- Quote :
- That's the core of the Columbine event and the fascination with it for me: adolescence, particularly *boy* adolescence and its awkwardness. People who have long since left high school behind are drug right back into it when they read about Columbine. If that is you LPorter then perhaps you are making the right choice by walking away.
Who else would it be? I don't have multiple-personality disorder.
I was in a really bad mood when I made that post the other day. At the time I was thinking how pathetic it is that a 37-year-old man who should have a wife and a family and a career (and who doesn't) is spending tons of time thinking about the actions of 17-year-old kids who had a lot going for them but who really just pissed it all away in a blaze of bullshit.
Yes, there is no one road to success in life. There are many paths up the mountaintop - many different avenues leading to the ultimate goal of happiness and peace and fulfillment. But the bottom line is that I'm not happy with my life. I haven't been happy with my life since before I startred high school. The unhappiness has only grown over time.
And now I'm less than a month away from my 37th birthday and only three years away from my 40th birthday and I feel like I need to do something soon before I am completely totally royally screwed for life. I'm working on resolving my various issues and getting in shape but I feel like I need to change my mentality somewhat. So even if I don't quit the board completely I feel like I need to start putting all of this adolescent bullshit behind me.
Eric and Dylan were both supremely fucked in the head. Each boy had his own individual issues but the bottom line is that they were both royally screwed up mentally. We can argue as to whether one of them was worse than the other or whether one or both of them could have been saved but ultimately they were both really out of whack.
And there is nothing that can begin to justify their actions. Nothing at all. Yes, the boys were suffering ... but haven't many of us suffered just as badly? I've suffered terrible pain and emotional anguish and loneliness and despair and there have been many times when I've sat up all night long fighting the urge to bolt out the door, walk over to the expressway overpass near my house, and jump over the edge. And I've never come close to killing anyone.
Actually, that's not true - I came close to killing my mother once. Years ago. Not with a gun but with my bare hands. I tried to strangle her. I was tempted to beat her face to a bloody pulp but I settled for dislocating her shoulder.
So I get it.
I think what really revolts me is knowing that I *do* identify with Eric (more so than Dylan). And I know that I *do* have it in me to commit terrible acts of violence. I *don't* want to end up like the boys. I've lived a lot longer than they have but I haven't accomplished much more in life than they did. (I'm not counting NBK as an "accomplishment.")
The only reason I am still alive is that my grandfather was rich. He left us enough money so that I never had to get a real job. Not a fortune but enough to get by for a couple of decades. That money is mostly gone now but we're still coasting on the fumes.
Still, money is not a factor for me. I have all of the material things I really want.
And sex is not really a major factor, either. I'm a virgin but the lack of sex is not what gets to me.
Feeling like a loser is what gets to me. Knowing that I've *failed* in life is what gets to me. And people say "Oh, it's not that important" and "Don't be so hard on yourself" and they have a point, but it's really, really hard for me not to feel like a total failure.
But I know lots of people who are married who do have kids who do have careers who are just as fucked as I am. Sometimes my cousin gets really drunk and calls me and tells me how much she hates her husband. She tells me that getting married was the worst mistake she ever made. She's been married for 13 years and she has two kids but she still obsesses over this guy she dated in 2005.
My parents' marriage was a nightmare. And my mother admitted once that she really didn't want me. She got pregnant when the marriage was already breaking up (due to my father's mental-health issues) and when she found out she considered having an abortion. My grandmother talked her out of it. She wanted a grandson and she told my mother my grandparents would help her out if she had me.
My mother has told me many times that having me was the worst mistake she ever made. And I agree - she should never have had a kid.
And we all know that having to get up before dawn every morning to sit in traffic for an hour or two hours to sit at a desk for eight or nine hours to sit in traffic for another hour or two hours to get home to listen to your wife and kids bitch and moan about everything is a real drag. And that's one of the "better" scenarios. There are lots of people who work their asses off who never get anywhere at all.
So I really don't know if I should feel *that* bad about how my life has turned out. I don't have nearly as much baggage as some people have. But at the same time I really don't like to feel like I've failed. So I'm just screwed up and confused about a lot of things.
I've always been prone to talking way too much about myself, but as I said my feelings about Columbine are so mixed up with my own adolescent issues that I don't know where one ends and the other begins.
At the very least I think I need to take a break from the board for a while.
When I was in high school I was fat and had horrible acne. And after going through a bunch of my old photographs I see that the turning point was eighth grade. I was never skinny as a kid but in eighth grade my weight just really exploded to an alarming degree.
I blame the SSRIs. My poor diet and lack of physical activity didn't help but Jesus Christ I got really fat really fast.
My mother took me to a psychiatrist and told him that I was out of control. She told him that we had terrible arguments almost every day. She was telling the truth about the arguments but she was lying when she said I was the one who started them - I wasn't. She was also lying when she told him that she was I was the only one who was acting crazy - I never shouted at her until long after she started screaming at me. Something would set her off and she would just start screaming at the top of her lungs for hours on end. I could never figure out what the fuck was wrong with her.
I was afraid of that woman. I lived in fear of her all my life until one day I realized that was a lot bigger than her and I didn't have to take it anymore.
At various times I was on Prozac, Risperdal, Luvox, and Zoloft. (My official diagnosis was obsessive-compulsive disorder - just like Eric.)
As soon as I started taking the pills I started gaining weight.
Can you assign a 13-year-old kid *all* of the blame for getting that fat that fast? Thirteen-year-old kids are old enough to make many of their own decisions but don't you have to wonder whether my mother and my grandmother might have been able to do something to help me? So that's another reason I resent them, I guess.
Ultimately it was my responsibility to stay in shape and I didn't. I can add that item to my list of failures, I guess.
April 1996 (fifth grade):[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
December 1997 (seventh grade):[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
January 1998 (the week before the van break-in):[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
February 1999 (a few days before the Rampart Range video was filmed):[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
You will note that I am wearing tons of makeup on my face to hide my acne. My mother forced me to wear that stuff - I didn't want to. She insisted on applying it herself.
People used to tell me that I shouldn't wear the makeup because it made me look like a freak but my mother would tell me that my face was so ugly and horrible that I had to do something. She had horrendous acne as a teenager and in college she underwent a botched chemical peel that left her with bad facial scars. So in a way she was inflicting the traumas of her own adolescence on me.
December 1999 (a few weeks after the Time
cover story on the basement tapes):[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
In that picture I am a freshman in high school. But with that gut and those glasses I could pass for someone in middle age. I wasn't getting shoved into lockers but I felt like the ugliest kid (by far) in the school.
This was taken the day before Halloween during my sophomore year of high school. I am completely unrecognizable from the person I was a couple of years earlier:
October 2000:[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Then my mother took me to a dermatologist who prescribed Accutane. Accutane has fucked up lots of people but it was a Godsend for me.
December 2001:[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
But even after my face cleared up I was still fat.
June 2003 (week before high-school graduation):[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
When I turned 18 (in August 2003) I stopped taking the SSRIs. Almost immediately I started losing weight. I gained it all back (and more) but for a while I was slimming down.
December 2004 (halfway through sophomore year of college):[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
May 2007 (college graduation):[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
April 2009 (the week after Dave Cullen's book came out):[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Since then my weight has gone up and down but I've never really been truly happy with my physical appearance.
I'm still working on it. Maybe one of these days I'll get it right but I have my doubts.
But, yeah, we all have our issues.