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Confessions on Facing my Pessimism


Entry 03/12/2012 05:14:27 PM – Mentat 634

Delenn, “Sometimes, I try and picture you sitting on a beach with absolutely nothing to do.

Sheridan, “And?

Delenn, “And, the picture always ends with your head imploding.

Another (temporary) gorgeous day here in the Tundras of New England. All the windows are open and I’m getting all the usual noise pollution from the car wash next door. I wouldn’t mind it so much if was just the high pitch noise of the quarter-driven, industrial strength vacuum cleaners, but it’s not. Added to that noise is rap, mariachi, crappy urban that’s effecting my listening to my iPod with my earbuds in. To add salt to the already open and gaping wound is that the 20-somethings that are exuberantly cleaning their machines have the bass on car stereo systems ramped up to maximum making my butt vibrate in my chair and the hair on my legs feel like it’s all standing on end. It makes me wish sometimes, that I studied Spanish (instead of French) in High School so I can yell out the window something to the extent of, “this is a neighborhood that likes it’s peace and quiet and would appreciate listening to your shitty music being played full blast”. At the same time though I’m sort of glad that there’s a bit of discretion nestled in the middle of my rude and selfish wants and ignorance to another Latin-based language. At least the good thing is that when the sun goes down, so does the want for people in the neighborhood to wash and vacuum their cars… Sure, it might be a 24-hour car wash, but Rhode Island natives have this pernicious habit of going home when the sun goes down because of some unreasonable fear that the night is when people get mugged/raped/whatever. It’s a good thing they give up at that point too; given I’m more prone to take action when I’m tired and aggravated listening to rap when I’m winding down for bed. But this isn’t the real reason for my sitting down and writing this journal entry…

…The reason is because of the reaction I had after watching Dream Boy. It wasn’t so much the material or the plot of the movie; it had to do with my reaction to a sort of internal time-stamp as I sat there watching it. You see, having a long (and oftentimes eidetic) memory as I do, a lot of my life is cataloged. Almost orderly in an anal-retentive sort of way. I remember it based on two facets — historical markers, and progressive changes between those markers. Historical markers are like a snapshot involving the feelings I had at the time, the way I thought, the people in my life, and the events that occurred to bring my feelings and thoughts to what I remembered of the time. The progressive changes are often where everything else are stored: more events, more thoughts, more feelings, people that have left, people that have come into my life, where I lived and so on. As I watched this film, I found myself keenly relating to Nathan (Stephen Bender’s character) only because of he was a complete introvert it dawned on me as I became introspective in my empathy to relate to the character something that has changed profoundly since I was a teenager and the man I am now. What’s changed has been my frenetic desire to keep my thoughts as disorganized and in a disarray.

Sure, I can sit and watch a movie for a couple of hours. I can even play a game for hours more. Chatting with someone I can keep the conversation going — but underneath it all — my thoughts are a roil of chaos and disjointed jumble. And as I sit here writing this journal entry, I wonder why.

Sometimes I get the impression I don’t want other people to read me (or my thoughts). Through the same skills that I use to read another person (body language, nuance, word choices, etc), I do everything possible to make it difficult for people to read me. After all — how a person reads someone’s thoughts is through empathy, and if I do everything in my power to block people from being sympathetic/empathetic — they then cannot truly fathom the deeper recesses of my mind.

Other times, I get the distinct impression that I do all this so that I don’t have to put up with my own thoughts and feelings; as though sitting there and dealing with them, I’m going to quite suddenly become moody, even more taciturn than I already am, or just plain whinging and depressive. So if I keep my mind in a higher state of energetic motion, then I can’t experience those feelings.

And last night after the end of that movie and chatting a bit with Glenn (who wasn’t paying attention and falling asleep rapidly given the time on his side of the big pond), I realized all too keenly just how lonely I sometimes am.

The question that comes to mind as I sit here is, “how can I slow my mind back down?”

In the past, I used meditation to do this, and music. Clear my mind and make it a tranquil pool. I could do this with music ranging from Classical, through to Soundtrack, to even Trance and Electronica. To lay there on the bed, couch or floor and practice the fine art of resting mind and body without actually falling asleep. It used to work wonderfully. I would come back to complete consciousness ready to face whatever problem that had been bothering me with the passionate fervor of any drama queen on a mission.

Now? 12 years later? Wow, I realized as I meditated for ½ hour that my mind was a non-stop roil again. I actually attempted to do nothing but listen to music for the next ½ hour to see whether I could avoid playing games, going online or even working out what I should have for supper (this is something I’ve been indecisive about since lunch yesterday). I found I couldn’t sit still at all. I was pacing about the house and trying to find entertainment with the Mad Cat Committee™. I sometimes watched with disdain and disgust the folk at the Car Wash playing more music with the bass set entirely too high and wondering how much longer I was going to have to put up with the BOOM-BOOM-BOOM of their rap and urban/ghetto/whatever-it’s-called-now. It took another ½ hour to finally calm down enough that my mind, feelings, and body weren’t trying to go in a million different directions. I still find myself a bit jittery, but it’s nothing like when I came up from my meditation at 3:30 PM.

Delving a bit more (into my memory) as I sit here, I realize there are two (more) radical changes that has caused this mess to worsen in recent history. The first occurred 7 months after Damion and I broke up, when I made this piece. And the second was Cricket’s passing last November. Both have so many other niggling things going on that seem to have contributed to my speeding thoughts and feelings up to insane levels… Back then after the break up with Damion there was work and the childishness I used to constantly put up with at work once the managers left for the evening. On the home front there was family and the almost schizophrenic changes my uncle would do around the house (and then explode if those changes of his weren’t accepted absolutely).

When Cricket died, there was Mark (who I was already getting a good idea on how slovenly he is, and how full of delusional dreams he can be) and my inherent feeling of betrayal from having to move out of my Aunt & Uncle’s as quickly as I had. That and a job that wasn’t at all what was advertised (and quitting shortly after), and the usual stress of moving to a place that is as diametrically different to the place I was living before. Heh, I didn’t think I would miss the lack of noise, neighbors and pressures as I did living in the last house on the left… As opposed to being a ½ block from a fire station with all the sirens, the city noise when my windows are open and the car wash that is quite busy from sunup to sundown.

And let’s also face it — I’ve been doing everything in my power to sabotage correcting my loneliness through dating. I’m not going out to enjoy myself, I’m forcing myself through the motions of the activity. I’m not paying attention to my instincts at all… What I’m doing is I’m going out on the date working with the assumption that “maybe I’m just being too hard or too judgmental on the man” and “I should give him a chance”. Then when the date goes wrong as it invariably will given I didn’t listen to what my instincts were telling me about having little to no connection with the man in question — I’m then angsting like a 13 year old does on LiveJournal because mom and dad said “no” to buying them the most recent release of Pokémon (or Yu-Gi-Oh) for their GameBoy.

Quite literally, I’m doing everything in my power to be miserable because misery is something I’m familiar with. I’m doing the very same thing I tell friends and acquaintances not to do. Not to define their lives on the misery because it’s known, and instead to take the leap of faith because the unknown isn’t frightening (it’s challenging and oftentimes benign).

I mean, I know that men my age are damaged. Surviving through decades of bar life to finding a boyfriend are bound to do this. A quick perusal of my life is proof of this from the early years through my time with Rick, to the aftermath afterward that I was fortunate enough to find Damion to get through. With that in mind, the last thing I should be doing is holding it against them in quite the way I have been since my break up with Damion. Then again, maybe I need to re-examine what it is I want out of a man instead of what I don’t want to find in a man…

*takes a deep breath* Yes, I admit I let it get to me. All of it. I let it change me too. Change me in ways that I shouldn’t have allowed. I allowed the negativity to take hold and did nothing to stop it. While I might not be able be physically self-destructive, I realize that there are other ways to destroying self. Like becoming an emotional husk. Like being dead on the inside through emotionally venomous and completely pessimistic attitudes

So now I have to face the fact that I have habits I need to break. Habits I’ve faced before in my past. And at least I know, it can be overcome. Until the next time.

  1. Midget
    03/28/2012 at 3:08 pm

    It’s strange. I find myself in a similar position these days but find myself powerlessly inarticulate when it comes to putting it down to words. It’s nice to have it said out loud and then understand it.

    • 03/28/2012 at 5:56 pm

      Oh I have plenty of words at my disposal. The problem for me is putting them down articulately enough for other people to understand. Just do what I do… write it all out, edit for brevity. Publish. Less chance of being self-conscious and second guessing everything that’s written down.

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