It’s 5:29 A.M and I can’t sleep. Well, it’s not so much that I can’t sleep, but more like I’m not allowing myself to. Instead my brain is wide awake forming unwritten blog posts. Sentences streaming together spiraling into paragraphs, paragraphs expanding into troubling brews of insight and self-awareness that I find impossible bedding down for the night without getting it out of me first. I MUST get it out. Get it out of me like that movie where the alien pops out of the guys stomach. It ain’t gonna be pretty.
I hear birds. I’m so tired…..
I got myself good and depressed last Wednesday. I started thinking about Nepal again and how I managed to botch things up with everyone. K’s statement about me being an embarrassment to everyone was what mixed the pot of goop in my head.
“I’m an embarrassment……hmmm….how? Why, why why….am I so lame….”
“Is it because I look weird? Yes, but there’s got to be more to it than that. My hideous laugh spotted with intermittent snorts? That doesn’t help me in the cool department but no, that’s not it. I am however, an idiot. That could be it. That’s most likely it. I’m an idiot that doesn’t try at anything. I don’t try to get people to like me, I don’t try saying smart things to people and I don’t feel special or interesting enough to talk about myself (I have my blog for that). I don’t pretend I know what I’m doing, but not only that – I can be mean. I can be mean by my lack of responding to others.”
My silence by not sharing myself, and by not putting any effort into anything I say or do, can make me come off as being aloof and indifferent (maybe that’s what makes me a puzzle to people!). And this is what even my closest friends can see and came to believe about me. They drive me crazy, but really it’s my fault – it really is!
That was my final answer. That I’m a stupid, unresponsive goofy attention seeking needy child, too caught up in her own world of magnificence that she fails at responding to others and their needs.
And that explains why I’m best friends with this guy:
“Okay, so I really am embarrassing to be around. Now that I know why, how do I fix it?”
This was a damaging realization that sent me into a clichéd shame spiral. So what did I do to appease the Gods of remorse? I went to the bar with Dave, my crutch. And drank beer, my other crutch. I hobbled into Jersey Joe’s on my two crutches and played horseshoes outside feeling like I was a kid at a family picnic. Swinging my horseshoe like Happy Gilmore swings his club. But still the damage moped around my head. I couldn’t let anyone see what I really was – A stupid, unresponsive goofy attention seeking needy child – no, couldn’t allow that. Not anymore.
Dave’s new girlfriend showed up at the bar. This may sound un-girl-like of me, but I’m actually okay with Dave having girlfriends and bringing them around for me to meet. Me and him are playmates, nothing more. I felt that I could be hurt if I let myself sink into it, but I didn’t because, well, it’s Dave! The man-boy who pants like a dog and wags his butt when he’s happy so he can come off as being cute with people – which works on me, sadly.
His new unofficial girlfriend brought her friend with her. We all sat down at a table together and immediately Kristie (the GF) had her radar locked on me. She was being overly friendly, talking a lot and vying for my approval – nothing she said seemed genuine or authentic (two things I started perfecting in myself when I turned 18).
I have experience with these types of people and most everyone has a bit of it in them, but then a Kristie comes along to make it nearly impossible for me to form any real substantial connection with her. If I gave her the approval she was after, I’d only be encouraging her behaviour and in the process, I would be fake in return. Being fake is something I chiseled away at for years. I sculpted myself down to find my truth and hate it when people compromise it. This is my meanness that I don’t try to hide. My lack of empathy towards fakes.
I could never understand why people do this. Torturing themselves just to win the approval from someone who doesn’t even matter that much – keeping everything real in them from escaping and then plastering me with laser-edged attention that I find unnerving and annoying. Especially annoying. ‘This person is not self-aware. How can I talk normally to a person who doesn’t know themself? They’ll only tell me a bunch of fake made-up shit and frankly, I don’t have the time or patience to hear it.”
Melanie spells Meanie if you leave out the L in Love. Heh heh…
The meanness in me manifests into an unresponsive wall – completely unaffected by anything being said to me. These kinds of people hurl themselves at me only to crumple against my unflinching, unblinking stare. Sometimes I try to be nice by throwing in a “Ah, that’s interesting” and place a finger to my chin as though I’m deep in thought. But mostly I just nod and say, “Oh yeah? Really? Huh….”
Kristie’s eyes never left mine. She talked very lively and animated. In-between breaths she would scan me for a response.
But here’s the kicker; I started doing it too! Because of my recent emotional trauma and the belief that I must hide my damaged parts to fit in, I found myself holding her gaze, keeping up with her focus. She was obviously more skilled than I at this game, but I was learning rapidly what it was about. We blocked out Dave, we blocked out her quiet blonde friend smiling next to her. We blocked out the entire bar. The space between her and I became a funnel – a vacuum that sucked each other in and spat everything else out. I felt needy for her acceptance – to prove to myself and everyone that I really am normal. So I hammed it up – pretending to relate and understand.
It didn’t take long for me to realize what was happening. While she was talking, I spaced out to listen to my own inner voice. ‘Holy shit so this is why people are fake! To try and hide their damaged parts. Someone had hurt them, made them insecure and now they’re trying not to let it happen again. And having a new person to chat with is their ultimate test at fitting in and to start fresh.
BOOM! Connection was formed. I put a halt to my fakeness, I didn’t need it anymore, and beneath it was my humanity. I sympathised with her and for the first time ever, I made a connection with a fake personality because they were fake! Such a paradox, I know….
But as soon as I sympathised with her, and with my own fakeness waning, that’s when I saw the real her being drawn out. It was like cranking up a Jack-in-the-box. I was slowly, patiently winding her up – knowing she’ll let herself out when she’s ready. And I made it perfectly clear to her that she could unleash everything she’s got.
And she did. Our laughs became real and infectious and soon the whole table became involved in our conversation.
It was funny watching all this unfold in front of me. A lifetime of not understanding these people to only become one of them and then come out of it with new enlightened wisdom. All the while everyone else being completely oblivious to whats going on in my head. People tell me I’m a puzzle? Well, it’s probably because of this shit.
When I was in my late twenties I had a problem understanding jealous, needy people. As soon as a person got jealous or needy, I wiped my hands clean of them – but then felt guilty for doing it. I was the complete opposite of anything remotely jealous or needy and if I could remain that way almost into my 30’s, than I wondered what the hell was wrong with everyone else? I wanted to understand these people, know how they operated and what it felt like, but to my chagrin – I did just that. That one is a little bit harder to pull yourself out of. I really wished I had my blog back then, but all I had was my crumpled handwritten journals tucked away in a Century safe. And being jealous and needy also intertwined into needing narcissistic validation from everyone – bad road to head down, trust me.
Socrates – “You know the difference between knowledge and wisdom?”
Dan – “No, what?”
Socrates – “You learn knowledge from a book. You learn wisdom by living it.”
That’s from The Peaceful Warrior. Not sure if the phrasing’s right, but you get the idea.
And as soon as the pretenses dropped from our table, everyone chimed in to talk – energy flowed how it should flow. From one person to the next, no favorites. No boundaries. And it turns out that Kristie is awesome. Turning out to be more true and genuine than most. I gave her a chance and let her in – that’s all I did. That’s all anyone wants, really. Now I know how important that one small gesture is.
My previous self was immune to the faker’s silent plea, hoping they would give up, get bored – go a different route. I was too lazy to make an effort for them – the little extra love it takes to get to know these people who need it the most. But now I’m one step closer to being a better version of me, and even acquired a new friend in the process.
Kristie and I hung out for three days in a row. Yesterday she taken me to see an 80’s cover band that was phenomenal (omg I LOVE 80’s cover bands!), and today we hung out all day just bumming around and ended up listening to a live calypso band outside sitting on the patio of a riverfront bar. It was a good day. But then if she ever gets needy, jealous or weird, I hope the new me is able to deal with it better than the old one. My understanding is expanding, I just didn’t think it would be this painful.
At 7 o’clock we had to part ways so I could go to my five-year massage therapy class reunion. Two girls from my class now practice Thai massage which involves using their own bodies to stretch and position the clients body. I shit-you-not it looked like kama sutra. We drank wine, did a few yoga poses and practiced kama sutra with our clothes on. Well, actually I didn’t want to get involved in it. It looked to be too intimate for my taste – which is most likely yet another ingrained problem that I have, but I’ll save that one for some other time.
I know I have a problem with over-analyzing everything, but I kinda like that one. Think I’ll keep it.
I guess I should try my hand at sleep now. Fml tomorrow.
You know I read somewhere about the Dalai Lama politely dismissing insincere people from interviewing him – he didn’t have the time for them. Perhaps I am surpassing the Dalai Lama in my scope of understanding the human psyche? How awesome is that?! Awesome, yes – if it’s true, but true it is not. I’m a small-time egomaniac, that’s all. Small wormy narcissistic entrails still resound in me.
No, the Dalai Lama probably dismisses the people who look down on him, don’t believe that he’s the real deal, but Dalai don’t give a fuck – the boy ain’t got nuthin’ to prove to nobody. Ha ha, bad ass Dalai that’s what he is.
Shit I’m tired. Sorry circadian rhythm.
I’m such a mess. I mean really. My ankle is STILL swollen from when I fell in Kathmandu, my left knee still hurts from trekking and my period is 23 days late! Plus my head is nuts, I have a cold, I’m broke and live in a basement down by the parents.
- My Strange Addiction – We Live In A Crazy World! (writes2escape.wordpress.com)
- In case y’all haven’t noticed . . . (thearmitageeffect.wordpress.com)
- It’s OK Thursday #25 (brunchwithamber.com)
- C.S. Lewis on Why We Should Do (and read) the Things We Do (marccortez.com)
- Idiots here, idiots there, idiots idiots everywhere! (thegrumpylebanese.com)
- Drop the Crutches (weightwar2.com)
- Destructive behaviour when bored (fulltimegangsta.wordpress.com)