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Ramblings About How I Cured My Depression

Since Robin William’s suicide I’ve been thinking a bit more about depression and my own relationship with it. It’s always been a very important topic for me. I used to be very depressed to the point where I made plans to kill myself and I think once when I was about twelve I even walked out the door with the intention of following through with it.

One day in seventh grade I remember telling half the class that I wished I was dead. Someone told me that wasn’t cool to joke about and I insisted that I was not joking and I genuinely wished I was dead. I never heard back about that. No one mentioned it to the teacher as far as I know, or if they did, she didn’t bother to address it.

The depression felt absolutely inescapable. For many years I envisioned my adult life as nothing more than going to work, coming home and watching television by myself. My greatest dream in life was to have 500 channels to distract me from how much I hated life. Having a successful career or even a loving girlfriend seemed completely unrealistic for me.

Then I went through a magical transformation in my late teens. It didn’t feel like I overcame a chemical disorder in my brain. It felt like reality itself had altered, like the whole universe had changed shape and meaning, as though God had finally presented Himself to me. If I went back in time to tell myself how happy I would be in my adult life, there’s no chance I would have believed it. I was so deep in depression that I wasn’t able to even accept that this kind of happiness and satisfaction was possible in human beings.

I think that may be one of the keys. A depressed person must first accept that happiness, true happiness and satisfaction absolutely is possible. But how do you communicate that? Just telling someone that it’s possible isn’t going to do it because it’s a feeling and belief that lies much deeper than our logical reasoning.

For so many years I’ve wanted to try to explain how I did it but it seems like every year that goes by it gets harder to frame into words and I lose the sense of what it felt like to be depressed.

What I do know is that I made a conscious choice to stop being depressed. I know that’s offensive to many people, but I truly believe it. However, I also remember when people would tell me that I could just choose to be happy. That didn’t help me. Just insisting that happiness is a choice is not doing anything to help people with depression.

On the other hand, insisting that depression is all chemical, calling it a disease, telling people that they are helpless, and implying that the cure can only be done through a doctor, I believe is even more damaging. I think that attitude was a big part of what kept me trapped for most of my childhood. There were actual authorities on the subject telling me that I was helpless, making me believe that there was nothing I could do to affect my own life.

I know that there are many chemical and biological reasons for depression. It frequently seems like a disease to both the sufferer and the medical professionals, but I feel that reminding people of that is an extremely counter-productive approach. People should feel empowered to make changes. Calling it a disease strips people of that power.

I never went to counselors for my depression or even really talked about it beyond that one day in seventh grade. I’m certainly not suggesting that people be that closeted about it, but in a way, I think it helped me by not telling anyone. I was never put in counseling and never prescribed drugs. I came out of my depression completely on my own. I think that counseling may really have helped me get out of it earlier, but I am convinced that taking regular pharmaceuticals may have helped temporarily but would ultimately have made me even more trapped in my negative perspectives.

However, my depression left me right around the same time that I got deep into marijuana and psychedelic use and started selling drugs. You could argue that the mushrooms, LSD and other psychedelics I took at that time changed the chemical makeup of my brain and allowed me to find a better life. There’s probably some truth to that, but at the same time I’ve known many depressed people who smoke weed and take psychedelics and see no improvement. In a very small number of cases it even seemed to make it worse. So simply going out and having fun with recreational drugs is not going to cure depression.

So what was it that really ended my depression? It’s hard for me to know for sure, but I think it had to do with me just kind of giving up on a lot of stuff. Again, not something I would recommend for someone fighting depression. But in all honesty, I kind of gave up on life. Specifically, I gave up on trying to find a girlfriend, but also, in general I gave up on my drive to be happy and fulfilled. Instead, I decided to just start smoking pot until I forgot how sad I was. I figured when the marijuana stopped killing the pain I would start drinking and if that didn’t do it I’d move on to coke and eventually heroin if that’s what it took to to make myself feel good.

I hesitate to tell this story because it sounds like absolutely horrendous advice to give to someone with depression. And it would be. In no way am I advising folks to take this approach.

On the other hand, it’s what worked for me. Life is such a strange, backward, counter-intuitive experience. Perhaps realizing that was part of my solution. I had to recognize that there is no logical road map for life and there never will be. Each and every person must carve their own path.

There were other things during that time that I think kept me safe from dangerous drug addiction. I got some minor drug addictions to marijuana and tobacco and may have felt myself becoming addicted to a couple other things like a form of speed that was still legal, but nothing that would kill me.

But I think what it came down to was that I was willing to make the decision to end my depression. I was willing to make the sacrifices. I was willing to give up all respect from my family and society as I went down my path of illicit drug use. I was okay with the risks. I knew I might go to prison or wind up dead in a ditch. I accepted that. At the time I didn’t realize how safe marijuana and mushrooms really were so I always felt like I was taking this huge risk. I think that sense of risk helped tremendously. Even though the fear was unpleasant at the time, the next day, after facing my fears of trying that new mystery drug, I felt empowered, like I’d overcome something, even if I hadn’t enjoyed the high. In the long run I think that was a major player in the end of my depression.

Another thing I think, was simply the marijuana community in Bellingham, Washington. That was just a unique and happy coincidence that the small-time drug dealers and users in that town were such supportive and caring individuals who accepted me for who I was without judgement. I guess that’s one solid piece of advice I can give in all this rambling: surround yourself with people who support you and accept you for who you are. Reject the others… but reject them compassionately.

On the other hand, you also want to surround yourself with people who are honest with you, who aren’t going to lie to you to protect your feelings. For me, I am happiest and most comfortable around people who I know aren’t going to sugar-coat things. If I catch someone lying, even if it’s coming from a place of love, I lose trust in that person and I lose a measure of self-respect. If I see them being brutally honest with someone, even if they’re being harsh, that can make more comfortable knowing they probably aren’t harboring unspoken judgments.

Is that good advice? I don’t know. It seems so counter-intuitive. Many folks insist that you should be supportive and make people feel good even if that means not being totally straight with them. That doesn’t work for me but it might for other people. But I wonder if many people who take that attitude are also suffering depression. It does seem kind of rare to see someone who is ruthlessly honest and straightforward who is also suffering from deep depression, but maybe that’s just my own perceptions fucking with me.

But maybe the best advice I can give is to experiment. Don’t just accept your depression lying down. Try new things. Try new ways of looking at life. Get to know new kinds of people. Gauge how all this makes you feel over time and keep experimenting. If something helps you feel empowered or like there’s a beacon of hope, then explore it further, even if it doesn’t directly help your depression. Search for new and different ways to truly convince yourself that escape is possible and that you deserve that escape, and that your friends, family and society are all rooting for you.

On the other hand, I’m no psychologist or counselor. I’m just one dude who happened to cure his own depression and is now writing a rambling, disorganized blog post about it. Who knows if I have any idea what I’m talking about.

Dave’s Looking At Porn

I don’t know why I’m even posting this, honestly, except that I just don’t like throwing away old writings. Just a stupid story I thought was funny at the time.

I sat at my desk writing code like any other day at work when my boss Dave stepped out of his office and said, “I have an announcement, everyone. I just want everyone to know that I’m not looking at porn–” he shook his head nervously. “I mean, I am looking at porn, but I’m doing it for legitimate reasons… so if anyone hears any moaning from my speakers or sees naked people in my window, I’m looking at porn for the company… I just didn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea… I’m not doing anything nasty back here.”
Chris swiveled around in his seat. “Um… that’s gonna require a little bit more explanation… like what kind of porn, and how do I get on board with this project?”
“I’m checking out this guy’s portfolio–we’re thinking about hiring a new designer–and this guy is pretty good but he’s done a lot of work for porn sites so I have to go check ’em out and see what he can do.”
“So did he give you a bunch of usernames and passwords to these sites?” Chris asked.
“Yeah, actually. He gave me about half a dozen different logins.”
“Dude! Hook me up!”

Wierd Al vs MC Hammer

This a true story I wrote years ago but I’ve just been hanging onto it, not posting it, because, well, it’s just kind of silly and pointless, but because I just can’t stand it sitting in my drafts folder any longer, i’m just going to go ahead and post the damn thing. Here it is. Wierd Al vs MC Hammer.

I was on vacation with my mom, aunt and cousins in Hawaii, driving around in our rented mini-van when the current number one hit, Can’t Touch This, came on the radio. My cousins all shouted “Turn it up! Turn it up!”.

We grooved to the song and my cousins made some comments about how brilliant and hip MC Hammer was. I was definitely an MC Hammer fan at the time. In fact, MC Hammer was the first CD I ever bought, but I still decided to say “I don’t understand why everyone loves this song so much. I mean, it’s cool but why’s it so special? There’s nothing really different or inventive about it, yet everyone’s going nuts over it.”

“Yeah, this coming from the guy who carries around Wierd Al tapes,” said my cousin Brad, and everyone had a good laugh at my expense. “MC Hammer has something called talent. He’s the future of rap, Dude. Wierd Al just rips off other songs and makes stupid jokes.”

“Well, I think Wierd Al will be around longer than MC Hammer,” I said.

They burst into hysterics. “Dear Lord, Kalin, you have a lot to learn about music.”

Originally I thought this was one of those classic “I told you so” moments, but then I looked up MC Hammer and discovered that he has continued putting out albums every couple years ever since his old “Please Hammer, don’t Hurt Em,” and continues making music today. It still remains to be seen who will be around longer.

“According to members of Nirvana interviewed for Behind the Music, when they saw the video [Smells Like Nirvana], they laughed hysterically. Additionally, Cobain described Yankovic as ‘a musical genius.'” -Wikipedia

Finally Re-posting The Beginner’s Guide to Marijuana Distribution

After all these years I finally got back to posting this. The Beginner’s Guide to Marijuana Distribution. I wrote this sometime around 2002, maybe shortly before or during the time I was going to school for web development. I didn’t really want to write it at first, but I had a website called Get To Know a Marijuana Dealer that’s point was to show that drug dealers are people too, to humanize us and help people understand that we aren’t these evil monsters that we’re depicted as in the media, that we sell drugs because we believe people should have the right to make their own decisions and do with their own bodies as they choose, or in my case, because we believe some of these drugs are amazing substances that can have tremendously positive impacts on society. I started dealing marijuana because it was something I believed in, something that made me feel like I was making a difference, contributing to society, fighting back against the tyranny of government and society that is driving our suicide and chronic depression rates to all-time highs.

I quit in 2007 because it was just too much work for too little payout, because my web development career took off and I stared making so much more money than I ever could selling weed, but mostly because I moved to a new city and just didn’t have the customers anymore. I miss selling pot. I really do. I felt like I was actually doing something with my life. Now all I do is write code for websites.

It took me a month or so to get all these 40 pages set up and posted, mostly because I always have something going on around me. I spent 13 years living alone, and I finally decided to get a roommate again just two years ago and I still haven’t completely adjusted to all the activity around me. It’s very hard for me to write when other people are in the room with me so I let this website and my other writings go to waste in trade for all the extra activity. Anyway, on the few occasions when I was working on these pages, I found them bringing back memories, some pleasant, like that feeling like I was a rebel, fighting for a better society, knowing that my efforts would eventually help bring about legalization and a freer community for the future. But it also brought back a lot of unhappy memories about dealing with the police, and the pain of all those lies they told me and all that ignorance I had about how police behave. I believe the most important thing anarchists can do to convince people that police are not the good guys, is to simply tell it like it is, to give facts about how police actually do what they do, and what it actually does to people when they do it.

I don’t think I’ve ever done a good job of communicating the psychological effects of the things the police did to me… like how devastating it was for me to find out that they systematically, and without any show of remorse, lied about everything they possibly could to manipulate me into giving up my friends and then tried to manipulate my friends into killing me, all the while insisting they were my friends and were trying to help me, then having so many people assume that I’m the bad guy because I did something illegal, even when many of them didn’t believe it should be illegal. But it’s funny that even after they tried to destroy my life and get me killed, the truly traumatic thing that they did to me happened in a completely unrelated situation, where I was walking home from a Halloween party because I knew it was illegal to ride a bicycle after drinking, and I was mistaken for someone who had stolen a DVD player. I describe this event in Chapter 24, Dealing with Cops. The officer pointed a gun directly in my face, treated me like an animal, then when he found out I wasn’t the guy he was looking for, didn’t even have the common decency to say he was sorry.

I don’t think many people truly understand what this can do to a person and what it feels like to have all of society supporting the people who did this to you.

A DVD player. That’s what I remember anyway. They were willing to kill me over a DVD player, a DVD player that I didn’t even steal. That cop is considered a hero for this. For the rest of my life I will have to live with the fact that my entire life is worth less than a DVD player. I will have to know that everyone who supports the police, sometimes my own friends and family, would rather have seen me with a bullet through my head, brains splattered across the pavement than they would live in a world where their DVD player might get stolen.

I think I may have thought about this event every day for the last decade and yet, in that chapter, I just kind of glazed over all the important emotional aspects of that story. I didn’t mention the part where the trauma caused me to black out for the remainder of my walk home or how I wasn’t capable of laughing for a couple days afterward. I guess I was too proud to admit to that kind of thing. Even now I still see that gun bearing down on me and that trigger finger twitching and some days I can’t for the life of me get it out of my head. At least when I got arrested for marijuana and the police tried to get someone to beat me to death, at least I had known beforehand that I was playing with fire and for some reason that was not nearly as traumatizing.

I had this overwhelming urge to fight back that night I was mistaken for a DVD player thief because I thought for sure the officer was going to kill me regardless of what I did, considering the rage and hatred I saw in his eyes, and the fact that he had stalked me for a couple blocks before finally confronting me, and the fact that I was running an anarchist website, but I fought back against those instincts and did what he told me to do. If I did not have the emotional control of someone as deeply logical as myself, I would easily have been dead. I think many of my friends in that exact same situation would have been shot to death simply for not having immediate control over all that sudden adrenaline.

But normal people who have not experienced this, they just don’t understand what it’s like, and just blindly assume that the police are always doing good in our society, and that everyone they hurt… well, we must have somehow deserved it.

And I think most people who have had experiences with cops have some kind of long-term emotional trauma. That’s kind of the whole point. If these experiences weren’t traumatizing, they wouldn’t be very good crime deterrents. It’s just that the trauma is frequently manifested in different ways, such as self-loathing, anger, or actually giving in to this idea that you’re a horrible person who deserves to suffer or that your whole life really is worth less than whatever it was that cop was willing to shoot you over, or a blanket hatred of society. If we really want to make a difference, we need to be open and honest about what happens in our minds after we are arrested or go through an experience with the police so that people can see how counter-productive they are to a peaceful society. I guess I’m as guilty as anyone of that.

That’s how I feel now, but I guess when I wrote this book I was thinking more along the lines of fighting back by selling more weed and engaging in civil disobedience.

Happiness Is A Choice

This Is Scientific Proof That Happiness Is A Choice.

This is an article I found that sparked my thinking about this concept. I don’t like the idea of ‘proof’ since I don’t think there is such a thing as proof since there is always the chance something in our reasoning is incorrect and I think it’s dangerous to think of things in absolutes like that. However, I do truly believe that happiness is a choice. Furthermore I believe many other things in life that people believe they are stuck with are also choices. I know that’s an offensive thing to say but I don’t say it because I want to hurt the feelings of people with chronic depression, attention-deficit disorder, insomnia or members of the gay community, but I say this to empower people. I do not understand why so many people take so much comfort in this idea that they are helpless to change who they are…

…well, I heard a theory once. I believe her name was Carolynn Myss or something like that–but I may be confusing her with someone else, but I rented this video of a speech she gave about people hanging onto their pain and emotional and physical injuries. She described this concept of “social currency”, the idea that people hold onto their problems in order to gain that sympathy that they crave from society, that they make subconscious choices that undermine their attempts to heal so they can prove that they are helpless, that they are just a victim, to gain that sympathy from people and to feel comfortable in their place in life.

I see overweight people with unhealthy lifestyles who fall and hurt themselves, get headaches and regularly feel ill and tired, then wonder why they have such bad luck and imply that they are somehow cursed instead of admitting that their unhealthy lifestyle is affecting their health. They get offended when people don’t show sympathy or recommend changes they could make to improve their health. It’s so simple to drink enough water or balance your protein intake yet they refuse to do it and roll their eyes when someone suggests that one thing affects another, just insistent that they are powerless.

It seems like when I was a kid we still had people in the gay community considering the idea that they had made a choice, saying “well, maybe when I was a little kid I just saw the way this society works and the way men and women treat each other and I saw the overpopulation and this static, plastic society we live in and I just decided I wanted something better for my life and it just stuck in my head and it became a part of me over time. I don’t know. It’s hard to tell.” But now they won’t even consider the idea, and anyone who suggests that there’s an element of choice in our sexuality is just an asshole, hate-monger republican. This attitude, I think, makes the whole situation worse for the gay community, increasing their sense of helplessness and increasing homophobia and decreasing individuals and society’s ability to understand their own sexuality.

Instead, I believe in choice. I was NOT born this way. When I was born my brain was unformed, as I heard in some documentary about childbirth. When we are born, our brains are simpler than just about any other mammal. Everything we are, everything that makes us human beings is formed after we are born, through our environment and our choices. Nothing is completely out of our control. You can show me scientific evidence of how wrong I am, because I’m sure there is lots, but all that will do is empower you to be powerless and meanwhile those of us who believe in choice, will be capable of figuring out ways around our problems, to deal with them, eliminate them, or turn them to our advantage.

When I was a kid I was very depressed, and granted, part of it was school. Just being trapped in a classroom every day without ever given an opportunity to feel like I was actually accomplishing anything or feel like I had a choice, that was much of what made me depressed, but the core of my depression came from me. I could have dealt with it if I’d had the courage to step outside of my comfort zone and be the person I wanted to be instead of embracing the idea that this was just who I was and I’d be depressed forever. I remember watching Herman’s Head and thinking that’s all I wanted out of life, was 500 channels on the TV and if I was lucky I could find a girlfriend who didn’t get mad at me for looking at porn. That was the extent of my ambitions. Today I have accomplished all of my childhood goals plus so much more.

When I was 18 I started smoking pot, and I don’t want to imply that marijuana cured my chronic depression but it did open pathways in my mind that allowed me to think about life and the universe in a totally different manner. It allowed me to accept the fact that I’m just a human of flesh and blood and that my life really isn’t worth a whole lot, which sounds depressing but in my situation it was freeing and empowering, knowing that if I had an accident and killed myself, it would not be a travesty. I started taking risks in life and started going out to enjoy myself. Instead of blindly following society’s standards I started selling weed and making friends, many of whom are still good friends today, putting an end to the loneliness that had plagued me my whole life.

I recall after I’d been in the drug community for maybe a year or so, around early 1998, and I broke up with my girlfriend for unrelated reasons and I had this night where my depression came back. It was really weird as I still did not have a solid understanding of how my mind worked. I don’t remember what exactly happened that night but I remember taking a large dose of mushrooms by myself, as I was still under the mistaken impression, inspired by my old DARE classes, that drugs just “make” you happy, like they can just kill the sadness the way ibuprofen kills physical pain. Of course, this is a dangerous fallacy but something many drug users fall into. So I took shrooms by myself and walked to the graveyard where I had happily tripped  with friends a few times before. It was a mile or two away and as I walked I became more and more depressed and dejected, thinking of how all of society hated me for being a drug user, how I had not yet become open about it with my family and of course about how I’d finally had to end it with my girlfriend who I cared about very deeply but just wasn’t sexually attracted to anymore.

I think that may have been the night when I started to really understand that pot and shrooms tend to act as enhancements to the feelings you already have and do not change your emotions. I tried and tried to get into the trip like I usually could when I was out with my friends. The more I tried to make myself happy, the more depressed I became. So I decided to just go the opposite, explore the depression and just become as miserable and unhappy as I possibly could, thinking that at the very least, in the future, I would be able to tell myself “well, at least it’s not as bad as that night I went to the graveyard by myself on shrooms”. It rapidly became a horrible experience and I remember sitting on someone’s tomb, smoking bowls, dwelling on my ex-girlfriend, dwelling on my lack of accomplishments in my high-school years, dwelling on how my writing wasn’t progressing as I’d hoped, and dwelling on how I’d decided to become one of the most hated members of society, a drug user and beginning drug dealer. I told myself how worthless I was, how everyone hated me for who I was, how politicians campaign on their desire to destroy my life because society blames people like me for all their problems. I felt like I’d sink into this pit of tears and horribleness but I was so angry at my mind, so angry at my depression that I just pushed harder, saying fine, if I’m gonna be depressed, I might as well go all the fucking way with it.

Then I hit a wall, a place where I found that could not get any worse, a place that started to finally make sense and it was something that could not be put into words, an understanding of how the human mind works, how our emotions drive us, how they were created through millions of years of randomness and evolution to serve certain purposes but were not specifically designed and don’t always make sense. I learned more about myself that night, high on shrooms, alone in a graveyard than I think I ever have on any night before or since.

And all that depression reformed itself into a thoughtfulness, a revelation that I wish I could put into words. What I was feeling ceased to be depression and became a new perspective and a desire to make a positive change in my life… but not the kind of change that society demanded of me, the kind of change I wanted for myself.

I remember walking back from the graveyard after I had peaked and wondering what the hell had made me so depressed just a couple hours earlier. I saw the cars passing by and thought about the internal combustion engine and how spectacular it is that human beings could create something like that, how we could take charge over physics and our environment to benefit everyone (not that I think automobiles are such an awesome invention now. That’s just what I was thinking at the time.)

And I got back home and started listening to Weird Al Yankovic thinking that my life would never be the same, that I would never again feel that low, never again feel so helpless, feeling like I had finally, after all these years, made a conscious choice to take control of my mind and soul and that I finally had the power to be the person I want to be.

Anyway… I’ve been rambling. I wanted to talk about how people use this “born this way” attitude to justify being an asshole or being closed minded, saying “I can’t help it I’m a music snob” when they say hurtful things about your choice in music, just as an example, or in some cases, when they’re just a selfish asshole but instead I went off on my own little story. I keep wanting to remind my readers that I do not edit these posts any more. I just write and get my thoughts out without worrying about it, instead trying to have a free-flow of ideas, so as a result, shit like this happens.

But back to the point of the story: that you can’t just wake up and decide, “Okay, I’m gonna be happy today” and just make it happen. Maybe that’s what many people think we mean by “happiness is a choice”. But no, it’s much more complicated than that. Sometimes you need the courage to leap off that emotional cliff, the courage to give up everything you believe in and everything you think makes you you in exchange for the things you’ve always wanted but thought you didn’t deserve or otherwise could never have. You might argue that it was not my choice, that it was the shrooms and the weed that saved me, that my brain was simply missing whatever chemicals those drugs provided, but I do not believe that. I think those shrooms could have just as easily done harm, could have sent me in the opposite, unhealthy direction if I had chosen to allow that to happen… on the other hand, I don’t think I would have realized these things until many years later if I had not been experimenting with drugs.

So if you want to be happy, you have to get off your ass and do what you need to do to make it happen. Research the science behind happiness, explore your mind. Figure it out. Don’t just listen to Lady Gaga and tell yourself you were ‘born this way’ and give up. We all have it in us to change who we are and become better, happier people if we put forth the effort and make the decision to make it happen.

PUPPYCIDE: The Documentary by Ozymandias Media — Kickstarter

This is another post in my new style of just writing and not really editing, flying by the seat of my pants, if you will. As a result, this post starts off talking about this documentary about cops killing dogs and rambles on into a confession about my childhood.

PUPPYCIDE: The Documentary by Ozymandias Media — Kickstarter.

I read once many years ago, before the internet, that many police departments tell their officers to always shoot dogs when they are on drug busts because it intimidates the criminal and gets them emotionally worked up so they are more likely to make a mistake and get themselves convicted. It’s a pretty effective strategy if you think about it. Now I’m sure most people would read this and just assume that it’s too horrible to be true, at least in our country, but it’s not. Once you become a person who accepts that kind of violence and cold-heartedness, you generally don’t go back, and the scary thing is that it’s real easy to seem like the good guy and continue fitting in with society.

You're trying to tell me shooting dogs is all for officer safety?
You’re telling me shooting dogs is for officer safety?

Please take a look at the video on this page if you believe that police are the good guys in our society. Take a look at what is just a small sample of the suffering that they cause every day. These are not just isolated incidents but are a product of policy and a fundamental problem with the way we are going about crime prevention. While I very much support the goals of this documentary, I disagree with the clip that implied that the problem is a lack of training and that the officers don’t really want to kill these dogs. It’s not about the officer protecting himself, it’s about him being overcome with a primal, animalistic urge to have the ultimate power over another living creature and to feel that adrenaline.

And I must admit that the reason I believe this is because I feel that primal urge too. I recall as a child, a peer took me behind his house to a stream and we sat down on the edge of the stream and he pulled out a little saucer and filled it with some fingernail polish remover he’d gotten from his mom’s medicine cabinet, then he caught a fish and dropped it into the saucer so he could watch it suffer and die. He made it clear that he had done this before. That event still messes with my head some days. I think I remember him talking about capturing a cat or squirrel or something and torturing it but I’m not sure if he was talking about an idea he had, or maybe he was just trying to freak me out because he saw how I didn’t like the whole thing with the fish, or maybe it was something he actually did. There were certainly other things that made me question his character. Anyway, the guy is a respected police officer now.

But I think this may be the first time I ever told this story. I have a few of these kind of stomach-turning stories that I’ve never talked about. I assume most people have these kind of stories that they never talk about because it’s just not something you bring up at the dinner table, but I think why I hold back talking about these kind of events is that I don’t feel as disgusted as I should. A part of me was fascinated by this kind of thing. I never got into hurting animals because I never saw the point as they were already so helpless and innocent, but what I wanted to do was hurt people. That’s why I wanted to be a cop.

I don’t talk about it much because I don’t want to freak people out and shatter their view that I’m this wonderful, caring person, even if I am a bit emotionally distant, but when I was a kid I had a lot of really horrible fantasies that involved me doing awful things to other people like bombing their homes, killing their children in front of them, locking them in dungeons to starve to death, cutting off their fingers and laughing at their screams. They never transferred into real life, thank God, but they could have. However, in all my fantasies of horror, killing and torture, I was never the bad guy. Never once did I fantasize about being a serial killer. I was always a police officer punishing people who were even more horrible than me–like drug dealers–I was a fighter pilot bombing the russians to prevent the evils of communism or a government sanctioned terrorist, killing off the British because for some reason when I was a kid I thought we were still at war with the British. I was so convinced the British all deserved to die for supporting a government that tried to keep America from becoming it’s own nation. I was always a patriot, always a fighter for truth and justice. Even when I was smashing the skulls of small children in these fantasies, I was still the good guy, merely doing what had to be done to teach the hard lessons that need to be taught… except those were all excuses and in reality my fantasies stemmed from nothing more than a carnal, animalistic part of my brain that just wanted to feel that power, adrenaline and sadistic intensity.

I don’t know how I grew out of it, but I suspect it had to do with Star Trek and that one scene where Spock is behind the window and gives his life and says “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one.” Or maybe it was my liberal, peace-loving parents, or a combination of things, but I grew out of it, thankfully, by my early teens. I wanted so badly to be a cop or soldier and when I grew out of my fantasies, I grew out of that desire. I believe that a large percentage of police and soldiers are people just like me who never grew out of that phase. They’re doing it for the action, because they enjoy it. The patriotism and “serving and protecting”, fighting terrorism, etc. are just the adult versions of the excuses I made up for wanting to kill all the British.

So a part of my anarchism stems from my fight against myself, but that part of myself is something I don’t talk about, another example I guess of how hard it is to talk about the real, deeper reasons we became anarchists. I’m an anarchist because I fear that part of myself. I’ve seen it myself and I know what it can do and I know how easily that kind of awfulness can seem like a good and necessary thing. I’ve seen how our brain can make up excuses for ourselves and believe them intensely. I don’t want to give too much power to people like me, because when given a license to do awful things, we will do awful things, we can do them without remorse and we can tell you our excuses with a straight face because we believe them ourselves.

Three New True Stories About Sex and Women

So today I added three new stories that I’ve been hanging on to for a few years now. These are all true stories and I’ve been nervous to post them for reasons I’m not totally sure about but I’ve decided I need to just do it and move on because they’re real things that happened to me and if I don’t post them I will just forever feel like they’re stories that need to be told, though I’m not too sure what I’m trying to say with them.

I want to experiment with not editing so much. I’ve been really bad about posting here because I always feel like I need multiple hours and my life is so busy and awesome these days that I just never get that amount of time unless I shedule time and stick to it so I’m thinking about trying something where I just write and write and write and don’t look back. I want to try not editing so much and worrying about whether or not I’ve already said something and whatnot. This will mostly apply to my blog posts and I’ll take a lot more care in my stories, though these three are an exception and I will try just not really looking over them and just posting them as-is. I think my perpectives on these subjects have probably changed too much since I wrote them anyway.

Anyway… these three stories I’m not going to edit. They’re years old, talking about events even more years before they were written. So… I guess… they’re not really PC, you know… it’s hard for me to tell… they may offend some people but maybe… I don’t know… they’re just stories that actually happened to me… at least to the best of my memory.

Warning: sexual and potentially offensive content in all three of them.

Anyway, enough babbling. I’ll start with The Condom, which is a story about this time a girl tried to trick me into getting her pregnant because she thought that would convince her parents to buy her a car. What am I trying to say with this story… I don’t know… most people see crazy stuff like this and they just want to run away from it and say “well, that person is just crazy” but I like to explore that kind of thing… maybe avoid getting involved, but at least try to think about this kind of thing and what it means.

I think it might take some time for me to get used to this free write thing and not going back to edit anything… it’s weird to just babble on the keyboard like this but admittedly it’s going a whole lot faster than my normal blog posts. If I got used to this I might even be able to do this on the bus on my phone.

Anyway, the next story is called Rape Me, about a girlfriend I had who… well, you know how those “ignorant and women-hating conservatives” say that women invite rape, well these kinds of stories may be what they are referring to and I think that’s why I have held off so long in telling this story, other than the fact that I’d prefer it if people didn’t try to figure out who this person is in the story (I usually use fake names in my true stories). Anyway, since I wrote this I actually experienced a situation where someone tried to rape me and I had to fight him off… it went down just like it does in the after-school-special except we were two dudes and I was able to fight him off and/or convince him to quit and in the end it was not that big a deal, which has really made me rethink the way I look at rape. As horrible and evil as this sounds, they are human beings. I’m gonna stop now before I really start offending people.

The third story is called Drunk and Horny College Chicks, about a night I got pretty drunk and met a couple hot college girls, one of whom had just graduated from some bio-engineering degree. I’m not really sure what I’m getting at with this story. It’s kind of pointless I guess, though it does illustrate the kind of sexual and personal freedom that I advocate. Most people would probably look down on these women, but I thought they were awesome and this night still sticks with me as an example of people just having fun and enjoying life.

Okay, so I’m going to end this rambling blog post soon but I will say that I have more stories and writings sitting in my backlog, though I think this may be last of the true stories that I have sitting in reserve, though I do have a whole bunch of true stories that I still need to write… perhaps the most important ones are the ones that I haven’t written yet.

Okay, I’m going to call this blog post, my first attempt at just rambling without thinking, it’s done now.

A Spanking Made Me Kinky

I think one of the reasons anarchists have such a hard time communicating is the fact that the things that led us to become anarchists are so personal and outside of the norm that we can’t talk about them. The main events that led me to become an anarchist are, for the most part, things that are not easy to talk about. Maybe we don’t want to get someone in trouble, don’t want to admit to wrongdoing ourselves, don’t want to admit that we can identify with the criminals, maybe because we were too traumatized by the event, or in the case of this story, just because it’s embarrassing. It just seems like the really powerful experiences that cause us to become anarchists are things that aren’t socially acceptable to talk about in everyday conversations.

So this is a clip from an autobiography that I tried to write years ago and gave up on because it just wasn’t turning out very well and I happened to come across a few weeks ago and decided to salvage. Not my greatest writing, but hopefully for some people it can open a new perspective on a classic issue.

——————-

I went to a  babysitter a few times as a child who I’ll call Melissa. I didn’t really like her too much as she just seemed angry, and I wondered why she’d decided to be a mom and a babysitter if she was constantly mad at kids for being kids. But she wasn’t abusive by any means.

    She took us to McDonalds once and I didn’t understand what I was ordering. I was used to getting chicken nuggets and wound up getting a hamburger, which is normally something kids like, but I’ve never liked hamburger for some reason and I couldn’t finish my happy meal.

    Melissa didn’t like that and tried to force me to finish my meal, and finally said that I couldn’t have my happy meal toy, a little plastic boat, which for some reason, I wanted desperately. I tried to argue, but as a little kid you just don’t have a grasp over the language, even if you understand the concepts logically that you want to communicate, and it’s harder to deal with emotions at that age, because your feelings are so foreign and powerful, so you wind up whining or crying and being difficult. To me this is perfectly normal and not a big deal. It’s just a sign that kids need to get a better grasp of the language and have more experiences to put their emotions into perspective.

    But she didn’t feel that way, so she hit me. Not hard, of course. It was just a slap to the hand, and the pain was gone within seconds, but somehow it instantaneously and permanently changed my personality.

    As I saw it, the only time you hit a person is if they have absolutely no value as a human being. The only reason you would need to go that far is if a person is so insane, so stupid, so illogical, and so completely worthless, that you simply cannot communicate with them through any kind of words, pictures or stories.

    I told Melissa that I was going to tell my parents and she insisted that they would support her decision and that I had deserved it.

    The event kept coming back to mind, and I kept wondering if I was really as worthless as Melissa had been telling me. One day my mom told me that I’d be going back to Melissa’s house and she noticed that I was very upset, and finally coaxed me into talking about what happened.

    To my relief, my mom was just as upset by the incident as I was, and immediately changed her mind about sending me there. I thankfully never saw Melissa again, and my mom explained that Melissa had been the wrong one. She was the one who was too stupid to understand how to communicate, not me.

    And my mom saying that, I believe, saved me from a very dark and depressed path that I could have taken.

 

    But here’s where it gets interesting.

    I did not stop thinking about the spanking. In fact, quite the opposite, over the weeks and months, I thought about it more and more, and in my mind, turned it into a whole ritualistic event where she had pulled my pants down, taken me over the knee and spanked me repeatedly in front of everyone in McDonald’s, instead of the quick and discreet little slap on the wrist that had stopped hurting almost before I’d had a chance to cry about it.

    And slowly, the more I thought about it, it turned from a horrifying and degrading event, into a wondrous and magical empowerment that gave me powerful and baffling emotions, but left me yearning for more. Within a few months, I was fantasizing about spankings every night, and it slowly became an obsession.

    I started scheming about how I could find another babysitter that believed in spanking… but I didn’t want the sissy little hand slap. I wanted the full on, over the knee, humiliation in front of the other kids, the kind of punishment that makes you cry and beg, the kind you still feel the next day, the kind that leaves little red spots to remind you for days afterward.

I spent many hours trying to think of ways that I could first find a babysitter like this, and second, trick my parents into sending me to her without having them find out about it. Then I would be able to just go crazy and misbehave however I wanted and would be rewarded with the most wondrous thing I could imagine, real discipline.

    But of course, I never succeeded at that.

    And I was never again spanked, and I did not figure out until I was almost twelve years old that my spanking fetish was sexual in nature. I’ve often wondered what would have happened if I had been spanked at some point after that. I usually consider my experience with Melissa to be my first sexual experience, but it was not sexual at the time, it only became so afterward. If I had been spanked again, after developing my fetish, I don’t think I can predict how I would have developed.

    Either way, I had a full-on spanking fetish by the time I was in kindergarten.

 

    My spanking fetish melded into more complex fetishes over the years, and I began to fantasize about all sorts of domination, specifically anything police related, and anything child-discipline related. I fantasized about being thrown in prison, being handcuffed, being ordered to stand in the corner or even being forced to write sentences. Sometimes when I was by myself, I’d pretend I was being punished, and I’d see how long I could stand with my nose to the wall like the teachers would do to kids at school.

    I started feeling like I was insane. All the adults everywhere spoke of prisons, spankings and other discipline as being deterrents, and implied that everyone, everywhere, sees these things as being unpleasant. I felt like an outsider to the human race, like my whole mind just ran backwards, so I hid my feelings.

    But eventually I couldn’t take the secret any more, and one day when I was ten or so, I decided to just take the leap and tell one of my friends, a kid I’ll call Jim, about all my feelings. I expected him to be shocked, to tell me I was insane, that there was something wrong with me, but I needed to tell someone, and if he ran home and told his parents and had me thrown in a mental institute, I figured I could deal with that, because it would probably be for the best.

    But Jim was not appalled by my revelation. Instead, his eyes lit up and his mouth dropped open, and he cried, “Dude, I’m the exact same way! I love spankings… My mom has this stick that she hits me with… and I know exactly what to do to get it… I like it when she hits me five times… ten’s a bit too many, but five from the stick is just right, and I’ve figured out just what to say to make her just mad enough so she hits me just as hard as I like it… it’s the most awesome thing ever… I can’t think of anything I like more than that stick hitting my bare butt.”

    And he continued on, and I started to get creeped out, as my fantasies had never involved any family members, but as he went on, talking about his own wild bondage fetishes that went beyond anything I had envisioned, I realized that I was not so crazy and abnormal after all.

 

    But part of me thought that Jim and I had been some kind of cosmic coincidence, that we were two freaks of nature who just happened to be placed on our road, and I continued feeling like an outcast and freak because of my feelings, until I was twelve years old and found some porn magazines in my grandparents attic. Most of the magazines were standard 1970’s Playboy and Penthouse, but there was one magazine called Nugget that focused on abnormal fetishes. When I found this magazine I sat down and read it nearly cover to cover.

    I haven’t looked through other issues of Nugget but this one had some rather professional sex and fetish related articles. For example, there was an article by an historian about a cult in the early 1900’s, led by a woman who believed the penis was a demon and created a wide array of creative and unintentionally erotic bondage devices for her male followers to wear to prevent them from getting erections.

    There was also an article by a psychologist, discussing the basis for sexual fetishes. He explained that most sexual fetishes are based on emotional trauma. Rape victims typically have rape fetishes, people who fear imprisonment have bondage fetishes, and of course, people who were emotionally traumatized by spankings, have spanking fetishes. He also explained that these feelings were quite common and that the vast majority of people who have them are completely unaware that they are surrounded by numerous other people with similar experiences and feelings.

    I now consider that issue of Nugget to be one of the most empowering things to happen to me in my youth. Finally I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t a freak. I could still lead a normal life. And most importantly, I knew that there were actually women out there that shared my fantasies, that I’d actually be able to have healthy relationships without hiding and shutting out my feelings.

    And it has always bothered me that the law says that I never should have had that experience. So many parents and law enforcers believe that that magazine should have been taken away from me, that sense of empowerment, of finally belonging, of finally understanding who I am, should all be taken away from me, to be replaced with the fear and loneliness of confusing and seemingly demonic sexual thoughts.

 

    Ever since then I have embraced my fetishes and sought to fulfill them in healthy and reasonable settings, and I’ve discovered numerous others who had very similar experiences as my own. Some stories I’ve heard are nearly identical, and I know now that having a full-fledged spanking, bondage, or discipline fetish by the time you’re in kindergarten is not uncommon. It’s only uncommon to talk about it.

    But having said all that, I should say that if you asked me if I would choose to take that spanking event back, to have it un-done so that it never affected my sexuality and never gave me these wild fetishes, I’d probably say no. Spankings are a wonderful and beautiful thing and I wouldn’t want to give that up.

    But I often wonder about all these parents spanking their children, still totally convinced in their simplistic, black-and-white attitudes about punishments, convinced that it’s discipline while blinding themselves to the sexuality of it and ignoring the long-term psychological consequences.

Weekend Dreams

So Friday morning I woke up at five feeling horrible, got up and puked my guts out. Then I felt almost completely better so I went back to sleep for two hours.

I had a dream that I was at work, having my normal morning standup meeting, except today we were in a dirty van, parked behind some bushes in a park. I had met a couple hippies. A girl hippie and a boy hippie. I invited them back to the van to join in our meeting and told them I’d explain how the internet worked. The hippies had a black plastic pet-waste bag that was half-filled with dog poop and half with some of the dankest weed I’d ever seen. They poured the bag out on the floor in the back of the van and started picking through it. My co-workers started showing up and helped us pick the poop out of the weed, while my boss sat over his laptop looking annoyed. The girl hippie kept shouting “Why? Why would someone mix their weed with their dog poop? That makes no sense!”

When we had all arrived and needed to start the meeting, we were all so fascinated by the super-chronic that our boss had to clap his hands to get our attention. “Seriously, guys?” he said. “Do we not pay you enough you can’t go buy your own bag of weed that doesn’t have poop in it?”

So then I got up and went to work, still feeling reasonable. Behind the office I noticed a McDonald’s billboard advertising their new 40 piece chicken mcNugget deal and just for a moment imagined myself sitting down and eating one. The horror! In the morning standup I told everyone about my dream, though I left out the part about the weed-poop, more for brevity than censorship. Then an hour later I started feeling like shit again, so I went home and went to bed.

I dreamed that my friends kept coming over with care-packages to make me feel better. Friend after friend showed up and I was excited to see every one of them, but their care-packages always consisted of 40 piece chicken mcNuggets, so by the end of the dream I had a mountain of chicken nuggets and everyone kept saying “Just eat them, they’ll make you feel better!” But I wasn’t so sure.

Then I was a personal trainer for a sumo wrestler and my main strategy was “eat more”. I said it over and over again, but my client just didn’t seem to get it. He didn’t like chicken mcNuggets.

I was sick all weekend so the next night I came up with an invention in my dream that I called Porn Glasses, which would be these glasses with a camera and little cpu like the Google Glasses, but they would automatically run facial recognition on any person you looked at, then search the web and porn databases for naked pictures of that person, then overlay those images over the person in your vision.

I Am the Nine Percent

If us land were divided like US wealth
I think the land is already divided like this. There is no "if".

Today I posted Cops Have No Morals, a depiction of one of the most eye-opening conversations I’ve ever had. It’s a story that is as much about corporate America and our capitalist society as it is about a police officer. Spoiler alert: in 1998 a police officer insisted that there was no such thing as a cop who cared about right and wrong, then went on to reveal the secret to success in Capitalist America.

I’m sure if you’ve looked around this site you can probably guess that I support Occupy Wall Street and my local version, Occupy Seattle, but at the same time I don’t particularly feel as though I’m one of the ninety-nine percent.

In the last few years, the economy has been very good to me. My income has steadily increased. I bought a condo after the housing bust and got a great deal at a low interest rate. I have a fancy corporate job with full medical and dental, doing something I love. I can sometimes spend nearly a thousand dollars in a month on restaurants alone. I have a sun room overlooking a golf course… well, a driving range and mini-putt. I have a guest bedroom with a liquor cabinet and I buy my weed by the ounce.

Then the other day, I saw this picture posted to Facebook and thought it was perfect, because I think that’s where I am. I am one of that nine percent.

I’m not a millionaire, of course. I’m not part of the one percent, but I don’t have any kids and have made good investments, but I see so many others out there who are struggling to feed their families, who would be devastated if they lost their job, and have no clue what they’re going to do about retirement. I don’t need to worry about any of that.

The main difference I’ve noticed between them and me? They chose to make careers out of things they felt would help society, things they felt needed to get done. I made a career out of something fun that would make money.

The reason I was able to do this, to think of only myself, to “look out for number one”, was because of what this officer told me. He taught me how to be selfish.

For years this speech creeped me out. I ran it through my head over and over again for years, and was horrified. But what’s truly horrifying about this speech, I found out years later, is that every word he said was true.

I had promised myself that I would never work for another corporation, that I would always do something to contribute, that I would always be humble, I wouldn’t do destructive things like drive a car or eat farmed fish and all that. After a few years, however, society beat me down. Every time someone tried to tell me the police were the good guys the officer’s speech ran through my head, telling me I was a fool for caring about right and wrong, and over the years, I simply gave up.

Since then I’ve worked for several companies that I felt were ripping off their customers, knowingly selling faulty products as well as companies whose sole purpose was to manipulate people into buying things. I’ve sat in meetings where we cracked jokes about how rational people should see us as evil. In one meeting with hundreds of people, a corporate representative literally told us that it didn’t matter what was true or not in our sales pitches. I can deal with this because of that officer who taught me how to shut off my sense of right and wrong.

I see teachers, firefighters and plumbers out there who saw a gap in society, something that needed to get done, and used that to guide their career decisions. They cared about society before themselves. A friend recently got fired for failing a pee test and had a hard time getting another job as a result. Turned out he was listing the job on applications because he felt some kind of moral obligation to be honest about his work history. I had to tell him, this is the real world. Nobody’s gonna reward you for honesty, and nobody’s gonna care if you tell a few lies. Manipulation and lies are an integral part of the financial game in America and every one of the one percent and the majority of the nine percent have accepted that and have blatantly exploited it, at the expense of the 90 percent. And they did it right under your noses.

And I’m part of the problem. I’m an anarchist and a socialist, but I behave like a capitalist. I’m a hypocrite. I know it’s wrong. I feel bad, but not bad enough to stop, because I love my job, I love my condo, and I love sushi and creme brule.

So just remember occupiers, those police surrounding you and the one percent they represent, they don’t care about right and wrong the way you do. Just remember that. Otherwise you will be truly shocked at what they are capable of.