The following was written about a year ago -- since today is the anniversary of my departure it seemed appropriate:
A wise friend once told me that it is never too late to get out of bad deal -- bad marriage, bad relationship, bad situation etc.
I have recently had to get out of a bad relationship with my teacher of past the many years (who shall remain nameless) and I am both sad and elated-- sad to lose such a fruitful and warm friendship, and elated to be out from under his overwhelming tirades, his obsessive paranoia,and his and opinionated bluster-- He is a powerful man of genius, an amazing teacher, and also a tragically flawed person who exists in his own self imposed bubble-- He runs hot and cold by turns. Working with him has always seemed like walking through a beautiful and bountiful and prosperous ...minefield.
He has always been volatile, and it has always been a matter of cost-benefit analysis in dealing with him. Until this past few years, i could always come down on the side of, "well its a pain in my ass, but all in all, its probably worth it." Things changed as the situation evolved and my students began to have to pay higher and higher prices for my willingness to put up with his BS (and as his volatility became more extraordinary and irrational). It became clear that if i kept doing as i was doing, I'd keep getting what i was getting (and now my students too would get to participate in the suffering and fear and turmoil that went along with being in relation to their "teacher's teacher") and so i resigned from his organization.
This was a big deal. The ripples of my resignation are still being felt ...and i feel genuinely sorry for the buddies of mine who stayed behind and who are now having to help my former teacher pick up the pieces-- sorry guys -- I've done what i can -- i have taken great pains to make my departure as fair and equitable as possible.I have not turned it into a public spectacle in his organization, on his Internet forum, or with his members outside of my own school.
Until today (written late November 2008) I've made no unsolicited public statement outside of my dojo at all-- but ... i figure he's let the cat out of the bag, so I'm free to comment.
I have no antipathy toward the organization or its members-- i just could no longer abide being subject to the top management.
On the whole, in my neck of the woods, life is far more relaxed and happy -- possibilities for growth and expression that I'd squelched for a decade or more due to fear of derision and browbeating, are now bubbling up and my creative juices are going strong-- i plan to write more books, publish technical videos, and grow my dojo. All in all, as i look back i can see that i have benefited from my time in the magnificent mine field, but it sure feels nice not having to look out for the land mines anymore.
Dear reader, I don't know if any of this rant is helpful or constructive to you -- perhaps you too have had to make similar tough choices, similar cost-benefit analysis of those you live,work, and play with -- in any case just remember and take hope-- Its never to late to get out of a bad deal. - n.