Saturday, January 29, 2011

How Not To Love

I have a complicated ego.  (Don't we all?)  It shields me from reality, keeping me lost in the sea of its preconceived notion of itself.  And then shields me from the crap that its preconceived notion emits by rationalizing it into something else. Ultimately, how I end up seeing myself is completely different from how others see me.   Who gets the correct view of whom I am?  Neither.  Both are pretty much fucked up.

When it comes to shit like that, friendships can be, and will get, utterly destroyed.  And my ego, in its attempt to take the moral high ground by attempting to not judge their responses, can't see what harm has been done to that other person.  Completely oblivious really.  It's so messed up.

What it ultimately comes down to is my ego butting heads with someone else's ego.  And my ego will not let me see that that is what I'm doing.  Yes, my battered and bruised ego, injured from decades of abuse, screams out acidic tirades in frustration, all the while telling me it's simply expressing a truth that other people need to understand.  No concept of whether it's appropriate or even relevant.  It's oblivious to that reality.  And then my ego has the audacity to be confused and offended, if that screaming is rejected, dismissed or challenged.

So what am I going on about?
Me shoving my Dirty Laundry into other people's faces.

No one likes that shit.  No one.  It's a lose-lose.  Always has been, always will be.

I would have imagined that in time I could open up to people.  Come out of the closet about this blog.  To remove the anonymity and let it stand as a connection to my past.  Show how I've worked through things, and come to learn who I am.  But now, I'm not so sure this blog should exist.  It may need to disappear completely and permanently off the Internet.  I may need to disappear completely and permanently off the Internet too.

All the plans I had, wiped out by my own arrogance and smug self-righteousness.  Oblivious I was.  Fucking oblivious.  Patting myself on the back for all the great work I've done only to find I've done nothing but make enemies where I had none before.  They had done NOTHING to me.  They had been patiently putting up with my bullshit for DECADES.  They had defended me and stood-up for me when I was at my most assholishness.  They didn't give a shit that I was gay.  They didn't give a shit I left the church.  And then, I turn around and spit on them to feed my little bruised ego.  What was I trying to gain from that?  A reason to say, "Oh poor me. Look, see, no one really likes me."   Self induced pity.   This entire blog has turned into a pity party for me.  What the fuck was I thinking?

I don't care if people think that they shouldn't have been offended by what I was doing.  That's no excuse.  Why? Because deep down I knew that what I was doing was going to offend.  I may not have known why, or how or who specifically, but I did know it would offend, on purpose.  I was trying to push buttons. 

I have written and spoken at times about how it is not my responsibility to protect other people's view of the world by compromising who I am.  I still mean it.  It's just that in this case, I crossed the line and compromised myself in an attempt to selfishly destroy someone else's view of the world.  That's a big difference!  When my view of the world changed, it wasn't because someone was shoveling it on me.  I did it on my own because I needed to do it.  But then I snapped.  Something had triggered my pain. I quickly forgot my experiences and selfishly expected that others needed their world view changed.  Even when it was working perfectly well for them, maybe even better than the one I was currently trying to shovel.  It was pure hypocrisy from a lapse of self-awareness.

I can say it like I see it but it doesn't matter if buttons are purposely pushed.  They will only create conflict and close hearts, hearts that have been so willing to work with me and let me be myself.  Hearts that put up with the button pushing until it became so toxic that they had to shut down to protect themselves from annihilation.  Pushing to that point is poison.  It's healthy to remove toxic people from your life.  But I didn't realize that I would be the toxin.  I lost my awareness of that.

But get this, even though I had been pushing buttons for decades, the weird thing was, only recently had I become aware I had been purposely pushing buttons.  That seems odd, doesn't it?  The ego was in charge, and I was oblivious. I had not understood how stupid it was.  How destructive, how evil.  In fact, my ego thought it was just the way I do things.  I even told people in all confidence that I'm the type that needs to test people.  As if "on purpose" wasn't really "on purpose".  I really thought I had figured that part out. I was proud of myself.  Oblivious to what it really truly was.  Oblivious to what others already knew.  A character flaw, personality disorder, mental illness, whatever.  It is all those things but most importantly, to the unbeknown victim, it is the definition of an asshole.

But then I realized what I was doing was wrong.  I understood that it was a flaw, I understood its error and acknowledged it, I even stopped doing it, or so my ego told me.  No, I hadn't stopped doing it at all.  I had only stopped doing it to new friends.  I was still doing it to my old friends.   I wasn't aware that my habitual, destructive behavior had not gone away.  I was still a raging asshole.  After all these years, after all I've gone through.  Still, a raging asshole.

I need to forgive myself and move on.  The damage is done.  No amount of apology will be believed at this point.  I brought that on myself.  It's over.  Some may forgive me.  I may never know.   I don't know what else I can do other than take the punches as they are returned.  And they are still punching.  It's their right.

I could say that I love my friends but if I really do, then I would be letting them live their life just like they have been letting me live mine.  So until I can lean to do that, I'm not capable of truly loving someone.  But, I want to love, so I'm going to keep trying.

You know, this entire blog was set up to air my Dirty Laundry.  I haven't always used it for that but that's what its main purpose was.  Why on earth would I think that anyone would want to read it?  And I hope that no one finds it.  Because if they think the shit I put on Facebook was offensive, most of which I don't even write, wait until they read the drivel here.

And that's another thing, if I could just fucking stop airing my Dirty Laundry on Facebook.  Of all the places not to do that, Facebook would be the one.  There really are places I can go which would be appropriate, for one, the therapist's chair, and here, once I make it a private blog.  It will do no good to try and erase the past.  The internet has made that impossible.  I'll have to own up to it eventually.

I do not pity myself for all this mess, so for hell's sake don't pity me.  I believe this is the essence of the human condition, to live, learn, and love.  I'm doing my best with what I have and there are bumps along the way.  And what I've learned so far is how not to love.


  1. This sounds like a total bummer of a situation.

  2. Well, pumpkin, learning how not to love is important. That's what we do throughout life, isn't it? We learn what works and what doesn't work. We let go of what doesn't work and keep what does. If we don't know what does work, we keep searching until we find it...just like you said.

    Do you think the majority of people on the planet are conscious of their movites for behavior? Hell no, good lord. Some people stay unconscious their whole lives, and die that way. Seeing ourselves is the more painful path, but in the end, i'm willing to bet it's the more fulfilling.

    I think it's very kind of you to share your thoughts and your journey here on this blog. Doing so gives people the chance to feel connected (because, as you know, you are so not alone in any of the things you have experienced or will experience).

    Besides all the pain and regret you may be feeling, i'm still reading a lot of positives here, like a desire to move forward, to forgive yourself, to seek modes of expression that feel more appropriate for you.

    I'm not so sure about the taking punches part, though. If you've apologized because you thought you should, then they are asses to continue coming after you.

  3. I hope you don't disappear. I think this post says a lot not just about you but about people in general. Most people like to push buttons on purpose (some more than others and for different reasons too). At least you are a self-aware most people are not. Once you are self-aware you can make a choice and it sounds like you did make a choice to do better.

    Anyway, if you are like me you did not write this post to get sympathy but rather just to get your thoughts out but((((hugs anyway)))).

  4. I agree with Kiley - this post says a lot about you... I don't know you really. I have never seen your "asshole" side, but I HAVE seen an amazingly compassionate side. I have seen a person that has fought for me when I was down. I have seen someone that loved a complete stranger... ME.

    The people that you hurt may not be able to forgive you enough to trust you again. THAT hurts. It sucks more than words can even begin to describe.

    If you decide to make this private, or if you decide you want to disappear, will you do ME a favor and allow me to keep reading??

    YOUR journey has helped me. That may not mean a lot to anyone else, but it sure means a lot to me.

  5. Obviously, I don't know what happened or how exactly you think you "crossed the line," but I believe that there are times in life when things need to be said regardless of the consequences. When my outlook on life completely changed, it was hard to keep all that to myself... and I probably burned some bridges in the process. But that's okay because those bridges needed to be burned in order for me to be able to build other ones.

    Yes, I think we need to honor how others feel, but that doesn't mean we have to keep quiet about things that are important to us. If a building was burning and you knew a good friend was inside, I'm sure you would feel compelled to go in after them. That's how I see new discoveries I've made. I don't want to leave people I love inside to burn with the building.

    Life is complicated, that's for sure. I hope you don't quiet your cyber-voice because I love reading your stuff. It really has helped me, and I'm sure it has helped others as well.

  6. I think we have to learn this lesson as much as the opposite. I know I'm there too in many ways.

  7. I really appreciate what everyone as said!

    This incident really shook me up and has taken me long time to figure out. And I'm still working it out and where to go from here. I'm moving forward one day at a time.


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