Here is no water but only rock

in me

There’s been a lot of uncertainty about where life will take me, but that’s been understandable. I mean, if you look back in to 2013 and 2014 I was mostly a fucked-up mess of a man who could barely get out of bed in the morning let alone say “this is where I want to be in five years.” But everything passes; now I have a small (read: tiny) freelancing business, an estranged ex-spouse and a girlfriend, all of whom come with the important requirement that I forward plan. Eadaoin likes to work within a framework of plans, my income needs a chart to avoid the feast or famine cycle, and everything with my ex-wife requires preparation and forethought.

So I’ve learned to plan at the small levels. But where do I see myself in five years? That has been the question I’ve avoided. On Tuesday I met a Galway solicitor through the Legal Aid Board to discuss the Kid Situation, and tonight I had a VOIP call with a Boston-based immigration attorney. The details of the Tuesday meeting can stay between the solicitor and I, but I’ll say that she gave me great advice and I acted on it. The gist of the meeting is that I’ve made a lot of the right decisions, and any final outcome is still years away. In the meantime I need to keep my head down, my mouth shut and my eye on the goal of the kids.

Less Good: today’s VOIP call. I cannot reenter the United States until November 2019, and on that occasion I will require a visa. I’m not stuck in Ireland or even on this side of the pond (\o/ Canada \o/), but at the end of the day I can’t be where I want to be.

Neither meeting has left me disheartened; quite the opposite in fact: I know precisely where I stand, when x or y will occur, how I might reach z goal and what might happen when I get there.

Here I stand; there I go.


I missed January

in me

Well fuck, I missed a whole month. Long story short, I’ve been busy in real life and my iPhone is in pieces in my desk drawer. Back in August or September I dropped my phone into the toilet after a night drinking with Alanna and Casey. The dock module was fried and battery capacity seemed to suffer, so I replaced both. Intermittent problems continued that were connected to the ambient temperature, which culminated around Christmas when the radio module in my phone began to die. First the WiFi and then the 3G stopped working. The problem is well-known and has a clear fix, except I never have things that easy: One of the screws that secure the battery is stripped from my first hamfisted replacement, so I ordered a set of replacement screws, and a screw removal tool. Two weeks later and neither parts have turned up, at least in part because of the huge winter storms that have hit the northeastern United States of America.

My fallback cellphone, a shitty little Nokia, is good enough for calls and texts, but little else, so I haven’t been able to take or post any of the random Instagram shots that I love so much.

Real Boats Rock
I’m sure that the sentiment behind “real boats rock” is as old as humanity itself, but the specific expression I know of is tied to Frank Herbert and Chapterhouse: Dune. I’ve always interpreted the sentiment to mean you should always give allowances. The boat Eadaoin and I sail in rocked after the New Year. At the end of it I am very glad of the space Eadaoin and I share; I work for Eadaoin because it makes me happy and out of a desire to always do better. It’s a big thing and s small thing all at once, and it makes me glad to have Eadaoin in my life.

Work
Too much work, too little money. I made the mistake of taking on too much work though January and into February. I relish the challenges it brings though; I learn something new every day.

Me
Tired and suffering lightheadedness since December. Working (painstakingly and slowly) on a diet and exercise. I’m wary and weary of Mariah’s crap. For all that she wants me gone out of her life, she won’t even talk to me enough to divorce and extended this to her family and the kids by fiat. I’ve started the process here, but Ireland being Ireland, the progress is glacial.

That’s it, really. Work and family. Bought a new laptop too. ^_^


Work work work

in 091 labs

Labs menu-finished!

[mark][Hackerspace] # git init && git pull
Reinitialized existing Git repository in /home/mark/Projects/Hackerspace/.git/
remote: Counting objects: 24, done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (24/24), done.
remote: Total 24 (delta 10), reused 0 (delta 0)
Unpacking objects: 100% (24/24), done.
From github.com:bhalash/Hackerspace
   6f2395a..c249f4a  master     -> origin/master
Updating 6f2395a..c249f4a
Fast-forward
 index.html                          |  98
 single.html                         |  12 
 wordpress/functions.js              | 147 
 wordpress/img/calendar.png          | Bin 0 -> 5017 bytes
 wordpress/img/search.png            | Bin 0 -> 9603 bytes
 wordpress/img/search_light_temp.png | Bin 4522 -> 0 bytes
 wordpress/img/widgets.png           | Bin 0 -> 13318 bytes
 wordpress/style.css                 | 172
 8 files changed, 239 insertions(+), 190 deletions(-)
 delete mode 100644 single.html
 create mode 100644 wordpress/img/calendar.png
 create mode 100644 wordpress/img/search.png
 delete mode 100644 wordpress/img/search_light_temp.png
 create mode 100644 wordpress/img/widgets.png

ARGH

in me

I wrote, referenced, proofed, and then threw out a two thousand word rant on how and why Mark Sucks Donkey Balls. Matters currently boil down to:

  • The sensation of marginalization because I’ve lost, or otherwise fallen out of touch with some of my old friends. While I can cite you valid reasons for this (such as my multi-week silences and our busy lives with careers and children), it is difficult to not wholly blame myself.
  • The eternal disconsolation because my children continue to have happy lives without me, and the perverse circle I’m stuck in: What news I hear doesn’t make me happy, and when I’m unhappy I want news.
  • Impostor syndrome-I am so comfortable in the habit of self-dismissal that it makes me uncomfortable to hear any words of praise from family, friends, or even ostensibly-neutral strangers about How Smart Mark Is:
    • My good friend Holly’s lauded the fact that I’m still alive.
    • My sister-in-law Marissa surprised me today with a compliment about how good I used to be with the children in the face of her sister’s craziness.
    • People from the hackerspace and elsewhere all call me intelligent by virtue of merit alone.
    • Even if I’ve let it lie this season, I am still one of the top-ranked enhancement shaman in my region.

The idea of cognitive dissonance looms large for me, as you might’ve guessed from the above. There are several neat double binds that I cannot consciously reconcile. My reflexive response is to seek a place where I am at my least unhappy, through means such as gradually winding down real-life contacts that aren’t work related, quietly ignoring friends on social networks, and attempts to schedule my hours so as to avoid my housemates, and finally bury my head so deeply in a virtual online world (or work) that there aren’t any things from the real world which can reach me.

And here I am now. TL;DR: People were so nice to me that I had to run away, stress out for a week, and finally have a good sulk about it


December 2013

in me

I’ve made any number of private posts on the blog in the past two months-lengthy spiels about my emotional journey, all carefully hidden away from Mariah, because what the hell Mark, how dare you let her see you be hurt! I mean, given that I have kept Self-hatred going for eight years (come January), it doesn’t befit the blog to have posts that are so sparingly written that they are named by the month.

Okay, so I moved house back in October, and I’m now living with Alanna and Casey on the west side of Galway City. It has been nothing but a positive time for me. Alanna and Casey are both awesome housemates, Casey’s Beaglier Kiki likes me, my room is huge and warm, and well-equipped with a desk and double bed and skylight. My housemates are mature, considerate, and honestly, just there for me to talk to without trying to make impositions on me. We cook for each other-Alanna and Casey both inhale my chili whenever I make it-and I gotta say, I am really happy here. I feel safe, comfortable, and sheltered just enough from the crap in my life, while at the same time I have two connections here who help me keep both a usually-normal day-night schedule and a tie to the real world.

If I am happy here, I’m not happy elsewhere. I’m smart enough that I can be at least a little bit introspective about my awful emotional health. I am a raw wound when it comes to any feeling about my kids and their mother. The lack of any closure in my marriage, and the fact that Mariah can so quickly get over me and pick up her own life butts hard against my guilt for all the bad things I did to both her and Caira and Garrett. I’m so envious at their happiness that it’s hard to speak to any of them, even when (in Mariah’s case at least) I acknowledge that I in no way want to continue or rekindle that relationship-Mariah was just as awful to me as I was to her, albeit in different ways.

Holly made me confront the fact that a lot of my erratic and volatile behaviour might have been, at root, because of depression. It doesn’t excuse anything, but at least it’s a glimmer of explanation. On top of this, I had a bit of a break at the beginning of November. I broke down, cried, and gave wholehearted consideration to the idea of taking a knife to my arm for the purpose of relieving some of the self-hate. That same week (first week in November), I went to my family doctor in Galway and was put back on Lexapro, and given a referral to a secular counselling service here in Galway city. He was, if I dare say, horrified to hear about my experience with the religious counsellor in Sligo, and my unwillingness to seek any sort of help after that.

On top of that, I’ve been generally avoiding all people. It’s funny how easy it was to set myself up as reliable so that people don’t try to contact me. Let them know you’re depressed, don’t answer the phone, and ignore email-and voila!, I’m unreliable.

I look forward to my first appointment at the start of 2014, and I sincerely hope that I’ll be able to tackle some of deeper problems with the help of both anti-anxiety medication and a trained therapist.

And on that note, Holly has been a real bright spot in my life. Holly, continue being awesome.

That’s pretty much my life right now-depression and video games. I’m tinkering with a new theme for Self-hatred, but I don’t expect much to come of it before the new year. Denominationally-neutral seasons greetings and a happy new year to my three readers.


HOLY SHIT NEW ADDRESS

in friends

Casey and Alanna

I moved house two weeks ago. Mumble blog update. I’m out of Prospect Hill, and in with two friends, Alanna and Casey, down behind the Jes on Sea Road. I like it a lot. It’s quiet, my housemates are awesome, I’m close to Salthill (for walking), and not a single item I own reeks of cigarettes anymore. Yay.

If you need/want the address, just whois bhalash.com.