Somewhere only we know…

Here’s a story…

Once upon a time there was this guy.  He was not very smart, but he tried his best to be good. All his life he was weak and scared.  Felt rejected and never quite good enough.

Well, as this guy grew up he began to notice things about the world that seemed to bring him joy.  Music, and theater, and movies, and reading, and friends and laughing.  Oh the joys he discovered. Yet, still, there was always this thing missing from his life that kept him feeling weak and scared. Feeling rejected and never quite good enough.

Then, one day, he met this girl.  Her name was Emily.  She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, and she was kind and good.  They became fast friends.

Emily had a boyfriend who was not very nice to her.  Whenever Emily was unhappy, she would call this guy and they would talk and talk on the phone for hours and hours.  He would make Emily forget that her boyfriend was not very nice to her.  They would laugh and talk and soon they were the best of friends.

One day, Emily called this guy and told him that she had left her boyfriend because she was unhappy.  The guy was sad for Emily, until she said, “I realized that I was happier with you.”

Oh happy day, callooh callay.

Emily was the first person in this guys life, outside of his family, to ever tell him they loved him.

Three months later, it was over.

Our guy felt rejected and not quite good enough.

Time passed, and life went on.  A myriad of experiences happened to the guy. He fell in love, fell out of love.  Performed on stages around the world. Learned to play music and write songs.  Wrote short stories and read them to crowds. Was interviewed on the radio and TV. Made love in Central Park, and was kissed by angels.

Yet still, he felt rejected and never quite good enough.  So much so, he became afraid of the feeling.  So afraid, he began setting out to sabotage and destroy anything that seemed like it was good because he was afraid of being hurt.

Then, one day, he met a girl who was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.  They become friends.  She was seeing other people at the time, so he kept her at a distance. Eventually, his kindness and respect won her over and they fell in love.

Years later, he comes home to an announcement.  “I’m pregnant!”  Oh happy day, callooh callay. “Holy crap!”

They decided to have the child, and nine months later our guy was presented with what was, truly, the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.  His child.

Fear and selfishness gripped our guy.  He had lived his entire life with no commitments having ever lasted.  Not one job.  Not one relationship. Nothing. Yet, here he was with a child.  Something he couldn’t deny or run away from.  He would have to step up and be a man.  He finally, for the first time in his life, had something to lose.

No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t do this.  It broke him, and he divorced his wife and split custody of his child.  He then left the raising of his child to his mother and father while he continued to party and play and run from his responsibilities.

He did this because he felt rejected and never quite good enough. He needed to sabotage it before it hurt him.

But, something happened.  His overwhelming love for the child broke through.  He stepped up and began to act like a father.  Taught the child right from wrong.  Held the child.  Read stories to the child.  Spent time just talking with his child.  He showered the child with love, love, love.

Yet still, he felt rejected and never quite good enough.

Years go by, and the guy has not let anybody into his heart in a long time. He made attempts, but they always fell apart.

Then, one day, he met a girl.  And, she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She was small and pretty and sweet and kind.  An angel and devil all rolled up in one. He befriended the girl and they became fast friends. She, like Emily, had a boyfriend at the time.

Soon, as time went on, the girl began to realize she wasn’t happy in her life.  She left her life to start a new one, and invited the guy to start it with her.  In no time, they were madly in love.

He looked at her with eyes of love and she looked at him the same.  They shared thoughts and wine and food and movies and laughs.  Made beautiful, sweet, sexy, passionate love. All was wonderful.

Yet still, he felt rejected and never quite good enough.

Years into their relationship, he received terrible news.  It broke his heart and his spirit. Then he got more bad news.  And more. And more. And it just kept coming.  Finally, one night, despite his belief that it wasn’t going to happen – his father died.

He was broken. He didn’t know what to do. He began to act out.  Sabotaging the good things in his life so that he could just get the pain over with. He made drastic choices which led to his doing hurtful selfish things.

This girl, the love of his life, unable to take it any longer – left him.

This guy was a mess. No matter how hard he tried to find happiness, it always seemed to elude him. He didn’t know where to go, who to turn to, what to do. He tried prescription drugs, illegal drugs, drinking and sex.  Nothing helped.

He felt rejected and horrible.  He had proven, once and for all, that he was the horrible man he had always believed himself to be.

Yet, he still had his friends.  He still had his art. And, above all else, he still had his child – who loved him more than he ever imagined possible. And, as time went on, the wounds began to heal and the pain began to subside and life began to look beautiful again.

Our guy is still not very smart, but he tries his best to be good. He smiles more and is an amazing friend and father.  And even though he still feels the fear of rejection and unworthy of love – he is better equipped to accept it from those who truly offer it.  He stands at the top of the mountain with his head held high and his heart open to all the possibilities it can handle.

The guy took a good long look at who he truly is and realized that in the end – he is a father and a friend.  And this realization helped him to no longer feel weak and scared. To no longer fear rejection and to believe that he is, in fact, deserving of love and happiness.

Just the beginning.


About "Mike"

"We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us." - Jean-Paul Sartre "Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life." - Herbert Otto "Heed the still small voice that so seldom leads us wrong, and never into folly." - Marquise du Deffand "Your real influence is measured by your treatment of yourself." - A. Bronson Alcott "Energy and persistence conquer all things." - Benjamin Franklin "If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves." - Thomas Edison "A man who finds no satisfaction in himself will seek for it in vain elsewhere." - La Rochefoucauld
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7 Responses to Somewhere only we know…

  1. Glen says:

    Hmmm…I think I know that guy!

    I, too, often feel rejected, sad, and not good enough (whatever the word is that I can’t drag out of my head right now). I couldn’t really put a finger on one “why,” there are a lot of them – divorced angry parents who were crazy and taught him to be loved and sabotage himself at the same time (and to be sure to be right, to the point of hairsplitting MADNESS), ADD – which tends to make people feel inadequate because they have a difficult time with organization, follow-through, and impulse control, depression from the gene pool and life in general, etc. etc.

    I have accomplished some pretty amazing stuff in my 40 years here. Graduated high school, hiked about a bazillion miles as a Boy Scout (don’t even talk to me about merit badges), earned a black belt, survived a strange childhood, taught martial arts classes, a masters degree in military history while working full time – come to think of it since I graduated from high school I’ve been working full time and going to school. Still, all of those things don’t seem to add up to enough to make me feel satisfied that I’m a good, totally worthwhile person.

    What’s kind of funny to me is that it’s actually taken me a long time to figure out that I was the one who was central to all of that experience, and that I was the one who was both the best and worst I had to offer – by that I mean that I am capable of amazing things and happiness, and that I’m also capable of amazingly stupid, self-destructive, self-sabotaging things that reinforce my poor self image. IT isn’t the Outside World, it’s Me. I need to really understand who I am, and (dare I say it) change the things that I really don’t like – or accept them and deal with the consequences of my actions.

    It takes a strong person to stand up, put his face in the wind and rain and say “Give me your best shot, I can take it,” and not be afraid to fail. Shit, I should expect to fail and welcome it as an opportunity to learn and grow. If we keep doing everything “right” all the time, we don’t learn nearly as much as if we fail and then try again – hopefully using different methods and getting different results. It’s the learning that’s important. The stacking up of knowledge and experience. But without the idea that “yeah, I can do this” and the motivation to change – really change, not just say we’re changing and then do the same stupid shit over again – and the acceptance of ourselves as mistake-prone imperfect beings, we might as well just sit in front of the TV until we die.

    Whew. I need to be up early tomorrow. I’m sure we’ll discuss this more later. For now, thanks for being brave, Mike. You’re an inspiration to an old dog like me.


    • kafkamike71 says:

      Thanks Brother. It means a great deal to me that you took the time to write such a thorough and heartfelt response.

      It took me a long while to actually hit post on this one, I must admit. It is much more raw than I anticipated it being – especially in comparison to my other posts. This blog thing is pretty cathartic. I am really enjoying it.

      For what it’s worth, I think you are an amazing individual and I feel fortunate to knwo you and call you my friend. There is no measuring the respect and admiration I feel for you, nor the love I have in my heart.

      As a good friend once said to me while he pointed at his heart, “You have real estate, man.”


  2. lori says:

    I love you both so much and I am so happy to see each of you doing the work of being happy.


  3. Jeremy says:

    Mike, you and Glen both are amazing people. It is amazingly brave to post something this personal so openly. You both have a depth of character that can only be achieved through success as a person. Not merely surface successes like a gold star or positive review, but deep real success that can be felt by your contribution to humanity. Knowing you enables me to be a better person, and I know I’m not alone in that. If that isn’t success at being human I don’t know what is. I am lucky to call you my friends and hope some day to give back that which you give me.



    • kafkamike71 says:

      Thank you, Jeremy. That was very kind of you to say, and I am sure i can speak for Glen when I say it means a great deal coming from you.

      We are in a mutual appreciation society, my friend. I assure you, you do give back to me. More than you know. You are kind and genuine and always ready to lend a hand or a smile. I look to you and Ann as one of my anchors. My friends who remind me that life is good and is worth being happy about.

      I am in a rush, unfortunately, or I would go on and on – as I am want to do. I just didn’t want to let this sit without a response.

      Thank you, Jeremy.


  4. Kelso says:

    Wow! I loved that. So courageous. Thank you for sharing. (No, really…thank you!)

    Interesting to see such very real “relating” to your story already on this page. (GREAT comment, Glen!) Count me in! I, too, am my own worst enemy. I, too, am a victim of my own self-sabotage. And I, too, am on a journey to find…what? Peace? Serenity? Self-acceptance? Happiness? (A: All of the above.)

    But enough about me.

    More than anything else, your story made me very happy that I’ve been lucky enough to be there through much of it…sad to have missed some of it…and more grateful than I can express to have found my way back. To have shared some amazing and fun times with you recently…and to be able to look forward knowing…knowing…that there are more to come.

    You’re a good man. Everything wonderful that’s in your life now, and that comes into your life from this day forward, YOU DESERVE! When the good and wonderful come, if any doubts come with them, remember the words of a man far more brilliant and insightful than me…

    Let It Be.

    I love you, my brother!


    • kafkamike71 says:

      Thank you so much, man. Wow. Totally unexpected, and wonderfully received. I appreciate your words of kindness and support.

      Must admit, didn’t expect such a strong response. I am grateful that my little tale has elicited such an remarkably vulnerable and honest response form you all.

      Nice to have you back, and good to be back as well.

      Back at cha.



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