I have been blogging for a lot of years, and even before this version of the internet, when I was a child, I used BBS’s (Bulletin Board System) to communicate with people all over the world.
I love communication, and I love to write. I have done this mostly for my own benefit, until I had children, and then I was more motivated to give account of life as it moves.
I almost died in 2013 in a car accident, and the first thing that I did in the hospital after waking up from surgery, is I made a video about this topic “why I blog”.
I have had a really troubled family life before meeting my wife. I didn’t get a long with my parents, after about age 13 when my parents separated for about the umpteenth time, I moved in with my grandma, and then my cousins, and then some friends, and eventually I ended up living on the streets for about 2.5 years years, and I traveled all over the country as a teenager.
But after all of it, I was fortified, and my life lessons, whether difficult, or just enlightening, it gave me a perspective on life that I can handle anything.
I can say that the difficult times are the ones that I remember the most, and I think that is probably true for everyone. The people who go through very difficult times, either are strengthened or broken. If it doesn’t break you, then you are a better person for it.
I feel like I still have my weaknesses. I have family that are atheists, and family who are Mormon, who think that if they can point out all of my weaknesses, that they can debunk my faith in Christ, which I credit for being some of the greatest strength I have received in life. But I have no claim to perfection. I don’t go to Christ in prayer because I am worthy. I go because I am unworthy, and broken. His strength lifts me up, when my own strength isn’t enough. I found faith in Christ at about age 19, when I was living on the streets and going to soup kitchens.
The prayers and love that other Christians gave me, lifted me up out of the muck, and helped me to focus on more important goals. The friends or family that have taken this as a challenge, and have worked really hard to point out how unChrist-like I am. I think that too helps strengthen me, and helps me reflect. But so much negativity can only help so much before it becomes toxic.
So I have separated from most of my family. A lot of that division came when I was a teenager. I haven’t spoke to some family since I was 17 years old. Others who I have reunited with since, have been out of my life since my father died. It was a pretty tragic time, and a time that my mother saw fit to bring all of her grievances, to me and about me. When my father was alive, we had a pretty good relationship. In fact 3 months before my father died I had my mother, sister and cousin (all of which I no longer speak with) at my house in Bellevue WA (it was a rental).
And spent time with my father in the hospital before he died, he was even using a blanket that my wife hand-sewed him years before, that he had slept with for about 10 years.
Apparently these hard feelings cropped up from my mother, because I had wrote my biography and published it after my brother committed suicide in 2002 (right before I met my wife).
I had let my parents review it, and suggest edits, most of which I accommodated for them before publishing it. However, after my dad died, my mom insisted that I take it down. This is that biography; This Ragged Life Renewed There will always be archives of it, even if I do take it down. So whatever.
I really left out all of the nity grity of it all, and didn’t complain about others, and I took responsibility and I owned up to my mistakes in that biography.
But then after my mother started complaining, I had my sister, and then my cousin talking about things that I did or the person that I was 25 years ago.
So I made a few videos to help illuminate the facts, rather than just the embellished fiction of my highly jealous family members.
Skinhead video 1 (2013), Skinhead video 2 (2015), Skinhead video 3 (2016)
I did this to be transparent. I had some laser surgery done on my arms to take tattoos off my body. But they claim the tattoos were swastikas, so I showed off all of my tattoos and the remnants of the tattoos that were removed, and it’s clear to see, there were no swastikas, and besides that I have a bunch of anti-racist tattoos. But for some reason, my life when I was 13 years old, is the most important topic for them. So since it was so important to them, I just cleared it all up, and made it public. I have no shame, I am a better stronger person now.
I think the main issue that tore our family apart is mental illness. My aunt Sheila and many other family members suffered a great deal of problems and turmoil because of this. Reference to my aunt’s obituary. This was not isolated to only her. But fortunately it missed some of us. My mother, sister, and several cousins have been on SSRI drugs for many years. It is a rough situation, especially since those drugs are known to cause great harm to people mentally.
I do want to be completely transparent. I summed it all up in 2013 with this video that I made; Reverend Ryan Review on Life
Now I have a wonderful family, and I adore them and live for them every moment. For 14 years I have been extremely blessed.
Just because things change, does not mean that they are completely different. Same with people. I am who I have always been, with faults, and trials, and imperfections.
But I am still on my life path of learning, like the rest of us.
This is a father’s day video that my wife and kids made for me last year;
More to come!