The Ringing

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FINALITY

i expect, or expected, pondbrain, to disappear eventually. or at least, lose usefulness and be a redirect site to the rebranding i’ve done from PONDBRAIN to EMPTY HOPE.

Rise and Shine

It has been a strange year. I came into it with a coworker I was freshly attached to, having a brain bleed. Went through the first half with a new coworker. We were forced into a new place with 1/3 the storage of the previous. Luckily on one side is a family made up of a teacher, her 3 daughters, and a doggo.  On the other side, a mother and her son and their doggos (plus her boyfriend now and his son and his big doggo) – and the only other in the building I believe is a dude and his wife and their doggo. DOGGOS!  We need a doggo.  But we have 2 cats that are spoiled. 

Sidetrack boy, over here. So, all summer was essentially me working alone. Felt like all summer. I know it was all of July and most of August. Hey, I lost a lot of size, though.  I mean, 6 belt holes. Then we got this dude who was funny. He was kind of dumb. But funny. And a REALLY BAD WORKER. So, as soon as we were able to, we got the guy back who worked the first half of the year filling in for brain bleed guy.

I skipped over a lot but I’m just rambling and don’t want to delve into all that. But I’m pretty happy here at this location. It’s perfectly located between where Beth and I work. There’s a daycare that isn’t a nightmare, where Lily is happy. And I like all my neighbors.

Now, I’ve had two security cameras for a few years now. Though one was for keeping an eye on lily. Well, both, overall. Then, the teacher/kids family got broken into. I’m personally of the mindset that I always want to have cameras looking out AND in, but all we had was looking in.  And I felt like I was somewhat responsible for fighting off my “paranoia” and not just making it happen. If I had done it, there’s at least a chance I would have at least some frames of whatever the person looked like who broke into their house. It seems as though the way it was done, there’s a good chance I could have picked up a view. 

So, setting aside feeling like I could have done more, I’m trying to do all I can (without being a complete pain in the ass) to try and help in the aftermath.  And I have a bunch of cameras around, now. 

It feels like a lot of things kind of came into line the last few weeks, culminating in the period where the neighbors had their space violated and things stolen. Some months ago (I have no memory of when exactly) – Lily and I were outside and a cat was stuck up in a tree. We helped get the cat down and it followed us home. Lily picked it up and they bonded immediately.

After that the cat was always around and Lily kept letting it inside.  Now it comes over and chills inside for 2-20 hours at a time. When it’s really cold it just stays inside. I think the record is 2 solid days. But it’s an outdoor cat, so always wants to go back outside.

A couple weeks ago, it found a way up the back of the building onto the roof. Nobody knew how to get it down, so the cat was on the roof for about 3 days. In the end, I got a 6 foot ladder and was pretty close to getting it down, and the neighbor on the opposite corner from us ended up luring it down onto a tall wall he could access, with food. 

There is also a motion light that doesn’t work which has been there for who knows how long. Sometimes it starts making these strange buzzing sounds. Only way I could find to make it stop was by shutting off a section of the house on the fuse box. 

So, with that ladder, and a surprise found looking over the budget, we were able to make all that has been altered, happen. Including dismantling the broken motion detection light. 

The neighbor had mentioned wanting motion lights because our lights outside, even together, are really rather dim.  So one of the things I did, I grabbed a $36 motion light I was hoping would be bright enough.  I may have gone too far, as it’s super bright as shit. Unfortunately though, it’s not very sensitive for picking up motion. It only seems to catch a 15 foot stretch of the sidewalk and that makes me angry-pants. That’s ok, I have a plan.

The strangest thing, though, today. I was outside and two guys in suits came up to their door. I was up a ladder working on getting the old broken light off, and they asked if I knew where they were. I said I assume they’re at church. I started noticing last summer they’d all leave crazy early on Sunday (well, for our night-friendly schedule anyway) – and come back before noon. They looked at each-other and back at me and I was like “Oh, you’re from their church?” hahahaha…  I was kind of panicking because I’ve been atheist (kind of, agnostic atheist technically) since oh… 1998? or so.. 2000? And I started freaking out inside because I didn’t want to get sucked into a deep long religious conversation.

But, all ended well. The course of the last week, though, has left me totally burned out on people. Not because of any of the people, but because I’m just the type that … well, I was diagnosed with agoraphobia over a decade ago.  When I was diagnosed with it I was pretty solidly thinking ” ….. that’s a thing?” .. on one hand, I thought, that sounds ridiculous.  On the other hand, it was exactly what I was going through.  And I thought I was being ridiculous. So I guess it’s just reality some people have to deal with.  And I found out I was one of those damn weirdos who… well, has to deal with leaving the house lololol

I don’t know. I might start blogging again as an outlet. I used to blurt multiple paragraphs onto a journal a long time ago. And nobody visits here anymore anyway, so hey. Rise and shine, sugarpants. Time to go out and be productive.

These days I just hope I don’t fuck up Lily. I feel like I do a terrible job parenting but everybody else tells me “the fact you say that means you’re trying and probably doing a lot better than most.”  Yeah, sure. Hope they’re right.

Christopher John Sorick

Below is a copy/paste of a conversation with a guy who was in the same group of friends I was in back in the late 90s. I haven’t been pushed to dump on somebody in quite a long time. However, when we’re this tight on money and somebody comes up initially saying they’re going to give us a bunch of money just because we go way back – then gets weirder and weirder from there….  All it did was drown me with anxiety until I pushed it to a boil over. I figured it was BS but, being desperate, I went along with it and let it get to me.

 

First, here’s all of his information I can gather: 

 

Current Address 2805 S 126th Plz #2 Omaha, NE 68144-3875

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/csorick

Phone Numbers (not sure which ones work anymore)
(402) 208-4525 – Wireless
(712) 322-6679 – Landline
(402) 342-6623 – Landline
(402) 932-6537 – Landline
(712) 323-4250 – Landline

Emails: 
candksorick@hotmail.com
strodevmyers@aol.com
csorick@iwon.com

Previous Addresses
2805 S 126th Plz #PZ2
Omaha, NE 68144-3801
(Sep 2015 – Jan 2016)

1804 Parkwild Dr #11
Council Bluffs, IA 51503-1867
(Feb 2004 – Jul 2013)

3417 Jones St #7
Omaha, NE 68105-1363
(Jul 2001 – Jul 2013)

12564 Oak Plz #82
Omaha, NE 68144-3842
(Apr 2012 – Feb 2013)

14162 Castelar Plz #4
Omaha, NE 68144-2345
(Apr 2011)

2319 S 142nd Ct #3
Omaha, NE 68144-2237
(Dec 2010)

1710 Bellevue Blvd N
Bellevue, NE 68005-4042
(Sep 2010)

720 W Graham Ave
Council Blfs, IA 51503-6714
(Oct 2006 – Aug 2008)

1921 Parkwild Dr #61
Council Bluffs, IA 51503-1877
(Mar 2008)

1921 Parkwild Dr #61
Council Blfs, IA 51503-1877
(Mar 2008)

720 W Graham Ave
Council Bluffs, IA 51503-6714
(Sep 2006 – Mar 2007)

1804 Parkwild Dr #11
Council Blfs, IA 51503-1867
(Dec 2000 – Oct 2006)

4520 Navajo St
Council Bluffs, IA 51501-8707
(Jul 2006)

808 7th Ave #3
Council Bluffs, IA 51501-6316
(Nov 2002 – Apr 2006)

4520 Navajo St
Council Blfs, IA 51501-8707
(Jan 2006)

PO Box 1069
Council Bluffs, IA 51502-1069
(Oct 2005)

108 Franklin Ave
Council Bluffs, IA 51503-4420
(Oct 1997 – Jul 2004)

MR108 Franklin Ave
Council Blfs, IA 51503
(May 2004)

3105 Avenue G
Council Bluffs, IA 51501-1935
(Aug 2001)

PO Box 1069
Council Blfs, IA 51502-1069
(Jul 2001)

1108 Franklin Ave
Council Blfs, IA 51503
(Jun 2001)

1808 7th Ave
Council Blfs, IA 51501-6032
(Jun 2001)

108 Franklin Ave
Council Blfs, IA 51503-4420
(Jan 1999 – Nov 2000)

132 S 36th St
Omaha, NE 68131-3221
(Feb 2000)

3572 Davenport St
Omaha, NE 68131-2430
(Nov 1998 – Jan 1999)

3417 Jones St #1
Omaha, NE 68105-1363
(Jan 1998 – Sep 1998)

646 S 1st St
Council Blfs, IA 51503-4349
(Jan 1997 – Jun 1997) 

 

 

Christopher John Sorick

 
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Strange New World

When my first kid’s mother got pregnant, this is the direction the conversation went.

  1. We’re not keeping it. There’s no way. Neither of us are prepared and we both have so much we still want to do, a kid just won’t work out. And it will be terrible for the kid.
  2. We can’t give it to my mom, my mom is terrible.
  3. We can’t give it to her mom, her family is a train wreck and every day there’s some new drama craziness going on for no reason. They’re god awful with money. Three generations in one house is the worst idea ever, and adding a 4th to it along with everybody coming and going all the time? That’s a huge no go.
  4. She didn’t want to get an abortion and it’s her body, so that was ruled out AFTER we definitely ruled out giving it to either of our families.
  5. We settled on adoption.

Little did she know, I had been calling around talking to adoption agencies and figuring out what the process should be. But that didn’t matter. She spent a weekend over at her family’s main house (I say main because that’s where her mom, sister and several other people lived, with another branch of family just down the street.) From what she told me, they essentially took turns guilt tripping her into giving the kid to them. “You can’t give away blood!”

I asked if I had any say in it, if there was anything I could say short of failing at trying to take legal action? No, the decision was made. I had no say in it.

I wanted to get the kid some place that was healthy. Some place where she could have a good shot at a stable environment with a family that had their shit together. Not the same shit the mother and I had dealt with growing up. That’s the goal, isn’t it? Always wanting the best for your kid, better than you had? 聽We couldn’t give it. 聽Our families sure as fuck couldn’t give it.

So the day came, I got to cut the cord, and watched the kid go home with her parents. Why didn’t I stop it? It never changed, we didn’t want to have a kid. I sure as hell wasn’t mature enough to deal with one effectively. The mother was, but I sure wasn’t. Was it all my fault and she wanted it but wanted me and tried keeping both by giving it to her family? I don’t know. All I know is what I was told.

Either way, the following months and years were filled with weekly to daily stories of what was going on with her family. All the shit we guessed would happen while the kid was there, sure enough. they happened. All the shit that had gone on, kept going on. All the shit we saw coming, for the most part, came. And the whole time, every single time, every word, all I could think about was I had a part in a baby / toddler growing up in that fucking environment.

So I distanced more and more. The relationship started with me being distant. So I don’t know how long it took her to notice. But by the end I was on another planet. And end it did. It ended several months before the lease was up. And apparently I left her a horrible letter about I was only with her so I had a place to stay which I have absolutely no memory of. I know I was having a horrible time dealing with how to handle the kid situation. I know I resented her more and more for it every single time she told me horrible situations going on where the kid was being raised.

I wasn’t involved at all from the moment the kid was born because I refused to go in half ass. I wasn’t about to be a weekend dad. I wasn’t going to be a partial custody person. I know how shitty it is jumping back and forth between where you live and who’s in charge and what rules to follow and everything in between.聽What I chose to do was just stay away 100%. But, again, the relationship ended and we moved in opposite directions. Her in with her family and the kid (which may have been a much better thing for stability) – and me in with a work friend for a bit. And聽when I moved out, it seems like five years passed in but a moment.

I had ended up getting a car shortly after that I knew would be paid off and getting up in the 60-80k miles range about the time the kid would be turning 14. I was still keeping in touch with the mother. I told her I planned to give the car to her when it was time to get a new car. I figured I would get a new car once this one started needing a bunch of maintenance. I’ve done the whole driving while watching ahead to plan where all i can pull off if my car stops working. It’s not fun. As long as I can afford to, I’m not doing that again.

When the kid turned 13, I decided after various discussions with the mother, that I would reach out and see if she wanted to connect on social media and the like. Get to know each other. Something my dad never did for me. I’ve never met my dad, I don’t remember his name anymore besides Ed. I know he went by Ed but I believe his name was Richard? Who knows. Anyway, I know how teenage years go and how my brain is, how my mom’s brain is, how my sister’s brain is. So it is safe to say her brain is like that too. 聽And I learned later, it is.

I was going to decide for myself if I was going to follow through with giving her the car. I had a job where I could easily afford to buy a new car and make the payments. I was married to somebody else in a stable relationship. The only thing I wasn’t sure about is if the kid was remotely responsible enough to actually deserve being given a car. I wanted to establish that and make the decision for myself before I pulled the trigger.

Five or six months in, I realized I think this 13 year old is as mature as I was at 20-25. I’ve always been behind the curve on ACTING mature and being responsible. It took me moving out to start learning about actual responsibility. She seemed to be ahead of me on multiple fronts. Certainly for that age, far far ahead of me.

So I pulled the trigger. I started getting some of the mid-life work done on the car so they didn’t have to. Then the wife informed me she wanted to have a kid. Apparently at some point in the years prior, I had commented if I didn’t have a kid before I was 35, I was never going to. And I was closing in on it rapidly. 聽I still never wanted a kid. I think this earth is a fucked up place and humans are nothing but cancer, overall. And I don’t want to put any more people on this earth to have to deal with it.

I was struggling with free time as it was at that point. And a kid would slash that free time drastically down. With that I was struggling with depression, and that dramatically increased with this new stress. But I had already made the decision to get the car to my existing kid. Plus, if I was a stay at home dad, I wouldn’t really need a car as much because I wouldn’t have a job to shuttle back and forth to. She made about ten dollars more an hour than I did, so it was natural that I would be the stay at home dad since day care is so expensive that I would only make a bit more than day care would cost.

But, I did it anyway. New kid already arrived, took my car to my existing kid, everything seemed well. There’s a lot more to it, but this is why I’m writing this fresh here instead of copying and pasting the existing to cut out 3/4 of the volume (actually a lot more than that.)

I’m not very capable of censoring myself. So shit I post on social media is quite unfiltered. I don’t hold much back. And I had two facebook accounts for years. One was my personal one where I was myself. The other was my public one which work places knew about. I gave her the choice and informed her of what either were. She wanted to stay on the one where I was myself. I think that was a big mistake, in the end.

Over the previous few months before writing this post, she had reacted to some of the things i shared with comments like “STOP” and the like. I can’t even remember what the posts were about. Some of them weren’t that bad at all (by my twisted standards.)

Then one day, I was having a disagreement comparing notes on something (I honestly can’t remember the topic now) in comments with one of her friendsand after a couple dozen comments (I don’t remember how many times we had gone back and forth talking about the subject) – the daughter jumps on and comments something like “you’re a 35 year old man arguing with a 15 year old on the internet. stop.”

That pissed me off on multiple levels. So, I can only comment on something if it’s positive and not interact with anybody who disagrees? So many questions. So I talked to her in private messages (the daughter.) Among the points was my being annoyed by her telling me to stop various things for no reason at all. It didn’t go well. 聽I wasn’t pissed off, much less annoyed, much less arguing with anybody until she said that. Then i was pissed. 聽And it boiled down almost immediately to her only responding with “okay.” 聽and then when “I’m not going to argue with you about this” came out of her, I lost my shit. So you can just say shit and not talk about it? Really?

I knew I had to step away. I felt like I was nothing but a dark force in her life from the DNA level all the way to being a bad example on social media. So I blocked her until I could calm down and figure out how to be more patient with her.

Few days passed and I had been talking to her mom off and on. I was debating on how long I should chill before unblocking her and talking to her again, when my sister messaged me asking why she was unfriended by the daughter. I looked and my new kid’s account had been unfriended also. I didn’t know how to react to that. The only thing I could think was try to do damage control.

I sent her a friend request and she messaged me something about it not being healthy to come in and out of her life like this. 聽What? It’s been a few days. She had my phone number. I just blocked her on social media for a bit after a stupid fight. We talked a bit and she made it clear that no, she wasn’t interested. I could find out what’s going on with her through her mom.

I had been asking her mom how she was doing but the answers were always pretty much one sentence. 聽I liked it a hell of a lot more before when I could see what was going on in her life by all the stuff she was posting each day. It wasn’t as good as being there, but it was at least an open window in. 聽I was checking her profiles to see what was going on at least 2-3 times a day.

She had told me at one point during the argument I said “fuck you.” 聽which was not in my chat logs and I don’t believe I would have said that in those words. 聽Certainly I essentially said fuck you in other words because jumping into a conversation out of nowhere with “you’re 35 arguing with a 15 year old on the internet.” definitely deserves a fuck you. 聽Especially when there was no argument (not from my end, anyway.) She wanted me to apologize for blocking her I think? but I wouldn’t, because it was for the best so I could shut up and calm down. And I wanted her to apologize for telling me to stop posting whatever, which she claimed was her joking around (which makes no sense at all.)

So that’s it. Apparently when I disowned my own mother some years back I should have cut off contact with my half sister?? According to the daughter’s actions. It makes no sense to me. Some friends tell me to just chill and wait a few months or years and she’ll come around. Will she? I don’t know. This planet and all the huimans on it are fucked up and I have no hope at all for any of it to get better. Sure, some people live great lives and think the world is an awesome place but I envy their ability to overlook pretty much everything going on around them and around the world.

Can’t See Out Anymore

I don’t even know how to write this. I’ll paste this, and continue maybe.

Erik Smith
11 hrs 路 Instagram 路
Sometimes you have to accept a situation is fucked far beyond repair and you absolutely have to just give up. Hasta luego, I guess. 馃檨
first time taking that picture out of my wallet since i got it 10 years ago or so.

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Will Major
Will Major Oh?
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Erik Smith
Erik Smith Yep. My fault I’m sure the story will go. So whatever.
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Will Major
Will Major Still clueless as to what that story is, but Okie doke.
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Erik Smith
Erik Smith I’ve been told “STOP” relating to fuck around shit on “my day” several times. Was pissing me off. Then the other day I was talking to one of her friends comparing notes on whatever topic, I can’t even remember. Then ash comes in and says stop again, adding “you’re 35 arguing with a 15 year old.” .. pissed me off. Conversation didn’t go well so I blocked her so I could cool down.

Heard she unfriended my sister from a distraught sister, and figured I better add her back since I calmed down. Well, then she dropped the old “you can’t keep coming in and out of my life like this.” Card because apparently even though she still had my phone number and herself took me of her Instagram, and it was the only time in three years we had any trouble at all (that I’m aware of) … Guess that warrants such a deep cutting comment. I disagree highly that it’s accurate. But she was steadfast that nope, fuck off.

So fuck it. I tried and failed miserably.

I don’t have much of a fuse to begin with and from observing her over the last couple years I have no hope at all so fuck it. At least she got a car out of the deal.

.. oh yeah, the moment i realized it was beyond hope was when jami was talking to me for just a few messages thismorning and said “yeah. she’s still mad, give her time.”

SHE’S still mad??: yeah. fuck it. like it was my fucking fault.聽same shit in that family every single time. it’s not ever any of their fault. ever. regardless of what that side does, it’s always the other people’s faults. always.
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that’s all i’ve been thinking most of the day. 聽SHE’S still mad? 聽SHE is still mad? 聽She started the shit. She made the comment that set it off. How the fuck is SHE the one that is still mad? I don’t even know what else to say. 聽Whole thing is fucked up. I wish I could just go back 3 years ago and just keep to my fucking self and not say shit.

Now I knew what it was like at least kind of knowing what was going on with her and it felt better than i could put into words than the 13 years before that. 聽well, 10 years before that. 2 or 3 of those first years i heard all the horrors we fucking knew was going to happen if she went to her family, happening, one stupid fucking drama thing after another, after another, after another, after another. 聽shit we didn’t want to put a kid in, but clearly had.

Fuck it. 聽Going back to drinking. 聽I can feel my face right now and that’s not good.

Medication




When I was 10? 11? I was put on medication for Epilepsy. With that, they also put me on medication to attempt better control of my behavioral disorders my family and schools had been dealing with over the years.

At some point, they had tried so many combinations that weren’t working, they pulled me back into the hospital for a month to try some others. One, they sent me home because they needed a bed for a week. I went right back the next day because I was sleep walking and my mom found me in the garage. I was at or younger than 12.

After that I ended up in lockup for a few years because of a stupid decision that had a consequence my friend and I somehow didn’t foresee. While in lockup I was recreationally trashing a kitchen when I saw a door opening. I went to slam it and had not seen the arm put between the door and the frame to keep it from shutting.

Putting an arm in the door, with me being the one going off, was a safe gamble. All the staff that knew me, knew I wouldn’t hurt anybody. But, I didn’t see it. Since their wrist was terribly bruised, they had to press 3rd degree assault charges on me so their insurance would cover it.

Before I turned 17 I had worked my way out and was back home. When I turned 18 I was told I could make my own decisions and get off medication. I wanted to, to see how I handled it. I figured I had made so many advances from the lowest while I was in prison, to the highest I felt when I was quickly expanding friends in highschool.

In hindsight, that was a horrible mistake. It went well during my highs but my lows were lower than I remembered and sometimes lasted months. I dropped even further into depression after a horrible breakup (which was entirely my fault, I fully admit) just before my 19th birthday (end of 1999). While I was still trying to get through that part of my mind fighting me, at the end of 2001 it wasn’t much better. I ended up developing agoraphobia which persisted until roughly 2004.

Mid 2004 through mid 2014 was better as I was pouring myself into everything I’ve done art-related. The more projects I threw myself into and the more games I lost myself in, the better I was doing.

As 2014 moved I started panicking because I estimated there was about 50 hours of stuff I would ideally like to do each day. Even if I never slept again, clearly that left me 26 hours short. Yes, I mapped out how much time each thing would take, and how much free time I had and tried to pick things I most wanted to do, so I felt better about my to do list vs. my free time.

Then, about a month after I was getting in the swing of ignoring those which didn’t make the cut – the wife informed me she seriously wanted to have a kid.

As anyone should know, a kid = death of free time. So this essentially kicked the legs out from under everything I had built to keep me out of the morass I had been in from 1988-2004. And it has only gotten worse since.

So now I’m looking back to medication – which hopefully will start a week from tomorrow. I’ve been trying to push myself to even schedule an appointment with a psychologist.

In september of 2014 I went to my GP and he put me on a pill I can not remember the name of, but it was great. The insurance company wouldn’t fund it without me playing phone tag every month so they switched me to Effexor. Effexor was a nightmare. So in May 2015 I finally couldn’t take it anymore and researched how to pull myself off the medicine. I slowly dropped dosage by counting out the pebbles individually so I was taking 3 less per pill. Sure, it took about a month and a half to fully ween off it, but it finally worked.

I went back to trying on my own but closing in on the two year anniversary of pulling myself back off, as I said, I feel it is absolutely essential to try again.

I don’t know how many pills I’ve tried over the years but I’m hoping I can gravitate towards one that will work out.

Just wanted to slap this up for future reference. I might write up a more detailed accounting of my time jumping around group homes, psych wards and the 7 months I spent in Eldora (kiddie prison) .. It was an interesting time for me because it was essentially pushing boundaries and observing processes and humans around me.




Depression

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Depression is a topic I usually try to avoid. 聽I don’t know how people with no arms and no legs handle it, but I would imagine they tend to prefer never bringing it up as it’s something they have to deal with day in and day out anyway, so why compound it with conversation about it?

When I was still single digits in age I was diagnosed with Epilepsy. 聽I was placed on Depakote (spelling?) to try to offset it. Unfortunately, though, I started showing more and more of the side effects listed. 聽I believed this was the cause of this for most of my life.

One day in the 2000s, I forget when exactly, I was called to mom’s house by my sister. I drove over and asked what was going on and she said mom had gone outside in near freezing temperatures and hadn’t come back in. 聽Apparently she had seen me pull in because she was entering the back door as my sister was describing what was going on.

I asked mom why she was outside and she said “because I just wanted to feel something.” Everything inside me panicked because I had been battling depression for so long and holding it in for so many years I never expected to hear something I’ve thought countless times come out of my mom’s mouth. 聽Through the course of that evening, listening to her vent, I started realizing everything coming out of her was verbatim with what I had been fighting inside myself over the decade prior.

I talked to my sister some years later about that and she opened up, too. 聽Not sure if she was drunk, or what. She said a lot and that wasn’t very typical of her. And hers matched as well. 聽At one point I had analyzed a lot of information I had collected of my sister’s and my at the time 12 year old’s, and recognized these exact same patterns and thoughts existed in both.

Today I saw a post online – reflected here – that brought a lot of this back up above the surface. it’s always there, and i’m usually ignoring it and or dealing with it on one level or another. but to see something so blatantly ignorant on the topic hit me. 聽i try not to make it a habit to let facebook crap trigger stuff, but sometimes it’s unavoidable.

I’m going to try to do all I can to equip my newborn with everything she needs, including support, to deal with what seems to be clearly genetic. That’s all I’m comfortable with saying at this moment. 聽Sorry if your time feels wasted. 聽Was not the intent.

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Southwest: Sinker of Dreams

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This may not end up true as the top level of customer service doesn’t open again until Monday morning. However, that’s already after the flight was supposed to leave, and after a planned event my wife wanted to attend Monday Morning.

My wife and I are from Omaha, NE. Now we live in Phoenix, AZ. The wife has been going back to Omaha every Christmas since we moved down here. She has been planning and looking forward to it, this time with our year and a half old daughter, since the time was approved early summer 2016.

Tonight, I was out driving for Uber to try and make money to kill off debt faster than we have been. I get a text saying something is wrong with her check-in for the flight tomorrow. Says the name is wrong.

I think back, remembering how many times I double-checked to make sure it was her name when filling out the Rapid Rewards, since it kept wanting to put my name in. I remember being absolutely certain it had her name every time I submitted anything. And it did.

I call Southwest and ask them what the deal is, after having confirmed it does have my name instead of hers. They say they can’t do anything about it after the 30 day mark passes once the flight is scheduled. The 30 day mark passed in early November.

I tell her I was absolutely certain her name was in the field before I continued on at all. They said “this happens to so, so many people. It will populate the passenger name with the rapid rewards holder’s name during confirmation regardless of what was put in any fields before.” I said, ok? So, since it’s a known problem, just edit the 4 characters to what it should be, right?

Wrong. The only thing she said was possible was to cancel it and hope that spot opens up for the same price. Well, we did cancel it. And, naturally, no such thing happened. I did this phone call from my car, after a fare, 35 minutes across town from home.

She apologized and said she was sorry. I said, not as sorry as I’m about to be when I call the wife and tell her the news.

The wife wanted me to come home so we could try to figure out what we were going to do next. This sucks, because clearly I was out trying to make money to make advancement on some debt I would love to just get rid of entirely. But I do it, because I know my presence will make it easier for her to deal with disappointment on this scale.

I had a back-up plan. A card with a huge amount available I had shut off previously. I was told I could turn it back on whenever. I hate the idea of it because it’s almost paid off. Hate putting money on credit cards. So I called, and they said no. Nuclear option in case we desperately needed funds – rejected. I didn’t want to use it unless the care broke down during a low period in the savings account, but I guess that doesn’t matter now.

So, the wife is stuck home and depressed. The baby doesn’t get to get out of the house for a couple weeks. And I feel like it’s my fault for not logging into her email just to verify the confirmation email looked legit.

All this, after being on hold for 30-40 minutes, hearing the message “Southwest cares about you and your wallet. We will do everything we can to keep you happy, and save you money.”

Yeah. Apparently not (so far, barring whatever happens Monday.) Thanks again, Southwest.

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UPDATE: 2016.12.19

    • Conversation started today
    • Erik James Rymer
      6:39am
15631226_1226527010772767_845609874_o
  • Erik James Rymer
    6:39am

    Erik James Rymer

    -edit-. RR changed the name to mine when it should have been Beth Smith and she looked at confirmation email but missed it. We showed family and most missed the difference too somehow.

    聽I’m on hold right now with option 5. 855.234.4654. Feel free to interrupt if you beat them to it. -edit-. Will update when they answer.

    Talked to someone, they canceled to try to get it again with right name, failed. Next guy I talked to said they absolutely could have just edited name. Then told me to call Monday. We have a flight paid for we can’t refund for the 28th for her. She’s pretty distraught.

    These conversations were Saturday night. I’m on hold right now.

  • Erik James Rymer
    6:53am

    Erik James Rymer

    On the phone, thank you

  • Erik James Rymer
    7:02am

    Erik James Rymer

    Worthless. “nothing we can do.” yeah right. Never using Southwest again.

  • Southwest Airlines
    8:13am

    Southwest Airlines

    Thanks for reaching out, Erik. We鈥檙e sorry to hear that your itinerary was booked incorrectly when you made the reservation on http://Southwest.com. Southwest Airlines tickets are nontransferable, so only you will be able to travel on the ticket. In order to prevent errors, we recap Passenger information during the booking process, send a detailed confirmation email, and allow a full refund within 24 hours of booking. We regret you didn’t catch it sooner and that we were unable to respond favorably to your request to change the name on the ticket. -Nicole

    Southwest Airlines 鈥 Airline Tickets, Flights, and Airfares
    Official Southwest Airlines website, the only place to find Southwest Airlines fares online. Book lowest airfare deals, view flight schedules, get flight status, and book rental cars and hotels.
    southwest.com
  • Erik James Rymer
    8:13am
    Erik James Rymer

    actually i submitted it correctly. but since the RR number was put in the field it was changed by the system.

    it was sent to my wife’s email and she missed it, because the name is so small in the email, and listed SMITH, ERIK. pretty easy to miss.

    pretty terrible that this is a common problem but “nothing we can do.”

    now we’re out the money for the return flight through the other company. so we lose big time because of a known bug in southwest’s RR submission system.

    =–=–==-=-=-=-=-=-=————————

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1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th people i talked to verbally on the phone, all acknowledged when you type the Rapid Rewards number in the field during confirmation, the system will change the name to the Rapid Rewards holder’s name. And that will show up on the final boarding pass – unless, apparently, caught within those first 24 hours.

They are well aware their system does this. And they refused to fix the situation. Sure, we can spend $550 to fly on what would have been a $145 ticket. Sure, we could buy the difference in rewards points, and I am not making this up at all, for over $800. That way we could use the points we have (including what was refunded) and….. yeah. 聽No.

I feel sick to my stomach and as depressed as ever. 聽I should have checked that email, considering how many times I checked the name and information I was filling out. 聽I stupidly thought, there’s absolutely no way it’s wrong. I was absolutely, without any doubt, certain, the information I put in was correct. And I know it was. 聽But I didn’t know about the bug. 聽And I didn’t check the email.

Then, to make things worse, the company I booked the return flight for her through doesn’t do refunds. 聽Which is pretty much everybody’s policy, fine. whatever. 聽But, on top of that, they wanted to give a $164 credit for use later. 聽And, to use that credit, they wanted to charge a $200 fee to access it at the time of trying to use it.

I actually laughed. I said, wait. So I paid $242 so far. And you are telling me $164 of that will carry over, if I choose to do so, so I can use later. And at that time, there will be a $200 fee to use it? 聽So I’ll be paying $200 to spend $164, thus spending $36 more than it costs? Why wouldn’t I just spend $200 somewhere and tell you guys to go fly a kite where the sun doesn’t shine?

I asked him several times if he’s aware of anyone ever doing that once. 聽The first several times he said some scripted nonsense that was unrelated. The last time, he started in and I interrupted him and said no, I’ve heard this too many times and I asked you a question. 聽He sounded uncomfortable and meekly said “No, no I’ve never actually heard of anyone doing that.”

No kidding?

My stupid taxes in 2016 are too god damn high.

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