Everything hurts [rant]

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Everything hurts [rant] Empty Everything hurts [rant]

Post by Glides on Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:40 pm

Trigger Warning: Everything I guess

I think the toughest part of all of this is figuring out how to process everything.

1. I discover after the fact that my ex-girlfriend almost certainly has severe BPD, emotionally and verbally abused me for two years and I didn't even recognize it, and then molested me (I think?) after we began hooking up once the relationship ended and then abruptly cut off contact again.

2. I spend the course of this year, at the same time this is happening, watching my grandfather, one of the closest people in my life, slowly wither away to nothing and die incredibly violently from pancreatic cancer. He is pressured into remaining alive for as long as possible by my family.

Two big, major things, one after the other, that have reduced me to an empty shell of a person, who can barely go a day without having some anxious reaction, all the years of therapy, all that progress, taken away by the person who I thought I'd spend my life with hurting me so intimately and personally, and one of my closest relatives, the kindest goddamn person you'd ever meet, rot away in real time, and know it's happening as he goes. He goes completely in control of his mind. Two major traumas, one after the other. One very long trauma that takes two years, and one trauma that's instantaneous and unintentional. One of them deliberately means to cause me pain, the other wishes that his death wouldn't cause me pain. I emerge an empty shell, I drink myself almost to the point of needing hospitalization in response (I apparently had the symptoms of alcohol poisoning that night, but I don't remember much of it). I neglect most of my clients and lose most of my gigs save the highest paying one. I neglect my health in every way, I don't get a consistent night's sleep for months. I stop writing, there's no point, I've got nothing else to say, there's nothing an empty shell of a person can say.

I spend a lot of time angry and getting drunk so I can allow myself to get angry, or getting high so I can allow myself to get angry and scream out curses and obscenities in the car and demand at the top of my lungs WHY DID YOU HAVE TO HURT ME LIKE THIS and that's really the nicest thing I said in those moments. I shift from emptiness to anger with a snap of a finger. I thoroughly confuse everyone in my life with how confrontational I've suddenly gotten. There's a nasty edge to me that didn't exist before. I'll suddenly launch into a stream of profanities over things that normally are minor inconveniences. I scare everyone. I don't mean to, I'm terrified my ex has infected me with her essence. Every time I spot a Toyota with her make and model and color I panic. I keep the gifts she gave me for way too long until my parents come over and make me pick out everything she gave me and drive away with it to throw it out. All the love letters, all the meaningful gifts that were somehow exactly what I wanted. She was so good at giving me exactly what I wanted. She was so goddamn good at it. No one had ever liked me that way before until the switch went off and suddenly I wasn't her favorite anymore, suddenly she had a new fixation and suddenly she was telling them everything she'd told me about the last guy.

People get angry when I won't trust them. The first person I hook up with after her gets annoyed when I refuse to take her back to my place. I don't want her knowing where I live, I don't want her to come over in the middle of the night and sob for hours and demand that I stay right there otherwise she'll kill herself. This new person hasn't ever done that but when they start sending me texts saying they're lonely, I interpret them as being from her and I ignore them until they don't want to talk anymore. A friend observes the texts when I tell them about them in a paranoid fit of anxiety and she says "bruh, she wanted to fuck you, don't be an idiot." Doesn't matter, she's gone, I let one person inside and look what they did, this is why I don't let anyone in!

People are confused when I say that I don't want to be a man but I have to be a man. People get confused when I apologize for every tiny little thing. People are so confused. Why do I suddenly apologize so often? Why do I always ask why they aren't yelling? Why am I suddenly trying to pay for everything whenever I see them, regardless of whether or not I've even got the money for it? Why do I refuse to leave a social gathering until someone else decides to end the hangout? Why do I offer to stay up all night talking to people? Why do I never say no anymore? Why don't I offer opinions on anything anymore? Why am I always meekly agreeing to whatever they decide to do, even if they ask me multiple times what I want to do and saying outright that they just want to see me, they don't care what we do?

I want so badly to be held but I have an anxiety attack when someone offers to hold me. I want most what scares me the most. Physical contact genuinely terrifies me. I am so scared. I am so scared and I am empty and when I'm not empty I'm scared and inside I'm just a beaten miserable little mass of flesh that cries and screams with no mouth inside a broken worn out shell. I don't feel like my life happened to me. I feel like I woke up and I was someone new, with all of the old burdens. I don't feel like I have a name or any identifying features. I don't feel like the way I look is like me, or the way my voice sounds. My body aches for contact but can't experience it without intense fear. This paradox drives me insane.

I miss my grandfather, I expect him to walk in any moment cracking wise like he always did. I can hear his voice so vividly. I privately thank God I didn't delete a voicemail he sent when I discovered I'd graduated from film school. I hadn't listened to it at the time. But he says in the voicemail how proud he is of me and even though I don't think I've done anything impressive the voice sounds so genuine that I burst into tears in the car and ask myself why I was so goddamn stupid. The last thing I said to him was that I was planning on visiting him in the hospital next week and then he died, and at least I said I love you right before the call ended but if I had known I'd literally never talk to him again I would've said so much more but I know that's how death works. You never get to say enough. There's enough time and then there isn't. Memories of my ex and him flash through my mind at all times, good memories and then good memories that turned bad.

I'm five and he's throwing me in the air multiple times and the memory is bookended with the feeling that this is one of my few good memories from this time in my life. He's the strongest person I've ever met. He's a giant. Now it's two months ago and I'm hugging him again and he's so goddamn tiny, he's a shell of a man, the chemo has sapped away everything from him, he's so skinny and shriveled. Once he was a barrel chested man with a lot of muscle and a lot of fat with huge horn-rimmed glasses, now he is a scrawny raisin in a hospital gown wheezing and panting and grimacing in pain while trying to smile. Once he'd come home in his rain coat and his flat top cap and yell out "HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO!" as I'd run into his arms, now he's in the coffin in his military regalia and my six-year-old cousin is sobbing as she's slipping a note into the lapel of his military uniform he wore while he served as a medic in the Vietnam War.

He's teaching me how to fish, I've caught a bluegill at a lake and he's trying to get the hook out but accidentally tears out its entire upper jaw and me and my younger cousin (two years younger) scream hysterically and run away as he recoils, yelling out, throwing it back into the lake, yelling out apologies at the top of his lungs. This is a memory that will be mentioned many times over the years, accompanied by laughter.

He's driving me two hours out of the way to an Amish festival because he wants to teach me about different religions. "Lots of different people, Butch. All love God differently. All are good. Lots of ways to make it to heaven, Butch." He's an intensely religious man but this is his way of trying to expose me to other cultures because he's secretly very concerned that I attend a temple for Hasidic Jews and live in a town with a lot of Hasidic Jews. He's terrified of what'll happen to me if I stay there for too long. Once we leave the temple, I remember him distinctly buying me a video game and taking me out to lunch and asking me to order whatever I want even though it's not a holiday.

Every time I see him until he dies, he mentions an article he's read about the film industry. He begins reading the trades so there's something for us to talk about. He takes me out to lunch at least once every couple months until he dies, and patiently waits and makes conversation as I sullenly and angrily ignore him. I'm not even mad at him, I just don't know how to process my own feelings. He sits and smiles anyway, he does this for years as I quietly suffer, always mentioning loudly that if I ever need anything, anything at all, that I can talk to him. The very few times I take him up on his offer, he listens for hours, eternally patiently.

He always calls me Butch, and at the time, I find it annoying as hell but let him do it anyway. I'm at the funeral and I hastily write a note on a piece of stationary and sign it as "Butch" before putting it into his lapel while he lies in the coffin.

A million times, he makes a really dirty joke and my grandmother turns purple and starts sputtering about how indecent it is as I crack up and he yells out excitedly "EH, YOU LIKE THAT BUTCH?! YOU LIKE THAT?!" He knows that if I laugh, my grandma won't chastise him. I laugh every time, no matter how miserable I might be, no matter how much inside my own head I am.

I complain offhand about trying to figure out how to find a budget for my thesis film and without warning, I receive a check in the mail for the full amount from him. I call him insisting I can't take it and he says "I'm a producer now, Butch. I'm making an investment, this is going to prepare you for life outside of school. My payment will be getting to watch the film you create." The resulting film is a piece of shit but he still goes out of his way to talk excitedly about it to anyone he sees. "My Butch is a filmmaker, how do you like that, huh?" He says to a random waitress at one of our monthly lunches. "Anything you want, Butch, anything you want! You never eat enough! Gotta grow big and strong like your Poppa, eh?"

I say at one point that I have no idea what I'm doing with my life, and he says in response "When I was your age, Butch, I was working for bupkis at a pharmacy, selling ice cream sundaes. I delivered newspapers, I did every damn little thing I was told. I did it because I didn't know what I would do. I was existing, finding nothing, not sure what my higher purpose was. These things come in time, Butch."

I think he suspected exactly how badly I was doing but wasn't exactly sure how to help. I feel guilty because I feel like I don't deserve that kind of help from anyone, and yet someone did all that for me anyway.

I privately wish I was as optimistic as he was, and as joyful about the world as he was, and how nothing seems to rattle him. He talks to literally every person he sees and they all can't get enough of him. He's full of so much joy, chooses it despite what an incredibly difficult life he had, being raised during the Great Depression, fighting in two wars, struggling to maintain a business. A life with that much pain would shatter most people. It shattered my ex. He was the only person in my life she never talked badly about. He was always excited to see smartphones and video game consoles, the new world excited him. He loved to see the world change around him. He loved his family. He loved his grandkids.

When he was diagnosed with cancer, a way I'd cheer him up was to playfully insult him about it. "C'mon old man, you've got at least thirty more years. You gotta see my first movie after all." And though the diagnosis was the first cracks he ever showed in his veneer, the first signs that the seemingly unbeatable man was about to be beaten, he did always laugh at it.

Well, there won't be any movies. Even if there's a first one, he won't see it. Even as he insisted I'd fulfilled my end of the bargain in one of our last conversations with my thesis and a commercial I'd worked on (local shit, I'm not that high profile, no Super Bowl for me), I felt like I'd broken a promise with him. I hadn't worked hard enough. I should've worked harder so he could see that first film. Now it'll never happen. All that effort contributed to his death, so my mind tells me. I wasn't his only grandkid and I wasn't his favorite, I'm not arrogant enough to think that. I don't think he had favorites. I saw him the most, that's for sure, but I wasn't his favorite.

I was touched that he'd selected me as one of his pallbearers for the funeral though, that actually meant a lot. I didn't even know till the day of the funeral and I was suddenly tapped on the shoulder by my uncle who said "he chose you, you know." We come from a really big family, he could've picked from so many people and I was one of them.

My baby cousins (six and eight) ask me about what he was like before they were born. They ask if it hurt the same when my other grandparents, especially my dad's mother, who raised me, died. I try to answer them to the best of my ability. The boy acts a lot like I did at his age, very angry and isolated, very small for his age, huge inferiority complex. Wicked smart kid, though. I realize I have a similar dynamic with him that my grandfather had with me. I'm not even saying it in a "I'm so great" kinda way, but I tend to spend the most time with him every time there's a family gathering. Not that I don't like his younger sister, she's a sweetheart, but she's a lot more put-together than he is. She's two years younger and taller than he is, more popular and extroverted, even at such a young age.

I'm the one who taught this kid about the solar system and galaxies and moons, I'm the one who showed him how to play Pokemon, I'm the one that taught him how to play hockey. I mean, I didn't teach him how to walk and talk, let's be real. I'm the one that had to explain to both of them what death is and why Poppa will never come back and will never hold his arms out and yell "HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO" as they run into his arms much like I did almost twenty years earlier. Their parents were planning on pretending the trip was a vacation and having the mother stay with them at the hotel but they were too damn smart and figured out what was really happening. Two small children suddenly sobbing in an airport terminal is a fun time.

I'm just so goddamn angry. The death of my dad's mother is what broke me, when I was 11. They're experiencing the same at almost half my age back then. Glides, the broken, angry, depressive suicidal, the perpetually self-sabotaging, was born on September 10, 2006. I really hope they weren't born on August 9, 2018.

God, no wonder I had such an awful day yesterday. My dad's mother died 12 years ago yesterday. FUCK. This one was my mom's father.

Goddamn kids. Goddamn stupid smiling kids, who want to learn about everything. Who I spend every moment hoping they don't break like I did and hope they keep their childlike wonder for one more day longer than I did, just one, maybe that'll be enough. Maybe they won't be empty shells like me, maybe they'll get to remain as human beings. They deserve that much. I love those dumb stupid kids. I don't even like most kids.

I'm just a shell, not a person. I'm closing up tight, so tight it's constricting and killing me, but no one else will get in. No one. I will be safe, I will be miserable and lonely in there but I will be safe. I will never be hurt again. I will never be hurt again. I will never be hurt again.


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Post by Enail on Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:11 am

Glides, what you wrote about your grandfather was beautiful. It made me think of my grandfather, even though he was nothing like yours; quiet and gentle, with a quote of poetry for every situation and enough like a wise old cryptic mentor that when he got just a little more cryptic (but still totally sharp and clear), we didn't realize it was because his hearing was going and he was guessing at half the conversation Wink. Reading it, I thought about how I put a bit of rutile from the bottle he sent me (when I asked him about rutilated quartz because it was a magical stone in a book I read and he was a mineralogist) in his grave, because I wasn't sure what else to do to say he mattered. If I were remembered like that when I die, with the kind of love and the genuineness that you put in that post, I'd think I'd done alright; I can't imagine that he didn't know how you felt, or that it didn't bring him immense joy and pride and comfort, even if you wish you'd gotten to see him one more time.

Obviously I didn't know him, I don't know a damn thing about him outside of what you've written here, but it doesn't sound like he meant that bargain to be a burden or a source of guilt, more like a way of giving a seed a little water and sunshine and letting it know its shoots are welcome in his world, whether or not he ever gets to see the plant it becomes. If you do what you can to keep on giving it water and sunshine yourself when you can, I think you're keeping up your end of the bargain, and I think that's still meaningful after he's gone - I think it was meant to be a bargain for the future beyond what he'd ever live to see. A legacy not in the sense of a great work you must produce, but something alive that is still seeking sun and water, that wants to grow.

I'm sorry you're hurting so much, and I'm especially sorry you went through that abuse; the death of loved ones is kind of one of the inevitable tragedies of being human, which doesn't make it any less devastating, but no one should have their loved ones treat them like your ex treated you. Let yourself heal, grieve, be angry, feel empty, feel scared, those are reasonable and sane things to feel with what you've been through.  Be a shell if you need to, but try to remember you're still a human inside there, and it's hard to be a human, so just try and look after yourself and be kind. You can get through this.

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Post by Glides on Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:54 pm

Therapy today was tough, I just wanted a second opinion on what had gone down.

I've been unemployed for a month and I haven't taken it well. The last time I was unemployed, almost a year ago, it lasted about three months and it's probably what drove the final nail into the coffin of my relationship. My ex was so overwhelmed by how goddamn angry and furious I was about everything that I think it permanently drove us apart.

So I'm told to address that anger today, and my anger at self-sabotaging myself because I believe that a) I don't deserve to be loved and b) everyone's out to get me anyway and the only thing people want to do with me is hurt me. I can understand this all on a surface level, but the "inner child," the pure id, doesn't know how to accept it, and so even if I know intrinsically it's not true, I still act as if it is very instinctively.

We go over all the evidence, all the jobs I've walked away from after a single argument, and even finding out that I hadn't actually been fired from a job I thought i'd been fired from, my friend was really confused by why I'd been saying that for so long. What had actually happened is that I got into a single argument with my boss and cut them off and refused to come back in, and the reaction was more overall confusion (and apparently concern that I'd offed myself) than anger.

So I was having a delusion. An actual honest-to-god delusion that I'd been fired when I really hadn't, and then I actually got fired for never showing up again, thinking I was fired. My friend had enough sense to not tell them that part.

And this isn't the first time, because we unpacked it and I've done this relatively frequently, thinking something had happened when it hadn't actually happened. I thought that my friend who I hooked up with had been insulting me behind my back, and that she'd been taking advantage of me. She hadn't. I thought that certain friends hated my guts, were talking behind my back, and they weren't. It always revolves around people talking behind my back. I have thought that I somehow got my ex pregnant despite us not having sex for months and despite her being on her period the last time we saw each other (I checked her cycles like a hawk, I'm paranoid like that). I thought my grandfather had died hours before he actually died. I get a thought, and the thought loops like crazy, and then I do something irrational to cope with the thought I can't get rid of, which feels like reality even when I know for a fact it couldn't have possibly happened that way. Even now there's people I'm still too terrified to talk to because I know in my heart they must hate me or they've conspired against me or they're the reason why a certain person won't talk to me anymore. I have believed that film school professors were deliberately failing me when I wasn't even failing the class.

So my therapist's theory is that I might have OCD on top of everything else, since this seems to be the symptoms of that disorder. It almost always revolves around a person hating me or conspiring against me despite never giving evidence of such a thing, or including me only because they're taking pity on me. And then the thought loops for hours and I can't think of anything else and it drives me nuts and I have to do something in order to soothe the pressure. Whether it's specifically wearing a necklace a certain way, or pressing the code on the alarm door just so, or pressing the fridge door shut multiple times because of one time that I forgot to close it as a kid and all the food inside spoiled. The way I think my ex will get pregnant if I listen to a song by The Police on the radio longer than thirteen seconds, or how I have to turn off a podcast I'm listening to in the spaces before someone else talks. I've actually been like half an hour late to certain functions trying to catch a moment where they take a breath before talking again.

I can't listen to The Police because the last time I did, I got into a car accident that damn near killed me. I was terrified to let my ex listen to one of my favorite songs because I thought that meant I had to be in love with her forever. I am terrified of the numbers 13 (for obvious reasons) and 66 (because of Order 66 in one of the Star Wars prequels).

And I hate that, I hate that it makes me defective, I hate that i can't control most of it, and I hate that I can't stop the waves of anxiety unless I grip my pocket watch tight or wear a certain pair of shoes for a certain activity. I hate that I can't concentrate for hours at a time when I'm at my most anxious, and I hate that I don't know how to talk to anyone about how deeply terrified of most things I am much of the time. I hate that I tried to attack someone when they tried to lick my neck without warning at a bar. I hate that I almost didn't go to Pride because I'd convinced myself everyone there would judge me.

I hate that I can't go through a single job interview without almost having a panic attack and having to rush out as fast as possible so I could hyperventilate in the car for a while after it was done. I hate pushing away anyone who tries to get close to me, I hate that the last girl who hooked up with me insulted me for having a panic attack during. I hate that one of my friends tries to show she cares by going after people who try to touch me who I don't know, and that certain people in my life take it as a point of pride that they can give me a hug without me panicking or pushing them away roughly. I hate that there's a few people who regularly call me to check up on me because they're worried about my health, and only I'm in such a state that I'm the one they do this with, though i know they're just trying to help. I hate that I can have a really good day where everything seems to work out and I'm actually happy and actually get along with people and I do all of this sober and then the next day sucks a bunch of donkey dick. I hate that I break down for the entire day every month that I'm not with my ex. Every fifteenth day of the month, I fall to pieces.

I hate that one of the recurring thoughts is that it's my fault my ex had such an intense mental breakdown to the point where I fear daily that she might be dead or permanently in an institution. I hate that that's not even an irrational thought.

I hate that my stupid ass tried to ask my friend out on a date instead of seeing my grandfather for the last time with the rest of my family. The friend I asked out turned out to be gay, and we're still friends and she's still wonderful, but I hate how guilty I feel for being attracted to someone who can't like me back even if she wanted to. I hate that she couldn't be mean when she rejected me and was very patient and understanding about the whole thing and then I couldn't have an excuse to hate her so I could hide how much that hurt despite knowing she didn't deserve it. I hate that I can't hate people for irrational reasons. I hate that I hate people for irrational reasons and then fall intensely in love with them for moments and then stop being in love with them. I hate not being able to actually love another person unconditionally, and that the closest I feel to love is a reflection of my own selfish ego. I hate that I am alternatively deeply self-loathing and deeply narcissistic.

I hate hating.


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Post by Werel on Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:43 pm

Nothing real substantial to add, but I still really like reading these thoughtful word-dump rants of yours. You've got a knack for conveying not just the facts but the emotional impact of experiences, which is one reason of many that you shouldn't give up on writing. Wink
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