9/2/2023 (Day #4266)
The roots of many of my “old me” unhealthy thoughts and behaviors trace back to a few common denominators: poor self-image, low self-esteem, emotional immaturity, lack of healthy coping skills, and insecurity. I was getting in my own way, trapping myself in self-induced misery and turmoil that I curated. And for me, internal conflict is often a catalyst for external conflict that negatively impacts relationship with my family and friends.
We dug deeper into this in therapy and I recognized that I had corrupted my accountability with compartmentalizing and what I’ll call “selective ownership” of my missteps and wrongdoings. In other words, I was living a double-life, presenting myself as a devoted husband, dad, and son, then running around like a frat boy on spring break and trying to keep it concealed from my family.
My bad influence on my friends added insult to injury. I exploited their loyalty and compelled their complicity by imposing my adulterous behavior on them when I showed up at gatherings with other women besides my wife. They were essentially trapped into keeping my jackassery a secret from my wife. I admit I had some initial resentment towards my friends after my arrest. I considered them disloyal, perceived them as betraying me by distancing themselves from me. I’ve learned that I was wrong, they HAD been loyal to me, their actions in the turbulence of my scandalous activities was proof of that. And their distancing was THEIR choosing, nothing in my control, and perceptions I had about it were assumptions because I couldn’t read their minds to see why they chose to do anything. In all honesty, I don’t blame them, they had put up with a lot from me, and I understand if they finally reached their breaking point. That’s reasonable. I’m the one accountable for being a bad influence on them, a bad friend. I hope I’ve taken sufficient steps to become, in Tim McGraw’s words, the kind of friend a friend would want to have. I’m confident that I’m the kind of friend I would want to have, and I’ve got hope for someday rekindling and having better friendships with my old friends. In the meantime, I’ll keep working on myself, and what happens will happen.
So, to sum it up, I believe genuine accountability is accomplished by actions beyond admitting fault or wrong. It’s deeper than “I did it, I’m sorry.” I believe genuine accountability is established by initiating and applying corrective measures to prevent repeating the wrong or fault. That establishes full-realized accountability. That is precisely what I’m doing, what I’ve been doing, since my arrest. And I choose to take it a step further: transparency with no hidden agenda. I’m revealing my “playbook” here, on a publicly-accessible platform, when I recount the various aspects of my past behavior. It’s revelatory in service of multiple purposes:
#1 – reference for evaluation of my self-improvement efforts;
#2- disclosure of characteristics of my past behavior affords everyone reference points to hold me accountable;
#3 – reference for others to relate to and potentially identify and intervene with someone exhibiting similar behavior;
#4 – demonstrating my sincerity and commitment to honesty and transparency;
I’m publishing all of this on a publicly-accessible platform, is there anything more transparent than that? And I’m not “cherry picking”, “spinning”, or manipulating the facts or optics of anything, it’s all on the table as-is, warts and all, me being completely vulnerable. Why? That’s how sincere about accountability, and how confident I am in the work I’ve done and the positive gains I’ve made to become a better person, and who I am NOW. What I’ve done is not who I am.
Humbly accountable, honest, and transparent.