When I was 16, the person who had been my best friend for my entire life prior to this event (we are the same age), called the police and had her father arrested for raping her several times a month for the previous ten years.

When this happened, I was completely mystified as to why she protected him for so long, even to the point of feeling betrayed that she had hidden it from me.

Of course, there was the guilt that I carried with me for many years afterwards for not protecting her better.

Personally, Iíve never had any sense of loyalty to my immediate family, at least not to that extent. I wasnít extremely keen on the idea, but I called the police on my parents when it was necessary. And, although my parents had many, many problems, sexual abuse was not one of them.

Since becoming an adult, most of the people I have been devoted to have been fairly ethical people. People who at least tried to be good. It was usually my devotion that kept it going, and once that died, so would the relationship.

This week, I finally got a taste of how it must have felt to be equally devoted and terrorized by someone.

I suspect my karate instructor of having less than honorable intentions. I feel so guilty about my own distrust and disloyalty, that I wonít go into detail here, and Iím even regretting having told Suzanne. Like I said, these are only suspicions, and if I am being overly paranoid or in denial about it, itís because of weight of the situation.

Serious karate practice is not a regular activity. Karate is inherently a very difficult thing, and our society is inherently soft and lazy.

In order to stay in business, a karate school either has to inflate the egos of its students and promote them without merit or instill a sense of devotion and loyalty thatís almost as intense as military service.

This isnít pure loyalty. Iíve been doing this for six years, and thatís six years of working harder than Iíve ever worked, six years of bruises, exhaustion, dehydration and making sacrifices in every other aspect of my life. As a matter of fact, Iím visiting the chiropractor tonight, again because of this. I have never put anything, not my job, relationships, or any other activities before karate.

For political and practical reasons, to rectify the situation (if it exists) would jeopardize my future within my organization. Iíve started from scratch before, and I donít have it in me to do it again. Most people donít. Most people canít switch styles or even teachers because itís just too hard.

Despite all of that, my main concern is my own distrust and disloyalty for even having suspicions. There is little need to have serious concerns. I learned long ago, that above all else, I must protect myself first. This is why I am here today, and this is why Iím in karate to begin with.

Anyway, the day before yesterday was bad, but yesterday was worse for me. I probably shouldnít have been there because I was sleep deprived and exhausted to begin with. I had told him that Iíd be there, so I was there.

The night before last, I was up late thinking about my business, work, my teacher, Mr Crush. My muscles started twitching, so I sat up until 3AM reading about Parkinsons and other various diseases that start with muscle spasms.

Last night, he yelled at me more than Iíve ever been yelled at before by any teacher. I sobbed my entire drive home.

I needed it. I donít feel like myself. I donít even recognize myself at this point.

I donít want to go into detail about every single thing here, but within the past few months, I feel as though Iíve been betrayed by every aspect of my life. My business, my coworkers, karate, my religion, and even the universe has let me down.

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Wednesday, Jul. 11, 2007 at 3:13 PM