Archives for posts with tag: Emotion

I felt both overwhelmed and liberated in 2013.  Simultaneously.

I spent the past few hours un-subscribing from 100 mailing lists from whom I receive emails begging for money.  All perfectly decent causes, gun control, black theatre, saving the ocean, climate control, Unicef, the world wildlife fund, democratic causes, mercy for animals, slow money…

I un-subscribed from cook shops, travel companies, furniture stores and fashion lines.  I spent a few moments each day erasing my name from the lists I added myself in the hope of being better informed, no more Gawker or Huffington Post or the Daily Beast.

It was an odd year.  It was unusually diverse.  I continued writing my film tho I stopped talking about it.  I met thieving producers and film industry liars.  I spent time with weed smoking Susan Sarandon in the back of her ping-pong club.  

Away from the film I travelled to Martha’s Vineyard, to Des Moines and over the Rocky Mountains.   I travelled by car all over America.  Los Angeles to New York and back again… three times.  I was constantly surprised by American kindness whenever I found it.  

I fell in and out of love with AA.  In and out of love with the gays tho… mostly out of love.

We are presently finalizing our divorce.

During the past months I began a strange adventure with a young man who I tentatively call my boy friend.  I began to dream again… of better things… even though I am still cautious and burned.  Erring toward single at all times.

I wrote a great deal but never published a word of it.

I wrote indignant things like this…

I am queer.  They are gay.  They are white and affluent.  They want to get married and join the army.  They want to assimilate.  That’s what they say.

When you question them… when you ask them what assimilation looks like… they still want to keep gay pride, gay bars, gay apps, gay film festivals, gay morality.

They want the gay section in the bookshop, the ‘gay voice’ section in The Huffington Post.  They don’t really understand what assimilation looks like because most of them are too comfy not assimilating.

He said, “This is all about your internalized homophobia.” I smiled.  “It’s not internalized, it’s externalized.”

One can devote ones life to betrayal.  Betrayed by parents, family members, institutions, schools, by loved ones even the country of ones origin.  I have felt a smidgen from all of the above.  Yet, I forgave my family, my school, the class system, my beloved country.

Because I wanted to be free.

I huffed and puffed about the NSA, I applauded Glen Greenwald and Chelsea Manning and Ed Snowdon.  I stopped worrying about who could read whatever I was writing privately or which ever websites I was wacking to because there is nothing private.  Not any more.

I met literary heroes on Fire Island like Andy Tobias and had breakfast with John Walters, I spent sultry nights on Cape Cod.  I started Anger Management classes and enjoy them tremendously.

My counsellor asks things like, “Where in your body to you feel the anger first?”

I began to identify the genesis of my anger and feelings of uncomfortability.  It usually starts with a demand for money from a worthy cause.  A picture or video of a screaming rabbit as it is having it’s fur pulled off or a pile of euthanized dogs waiting to be incinerated.

It was the hopelessness that infuriated me, the cruelty, the stupidity, the hypocrisy.

I came to conclusions in 2013.  That I do not, have never had, am not interested in… A CAREER!   Careers, I realized, are… for other people.  For those who may be interested in a legacy.  I stopped calling myself a film maker and started telling people, if they asked, that I do… nothing.

I understood that wherever I found myself both good or bad I was meant to be.  It was all for a reason.  A reason that would one day be revealed to me.  That my life was a series of choreographed moments. The life of a narcissist.  That the cameras I learned to love whilst in the reality show had always been there and had never gone away.

In 2013 I never gave up.  I waited patiently.  I didn’t worry about the future nor was I enslaved to the past.  For this I was grateful.

Occasionally I hankered to go home but knew that after a few days in Whitstable I would find my life shrinking and darkening.  I did not go home.  Though, I spoke more to my Mother this year and was curious about my nieces and nephews.

Finally the JB entanglement came to an end one nondescript day in November.  I wanted to write to him and make amends for the mess I had caused.

But I wrote this instead… it was never sent.

An apology is owed.

I was wrong to lie to you.  I was wrong to lose my temper.  I was wrong to fight you.  I was wrong to have asked for money to be paid when you owed me nothing.  I was wrong to have blamed you for any part of our unhealthy association.  The blame must fall squarely at my feet for everything that went wrong.   The moment you came out I should have politely walked way… I did not.   I was advised by everyone I knew and cared about… to walk away from you but chose to ignore their good suggestion.   I should have thanked you and walked away.  I regret very much that I did not.  I am extremely remorseful.  Due to my weakness of character I initiated a drama that harmed you and caused distress to your family.  I should have walked away.  The moment you told me you were gay.   I know that you are happy now.   I know that your happiness will continue.

It took two years to own up.

2013.  Un-subscribing to websites, making amends, keeping my side of the street clean, owning up, anger management.

Let’s see what 2014 will bring.

As the years pass by, unrelenting, amazing, fulfilling, desperate, happy, sad.

Even though I have filled my homes with art and furniture and friends and the lingering smells of delicious feasts… even though I have made films and plays and paintings…. all I have ever wanted, really craved… was peace of mind.

I’m getting there.  Slowly.  A Happy and Prosperous New Year everyone.

Madness, when it comes upon me is a grueling mystery to solve.  For months now I have been gripped with what started out merely as a broken heart.

When one begins to feel the onset of ones own brand of insanity it is always impossible to make sense of the confusing depth and range of emotions.

In the midst of the maelstrom it all feels so incredibly real.  Yet, as we are well aware, once sanity returns:  FEELINGS are not FACTS.

Regardless of how and why I experienced such a destructive wave of emotion I could only wait, as one does, for the storm to end.

It was galling that I had not suffered a comparable emotional torment for many years, fourteen in fact.  As you have read on these pages, when I first got sober I had the same misery, the same terrible sense of powerlessness that has overwhelmed me every day since last January.

There is no way to prepare for such misery.  One can only pray that it passes.  That it passes swiftly and without too much damage being inflicted on either myself or others.

I have learned so much these last few months.  Learned the very good and the very bad about myself.   It is so incredibly lonely when one is gripped by such furious indignation.

After the storm inevitably there is the wreckage.  After the storm, picking up the pieces of everything that has been smashed and knowing that it is impossible to mend what is so utterly broken.

Salvaging first and foremost ones dignity.

On this occasion I know that I have done irreparable damage to myself.  I used to have hope and I no longer do.  The reserve of hope that I was born with is exhausted.

In many ways I have been returned to that moment last January before we met when I had everything to look forward to.  It is now up to me to start again.  Start building, start a positive dialogue with myself that may include some sort of sanctuary.

My body is wrecked from these past few months.  Fighting, fighting, fighting.

Fighting what was growing inside me, fighting the feelings, fighting my true intentions to be a good and better person.

I have no idea what comes next.  I know in my heart, in the pit of my stomach, in my soul…that I will never attempt to have another relationship.  I seem truly incapable of that basic human connection and unable to deal with the associated feelings of inadequacy that swamp me once I meet any person I value.

I dare not take that risk.

I know that all familiar avenues others take for granted are now closed to me.

When I was a child, the only way I could express my fury at the world was to smash everything in my room.  Everything I held dear.   It was my only option.  There was nowhere to run, no place to hide.

And what of him?

Well, I hope and pray that he is already living a wonderful life, that he has great and extraordinary beauty ahead of him.  I know that he is capable of things I can only dream about.  I finally expunged his name from this blog and worked hard to uncouple him from me in the virtual ether.  His ‘bit of fun’ turned into a nightmare for us both but I am determined to forgive him…the alternative will merely drag me into further insanity.

He is not the problem.  He must be part of the solution.

If I am truly over this catastrophe then I must love him as much as I must love the unfair world around me.  He is a stranger now.  He will remain a stranger.

For what once felt so beautiful, as I predicted, must now be an inconsequential blip.

To this end I must accept any and all of my own shortcomings.  I must see my part in this drama.  Own my part in it.

I must let God take back the reigns.

There are other more important lessons to learn, adventures to be had…but I will not learn any of them unless I can truly forgive.

Malibu November Garden

I remember sitting in a car with my mother.  Her car.  I am in my mid twenties.  The refrigerator that I just bought refuses to work and I have to return it.  I am so full of fear and shame and resentment that I know the only way I can deal with this very simple situation is to lose my temper-but I hate losing my temper!  I hated that the only way I knew to find the confidence to return a refrigerator was to get mad.  I knew, painfully, that I let myself down.  I said to my mother tearfully, “You know HE did this to me, he made me this way.”  I knew instinctively that the crushing blows of my step-father had shattered my confidence and caused a rage so violent it would define my existence.

It would take twenty years for me to know how to deal with my anger and then quite suddenly-it would be gone.

When I was a little boy I remember smashing every single thing I owned.  It was the only power I had over the world.  I smashed everything I loved.  I hated him so much.  I refused to be subjugated by my stepfather.  I could not fight back with my fists so I evolved a tranch of behaviors to defend myself-empower myself-some of which I have to this day.

Pat Carnes says, “Anger and sex can be fused in such a way that it is self-perpetuating, self-destructive, and once ignited, independent of culture and even family.. “

My rage comes from my desire to be free of bondage.  Every time I lose my temper I have the same feeling of casting off my shackles.  Yet, I cast off a great deal more.  I lose my temper at the talent agents and I walk away from a restricting situation and a career.  I lose my temper on the phone to the bank that refuses to acknowledge an error and nearly wreck the car.  I lose my temper violently with a man I do not want to tell the truth and the police call me to discuss the ‘situation’.

There are always consequences for my rage.

After my rage-I think about sex.   I go online and look at men.  I masturbate.  I want to be close to them.

I have a suspicion that on tonight’s sex rehab you may get to see me lose my temper.  Finally!  I am really not as nice as they made me seem so far.  I lose my temper twice during the taping of the show and tonight I lose my temper with the vapid trainer woman who wears her nasty sweats too tight revealing the outline of her vagina.  I think I may refer to it, angrily, as her ‘camel toe’.

This woman was almost certainly a ‘plant’ by the Producers to get the guys to talk more about sex.  I overheard the cameramen say that he ‘felt sorry’ for Phil and James as this ghastly, inappropriately dressed woman bends over in poor Phil’s face.  However, at that moment I was feeling vulnerable and worthless.  I was alone-my friends had gone with Drew and Jill to do art therapy and I felt ignored.  Within the context of the Rehab I felt ignored.  All of the cameras were on them and THAT alien woman.  My rage got the better of me and ANTHONY came to the rescue.

Who is Anthony?  Anthony, caged deep inside of me, only stirs when I feel embarrassed, vulnerable, besieged or when I need protecting from the conspiring world.

Anthony, my alter ego, was the Lord I pretended to be when I lived in Paris in my late teens/early twenties.  My charismatic, acerbic grunt; Anthony is invincible!  Anthony gets things done.  Anthony is the enforcer. He makes films and paints and etches and believes in God but he is also destructive, violent, rageful, addicted to drugs and believes that there is only room in my life for him and me.

Anthony doesn’t trust anybody.  He will convince me that no one is good enough, rich enough, intelligent enough or beautiful enough.  He will convince me, always convinces me, that I best be on my own-that if I don’t listen to him they’ll hurt me like I have been hurt before.  That I will only ever be able to trust him.

When he leaps forward to defend the helpless child I used to be my accent, posture and face completely change.

Anthony terrifies me.  When I am Anthony I stand beyond myself wringing my hands, imploring him to stop, to stop shouting, to put down the knife, please don’t say that to her..Anthony please.  After he has gone it is like a bomb has been dropped in my life and I am left to pick up the pieces.

As I found out in rehab the solution for my anger turns out to surprisingly simple.

They said that I had to get to know Anthony.   They said, acknowledge his attributes: his tenacity, strength, clarity but, they said- when ever he charges to defend you-coursing powerfully through your body, tell him politely to go way-that you can deal with this.

So I say firmly but politely, “Anthony, I can deal with this situation.  Thanks, I can handle this.”

He didn’t want to hear that at first, he badly wanted to defend me.  Now he listens and backs off.  I can feel him sink back into me. Thankfully he is beginning to trust, trust that I can deal with anything I say I can.  That I am not so vulnerable any more.

I had to learn to accept Anthony’s gifts and ditch the rest.  As for me, I am kind, thoughtful, sensitive, diplomatic but prone to people pleasing. Between us we have a chance at being a grown up man, the ying and the yang without the fury or the subjugation.

I had three great revelations in Sex Rehab and this was the first.  More will be revealed.