A Man With No Regrets…

…is a man with no concience. Recently on a blog I frequent (/waves @ Ryan) the subject matter was along the lines of knowing who and what you are in life, accepting these virtues and owning them. You are what you are, you is what you is, and a can of spinach won’t change that too much. We all have to at some point accept who and what we are and live with the decisions we make and the things we do as a result of those decisions. You cannot spend too much time dwelling on all of the if’s the what’s and the maybe’s. There is too much to get done in life to spend an inordinate amount of time pondering each and every decision we make.

There are of course exceptions.

Let’s just say I know a guy, a family member. I was at one time a fan of this guy, I wanted to see him succeed. I saw in him a lot of what I saw in myself as a younger man. At first. When he joined the Army, I was thrilled to see him off on a life adventure that had the potential for him to make something of himself. He graduated boot camp and we drove all the way to Bumfuck Missouri to bring him home. He was soon stationed at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, where he would periodically need transportation back and forth, which I was happy to provide.

Then the next thing I know he gets drummed out of the service for being a no good slacker drunk. I had the pleasure of picking him up. I asked the Army official I talked to “I thought the service tended to jerk a knot in guys like this and straighten them out?” His reply was “there are some that we just cannot keep working with. At some point we have to let them go.”

He palled around with some of his friends for a while, then soon went to live at grandma’s house. He was given help getting a vehicle, and got a decent job. Not once, or twice, 3 times. Fired from every job he has had, and none of the vehicles were ever paid for. The last one driving grandma into bankruptcy.

The entire time he lived at grandma’s house he never once offered up a dollar for rent, or utilities. He was also quite disrespectful and disruptive to their lives. Showing no respect and doing what he pleased. He for the most part lorded over them with his behavior. They would not confront him or call him out on any of his B.S. just to keep him from going off. Little better than a terrorist.

He was sent to New York at one point to live with his father. He soon conned grandma to send him the money to come back. Apparently ole dad expected a few things from him.

He has fathered I think 2 maybe 3 kids in town, all from different gals, and never able to maintain a relationship with the mothers, or be a father to his kids. He has paid some court ordered child support, which he apparently believes is sufficient to lay claim to being a concerned family man.

He has borrowed money from family members, never paid back. From what I gather though his street cred is good. He will pay his debts to his weed suppliers.

A few years ago I had an out of town job opportunity in my old profession as a commercial diver. I needed help getting the high quantity of harvested shell in the boats (I took two, one to work out of, another to store shell in while on the river) He proved to be absolutely worthless. He was pretty much dead weight in a boat. Which is the last thing you really want in a boat. He did prove useful on the drive home as we needed a driver for truck hauling the shell back to market.

Then a year or so later a plea to help him go to school to get a truck driving job was brought to our attention. Him being a particular family member, that leveraged support from someone quite close to me, I understood that it was important to them that we should help him out. Honestly at this point I really figured our best bet was to cut our losses. I was right. It cost us $6000 bucks on the assumption he would pay it back as he got established. Oh, he graduated, and got his CDL license, but on his first trip driving a company truck he dropped his trailer in St. Louis Missouri, and drove the truck back here to spend the weekend. These days company trucks have GPS on them, a company can ping any of their trucks at any time and know where it is. They found that he had driven their truck 200 miles one way, on their dime, without their permission. He was fired before he delivered his first load. The $6000 bucks? Not one red cent have we seen. You should know this is only what I am aware of with this persons history. I am sure there is a great deal I do not know.

More recently, at some point he took to staying with friends instead of at grandma’s house. During that time circumstances changed, grandpa died, and granny moved in next door with one of her daughters, I am married to the other one, so he could not go back to staying with grandma. He has bounced around here and there, and just a few days ago was pretty much thrown out from where he was living.

I recieved a phone call informing me he would be coming to our house that evening. A fucking sociopath is on his way, great. I was not real happy about this decision to say the least, nor was I part of that decision process, I doubt there would be much more of a story to tell If I had been.

On this person’s best day he is an exact polar opposite to everything I know and hold dear. So when he arrived he wanted to know if I knew the deal, I replied “yes I am aware, and I am not happy about it.” Nothing else was said. He settled into the den and all was well, to a point, save for the part where I am not a happy camper. I knew from minute one this was not going to end well.

Later in the evening, due to our particular circumstances at the moment I had to lie down and get a nap in, so I could get up at midnight and go pick up the wife from work. She gets off at one in the morning and by the time we get back here and settle in I don’t get back to bed till 2 or so. That little nap opportunity between 10 and 12 is important to my well being since I am usually up again by 6 or 7 in the morning. Even then I am running on not enough sleep.

As I laid down, the boys were a little loud, our guest in particular, so I, and admittedly a little ungraciously, called for some quiet so I could get some sleep. Having a couple of boys here, and their friends staying here from time to time, a call for quiet is not outside of my usual routine, and normally no big deal.

Not 10 minutes later there is a lot of door slams, rattling, tromps, knocks and noise, and I am like wtf? I get up to go see what the deal is and our guest is banging around in the kitchen with no consideration at all for my request to some quiet. So, I confronted him. I was like what the hell? I just asked for some peace and quiet and you are in here making all kinds of racket? He came back with he was not trying to be loud. I can tell you he sure as fuck was not trying to be quiet. What he was doing was pissing in the floor in an attempt to mark some territory. When he saw I was going to press the issue his demeanor went to hell real fast, and his true nature showed up in his soulless black eyes. You don’t have to dig very deep to get past the layer with the charming disposition and a nice smile to see what really lies beneath.

We had a war of words. I confronted him with much of the history I have already mentioned. I also told him we needed him here like the Titanic needed an iceburg. His reply was that he did not care at all about any of that stuff, and did not have any respect for me or what I thought, and never would, among other things. It took every bit of strength in me to not strangle him on the spot.

I have never in my life threw the first punch, or instigated any fight I have been in. I have not been in a lot of fights, I would rather talk out the issue, or walk away if that is possible. I do not start physical altercations. I am not however afraid to participate in one. If a guy makes the mistake of starting an altercation with me, I will have a go with a glint in my eye. I actually kind of like knocking assholes unconcious, and it has been a while. You must understand, I have lived the life of a commoner. I have been in many a bar, seen a lot of bullying types, and have avoided for the most part physical fighting. You can’t dodge them all or necessarily find an easy way out. There are moments it is time to defend yourself. When and if it comes to that, I generally like my chances. I am thankful that the few times I had to, I walked away in pretty good shape. A couple of my encounters left my opponents taking a nap. 

Only out of respect for my wife, did I not start a fight in this case. Never in my life have I wanted to so badly put a whuppin on anyone. I even tried to goad him into throwing a punch so I could. Which is not in my normal character, some people have a tendency to get your hackles up, I’ll bet if you take a moment and think on it, you will know in your little part of the world “that” guy I’m talking about. He would not comply. We pretty much stalemated on the issue, I could not make myself hit him without justfiable provocation, and I let it go despite his complete lack of respect in my own damn house. It was close.

He got a ride out of here the next morning, I have not seen him since. Where he slept on the couch in the den… one of my boys found this the next morning. I guess it fell out of his pocket.

DSC02113

I should have known he was packing some kind of weapon. I thought he had just a tad too much confidence the night before. No telling where or how this would have ended had it begun. I’d like to think I could have neutralized him before he could deploy it, but you never know.

It’s been a few days now. I have no regrets about anything I said to this person or my actions. None at all. The whole situation still nags at me though, why in a case where I really feel justified to act and feel as I do, would I still feel like shit over the situation? I really feel bad on the one hand, and on the other I feel like I had no choice to behave as I did. I know in my heart it was high time somebody confronted this guy. Everyone else in the family is like, “don’t say anything” or “don’t do anything, it will make it worse” Why… must I feel like the bad guy for not bowing down to this person’s character?

I do not know. I do know this, one thing that I possess that my guest will never own, and that is a concience. Even having a concience, I will not lose much sleep over a certain persons never ending list of problems. Nor will I make them my own. You can’t help someone who does not have the capacity or the desire to help themselves. You certainly are not going to change the spots on a proven sociopath that gets by in life as a social parasite. No hope for symbiosis with this one. Now I need a moment of meditation, some zen, a happy place to retreat to. There are days I do not care for who I can be, but at the same time I see no way not to be so.

Mak, you gonna tell me I’m a determinist? 😉

That ends this chapter of my soap opera. I sure hope this character does not show up later in the episode.

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3 thoughts on “A Man With No Regrets…

  1. Wow. That was quite a story. I’ll cut to the chase and say that I think there’s a happy middle ground to the whole “they are who they are” thing.

    I think, to a certain extent, that is true. We genetically inherit 40-50% of our temperament, personality–even our predilections for social and political tastes. But that leaves some wiggle room. So I’d say that every person has a certain foundation. I, for example, will always be a rational skeptic and empiricist. That’s just in my DNA.

    However, just like a house, the foundation only partly determines the house that is built upon it. The foundation does indeed limit to some degree the very basic configuration of the house that is built on it. But beyond that, the sky is the limit. You could start out with one house…tear the whole thing down and build a bigger, better, more modern home. Or you could tear that house down and build a smaller, more limited and less stylish home. The foundation is the same in both instances, though. But the overall results are drastically different. So, too, I feel it is with people.

    However, there is one caveat to this and I believe that certain parts of your story illustrate it. You can’t change another person; only they can change themselves.

    That, in my opinion, is why the military did nothing for your family member; because he himself was not willing to change. It’s tough to see that in anyone, let alone a family member, the stubborn refusal to change. But if a person doesn’t want to change, no amount of discipline or outside help or influence in the world will make a difference.

    Perhaps this family member of yours will eventually change. Maybe they need to reach a very dark, low place for that to occur. Perhaps it will never happen at all. Perhaps that 40-50% genetic foundation is so rooted in stubbornness or ignorance that change is impossible. But it’s nobody’s responsibility–not yours, not mine, not the government’s, not society’s–to change a person who doesn’t want to change. The best we can do is wait for that inner desire for change to occur, and then offer our support (but that support doesn’t automatically mean giving them money…).

    • You make some great points. Yes change takes a certain level of growth to achieve. It often takes hitting what they call rock bottom for some to see that a change might be beneficial.

      This one has been supported by family and friends for the duration. Enabled to continue on the course set for himself. He hasn’t even identified an issue yet. As far as he is concerned it’s just bad luck, or outside influences working against him. He cannot see that the problem emanates from within, and the problems he has are of his own making… and if he is aware, he just does not care and will take what he can get.

      I am beginning to believe a bit of both. If you had seen what I just did, there is a level of malevolence present that concerns me, which makes the situation precariously volatile. Me knowing his history, and a bit about his ways, one could make the argument I was looking to just nip this whole thing in the bud, and I suppose that would not be far from the truth. Confronting him was going to have to be done regardless of when. There is just simply no way he was going to attain or enjoy the position here, that he had at grandma’s house. That meeting was a long time in coming.

      I like your reference to a foundation. It makes a lot of sense. We all have a simple foundation with a suite of our own making on top. Nice metaphor.

      Thanks for offering your input, appreciated. I was starting to think no one was going to touch this one with a 10 foot pole. Wouldn’t blame em. 🙂

      • Absolutely. And I 100% think that tough love can be a form of support, as long as it snaps someone out of their ignorance. In that way, I can’t say I blame you for confronting him or feeling the way that you do.

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