You ever felt sensations so strong, you wonder if you are the manufacturer of them or if somehow someone else infiltrated your mind? Do you ever wonder why you are feeling so overwhelmingly bad about yourself? Have you experienced a scenario with another human that wanted to dispose of you, and you went into heavy-duty self-reflection and uncovered every single shadow? How do you pull yourself back out of that tumult?
In times of uncertainty, confusion, and obfuscation, it is good to remain grounded. You’ve made it this far, so by your litmus test, you are neutral, therefore you are successful, right? You are surrounded by a stellar group of intelligent, yet honest friends. These people should be able to use their super-vision to help you with your own shortsightedness.
Life is grand, when the band is back together and on tour. How about when you go solo? When you try to conquer your problems without the aid of your band, problems arise. The smells of death, deception, and disparity start wafting their way through your hypersensitive brain. You smell the death of a piece of you. You capture the essence of the lies being funneled through the conduit of your synapses. You envision how off-kilter the whole relationship in question seems.
Life has its ups and downs, sage wisdom that even commoners can appreciate. Some of you like roller-coasters, and some of us do not. When we refer to roller coasters in life, we refer to the cycle of difficulties we all experience. Essentially, we are taught through our culture that life is not guaranteed to be rosy, fair, pristine, or celestial. So, since that narrative suggests that negativity shall abound, it is to prepare us for impending disaster. While we retain this information in the back of our minds, we are still oft beset by some blindsiding.
I reflect on how I let myself believe that everything was going to work out in my fanciful ideas of love, career, or just life itself. I cannot tell you how many times I should have just expected a dynamic fate. What ultimately kills my mind and ideologies are my very intimate relationships with expectations. I have taken the time to lecture, inform, and recommend that people lower their expectations, yet, like a fucking hypocrite, I fail miserably.
I work in technology. So, by nature, I ought to know how to deal with every single problem that emerges in my path. Break the problem down to its simplest form. Get to the crux of the issue, cut out all of the fat. It really is simple, but a tyro in a ring with a Greco-Roman wrestler or a Gracie MMA trained fighter will be a bloodbath. When assessing who I am dealing with, all of these scientific methods are chucked right out the goddamned window.
Why do I do that to myself? Who the fuck am I kidding? Where did I learn this bonkers behavior? Do I blame one individual or a whole pantheon of them? What blame do I need to absorb in all of this? Enter the pity party patronizing patsy. The scapegoat for the ills of the world, or more locally, the problem directly in front of me.
Good times DO abound, yes, they do. I cannot possibly cite life just sucks without admitting that there have been some amazing things in my own life to help me curb a minuscule number of ruminations. My dog, albeit a cunt to anyone not in HER pack, yes, it is on HER terms, is part of my saving grace. I couldn’t have been paired with a more misunderstood dog, To me, she is beautifully complex. She protects me and she knows I will protect her.
The very small group of my friends are a large amount of support for me too. Every single dear friend of mine IS my family. Each one fits a role that my own blood cannot possibly fill. I’ve broken ties with my maternal side of the family because I did not wish to be around gossip and a kind of white trashiness that I could abide by. I had to break ties with my paternal side of the family due to my immense embarrassment of divorcing an extroverted wife. This person had her own set of baggage I could never contain, accept, or even tolerate.
That brings up a great story about how the breakdown with my paternal side of the family began. I had not met the bulk of my biological fathers side of the family as my mother divorced him while I was a baby. I met one paternal uncle while living out in the Pacific Northwest. It went great until money became the source of bitterness. I shan’t even bring that story up, but it made two parties equally as bitter due to the misunderstanding, again, from both sides.
I was finally introduced to 2 half-brothers from my biological father’s side of the family. Both were (and still are, not to discredit them) accomplished and hard-working men. Both were in completely different fields. They both brought different personae to the table. There was an eerie similarity in our looks as grown men. Both of them had one daughter each, and I had exactly zero (known) children. The middle brother had an older daughter who wanted to get into photography.
PHOTOGRAPHY! Awesome, I already had some cameras. ‘Boy, would I love to help you out with that!’ Meeting a blood related niece and having one commonality, that seemed hopeful. My wife (currently ex-wife) had two children, of which the youngest also wanted to take part in some training with a 35mm SLR camera I still had a body of and some interchangeable lenses. Wow, this was the cosmos speaking, giving me some fucking hope.
Well, we all went to the local large zoo and used the 35mm SLR. My niece had two rolls of film. As I had unfurled my camera, I had 3 rolls of film. Ok advanced mathematicians, please ready your chalk/whiteboard. This is where the story starts to go south.
I give two of my rolls of film to my wife’s (still divorced – reconciliation wasn’t gonna happen in this fucking celestial lifetime) youngest daughter. Ok, pay attention, here is the pivotal piece to where hell overtakes a wonderful afternoon. I gave the 3rd roll of film to my niece. Are you sensing the foreshadowing?
That third roll of film not evenly distributed was what caused a holy hell to rain its bombastic basket case of irrationality into my rational world. The daughter of my ex-wife, complained to her mother that I showed favoritism to my niece by giving her ONE MORE FUCKING ROLL OF FILM for her to work towards a fucking merit badge in some organization, than her. The wife decided that after all the girls went to bed, that that was the time to confront me about how unfair I was to her daughter.
Here are the straight facts:
- This was the first time ever I had ever had alone time with my niece.
- My half-brother and his wife had hung out with us before and even spent the night one New Year’s Eve.
- This was a large amount of trust to allow visitation with a minor blood relative
- My niece’s mother worked as a 911 operator
- My half-brother lived with our biological father
- He endured a tremendous amount of neglect and abuse from the man
- I was responsible for the well-being of my niece
The argument centered around how I FAVORED a child I rarely ever saw. Cutting all the fat from the argument, it is simply one child felt jilted. My rationale, you ask? Uhhhh, ummmm, ok, this is some heavy duty shit – so follow closely. A child I see with lots of frequency didn’t get an extra roll of film, who wasn’t working towards a merit badge in some sororal group. A child I just recently met, who was a gentle foray into becoming close to my biological father’s side of the family, who I rarely see, received an extra roll of film.
Ok, which of you advanced mathematicians calculated how to equally distribute 3 rolls of film between two children? Do we need to call in an actuary? Ok, I guess you all get the point. Rationale is strong with me. Irrational was strong with my ex-wife, especially in that situation. Now the kicker, the ex-wife had a friend who lived across the street who was a misandrist. She was a perfectly fine human, except for the way she demeaned men. I did not care for it.
I specifically asked that my niece not be introduced to that woman. Enter nuclear holocaust explosion at home. As an act of spite, due to the unrelenting of the one fucking roll of film, my niece was taken next door to meet the woman I asked her not to be introduced to. I blew a fucking gasket. I lost all clarity, as I saw the act as purely malicious.
Let us just saw the car we owned had gotten slightly damaged, the rental town home garage door got damaged. The tear ducts of my niece broke through the dam. The wife, thankfully still an ex, and I were yelling at the outrage I expressed, of which the niece could not have avoided hearing. This poor kid unwittingly became a part of something that was supposed to be some beautiful bonding but turned into the whitest trash episode ever.
Long story short, the wife, called my niece’s mother saying she was going to drop her daughter off. The niece was dropped off plus an exhaustive story regaled about how I just lost my temper over nothing was shared. Then my half-brother asks this woman, ‘has he ever been suicidal?’ There it is. You can all take a wild guess how she responded. I no longer speak to my brother due to that answer alone.
In all honesty, he had every right to know the answer. By my estimation, that should have been asked of me, directly. That answer shared by the mouths of babes is not so innocent. Especially for the son of a father who died by suicide. I am unsure of he felt that this shit was contagious and didn’t want his daughter exposed. Or it is completely plausible it triggered him, as he knew our biological father much better than I did. It is also possible that he did not understand the statistics that survivors of suicidals have an increased likelihood to die by their own hand as well.
So, we all live past this extremely dramatic time. Was life back to normal after that? Fuck no! There were resentments for this woman AND her fucking kid. Selfishness not rooted out, empathy not dispatched, and a complete travesty of trust that I would do the right thing. A calm, cool, and collected conversation was had much later about that event. I informed the wife, still an ex currently and forever, that I truly believed I deserved an apology from her kid for that absolute show of greed.
The kid did, in fact craft a lengthy apology letter to me. There were even some doodles of cats or some kid version of an animal on the sheet of paper. I tried my best to accept it. I lost a future with someone whom I could have had a bond with because of some kid’s inability to understand equality, and a mother who could not fucking perform her job of saying: ‘Don’t worry, I am sure he will gladly take you out later if you would like, to learn more photography with film!’
Failure to respect someone who gives of themself to you is one of the best ways to betray someone. In all of my musing in this blog, I can only reinforce, I am an asshole, and I do act poorly at times. None of my seemingly one-sided stories are to really portray me as an innocent angel who has been victimized by others on repeat. I progressively work on myself to NOT be the monster I was raised to potentially be.
I find myself from time to time stuck in a mental loop of self-loathing. I spend so much time in my mind, a vacation would be welcome respite. A vacation meaning, stopping these loops. My recent bout was last night. I was on rinse and repeat – and boy was it lathering up.
I got into my vehicle to go one mile to a pharmacy to get a refill on a couple of medications for an unrelated condition. I am sitting kitty corner from the strip mall at a red light. I am overcome with self-loathing – repeating out of order these three statements: I hate myself – I hate this world — I hate this life. Those are indelibly strong words. At the drive-through window, waiting for the pharmacist or pharmacist tech to tackle my order, I am mouthing the same shit, again on repeat.
What had overcome me to do that? Why the deluge of self-hatred? Did I really deserve this? Why was I really flying off the rails, fantasizing about my death, yet again, while repeating the same flute song the pied piper lured the rats to their imminent death? Why am I so predisposed to immediately going to the darkest caverns of my mind?
The paragraphs I list out questions, I cannot reasonably answer. These are the questions that pop up, again, paying tribute to the self-awareness I am stuck with. These questions are to elicit the cutting out the fat, getting to the crux of the issue. I am stuck, I cannot answer them. When will I find the answers to all these unanswered questions? Once I finally get the clarity of answers, will my life finally be complete? Will this fucking shitshow of a branch of the Hell-TV conclude forever? Will I die to have to relive this fucking life again?
I ask questions because I am curious. My curiosity tends to keep me alive, for some ungodly reason. While amid these dank thought patterns, I want to know how the story ends. Like my half-written novel. Now, we see a bit of a pep self-talk into staying alive. Yippy! Not really. This is the rational I am plagued with to help explain why I have lacked the courage to erase my existence off this planet.
So, the title of this is to speak to the pity-party aspect of many people feeling dour about their lives. It is easy to confuse self-loathing with pity-seeking. When my dark rational is postulating, it is shunning anyone suggesting anything positive about me. I am so fucking self-aware that I ask questions about why they say what they say, what they mean about what they say, and why it is relevant. I, without fail, use the disclaimer that I am not fishing for compliments. I am curious if these people are seeing something I am just not seeing. Can they give me pause to re-assess my value. I am willing to accept I may miss something, despite how much I think about things, and so that is my way of giving ear to their concerns.
As much as I am opposed to pity parties, I think in the right headspace, asking questions to better understand something that was nebulous at the time, could be the thin line between pity partying and making some mental headway. People seeking sympathy are playing a short-sighted game to satisfy something they feel they are missing that they themselves affected. I think the key in a pity party is the question being asked ad nauseam: Why me? Followed up with how they had been victimized. Life fucking sucks, people. Life undulates – sometimes in our favor, other times not. We MUST take the bad with the good. Bad times often are to teach us a valuable lesson.
While I am in tons of visceral and mental pain with the recent dismissal, the silver-lining is I am using more tools available to me to try to settle myself. Do not you worry your pretty little heads, I am mentally jumping around like popcorn seeds in a hot pan of oil and playing tug-of-war with what is left of my mental elasticity. I do not know who will win, but I am betting on progress. I am betting on the fact that my friends who have helped me qualify my existence as somehow good, are making an impact. My honest to God (or any deity of your choice, I do not give a shit who you worship, if anything at all) hope is that I can affect people positively. Well, except for the shitty assholes in life. I would like to be a thorn in their side. The polemic in me goads it. Even so, I am developing more mental acuity in this excruciating time.
As always, I welcome any constructive criticism, or complementary theories, analogies, anecdotes. I would love to hear if you find these edicts of challenge useful or utter horseshit. Similar to the 90’s when the catchphrase, ‘Be Kind, Rewind’ was hailed as marketing genius. I need to come up with one that invites you to either subscribe, via WordPress or via email, like posts, or even comment on posts. The immediate feedback is useful for anyone. Thank you very much for reading through all of this drivel. Be well, stay safe, AND stay sane!