Just a couple words

The title of my biography will be: “Never Good Enough”

I have been accused of being self centered and making some things about me. There have been suggestions that my ego was the controlling force in my decisions. There were times it was true. Honestly, if there were things I wanted to explore and experience there were a lot of times I just created it. Instead of waiting for someone else I just did it. And if someone wanted to go on the same ride, then I was hopefully doing it right.

I great up with my dad telling me I was worthless and had not value in life. He said those exact words more times that I can count. I was never good enough and never doing the right thing. I was crashing through life with a man who wanted me to smile even if I was dying inside.

I was a fat kid once I got into my later teen years and heard about that a lot. I had a 38″ waist when I was sixteen. The summer between my junior and senior year of high school I lost weight and got into a much better look just like all those high school hottie films.

His words followed me into my adulthood. His words haunted everything I tried to do. When I did fail I was proving him right every time. Each time there was a tiny hint at failure, he was right.

In recent years I discovered that my mom’s voice was part of that too. While helping to manage her and my step-dad for the last 2 years, I discovered she was using a lot of the same language too. Her words, even though they were fueled by fear and loneliness, were tearing apart something inside of me. Nothing I did for her was good enough, and then I began seeing her differently.

I had me mom on a pedestal, one she never deserved to be on. She was a working mom. She survived 3 shitty… I mean shitty… husbands. Like really shitty. She was a survivor and in the end all the wear and tear from the men in her life turned her into someone I realized I did not like very much.

She and I, if we were ever really close, I cannot tell you when. She kicked me out of her house when I was like 13 or something like that. I had to go live with my dad. And from the previous paragraphs you can see how well that went.

I am such a damaged human being. But. I am more aware of who I am, who I want to be, more than ever. I feel helpless in my life for the first time ever at my age, with few job prospects, but with a lot of demons.

I have a shopping list of life regrets I need to deal with. I will. I will. But, I have been on a very special road for being a better me over the last 2 years. I need to keep going.


I am trying to figure out if writing here is something that will be helpful. To raise this thing from the dead and put my thoughts on the internet as if anyone gives a shit seems a little narcissistic. I do not think that is who I am, speaking in present tense, though I cannot say that was the case at other points in my life.

I did figure out he name of my life’s story recently while I was reflecting on my relationship with my family. My immediate family (those by blood: mother, father, sister) is a tragic shit show. It is amazing how much I got wrong and how much of a disaster it evolved to in the long run. Under the category #familydrama I detailed some recent misadventures specifically with my sister and mother.

Family Shot: Me, Dad, and Uncle on my moms side
Family Shot: Me, Dad, and Uncle on my moms side

The thing is, that I have for a long time put much of my family issues on my dad, and it is only within the last year where I started to see how wrong I was. He has with absolute certainty earned a place in the shitty-dad hall of fame, but it turns out there were more players in the game than I thought.

The fact that my family life is so screwed up had a lot of factors that came from all directions. I was a queer kid and I was an out and proud queer kid growing up. I was more out than I remember, because apparently I was making proclamations when I was merely 13 as to being gay.

My parents were not prepared to deal with a queer kid. The world was not ready. I mean, we are light-years from those days now and I see parents bringing their queer-kids in the store I work at all the time and I am amazed at how much the world has changed. (Granted, I am talking about the Castro in San Francisco of all freaking places)

It is impacting me a lot. I had to step away from my mom because it was becoming too heavy for my shoulders. My sister has stepped in. It was to my invitation and went very wrong in the end, but I was more shoved out of the way then let drift out of their lane.

At some point there is a need to self preserve and get into a safe place, but it is also isolating. My Uncle Dave, Aunt Chris and Aunt Nancy and I have not talked since I was pushed out of the way. I worry heavily that they think I abandoned her, but I did not.

My mom and I may not ever have been very close. She kicked me out of her house for being an asshole kid (oh, I was!) and sent me to live with my dad who was never home. And when he was, I wanted nothing to do with him.

But, the thing is, my memory is really bad. The story that was written was skewed by time and the fact I can remember so little about my own freaking life. I remember a lot of trauma and exposure to things a kid should never have had to navigate.

The regrets and sadness I still carry are all monkeys on my back to this day. Not the hours of therapy that I went through, not one, has made it easier.

And today. When I think of those three family members (dad, mom and sister), I have so completely lost that connection that I miss it. I have learned a valuable lesson. That the hope it will all change is pure delusion.

When I think if family on the next level, I cannot help but think about how much some of my step-sibs have been there being supportive and positive through the hardest times with my mom and their dad. There was have been a lot of screwed us situations, but they have tried to do better even though there were times when mistakes were made.

People’s true colors were seen. I took care of their dad’s funeral arrangements, obit and his final tasks as best I could with my mom and because of her they got nothing of him. Not a single fiber of his legacy.

Bob, my step-dad, was a challenging soul. I mean, he was… a good fit for my mom. And you see it in the end.

And it stings to look back and wonder how things could have been different. If you are looking backward you are not looking to the path ahead. Staying in the present is the key, right?

I am deeply unsettled and deeply injured by the way this road has gone. One time I went to a workshop called “Faggots and Their Fathers” and all I remember is sobbing my head off through it. I mean, gross-face snot sobs. And I am still damaged from it all.

See also:
– #Things that haunt me


We came to Seattle to check it out. In reality we have been considering moving here and are still not 100% sure about it. However, I am feeling a little better about the idea. I think moving here will require some boxes ticked that eye a long term transition. For me anyway.

If we move, it is likely somewhere I will have to retire at. C has a longer life and is not going to be stuck anywhere, but building a nice home where ever we go will allow us to build roots and set up life for a long term.

Considering the last 9.5 years together and if the road offers at last that much time still that would be awesome.


As for the drama with my sister that seems to have cooled, but who knows? The moment I take my eye off the ball it will likely swell up again. In the last month I decided I had to walk away from a toxic family dynamic which many many people seem to be in a similar spot.

A big common thread with unhealthy family seems to be the queer kid. Having a queer kid in a family means the kid is not necessarily going to follow you safe, heteronormative family dynamic. That is scary for parents and tips the expectations of family members thus driving anxiety and disillusion of ideas that make some people angry > which is a reaction to fear.

Fear of the rejection of their hetero normative values and fear for the kid who is afraid of being rejected by the family and the over all support system.

Basically, for me I am evaluating things much differently. I have literally been trying to justify my life to parents and siblings that I was at odd with. The reasons I walked away from my sister 30 years ago is different from the reasons I walked away from my dad 20 years ago and finally me mom a month ago.

However, there is a thread running through it all tying it together. My failure to be what other people thought I should be like, or who I should portray myself as. I grew up a queer kid and am still a queer adult.


I might read this again later and wonder what I was thinking. I am using this blog as a tool to put this drama out of my head and live at peace a little. I am sitting in my Seattle hotel room with an amazing view thinking about life.

This week on Blossum…

I got a call from the Sheriff office in Tehachapi, California with a claim of elder abuse. And, I was accused of stealing money from my mother’s accounts. I am not sure who was filing the complaint, but it sounds like it was Lynn and maybe backed by Sallie. So, the worst joke ever is still being performed…

Re: money –  I am sending them a PDF print out of the check register I used to manage her money. It is fairly detailed and should answer where her money went. My mom’s income along with her husband before his death just covered their debts. When he died and his income went away her needs also increased and the caregiver’s got to be more expensive. We were trying to save enough money to get her into an assisted living facility in Bakersfield when my involvement ended. 

Re: her car – Her license has been expired about 2.5 years now I think. She crashed it several times before and took out a street sign at McCarthy and Crest when it was decided between her and I it was no longer safe to keep it. We asked the finance company to collect it. Not to mention his driving record that included driving into a building in Lancaster. 

Re: senior abuse – Her care has never been so good, really. Her house is cleaned by her caregiver, medication managed by Roxanne, and she is ferried to the doctor any time she needs. She is always fed by the same hired caretaker that was doing a really good job. I got accused of being abusive when I told my mom and my sister and her husband that I wanted nothing to do with any of them. I have the email demonstrating that exact thing. 

Conclusion:I am glad to answer general questions. But under the 5th Amendment I am not going to incriminate myself if at all possible. I feel like providing you some general information about the situation and myself that I can show you I am interested in seeing this whole thing through and done. The actions of these people are purely vindictive and they are using the authorities to harass and make me look bad, 

Much of the above was in the email I sent to the Sherriff. I have to say that these people are the low of the low. But, I am not sure they are self-aware enough to see much of anything. I had to get away from that. Ugh.

And the rest went on to…

I am a U.S. Veteran and a community leader in the Bay Area and beyond. I believe in doing what is right and when my sister elected to take over my mom’s finances I was willing to give them any information they needed to move forward, but at the start there was hostility. Also in email, which I have. 

I do not need my mother’s money. Which is why I did not take money from her to manage her household and provide care to which I was entitled to as the person managing her home. All I ever asked in return was a small amount to cover things I got for her or her household, gifts to others and that was all rounding off to $1k. 

Taking care of her and my step-dad was simply the right thing to do. Especially since none of the other 6 kids in the family were not present at all. It was because Sallie and Bob (step-dad) alienated all of them. 
My mother did not raise me. She tossed me out of the house when I was a kid. So the California law that might imply I was required to care for her does not apply to me. 

I was so stressed out from this for a couple days. Grateful to a lawyer I spoke to who talked me off the ledge. She was amazing and helpful!

The last 2 years…

When 2019 started it rolled into a year where there were growing medical problems in my mom’s household that demanded attention from family. I had started some personal projects that were not going well, my head was not in the game, and I was really feeling like things were not going my way. Who knew?

To begin with, 2018 was a shit-show for much of the year. My relationship was starting to show stress and all my projects were just fucking hard. I was really experiencing some burnout and the universe was trying to tell me to just stop. I did not listen.

So everything for my mom and step-dad turned to shit quickly and they ended up in hospital. Eventually they ended up in hospice care and it was unlikely they were going to survive as late as Christmas 2019.

My mom and step-dad eventually came out of hospice and needed more care. Neither could take care of their finances and my mom may well have come to a point it was no longer safe for her to drive or manage some of her basics. So changes.

I managed their bills for 2 years. There was no family around to do anything, or at least there was no will to jump into that fire, by anyone but me. Granted, there were offers from the step-sibs but it would have been a bigger mess. I did this with a sense of duty to a parent, that there was no one else, and not a sense of much more.

The ‘rents

My parents were people who should never have had children. The same could be said for my step-dad, so you can see there are some personalities at work here that were very much in their own reality. There was a history of abuse, parental irresponsibility, sexual deviation, and just shitty behavior in general.

My dad (the biological one who is referenced in this site a few times under #jack) Jack was a well known artist who did absolutely amazing work as a cartoonist as his second job. His parents were Ray and Voneta, and he had a sister named June. There was nothing I could find by talking to relatives that indicated my paternal grandparents were anything less than ‘normal’.

There is the exception that my grand-dad was an alcoholic, a point my father was sure to make that I understood when we went back to his family home after his parents were both passed. My grandmother Voneta had intense eyes I can remember as if she sat across me today.

Her dad, my great grandfather George, his 2nd wife was Mirdle, were amazing. I have nothing but great memories of them.

My mom is Sallie. She is also still alive even though in the last 2 years we were sure she was not going to survive. She said on a number of occasions that she was not long for this world. There was a point about six months ago when I started to realize she was going to out-live me.

She worked hard in her life and had a less than pleasant life and I think when she retired she thought she was leaving all of it behind. The thing is no matter what, changing your environment to avoid your own miserable personality is not going to change that fault in who you are.

She became an alcoholic and was so bad that I was forced to simply walk away. Yes, she eventually became active in AA, but there was a point where she drifted away from that foundation. Instead of it being called out and urging her to return to meetings, she drank copious amounts of Old Miluakee and convinced herself it was okay. I found a bottle of wine hidden in the house when I was there not long ago.

There is a personality to an alcoholic that is selfish and self serving. In my adult life today I am surrounded by them. And many are rooted in the 12 steps and practicing being a healthier human and I never saw that in my mom. It was getting worse by the day.

Her parents were genuine, salt of the earth, true and green as they get Irish folk. The matreiarch was Phyllis (aka Phylligumbo) and her dad was Charles N.. I wish I got to know them better, but I was genuinely blessed to have known them. My mom had four brothers and a sister. My mom was the oldest of them. What a bunch of characters. I can say that not one of them seems to be a clone of the other, but all her siblings were their own people.

And the last player in this is my step-dad, Bob (Robert). That man was one of three men to marry my mom and the third man that was just a shit on so many levels. Yes, a classic alcoholic, with little or no sense of other people around him that mattered.

He had a sense of humor that was sometimes funny, usually inappropriate, and often unkind. In the last year of his life he was always in a diaper and confined to bed. Much of that last year the dementia was so bad I was not sure he had his faculties at all. He died abruptly in October.

Bob had siblings that were just as wildly different as my mom’s siblings. Linda was amazing, kind, and giving. Dennis was about as lost as Bob. Jay was a good man, but I did not know him hardly at all. His wife and I sometimes talked and he had to have been awesome to have such a kind wife like Ellen.


My bio sister is Lynn. She and I grew up oil and water. Our parents played us against each other our whole lives. I blamed my dad for that most of my life, but in the last couple of years it became clear how much my mom was involved in that as well.

Lynn probably grew up as close to normal as she could, given the crazi-ass family dynamic we had. I have no idea what her thought on all that was, but looking at her success in life is satisfying in a way. She managed to raise some very beautiful kids and get them into college.

We have not really spoken in 30 years. We had a huge fight that had been boiling on the stove like a pot with a lid locked on it that channeled an entire childhood. I was ugly, mean and filled with emotion. It is a time in my life I regret.

I failed her as a big brother. I have 3 landmark points in my life with her that seem to define a lot:

  • when she was about 2 or younger (not really sure), I was swinging a bat to hit a ball. She yelled, “I got it” and ran face first into the swinging bat. It hit her right in the mouth. That moment is frozen in my memory. I was 5 or 6 at the time.
  • one of my friends was being a dick and we were all alone in the house. He wanted to do something that was on the level of supreme asshole and I told him “no”. He jumped in front of her with his dick out and it was such a shit thing to do. I am not sure if I ever talked to him again after that. I honestly do not remember.
  • once when I was driving her to her dentist appointment, or was it for her braces, we talked about me being gay. She told me she wished I was not gay. In that moment, for her, I wished the same thing. For myself too, because it was a different world back then.

I have steps too! Bob’s kids, husband #3, had five kids. They had 2 different mothers, because Bob.

  • Sean (mother #2) was the youngest. I had known Sean his entire life at one point. He married his first girlfriend he met when they were like 12 or 13. She is an amazing woman. He and I have not talked in so long I could not tell you.
  • Jennifer (mother #2) is the most troubled. Can’t say much about her because everything I write sounds a bit judgy and bitchy. There was a short time when she and I were fine, but she has a lot of baggage to deal with.
  • Christine (mother #2) is the one I grew up with and we maintained a dear relationship much of our lives. She was very important to me and still is, but I worry about her. Her husband, John, is perfect for her. He is amazing, strong and more man than most men I ever met.
  • Rob (mother #1) on the surface seems the least scared by his dad, but he seems to be the best at self preservation. He was simply not willing to jump in the path of the bus Sallie and Bob was driving and probably the best for it. His wife is such a cool chick.
  • Tracy (mother #1) is an amazing woman whose journey feels like the most relatable. She is caring for her mom now, they struggle with each other, but she is surviving. In my eyes she is a super hero.

That was a lot about a few people none of you know about. I think writing this tonight was just something I needed to do for my own mind. I want to write about this nonsense.

Of my own immediate family, I have decided I needed to walk away. Just in the last week or so I realized that all that venom was more than I could handle any more.

There were some events that got me there. But looking around and seeing where my mom was in the scheme of things made it vital for me to step away. Especially with my sister entering the picture.

The venom I was getting from Lynn and her husband Tom was not deserved. They were hanging on to a mislaid past. A past I have mostly let go of. It is also a past I have been working on for a long time. I have not caught up with all the stories I have written over the years on this blog about that. I could catch up.

For now. I want to channel this stuff out myself and free myself.