My Real Name Is….

I promised I would blog more later today. I’ve had some lunch, gotta cup of coffee with me, sitting here ready to write about the ups and downs of the last few days.

I’ve had a shitty, emotional ride over the last two days. Do you remember my blog and how the weather was chilly, so I had made some soup and was gonna bundle up and knit? You would have thought that would have been a perfect situation that anyone who loves their needles would have yearned for.

However, I had some issues with my family that erupted, and without going into too much detail, was wrecked….once again. And this is the issue I have with my family. Someone is lying to me. Not sure who, not sure which side of the story to believe, but will confess with all honesty, that the story itself, the lie being perpetuated has caused such a shredding of the heart in the last 20 years that I have moved further and further away from my family with every year that passes. I’m not sure who to believe, so I believe none of them, and prefer to walk away and resign myself to not going back ever again.

I told one of them on the phone the day before yesterday, “My life works best when none of you are around. If it’s not your criticism of the decisions I’ve made in life, then it’s the inability to tell the truth about what happened when I was a kid. But, that incident keeps haunting me….and I can’t go forward if every time I turn around I hear another version of what happened, but still with no one telling me the truth. So, I need all of you to go. And I need you to go for good.”

Carol sent me an email asking, what some of you have asked before. “Your name is Gregory Patrick, but I’m making payments to Gregory Johnson???”

Yes. My real name is Gregory Patrick Johnson. Sometime ago I wanted to distance myself from my family so I dropped the Johnson and used my middle name as my surname. Simple as that. One day I’ll have the money to change it legally. But, for now, its a method of symbolism. Only the bank and government refer to me as Gregory Johnson.

And people ask, why haven’t you finished “Will Knit For Food,” the sequel to your last book? Because I still don’t have the truth I need to finish it. In order to go forward with that book, I don’t need to know more about the past, I need to know the truth.

I tried to phone a friend. I needed to talk, needed to get advice, talk. Just talk. With so few friends, there was no one around, so all of this crap just kinda stewed in my head, cooked for too long, sat stagnant and got rancid, and this harrowing feeling of loneliness decided to keep me company. I hate that feeling. Because it causes this ridiculous lie to build in your head. You lose sight of your goals, you distrust food, you don’t approve of the rules of hygiene, and you look for methods of escape. For me? Binging on pointless, mindless reruns on my laptop. Hence the South Park marathon I had yesterday while eating a bag of corn chips. Sooooo not my style.

IMG_1078Then randomly, out of no where the post man delivered a huge bag. When I tore it open, skeins of all sorts of wonderful yarn fell out. Amazing, hand dyed yarn. A gift. From out of the universe fell in my lap the biggest smile you could have ever seen on my face. I spread the yarn out on my bed and just watched my little mind grow big with possibilities. I gingerly put the skeins with the rest of my stash, grabbed the cat, gave her a noogie (yeah, she loves them), turned off the South Park marathon and went on about my work. (oh, that mound UNDER the blanket is Mario. It’s 70 degrees and she, apparently, is a little chilly).

I know that I don’t have ONE person to talk to when needed, I have 10,000. So I come here to talk. This is why I blog so much and often about personal things. All of you out there (that I keep so close in here) are the one’s I share my life with.

Someone once asked me why I started my blog and I could only respond, “Because I needed to talk to someone….”

I thought about something I have always realized, but sometimes you need to tack to your ass on a Post-It Note when your head gets too far up your butt:

If you’re going to be strong in this life, if you’re going to pursue the hopes and dreams that wake you brightly in the morning with, if you’re going to find clarity, then it is necessary in life to push away all things that hurt you. ALL things. You must hold tightly to those things that bring a full heart, a charitable sense of human connection, and a sense of selfless purpose. You MUST.

IMG_1077My chocolate and cream bear is still up for adoption, which makes me nervous. Over the last couple of months, my ready made bears would be gone in a heartbeat. 10 minutes at most…, they’re taking days. I know I have a reputation for not delivering fast enough on the made to order bears from last spring. I know that. I read the posts. I read the comments. I spy on facebook on occasion and read the anger. I’m aware of it. All I can say is I’m trying my best. I really am.

But the bears I’ve been making lately are ready to go. Ready to be held and adored. Ready to be loved, ready to find new homes and new possibilities wherever they may go. Ready to find their new futures.

….I guess I am, too.

If you appreciate my writing and you’d like for this blog to continue, please support! This blog survives because of you!






  1. I have had to distance myself from significant portions of my FOO (family of origin) and have adopted kind, supportive, loving, appropriate people around me. I often felt that my faith conflicted with my healing journey because I did not know how to reconcile honoring my father/mother when reality told me I needed to keep a very solid boundary and distance from them to remain safe (and sane). Sounds like you have a similar situation, realizing that you are healthier when distanced from those you were born into/around.

    I do not believe it was by accident or a coincidence that you received the delightful package today. I am thankful to the individual who sent that to you. I hope you found comfort in the keyboard and please know that I was here listening.

  2. Glad to see something that brightened your day! What lovely colors that you received! And I so wish I could afford to get another bear. But not at this time…….

  3. I also had to learn that just because someone is related to you, it is not obligatory to have a relationship with them. Extended friends are also extended family, and all your supporters are out here cheering for you.

  4. We’re here for you, Gregory Patrick. Sometimes the family you’re born with is not the family you can rely on, spend time with or feel connected to. We’re your new family, sisters from another mister, brothers from another mother.

  5. Heard one of the best quotes ever on the latest episode of Sons of Anarchy the other night: “I am sorry that the family I was given has caused so much chaos in the family that I have chosen.” Beautiful, heart-wrenching, and so true for lots and lots of people. I am sorry that you’ve been having a rough patch – but am very glad that little box of sunshine arrived to let you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there – we are out here rooting for you 🙂

  6. Stuff from the past can be really hard, especially if other people don’t want to be truthful about or don’t want you to think and talk about it. I do hope to read your sequel, though. 🙂

  7. I understand where you’re coming from, some of my best friends I’ve only met online. But the occasional chat session with those e-friends kept me sane while I was trapped at home caring for my disabled elderly mother.

    Sending you a big hug from the opposite corner of the country. I wish I could teleport you into my comfy chair next to the wood stove, listen to you talk, watch you knit, and feed you some of my homemade chicken stoup (too thick for soup, not quite stew) while I work on a quilt.

  8. Gregory:

    Everything the folks who commented previously is so true that I don’t need to add anything. Sometimes, the people who are NOT family are the best family you could have around. That’s my situation both with people physically present and my “e-family”. Those precious phone calls with one of those e-family members are so to be grateful for. I just checked and the cocoa bear has sold! I think that a lot of people might be traveling already and out shopping for Thanksgiving. I work at a nonprofit that offers business mentoring and it was really quiet this week. The local university has let out for the holiday after today and students were already leaving this morning.

    Wish you could come for Thanksgiving! We have a wood stove, too, that it would be wonderful to sit you by. I make great soup and there’s always lots of tea! Sending you a big warm hug from very cold NYS.


  9. Gregory – I so hope you find the answers you need to be able to finish the sequel to Mad Man Knitting – The Waiter and The Fly – I so enjoyed reading that – you’re an old soul, my dear, with a lot going on in that head and heart of yours. The $10 for the book and patterns was so worth the price of admission – devoured the book – and not being a knitter myself – gave the patterns to my neighbor – and she was THRILLED. Wishes for peace and kindness in your life.

  10. Gregory-
    Your family sounds much like mine… I’m sorry that they are stoping you from getting your book written the way that you like it. Hopefully, you’ll have a pleasant Thanksgiving.

  11. Your blog family is always hear to listen & ‘chat’ with you. I have many friends that I consider more my family than those that are my biological/married family. I find my friends are there for me more often. I hope you are able to get the truth someday & then put that chapter of life behind you. Have you ever knitted your tiger for sale?

  12. Gregory.

    Just know as I am sure you do that we are all here with you. I know that I for one check every day waiting to see what Mr. Gregory is up to.
    I can’t imagine the isolation you must feel sometimes on days like this. But it is nice that you feel that you can share your life with your readers. Even though you don’t know most of us personally, I feel that we all know you and consider you a friend if not part of our family. That may sound weird. But it’s so true.
    You aren’t Alone. Ever. When life gets you down just jump on here and scroll down to the comments.
    Keep your head up. I know I am trying to!
    Also. Do you have an address that you can receive mail from your readers? I would like to send you something I have. :). This is my e mail address.
    Now get back to those bears and give Mario a chin scratch!!

  13. sorry for your rough patch. know the toxic family feeling too. that is why you must have a family of choice. which since the universe sends you bags of yarn= you must already do! its hard, but this too shall pass.

  14. It hurts when your family do that to you. I’ve reached the point I don’t have much family left and they’ve decided I don’t exist and it doesn’t bother me, they decided to live their lives without the love and occasional company I might have provided. I love them anyway, but they’ll never know. You are wise enough to listen to your heart, you do need the truth. As the old saw goes, “The truth will set you free”. Without knowing the truth we can’t heal the things that need healing. We are not able to let go what we don’t need to hold if we don’t know what that actually is. You’re a strong, thoughtful, kind person, Gregory. You have a family – of the heart.

  15. Hey there, Gregory. I am thinking of you today. Surviving can be difficult but I have found if you turn outward and help someone else in their survival struggle, your own gets easier. I imagine all of your electronic friends grasping forearms to forearms in a huge ,10,000 person strong “fireman’s carry” type embrace to lift you along your way over the rough spots.

  16. I love your writing and your posts, I adore your bears 🙂 I also know how not knowing why the past was that way and why something happened and no one seems to be saying the same thing, My own family do not remember the same things I do, the same fannies and the same sad’s, all gone, I feel bereaved. My mother is getting old and is spending more time in the past than the present, but the folk she talks of are not the folk I knew! I met a school friend and we were chatting, we sat side by side for nearly 4 years but she had no memories of school that matched mine, not one. Finish your book and note that this is your memory of the time, even mention that others have different memories but this one affected you and then move on 🙂

  17. Gregory …

    If the past has nothing to do with you in the present, then let it go. The story of who we are and why we came to be are questions we should all have answered. I don’t get why family would keep the truth from the light of day. It is your truth, and it may harm some in your family to let loose that truth, nonetheless, it is your truth you need and desire. Some think keeping secrets are better than airing dirty truth.

    My parents kept many secrets from my brother and I. But I always say, never tell lies to your children, because eventually, those lies come out. So it went. My father gave me a name, that wasn’t mine at birth. Then for twenty one years he beat me mercilessly telling me that I was a mistake and should never have been born. I lived with that abuse until I turned 30. When I legally changed my entire name to the one I carry now. I had to disavow myself of my family of origin, in favor of my family of choice. Those who affirm and support me. After more lies came out, I was afforded Canadian citizenship, because my mother lied to both my brother and I. I moved North of the border, and my family disowned me after two strikes against them.

    I have grown up, but it seems they haven’t and to this day want nothing to do with me. They are still blood kin, and I don’t take that lightly. And I have learned a great deal in recovery about secrets, truth and love.

    Sometimes we have to cut the cord. It may pain you not to know the truth, right now, and for the moment. So we pray for guidance. One day, your truth will be yours, because, people can only live with their darkness for so long, it eats them from the inside out, and eventually they have to get it out of them. That day will come, but God has other plans, and he sent us to you. we care who you are today and the good you bring others. You don’t need darkness in your life, it does you no good, in the life you are seeking for yourself today. Who knows, the man you are becoming may one day find himself in the little white house and wouldn’t you want to be free of all the darkness to only bring light into your home?

    Don’t sweat the past. We are not who we were or what we have done. We are who we are today, and that is grace.


  18. I’ll throw my two cents in on the family thing. Move on. I know it probably sounds asinine to think you can just move on. It’s probably something incredibly big for it to effect you in the way that it has but if everyone is giving you different details then there are one of two explanations. 1) They don’t want you to know the truth to save your feelings 2) They were also deeply hurt by whatever it was and in their minds changed the truth so they could deal with it. By now it may be something they think they remember correctly but they’ve warped themselves to deal with it.

    You deserve the truth but you deserve to finish your book too. Don’t let this stop you. If you’ve waited this many years then they’re not going to tell you so you can publish it. I’m not telling you to make peace with them but with you. I’m 37 and nearly all the family I have has died. I can’t ask them about the past because there is no one to answer a phone. While your family is there enjoy them. Know that they love you even if they are not honest. Know that your fans read this and support you in your endeavors. You made a promise to finish the book, you’ve received donations for it for a long long while, one I also participated in a year ago. You don’t need that knowledge to finish your book. Resign yourself to living in the now, for a while anyway, and leave the book open ended so that when you do know the truth you seek you can reflect on it and maybe write a new book about healing.

    As for the name change, my aunt did the same thing. She was called by her middle name her entire life. She was married and divorced when she realized her true sexuality. She hated what she had become and chose to legally only keep her first name and change her middle and last names to reflect who she was then. It has been about 16 years now and still…no one cares. She’s her own woman as you are your own man. You found your real identity. So shrug off the family thing, the name thing, the harsh comments. Move forward. Soon it’s a time for being incredibly thankful and sharing love. Do this for you, and for Mario. 🙂

  19. Sometimes life can push us in directions that can either hurt us (if we let it) or make our lives better than we ever expected! You, my dear friend, are going through one of those challenges! Dishonesty is hurtful to us and the people who are dishonest with us even though they don’t realize it themselves. I know this because my husband is very dishonest with me, his children and the rest of his family and friends also. I’ve tried to talk to him about it and it does no good, he has been so dishonest for so long that it’s a part of him that he can’t control anymore. That being said, he’s also the most giving person I’ve ever known, besides my Mom and Grandmothers and other members of my family! You will learn the truth someday and if you don’t please don’t let it define you or slow you down! You are an amazing person and you DESERVE the best of whatever you desire! (((BIG HUGS!!!)))

  20. I, too, can understand some of your frustration with family. I have a memory that I know to be true, but no one is willing to admit to it. I can’t prove it after all these years, but I won’t allow that person into my life. At all. As for the name change (I legally changed mine a few years ago… new first, middle, and last), in all honesty, no one has the right to get upset over your choice. So what if the payments are going to one name and not the other? In this day and age, I’m surprised that anyone does post their legal name (even though I’m guilty of that).

    I am truly happy that you got a smile and I love seeing Mario under the blanket. That is where one of my kitties spends most of her days.

    Bright blessings to you!

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