State Of The Bear – Special Post Visit Edition

I will use the words ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ this once. I will refer to that organization as a cult from this point onward.

I hate it when I know they are coming. I dread the day for weeks on end, if I even get that much notice that they are coming in the first place. They make me feel small and pathetic and worthless in front of my own child and even though I am positive that not ALL of it is intentional, there is no such thing as that much smug and holier-than-thou on accident.

They make my skin crawl, my spirit wither and my temper flare to places it should never go. Someone who is much smarter than I am told me I should write all of this down and get it all out and purge the whole thing from my system, so that is what I am going to do. All of it though, not just this weekend, all of the skeletons.

We wouldn’t have been screwed without them. I say that we would have a lot, but if I had gone back to work, then everything would have remained the same, and that is a good thing in this particular case. I would have worked there until they shut it down, and even that was six or seven years later. All those years without the guilt and the horror show.

I should back up I think.

It all goes back to them refusing to come to Naomi and I’s wedding. Stupid cult politics told them that it was wrong to go to the wedding because they had agreed to the cult publicly shunning their oldest child and only daughter. So they came the day beforehand and threw hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of things into the carts at Walmart and then promptly left without another word. They missed one of the happiest days of their daughter’s life because a cult told them that because she didn’t want to be part of the cult, then she was to be shunned, ignored, chastised and despised, publicly, if not privately. Remember that last part, it becomes the key here in a bit.

Almost exactly three months after we were married, my mother died. I will not unload that dumpster fire here, what matters is that when it happened, I lost it and had a complete breakdown. I spent weeks sitting in my bathtub because it was the only place I felt safe enough to take a deep breath. Now, I got time off and money because of things at work that allowed for that, but I couldn’t go back when they said I had to. I was a shell of a person and for someone who spent as much time in the bathtub as I did, I smelled like old worry and new fear.

Naomi was my everything during those weeks. She made sure I ate, made sure I slept, didn’t laugh at me for the half-dozen completely unnecessary visits to the Emergency Room I made because I was terrified I was about to die. She was, as she always was, my love and life and strength,

She came down to help Naomi more than to help us and while she was here, I was walking up the hill to Wegmans with her and this idea popped into my head, from a place I cannot fathom. Within hours we had decided that we would move our entire life to Quebec and abandon the very nice life we had literally just begun together.

Goddess, I hate the fact that there is so much about that place that I fell in love with. For a former catholic I got to see some of the greatest churches in Western Christendom, I saw the city of cities for Canada and I immersed myself, involuntarily mind you, in an entirely new culture and language. Montreal at night is one of the best places in the world that I have been to. There is nothing you can’t find if you know where to look and what to say in French to get there.

We moved in with them at first. We had nothing at all and Naomi was pregnant with middle duck at that point. What else could we have done?

One of the chief conditions of moving in with them is that we had to go to cult meetings with them. I swear on all I am, I didn’t know how bad they were before sitting down and listening to the nonsensical drivel that came out of these peoples mouths day after day after day. From scripture I literally knew in Latin and Greek being purposely mistranslated and misused to their horrific treatment of their own, and others, and pretty much everything that was in line perfectly.

I truly think if they hadn’t made me fucking shave every day I would have been far more open-minded than I was. Well, I wouldn’t have, but the humor never hurts right?

Let’s fast forward to that horrible day, almost five years ago now.

I called and I had to tell them she died. I had to maintain some form of sanity while I told them that their daughter was gone from the world. In shock, as one could imagine, they immediately got off the phone and headed down to see the boys and me.

Even that day, with their daughter gone but hours, they started it. The guilt, the shame, the looks. I thought they were manifestations of undeserved guilt that I had at first. No, no they were noticed by others that were here with us all. It grew and grew each time I saw them, each visit where they would take the Elder Duck and pretend my other two children, their own grandchildren, didn’t exist unless I was there with them at the time.

Money is how they say I love you. Wow, and did they say it a lot the first few years. Then it was narrow, like a laser beam and they would pump Elder Duck for information, prime him over and over with cult bullshit while dumping mountains of cash and presents on him under the thin guise of the spoiling grandparents. Then, just like that, they started coming once, if that, a year.

At first, I didn’t think anything of it, but I have had some conversations with Elder Duck and I am pretty sure it is because he has the audacity to talk about wanting to be things like an astrophysicist and explore the unknown of the Universe instead of walking behind them lockstep with the other cult members in a country he doesn’t live in.

Now, I have skipped a lot on purpose. I made the most relevant disclosures because everything would be counterproductive and take too damn long.

They make me feel like I killed their daughter.
They make me feel their other grandchildren are Other, Less.
They acknowledge to your face, deny later.

They are my In-laws and I hate them.

I AM That I AM

My entire life I have tried to be something else. I have wanted to escape into that alternate persona and, when I did, the plan was I could build who I wanted to be from there and abandon the abuse from my childhood and the stupidity of my teenage years. I needed to be someone other than I was. It was the only way I could escape from everything.

Then thirty years go by and here I am, the same person. Or am I?

I have been the Bear for as long as I can remember. My mom called me BooBear because, well, pain. I called myself the bear as soon as I gained the weight I lost doing drugs back. I have tattoos of me being the bear on me.

When I was today years old it occurred to me that the Bear is who I am. I am not the abused kid hiding from the social workers at Hart St. Elementary. I am not the heroin addict that sat under the bridge on Scio and died. I am not anything other than what I have been the entire time.

The Bear.

JameyBear. Your friend, your pal, the guy who would give you the skin off his body if you wanted it and batted your eyes pretty enough.

BrucleBear. I won’t get closer to having a daughter than her if you hurt her I will kill you in ways you don’t even have words to describe.

UncleBear. Advice is given for free with as much shoulder crying time as you need. I am told I give adequate hugs and no one can lift you up and spin you as I can. Bet on that.

MurderBear. Maybe don’t say anything bout my kids or my Tribe and you and I will never have to meet.

CreepyBear. I mean, we all have a side of ourselves that revels in things that perhaps it shouldn’t. I just happened to have it tattooed on me.

HippieBear. It doesn’t matter if it is crystals to align your soul or the stars to tell your future, I am willing to help you find a path to walk on if you want to find it.

HER Bear. Never doubt it, accept it. Move along and smile.

Infinite varieties. Infinite personas. All of them Mine, all of them Yours. All of them the one thing I have been looking for the entire time.

So all of these years as I was sitting there hoping to become a poet people would notice, an author that people would read, a storyteller people would follow, a father people would envy, a friend people wanted, a human being that does good for the sake of doing good, I was already those things, I just happened to call it the Bear.

Let’s Chat, Shall We?

There are a lot of buttons you can push on me and I will get angry nearly instantaneously. Some of them as trifling as whether the taste of one whiskey is better than the other. I know I need to work on this and I thank the people who bring it to my attention that I am being a pedantic asshole over things. I do.

Then there are the things that are fundamental to who I am as a human being. Those I can not let go.

Most days I would start this by apologizing in advance, trigger warnings, all sorts of things. No. Not now. If you are offended by the things I say and the ways in which I say them, that is on you to resolve, not me. It is not my, or any other human being’s job to control our language to spare your feelings, thoughts, and beliefs a little bump in the hallway.

That being said, let us get the things begun that I wish to begin, yes?

I am a polyamorous person. If you ignore the horrors of the root words incestuous Greek and Latin split root words, you will find it means many and love. In the modern context, it means a lot of things, but to me, it means that I am emotionally and physically capable and desirous of multiple romantic partners, not even necessary sexual mind you, remember that word, sexual, it becomes very important here in a little bit.

I am not greedy, overreaching, a manipulator, a cheater, or any combinations of synonyms that can be attributed to those things. I am OPEN and HONEST in my communication with the partners I have. I do not sneak off to places and have dirty little fucking secrets, literally or metaphorically in this case. The person I am seeing, if they have another partner, they know about me, they might not understand all of it, agree with all of it, or even participate in finding a secondary partner themselves, but they are aware of my existence and my relationship with their partner.

I will not get into the sociological aspect of it, I know I am not educated enough to do so. However, for you Jesus folk, come on over and sit with me a sec, let me tell you a thing.

I don’t care. I haven’t cared about the bible in more years than some of you have been alive and I sure as hell am not going to get lectured by someone who read a meme on a website and thinks they have the moral high ground.

I have already rid my immediate surroundings of most of you, but if I catch you speaking about my children again in any context I will happily go back to prison where I can read for the rest of my life knowing you won’t be able to spout bullshit like a fountain. So you close your mouth about what you don’t understand and I will turn my back and ignore the fact you exist.

NO, I am not saying polyamory is the ONLY way to go. The word CHOOSE is important here, isn’t it? If it is not for you, I will gladly respect that and wish you the best with your one, or even no partner. I am not “converting” people to my cause. I am trying to make people understand that it is MY choice, that’s all.

Let’s keep going, shall we?

You same people who spout on and on about Bible verses you think you know are the same people who tell me that my children wouldn’t have autism if I didn’t vaccinate them.

Of yes, you said precisely that.

Firstly, I will not listen to the “science” you have as it is not only wrong and easily refuted, it is dangerous and life-threatening. Secondly, you read a thing on a blog. Which, I am guessing is where YOU went to get the decade-plus of education that my son’s pediatrician did? You have seen life and death both in your multiple trips to Susan’s Facebook post?

Lastly…Oh yes lastly.

Your logic tells the world that you would rather have a child that is more likely to die incredibly young from preventable diseases than to have them be autistic. In other words, Autism is a fate worse than death in your opinion.

I am not the world’s best father. I know that. I have multiple weak points that I face EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I love my children more than anything, as a matter of fact, you probably love yours just as much.

The difference is that while I may have two autistic children, I do not see them as you do. I see a smile that will melt your frozen fucking heart in half and a little boy who can sing more gangster rap songs than I can. I see a boy who tries every day to do things doctors keep telling me he can’t and a little dude that loves hugging random people because he knows it makes them fucking happy.

So they should just be dead? They should have been allowed to contract the diseases you and your kind are allowing to come back after being ERADICATED in this country? I should have just, what, shipped them away and tried again? You ignorant and uppity fuck.

This concludes my motherfucking TED Talk.


Yeah, One Of These

Sometimes you need to leech the poison out…..

I do my best you know. I try the hardest I can on the days I have the ability to fucking try at all. I get up and Dad the best I can, even the days I want to hide under the blanket and pretend that I have no idea whose kids those are making all that noise. I get up and I come down here and try to be sociable, yes, at 3:30 in the fucking morning. What am I supposed to do, sit here like a rock and ignore the little dude who wants to sit in my lap, the middle guy laughing at the wonders of the world and the elder asking me questions he genuinely wants to know the answers to.

When they leave I come in and I cry, almost every day, at least for a minute or two. I cry because I am missing them already, I am in pain, I am sad because that is what I do or because I saw a cat that was homeless. It doesn’t take now, it never really has taken all that much at all.

I sit here and I message my people. I message them all in the same way, in the same order, with the same words, every single day because if I don’t have my routine I have nothing.

Then the day does what it does.

I don’t want sympathy, I am writing this because my brain told me I needed to and when my brain tells me to write something, I write it. I have no option in the matter. I am a slave to it and I will never not be and it is what has kept me around here long enough that you get to sit and read this thing.

I have written hundreds and hundreds of thousands of words. You have read some, a lot it may seem, but no.

The things I can’t write down, the things trapped in my head forever out of fear and shame, guilt and pain. I read them, in my head, behind my eyes, every single time I blink or try to sleep or tell myself the headache will go away soon because nothing can last that long, right?

I whine a lot to all of you. I call it all kinds of things, but let’s keep it real, I whine. I won’t promise to not do it, that is a lie, but I will at least own the word and try my best to mitigate the circumstances in which I do things.

Randomness Ensues

If you know me past a little bit, you know February is up there on my list of months that go can go fuck in a grease fire.

I miss all of you so much.


I Started, and Then, Well, I Stopped

There is nothing stupider in all of creation than a male-identifying human being over-complicating something as pure and wonderful as the emotion of love.

Two disclaimers before I begin in earnest well, not really earnest.

1. I say male-identifying because that is what I am and I can only speak for that which I know. To do otherwise is even stupider than what I am going to try and write about here in a minute.
2. Obviously these are my thoughts on the subject and your mileage, as with all things, may vary greatly from mine on the topic.

Now that we have those out of the way, I want to say what I think about love.

It is a thing I have thought about extensively for truly as I can remember having thoughts deeper than what was for dinner that night. I have been in love with love for just as long. Not the chemical part, although everyone enjoys that part. No, the theory and the philosophy of it. The romantic and platonic, the friend and the lover, the father and the son.

I believe that love is a flower with a million different blossoms and no one person sees them all and no one person sees any of them precisely the same as another does. We are as individual as the petals of each blossom and that is the simplest thing in the world for me to understand.

We cannot all be the same. We cannot feel the same things. What is the fucking point in feeling if it is the same thing over and over again? What are the point of beauty and love and all the beautiful things if we all see the same blue sky instead of a Starry Night? Heard a piano instead of Beethoven?

We are creatures that are shaped and molded by dead stars, evolved from a slimy scum on diseased water, possess what we believe to be the greatest machines in all of the universe in our brains and you want all of us to think, sound smell, laugh, cry and fuck the same?

No thank you.

I won’t try to explain what love is, even I am not that fucking conceited as to think I can explain a cornerstone of human civilization in a blog post I am only writing because I am very mad and thought writing about something nice would help calm me down.

In fact…

Just remind me to maybe do this another day…