The Path We Have Traveled


A work describing the challenges of Fear,
Vulnerability and Trusting a Therapist .


A Side Note to the Stranger

My relationship with fear is about my sensitivity to being vulnerable. Since coming upon this idea, I can trace all of my fear to that source. It seems obvious and yet personally profound. I have often thought if I could trace my fears back to a root source or common denominator, I would know what to work on.

I become vulnerable when:

The phone rings
I leave the house
I am around other people
I am in my mind
I think about the past or future

When I breathe …

I think I deal with roughly half of these opportunities by forcing myself to “Cowboy the Fuck Up!” and push in. When I am in, I become the great actor disguising my pain, learning the rules, acting as if and constantly watching for threats.
My work is an exception: when I am onsite at a client’s business, I am granted a reprieve until I return to the outside world.
The remaining opportunities, I blow off, procrastinate or find a way to accomplish them alone.
The way I force myself to tackle the ones that I do is so draining that it makes it much more difficult to attempt the non-essential opportunities like finding friends or creating some comfort in my life other than armor. My daily life is gauged by differing levels of security and safety.

The most secure would be to make room in my gun safe to sit in the corner while watching cameras around the perimeter wearing my 9mm Browning under my shoulder and my sawed off 12 gauge shotgun in my hand crying.
My most vulnerable fantasy includes a trained assault team breaking into our home while I struggle to keep my wife out of harm’s way and kill all the bad guys with head shots. After I kill them I take all their money (for putting me through this) and hide the money and any superior equipment like body armor, automatic and or silenced weapons so that the police will not get them when they show up to clean up the mess.
I have always believed that the police (other than hassling folks) have that one job.
They come to clean up the mess and you have only one of two sides to fall into: you can make the mess or be the mess.
In my 14 years of therapy, I have experienced a significant decline in the amount of my day that I spend with these terroristic thoughts going through my mind, but since I came upon the root of my fear being vulnerability they have increased.
I am sure it is no accident that this is the mental torture of choice for a child that was brutally beaten by hand and by mouth for 14 years starting when I was 4 years old. Yet the knowledge that the monsters in my head are just my parents, bullies and mean people from my past with masks on, does not reduce the effectiveness of the fear they create which has me frozen in place and frozen in life. I am fighting to survive against a foe that no longer exists. I approach the vulnerability of life through the eyes of a brutally beaten down child. I can never experience victory over the ghosts in my head by doing battle in the world of my life. I used to believe that if I could just beat a strong man to death in a fair fight without going to jail again, I could purge this poison from my mind.

Now I believe that the only chance for my survival lies in my fucked up head and cannot be accomplished without exposing the whole twisted mess to a Stranger and to trust their reality instead of the one I have suffered under for over 45 years.

Live in that thought and you will know what Vulnerability Really Is.

The Stranger I speak of is anyone who has not lived through hell on earth. Unfortunately, 99.9% of those that have suffered this fate are dead, imprisoned or much more fucked up than I am.
I have diligently followed a path from survival working toward Peace for over 22 years. How long would it take one of the 1/10th of 1% to find Peace and how would I find them hiding in my gun safe?

The stranger before me has education and experience (of sorts), but do any of them have enough natural ability and true compassion to be the right stranger to walk me out of hell?
What are the odds of that?
How would I know whom to trust?

Just because I am sitting in a chair reserved for the poor people that need help – ran by a corporation that wants to be able to say they offer help to all - across from the stranger that had the next available appointment - when I had a loaded pistol held to the roof of my mouth.
Does that mean I am in the right place?
What are the odds that this stranger will be able to accomplish what many would say is impossible?
What choice do I have?

I am plagued and compelled by a need to find Peace; otherwise I would just pull the trigger. In many ways that plague is my real reason for suffering. Without it I could surrender this life and go for a do-over.
Is it the fetus of false hope or a promise of delivery?

Again, I say put on these thoughts,
Try just for a moment to adopt this pain as your own and visualize moving through your daily routine strapped with this version of reality.

If you are able, you will Know the True definition of Vulnerability.
A side note to the stranger:

If after contemplating this:
Your compassion pushes you to try
Your courage is tempered with the real possibility of falling short of the task
And your wisdom whispers: even if I can, it will not be easy.

You may just be the right Stranger

On the other hand:
If your ego says, “we are up to the challenge”
If your degrees are the foundation upon which your confidence relies
And you celebrate victory in your mind before we begin.

Then you are not my Stranger

And we should see who has the next available appointment.

One More Time



The cause of all our personal problems and nearly all the problems of the world can be summed up in a single sentence:
Human life is very deep, and our modern dominant lifestyle is not.
--Bo Lozoff