Two nights in Bangkok

Thailand how I love you. I love your warmth. I love your food. I LOVE SONGKRAN!
The main reason for going to Thailand was to experience a holiday abroad. I am glad we made this one. It is Thai new year. Things are washed new with water. It is a huge water fight throughout the country.
Upon arriving to Bangkok we jumped from the mini van and into a taxi. We gave the driver the address of our accommodations and he asked us if we had GPS. One thing about traveling with American phones is that Sprint keeps them locked. It is not so easy to just get a sim card. I somehow forgot my phone I bought in Nam years ago with different sim cards. I was surprised that the drivers don’t have their own GPS. Needless to say he got lost. We drove in a maze of alleys. The driver would stop and ask other drivers how to get to the hotel. He finally called the hotel and the hotel directed him to the right location. This of course made us very nervous. How would we find the hotel after a day out? The room was small and clean, but the bed was hard as a rock. We had gotten a little spoiled. Backpacks were set to the side. We opened our balcony door and the deluge began. We thought it was appropriate for the new year celebration. Shortly after the rain slowed to a stop we went to venture out, but not before another hand
drawn map was made for us. We shook our head and went into the dark alley of Bangkok. It was easy enough but we didn’t stay out long. We were out long enough to eat, get some snacks and water guns for the next day.
During the night I made arrangements with a former student from Intrax to meet at Wat Phra Kaew. We didn’t expect to take so long to get there, but after figuring out the train and realizing our map wasn’t to scale we tried to hurry the adventure with a tuk-tuk ride. I’d been advised to not ride them, but it was fun until the driver took us to the wrong pier and they tried to sell us a boat cruise. We wanted the boat taxi. When we made it to the correct pier that boat was packed to the gills. It was similar to riding San Francisco MUNI where the tourist don’t know the drill and won’t move into the boat. Of course, everyone wants a view and a chance to take some photos. Each pier more and more passengers disembarked then we made it to the temple compound.
We pushed through crowds of people at the pier and the market outside. People were everywhere. I didn’t know how I was going to find my student. We were late, we didn’t have a specific meeting spot and it was HOT. We wandered around the temple wall. I was looking for two beautiful Thai girls amongs thousands and thousands of Thai people. Over heated with no particular idea of what to do we just sat down. I soon became very popular. First a young woman sat next to me and handed her phone to a friend. Of course I posed and smiled. Then another young man came by to take pictures. Soon there were a group of girls sitting next to me and we had a small photo shoot.
After smiling so much I got hungry and thirsty. We got some meat on a stick and some fresh watermelon. Our brains began to function a little more. I was definitely sad I couldn’t find Tam but we moved from our spot and decided to go into the temple. Of course a normal person in Thailand would wear shorts in the heat, but not in Buddhist temples. You need appropriate attire. We stood in line for our borrowed attire. Long pants for me and a long skirt for Karli. Add 20 more degrees of heat.
Once inside I was in awe. I had never seen anything as beautiful as the structures and the compound. Unlike in Angkor Wat, where I felt that all of the tourist footfalls took away from the greatness of the area, there was padding of bare feet and those in prayer and reverence. Everyone respected the quiet prayers of those who took time to sit in front of the Emerald Buddha.
Everywhere incense was burning and gold leaf was place on smaller Buddhas and water was poured over it. People had unopened lotus floweres that they dipped in water and then onto their own heads. I had never seen anything like it and I personally felt amazed. Paintings, sculptures, statues and the bling bling of it all. I was sure that if Tam was with us she could give us some information. We took our time, but it was very hot. We did walk in two circles trying to find our way out of the complex to return the pants and skirt. Wearing that shit was hot.
Once we returned the clothing we decided to walk away from the fray. We got lost again, but found some shade next to a creek…Here we were able to give each other our appreciation of one another. It’s not easy being married. 7 years and counting 11 years total together. It’s not easy traveling with others. We really have been able to work everything out. We have been each other’s strength, energy, patience and adventure. I wouldn’t travel with anyone else really. When I consider the five weeks of only us, it makes up for the long hours Karli puts into her career. She works very very hard. I kind of do, but I don’t have to bring my work home. When I think of the hours I will soon put into graduate studies I need to revel in the times we have together. It is so easy to trudge through the mundane for me. Intrax lifts me up everyday. I get to have a travel experience in SF sort of, but that time isn’t always with Karli.
After some regrouping we hired another tuk-tuk to take us to the sky train. We thought that we needed to get back to wifi.  I wanted to see Tam. I just couldn’t connect anywhere to message her. Karli wasn’t done yet. We walked alot. We were hot, but what about the water guns in our bag. Empty but ready to play.


Looking back on this draft of an entry, I definitely do remember the feelings of appreciations. I wish that particular appreciation had been enough to bouy me against the other trials we had in our marriage. Like a truly manipulated and co-dependent individual I have since emerged as an independent. This old unpublished draft is a reminder of the good, but also my daily struggle that went beyond what we had while traveling. It’s been over a year since we separated. It will soon be a year since the divorce. I have come to terms that it wasn’t suppose to be forever. There is still a tad bit of bitterness and so be it. Time…

I may never get over being bitter. I no longer have a desire to bad mouth or even complain about it. It has definitely stopped me from caring about others. I have myself to love, because time and time again I can only do for me. Humans are human. I think that is what hurts the most. When it is just me there is no one to blame and it is easier to move on when I know I am responsible for it all.

I will return to Bangkok. I will make a concerted effort to meet with my former students because they always gave me joy. There is no question about them. As Thai people are amazingly Thai. It’s a culture I am drawn to just after the Vietnamese culture.


The Gaslight Effect

I’m not sure how I got this book in the first place. We hadn’t been married two months and shit had hit the fan. I felt like I had made the biggest mistake in my life marrying this person…it was the biggest mistake I made… A lot of my thinking had to do with the 12 steps and I began to look at what my role in everything was. I happened upon this book and read it.

I saw a lot of me and my mom in the book. I would not call my mom the classic narcissist as I have seen her change and evolve. A narcissist can’t and won’t try. Well, as I read the book I saw my relationship with my mom. I also recognize that I am my mom. We are so similar, one reason for tension in our relationship. Seeing that I could see how I could do that to my wife. I didn’t want that at all. I worked very hard to not do it to her.

In working to not do it, I lost the name of the dynamic, yet always felt it. I worked so hard to work through those feelings. In turn, instead of gas lighting, I became the gaslightee. 

Recognizing that my mom is not narcissistic doesn’t mean she didn’t gaslight me. I have some questions about the narcissist…Does the narcissist know what they are doing? Can they stop themselves? Do the care that they are doing it? What would motivate the narcissist to change? Will I be the last?

For me the damage goes so deep. I have layers from deep in childhood to repair. As I go deeper I wonder if I will ever trust myself. Will I always question my reality? Have I ever been capable?

Divorce settlement state of mind

We’ve made it this far and I anticipate that it will be an annoying process to complete. I want the lawyers to give her the best advice unless they have been advising her from the beginning…then I don’t know what to say.

I imagine, from what I gathered from the letter from the lawyers that she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. I mean the information I got in a consultation with a lawyer…the lawyer seemed confident in my filing, therefore I should be confident. 

I should focus on that.

Why do I question myself? It’s the gaslight effect. I’m conditioned. I become anxious about her reactions to things. I need to be able to anticipate needs wants and moods to create a safe place with no conflict. Easy with some people, bit not the narcissist. 

It’s just gonna stay painful

I feel like I progress  but the reality is that I feel the pain and regret. It won’t escape me. It’s tendrils thick and slick with the slime of emotional refuse embrace me. The turmoil of continually facing what I want gone has been wearing the body down. Stress has been able to manifest itself in such interesting ways. It has drawn all cares through each cell and pores. Self irradiated in attempt at self care I only managed to make myself sick.


So, I had this crush on a co-worker. She knows. I told her. It’s been awkward for a few weeks, She had stated that she was cool hanging out, but then she became super busy, like everyday. I couldn’t even entice her with a home cooked meal. Then I knew she wasn’t interested. My feelings totally cooled, but I would’ve like to have been friends.

I think, well really I don’t think at all. I have no idea what she could be thinking. I don’t care. I know I got the picture. I wish she understood we could be real cool friends, sorry my attraction got in the way. Maybe I should go ahead and tell her that. I mean we could cruise chicks together. I was thinking she would be a good license to have going into certain spaces.

I’m not going to create an opportunity to talk about it. If it happens cool. No, then whatever. When is a good time to ask for my dvd back?

I’m not going to lie. I wonder what she’s doing and what she’s thinking. I wish I was in her life, actually anyone’s life. The reality is I need to refocus. I barely live on 29k in the SF Bay area. I am going through a divorce that isn’t ugly, but extremely draining. I’m a teacher, which is a draining profession. I work extra jobs…no sympathy…I am a hard working American that belongs to a multitude of minority groups.

The clearer my reality becomes I feel a bit bleek, but again I have to regroup the real pieces that fit together. These pieces of the puzzle, the true reality of what I am in charge of putting in place encompass…frustration…texture…connectiveness…a picture/always a clear goal…satisfaction…completion.

2017 Here we come… untitled

Before the year had started it was wretched, 2015/2016. We still shared a bed and slept next to each other . I, the whole time knowing that it wouldn’t last. I then began to steel my nerves and slow the tap on my feelings. I slowly peeled myself away from her. I pulled way back. Emotionally, I had been gone. I had to in order to stay with her. There was a practicality to it. Co-dependency really. It was sick for a while and I knew it and I needed it to get better. I stayed because of the ring. Eventually, I took the ring off and set off to find happiness. At each benchmark there was more and more and more sadness. I know her ego and she was hellbent to go down this road. The dating of the paperwork is questionable. If they were to go from the date I had her served then her response came in too late for the default date…we will not pursue this, well, maybe. Secretly, I hope that a clerk finds an error. I’m still reeling from the reality of it all. The year was simply been a hot mess.

The to add to the worst of the year was the continual loss of admirable people. There were some important icons of my lifetime who left us. I don’t need to list the losses we’ve all experienced. It will always be too soon to pass beyond the sadness. What does it remark about ourselves and our understanding of existence and it’s limited time?…What does it say about the enormity of the world and the tiny insignificance of our self? When you have so many of your universe pass away it makes you wonder about your own place, your own mortality. We have certain gods and when they fall a piece of us breaks or chips off also. One question I have, How do we cope with the world without the voices that once cheered us on, got us hip to the truth, or raged against the machine? How are we going to cope with the state of affairs as they are? It is the worst kind of reality show I never volunteered to be on. All I can do is commiserate with the teachers in the teacher’s room. That alone can be exhausting.

I deeply knew it was possible. Just the way everyone was scoffing at his running for President. ‘How absurd?!’ Indeed, it was an absurd, thought as absurd as we all watched Hillary Clinton and the National Democratic Party destroy democracy and destroy Bernie Sanders and any chance of real change, soon or now. I am not disappointed in America. Bottom line is that the lack of education is destroying this country. It’s the science, technology, music, history and critical thinking. We are so willing to be told lies and seek no way to second guess or challenge the status quo. They don’t even know what the status quo even is. There is no reason for citizens to not be aware of the living conditions of everyone in this country. Think of the children…even rich little children would question why another little child is hungry. I’m scared for this country. I’m scared to live in this country. With a lot of other things I am scared of I am making moves to free myself.

Of course, it was a large step for me to finally walk out of that ridiculously failing co-dependency. I consciously put thought into that marriage on a daily basis, yet I just didn’t feel like me. With the door closed before the process really began I was coming to terms with the change, the pain in not having what I wanted, while she got what she wanted. If ever there was a time I was lacking she would tell me and it was nothing I couldn’t change if I loved her. The sadness was a heavy feeling. I had to let it go. At first I was alone, frightened. I continue grow but my pockets don’t. The reality of splitting a house hits first in your pockets. Then it hits you as you go through your everyday. You see what they actually did or didn’t do in your life. I know my next destination and goals to achieve from now. I need to go to Vietnam with a cushion. Now my pockets ride shallow and I need them to ride deep.

To liberate myself from Karla has taken some direct mental coping skills. I have of late been able to redirect my feelings about everything surrounding our issues, yet, not able to stop the subconscious effects. I’m allowing myself to feel every feeling. My mom doesn’t like my posting it on FB but, whatever. Once I got into me, I began to move forward and catch steam. My money keeps moving too. Due to her being her I decided to do what I want. It has cost me some money, but I hope to regain something. It’s not ALL about the money.

The most important thing is to work on being normal. ‘Free’ from Ultra Nate has been on high rotation on Pandora and it is reminding me each time that I am who I am and I can feel for myself in a sense that I am deserving. Of course the song also takes me back to almost 20 years ago, when I first arrived in The City of SF. I was able to move through a difficult time during the 2016 holidays. I just could have lost it you know, but I survived. I have lived through each major holiday without her and I think I have simply moved on. Actually, as I move into 2017 I still harbor a lot of anger when I I think about the lost 12 years of my life. I’m angry thinking about the children I could’ve been raising. The range of emotions can be overwhelming. It goes from no feelings then anger…no in between, then sadness.

I’m not sure if it’s appropriate to have expectations, feelings, or even dreams of or for 2017. I want it to be a blank piece of paper, tabular rasa, that I can control the story. I want to write a piece of literature to represent the notions, feelings and philosophies of thought of now man. If I set a goal I fear it will set a mental limit and prevent me from reaching the goal…How do I assess those feelings? Do I try to diagnose myself, subscribe to the notion that it is all me and pain can bring pleasure. Some weird shit my stoney brother thought up. Should I look for another comfort zone that isn’t really that comfortable?

It feels awkward. I’m not sure about dating. I do like the idea of kicking it with someone. I hope that means sharing some affection, cuddles or even hand holding. It could be buddy/buddy but then again I do need someone to touch me. I don’t need sex. Spooning would be nice. There is someone. She is nice to joke with. Easy to talk to. She can be negative in texts and I think that is a safe distance where I don’t need to look desperate to get her attention or make her feel better. There is a little affection as she has checked in with me.

Everyday I am living more and more free. For other people to understand my feelings and decisions are freeing. When someone can relate to me I feel at ease. When I wake up on my own…when I hit snooze three times…all the production to make ease for another who had no intention in your ease in the first place. A continued growth in myself but now I am free to choose from my own influence.




Trying to maintain

It’s been just over three months since I moved out of the apartment I shared with my wife. It has been an eye opening experience. Now, I do want to start off saying that it is not my intention to demonize my ex-wife. I am astounded though at the realization of the short comings of my former intimate partner. Can you imagine what it feels like to learn that they didn’t love you in the first place? Maybe they don’t know what love means for me or even themselves. Honestly though, isn’t there a thought to trying to figure it out and what that means with your partner to make things better, but you don’t believe you have to…again, shock. I’ve talk to family and friends and I’m not wrong. It’s also not my intention to spout off at how right I am at what love tends to look like, but people in general tend to agree with me.

Why did we get married? I think she agreed because she knew I loved her so much. Who wouldn’t enjoy being loved by someone. At what point though do you ask yourself when the partner is going to figure it all out, how it was a sham. What a waste of time. And at this statement is when people claim it’s never a waste. No, it was a waste. To be with a person who refuses to learn any lessons, be challenged to do better or even apologize for doing something wrong…it was a waste of time. There were so many things I wanted and gave up for love. Would it be fair to say I can never forgive her for this. What a fucking fool she must have thought I was to be able to be manipulated as I was in the relationship.

What drew this emotion out today was that I had a chance to swallow everything that has been happening and what I accomplished over the weekend. It has never been a secret for me at how I had great disdain for my brother. We never really connected and I have done a lot of pushing away, but there has been of standing back on his part. Well, there has been break throughs. One, I chose to spend time with him. I stayed at his place, slept on a pallet on the floor. It was simple for accommodations, but I didn’t need much. I just wanted to be near him. I also used the drive for some thinking space. The drive was horrible up and down. But the time I spent with him was priceless for me.

I had the opportunity to talk a little bit about the situation. The annoying thing is when people want to flood you with their image of what happened or different aspects. I guess that instead of offering some advice or speculation or even life experience you have to just shut up and talk about specifics. I didn’t leave feeling like they thought I didn’t think things through, I just wanted them to stay on point. One tends to focus on herself and the other wants to illuminate you on the expansion of thought and the different levels of existence for such though. It was good to talk it out and have them see my point of view. It has been my goal to not go into specifics of the relationship, but if I can read through a pile of journals and find the same point of issue throughout then I know that I need to make some decision. Why am I allowing myself to feel and be treated this way?

I want to forget her face. I want to forget her hurtful words. I long for the time when I can do things without a pang of wanting to share the experience. I need to embrace all the experiences now. This is MY life. I tried to share my life, but it was controlled and manipulated in such a way that I feel shameful to even admit it. My excuse is that I was in love…and you know what, it’s a great excuse. I see what it is, I was shown and grew up with it…See that’s another thing. I regret the decision to marry. I just didn’t take it seriously enough. Asking the questions about children. Questions about retirement, the ideas of how to take care of families and how do you express love. I see how my brother and his wife handle things in such a normal way, discuss it, fight it out maybe, but in the end they come together on it. I mean I totally remember how I just didn’t stand up to her to avoid conflict.

One of the things I am doing is making selfie videos and showing the emotion. I hope to watch them later. I don’t know if I would actually show them. I mean who wants to watch a man cry about some woman who never loved him.

I am trying to be a better man about it, but I have a lot of hateful things I want to say. I want to say words to shock her into reality, but I do remember her never being phased by things and just doing her own thing, being in her protective shell. Here I spent time being vulnerable and honest with feelings with someone who could never appreciate it. Sometimes I just think, “WOW”. She really didn’t get it. Again, I have so much I can say. I could tear her apart. The character flaws…all of it. I could be self righteous about it all. I know I’m not all that, but at the same time I AM. What someone has the whole package but the lack of love then all else doesn’t matter. Not to me.