More About Me

If you've had any contact with me (meat- or net-space) for the past few months/years, you undoubtedly know that my life has been a bit rough. But it seems that the worst is behind, which is a relief such that I cannot express. I've been officially divorced for two months, living on my own for three, and separated from Heather for 20. And in the past couple weeks I've managed to get my financials more or less sorted to be able to maintain a both a quality of life I'm largely content with and not have to work like a maniac.

For what are hopefully obvious reasons, I'd prefer to work just my day job, but doing that would require selling my bike, only treating my eczema to a minimal degree, and probably terminate pretty much all of my personal dev projects (including Pic of the Day). But I think I've managed to augment my salary with sufficient contract development to fund my addictions (to motorcycles, code, and healthy-ish skin), as well as cover a few point expenses (like a replacement laptop, some color for my apartment, clothes without holes/bloodstains, etc.).

Yes, I know that leading with money is both abnormal and socially frowned upon. Whatever. Financial security is really important to me for some reason or another. The good news is that since it started the post, it's more top-of-mind than my skin, which is a welcome change.

As expected, the termination of Heather and my cohabitation and then marriage has resulted in a huge improvement in my eczema. By and large the lesions are constrained to my hips and thighs (totally clearing my arms, hands, front, back, lower legs, and feet), and are much less severe than before. I still have a few spots where there are actual breaks, but the vast majority of my skin is again closed (though still somewhat itchy and discolored). My feet have almost entirely healed aside from one toenail, and you could inspect my hands with a magnifying glass and find no evidence that three months ago they looked like I had chicken pox and ringworm at the same time (which I did not, I might add).

However, the most pleasant change of all has been with friends. It's only been in the past month or two that I've really been able to appreciate how devastating the effect Heather and my relationship had on my other relationships. Don't get me wrong, I fully understood that I was not even close to being at my best, but really had no idea just how fucked up I was. Fortunately, through some seemingly unbounded grant of grace on everyone around me, I don't think I've lost a friend through this process. Some bounced back quickly, others have been harder, and some are still rocky, but I don't know that any were actually severed. Hopefully Heather and my relationship will have the same rebound, though obviously the wounds run deep and time will need to run it's course.

Now that things have settled down to a large degree, I've been able to refocus on various things that I enjoy, but haven't really had the time or energy to deal with. I'm playing music (mostly the piano – well, a cheap keyboard) on a nearly daily basis, have reinvigorated some personal coding projects (like Pic of the Day), started reading books again (Lolita is the current title), riding my motorcycle hard and fast without concerns of mental instability wrapping me around a tree, and just generally enjoying stuff.

Life, of course, is not without reminders of where I was. That continues to be difficult, and I still find myself inconsolably angry with an all-consuming desire to drink myself into a stupor. But that's far less frequent and less intense than it was. The psyche, like the skin, heals remarkably well; scars, however, are a fact of life.

I know a blog post mention is often a non-recognition, but I would like to explicitly mention three.

First and foremost, Kim, who can be in some ways fragile but in so many others is completely unalterable. You, of all people, have never let me down when it mattered, regardless of what I've done. This over the course of more than half my lifetime. One innocuous evening last fall you quite literally saved my life, simply by being you. I can't even imagine what life would be if I didn't know you.

Holly, another dear friend from the first half of my life. You swooped in out of nowhere last summer and gave me a wonderful recess when I so desperately needed one, despite a geographic separation measured in hundreds of miles. Unfortunately the darkest times were yet to come, and I fear those days have left a mark that will be long in vanishing.

Adam, Ali, Erin, and Carrie and Sim for grace on an otherwise grotesque All Saints Day morning, for being in my life, for a mind altering October afternoon, and for seemingly minor things too numerous to count.

Things are returning to "normal", I'm pleased to say, and that's a good thing. Normal will never be the same, but c'est la vie. The kids and I have settled into something of a routine with the little time we have together. Work has largely ceased being an escape from life, but rather a place I'd rather not be (aside from the paychecks, of course). Soon it will be spring, and then summer. The world goes 'round, and all of us with it.

3 responses to “More About Me”

  1. bill shelton


    It's good to see you coming out the other end! Glad you're here.


  2. Mike Brunt

    Barney, thanks for this posting, I have gone through a good number of personal trauma's these past 3 years and I empathize in many ways.

    On a more work'ish related note, I think you once told me about some software you created that trolls the web looking for things, if I am going nuts.;I'll apologize now but I do recall being fascinated by what you explained.