That old familiar unknown demon

21 12 2010

Keep in mind as you read this that I wrote it at the lowest of lows in my life, but it was honest at the time I wrote it.  Life is not this gloomy for me, but there is much truth to how I express myself in this post.

I have spent the better part of my life succeeding at mediocrity. There have been times when I have been a part of something great but never anything I’ve done on my own. I’m not sure why that is. I see other people going for their dreams and making things work, I’m missing something, that’s for sure.

I’m one of the most self-sabotaging people to have ever walked the face of this earth. I have great ideas, wonderful plans, a great big giant heart full of love, and I just wind up pulling the trigger while I’m staring down the barrel of the gun. I have some sort of character flaw, a defect, a loose screw or something wrong somewhere inside me because I am so prone to order turning to chaos around me. It’s like I attract it. Wherever I go, it’s like a bomb gets dropped and I’m standing there waving to everyone, wondering why they’re pissed off that a bomb just exploded, disrupting their otherwise orderly lives.

Therapy! That’s what I need, I need some professional mind bender to sit and listen to me carry on and on about all the things that plague me about my life. I’m not sure what that will do but I certainly could use an objective ear to lay out everything that’s on my mind, it’s swirling around in my head like a storm with waves crashing down on my thoughts and sinking my ability to progress.

Words used to flow from my mind clearly and smoothly like a river running down a mountain canyon, but now I feel like I can hardly put two thoughts together before I forget where I’m going and get stuck. All I can do is keep moving forward one step at a time, even if it’s just literally walking one step at a time. Something has got to give some time. The people in my life have an impossible time understanding what makes me tick or what motivates me, they’re at their wit’s end with me and don’t have the energy to even invite me into their lives anymore. I’m sure they miss the old me, and so do I.

The downward spiral all started when my marriage fell apart. I really haven’t been able to put myself back together since that happened. I surely could have done things differently, but I took the path of least resistance because I am someone who tries to stay away from conflict. That might sound very contrary to some who have lived with me in the past because I used to be very confrontational at times, but that’s another part of my mental disorder. I like to keep things peaceful, but I would point out everything that I felt was out of order around me. I don’t do that any more, I used to be that way. Maybe that’s why I feel like I’m so lost is because I have let go of the control I used to require to keep myself feeling right about life.

Being so controlling is tiresome work, and it hurts the ones you love. I learned the hard way to let things be as they are. I’m learning still every day and I’m full of flaws but the one thing that plagued me, that just ate me up inside at those times of quiet when it was just me and my thoughts, was my quick temper, my quick reaction, the intimidating sound of my voice that I would use to keep the kids in check, I’m so embarrassed and ashamed of ever being that person.

I learned that in my home growing up, but I knew better. For some reason I carried it on right into my marriage. It is the very reason I screwed up so many relationships and why I was single until I was close to 30 years old. Then my poor wife had all of my pent up frustration and anger to deal with, and I laid it right on her. Everything she did that I thought was odd or quirky or weird I pointed out. And she wasn’t just some regular woman either. She had come from a big family with an abusive father and a passive mother in a relatively small town where everyone put on the facade of perfection and kept the troubles bubbling just below the surface so she had one mode in public, then at home it was fear and intimidation and sneaking around, keeping secrets so you didn’t get yelled at or made the target.

Then once we got married that’s exactly how I made her feel all over again. I didn’t know I was doing it, she didn’t know I was going to do it, I didn’t know what I was doing, I was just going through life trying to be a husband and a father to two young girls, earn a living and I just went from day to day trying to survive. I had better times but for the most part my frustration was always boiling over in some way or another. My wife and the two girls basically feared me because they never knew when I was going to be angry. If I could have just been patient and been nice, things would have been fine. That’s all, just patient, allowing things to take place as they do, think through before reacting, being kind, the things I’ve learned the hard way since the divorce. Now I can’t go back and apply them because I’ve fallen so far backwards into whatever my life has become that I’m stuck here floundering and wondering if this is punishment or just opposition to something I’m supposed to learn from.

It’s easy to say I’m confused, I’ve always been confused about things. I’ve always had conflicting thought patterns running through my head, always, all my life. When I talk about how things were in my childhood my parents cringe and they don’t react well to me expressing the unpleasant memories I hold inside me. I want them to be happy with me but the truth is that they really just want me not to be any trouble. They don’t really feel a sense of pride in anything I do or who I am, they just want me not to be a screw up. That’s the funny thing, being told all my life I’m so full of potential and talent and being treated like everything I’m doing is wrong. It gives a person a huge inferiority complex and that is what I deal with every day.

I have a real problem with my self worth, self esteem. I know I have a bunch of talents but there are people out there who can do things better than me, so why am I even necessary? That’s the sort of twisted thought process that goes on in my head. When I want something I can make it happen, but when it comes to fitting in, that’s not something I’ve ever done very well. I don’t fit in, I stand out. And that’s something I don’t understand. I try to blend, but I stand out, I always have.

So here I sit at age 45 feeling like a child, full of guilt and second guessing everything I have ever done, wallowing in the failures that I have endured throughout my life, but still wanting something better. Why do people think I have anything to offer, why do people think I have something great or anything of any significance? I guess I’ve just run myself down, maybe this is what they call a nervous breakdown. The truth is that there is this nucleus burning hot at the core of my soul that is made of the pure essence of loss. Maybe I’m just weak, maybe I don’t have the backbone to survive what life throws my way, but I just can not get past the divorce.

It’s not losing my wife that has me feeling so sad, it’s the failure of the family that kills me. The one thing that is central to this life, most important above anything else, I wanted to be a protector and provider for my family and when it fell apart I didn’t know how to go on, I didn’t know how to play my role anymore. I didn’t have a purpose anymore. The single man that I once was had evolved and could not go back, but when I did I didn’t know how to do it, and I did what I remembered doing at the age I was when I was single before. And I made the same choices, as if I were in my twenties again. I just can’t get over the fact that I’m not living under the same roof with my children. Sure, I could have made time, made the sacrifices and done the regular split-family thing and taken them when it was my time, back and forth, and I did that for years but it just was not the same. The poor children had a broken family, a broken home, it wasn’t fair to them to have to live this way, I just felt it was so wrong deep to my core, it’s so wrong and just does not sit well with me.

I think that is my main problem, I just feel like my family is so screwed up and I’m responsible for it but it’s out of my control and I have let it get out of control and because I let it go it crushed my heart and all I could do to survive day to day was to numb the pain with medicine.

People have a broken bone, they get medication to ease the pain. It’s obvious, it’s right there in front of them, you can see it in an x-ray. I suppose I could just go through life with the pain bothering me every day, gnawing at me and distracting me, but I was so overwhelmed by it that I had to do something to ease the pain. People don’t understand, it’s not something that can be measured, it’s not something that can be found in an MRI, or x-ray, but it’s as real as a tooth ache or torn ligament. But because I have this handsome appearance and I have a physically strong body and I can be charming and intelligent when I have to, people have expectations for me, and I have set expectations of myself. But on the inside I’m broken, twisted and hurting, confusion is my middle name and I feel like maybe I should be put in an institution for a mental reboot. The people in my life have no idea how to help me, nor do I have any idea how they could help me because I don’t know what I need. I do know what I want but my life is in such disarray that going for the things I want just seem to be out of focus, obscured by clouds.

I kept it together for years as a corporate IT slave, well I say slave but the truth is that I am very grateful for the years I had working and earning that money to support my family. But they let me go because my life is too complicated for me to fit in the way I need to to make the corporate ship sail on calm seas. My life became completely out of control and everyone around me could see it happening. Of course I tried hard to keep it together, to make it seem like I was just going through a mid-life crisis, excusing my immature behavior or indulgence with younger women by joking and saying I was following in my father’s footsteps as he had divorced my mother and married a woman my age.

I want to be left alone to do as I please, sure that’s every man’s dream. But at the same time I want the approval and admiration of those I admire and love. I want to do something to make the world a better place. I don’t want to be noticed for doing it, but I want to give the world something great, that’s what’s boiling inside of me and has been since I was a kid. I guess sifting through all this confusion, writing all of this has brought me back to the place I once found myself a couple of months ago, where I am free to do as I please, to create my world and make things happen as I desire them.

I need to change some things, but those things that need to change are things I’m not sure of. That’s why I need the therapy. So I’m going to keep on writing, blogging, maybe I’ll write a book, I need to do something productive with my life if I can’t keep it together enough to hold down a job until my head gets fixed

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