learned to make kids fear me even more, thinking this would get me peace, but it did exactly the opposite. I remember particularly well an incident not very long, I think, before I tried to hang myself with a jump rope in the detention corner stairs of the playground at school. I was quite literally mobbed by probably about a dozen kids throwing rocks and spitting on me as they cheered on some popular shit who's name I don't remember, and whose face I'll probably never forget ruining after I realized my younger brother was in the crowd throwing stones too. I wanted them all to see what a real monster was, since that's what I was to them, clearly. It was the first time I think I ever experienced berserk, psychotic rage, and would prove to be very far from the last time. Fuck, it was my very best friend for... too many years.
All of this because of my father's intention to raise us as he had been, and his inability, and later I think conscious refusal, to see past his love for my mother and see her for what she is, and what it was doing to us. At some point I think the cognitive dissonance caught up to him and he began to vent his anger on us as often as giving out structued "punishment", perhaps rightly deserved on occasion. She'd piss him off and turn him loose on us whenever she felt her "authority" was threatened, which was in fact quite frequent by the time I was getting into high school. But by then I was quite a bit bigger physically than dear old dad and mom and the game had changed entirely. My father was never, never had to be, a fighter in the way that I had learned to be and I think he sensed this in my eyes more than once going into high school. He began to lay off me as I got steadily meaner and developed a taste for the politics of violence widely available in high school.
I was never a part of any serious gang, but I was at least as feared as any pack of thugs from freshman year onwards. This is not me bragging, just the facts. I had learned that the threat of force is more effective than it's actual demonstration and that even those in "authority", like gangbangers and poorly paid hall monitors, not cops, feared the unknown of what someone MAY do more than any actual deed itself. Once the shit actually hits the fan everyone commits to their rolls, but if you can instill uncertainty in someone and leave them afraid of an unknown badness then they leave you fucking alone like "the crazy-whiteboy" should be. I had learned the value of coercion over force and took to it like a fish to water. I mostly used it to fuckoff in the computer lab and otherwise do as I pleased. The small hallway outside the lab was MY turf. The labrats and nerds were MY nerds. The lab teacher was quietly complicit in this so long as I kept the real wolves off "her kids" and maintained her deniability.
This I did very well. It was the state of things until my truancy record and GPA under 0.5 caught up with me about halfway through junior year and I was given the option by THE SYSTEM to fuckoff at a tech school instead, so I did. I didn't need to be terrible to do as I pleased there and it was rather refreshing, but I still gave no shits for my classwork and graduated with a full diploma a semester late by testing out entirety in December of 2K. By then I was quite a different person on several levels and not long after had a sort of final encounter with my dad that sealed my new perspective permanently. I'll tell that part then get this posted and some badly needed shut-eye, but there's a sort of spiritual turning point/mental breakdown in my life that preceeds this story that I'll dig into another time. For now it'll suffice to say I no longer blamed God as I previously had by the time this happened.
I was 18, and I had changed greatly, but my family life was as loud and violent as ever. One evening I heard the usual shouting, but this time it was unusually sharp. I instinctively knew dad was beyond reason by his voice, and heard the youngest, then about 15ish bolting down the hallway to his room at the end of the hall near mine. There was no way I was going to let this happen. I took up all of the doorway to his room before dad got to the hallway, my brother's terror was real and I expected dad to be furious, but he was out of his mind angry as he walked up and tried to push me aside, and failed. He shouted at me to move. I looked him dead in the eye and calmly said no. That did it.
For the first and last time in my life dad truly assaulted me in full rage and fury, beating on my chest as I soaked and dodged blows that could very easily have broken a less experienced combatant's ribs, face, and things, shouting for me to move over and over. Dad was a machine repairman and STRONG beyond what might seem likely in his arms and chest, but old and fat and NOT fighting so much as beating on an intractable obstacle. Time gets hazy when adrenaline gets involved, but I'd guess about a minute or so of this went by, an eternity in combat time. Not once did I strike back, just "chose full defense" as my maneuver round after round. Dad devolved into a blubbering wreck, still landing blows but faltering and shouting at ME to stop. I realized that he wasn't shouting at me at all. He didn't even know I was there anymore in a very real sense. All in a horrible second I SAW the violence handed to him in his childhood, and generations before, pouring out of him AT me, but not finding anywhere to go but back into him.
Now, sweet Discordia, here's a secret I need out for myself. For a moment I was beyond tempted to kill him as a weak thing, unworthy. For a moment that without God, as I had come to understand God, would have gone uncontested. Had that moment come even a few months earlier I just might have. He finally wore down entirely and was forced to lean forward, rope-a-doped and off balance. I could have done it "accidentally" in self defense, easy as pie. Instead I turned on that part of myself that still hated him and killed that. It was the hardest thing I ever did do, but I had to choose or die. My choice from then on was to leave all violence and coercive behavior behind me as well as I could. The course that choice ultimately set me on brought me here one day.
There's more, shit about my brothers mostly, but I can only bleed just so much in one go.
I'll carry On,
as I can