Matt D
Topic Author
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

My Private Hell

Sat Oct 02, 2004 12:04 pm

WARNING: This post is very long, and very personal. Please do not respond if you are not willing to take 15 or so minutes to read it all the way through.

A question that is frequently asked of me is "Matt...why are you so cold and self centered?"

Well, let me take a few minutes to explain.

I have been carrying a lot of demons inside of me for many years that I don't even really know where to start in terms of changing. I'm pretty sure I know how it came about. It wasn't a single life changing event, but rather, the sum of many things happening (and just as importantly, NOT happening) over the years.

For starters, I am a single child. I have no brothers and no sisters. My parents divorced when I was about 3 under circumstances that remain hidden from me to this day. Neither of my parents will tell me nor will any of the family.

So whatever it was, it was bad.

My mother then proceeded to raise me pretty much on her own until I was about 14, when in the summer of 1988 I went to go live with my dad.

Now during those 11 or so years, I did see my father on a regular basis, mainly on weekends. Problem is, and I mean no disrespect when I say this, he was a horrible parent.

He wasn't horrible in the sense that he beat or neglected me. To his credit, he paid my mom child support all those years, always had his house, and always fed me and occasionally bought me things.

He was horrible because he was an alcoholic. I still have so many vivid memories of being basically marooned on the weekends at my dads house doing little more than listening to music, running my Lionel train set, or watching TV and watching him get more and more intoxicated with his beer. We would occasionally go to family parties or gatherings. On more than one occasion, my dad was 86'd by his own brothers and sisters for getting too drunk and belligerent. I can still recall one instance where he was kicked out, and I spent the night at my aunt's house and a family friend took me back to his house the next morning and the whole night I heard everyone talking nothing but smack about him, and what a creep he was.

He didn't have a word to say. He basically just took me back to my moms house.

As a result of my dad being an at-home drunk, he never, not once ever did anything "fatherly" with me: he never took me to the park to learn how to play catch. He never showed me how to fix a car or make some kind of project from scratch. Although, he did take me to the Ontario Airport Airshow in Sept '83, which is the one event that sparked my interest in aviation. And once in a blue moon, he did take me out to LAX to watch the planes on the roof of the Theme Building.

Now while all of this was going on, my parents fought like the Hatfields and McCoys. They never really told me what their fights were all about. But I wasn't stupid. I knew that someway, somehow I was in the middle of it all. At least, for the most part, they did try and keep me sheltered from it all. However, he once had a girlfriend serve my mom court papers (with me present).

Which leads me to my next issue.

From about 1984-1987, he was deeply involved with this one woman. They got pretty serious and were discussing marriage. (my dad finally sobered up and became a Christian in fall of 1986)

But I got screwed there too. You see, my dad did whatever Marie wanted. We ate what she wanted. Watched whatever movies she wanted. Did whatever activities she wanted.

I really, REALLY resented it.

Even after I moved in with my dad, him and I never really did get along very well. It wasn't after I was within a heartbeat from being killed in a car crash on October 23, 1997 that he finally came to me to forgive him for being the horrible father that he was.

We've gotten along great as adults ever since.

With all of that in mind, let me explain how all of that still haunts me to this very day.

Since my dad was a shut in, and my mom worked full time (and had, at the time a very active social life), and with no siblings, I spent almost my entire time-away-from-school doing little more than sitting at home doing nothing. If there was anything that I wanted to do, I pretty much did it myself.

Since I never had much interaction with other people, I was basically a teenage hermit. I had almost no friends because I had no social skills. And since I had no social skills-or sports ability ( would not address the latter issue until the end of my 11th grade year-and joined the swim team-and actually got really good at it), I was constantly being harassed at school. I still remember the day when I was in 7th grade wood shop, and I was leaning over to check on my project, one kid walked up behind me and poured the entire contents of a bottle of ink down my butt crack.

Name calling. Ridicule. Getting jumped for my $2 in lunch money. the tires let out of my bike. Someone pouring milk over my lunch. You name it. I endured it.

And I didn't know how to defend myself because no one ever showed me. And I had no one to turn to for help. It tore me up inside day in and day out. Week in week out. Year after year. I dreaded going to school, or even out of the house.

Then one day, two things happened:

1. I passed the 6' height mark and 2. I had had enough.

One day, in 1988, when I was in 10th grade someone made an offhand comment about the "Body Glove" shirt I was wearing that day.

Without saying a word, I walked over to him, kicked the back of his ankle, and he fell to the ground. As soon as he did, I stepped on his face, and grabbed his leg, and with as much strength as I could muster, stepped in his kneecap as hard as I could, effectively snapping his leg in half.

From that day forward, no one has ever picked a fight with me.

But the damage was done. I refused to let anyone push me around.

You know how they says ones personality is usually set by the time they are a teenager?

Well I never did acquire any people or social skills. From the time of my birth until I got my drivers license (7/10/90), I never spent nights at friends houses, went on overnight trips, went to parties or dances, or camp, or whatever.


I did not attend my first school extra curricular event (Homecoming game/dance) until November 1989, my 11th grade year. And that was because one of the very few friends I had (whom I still love like a sister and today lives in New York) set me up with a girl who, for whatever reason, took interest to me. And I took her. Of course, we didn't last long as a couple, as few teenage couples last more than a couple of months anyway

All I had known was solitude and ridicule. And while ridicule is something I no longer deal with, being solitary and not taking any grief from others are things I still struggle with to this day. I never got any help from anyone. Everything I did, I did myself and my way. I never had to worry about sharing anything with anyone or "taking turns".

Those words meant nothing to me.

So with all of that in mind, let's move on to the next issue.

The fact that I was a teenage geek with no social skills did nothing to supress my interest in girls, and later women.

This still haunts me to this day.

Many people who don't know me think I'm either gay, asexual, or a mysoginist, or all of the above.

The reality is that I am frustrated because as much as I love women, I still-to this very day-carry that phobia of being rejected and shot down solely on the basis of knowing that I am awkward and lacking in conversational skills in any kind of social setting, particularly when meeting someone of the opposite gender. It's the worst case of sour grapes you can imagine. Nothing would make me happier than to have some fine lady come up to MEA Middle East Airlines (Lebanon)">ME and strike up a conversation. A few actually have. And the ones where I made it all the way to the bedroom with, almost all were either looking for the first guy who wasn't a prick they could find, I was drunk, or both.

So it's easy to seem bitter when discussing them, or looking for any chance to settle a score, so to speak. Remember that classic thread I had a couple years back involving the stuffed animal?

It wasn't that I was being obnoxious simply for the sake of being obnoxious.

I saw it as an opportunity to make some innocent woman feel how I've felt my whole life: rejected and unwanted. I know it was a mean, rotten, and cruel thing to do, and in looking back, I'm now ashamed I did it. Her only crime was crossing paths with me when I was in a bad mood.

And now I have a situation:

I have a woman living with me. And while I love her, I'm not sure she's what I would want in a wife, even though I know she'd make a fine one. She's never been anything but loyal, honest, and nurturing to me. And many times I've treated her like a heel because she's not (physically) who I would want to be my mate.

So here it is. She's not what I really want. And she is, in many ways, too good for me. I frequently have a hard time accepting what she has to offer. Too often I brush her aside, or just take off and do my own thing. Now, less than two weeks from my 31st birthday, I still feel compelled to have to do things my way, when I want, and how I want. You have any idea how many times she's called me on my cell phone wanting to know where I went? Well since I'm an early riser, my day is in full swing by 7AM. So if I have somewhere I want to go, I'll go with or without her.

Which leads me to my next issue.

One thing that really irks me more than anything is people who aren;t punctual. To me, 7 o'clock means just that: 7 o'clock. Not 7:05 or 7:30. Since I've never had to wait for anyone before, I'm not about to start now. This is also why I always get so unglued over something as seemingly trivial as Burger King putting pickles on my burger when I asked them not to.

It's not the pickles that piss me off. It's the fact that it wasn't done "my" way (no reference meant to their slogan). To me, not giving what I ask for is tantamount to disrespect bordering on being challenged to a fight. Remember, I've always HAD things my way, and had to fend for myself, so when it doesn't come back the way I want, I feel that the person is somehow pushing me around, or worse, simply being rude.

Moving on, I always catch a lot of heat over the vicious tirades I post involving illegal aliens and single mothers.

Without going into too much detail (since I've already done it a thousand times), my issue with illegals is that they are demanding entitlements they don't deserve because they broke the law.

I never broke any laws and still had to work for everything I own.

Now let's take a closer look at single mothers.

You might think I'm being hypocritical for bashing them when I myself was raise by one. Perhaps that's true, but hear me out.

Remember what I said about my frustration about women in general? When I see a single mother enters my field of view, it immediately tells me beyond any shadow of a doubt that there IS a guy in her life that's gotten "some" at least once.

Second, when I look back and remember how much my mother struggled to keep me fed, clothed, and sheltered, in infuriates me that so many of todays women intentionally get themselves into that situation because they know that either a guy and/or the government will support them.

There is no responsibility anymore.

Third, I know firsthand the damage that can be done to a kid when there's only a part time-or worse-no father around.

I don't wish this on anyone.

And finally, my lifelong wish has been to meet a woman whom I can fall in love with, who would fall in love with me and we would get married and start a family.

while I love my current girlfriend, I would be hard pressed to say that I am IN love with her, if that makes sense.

To me, getting involved with a woman who has one or more kids means that 1) there will be a kid that's not mine around, who to her, will always come first, and 2) there's a guy in the background somewhere who will, by default I will have to in some ways share my wife with.

My own selfishness and desire to start with a clean slate and not have any of that baggage is what prevents me from even considering dating a single mom, despite numerous offers and "set up" attempts.

I rejected every last one of them before even getting to know them, or even go on a first date.

Many people-especially family members are constantly asking me when I;m going to get married and have children.

"I don't know when or if that'll ever happen" is my reply.

I've been told that having a kid of my own will make me open my eyes and lose a lot of the self-centeredness that I have.

That's probably true. But I don't know if I'm ready to take that step.

And even if I did, who with?

I know I could marry Jen, and she would bear my children today if I asked her to.

But like I said, she's not 100% "my type".

So here's my quandary: I could get my wish for love and family fulfilled today if I wanted to, but it would be poisoned with the knowledge that I "settled" for a woman and didn't get what I really wanted.

Or I could keep looking. But with my age, and my personality, finding that one woman who is childless-and would reciprocate the same feelings towards me will only get harder and harder-if it could be done at all.

Although I have forgiven my parents for robbing me of a normal childhood, which in many ways, robbed me of a normal adult life, I am still somewhat bitter about it. I know nothing can give me those years back. And I know that now, I am so set in my ways and views, that I don't think I can change anything even if I tried.

I've thought about seeking professional counseling to address these issues. But I'm not sure what good it could do. Perhaps using hypno-therapy to actually erase those memories from my wking conciousness might be the way to go, but then I;d basically be back to square one personality wise. And there would be an awful lot of gaps in my memory record that would have to be accounted for.

And finally, I'm not trying to use my childhood as a crutch to explain my hard headed personality today per se, it's awfully hard to build a roof when there are no walls.

In other words, so many things all happened at the right time, in the right order that molded me into what I am today:

A hard working, responsible but insenstitve hardheaded person who struggles with basic human emotion and interaction with others and has a hard time seeing any other point of view besides my own, who demands nothing less than what he wants, since that's all I've ever known.

Thank you for reading this.

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RE: My Private Hell

Sat Oct 02, 2004 12:18 pm

Dude, Give some therapy a try. Perhaps Al-Anon if a group environment with others that grew up in the same environment, or go see a psychiatrist who can listen and offer a course of action. If you are genuinely concerned about the way you feel and want to change but do not know how, get some advice.

Good luck.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
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RE: My Private Hell

Sat Oct 02, 2004 12:22 pm

WOW!! Indeed get some help, it will do you some good.
He just ate the big one! Hog!...get away from that thing!! Just get away from it!
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RE: My Private Hell

Sat Oct 02, 2004 12:41 pm

Matt-- even though I often disagree with some of your views, I respect and admire you for having the guts to write this post. Perhaps just putting it all in writing and getting it off your chest will prove to have been helpful. I hope so.

I think you should try to ease up on yourself. You seem to be very hard on yourself and very self-critical. Accept yourself the way you are. Sure, we can all achieve some fine-tuning in our personalities at any point in our life, but at 31, you are who you are. And although you may not be perfect (welcome to humanity), you are fine the way you are, with many admirable characteristics. Try to be nice to yourself-- don't judge yourself, don't be too harsh on yourself. Do some nice things for yourself-- enjoy hobbies, find new interests, relax.

As far as women go, you will never be able to love a woman and accept her love until you love and accept YOURSELF. How can you receive love if you don't love yourself?

So ease up, dude, give up a little control, and enjoy being yourself. If you can do that, I have a feeling everything else will fall into line.

Good luck and best wishes... Rich from RNO
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RE: My Private Hell

Sat Oct 02, 2004 12:53 pm

Matt, seriously, give therapy a chance. You'd really be surprised how much better you feel when you actually tell your problems to an actual therapist. I'm not gonna lie to you, you had it pretty rough--rougher than I've ever had my family relationships, and it has seemed to harm you in your relationships recently with women. Seriously, see someone, it will be the bestthing you've ever done.

America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
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RE: My Private Hell

Sat Oct 02, 2004 12:57 pm


I have written many essays like yours, however, i have never had the balls to have someone else read it.

You need to take a good look at your life. This is a good start. It is no ones desition to change your life but yours. You were faced with many more dificulties growing up than many of us. You are not responsible for them.

I am sure that your GF knows deep inside about your demons. Sounds like she cares you about. Be honest to her and yourself.

Change your life. Move. Start anew. Meet new people, and present to them the person that YOU would like to be. Close your eyes and throw yourself headfirst. Id tell you how by doing that my life has changed for the better, but this is about you.

You can change. You will be surprised on how easy it is. Changing is not about one decision, but thousands of little ones (just like that diet commercial says). Find strenght within you. You cannot change your past but YOU can change YOUR future!

Do something completly shocking: volunteer to help single mothers out. Sometimes we learn the best lesson from what we are trying to escape from.

Step into my office, baby
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RE: My Private Hell

Sat Oct 02, 2004 12:57 pm


In a very watered down way, your childhood reminds me of mine except for the family abnormalities and constant teasing in school. I was always quiet and cautious to meet new people and my social life wasn't quite what most people's were at my ages although I was by no means a hermit either. I think some of the traits that this type of living results in are near impossible for most other people to acquire: patience to the extent that sitting alone in a quiet atmosphere with not a whole lot to do will not result in boredom, a strong work ethic, and the ability to analyze things well.

The fact that you have recognized and thoroughly thought through your situation is the first step in fixing the problems you have identified. Now you are much more prepared to develop a plan. Perhaps a professional in the area of the problem could validate it and make it happen for you.

I agree with your ideas that many people seem to refuse to take responsibility for their own actions. Your background just exacerbates the truth in your mind.

As for this woman Jen, I have little or no authority to be giving you advice there without telling you that there isn't much basis for it from my experience. A girl this summer expressed her interest in me and it was really the first time I was smart enough to realize that if I just passed it up like the other two times I can think of, regret would set in and I would be miserable thinking about what could have been.

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RE: My Private Hell

Sat Oct 02, 2004 1:38 pm

I agree with everyone who has suggested therapy. Even the happiest, most well adjusted people can benefit from it.

Now that I've said that - I can confidently guess what your therapist will eventually help you to realize on your own:

  • You are not over the anger and isolation of your childhood.

  • No external relationship (intimate or friendly) will heal this for you. It is something you must learn to heal for yourself ... and there is a way to do it.

  • In spite of what you've written about being frustrated with all of these feelings, they have become your 'home base' for a long time. This means that you somehow feel a sense of safety by being angry and isolated. You already know how to feel that way (easily). You don't have to learn anything new to feel that way. It is 2nd nature to you. You may not realize how much courage it takes to allow yourself to feel confident and happy. Weird, eh?

  • It takes a huge risk to not feel anger anymore - and allow other feelings (i.e. happiness) to come through to the surface.

  • The fact that your girlfriend cares a lot for you may be the entire problem with your relationship. You are much more accustomed to being ignored by people. Having someone care about you and being able to RESPOND to it on the same level is yet another risk you aren't prepared to take.

  • There are some 60 year-olds out there that are seriously screwed up because of something that happened in grade school. They never did the right things to get past it and be happy. Don't be one of them.
    No info
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Sat Oct 02, 2004 1:48 pm

    Heh, welcome to my world.

    In a nutshell, I was born with ADD and autism. Though I had command of the English language, I would often stare out a window in my first classes no matter how badly I was punished. Learned helplessness they call it in psychology. I never dressed out of style or tried to be different, but I was different. I had the crap made fun of me growing up for the better part of 18 years. My parents divorced when I was around three or four, and I and my siblings were volleyballs in their court battles. My mother had custody, stood in the way of visits with my father, and tried to choke him out of every penny he was worth. My father was the polar opposite, left with most everything, rich, cheap, didn't want to pay for anything, would have given us the bare minimum had he gotten custody of us. Over time, my sister lived with my dad after awhile and so did my brother. Either way, we children were nothing more than power cards in our parent's and their lawyer's hands. My sister got hooked up with the wrong crowd after awhile, and my brother was downright abusive and psychotic in his own right. My sister almost died in a car accident and my brother was hospitalized to diagnose a mental disorder, the latter of which my dad tried to block. He even forced me to lie and say my brother didn't shoot me at point blank range with a B.B. gun when the mark was there. All the while growing up in school, I was the outsider, or more appropriately, I was a fish in a barrel and everybody had a turn to take a shot at me. I had one real success in my life, and that was music. I played trumpet starting in fourth grade, and throughout the time I always was the only one who could beat the protoge in every other area, a kid who skipped a grade and was thought to be the next president. He dropped band, likely because he couldn't succeed over his greatest opponent no matter how hard his posse put that opponent down. In high school, things slowly simmered down and I gradually started to get control over my life, but not without teachers and students telling me I would never get anywhere because I had no concentration and couldn't do anything without being laced up on meds. I was set out to prove them wrong, and though I could have put forth more effort in high school, I graduated with a 3.00 and a 27 on the ACT first time. In music, I was a protoge somewhat, and likely would have been the lead trumpet in the Illinois all state jazz ensemble had my paperwork not been lost somewhere in the process by the head honchos. My senior year, I was the department chair award recipient in the band program and also won the Glenn Miller and John Phillip Sousa awards at my school.

    Yes, true story

    Today, I'm in my Junior year of college, show no signs of ADD or autism, have a much different haircut, however, the bottled up anger from all those years must have left a permanent scar in my eyes as the gaze of fire has remained. However, I rarely speak of my past and can't hold any contempt for actions taken against me in that timespan. Musically, I'm involved in a rock band playing trumpet and work my butt off to make money to pay for flight lessons. Obviously as a pilot, one cannot have ADD if he or she is to survive in the cockpit, and it's something I've eliminated over years of conditioning myself not to exhibit. Today, some think I could be the next president (though many here would beg to differ  Big grin). I compare myself to a roach often times because of how hard I've fought to survive and move forward in my life so I'm not pumping gas for the rest of my life.

    Anyways, weren't we discussing something before I bored y'all to death?  Sleepy
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Sat Oct 02, 2004 3:23 pm

    Matt D- Your life is similar to mine (Even though Im 15). I have a great family but I have problems that have caused me to turn out the way I am today. I have come to the conclusion that I am gay, I was born this way which makes it worse. Im constantly abused at school about my sexuality even though I try to hide it. A few months ago I started therapy, without my parents knowing. I told her everything that I was and had become. I tell you it can help. Therapy can help you in these types of situations. Sometimes its hard, it was hard for me as I am a proud person and I was also embarresed to have this fault.

    My life after therapy has not changed, Im still gay, Im still abused at school about being gay, but I now have more self-confidence. Therapy taught me that. I know your proberly not concerned to much about what a 15 year old homosexual suggests, but therapy works. It hard to face what you are, but the longer you avoid therapy the harder it becomes.
    Ron Paul 2012
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Sat Oct 02, 2004 4:09 pm


    your situation is almost exactly like mine. Other than my job and the very few times I hung out with my friends outside school (maybe once a month), I pretty much lived behind the computer. Hell look at my post count on here and other websites since I joined in December last year. I'm going on freaking 2500 posts!

    Anyway, I think you should try this before you try therapy:

    Everything you have just said here, tell it to Jen. Everything. Even how you feel about her (maybe try to be nice). Tell her that you don't know if she's the one, you don't know what you are looking for. Tell her everything. Tell her everything that haunts you.

    You will feel much better in the end, and, if Jen is really not the right person for you, she'll accept that and move on. If she is the right person for you, you'll know it right away. After you tell her how you feel about her, and if she accepts that and still wants to be serious with you and she still wants to love you, than trust me, she is the one.

    But don't waste your money on a therapist when you have one living with you.
    And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Sat Oct 02, 2004 4:23 pm


    You need to understand that on balance, your life has been pretty good. It doesn't seem to me like you have severe problems.

    Yet, why do I get the feeling that you are telling all this to the wrong people. You need to sit those closest to you down and talk to them the way you've spoken to all of us.

    Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Sat Oct 02, 2004 4:58 pm


    While I'm probably the last person to relate to you (i grew up and am still growing alongside both my parents and my extended family), I agree with those that say you should tell most or all of this to your GF. This will be your way of finding out how much she wants to be a part of your life. I love my girlfriend very much because she has made it clear to me that I can come to her with any of my problems, and she does listen and offer her help. If you can establish or strengthen this respectful and trustful relationship with your girlfriend, she will help you if she truly loves you. I think that a relationship like that forces someone to put their trust in another, and will make them trust and love themselves.
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Sat Oct 02, 2004 5:00 pm

    Althought this won't work for everyone, they way I have found to get through my problems in life is simply to accept them and move on. This is an approach I took after my father died last year and although I still feel the issue is unresolved, and I don't expect it ever to be, it has worked for me. I'm a fairly opened minded person who looks to the future more then letting what happened in the past bother me.
    Alot of things that happened to you I can related with. I was teased and harrased alot during primary school and high school, and only really began to make friends untill the latter years of high school. I to lack certain social skills and after my father died I was forced to run his business, at the age of 18, and grow up to act an age much older then the 20 I am now. The way I found to deal with it all, was to simply accept it and look to the future knowing that it would all be over one day. I was right.
    I don't expect this to work for you or anyone else, but it has worked for me, and maybe it was the wrong way to go about things. But I have no regrets. I've given myself a chance at a bright future, and I don't forget about the past, but I certainly don't let it get to me and prevent me from having the future I want for me and the family I wish to have.
    As for relationships I know how you feel in some regards. I am currently with someone who has made me happy for the first time since my father died (some 18 months ago). But I don't know if she is who I want to spend the rest of my life with and if she is the one I want to have children with (admittedly our relationship is very young).

    There is always light at the end of the tunnel. Keep reaching towards it. Eventually you will realise what you want.

    Good luck.
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Sun Oct 03, 2004 2:20 am

    I would suggest threapy, ASAP!
    You can cut the irony with a knife
    david b.
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Sun Oct 03, 2004 6:04 am

    Talk to DR. Phil
    Teenage-know-it-alls should be shot on sight
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Sun Oct 03, 2004 7:30 am

    Matt, you and I haven't had much dialogue in these forums, besides these days I steer pretty clear of Non-Av with all its political debate and anti-American nonsense.

    In a way, I admire your candid nature and the way you "opened up" about what you're feeling. You've shown yourself in a frank, honest way that I would never attempt here. My online persona, while a fairly accurate depiction of who I am, is limited by the things I feel comfortable talking about, primarily for three reasons.

    1. I am a reflection of my airline. For this reason I shy away from most heated discussions and avoid confrontation. Ane let me tell you I am sorely tempted to rip some people on this forum...

    2. While none of you know who I really am, everyone at work knows exactly who 737doctor is and they often visit this site. Therefore I don't get too personal.

    Sorry for the digression, but I was just illustrating how I admire and envy your openness. I'll discuss the third reason, in a second.

    We have a lot of things in common (child of divorce, alcoholic parent, harrassed at school, difficulty in social settings). Getting along with people does not come easy for me; I've lived in Texas for almost ten years now and I still feel like an outsider...and I married a Texas girl, who, BTW, is the right woman for me. I am fortunate in that aspect. She understands me and helps keep me sane.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

    Having said all that, I don't think that this is the place to seek advice, unless it is related to aviation or photography. That is the third reason that I don't discuss these things. A while back, I went on a little rant and asked for advice here concerning my daughter and was ridiculed, by an "attorney" no less (Three guesses as to who that was...). No one here is qualified to give you the advice you need and if they were, they'd be a quack for spouting advice without evaluating or assessing you first. Seek a qualified professional. You're really just wasting your time discussing those sort of things here and probably making things worse in the long run.
    Patrick Bateman is my hero.
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Sun Oct 03, 2004 7:35 am

    I can ofer yo uonly the following advice... As stated above therapy might be of great benefit to you there may also be medication that can be of benefit as well. Sometimes talking to a impartial observer (therapist, psychiatrist, etc) can help you work things out. You have al ready done the hardest part which is undestanding that there is something "wrong".

    Getting to where you want to be will not be easy nor quick but I think that with some effort (that I do think you are capable of) time you will be able to end up where you "want" to be or "who" you want to be.

    I do hope you at least talk to a professional that you are comfortable with regarding your questions and give this issue the time it may need to impove to let you enjoy both being you and your life

    Pray hard but pray with care For the tears that you are crying now Are just your answered prayers

    RE: My Private Hell

    Sun Oct 03, 2004 8:38 am

    That is one incredible story Matt D. I am very sorry to hear that this has happened to you. Before reading this I already had the utmost respect for you, which is even greater after having read this. I appreciate you taking the time to write this post and giving us some insight on your problems, helping us to better understand you.
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Sun Oct 03, 2004 12:10 pm

    In my opinion, this is more a cry for attention than anything else.
    Make sure your therapy is for the right issue.
    Good Luck.
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Sun Oct 03, 2004 3:11 pm


    I disagree with the majority who say you should seek theraphy.. why? Because they are simply gonna put you into some pigeon-holed category of a anti-social headcase. Or you could get lucky and get one that really cares... but the statical odds say you'll get one who's a good 'actor' and feign serious concern for your plight... until next weeks' session.

    I have a friend who was raised by foster parents, him and a foster brother were subjected to being tied up and placed into closets for most of the day. As punishment there sometime practically strangled. I've seen far worse cases than what you've disclosed. But that does not diminish the hardships you endured. And because you managed to hold your life together and bring into completely under 'your control--having it your way'... that is a serious accomplishment in itself. What you've achieved is what a drug addict achieves miracously in thier own... you overcame without 'professional help. You've come all this way and done this much on your own.. you can do the rest of it too. And it's more appreciated and great character builder.

    First, don't be so quick to tell 'Jen' "the truth', let her down easy and gradually and look for that 'best time and moment'.. they say there never is a 'perfect time'.. there's at least 'a best or better time' than just any old time that suits you. But cutting loose of what isn't working for you... is a good move.. to pretend it isn't leads only to greater bitterness and contempt for that person and that isn't fair at all. (Although in life.. there is no fairness).

    Secondly, you're only 31, today for someone in good health and in California, that's like being 12 yearls old again, in other words... you're beginning the 2nd half and the best part of your life. Make it count for something! be late for something and observe how it affects others but more importantly, do it to understand that these are things everyone cannot control and on the other hand this is the way things 'just are' and accept that perfection is the trait of very few people. Most people understand that others have short-comings and we cannot impose our standards on others all the time and in most cases .. none of the time-- thus we rely on them either very little or not at all.. but account for those short comings when involved with those individuals.

    If you choose to 'remake' the 2nd half of your life, do so with the awareness that everyday is part of this task you've now decided to take on. It doesn't mean to abandon the order that keeps your life in it's place... it means to 'add' to it.. not 'more order' but more dimensions. Do some things you would not normally do.. like focus on those social skills (with all that southern Calif. offers there's a zillion things to do and places to go), approach some people completely different the usual manner and instead of 'wondering "how did I look? Did I sound stupid?" instead... lock dead on to how they are reacting (you know how they'll react with your normal self). To undertake a challenge like this is huge because what you will be doing is altering a path on which your are currently headed. That path is one of predictability, discontentment and a lot of regret. Regret because you'll going realize there are some moments, opportunities that you let pass because it was 'not you' to go that route. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

    Monday on the Discovery Times Channel (DTMS) a great show about Illegal Aliens.. I read similar piece in the LA Times a few months back.. I won't give it away.. but watch it if you can.. it should shed a different light on the issue for you. I think it's called 'Chasing El Norte'. It may not change your attitude, but your attitude is certainly one sided.. if it irks you that law-breaking illegals are draining off the system.. then hold the same judgement over corporate welfare abuse.. it overshadows 'low-level social abuse' by the billions. Even in your own city govenment there's daily abuse of your hard earned tax dollars.. while you're looking to see who's breaking into the front window... the serious theives are stealing your entire house out the back door...

    Finally, you've done good to fare as you have under the circumstances... don't stop now.

    "Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Sun Oct 03, 2004 3:43 pm

    Greg: In my opinion, this is more a cry for attention than anything else.
    Make sure your therapy is for the right issue.
    Good Luck.

    I see "the attourney" strikes again.  Insane We won´t pay you anyway, so go practice being a jerk somewhere else. Thank you.

    737doctor, I can´t argue with your personal reasons for how you´re presenting yourself in here; I myself limit my exposure as well. (And as for "anti-americanism": GWB is not identical with the USA; So please get over it!  Wink/being sarcastic)

    I agree that nobody should ever rely on anything anybody else is writing in here.

    But with all due caution, ideas can sometimes be useful. Especially when talking to people who are more distant and have a different (even if very limited) perspective on you.

    I´m not exactly a big proponent of psychotherapy; It´s a very cerebral and (pseudo)scientific way of dealing with things that are often everything but that. It may help. But it´s not "the" solution per se.

    Just my own completely unscientific personal impression:

    Matt, I´ve got the impression (which may be incorrect and is definitely incomplete) that your primary inner structure is very much intellectual/logical/"managed". No judgment - just my impression.

    But my point is that it may simply be unnecessary for you to tie everything in your life to rules about how things "have to be".

    A rigid belief system with emotions as a mere deviation from the course would be a little like a skeleton without any muscles or guts. Thoughts, goals and rules are all nice and fine. But music, love and humour are essential, too.

    And sometimes they need to take precedence over rational thoughts to find out about where to go and why, not just how.

    Loving, being in love and being physically attracted are three different things. They are often connected but they are not the same.

    Other people have their own needs. And they "need" not necessarily fit into our own set of rules or ideas. Or vice versa. In reality, we and other people are much more flexible, have more strength and more resources to deal with the unexpected than we would expect. Some things can´t be made to work. But many others can.

    One final thought: Recognizing the almost always existing beauty in what (and whom) we see is one of the greatest things in life, even if the beauty may be transient, incomplete, flawed or hidden. It can´t resolve everything, but it keeps the heart open and alive.

    All the best.
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Sun Oct 03, 2004 4:24 pm

    Hey, Matt,

    Your life growing up sounds enough like my own that it's disturbing to read. I didn't have the divorce to deal with, but I got identified as the "smart kid" from day one, and since I was pretty socially inept anyway I was a favorite target of every malcontent in the school. I dealt with the teasing, the fights, getting followed home and having my ass kicked by damn near the entire sixth grade--you name it. I remember it like it was yesterday--and it really sucked.

    I think that if you're wondering whether therapy would help, chances are it will--the caveat being that you may need to try a couple therapists before you find one who will assist you in getting from where you are now to where you want to be. Look at it this way--your anger is going to get expressed somehow. You are currently expressing it in inappropriate ways--ways that have the effect of isolating you. Why not unload all this on someone who's paid for providing that service, and then get it out of your system?

    From experience, I can suggest that if you don't think your girlfriend is "the one," you do NOT want to consider a commitment. If you marry someone by default, they become part of the wreckage you leave in your wake when you realize what a mistake it was. And if kids are involved, you've perpetuated the cycle that helped you get to where you are now. Get your own emotional act together first--then, when you find the woman you can't live without, you'll be ready to be a partner to her.

    Meanwhile, hang in there. You've got a tough road to navigate, but realizing that you need to make some changes in your life is a major leap forward.

    Cheers and good luck,

    See terms for details....
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Sun Oct 03, 2004 5:20 pm

    Normally I do not look at this board, but I saw this.
    I dont know if you have a clinical problem or whatever but getting professional help is expensive (hell i know that, when I turned 18 my mom told me that i would have to start paying for my own therapy, and after a while insurance doesnt mean a shit) and sometimes frustrating (although you should probably give it a try). Personally I've been through a handful of therapists and psychiatrists and even been hospitalized one time. It takes a lot of time, it took them about two years to finally figure out that I was bipolar and get the right combination of meds, still today I struggle with it. My situation isnt really similar to yours, but I understand where you are coming from with a lot of it. My dad lived in the house, but then he didn't you know? Also, you really shouldn't blame single mothers; some of them really do work hard to give their kid something of a life. Whatever 'treatment' or whatever you get from this, do something with it because you just cant live your life thinking about what could be. You'll miss out on so much. arkhem
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Mon Oct 04, 2004 1:04 am


    In the first place, let me congratulate you for writing your message. It takes guts and it is the first step if you really want to change something in your life.

    Now, let me start with some thoughts about why you wrote this message. First, I think you feel frustrated and unhappy, and you wanted to relieve the pressure you feel inside you but, unfortunately, don’t have anybody to talk about it, so you chose a public forum. That’s OK, letting your feelings out is a positive step. However, I think there are more reasons for your letter – you probably know them, but maybe do not want to acknowledge them. You are looking for pity and compassion. You are looking for acceptance and reassurance about the inevitability of your behavior based on the justification of what happened to you in your past. Basically you are saying: “I had a difficult childhood which made me the way I am and there is nothing that can do about it, so people have to cope with me the way I am.”

    Now, if you really want to do something about your happiness and get rid of the frustration, you have to stop feeling pity for yourself, and take positive action towards changing you attitude and behavior. You can’t change the world, so if you are unhappy with your current situation, the only thing you can do is change yourself.

    You have to stop looking for reasons and justification to your behavior in your past – you already know them. And you can’t forget your past, but you can use it positively as learning experience.

    You have to stop thinking about other people (and yourself) in terms of “good” or “bad, or “right” or “wrong”. You have to accept others (and yourself) the way they are, and think positively about them (and yourself). You have to stop judging and start appreciating.

    Your obsession about punctuality will not make other people more punctual - YOU will have to learn to live with unpunctual people and accept them. You can try to enforce punctuality on some people close to you, but most likely this will only lead to more frustration and conflict.

    Let’s talk a second about the immigrants. Your great-great-grandparents were immigrants, too. Second class European citizens who had to emigrate because of economical, political or religious reasons. Do the immigrants claim benefits they have no rights to? Did your antecessors have the right to build their wealth by destroying the way of life of an entire civilization, or by bringing slaves from Africa? The only difference between you and today’s immigrants is just a few generations. You had the luck of being born in the rich part of the world, so be grateful about it and ready to share part of your good fortune with others. Things may be different for your children when China will become the most powerful nation in the world and the center of gravity of the world economy will be located in the Far East.

    So, do you really want to change and be happy? The road to happiness is long and difficult, and takes effort and determination. There are no magic pills that will make you instantly happy (except illegal drugs or alcohol), and no mental health practitioner have a magic wand that will make the world the way you want it be (for example, make everybody punctual or send all the immigrants back home).

    You can seek professional advice. But finding the right person may not be easy. Don’t look for somebody that will be compassionate and make you feel good for few minutes, just to leave you with the same problems and frustrations as soon as you leave their office. Look for somebody that will tell you things about yourself that you don’t want to hear (but probably already know) and will force you to take action with solid directions and recommendations.

    Group therapy is another option. But make sure that it is properly directed and managed. Look for proof of solid positive results within the group. Without direction, group therapy can easily turn into a crying circle in which people with similar afflictions pity themselves. But under guidance from a competent professional mental health advisor, or a person who has achieved successful results himself and is willing to share his experiences, group therapy can be very effective. It also has the advantage of being generally much cheaper than individual mental health consultation.

    There are also simple things you can start doing immediately.

    First, look for positive things in other people. Things they do better then you and things in which you (secretly) would like to be like them. Building such inventory of qualities of other people around you will help you to see them in a more positive light. It will also give you something to balance their defects, so that these defects will be less irritating. For example, think about the cultural diversity that immigrants bring to your country – food, music, art.

    Second, be nice to other people. Treat them the way you would like them to treat you. If you want people to accept you and be nice to you, you have to do the same – first. For example, if when boarding an airplane you see a single woman struggling with her baby, bags and a stroller, offer your help. She will appreciate it, and you will feel good about it as well. Smile at people, and they will smile back.

    But more important than anything else, stop pitying yourself and fearing the future. Take positive action about it.

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    RE: My Private Hell

    Mon Oct 04, 2004 5:46 am

    There´s absolutely nothing wrong with pity and compassion. Everybody needs and deserves a little of both on occasion. And it´s great to both receive and to give when needed.

    But like sweets, they can´t be the main part of a healthy diet...  Wink/being sarcastic
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:33 pm


    Well said. Matt deserves compassion and help. But this will not make his problem go away. If he wants to solve it, he needs to take matter into his own hands.

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    RE: My Private Hell

    Mon Oct 04, 2004 5:24 pm

    Matt, what's the point of this message? You aren't going to accomplish much by letting your personal problems become public knowledge on this internet forum. Instead why not go talk to somebody close...a close friend or a family member (or for example if you can relate to a particular user, try and email him/her personally). Try a therapist? Well only you can answer that. You'll get much more done through taking action in real life than constantly posting messages about your problems here and then you will probably see yourself getting somewhere close to dealing or resolving your problems. Do you honestly have the time to read and sift through all the replies? Come on!
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Mon Oct 04, 2004 10:41 pm

    HKg82- Posting a confession like this is a way for Matt to release some tension and things that were on his mind. It's a faceless therapy. He can say whatever he wants and no one will really know who he is. If someone makes fun of him on here (reference back to child hood) he doesn't know who they are because computers are a faceless/mindless medium.

    Matt- First and foremost, if you are not completely attracted to your girlfriend, save yourself the trouble, do not marry here. Do not do it for the convience. If you get married, you should think the girl is freaking amazing looking etc....The longer you drag that out, the worse the outcome will be. To me it seems you have already made up your mind about that.

    Deny it all you want, your problems are rooted in your childhood. There is no doubt about that. Most problems that come out with people in their 30's have had some kind of traumatic issue in their life. Mainly with parents or with kids at your school (sound firmiliar?) Matt, I am by no means a psychologist, though it is my major (I am emphasizing on Child Psychology) I'd like to help you, if you do not want to pay to see anyone. Once again it would be faceless (on the net) Before the rest of you bash, I may go to grad school and get my PhD. I may act like a bonehead on here, but I know what I'm talking about. I've done some experiments already and done some research with a professor.

    Matt- Contact me.
    [email protected]
    Child Psych Major, Univ. Dayton (Junior)
    Go big or go home
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Tue Oct 05, 2004 5:51 am

    Matt, Our stories are similar, only child, divorce, relationships, etc.... I thought I was reading MY life story in your post. Trust me, there are many ways to deal with stuff like this. FIRST, realize that you are an okay person. It's not your fault that your parents did what they did, or your dad drank. Hell, mine did too, and he sounded like your dad, in a lot of ways.

    I echo the Al-Anon respone I read... Discovering that I was NOT alone removed 50% of my anxiety. The "ME" before Al-anon was not a pretty sight. But I learned a lot in those rooms. Give it a try, and trust me, you may think that everybody in the meetings is talking about "you" when they share "their" stories. Give it a try. It's a hell of a lot cheaper that a shrink! But seriously, things can, andwill get better....


    [Edited 2004-10-04 22:55:46]
    If you don't stand for SOMETHING, you'll fall for ANYTHING.
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Tue Oct 05, 2004 6:45 am

    Way to go Aa61hvy (as far as making the 'obvious' ...clear to Hkg82).

    I still stand by my assertion that Matt has overcome his child trama pretty much on his own -- a sort of 'self-healing if you will'. Yes, he has made it clear these things still haunt him. At his age of 31, he has made it this far without 'offing himself or becoming a resident of an institution--criminal or mental'.. he has done what many others in similar situations have done.. he figured out how to survive and prosper on his own. At age 31, he's as normal as any one who's had a decent childhood, again.. all on his own. I don't suggest that he spend the next few years dwelling on how it all went down the way it did. Subliminal attention.... sure. But full scale pyschiatric help? No way, it'll make an already strong person weaker and and basically piss away precious time. He has acknowledged where the 'bodies' are buried in his past he simply needs to go back and look at them from the perspective of the parties involved. I did this with my dad to revisit our turbulent relationship..and boy did open my eyes!

    Example, Matt pretends he's his dad.. now why does he drink? Why does other family members abhor his very presence? Did the job drive him to drink? Was there a 'situation' involving the mother and someone else? Or the dad and another woman. When the issue is hidden from children.. it usually one of an egregious moral offense.. an offense of shame if you will and no one wants to speak of it. At age 31, he has seen pretty much all there is to see as far as what humans can and will do to each other, so the secret-- whatever it is-- is really no longer a secret. You don't need to hear someone confess (sure it's great to have someone beg forgiveness.. but it really isn't necessary). If by placing himself in his dad's shoes and seeing things from a-not-so-pretty vantage point... the answers reveal themselves to some degree. That's good enough for him to understand.. because Matt's making wholesale changes in his life doesn't mean others are 'ready to do so'.. everyone is on completely different schedules of adjustment (if at all).

    He then needs to place himself into his mothers' shoes. Now see what life was like for her in 1973. Why his dad choose her to settledown with and what possibly could have gone wrong not to long afterwards. Interesting that I bring this up.. this is an area I feel strongly and neglected to address in my previous post... Matt expresses a strong dislike of single parents--particularly women. 1973, on either side of was the epicenter of the free-love age. Women had yet to reached 10 years of absolute 'unabated freedom on ALL levels of society to strike and enjoy. Less than 10 years to adjust to the fact that they did NOT have to be 'their mothers'. They didn't have to sit at home and 'take it' anymore! This was a period of DRAMATIC social change! This meant the ability to look down the line and see if you(the mother) and your child (or children) are on the path to become -- 'your parents!' One could make and abrupt change and attempt to alter an undesired outcome... and many did. It was about this time that the 'divorce rate match' was lit and has been burning ever since. Most women will do whatever necessary for the 'benefit' of their child and them selves second. But then again, a lot of women (esp. young women w/children) would simply dump the child onto their maternal parents (almost no men would go for taking a child alone) and try to re-invent their lives as single women again (this story is brilliantly demonstrated in the film 'Midnight Cowboy'). Above all this, is the male/female dynamic... in a male dominated culture, a female has to do almost anything and everything to succeed in such an environ. And males will do, say and promise anything to a female to achieve their goals, honorable or not, ephemeral or long-term. And in most of these cases at the time... women wound up pregnant and still do today. It's just today, women will cut a loser male partner in a split second as oppose to hoping endlessly that he 'will change'. When we look around and see father-less families (aka single parent [women]families) in US inner cities, across rural America, and in nearly every nation on this planet... the male has usually 'gotten what he wanted' (at that time or shortly thereafter--usually his priorities change) and shucked his duties as a parent and absconded on the relationship (if their truly ever was one). Many women will option-out abortion because they really believe the coming child will bring the father back-this using the child as a link to the father that will last forever. Many believe it's against their religion and refuse to abort. Some cannot even pay for the procedure... nor afford the child.

    But, Aa61hvy, I do hope Matt takes you up on your offer to talk this out.. because of the anonymity.. it may even be a hell of alot better. Plus.. it's free! You can beat that no matter how you view it. I disagree with Matt on just about everything as many have seen on various post.. but I'm not the cold-hearted evil bastard many think I am...(well not all the time anyway). A Liberal's gotta have a soft spot somewhere.. I think that's in the Liberal handbook!


    "Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Tue Oct 05, 2004 8:17 am

    Matt- Contact me.
    [email protected]
    Child Psych Major, Univ. Dayton (Junior)

    Dude, he likes MEN! And he's not a child, SAS23  Big grin

    Matt D, re. your girlfriend: you'll never find anyone 100% your type. The way around this is to ask yourself whether you're happy, and whether you're having fun in the relationship. If you are...then what's stopping you? I don't know if you're religious, but I'm not, so I think that while you're alive you might as well make the most of it. If she makes you happy, marry her!

    I've thought about seeking professional counseling to address these issues. But I'm not sure what good it could do.

    It does work. Try it.
    Your bone's got a little machine
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Tue Oct 05, 2004 9:07 am


    The man has stated 'she's not his type. He knows what he's looking for. Whether he finds it not is up to him. 'His type' does exist... whether or not 'his type' will find him agreeable or not is an entirely different matter. Having 'fun' in the relationship in no way equals a 'happy relationship' or happy choice. Good? ...yes. Happiness or long term satifaction... no. So of us settle for what we can get, others.. pursue what we deem as perfect or darn close to it. There's nothing wrong with trying to do better.

    "Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
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    Matt D

    Tue Oct 05, 2004 11:04 am

    (repost of post ca. #17 without deleted reference)

    737doctor, I can't argue with your personal reasons for how you're presenting yourself in here; I myself limit my exposure as well. (And as for "anti-americanism": GWB is not identical with the USA; So please get over it!  Wink/being sarcastic)

    I agree that nobody should ever rely on anything anybody else is writing in here.

    But with all due caution, ideas can sometimes be useful. Especially when talking to people who are more distant and have a different (even if very limited) perspective on you.

    I'm not exactly a big proponent of psychotherapy; It's a very cerebral and (pseudo)scientific way of dealing with things that are often everything but that. It may help. But it's not "the" solution per se.

    Just my own completely unscientific personal impression:

    Matt, I've got the impression (which may be incorrect and is definitely incomplete) that your primary inner structure is very much intellectual/logical/"managed". No judgment - just my impression.

    But my point is that it may simply be unnecessary for you to tie everything in your life to rules about how things "have to be".

    A rigid belief system with emotions as a mere deviation from the course would be a little like a skeleton without any muscles or guts. Thoughts, goals and rules are all nice and fine. But music, love and humour are essential, too.

    And sometimes they need to take precedence over rational thoughts to find out about where to go and why, not just how.

    Loving, being in love and being physically attracted are three different things. They are often connected but they are not the same.

    Other people have their own needs. And they "need" not necessarily fit into our own set of rules or ideas. Or vice versa. In reality, we and other people are much more flexible, have more strength and more resources to deal with the unexpected than we would expect. Some things can't be made to work. But many others can.

    One final thought: Recognizing the almost always existing beauty in what (and whom) we see is one of the greatest things in life, even if the beauty may be transient, incomplete, flawed or hidden. It can't resolve everything, but it keeps the heart open and alive.

    All the best.
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Tue Oct 05, 2004 12:22 pm


    As one of the more senior memebers of this web site, I have always looked to you as.... well, you are consistant and for that I respect you. It is with all due respect that I say:


    I am glad that you have pinpointed your problems, but do something to change them! Simply knowing what the problem is does nothing. I had many of the same problems as well. My life did not get better until I worked at changing things.

    I had a rough childhood as well. Self-hating homosexual who deflected my own shortcomings by dealing in gossip. It was a very hard time. Things got worse when dad found out I am gay. I lived on the streets for a while and that is a whole episode not fit for a family web site. One day I decided things would have to change or they would not get better. Sure, I have had a few set-backs, but overall, everything is way better since I have set my mind to chagning things.

    Just change whatever is bothering you! That is the hardest part of all of this is trying to change. If you do not want to spend your life with your girlfriend, then don't! If you don't like your hair style, cut it! What ever the thing is that is bothering you so much CHANGE IT!

    You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Tue Oct 05, 2004 1:42 pm


    I have a lot of respect for you, pal..."coming out" like this...sharing your personal experiences like you have. I read everything a few days ago, but haven't had the chance to reply to you until now.

    You experienced a childhood that no kid should have to endure, but sadly, many do. I was one of them, but for different reasons than you. My parents were awesome...very supportive of me, and we did a lot together in terms of trips, etc. The fact my Dad worked for UA was nice... Big grin.

    School and my neighborhood was a different story, however. In Belmont, CA where I grew up, the kids on my block were assholes. Their parents didn't do anything to stop it, in fact, they encourged it I think. The parents of these little bastards looked down on my parents because they didn't go to a four-year college (crazy, I know) and treated us differently. We went to Hawaii for two weeks in the early eighties, and when we came back, one of the kids, named Mark, wrote "we're fuckers" on our driveway. I have bigger ears, so the kids (Mark and Jason) called me Ernie all the time, especially at school. They told the other kids in our class to do the same. At school and on our block, I was hardly ever invited to play with the other kids, and for that I never really developed the social skills until later on. Besides that, I often got picked on. I was glad to leave that place in '84...and to this day, I hate the entire "Gay Bay" area and avoid it whenever I can...too many bad memories overall, though school itself was great. At least I turned inward and focused on school and did well, my only release.

    Junior high and high school weren't much better, I never clicked with women at all, and still feel intimidated around them, especially the beautiful ones, as those types often singled me out for ridicule when I was younger.

    Today, I still feel directionless in a lot of ways, my confidence and sel esteem level really varies, and depression has affected me, too. But, I try to focus on what I'm good at, what I enjoy, and the good things about me, regardless of what others think. I'm very independend, and enjoy it that way.

    Ok....basically, you already made a lot of progress as you've identified pretty much all of your issues here for us. That's a HUGE first step. You're lucky to have a girlfriend that seems to care about the very least, you have a great friend in Jen, and time will tell what comes of it, if anything. But, don't settle for anyone, but at the same time, don't push her completely away and risk throwing away a great they're so very difficult to come by in life.

    I will echo what most everyone has already said...go see a therapist to talk about your issues. I finally got up the nerve to do so earlier this year, and it REALLY helped me work through and put some of the issues and bad memories behind me. In fact, it's possible now for me to think back on some happy times I had while living in Belmont, and I try to focus on that. I actually got back in touch with one of the few good friends I had back then, so that's cool for me. I would try to do the same...maybe talk with some of those folks and maybe discuss some of the things that happened in school. Maybe go to a high school might be surprised at what you find, and that may make you feel better about yourself in the process...that worked for me.

    Regarding therapy...check with the company you work for...they probably have what's called an Employee Assistance Program (commonly referred to as EAP) and it's a prepaid, confidential way in which you can get help for what you need, and without your employer/boss ever knowing what for. I was given 8 pre-paid sessions...and that was a HUGE HELP.

    Hang in there, man... Big grin
    And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!
    Posts: 6792
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Tue Oct 05, 2004 10:50 pm

    Whoa, Matt, that was quite the shock to read.

    Having had the pleasure of breaking bread (and devouring steak) with you and my wife, I can honetly say I was shocked and none of those traits you described were apparent.

    In any case, I agree with much of the above. Counsel is good. You mention private hell. Unleash your demons and free yourself, seriously.

    drop me a private email too one of these days.

    Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
    Posts: 6064
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Wed Oct 06, 2004 12:01 am

    Damn, that was almost scary to read, I can relate to a lot of that.

    My parents are probably the one positive in my life. I think they did a good job and I take full responsibility for all my shortcomings, I can't blame genetics or upbringing for how I turned out.

    I too have girlfriend I love but I am not in love with. I highly doubt I will marry her at this point, unless she makes signifigant changes that she said she wanted to long before I committed to moving in. However, she lacks the self discipline to make those changes. I would give my left nut for a girl that is actually attractive to come up to me, have a conversation and not want something from me like a pencil, pen, scantron, money in exchange for her smile and kind words. I am sick and tired of being treated like a sub human simply because I do not look like a model or exactly have a glowing personality to strangers. I have actually been working on the personality, it is in preparation for the day my current girlfriend gets sick of me. It takes a lot of work and I still haven't made any real advances but I can force myself to be more personable, but the next day if I am tired or pissed off at something I go back to my normal quiet self. Most people who bother to know me, think I am a great person to be around and enjoy my company. To strangers, for some reason I come off as a grumpy old man, at the ripe old age of 24.

    I never had many friends either. The few I had in high school were very close. I have since lost contact with almost all of them as we all scattered across the country, and one or two of them landed in jail, which was a surprise to all of us. I actually think I want to forget about all my high school friends. Sadly, I appear to be the one who has actually turned out ok. I am about to finish college, even though it is in a field I despise. This is more than I can say for most of them, who washed out in the first couple years and lack the discipline to go back. I now have pretty much no friends now that I moved halfway across the country, this would bother most people and something inside me tells me it should bother me. Yet it does not.

    That is another thing, why am I only good at things I hate? I loved civil engineering when that was my major. I wanted to go into the world, plan housing developments, build bridges, maybe design an airport. But I totally sucked at physics and could never grasp calculus. So here I am, stuck in accounting, getting ready for a life of going to work every day and hoping to get hit by a bus or struck by lightning. Much like how I feel when I go to school every day.

    I can't tolerate lateness either, but my main reason is because I do what I say I will do. If I say I will be there at 7pm, damnit I will be there at 7pm, and if I am late, it is because I am dead. I give people 15 minutes, after that I assume I was not important enough to warrant a call or them showing up. This probably pisses them off, but everyone who knows me knows how I feel about lateness.

    The burger thing was never an issue with me, I like everything on it.

    High school. I got taunted and abused too. I fought back starting early on but I did it in far more tactful and damaging ways, to this day most of the "in" crowd at my high school still fears me, and that is just the way I like it. In spite of my tall height (6'4") I was never exceptionally strong or co-ordinated, so a direct, 1 on 1 fight with a football player would have not been a good thing. I still hold the grudge though, hopefully they do too, they can make peace with me first. This is probably a big reason for my lack of social skills, every time through early high school when I tried to integrate into the small school society I was shut out and and ridiculed for even trying. I decided not to take it anymore and now I think I still see anyone that appears to be in the "in" crowd as a potential threat, but I am trying to get better.

    Damn, the more I read that the more I relate..

    Something else that I find even more scary, my name.. is Matt C

    Don't sweat it MattD, you aren't the only person out there that feels the way you do.
    Things were better when it was two guys in a dorm room.
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Wed Oct 06, 2004 12:10 am

    Gluten's what did it for me..... social isolation, being "detached", "aloof" whatever. Finally worked this out at the grand old age of 35 and it then took about 4 years for the primary effects to wear off. I've never done drugs, but if you can imagine that ecstasy opens the mind and increases communication then gluten did the opposite for me.

    I'm still not especially social, I'm not a going out to the pub/club/bar/party sort of person. I still don't know most of my neighbours. Maybe in another 25 years when I've caught up with the missed teen years 20's and 30's . When it ever crosses my mind I still don't get it how people can meet and become friends. Learnt behaviour or something pre-wired or a mixture of both?

    I'm now married (3 years) with one child and another due to arrive in a couple of months. So things can get better.

    I want to say good luck with your relationship with Jen (my wife's name as well.) "Not my type"? If you're living together there most be something about her you like.

    I'm not sure about therapy. It's an easy answer, but not a "cure".

    One thing that I've come to a conclusion about is this; don't analyse (yourself) too much. You can drive yourself nuts.


    Gluten information for any interested parties.
    wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
    Posts: 84
    Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2004 2:57 am

    RE: My Private Hell

    Wed Oct 06, 2004 2:01 am

    Hi Matt,

    Hope all is well. Like most, I congratulate you for your strength and courage to express your innermost issues/dilemnas.

    As I read your story, I felt that you were speaking to me in many respects. Allow me to explain. A few years ago, I met someone who I eventually fell deeply in love with. There are no words to express my feelings towards this man, only to say that my love was pure and unconditional. Unlike you and your girlfriend, we did not dated although there was deep feelings as well from his side. We were, however, the best of friends. While he was in Korea and soon thereafter in Iraq, we remained in contact and I know that he become very attached to me. When he was having a personal crisis, it was I who he confided and seeked advise. Not to write a book here, he eventually return to the USA in late December of 2003, but a complete mess--physcially, emotionally, pyschicially and spiritually. At first, I tried to help him to find means to find peace and tranquility within his own self. I soon realized that he was not ready for help. His problems were too deep. He still had to experience more internal hell before he would reach-out for help. We lost communication for about 2 months, until early July of this year.

    At first, I was under the impression that his issues/dilemans were a direct consequences of the war. He was depressed, scared, isolated himself from the world, anxiety attacks, etc. Since July, I have learned that the problems are deeper. The war is an issue but his upbringing and not properly dealing with it has now surface, forcing him to deal with it.

    Your story is very similar to his although his parents were not divorced. His father was an alcoholic like yours. His father only provided the sperm to his mother, the rest he could careless for his son. He was home schooled and hardly had any friends. Even to attend Chruch was a "no" in that household.

    Speaking from my personal experience, besides seeking PROFESSIONAL advise,
    the following are some of the stuff that I have told him:

    1. What happens to us as kids is the responsibility of our parents.
    2. What happens to us as adults is your own responsibility.
    3. Only you can break-away from the cycle of pain and suffering. It is not easy and requires courage, determination and willingless to change.
    4. Learn to love yourself. Learn to accept yourself. Learn to be kind to yourself. Learn to be your own best friend.
    5. Accept your past. Forgive those who have hurt you. I did not say "forget" You dont forget.
    6. Learn from your past.
    7. Realize that all human beings have demons or skeletons in the closet, whether minor or major. Why? Because if we did not, then we would not experience life. The thing is that most of us are very good at hidding our demons.
    8. Life is difficult. Life is like the four seasons-winter, fall, spring and summer. Remember that we learned the most about ourselves, not when life is easy. We learn about ourselves and others when life brings challenges to test our character and if we really practice what we preach.
    9. If today is hell to you, tomorrow is always a new day with new beginning. It is like a rainning day, at one point, the sun shines.
    10. Realize that others will love you to the best of their ability. They are not going to love you HOW you want them to love you.
    11. Research your ancestory. What do you know about your parents' upbringing? Trust me, researching your ancestors will enable you to understand your parents and provide some answers regarding their behavior towards you and others.
    12. Be honest and real to yourself. You can bullshit everyone else, but not yourself.
    13. Surround yourself with positive people.
    14. Do what you think is RIGHT for you. Listen to your inner-voice. (All of us can give advise but at the end, you make the best decision for yourself.)
    15. When you are faced with a decision, make that decision as wisely as possible and then FORGET. Why? the moment of abosute certainity never arrives.
    16. Dont be afraid to be HAPPY.
    17. Enjoy Life. Life is a gift.
    18. Be an example. Treat others as you want to be treated.
    19. Deal with one demon at a time.
    20. Finally, this is what I learned --each of us are in different paths of learning, loving, growing and maturing ...some of us are teachers while others are students. At times, those roles reverse. You may be the teacher while I am the student. Think of your relationships as examples.

    Matt, only you have the power to change or continue on the same path. It is your decision and be ready to deal with the consequences of whatever path you decide.

    With respects to your girlfriend, this is where I feel you are speaking to me--be honest to her. He was finally honest to express his demons and true feelings about himself. I know that it was not easy for him. I cannot hold his honesty against him. My heart was full of compassionate because I too had a difficult upbringing. Your girlfriend may not at the beginning, but one day she will be grateful that you were honest. If she is not the one, let her go. Because you are only lying to yourself and to her. And, don't you think that she too has the right to find happiness?

    Like my friend, you need time to deal with yourself and your demons.

    Get over it ! lol
    Posts: 779
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:39 pm

    MattD-- More than 30 people took the time and energy to respond to your plea for help, and yet we have heard nothing back from you for a week. Maybe you had second thoughts about sharing this stuff with us, and are now embarrassed or something. But I am sure that no one is judging you for what you wrote. In fact, many people praised you for your courage in telling your story. Many people also took the plunge to tell their own stories, supporting you with their understanding and sympathy.

    I just kind of feel like you owe all of us a response-- thanks, go to hell, or whatever.
    Active loading only, ma'am, keep it moving!
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:56 pm


    I understand the reason for your comment. But Matt simply put out a detailed and thoughtful description of his situation and asked for feedback. He didn't express an interest in a 'dialogue' about it.

    I think he did a good job of laying out where he is at, and how he feels. I also think a lot of the feedback has been good.

    While I hope he is giving the feedback some serious thought, he "owes" us nothing.
    No info
    Posts: 7281
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Tue Oct 12, 2004 4:08 pm

    while I hope he is giving the feedback some serious thought, he "owes" us nothing.


    "Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
    Posts: 6875
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Tue Oct 12, 2004 6:56 pm

    Look man, I can see where you are comming form and I have respect for you and what you went through. I felt off the ropes as well a few years back when my girl friend died.
    But as time goes by, you have to realise that you cannot take your anger out on people, it will only hurt them and hurt you in the long run.
    Posts: 1177
    Joined: Tue Sep 21, 1999 9:52 pm

    RE: My Private Hell

    Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:32 pm

    I really empathize with you, Matt. I have my own "private hell" to deal with, though I'd say it's handlable from day to day. I was raised by parents who as I got older grew strict and overprotective. On top of that, my parents didn't get along (both had baggage from their families and were not mature for marriage). My years spent with my parents - mainly starting some time before middle school - have been quite frankly hellish, though probably in different ways than yours. My mother was demanding and authoritarian, and there are things I did that other parents may not even notice that made her furious. I have spent some of the best years of my life living in fear from her, have been physically and emotionally abused by her in very humiliating ways (including being kicked, made to submit to face slapping, spit upon, pricked by a pen, scratched, told she hates me, had some of my property broken and my room messed up, called some of the ugliest Serbian insults and more). I will admit that I was a somewhat difficult child before high school, but she was a demanding mother too. Furthermore, I was really a good kid in high school, but she was never satisfied. She treated me like you shouldn't treat your kid if they rob a bank. I most certainly am emotionally scarred from this, and resent this treatment and feel robbed. Even people in jail are afforded minimum respect, but it is so easy to hurt your child and get away with it. And your child is someone you should really love and nurture. I really don't know what I could say to you about dealing with it because I'm not "okay with it" or "have let go" myself. The pain is still there. I have been scared senseless, humiliated and hurt. I feel uncomfortable even reading e-mails from my mother, who appears to feel wholly justified in her behavior. Whenever I see someone who looks a little like my mother, I cringe. Not only that, but also (be it a result of family things or not), I was very anti-social in grade school. This vastly improved in high school, but even then I was something of an attention seeker, possibly due to some internal inferiority complex. The result of this that I would embarrass myself sometimes, trying to be cool. So my life is a long history of regrets and personal suffering. One good thing about being in the Czech Republic now is that I can start on a clean slate.

    So I feel for you, I'd say no one should be allowed to treat one's children the way you were treated. I don't know what to say about how to deal, except to try to concentrate on the present. I would say one very important thing however: we must not let our bad experiences affect our relationships. Thus I resent how I was treated, what was done to me is not okay. But I have no right whatsoever to take it out on a girlfriend or my own children, for example. Thus, if for instance I start a relationship with the girl I currently have a crush on, I have an utter duty toward her to respect her and not let her pick up the tab for what my mother did to me. If I were to marry her and if we should have kids, I'd have an absolute duty to be nice to my kids and be the parent I never had. I should not dare push them around to somehow compensate for what was done to me. If I am incompetent to do these things, then in my opinion, I have absolutely no right to have a girlfriend/wife/kids. So please, now that you know that you are treating your girlfriend badly, make a concious decision to STOP RIGHT NOW. You owe it to her. She needn't put up with bad treatment. That's not the way to deal with these things. I suggest you apologize to her. Attribute it to your internal troubles, but admit you should have respected her. Promise you'll be better toward her and keep your promise. As for whether or not she's right for you, I can't tell you that. You have to make a good decision, however. You must feel you can live with the person in order to make sure you don't end up with a divorce. You wouldn't want that for your kids, would you? See if you can love her despite her shortcomings. If not, the relationship should be broken off. But on this subject, I advise you to talk to someone who understands relationships well, maybe a professional. Ultimately it's your decision, but skilled guidance may help lead you to the right decision.

    Don't fear rejection so much. This is a complex, not reality. If you make an honest effort to be good to the girl you're with, there won't be a reason for her to reject you.
    Posts: 6875
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    RE: My Private Hell

    Wed Oct 13, 2004 5:21 am

    One more thing, whatever you do, do not take your aggressions out on other people. I believe that any problems I have are my problems, and I try not to make it the problem of others as well.
    Matt D
    Topic Author
    Posts: 8907
    Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

    RE: My Private Hell

    Wed Oct 13, 2004 9:41 am

    Actually I have taken the time to read each and every response. I'm sorry I've been slow to respond to them, but the efforts are appreciated.

    That said, I'm not going to respond to each and every one individually. I think all of you make valid points and I am taking some of them into consideration as far as planning my course.

    Problem is, I haven't decided. Should I remain static and just live with it? Should I say to hell with everyone and everything here in my life and skip to another state and start over? Should I seek counseling?

    I've considered all of these and all I can say is that I really don't know.

    I've certainly gone this long and I have more immediate pressing day to day issues.

    But as this post shows, I can't put it off forever. I need to come to terms with my past and how it affects my present and how it could affect my future. This original message was at least a start in that direction. Remember, I've been on this site for a long time and we've had discussions about everything imaginable. Some of you, I've met in person. And others probably feel like you know me just through the tone and content of my postings. So in some way, I feel like many of you are friends, even if it's only on this site. We may not always agree on everything-hell it's gotten downright nasty at times. But what relationships don't have their bad days?

    As Miroddie pointed out, he saw no inkling of this in my personality. But it's there. I'm at least mature and cognizant enough not to just scatter thoughts like this to whoever I happen to meet. We got together because him and his wife were in town and we wanted to meet and go have a nice dinner and discuss a variety of topics. A discussion like this one would've really had no place in such a setting and probably would've made the two of them feel very unncomfortable. I wouldn't blame them. I would too if someone laid something like this at my feet when all I thought I was doing was getting together to put a face to a name and eat some steak.

    As I said...I have a girlfriend whom I love....but am not in love with her in the sense of feeling a passionate flame for her. Part of it is because I'm not all that attracted to her physically. She's an attractive woman, but not what I'm looking for. The other part of it is the last woman I felt any passion about (Michelle) left me so utterly devastated emotionally and feeling a sense of contempt towards women in general that no matter how hard I try, I simply cannot build up any degree of passion for ANYONE anymore. I mean I'll see a cute woman, admire her, perhaps fantasize about her, but that's about it. As soon as she's out of sight, she's gone from my mind.

    And the second worst part of it is that Jen treats me far better than I deserve.

    On a lighter note, I've been tipped off that at least a couple of members here (who shall remain nameless) have seen my recent picture, and now have the hots for me. Why...I don't know....I'm just your average Joe. But that's neither here nor there. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Deespite what some of you may think, I actually take that as a compliment. You see, if a guy finds me attractive, then that means that some women would too.

    So I have hope.

    and now the worst part is this:

    The type of women I am most attracted who I would like to have is....

    are you ready for this?

    Is a LATINA...

    yes....a Spanish girl.

    I think they're the hottest. My first was with a Spanish girl. And of the 6 women I can say I've truly loved over the years, 4 of them were, indeed, Hispanic.

    Including Michelle.

    Now see how messed up I am upstairs?

    Posts: 84
    Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2004 2:57 am

    RE: My Private Hell

    Wed Oct 13, 2004 10:00 am


    First, stop making excuses for yourself and deal with your issues. It is time to grow-up and get your act together.

    Second of all, why in the world are you even considering a relationship if you are dealing with inner issues? I have an idea...Learn to deal and love yourself first. Once you have made peace with yourself and your issues, concentrate on a relationship.

    Lastly, that is right. Latina and/or Hispanic and/or Spanish (please members don't start correcting me lolol) women are the best! lol ..I know, I am one of them  Smile
    Get over it ! lol
    Matt D
    Topic Author
    Posts: 8907
    Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

    RE: My Private Hell

    Wed Oct 13, 2004 10:43 am

    Damn wouldn't be projecting now would you?

    Did you ever live in SoCal? I once worked with a girl named Elisa and she was just as bitchy as you come across....

    I'm not trying to make excuses for anything. I'm simply acknowledging some issues and trying to find a way to deal with them. So get off your high horse. If I was in denial-then that's another story. But inasmuch as this post exists, we know that's not the case.

    And despite that, my life IS in order thank you very much. And I'm a lot more grown up than many people will ever be.
    Posts: 3281
    Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2001 11:02 am

    RE: My Private Hell

    Wed Oct 13, 2004 11:34 am

    Should I remain static and just live with it?
    - NO! Sooner you get your issues past you, or at least managed to the point where it doesn't affect you on a dailyl basis, the better.

    Should I say to hell with everyone and everything here in my life and skip to another state and start over?
    - NO! The problems/issues you have are in your head. Until you resolve it, it will be with you regardless of where you live.

    Should I seek counseling?
    - YES! As I mentioned above, check with your employer to see if they have a confidential Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Companies of all sizes, assuming they offer health benefits, usually has this as well.

    And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!

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