Josh, Flaws and All, Part 4: I’m a Stubborn Jackass


           There will be very little preamble this time around. I feel pretty lousy having said all that I did about my eating problems. I know in the end I will be better off but right now I am miserable and I feel like a pathetic fat assed loser with no self control. But I need to keep writing. I f I don’t I will wallow in my depression whether I’m medicated or not.

            Okay enough of that, there are more secrets and pain to expose.

            Today we tackle my stubbornness and the key incidents in my past. This one will be a bit different because I tend to see my streak of intransigents as a safety mechanism and something of a virtue.

            But as always there are a few I deeply regret.


            I love my family. Well I love most of my family. There are a few people I couldn’t care less about if I tried, but for the most part I love my family. Like is an entirely different pig but we will deal with that later. My stubbornness right or wrong, and let’s be honest sometimes digging your heals in and fighting is the right thing to do, has damaged my relationship with my family.

            I have always been the kid who would, as my father so eloquently put when he was pissed, “Cut off my nose to spite my face.” That incident will be related later on in this essay bit suffice it to say I have a long history of not backing down regardless of if it was in my best interests or not.

            Remember tow essays ago when I told you how much of a coward I am?

            Of course you do, I bet it was the highlight f your week.

            I bet you are wondering how I could be such a stubborn jackass and scared stupid of confrontation at the same time. Well my friends and followers I can tell you that not only is it possible but it leads to a life of near nervous breakdowns on a daily basis. It leads to seething rages and bouts of gut churning terror at the same time.

            It just sucks donkey balls.

            The first time I can remember my stubborn nature biting me in the ass was when I was about six. We were at the store with my step uncles Bert and Ernie. Bert offered to buy me a toy. I recall the toy he offered to buy was a Spiderman disk shooter. I don’t remember what toy I wanted but it was considerably more expensive than the disk shooter. I recall throwing a mini fit in the middle of the store when Uncle Bert refused to but what I wanted. In the end stubborn bullheaded fat little Josh ended up with no toy and a pissed off uncle.

            This actually fits the bill of stubborn and selfish. Selfish however will be dealt with in a future essay.

            In 1990 I moved in with my dad and step monster. My mom was pissed and hurt when I decided to leave. For the next six months we barely talked, whenever my unnamed brother and I came to visit she was cold and distant. Eventually I allowed her to guilt me into feeling like the bad guy in that situation. While my mother may have felt better following this confrontation, I’m not actually sure she was coherent enough at the time to commit it to her long term memory center, I was left bitter and resentful. I hate being manipulated and my mother is one of the best around. My capitulation still chaps my ass.

            Did I ever mention I hold a serious grudge?

            Yeah that is another essay in the waiting.

            The next major bit of stubbornness is the aforementioned nose incident. When I began saving for a car my father and step monster offered me a deal, they would match whatever I saved up to one thousand dollars. It sounded entirely too good to be a true … and it was.

            I am convinced to this very day that my step monster never believed I would manage to save any money let alone a full grand. As I saved more money it seemed, no fuck that I know, the bitch started tightening the screws and busting my nuts over any little thing.

            For the life of me I think it all started because I stayed home sick from school. When she got home from her job she immediately laid into me about being responsible and that they times I was allowed to stay home from school  was if I had a fever or was vomiting. Seriously according to the step monster if we didn’t have those symptoms we weren’t really sick.


SIDEBAR: For years the step monster would make medical pronouncements and decide how we should be treated when ill based on what she learned in the handful of years she’d worked in a retirement home. It was when I was about 16 when I learned the extant of her medical experience was not being a nurse’s aid or doctor’s assistant, no all she did was clean bathrooms and change shitty diapers. What a fucking lying bitch.


            Unlike many of the other times she decided to lecture me on my shortcomings, and friends there were more of those occasions than I can count, I got my dander up and fought back. There was no screaming or yelling but I did tell her she was wrong. And boy howdy she did not like that one little bit. She told me if I was going to act like this she was only going to match $500. I told her I didn’t want any of her money in response. She stormed away the financial victor but a loser in our pathetic battle of wills.

            Dad was not impressed, hence the nose and face comment.

            In the end and considering what was to come a year later I am very glad I didn’t take a dime from her. Of course financial stubbornness would nearly kill me in 2005.


NOTE: That would be them taking my car because a woman who was mad at me for flipping her off when she nearly ran into me reported me to the cops for “Hitting her car and leaving.” See my first series of essays “A Cautious Descent Into Respectability” for the whole stupid tale.


            When we bought our home in 2000 we were royally fucked over. The lenders and the seller were shady as hell and when we went to the closing the 8.4% interest rate we’d been promised suddenly became 14.9% and nobody batted an eye. I heard it and I said nothing, I didn’t want to sound like the moron in the room I mean maybe it was mistaken. When Karen and I went to eat afterwards and sat in the restaurant like war survivors I knew we were screwed. This was mainly more of that awesome cowardice at work but there was a fair flavoring of stubbornness thrown in for fun.

            For five years we did everything in our power to make payments on the Crap Shack as I dubbed the lemon of a house. We even borrowed money from my new … step mother … sigh. But that is an entirely different story I may not tell for a very long time in deference to my father. In the end I was reduced to a very Wall Street scheme of moving money between multiple accounts in order to cover our mortgage. I had no idea it was a felony crime called kiting.

            When the jig was up we declared bankruptcy. But bankruptcy didn’t change the amount we had to pay on the house every month. We should have declared chapter 7 as opposed to chapter 13 and dumped the shithole, but I was stubborn and we didn’t. Finally in 2011 we abandoned the property, now worth less than 50% of what we owed on it.

            We lost a lot that year.

            And now for the coup de gras, the real reason I am writing this particular essay … I miss my Dad. When I wrote all those initial essays in 2012 I was condemned by a large chunk of my family. My mother pretty much called me a liar, we are talking now but it’s probably never going to be the same. My unnamed jacks of a brother made some insane threats to sue me for slander (again asshole when it’s in writing its liable and you still didn’t have a leg to stand on) and then cut all contact. No big loss. My dad on the other hand said nothing literally he just stopped talking to me. There have been phone calls, all from me, on holidays and that’s it aside from a couple of Facebook messages. I know he’s mad and I know he’s hurt but I refuse to be the one to say sorry.

            I’m not sorry, everything I said was the truth whether they want to admit it or not.  I would do it all over again even knowing the consequences. But in the end I miss my dad and I don’t see anything changing anytime soon.

            So yeah I am a stubborn prideful jackass.


            Wow, that was a hard one to write. But at least I feel better about being a fat ass coward. I am not sure what we will be discussing next time but I’m I am sure it will be an action packed thrill ride!






Josh Hilden

When I was born on August 3, 1976 in the great state of Michigan the hills shook and the sky was swept with fire. These were portents of the greatness for my future that was written in the stars ... I'm still waiting for that greatness. My name is Josh Hilden and I am many things. I am a husband, a father, a son, a friend. These are all important things but at my core I am an artist and the medium that I work in is words. I am a writer of Horror, Science Fiction, Drama, and Role Playing Games. I worked for Palladium Books ( and Third Eye Games ( before striking out on my own and founding a small press publishing company Gorillas with Scissors Press ( I also work for Fat Goblin Games ( In the everyday world I can be found spending time with my family and friends. I have been married to my lovely wife Karen since 1996 and we have six amazing children. We tend to be a family of unabashed geeks and gamers who were geek before geek was chic. If you are really interested in me I am very active online with a personal and a writing blog along with a plethora of social media outlets. If you have any questions or just want to chat hit me up!