I am that I am, but here is what I am. This is for those who wonder who is behind the poems; or for someone that finds this blog later on and wonders who I was; or maybe a family member finally looking for answers after it is all over. Here is who I am and what I deal with regularly, worded in the best way I can render it.
The pool is what I call the feeling, the knot, the festering pit in the middle of my chest that feels like a mixture of utter dread, anxiousness, emotional discomfort that just pulsates ALL DAY LONG. From when I wake up to when I go to bed this pool of dreadful emotions affects me like a stab wound untreated. The pool isn’t physical as much as it is an emotional discomfort that makes life near unbearable. When I say unbearable, I mean it. As I sit, eat, watch youtube videos and the like this pool of dreadful feelings is there making the experience twenty times less enjoyable. I thought it was just depression for a long time, but frankly, I don’t think depression comes close to this pool of dread. I am in a consistent state of emotional unease and I can assure you that it’s been like that since I was a child. No one believed me back then and no one in my adulthood can help me with it now—more on that later.
The broken record
When I wake up, without fail, I am greeted with some randomly remembered experience that makes me want to cringe and fall into a pit of despair. Don’t get this confused with waking up, picking up my phone, scrolling through Twitter or whatever, and then getting into a bad mood. I wake up and the broken memory record begins. There are no triggers for the memories. The memories just come and I must say that there are a lot of them. Some days it is the same remembered experiences. These memories obviously aren’t pleasant; they represent the wholeness of humiliation, regret, rejection, discomfort, and miss treatment. And yes, there are plenty of times there are memories of me being a jerk but on the whole, the memories revolve around the trauma of never being able to socialize in any capacity without finding myself emotionally hurt.
The broken record in my head plays all day long without any break. Nearly every insult, slander, or facial expression is remembered just at the right point to dig an emotional knife deep into my ego. The memories also begin just at the most opportune time and end and the most damaging time like a movie scene queued up. It is even hard to call them memories considering often I don’t even remember things like dates or times or what happened just before the event or even after. I just find myself in the middle of a toxic remembrance and then right after in the middle of another. Often the remembrances don’t have any connection to each other. I try to piece the remembrances together to get an idea of maybe some grander meaning but I can never find one.
The broken record replays remembrances back from childhood to yesterday. There is no order to the chaos other than to make me feel horrible. Every memory pains me deeply and I have no relief from sunup to sunset only, so sleep breaks the cycle.
I am an oddball. Not in the quirky, go my own way, laugh at my own jokes type of way. I simply don’t understand nor enjoy socializing. I am discomforted when I am around people. You would think that is anxiety, but it is far worse. I can have conversations with people in person or indirectly, but as we are conversing I am feeling like the world is collapsing inside me. I feel like, when talking, that I am doing the most horrendous thing possible and feel as guilty as a convicted felon. No matter how trivial the conversation or encounter, I will feel horrible before, during, and afterward. If it was anxiety, the feeling would ease at some point with a person. I can honestly say the more I have to regularly socialize with someone the worse it gets. It is almost like the very feeling of friendship or being associated discomforts me so greatly that I need to avoid them. When I was younger I would do just that. Imagine having a friendly conversation with someone and then that person for no reason that you can tell doesn’t even want to talk to you ever again. Now imagine your best friend feeling the same way after years of friendship without so much as a fight occurring between you two.
Moreover, mentally my mind goes haywire when I am placed in social encounters. There is this emotional disconnect between me and them and often to compensate I pretend like nothing is wrong. However, in reality, my mind is a million miles away. I disassociate like crazy—that is when you aren’t grounded in your surroundings; your body is there but your mind isn’t. When I disassociate I end up staring off into space or people’s eyes or I will sit silently and doodle, completely cut off from the world. I miss “social clues” like crazy or ignore them thinking they are insignificant. Eye contact is near impossible at times for me and I can’t hold a conversation for more than a few minutes without feeling deep uneasiness.
So, in general, socializing isn’t pleasant for me. But it gets worse. Feelings of love or admiration feel like they are insults to me. I run far away from those people. I also don’t feel a connection when interacting with people. I can’t really be peer pressured into doing anything because of that. I also can’t formulate friendships and if for some reason I find myself in one, I run as soon as I can. It’s not fear of rejection. If anything I am rejecting them because of how horrible I feel.
There is a certain feeling of surrealism when I am around others too. It feels like we are actors on a stage and things are playing out in a scripted manner. That surrealism eats at me even when I am just sitting alone. I also feel overly empathic, so I often find myself more worried about how the other person feels instead of how the conversation is going.
That is the most of it. There is more like selective mutism, getting ‘frozen’ where my brain goes blank and I just stare emotionlessly, and odd behavior (like repeating myself three times, screaming or raising my voice for no reason, or just acting like a real weirdo, etc) that I can’t explain even when I go over the event a million times. However, no one believes these last bits so I learned not to elaborate.
There is no baseline for my mood unless you take into account the ‘pool.’ Through the day I can go from depressed to anxious to mad with rage to being as meek as a mouse. I internalize it all. So from the outside looking in, there is just a stoic me. However, if I were to express these emotions/moods—as I have done before—I wouldn’t come off as sane or in my case, I just come off as being ‘extra,’ ‘emotional,’ ‘needlessly aggressive,’ ‘depressing,’ ‘clingy’ ‘etc all in the same day. If I ever do feel ‘happy,’ it comes off most obnoxiously like I am a spastic child.
I know emotional valleys deeper than most. I can feel suicidal for a whole day and function like nothing is wrong. Being suicidal over the years has become just another emotion for me. I wanted to kill myself by the time I was 13. I attempted suicide around my early twenties. There was no prompt for it. I just felt the urge and finally acted on it. Another valley I know too well is self-hatred. There is no one in this world I hate more than myself. I started to self-harm in my teens for numerous reasons. When I cut I hope to be able to have the courage to slice a vein—never got deep enough though. However, I have deep scars to show I have tried. Lastly, there is what I call a rage inside me that I hate where I could just burn the world without a care. I don’t like putting my hands on people—I don’t like being touched actually. However, when I am in this homicidal mood it is like I am trying to stop a river from flowing out of me. The worse most people get from me, during that time, is me being snippy with them, but in truth that is only because of extreme self-control. I am not sure how I learned self-control to such an extreme—maybe it’s a gift—but I swear the anger eats me up inside in a way that I can’t even explain.
I do not know what prolonged happiness or contentment feels like. I have no cherished memories or can find myself lost in the beauty of just existing. I simply know no relief.
I rather not go into great details about my life. However, I will say it hasn’t been pleasant and often I feel like the world just needs me for one reason and that is to be a scapegoat. It should also go without saying, that keeping typical work is near impossible, having any type of relationship is out of the question, and I find myself deeply misunderstood to the point people—even family—hate me. I have been abandoned more times than I can count, starting with my father who knew I was struggling with life at an early age and still did nothing as he went about his life. People go out of their way to emotionally hurt me and at times threaten me. Hell, even my reputation in my state is tarnished based on a series of misunderstandings around recordings of me at work taken out of context. Speaking briefly on that, take all of what I have written and then try to live a typical workday in a high corporate office and you will see how things could get messy quickly. Why would I ever want to be in a corporate office? Because I have the intellect and courage to do it. After high school, I wasn’t given a choice of being a castaway. It was either work or go to college. I went to college—failed socially and academically but still got a degree in IT and then started applying for work. There was no other option for me. There was no ‘we think you’re mentally ill in a very bad way how about you try this route,’ for me. It was either work or become a bum on the streets. Many people find themselves in the same predicament actually.
What have I done to try to alleviate these symptoms?
At a young age, I became mute. That worked for most of my schooling, but as an adult that doesn’t pan out well. So when I hit college, I enlisted myself into therapy. No, my family didn’t agree to it and made me feel like shit for doing it. However, I went and kept going to a therapist over the years. I also have been on nearly every anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, or anti-psychotic there is on the market. I have even tried new age treatments like TMS. On the spiritual-religious side of things, I was raised Christian and prayed for years until I gave up. I found other forms of spirituality, some controversial and others just carbon copies of Christianity. Nothing helped, but I could go on long rants about all the useless knowledge I learned over the years.
When I lost one job, I got another. One I failed at one college, I attended another. When one therapist showed their true colors, I found another. When one pill didn’t work, I asked for another or a higher dosage. When one spiritual or religious teaching wasn’t hitting home, I tried another. And so on. I can assure you that one thing about me is that I am not the type to just accept failure. I tried everything I was supposed to do except the negative things like doing harsh drugs, committing crimes, needless violence, or even being a vindictive a-hole who tries to ruin other lives because of my issues. I take responsibility, but in end the end it really doesn’t matter.
I have been in and out of psych wards more than I can remember. They don’t help and truly they often made things worse. I almost even tried shock therapy—which needs to be eradicated from hospitals. However, a sweet woman who was dealing with depression her whole life showed me just how horrible shock treatment is. She could barely remember her name after treatment and still, she wasn’t any emotionally better. I rather not even get into how some of the workers treat the mentally ill in these hospitals—let’s just say that the prejudice around mentally ill people ‘faking’ it is still very much alive and you will find that way of thinking a lot inside those hospitals by the very people who are supposed to be helping.
I wrote this just cause; I guess. Obviously, if you read through it, pity and attention aren’t things I can comprehend enjoying anyway. I guess I just needed to get some explanation out there in case of anything. So, people can’t ever say I never told them the truth or didn’t express myself enough, or didn’t try hard enough. One thing they will never be able to honestly say about me is that I kept my mouth closed about my issues.
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