You know it’s coming!! For those of you that follow me on Facebook or Instagram, and if you aren’t, why aren’t you?!? (IG – @inkeddad_2.0 or FB – https://www.facebook.com/hadtoomuchtodreamlastnight <–click link). But I posted today about an incident that happened that I’ve never had to deal with before… and I kind of left the door wide open to expand my thoughts.
I’ve been working up in PA for about a month now. I’m a carpenter, and we’re finishing out a condo complex up there. There’s some things about PA that might kind of help give you a feel for the setting. First off, I love PA… I really do. It’s a great little city cut into Parkland forest with a beautiful river valley. Some observations I have made, however… 8Ball leather jackets are still beIng represented by a scattered few. (Side note…I confess, I was the owner of an 8 Ball leather jacket. I got it 22 years ago, I was 12, and I’m really not sure it was cool even then), but these guys are rocking them, even when it’s 28deg. Celsius. Also, Ugg boots are the duct tape of the fashion scene. They have unlimited uses. With leggings, with skirts, with shorts, with flannel pj bottoms…limitless, and again at 28deg Celsius. Baby strollers fit unlimited kids, cars can be driven with dummy tires on diagonally opposite corners. Bikes don’t need seats, inflated tires, or both pedals (that’s right, one will do). And there was an ad, hand written in all lowercase letters. “3 left shoes, ladies size 9, brand new, still in box. never worn. $25 obo.” I kid you not…you cannot even make this stuff up. Apparently she was in a walking boot for six months after surgery and the right ones were worn… Might as well sell the lefts, I mean, they are still in boxes!!
Now I know I make fun of PA…and I do. A lot. But like I said, I love PA. I’ve worked there often now. We bring our kids, there’s great water slides…and the people, as quirky as I make them out to be, and they are quirky. But they’re nice!! They’re typical Saskatchewan Super Nice people. They wave at you when you drive by. They hold the door for you. Tell you when you forgot your son in the parking lot. (I knew he was there, but still…nice people) That’s why what happened today caught me so off guard. I was in the confectionery buying some drinks. I noticed the guy in front of me look back at me, then look forward again shaking his head. I didn’t really think much of it, but then when I walked out of the store he was in his car kind of just parked in the middle of the lot. I walked over to my truck, and just as I opened the door I heard him. “Hey!” I looked around my open door to where he was, and he said…and I quote, “Nice fucking arms, you loser!” And drove away.
Now for those of you that don’t know, I am a cutter. (Over 2 months cut free!!) But my arms are covered in scars. Hundreds of them. They’re definitely not something that I’m proud of, but they’re there. And for the rest of my life they are a part of me. A part of my story. I made a very deliberate decision a while back not to hide my scars. I live in a very small town. A awesome community of under 2000people. And when I say awesome, I mean AWESOME! But it’s small. I’ve gone through a lot if shit over the last year. We have close friends that have been there for my wife and I the whole way. But being a small town, everyone knows bits and pieces. It’s one of those things that as hard as it is to do, I’ve decided that rather than hide I would open myself up. Make myself vulnerable. People don’t know how to approach me. No one wants to set me off. No one knows how I’ll react. I honestly think people are scared of me. I guess it’s kind of my way of saying “I’m not hiding.” I really hope that it will help eliminate some of the gossip (yes, shockingly my awesome small town does this too) when people see that I’m being open. That they’ll talk to me, or my wife, or our friends rather than try and figure things out for themselves by talking. How’s that working out for me? Honestly… I have no idea. Maybe I should be covering up…I don’t know.
But those words…”you loser”. I know they’re just words. And I know they came from some irrelevant person I’ll likely never see again. But they are ruminating in my mind. Firstly, I do believe these words to be true. I’m told over and over In therapy that my self-hate is something I need to work on, but it’s there. I am my biggest critic. I’m my biggest hater. So I call myself a loser on the daily. But no one else ever has. I know that people think it, but no one ever says it. It’s another one of those overly nice Saskatchewan things, I guess. But with those words. Those two words from a total stranger. It was like all these thoughts. All these visions. All these feelings that I hold against me were no longer just mine. They say sticks and stones break bones… Well words, they don’t break bones, but they hold power. And for me, that power is confirmation of what I already know. What I already feel. Does his opinion really matter? No. Who knows what his story even is. But to someone who hates themselves. To someone who feels that everyone walks on eggshells around them. That thinks people are scared to “set me off”. Is this guy just saying what everyone else has too much tact to spit out?
I don’t know….
What I do know is I have a 9 year old daughter that has to explain her dads scars, and the fact that he cuts himself when he’s sad. I have a 5 year old son that has helped his dad cut stitches out of his arm, and gets hauled around with me all over the place for MY safety, because one of the only things I’m 100% sure of is that I’ll never, ever hurt myself around my kids. I have a wife who has to come up with the $2000 a month my therapy costs us, as well as finding time to come to therapy herself. And, on top of that, lives in constant fear of what she’s going to walk into. I have next to nothing to do with family anymore because I don’t know how to explain myself. It’s hard to say “yeah, I’ve been dealing with this for 25years” to your unknowing family. (And it’s not they’re fault at all. I’m sure looking back now they see signs, but I hid this very very well. I lied to countless people to cover up what I was going through) But I have nothing to do with anyone from my past at all anymore. I live completely in the present, because that’s all that I allow myself to do. I’ve hurt countless people. There’s some things in my past I want to forget. And then there’s that that I would do anything to go back and hold on to. My life has not been easy. I haven’t allowed it to be. But I’ve made my bed. What comes, comes. I get what I deserve. I am, a loser.