Author Archives: Michael

A Sad Loss

I received word that my first wife, and mother of my first two children, passed away at approximately 1 a.m. this morning. I have yet to process this, but it has affected me, and I believe it will for quite some time to come. I do know that for me, it marks the end of yet another era, another chapter of my life. Yet more of my past is now locked forever in history, and my world has become smaller with her passing.
I met Gina when I was still in high school, and she was my girlfriend from my sophomore year onward. We had our share of misadventures, as many of that age did at the time, and memories of those times come out of the dark now at odd hours to remind me of just how long I’ve been on this road. We got married pretty much right out of school, for different reasons, I suppose, although both of us being young and stupid counted for a lot of what happened after.
Yes, things went wrong. It was my relationship that blew my portfolio review for MICA, where I had pretty much been scheduled to receive a full scholarship, and this changed my life to an extreme degree. There was a great deal of misery and strife, also because we were young and stupid, and I became a work horse, doing whatever I could to support my wife and children. I hated most of these jobs, hated life a great deal of the time, to be honest, and although I grew to know our relationship was in trouble, I continued to hold onto hope until the very end. Things were made worse by my grandmother, who did not hold my wife or her family in any regard, and made things harder for us because of it.
This was made even worse after we divorced, using whatever means she could to cause more tension between us, and still being young and stupid, I did nothing to make things easier. It took another ten years for us to reconcile our past, and to begin treating each other civilly. We had done what was necessary for the children in the meantime, but it was never friendly. I resented my treatment, and it took years for me to understand how we had both been manipulated by our caregivers, and the truth behind what had happened to us. It was then that I could finally forgive her for the things she had done, and let go of my anger. In the end, we ended up creating two beautiful children together, and I came to understand that some things…are not about us; they are about greater things.
Yet, despite all the bad things that happened, all the things she may have done against me in our marriage, I know she never took pleasure in it. Anything we did, we did for reasons inspired by our youth and inexperience, for our own protection, or doing what we thought we needed to do. Neither of us ever set out to set up the other, or deliberately cause them pain for our pleasure or benefit. In short, my first wife had some flaws, as do we all, but she was not a narcissistic monster like the one that nearly killed me several years ago. She did not deserve the cancer that ravaged her for four years, did not deserve the pain and fear it brings, nor did her children or husband, all of whom are decent people who do their best to make their way in the world without hurting others. Gina never had what could be called an easy life, and I think she deserved much more happiness than what she received. I can only hope that now, after fighting a battle against that dark and insidious opponent, that she will finally know happiness and peace.
Farewell and Godspeed, Gina. Rest now, and take joy in knowing your children, all of them, love you and will miss you.
As will I.

Corruption and Mental Health

As most who know me personally know, repeated attacks to my physical and mental health in the form of predatory and corrupt practices by law enforcement in Ohio, Virginia, and North Carolina has caused me to suffer for many years from PTSD, depression, anxiety, neuropathy, and extreme chronic pain. I, like many, had dealt with the occasional false traffic ticket – fuel for the lawyers, one of the reason Shakespeare had such glowing words for them – and I went to court and faced them, always. Those who know my upbringing (living with a polygraph and a P.S.E in my house, along with the most capable and adept examiner for both instruments on the planet) know I always make the truth my winning answer. I was raised in a military/law enforcement/intelligence household. I was taught to respect the truth and the intent of the law, if not the letter, as the unjust do not deserve respect. In that way, I inherited the mores and ethics of my grandfather. And those that know me, know how pissed I get when I see those institutions fuck over the common man for nothing more than greed or the narcissistic need for control. I was raised to expect a higher standard, and when I see it used against people, including myself, who take time and effort to obey the law and believe in truth made out to be criminals and liars, all for the sake of a buck.
This may have been the reason why I was affected so deeply when I had my life threatened by a Virginia State Police Trooper when I asked if I could have a copy of the witness list after suffering a forward ejection through the sunroof of an SUV. I had suffered injuries that, had it not been for the timely intervention of the EMT’s, could have left me paralyzed had the Trooper been allowed to carry out his intent. I became a hermit for seven years after this event, four of which were spent learning to walk without screaming. I still cannot see flashing lights on the highway without suffering an extreme panic attack. The mere sight of police cars can do the same, and having to deal with courtrooms in any capacity affects me for days before and after.
Later, I moved to Ohio as a result of a relationship with my future ex-wife (another story entirely) and that move proved to be the start of a chain reaction of encounters that further traumatized me. Three days after the birth of my third daughter, a TRAP syndrome birth that cost us her twin, I returned home from the hospital (an hour and half drive through freezing roads and black ice) to find I had taken the wrong bag home with me, and had to return my wife’s meds. So back I go, knowing I have to do another round trip in these conditions, when in Rising Sun, Ohio, I see a police car approaching from the opposite direction. Seeing an approaching change in the speed limit, I see the car turn around behind me, despite me doing the speed limit, and as I change my speed in time with the sign, I get pulled over. I get searched, and despite my being truthful about the meds, I get charged with possession, thrown into the back of a police car, re-injuring my back, and I get to listen as this ass and his buddy talk with glee about how many charges they can hit me with. In court, they dropped the charges when I told them every person who transports meds for terminal and/or handicapped people would like to know about my experience. I was thrown in jail after I slipped a disc in my back while on a walk with my child for 37 days – 7 days beyond the limit of their ridiculous charge – because I was swearing at an umbrella stroller’s inability to traverse the crappy sidewalks of Fostoria, Ohio, and laid in jail passing in and out of consciousness for 3 days before I even got looked at by medical, and humiliated by double-digit IQ goons the entire time.
For cursing at a stroller.
Having enough of this shit, I moved to North Carolina. I wanted to eventually move us closer to the Outer Banks. There, I encountered pretty much the same treatment.
One day, while driving to the store about two week after moving, my toddler daughter started to choke in the back seat. We were stuck in slow moving traffic in a school zone, and there was not room for me to pull over in order to help her. Her mother decided to unbuckle her seat belt in order to help her as I spotted two motorcycle cops in the median. I tell her to hurry, because we are going to be pulled over. When asked if I’m speeding, I tell her no (I wasn’t), but we had an out of state license plate, and that was pretty much a free meal ticket to them. Sure enough, we are pulled over, and not allowed to tend to our choking daughter as the cop explains how easy it will be to pay the ticket. Not only that, this goon says I was doing 40 mph, which was mathematically impossible, as I would have to be doing a minimum of 14 feet/second more than any car around me. At the hearing, the prosecutor laughed in my face when I said I would be pleading not guilty, had a cop who couldn’t remember what vehicle he was driving that day, had my daughter and now ex insulted in the court room, and was still found guilty.
And this is typical of my experiences over the last almost 20 years. Without fail.
Driving at all became an exercise in anxiety. I’m hyper-vigilant behind the wheel. I never speed. Have never driven intoxicated. For that reason, I’m never in a hurry when I drive. I always wear my seat belt, etc, etc.
And it still isn’t enough, because you can get pulled over and accused of something you have taken the time and effort to do right, and one way or the other, you’re going to have money yanked out of you.
Case in point:
After my ex revealed the extent of her narcissistic abuse, I once again became a hermit, as those dealings with the system did nothing but exacerbate and heighten all my symptoms, both physical and psychological. For several years, I would only drive when absolutely necessary, never driving more than 20 miles or so away from my home.
This changed in September, 2020. I had met a friend online through a support group, and continued to chat with her online as she battled colon cancer. She would be going into hospice, and I promised to visit her in person, as she had had few visitors in the recent weeks. From my previous experiences, I knew it would be a risk, but all I could do was drive the speed limit, and hope for the best.
And, wouldn’t you know it, despite all the above, I still get pulled over, and told I’m doing some ridiculous speed that I would never do on an unfamiliar curving country road.
Not only that, but the courts decide to mail out the notice of the trial the day after it occurs, effectively denying me any chance to appear in court.
And people wonder why I’m a hermit.
Now you know.

Update 8-14-2021

Greetings all!

For those of you just joining in, I’ve been working on a new fiction novel for some time now, one I began a few years ago, back when I was unknowingly in a struggle against narcissistic abuse. I wanted this novel to be my second work, but I several short stories and novellas were crying for my attention, and so that became ‘Strange Stories, Twisted Tales’.
Later, when the smoke began to clear, I found the concept of the story – inspired by a number of interests and beliefs of mine cultivated through time – to be intriguing, and began work in earnest on my second novel length work. As I picked up the pieces of the story and worked on establishing a general outline, the project grew a bit in scope. I’ve always been a bit long-winded, but I’m comfortable with that, at least in first drafts, but as I worked on the details of the story, I realized I needed to deal with the effects of the events on the Main Character’s mental health. The story took on an entire new aspect with that realization, and it has proven to be the right decision, if preliminary reactions are to be believed, lol.
Now, I’ve come to that point where I basically have to pull whatever strings I’ve laid out in the story together, and turn it into a plot that makes sense. This means taking a critical look at what I have plotted so far, making sure those strings I wish to tie up will, at some point, be tied neatly. Sometimes I have to condense or trim things. This isn’t an editing phase, not really – more of a course correction. Once this is done, the remaining distance is always easier to travel, and the journey all the more rewarding.
I’m still looking to have this newest novel finished before the end of the year. As it gets closer to release, I’ll have title and cover reveals, so stay tuned!

Until next time,
~Namaste

Update: 8-5-2021

Greetings,

I can’t believe it’s already been 3 months since my last update.
Wait…
Yes I can.
Repeated abuses, both by the travesty we have as a court system, and as either a direct or indirect result of actions by my cheating ex, has affected me all levels: physical, emotional, intellectual, and financial. Time has become very strange, as I can no longer maintain a normal sleep pattern due to anxiety and depression (not without a shit-ton of meds, which I can’t afford anyway), and the combined effects have made life difficult for me in a multitude of ways. I lose track of days, events, and thoughts now, when I never did before. The difference is substantial, and time has become like a rubber band. 5 days can seem like 1 long work day. Sometimes 1 day seems like 3. I no longer pay my bills on time – haven’t for months. The only thing, and I mean this quite literally, that I get right is being on time for my visitation, and even that requires more energy than it should.
Every time I have tried to heal, the sources of the original pain and injuries reappear to fuck with my life again, and further exascerbate my injuries – namely, the joke that we call the legal system in this country. Don’t be stupid enough to let anyone convince you that any part of our government is here to serve the people. I know you WANT to believe that…you are TOLD to believe that…and then those that comprise that entity reveal themselves to be greedy, narcissistic, pedophilic sociopaths – and we just go right along with our day and ignore it.
Sadly, I can’t.
I was raised to believe in certain things, and when I am forced to live in a corruption of that ideal, and that corruption affects my life on a very real level, it just cannot be ignored. I have suffered PTSD since 2002 – the source? A Virginia State Trooper threatened my life when I politely asked for a copy of the witness list after suffering a forward ejection through the sunroof of an SUV that was flipping over at 40 mph. Had it not been for the EMT’s that showed up at that moment, that narcissistic bully with a badge may have ended my life. EVERY single encounter I have had with the system since then, has been of equal ridiculousness, been equally corrupt, been morally and ethically wrong, and an egregious misuse of the authority GIVEN to these people (the fact it is given seems to have been forgotten).
I have been writing, however. I write because it’s the only outlet I have. The state, in collusion with my ex, were complicit in assault, battery, perjury, kidnapping, defamation, misrepresentation, adultery, and extortion. This left me pretty much without the means to do much else, so I do the best I can with what I have. It isn’t easy, living every moment of every day in outrage and indignation, of seeing the principles I was raised on become as useless as wedding vows, of having double-digit IQ nimrods abuse you physically and emotionally – just because they have the immunity to do so.
And we, as normal citizens, normally do not have the means to strike back. But I CAN write.
And I will.
My non-fiction work may get me sued. I don’t care. I’ll have all the transcripts, texts, emails, and other evidence to back it up. I’ve decided, you see, that if I cannot win against the shit-show that is our government, the least I can do is continue to tell the truth. This will be sure to make some ass-fucks upset. Too bad. It’s my life, and I’ll tell the facts of it, one way or another. If they didn’t want their deeds exposed, don’t do the shit to begin with – pretty simple, right?
So, every interaction I have is now recorded, names taken, details noted. I may not be able to avoid the damage caused by the incompetence, greed, and sheer sociopathy I encounter in our ‘authority’ figures and institutions, but I can sure as fuck expose it. Our lives are all private novels, and now mine will be an open book.

Until next time,

~Namaste

Writing Update 5-20-2021

In most horror movies, and in most novels in the genre, the treatment of the emotional effects of the events experienced by the main characters, including the protagonist, seem to be done in either one of two extremes: it is either ignored, or the character becomes a victim of the emotional/mental effects, going of the deep end to become the final victim or the next generation antagonist. In movies, this is easy to explain; the events are condensed in order to tell a cohesive story in the running time of the film. In many cases, the story takes place over a short period of time. Psychological horror is the exception to this, of course, as the entire story is centered on that very aspect. That being said, there are also exceptions to this, and those exceptions often prove to be excellent portrayals in their respective mediums. I believe Horror is at its best when the emphasis is on the emotional aspects of the characters involved, especially when it comes to prose.
In my upcoming fiction work, the events take place over an extended period of time, which will have the quite natural effect of affecting the mental health of the protagonist. As I suffer from the effects of depression and anxiety related to years of narcissistic abuse, I will be drawing from personal experience to describe the effects of these events on my MC in the terms of the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress. This is proving to be both the most challenging and rewarding aspect of this new novel, and I look forward to being able to have it ready for beta in the next few months. I’ll be giving more details in upcoming posts.

Until next time,

~Namaste

Why Horror?

Why do I write horror? I suppose every writer is asked at some point what inspired them to write about the things they do, and I found myself thinking about that tonight (connected to certain memories that have been playing unbidden of late). I’ve answered that question before. On the author page of this very site, I describe some of the events I and others witnessed in my childhood home, and how it changed my perception of the world, and how it made me think about the true nature of reality. This was an inspiration, to be sure, but that is but one among many. When I was younger, I wrote more comedy than I did anything else. I can still be funny – in my own way – when I feel inspired in that direction. I’ve written emotional pieces on the state of the human condition, technical papers, editorials, and just about everything in between. Inspiration does not necessarily dictate a choice in genre.
Yes, growing up witnessing certain unexplained (or difficult to explain) phenomena and events had a dramatic effect on my view of the world, but there were other events just as impactful. During that same period, my grandfather and his family had two contracts put out on their lives. I could just as easily chosen spy thriller fiction or police/investigative fiction, or forensic detection. Any genre I chose would be written with the same ability in terms of plot, description, and dialogue (whatever that level of ability may be).
For artists, all creation is an expression of their perceptions, and they are driven to express these perceptions, as opposed to someone who produces a product. I’m not making any judgement on which is better; I am stating my observations of what defines an artist.
So again, why did I choose to write in the horror and strange fiction genre? Inspiration is part of the equation, I suppose, but upon reflection, I know it is only a portion of the whole. I think the real reason I write in this area is because I’ve witnessed a good deal of horror in my life, personally, in the lives of others, and in the systems that govern our lives. In some ways, I see it still, every day. Writing helps channel those experiences, to keep them from becoming a permanent resident within my inner being. I think this applies to most true artists, and most definitely applies in my case. In the second half of my life, I’ve suffered events that have left permanent effects, and that too adds a sense of impending mortality, which is one factor I believe is common in most who write in the horror genre. The lasting effects of those events, physical, emotional, and social, is best lessened by creative endeavor, and when those effects are most severe, the more creative I am driven to become.
So there you have it; some personal reflections from yours truly.

Until next time,

~namaste

Misprints

Greetings,

My apologies to those who purchased copies of my second book.  Apparently, the file I uploaded to the printer was corrupted, even though in review I did not detect any errors.  I do not know if I saved an old file over an edited version, or what, but somewhere along the way, the version that saw print was littered with corrupted text and other errors.  I managed to correct these over the last two weeks, and have resubmitted the manuscript.

So, if you purchased a copy, I owe you a new one.  Please feel free to contact me through my Facebook page, and I will send you a signed copy on me. If you purchased the Kindle version, I will make sure you get an updated copy for free. It’s the lease I can do for those who support my work.
Again, my apologies.

Until next time,

~Namaste

Writing Update – 2-25-2021

Greetings,

My new fiction WIP is nearing the halfway point on the first draft.  I am currently working on chapter 26 of 52 outlined, although this may be subject to change.  This novel will be something of a departure in some ways from the standard, but I really cannot say more without giving it away.  A few close friends are in the know, of course, because I’m basically a hermit and it gives me something to talk about on those rare occasions where I take a break from my cloistered life, but I don’t like spoilers, so I’ll be keeping things under my hat for now.

I do my best to write every day, although real life and physical limits do intervene from time to time.  I am hoping to have the first draft completed sometime around mid-May, although this too will change.  I’ll post further updates in the future.

Until Next Time…

~Namaste

The End of A Local Landmark

I was saddened to learn today of the passing of a local institution, almost a landmark in the Portsmouth and Chesapeake area, one that holds many pleasant memories for myself and my first two children, as well as many others.

This was my weekend to have my little one, and in the course of playing Saturday night, she set up some play bowling pins from when she was a toddler, and pretended her dolls were bowling.  I mentioned her older sister (my two older children do the same, and also refer to their mother’s children by her second marriage as sisters) was a duckpin bowling champion, and she voiced the desire to try the game herself, and I offered to take her to Victory Lanes.

I checked online, and it appeared to be open today, although when I called, I received a recording saying the number was not valid.  Deciding to take a chance, we drove there, and although the van for children’s league was in the parking lot, the building was closed. Not wishing to disappoint my little girl, I took her to Funville indoor playground instead, where she was able to run and play.  She was happy to go, but stated she would really have liked to see if she was anywhere near as good as her older sister.

My first two children both participated in the chldren’s duckpin league at Victory Lanes throughout their stay in Virginia.  It was initially done as an activity – the sort of regular thing that all children can benefit from – and despite some initial reluctance, they both blossomed under the instruction of Mr. Askew, the children’s duckpin league coordinator.  Under his tutelage, the both became excellent players, along with many of their team mates (although my oldest daughter was unquestionably one of, if not the, best among them). Simply put, they became kick-ass duckpin bowlers.  There wasn’t enough room on their bowling shirts for more patches, no more room for their trophies.  They met many fascinating and fun people, got to compete in a friendly atmosphere in a skill-based sport.

In 2002, Mr. Askew passed away.  The league at Victory Lanes were determined to honor his memory, and set about bowling their way to the National Championship, becoming almost unstoppable, leading at least two teams and both my daughters to the final competition.  My oldest daughter led her team in many of the achievements, and the team dedicated their win to the memory of their teacher.

I have only fond memories of the man, and the many lessons he imparted.  My first two were the age my little one is now when they first began bowling, and formed friendships that would last many years, ones that spanned race, gender, and even sexuality.  The only thing that mattered, was they were all part of the same team, and it was a lesson that was learned through the easy interaction and the bonds of team competition.

Sadly, duckpin bowling seems to be a dying sport in this country, and that is a shame.  It has so much to offer to children and adults, both socially in an entertainment value.  It is an indoor sport that does not involve hard impact on the body, and is just plain fun.  Whether a victim of the pandemic, or a move toward more home-based electronic entertainment, places like Victory Lanes are a dying breed, and that is a cause for regret.  For me, it came as a reminder of how quickly things change, and how precious our memories really are.

Until next time,’

Namaste

Writing Excerpt – Valentine’s Day

The following is a writing excerpt from the first draft of my upcoming non-fiction work, much of which consists of private journal entries going back to the origins of my last relationship to the current day.

Valentine’s Day.  Those that know me well, know I used to be the romantic type.  I enjoyed surprising both my significant other and my daughters with reminders of how much they mean to my life, buying them gifts and taking them on adventures.  These days, however, this day only serves as a reminder of how much I have lost, of how willing my ex-wife was to tear apart our family and bring false allegations against me in order to steal away my little one.  As much as I do not want to think about it, my mind keeps turning to fact she is likely having a romantic weekend with the ghetto trash for which she went to the effort of causing so much pain to others. The injustice of this cannot be escaped, no matter how much I attempt to distract myself.  Worse, it comes with the knowledge I will never again know the pleasure of an intimate embrace, never feel my arms around a woman as I pass into sleep, will never have that empty room in my heart filled.  The realization of how much my life has been changed by the abuse I suffered, of how much it has changed me as a person, are not pleasant thoughts, and haunt me every day of my life, this day in particular.

Valentine’s Day will never be the same for me again.  Then again, nothing has been the same ever since I discovered the true extent of Michelle’s cheating, the depth of her evil intentions, and the lengths she would go to lie. Had I not been through some of the previous traumas I have experienced, I would be able to heal faster from the physical damage I experienced, but that, combined with the effects of the abuse on my immune system and general health, has all but destroyed my body’s natural healing ability, as well as my immune system.

This is bad, but nothing compares to the emotional wounds, which are fresh today as the day they were inflicted.  I have doubt I will live long enough to heal from those cuts to my emotional self, for they take longer to recover from than mere physical damage, as any victim can attest.  The combination of both – with a world pandemic thrown in the mix – has made even the simplest aspects of my life more difficult

I don’t say these things out of self-pity; it is merely an expression of truth, of how I feel, and the events which inspired them.  This negative emotional connection is now associated with so many days of the year, including all the holidays, but the fourteenth day of the month is especially hard.  November 14th is my former wedding anniversary, April 14th my ex-wife’s birthday, and then there is today.  Even after more than three years, the wounds are as fresh now as they were then.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t disparage others who are capable of enjoying this holiday, but for me, it appears it will forever be a reminder of everything that has happened and continues to happen to me as a result of abuse.  I no longer believe a normal relationship is possible in my life, and even if it is, it is not worth the risk of encountering another narcissist in my life.  This is the extent to which such toxic relationships can affect the victim, and I will always encourage anyone involved in one to get out while they can, lest they suffer possibly life-changing – or even life-ending – consequences.