February 27, 2008

About Me #2

It is certainly true that this installment will be much more interesting that the last one. Juicier as it were. Because when we moved to Thief River Falls, Minnesota from Kansas, it was like moving to another world. In Savonburg, Kansas, the school I went to was very small. I had eight people in my class, and six in the class above me. We were in the same room together. In these classes, I was the fastest, smartest, and most popular kid there. Not so in my new home. That was a shock that would take many many years to overcome. As with all children, we form a world in our minds, and think everything works that way. Well, the things that were COOL where I was, were not COOL here. So in my trying to fit in by showing those talents that I thought were cool, only made me seem strange. Also by moving to a larger town, there was more money around. Greater highs for the those that have, and a greater seperation from the have nots. In Kansas, I wore what everyone else wore, cheap clothing, because that was all the farmers in the area could afford. Here, there were brand names, styles, fads, etc... etc.. Well, my family had no money, so I wasn't allowed to have any of those things. So I went from being the most popular person, and most talented around. To being the weird kid that wore the odd clothes.

That made being in this new place very hard for me. The popular kids already had their friends. So when trying to make friends, or play with someone my own age, I had to hang out with the people that had no friends already, basically the losers. That made me even more unpopular. It was a very hard time for me, and this created a basis for a very long journey for acceptance that caught me up and had a profound effect on my life.

For two and a half years, I was very unhappy. I had no good friends, and was very lonely. Then I met Gene Lepala. He was interested in all of the things I was interested in, and he had his best friend move away about the same time we met. We became great friends, and saw each other and talked to each other everyday. We had seperate interests as well, but were always together when we could be. We were at each others houses all the time. For the next four years my life was pretty good.

During that time, I had started to play hockey, football, and golf. Through my above average talents and some personality, I had once again became friends with the popular crowd, called "jocks." But retained many of the friends that I had made when I was not so popular in the crowd called "ticks." Plus, I enjoyed academics and was in with that crowd too. I knew everyone. Also, I became more and more involved with church. Becoming almost fanatical in my belief structure, believing everything that was told to me. Until in my senior year, everything changed.

We were poor, that I have explained before, so to dress like everyone else and not get made fun of, I had gotten any job that I could to help pay for my school clothes, the right shoes, attractive jackets and hockey equipment. I held two to three jobs all through high school. In the ever increasing need to keep up, when those around me started getting their jobs, I had to get a better paying job so that I could keep up. I started working for Domino's Pizza. This was a critical point for me. Also, I was very shy, but finally I started dating, and it was the combination of women and work that led me to a number of interesting things.

At church, our youth group was very strong and tight knit, and we started getting into the "new christian rock." Keith Green, Steve Camp, Petra, Rez Band, The Messiah Prophet band, and Stryper. Some pretty tame, others VERY heavey metal. The backlash at church came from those that thought all rock music was bad. This is where my break from the authorities of the church came from. I read my bible one chapter a night before going to bed, for years. I knew it, very well. So when scriptures about rock and roll and its evils were spouted, I spouted back the about dancing for God, the evils of the accepted country music so many in church listened to, so on and so forth. Then I ask the real question, "Have any of you listened to the music you are putting down?" the answer was. "That they would not defile themselves in that way." Then the event that caused me to question happened. I quoted Jude 10-11. About those speaking evil of things that they know not. That caused QUITE a stir. In Jude, he was talking about devil worshippers, not what good God fearing people want to be referred to. My father, the pastor, said I had to write an apology. I said that I beieved what I quoted, and was in no way sorry. Then it happened, my father, the man I still respect above all other followers of God said, "It doesn't matter whether you believe it or not, it is necessary for the peace of the congregation and my standing within it." BOOM!! Right is not necessary in church, just the unity of the organization. That lesson above all others that he taught me has stuck with me the most.

Also at this time, I was working at Domino's Pizza, and with a heavey partying crowd. At the Christmas party, there was drinking, and it was my first time getting drunk. I was 18, and it was a LOT of fun. Just another thing the church was wrong about. So, I started partying. It was hard at first, but I started to find a party a weekend. Then two or three. Then everyone would come to me to ask me to promote their party. I went to them ALL. I was a lot of fun, and everyone welcomed me to their parties. I would start out at 7-8PM with the Jocks, their curfews were around 10-11PM. Then I would party with the Ticks, Their curfews around 12-2AM. Then I would party with the Domino's crowd until 5-6AM. I would tell my parents that I was closing at Domino's, leave the garage door up so as not to disturb them opening it when I came home. Domino's closed at 2AM, I normally got home around 3AM. By the end of school, I was directing the different groups of people to the appropriate party for them, when they came and ask where the parties were. I also, ignored the people in my church group, to the point of not even returning a "Hi" said in the hallway. It did not fit with my new image. What a dick I was.

Also at the same time, I said I started dating. I don't know if that would really be the word. Becoming a slut is a better descirption. When I was younger, I was pudgy, always on the edge of the huskey section. So I had a poor self image, and did not think that I was attractive. Being a golfer, and golfing up to 300 rounds a summer at our small 9 hole course, I got a jof there between my Junior and senior year in school. I started out the summer, 5'4" 170 lbs, chubby. By the end of the summer, working 70 to 80 hours a week, hitting a growth spurt, I was a very tan, 5'10" 160 lbs. I had gotten a great new body, but still had the same self image. So when I started partying, I did not care who I hung out with, a lot of girls came after me, and got me. The night I lost my virginity, I was 18, and a 35 year old woman that I worked with, basically took in a bedroom, and we started going at it. Later that evening, I had sex with another woman as well, 23 years old. Then her sister, and anyone else who would grab me and take me to a bedroom. They knew I was easy, popular, and would add status to them to get me. I guess it was the worst when on prom night, I actually worked at Domino's, got to the prom parties about 11PM, drove a bunch of STINKING drunk people home, because I was sober. Then in one of the hotel rooms at 6AM, a bunch of them came into the room where I was sleeping on the floor with the girl I was with that night, they tried to grab the blakets off of us. Yes we were still naked. I let her take the blanket and keep her modesty. I didn't care, I got up in front of those thirty or so people, with used condom still on, looked at the clock and said, "Oh shit, Dad's up." Yeah I got busted by my dad, got rumors flying all around about my parading around in the hotel room, and I loved it all.

I went into high school a shy, chubby, scholarly, athlete, and left a hard partying, sex machine that treated women horribly. I was totally consumed with myself, and getting everything that I could for me. I never stopped to think of anyone else. This is not even the worst it got. Through it all, my best friend was beside me.


jON said...

i enjoyed reading this. thank you for your raw honesty. i love getting to read things like this. plus, it was extra fun because i actually have mental pictures to associate with this.

it almost makes me want to post some pictures i have of you from this time period so everyone can see them.

Valorosa said...

Pics would be great ... :-)

Holy Wildness, Batman.

Nate said...

If you have them, I am sure others would enjoy them.

Also for me it is not RAW honesty. Just where I came from.

Erin said...

I don't know, I'm not sure I should ever talk to you again. ;-)

Actually, I relate on so many levels. I was an ugly duckling until about my Sr. hear of high school, where I somehow turned into a swan and all the trappings that go with it. Varsity Cheerleader...etc. I was heavily into youth group until then, when I suddenly stopped giving a sh** about morality.

We never moved growing up, but otherwise, I get it. Ironically my husband worked for Dominoes when we met, so I even understand the all-nighters and pseudo-all-nighters

It will be interesting to hear more.

Valorosa said...

Some added thoughts... :-)

I remember that time when I ran into the church mentality that rock music was "bad"

I started going to church when I was 21 ... I had just emerged from the "drug culture" ... Had just returned from Vancouver where there were more hippies and magic mushrooms, pot and LSD than I've ever seen in one place. One of my favourite songs was from Led Zeppelin and I loved Hendrix and Dylan and the WHO. I wasn't stuck on one type of music though, I liked it all when it was good. Still that way.

So then I meet up with the God I knew was there all along hitchhiking home from the West Coast. Then I hear the message of salvation again ... I had heard it before ... but this time it takes root. Then I started hanging with church folk. In some circles there was talk of hidden evil messages IF you played a rock record backwards. Hmmmm ... so Pin Ball Wizard is evil? About a deaf dumb and blind kid being good at playing pin ball? Boris the Spider is evil?
IF I play it backwards? Hey, Jude too?

My question was WHY would anyone play a record backwards? Isn't there enough blatant evil around? Anyway I decided that these people who were actually saying these things were the evil ones. LOL

Well there was a lot of sorting out to do. Figuring out who was real and who wasn't ...

I was blessed to have, what I didn't know then, was one of the best pastoral couples there is.

They didn't sweat that stuff ... never taught about those weirdy things in sermons, didn't condemn Hallowe'en and all those cultural celebrations ... they embraced love and life. They simply taught their congregation what God required of us ... love was mainly their message and the way they lived their lives at home bore that out.

This was my intro to church ... hung out there for awhile.

Then it got old ... no longer reflecting the character of the God who loved.

:-) Too much of anything will always lead to roads away from the Lord. A lesson we all have to learn. Amazingly enough it isn't always spirits or drugs that lead people away.

One Voice of Many said...

I don't think I can talk to you people anymore.... ;-)


jON said...

here you go. for shiggles.

jON said...

i guess i don't mean RAW as in broken or anything like that. just very bare-bones. no excuses. what is, is.

while we are now used to speaking with one another like that here in this place, most people still are not used to being so honest with others. and from that perspective, a post like this is very offensive, and indeed, "raw".

loved the stryper reference. "makes me wanna sing" is an all-time classic.

Dena G said...

Interesting point, Jon. This didn't seem out of the ordinary until I took that step back and looked at it from the "most people" perspective.

I think that's a good thing...I'm getting more and more accustomed to this transparency thing. I like it. :-)

I remember those "backward masking" days...it was a huge thing around here and we had several presentations in area churches about the evils of rock music, complete with slideshows of album covers and soundbites of songs played backward...because Satan had the power to speak subliminally in that EVIL music and corrupt our young minds.

It's no wonder I've been so messed up for years...not because of the music, but because of the fear-mongering crap that was forced down my throat!

Nate--I appreciate hearing your story. Makes you seem more "real". :-)

jON said...

shit, i'll never forget nate coming home late one night after going with the youth group to a "peters brothers" ocnference in grand forks, nd an hour away. he came straight in, gathered all of the secular tapes in the house, and burned them in the back yard on the ice rink he worked so hard to build. good shit, too. the police, huey lewis and the news. man.

of course he bought it all again a few years later when he came to his senses, but that moment really sticks out in my life. i recall it with clarity, because you always look up to your older brother, and it was cool to see him so convicted with something that he would be willing to throw his most prized possessions on the altar and be willing to rid himself of them forever. and having conquered that test, had his gift given back to him like isaac was given back to abraham. to enjoy god's good favor for obedience. by god giving back to you later, with his full blessing, the very thing you were willing to give away for him.

One Voice of Many said...

Oh gosh - I had a tape burning party as well. I threw in over $300 worth of tapes. And backmasking, yeah... I remember those days. Anybody remember Mike Warnke (sp?)? He was a Christian comedian who reportedly had come out of being high up in the satanic movement. Of course he was later discovered to have fabricated 90% of it all but he had a big following for a while. We were praying in tongues against every demon behind every bush you could imagine around my youth group.

Oooh the good ole days of charasmania! lol

I want my tapes back! Ok... sure I'll take 'em on CD now.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you've had quite the life journey. I look forward to reading more.

By the way, I found you through Erin.

-- Jarred.

faintnot said...

Just wanted to let you know that throught incredible circumstances R. will be voluntarily going into rehab with one of his buddies. They go on the 15th of March. He cried like a child when he told me...he wants this to work so I ask for that in prayer. Will you join me in praying for R. and D. that they receive dellverance from this addiction? Thought you would like to know that our prayers are reaching God and He is moving on their behalf! Thanks for caring about R.

Anonymous said...

So where are you now with God?

Nate said...

Erin, The most sordid is yet to come. High School was just a spring board of bad decision. So, it gets even juicier. In the next segment, I am going to run through my life until I meet my wife. That poor woman, our relationship before marriage will be the next one. Then after that, who knows.

Not talk to me? Your husband was the one who would not, "going to provide stimulus for the emotional masturbation that people were seeking." Not I got ammo to shoot right back atcha. I repurchased every songle one of those tapes. The Peters Brothers era was my most fanatical.

I agree that all of the hysteria just leads us away from where we are supposed to be.

The fear mongering crap, is the fundamentalist bread and butter. I don't know if you remember the post that I told about someone trying to get me to go to church by called my a blasphemous, thieving, lying, aduterer. And that I was going to hell. That was there lead off line. Think any of the rest of it was going to get any better once I got there. No just a heavy dose of you are not good enough, guilt, you suck, with an encore of, "I am only telling you this in love."

Thanks for dropping by. Love those Subway ads you do. (like you have never heard that one before.) Just feel free to join in on any conversation you like. Don't feel obligated to comment if the mood doesn't strike you. I would offer you a donut, but Michelle ate the last one.

Where am I now. Go to the first post of this blog, that will give you a starting point of where I am at. To get the whole picture. Just read the whole blog. Alright, that is a little excessive. But the first post will give you an idea.

One Voice of Many said...

:makes a note: don't tell nate anything to be used against you later.
ok....got it.

Obviously I was just kidding. It takes a lot to spill out details on a blog and I agree with jon on your raw honesty. I understand your arguments on the phrase but it's just arguing semantics between brothers. Isn't that a rule somewhere - that you must argue about something?

No just a heavy dose of you are not good enough, guilt, you suck, with an encore of, "I am only telling you this in love."

This completely cracked me up. Been there!

jON said...

semantics? who's arguing semantics, huh?

and that also made me laugh, nate. (which of course, just made my chest burn and then i started coughing, but what are you gonna do...)

you know the old addage, "sometimes you love feels a lot less like love and a lot more like a punch in the face."

Nathan said...


I really enjoy your blog posts. Very real. I like that.

I also noticed your comment about my eating on a dollar a day on the Deconstructed Christian blog.

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