Submitted by hooray_for_dead_cops in offmychest

I haven't had an easy life. Rather than explain everything, I'll just give a brief overview of the last 5 years or so, with backstory where applicable. If anyone has a better idea of where to post this, I'm all ears. I've shared some of my experiences on Reddit in the past but right now, Reddit is a little too open for my comfort. Just be warned, this is pretty long and personal.

About 5 years ago, a month before my 28th birthday and after a little over 5 years in the field, I was fired from my job as an EMT and blacklisted, due to drug use. It was the only thing I was ever really any good at and I worked hard to get where I was. I graduated my EMT course top of my class and received a number of CME (continuing medical education) credits throughout my tenure. But then it was gone in an instant and I don't think I've ever really recovered.

That summer was pretty rough. I was having issues with my girlfriend and my dog was diagnosed with canine leukemia. A month later, I watched him die in my bathtub as blood sprayed from every orifice. About 2 weeks later, my paternal grandfather died. After the funeral, my uncle--my father's brother--approached me and gave me a folded piece of paper and told me that it contained the number to the detective currently in charge of the investigation into my father's murder.

"You know your mother killed him, right?" he said.

I had been aware of the suspicions from that side of the family but this was the most direct confrontation as pertains to those suspicions. My father was murdered in his home, in his pajamas, when I was 2 years old. No one had ever been charged and today, the case remains open.

I held onto that piece of paper for 2 weeks. If my mother did have anything to do with it, I wasn't sure that was something I really wanted to know and despite the anger the prospect inspired in me, I wasn't sure I wanted to be the one to put her away. After 2 weeks, I had spoken to most of my friends and colleagues but to no avail. No one had any advice to give and I was no further to figuring out what to do than when I had first received that piece of paper. I was dumb but I had no one else to turn to and I approached my mother. I explained to her that I wasn't asking if she did it and I just wanted her to put herself in my shoes.

"If you had this phone number, what would you do?" I asked.

She blew up.

"You're just gonna create problems for me!" she shouted, and "why can't you just wait until I'm dead?!"

She had been struggling for the past few years with ovarian cancer, so we both knew that her death wasn't too far off the horizon. My mother had a host of mental issues and was always pretty paranoid, so since then, I've still experienced bouts of unsurety, however, at the time, I took her response as an admission of guilt.

I was currently living with my mother while I waited for my girlfriend--whom I'd already been with for a few years by then--to get her shit together and get an apartment with me, a move she had given me a number of excuses for delaying for quite a while at that point.

With my mother's outburst, I threw away the piece of paper and as soon as she went to the bathroom, I went straight to her nightstand and took some of her morphine pills, justifying my theft to myself with the knowledge that she was a murderer and had spent my life lying to me about it. Until that moment, I had been drug-free for a few years due to my job. Within moments, the anger and confusion within me subsided and I could experience some semblance of normalcy. I already knew how the pills would affect me because some years before, just before I began my EMT course and shortly after my mother's initial diagnosis, she had given me a Ziploc bag full of those same morphine pills for my birthday. It was probably one of her better gifts--one year, she gave me $25 of my own money (I had supported her for a number of years, giving her most of my paychecks for food and bills).

I started taking the pills on my days off and never took anything within 24 hours of a shift but one day, I got into a minor accident at work and had to be drug tested. I came up dirty and was swiftly removed from my position. My union reps didn't do a thing for me, my info was sent to the state, and I was told that I'd never work 911 again in the state of New York. I was also told that the medical field was pretty much barred to me. I don't know how true that last bit was but I took it to heart at the time. At the time, I had a slot in a friend's CPR instructor course and already had a slot in another friend's EMT instructor course once that was complete. I had also done about half the curriculum towards getting my paramedic certification. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do beyond all that but I knew I wanted to go further and I knew that it would be in the medical field. All that was down the drain now though.

My addiction picked up immediately and I started taking pills every day. Later on, I started selling drugs to start buying my own pills and avoid suspicion.

Within a week or so of losing my job, I had enrolled back in school. Unable, as per my union reps and hospital directors, to continue in the medical field, I was unsure of what to do. I went for electrical engineering. Having dropped out of high school when I was 16, I had no experience with higher math or physics, but I didn't want to be broke and I wanted to challenge myself. After my experience studying medicine, I was sure I could do it.

The first year went ok. I made dean's list most semesters and, as long as I was staying dosed, I was making it through my classes with little difficulty. But I was still living with my mother and our relationship wasn't an easy one. I was also still having issues with my girlfriend. After a year or so of being an addict, I decided that I needed to quit taking pills. I relapsed pretty quickly though and now I was spending a good while withdrawing and relapsing, withdrawing and relapsing. My classes were getting harder and my grades were suffering and my relationship with my mother was getting worse.

As the summer approached, I quit again and was doing better now at staying sober. My mother and I got into a heated argument a week before her birthday and when I was showering before work, she called the police, telling them that I had a mental history and was acting out--neither of which was true. I met them outside as I was leaving, explained the situation, and they let me leave. I was pretty pissed though that she would do that and on her birthday, I said nothing to her. I felt pretty bad about not wishing her a happy birthday though and the next day, I sat down with her and we had a long talk and we started both working on repairing our relationship.

A month later, my mother went to the bathroom and couldn't get off the toilet. I called an ambulance and she was taken to the hospital. Her cancer had come back in full force and she was given 6 months, tops, to live. I started trying to get her set up for home care as I wanted her to be comfortable in her last days but her condition continued its steady decline and after a month in the hospital, I was told she would not be able to return home and would instead, be going to hospice. On the day that she was to be moved, I had to go to my school and pay for my classes for the upcoming semester. I stayed with her for a while in the morning before her transport and, while confused at times, she chatted with me as she ate her breakfast. That was the last time I would hear her speak.

Once in hospice, she was unable to speak and couldn't even open her eyes most of the time. She lingered in wordless agony for a little over a week before finally passing away. Around that time, I had relapsed and bought some pills. I stayed taking pills for a little over a month before quitting again and I stayed quit for about a year but never really recovered from the physical withdrawals.

I was still in school and my girlfriend had got an apartment and we moved in together. On my next birthday, my friend started selling heroin and, depressed and still feeling some of the physical effects of quitting the year before, I bought a couple stamp bags. I snorted heroin for a few months, telling myself I was just leveling myself out, before my tolerance kicked up and I decided to quit for good. At present, I haven't touched pills or powder in about 2 years, though I've been taking kratom for the past few months.

Shortly after quitting heroin, I was 2 or 3 classes from getting my associate's degree. I had registered for classes and 2 or 3 days before they were to start, I went to my school to pay my bill. I wasn't taking enough credits to get financial aid, as I had received the semester before, and was going to spend the remainder of my savings to pay for those classes. Upon arriving at my school, I saw that my classes had been removed and when I went to inquire why, I was told that I owed ~$2,500 from the semester before. I explained that that was impossible as I had received financial aid for the previous semester but was told that, in fact, I did not. When I explained that was impossible, as I wouldn't have been able to take those classes to begin with if I hadn't received financial aid, the staff at my school had nothing to say. Having recently moved and not being the most responsible person when it comes to paperwork, I had nothing to prove my case. I tried to fight for a little while but eventually gave up. I've been out of school for almost 2 years now and at this point, I owe more than that ~$2,500 as I've defaulted on some student loans I took out when I first began my studies. Since then, I've worked various shit jobs and haven't improved my prospects an iota.

A year and a half or so ago, my best friend checked himself into rehab for his alcoholism. It was his second attempt in less than a year to move past his addiction. The first attempt was disastrous and he was drinking again the day he was released. This second time around though, he was doing great. He moved himself into a sober living house and had gotten himself a job and while it may have been a shit job, he was really working on improving himself and he was doing better than I'd seen him in a decade. His boss was a dickhead and he ended up leaving that job and started doing construction and light electrical work for a fomer marine with some mafia connections who paid him under the table. Having been out of work again for the past couple months, I asked if he could hook me up with something and he did. The pay wasn't terrific but I enjoyed the work--being outside, working with my homeboy, working with my hands, swapping stories with our boss as he'd lived almost as fucked up a life as I did. After a few weeks, however, against everybody's advice, my friend decided to move back to Brooklyn on his own. Within a week of moving, he was drinking again and within another week or two, he was showing up late to work and started sneaking off to get drunk while we were working. I felt like a dick but after a few weeks of trying to talk some sense into him to no avail, I started trying to convince my boss to fire him as he had become a danger to both himself as well as myself and our boss.

One day, a guy I hadn't spoken to in ten years and wasn't particularly fond of called me and told me I had to get to my friend's house.

"I'm not gonna babysit him," I said.

"You don't understand," I was told, "you gotta help me get these drugs out of his house!"

Apparently, my friend had hooked up with a guy in the Russian mafia and got a couple pounds of shrooms on consignment. My friend had gotten his new room through an agency and didn't know any of his roommates beforehand. His supplier came to the apartment that morning and threw 2 pounds of shrooms on the living room floor in plain sight of my friend's roommates and now they were freaking out. My friend was asleep by the time I arrived. I didn't feel like dealing with him so I let him sleep. I could only fit half a pound in my backpack and I did and left. I hadn't sold any illicit substances in a couple years at that point but I still knew people so when I got home, I started making some phonecalls. The next day, my friend shows up at my apartment unannounced with another 3/4 lbs. I went out and got rid of everything within 4 hours. I still can't believe I did that or how easy it was. I probably shouldn't have given all that money to his drunk ass but he still had to pay off his scary Russian contact and so I did.

A week later, he said he was going to unload the rest of what he had and pay off the Russian. We had work the next morning and he asked if I would spot him for an Uber. I wasn't really cool with it but I said ok and put my credit card number into his phone under the promise that he would delete it right after his ride. The next day, he didn't show up to work and didn't call and wasn't responding to my calls. Another day later, I find out that he didn't pay off the Russian and didn't delete my card number and had racked up ~$150 in rides. I cancelled my card and ordered a new one and after a few days of no call/no show, my boss was able to get in contact with my friend. He was drunk at the time and cursed out my boss and my boss told him he was finally firing him. I had spent years putting up with his drunken bullshit but enough was enough and I cut contact with my friend. Currently, we haven't spoken in about a year and a half.

I continued working with my boss for a while after that but at one point, he wanted me to do something for him, unrelated to our work. It wasn't exactly on the up-and-up and I was uncomfortable doing it and told him as much but he kept pushing. Eventually, I told him flat out that I wasn't going to do it and he stopped giving me work, stopped returning my calls, ghosted me, and I was out of a job again.

[continued in comments]



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hooray_for_dead_cops OP wrote

[first continuation]

I had read around that time that the Air Force had upped its cutoff age to 39 and I saw an opportunity. I stopped smoking weed, started running and working out, and started studying for the ASVAB. After a couple months, I went to a recruiter and was told that I was automatically disqualified due to my history of having lost my job as an EMT for drug use. He told me the Army was more lenient so why not try them? After some time, I went to speak with an Army recruiter. I went a little further with them but was told that I would have jump some hurdles to be accepted and even if I would be allowed to enlist, I would not be able to work as a medic--which is all I wanted to do with the military--or most other jobs, as they required clearance which I would not be able to get with my history. Dejected, I gave up.

A few months ago, I get a call from another Army recruiter. Apparently, I had gotten a perfect score on the practice ASVAB I had been given by the previous Army recruiter and now they wanted me. He told me maybe he could help me out and maybe medic wasn't completely out of the question. I didn't fully believe him but I agreed to meet with him in person and talk about things. At this point though, my apprehension at contributing to an imperialist war machine had increased and that, coupled with my skepticism at the recruiter's promises, led me to cease my pursuit of a stint with the US military. Since then though, I've just been kinda lost.

I started smoking weed again and dropped out of society for a while. A little over a month ago, I started working as a dog-walker for the bourgeoisie in an effort to re-acclimate myself to society. The work is easy and I like being around the dogs but the pay is shit and I get really uncomfortable going into these rich neighborhoods and homes. A week ago, I was hit by a car and while I didn't suffer any serious injuries, I messed up my foot a little bit. I told them I needed a few days but they took me off the schedule for almost 2 weeks. So now I'm not working for the next week and a half and it's given me some time to realize that this really isn't helping with anything and this isn't the life I want to be living.

To make matters worse, here's something else. A couple years ago, my girlfriend was part of a small team at work. Her team was mostly male and she was close with them all. I've had a lot of female friends and I've never been especially jealous so it never really bothered me that most of my girlfriend's friends were male. One of my girlfriend's coworkers, however (let's call him M.), left her team and went down to store-level. Not working together anymore, they didn't really see each other but they kept in touch via text and Facebook. One day, she comes home and tells me that M. has been going around telling people that they had sex together. At the time, it didn't even occur to me that maybe they did sleep together because I don't even know this guy. How would I have found out if she hadn't been the one to bring it up? I told her that I hoped she wouldn't be speaking to him anymore and she said of course not. A few weeks later though, she was talking about "M. this" and "M. that."

"I thought you said you weren't going to talk to him anymore," I said, but she told me he had apologized and they reconciled and now they were friends again.

I told her that I didn't care if he apologized, that I was uncomfortable that she was talking to him again and I didn't want her to continue to be friends with him. She brushed off my discomfort for a while before finally agreeing to break it off for good.

My girlfriend has always been secretive about her phone, which is kinda shady, but people have their boundaries and I've always tried to be respectful of her's. A few months ago, around the start of this past summer, the sun was setting and the sky was a real pretty color. I said I was gonna go outside and take a picture and she asked if I would take a picture with her phone. I said ok and went outside. When I took the picture with her phone, a text message pops up. It's from M. and it says "how long do I have you until tomorrow?" She had told me that she was meeting her mother in the city the next day for lunch but now I knew that was a lie.

I've never peeked through my girlfriend's phone before but when I saw that text message, I did. I don't know much about iPhones as I have a Droid but she wasn't using the main text messaging app to message him, but she had conversations with other people using that app as well so I don't know if that alone should be very concerning. There were no sexual or romantic messages--mostly just talking about work, family, general life stuff--but she had been talking to him often--sometimes consecutive days at a time--going back at least 6 months. It was probably longer but 6 months was all I scrolled back to. I didn't say anything.


hooray_for_dead_cops OP wrote

[second continuation]

The next day, my girlfriend stayed home, saying that her mother cancelled on her, but I knew it was M. that cancelled. The next weekend, she said she was going to her parents' house and I peeked through her phone again. She had plans to see M.

It's been almost half a year at this point and I haven't peeked through her phone since but I also still haven't said anything. I stopped having sex with her and while we still spend time together, as we live together, I know she's started to pick up on how distant I've become. Every time I want to say something, I chicken out at the last minute. I know I don't love her anymore and I don't want to be in this relationship anymore but if we break up, I have nowhere to go. I've given her most of my savings and whatever money I've been picking up here and there these past couple years for rent, bills, and food, and now I'm broke. I don't have enough money to get a new place or even a room and I don't make enough to save up anything and I don't really have any family to turn to.

Out of depression, I've ghosted most of my friends while others have drifted away and she's really all I have left at this point and even though I can't even talk to her about a lot of things, I'm so terrified of being alone. I already feel alone but I don't want to be actually alone. My uncle (my mother's brother) lives in North Carolina and has vaguely hinted that I could stay with him for a while but I know he doesn't want to support me and I don't want to be a burden on anybody. I don't even have a driver's license anymore. Also, I don't feel entirely comfortable about him. A little over a year ago, I brought up my father's murder and he tried to tell me that my father wasn't murdered, that he was an epileptic (which is true) and "probably choked on a potato chip while he was watching TV" and since then, I've been kinda suspicious about what he knows about my father's death and to what extent he may have been involved.

A few months ago, I reached out to somebody with a subscription to on a forum on a site I'm a member of and asked if they could send me some articles about my father's murder. A day or two later, I got an email with about 50 pdfs of local newspaper articles from 30 years ago about my father's murder. Even now, phrases like "his body was found badly beaten" and "strangled" are like barbs in my chest. From what I already knew and from what I read in those articles, it seems like my mother was involved, but I still don't know. There's somebody else, whom my mother named to me as a possible suspect, and while the articles I read make my mother's involvement seem even more likely, the mentions of that man in those articles raise suspicions about his involvement as well. To my knowledge, he is still alive, but he has a good amount of political power and if he was, in fact, involved, there's nothing I could ever bring to the table and, even if I could, I don't see him ever being charged, let alone convicted. I had hoped reading those articles would help clear some things up but they raise even more questions that I'll never have answers to and the pain, confusion, and helplessness is as bad now as it ever was.

All I've ever wanted was to be self-sufficient and work in a field that benefits a community rather than filling some corporate coffers but now, my name has been tarnished, I have no degree, I can't go back to school until I pay off my debts, and I have no prospects. I feel like I've lost some of the aspects I once admired about myself and I feel like I've started giving up. I don't think I'd try to kill myself because death scares me more than anything but still, every day, I want to die. I really don't know what to do.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that I've struggled with gender dysphoria as long as I can remember. My mother caught me playing dress-up in her clothes when I was 4 or 5 and beat the shit out of me as she forced me to strip. Since then, I've tried my damnedest to deny that part of myself but it's never gone away and I know that it never will. A couple years ago, a few months after my mother died, I finally started coming to terms with that part of myself and I came clean to my girlfriend and a number of my friends. My girlfriend didn't react exceptionally badly but it wasn't exactly a positive reaction either.

I saw a gender therapist for a while, in an effort towards self-acceptance moreso than an immediate medical transition, and I also started going to a couple support groups. Neither of those things was entirely helpful though and after a few months, I stopped going. I didn't think transitioning would be entirely fair to my girlfriend, after years of being together. The medical options for people with gender dysphoria don't exactly live up to my expectations either. Also, having been raised by an unfit mother with mental issues and having never really known my father, the urge to have biological children of my own has been a very real desire. Now though, I'm 32 and my current partner is not really someone I'd want to have children with anymore and I don't really feel like getting to know someone else just to fulfill that desire and going the trans route seems like more of a possibility. Merely living in defiance of gender norms is not an option I'd be willing to explore, however. Still, the prospect of transition is as frightening now as it was a couple years ago and while there are periods where I feel almost certain that that is the path I want to take, I'm still unsure whether that's something I would really want to go through with. Either way, it's not even something I can really consider until I figure out how to get my life back in some kinda order.

Lastly, while this is not as major as everything else mentioned herein, it's still been causing me distress. After my whole ordeal with the military, I started smoking weed again. I think I may have developed an allergy though and so after a few short months of being a pothead again, I had to quit yet again a few weeks back. I don't drink alcohol and I'm not trying to go back to pills or dope and, while kratom can be somewhat helpful at times, being sober all the time is kind of a bummer and not being able to escape from all these thoughts and emotions can be kinda overwhelming.

I'm utterly lost and I have no idea what I'm going to do about anything.

Someone, please help.


An_Old_Big_Tree wrote

That sounds fucking brutal.

I'm not sure I can help with anything but I'll try to offer a few points. There are two main ones that are important for me.

The first is that, I don't live in too different a situation from you in some important ways, though you're further down the line in your alienation from the world as a result of all this. A lot of what you said resonated with me, around being alone and feeling your situation get progressively worse and not wanting to be alive but not really having death as an option.

One thing really comes through from what you've said. Even though you feel like your options are getting fewer and you're feeling less able to make them work for you, it's clear that (and this is my second point) you're incredibly resilient. You've tried to move to do new things, meaningful things, often, whenever life's thrown you a beating.

You've got a lot going on and it's probably impossible to keep juggling all those balls. I get that. If you're like me, your dysphoria is probably weightier on you than you let yourself feel. I think it's ok not to feel that stuff too much, since the world is trying to kill us. It's probably just luck that might help us, and we don't seem to have much luck. I don't know.

If I have any suggestion, it'd be to try to find a job out of town and get a fresh start. You seem like you're smart and that people would like to have you working for them. Your thing with your girlfriend seems a clear dead end, and it's probably draining a lot of your energy to stick around there, as scary as it seems to leave. Pay a little rent and work on paying off your loans? Being alone sucks but I think just from how you speak here that you're a pleasant person and that you'll find warmth in the smiles of the people you find yourself around. You should know that there are cool people out there for you, they're looking for you like you're looking for them, and maybe then you won't feel so alone.

Good luck.


hooray_for_dead_cops OP wrote (edited )

Hey thanks for responding. Obviously I probably won't be able to offer much helpful advice as per your situation but if you feel like sharing, I'm up for listening (or reading I guess).

I used to feel like I was oh so resilient but these days, I dunno. I feel like most of the time, I've just kinda scraped by. Like life throws me all these curve balls or whatever and I just roll with the punches. I feel like as shitty as my life has been, I've just been kinda lucky throughout. Shit could have been a lot worse and while I've made some positive moves with the right timing, sometimes shit just fell into place I guess. Depending on the time of day, maybe I'll feel like I'm not giving myself enough credit or maybe I'll feel like I'm giving myself too much, you know?

About finding a job out of town, I don't know if I can do that. Probably a mental hurdle. I hate living in NYC and I've wanted to leave for a long time but thinking about leaving kinda fills me with dread a little. Like leaving would have its benefits--slower pace of living, liberal corporate America might not be so in my face all the damn time (though maybe it would be cause it's not like there aren't a million fucking billboards cluttering up all the streets and highways all across this shitty country and it isn't like human resource manager [the scum of the earth] isn't a job title outside of NYC), more nature, less concrete and steel, cheaper cost of living, people could be a little nicer/more cordial, etc. But at the same time, I'd lose all the conveniences I've come to take for granted living here, I'd have to get a driver's license again (and I hate driving), and even though I've kinda fallen off the map, if I ever get the courage to start getting back into the world, pretty much everybody I know is here or nearby.

Like I said previously, my uncle's been pressing me to move out to NC where he lives but I'm not trying to be dependent on him, even short term, and the whole thing with what he said about my dad last year just really unsettles me. If I could work shit out with my girlfriend, moving wouldn't be such a scary prospect, but thinking about leaving alone is just kinda frightening. And then there's the question of how I'll afford it, cause I'm just about running on empty right now. I still pay for food a lot but my girlfriend's been covering all other expenses pretty much for the past couple months and pretty soon, unless I could land a better job, she'll be covering food too. And probably my cigarettes too, which makes me feel real shitty. At least I know where to get em on the cheap though.

I've tried quitting a bunch of times in the past couple years but I keep coming back. Quitting cigarettes is mad harder than quitting dope. And right now, with all the stress and everything and the fact that I don't even get high anymore, I don't even wanna think about trying to quit smoking again.

I've given my girlfriend so much money in the past 2 years alone, part of me feels like she owes it to me to carry the load for a while but then there's the part of me that feels like a heel, like an entitled asshole. And I mean, she makes money, but she's not as well off as she was a year ago and that makes me feel kinda guilty. But then at the same time, I've given here a lot of money and though I can't prove it, I feel like a few of those times that she needed it was predicated on a lie. That's a whole nother can of worms though. But it still boils back down to the fact that I don't feel I can trust her. Either way though, she's had my back in the past so in the end, I guess it all kinda evens out more or less. I just feel really conflicted now that I'm starting to have to rely on her. And if I leave, then I'm just assed out. And I mean, we've been together 10 years so the thought of leaving, even considering everything, is just so daunting. And she used to have a real bad attitude--like somebody pissed her off 10 hours ago and now she's taking it out on me--but in the past year, she's lightened up a lot and that just makes it even harder to leave. I mean, she used to be such a bummer to be around and now, if I can forget all the bullshit long enough, she's kinda pleasant most of the time. I know I probably should dip but I dunno man. These days, everything just scares the crap out of me.

I really feel like these last few years have broken me down a lot and a lot of the strengths I once had have kind of evaporated. Like I've seen an experienced a lot of fucked up shit and it all just kinda rolled off my shoulder. Since being shit-canned 5 years ago, and especially since my mom died, I think about some things and I dunno, it feels more traumatic than it did at the time.

When I was 19 or 20, I watched 2 acquaintances stab the shit out of somebody in the street and then we went to Popeye's like it was nothing. I always knew that was fucked up, even when it happened. Don't think I was just like cool with what they did or anything. But like, for a year after my mom died, I started having flashbacks of a lot of shit and that popped up quite a few times and it would fill me with panic even though it was so long ago. And I mean I guess it should but now it's like, all these things happened throughout my life and I dunno if I boxed them up or what but now that I'm breaking down, just everything is coming out and that makes everything even more overwhelming, you know? I mean it's not so bad as it was 2 years ago, but still, things happen and it's not so easy to just let it roll off my shoulders anymore.

I tried therapy 2 years or so ago. General therapy. That didn't help though. Before the gender therapist and a few months before I started snorting heroin. Didn't really work out though. I had one therapist for one or two sessions and then I had a few with another one and I just felt like she didn't really listen to a word I said. I told her from the jump that I was still recovering from a pill addiction and I just wanted someone to talk shit out with and didn't wanna be put on medication but every session, she's like "well you need to stop smoking weed so I can put you on medication." Not too many options for help when all you got is Medicaid though so I just stopped going after a while.

That whole stabbing thing I mentioned, I mentioned that to the therapist and I also brought it up to the gender therapist and I've mentioned it to people here and there and their reactions just make me so fucking mad. It's not my fucking fault that I was forced into this violent fucking world and I'm hurting inside and I just want a shoulder to cry on and people think I'm making shit up or bragging or something. I've personally witnessed countless acts of excessive force by police or abuse of power committed by police, both as a civilian and as an EMT, and people think I'm just making shit up. The (unarmed) brother of a good friend of mine was murdered by police in front of his grandmother's house when I was 15 or 16 but sure, I'm just making that up.

I had this username on Reddit and got banned for "inciting/encouraging violence" and that's whatever but I got a lot of PMs from people telling me to kill myself or that I was scum or whatever and I even got the rare PM from someone admiring the name, but you know what? Not once did anyone ever ask me about my experiences with the police that made me feel the need to create this username. And I mean, it wasn't even my experiences with the police that made me create this name. I saw an upvoted comment on an article about, I think, Walter Scott, that said "hooray for dead thugs" so this name was mostly reactionary. But nobody ever bothered to ask. And on the rare occasion that I offered up a small bit of my experiences, oh, I'm making it up.

I got into an argument with my grandmother a year or so ago when I said something about the police that wasn't exactly praising them. She got mad and I just went off and told her about a bunch of personal experiences, just as an EMT, not even counting the shit I've experienced as a civilian. My old partner and I tried to take a stand against the cops after one particular incident and nothing got done and we became targets whenever we had a job in that precinct. But oh, I'm making it up. And I mean, yeah, sure, that's grandmom-moms. She's old and set in her ways. But nah man, that's fucking everybody. Everybody's willfully blind and they just wanna live in their fucking bubbles and they don't wanna hear about any of the horrid shit other people have had to deal with if it conflicts with their insulated, backward world view.

I'm sorry man. I'm going off on a tangent. I just got a lot of shit to unload. Just so much of this shitty world makes me so fucking mad and I feel so goddamn helpless against all of it.

I've been studying programming recently and hopefully something can come out of that. I have an idea for a project I want to undertake in the hopes that it might help some folks out so hopefully I can get there at some point but programming can be kind of intimidating at times. I have a basic understanding of a bunch of languages--took a C++ class in college, learned the basics of a handful of other languages on my own--nothing I can put to practical use at the moment though. Right now, I guess I'm intermediate level with JavaScript, which is what I've been focusing on recently. Hopefully soon enough I could get to work on my project and maybe at some point, I'll be at a level where maybe I could make some money with the knowledge I have. I don't really see myself making money with the project I have in mind though and I don't even know how helpful it would even really be but I'll give it a shot.

Again, thanks for replying and sorry for bumming you out with all this shit. Like I said, if you want someone to unload your frustrations on, I'm all ears.


An_Old_Big_Tree wrote

Hey, sorry I haven't managed to reply again here. I haven't forgotten about you or ignored it, I just have a bit too much on my plate at the moment and it takes a lot of emotional energy for me to respond to this. If I get a chance, I will read it again and respond. Good luck over there. As tough as things are there, I think you're doing less bad than you think sometimes.


PerfectSociety wrote

Hi there, I just wanted to check in and see how you are doing now. It's been some months since you posted this - how are you?


hooray_for_dead_cops OP wrote


Hey thanks for checking in! Sorry for replying 2 months late. I haven't been back here in a minute but it was touching to log back in and see your message. Some things are still fucked up, some things not so much.

I've been working at an animal shelter for the past 7 months. The pay is shit and the labor can be pretty physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding but all in all, I do like my job. I like most of the people I work with, I like my bosses, I like working with animals, etc. So even though I'm living paycheck to paycheck, at least I don't dread going in to work every day.

I also started studying JavaScript about 5 months ago. It's a lot slower-going than I anticipated but it's going. It's frustrating because I've been at it so long and I still don't really know shit. It's like a second job. I usually spend at least 4-5 hours a day studying. I got through FreeCodeCamp's Javascript Algorithms And Data Structures Certification and currently I'm doing the Front End Libraries cert and the Responsive Web Design cert at the same time. Been using some other resources as well. I just started my first project a couple days ago--something to help my boss better keep track of inventory--but that also is slower going than I had hoped.

I might actually be going for an IT position within the company I work for. We use a third party website to keep track of animals, their locations, and any updates/notes regarding their status. I'm pretty much the only person on my crew who knows how to use a computer so I'm usually the one to update room and cage numbers for my shift, generate and print reports, etc. Simple stuff. But at a meeting a couple weeks ago, my crew was telling our boss I'm their "computer whiz" and my boss said since I could navigate the website we use pretty easily, there might be a position in the IT department for me so I asked him about it 2 days ago. Was supposed to talk to somebody yesterday but apparently he was off. I'm taking a short vacation this week but my boss said when I get back, he'll set me up with a meeting. My boss don't know anything about computers either so maybe the position entails more than just navigating a website but we'll see. Might be a good opportunity. I don't even know how much more the position would pay but it's worth checking out.

I'm still with the same girl but I've been realizing more and more that I don't love her anymore. I love her as a friend but I don't love her in a romantic way. We've known each other over 10 years and I don't want her out of my life. I want her to be happy but it's become pretty clear that I'm not the one to make her happy.

I'm not even really all that physically attracted to her anymore. I haven't fucked her in months. And I know she wants it. We still cuddle and shit when we watch TV or whatever and sometimes she'll just go and grab my dick and it's like, how the fuck is that supposed to turn me on? Just reach down and grab my dick. I've told her over the years what I like, what feels good, what doesn't, and she never listens. It's not just about sex. That's always been a problem. She never listens. She says she wants better communication when I communicate with her constantly but then she never listens and trying to get her to say what she really feels is like pulling teeth.

There's also the fact that I still don't trust her and probably never will. Friends? Okay, we're cool. I do me, she does her. But the lack of trust I have in her does not make for a sustainable relationship.

At this point, I probably have 2 main reasons for still being too chickenshit to bite the bullet and end this: I don't want to hurt her and financial reasons. We're financially tied (me to her moreso than vice versa) and if we split up and I couldn't stay here anymore, she could go back to her parents' house but I don't have any family I could turn to so tf am I gonna do?

For a while this past year, I really thought we could get back to where we once were and I think that desire came from the same place I described when I posted here last year: fear of being alone. But at this point, I'm not happy and I know she can't be all that happy given that I stopped fucking her and I don't dote on her anymore. She still loves me though and that makes it hard and she's gonna be 35 next month and the thought of leaving her after so long with her biological clock ticking away when I know she would want a kid (so do I--just not with her anymore), it all makes me feel guilty about wanting to leave her. I've put up with a lot with her, but she's put up with a lot with me, and that makes me feel guilty too. To throw away a decade and all that effort, I dunno, it's shitty. There's something else making me feel guilty too but I think it's also given me a push toward actually making the move.

I started catching feelings for a girl at work. I'm like, obsessed with her. I think about her constantly. I can't remember the last time I felt this way about a girl. She gives me butterflies and I never even really got that from my current girlfriend. I just kinda figured when we got together, "I'm an adult now, I guess I don't get butterflies anymore."

So this girl--let's call her J--I stare at her all day and I'm trying to build up the confidence to talk to her.


hooray_for_dead_cops OP wrote


Just kidding.

She started working the front desk like 3 or 4 months ago. She's dumb pretty and seemed like a nice, pleasant girl, but I didn't really pay her much mind for the first couple weeks except as it pertained to work. Then I found out my favorite dog was her favorite dog. I frequently take dogs out to the yard on my break (which I take when she clocks out to go home) and I told her as much and she said she'd come hang out with us before going home. She stayed for the whole hour and we talked a lot during that hour. She came out with me with that dog a few times after that and eventually, she (the dog) got placed with a rescue. Within a day or two, I had a new favorite and I told J about him and now he was her favorite too and again, she's coming out to the yard with us on my break. He got adopted a few weeks ago and we're on our third favorite now.

I do stare at her sometimes. I catch her looking at me too sometimes too. Like, looking like that. A few people I work with have told me they think she likes me.

Our second favorite dog got picked up by his adopter a few hours before I start my shift so I wasn't there for it (though I took him to the yard and said my goodbyes the night before) but a couple people took videos. The whole staff came to the front and he was running around licking everybody and getting pats and everybody was clapping. It was really sweet. He was in the shelter a long time so we were all happy to see him go.

I asked J to send me the 2 videos she had and she did and then I had her phone number. At the time, I was still kinda trying to resist what I was starting to feel for her and also just didn't wanna seem like a creep so I didn't text her but like a week or so later, I was telling her about that Amazon show, Forever and she said she wanted to watch it (it's really good btw, if you haven't seen it). A couple days later, she tells me she can't find it on any of the streaming services she uses but I'm a pirate (ARR!!) so I told her I'd upload the series to Mega for her. She told me to text her when I sent it and said "I stay up pretty late." I ended up not getting home until like 3am cause some girl got hit by a train so they held up my train for like an hour and then suspended service before it even got to my stop so I walked the rest of the way. I still uploaded the show and texted her. She was asleep by then but she texted me in the morning when she was getting ready for work and we texted a couple times back and forth. We were both pretty busy that day at work so we didn't get much time to talk or hang out but after she left, we started texting again. Mostly just about work and animals and stuff but we were texting until like 2am. I know that sounds silly but I get so giddy when I see her name next to a text message. That's basically where we've been at the past week. I'm not going to cheat on my girlfriend but I wanna be with this girl so bad.

J is the kind of girl anybody could fall in love with. She's really upbeat and smiles all the time but she looks genuinely happy when she sees me. The other day, I go to clock in and I'm like "what up J" and she goes "oh! I'm always happy when I see you because I know my shift is half over!" and this other girl who works the front desk goes "I think you're just happy to see him" and she blushed. She could put you in a good mood even when she's having a bad day. When she's mad or frustrated, she smiles even bigger than she does normally and she grunts and growls and curses through the smile and it makes me melt. Everything she does makes me melt.

It's nice to feel this way after so long and it's a real nice feeling when someone you're crushing on is crushing on you but the guilt when my girlfriend comes home from work and says "I love you" and I go "yeah, you too," not so much. I know it's not fair to her to keep on going with a relationship I don't want to be in and I know I need to talk to her but I can't seem to stop making excuses--the financial ties, the amount of time we've been together, her age and the fact that we both desire to be parents one day, the fact that her birthday is only a month away, etc. I don't want to hurt her and that becomes another excuse but how can I do this and not hurt her? Even if I don't end up with J though, just the fact that I can feel this way about another girl tells me that I need to have that talk with my girlfriend. We're going up to the woods for a few days this week and some people have told me to "have the talk in nature" but I dunno if I'mma do that. She might drive off and leave me in the middle of the woods lol. I know it should be sooner than later though.

I don't think she'd do anything intentionally spiteful. In the past, she's said we could still live together if we broke up. That could be awkward but it already feels like we're just roommates. Aside from not fucking, we rarely even sleep in the same bed anymore. She's usually in the living room and I'm usually in the bedroom (to be fair, the sofa bed in the living room is more comfortable than the bed in the bedroom so I think she got the better end of the stick with that one). But hey, we'll see if she actually sticks to that. I wouldn't completely fault her if she didn't. That'd be a tough situation. So maybe I gotta get some options before I make that move. I got like one friend left in this city so I was probably gonna ask her tomorrow if she has any friends looking for roommates cause I'd rather live with a friend of a friend than a complete stranger. She's one of my best friends--we've been friends damn near 20 years--and she knows a lot of people so hopefully she can come through for me. If not, I guess I better figure something out.

Anyway, that's basically what I got going on. I'm still struggling through life, still stressed, but I'm also excited and hopeful about my future and I'm definitely in a better place than I was when I initially started this thread.