Reports from the Bunker

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When you are weird

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you look for someone whose weirdness matches your own. Kim tries to pretend that in comparison to me she is bland and boring, but she is goofy and sexy and smart and has her own wonderful oddities, like a wild phobia like aversion to certain types of foam material.

We are opposites in many ways, she doesn’t like my music and most the television and books that I love etc..She does not fit what you would expect from most of the persona’s that I have worn through my life, the tough anti-social guy or the academic minded intellectual, or any of it and that is precious, in part because those were just masks. She is human, heartfelt, genuine and she is smart, but not stuck in some academic box. She saw that in reality, somewhere inside of me, I was these things too.  I like that she is different and we are not always in agreement, that she challenges me and helps broaden my horizons and I think I do the same for her, at least I hope so.  What makes her my Mo Anam Cara? My soulmate and best friend?  I don’t really know how to communicate that, there is something there, some connection and something familiar deep inside her that from the start felt like coming home, like finding that thing my heart has been searching for forever.

I am not good at life, at daily living and it will be some time before I am, yet she is patient with me and is there for me and I don’t feel judged or resented. She is hard pressed to admit it, but she is mystical like me too, her ring, which we just finally got after almost two years is entirely symbolic. With two sets of Sapphire’s representing the boys and a diamond representing us. It made her so happy to finally have it and that makes me very pleased.

Kim's Wedding Ring

The ring it took me two years to get her

I don’t know how much of it comes across in this blog, but I can be strange, odd and have some proclivities when it comes to sex and really life in general that could be seen as difficult to accommodate and accept, but it is no problem for my wife, my love and so any time I can do anything to express my joy at being with her and my gratitude for all that she is, all that she does and all that she puts up with I am happy to do it!

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Written by jamesjanus

June 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Today, I am grateful for

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so much, it is hard to know where to start. Kim and the boys. Kim and I have had this amazing time trying to reconnect and rekindle after the stress of what has been a continuous 17 months of cascading tragedy and disaster. We have been playing and laughing, and talking and adventuring and making love, and fucking!  As I continue working the Steps, trying to do so with more effort and more earnestness each week, I am feeling my “muchness” returning and today might be the first day that I have felt fully plugged in for entire day, so far.

Last night we had this fun, but also grueling night of shopping with the boys, then came home to stay up late and work on an extra credit, craft project for the youngest boy. Honestly, they worked on it while I cheered and lay on the couch because I am more than useless with that kind of stuff.  But there was something so perfect and so wonderful about watching the two of them, Mother and Son, huddled over the table late in the evening, with styrofoam balls, modeling clay, paper mache and some crude directions and a sketch that the boy had drawn up. They were working together just to do it really, since it was just extra credit.

Then there is the fact that they were working with Clay and Paper Mache’ making this  “Story Teller” doll with some children in his arms. Kim made the children by hand with Clay. She says she had never made it before, but they were incredibly detailed and amazing for a first effort and it just reminded me how she has always amazed me with her quiet hidden abilities that she will just whip out to accomplish some task that is placed before her.

I have to always remember; she is my best friend, she is amazing, she is my Mo Anam Cara and as long as I have her and the boys, everything is fine and everything will continue to be fine.

I am grateful that I feel like myself and I am happy today.

Written by jamesjanus

May 22, 2012 at 7:59 pm

On Love

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Love, in my darkest hours I was never really able to bring myself to give up on it. To some people’s great confusion, there I would be, a cynical, venomous and bitter drunk, telling people to hold onto love, to seek love, to allow themselves if necessary to be burned by it. Of course, I seldom truly followed that advice and always protected my own heart, but that is another matter.

Many people, perhaps even most, would tell you that nothing is more potent, more powerful or more important than love and they would be correct. Love, beyond anything else, benefits childhood and helps us grow into positive, strong adults. Love can make hard times easier and keep kindness, compassion and hope alive in our hearts.  Love can give us courage and transform us from shrinking, wilting shadows, into fearless, dreaming, living angels, soaring toward our best potential. Love binds families made of otherwise incompatibly different people together.

The love of children can relight the flames of imagination, determination and innocence in your soul and move it to become more of a guardian and protector that you ever thought possible.  The love of the right woman or man can bring you to know that while you may have learned to love your own solitude, you were incomplete in it before there was that other soul, across the chasm to reach out to. My solitude was a nightmare and a prison because there was nothing to reach out to that made me feel safe, until the right woman came along.

Love is the most powerful force in the Universe and perceived as the most elusive, we all spend our days pursuing it. It also happens that it is the most invisible when looked for and the most taken for granted when we have it.  A year ago, I married the most wonderful woman, when I indulge my solitude, she worries but remains and waits and when I reach out, her hand is there and the place she pulls me to is safe, with a hand to hold and ears to listen.  I have the love of two wonderful children and a one wonderful woman and I hope that I never take that love for granted, for I can think of no greater gift to waste and no worse sin than that.

If you listen, if you accept that it is ever present, always there. If you appreciate, really and truly appreciate it and do no take it for granted, you might understand and you might find peace, salvation and happiness. There is a power out there that is greater than us, maybe it is just love, maybe it is where love issues from, but it loves you. There are people out there that love you, more that want to love you, if you can learn to let them, if you can open up, disregard the fear.

This has been my experience, I am an alcoholic and love has saved me. The love of some strangers who brought me to the light started it. I will never know why perhaps, but the ease with which I let my guard down to Kim and let my real self be revealed and the continuing struggle to stay there, because the world is frightening to me, but Kim, she always draws me back to the light with her love.

I am resolved to be stronger this year, to do better allowing that love to fill me with courage and gratitude and hope and strength, because it can and it will if you let it.

Thanks you friends, thank you god and thank you so, so much Kim – you and the fellas are the light in my soul and the love in my heart!

 

 

Written by jamesjanus

December 29, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Posted in Kids, Kim, Love

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Three Years, Five Months, Many Adventures, Misadventures and Some Divine Intervention Later…

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“Advance, and never halt, for advancing is perfection. Advance and do not fear the thorns in the path, for they draw only corrupt blood.”

– Khalil Gibran The Prophet

Today, is a rather nostalgic day, because it is a dual anniversary of sorts. Three year and five months ago, I got sober. and Three years ago, the event that put the final nail in the coffin of my first marriage occurred.  I have wanted to write about it, but I feel like the details hardly matter at this point and certainly aren’t required to get to the truth of it. I can say what matters about both in few sentences and it occurs to me as I sit here, that it is what came after each that truly matters and is better to write about.

3 years and five months ago; I was an active alcoholic, my life was unmanageable and I was on a downward spiral. It was nearly everything you might think of when you picture alcoholism, though because I worked from home and wrote for a living, it had not yet cost me my job, though that was certainly coming very soon. It had ruined my marriage and my then wife, Lucy, openly disdained me and I felt verbally abused me. As she left for a research trip, I quit drinking and headed to AA, with the intention of determining that it was a joke and leaving it behind to try and stay sober for a few months on my own before I returned to drinking.

Having been an alcoholic from the time I was barely a teen, I had never known hope, happiness or real, honesty and faith. Rather than finding AA to be bullshit, I found myself to be. All that I pretended to be, all that I had built to keep drinking and keep others from seeing the real me, was a lie. I found hope first, then a taste of happiness. I looked for more and I found that I loved my sobriety and would go to any lengths to keep it.

3 years, 5 months ago, I realized that in order to protect and keep my sobriety, I had to leave Lucy and that is what I did. There were mistakes and missteps involved with all of that, including another woman, some clumsiness and other errors that I am still paying for today, but really, I just knew I had to leave. I left and I moved home, with a dream of how wonderful and easy it was all going to be.

The first six months were perhaps that easiest, after that being sober became a little tougher. Living back here in Detroit got harder too, tough to find work and my dreams crumbled slowly. But I did my best to stay sober and to keep putting in the work.  There is a certain order to the universe and way in which the powers that be work, whatever you might think those are; and hard work pays off even if it is not in the way you might anticipate.

So, not long after I moved here, I met Kim, she was beautiful, older than me, so strong, smart, kind and hilarious. She was entirely, out of my league as far as I was concerned. She could be the life of the party, but I could also see a sadness in her, a vulnerability and  a loneliness and I was drawn to her. I am an idiot when it comes to women, so it took a really long time, but we started seeing each other.

I confess, I was seeing someone else at the time, but Kim knew that. Though, I thought I was madly in love with the other woman, my heart turned and drew itself to Kim and I feel so, deeply and madly in love with her that it seems we were always together, for lifetimes even. Here was this magical woman, who not really knowing me, having heard all of the terrible stories about me and all these descriptions of that false persona I had crafted, looked at me and saw right through it, to the person that I really am, to the man I have been protecting all of my life and it was like she gave him permission and assurance to walk right out and live in the sun.

So it grew serious with Kim and I met and fell in love with her two sons, who by another blessing from on high, also love me and slowly we became a family. And almost a one year ago, we married, making it official and I cried, because I had a family. Here, a gift that three years ago, my would never have allowed me to suggest I wanted and therefore I couldn’t possibly know that my heart was crying out for it.

Serious wonder and serious lessons, be yourself, put in the work and the reward comes, let go and let the universe do the steering and you will wind up someplace you need and want to be. Things get better when I relinquish control, when I remain humble and worry only about doing the next right thing. I learned all of that over the first two years that I was sober. It is the curse of an alcoholic though that we cannot learn a lesson just once, we cannot say “there, learned that and will never have to learn it again!” No, because we will forget, we will backslide and will have to learn things over and over again. It is just our way.

So, I stopped doing the work, quit the meetings, stopped praying and reading and reaching out. I started worrying, thinking of myself, trying to take control. Then things got tough, things in and out of our ability to control and I lost faith and I started shielding and guarding myself again, putting up that false persona more and more. I grew selfish again and have been struggling to find my way back ever since, not yet through really doing the work though, because I am an alcoholic and finding my way to do the right thing, the right way is hard, though it shouldn’t be.  I did damage with Kim and I, not ruin, though it could have been if she were a different person. She is still there, still I believe, loves me fiercely and I love her with all that I am

Today, as I look back on the last three years, here is what think.

Thank Heaven for her, for the boys, for the huge heart of hers and the forgiveness that runs through it.

Thank Heaven and earth that even not putting the effort I should into it, I haven’t drank.

Thank Heaven that when I am ready to roll my sleeves up, there is a program and tools to keep me both sober and SANE.

I am so happy to be so blessed and to know that no matter what, if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, if you just keep advancing and putting in the work then the rewards will follow, even if they are not what you might think. Often, as in my case, those you were not expecting are the best!

3 years, 5 months, sober. Thank you friends, Kim and special thanks to Bill and Bob.

Written by jamesjanus

December 27, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Halloween!!!!!!!!!!!!

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This weekend is halloween. down the years, for different reasons, it has always been one of my favorite holidays; this year, the big reason is the boys!Never had kids to go trick or treating with before. It seems to be Farmer’s favorite holiday too, largely because of the sugar goodness and spooky decorations and costumes.
We took a trick or treating trial run at Kroger the other day, FUN FUN FUN!!!! I thought the setup was a little skimpy, but upon reflection what they had setup was fun and interactive, including a “Musical Pumpkin” set up where the kids walked around on numbered pumpkins until the music stopped, the cute chubby girl in the Heidi outfit would pull a number from a bucket and if a kid was standing on that number, they won a prize..BOTH Farmer and Senator took home gold, which I think was really some sort of Little Debbie snack cakes.
We carved our first few pumpkins the other night and read spooky stories before bed last night. Farmer said he was scared and sure to have nightmares when I put him to bed; I gave him a hug and told him if he saw a monster in his dream, to imagine I was there with him and I would destroy it for him. Well, he didn’t have any nightmares and I am going to take credit for that.
Tonight, I hope, we will carve more pumpkins and maybe read more spooky stories before bed time. We hope to make it out to Meijer on Saturday for more preliminary begging, then Sunday! The main event, we all dress up, Kim, the boys and myself and we head out to do trick or treating and hit a little get together at a friends house!!! I cannot wait to head out with them, Jason with A Chain Saw, Red Rappin Ninja and mom and I as witch and some dicked up scary thing from the underworld with a jackolantern face, skeleton hands and long dark robe!!! I hope they have fun, hope they score loads of goods.
There is other news brewing, I think Kim and I have settled on marrying on New Years Eve this year! My head keeps exlpoding and my heart pounds everytime I think about it, I find myself, at a total loss for words, too excited to say anything sensible, but I will, I promise! I am sure I have alot to say about that.

Written by jamesjanus

October 29, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Posted in Kids, Kim, Love

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Dunno

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I do not even know where to start, what to say, the last week has been so eventful and exhausting both emotionally and physically. I know that I am tired and perhaps a little down today; I hate my job right now and it makes it hard to get up for and into on time. Kim’s father is in rought shape and came home recently from the hospital to enter in home hospice care. We have been supporting her mother and spending as much time as we can over there, to the neglect of many things at home that need done, which is fine and as it must and should be really. That said, the state of the house and my basic inability to do anything about it on my own is stressing me out, this is a huge flaw of mine and it is starting back at me everyday. I feel it is so unfair to require her direction and efforts in order to get through all but the most rudementary of domestic tasks, but I find myself unable to work out what must be done or how to go about doing it.

Kim’s discovery of some archive of old images from whatever the fuck I have been calling her, led to some discussion and her and I reading through too an old archive of IM’s with V, which if I am being honest made me nervous, but had a very wonderful effect for me. When we were done reading, I lay there and was just washed with this tsunami of feeling and a very present understanding of something. A year ago, I was happy, or thought I was happy and it was a brand new feeling. I think it is safe and accurate to say I was happier than I ever had been, but to my wonderful realization last night, this emotion has very definate degree’s of intensity and depth. So, sure while I was having my affair with whatsherface and fooling around or flirting with other women, I suppose I was happy, but there was too a certain misery to it, a lonliness and a tugging at my self worth and self esteem (being the other man etc..) and I was forced to read it, to remember it last night. As we lay there talking and I thought about 09 (which now seems so far away as to have been a lifetime) vs. this past year this tsunami hit me and it was joy, it was a happiness that came from really understanding not only that I happy, truly happy with Kim, but just how MUCH happier I am than I was a year ago, which in itself was an improvement over any preceeding.

Given the challenges that life has thrown at us recently and my newfound loathing for my job, it was this beautiful moment of reprieve to just lay there with her feeling the happiness and joy she puts in my heart and for no particular reason other than it is there to be felt. Of all of the good and bad of this week, that moment wins.

In other news, Halloween approaching, got the boys their costumes, next up apple picken and pumpkins, I was wonderful to see them try them on; we need more work and stuff for the Farmer, but he is still stoked. The Senator is super excited about being red ninja with twin swords. Who knew, in troubled times people’s joy used to bother me, watching the kids get excited though is yet another wonderful reprieve. Kim and I will dress up too, thinking I might be the grim reaper and her a witch, we will take them tricks or treating then to some friends of ours who are REALLY big fans of the holiday, should be shit tons of fun. I hope Kim and the boys both have a lot of fun that night, lord knows they deserve it.

Written by jamesjanus

October 18, 2010 at 6:37 pm

There is more than one way to break a heart

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For most of my life I have had two best (maie) friends, they were the closest people to me, I never let anyone get as close as them. I am now, with Kim and we will discuss that sometime. Four years ago, one of them, call him Roy; he shot and killed himself, seemingly without warning. Perhaps it is understood that it was drug and alcohol related. I came so close to shutting down entirely at his funeral. Then I crawled into the bottle deeper and stayed there for years and the grieving continues and is still intense when it catches up with me.

I am coming up on two years clean and sober, which I think plays into my anguish over my other best friend we will call him Duncan. He had a problem with IV drugs and has been clean, but not sober for the last three years. Since the revelation that his wife was pregnant last year, he has been hitting the bottle hard, even when sober he is moody and unapproachable about serious topics, walling himself off. His beautiful daughter is several months old now and though he loves her, he is a mess.  He gets drunk and belligerent, just this weekend verbally attacking me and Kim and only half joking with threats of physical violence. He gets to rambling and slurring and saying cruel things, then simply angry but not making any sense at all.  His wife, whom I also consider a good friend, has been patient with him and stood by him through some serious misbehavior and she is being taxed to her limit. Duncan has always suffered from a self-loathing put there by his father, now I am sure he is certain that his wife and daughter would be better off without him and he is doing everything he can to self-destruct and push them away and it is breaking my heart to watch it happen. I am no idiot, I know if he succeeds in pushing them away what comes next. He will start using again and either overdose or purposefully end his own life, the very thought hollows me out and then fills me with pain. I have no idea how I could weather another dead friend, much less another suicide. So, I am heartbroken and at the same time angry. I am coming into a wonderful time in my life, one that should and could fill me with joy and peace, one that I have looked for and always anticipated sharing with him and his wife. Although my new life, sober, with Kim and the kids does provide me those things, the worry and heartache of Duncan are never far from my mind and when I try to share my joy he simply spills his misery on it.  We are supposed to be happy now, he has an amazing wife and career that can go places, we have cobbled together a giant family that enjoys one another’s company and looks out for one another. Instead, I stand here happy with my life, which in spite of some challenges has many more blessings than I probably deserve, while he pisses on what he has and tries to throw it away. So there is that heartache that often distracts me from my happiness.

Then there is the little farmer, Kim’s eldest, who is struggling for acceptance not only from his peers, but from adults too. He is a beautiful and unique child and in spite of circumstance and lacking unconditional acceptance from his peers and many adults, I suspect including his father, he still has his mother’s warm and wonderful heart and there is still time to make sure he keeps it. I see a powerful creative energy bouncing around in him and just waiting to be directed and unleashed. We will find the right thing and he will thrive, but for now, his largely unfulfilled quest for acceptance and praise causes him pain, which causes her and I pain, her of course to a much larger degree.  My tribe, my family is almost entirely comprised of people who in their childhood were just like the little farmer boy, different, struggling for acceptance and uncertain of their place in the world. I know I didn’t prepare most of them for him, but I figured they would just see it, like I did. He wanted so badly to have them see him this weekend and embrace him. Duncan, who should know better, seemingly with direct intention, showed him nothing but rejection. To my embarrassment and shame my people, all of whom should be able to empathize with the young man, did not behave as I would have expected and did little or nothing to give him what he was looking for. This also breaks my heart.

The truth be told though, in spite of these pains and other challenges, like finances and my own quest for job security, I am happier than I ever have been and while I don’t know the details of how to pull it all together, I am excited about Kim and I’s future. Funny how the places I rejected and was certain would not bring me joy or fulfillment are exactly where they are ending up coming from, kids, family, home instead of work, peace, quiet. I must find a permanent job, a secure job. I want to ask Kim to marry me, but I want that security first, without it I feel like I am constantly a hair’s breath from being an albatross instead of a partner.  And be it large or small I want to provide the best wedding possible for her and to go somewhere after, whether just her and I or with the boys. I pray constantly for some opportunity to present itself and I search constantly for it on my own. So, if you are listening universe; I am grateful for Kim, for the boys, for all of my blessings, but I could do much more for them and others if the right opportunity came along, so if you can make that happen, that would be great.

Well, I should get focused on work. By for now!

Written by jamesjanus

July 7, 2010 at 3:11 pm