I spend as much time thinking about a blog title as I do writing the blog, and constantly have to check myself to make sure I stay on topic. So, fuck the title, unless I actually have a topic, such as my last post. I’d also ask you to judge me easily on grammar, spelling and punctuation; especially commas. I have spent hours reading about commas trying to ensure I have the perfect sentence structure. I know I don’t get them all right, but I’m blogging, not editing. If you see an error, please point it out, but also keep in mind that this blog isn’t meant to showcase my technical prowess (as though I have some). If I can convince myself the details don’t matter, I’ll spend less time editing and more time creating content.
I realized that it’s been almost ten years since I registered www.sixfathomsdeep.com. I registered it with the intent to start a blog or personal website of some sort. I’m not sure if I even knew the word blog ten years ago. I certainly was a very different person, not a person I’d like to be around now. In fairness, I don’t like myself now, either, but for different reasons. A decade ago, I liked myself reasonably well, oddly enough.
The domain registration predates the period where everything went off the rails, but in hindsight, was a good indicator it was coming. I expect there were a lot of red flags to be thrown, but nobody was watching for them. Nobody I’m aware of, at least. Wanting a private, anonymous place to publish myself didn’t fit with the person I was, but I somehow knew I wanted it. I was still reasonably happily married, still satisfied I was on the right career path for the foreseeable future, on track to meet goals, had never dabbled in drugs, and still clung to a faint belief in the God of the Christian faith and that I was a still included in His master plan. I don’t know what tipped the scales, or if I could wind back the clock, would I hear an audible snap.
Don’t get me wrong, I was never really “right”, but my subconscious worked hard to make me seem that way. I have very early memories of feeling uncomfortable and highly stressed in situations where everyone around me was fine, even thriving. It reminds me of an excerpt from something I wrote a couple years back (If you are interested in who Jerry is, let me know, there’s more):
“The real pain I feel isn’t physical. This is where I think Jerry and I diverge slightly. He’s hardened for sure, and it might be in there somewhere, but I’ll never know. Everywhere I look, I see pain. I can’t recall exactly when I started to to tune into it, but it was in my 30s. It became increasingly difficult for me to ignore that I didn’t fit into the word around me. For years I just assumed I wasn’t working hard enough. From what I could see, everything made sense to the people around me. The almost intuitively knew what to do with their lives. Not that the majority of people I knew were particularly driven or focused, but they appeared to have a path. I didn’t see it, I assumed nobody else did. It never occurred to me that there was some internal compass, some primal instinct that I was missing.
As a kid I hated church and Sunday school. My mother tried diligently to get me there weekly. I have some memories of going to a United church, but at some young age my mother defected to the nazarene. I had a hard time understanding what I was being told while at church, but took it to be absolutely true. That made things a little harder still to calibrate what was around me. I recall as a child, my mother reading a bible stories to me before bed. My own NEV bible with a hand sewn denim jacket, complete with zipper, made lovingly by my mother. It had pockets inside for pens and paper and a cross embroidered on the front. I think I still have it somewhere.
I remember very little of the the stories other than “stoned to death” and “sawn asunder”. I would notice dear mom hesitated while reading those parts. I asked her about both those terms, and it still makes me bristle at how she awkwardly tried to explain the most brutal of tortures and executions as cartoonish memes. Well, they just throw rocks at you. Until you’re dead. How benign. It came from authority, and authority was not to be questioned, ergo, it was truth.
By the time I was in my mid teens, I was often too hungover to go to church. When I did go, I would sometimes ask questions in Sunday school. I maintained status as a role model student, but there were a few times where I drew stern stares from agitated teachers. I never pushed too hard, but I was genuinely confused, even upset, about what appeared to me to be striking hypocrisy and contradiction in the messages of love. Still, I believed it, somehow. Upon reflection, I concluded that my belief came not from the religious doctrine, rather it was from simply believing everyone else around me. I was gaslighted. Gaslit? In any case, when everyone around you believes something, especially as a child, you tend to believe whatever it is, however unlikely or unappealing.”