2015: It Was The Year Everything Changed

  • Posted on: 28 December 2015
  • By: Shawn DeWolfe

I come out of this year feeling like I am actually full-on crazy, or I am an emotional Rasputin. To have come to late December in one piece tells me that I am living under countless illusions that stitch together to mimic sanity; or this is the level of intensity that I can survive.

Since January 1st, these are the events-partially in a stream of random order, partially linked to other events:

  • I decided that I wanted to leave my wife. At the time, I described it in my head as “I wanted the capitals to shift.” I didn't want her gone at the time, I just wanted my life to be different. At the time, I could not imagine my life without her. I could go on and on (again) on questions surrounding the success or imminent doom of the marriage: it was very familiar and still it felt uncomfortable-- like shoes that were a half size too small.
  • Rather than make a model work where my new partner had a place in my life; and my wife remained significant in my life, the wife divulged years of cheating, online relationships, and lying. That encouraged me to end the marriage.
  • When I asked my psychologist for help, he was in the midst of a health crisis and went missing for several weeks.When I really needed professional help, it wasn't easy to find.
  • I came to grips with years of abuse.
  • I discovered how extensively I was being gaslighted. For years I challenged her about what she was secretly doing and she denied that she was doing anything at all.
  • I had to get tested for STDs (super!). Having to get tested when I was not promiscuous, is like cleaning up a dinner I was not invited to. It's a special level of humiliation. My doctor, himself suffering a wife who was dying of cancer, forgot to order a test for HIV. I had to do an additional round of tests for that. I am all clear!
  • To turn the corner on my destiny, I got a vasectomy (not adding any more kids to this mess seemed important). (more)
  • I landed on the Pride spectrum-- well, I landed there some time ago. I started practicing this year after 16+ years of hearing, "no" and/or "yes" being made to be impossible. I didn't realize that I could be trusted and supported.
  • The day after the bomb shell landed, I tossed a half-dozen friends. They had looked me in the eye and confirmed that I was crazy for suspecting my wife was being dishonest. I described that moment as "how to lose 2,000 lbs. of ugly fat in 30 minutes."
  • I lost dozens of contacts who masqueraded as friends. When someone is bleeding, it's easy to staunch the bleeding. When someone is bleeding out their hurt, it's ugly and uncomfortable to witness. Many people backed off then turned their backs. Ultimately, that was fine. I don't abide cowards. Buh-bye.
  • I discovered how awesome dozens of my friends were.
  • I went into hiding. I hid rather than getting under the spotlight for autopsy after autopsy. I don't like people looking on me with pity. I needed partisan support and I didn't get as much of that as I needed.
  • My dieting continued and I got down to 262 lbs. (from 315 lbs. in September 2014).
  • We did a minor house reno (painting and some other stuff) to allow my partner and her son to live with myself and my daughter. Having the wife move out to make room for four people was especially hard. I was basically evicting someone who had shared all of my life and a part of her life for 18 years.
  • I learned what it meant to have a supportive and honest partner.
  • When I shared my joy in learning what having a supportive partner felt like, I got bitched out (Thanks, Tracy).
  • Any time lost at work to the above was made up later on-so I did the above while losing zero hours at work.
  • We started going to Prior Lake on select Friday afternoons. Geez: guys really like to stand about wearing only a tank top. I'll never watch Winnie the Pooh again.
  • I got to Europe and got back. I didn't surrender to the narrative of "I'll never go to Europe." (more)
  • I learned that my narrative, like the rest of me, is changeable.
  • I had an initial critique of a novel I am working on. She said, “this is original and fresh.” 2016 will include a return to that novel.  (more)
  • I watched my Mom physically fall apart from cancer. Still, she handled the tsunami of fear well.
  • When I thought I had another few weeks with my Mom, I got two days of her in a coma before she died.
  • One of those people I tossed in January had blocked me on Facebook. She unblocked me when word of my Mom’s cancer came to light. I took this for what it was: emotional vampirism. She loved drama and I was an irresistible buffet of drama. I thanked her for sympathy, but told her that I wanted her to keep her distance. She blocked me again.
  • I had to wade through the mess of being an executor for an estate that had no money, but lots of gatekeepers to assets. It preoccupied me to such an extent that it basically helped me lose my job (see below).
  • My niece's parents stopped paying child care money to my Mom, while my Mom was dying. (Thanks, Tom. Thanks, Shelly). That left my Mom’s “estate” tapped out when the funeral expenses showed up.
  • I tried to sell items that were of no sentimental value, but everyone stopped answering my email. So now they have enough stuff to balance out the estate, and they have all of the stuff of sentimental value to me-- they have it all under lock-and-key and all of them are refusing to talk to me.
  • After my Mom died, I learned that my dirtbag father was actually not my real father. Instead, my real father is a really good guy who lives a ferry ride and a drive away. (more)
  • My sister is only my half-sister. That's a win.
  • I believe I have a number of other half-siblings. That's a win.
  • I learned that I am half-Irish, not 1/16th Belgian. Having been to Belgium, I can say that's a double-win.
  • My half-sister basically blackmailed my Mom about the above, so that she could win arguments and extort childcare terms.
  • I learned that my Mom held the theory that the accidental house-fire in 2004 was someone's attempt to burn it all down and get a fresh start.
  • I left the job I really liked for a job that would advance by career. Four days into that job, my Mom died. With a year like this, I didn't bounce back from that.
  • I gave up on my diet, rediscovered take-out food and the joy of hard liquor in the evenings.
  • When everything settled down, I got fired from that new job. C'est la vie: I hated the place and they didn't know how to document anything relevant to my job. They were going to put me onto a different project (maybe one with multiple lines of documentation and project planning), but four days later they fired me instead of re-assign me. I was given the chance to resign instead of suffer the humiliation of being fired. As resignations come with resignation letters, I resigned and gave them a three page critique of where they came up short. I could have done 10 pages. After being asked to resign, then resigning, my record of employment, still read “Dismissal.” Real classy, guys. (more)
  • My weight went back up to 281 lbs. before I turned that around. It’s back to a slow descent again.
  • We took my Cthulhu sculpture off to the ocean and left him there. I think I have dealt with enough monsters for one year.
  • After a year with almost no TV, I bought a stupid big TV.
  • After 6 years on an aging laptop, I bought a nice Alienware laptop. I think I deserve a decent laptop.
  • I got my old job back. I love them. They like me. Yay!
  • I was blackmailed before Christmas by a friend's estranged husband so that I would yield and be his messenger. He threatened to drag my name through the mud. Please, bitch: see above and let me know if you think that's going to be the big moment of 2015 that breaks me. It’s an honour to push back against an abusive, hateful and cowardly shut-in.

There is talk in geology that the Earth does this thing: the poles flip (more). It happens in a very short span of (geological) time. Imagine North becoming South: that capsizing has to plunge the world into geological chaos. That was my 2015. I had been running through life with my North pole stuck firm up my South, but in 2015, the poles re-asserted themselves into their rightful place. What I learned about myself:


  • I discovered I was unbreakable. If this year didn’t break me, then what will break me would be fully catastrophic. I thought I wasn’t prepared for losing my wife; nor losing someone close to cancer (more). It turns out I can do that.
  • I am fine with successfully working in a very turbulent and dynamic environment.
  • My narrative can change.
  • I am a wolf. It’s more than my spirit animal: it’s a definition of my character: loyal, pack-oriented, vicious but striving for homeostasis with my world.
  • After years of feeling paranoid, I learned that my paranoia wasn’t paranoia but common sense.
  • I learned to trust myself.
  • I learned that I am worth a lot more than I thought.
  • I learned how much hurt and pain I can successfully lightning rod. It still hurts, but I can wake up every morning and act normal despite how much hurt I had to suck down.
  • I learned that some people are not worthy of trust-- not even an iota of trust. Their friends will learn that eventually, too.
  • I am happy that I can distinguish real people from talking boxes. People who listen to talking boxes live sad hollow lives. I pity them, but I don’t need to change them or celebrate their pit.
  • I knew life was too short. I got hit in the head with that, anyways.
  • I know that some people replace quality with oddity. That’s cryptic, but it’s still true.

What is 2016 to be?

  • Recover from a New Year's Eve party that I hope will be good.
  • Close off the marriage. In the middle of January, we turn the separation into an uncontested divorce application.
  • Renovate the house. We have some basic plans for some simple changes.
  • Selling the house. I have hated Blackwood since I moved in, but it was a recession-proof, joblessness-proof house.
  • Buy a better home. The next one isn’t our forever home-- it’s the home to play through until the kids move out, then comes our forever home.
  • Get my weight down to 190 lbs. by December 2016. Stay there or improve in time for the wedding (see below).
  • Fire up my own consulting to fit around my job-type-job. (more)
  • Pick-up work on my novel. If I get it done, I may do another novel about the recent years of my life. If the above seemed uncomfortably bare and raw, then you would not survive reading that latter novel.
  • Go to Whistler.
  • Go to Tofino.
  • To see my Dad.
  • Maybe go back to Europe; or maybe to Iceland.
  • Enjoy a month long vacation in August. That may be Europe or Iceland. It may be a road trip through the U.S.
  • Propose and plan a wedding. The proposal has to wait until I am no longer married, but I think that special someone has an idea that I'm up to something.

And to play us out, some nerdom connected to the phrase, "It was the year everything changed."
2015 was the year everything changed, and it happened for me 246 years earlier than expected ;).

Last updated date

Monday, March 14, 2016 - 14:09