Prompt 115: You Awake in Your Childhood bed. You just had a nightmare. What did you dream about?

Prompt 115: You Awake in Your Childhood bed. You just had a nightmare. What did you dream about?

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I have generally had a hard time dealing with abstract thoughts. I deal much better in reality. The second of my four divorce attorneys told me I was living a nightmare.

Little did he know how much worse it could get. At the time I lost him I still had custody of my children. Losing them was devastating. I often have dreams about my in-laws. They have destroyed me. Life could certainly become much worse than it is now. I feel like I am living a nightmare.

In many ways, my life is a nightmare. It’s hard to imagine waking up in my childhood bed and it being a nightmare. If we are only talking in terms of the bed specifically I would not want to wake in my childhood bed versus the bed I sleep in now.

I presently sleep in a queen size bed. My childhood bed was a trundle twin bed. Other than my last year of college I slept in a twin bed until I was 29. I can’t imagine having to go back to sleeping in a twin bed.

I was a very heavy sleeper as a child. I can’t visualize nightmares that I had. I remember one storm we had. My bedroom overlooked the patio in the backyard. I looked out in the morning after sleeping through the night and all the patio furniture was strewn all over the place. It’s amazing I did not wake up.

Things that would have kept me up at night as a child was anything that involved being assertive. Stepping out of my comfort zone heightens my anxiety. That remains true today.

Although I had a good childhood a lot of my thoughts from then have faded. I can remember being teased often by schoolmates.

I was told my epidermis is showing, pushed to do things I that made me look and feel foolish and generally felt like an outsider. Having to wake up in my childhood bed and going through that would ultimately be what would cause a nightmare in my childhood bed.

There are some events from my childhood I would love to relive. On the whole, I don’t want to go back there.

One of the biggest things I am proud of is going rappelling off a 100-foot cliff in Israel. It was totally out of character. I was then and still am afraid of heights.

 

Prompt 113: Write the jacket copy (brief cover description) for your memoir

Prompt 113: Write the jacket copy (brief cover description) for your memoir. I specifically bought 642 Things to Write about Me with a memoir in Mind. The exercises regarding memoirs I have either written already or thought about them extensively.

I specifically bought 642 Things to Write about Me with a memoir in Mind. The exercises regarding memoirs I have either written already or thought about them extensively.

I have written three chapters of a memoir thus far. I have published a synopsis of what my life has been like and partially how I got to where I am now on the website Wattpad. The title of my memoir would be Paralyzed.

That describes the paralysis that my ex-has and what having anxiety does to me. I often feel paralyzed in my thought and actions. Almost frozen and frequently numb.

The summary I wrote for my memoir on Wattpad is:

“My life the last seven (now eight) years have been almost too dramatic to be believed. It began on Father’s day 2009 when we brought our second child and oldest daughter home from the hospital. The following Mother’s day we were back having twins. Fifteen months later my wife became a quadriplegic. She filed for divorce 11 months after that. In May 2015 she gained custody of our four children.

Things were not always easy in our marriage. We had two families for the most part that didn’t like each other. We both came from big families. There were people who were very controlling on both sides.

All I ever wanted from her was for our family to matter the most. When we would fight she would almost always say my family, your family. I responded all I cared about was our family.

I went to see her at the hospital six to seven days per week at the hospital for months. I thought by doing that and being there for her I could show her how much I really loved her.

It never seemed to matter. Her friends and family of origin seemed to matter more. She often crushed my dreams on a daily basis.

More of the jacket copy will someday potentially include how controlling her sister was. Certain things that were said to me by my ex, her family, and my family.

There are many complicated layers to the story. A publishing company may or may not want to include that. It’s a story that needs to be told. Divorce is a devastating thing that tears families apart.

Sadly the family we created was being torn apart long before the divorce.

Prompt 112: That Time you Ran Away From Home

Prompt 112: That Time you Ran Away From Home. I only remember running away from home once. I went to my grandparents.

I only remember running away from home once. I went to my grandparents.

I don’t even remember why I ran away from home. It likely had something to do with my father. He was never really compassionate with me. He seemed to be troubled by and never understood me I after I turned 13.

My mom was compassionate with me until the last few years. Both of my grandfathers were very compassionate. My grandmothers far less so. In their generation that completely bucked the stereotype. It was my maternal grandparent’s house I went to. They lived about 15 minutes away from me.

I was fairly close with my grandparents until I reached adulthood. I kept more to myself and my friends as an adult. This one particular night I relied on them. I don’t remember much.

It might have been news years night.  I remember watching football in their living room. My dad and grandfather had a cordial relationship. Underneath that, it seemed as if they didn’t like each other much. The tolerated each other and were cordial for the sake of my mom.

I wish I could remember more about that night. There were times my grandfather seemed to understand me more than my father. The running away was most likely due to a disagreement with my father.

My mom used to be my biggest supporter. No one seemed to understand me more than she did. She is incredibly smart and definitely got that intelligence from my grandfather. They are both Northwestern graduates.

Neither of my grandmothers graduated from college. My paternal grandfather was an attorney.

There were many times I wanted to run away. Even now life seems like it could be better if I could start over somewhere else. I would love to be able to do an American version of Eat, Pray, Love combined with Wild.

It would be more like Eat, Love, Wild. I love cooking and trying different cuisines from a multitude of ethnicities. Cooking soothes me. Religion has become less important to me. I felt deserted religiously. It’s interesting to explore different kinds of spirituality. I will always hope to find love.

If we have nothing keeping us in one place being able to explore and get out of ourselves can help us learn more about ourselves. In the last couple of years, I have thought about that a lot. The ability to move somewhere else or travel and explore life, get out of myself and look deep into myself is appealing. In a way that’s running away and leaving the place that has been home for most of my life.

The ability to move somewhere else or travel and explore life, get out of myself and look deep into myself is appealing. In a way that’s running away and leaving the place that has been home for most of my life.

 

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.