Sunday, September 25, 2011

Back Where I Belong

Hey folks. I'm sure those of you who have heard about my meltdown have also heard that I've gotten over it. That said, I still haven't really gone into much depth on it, so I will try to explain things. I was mainly gearing up to start a "mass apology tour", but a little time has me leaning in another direction.

I'm sure most of you don't care about being apologized to in this case. If you feel otherwise, then maybe (I'm hoping) this will help start a path to forgiveness.

So, I'm doing much better now. I'm not sure what happened to me -- I woke up fine one day, and by the time I decided to go to bed, I felt my life simply wasn't worth living. I have this sort of thing happen to me every year or two, but not quite to the extreme that it came out to this time. I'm on a good bit of medication, and have always had mental issues, and with stressors from... well, a mountain of things, I tend to break down on occasion.

But enough of that. I just want the people who care about me to know that I'm not going anywhere. Everything I said and did was stupid. I let my emotions take control, when I should have been thinking through things, and asking for your help. Thankfully I was able to reach the point where I could let my emotions take a back seat to reason, thanks in part to people who are almost complete strangers. It just took some (gentle) provocation to make me too furious to ignore it. Once I got talking, I finally started thinking, and I finally started to let my brain begin to take apart the muddled flurry of emotions.

Truth is, I was wrong to think you'd be willing to let go of me that easily. I mean, you all handled things differently -- some of you decided to give me space, others rushed to encourage. Some of you offered me a place to stay, others offered to come visit me from other regions of the world. Some of you called me on the phone, some of you wrote me letters through the post office.

All of you had your different approaches to the problem. Just as true, is that all of you are irreplaceable to me.

I think a week ago, I had heard some form of the phrase "best friend" directed at me so many times that one would think I would have eventually said to myself, "what am I DOING?"... I know a lot of you have told me as much already, and some of you even explained to me *why* that was the case. It didn't really hit me though -- I was too hung-up over my failures, weaknesses, and shortcomings.

What I neglected to see was that if I have so many best friends, there must be *something* in my life that is right.

A friend of mine said it very well. I won't quote him directly, but the basic idea is that a human being's worth is NOT measured by things like status, wealth, or accomplishment -- it's measured by how you treat those around you... your "humanity"...

I've struggled all my life, wrestling with demons, always seeing myself as inferior to everyone around me. Everyone else has had a life -- they have had jobs, they have had children, they have had some degree of success in the world -- maybe not financial success, or relational success, or whatever you want to call it... and maybe some of them were struggling... but it seemed as though everyone around me was doing *something* with their lives, while I've been sitting in idle my entire life.

When I first read your responses, I wasn't paying attention. Now that things have blown over for me, and I've had a chance to re-evaluate things...

... I have come to the conclusion that while I may be going nowhere fast in the world, I have a place. It's not a place of wealth, fame, or fortune. It is a place at which I've wanted to be, for all my life, but was a little too dumb to realize it. My place in life is with you.

It's easy to call someone your "best friend", but when you explain to someone EXACTLY why they hold such a coveted title, and you look at it and cannot refute the reasons, it makes it *really* difficult to want to continue to exile yourself. Maybe I don't have a high esteem or degree of respect for myself, but I can say the opposite for my friends. My friends mean the world to me -- yet I was so blind with rage at myself that I tried to cast you all aside.

Thank God that real friends don't go away so easily.

I feel really dumb... but I'm not going to let self-directed anger control me... not this time. Anger never really has suited me very well, and I think all of you know that. This whole experience has been humbling... yet, at the same time, it has made me stronger. I've let myself see what love is like. Love can be beaten down, it can be abused, called names, cast aside, and broken in half. Yet love -- real love -- never truly ends. I received a lot of love -- whether expressed through actions, or perhaps silence -- and that's where my place lies. My life cannot be ruled by anger, as long as you are there to remind me what love is. It is far too alluring. It is far too powerful.

So, while there may always be a seed of anger in my heart at my perceived weakness, there is another seed there that will melt away the hardness in my heart. I spent a lot of my life in a shell, hiding myself from people because I was afraid of the pain they cause. But when I first got a taste of what love is like, I have developed a ravenous craving for it. Love has become my source of wealth.

When I put that into perspective, money... stature... the things of this world... none of that can equate to having love in your life. I don't know how I came to take love for granted -- especially over such petty things as "making it" in the world. But I did... and I fell far, very fast.

If nothing else, I've learned that without love, one's life is utterly meaningless. I won't lie by saying that it isn't nice to be well-off with worldly ideals, but I will say with confidence that if one does not give love, or receive it, that I truly pity them -- regardless of how "far" they've come in life.

Thank you all for your love. I owe you my life. As long as that is the case, it's not really my place to do anything to rob you of me.

I have a request of all of you. My request is that you try and show the love you have shown me to all of those around you. There are people all around you, hurting -- suffering in silence. Too many to count. You may not know they are hurting, or feel unloved. So do something about it. Your love has proven to be invaluable to me. Just imagine what all of you could do if you shared it.

Go out there, and hug your loved ones. Get in touch with someone you haven't talked to in a while and see how they are. Be quick to offer help to those in need. Do not allow anyone to sit there and suffer. We are all human beings, and without the ability to give or take that love, we are without humanity itself. And if your love can do a fraction of what it has for me... then this world had better watch out.

I don't consider myself as having best friends. I'm not saying that I'm not closer to some of you than others, just that when you come into my life, and I have a good feeling about you, and you become my friend... you become an extremely special person. If you are a part of my life, then I will treat you as such. Once you've stepped over that threshold, then I hold you in high esteem -- I love you. It's that simple. Love is not something to take lightly -- but it *is* something to be given freely. Thank you to my friends for giving back to me the ability to return to this place...

... because, although I'm not really "going" anywhere in the world, I have arrived at a pretty good place. As long as I can keep you in my sight, as long as love cannot be bound by distance, as long as I am alive, I am at the place where I belong...

... with you.

It's good to be back.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Loose Ends

Allow me to preface this by saying that, for those of you who have not yet read my "goodbye" article, you might want to view it before continuing with this article. That article can be found at --

After receiving a small mountain of emails, Facebook comments, and other forms of communication, I just want to make things a little more clear for those of you who may be confused about my intentions.

First off, to those of you who have offered me a place to stay, offered to visit me (even from across the Atlantic Ocean), or offered to "work with me" in some way...

I appreciate your offers, but I cannot accept them. I am a different person from the one you met -- a different person than I was just a few weeks ago -- and I'm afraid that it would just end badly. I am dead on the inside. I can no longer look anyone in the eye, because they can tell that my spirit no longer exists. I could tell it when I looked at my mom yesterday. She would normally ask me, "what's the matter?", when I look depressed. Now she just avoids looking me in the eye. I can't imagine it would be any better with anyone else.

Truth is, none of it will help. I would love to see some of you -- whether for the first time in a few years; or the first time, ever. But I can't allow anyone else to come near me. Let me explain it in these terms:

The only thing that has kept me alive is my friends and family. For the vast majority of my life, I have wished that I had the guts to end my life. As of late, I have realized that it wasn't that I was too scared of the process... but rather what is left afterward. My friends and family. The thought of what it would do to my friends and family simply makes me furious that I would consider death in the first place.

However, I am at the end of the line. I've tried to wear a smile when you are around. I have tried to cry on your shoulder, and give you a shoulder to cry on. I have tried to always be there for you. I have tried to be loyal, and be as available to you as possible. But in reality, I have always kept my friends at arm's-length to an extent, though it hasn't always been intentional. Why? Because deep down, I always knew that I was destined for destruction.

My duality -- the two beings inside me -- has been engaged in a war of attrition. They both despise each other. One is the creator -- the healer, the comforter, the one driven by the desire to better the world. The other is the destroyer -- the spiteful, hateful part of me that thrives on destruction -- of myself, and anything around me.

The destructive nature within me is far stronger than its counterpart. But the good in me has managed to keep things in check up to now. I have no idea how much longer that will remain true. Every moment that passes by sees that the evil in me is gaining ground on the good. It is merely a matter of time before I have nothing else. When that happens, God have mercy on anyone who happens to be nearby.

I explained to you that I've managed to keep you all mostly at arm's length. This is why.

The people I have tended to keep around me have turned out to be the most wonderful people. I love you too much to let harm come to you. But I am dying inside -- actually, I suppose it would be more accurate to say that I have already died. But the only thing that keeps me in this world is my mom. She is the most immediate source of strength because we live in the same house. I have kept you all at arm's length, which has eaten away at me over time. It has not been so easy with Mom, because it's kind of hard to not be around her, when you live under the same roof.

Lately, I have begun to exhibit a degree of contempt for my mother. Not because she's a bad mother -- quite the opposite -- it is because she loves me. I am beginning to hate my mother because she loves me. Just yesterday, I found myself thinking along the lines that if there were some way to be rid of her, I would be free of the one strong length of chain still holding me to this God-forsaken existence. I would be free to give up completely, and put an end to my miserable existence.

I mean, how horrid a thought -- I actually wished my mother dead, because she loves me so much that I can't bear the thought of what my death would put her through!

The evil in me is winning. That realization made it obvious.

So, all I know to do is to cast aside everyone I've ever cared about, so that when the time comes that I give in, it will soften the sting... even if ever so slightly, it will be worth it to me if I can alleviate some of your pain by simply keeping myself away from you, so that when my time is up, our bonds will be weak.

One of you said something to me along the lines of God turning a deaf ear to my pleas for strength to fight this evil was not scriptural. God always gives us an answer to our prayers. All I can assume at this point is that God has listened, and has given his answer.

I am ultimately responsible for what I have become. I was too weak to resist this evil from taking over my soul. Over time, I have set myself up for one misstep after another, until I finally started to fall down a hole with no bottom. It is my fault. I should have allowed myself to become closer to you. I should not have built this wall around me. Maybe if I had gone a little more out of my way to let you in, I would have been able to win this fight.

But I messed up. I waited too long, and I didn't stop myself before I began hurtling down an endless spiral to Hell. The good in me is gone. All that is left is a conflicted, self-destructive personality in a husk of flesh and bone. No spirit to speak of. I let destruction wear away too much of my being. I gave in too easily too many times. The time of reckoning is coming -- and instead of making a choice for good, I allowed evil to decay my being and swallow my soul.

In the end, I have no one to blame but myself for this. The answers were there all along, but I chose to ignore them. My stupidity will force me to continue to ignore them.

If ever you valued the person I used to be, then you must let go of me. If I am going to die soon, I would rather do so leaving as little damage in my wake as possible. Think of it as my last attempt to stab my finger into the eye of evil before I lay down my life. Nothing else can be done. This is not about fighting the flesh -- this is about fighting a demon. A demon that has resided in me for far too long, and refuses to let go. If I am to stop this evil from causing too many casualties, I have to do it alone. I simply cannot allow anyone else to get hurt because of what I've done... so I must ask you to please stay away. Forget that I existed. Just know that when I finally die, I may not rest in peace, but I will certainly find some solace in the fact that I was able to save someone from my evil.

I'm sorry for even having to say all this. I know it's not easy for you. I just wanted to make things crystal clear. There is no winning this battle for me. I have shunned you all. I have shunned God himself. The only thing I have left now is evil. This is my fate -- but not one I wish to share with anyone else -- ANYONE.

For your sake and mine... stay out of my way.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Clint Says Goodbye

I give up.

Anyone who knows me all that well knows that I have struggled with mental illness for almost my entire life. I remember when I was in first grade, I was on anti-depressants. I don't remember exactly how that happened, but I do know that I was suicidal at the time. Five years old and suicidal.

Things never really got better.

While I don't remember exactly what happened, I remember this much: When I was in first-grade class, there was a substitute teacher. I was acting up somehow (not intentionally; I was just a wired kid who had no self-control), and the substitute got mad at me and scolded me, and told me to go out to the principal's office.

I couldn't understand why she was so mad. I didn't want to get in trouble. I remember crying, promising the teacher I would behave. She wouldn't listen, and kept insisting that I get out of her classroom. I cried more heavily, and repeatedly said "you don't need me anymore." What that really meant was "I'm sorry I disappointed you and made you mad. I don't want to live anymore."

While growing up, it seemed that everyone was against me in some way. There was hardly a day that went by where I didn't hear things like how stupid I was. How ugly I was. How bad I was. How worthless I was. How I would never amount to anything, ever. Even my father would get so angry at me that he would call me worthless, stupid, and/or pathetic.

Truth is, I've been in auto-pilot for the most part -- I had no control over anything, myself included. If I could do it over again, I would have gone through school making straight A's, listening to authority, and behaving like a good kid. I might have even made a few friends along the way. But the way I acted was the complete opposite. I couldn't focus, I couldn't make myself behave, and I didn't really understand who I was, where I was, or what I was doing there.

While I recently have gotten a (somewhat slightly) better grip on reality, it has not helped matters. I am beginning to see how right they were, about how I would never amount to anything. I am 31-years old. I have worked four months out of my entire life. I never leave the house, as I can't drive a car. I'm receiving disability, but I don't receive enough to buy groceries. I still live with my parents. I have never had a girlfriend. Hell, I'm almost 32, and am still a virgin. How pathetic is that? I mean, it's not as if the opportunity has never presented itself; but I guess it all boils down to the fact that I was always too scared and/or stupid to take advantage of it.

When I was younger, I got beat up a lot at school. I usually didn't put up much of a fight. What can I say -- I have never wanted to hurt people. Now, there are times where I would get mad enough to try and hit someone, but I always hesitated at the last second, so that the resulting blow wouldn't have harmed a newborn baby. And then I got my ass handed to me.

My behavior attracted such incidents. I was never able to keep calm -- I was always bouncing all over the place, my mind racing a mile a minute. When I annoyed someone, I kept doing it -- not to be a nuisance, but because I couldn't help it -- until it ended badly.

My goal in life has always been to make people happy. One could tell because of what I am involved in -- video game development, art, music, comedy writing, and so on. But it seems that the darn auto-pilot is still getting in the way. I keep screwing up, no matter how hard I try not to. In my fervor to make people happy, I end up making the people near me miserable. When I screw up -- which is pretty much every time I try to accomplish something -- I change into another person.

This other person is the complete opposite of what I want to be. This other person makes it a point to make anyone nearby miserable. This other person wants to do horrible things to me and other people. This other person wishes he could wipe out all life -- not just human life, but all life. To him, all life -- without exception -- is absurd to the point that it should simply be extinguished.

I believe this other person is the part of my personality that craves failure, destruction, and death. I have tried so hard for so long to be a good person, but that other part of me always wins out. I fear that, in time, this other person will finally bring the good in me down all the way. When that happens, I fear that the good in me will die, and that the evil within me will take complete control.

I don't understand why. I've struggled with whether God exists for years. When I was in my early 20s, I hated the idea that there was a supreme being of some sort, because there was so much evil in the world. Lately, I have reconsidered that position, and have in fact come to believe that God *is* out there. I've tried to pray to him, but that other part of me keeps me far away from God. I've cried and pleaded for God to help me fight it. My pleas have, apparently, fallen upon deaf ears.

So, after all that, I give up. I'm not going to kill myself, because there is still enough good left in me to see that's what the other person wants. I am not going to give into him. But I do want to apologize to all the people I've ever met for coming into their lives. Everyone deserves better than to have had my presence -- whether momentary, long-term, or anywhere in-between -- taint their existence or their happiness.

I plan to seclude myself from others from now on. When the other person finally wins, I have no idea what will happen. I do not want to hurt anyone else ever again. The best way to see to that is to make sure no when is near me when it happens.

If you have ever known me and are reading this, please forgive me. Forgive me for any time I've ever made you anything but happy. Forgive me for being who I am. Forgive me for being evil. Allow me to disappear into the darkness, unseen, where I belong, and where I can never hurt anyone ever again.

The part about this that is truly unfair is that I love people, but all I can do is harm them. Thus, I must never allow myself to become close to anyone ever again.

Goodbye, my dear friends. I will sorely miss you.