Advanced Self Therapy/ Chapter 1 of 1
The beginning. The end.
It’s very hard to put into words.
I don’t even know where to start.
I could start at the beginning…
But it didn’t really start there. It started at the end. It started when there was nothing left to do. When the pressure went away along with his life.
Maybe it all started there.
Context is everything, I’ve learned, in this human life. To a shark, we’re just food. No other context needed.
Most of everything we think we know and most of what we count on to get us through our lives is all a giant falsehood.
Sorry to have break it to you like this.
Apologies if you sense some anger coming from me, in the pages you might bother reading.
I do have quite a lot of anger. So much anger that if I go even a couple of days without some kind of medication, well then I pretty much turn into the Incredible Hulk, and I’ll smash things.
Feels good to smash things.
Things are meant to be smashed.
My heart was smashed. So if I want to smash some cheap piece of crap trinket that was made in Taiwan by slaves and sold in America for some made-up holiday that has no real meaning, I’ll smash it.
If I want to get out of my car and yell at the bitch yuppy lady who’s honking her horn at me because I stopped at a stop sign, I’ll do it. I’m not afraid.
I have no more fear of reprisal from anyone. Let me show you how to have the ultimate guilt-trip-passive-aggressive wielding power.
Have a child of yours be diagnosed with a terminal cancer, then spend almost three years in a state of worry and anguish while essentially watching it kill him.
Then ask yourself how much fun you’d like to have using that awful experience to make other people feel terrible when they are acting like jerks.
I’m not proud of it.
But I’m not writing this to impress you. In fact, i’m not writing it for anyone. Because the world has gone so utterly mad that one little boy dying of cancer isn’t important anymore ( except to me and my family, really).
The only trouble with that is, with this particular boy, he was someone everyone should learn from.
And I mean everyone. The dumbest celebrities, most idiotic newscasters, most ignorant politicians, most self absorbed sports stars — they should all know about him.
Everyone should. But not many do. And there’s no one who can tell his story like me.
So it falls to me to tell it, and tell it as well as I can. For his memory. And for my sake as well, because otherwise, I’m going to go crazy.
You see when somebody like your child dies, there are all sorts of things you go through. A giant multi-layered onion of bad stuff. I won’t bother listing all the layers because this isn’t a goddamn therapy piece. You’ll understand the layers if you keep reading. But the one I’ll point out now, is the fear of forgetting.
When an old person dies, or even a middle aged person, I suppose you benefit from the all the conversations, photographs, shared memories, and other things that help keep that person alive in your head and heart. You may be grateful for all the time you spent and feel like you can still keep that person with you. But when that person is just a child, you are cut off from so much of that in the most cruel fashion. You don’t really even get to know the person very well, and then they are gone.
In this case, it was even a bit more agonizing. Our little boy was just coming into his own as a person when he left us. We were just finding out how sweet and smart and glorious he was. He was handling all of his cancer duties like a champion, and his personality was shining through at last. The nicest little 3 1/2 year old I ever met. The most self-aware, the most intelligent, the kindest. I’ve met a lot of children in my time. None were anything like him.
I’ve thought about how to write this all down for quite some time. It’s been just over three years since he died. I’ve wrestled with the motives behind me wanting to write it down. I haven’t been able to figure out if it’s about me, or him. I am terrified of being selfish with his memory..wanting some kind of attention for bringing attention to him. Terrified that my problems don’t warrant anyone’s attention. In this new world we live in where citizens are murdering each other daily, terrorists are murdering citizens daily, planes are crashing — the world has gone mad — and in such a world, who is to say that his little story should warrant anybody’s attention?
Nobody can make that decision but me, I’ve realized. Somewhere in my little brain I was hoping I’d be contacted by Steven Spielberg for a movie version of our lives, or Michael Chabon to write the book about it. Or Bob Dylan to write a song for him.
But none of those guys ever heard about it, they’re too busy being “important” or some such utter fucking nonsense. ( Sorry, it’s the anger again, all “legends” are officially on my shit list, because they don’t do enough for regular people, and they’re guilty until proven innocent, and no, I won’t let it go, and yes, it’s misdirected and unhealthy, and no, I don’t care, and I also don’t care if you throw this out right now and don’t read another word, so fuck you, I lost a son, and unless you have too, you have no right to judge me or anything I say or think).
I could pretend to be someone I’m not when telling this story, pretend I’m some one who can rise above the anger and the seclusion and somehow handle it perfectly, but that would be a complete lie. You can go read Maxim
magazine if you want to just be spoonfed garbage and sold shit you don’t need.
The compulsion I have felt to put on a show of strength is amazing. To make everyone somehow feel that I’m just fine, that i’ve come out the other side.
But that’s not true at all. I’m not even a little bit fine. I’m angry, and hurt, and permanently fucked up.
That doesn’t mean I spend my days angry at people or kicking dogs. I just function somehow, so i can get through
the day, and I abuse my body with food and drugs, so that I avoid turning into the Incredible Hulk.
I spend time circling in fits of anger and sadness, because it often feels good to do so.
Don’t talk to me about him if you didn’t know him.
Don’t talk to me about me if you don’t know me.
Just don’t even think about me unless you can be as strong as I had to be.
If you are ( and you know who you are) just another worthless, superficial human who only cares about cheap crap made by slaves in Taiwan and thinks you’re important because you met a celebrity once, please, just ignore me, because you won’t get anything from this.
If you have some sense, some notion that there is more to life, that little children can be saints, that some stories are more important than others, then please, continue on. See you round