The Weight of Depression

“Hemingway has his classic moment in ‘The Sun Also Rises’ when someone asks Mike Campbell how he went bankrupt. All he can say is, ‘Gradually, then suddenly.’ That’s how depression hits. You wake up one morning, afraid that you’re gonna live.”
—Elizabeth Wurtzel, “Prozac Nation”

Right now, I’m reading Prozac Nation, a memoir by Elizabeth Wurtzel. The subtitle of the book is, “Young and Depressed in America: A Memoir.” I can relate because, a) I have a prescription for Prozac (which I don’t take); and b) I’m certainly depressed in America (though I’m not as young as I used to be). But what really drew me to this book was the foundation of the book: A writer struggling with depression, trying to make sense out of life, fighting self-destruction, and all the while, trying to be a writer.

Continued one-on-one therapy has helped me realize how and why I become self-destructive when I experience the depths of depression, how depression has related to my sexual addiction, and how to cope with depression when it hits. Read More

Heroes & Villains

“We’re all the heroes of our own story, without even realizing we’re probably the bad guy in someone else’s.”
Everything Sucks

I was reading an article once about one of my favorite movies, The Dark Knight, and the writer said, “When you’re a kid, you cheer for Batman; when you’re an adult, you realize the Joker makes more sense.” This struck me as a bit of a cynical view of the world, regardless of how brilliantly Heath Ledger portrayed the Joker in that film. But it also made me wonder if being a villain had some sort of a morbid glamorous appeal to it. For example, I went to college with a guy who said (on multiple occasions), “The movie Blow always makes me want to be a cocaine dealer.”

But trust me, being the villain isn’t glamorous; it’s torturous. Read More

Selective Morality

Why is our contemporary society so selective about our own morality, based simply on the object or individual? Essentially, why is it okay for certain people to be immoral based on who they are or the medium in which the immoral behavior is being disseminated?

Why do Americans claim to despise immoral behavior in certain contexts, but seem to readily accept it from popular culture, politicians, athletes, and actors? Why does it take extreme instances of immorality (such as Harvey Weinstein) for people to finally speak out against this sort of thing? Read More

Loyalty

When I was at my lowest, there were people who were there for me.

And knowing that, I will — for the rest of my life — be there for them. I owe so much to so many people for being unconditionally supportive when I was in the depths of recovery; recovery not simply from being in prison, but also recovery from sexual addiction as well as the painful recovery from the self-revelation that I was, at the age of 18, raped.

Fortunately, I am able to talk about that — the most traumatic experience of my youth — but I am also a little afraid it seems cliche or even cheesy for me to continue to talk about it. But the truth is, I’m still dealing with it, I’m still handling it, I’m still coming to terms with it, so I still need to talk about it. Therefore, since I’m a writer, I need to write about it. Read More

Self Destruction

readeradvisory

When I look back upon my life, my experiences, and my choices, I can only think of one phrase: “Well, that was fucked up.”

If my life was ever made into a movie, the only two directors who could do it justice would be Quentin Tarantino or Martin Scorsese.

Perhaps it’s a bit too cliche to wish I could speak to my younger self.
So I won’t say that. Fuck that. Never mind. Read More

Pedophile? No.

It is a common misconception that the brief relationship I had with my former student was a result of some sort of deviant desire to engage with an underage girl. I think it is vital to the purpose of my endeavors to dispel this assumption with immediacy.

I fully admit that I had a physical relationship with a girl who was 15 while I was a high school teacher. And to quote A Few Good Men, “These are the facts, and they are undisputed.” However, what is in dispute is my personal motivation behind why these things happened. Read More

What Happened?


“I wanted to do good. What betrayed me?
My mind? My heart?”
-Al Pacino
The Godfather: Part III

As I type these words, I have no idea where I’m going with this, so you may just have to bear with me. All I know is, I’ve spent the whole day in a terrible headspace and it is an inner-turmoil which I can’t seem to get over. Perhaps it’s because I keep looking at my ruined life, remembering the great life I had and threw away because of my own destructive choices.

I mean, here’s the thing: I was a sentimental and reminiscent kind of guy before I committed my crime and went to prison. But in the past, my reminiscence was based on the fact that time had simply passed and the past passed into the past. It was simply — time. Time took away the life I enjoyed. I had no choice in the matter; I had to grow up, I had to move on, I had to progress through life. Read More

For the Record

For the record, I am not trying to be the “good guy.” I’m not trying to be some sort of great person doing a great thing — nothing of the sort. I know what kind of person I am (or was) and I know the sins of my past do not deserve forgiveness. I am not speaking out against my crime (and ongoing crimes like it) because I’m trying to cultivate some kind of image or seem like less of a bad guy.

I am speaking-out because it is the right thing to do. If there’s one mantra from Sex Addicts Anonymous which I’ve genuinely taken to heart, it’s the cliche, “Do the next right thing.” Read More

Agree to Disagree

I have come to the conclusion that we — as citizens and as humans — do not possess the ability to cohesively and peacefully disagree.

I recently had a discussion with my best friend about the recent Government Shutdown. She is a Republican and supports Donald Trump. In our discussion, I never said anything which directly insulted Trump (other than the mention of his approval rating as well as recommending a Google Search of Stormy Daniels), but since we happened to disagree in the realm of politics (which has become the most divisive issue in contemporary America), she didn’t see it as a discussion with two opposing viewpoints (point / counterpoint), but instead, she saw it as an argument or a fight. Read More

An Open Letter to the Superintendent

Alicia Thompson — Superintendent
Wichita Public Schools | USD 259
903 S. Edgemoor
Wichita, Kansas 67218


Dear Dr. Thompson,

My name is Kurt Michael Brundage. You probably haven’t heard of me, but perhaps you have. In April, my book, After 3PM, will be released nation-wide. This will be a groundbreaking new book about the epidemic of unlawful teacher/student relationships in America.

In the book, I provide a unique and unheard context regarding this issue; in 2012, I was a high school teacher who was arrested, convicted, and sent to prison for a relationship with a former student. At the time of my crime, I was an IB English Teacher at Wichita East High School. Today, moving forward, my prime objective is to give back to the educational community, doing my part to remedy the issue to which I tragically and destructively contributed. Read More

Thanks, Yoda.

I know what people think of me.

I don’t pretend to think I’m “okay” with the world; or, I suppose, more specifically, I don’t pretend to think the world is “okay” with me.

I have a label — a brand, a Scarlet Letter — and some people will hate me because of what I did in 2010 regardless of what I do for the rest of my life, even if my life’s endeavor is now to battle the moral issue to which I tragically and unfortunately contributed. Read More

True Friends

I suppose I never really grasped the personal value of shallow friends until I no longer had any. By definition, a shallow friend is not really a friend at all — someone we know, talk to, socialize with — someone beyond a mere acquaintance (or, so we thought). But here’s the thing about shallow friends: they are conditional friends.

But here’s the caveat to that: You really can’t discern the difference between a true friend and a shallow friend until the friendship is put to the test — a test of genuine acceptance and true character. Read More

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