Tuesday, 24 April 2007

'Tag'...You're Out?

Tags, labels, stigma. 'Tag', you're out. There are those that I love and have loved that have the audacity to undermine my fragile mental state.
For ten years I have challenged an overwhelming negative environment. I have confronted this environment whilst battling with my own mental illness. Sadly, my input, my advice, has been dismissed. For I am a man who is ill and had a serious drink problem. Those that should have worked with me; worked against me.
The consequences of ignoring my input have been devastating. With my sensitivity, I seem to be suffering the end results with a profound sense of helplessness. I have sacrificed my life for the love of my son. Paradoxically, I am a good father and a bad father. I have overcompensated. I would show the world that I could create a warm and safe environment for my son. It felt like nobody cared.
I am a single father. It has not been easy trying to raise my son and being a virtual recluse. I almost shut myself off from society. I was a victim of the negative 'hype' that told me I was not worthy of imposing myself on the outside world. When enough people put you down, you start to believe that their actions are justified. I grow weary of being hurt. I am a simple man with a complicated life.
Last September, my son started an apprenticeship job. I was so pleased for him, I was so proud of him. Unfortunately, due to the location of his work, he has relied on me to get him to and from his job. That meant me driving 40 miles a day. I continued to put my own life on hold. I wanted him to get an opportunity to get a start in life. I sacrificed my life so he could pass his driving test and then purchase his own car.
When he goes to his mother's on the weekends, anything that occurs there is out of my control. So imagine my surprise when he came back on a Sunday afternoon and announced he had purchased a car. This is a lad who had not even passed his test. I had told him that it was best that he wait until after he passed his test to purchase a car. He is 18 and I know what temptation can be like at that age. I was extremely concerned.
My concerns continued to grow when I discovered that my former spouse and her husband had knowingly allowed him to drive his car on his own. My son, no driving license, no insurance, driving his car around the Staffordshire Moorlands. What were they thinking? My concerns fell upon deaf ears. They were indifferent to me, that pathetic excuse of a man.
Two weeks ago, my son returned on a Sunday afternoon looking very distraught. I asked him what was wrong? He wouldn't answer. Then I asked him, fearing the worst, had he crashed his car? The answer was affirmative and I felt my world collapsing even further. Thankfully, he wasn't hurt.
On that Sunday afternoon, my son had gone off, yet again, for another illegal drive. He lost control of his car and crashed into a farmer's wall. He panicked and ran away. One of the farmer's friends caught up with him. My son was driven back to the farmer's house and the police were called. His car was demolished. So there he was, no car, no driving license, no insurance and in serious trouble. We now await his court case.
I won't go into all the details of the aftermath of this terrible situation. They are very painful. What I will tell you is that the dismissive attitude towards me still prevails. The people who I warned of the potential consequences of such actions are still indifferent to my concerns.
Yet, through all of this, I still pursue the positive possibilities that present themselves to me. I still desperately try to network with the kind and decent people who are becoming part of my life. I resolutely battle the negative environment that attempts to thwart my spirit and my humanity.
I shall perservere. I stand proud in the knowledge that I have done the best I can. My morals, my self-esteem are well and truly intact. However, I know I can't do this on my own anymore. I am painfully lonely and I write this with tears in my eyes.
In my heart, I feel comfort in knowing that my family, so far away in Canada, give me the love and support I yearn. I reach out for the gifts of hope that the good people on here offer me. I celebrate these gifts, for they are priceless.
So 'Tag' you're out. No, never. Those that would pass judgement on me because I am ill; do not understand that my illness is only a small part of whom I am. Stigma? You know where they can stick that.
I thank you for your time. Warm regards, klahanie.


  1. Hi adanac67

    Your post has touched me deeply,(maybe because in a great many respects it seems to mirror my own life) When my computer is up and running properly - hopefully tomorrow, I will endevour to write a blog as honest and open as you have done.
    What shines through in your words are your great courage and inner- strength, which some people I have found can feel envious of. (It is obviously 'their stuff' and not yours)
    Lonliness I find is a huge challenge at times, I can really empathise with you on that score.
    I know sometimes it feels as though we are alone, but rest assured you are not.(There are many people who genuinely care deeply about you)
    I feel as though I know you personally - even though we have never met, I think that is due to the honesty and openess that you display in writing your posts.
    I will leave you with an affirmation that I made for myself, to use when the going gets tough, in the hope that it helps you as it has helped me.
    "I am good enough exactly as I am....and who I am is a powerful and loving human being, who is learning and growing every step of the way"
    And remember each challenge that we face and overcome leaves us stronger than before.
    Be gentle with yourself, you deserve the best that the universe has to offer. D x

  2. Hi adanac67

    What a time for you. The first thing I thought when I read this was what a good father you are and that your son knows that he can come to you.

    Don't assume that what you say falls on deaf ears. I'm sure that at the moment it is ringing loud and clear.

    Your son has to take responsibility too. That's a really hard lesson that he's having to learn in a really hard way.

    Don't doubt yourself - I'm not a parent, I can't imagine what worries parenting must bring, but I do know how much I miss my parents advice and reassurance even now at the ripe old age of 34. You provide that for your son and whilst he may not show an appreciation of it now, inside I'm sure he feels it.

    Your a kind considerate soul and you bring a lot of comfort and reassurance to others. Be gentle on yourself and maybe consider putting your self higher up the pecking order.

  3. I know how hard things have been for you recently good friend! I hope you realise the high esteem in which i hold you and i know you have the strength to come through this setback and any other shit that life, with it's twisted sense of humour, desides to throw at you. Teenagers can be very selfish and reckless (as my parents can testify!) and although i have no kids myself i can sympathise if not empathise with your situation. Keep your chin up mate, hopefully this situation will be a lesson to him. As emma said, he has to start taking resposibility for his actions as he is now legally an adult and not a child!

  4. hya klahanie,

    sorry to hear you've been having such a tough time of it.
    As you said your son is young and in my experience will listen to who ever offers him the favourable advice (that coincides with what he wants to do) over most things i should imagine.

    I think that at this point though its worth remembering that because he chose not to listen that doesn't discredit your oppinion though, cuz lets face it if your right your right whether anyone agrees with you at the time of not, and unfortunate is the outcome in this case but true of most cases, you were right and that has become abundantly clear!

    for what its worth klahanie you seem like a thoughtful and insightful person who to me at least is highly inspirational to me.

    keep on keeping on!

    i'll look forward to reading your next post!


  5. Hi my friend
    I'm sorry I haven't written here before - when I read this a couple of weeks ago I was so upset/taken aback, I was left wordless - I didn't know how to respond. Sympathy was inadequate, and whilst I have a son of a similar age I don't have any similar experience to help me relate to how you must be feeling.
    Even now I feel a bit lost for words.
    I greatly admire your honesty and integrity, and feel that however this situation resolves itself you will remain resilient. Domenica is absolutely right when she counsels you to be gentle with yourself, you and I and us all - we deserve the best. Tone xxx

  6. The honestly in which you have displayed writing this post, for want of better words, is truly admirable. Heartbreaking, yet unforgettably positive in the face of great adversity.

    You are clearly a good father, Gary. I hope your trouble soon pass into distant shores and happiness will show its face once again.

    Your friend.

  7. Dear Wendy,
    Thank you so much for honouring me with a comment on this now archived posting.
    It was and still is, four years later, a sadly harrowing situation.
    The end result of others indifference. Too much has been endured, due to their actions.
    Wendy, I do my utmost to remain positive and I visualise that wonderful day when these trials and tribulations are but just a distant memory.
    I have done my very best to be a good dad under very trying circumstances. I thank you so much for your words of comfort. They truly mean a great deal.
    With peaceful wishes, your way, your friend, Gary


I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.