Thursday, April 14, 2016

The REAL Reason

Written 24 April 2015

I was challenged by my (then) wife about the "real reason" I wanted a divorce. I realized years ago it did no good to respond to these accusations with honesty, as honest answers are complicated, take a lot of time, and usually weren't listened to/believed anyway. So I wrote this in response for my own edification/exploration
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The real reason is that I am a flawed and broken person. There are so many things I have failed at, so many things I want (especially from you) that I don't know how to get, so much I've screwed up, so many times I've hurt people, especially you... And this has been unacceptable. You haven't approved of who I am in all these years. Sure, you tell me how attractive I am and how much you love me, but when it matters most, when I am at my lowest, you don't want me the way I am really am, you would rather have a version of me that will never exist. Not that I haven't struggled and beat myself up our entire marriage to become that man... But I never will. And what I've learned over 20 years of trying is that I am okay the way I am. But you won't take me this way, and it's unfair and unreasonable for me to expect you to change, and you really do deserve that man you've been looking for (regrettably, in me) all these years. And that is the real reason.

On Bullies

Written 21 August 2015, in response to a friend's Facebook video posting. I love this man dearly, but he's a tough guy: from a rough neighborhood, minority, now a United States Marine. I know the culture that teaches the best way for someone downtrodden is to get tough and push their way out, but it's not always that answer. I did not post this response to his video, but I wouldn't hesitate to tell him this over a beer in his Bronx neighborhood.
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Its not this simple, and it never will be. If you've never been bullied, you can't possibly know this. Bullying is about abuse of power, plain and simple. Bullying is not ever going to be solved by making some kids tougher, because for bullied kids it's not only about size or strength. It's also about confidence and what they believe themselves capable of. For kids, both those factors have a lot to do with family and social environment. I knew plenty of kids who were capable of flattening their bullies with one swipe, but for them, power wasn't about size. I knew other kids who were scrawny the bullies never once would have considered picking on because of that kid's projected self image. If you simply make every kid able to defend him/herself without addressing the issues of power abuse, you will just make more bullies who can do more damage.