the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero

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Cimmorene remembers: Sacrifice (…the father becomes the son.)

From REBLOG: …the father becomes the son. (more thoughts) August 14, 2015:

About a week ago, Cimmorene remembered where she was during my father’s near-death experience, and the weight of the sacrifice that I made to encourage my father to resume his life, so mine could begin.

Anyone who thinks the term “soulmate” is the stuff of cheesy Hollywood romantic fairytales and is nothing but fluff and shiny optimism, I must tell you, dear readers– in my experience, it’s a lie.

It’s true that Cimmorene and I remember a life together before mortality.  We remember bonds that have been forged and reforged many times.  But for all the light, wonderment, and immense awe, there is sorrow, darkness, and pain.  There is anticipation of regret even before the blood, sweat, and tears began.

As usual, she remembered something I did not.  She said that for that small moment, it was like I wasn’t there anymore.  After much reflection, I remembered that I didn’t want to leave her side, but I had to.  I had to.  Much planning, work, and preparations were at risk.

It was a shock when I saw him.  He was wandering around aimlessly, obviously not in his body.  He was NOT supposed to be here.

“What are you doing here?  You need to go back, and be my father, just as we planned!”

“I’m tired.  I hurt.  I don’t want to go back to a broken body.”

“But you need to go back!  We agreed!”

If he died, I would have to start all over again.  Everything we had planned on would have to be redone.  My life would have a completely different foundation.

It was obvious that I was not going to persuade him by plans of the future.  I would have to appeal to his here and now.

“What about your family now?  Won’t they miss you?”

I didn’t know the ties of mortality yet.  But even his present family ties didn’t seem to be enough.  I needed something more.

“I… I will carry a part of that pain for you.”

“You don’t have to do this.”

“Yes… yes, I do.”

Cimmorene said we took time to ratify it with Father.  I was reminded that it was a heavy sacrifice; that I might regret this decision.  I said I was sure.  I was told that my choice was right.

And so my father chose to live.  We helped him back into his body and said our goodbyes for the moment being.  Some time after he departed from us, then, Cimmy said, then, I wept.

I have only begun to realize the full weight of the pain, the suffering.  But I know that chose this.  I did it… because I had to.  No matter how much I have been tempted to regret this, I know that I had to.  But now, the empathy is visceral.  So many days we compare notes on pain.  It’s not exactly the same, of course, but much we need not explain to each other.  We live it.  Many days, he still wants to die, but I remind him he’s still needed.  The time is not yet.  It will come, most likely the moment I must begin to prepare for something more.


Catch Up


Another catching up with jaklumen & family

Just some highlights:

Neru’s online friend, apparently, is a dirty middle-aged man trying to groom her?  I told my father- how are we going to honestly file a report when we have no return address or full name?

I had a hot date with Cimmorene, a CT machine, a radioactive isotope, and a nuclear bone scanner Tuesday.

Wednesday was meeting with the doctor, getting poked AGAIN for the second day in a row, and showing Dad how my stereo stuff I gave to him years ago works.

Poor Skittles (my parents’ cat).  He skewered himself in the pit of his right front leg, and he has to wear a cone of shame.  He is miserable being confined inside.  If we cat-sit for him next week (parents are going to Utah for my brother-in-law and niece’s birthdays), we may need to spend a LOT of laptime with him.

More to come, dear readers.  Stay tuned



The continued loneliness of a SAHD (in 2015)

Based on a post written October 18, 2011. 

I am still sick and bloody tired of the stigma that is attached to Stay-At-Home-Dads, and house husbands.  I never like answering the following question: “So, what do you do for a living?” The people that ask it are rarely satisfied with my answers.  They are usually fishing for employment status, and often they wince and writhe with uncomfortable facial expressions and gestures once they learn I am on disability.

It was worse when I was younger, and lived in a slightly more affluent part of town.  The most uncomfortable reactions were at church, of course; it’s not unheard of for mothers to work, but fathers working has been the norm for LDS families for many decades.  I stood out like a sore thumb.  It was worse when my children were little.  Oh, don’t get me wrong.  My current ward (congregation) understands my situation, mostly.  There were dozens of fathers taking turns looking after their babies, and I got help, mostly when my son was little (Neru was school age by the time we entered the ward).  But of course they were all gone at work weekdays, and I never much enjoyed church playdate activities, as women dominated any conversations.  There was only so much common ground before topics slid to things that really didn’t pertain to me as a man.

Then, of course, there were all the challenges autism presented– Cimmorene got really overwhelmed for a time, and so the Primary leadership would come to me when Boy was throwing some conflict.

The media is all about Mom

I enjoy being a parent. But EVERY SINGLE parenting magazine I pick up is “Mom.” “Mom.” “Mommy.” “Mom.” and it’s blatantly obvious in the advertisements, as if Madison Avenue believes that all dads still will have nothing to do directly with their children– because that’s Mom’s job. Sure, there are articles about SAHDs and such, but far, far, far too many keep the taboo in place.

Just one of many examples. This was part of a Cool Whip campaign on their Facebook page. Image credit: 360i_bucket at Photobucket

I speak of print, but as I saw “social media” unfold, and come into the mainstream, the message persists.  Note, dear readers, that what I had written previously was about WIRED– specifically about “GeekDad“, and “GeekMom”.  The contributors all seemed to cling to the status quo.  GeekDad contributors, if they wrote about parenting, wrote about it as if it was almost an afterthought. I cringed when Jonathan Liu demurred and said he just “happened” to be working at home to be a SAHD.  So I left GeekDad articles behind and started reading GeekMom articles more, because they would talk about parenting issues more directly.  But then it was the same “mom talk” drift– they’d quickly shift to topics that really were about women, and not really about men.

I see this image WAY too often– as if Dad blogs aren’t really a mainstream thing.

What… am I supposed to climb back to my video games, tools (hand or power), and assorted mannish hobbies?  Please, understand.  It’s pretty discouraging to see the onslaught of sites that either refer to “Mommy” or “Beauty & Fashion”, and I go and see that the voices of fathers will be pretty few.  If men respond, they rarely identify themselves as fathers.  It was very, very true at GeekMom… almost ZERO responses from men.

My world has plenty of yin, plenty of yang

There is this notion that women drive social media because they drive conversations in general, but I call bullshit.  Men will talk for hours upon hours about subjects that interest them.  Why the hell aren’t they comfortable talking about parenting?   I’m also very weary of the post-war stereotype that “men do the work outside of the home, women do the work inside.”  Cimmy’s helped me a ton with DIY projects (unless it’s electrical- then she leaves it to me) and I cook most of the dinners.  On the stove.  In the oven.  I broke the grill my parents passed down to me, and I haven’t fixed it yet.

And since my back has grown worse, Neru and Cimmy help me with the yard work.

Disability has already got this SAHD feeling like an old man

I was grateful when an old family friend moved into our neighborhood.  We are usually comparing notes on cooking, food preservation, music, mechanics, and many scholarly topics.  His children are about the age Cimmy and I are; he was friends with my mother-in-law since childhood.  He is retired, although he is miserable if he isn’t working on something.  He’s an amputee since he blew off a bum leg with a shotgun (long story), but he likes to keep busy.  Despite a miserable first marriage, he is happy married again to a woman that is full-time employed.  He welcomes my company, and Cimmy’s, too, when he is at home, although he is rarely, if ever, idle.

Generally speaking, the only people I can socialize with during the day are retirees.  (My mother recently retired, but that’s another very, very long story.)  Maybe that’s just as well; the sciatica, the neuropathy, and other health issues have got me acting like a grumpy old man.  I couldn’t stay in the mommy world.   And I’m not in a daddy world.  There aren’t many guys my age in my daily activities I can relate to. I can’t help it. Stereotypical guy stuff costs $$$– especially what many in my men’s group at church do. Firearms: $$$. 4X4 wheelin’: $$$. Fishing: $$$. Paintball: $$$. And so on.

I would write about how I was considering asking to attend the older men’s group at church, but, again, another story for another time.  I’ve struggled for a long, long time to relate to men my age.  There’s got to be something for the modern world.  I don’t have a business to pass to my children.  I was never that interested in sports.  Anything I am interested in is not one of the national pasttimes.  Most of the time, if I’m hitting the gym, it’s because I’m desperately trying to get better, either taking Cimmy, or Neru.  And that’s growing rarer all the time.  I try to be involved in my children’s schooling, but I cringe when the phone rings and someone (usually not connected to my son) makes the assumption that they need to talk to Cimmy.  I guess they need to hear my stories about failing student teaching and all that.  I’m aware of how schools work.

Once again, I feel like this is just a pointless rant.  The more I search the Internet, the more depressed I get.


Be quiet, my friend. You can't tell my secrets.


I think I got gaslit, even if men are not typically gaslighted

This screenshot shows Ingrid Bergman being gas...

This screenshot shows Ingrid Bergman being gaslighted. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear readers: The standard trigger warning applies.  I’m trying to stay light on the details, but… I’m nauseated just thinking about them.  Please, take any precautions you need; I know many of you ask the same.

I thought I’d shared my story with this person.

Someone with a strong media voice.

And I don’t think I tweeted anything different from what I shared in my story.

But… I was assumed to be a MAN making a WOMEN’S issue my deal, and not allowing them to own it alone.

Never mind that I was upset that someone was tearing Cimmy a new asshole in the same conversation.  That was totally ignored, for some reason.

I got numerous excuses when I complained, privately.  This person said they had grown numb to such nuances, because of numerous hate mails flooding their inbox.


And I wasn’t disagreeing with what was said at all.  No way.  If they weren’t already a part of Cimmorene’s painful, horrifying experiences, they were experiences of a friend, or a churchmate, or someone else close to me.  Mostly women, yeah, but a number of men.

Raped? Oh yes.  Raped.  No, not the Anne Hathaway one… that was pretty creepy, though.  No, it was another one.  I was blindfolded.  Gang raped.  By men.  What the hell is in the garbage of my brain?  (No, that sort of gay porn isn’t my thing, if that was ever a possibility.)

I have moved past suicidal thoughts.

NO NO NO I’m not going to tell someone to kill themselves, when I dealt with that.  Someone in my parents’ congregation took his life only a week or so ago… incidentally, I didn’t that mention in my Suicide Prevention Day post.  But I hope you get the idea.  Of course, I was shamed once for not condemning a suicider as “selfish”.  I can’t.  I’d have to tell myself I was selfish… well, I already did.  Several times.

This is all I can write for now, dear readers.  I hope you understand.  No, I won’t name names.  I already feel bad just writing about it… because it feels like so much veiled aggression.  But I’m angry.  And afraid.

I was just trying to stick up for Cimmorene.  I had no idea I was being held in contempt, too.  No idea.

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JJQ #75: The Most Wonderful Thing


I asked Cimmy to serve up a standard JJQ to break up the stream of “Affirmations from my therapist” posts I’ve been doing at this blog regularly.

Originally posted on jak & Cimmy's Journal Jar:

“Tell about the most wonderful thing that ever happened to you.”

Ooh!  This one’s a toughie. Let’s see…

Sunday School smilesOur wedding dayI could tell you about how I met my sweetheart at a church function and how we dated and were eventually married in the Bellevue Washington Temple.  Even though it was raining on that day, it was pretty wonderful.  I got to wear a wedding dress made for me by a dear friend of mine in a beautiful building where I was sealed for time and eternity to my very best friend in the whole world other than Jesus Christ.  Yeah, I could talk about that.  It was pretty wonderful, especially considering our 17th anniversary is coming up in December.  So I guess it would make sense for me to talk about that.

14308379517_5d8d5abeaf_mThe T-shirtI could share the story of when I gave birth to my daughter, which began early in the morning…

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National Suicide Prevention Week

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A Blogger’s Journey: The Nadir Before (National Suicide Prevention Day)

What a time for pain to be hitting me even harder, dear readers.

Maybe it’s just as well.

Detail of The Death of Socrates. A disciple is...

Don’t drink the Kool-Aid, Socrates! Not my method of attempting, but I’d rather be a tad whimiscal here, than dark. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Suicide is an ugly topic for me.  It cast a long, long shadow and was right at the very beginning of my 30+ years of therapy.  Yes, I mean I considered it myself… and made a very half-hearted attempt.

The bitterly ironic thing was I came much closer when I wasn’t trying as such– like the drug OD, or breathing gasoline fire.  (Yes, a story I haven’t told yet.)

I am a survivor of suicide– one of my dear childhood friends took his own life.  It was very frustrating for me, because I’d had the pleasure of reconnecting with him not too long before, in my church’s young adult congregation at the time (which was huge because it covered over 5 small cities).  The obituary was vague- something about him being stationed in Germany, leaving behind a wife and an infant child.  The horrors of war, with all the PTSD it entails, I can only suppose.

I’ve been harrassed online because I refused to condemn another man who took his own life as selfish.  That too is a long story unto itself– he was a convicted child molester– and many of you may know, that other prisoners view them as lower than the scum of the earth.

But having experienced suicidal thoughts, and other artifacts of the many traumas I have been through– many I haven’t even begun to detail here– I couldn’t.

Image credit: @SPSMChat/#spsm. (Duh!)

Consider joining me on the #spsm Twitter chat to learn more.  It’s intense at times, because the live stream consists of five professionals (psychiatrists, therapists et al) who do talk a lot of job.  But many of them wear pirate hats.  There is good news beyond the lapses into jargon and intellectual words (don’t worry, I freely admit I’m guilty too, especially with technobabble), and there is hope.  Not to mention they are very actively doing good; taking action beyond mere words.


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I STILL want a dog.

Dear readers, I’m a church-going religious man.

I don’t talk about it much because I really don’t want to hurt anyone that’s been burned by organized religion.  But I mention this because yesterday was tough.  I was home, in terrible pain.  I just couldn’t seem to get ready on time and told Cimmy to go ahead and take the kids without me.

I saw these images slowly appear in our mutually shared Dropbox. Cimmy uses a Samsung Galaxy tablet, and since Boy destroyed our Canon PowerShot, it’s now the primary photography tool.  Because Cimmy is a little bit protective of her technology, it now means she’s also our principal photographer right now.

This evoked a FLOOD of emotions.  If you don’t follow all the links, dear readers, just observe that I have blogged about wanting a dog, and researching service and therapy options, for at least five years, or more:


JJQ#18: Pets


I want a dog.


More on the service dog quest.


Yet more on the dog quest



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