Rising Above Adversity

by Eric Durland 12 months ago in incarceration

Making Dreams into Reality—444

Nine months ago, I arrived at the revelation that I'd had enough of wasting my life pursuing useless jobs that meant nothing to my heart and soul nor to the attainment of my passions and my dreams. And having become fully fed up, succumb to pursuing an archetypal lifestyle and subjecting myself to people and hierarchies that did nothing but depress me, I did the only thing I could think of: I packed my car with a tent, a 50 liter pack and my dog, and surrendered all my material belongings in pursuit of a dream gleaned from an epiphany I had back in 2015: that my destiny was to write a novel on par with that of Divergent, Hunger Games, Twilight, The Maze Runner, or Harry Potter.

This is my story. And I'd buckle up if you plan on tagging along. Because it's going to be one helluva bumpy ride.

Ever since I graduated high School in 2009, hardly anything I did felt right. Everything felt as if I was just doing things because I was told I was supposed to do them—not because those things held any beneficial meaning to my soul or my positive growth as an individual.

Well, the path was paved. So, upon graduating, like every good aspiring adult freshly groomed in the art of conformity and unanimity, I chose a road. Ever since I was a baby, I've had this fascination with fighter jets and planes, so I figured the Air Force was perhaps the next step for me.

Man, was I wrong. . .

In-fact, that is right about when my depression started to kick in paired with an unconscious understanding that such hierarchies are simply not for me. Not with all the bullshit, the shit talking, the perpetual petty trolling, nit-picking and nagging, the hierarchical politics...

Yeah, no—check please.

There are way better things in life to live for. And, in one man's passionate opinion, finding acceptance really isn't worth selling your soul to the Darkness to attain it.

During my time in the Air Force, I was fortunate enough to receive (for the most part) a free ride through university. School wasn't per se hard for me, but I couldn't say I did fabulous either. I also couldn't say I applied myself very hard. Like everything else, it just felt like something I was supposed to do. So I did it.

The year was 2015, and little did I know, this was the year that would set into motion a chain of events and one helluva roller coaster ride that would inexorably lead me to exactly where I am this very day. A story that you simply can't stop in the middle when the going gets tough and the author sounds insane. I'm only asking that you give me the benefit of the doubt for a short time. You've got to push on through to the end. Because this story will blow your mind when the reality of it sets in.

And it all started with an epiphany I had back in 2015 while I was watching The Matrix.

As the story goes:

It was a glorious starlit Spring night.

My girlfriend at the time had been away for the weekend, and I specifically remember I'd been sipping down my favorite brew whilst enjoying corn on the cob and fresh Maine lobster while watching one of my all-time favorite movies: The Matrix. (Of which, I've seen upwards of a hundred times. In-fact, in high school, I would watch it for months straight falling asleep each night.)

I was quite buzzed, having an overly euphoric night to myself, when the strangest of phenomena smacked me across the face as if with an iron gauntlet—an epiphany.

You see, the Matrix is a movie that, no matter how many times I watch it, I somehow always manage to learn something new—connecting some dot about the plot that I've yet to connect. And my epiphany hit me sort of like that, like I was connecting a dot and the illusive light bulb was illuminating in my brain, but this was way more intense.

I lost myself deep in ponderous thought. I was taken aback; lost to a stupor, a state of trance, as my mind spoke to me the revelation that would soon engulf me. It was an innate feeling, an inborn understanding, that there was a reason why I recognized why the Matrix's plot worked so well. And with this revelation, came the belief that I could write a book that the world would enjoy much like the Matrix. Scratch that. That I was meant to write a book that the world would enjoy much like the Matrix.

From here, the ball was rolling.

Over the next few days, something inside of me told me that the idea had to be perfect before I could even start writing. So I waited patiently as the weeks ticked by, believing wholeheartedly that one day, the light bulb would spark again.

During this time is when I really started to struggle with my alcoholism, gleaned from my depressions associated with the world—particularly the Air Force, as well as a fraternity I had joined and how ignorantly they treated each other and others through their two-faced facades—coincided due to a lack of passion and purpose.

But, finally, it came to me. I was in my senior level business seminar class when it hit me. I must not have paid attention to a single word the entire class—because the whole time I was scribbling in the back of my planner, as I feared if I didn't get the idea out of my head, that I would lose it.

Unfortunately, that step, which I thought was a heaping giant’s leap forward, turned out to be nothing but a tease at a strip club. My inexperience with writing fed my self-doubt, while my depressions further fed my alcoholism, and my roller coaster ride was far from over. In-fact, little did I know, I'd only reached the bottom of the first drop. And despite some ups and plateaus, there were also downs, flips, twists and turns still to come.

Ergo, if you think this has gotten juicy yet, you are poorly mistaken.

Fortunately, I graduated from both university and separated from the Air Force that year. My first course of action: I had planned a two-month hike on the Appalachian Trail.

At first, it was simply an amazing experience. The people seemed great. Being in nature was great. The days were often hard, but nothing unendurable. And I wasn't drinking as much. I was actually feeling good.

Then, like time and time again, just when I would think things were looking up, my veil of naivete lifted and the facades of the people around me began to show. I had by chance—should you believe in such a concept, I don't—come to gravitate around a group of individuals, who a fair few of them just truly had bad energy written all over them; nothing but manipulators and deceivers striving for social dominance—or, Triumph, as I call it in my writing—whilst not caring the slightest about what happens to those who get struck by the fallout.

Thus, just like with my frat; just like with the Air Force—I started to see everything in these people that I so hated about the world and that was so depressing to my life force: judgment, prejudice, intolerance, pettiness, duplicity, superficiality, egomania, outright narcissism, and thus, ultimately, the pursuit of Triumph (all of which most often being clandestinely embodied through pretentious surface facades). I started succumbing to the depressions that were elusively engulfing me yet again. I started drinking more every time I was around these people as to drain out the feelings and live within an illusion versus what my heart was telling me was true about these overly negative people.

But then I met Fidget, and everything was about to change.

Fidget was an English chick who embodied everything about the world that I simply craved with all my heart to see in every human being. She was a LASHer ("long ass section hiker") like I was, and she had the coolest and most inspiring story. It was her second five-hundred-mile section on the AT. She didn't have a strict regiment or a definitive plan. If she wanted to hike, she hiked. Or if she wanted to take a week away from hiking she would, for example, hitchhike to Canada and see a music festival (or something like this). And all I remember thinking as I learned this was: that is how I want to live my life... That is what being truly free and living is about...

I ended up spending two truly surreal days with Fidget and one of her friends, who had planned to meet up with her these same days. There were no ignorant, prejudicial, and petty judgments of other hikers, as nearly everyone else I was interacting with were perpetually engaged in. (Just like my frat was perpetually engaged in. Just like the Air Force was perpetually engaged in. Just like this society—as a whole—we've allowed created is perpetually engaged in.) Thus, there was no social hierarchy one felt obligated to conform to unanimity to. There was simply down to Earth real life talks of the genuine and open-minded nature, as we created art and explored the depths of thought and creativity.

Fidget with Jumper on the far right, her friend and I on the left.

After we'd parted ways, within three days, I'd made both the best decision and the worst decision of my life: I broke up with my girlfriend (the worst decision) and I acquired a visa to live and work in New Zealand for a year (the best decision). A week later I was off the trail and away from all the people that had been poisoning to my state of happiness. A week after that I had a job at a Buddhist retreat center.

Again, everything was looking up. I was drinking less, but still too much; mostly because the shade created from the booze shielded me from the mega mistake it was to break up with my girlfriend, rather than bring her along with me; that, and from the reality of the world I just didn't want to accept as truth; the reality I was deflecting and denying like most everyone does.

Well, of course, after a couple weeks of working at this Buddhist retreat center—this sanctuary that was supposed to be that of peace and zen—the same thing became utterly apparent to me: a select few individuals seeking to socially dominate the hierarchy taking those who were willing to conform to their whim under their wing, whilst spitefully desecrating anyone that they deemed as a threat to their social dominance or that they saw no social worth in.

I watched, yet again, as some of the kindest most genuine people I've ever met be so easily manipulated, toyed with, and prejudicially shunned and degraded behind their backs whilst these same predators acted like their best friends to their faces. And all I could think was: these people are selling spiritual guidance; these people are selling Karmic peace and serenity; yet, they are more two-faced than a two headed coin.

This prejudicial ignorance, this superficiality and duplicity, this war for social dominance which just continued to poison my mental state hierarchy after hierarchy. These people that pretend they're such great people, yet, in reality, are awful human beings—once you dig past their facades and you get to see how ignorantly they act and think within in-group settings. There was simply no escaping it—at least, not here in the US; I didn't know about anywhere else, but my plan was to find out.

Little did I know, my war against such people was soon to reign down on me spite that simply no human should ever have to endure.

New Zealand is an absolutely majestic place. From treacherous and jagged mountains, to flat plains, to desert sand dunes, to volcanoes, to rainforests, to aqua turquoise lakes that stun the eyes, for such a small country, New Zealand truly has a bit of everything.

I began my journey traveling with two amazing human beings and two clandestine narcissists. (Somehow, the Darkness always works its way into the equation.)

Well, the narcissists did what they do best: drew schisms in group cohesion, as they tried to dominate the group in a manner that everyone always caters to their selfish and self-centered wants and needs whilst painting anyone who doesn't conform to their whim as the bad guy (often via self-fulling prophecies). It's exactly what I'd seen time and time again, and it was starting to get redundant. But, the good times outweighed the bad—and within three weeks, we were all off on our own ways.

The two beautiful souls I was blessed to get to know intimately during my first three weeks of travel in New Zealand.

Immediately, I landed one of my dream jobs in Queenstown working as an ATV tour guide/instructor; and within four weeks, I had a home of my own with seven other flat mates. Mind you, it was a brand-new home with the entire facade of the house gazing upon Lake Wakatipu with folding glass doors opening to a balcony guarded by a glass partition standing about chest high. The view and the house itself were truly sublime. I vividly recall sitting on the balcony with my laptop trying to put words on the screen for my novel as I struggled against what became a three-year learning curve chalked full of self-doubt. Yes, you heard me right, it was three years before I was even able to get one complete draft of my novel finished. But, regardless of my failures at the keyboard, I stuck with it.

Once again, I was only drinking socially, and life was again good.

Myself on the left, Jason Stathom (the actor) in the red, and his three playboy bunnies that he's taking a photo of on the right. They came one day to receive a tour at Off Road Adventures where I worked.

For the first few months, everything was magical. I've finally done it, I thought. I've finally found a group of people who don't embody all I hate about the world. That is, until we learned that the Irish couple subletting the flat was living for free and charging the rest of us extra rent.

Personally, I didn't really care. The truth came to light, life goes on. Which is why my roommate and I and the girlfriend of the English man I'm about to introduce to you sought to make peace and end the drama. Whilst, this English flat mate just mentioned began doing what he did best: he started manifesting the social divides, creating more drama, and painting us as the bad guys to the other flat mates as he tried to conquer the hierarchy and control the minds of those he could. And as it turned out, this guy was one of the biggest narcissists I'd ever met to date. But he could fool you like no other—which is why it took me so long to pick up on it. His social and political facade was potent, to say the very least.

And it all went downhill from here.

Five of the eight original flat mates in our Queenstown home. (Minus the English couple and the young German.)

The Irish couple no longer felt comfortable living with us, so they made plans to move. New people came in, who the English guy continued to propagate and manifest schisms in the house in more ignorant ways than I care to imagine. Whilst, when he wasn't doing that, he would ritualistically be checking himself out in the glass sliding doors leading to the balcony. (I'm not kidding, this guy masterfully took narcissist to the next level. And the tells were there—if only one was paying attention.)

Once again, petty, prejudicial, intolerant, superficial, duplicitous and egomaniacal people had taken control of the hierarchy, and it was no longer fun. Not for someone like me who rather than conform to unanimity of all I just mentioned out of selfish seeking’s of self-preservation, actively pushes away from such ignorant and childish nonsense—regardless of the spite it may reign upon me. There are way better things to live for... and I was on my way to putting words to what those things were.

I loved my job more than anything and I wasn't going to quit because of the reality TV show life in the flat became. But finding a house in Queenstown is next to impossible, so I was forced to endure. And, unfortunately, I started losing myself to the bottle once again to drain out the misery of being surrounded by such negative and miserable people who knew nothing but the fight for social dominance—thus, the fight for Triumph—via embodying outright (yet somehow also clandestine) prejudice, intolerance, superficiality and duplicity.

Now, don't get me wrong. It wasn't all bad. Work was great—and they worked me long and hard whilst compensating me well. (Sometimes, during the summer, another American and I who I worked most closely with had no days off for an entire month—if not longer—whilst easily working twelve hour days.) I also had a great crew of friends outside of the house that kept me distracted. Together we had weekly excursions traveling around the South Island. Hence, life was generally good enough to let the ignorance and the drama of the house slide. In-fact, it was during and because of these excursions that a revelation that has guided me to this very day struck me.

Our adventure crew.

It was one marvelous Spring day as I was writing a journal about our weekend adventure when, out of the blue, what it was that I'd been seeking that had been elusive to me suddenly became clear. Written in my journal about a weekend adventure we'd had with an Aussie chick I'd been hooking up with for a couple of weeks were the words: "Genuine human connection." That genuine adding a whole new dimension to the equation.

But, despite now understanding what it was I sought, I was still drinking to cover up the lack of finding it; living within an illusion, rather than seeing reality for what it was.

A photo from the weekend that dawned my revelation: genuine human connection. Four of the core members of our adventure crew in the back and our crazy Aussie friend Mo in the front.

I traveled through Asia for the first three months after I left New Zealand. Being out and about and not stuck anywhere that was soul draining, was again amazing. But, still, I was feeling more and more down on myself. Why can't I find more than brief glimpses of what I am looking for anywhere? Why can't the world be genuine? Why do people see this game of life—this Game of Triumph—and simply conform to it? Don't people understand there is so much more to life than to live selfishly in a state of perpetual competition?

The self-doubt in myself, in my writing, in my ability to find what I was seeking, began to swallow me. And for the next six months after arriving back in the states, I was jobless, careless, and draining out my sorrows pretty much 24/7 in my parent’s basement with a bottle of vodka; doing whatever it took to feel happy in the moment.

And this is when it began. The horror story that was to become my life. The deathly spiral that was utterly out of my control. The point in this saga you've all probably given up on getting to. In which, I can guarantee that you haven't the slightest idea where it's about to go.

Have you ever heard of the term gangstalking? If you haven't, Google it. Personally, I hadn't heard of it either until about a year ago—long after I'd already known that I was a victim of it.

Gangstalking is quite literally an epidemic that is plaguing our streets operated from tightly knit black markets, and it is far more prevalent than you may yet know. Whilst, being a clear statement of how owned by Darkness—by children lost in the Dark—our planet in-fact is. Because this isn't just your stereotypical thugs contributing to this epidemic. This is your kids. This is your neighbors. This is your friendly neighborhood police officers. This is your doctors. This is your coworkers. All condoning, facilitating and/or contributing to this sort of treachery—and it is exactly why the Darkness is so close to taking back control of the world like with another Nazi regime. Because there is a vast population (perhaps even a majority) of people that think this is acceptable—justifiable—human behavior.

Now, please, hear me out before you go discrediting anything as nonsense.

In my drunken haze, I started to feel like I was being watched. People all around me anywhere and everywhere I went were making rude and prejudicial comments about me that related directly to my life—as if they were watching me, as if they knew things that I was doing in private, as if somehow my life was a reality TV show. (Trust me, at first it was easy even for me to believe that I was mistaken; that it must have been coincidence—whilst, my drinking, of course, didn't help my case.) And in my state of failure and misery, in my state of unmitigated self-doubt and confusion, I began to believe these people subliminally telling me that I was worthless, that I was a loser and a weirdo, and that I was the bad guy.

After having one helluva awakening to God's presence—a Divine intervention which blew my mind in ways I would never have imagined in a million years; awakening me to some sort of Divine Presence that the skeptic and critical thinker in me previously completely discredited—on the 17th of July 2017, I decided it was time to get sober.

Though, the mental damage was already done. My self-esteem had been so low that I had felt that even this Divine Universal Presence was trying to relay to me that I was in-fact the bad guy. So, on the 18th of July 2017, I ended up taking a butcher's knife to my bicep and trying to end my life. (In which, for the record, I hadn't had anything to drink for nearly 48 hours, save, a couple shots I drank for liquid courage right before I took the knife to my bicep—which wasn't even enough to give me more than a slight buzz for an hour or two with how high my tolerance had been.)

Don't ask me why I chose my bicep. I really hadn't thought it through. The only thought I had was that, from the movies, if I hit the vein, my bicep would kill me much faster than my wrists. It was entirely spur of the moment to escape an inhuman reality that these people that were almost certainly following me around had been maliciously planting into my head—and it was something that had never crossed my mind before not once in my life. So I sat down in my kitchen, I closed my eyes, and I started hacking for the kill switch.

And this is when the story takes a turn that I'm certain you won't believe. Not until you've given me the chance to present my full case. Don't take my word for it, just keep reading.

After my parents found me and the ambulance got me to the hospital—for the record, barely buzzed from the shots I'd taken—again, everyone seemed to be subliminally talking about me. The doctors, the nurses, the cops, etc. Which further drove me into a state of panic and confusion. It was beyond paranoia—but, of course, no one but myself would have ever understood that.

After three hours of sitting in the hallway of the hospital and never being moved into a room, listening to people crack subliminal jokes the entire time, a doctor finally came to stitch me up. Then another hour passed before they finally told me that I couldn't leave—because, apparently, I was a safety risk. A 26-year-old veteran with no documented mental health history nor history of violence and a college degree living in a happy middle-class family. It was quite clear that this was far from normal procedure. But there was no fighting it. They were in control of the narrative. They dictated how it was going to play out.

If I previously had any doubts, it was in the hospital that I'd officially become certain that I was the victim of some sort of illegal exploitation—there was just no way of proving it.

This first night staying in the hospital, the only thoughts that controlled my mind were based on a middle aged African nurse typing like a maniac on her computer the entire night, whilst talking out loud the words she was typing revolving around brutal rape fantasies lasting for days on end before the victim being murdered and discarded over a bridge (or something to this effect—the memories have faded over the last two years as to the nurse’s exact words). And my thoughts now as I write this, even if this wasn't about me (though I'd been hearing things like this for days everywhere I went)—even if this wasn't to at minimum toy with my head—why would any nurse be talking about this sort of crap? Particularly in a behavioral health and observation sector of the hospital of all places. ..Where, as I learned, many patients actually have severe mental health issues... like hearing voices inside their head.

Furthermore, this same night, I heard a few other nurses talking about exactly what ended up happening the next day—saying the words meticulously so I could hear them and in manner and tone as to issue to me that I was screwed. And even though I was previously told a doctor was going to come in to analyze me in the morning, according to these two nurses, there was no analysis. They were controlling the narrative. The doctor was going to come and submit me to the BHU (Behavior Health Unit) no matter what I said and no matter what truth he gleaned. They had me in their clutches—and they were going to keep it that way.

Well, the next morning, this happened like clockwork. An Indian doctor came to observe me, he smiled at me duplicitously and superficially—which made my skin crawl—then told me he was admitting me to the BHU for further observation...

All I could then think about was this rape fantasy the other nurse had been so vividly elaborating on. So I covered my torso with my blanket and I started pulling the staples out of my arm with my fingers. Then I began digging around the inside of my bicep with my pointer finger to attempt to hook the vein and end what I had started the night before—solely out of utter fear of this rape reality coming into fruition. (Which, for the record, wasn't far off from the reality that caused me to cut myself in the first place.) Though, my attempt was thwarted before I could finish, because I'd been sweating profusely as I fingered around my muscle for the kill switch and a nurse came to check my bandages and saw all the blood everywhere beneath the blankets.

Now, if you can believe that—you wouldn't believe what happened next. . .

The wider spread staple scars at the top of my bicep were where I had ripped the staples out with my fingers.

Within thirty minutes after being fed two pills I was told were antibiotics and aspirin, from my complete state of sobriety, I suddenly began to loosen up as if I'd taken some form of ecstasy.

I remember saying to my parents, "I feel like I'm high," as the amphetamine (or something or other) I'd been slipped loosened my lips and I began talking about things that I would have never normally talked about with my parents—nor these random strangers—as if I was high on some sort of truth serum.

The nurse then said duplicitously, "He can't be high. We only gave him antibiotics and aspirin."

An hour later, I was dumb as a door nail. Whatever the drug they gave was, after boosting me up like an upper, it then had me crapping my brains out every thirty minutes while I could no longer remember a name thirty seconds after it was told to me. I was brain-dead like a zombie. And I had come under the complete impression that they were going to keep drugging me until there was nothing left of me; and these sick sadists rape fantasies I'd been hearing about were going to come to fruition only after I was helplessly brain-dead.

Well, from here, the doctors had their plan well organized. They gave me piles of printouts discussing the effects of long-term alcohol abuse: {i.e. delirium, hallucinations, euphoria}. None of which related to me—not in the way I was feeling.

For starters, I'd personally experienced alcohol related withdrawal years before on a trip to Cabo with my older brother, which would have fit the picture they were trying to paint much more appropriately—and that took place immediately after I got sober after an extensive three days of binge drinking. Please note: It didn’t on set two days after I’d already been clean and sober and was feeling and functioning normally. Ergo, this was nothing like that. Secondly, I'd been well versed in experimenting with recreational drugs at raves and what not—hence, it was quite clear to me the difference between being high on uppers (like Adderall or ecstasy) and down on downers (like ketamine or DXM or something) versus supposedly hallucinating due to alcohol related withdrawals.

But the story fit well for them—and I quickly fell in line in my induced state of dumbness. That is, until I started to come to my senses over the next two days; noticing that there were times of the day that I was sober—like in the morning—and then all of a sudden, after drinking the water they were giving me, or eating the food that was premade specifically for each patient, I would again be high as a kite immediately followed by dumb as an ape.

It was my third day imprisoned in the BHU, quite ironically, when my bible gave me the solution. I'd been reading a section in my bed when the words that blared at me read: "fast." So I fasted. I refused to eat and I refused to drink. I refused to take the pills they were giving me, which, up until this point, being in my drugged state, I hadn't even been questioning.

Lo and behold, the next morning, I was officially sober again and I finally had my wits back. From this point forward, I continued to let them fill my little yellow water jug, but I immediately dumped it down the drain, washed it with soap, and filled it back up from the shower head. For the next five days, the only day that I lost my sobriety again, was the day I intentionally drank a few gulps of the water they had given me merely to test my hypothesis. And wouldn't you know, not too long after, I had begun to feel the effects again—diarrhea, stimulation, dry mouth, mild head aches, etc.—so I ran to the toilet, gagged myself and dumped the rest of the water down the drain. Unsure what it would accomplish, or if it would even work the way I hoped, I submerged a hair tie in the drugged water to hopefully take a sample of the drug right before I dumped it out. In-fact, I have it to this day. I keep it close to me at all times in case the time comes when fate comes knocking at my door.

Hair tie potentially holding residue from the water-soluble drug.

Now, get this. When I asked for a drug test—no, when I politely demanded a drug test—the doctors refused to give me one. They said I'd been drug tested during my intake and there was no reason why I should need another. I said politely, "Well, I'm the patient and shouldn't the patient always come first? What if that drug test missed something? It would make me feel comfortable to have it done. After all, I'm here against my will." (Something like this.) I knew I couldn't just call them out as having drugged me. That wouldn't have gotten me any closer to getting my blood drawn. I tried and tried for hours, but the doctors and nurses continued to dance around me and avoid me. Until I finally gave up. They were controlling the narrative.

Every day in the hospital felt like I was fighting for my life—as I was psychologically toyed with no matter my mental state being drugged or sober. And when I finally got out of the hospital, not a single lawyer I called would help me. In-fact, they wouldn't even look into my case. I have documented in my journal the two dozen lawyers I called. Nothing. No one would listen. No one would help me. Mind you, there were camera’s and assumedly audio recorders in every area of the hospital they held me that could literally verify most all of this with ease; could easily give any critical thinker enough evidence to make them skeptical enough to question the potential validity of my story. All I needed was for someone to dig for me—in which, as sure as I was, I knew their curiosity would do the rest for them. But I couldn’t even get anyone to dig.

So, I simply went on with life like it never happened. I accepted that they'd won. I couldn't prove that my phone had been hacked and my life and location were being shared with what seemed to be the entire world against my will—and thus, seemingly the entire world was condoning and facilitating this treachery. Nor could I prove that I was being demonized as a villain and both mentally and physically abused by medical health professionals. All I knew was I wasn't crazy. And most importantly, I knew I couldn't let the Darkness convince me that I was.

Have I caught your attention yet? No? Keep reading.

Everywhere I went, random people continued treating me like worthless trash—but I no longer let it get to my head. The Universe was guiding me, and my fate wasn't to die a miserable death as this Darkness was trying to instill into my head.

So, I endured for about eight months. And, God willing, day by day, I began to walk myself out of my depression with my sobriety in tow; pretending that I wasn't aware of the fact that I was actively being stalked and exploited; pretending that I wasn't aware that certain "friends" were aware of this treachery and had completely betrayed me. I was beyond certain this was all real. But I couldn't prove itand I certainly couldn't prove it legally.

So, I decided I was going to try to prove it.

Your smart,Eric, I thought. If the law won't beat this, if no one will come forward and reveal this Darkness—being it must certainly be highly illegal and they're afraid of the implications of being a member of such illegal activity—not even your alleged "friends," you can beat this yourself—just like you did in the hospital.

So, I staged certain events. I started making myself appear to be crazy publicly on my Facebook because I was certain that everything I was posting was being broadcasted to an audience far grander than my measly four hundred Facebook friends.

One evening, in my San Diego apartment I lived in for only about two months, when my roommates were home and having drinks—two girls from Albania here on visas, who I was certain were subscribed to the treachery (as they were perpetually rude to me even though they knew nothing about me and I'd only just met them), and, notably, I wasn't friends with them on Facebook—I intentionally went on another one of these rants to see if I could illicit some reactions from them.

Well, every post I made, the two girls from two rooms over broke out in laughter. I had to have posted dozens of messages; to the point that I had started to call these two girls out by name. I had to be certain it wasn't mere coincidence—so I did this for hours. Each time I clicked enter, the hysterical laughter cried out. Then silence. I waited a few moments before the next post. Every single time I posted, the hysterical laughter came, as if clockwork—as if the joke was in-fact on me. Little did they know, my public image was the least of my concerns at this time. (And I certainly didn’t give the slightest damn of what such lowlife’s thought of me that would be taking pleasure in exploiting and degrading others... This is the exact prejudicial ignorance I’ve pushed away from my entire life. . .)

Well, from here, I upped my game. I still wasn't sure if this treachery was isolated or if it was in-fact the whole world and I was in-fact Jim Carrey. But I knew if these completely random Albanian girls had access to this gangstalking app (or whatever it is), it had to run deep.

Now, in case it wasn't the whole world, and I was giving the Darkness exactly what it wanted by making myself seem crazy to those people who were, perhaps, unaware of the treachery, I signed off my actual Facebook and signed on to my old private Facebook page that only has two friends—my late best friend and my new account.

Well, I. Went. Ham.

I started posting every curse word I could think of and every racist and haughty phrase that came to mind. My only goal was to get someone to jump me with me minding my own business walking down the street with head phones in my ears. And, man, was I close...

The first day I started doing this, immediately after I declared I was going to leave my house and was looking for a fight, a cop parked at the end of my street where a gang of thug-like individuals were standing on the other side of the street. I could already see with my peripherals that they were getting rowdy and looking to pounce on me. So, I crossed the street and walked straight towards them. I was going to put myself as close to them as I could.

Well, wouldn't you know, as soon as they made a move towards me, the cop got off his motorcycle and ran over to put himself between them and me.

Do you see the implications here?As if he was expecting these hooligans to just randomly attack this harmless bystander walking down the street with his headphones in his ears, scrolling through his Facebook peacefully.

Unfortunately, however this gangstalking app or website works—the notifications come in email form, I’m certain of this much—they've got their people on lock. The ringleaders/operators must of known what I was trying to do and warned people not to make a move on me. Still, there were four separate occasions after this time where I literally had cars pull over right next to me in which the passenger door cracked open just a few inches as if the passenger was going to randomly jump out of the car. I could see the passenger looking like they wanted to attack me, cursing at me trying to illicit a verbal reaction out of me; just before the driver said, "No don't do it!" Or they just grabbed the door, closed it and drove away.

Let me tell you, if there was any time I was praying pride would get the best of these lowlife's, it was in these moments. And I couldn't begin to tell you how close I thought I was to victory on multiple occasions.

Now, please reflect on this... What are the odds that a man peacefully walking down the sidewalk with his head phones in his ears minding his own business would have had multiple cars—spread out over a few days—pull over right next to him, crack their door, and start acting tough and cursing at him? Unless they were somehow aware that he was posting unimaginably provoking posts that were somehow being delivered to more than the two friends he had on the private Facebook page he was posting to?

But, please, keep reading. The story gets so much better. I told you I wasn't crazy. Now, let me prove it to you.

After seeing so many people react—yet, being unable to physically fully react as they wanted to—I was thoroughly convinced the whole world was in on it. My parents. My best friends. My relatives. I came to believe everyone I loved had betrayed me and I was officially Jim Carry in The Truman Show. Everyone was acting. No one was genuine. And no one would help me.

Paranoia took over. Everything was wrong. I started seeing license plates that were always following me—to the extent that I'd been noting them and taking pictures to compare when I saw plates I recognized. I saw people appearing to be undercover agents of sorts walking around my neighborhood talking in their ear piece every time I left my house as if telling people that I was on the move and I needed a tail.

This is what prompted me to do something I never would have expected to do in a million years—quite like trying to kill myself. I got the bright idea that I was going to try to escape it. So I got in my Lyft rental car, I got on the highway, and I put the pedal to the metal.

I. Drove. Like. A. Madman.

A NASCAR driving madman—clocking more than 130 mph for nearly four hours north up I15. No one would touch me. I didn't see a single siren. I even passed a cop at 100+ and he wouldn't stop me.

What the hell is going on, was all I could think. Why aren't there helicopters chasing me? Why aren't there cops chasing me? I started to feel like there was a reason that the world didn't want me in jail. My mind again started to twist with sick sadistic plots.

The next day, I continued on my rampage. Though, this time, I stayed in San Diego County. And, long story short, the inevitable accident happened. The state of insanity that the world had induced upon me had caused me to act out of unmitigated desperation and I inexorably rear-ended a woman. Each of us ended up being fine. Though, the woman's airbag didn't go off, so she ended up with a black eye that thankfully turned out only to be superficial.

Again, if I've held your attention this long, just wait until you hear what happened next...

After I was arrested, I ended up in Vista Detention Center—and it was in the holding cells that things got even more strange.

One of the things I kept posting on my private Facebook page was, "444—trust your intuition."

You see, at one point, I'd become fairly certain there must have been good guys who didn't agree with what was happening to me that were in-fact helping me and keeping me safe—perhaps the CIA, perhaps the FBI, perhaps good Samaritans, or perhaps a combination of the lot, I couldn't be certain. And this was my way of communicating with them via my Facebook posts: "444."

Now, get this. When I was in the holding cell, I was in there alone with just one other man at first. He was portraying himself as mentally challenged—but it felt fake to me. So, I was stand-offish towards him because I thoroughly felt like he was an actor and I was still somehow in the show being toyed with even in jail.

Well, this man was having trouble calling a bail agent and he kept asking me for my help. After nearly forty minutes of refusing to play his games, I humored him. I approached the phone and asked him for the numbers he wanted me to punch in. He said the first three numbers, then he looked at me in a curious manner and said slowly, "4 - 4 - 4." I returned a quizzical glare as he continued speaking the rest of the numbers in a normal fashion.

When I finished, again, I locked eyes with him and I was further taken aback.

The man continued, "If you ever need to get in touch with me... this is my number."

The depth of this reality hit me like a tazor to the gut. This man was here as if intentionally and seemingly solely to protect me... As if the FBI or the CIA had planted him there... As if he just wanted a chance to interact with me face to face... Something. ..

The man laid on the bench and started to snore. I was almost immediately certain he was faking, so I crawled under the bench and followed his lead.

After this, dozens of other people were put into our cell over the next few hours. I knew I had to play the innocent man who didn't know why he was being jumped if it was to happen, so I pretended to sleep—the same as this man I was then certain was my protector in some way, shape or form was.

For what I assume was about three hours, all I heard was a dozen people who had sounded as if they had gotten arrested intentionally for petty things like “drunk in public” just to get put in a cell with me; all making subliminal jokes relating precisely to everything I'd been posting on my private Facebook. Even saying things like, "durr—4 4 4," repeatedly in condescending voices mocking me.

Now, think about this—what are the odds these random people would be saying that exact number and in such a fashion. . .? What are the odds that this man that I'd never met before, that I was certainly not friends with on either of my Facebook pages, would deliberately make it known to me that he was watching my back?

After being moved to a more official cell, the 444 man had bailed out, and I never saw him again. But things like this continued to happen.

Three days later when I had court, a young African man even approached me completely out of the blue and whispered, "I've got your back, bro." Again, like he had got himself arrested just to be in there with me. Though he was in a different containing unit, so I never personally interacted with him to dig further.

I was then bailed out for a few weeks. And this is where I really turned up the heat. I knew I now potentially had the jury to plead my case to, I just needed a way to prove the Darkness that stalked me.

So, I. Went. Double ham.

I started blowing up my Facebook feed by copying and pasting the same utterly despicable posts hundreds of times for hours on end—day and night—designed with one goal: to get someone to try to jump me; to piss someone off to the point their ego just couldn't not react.

I had at least two more cars pull up next to me, crack the door as if they were going to get out whilst cursing at me and trying to get me to respond. And when I didn't (well, I didn't verbally—but I was certainly calling them out through my thumbs on the key board), they drove off.

No matter what I did, no matter how ignorant and racist I was, I couldn't get someone to physically attack me.

Fast forward a few days. I ended up driving to the northern tip of California in between court dates.

Well, I got into some car trouble, and, wouldn't you know, I was sitting in the lobby of the tire shop when a man came in and sat next to me. He immediately came off as a rude individual and clearly he was subliminally trying to crack jokes towards me in order to get into my head. Which is when I opened my phone and began blowing up my private Facebook page.

Wouldn't you know, in the same exact instant, this man’s phone started vibrating to the beat of my thumb on the post button. Only after dozens of erratic vibrations, he ran out of the office, put his phone on silent, and then came back into the office; because he finally realized that the vibrating, of course, wouldn't stop until I stopped—and I wasn't planning on stopping.

I laughed inside. Score one for Eric, I thought. Who's the fool now?

I was put back in jail on the 17th of March 2018 and served a seven month sentence after being forced into a plea deal.

I had known from the beginning the judge and my lawyer were subscribed to the treachery much like seemingly most everyone else.

My first lawyer I discovered because I started posting about him being a crook on my private Facebook page and he clearly was taking a mental hit—as I was broadcasting these messages to most all of his potential clients. It was easy to tell he was no longer a happy camper for having taken me as a client whilst charging $5,000 for the less than an hour of time we spent with the man and absolutely nothing he did for the case.

When we were in court, the judge had looked at my lawyer with a sly smile regarding my case when it was our turn; so, from the back of the court room, I immediately slandered his name as well on my private Facebook page. The second the posts were up, his face looked up to his laptop which had been opened and he froze, as if petrified as he got the notifications. His face instantly glowed red, showing despair—and I was instantly certain he too was aware.

The two of them were quite blatantly colluding. And the fact that I could illicit reactions from them—amidst others—simply by bombarding posts on a private Facebook page, with no friends that no one even knows I have, made me feel pretty powerful, despite, being at the shit end of the stick.

Now, get this. My second lawyer—who is the epitome of a crook and a bully—postponed trial as long as he could (three months), trying to pressure me to sign a deal—clearly afraid of what I might say on the stand—until he couldn’t postpone any longer. We picked a jury, we went through two days of proceedings, we heard all the testimony of the prosecution, and the day I was supposed to take the stand, my lawyer blocked me from being allowed to speak my truth.

You see, after we finished hearing the prosecution's witnesses on the second day of trial, my lawyer confronted me. He was flustered, and he asked me what I was going to say. He told me that the judge wouldn't just let me say whatever I wanted to say. I said, "Why would I say anything that isn't related to the case? That just doesn't make sense..." He then asked me, "Well, what are you going to say, then?" I said, "I'm going to tell the truth—I'm going tell all of it... I'm going to tell the jury why I was driving like a maniac completely sober and for no good reason." (The only question no one was asking...) He grinned at me sadistically and stood up as if he had won. I hadn't yet known how—but I found out the next morning.

Right before I was supposed to take the stand, my lawyer stood up and told the judge that I was unfit for trial and his justification was that I had told him the day before that demons were talking to me—which is utterly untrue and quite blatantly the last thing I would have said.

Score two for Eric, I thought. Now I've got him lying on the record in a manner that can be easily disproved. Because never once in my life have I "heard voices" or made such outrageous claims. Nor would I have ever said anything like that that might have jeopardized a court case in which I was avidly trying to win a jury's heart by putting question into their minds about my motive—not scare them away by them thinking I was insane.

Now, think about this for a minute... For three months, I was completely sane. I even had already testified once in court during my prelim in which I looked the victim straight in the eye and said I was sincerely apologetic for my actions and I hadn't intended to hurt anyone.

Literally, the judge already knew I was sane enough to testify; the prosecutor already knew I was sane enough to testify; yet, abruptly, after three months of proceedings, I suddenly wasn't sane enough to testify...

Come on, now... They were controlling the narrative.

After prolonging the trial another three months just to have me see a psychologist and for that psychologist to verify to the court that I was totally sane, coherent and fit to stand trial, they had won their victory. I had succumbed to the thought that it was useless to keep fighting. This Darkness was engrained deep, and these judges and lawyers knew all the rules and the ins and outs to make me do whatever it was they wanted. And as smart as I thought I was, they were always ten steps ahead of me. So, I signed the deal and was released from jail a month later. But I still maintained faith that the Universe had a plan. A plan for justice. I just couldn't see it yet.

The date was the 31st of October 2018.

Before this date, and during my seven months incarcerated, I had completed my first full draft to date of my book Benevolence which has become very much a fictional recreation of the story of my life.

And, here we are, back were this all started. I only assume if you've lasted this long, surely I've caught your attention.

Nine months ago to this date, I got out of jail.

Since I've gone off the grid, I live off $80 to 150 per month (including $195 state assistance food stamps for being "homeless") in order to stretch my finite savings as long as humanly possible so I needn't surrender the pursuit of my dream until I prove to myself that this epiphany I had four years ago was more than a mere hunch shadowed in self-doubt—that it was in-fact destiny knocking at my door and asking me to listen.

I've stopped trying to beat the Darkness that has perpetually been ten steps ahead of me at every turn. Clearly, there are things going on behind the scenes that I don't fully understand—and, well, quite frankly, I'm simply out of ideas.

For nine months, I've worked, I've played, I've explored, I've read, I've blogged my thoughts, and most importantly, I’ve finished the 11th draft of my book, Benevolence, and am now actively seeking professional editing and publishing opportunities. I've maintained my sobriety with ease, any and all traces of depression have long lifted, and I'm simply content dancing to the sound of my own drum.

I patiently wait—following my intuition day by day.

In my heart, I believe Benevolence is the book I was always supposed to write—the book I was fated to write. The book that will rival that of all my favorite authors. And the Universe gave me all the material I needed. It walked me to the door one step at a time. All I had to do was trust the signs and follow my heart—because the Universe has been speaking to me since 2015 when it sent me this epiphany.

Perhaps, you'll help me get my voice heard. Perhaps, you'll share my story with your friends and families to help me find justice. Or, perhaps, you won’t—and this is just another failed attempt in seeking's of justice. But at least now my story is out there. All I need is one person on the inside to find their Light and blow the whistle and it all comes tumbling down.

For your viewing pleasure, here is my most recent draft for the back cover write up of my first novel in the series, Benevolence: Dawn of the King; a Science Fiction & Fantasy novel designed to target a New Adult audience:

If you asked Enzo Homcumbing a year ago what a cadua, the Kidemónes, or Íero Nisí was; or told him that he’d one day be flying in his nanite armor in an alternate dimension rivaling that of Yahweh’s heaven through sensory sedating blue skies free of the deathly smog and otherworldly tempests that have conquered the planet; he might have thought you mad. All Enzo knew was the series of misfortunate events that where his life and his inability to connect with just about anyone living amidst the duplicitous and superficial reality he was forced to call his own.Inexorably betrayed by everyone he loves, Enzo’s adventures beyond the gargantuan concrete walls of Ford’s conurbation into the Forgotten Lands was always inevitably going to land him at the graces of the treacherous Nights Watch—conurbation’s enforcers of conformity and unanimity and the gamekeepers of the Subjugates human trafficking death ring. That is, until a mysterious man named Frank—claiming to be of the Priory of Sion—rescues him from his inhuman fate and reveals to Enzo his true destiny—that he has been chosen by the gods to become a Fýlakas—to become a protector of the Light of the Universe—the clandestine syndicate that has been secretly guiding mankind for nearly three-thousand years and fighting a War of Millennia with the Néa Pankósmia Táxi who have firmly, yet elusively, taken the planet hostage.
Eric Durland
Eric Durland
Read next: Chad Alan Lee
Eric Durland

My only goal is to say all the things you don't want to hear, to make you think about the things you don't want to think about.

All I offer you is the truth.

See all posts by Eric Durland