Saturday, June 5, 2010

Rough Night

It is 4:25am, and I am sitting at my desk working on not crying and chatting with a friend from junior high and high school on Facebook about the royally screwed up discrimination her daughter is experiencing in her Minneapolis suburb school district.

I believe everything happens for a reason.

For example, I believe that it is not coincidental that La and my good friend and ex Chris were both online dealing with their own emotional issues when I logged in with my own baggage in tow.

Nothing like someone else's life problems to give you some perspective on your own.

I also logged in to Facebook to find that a reader of, recently diagnosed as HIV positive, read my story there and sent me a very kind and caring email. That is exactly why I took the step of writing openly about my life and struggles and celebrations as an HIV positive man, including allowing to post my recent blogs concerning my failure to disclose and the possible outcome of that.

For that express reason, I am writing this blog, tonight, just a couple of hours before the summer sun makes its extremely early morning appearance.

This evening, I was devouring a Domino's pizza around Midnight (don't judge). I had put in the Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and I was having a text war with my partner David. I closed down my computer and settled into bed with David and my gorgeous Jack Russell Mimzy, when I fired up the old cell and was going to entertain myself with a good game of Scrabble. I noticed I had an email from one of my softball teammates. He had left a comment on one of my blogs recapping a recent game. The blog started shitty and ended with "fuck you."


Being who I am, a gay Virgo, I shot him an email and a text message asking him if he had indeed made that comment and, if he did, why. I also explained that if anything in my blog offended him, it was all written with an eye towards humor, and I would gladly remove anything that he found personally offensive that referenced or included him or his loved ones.

He wrote back and told me that he thinks I am a "piece of shit."

Laissez les bontemps rouler!

I don't know this guy. Really. We've played on the same softball team for one full season. He is one of the guys that never goes out with the team afterwards, and he rarely participates (if ever) in our email discussions. So I don't know much about him except that he is a lawyer that works in the public interest. So, when I got his message tonight, I was, needless to say, completely and totally floored.

Now, though I play a blonde in everyday life, I have a genius level IQ, which means I am pretty much stupid and useless most of the time, but my powers of deductive reasoning are generally dead on. I know, for example, that this guy does the AIDS Ride each year. In fact, I pledged $100 towards his ride this fall. I know that I have posted on and on my blog about my recent failure to disclose and some of the emotional fallout from that experience. So, my conclusion was that either he knows the person involved in the story or that he read my blogs and decided that I am, indeed, a piece of shit.

And, of course, being a recovering addict living with PTSD and the survivor of abuse and sexual assault, the negative tapes kicked into high gear, I accepted that I am a piece of shit, and now I am writing a blog at nearly 5am. Hell, the birds just started chirping outside, which means that the sun is about to wake up, and I have not even gone to bed yet. Against all that I know to be true about humanity and myself personally, I still believe that I am shitty human being. I believe that I am worthless because those are the lessons that were beat into me as a child. In group therapy tonight, we talked about this subject. Our counselor asked me and another client why we felt the way that we felt...and I was clear...that which is beaten into you (literally) from age 3-12 and then verbally past that into young adulthood is what you learn to be true about yourself. And no one teaches you, unless you have the resources for psychotherapy that those internal messages aren't true. And, that being ones own (aka my) truth, one does some fucked up and stupid shit.

I am really tired. Not just physically, but spiritually.

Since my failure to disclose and my subsequent confrontation about that and the emotional fallout, I have felt relatively good about my life and how I have taken steps to ensure that I do not repeat the experience in anyway. I have spent 5 and a half hours a week in therapy. I have gotten to a place of acceptance if not comfort of what went down. And then, in one fell swoop, I let one person rip all that down.

And the fun fact is that though I surmise the cause of his emotional aggression, I don't actually know.

I am supposed to play softball in the morning. But I sent a note to my team telling them that I won't be there along with a very frank and very raw explanation of why. Some of them already know the story as they read my blog. Others have/had no idea until they read the email of what has passed recently. But, I learned that when there is bochinche (gossip) potential, it is better to lay it all out there and hope for acceptance than to let someone else spin the story and have to play damage control.

In the end, whether judgment is rendered against me or him or neither or both...I can't say. But, at least now, everything is out in the open to everyone, and, moving forward, I will know if I am wanted or rejected based on the truth rather than a lie. Of course, relying on my team to approve or disapprove of what I have done or the way I have handled the fall out is still part of the problem. I should be able to say, "I've done what I've done. I've tried to heal what I can heal. I have owned what I could own. And each person can live, respond, and react in the way that best represents their feelings without it enhancing or diminishing my spirit."

Unfortunately, I am so not that evolved or there.

That is an apt lesson for life as a whole.


  1. you can come play on my softball team anytime! :)

  2. Bravissimo! Send you my love.

  3. Brandon:


    Let me explain.

    When I started practicing Buddhism 23 years ago, as I had stuff come up fast and furious, the pioneer men and women who brought over Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism from Japan would say "Congratulations!" And smile. I would reply - do you really understand what is going on in my life? I am in PAIN! And again, they would reply with that word.

    It took me a while to get it.

    I was starting to DEAL WITH stuff that I would rather not have dealt with, that I could, through practice and finding the wisdom to deal with it (therapy, journaling and chanting)and, basically, WAKE UP to the potential that is my life.

    There will ALWAYS be challenges. ALWAYS. It is how you choose to deal with them that will get you through.

    So far, IMO, you have chosen wisely and have touched many lives, and have grown tremendously.



  4. @Ision If only the train went from Manhattan to Australia.
    @Karlo Te quiero.
    @Pat Thanks Pat. If you would, please send some daimoku my way and to this teammate of mine and to the world.

  5. You stand strong, be the oak tree steady and true to ones self, your only human full of love and compassion and that can not be taken away.
    If they use words as swords then you have a strong shield to repel all that come your way.
    You need not the approval of anyone to live your life and be free, your happiness and life are in your care, not the ney sayers.

  6. Thanks Goran, it is much appreciated.


  7. Brandon,

    You have let this situation and its reverberations (and repercussions) eat away at you long enough, baby. I understand that you have a lot of healing to do, and you are at leisure to do it on your own damned time, but don't forget to put this shit (because that's exactly what most of it is)into perspective.

    You can't change the past. All you can hope to do is to make the present more livable (while everybody else stands in the way) and brace yourself for the future with your shield up and a smile on your face.

    I have two pieces of advice (if you can actually call them that) from a grown man who makes a living in what basically constitutes a sparkly chicken suit:

    1.) It ain't that deep. Now, I know that you are a hypersensitive man who feels things deeply (insert colon joke here) but don't give in to allowing bullshit you cannot control to consume you. I know that's easier said than done, but what somebody else thinks of you is really none of your damned business. (Even when they post it in response to your blogs.)

    For instance, I think you are an incredible human-being. Now, that may give you an inkling of pride in yourself, and it may not. Either way, it hasn't really changed or affected your life, has it? You're not REALLY an incredible man or a better person because I say so, are you?

    The same holds true for the naysayers. Their baggage is not YOUR baggage. Stop playing bellhop for these hateful bitches. You are the only person who has to spend every waking moment of your life with you. Yours is the only face you have to look at while brushing your teeth in the morning. You're the only person having to wipe your ass and live with your faults and consequences every day. That should be more than enough. Never give these assholes more power than they already demand from you as they rake you across the coals and wag a self-righteous finger at you.

    I spent my whole life chanting aloud, "I don't give two shits what anybody thinks!" when in truth, what people thought of me mattered most of all. That thinking got me nowhere. It didn't even hold me back, it reversed my course completely. Over the last year, as I cared for Daddy and found myself reduced to cleaning bedpans and diapers, handling the gore and watching my heart break further than I felt possible, I FINALLY got to the place where I could look around and put it all in perspective. In the face of all of this, what on God's green earth could be so damned important about somebody's opinion of me? Who has the energy? Who has the TIME??? I know the truth! ME! And at the end of the day, that's REALLY all that matters. REALLY!

    Long story short,(too late) this person is obviously a heartless flaming retard with no balls. Why bother?

    2.) A lawyer who works in public interest is still a lawyer. I don't mean to shit on the whole profession, but there's really about as much nobility there as a dog catcher. Unless he's graduated from Harvard Law and is working for under $30K, I'd have to see "Raises the dead" and "Cured Muscular Dystrophy" on his resume before I'd genuflect.

    For whatever it is, or is not, worth, I think you are a beautiful soul. If you're going to mull and obsess over somebody's opinion, let it be one that moves and nurtures you, rather than one that hinders and hurts you. That's beyond counter-productive. It's damaging.

    Thinking of you,


  8. Hey Chad:

    Thanks for all that.


  9. @Chad - couldn't have said it any better myself. Brandon, please stop beating yourself up and letting others do so. You are one of the best people I know on Earth-period! I learn so much from you because you are so open and I am honored to know such a brave, intelligent man who can be honest with the world like an open book, and call you my friend. I'm not as courageous as you! But I could only hope that one day I can evolve to be like you. Love ya babes, xoxo.



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