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About ZenPaladin

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    California, USA
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    Eastern spirituality, martial arts, reading, comics, movies, anime, history
  • More About Me
    Aspie(on the spectrum), a nerd and proud of it

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Agnostic/Zen Buddhist

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  1. Hey guys. So if you have seen my posts my estranged dad has been fighting COVID for around the past month or so. He started off conscious and talking but then he had to be intubated. We visited him and saw him hooked up to machines that allowed him to breath or filter his kidneys. As for my family situation, my parents had a very dysfunctional marriage all me and my sister's life, fought and argued a lot and my dad while not always terrible(took us to movies, out to eat, etc) still wasn't the best coparent with my mom, had financial issues and was aggressive towards me and called me names, disowned me on a few occasions and barely a couple years ago when my sister attempted to overdose(she survived) he threatened to kill me just because I told him and my mom to stop arguing when we were in the emergency department. He didnt have the best upbringing coming up in the inner city and the mood swings seem tied to some untreated mental illness(seems my sister got that while I am autistic) but it isn't an excuse. I don't hate him, but for the longest while our interactions didnt extend beyond the occasional 2 mins or less phone call and the obligatory hugs when he came by(they finally divorced when I was 16). And he had expressed before regret for the things he did and how he treated us but his shifty behavior persisted. So within the 4+ weeks of this was the drama that ensued due to his GF having power of attorney(turned out to be a lie and manipulation on her part) and funny business from some of my dad's relatives, and my sister having another meltdown breaking pictures and glass all over downstairs. And after I went back to my new city(was finally moving out and trying to get an EMT job), my mom had told me my dad's condition had improved a bit(very gradually becoming less reliant on the ventilator) but awhile ago I was at a DOT facility getting my physical as I had been offered the EMT job to start June 7th but had a couple more steps to go. But in the waiting room I stepped outside when my mom called, and she was near inconsolable when she told me my dad had passed away an hour before. I know the movies and TV would have you think I would break down into a blubbering mess, screaming and crying. But no. I haven't really shed a tear. But I am not happy about him being gone. But before he got sick I was wrestling with the fact that I wasn't invested in having a relationship with him. I didnt want things to be this way at all but like I said its not like he hasn't said he would change before only to not do so. But now, I feel shame that part of me feels relief for feeling fate made my decision for me. And being an ex-Christian, this is among the first if personal losses that I will have to deal with without the security blanket of an afterlife and such. Maybe there is, but I am not hedging my bets even then since there is no guarantee of what that would even be. But yeah. My dad is gone. I did visit him on my way back and said I forgave him and loved him. Maybe it as semi true, that I could do it one day. Really I feel confused right now and just, another reminder that I am not a kid anymore, and everything will never be the same again...
  2. TL;DR at bottom, but full read recommended. Hello, my fellow heathens. So, if you haven't read my previous posts, my estranged father has COVID-19, and had progressed to the point of intubation over the course of 2-3 weeks. My family has a LONG history of dysfunction including parents fighting and arguing, sister's suicide attempts and running away, dad financially unhelpful and emotionally abusive(sometimes physically to my mom and me. 3 weeks ago I had left the house after another spat with my emotionally volatile sister, and drove over 3 hours to the city I was planning on moving too. I created an alternate email to send my mom a letter explaining why, and she seemed understanding of my need for space from all the fighting bullshit, at least just wanting to have some means to reach me in case of an emergency(changed my number) but we did still not see eye to eye on my reluctance to forgive my dad. I stayed in that city for a nearly two weeks getting used to the area such(stayed in hotel) and submitting my proper documents to the county office for my EMT license. But then I went back to see my dad when his condition declined and he went unconscious and was intubated. Another thing, more drama ensued since my dad's GF started acting funny with saying my mom couldn't come in the room to see my dad(keep in mind when my sister tried to overdose almost two years ago, my dad's GF was welcomed in the room). In addition to that some fuckery from my estranged adult half sister on my dad's side and a couple of my dad's relatives and yeah. Since then I stayed back at home waiting to hear back from the ambulance company I applied to. However, last night, is where shit all fell apart... So last night, my mom and sister had gone to see my dad but I stayed and was chilling in the loft. They get home, sister badgers me about kisses and hugs. Now during our argument just before I left she called me ''rapist'' because a former ''friend'' from my early teens molested her behind our backs(i.e. I did not know until she told us), so during the argument(which was about forgiving my dad) she then said she wouldn't forgive me for letting it happen and so said I was her rapist by enabling. But it also can be a bit irritating with her persistence for attention at certain times(occasionally I return the favor) but what really set things off was suddenly I heard my mom and sister screaming at each other(sister was pouring some pasta down the drain that we just had unclogged) and it ignites a powder keg and then my sister threw some sauce jar on the kitchen floor, before then taking pictures from the upstairs banisters and throwing them downstairs, including a custom Disney Castle frame from my 5th birthday trip that my mom kept all these years along with our high school diplomas,etc. My sister then takes my mom's car and drives off, and my mom starts crying due to the momentos destroyed and not being able to take my sister acting out any more, not feeling loved by us(me and her don't get along too much, I tend to have this instinctive negative feeling to her, but my dad was by the most unhelpful when our mom was the breadwinner). She started considering putting my sister in a group home or something(she will be 18 in September) and my sister clearly needs some kind of help and she can't stay here anymore and sees why I want to leave. Later on, while I was tidying up the downstairs which was pretty much entirely blanketed with glass shards/fragments(kept the cat outside), when in the garage I hear my mom start whailing. Our estranged half sister(on my dad's side, never met her) had called my mom to say that the hospital said we should come say goodbye to my dad since his state is declining. Cue my mom being inconsolable, crying, won't sit down and me the now licensed EMT trying to do damage control and not tell my sister until she is with us since it may have pushed her over the edge. I leave for 10 minutes to put gas in my car down the street but my sister is back and we drive in our mom's car that my sister uses ~40 minutes to the county hospital my dad is at. A relative from his side is there along with her BF, and she and my mom almost get into it with the relative giving my mom attitude(part of the previous drama) and I put my hand on her shoulder to get between them sensing a confrontation only for her BF to get in front of me and tell me to speak and not put my hands on her. They leave and we are allowed to go in two at a time to talk to my dad. Let me tell y'all, even with our strained relationship seeing my dad hooked up with machines just to take futile breaths not pretty. Mechanical breathing sounds cool when you think of Darth Vader and other fictional characters on life support, but the real thing is not fucking cool. I told him I loved him, and forgave him. The love part wasn't a lie, but I feel mixed on the forgiveness. I am not saying I would have never forgiven him but felt I never had the time or distance, or life experience to truly think on it. The last time I had actually spoken to him on the phone, he had that sense of not knowing why I wasn't warm and fuzzy with him. But still, it was haunting nonetheless. We went home after awhile. I got maybe 4 hours of sleep, operating on Mountain Dew, some junk food and a Jamba smoothie. Mom and sister just had another little spat, and I spent over 2 hours cleaning the downstairs, and still finding little micro chunks of glass, so will have to wear flip flops and vacuum again later. If you are wondering how I am feeling, well I actually haven't shed a tear let alone bawl my eyes out. Not saying I won't since I had a delayed crying response upon finding out my former friend did things to my sister, but honestly I feel used to this shit by now. I went to get my second COVID vaccine shot today, and ran into my EMS class teacher who works as an EMS director. I confided in him about it, and he said that I had to stay on course, and had to do so since I couldn't help anyone else if I didn't have my self together and didn't need this negativity. I told him I wasn't looking to cut ties completely, and he agreed and doesn't think on e ever should(didn't ask him to clarify so don't read too much into it) but I am glad he understood where I was coming from. I didn't enjoy my childhood as much as I would have liked with being autistic and the family BS. But now I really am trying to get on track with my life. Start my online classes and EMT job, roommates and then an apartment, get back to martial arts, and for my desired career in law enforcement(fish and wildlife, looking to start application process next year) I definitely don't want to have anything on my record by trying to control my sister during her moods, and frankly I wonder how she is gonna manage relationships or roommates if she gets like this. But, this is just another installment in the story of my life. DEFCON 1 since before midnight... TL;DR Dad is dying from COVID, sister has lost her damn mind with cursing and breaking shit, mom is at her wits end and giving up hope, house looked like a fucking warzone again and my family seems irreparably fucked up and seeking greener pastures is LONG overdue EDIT: To be clear I do absolutely intend to put distance between my family and me and go low to no contact for awhile. This especially applies to my father, but my feelings about him are still somewhat uncertain so I at least wanted to do goodbyes, and money Money was also getting tight and didn't want to wear my car down too much doing Doordash as it has alot of miles as is. I am physically unharmed as well.
  3. So, I am still out of town trying to get started on my own. Needed space from family drama and to finally get the ball rolling in life professionally and careerwise. Turns out my dad's condition is becoming critical apparently. I can text him, but no phone calls or visitors since he is intubated. My mom has encouraged me to text him, and also to let all the stuff of the past go. To be clear, I did text him saying I did love him and hoped he got through it because I was genuinely scared hearing how bad he had gotten(anything below 92 is starting to be hypoxic, and he was at around 75) It could be bad, and I am worried about how my sister may react if things go south. Our cat even seems to have gone missing too so she's alone at the house since my mom is still out of town helping my grandma post surgery. I am almost finished with my EMT application(have my license, applying to the local 911 company) but I am considering going back home depending on how things go down at least for my sister's sake. I don't hate my family. There has been much drama but it hasn't been the case that I needed to hide and go no contact so much as get my own space. But my dad is definitely someone who I am not invested in having a relationship with given his long history of dysfunction, and then my sister's emotionally unstable behavior with suicide and getting aggressive. But still something like this, it still feels awful. I had COVID back in December, but it was for me nothing more than a moderately severe cold(lack of taste was the worst, and I am nearly 21 with no prior illness) My dad is over 60, blood clots and heart issues, fake knees and is diabetic so it really seems things may be going south. Even my mom started crying on the phone despite how toxic their marriage was. I just don't know yall. ''There's always a bigger fish'' and fuck COVID...
  4. More than 3 hours ago I finished packing most of my things that I could carry and am currently in a hotel in a city 3 hers from my mom's place. My sister was at work at the time fortunately and my mom is out of town for a couple of weeks to help my grandma after a surgery. My dad is currently in the hospital for COVID and concurrent heart issues and the fact he is in his 60s adds to that. But as in my previous post he has a long history of dysfunction with my mom, and towards me but really my immediate family(me, mom, dad and sister) have been dysfunctional to each other. Me and my sister have had anger issues with each other(I wrestled a remote from her hand and shoved her, she's thrown stuff at me and got into it with our mom, etc. Along with finally wanting to make traction with my personal goals(social life and career education) I just want a break from the BS. I feel bad doing this with my dad in the hospital and the pressure from my mom and sister to bond with him or make amends even though I am just not invested even if I do care about him. He even invoked God and also tends to act like he doesn't understand why I am not close to him. I created a separate email and sent my mom a message about how I felt and what I did. No reply yet but will call in a few days(burner phone maybe). At the very least the distance will let me dictate things on my terms more easily. I mean just today my sister and I had an argument where pointed out the bad things the other did and my sister said if I was still gonna hold the past against my dad then she didn't forgive me for my former friend from years ago that molested her behind my back(never knew until she told me). She even called me her rapist(by extension). So yeah...kinda felt dammed if I do or don't but still feel guilty and scared... Follow up to this post:
  5. Hey fellow apostates! So I passed my NREMT exam, so once I go by the DMV later and get my ambulance driver certificate I can bail and finally apply for a state/county EMT license. Next week is when I plan on leaving but well, there have been some complications... My mom is currently out of town to help my grandmother in Nevada after a surgery she had. But that's not the complication. Apparently my father(doesn't live with us, they are divorced) doesn't have a great heart, and his heart problems have gotten to the point to where he is in a county hospital currently. My sister told me earlier this morning and said there is the possibility he may die, and that I should go talk to him. I told her ''we'll see'' and she started crying and said ''there is no we'll see'' and started saying how he could die and started to cry. I didn't say anything to that, but went for my run. Now I feel kinda conflicted. Quick background: I didn't have the worst upbringing by any means, but my mom and dad had terrible fights(yelling,screaming, getting physical), he was unreliable(financially and otherwise) and had a horrible temper, treated me like shit numerous times in middle school(verbally disowning me, once told me to go kill myself, tried to drag me out of my mom's car and prompting me to run away in fear), and my sister has tried to kill herself, fight my mom and runaway from home several times due to inheriting his mental issues and having that level of dysfunctional exposure. The police/first responders were have been called several times over the years for my sister, 4 which occurred in the same summer, when my sister attempted to overdose(she survived). My dad tried to attack/threatened to kill me just because I told him and my mom to not argue while we were in the ER with tubes sticking out of my sister. And this wouldn't be the first time he would have given me a heart to heart ''I'm sorry'' speech. He did it several times back in my middle school days and around two weeks before my sister's overdose he did so again. And I am honestly tired at this point. I don't ahte him, even if I still do feel anger about my upbringing and growing up on the spectrum. We are talking YEARS of this kind of behavior, and even my mom will say I need to be forgiving and that me not talking to him makes things in the family worst including with my sister, yet she and him still can hardly talk on the phone without blaming each other for my sister's behavior, or insulting each other,etc. My whole reason for trying to GTFO is I want to get my life on track both with my educational and career prospects, as well as to finally enjoy life especially with this pandemic slowly but hopefully coming to an end. I still have things to learn about myself and to come to terms with, and those things seem to be a better investment of my time and energy than waiting for my dad to be someone he should have been from the get go, plus my mom still bingoing me on both having kids and going back to church(she and my sister still have some spats). But in our society, ''family comes first'' and all that and part of me does wonder about my sister doing something crazy again if I bail especially now. Thoughts?
  6. Fair points, but that's why I pointed out possibly adopting or fostering. I mean, thinking about it critically I'm not attached really at all to the idea of biological kids. Esepcially given my ASD and the history of mental issues on my dad's side.
  7. Hey fellow heathens! So like many of you, both the church and society in general sees it as imperative to have children. I wasn't raised a fundie but my mom had remarked to me before to ''be fruitful and multiply'' and wants me and my sister to give her 4 grandkids each. Currently I'm 20 years old, going to take my EMT exam soon and preparing to move out and finally start taking my life in a better direction. Growing up, I had to deal with both having Asperger's Syndrome and a plethora of dysfunction with my parents' relationship, my sister's mental health crisis' and a manipulative bastard of an ex-friend. So suffice to say, my years of age 11-18(before that things weren't perfect, but not too bad) were marred by my social awkwardness and loneliness, being spectator to constant arguments, altercations and profanity from my parents(my old man was really a piece of work) and several trips to a hospital/mental care facility during my sister's outbursts. I was also cringily religious(not raised fundie, but Christianity became an autistic fixation) I'm someone who likes kids, and has been known by others to like to hold and play with babies at family gatherings. That being said... -The world is getting overpopulated if it's not already. Our resources get more and more strained as it is without adding another mouth to feed which apparently adds ALOT of impact -There are already so many children in the world. I know I don't want bio kids, but am open to the idea of fostering a tween/teenager(no younger than 10-13) later in life possibly, but this is by no means a gurantee since there's also things like mentoring and community outreach programs through which I can positively impact a youth. -The ''life script'' seems to dictate that people have kids no matter what. Aside from many of the conventional reasons being rather selfish(pass on genes, repository for unfulfilled dreams, etc), many people, maybe even the average person should not have kids. Too many people don't seek therapy/help for their issues and/or don't critically question their beliefs/worldview/biases and therefore continue a cycle of bigotry and dysfunction. -If I get with a chick and things don't work out between us or even get bad, that sucks but I can still break it off and not see/hear from her again. However with kids the parents will often stay together(or at least stay in touch) for the sake of coparenting even when they clearly can't stand one another(my parents rarely talk on the phone without a blame game or cursing each other). Plus it also means the kids bear witness to/are caught in the middle of all the BS through no choice of their own. -It's seems that along with parenting comes things like letting yourself go(effects of pregnancy, weight gain, etc) and just not taking care of yourself as much. Obviously having kids is very time consuming and such but even still so many parents don't take care of themselves and pass on bad habits to their kids. I'm vegetarian and plan on restarting a solid fitness routine for my own personal health and desired career. Even within my family, my mom and aunts held their guts and said ''this is your future'' as if something was so certain. This also may lead to dead bedroom marriages as well along with arguments and such. -There are so many things one can do and invest in when not having kids. Especially for those of us with a troubled/disadvantaged upbringing there are things we missed out on. But as adults, we now have the freedom and resources to live our lives as we see fit. For me, I know I'd love to find that special someone, have a house and live that good ol' DINK life! Plus explore hobbies like martial arts(may build a home dojo one day), Legos, video games, outdoors stuff, DIY projects, vacations, the possibilities are endless! -Not having kids ironically means that I have more time to actually be helpful to others. I plan on finally sticking with martial arts once I move and settle down. If I stick with it long enough, I might consider being an instructor. Aside from that, becoming an EMT is one more step closer to my desired career of being a [fish and game warden.](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBll1YnQCvA) Such a job entails protecting wildlife and natural resources from poaching and pollution, plus search and rescue and natural disaster response. It's one of the more competitive first responder fields to get into, and I'll be a better candidate for being childfree(more willing to relocate, no concern about childcare arrangements,etc). -Kids are expensive. I'm in California, and honestly given how my career choice has a decent prescence here(the size and amount of forests lands means there is a larger percentage of parks/wildlife people) I may very well stay here. Hopefully I can get to one of the cheaper areas one day, but even then not having kids makes things much easier. I know these are kinda common reasons to be childfree but these are how they fit into my life. I will say I didn't come to this conclusion all at once. It went from the initial state of ''I'm gonna have kids'' to ''I want to have at least one adopted'' to ''I want that DINK life bad.'' Helping a kid have a decent headstart is on the table, but I so don't want to do diapers, soccer games or stress about babysitters. And frankly, since graduating high school(I finally deconverted at age 17) in 2018 I felt lost and empty for a long time. I was still holding myself to the standards of societal expectations and being bummed about spending middle/high school as the weird loner kid. But now, not holding myself to said standards has allowed me to truly work out the direction I want to go in life, and thus I feel more optimistic about my future!
  8. Hey folks. So in the past, I've lamented the time I spent as a Christian(deconverted around age 17) and the social awkwardness growing up with Asperger's. I haven't dated or kissed a girl, didn't do sports and few extracurriculars in high school(tried wrestling, but quit and didn't even compete, but did writer's club one year and dodgeball club the next). This bummed m out for awhile, and for those of us who grew up with abuse, strict religion or other such inconveniences it can be upsetting seeing others have the opposite experience. But more recently it doesn't bother me so much anymore. Mainly having to do with gaining perspective and realizing one doesn't have to follow the glorified ''life script''. There was one tall, muscular and stocky guy I met in a Judo class at a junior college in my town. He had been a wrestler at my HS and when I mentioned being lonely there he said ''don't judge friends based on high school because everyone is immature'' One cheerleader I had art class with said it was the worst part of her life due to some drama with a friend or something and didn't talk to anyone from there, and apparently this went for a couple other peers as well, saying everyone from our school sucked or it being just a bunch drama. It did make me perplexed about high school friendships and relationships since nearly everyone just drops each other after graduation even if they stay local. Like, I'm not referring to those who went off to university, the military, etc but those who went to local community college/work don't talk to each other anymore. While I still would have liked to be more social in school it makes it feel kinda hollow honestly. And looking online, plenty of people may not have the idealized childhood for so many reasons(abuse, living in the boonies, dealing with terminal illness, living in poverty, etc). Ultimately, there's nothing I could have done as a teenager that I can't do now. For instance, there might be a certain thrill in sneaking a girl into your house for a makeout session in high school, but as an adult you can take them to your own apartment/house with complete privacy, or out on the town with no curfew. And if things don't work out with Becky you don't have to see her in Algebra 2 or overhear her friends talking shit about you in US History. Granted there are unique things about your formative years like the lack of responsibility and seeing your friends every day, but there is also the immaturity and drama that comes with raging hormones and lack of life experience and the people you don't like you're stuck with. At least I got out at 17, and I'm just starting my 20s so I can't be too bitter. And for others who may have ''missed out'' I don't think they should either. Thoughts?
  9. Good points, and sure go ahead I would love to hear more.
  10. Dating and romance is one problem for us ex-Christians since most of us hail from majority Christian countires(i.e. the USA, etc). I'm in California, which is probably better than the Bible Belt I'm sure. I haven't actually tried to ask anyone out yet(bth due to getting shit in order plus covid) but I definitely feel anxious about wanting to get my feet wet in that department. I've had mixed feelings about apps for awhile, but with how many people are using them to ease quarantine loneliness they don't seem like a good prospect. Plus in the city I'm moving to there is apparently lots of religious single moms on those apps anyway(I'm a dude and 20 years old). That leaves Meetups and hobby groups. This may be a bit tricky since I have Asperger's but I need that social exposure anyway. What's worked for anyone else?
  11. It's cool, and thanks. It did give me some perspective on things, and was a good place to start. I mean, things weren't awful literally all the time. I'm not gonna tell you I never had birthday cake or gifts, presents at Christmas or have never been to an amusement park or that my dad never showed me affection or anything. But my parents definitely didn't have a good relationship. They had issues from when I was born and split when I was 5 or 6 but got back together when I was 7. From that age to when I was 11 things weren't too bad but from middle school onwards things got uglier between them. My dad was in and out of the house, not really helping my mom out, then when his estranged brother and his GF was staying with us he kicked them out 3 times. Aside from that, he and my mom argued alot, often cussing and even sometimes getting physical. I woke up one time to him shoving her into a wall enough to leave a crack, and she's scratched him a couple of times as well. Then came the mess where they accused each other of cheating, my dad constantly calling my mom ''a fat ugly bitch'' and the like, and in high school you got things like my mom having a major fight with her (now ex) boyfriend and my sister trying to kill herself on more than ne occasion.
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