In the Spirit of the Who, ” Can You See The Real Me (Eban)?”

posted in: RfL 2.0 | 2

This is a long post so I will break it up into a couple of pages. I have been on a journey recently, well my whole life actually, but last night I came to an end of a micro-journey I guess. A journey withing my bigger life journey. This end was brought on by two comments left by an anonymous poster on my last broadcast.

The two comments were not ultra negative, and I normally don’t have such base reactions to negative comments. I guess that the fact that the comments were left anonymously is what upset me so, and thus led to my reaction.

You see, I figure that since I put myself out here for all to read, with no self-censorship, I take offense to having people that lack the courage to put a name, site, or email with their comments, I look at that as to be cowardly. I do not abide cowards. You may now see why I felt so much despair this morning when I realized that I have been a coward on this site for some time, making me a hypocrite. I put both hypocrite and coward in the same category.

I used to write freely on this blog, maybe sometimes too freely, but freely none the less. I have a very polarized personality, and have had tragic consequences in my life in the past when I let either side of my personality overpower the other. I am a classic example of a saint/sinner, or more real and to the point, I am a living breathing manifestation of Jekyll and Hyde. Most times I keep my dicotomous personality in check and I am an OK person. But the few times in my life that I have fallen to one side, it has been tragic.

I realized last night that I was yet again heading for a polarizing phase in my life, where one side was clearly taking over. This has been building for some months now and I was letting it go unchecked. Where I used to say what was on my mind here on my blog, would attack my writing and art with unreserved passion, and live life like I felt it should be lived, all things that keep my personality centered, I was self-censoring almost everything, becoming a shut-in, and losing my urge to create in any way.

I used to have some pretty intense posts here on this blog. I used to let it all hang out, sometimes too much(i.e. my brief porn-type thing phase) . As the blog started to get more popular though, I started to hold things back to avoid upsetting people and possibly losing the reader. The more that I did this the more the polarization of my personality took over. Repressing things is always the first step to my becoming a monster.

I actually went back and deleted all of the more opinionated and “WOW” type posts. These are now lost forever, all except one, and I will get to that at the end of this post.

In other words I have been lying to you all for a few months now. I have not been giving you the real me, all for the sake of a bit of popularity. Things of course only got worse as I started getting my blog mentioned in big media sources such as the Guardian, The Boston Globe, Salon, and the biggest mention yet, The Wall Street Journal. I really pulled back as My readership went through the roof.

For those that are reading this that do not know what I am talking about, let me give you some background.

I had a pretty normal life, or so I thought, until I was 7. I lived in a big house with tons of land with my grandparents and mom. My dad had abandoned me before birth and I only ever saw him once my entire life. I was mostly raised by my grandmother as my mother worked, trying to make an independent life for us, I guess. At 7, things changed and got a lot better.

My mom re-married a great guy. It was a win/lose situation for me what happened next. My abandonment became complete when my real father gave up all parental rights and washed his hands of me. A great thing happened though, my step-father adopted me. The next three years were as near to perfect as any child could hope for.

Of course things change, sometimes horribly. At the age of 11, my dad died a horrible, wasting death. I saw the whole thing and it scarred me. I was again without a father figure, but this time it was worse. The death did something to my mother, something horrible. And thus began my living hell.

I will not get into much detail here as it would be unfair to my mother. She has remarried again to a great guy and has been a perfect mother to my sister who is 10 years my junior. The years between 11 and 19 will always be a bane of my existence, and no doubt the cause of my Jekyll and Hyde personality, but it is true, you are always judged by your most recent act, and my mother is a very good and decent person these days. I wish I would have had her as a mother.

High school was very rough for me. I never had the “right” clothes and I was terrible shy and felt beneath all of the other students. On a scale of 1 – 10 on self confidence I was pulling a negative number. I absolutely hated myself. I did the only thing that I could, I laid the seeds of Jekyll and Hyde.

Although somewhat short, I was one of the bigger kids due to my weightlifting, which was a passion even then, so I did not have to worry about being physically bullied. I was tortured mentally by the other students and I had no defenses, I was like a raw nerve and every attack became part of me. I believed every horrible thing that was said to or about me at home and at school. I was a wreck.

I became a shell, an automaton. I decided that the only way to get friends was to become a spectacle. I started hard drinking and drugs and guess what, I was suddenly invited to every function. I take that back, it was not me, it was the spectacle that was invited. “Me” did not exist anymore.

I have no real friends from that time, save for one. The one that saved me from myself. The wonderful woman that is now my wife of 16 years. Faith saw something in that train wreck that was me and tried to salvage what was still human.

After high school I hung around for a year, waiting for Faith to graduate. I then popped the question and joined the Air Force. She said yes and we were set for our first adventure.

We ended up in Colorado as I was stationed at Lowery Air Force Base. Shortly after arriving there war broke out. It was Desert Storm. Things in the military got tense and Jekyll and Hyde first reared it’s head in all of it’s twisted glory.

The Air Force years in Colorado started out wonderful. We were just starting out and were so in love. It was my last year in that things got really bad. The squadron started clamping down on us and I started to take my frustrations out on others. The monster was born.

Everyone at this time was afraid of me. My temper was out of control, and after being a powerlifter for 10 years by this time I was pretty intimidating. You never knew which version of me you were facing, I was barely human. At times I could be the most generous and giving person then at the drop of a hat I would go ballistic at anything and everyone.

The last six months were the worst. That is when I developed a seizure disorder and, well, the story that I am reprinting at the end of this will cover that and my transformation away from being a monster.

Faith and I spent a year in Colorado after I got out of the Air Force, and it was a wonderful time. I had put the monster to rest, little knowing that it was not dead, just dormant. During that year we experienced so much. It was during this time that I applied for a job in Germany and somehow got it. Faith got hired also and we were off for two years of the good life living and working at a ski and golf resort in the Bavarian Alps just 12 miles from Salzburg, Austria. Things were great.

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2 Responses

  1. Hey Eban,

    I feel like I’m in no position to comment because I don’t know that much about you, and I don’t want to tread on what’s clearly a very personal post. But, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you through what I’ve read on your blog and our brief interactions. After all, you were the first person to comment on my blog really, and you gave me alot of the confidence to follow through with my ideas and as a result I’ve found something in my life that is very rewarding :).

    It’s weird that two retarded comments can be so provocative but I totally relate. I got an e-card and an email from old friends and it threw me for a loop about everything. Old s*#t resurfaced and I realized, pridefully, the extent to which I’d grown, but sadly, the extent to which I was still running away from getting close to people. The smallest things can be such revelatory experiences.

    I mean, isn’t that the point of podcasting, to talk???? lol. I thoroughly enjoyed your last offering this morning after a long night’s work… in fact your podcast is becoming a great accessible news resource for me as I otherwise find it difficult to muster interest to plough through sites online at the mo, and I enjoy all the minutia. But, I always get the impression that there is much, much more to come… during your podcasts, when you start to warm up, and riff, your mind is very sharp, and what you say is very smart, and witty. I was thinking today actually that there is a lot more of your personality to come out as you play around and grow into the format.

    I really relate to that search you describe to be centered and have a sense of self as an end unto itself and a means to offset destructive parts of what’s inside us. For as long as I can remember I haven’t had the perpetual motion in life that others seem to ride with such ease. Hence many seriously messed up episodes for me along the way. I’ve long studied the intricases of why I am the way the I am, and tried to come to grips with it as the means to not make the same mistakes and guide myself in the future… to somehow get a handle on the enormity of it all.

    I don’t want to ramble on your blog because it is not my place, but I agree with what you say. Sometimes it’s great to just unleash with enthusiasm, creatively, and find that groove and let it grow. The same is true in life, and yet there always remains so much to wrestle with. It’s such a cliche’ but still true that battles are never won, but constantly fought on a long, long journey… and it’s in those brief moments after accomplishing something, or just suddenly looking at the person you love, and seeing the depth of everything you’ve experienced together, or listening to a song, or anything really… in those moments you realise the worth of it all, even the difficult moments, even the trials and tribulations… because it’s contributed to who you are and what you have earned.

    Anyway, suffice to say, reading about your journey has caused me much reflection on my own :). Would have loved to have read some of those old deleted posts.

  2. Nah bro, you are not in any way treading on my post. I put the post up for several reasons. First to get my thoughts out so I can examine them more objectivly. Second, to let those around me know what was going on during those times and how bad I felt. Third, to let my readers know a bit more about me, warts and all. As the title says, The Real Me. And fourth, Hopefully it was at least in part provacative blogging, starting me back on track.

    It is weird that those two comments started this off. I needed something to set me off and those comments fit the bill. It is funny how things that are needed just seem to appear.

    Keep reading and commenting. We will continue to get to know each other better through our blogs. You are off to a great start on your blogging path. Unlike a lot of others, you do not waste words. I can tell that you mean what you write, which is how it should be.

    I do wish myself that I had kept copies of those posts. Oh well, best not to dwell on it I suppose.

    Have a great Sunday my freind.

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