Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day Labor.....a traumatized friend....and a new name?

It's been a few days since I posted. 

A lot has gone on in those few days.

Since I last posted, I've gone out to pick up and fill out applications for jobs, and then, 2 days ago, well, 3 now, I went to one of the day labor places in Tallahassee. Day labor, for those not familiar, is where you go and sign up, really just fill out what is just like a normal job application, and then you sit and wait to see if they find an assignment for you to perform as your "job" for that day. They provide laborers to construction companies mostly, for cleanup purposes and other types of work that don't require a "skill", just an able body. However, ANY business or company can and often does give them a call asking for workers to assist them in various tasks like putting up large tents, or moving furniture. If and when you, the "worker", get assigned one of the jobs, and you go out and perform it, you then return to the day labor office at the end of the day, and you receive a check for the wages you earned on that job. Daily work, daily pay. It's a great opportunity to make money when you have yet to acquire a "regular" job, and there are people that more or less use them as their full time job, either because they are not able to find a job elsewhere, or, they like to have the opportunity to choose which days they will work. That's one thing about day labor, there's no one telling you that you HAVE to show up every single day, the basic premise is, if you want to work that day, you show up, and wait to see if a customer calls with work to do. Some days you get sent out, some days you don't. It just depends on what calls come in that day.

A great majority of the workers that come in every day looking for work are those who are VERY poor, many even are homeless, and living in the local shelter. They have almost nothing in the way of material possessions, I have seen several that have everything they own in a locker in the day labor office. They have no storage space at the shelter, and even if they did, the likelihood of their meager possessions being stolen is very high. So, it seems that since the day labor office provides them with lockers, they choose to keep most if not all of what they own there in those lockers. I have to tell you, while this is not the first time I have seen the life of someone so poor up close, I have seen a few things in these last 3 days that really show how good the rest of us have it. It's easy to take for granted having a place to live, and food to eat, but for some of the people I've seen there, things go BEYOND breaking it down in such simple terms. 

I talked to one man on my second day there, while waiting to receive an assignment (I didn't get one the first day) who appeared to be a little better off, I mean, HE at least owned a car. The advantage to that at the day labor office is that those who own vehicles are assigned jobs first, and while a first come first "served" system would seem to be more fair, it's done that way presumably because they who own a car are also able to transport those workers who do NOT own a car along with themselves. That's also probably why I was assigned a job on my second day there, because I too own a car. I was told by the man I just mentioned that it normally takes about 2 weeks before they send a person out, apparently it gives them time to get to know you, and to see that you WANT to work, and are not just there to have somewhere to go after you leave the shelter in the morning. I'm sure some people do just that, because when I was called to the window and offered my assignment, the first thing they asked me was "Do you want to work?"

That caught me by surprise for a second, because I figured that that was the whole reason anyone would come in at 6 in the morning and sign in. Apparently that's not the case. Anyway, back to the man I mentioned earlier. I had walked outside to have a smoke, and his car was parked next to mine in the parking lot. He was reaching in his car for something, and when I approached with my lit cigarette, he turned and asked me if I had one I could spare. I didn't give it a second thought, and gave him one, as I usually do if someone asks me for a smoke. But then he did something I did NOT expect. He offered me a package of crackers, while asking me if I had eaten that morning. I said something to the effect of "No, but I don't usually eat in the mornings", because I don't. I rarely eat breakfast, I may eat a bagel or something small, but usually it's nothing at all. However, right away I could tell he was offering it to me as a trade for the cigarette. And not from anything he said, it was just a feeling I got, because let's face it, if all you have in the world is in your car, and you are around a lot of guys who are just as bad off as you are, or worse, it stands to reason that in order to survive, you trade for your needed resources on a regular basis. But the fact that he offered me the crackers, and then to top it off, a few moments later, a package of stuffed peppers, really struck a chord in me. This man was obviously either living out of his car, or perhaps staying at the shelter at night, who knows, but he offered me some of his food, maybe something he was saving to eat later himself, just because I gave him a cigarette. But here's the kicker. Right about that time, after I politely declined the peppers, after all, I DID have food at home, he was called into the office for an assignment, and left the peppers on the roof of his car while he went in to get the work order. I'm not sure what made me do it, curiosity I guess, but I decided to check the expiration date on them (they were in a package you typically buy in a grocery store deli). What I saw shocked me. They were expired, by a full 5 MONTHS!

Most people wouldn't eat something that was expired at all, if only for a few DAYS, but here was a man that was willing to eat food that was so far expired that it had to be close to "science experiment" territory, if not already fully there. Later on, I checked the date on the crackers he gave me, and those had been expired for 2 months. There was no way that either of those items could be considered suitable for consumption, and were most likely even dangerous to eat, perhaps even fatally so. That really showed me how desperate a person's situation can get. How would your standards, of what is fit to eat and what is not, change if you were in his shoes? Do you think YOU could eat expired food?

I have always been aware of people who are homeless and hungry, like everyone else, we hear about it on the news all the time. But how many of us can say we have seen it firsthand, and spoken with someone who was in that situation? I can. And I can tell you, it puts a lot in perspective. 

There's that word again. Perspective. I have written about it before, I've said, "it's all in how you look at things". "You can be having the worst day of your life, but if you don't see it that way, then it's NOT", I said. But what if every day of your life is a literal fight for survival, so much so that you would eat food that has been expired for 5 months? What kind of perspective does it take to get to the point when you will do that? I have never been to that point, so I don't know, but I can tell you this. If I were, nothing else would matter. Nothing. Every day when you wake up, your only goal is to find a way to eat, and to find someplace to sleep. That's it. None of the "normal" worries of everyday life that we all take for granted are even a factor. Trivial things don't exist. You don't care about what car you're driving, because you probably don't have one. You don't care if the clothes you're wearing are out of style, you're just happy to have something to keep you warm. You don't care if someone thinks you are fat, or skinny, all you want to do is get through one more day without starving or sleeping out in the cold and rain. Nothing else matters.

I'm glad I have had the chance to see that situation up close and personal, without having to go through it myself. I am grateful to have a roof over my head, and food in my stomach. I look forward to working each day, no matter how hard the work is, and how exhausted I am when I get home, because I HAVE a home to come to. It could be so much worse. 

The job I was assigned these last 2 days was to move some furniture and other stored items from one building to another in an apartment complex.. I got up both mornings really motivated to go and do whatever work they had for me to do, which is a change in a way. This motivation is to strictly focus on working, earning money, and leave all other considerations aside. Before, when I had a job, even at Walmart, which I really enjoyed doing, I didn't have the same motivation. It's hard to explain, because it would seem like that is the only reason people HAVE a job to begin with is to make money. I guess the difference is that I have always tried to find a job that I enjoyed doing, something that made me feel like I accomplished something, or even that I was doing something that helped people. I wanted to have a sense of joy in my work, and would not be motivated to do a job I saw as "beneath" me, or one I did not enjoy doing. The fact is, especially in today's economy and job market, those are luxuries most of us cannot afford. If a job is offered, no matter what it is, it's best to take it. Because there aren't enough to go around. 

I have had quite a few jobs in my life, and I'm sorry to say I have been, in the past, fired or laid off from several of them strictly due to a lack of motivation. A lot of it had to do with my alcohol abuse that was rampant in my 20's and 30's, as it caused me to oversleep on countless occasions, and to call out sick when I was merely hung over. But a great majority of the time, the reason I did not have the motivation to go to work was because I was more focused on how "horrible" the job was, rather than the fact that without the job, there would be no money. And money is the only real reason people go to work, well, most of us anyway. So now, it's my only motivation. Whether I enjoy it or not, or if it gives me satisfaction, or any other emotional considerations are no longer a factor.

This is probably the longest post I have ever written, and it's not over. But I have my reasons. I applaud you if you have read this far down into the post, as I myself have found some of my writing to be exceedingly tedious and repetitious at times lol.......but now, for the second part of today's story.......  

I have a friend who just the other day had something happen to her that one would usually see on television on an episode of "Fringe" perhaps, certainly the stuff of science fiction normally, but for her, it was reality. She woke up and had forgotten the last 15 years of her life. This means she did not know where she was, because she and her husband had moved during that time frame. She had no idea who her own children were, as they were all born during the time period she had forgotten. She could not remember who some of her relatives were (those that married into the family during the 15 years she couldn't remember), the fact that she was active in a local church, and had no idea how to use her laptop, which prior to her memory loss was something that rarely left her side. She has friends she met in that 15 year span, myself included, and some very close friends that she met in that time frame, that she does not remember.

How would YOU feel if you woke up one day and had seemingly jumped forward in time 15 years, and you didn't recognize most of the people in your life, or much of anything around you? How would that affect you?

Again, it's a matter of your own personal perspective and perceptions, but there's nothing that can prepare someone for a situation like that. Nothing. Retrograde amnesia, in my opinion, is probably one of the most frightening things a person could ever experience. I can't even imagine what she's going through, the enormity of it is overwhelming. Luckily she has a great family that has rallied around her, and, she is a longtime friend of Bella's, they've known each other for 27 years, so she still remembered her. They've been talking a lot these past few days, which is hopefully bringing her some sense of normalcy in what has got to be one of the most chaotic situation a person can ever be in. I have chatted with her myself on Yahoo messenger twice since it happened, and she's told me how scary and confusing it's been, and she told me this even though, from her perspective, I am a total stranger. 

She is a wonderful person, I love her dearly. I pray that she is able to regain her memory soon, and hope that you all will keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

If you would like more information on her situation, Bella has written a much more detailed post about what happened, on her blog, Memoirs of a Crazy Witch.

In closing this post I would just like to say thank you, for taking the time to read about my ever changing perspective on life. I'm even considering changing the name of my blog from "Perthro's Pronouncements" to "Perth's Perspective", because I think it's more apt. What do you think?

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Breast Cancer Walk.....and the start of a new week

Hello folks, nice to see you again.

Today I went to a local Breast Cancer Walk with Bella and Jack and Alex. There were 6, 000 people that came and walked a 5 km course to raise money for breast cancer research. It was really fun, they had 3 hours of entertainment before the walk actually started, and it was a gorgeous day. I had never done anything like that before, but I can truly say I'd love to do it again.

Bella still has her walking boot, but she walked the entire course, basically an hour's walk, with no problem. I'm so proud of her. She said before we went that if she made it through the walk with no issues, that she'd definitely want to start walking again on a daily basis like she did before. Just check out her blog, Memoirs of a Crazy Witch, and read some of her posts from about this time last year, and you'll see what I mean.

The other thing I wanted to talk about is the upcoming week. I've been in Florida for almost a month now, and it's time I got a job and got my life started. Tomorrow morning I'm going out to get some applications, and to talk to some people about jobs. I can't wait to get working again. I had been at Walmart for a year and a half, with no vacation, so having a month off has been nice, but it's time to get back to work.

I'm getting restless. I want my own place, I want to start living like everyone else. I have lived with other people for a long time now, but I want MY house, with MY stuff in it, where I can invite MY friends to come over and hang out. I want to be able to leave my job at night (or in the morning, depending on the shift I'm working lol) and come home to MY house.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't like where I am. It's absolutely wonderful here with Bella, I could not be happier that she and Jack opened up their home to me, and gave me a chance to come back to Florida. But they have their own life, and me being here, whether they say it or not, has disrupted that life. I'm one extra mouth to feed, one extra body using up the utilities, a bed, and just taking up space in general lol. While they are more than happy to have me here, the fact is, I am an able bodied adult, one who should have a home of his own.

So this next week is going to be a busy one for me. Jobs don't come easy these days. I am going to have to put forth a lot of effort to find one soon.

My vacation is over, time to get back to work!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The date, and some thinking.......

Hello and good morning folks, how's your day going?

Yesterday was a busy day for me. The date went well, at least I think it did. We walked around the mall a little, talked, and then went to this store she liked that I can only describe as the craftiest craft store on the planet. This place had everything you can possibly imagine for any type of craft you might want to do. She had been there before, so she knew exactly what she was looking for, and found it. Soap making kits. I have only seen those in one other craft store I have been to, so I'd say that means that this store had everything. Wood working stuff, felt, fabric, I mean everything. So that was fun, to just wander around looking at what they had. Then, we went to see "The Thing", at the movie theater across the street from the craft store. It was a good movie, and the special effects were very good. I always love a movie with good special effects, no matter what the movie is about. 

Anyway, after the movie she had to go home, so I took her home and met her family. I met her parents, her brother, and not only her children, but her sister and her brother's kids too. She lives close to an hour away from where I do, so the drive home was pretty long, and I had time to do some thinking.

For the first time in my life, I really feel like I am alone. Not in a bad way, I mean being on my own. I have the freedom to do whatever I wish, and for someone who has not had that, ever, it's a pretty sobering thought. I knew when I got down here that it would be a new life, but I didn't envision it like THIS. No one tells me I HAVE to do certain things at certain times, no one argues with me, no one is constantly in my face telling me I have to think a certain way, or do things a certain way. But there's more to it than that, and this is the part that I did not foresee. 

I myself have changed. In Tennessee, I was living with friends, just as I am now. But up there, it just seemed like I didn't have the freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted, and I realize now it was because of the way I approached it. I could have gone out and done lots of things, but I didn't. I still had the shrew in mind, what she would think of whatever it was I was doing, and I was afraid of her coming and doing something to me. She only lived an hour down the road, making it seem like she was next door or something, at least in my mind. Now however, I feel like I have broken away, and even though I am still living with friends, I realize now what it means to be on my own. You can be living with someone and still be on your own. They have their own things to do, their own daily schedule, which has nothing to do with me, nor is it affected by anything I do. I truly have the freedom to do whatever I wish, as long as it does NOT impinge on something that they want to do. Which is pretty easy to accomplish. 

Bella has made me feel more at home here than I have felt most anywhere else I have ever lived. But at the same time, she has shown me what it means to have total control over my own life, and it's nice. A little strange for someone who has not had it in ANY of the 40 years I've been alive. I am really looking forward to having my own place now, for as sad as it sounds, most of my life I was deathly afraid of being "alone", and it stopped me from doing everything required to become independent. 

Being alone is not what I thought. I thought it meant not having anyone that cared about me, not having anyone to come home to. But it's not. It means having your own agenda, your own desires and feelings, and being your own person, separate from everyone else. It's a mental thought process like anything else. You can get wrapped up in emotions, and think things are about who cares about you and who doesn't, but in reality, none of that matters if you are your own person. There's nothing wrong with not having anyone to call "your own", that one person who cares about YOU more than anyone else in their lives. It's ok to be alone, because in truth, every single one of us IS alone, we are all unique individuals, and no one else perceives things like we do.

If you've read any of my earlier posts, you can see that even though I left her close to 2 years ago, and I was not dealing with her directly, I still had the same thought process, the one that says I HAVE to have someone else's approval, I HAVE to have that person who cares about me, or I am "alone". I thought more with her "brain" than I thought with mine. What I didn't see was that it was much more than just thinking with her brain. It was an emotional thing, wanting to have someone that cared about me and only me, and I was willing to put up with all kinds of torture just to have that feeling. The emotional thinking makes being alone feel like you're on an island by yourself, with no one that cares, and the fear of that happening takes away all of your individuality. But being alone is a natural thing, not emotional, everyone IS their own island, and it's not a bad thing at all.

A lifetime of emotional thinking takes a while to retrain. It's happening slowly, but I think yesterday I took a big step in the right direction.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Another date tomorrow.....and lessons learned

Hello folks, how's it going today?

I've got another date tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to seeing her again, we're going to walk around in the local mall, just be together, and talk. It never occurred to me before how long it takes to really get to know someone. But then again, I've never really dated before, so it's all pretty new lol.

One thing I know for sure. We are both taking things very slowly. I think it's the best way to go about it, especially since what both of us have been through in our lives. Relationships, romantic ones in particular, are all unique, because every person is unique. No one relationship is like any other, and when the right person comes along, even if you "know" right away that they are the "One", it still takes time to learn who that person really is, and whether or not you match up well. I've had a few relationships that on the surface seemed wonderful, we had a lot of the same likes and dislikes, we had a great rapport, but, in the end, there was always something missing. That something was the love of who the person really was on the inside, past all the superficial things, and none of those relationships lasted more than a few months. So, I changed my strategy, and now I strive to get to know the person for who they are, before I go nuts over them because of things that in reality don't make for a relationship.

First that means starting out as friends. That's what she and I are now, mainly just friends, but there is a real sense that we can and will be something more as our relationship progresses, we have a goal of sorts, but we are not forcing anything, we're taking it nice and slow, and seeing if we "gel". I like that.

We'll talk a lot tomorrow, find out more about each other, and who knows? Maybe we'll find out we like each other all the more.

In other news, I learned a lesson of sorts in the last few days. A lesson in timing, and dealing with new challenges. I had this idea that coming down here would make my life so easy, and that I would not have any more challenges to overcome. Not everyday life challenges mind you, with things that involve making a living, and how things happen when you start a new life in a new state. No, what I'm talking about are challenges of a more personal nature. 

I thought that being here, and having the freedom to be myself, that I would no longer have any challenges to overcome in my growth as a human being. I again foolishly believed I had "arrived" at the destination, I believed life would no longer have anything to teach me about myself, and what improvements I could make to make me a better person. I was wrong.

While I would rather not share the details of the lesson I am currently learning, suffice it to say that I know this is a challenge I was meant to experience at this time in my life. The particular circumstances could not have been arranged at an earlier point, nor could they have taught me this lesson at a later point in my life. Now is the time. It is an intensely personal thing for me, and no one can help me to overcome it but myself. No one else in my position would see it the same as I, so therefore it would not be the same challenge. 

Even talking to someone else about it would not provide any real insight, as their perceptions of the situation would be their own, and not mine, and while I may be able to glean something from any advice they may give, ultimately I still have only myself to answer to for how I choose to deal with it. So I have chosen to keep it to myself, and deal with it in my own way. I only mention it here because it is what is currently going on in my life.

Having said that, life in general is better than I could have imagined. I'm settling in well here with Bella and Jack, and I am very happy. I got a library card today, and I'm looking forward to getting back to reading more often. It's been years since I read on a regular basis. 

So that's what's going on today, I'm about to head to bed, I'm getting tired, and I want to be up early to get ready for my date! Have a great night folks, talk to you soon!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Here's what's happening.........and what's going on tomorrow.....

Hey folks, how's it going?

Today was a pretty good day. Not a lot going on really, just helped Bella with some house cleaning, watched some TV, and then had a delicious dinner of cube steak, vegetables, and teryaki noodles. Bella's the greatest cook, even when it comes to simple stuff. She made bagels this morning that were out of this world, with ham, cream cheese, and swiss cheese. Very nomilicious lol.

While I'm on the subject of Bella, I have yet to publicly mention how grateful I am to her and Jack for allowing me to come stay with them. They gave me the opportunity that I needed to come back home, and I have yet to find the words to tell them how much it means to me. They have really made me feel at home, and I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart.

Tomorrow Bella and I are going on an outing, doing some shopping, getting some errands taken care of, and she's going to get her nails done. She deserves some pampering after what she's been through these last few months. We're also going to pick up some more hair color for me, as I'm a few months overdue now, the last time I did it was back in May lol, and it's supposed to be done every 3 months or so. I'm going with a different color this time, but I'm not saying what color yet, you'll just have to stayed tuned and see the pics when it's all done! :)

There's something else. I haven't mentioned it yet, because I wasn't sure how to say it. The broken record of "I'm happy, I feel at home" I'm sure has gotten to be a bore, but this is something different.

I posted some time ago about my feelings on sharing. The sharing I do of my personal feelings in fact. As everyone who reads my blog a lot knows, I have always been very open with my feelings. I put a lot of myself out there for the world to read, or at least the 38 of you who are interested in my life lol.

Things changed however, when I arrived here in Florida.

There is no longer a desire to bare my soul to the world, or to 38 interested parties. That desire was nothing more than a cry for attention, a desire to feel special. To be remembered by someone after they got done reading.

But you don't need to remember me. You have your own life. You read blogs to glean information you can use in your own life, that's what people read ANYTHING for. You read because you want to get something out of it for yourself. That's how we ALL are, it's how we learn. We see that we aren't the only one, we see how someone else did something, but ultimately, we choose for ourselves how we are going to run our own lives. Each of us has our own unique thoughts.

My thoughts right now tell me that sharing all those feelings is not necessary.

Tomorrow is another new day. I have errands to run, and things to accomplish. So now I'm going to bed.

Talk to you soon!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Had an interesting day.......

Today was an interesting day.

I went on a date for the first time since..........well, EVER. I don't believe I've ever actually been on a date before, not a true "date" anyway. With the shrew, I was already going out with her by the time we went on a proper date, and at the time, we were already living in the same house. The date I went on today was with someone I have been speaking to online for a few months now, but had never met in person. So it was a little different experience.

We met at a lake park in Tallahassee, had ice cream, and just talked. It was fun, and I had a good time. I think we hit it off pretty well. We're going to go on another date sometime next week, haven't made plans as to where or what we'll do yet, but I look forward to it.

On my way home, I got another in an increasingly long line of phone calls from the shrew that I have not answered, and she left a very nasty voicemail. Right in the middle of town, while I was stuck in traffic, I listened to the message. Not the smartest idea. I was steaming all the way home. 

You see, since I moved from Tennessee, I have not answered a single phone call from her. I have nothing to say to her. I texted her to let her know I was still alive, and safe, since she DOES deserve that much, but of course then she begins to demand I tell her where I am and basically goes into a bitch session about what I "should" be doing, and how it's all unfair, all in cryptic texts in between phone calls which she should know by now I will not answer. There's just no point. 

Why should I have to listen to her scream and holler, acting as though I answer to her, especially when all she's doing is going over the same stuff over and over again?

Which brings me to my next point. I left the shrew, for, among other things, because I was tired of having to answer to her all the time because she acted like she was in charge of me somehow. So I have been mulling over it in my mind for a while now, long before I went on my date today. Why should I want to get into another relationship, that could inevitably turn into the same thing, having someone to answer to?

The truth is, I am not happy being alone, and by alone I mean not having someone I can call my own. But that feeling is clashing with the feeling of wanting and liking to BE alone. I've never known anything like it before, it's the oddest feeling. One that my date reiterated while we were talking today, much to my surprise, and even delight. She is going through the same thing *I* am. 

I am at a place in my life where it seems patience is the best option to go with. I like the freedom of not being "attached", being able to do whatever I please. I don't really want a serious relationship right now. Many times before I have been very impatient when it came to relationships, solely because I didn't have enough self esteem or a sense of self worth. I wanted to dive right in to ANY relationship I could get myself in, and not look back, never really getting to know the person and finding out if they were the person I really wanted. I just was so not happy being alone, I'd attach myself to the first person who offered herself to me. I never really saw my ability to make my own choice, to choose the person that *I* wanted. I didn't feel good enough about myself to think I had that choice, I know that now. 

It's different now though, and I find myself being a lot more logical about things. Thinking about the consequences. Thinking about what I will have to invest. Thinking that I am ok being alone, at the same time I crave companionship. Interesting conundrum. I think that there is much I can do, and much that I want to do, that means that for right now, I don't NEED a "mate". Even so, there's a lot to be said for having someone to come home to, and having someone to go to sleep with at night.

One day, someday, I will have that relationship that gives me the best of both worlds. One in which I can have my companionship, but that I can also say I can be myself, and not feel like I am answering to anyone. 

There's something else. I have to say, being at home, I feel more comfortable than I have felt in a long time, and it's different. I go to sleep much earlier than I used to, I don't stay up till all hours feeling stressed out and looking for a way to relieve it. That, in and of itself, is something you can't put a price on. You don't know it can be this good till you have it. It's also giving me time to get my thoughts more organized, and gives me a sense of who I really am, and where I want to be in my life. Not a location "where", I've already got that, but where I want to be spiritually and mentally. I am not the man I was, and the man I am now is not driven by anyone else's ideas or thoughts.

I am a man alone. Alone, comfortable with myself, confident in myself, and aware of my own self worth. When someone comes along that measures up to the standards I've set, and I enjoy their company, then I may choose them to be my companion. I am a unique individual, and that person must be unique as well. I think everyone's ultimate goal is and should be what mine is. To be who I am, be myself, and be with someone who appreciates me for BEING who I am, no matter what that may be. 

All it takes is patience to find them.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Home, happiness, and changes

It's hard to believe it's been almost a month since I posted anything. I guess you could say that I had so much to say that I couldn't say anything at all. Or maybe I didn't know where to start.

Many of you know my "backstory".  I was in what you might call a "situation". I was not happy, I didn't feel like I had a life of my own. But then I did something about it, I made a change. However, moving out, leaving my wife, and trying to make my own life was harder than I imagined. 

The 20 years of living inside a monster that I myself had created could not be changed overnight, and as I found out, could not even be changed in the better part of the 2 years it had been since I left. 

You see, while I did leave, and move in with friends, I never did get the proverbial "monkey" off my back. First of all, I moved only an hour down the road, still close enough for me to feel the influence of the monster. I still didn't feel free, I didn't feel I was "home". I was still so far from everything I loved, and didn't feel I was indeed living my own life. 

All the talk about how I could make my own decisions, all the posts about how I had started my new life, and yet somehow I was just going on doing things with the same thought process, the same way I had done everything for almost 20 years. "What would SHE think? Can I do this without making her angry? I can't tell her what I'm doing, she's going to go ballistic!" These and many more are the thoughts that dominated everything I did when we were together, and also when I left, even being an hour down the road, where she was not "in my face" every day. 

So what did I end up doing? I went to work every day, and came home. Nothing else. Well, if you could call it home. It was merely the house I lived in, it wasn't home at all. My true home, the place I knew I was supposed to be, was somewhere much further away, and I was miserable still. I was still not making decisions with my own mind, there was always fear, the fear of what "she" might do. She has a "spy" network you know, people checking things on the internet, always keeping tabs on me, she can't stand not knowing what I'm doing or who I'm talking to. So I basically did....nothing......just went to work, played around on the computer a bit, and slept, that was my "life".

And then, it happened. 

Fate intervened.

The opportunity presented itself. Yes folks, the opportunity to FINALLY go HOME. It came totally out of the blue, out of nowhere, the message came to me one day that said, "How would you like to come home?" 

You can imagine my surprise and utter elation when I read that message! Really? I can go HOME?

So I did something totally out of character for me. I didn't think, I didn't over analyze the situation. I took action.

I packed up my stuff, and hightailed it out of there. Well, after taking the time to ditch everything I could not take with me in the car. There were many things I got rid of, material things, huge chunks of my past that were doing nothing but weighing me down, keeping me tied to that place. My only focus, my only goal, was to get myself to where I belonged, to where I could be myself, where I was safe.

I did it. I moved, again, but this time, I went HOME.

I can't tell you why I did it like I did, and I can't even say what it felt like. I wasn't "feeling" anything. I certainly didn't let that lifetime of fear that had driven my thought process for so very long get in the way of what I wanted to accomplish. I didn't think ahead to what "she" might think, I didn't make my decision based on what I thought she might want me to do, I just DID it. That, in and of itself, was an intriguing sensation. My mind was quiet.

So now, here I am, writing to you from home. For those of you who have not yet connected the dots, and who might not follow my best friend Bella's blog, I am staying with her now, in Florida, and I could not be happier. She and her husband are two of the most wonderful people in the world, and for them to give me the chance to come home means more to me than I think either of them know. 

I am truly free now, free to be who I really am. I am still adjusting to that particular feeling, after all, as I said earlier, what has been trained into me for 19 years cannot be completely forgotten in just a few days, but it's quickly becoming my reality. 

What do you do when you have no fear? I'll tell you what you do. 

You do what you want. You remove any filters in your mind. You wake up in the morning and you live in the moment, taking on each situation with new eyes. You really are your own person, and you don't have to answer to anyone but yourself. You remove the blinders from your eyes, and you see the world as it truly is, a world to be experienced in any way you see fit.

I've made a huge change this time folks. The biggest change I've made so far in this life.

I am HOME.

I am happy.........No, I am ecstatic, overjoyed, and for once in this lifetime, satisfied.

I am not the man I was.