The Importance Of Boundaries

Family

As someone who is reevaluating all of the things they have done wrong in their marriage, there are a lot of topics that come up where I have completely fallen short, and flat on my face. The biggest of which is the importance of boundaries.

Here is the thing about boundaries. They are put in place for a reason. They are put in place to protect. They are put in place to heal. They are put in place to avoid unnecessary conflict.

They are not for you, they are for the person who is establishing the boundary.

And when you fail to adhere to those boundaries you are telling that person that you don’t care how they feel about the situation and that your thoughts on it are more important.

Guess who was a fucking moron and overstepped a lot of boundaries?

I was showing my wife that I didn’t respect her when she would let me know a boundary of hers, and I would ignore it. Not always, but more times than I like to admit.

Boundaries are an essential component of a healthy and successful relationship. Usually it means the person setting the boundary is comfortable speaking to their significant other and expressing their emotional, mental, and physical needs.

And when you continually overstep those boundaries the other person will lose trust that you will respect their needs.

And the worst part of overstepping boundaries is when you make it about you.

“Yes, I hear you, but…”

“Okay, but…”

“That’s not what I meant, but…”

Quit with the damn excuses!

A boundary is a boundary. It’s not for you to decide if it’s appropriate or not. You can disagree with it all you want, but IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU!


I’m in this place now where there are a lot of boundaries that I need to follow. And at first it was easy for me to make excuses and to continually say “but”, but now I understand just how important boundaries are.


There is no trust in a person who continually oversteps boundaries. It can not and will not happen.

And without trust, there is no way a relationship will work.


So while there are times I really want to overstep a boundary because it is different now than it was a few weeks ago, I don’t. Because I see you, and I hear you. And I know that DOING the work is more important than TALKING about the work.

The more boundaries you overstep the more boundaries get put into place.

And the more you show up and make another person feel that they are respected, maybe the more they will be open to letting you in just one step closer.

People are seen by feeling respected. It’s showing the other person that not only are you hearing them, but you are listening, and you are comprehending what it is they are saying and/or asking of you.


When I am given a boundary, it is up to me to be accountable and show that person how much they truly mean to me.

And when I fail to respect a boundary, I make that person feel mistreated. When I overstep a boundary, I fail to give you a safe place to be yourself and to speak truthfully and openly.

I’ve listened to a lot of Brene Brown, and one of the things that stuck with me the most was her quote “When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated.” So, in essence, it’s another form of abuse. And it’s one that I will not be a part of any longer or ever again.

Boundaries do not need an explanation. It is not owed to anyone else. NO IS A COMPLETE SENTENCE.

BOUNDARIES ARE ALL ABOUT SAFETY

So when boundaries are crossed, I need to be held accountable. And I’m being accountable now. I’m taking ownership, and I am never going back to disrespecting others again.

Violating someone’s boundaries makes them lose parts of their identity. It makes them feel mistreated. It makes them feel unsafe.


My words will carry meaning again someday, because they are coming from a place of love. When you tell me something, I will trust you and believe you and not think that you are lying. You are telling me things for a reason. They could be boundaries. They could just be conversation. It’s none of my damn business, but it is my compassionate responsibility to respect you no matter what.

I want to be a SAFE SPACE to you again. I want you to have COMPLETE TRUST in me that what you tell me, what you ask of me, what you need from me will be RESPECTED and HONORED.

Anyone who truly wants to be in your life with respect your boundaries. Period.

Raw, Vulnerable, Honest

Family

It’s all fucking bullshit. And yes, I know my children read this.

Let’s start things off. If I’m going to be honest and vulnerable I need to drop this act of thinking I’m better than anyone else. People have created this facade of a “perfect” life that I have that I thought I needed to live up to. Follow these rules, don’t curse, keep the house perfectly clean and organized, keep doing more and more and more. But I can’t keep it up anymore.

I don’t think I’m better than others. In fact, I’ve caused so much damage and hurt to the ones I love in the past that the depression that I carry is self-inflicted. I worked through my childhood traumas in therapy and learned to forgive others. But I stopped after I got through the childhood issues because I was terrified of looking at myself as an adult.

Let’s be raw. Let’s be vulnerable. Let’s speak the fucking truth for once.

I was a narcissistic, mentally and verbally abusive husband to my wife. Not in the way that it is portrayed on TV where I am just constantly screaming at her, or telling her she’s not good enough. In fact, I don’t think we have ever gotten in a screaming match with one another. There was never any physical abuse. But I made her do things, say things, feel things that she didn’t want to do. And I made comments to her that would tear her down and belittle her.

Now, to be clear I am not this person any longer, nor have I been that person in nearly 4 years. But while I have been better, I still never treated my wife the way she needed to be treated.


Let’s be honest.

About 6 years ago I decided that it was finally time to lose weight. And if you knew me back then, if I was doing something everyone else needed to be doing it too. And I hyper-fixated on it to the point that I was going out in the middle of the night to ensure I was hitting all of my physical activity goals for the day. It was obsessive and unhealthy. I put an expectation on my wife that she needed to be losing weight too. I didn’t discuss this with her, but I thought my needs were more important than hers. So me being the person I was, I lost the weight very quickly because I put all of my attention into it.

But my wife was busy taking care of the family. She was raising our children. Cooking all of the meals. Doing all of the appointments. Everything.

So, obviously she was not able to lose the weight like I was. And now finally looking back, it had nothing to do with her effort, but everything to do with the fact that she did not have a partner that would take the emotional, mental, and physical burden from her. Her body was just coursing with stress everyday, all day.

But I was being a fucking narcissistic husband and didn’t look to see how much the weight of the world was crushing her, and how she just needed me to be there and to hold her hand.


My weight loss became an obsession. A very, very, very unhealthy one. To the point that people were telling me that I needed to stop and I needed to see a doctor.

Prior to this I was going through periods of depression from feelings of abandonment from my childhood and my friendships as an adult. I felt abandoned by my family who I felt never saw me. I felt abandoned by my close friends as an adult who decided to cut me off with no warning. I thought there was seriously something wrong with me.

So I thought maybe it was just me. Maybe people didn’t see me, they just saw this fat kid that no one wanted to have around. So the weight loss was my attempt at making friends and being seen by others.

Two important things to know during this time. One, I was losing weight for the wrong reasons. Two, I started drinking during this time. This one is very important.

I never drank before, except the one time we went to Ireland for our 10-year anniversary. I was petrified of drinking because I grew up around alcoholic people and behaviors, and it honestly scared the shit out of me. I did not want my kids to experience that, and I did not want to be that person to my wife. But during this time I used it as an excuse to be more sociable. “This is just a thing adults do to loosen up and make friends.” And it kind of worked. When I drink I become very social and very happy. It made me more OPEN but not more VULNERABLE. This again is another important thing.

While I was doing all this, and losing this weight, and drinking, and being social, I was also ignoring my wife who was still at home building our life. And the more weight I lost, and the more social I became, the more alone I felt, because no “friends” were sticking around. All the conversations I were having were shallow and didn’t lead to any friendships.

So I began to fall into a massive depression. And you’ll understand how massive it was…

I made a decision to end my life, but not by doing anything drastic. Granted, there were many scenarios that played out in my head, and there are many places that I can not go because of the thoughts I experienced there.

So I wanted to basically work myself to death and continue to lose weight to an unhealthy level.

I didn’t want to be alive anymore. I didn’t deserve the life I had and I believed my family would be better off without me if I were gone. But I didn’t want to leave a mess.

So I basically starved myself and kept pushing myself to lose more and more weight. And I got down to a very unhealthy level before my body hit a plateau. And I became angry.

Why was I being denied something this?

My depression was so bad that it got to the point that not only was I hurting, I wanted others around me to hurt as well. And I had no one else in my life so who did I take it out on? My wife.

Something to know about my wife is that she has always given so much of herself to make me happy. And something that I should have appreciated became an expectation. I knew she would do anything that I asked her to do. Absolutely anything. Even things she never wanted to do herself. Even things I never wanted to do myself.

I couldn’t get to the point in my depression where I could physically take my own life, because I always had the guilt of leaving my wife behind. But if I could get her to divorce me, I would no longer have a reason to live.

So I began telling my wife that I was interested in other people. That I was attracted to them and that maybe we should talk about having an open marriage. And of course, she said no. And I would accept it for a few days before I would begin to push the subject again. “Hey, look at these videos.” “Hey, what do you think about this person.” I was intentionally pushing her away and hurting the person I loved so deeply in the world because I hated myself so deeply.

And then she started to play along for a bit. She thought this was making her husband happy, and no boundaries were really being crossed yet, so why not? So the conversations kept going and things would be talked about more during intimate moments and we both had this charade that we were playing for one another, which in honesty neither of us wanted to play to begin with.

Things continued to escalate because she continued to meet me with the things I was saying. She didn’t seem to pull away, but I didn’t see that she was just desperately trying to connect with her husband and for him to wake up and quit being a fucking idiot. My depression continued to decline. We got to a point where conversations started becoming more of a reality. Jokingly we both joined Tinder just to see if the idea of actually meeting another person would become a reality. I matched with someone on Tinder, no clue who they were, or even if they were a real person, but I talked to them for a bit. I was sent pictures and nothing ever came from it because it’s not something I wanted and I shut it down fast. I also had conversations with someone at work at the time. It never became anything, but we thought they were someone that would be open to the things we were talking about. Thank God that was shut down quickly as well. I didn’t tell my wife how uncomfortable it made me, because I thought she wanted it to continue.

My depression kept sliding. Work was exhausting me. I had a boss that treated me like garbage. I wasn’t getting paid for the work I was doing. I felt like I was failing my family. I didn’t want to be here anymore.

My wife was the one person keeping me from ending it all.

So I did the single most dumbest fucking thing I ever could have done and lied to her and told her I was attracted to someone that she was always compared to. Obviously this was a big deal, but she didn’t pull away like I thought she would. So I pushed further. Then we began talking about this person in other ways. And it got to a point that I had convinced her that that is what I actually wanted in my life.

She said she believes that’s what I really wanted because of my “physical” reaction to the things we talked about. But I remember the struggles of actually being able to “finish” and I got really good at learning how to fake. Me being fake is why things were different.

I asked her to do things for me that just absolutely make me sick to my stomach. I asked her to tell this person and in doing so my life absolutely fell apart. It obviously was not taken in a good way (nor should it have) and in fact there were lies and accusations that came from those conversations that to this day hurt so incredibly much that anyone would make those claims.

Nothing ever progressed past this point because neither of us truly wanted it and we knew as far as we pushed that boundary, it is not one that either of would fall over.


In trying to push my wife away so that I could end my life, I stole and destroyed parts of her that I promised I would protect.

She finally got to a breaking point where she knew she had to speak up and stand her ground and 4 years ago she told me it was time for me to move out.

And everything changed. My wife had finally stood up to me and told me where she was with things, and we finally expressed to each other that neither of us wanted the things we talked about.

And seeing the reality of what I was looking for – my wife telling me to go, my kids out of my life, suddenly I didn’t want to be gone anymore.

I changed that day. But not as much as the change my wife went through during the times I was making her into a person she never wanted to be.

I have not been that person since that day. But I also was not the person I needed to be for my wife. She needed to heal from the things I did to her. She needed to talk through them. She needed to have a partner that would help her heal.

And I was so fucking mortified and disgusted by myself that I thought the best option would be to bury the past and not address it.

Ignoring the problem doesn’t make it go away.


I live every single day knowing the pain that I caused to the most amazing person I have ever met. And I cry and pray about it a lot. But I was so fucking scared of hurting her more that I thought talking about it would make things worse. I thought that owning up to the mistakes I made and being honest would make things worse. I have nightmares and wake up in the middle of the night having panic attacks because of what I did.


I hate myself for what I did to you. My depression now is not from the childhood traumas. It’s not from the work stresses. It’s because of the pain I caused you.

And I have been so incredibly fearful of hurting you again that I completely withdrew myself from everything. Our intimacy changed because I was so fucking scared of doing or saying something to you that would hurt you again, even though I wanted to be with you as much as you wanted to be with me. I started talking less because I thought only stupid, hurtful things come from me. While you all were walking on eggshells around me because of my emotions. I was walking on eggshells that weren’t even there thinking I was going to hurt you again.


You ask me why. And I can’t make excuses. My behavior was deplorable and makes me sick. But the answer is I hated myself so much that in order for me to end my life I had to push away the person that I loved the most.


Let’s be raw. Let’s me vulnerable. Let’s be honest.

I lied to you when I told you that I fell in love with being a father before I fell in love with you.

I loved you within the first few weeks of us messaging each other on Myspace. I fell in love with your laugh. I fell in love with your smile. God, your smile. I fell in love with the gentleness of your voice. I fell in love with the way you would just say “hey!” I fell in love with the way your touch would heal so many wounds. I fell in love with the way you listened. I fell in love when you were the one person who was able to get me through my grandparents passing.

There was a reason we got engaged so quickly. There was a reason I came home to get married and to stay with my new family.

It’s you. And it’s always been you.


It should have been about you. It should have been me who was showing up to help you emotionally, mentally, and physically. It should have been me who was waking up with the kids in the morning. It should have been me who was screaming to the world how proud of you I was on every accomplishment you worked your ass off for. It should have been me who was showing you every day just how important you are. It should have been me who was reminding you how appreciated you were.

But I didn’t do those things. This whole fucking mess is because of me. Because I made our lives about me.

This whole situation breaks my heart, but I have no anger towards anyone but myself. I caused this mess, and I shouldn’t ask you to help clean it up. So I’m not going to. It never should have come to you putting an end to things before I finally woke up. But I’m here. And I’m working my ass off to be the father my children always needed me to be, the husband you always needed me to be, and to create a safe space for everyone around me.

I don’t want you to put in the work anymore. I’m the one that needs to show up and put in the work.


Let’s be raw. Let’s be vulnerable. Let’s be honest.

You and I are communicating more in these past 2 weeks than I think we ever have before. And there are no filters. There are no concerns about hurt feelings. The things that need to be said are being said. And its been amazing. Because it’s making a difference. To know that you will be honest with me and call me out on my bullshit is so relieving. To know that you are telling me where I have failed you helps me to fix those things and be better. There’s a whole lot that we still need to talk about, but it’s so great to know that these conversations can be had.

How many things have we already learned about each other in these past 2 weeks that we did because we both made assumptions about the other person? How many scenarios have played out in each other’s minds because we thought we knew what the other person was thinking?

It’s absolutely stupid to think how much things would be better if we weren’t afraid of talking in the past like we are now.


It’s probably too late. I really hope that it’s not, but I know that what I have done in the past is a big issue. And I know you feel you can’t heal through those things with me.


But I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to be here waking you up in the mornings to get a jump on the day. I’m going to be making you and our daughter breakfast every morning. I’m going to be helping pack your lunch when I know what it is you want. I’m going to be sending a good morning text every day until you believe that the words come from a place of love and not from obligation. I’m going to be reminding you that you look good in the things you wear. I’m going to tell you how good you smell. I’m going to wake our daughter up in the mornings and cuddle with her before her day starts. I’m going to help our son get ready for the day and to ensure he is eating breakfast. I’m going to be best friends with all of our children and give them the attention they so desperately crave. I’m going to take care of our oldest daughter and ensure she is taking care of herself. I’m going to go to therapy and work through the adult issues that I’ve gone through. I’m going to go to family counseling with our family so we can work through the shit I’ve put you all through. I’m going to be taking our kids to their appointments. I’m going to be calling and making the appointments myself. I’m going help our kids with their homework. I’m going to be leaving work on time every day. I’m going to be going to their school events when they come up. I’m going to be cleaning the house. I’m going to be taking care of all of the laundry. I’m going to be making sure no dishes are left on the counter after the dishwasher is loaded. I’m going to be helping with the grocery list and shopping. I’m going to be helping with the meals. I’m going to be playing games, watching movies, and tv with our kids. I’m going to be soft and kind with my words. I’m going to be loving in everything I do. I’m going to show up. I’m going to be putting your wants and needs above my own. I’m going to be looking for ways that I can do more for you. I’m going to show you that I see you. I’m going to show you that I hear you. I’m going to surprise you with Starbucks and know your order. I’m going to listen to the things you are interested in so we can have open discussions about them. I’m going to be supportive. I’m going to push you to be the best version of yourself. I’m going to be vulnerable with you. I’m going to see and hear you even when words are being spoken. I’m going to tell you about my day and get rid of the word “busy” from my vocabulary. I’m going to look you in the eyes when you talk to me. I’m going to put the phone or controller down. I’m going to take our kids out on dates. I’m going to take you for coffee every chance I get. I’m going to take you on dates, no matter how busy life gets. I’m going to be a partner.

I’m going to do something I never made you feel before…

That you are worth fighting for. Every damn day. On the easy days, and especially on the hard days.

I fucked up. It’s the biggest fuck up of my life. But I am taking full accountability.

The people we were 2 weeks ago were no longer compatible with each other. But I’ll be damned to believe that you and the person I just talked about above are not compatible.

We have a history, and with that history comes a lot of pain, but it also comes with a lot of good. The memories we have together. The trips we’ve taken. The family we’ve raised. The life we’ve built. The accomplishments we’ve achieved. The struggles we went through to get there. But even in the pain we have seen each other at our worst. We know each others faults, and we can see when there is growth. We have fought, but we have fought for each other. We have loved. And we have loved for each other.

We have to start from the beginning. I don’t want the life we had before. I don’t want things to be about me anymore. I want them to be about you and our children.

But I want you to know how fucking much you are worth fighting for. I will never be the person I was before. And I will never make you feel less than again. I will respect all of your boundaries, and I will hear YOU when you speak, and not what I think or what I want you to say.

I’m here.

And I will always be here.

And I will always be fighting to get you to fall in love with me again.

Starting Over

Family

I know you don’t read these anymore, but I can’t blame you for not wanting to. I hope you want to see how I’m processing.

The dust is starting to settle and the ring in my ears is beginning to fade. My face is covered in debris and I can hear the remaining walls fall around me.

It’s gone. Everything that I worked so hard for is destroyed. My home is gone. My children’s safe space and security is gone. The love of my life is gone. The family vacations I wanted to take are gone. The life I wanted to give my family is gone.

I didn’t hold the detonator, but I’m the one that planted the bombs.

But that doesn’t matter. Everything exploded and now everything is gone.

But my kids are still here, and they are begging their dad to keep fighting. They are begging their dad to rebuild.

And you are still here. It’s hard to see you through all of the dust, but I can hear your voice in the distance.

I want to rebuild. I have to rebuild. I must show up for my family and give them all the life that they deserve.

So I’m going to do hard things. When I feel like giving up on everything so the pain can go away, I will fight harder, knowing the pain is because of how much love there is.

The foundation is demolished. That life was never built correctly in the first place. We built on stilts, on a hill. It was bound to collapse at some point.

I don’t want that life rebuilt. I want to build the one that you deserve. I want to build the one my kids feel emotionally safe in again. I want to build the one that you know can never be shaken again.

So we have to start from the bottom and work our way up. The foundation is the most important part and if it’s not done right, and the time and care are not put into it, then it’s never going to fully be able to support the weight of the amount of love that the rest of the house will be built with.

So I see you.

I comprehend.

Square one.

And I know it’s going to be a tough fight. My hands are tied and I can only walk through small pathways to get to you. But I’ll be damned if I ever stop pushing forward. Every step I take is going to strengthen the foundation beneath us. I may not be able to do big things, but it’s the little things that make the foundation secure. I can see you faintly in the distance, walking slowly, pained from the damage that you have been through, hesitant to trust the foundation as it’s failed you in the past.

I hear you.

I trust you.

You have no more reason to lie to me.

I won’t question you when you talk to me. I won’t make assumptions on what you meant. I won’t try to control the situation.

So here we are. Starting over.

I’m here. I’m going to show up every day, especially on the hard days. I’m going to work with everything that I have to make sure that you finally feel safe with the foundation we will build together. And I hope that you see the hard work I am doing to make sure this foundation is going to be stronger.

I know I can sometimes start walking towards the edge to begin building the walls, but I know that’s not where you are. You can’t move far until you can trust the floor won’t give out. And that it is a safe space to move about.

And I pray that the time comes when you will want to look around, with me closer to you than I’ve ever been, and tell me “I’m ready for a roof.”

So here we are.

Hi, my name is Kyle and I would like to be your friend.

It’s Not About Me

Family

Words can carry so much emotion and meaning behind them. They lose their value when the actions do not follow. These are hard for me to write, but every part of my heart is in them.

“I’ll never be as good as I’d like to be.” And I’ll never be as good as you deserve.

I love you so very much. But it’s not about me.

I have hurt you. And when you needed me most I didn’t show up.

I don’t want to hurt you anymore. And as hard as it is going to be on me, I know that I have to let you go.

Too much of our life has been about me, and it can’t be that way any longer.

I’m never going to stop fighting for you. And I’m never going to stop loving you.

I am always going to be here for you. I hope our paths meet again someday and I can make you fall in love with this person I am going to be.

It hurts me to know that I am hurting you by being this version of myself that you have always wanted me to be. But it’s not about me anymore. It’s about correcting the things that have been brought to my attention. So I can be a better father. So I can be a better friend…

You deserve the world. You don’t believe it, but you do. And all I can give you is my heart.

This song has been playing on repeat, but it’s true. I’ll never be as good as I’d like to be. Because the best part of me has always been you.

We will all be okay in the end. You. The kids. Me.

I will never stop loving you, but I have to accept that I will have to love you from a distance.

I can’t wait to see the beautiful life you are going to build for yourself with me no longer holding you back.

It’s not about me. It’s about you, and you putting yourself first. It’s a bittersweet dream come true. My biggest dream has always been that you would see yourself the way that I see you. And now you have, but it’s not with me. And it hurts, but that’s okay. Sometimes good things come from bad situations.

Pain is inevitable. It means that it mattered. It means that there was so much love. It means that there was kindness, and care, and empathy.

I’m proud of you. And I love you. And I hope that we can meet again someday and start over. I’m not giving up, but I love you so much to know that this is what needs to happen for your happiness. And it’s not about me. Your happiness has to come first.

I am a better person for knowing you, and for the love you have given me all this time. And for that, I will be okay. Because you have always shown me that I am worth loving, and you have always shown me what true love is.

So thank you. For being you.

I will always be here for you. Always.

For My Kids

Family

Since my children have now found my blog and have asked me to continue using it I will be putting in more time to put my thoughts to paper (metaphorically of course).

I’m processing a lot of emotions right now, but one that I’m not experiencing is anger towards anyone but myself. How can I be angry for something that made me wake up and realize I am wasting the precious time I have with my 3 amazing children?

I hope that I have been a good father to my children. I know there are areas where I have failed, but I think I’ve done okay. I know I have been overly critical to my oldest daughter. I see so much potential and want to give you the world, but you frustrate me sometimes with some of the choices you make. And in the past I have lashed out at you verbally and put you down, or even silencing your voice. I should have just sat down with you, one-on-one, to understand what is going on with your life.

You don’t need me to fix anything. You just want your dad. You want to feel loved. You want to know that you are wanted.

And my heart aches so much knowing I have hurt you.

I’m sorry it took this to finally be better.

I’m not going anywhere. And we will be close again. You need your dad, and I need my daughter.

And my youngest daughter who feels like she is invisible and not seen. I see you. I know you love me so incredibly much that you physically get sick when I’m not around. I see the pressure you are putting on yourself because you think that is what I want. But for all of you, your health and your happiness are the most important things to me. Give yourself some grace. You don’t need to carry the world on your shoulders. I’m your dad and I will be better about taking these burdens off of your shoulders. Be a kid. Enjoy life. Follow your passions. And I will support you in anything you want to do.

I see you. I need to say it again. I see you. You are standing in front of me and you need your dad. I will always be here for you.

My dear boy. My sweet sweet boy. You already struggle with processing things and you are going through so much right now. Daddy is going to be okay. We are all going to be okay through this. I’m going to be such a better father to you because of this. We will work through your feelings together. It’s okay to be sad, but know that no one is intentionally trying to hurt another person. Sometimes decisions you make in life will cause pain, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the right choice.

I’m going to get better about understanding how you are processing things with your autism. I’m going to take a step back and communicate with you better to get things figured out. You are learning so much right now and I know you see a lot of the world in black or white, right or wrong, but things are a lot more complicated than that. Just always know that as long as you are making decisions from a place of love in your heart, then you’re headed in the right direction.

I know I’m really good with words when I write. Not that great when I need to speak them, but I acknowledge that to all of you my words have lost a lot of meaning throughout your lives. All I can do now is be intentional and show you how much I love you all. We will play games together. We will sit and have conversations. I will listen when you need to talk and not try to fix things. I will support you. We will go on regular date nights and have one-on-one time.

When you are older I want you to know what love is. I want you to look back and say love is what my dad gave me. He made me feel appreciated. He made me feel seen. He let my voice be heard. He gave me a safe space to be myself without fear of judgement.

And that’s what I’m going to do for you.

So I will never have anger in my heart for what is happening, and neither should you. Good things come from bad situations. The rainbows follow the rain. Know that I have so much love in my heart. I have been so incredibly loved, even when I didn’t deserve it. To know that feeling so intimately has been one of the greatest joys in my life.

I will be okay. I’m not doing any of this because I have to, but because my heart is so full of love that I need to be okay so I can give that love to you all.

Your dad is here and I’m not going anywhere.

I love you!

The Pain That You Deserve

Family, Life

I can not sleep. The medication is supposed to help, but I lie here at night and the loneliness stands over me, keeping me in place with a mirror pointing at my face reminding me that I am to blame.

I am to blame. This is all my fault. It’s always been my fault.

Today is a day that I wish I would have followed through on ideals that ran through my mind when the darkness took hold.

You wouldn’t hurt if I weren’t here to cause the pain.

I wouldn’t hurt if I weren’t here.

I can not eat. I will work through my meals because you ask me to, because despite everything you still care. But it doesn’t stay down.

I deserve this pain.

I can officially say that I have damaged all of the most important relationships in my life. When I am a grenade that demolishes everything when I go off, why continue to even go out?

I tried to be a good husband and father. And I failed.

I just want to love fully.

As of today I can not see a future for myself. When I try to look ahead all I see is a world drowning in my tears, the people begging me to go away.

I shouldn’t be here. I don’t deserve the love I have been given.

I don’t deserve the patience and acceptance they was given to me by my wife.

I do deserve the pain. It is mine to bear. It is mine to carry while I have the strength to carry it.

It’s never been my intention to hurt anyone else.

I’m so sorry…

I Want To Try And Explain Some Things

anger, depression, love, pain, sadness, Therapy

Tomorrow is the big day. I finally put my mental health first and begin therapy. And I am really excited about finally healing, but I’m also petrified.

I’m anxious to start because I feel like I will finally have someone to talk to that understands the things I’m saying. The problem with my depression is that most people I have been open with about it just don’t get it. It doesn’t make sense to them how someone who appears to have it all together can struggle so much internally.

And I know I’m not alone. I recently found out that my own niece is having struggles with depression as well. To the point where she had to be hospitalized for a little while. Truth be told, I should have been hospitalized in the past as well, because if it weren’t for the few strands I was clinging on to I wouldn’t be here right now.

So I want to share with everyone, especially my loved ones, what depression, and trauma, is to ME. This is not a one-size fits all. This fits my personal feelings. But I want people to understand what goes on.

This isn’t going to make sense to most of you, but depression is such a bittersweet experience. I absolutely hate when my depression overpowers my thoughts and consumes me. And that’s the first thing I want you to know. Depression is not just a mental thing. It does not burrow its way into your mind and stay put. No, it worms its way through every part of your being, extending even past yourself and inflicting harm and sorrow onto the things and people around you. I want you to think of a pitch black room with no light. This is depression when it is all consuming. Now, you can try and bring light into the room but the second the light flickers on it is immediately extinguished by the darkness around it. You physically feel depression. I have seen videos and pictures posted by others of people who committed suicide just a few days after. And in every single one you can physically see the pain, sadness, and emotional burden that is upon them.

To those who think suicide is a selfish act, you are sorely mistaken. Suicide is not something that people just stumble upon. It is an act that has been thought about several times. It has been the topic of pros and cons lists. It has been weighed against the damage that will be caused to others. And it sadly wins in the end for several people.

Those who commit suicide from depression know the pain that others will go through. But the pain that they feel themselves is just too much for them to bear.

And do you know why they don’t reach out to others? Because sometimes they want to limit the damage that is caused to others.

If I were to ever take my own life, which I have thought about at several points in my life, I wouldn’t want to bring someone else into my mess and have them feel responsible for what I decided to do. It doesn’t always have something to do with other people. Sometimes the pain is just… too… much.

I grew up not being comfortable expressing my emotions. Because anytime I would I would be told that I’m so whiney. Or that I need to grow up. Or that boys don’t cry. I would be told that I was supposed to act a certain way. I would be bullied for being a little different.

I didn’t feel comfortable being me.

So I grew up thinking things had to be a certain way. But I always knew that wasn’t right. So I would gravitate to things and people that allowed me to be a little bit more of what I was comfortable being.

I couldn’t have male relationships in my life. Because they were established on the foundation of competition and masculinity. And it wasn’t a place I felt comfortable expressing my emotions. I couldn’t cry to these people. I couldn’t tell them my thoughts and struggles. So I had friendships with mostly females. It was people who let me be me. I was someone they would come to for help and advice and they would open their hearts to me, and occasionally I was able to do the same to them.

But because of this I was also constantly told that I was gay. How infuriating that because you seek comfort in those you can relate to there has to be some ulterior motive behind it? I still struggle with this, but at this point it’s just something I have learned to have to accept because I’m an anomaly and people don’t view the world in the same way that I do.

The second thing that I want you to know about depression is that there is NOT always a trigger that brings it on. It sneaks up on you when you least expect it. And that’s what’s really hard about talking to others about it. Because everyone instinctively wants to know what happened, so they can either try and fix it or try to avoid it. So when someone asks you what’s wrong, and you don’t have a reason for telling them that in that moment your life just totally sucks, you tell them that you are fine. Or things are good. Because it’s easier to lie to others and protect their feelings than to create an awkwardness between you and them because they just don’t understand you.

It’s difficult. I’m trying to get better about expressing my bad days but it’s still hard for others to get it. When I’m having a rough day I will let my wife know and sometimes it will frustrate her because the day has been good, so why would I try and ruin it with depression? And it’s frustrating to me because it’s hard to open myself up and not be able to give those I love a reason why I’m going through something.

I’m fortunate that sometimes people can sense that I’m having an off day and they will just be more present and not make a big deal about it. My wife will play with my hair, or rub my arm to let me know she’s thinking of me. My friends will hug me a little tighter or a little longer. My kids will remind me that they love me.

The third thing I want you to know about depression is that it is not something that just goes away. It’s kind of like an addiction. You aren’t just suddenly depression free. You are in remission. You are a recovering depressive. It’s why when you are prescribed anti-depressants they are typically a lifelong thing. I will always have depression. My therapy will help me work through things that I’ve never been able to deal with. It will give me tools to recognize when depression is creeping in and give me a better chance to fight back. Instead of drowning maybe I will only get in waist deep. My anti-depressants and my therapy are going to help me deal with my traumas.

Earlier I mentioned how depression is bittersweet. I want to touch on that. To me, I find so much comfort in depression. It holds me tighter than anything else in my life ever has. It’s been a constant and a place of solace when the rest of the world gets too overwhelming. It’s something that I know will never leave me. It doesn’t go and do it’s own thing and forgets about me. It waits. It’s always there. Quiet, but with a hand on my shoulder. I’m able to be reminded of my priorities in my seasons of depression. My emotions flood out of me. I finally have conversations with myself on the things I’ve been hiding away. It’s not a safe place by any means, but it’s comforting knowing it will never leave me.

I want to take a minute to briefly discuss trauma. I won’t go into it too much because honestly almost everyone that reads this that I am close with have been responsible for some of the traumas in my life. And working through my traumas are for me and my therapist. I don’t need anything from any of you anymore. I don’t need an apology. I don’t need acknowledgement.

But I want to get something off of my chest about trauma. Because it’s a serious thing.

Trauma is an emotional response to an event that the first feel is significant to THEM. “A traumatized person can feel a range of emotions both immediately after the event and in the long term. They may feel overwhelmed, helpless, shocked, or have difficulty processing their experiences. Trauma can also cause physical symptoms.” There are three types of trauma: acute (This results from a single stressful or dangerous event.), chronic (This results from repeated and prolonged exposure to highly stressful events. Examples include cases of child abuse, bullying, or domestic violence.), and complex (This results from exposure to multiple traumatic events.). I have all of these.

What trauma is NOT is something that SOMEONE ELSE gets to dictate is or is not actually trauma. If it is traumatic to me then it is not okay for you to tell me that it is not that bad, or isn’t what I think it is.

I went through a list of childhood traumas that I remember to my best friends a few weeks ago. And I watched as tears formed in their eyes and could see the heartbreak on their faces. It was in that moment that I realized that things I thought were “normal” weren’t. The same thing happened to my wife. She realized that things that happened to her weren’t okay.

Yes, this includes sexual assaults. Yes, this includes physical and emotional abuse and bullying. Yes, this includes experiences of death and exposure to things kids shouldn’t have to be subjected to.

Yes, to some of you reading this those things are going to be extremely hard for you to read. Because honestly you’re probably not aware of some of them. Why? Because I couldn’t talk about them.

I was/am a victim of circumstance. I’ve been in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was put in situations that to others would be seen as safe, but to someone who was “overly emotional” it was traumatic.

I will work through my past with my therapist. It is not something that I want to work through with any of you. The past is the past and my relationships now are not going to be built on those issues. I don’t want to talk about them with you. Please respect my choices and do not push.

The thing about depression and trauma are that they are unique to the person experiencing them. And they come when you least expect them. The scary thing is also knowing that there are seasons of depression and traumas that will occur in my life in the future that may be worse than anything I’ve experienced so far. That’s what happens when you love so fiercely. You become an easy target to pain and sadness. I know that there is a chance that the people closest to me in my life now could end up being a footnote in my overall story. That they could end up hurting me more than anyone else ever has.

I’m hopeful that therapy will help me resolve the traumas in my life that I wrote off as “normal” so that when these new experiences occur I can address them immediately.

I will be better for me so that not only can I keep being a loving person to others, but I can also be a loving person to myself.

Just some food for thought.

Kyle

Breaking The Cycle

depression, Healing, Jesus, Life, Prayer, Reading, Therapy

This may be another poorly thought out blog today because there are a lot of things I want to discuss but I don’t want to throw it all into one post. So let’s keep it short and sweet and maybe this weekend I’ll dive into some heavier topics.

I know I’ve discussed going to therapy a few times but I can now officially say that I have followed through and made appointments. Beginning February 8th my life changes for the better. It’s time to heal.

In preparation for therapy I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on what things I want to get addressed. So I’ve spent some time in my head and began writing memories and thoughts down that I want to process. I’ll get into some of the things later but for now I just want to talk about how I am seeing myself in my children. And not the few things I do think are good about me but the things that I personally struggle with. Fear, anxiety, thoughts of failure, difficulty with processing and communicating emotions.

I wouldn’t want my worst enemies to have to have the thoughts that go on in my head, let alone my own children. So while they are still young, relatively, how do I get ahead of it?

In order for my children to be better I need to be better for myself.

As much as I dislike the thought of it, my kids look up to me and model their lives after mine.

That’s terrifying.

I’m 32 years old and struggle. People around me seem to think I have everything figured out but if they only knew the things I fight within myself they would be so sad.

I’m such a hypocrite when it comes to my children. I tell them the importance of self love. And of not letting the words of others affect you negatively. But then I will turn around and put myself down or take things personally from people who aren’t even close to us.

So I repeat, in order for my children to be better I need to be better for myself.

So I’m going to break the vicious cycle that I’ve put myself in. I’m going to do the hard work. And if you think dealing with unprocessed traumas and depression is easy? Well… don’t say that to me. That won’t go over too well!

I want to take a quick moment to express my gratitude for those who have been by my side and have been my biggest supporters. I’m not going to keep saying that you have no idea how much it means to me, because I think I can safely say now that you really do. You find beauty in my flaws that I try to hide. You give me love when I don’t have love to give myself. I want to talk soon on what my loved ones have done for me with their words, but I’ll save that for another day. Just know that I am so very grateful to have you in my life.

With all my love,

Kyle

I wanted to start holding myself accountable for some of the things I am trying to work on this year so I’m going to list at the end of each of my posts the things I am completing.

Books read:

  • Forgiving What You Can’t Forget: Discover How to Move On, Make Peace with Painful Memories, and Create a Life That’s Beautiful Again

Currently reading:

  • Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts the Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection
  • The Gospel of Matthew

Working on:

  • Therapy begins February 8th.
  • Drinking 1/2 gallon of water daily.
  • Praying more.
  • Communication with my children. If I wouldn’t respond, why would I expect they would?
  • Building my relationship with Jesus. The Meeting House has been fantastic for this and has really felt like the messages have been aimed at me. I miss our church community but I’m really glad to be getting more direct connection with Jesus and the messages that I need to hear.

It’s Not About “Happiness”

Family, friends, God, Healing, Jesus, Life, love

I’m come to realize that I have been self-sabotaging my life for years now. I’ve been a person who dreams big and never feels satisfaction in the victories. And I’ve struggled with understanding why that is.

And after coming out of this last season of depression I think I’ve finally realized what it is.

I’ve been chasing happiness.

Well that’s not so bad, right? Happiness is the key to a successful life, or so I’ve been told.

But it’s not. It’s a lie.

Now before you start thinking I’m crazy, let me explain. It’s another example of expectation versus reality.

I’ve been trying so hard in my life to grab hold of happiness and to never let it go. But you can not live in happiness. You can live in MOMENTS of happiness, but not a constant state of it. If your life was constantly happy it would undervalue the truly special moments.

So what should you be living your life for?

Contentment.

Now, I grew up believing that contentment was a bad word. I don’t think I was raised this way, but I’ve seen and heard others talk about how contentment was settling. That successful people are never content and always strive to be the best. Innovation and advancements come from always doing more. Wanting more. Being more.

That’s… exhausting.

And it only sets you up for a life of failure and disappointment. Because always looking for happiness makes the fall to sadness so much harder than it should be.

If I were to stare up at the night sky and only dream of reaching the stars, I would lose sight of the fact that in that moment I get to be present and enjoy the beauty that comes from them. I will never reach the stars, because it’s unobtainable. But I can be present every single evening and look at those stars and be reminded of where I am. And who I am.

Let me put it another way. Say you were really struggling financially your whole life and your goal was to someday have $1,000,000 in your bank account, even though you’ve never been able to even save $1,000. So you have this big dream. And you work incredibly hard every day. And you change your life and start saving like you’ve never saved before. And let’s say after the first 6 months you finally save $1,000.

You should be ecstatic, right? You’ve never had $1,000 before so that’s a really big deal! You should be so incredibly proud!

But you’re not. You don’t even acknowledge it because you set a goal of $1,000,000. So $1,000 doesn’t even matter.

So you blow right past that and 2 years later you have $10,000. HUGE DEAL!

Right?

It’s not $1,000,000. So who cares?

And you keep doing this for years and years and year. And you’re never satisfied. And then one day you find out you’re dying. And you look back on your life and all you can see is that you never reached your goal.

And you lost sight of all the beauty in the world around you. And all the recognition for the amazing achievements you made along the way.

You were working towards something that was unobtainable. $1,000,000 is a dream for a day that may never come. You decided to work towards something that couldn’t be guaranteed.

You undervalued every other moment in your life for something that you were never going to get.

That’s the thing about happiness. We often think that happiness is that $1,000,000. But it’s not. Happiness was in that $1,000 achievement. It was a moment. And it deserved to be recognized. It deserved to be treated for what it was.

Now take this example and apply it to your own life. Are you happy? As in truly happy.

I hope the answer is no. Unless this a moment that brings you such joy and elation that it is something you will forever cherish.

This is a happy moment for me because I’ve realized that I can start giving value to the moments in my life that truly deserve them.

I want to live a life of contentment with moments of happiness and joy.

Contentment is “a state of satisfaction”. How beautiful is that? To live in a constant state of satisfaction in what you have, who you are and what you do.

Does this mean that you shouldn’t work towards more? Absolutely not. Have dreams and have goals but don’t lose sight of the here and now. Acknowledge the little moments.

Stop stealing value from the things that matter.

Seeing my loved ones are moments of happiness. And if I lived in that moment I would accept it for the special opportunity to be with people that it is.

I get to have this beautiful family. If my goal is just to think about raising them well and to get into a good college and to have a great life I will lose sight of the little moments that matter.

Like my son being sick and coming to me in the middle of the night to make him feel better. Seems silly, right? But it’s not. If I didn’t stop and be in that moment I wouldn’t have realized that it’s an acknowledgement of the changes I’ve made to be more present in my children’s life. He’s finally feeling comfortable to come to me for support and not just to be the parent who works to make the money.

It’s the little moments that matter. Happiness is in the moments, not a constant state. Recognize them.

Are you happy? Or are you a happy person? A good response would be “I am an optimistic person who looks for the moments of happiness.” It grounds me. It pulls me back into this moment. It lets me be present for the ones in my life that need me the most. My “I love you” means more. The hug is special. Your time becomes valuable. Doing life together matters more.

People’s words are taken for face value. And you can accept them and believe them.

And you can start seeing yourself the way other people see you.

If I am honest with myself, if I take the goal of happiness out of the equation then I have lived a content adult life.

And that’s success.

A constant state of happiness is a dream that can only be achieved when we get to leave this world to be with Jesus.

I will be happy one day, but for now I will take pride in the contentment and recognize the moments of happiness that come along.

And I will start seeing myself the way that others see me. And for some of you, that’s a really big deal. Some of you are so special to my life and have changed me and you will never understand the impact you have had. And I’m starting to realize that to some of you I am someone special to you. And that I have changed your life, too. And that is a big deal.

When I stop looking for happiness and start realizing contentment is key the moments of love are truly going to shine bright.

I love you. Please take that for the value I put into it. Let it sit with you a moment.

And I hope reading that was a moment of happiness for you, for letting you know was one for me.

I’m looking forward to this new lens on life. Healing is beautiful.

I want to lie on the the ground with my loved ones – my wife, my children, my best friends, my family – and enjoy the beauty of the night sky together. Not reaching out to try and grab them for myself, but being present with those around me, feeling God’s love and theirs, and storing the moment of happiness in my heart.

Kyle

2021 – The Year of Healing

depression, friendship, Jesus, Life, pain, sadness

To say the last month has been rough would be a major understatement. I’ve been struggling with another massive period of depression, and what has scared me the most about it this time is that I have been on antidepressants for 6 months now which are supposed to help. So there must be some pretty serious things going on to overpower the medication and lead me into a pretty bad depressive state, right?

Yes, and no.

What started it all were untrue stories continuing to grow and be manipulated even further. How is it that something that isn’t even close to being true can be so damaging to your mental state? My past, and a person I no longer want to ever know again, continue to haunt me. I give power to someone who is so incredibly toxic and everyone knows does nothing but lie and manipulate.

And then I thought I lost my best friend, a person that would lift me up even when I was being oblivious to the fact that I needed to be lifted up. Why? Because I made assumptions and put words into other people’s mouths. But Kyle, did you bother to ask what was really being said? Oh, but of course not! So I escalated something and almost ran away from my favorite people.

But I’m glad it happened, because for the first time I was able to prove to myself that I’m not only trying to heal and be a better person, I am actually doing it. I didn’t hurt another person because I was hurting. I didn’t make *too* many emotional decisions. I took a step back and processed and didn’t run away. And I realized I almost lost some of the most important people in my life because they hurt me about something that wasn’t even personal.

I deleted my social media accounts again. Why? Because there’s enough negativity going on in my head that I don’t need to see it all the time I’m bored and randomly pick up my phone. And it’s taking time away from the things that I need to prioritize more.

Therapy is one of my most important focuses for this year. I’ve been doing a lot of research on finding the right therapists and trying to figure out what it is I need. The word trauma gets used so much and it’s not one that I usually think too much about. But, why wouldn’t I? I’ve got some serious depression, and it’s not just being pulled out of nowhere. So what are my traumas?

That’s a really fantastic question.

A really great one.

And I can name off quite a few, but I’m running into an issue. One that I’ve never really put much thought into until I started hearing people tell their own stories.

I can not remember 99.9% of my childhood. And the things I do remember?

Trauma.

And apparently that’s not normal. Most people have core memories that they have. But I don’t. I think about it and it’s just a big empty spot in my memory. It’s very similar to the numbness I went through in 2019. A good chunk of that year is just a big blank space in my mind.

So… I don’t even know how to process things because I have these huge gaps in my mind. Do I just have a poor memory? I don’t think so. I remember a lot of educational things. And I remember a lot of things from about 16 years old on. But before that? Little tiny bits and pieces of things I really don’t want to even remember.

Guess that’s for my therapist to dive into, right?

Anyways, 2021 is going to be my year of healing. I’m going to be completely selfish and put my mental health pretty close to the top of my priority list. I thought my depression only truly affected me, but it turns out when I hurt those I love hurt with me. And some people feel my pain a lot more than I think they do.

So, here are my 2021 goals. I can promise you I will mess up a few times but I will be victorious in the long run. See if you can see my healing in each of these:

Begin therapy.

Drink more water.

Practice recognizing and applying expectations vs. reality.

Pray more.

Stop weighing myself. Do not assign my health and feelings to a number.

Support my kids more, especially in their creative outlets.

Post a blog at least once a week.

Read at least 1 book a month.

Practice restraint on spending money on others. Stop trying to buy people’s love.

Watch at least 1 movie a week with my family with all phones, iPads and gaming devices put away.

Build a treehouse with the kids (if possible).

Build my relationship with Jesus.

No eating out. Period.

Those are the things I want to work on this year. 2020 was the year I started building relationships. I gave my wife her husband back. I found someone who will call me out on my crap and tell me the things I need to hear, not the things I want to hear. I found someone who will pray over me, be a listening ear, shoulder to cry on and hug me tight to keep my pieces from completely falling apart. Now I need to take what these people have shown me and learn to start applying it to myself.

Why?

Because what I am doing is discrediting the love that they are actually giving me. The people in my life could be giving me the very last of what they have to offer that day, sometimes even stealing from their future selves, for me to say “yes, but”. Or to tell them they are lying.

The love these people are giving to me matters. Because they don’t have to be giving it to me. They are giving me a very big part of themselves that others aren’t getting. And that’s huge.

I am ONE of 7.8 BILLION people in this world alive right now. And these people are choosing to give ME a part of themselves.

I need to have enough respect to take it for the value they intended it to be. And to not discount it for my own poor misconceptions.

And I need to start loving myself. I have things that have gone wrong, but I know that things could have been much, much worse. I’m not as bad of a person as I tell myself I am.

I am worth loving. Jesus loves ME. So how can I say I’m not worth loving if I already have the truest love there is?

Love is such a powerful thing. I can say I don’t think people truly understand the love that I have for them. Like, real honest, unconditional love.

Love is what always brings me back out of my depressions. It’s not a lack of sadness, anger or hurt. It’s that all the gaping holes that are left behind from these emotions eating away at my mind I have Jesus there to fill them in, and he’s handed off some shovels to some very special people to help. And He has one for me, too. It’s always been in my hands but I always refuse to do the work. Because I’ve always felt comfort in the emptiness. Comfort in the pain. Comfort in the tears. Because they’ve always been there for me when everything else went away.

But they are lies.

I’m tired of lying to myself.

I’m tired of being tired.

So I’ve got the shovel. And it’s going to take some work because I’ve never done it before but I know it will be worth it to finally have the skills and knowledge to be able to make sure those holes never get as deep as they have been before.

To those who have struggled with reading my posts lately, I’m sorry. If it gives you any perspective on where I get to, take the pain you feel in reading my words and just realize that is only a fraction of what I feel when the depression sets in.

I know this post was very random today but I wanted to fulfill my goal of writing one post a week. I’m going to use this as a way to document my healing. Writing notes from my therapy sessions, or words of encouragement and wisdom from loved ones. But I will also be using it to process through my traumas so I can heal. It’s going to get rough but it will be worth it in the end.

Just please, never ever forget how much I truly love you.

Kyle