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 93: Write up the Rules of Your House

Living alone I don’t have any rules in my house. Things were very different when I had custody of my children.

Living alone I don’t have any rules in my house. Things were very different when I had custody of my children.

It’s been nearly two years since I have seen my children and they last lived with me. I am fairly liberal and did not have a lot of rules with them.

The main ones were that they had to put their clothes in the hamper when they were done with them. This was mainly at night before bed and in the morning with their pajamas. My oldest was nine at the time and I made him put his own clothes away.

I also set rules about putting things away when being done with them. This included toys, books, or taking something out of the refrigerator or pantry.

I also instilled general manners with them. I expected please and thank you among other generally general ideals.

Whenever they wanted to use something of someone else’s they were expected to ask that person if it was ok. If someone else wasn’t home they would either have to ask me or generally wait until that person would return before being able to use something that didn’t belong to them.

This taught them to respect other people’s belongings. My middle child is an instigator. She knows how to push people’s buttons, particularly her older brother. I would frequently have to reiterate to her to not take things without asking. This would also upset her younger sister as well.

I felt coerced into signing a custody agreement that felt like I was having most if not all my rights as parents taken away. Any rules, anything I taught my children, instilled in them and ideals and ethics I worked hard with them on would go by the wayside.

They were moving in with their mom and aunt, uncle and cousins. The previous post dealt with enemies or a nemesis. It was clear that I was that to their aunt and uncle fairly quickly into the relationship. Whatever rules we set with them as a couple and then on my own didn’t matter when their aunt, uncle, and cousins were around.

We, as well as our children, were expected to abide by rules of their aunt and uncle. It didn’t matter if we were at our house, their’s or somewhere neutral. My biggest fear of their life being controlled by their aunt and uncle has come to reality.

Prompt 90: What is Your Six Word Memoir?

I hope to write a memoir some day and frequently think of what my memoir will be called.

I hope to write a memoir some day and frequently think of what my memoir will be called.

I have come up with a few titles for one. The most prevalent of which would be “paralyzed“. It comes with a few meanings. The most personal is that anxiety has paralyzed me from doing many things.

I have come up with a few multi-word alternative titles for a memoir. The other two most prevalent that I have come up are “On the Outside Looking in” or “Looking for Life”. To come up with a six-word title we would combine the two into “On the Outside Looking for Life” 

Most of my life I have left like I am on the outside looking in. I rarely have felt part of a group. Even in my own family, I feel like the black sheep. I often feel misunderstood and rejected.

All I have ever wanted is to be an important part of a group or to someone. I thought that when I got married that would occur. My wife and I would be each other’s most Six-Word people and create a group in our family that would deeply care about each other and fit together.

It never seemed to happen. No matter how much I begged and pleaded and we discussed in therapy I was never her most important person. When we fought she would constantly say “my family”, “your family” I would respond that I cared most about our family.

I still hope to get married someday and be someone’s most important person and love of their life and they mine. Having my own family on a daily basis and being a raising a child as their primary parent is a dream that was taken from me by the courts.

I am still often Paralyzed by my thoughts, Looking for Life from the Outside In

Two Dreams

Growing up I had two dreams. The first was to be a sports broadcaster. The second was to be a husband and father.

Growing up I had two dreams. The first was to be a sports broadcaster. The second was to be a husband and father.

Being a sports broadcaster never materialized for a number of reasons. My sister was born two months before I turned 12.

I was mesmerized by her. I also have a brother was is 2.5 years younger than me. My brother was more into his legos and Star Wars action figures than he was into our sister.

My mom always said there were many more pictures of me holding her than there was of her. I am the golden grandchild on both sides of my family.

As the first-born, I was always around children younger than me. My Uncle always brought my cousins over on his weekends from the time I was 14. His kids are a daughter five and a half and a son eight years younger than me.

Although my relationship with the younger of the two has ebbed and flowed throughout out lives no one in my family has been there for me more through adversity than he has.

I can remember sitting with my sister and feeding her her bottles when she was a baby. I would walk her over to our neighbor’s house for playdates. They have an older child my age. Her half-sister from her father is my sister’s age. The older sister and I stayed friends for a long

The older sister and I stayed friends for a long time after that. I stood up for her in her wedding and held her two youngest sons at their bris’. We stay loosely in touch to this day.

All this time around children gave me great joy and taught me what a huge responsibility children are.

When my sister was two we moved from the home of my childhood three and a half miles away. Although the move was from one community to another and close by, it was a culture shock.

I grew up in a community that was predominately Jewish. I had one non-Jewish friend until sixth grade. I only had a handful of gentile friends when we moved. I had to adjust from a seventh grade class of nearly 300 that was 75-80 percent Jewish to an eighth grade class of 44 that had only five other Jews.

Spending time with my cousins and sister gave me a lot of confidence being around children. I remember going with mom and housekeeper to take my sister to her mom and tot class when she was two.

Many of the other children in her class we are still in touch with. Included among those was my mom’s nephew, his still closest friend, the neighbor we used to have the playdate with and a little boy who would eventually become my sister’s husband with who she now has three children.

Many of my friends were mesmerized by my sister. They liked taking her for walks in her walker inside and car outside. They would eventually go home and have the more traditional dream of being an athlete, astronaut, doctor of something professional.

Prompt 83: A Moment When You Wanted to Younger Than You Were

The moment I wanted to be younger than I am is less about age and more about being in a better place in my life.

The moment I wanted to be younger than I am is less about age and more about being in a better place in my life.

I’ve spoken extensively about my divorce and the ensuing custody battle I went through. I have often felt through my entire marriage and subsequent failure of it that I married the right person from the wrong family.

Those thoughts have subsided slightly as the more comes out, but I often wonder how much of the decision-making process is my ex and how much is her sister and brother-in-law.

The first year we were dating and then four years later when we had our first son through about six weeks before our second child a daughter was born was bumpy but still the best time in my life. It could have been any age.

I didn’t get married until later than most and had a child older than many people do. My ex used to call the times we would go out with just the two of us and our son. We called it a tridate. We didn’t have a ton of money. It was far more about the time spent together and where we went than what we were doing.

We would go downtown and find a place in an ethnic neighborhood that was reasonable to try. In the summer would attend festivals. It was everything I had spent 20-25 years dreaming about.

I had always wanted to have my own family and raise children with the woman I loved and chose to share my life with. Almost losing her first through an illness and later to her family and then divorce was devastating.

She was eventually laid off from her job 16 months before become sick. It was three days before we moved into a single family home after living in a townhouse for three and a half years. The layoff came less than two months before our daughter and a second child was born.

We received at the time what seemed like the shock of our lives when we became pregnant with twins about three months after child number two was born. We didn’t find out until ten weeks into the pregnancy.

My ex-went back to work three and half months after we had twins. A year to the date she became ill and it changed our life forever. We never got to be a family. I would like to go back to the time when we were a family. It’s something that will be lost forever and something I will likely never get to experience again.

Prompt 82: A moment when you wanted to be older than you were?

The old adage is that we all want to be older when we are growing up and younger once we get there.

The old adage is that we all want to be older when we are growing up and younger once we get there.

For most of my life, it wasn’t that I wanted to be older, it was wanting to get to a place in my life that I had dreamt of since I was 12. From the moment my parents brought my sister home from the hospital I knew I wanted to be a parent.

I am the oldest of four. I have a brother 2.5 years younger and my sister is nearly 12 years younger. I also have another brother who is nearly 17 years younger than I am.

Meeting a woman to spend my life with and having kids and raising them together is something I dreamt about over 20 years. I had to short relationships until I met the mother of my children when I was 33.

We dated for two years before marrying. I was able to slow down the process of having children. She wanted to start right away, I wanted to settle into our marriage. We had our first son nearly 2.5 years into our marriage and almost five years exactly after our first date.

She really wanted to start on number two about a year after our first. Our second child nearly was born nearly 3.5 years after our first. We then had the shock of our lives when we got pregnant less than three months after our second was born.

In retrospect I was I could freeze those years. We never really got to be a family. We had many obstacles. Through it all, I have learned to enjoy the time we are in as much as possible and not rush to the next stage of life. It’s made me focus on what is happening now. That can and has been both a curse and a blessing.

Prompt 76: Your Family has to enter the witness protection program. Pick your new names and fictional biological background. Is it a story everyone in the family will keep straight? Which family member is going to give you away?

One of the better and more interesting prompts thus far. Where would I even begin with this?

As a hope to write a memoir someday, I go back and forth in my mind whether or not to fictionalize everyone but me.

The names would likely be the easy part, the back story would require more creativity and imagination. One of my favorite movies in My Blue Heaven. My Blue Heaven stars Steve Martin as mobster Vinnie Antonelli who has to go into the Witness protection program.

He and his wife Linda are relocated to San Diego and given the names Terri and Todd. My Blue Heaven is loosely based on the same story Good Fellas is. The movie is about Vinnie adapting to his new life.

I would imagine that if my family and I were in the witness protection program the true backstory would be very different. Like Vinnie, I would love to move out west.

Our fictional backstory would be that we were transferred because of a new job. It would be interesting to determine if it would be better to own a small business or work for a corporation.

There are benefits and negatives in both situations. In which position would it be easier to protect one’s true identity? Where you grew up and moved from? If it was in a corporation how much information would human resources need?

For witness protection the stories like need to be as bland as possible. Coming from a midwestern city like St. Louis, Indianapolis or Milwaukee seems stereotypical Americana. What would happen if you met someone from the city you said you are from but never actually lived there?

Every city has things virtually everyone that has lived in that city knows about. That could be a thing that raises red flags. If the back story includes where we came from, that could include all sorts of others things to raise a red flag.

The names would be fun and interesting to pick. You would probably want them to be as different as possible from your own. I’ve always liked the name Aaron, but it’s somewhat close to my own.

When I was in college and afterward I would often think about what names I wanted to name my kids and what the name of the women I married would be. In high school, I actually remember telling my friends I would wind up being with someone named Stacy, Tracy or Lisa. I don’t remember why.

I had always wanted two boys and two girls. I often thought it must have been difficult for my sister to grow up with three brothers and no sister. When my ex and I were getting married she was excited to be getting a sister. She was not close with our brother’s wife and really wanted a female in our family in our generation she could be close with.

The names I would want for my ex would be Quinn. There are personal reasons for that. The names I would want for my kids would be Aaron, Alexis, Bryce, and Chelsea.

We knew someone named Aaron and didn’t want to name our child after him so that would be out. She didn’t like the name Bryce so that to would be out. I stopped likely Chelsea because I never liked the Clinton’s and we would also have to choose a name other than Alexis.

We had a name picked out for our oldest if he had been a girl. That wound up being one of our daughter’s middle name so that would have been out as well. My ex loved the name Rose. That could have been one of our daughter’s names.

The other three would have been difficult. Going through the Witness protection program, I would imagine names would be the least of someone’s problems.

The backstory would be far more important. My brother’s middle name is after my great-grandfather. I could always choose Nate as my name. Seems like a good old school name. Belle would be a good name for my second. My third child we just picked a random name. It was actually the same name as one of my’s relatives and grandson of the Doctor that delivered him.

I am sure whatever we chose would be a process or the government would choose for us.

The family member most likely to give us away would be our oldest daughter and second child. The other three are fairly good at keeping secrets. Whatever the reason would be to put us into the Witness Protection Program, our backstory and new names would hopefully have a lot more thought put into in that a blog post could ever do justice.