Nashville Unhidden

I’ve been in Nashville for two years now. Those years were pretty intense and I kept most of that intensity to myself–for various reasons, including protection of my family’s and my privacy. However, two years later, I find myself reflecting on how much that time of struggle has really impacted me as a person. As I am working through that, I am reflecting on the only two times I chose to write “publicly” about what I was going through. The first is a piece I wrote for a street newspaper I volunteer with in my former city of Cincinnati and advertised to absolutely no one. The second is a piece I wrote and hid on a “blog” I hid in the deepest, darkest caverns of the Internet  (Tripod–it still exists!) and made people intentionally find.

I’m ready to unhide these writings from Nashville about my time in Nashville so far. Don’t worry, things have improved significantly for me over these past two years, but those writings don’t exist yet. In the meantime:

“I’m not what you think”

I’m a private person, even –  or maybe especially –  with my family. But I think it’s time for them to accept something about me which they choose to deny.

I guess I can’t blame them too much for denying it. My shield of privacy has kept me from professing this part of me to the world. But there’s no way they don’t know. It’s right before their eyes. With some of them, I’ve even mentioned it, but they’ve quickly dismissed it.

I’ve been involved in advocacy with this issue for quite some time, standing up for others like me who are ridiculed, bullied, judged, condemned and abused for who they are. My family attributes it to my general altruism, which makes it easier for them not to accept the truth –  that while I might be a nice guy, part of the reason I focus in this issue area is because I’m a part of it.

This writing belongs to Article 25. Read the remainder here:

From the “blog.” Don’t worry,  I won’t make you go to Tripod:

“Good, you got of the house,” my brother told me as he came home and found the Target bag containing the dress pants I walked four miles to purchase for my job interview.

He’s been on that theme for a while: getting out of the house. I suppose he’s not the only one… all the ‘experts’ seem to agree that when you are battling unemployment it’s best not to wallow around in your sadness loathing your own existence.

But, that’s not really what I do when I am alone at ‘home’ all day. There’s usually very little wallowing.

I get inspired to apply for jobs online, to update my resume, to write articles, to find coupons for free food, to answer ChaCha questions in hopes of meeting the payment threshold before the end of the year.

But, more importantly than my productivity, I feel safe. See, I’m not sure how long I’ll have the option to stay at home, because I am constantly living with the fear that I might not have that home to stay in for much longer.

My brother’s a good guy, don’t get me wrong. But, he’d probably even admit he’s human. And humans die. Or, if they don’t die, they get pissed or self-righteous or find themselves struggling too much themselves to be able to worry about anyone else–even their own families.

Think I’m wrong? It’s already happened to me twice. The reason I’m with my brother now is because my mom and my dad both exercised their humanity.

If something were to happen with him, I’d find myself in a pickle, as the sugarcoaters say.

Not to mention when I go out of the house, that’s usually what makes me feel sadness and the need to wallow in my misery. I pass by nice places to eat, places to visit, things to buy… aka things I can’t afford to do.

The other night, I left the bar where we he took me to get “out of the house” and wandered around town. I found myself more depressed than I’ve been in a while. It wasn’t from drinking, because I was too poor to buy any drinks anyway; instead it was being in a social atmosphere and knowing how alone I really am.

So, please don’t mind me if I happen to enjoy staying in the house. I’m worried sometimes if I leave, I might not be able to come back. And without others around, it’s hard to feel alone, as odd as that might sound.

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