Day 56. Weekly Writing Challenge: DNA Analysis.

Between all of the quirks of my family members I am a genetic minefield. Especially when it comes to my parents. It seems that I have inherited their worst qualities.

Let’s start with my mother. She is a woman who gave me everything and sacrificed so much to give me a better life. She can also be batshit insane sometimes. My parents divorced when I was 2-3 years of age and my mother had to be both the mother and “the man” in the family since my father was absent for most of my childhood. He did not disappear, he just was not there. She had to become more of a disciplinarian than a nurturer. That became even more so when my ADHD really kicked in full force. Except no one knew what it was and just assumed that I was not paying attention. If only I chose to pay attention everything would have been much better! As a result, our relationship is rather complicated and I suppose I might still be harbouring some resentment.
My mother is incredibly shy and uneasy around people she does not know well. She can be a bit of a loner at times. She has very few close friends. There is quite a bit of the victim complex in her personality. Check, check, and check! Got all those traits. Not her super-analytical mind, nor her enormous ability to concentrate. Not even her amazing cooking skills! Nope: misery and self-blame were my genetic inheritance. Of course, her life was certainly not a happy one. Her marriage to my father was an unqualified disaster, not the least because my pater familias is a compulsive liar or womaniser.

Speaking of which, here is my father: brilliant mind with no self-discipline. Like him, I am the king of instant gratification. Like him, I am always running late. His father (my paternal grandfather) was no picnic either. Brash, selfish, and completely full of himself, he was quite a character. And he brought up his first-born to be just as brash and as selfish and with a circus-like ability to blow smoke up his own and everyone else’s ass. My father is incredibly multi-talented: engineer, chemist, musician, artist, public speak, athlete, teacher… But all that potential remained for most part just that: a potential. I am not an cretin either. I have a high IQ, I am good with my hands and can fix pretty much anything. If I manage to concentrate on it now enough. Alas, it would seem that instead of inheriting my father’s easy brilliance, his musical talent, his ease with people and ability to easily talk to anyone and make them feel like a best friend within a few minutes, I got his gift for avoiding what needs to be done, his perpetual tardiness, his short attention span, and his hairy skin and male-pattern boldness.
I do not really know all that much about my paternal grandparents so that shall have to remain a mystery.

Growing up, I had spent a considerable amount of time with my maternal grandparents since we lived right near them, and later with them, right until my mother moved to the civilised world with me. My mother’s mother has passed most of her craziness to my mother along with mDNA. I did not get her particular brand of crazy, nor did I get her academic and professional brilliance, not her fantastic memory and writing skills, not even her spectacular culinary skills that dwarfed even those of my mother.

And finally my grandfather. The saint of a man, he was not the fastest thinking person. He did not have the easy brilliance of other family members who saw things clearly right away. Like him, I really need to examine and think about issues before I can intelligently discuss them. He was a poor student though, unlike yours truly, he actually managed to complete his higher education with distinction rather than not at all. He never threw anything out and useless crap would pile up and clatter up the storage area. One day I found I set of a cord and I was playing with it. I was quite young but I distinctly remember him freaking out and taking the “cord” away from me. Turns out it was an explosives cord used in film special effects (my grandfather’s profession) and to take down large trees. He was also a man who, despite his 40+ year marriage to my grandmother, was notoriously unlucky with women to the point of rivaling me in that department. His first wife (whom he never forgot and whose photo he kept in his desk – second shelf from the top, in the left-hand side column, underneath his professional commendations and work documents – his entire life) died in childbirth along with the baby. His second wife sent him divorce papers while he, a lowly machine gunner corporal, was lying in a hospital, somewhere between life and death, clutching to reality after being shot up so badly he never fully recovered. And then he met my grandmother, whom he adored and lived with for over 40 years until his death. Except like her sister, my grandmother was completely disinterested in sex. Those would have been very long 40 years but luckily for him, my grandfather was a good looking gent. Like myself, my grandfather could never say no to anyone. Unlike myself, women were always running after him.

They say “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” My family members seem to have gotten the genetic lemons and I am the lemonade they made. The distilled, concentrated goodness of genetic disappointment. Bottoms up!

Day 51. Trying To Relax.

On the advice of my mind technician I have tried some mindful relaxation during lunch break. Thank fully the weather is nice and I went to sit in my car and listen to the sounds of wind while trying to repeat a mantra that is supposed to quiet my worried mind.

This is harder than I remember it being when I was younger. Granted my mind has been far more perturbed lately and in my younger days (prior to being diagnosed with ADHD and discovering Methylphenidate) I spent a lot of time shutting and locking down my emotions. Still though, this is ging to be far harder than I initially assumed.

The thoughts that plagued me the most were the self-aggrandising daydreaming kind and the ones about Her. I guess no matter how much I am trying to gain some emotional peace, the memories of Her haunt my every thought for I do still love Her.

Day 50. Picking Up.

Well, this is no good. Between the pain in the wrist and in my blogging thumbs and just generally feeling sick, I have completely forgot about blogging.

To be honest though, I have been feeling a bit better lately and as usual I deluded myself into thinking that I am better.

But I’m not. In the past, I have tended to latch onto an idea or a goal that would get me feeling excited and optimistic. And I would latch onto it with the thinking that it would make everything better because the problem was outside of myself rather than inside of me.

I have got to stop doing that!

I need to work on getting myself better. I have to work on changing my patterns of negative and defeatist thinking. Otherwise, I will not get healthy and will continue to carry this pain inside.

One of the reasons I am so fucked up right now is because I have thought of my last relationship the same way as I did about my other obsessions: this will make everything right. So when She left me, the sense of loss of my greatest love was perversely intertwined with the sense of loss of my better self. Even though that was never the case – that relationship, nor any other relationship, would have “cured” me – I still can’t help but mourn the loss of that future.

And regardless of everything else, I still love Her and think of Her constantly.

Day 12. Sweet Madness.

Standing on my head at edge of the ledge,”
– Holmes Brothers, “Edge Of The Ledge”, Feed My Soul (2010)

Love. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. It is madness that we welcome often enough with open arms and end up cursing with abandon, oozing pain from our shattered hearts.

The Wikipedia article on love has a great note that “diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.” It also quotes a 2004 article by Helen Fisher “Why We Love: .” “Love may be understood as part of the survival instinct, a function to keep human beings together against menaces and to facilitate the continuation of the species.” But what happens when that becomes the opposite? What happens when things fall apart, when that love is unanswered? I’m not trying to question the necessity of love or rail against it. That would be an exercise in futility and there’s not enough strength for that. Rather my goal is to attempt to unravel the tangled emotional mess that I find myself in.

What do we do when love is unrequited? Do we keep the feelings hidden inside? I suspect there is no one right answer. As I am only going through this currently, I won’t know whether my actions thus far have been correct. One would have to be rather removed from the traumatic event in question in order to gain some sort of objectivity. The one thing that has been going through my mind though is that in general we tend to hide that which we are ashamed of the most. Humans in general tend to avoid unpleasant things. In psychology this is know as the pleasure principle. When it comes to yours truly, due to various psychological issues mentioned in the previous posts, this drive (especially the part about avoiding unpleasant things) is present in spades. So what to do?

I admit, I was possibly being selfish when I sent the message to Her professing my feelings. Most of the things I had said can be found in my previous posts: A Cut Too Deep and … And Darkness Falls. I suppose I was overcome by a sense of defiance against an unfair universe and desire to be open about my feelings. I have held things inside for so long that now it has become problematic to keep them out of sight. It is true though that I have not really considered what Her emotions would be upon the receipt of my tear-filled missive. I assumed from our conversations, from when we were together, that She simply would not care and forget it soon thereafter. I have not expected Her to be angry and especially not angry enough to send me the type of message that She did. I have not expected Her to think so much less of me as a person.

Am I deluding myself? Am I really “small, petty and jealous”? Well, jealous is a “yes.” That often goes hand-in-hand with heartbroken. But I truly do want Her to be happy and I truly am tremendously sad that it can’t be with me. And I still love Her so much that her absence is painful beyond anything I have experienced. Not having her in my life is the greatest sense of loss that I have ever experienced. I have poured out so many feelings on this blog to try to come to terms with them. I have made WordPress my daily routine. Yet, it was not enough. Was it self-indulgence, jealousy, pride, self-importance, or some other negative trait that has pushed me to tell Her how I felt? Perhaps. Perhaps it was all of them. Perhaps I am simply trying to rationalise my actions. I hope though that was not the case and that it was motivated by only love and desire to not be ashamed of my own feelings. That letter was written as a stream of consciousness in a fit of deepest sorrow, and passion, and love, such that while writing it I had to occasionally stop to wipe snot and tears of my face for I had trouble breathing and seeing the screen. I hope that She will understand it one day and find it in her heart to forgive me and my emotional foibles.

And I still love Her.

Day 11. Palpitations.

This morning is marked by an anxiety attack that just won’t quit. The heart palpitations that are chocking me remind me with every painful beat of my heartbreak. I know it’s over between us. Even though for You it was barely anything, it was everything to me. I know we will never be together – I’m not THAT delusional. I know You probably hate me right now. I know You will likely always consider me a psycho and a creep. But I would still do it again. Suffering in silence is what I have been doing for far too long. No more. I have seen and experienced first hand the suffering caused by holding shit hidden deep inside and pretending in public that everything was fine. I would still write to You about my feelings for You. I did not expect an answer but I got one and it was as painful as it was likely true. You have cut off all contact and blocked me on Facebook. I do not blame You. From your point of view it was likely a creepy and an inappropriate message. But I would still do it again. As much as I am pained by it, I am not ashamed by my unrequited love for You.
It too shall pass as most things are wont to do. I will probably get over it. I will start anew. And when I do, the burden of never having admitted my feelings will not weigh heavily upon my shoulders.
My inner démiurge seems to have been satiated and anxiety has passed for now. I have admitted my “problem.” Perhaps these bouts will become less painful in the future but I know that the love that I will always carry for you in my heart will be lighter, for it will not be darkened by shame of hiding it.

… And Darkness Falls. (Letter #3.)

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You never noted how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away

The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping
I dreamt I held you in my arms
When I awoke, dear, I was mistaken
So I hung my head, and I cried

– You Are My Sunshine

I don’t know what I was expecting. You came in this morning all full of energy and light. You moved like a hurricane of divine power, darting from the living room to the kitchen to get a glass of water and my inner turmoil has matched the speed of you turning into a barrage of conflicting emotions. My heart beat enough to almost break my ribs and block my larynx. You looked so beautiful and I almost fell apart because I could not hug you, could not kiss you. You laughed at one point and your face did that thing when you laugh and all I could do was choke back my tears. You looked around the place and tried on climbing shoes that my old partner forgot. You weren’t even looking at me at first. I had no right to hope that you would care. I knew you wouldn’t. You have said before that you do not dwell on things but move on. I should have taken heed long ago but I failed. And now you so clearly have moved on and I am left alone with my sorrow.

I wish, I wish… The words of regret.

I would give anything to be with you. If only it were possible to switch bodies with Him, the one you are with now. I tell myself that things would be different this time but truth is I would still be me and no amount of body switching would make me the one you want. I have to change myself, not to change into someone else!

I have to believe I will get better for otherwise there’s no point to living. It will take months, years… Who knows? Will you still be there? Will you be single. I have to believe that we might still have a chance because it gives me strength.

But now you are gone. And I still love you.

So I hung my head, and I cried…

Day 8. Yours Truly: Front and Centre (Part I).

Since I have no clue what to write about today, I will use the daily prompt. Standing out in a crowd is a bit of a sensitive issue with me. So instead of screaming into the digital void about my broken heart, let us venture out into the history of how yours truly has ended up in this unenviable situation.

Childhood

You see, as a child, although I had quite a bit of anxiety already, I was fine being in the thick of fun performing in dance recitals, plays, and so on. In fact, like my father, I am a natural extrovert. With the onset of ADHD-PI (or ADD, as it used to be called) things have started to change. Of course at the time I had no idea about any of that alphabet soup, nor did anyone else in my backward-ass place of birth. The way to deal with unruly kids was to pump them full of tranquilisers and stuff them in the room with padded walls. As my attention began to wonder quite a lot, I became more and more introverted. (The running joke/explanation was that I had “deep inner world.” So as much as I tried to concentrate, there was only so much information that would sift through the inattention filter. No matter how much I studied, my marks kept getting more and more depressing and so did I. The level of anxiety though, kept going up and up. That wouldn’t do in my society of birth and so I did the best I could (and my best was quite good – too good, as it turned out) to put up the appearances of normality and to lock down any out-of-place feeling or impulse.)

Present

So how is it that I went from being completely locked inside my mind (more on that in the next post) to being someone with a bunch of friends and even appearing regularly on stage? Well, my medical condition can be controlled. I came a long way from the beaten down sorry waste of flesh to be someone that others might like and respect.  I learned to venture out into outside world. It is still difficult to do so completely by myself, without a social buffer in form of friends, but I manage to do it. And every now and again I latch onto something and become obsessed with it (more on that in the next post as well). I started going to a bunch of local comedy shows and eventually paired my love for comedy with my photography obsession. So I got noticed by comedians and became friends with great many of them. These new connections brought me in contact with a lot of new people. It seems many of them liked me but I was close only to a few. Comedians like to party (evidently to keep inner demons buried under drugs and alcohol). I never got into drugs (too level-headed for that) but alcohol has always been fun for me. (Don’t worry – this story does not end in me becoming an alcoholic.) It’s a great dis-inhibitor and that’s what I need at parties. Nevertheless, I have mastered an ability to be alone in a room full of people. I tend to retreat into a corner of my mind. Even when I join a group or a conversation, I never really feel like I’m a part of it.

Then things changed. Through my association with the comedy scene, I eventually discovered improv and fell in love with it. It has so many fascinating sides: from games, to storytelling, to masks. (Eventually, there will probably be a long post dedicated to improv.)

One of those characters is me.

One of those characters is me.

See, this art form requires one to be fully in the moment, to discard whatever else is going in one’s life. I came to improv already with some experience in that from meditating (unsuccessfully) and rock climbing (rather successfully). Improv also allows you to become someone else, a character. Then there are the scene partners. Those that I have met mostly came to this also with all kinds of inner demons. It is such a wonderful feeling of being able to connect with others going through similar feelings and craft something wonderful with them that makes us and the audiences happy. Improv allows one to stand out without standing out. We all wear masks. I have conditioned myself early in life to keep mine on all the time. So through improv there is a secret me that gets to shine while the public known me can recede in the background. Therapy, it seems, can exist in the most unusual forms.

Remember.

My friends tell me that I have to forget about her. They tell me that I eventually will.
But how can I forget her when she is the first thing that I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about before falling asleep?
My mind always races thousand thoughts a minute.
How can I forget about her when she was the only one who made it stand still?
How can I forget someone who makes me forget I need Ritalin to function normally the rest of the time?
How can I forget her when that would mean forgetting her beautiful face? Her tenderness?
But she is no longer with me.
She no longer wants to come over and hang out WITH ME!
She no longer wants to kiss me, be with ME.
Remember. I remember it all.
But oh, how I wish I could forget.

Day 7. You are beautiful.

With shaky breath I look at you. Not the real you but the you in the new Facebook picture. The one you have uploaded from the trip you are taking with him. Our trip. I do not know if you’re back of if you’re still enjoying the beautiful province. Why aren’t you’re smiling though in the new picture? You look so beautiful when you do. I want to move the heavens to put a smile on your magnificent face to match the summer glee of that white summer dress you’re wearing. You have certainly moved on though, discarding me and my shattered self in the process. I wish you hadn’t. Not being able to reach across and touch your skin is suffocating my soul and all I can do is cry into the night. I love you, my dear girl.