Been meaning to post, it’s been a small while.
Plenty to chew on as always. Various thoughts about where to go now.
Quick update on what I’ve been up to, well not much really. Just completed a playthrough of Cyberpunk 2077. It’s been a lot of fun and it’s been great to spend some quality play time. Helped to escape for a time into another world. Can forget I’m me for a bit and take a break from everything.
Plenty of time has been spent reflecting still, I guess it’s not a long term strategy to spend all my time alone, playing games and avoiding the real world. Motions are ongoing to get me back out in the real world again. Relaunched a facebook page which, for the moment, is just another place to vent myself and it’s just for me. Not yet ready to publish that stuff to anyone again.
Trying to rebuild myself and come back stronger. But for the time being I’m doing stuff just for me and getting back in touch with who I’ve always been and doing what I’ve always done.
Through it all I still need to figure things out. Always trying to do the right thing and do it better than anyone else. My experiences have really shone a light on how I go about things and it’s been a tough thing to take.
I’m becoming more and more convinced that I’ve lived my life under the shadow of childhood trauma of just not being seen, not being reflected in those around me. Not feeling like I was ever a part of society but an outside observer who just can’t connect with the real world.
Not feeling like my true self was ever validated, accepted, understood. I can see so much of myself in the YT videos of Crappy Childhood Fairy, who talks a lot about Complex PTSD. And my hamfisted pursuit of a meaningful connection of a relationship was always discoloured by the way I always hid away my true feelings. I’ve always avoided the things you have to do to have a real relationship. Chased the safer fantasy version instead. It was always much easier than being real.
And the truth is that for all I desperately want and crave for a relationship, I’ve never been able to deal with the real. Part of this is the way I’ve never really felt truly loved, wanted or accepted and just don’t believe other people see me as anything but a broken man who people like but don’t respect. Everyone’s got advice, everyone likes to help. And everyone sees me as someone who isn’t doing what he should be doing and needs to be guided and corrected.
And so yes, who was I when I tried to maintain a connection with someone? Someone who tried to people please with as much force as I could muster, someone who clung on for dear life, permanently afraid of being dropped like yesterdays trash. Someone who chased the merest crumbs of affection. Someone who pinned all of my hope, love, positivity, time and energy on an escapist fantasy of someone who just wasn’t available in that way. And yet there was a reality there, when that crashed down I lost everything that I had freely given away.
That’s what I’ve had to reckon with, that my heart is just not there for anything anymore. My heart is not in work, family, friends, not in anything I do. It was for a while in the video game but that’s not going to last and nor probably should it. When I stopped caring about others I stopped caring for myself. I do care for myself now but I’m not feeling any real care for anyone else and I’m not motivated to keep looking for what I wanted out of life.
It’s quite calming in a way, nothing really matters like it used to and I guess I’m a lot less anxious now. But that’s come at a price.
Is it ok to not be ok? It depends what ok means.
It wasn’t ok when I was extremely down at my worst and had thoughts of not going on.
Where I am now? It feels like it’s ok for me to be unhappy. I’m not in any sort of danger of hurting myself, not in such pain as to lose control of my mind. Yeah I’m miserable and probably still depressed but I think now that the depression is necessary for my brain to heal. The unhappiness is the natural and logical response to what’s happened in my life.
I’ve always done things in such a way as to protect myself from getting hurt because nobody taught me any other way. Nobody saw how vulnerable I always was and nobody taught me how to have self-esteem, how to be secure. Any attempt at punching through the numbing wall meant I had to open myself up far too much and expose myself to feelings I don’t know how to control.
I’ve always known how much of a loser I look and how unattractive it is to be so desperate. I made peace with it and tried to do my best anyway.
What’s been a real shock to my soul was how much of what I did could be seen as abusive. That I myself was probably quite emotionally unavailable. That I had begun to get passive aggressive and manipulative. That I was loyalty testing in the worst way possible, making it clear that I was passively threatening to withhold my friendship to get what I needed.
Those events have left me in severe doubt about whether I can discern what is good and bad anymore. And that’s something that is associated with trauma. I always did everything I could to be as good as possible but yet I felt like I had done the very worst thing to do in that situation.
No one’s perfect of course, we all make mistakes and we all do bad things. The most troubling aspect for me is that I rarely have much choice in the way I act. Don’t have the luxury of freedom to choose. Everything has to be done a certain way. Everything has to be the right thing, everything has to work. Everything has to be known in advance.
I can’t actually pinpoint anything that would have been the cause of childhood trauma, just one long story of having been pushed into a life I wasn’t prepared for, having to struggle at every turn against forces I can’t defend myself from. And I’ve never been able to ask for help without exposing myself further, without feeling overwhelmed by the deepest shame of being defective. I begin to see the picture of course, that every social interaction I had was reinforcing society’s judgement. Everyone’s words and actions screamed “you must be defective”.
Not doing what people expect of you? You must be defective.
Not communicating with people at school? You must be defective.
Not playing outside with other kids? You must be defective.
Not eating a balanced diet? You must be defective.
Not doing your chores? You must be defective.
Not got a job? Not doing anything useful? You must be defective.
Spending too much time alone? You must be defective.
Why are you angry? Why are you upset? Why are you depressed? Why are you so stressed?
You’re not allowed to be angry, upset, depressed, stressed. You must be defective. How can I help you?
Well you can start by acknowledging and validating me. And maybe you could try not treating me as a defective human being.
This is the basis of it being ok to be not ok. Because they way I’ve dealt with life is to repress and hide my true feelings out of fear of being abandoned. My connections to other people are extremely tenuous. I cling on and cling on until the inevitable abandonment comes and then those are shut away forever in the darkest corner of my memory, never to be trusted again.
It’s ok to not be ok, but trauma makes everything seem like it’s not ok. It’s not ok to stay like this forever, I’ll do what I can to heal from the trauma and start living a life I actually want to live. For now though I’m really doing the prep work in a slow, gentle manner. Taking my time, building the foundation.
As mentioned earlier, I’m working on how to be a good person because without that I don’t believe I’d ever make it through life. What is the good, right thing to do? I still a feel a lot of doubt about whether it was the right thing to walk away and close the door. On reflection it was the best thing to do, the right thing to do. For her and me both.
The ability to walk away is probably the most vital ingredient of self-respect. I’ve walked away many times and it never feels worthy of self-respect but then maybe I actually have more than I realise.
I’ve struggled to know what’s right because I’ve failed to put the pieces together, failed to see cause and effect when it comes to matters of the heart. Maybe because I’ve just never found any logic to it. Maybe I just find healthy relationships too boring and sabotage to make things meaningful.
I only know now that I would prefer to live totally alone than chase like a loser.
There’s more to me than what I’m doing now and I’m going to need to be more to really love myself enough to be social again. There’s more of the dreaded old work to be done. I think now the solution is that the work you do should only ever be for yourself and your own betterment. It’s absolutely not worth it to be chasing something or someone outside of yourself.
I dunno, maybe I’m saying that best things in life don’t need to be worked. Life should be a lot easier than it currently is.
Perhaps also that the people in your life shouldn’t make your life harder but should make it easier.
Still very angry that my life feels so much harder than everyone else, still feel the unfairness of it all. But then I think that maybe my life has the greatest potential for supreme triumph over adversity. The only thing missing now is the belief that I will always be better off than those who would reject or abandon me and I can smugly chide them as the real losers.
Sounds a little childish maybe, but I think it’s the way forward.
Thanks as always for reading