Hello, I’m Joseph – It’s been 1 day since my last panic attack.
Before that, it’s been 2,034 days — or 5 Years, 6 Months, 3 Weeks and 5 Days. I feel like that should count for something. For me, it’s the power of medicine, and the cost of forgetting it.
It’s been a busy week this week. We started it by going to a campground in the middle of nowhere.
Well, technically it’s the middle of Arizona and California in a town called Blythe…which is way worse than nowhere. I’m pretty sure they have some serious sex trafficking there, but I’m still coping with how to look away from something you know is wrong but have no power to help whatsover. We were there for a pretty good reason I guess.
Full Time Families is an organization of RV Nomad Families, it’s a bunch of people that have one pretty big thing in common, and that thing happens to be the way I’ve been living my life for the past 5 years.
I’ve never joined them until now. Interesting that I love the idea of a bunch of people dancing in the desert, but when given the chance to actually dance with my people in the desert, I judge them on my own, trying to make my own dance in the desert, for 5 years, before I join them. I consider them to be either too into this life for me
“I’m a serious professional trying to build something, you’re just trying to eek out a living, let’s not say we’re ‘the same’.”
My inner dialogue is pretty loud, and sometimes I just want it to go away. It does a good job sometimes, keeping me away from people who are risky, or dangerous, or maybe just make stupid decisions. It helped me back then, when I needed it. But now, it fights to stay alive. For me, though I’ve thanked many “childish thoughts and childish ways” and said goodbye – this one thing doesn’t seem to want to go, and recently it’s awakened again, and broken through.
I’m leaving. I’m outta here. I’m leaving, because of this guy.
this fucking idiot.
I said that out loud. For other people to hear.
It was exactly what I thought. Exactly what was in my head, exactly what was running through my head the very second it came out of my mouth.
Pretty crazy right? I mean, how does that happen?
He touched on a point I felt super strongly about. He said the COVID 19 Vaccine — which I, my wife , and all 3 of my beautiful children have had, is killing people. He clearly is spouting nonsense that he just heard on fox news primetime, but still it pissed me off so much.
“What did you just say?”
The COVID vaccine is killing people.
The COVID19 Vaccine is killing people?
You think the COVID 19 Vaccine is killing people?
Yeah! Look at the football players dying on the field. They’re gonna have people dropping dead.
I can’t. I can’t…I have to go. I have to leave. I’m leaving.
I’m leaving. I’m outta here. I’m leaving, because of this guy.
this fucking idiot.
At that point it was getting pretty riled up. Everyone said “oh my gosh! Joseph, walk away, go home, don’t engage”. There was almost a fight, apparently. I wasn’t paying attention, I was just walking away. Then I thought, “That wasn’t cool. I need to tell that guy I’m sorry and that wasn’t right”.
But it was too late.
He was angry, and reasonably so. From his perspective we went from talking about Blythe and how broke it was to COVID19. He sees those two things as exactly the same. He doesn’t see that the cartel brings young women across the border who are looking for a better life, then throw them in trucks and threaten them with violence to comply.
He doesn’t know that after they’re stripped of their dignity, they’re drugged and forced to work in sex shops or some other terror will come their way. They have to do the job. Men aren’t paying to rape girls. They’re paying to be pleasured. So these poor people who are in these places are forced to comply and pretend to enjoy it, or their suffering will increase.
He only sees it as COVID19 and a government conspiracy. He can’t see the truth, he won’t realize the truth…and he’s a fool. I hate that nobody wants to talk about what’s going on in Blythe.
I hope to GOD I’m wrong. I hope it’s not what is happening…but I think it IS what is happening.
We’ve been to 49 states. All over the united states. Presumably if there is human trafficking in our country, we would see it. We would see the places to avoid. And we have occasionally … don’t get me wrong. But never like Blythe. It made my son want to leave, and it made me feel genuinely unsafe. Like I wasn’t on my own territory anymore. I imagined a few different ways of how we could be in trouble in Bythe. Bump into the wrong guy, have a guy tell you that you dented his car…so many ways to be hustled and hassled.
Blythe has something wrong with it. I hope I’m wrong. But if you can’t see that when you visit this place, you’re pretty friggin self-absorbed because the rest of our country doesn’t look like Blythe. It’s not a good place.
This fucking idiot.
In that moment, this guy represented all that was wrong about the Trump supporting wing of this country. And I had to get out, because I thought I was gonna say something I regretted…and that instinct was damn right. Only it was too late.
Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks – Jesus
What is in my heart? A lot. A whole whole lot.
I love my kids, and I feel them slipping away in the form of our oldest.
I love this life that we have and I know I have to say goodbye. Goodbye to this time in our life, the country we get to see, and the people it will be difficult to travel to see.
I may never see Bruce again.
I may never see Will again.
That’s probably not likely. I now know how to travel the country like a champ and can handle just about any distance…but I won’t.
I won’t go through the effort, once we’re back in normal life.
Who can do all that? Who can have friends that they SEE in 4 different geographic locations? Only Nomads can do that. And I’m not a Nomad anymore. Well, not for long. But the funny thing is, I avoided the nomad community as a whole. I considered them below me somehow. And that’s really the lesson.
I considered them below me.
They were the only people who could understand me.
The only people who’ve walked this road we walk, this journey we’re doing.
We all feel the strain…we all feel the reward.
The two things always…always together. No pain, no gain.
They understand how unique that is, how universal it is to us all. We all have to pay our pound of flesh. Unfortunately, you can’t get away from it.
You feel like a son who isn’t honoring the family by staying away so long. By intentionally deciding to travel instead of making our travel about our family etc. Living on the mission field, moving for work etc. There are some real reasons to leave home and move away…but traveling the country like a bunch of hippies isn’t one of them.
It’s a selfish reason.
Your life can’t be lived for you and your family alone.
And yet…it is. For 5 years.
It’s been the best 5 years of my life. The best 5 years of memories yet. We may have crammed an entire lifetime in those 5 years. And that’s enough. It’s been good. It’s ok.
It’s just that saying goodbye is really strange. It’s strange that I finally danced in the desert. And don’t get me wrong, some of them are crazy.
But we danced.
And we made amends. I apologized to everyone that was there. I earnestly apologized and shook Eric’s hand. His very strong and honestly intimidating hand. Eric is a good person, who cares to protect Americans from an government control. If the government WAS trying to crush business with their pandemic response etc, I appreciate that he would be there; A lone soldier of the old guard, never leaving his post .
Why was my heart full?
Well, all of the aforementioned things…but also, in my enjoyment of these folks, I had forgotten to take my medicine 5 days in a row. That’s a new one for me. Also, the hardest part of taking medicine is that when it works, you don’t feel like you need it, so you forget to take it. Timers in my phone try to remind me…but a panic attack kicks the door in – you feel me?
So I didn’t feel like I needed it…until tonight when my urine was dark.
Pancreatitis could cause dark urine possibly?
Ohh hopefully not kidney stuff, that wouldn’t be good — oh shit what if it’s a kidney stone!
Oh shit am I gonna pass a kidney stone tonight?
Where’s the pain then?
And then the room started to … it’s not “Spin” … because it doesn’t SPIN, it more…zooms.
So the room zooms.
And here’s the real trickery of panic attacks. THEY HURT.
Of course there is, look at the pee. It should be at WORSE yellow.
It’s almost brown.
And it took awhile to pee a few minutes ago.
Probably a kidney stone in the way.
What a JERK my anxiety is right? Like, can’t just let me experience things as they actually are. And then I remember.
I’ve been here before.
Maybe a hundred times?
My God. My Medicine.
I didn’t take my medicine.
How did I live like this?”
How did I live like that? I’m not going there now…but it’s a good reminder to take my medicine. And this is what it comes down to.
I was so busy dancing in the desert, that I forgot to take my medicine.
I danced, and to be honest, I cried.
Because I remembered.
I remembered why we went to the desert in the first place.