Prompt 105: A time you’ve been ashamed of yourself

The time I was ashamed of myself was when I was arrested for trying to reason with a utility worker who came to my house.

One of our utilities was turned off. I thought my then wife had paid the bill and she thought I did. A woman came to our house to reinstate the utility. When she went to turn it back on, she said she was unable to do so.

I tried to reason with the woman. I closed the door to my house and asked the woman can’t we work this out. She called her dispatcher. I immediately opened the door and let her out.

I said some things I now regret. After calling her dispatcher, the police were notified. They came to my house and I was charged with keeping the woman against her will. The entire thing was 30 seconds.

It is something that changed the course of my life. My eventual conviction has kept me from finding work, played a major role in the end of my marriage and likely cost me custody of my children.

One 30 second mistake has influenced the remainder of my life. We all have things in our life we are embarrassed or ashamed of. Many or most don’t have to have it have a major impact on the rest of their life going forward.

I wish potential employers, romantic interests, and the court could look past my mistake. I regret it tremendously. I did not hurt anyone. I hope if someone commits the same mistake in the future they will not be judged as harshly as I was.

We often judge people based on a piece of paper. One action in our life should not define us as a person. We should be judged by the entire sum of our actions throughout our lifetime.

I hope that in the future this will be the case.

Prompt 104: Write about a Time a Parent Gave you Bad Advice

When I was a senior in high school I was going to a football game with my friend. Because the game was in the city my mom would not allow me to leave the house in shorts. The temperature that day was 75 degrees. 

When I was a senior in high school I was going to a football game with my friend. Because the game was in the city my mom would not allow me to leave the house in shorts. The temperature that day was 75 degrees.

My mom grew up in a very proper and well off family. My grandmother especially expected things to be done a certain way. We grew up a town over from where my mom did.

Her learned from my grandmother that when you go to the city you wear pants. This should not apply to a football game. To appease my mother I wore jeans. I either wore the shorts under the jeans or brought them with me in the car.

When I got to my friend’s house to pick him up I shed the jeans. The high temperature that day was 75 degrees. It felt much warmer. From that day forward I never wore pants on a hot day again.

There are many times when we should listen to our parents. The way we dress when we get to a certain age should not be one of them. The game was played the day before I turned 18.

My children are currently much younger than that. I would always let them pick out what they wear. I would hold veto power and still let them choose the alternate outfit. Sometimes I would have to lay out two outfits and make them pick.

One of my daughters is very strong willed and stubborn. She likes to wear dresses but refused to wear skirts. I learned quickly as a mostly single father that it was not worth it to argue over that. What was most important is that still is comfortable.

As long as my children look somewhat presentable I work with them on what to wear.

Prompt 101: You get three do-overs what would they be?

I tend to be a very reflective person that is often full of regret. 
Having gone through a vicious divorce I could say I regret the relationship. What I truly wish I could do over wa how the relationship evolved.
I’ve frequently discussed my dream of getting married, having children and raising a family together. All those dreams were realized. 

What we didn’t no how to do was co-exist in a relationship. Having a do-over and truly lending what made each other happy to thrive in our marriage is something I think about almost everyday. Our children have spent a good portion of their lives going through hell. 

Both families were far too involved in our marriage. I begged her to move to another state. It would preferably been Florida or Arizona. We had family and friends in each state. My do-over would be to go some place to live and focus on the family we created.

It never seemed to be about that though. She said she couldn’t do that to her sister, mother and friends. Like in that order. Sadly it felt like being married to dozens of people and lot just one. I would have done more to make her happy an try and put her first. Hopefully that would have made our relationship better. 

My second do over would be when I volunteered at the World Cup soccer in 1994. I was fortunate enough to volunteer on the field for the opening ceremonies and first game. 

I worked in the office for two months prior to everything opening up. I was asked to be the volunteer coordinator. I was nervous I’d screw up and never get another chance at something like that. 

In reality the opposite happened. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity succeed or fail. Had I done well my entire career and subsequently my life might have gone in another direction. 

As it was I had a great experience, but nothing that led to anything that gave me opportunities I hoped to get as a result of volunteering. 

My final do-over would be when I got in some trouble over a quarrel with a utility worker. I said something I regret did something I should not have done that will impact me the rest of my life. 

It did not involve any physical harm but it is not something I am proud of. I feel very misinderood over what happens and wish I could change my actions. It’s something that will always follow me and not something I can presently change. 

Prompt 99: What you know of your family’s history all told, is it a gift to you or a curse? Defend your arguments.

Prompt 99: What you know of your family’s history all told, is it a gift to you or a curse? Defend your arguments.

Beyond my Grandparents, I do not know much about my family’s history. Living in my father’s shadow has been a gift and a curse.

My father has been successful throughout his life. He is a highly accomplished athlete and was very successful for over 30 years in finance.

My mother always said that he did everything he could to shield us from competition. It was still difficult growing wanting to be as successful as he was. I wanted to reach the things he did or at least the goals I had set for myself.

My parents have been married for 52 years. I have dreamt almost my entire life of getting married and raising a family with a woman I could be close with. Someone to share ideals, ethics, a mutual physical and emotional relationship.,

I knew from a young age what I wanted to do for a career. My career never materialized. My father wanted me to go into finance like he did. One of my brothers did and is doing very well. I tried but it felt like I did have the right mind for it.

Although my father did what he could to steer us away from certain things, he is also very judgemental. He has certain ideas about how people should live life. He often does not understand people who are not like him.

He is extroverted, assertive and athletic. Anyone that is more introverted, not as athletic and that might struggle with physical or mental impairments he doesn’t seem to relate to.

I was diagnosed with dyslexia at a fairly young age. I learned I had ADHD soon after finishing college and anxiety and depression much later. My father would call me sweetness growing up in a sarcastic nod to my fluctuating moods. My mother would call me a martyr or tell me I was saying woe as me. In actuality, it was me dealing with my depression and anxiety.

Almost everything in life internally has been difficult for me. I have struggled with the issues mentioned above. Those have hindered me in almost every way. I have struggled with work and relationships.

I have held three or four jobs for two years or more since being finished with college. Others ones have often not worked out. Dating is a frequent struggled. My marriage was a constant battle.

Dating is a frequent struggle. My marriage was a constant battle. We dated for two years before getting married. We were married nine and a half years when she filed for divorce. The longest relationship I was in other than with her was two and half months.

Since she filed for separation nearly five years ago the most I have been out with one woman was four times in a three-month span.

My entire family beyond my father and siblings are high achievers. It feels like I have to expend a lot of energy just to get through a day. My sister told me that everyone goes through depression and I just have to get through it.

On the whole, because of my family’s lack of understanding me and their level of achievement versus my lack of it, my family’s history and success are more of a curse than a gift.

 

 

Prompt 97: Write the First Line of your memoir

Writing a memoir is something that I will do someday. The first line of my memoir is “It had already been long and difficult summer. We had hoped the worst was behind us.”

Writing a memoir is something that I will do someday. The first line of my memoir is “It had already been long and difficult summer. We had hoped the worst was behind us.”

It was a crazy summer. We had dealt with a frequent turnover of the nannies from our children, a flood, issues and misunderstandings with bills and four days without electricity.

We thought the worst was behind us. We finally had about a month of tranquility from the end of July through the fourth week of August. Things finally seemed to be getting back to normal as school began.

The day before the school year began, my wife got sick. She spent nearly seven hours in the ER with the doctors trying to figure out what was wrong. They gave her a pain killer, I drove her home and everything seemed to be ok.

The next day as school began she had severe nausea and had to go to the nurse’s office at school. I later took her to the doctor. They sent her back to the ER of a different hospital.

That afternoon they admitted her to the hospital. She would stay for four days before being released. He stint at home would last about 12 hours before she was readmitted.

Less than 48 hours later she became paralyzed because of a misdiagnosis from an illness. It was the most devastating that I have ever dealt with. Her life and the life of our children were going to be changed forever.

There was a lot to consider and ponder in the short term and long term. So many questions to be asked and answered.

Unfortunately, things turned into a power struggle more than what was in her best interests or the interests of our children. Her family ultimately won out in every way.

I cannot say that I was surprised. Her devotion was frequently much greater to everyone in her life than it was to me.

Prompt 96: What is the Mental Health Diagnosis you worry about most? Why?

The mental health diagnosis I worry about most was when the custody evaluator ruled that my alleged impulsiveness was a hindrance to being able to be a better parent than my ex who is paralyzed.

The mental health diagnosis I worry about most was when the custody evaluator ruled that my alleged impulsiveness was a hindrance to being able to be a better parent than my ex who is paralyzed.

Because she cannot take care of herself, my friends, family, and acquaintances all thought I did not have to worry about maintaining custody. The only mental health diagnosis I worry about beyond that is anything relating to dementia. Losing the ability to think and take care of oneself would crush all independence.

Having to go through a mental health examine and have everything about the person you are can be a devastating experience. Everything I did, everything that makes me the person I am, my general being was dissected and evaluated, likely multiple times.

At the end losing custody of my children was devastating. If it had truly been to their mother that would have been easier to digest and understand. The reality is that she is not the one that is their caretaker and logistical parent.

They live with my ex-sister-in-law, her husband, and two sons. My attorney tried to get them to have to take a psychological evaluation but the judge refused.

Her brother in law admitted under oath during a deposition that he assaulted me. My own attorneys told me not to go to the police as it could jeopardize everything. In the end, I have lost almost everything anyways.

Someone very close to the case said that her sister is the most conniving and controlling person that they had ever seen. This testimony couldn’t be used as it would violate ethical codes of the law.

Going through the process of being evaluated took two years. It took almost three years for me to lose custody of my children from the time my ex filed for divorce to losing my children.

It was something I had thought about every day during that time. Other than a diagnosis of dementia I cannot imagine worrying about a mental health diagnosis any more than I did losing custody of my children. It is the most devastating “diagnosis” I have had in my life.

 

Prompt 94: What’s the Most Consequential Act of Your Life? Good or Bad?

The most consequential act of my life was the moment I sent an instant message to my ex-wife. It was mostly good.

The most consequential act of my life was the moment I sent an instant message to my ex-wife. It was mostly good.

Being with her gave me “the best day(s) of our life”. The best and some of the worst days of my life were being with her. When we were alone its was usually the best. When everyone else got involved is when things were difficult.

What could have been a very inconsequential act and one that would have very easily been long forgotten is one I will always remember. I sat at the computer with my IM box open. I kept going back and forth in my mind whether or not to send her the message.

I had been online dating for about five years. I had been on AOL in the chat rooms and iming women for about seven. We even used AOL and some of the dating sites to find people for our soccer team.

As I contemplated sending the message, I thought about my past successes and failures. Three of my good friends at the time I had met on AOL. Another friend I had met on a dating site.

We have big decisions throughout our lives. Sometimes a small one can change the course of our lives. I finally sent an IM and we messaged that night. About two weeks later we went out for the first time.

We would date for two years and got engaged on our second anniversary. Less than five months later we got married. We had actually basically been engaged for about five or six months by the time I made it official and put a ring on her finger.

The only people who knew were the temple, my mom, and my aunt. My aunt is a professional wedding planner and planned the wedding, my mom helped me with the ring and we had to reserve a date at the temple.

I often think I married the right person from the wrong family. On our second date, she told me her family was in her words “dysfunction junction”. Little did I know just how dysfunctional they were.

There was a woman I was pursuing for nearly two years when I met her. The other woman came from a much more stable family and I often wonder how much different my life would have been.

When I was dating my ex I was never really sure if she was “the one”. What I did know is that I cared about her more than anyone else I had dated. I had gone out with some women after a few dates and then not pursued things.

While I never wanted to hurt any women, with her it was much different. The thought of hurting her was much greater than it was with anyone else.

Sending that instant message changed my life forever. I sent me on the path or getting married, having children with her, having to deal with a life-altering illness she had and her filing for divorce.

As with most people who have been married and specifically those that have been through illness and or divorce, that consequential act of sending the instant message was both good and bad.

Being with her was everything I dreamed of. Unfortunately, the dream turned into a nightmare she gained custody of our children in spite of not being able to take care of them. It had been two years and I haven’t seen them.

What began with love, promise and hope has turned into devastation, loneliness and often despair. As an I near a milestone birthday I search for new ways to define myself and the newest most consequential act of my life.