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31 October 2008

do you really care?

it is commonplace for people to ask "how are you?" when seeing someone for the first time in the day. i don't quite like that. i mean, seriously, do you really care? at one time, many, many moons ago, it was probably used as it was supposed to, but now it's turned into a generic greeting that makes me feel uncomfortable. i prefer "what's up" or "what's going on?". with the former, you can deflect the inanity of the question with a smart-ass reply like "the price of oil", "NOT the market", or the old standby, "the sky". with the latter, you have far more topics to speak about: work, family, money, etc.

i speak of this because here in egypt, EVERYONE asks "how are you" (in arabic, of course), and they ask it EVERYTIME they see you. all of you who read this blog know that i'm not doing well. these people don't really care how i'm doing, it's just a common courtesy to ask, but it wears me down having to lie. i might not be thinking about the shitty things that are going on in my life, i might be truly distracted, but when they ask... it all comes flooding back, and i have to then lie. "i'm doing great", "meyya, meyya" (means 100%).

i'm kind of the happy-go-lucky guy at work. i don't raise my voice, i don't complain much, i curse on occasion if i knock my head on a scaffolding pole or something, but in general, everyone knows me to be in a good mood. with this whole shitty situation, i've had to start wearing masks. some days i might be in a piss poor mood, but someone will eventually come up to me, asking me how i am, and i have to throw on the smile, tell them everything's fine, what do they need. it's exhausting. when no one's looking, when no one's around, i can let the mask fade away, but that isn't very often at work. it's strictly an external facade, i still feel like shite inside. some days i'm at it so long, that i can't take it off even when i go home. i can't embrace my issues because i've been faking all day that everything is OK. they really don't want to hear about my shite. they wouldn't understand, and even if they did, they'd probably think less of me. i couldn't tell them the truth anyways; my throat closes when i even remotely think of having to explain what's going on in my heart and in my head. i want someone to talk to, someone strong enough to know that my flaws only compound this situation, and i'm pretty sure they are hard-wired flaws. there's no changing them no matter how much i want to.

TheElectrical advised that i see a therapist (as well as cutting down on drinking, pity smoking, and i should lose weight, but i digress). i suppose it might not be a BAD idea, but again, there are several genetic predispositions i have against that course of action.
  1. i think i'm smarter than them - i minored in psychology in school, i took enough classes to have a decent idea what the fukk is wrong with me. granted, i didn't take the "how do you fix it" classes, but i have a general idea of what they would suggest, i suggest it to myself, my friends suggest it to me, but i'm just closed. it's not like i can't see the door, rather, my hand is on the knob, and i just can't turn it. i had a bad experience with a high school psychologist during a break up then. i'd pierced the bridge of my nose with a safety pin, left it in, and went to school. i was kicked out of just about every class, and the psychologist was called in. she said she knew i was an actor (yes, i joined thespians for my girlfriend at the time), that i might be able to put on a good show, but she felt i was like an orange... hard skin on the outside but juicy just underneath that skin. i'm not making this up. right then and there, i labeled her a joke as a professional, figured she was bottom of her class, and wrote her off. i wasn't impressed. i'm sure there HAS to be better therapists out there, but my first impression left a bad taste in my mouth

  2. i broke me, so i can fix me - well, technically, I didn't break me, but i put myself into a position that allowed me to let down my guard to be broken. i've been witness to every little psycho synapse firing in my head, i've felt every heart pang for the most unrelated, benign reasons, it's all documented here in my head in my own proprietary format. there's no way i could explain it coherently to someone outside my head. they don't have the right codecs (i'm such a geek). i need time to analyze the data, but i've not had time to arrange it into an easy, user-friendly format. looking at the raw data, right now, it seems it isn't the product that is flawed (again this is preliminary), it's the process. i think i'm pretty damn good at relationships on the whole. everyone has their shortcomings and such, but in general, i think i have a pretty good handle on how things should go. the process is fukked in that, i just spend that time on the wrong people. i'm blinded by attention, by beauty, by learning about new things from new people, by the excitement of this amazing new person who wants to spend time with me. in doing so i might be missing telltale signs that we may not be compatible. i miss the hints, i miss the suggestions.

  3. strangers vs. friends - this guy is a complete stranger. how am i going to open up to him, when i have a hard time opening up to my close friends? i was always the guy who listened to other peoples' problems, the shoulder to cry on. i didn't want to burden them with my problems because mine were so insignificant in comparison, so i tried my best to keep quiet. telling a stranger how crazy i am? come on. therapists are only human. they're trained to be non-judgemental, but we are animals. there will always be a judgment made, an impression formed, even if it's in the remotest hollow of the basal ganglia, i'll be judged. my friends know my good and bad already, they already know that and yet, they're still my friends. they accept my idiosyncracies, or at the very least, they aren't threatened by them. they aren't judging me, they already did that years ago, for free, they STILL stuck around, even if only to see what the fukk this guy is going to do next. these are people i love, i trust, and i still have a hard time letting them know exactly how messed up i am. a stranger who has to learn all my background plus current problems in several 60-minute sessions... i don't know if i'd trust their evaluation for lack of thoroughness.

  4. i'm just too damn proud - there's not much more that can be added to that. i don't want to be fukked up, i don't want to admit that i can't deal with this on my own. i'm not into holistic medicine, i know my boundaries (i think). if i have cancer or a broken arm or a bullet wound... know i can't fix those, but my brain (unless i'm more fukked up that i though) is not injured. it may be chemically imbalanced or dehydrated, but it's not like something is there that shouldn't be. if there is no physical defect, i think i should be able to manage it myself. mind over matter (except in the case of the aforementioned bullets and such).

you know what i just realized? i'm a hypocrite. you didn't even ask me how i was doing, you mightn't even care, and yet i let you have it. i apologize. had i not ranted on about that in the first part of this post, this would be OK as it is my blog and you came here voluntarily. next time i'll give you warning.

i'm going to try to write more on ZUMEL(i put a short post up there today), really, and i'm going to really try to get some vacation pix and stories up for you soon. i give you my word, and that, my friend, is stronger than graphene. please someone corroborate that for me. hah. later kids.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous steadman said...

i say. i am impressed at your willingness to open up a bit here about how you really are doing. if you don't want to go to therapy...don't. i do agree that getting your body healthy is a great idea. the exercise will give you a release and you know my thoughts on the drinking....
trust me when i say that your friends also wish that you weren't a half a world away. we miss you. and we love you. call or email anytime

8:25 AM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger themom said...

get your thoughts out here if that will help. you self-analyze maybe too much. i don't have the answers, and you don't want tme to worry either. you have a strong support network within your friends, just reach out.


XXXOOO

9:08 AM, October 31, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with going through a bad time. You and your girlfriend just broke up and you obviously care for her very deeply. You didn't do anything wrong; it didn't work out. It's sad and terrible, and you deserve to mourn your loss. You didn't do anything wrong and feeling badly about it doesn't make you effed up.

You're a good Dude and all those people out there care for you. Even from an anonymous spectator's point of view, it's nice to know how much they do. That should count for something.

Your not effed up, you're you.

~TheAnonymous

3:28 PM, October 31, 2008  
Anonymous JaneAnn said...

If we did not want to KNOW how you are then we would not be reading your BLOG! You do have a lot of people who care about you and even a couple of EXes who think very highly of you. ANd I'll do you one better... I was a Psych Major and still can't bring myself to se a therapist!

and I second Christy on the Call... IM... E-mail as much as you need!

5:31 PM, October 31, 2008  
Blogger swedish chef dave said...

Dude
life is all about experiencing these painful things and working it out the way you want, i think or shrinks are just jokers who cant get a real job, putting your feelings here are part of your own therapy, As i have experienced life can be painful and it is just time that helps make it seem less painful, we need to share a few beers and have a few laughs, i am off to mexico but moving to spain in April, you should come and spend some time in spain with me

keep sharing it really works

Dave in the jungle

1:15 PM, November 01, 2008  

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