Saturday, December 17, 2016

Perception Is Projection

"You should really write.  It's therapeutic."  ...If I only had a nickel.  

Ok, I'll admit it.  The release is something I've come to appreciate.  I enjoy the whole process, really.  Purging my mind onto a blank canvas, subject regardless.  Stepping back to view the full scope of how my brain matter appears, assuming form as the written word.  It's kind of surreal.  And the feedback often surprises me.  Everyone sees something different in another's writing, no different than a painting.  The way my words are received, often tells plenty of the reader, too.  Not just me.  

Here and now, things are different.  For me, the real therapy of expression, is writing about what stirs most beneath the surface.  The preoccupations that burn inside me, building pressure in search of release.  And I struggle now.  For one, the contents of my mind which keep me awake are pretty sensitive.  I don't know how to talk about it behind closed doors, never mind in an open forum.  There was a certain point where I chose silence over expression, as I felt my judgement was unreliable at best.  Clouded, by heavy smoke from fires not yet extinguished.  I chose not to speak for the same reason I chose not to drink.  I felt compromised enough in my state that I was not prepared to open a window and display the world an unstable and uncontrolled representation of myself.  It wasn't the time.  In hindsight, I'm not sure what would have been the smartest choice.  From where I stand today, the landscape around me is a lot different than I'd imagined then.  The view of my world as seen from my closest friends and loved ones, is painted with a different brush.  After all, I chose to set mine down.  Now I feel boxed in by walls I stood by saw constructed.  And I can't find my way out from within.  I wonder if I should have offered another side to the story, as there are always two.  Surely that hasn't been forgotten.  Has it?  It hasn't, right?

Back to the writing for emotional release thing.  I'll write and write.  Believe me.  I delete 90% of what I record before it ever sees the "submit" button.  Here I sat pouring myself into a story about how the root of my struggle with identity resulted from pushing away a bunch of stubborn old meatheads.  I can try and convince myself that a few lost friendships are really what this period of self destruction and endless introspect is really about.  But really, what a crock of shit.  Just as I can write novels about how my vision of fatherhood will never amount to what I always dreamed it could be.  And how I feel that no matter my success, I'll never reach a height I'd dreamed of for so long.  It's gone now.  That is absolutely my reality, but it doesn't end there.  There's more to the "why."  But me?  I don't go there.  I never did.  It was my choice.  Though, for all involved, it was not the only choice available.  Some would say that the struggle to deal with unhappiness alone is an unhealthy course.  It's OK to open up and let it breathe.  Free yourself of the burden of that forced positivity.  Take a fresh step forward.  You get it.  Well, I don't maintain a fake anything, though I never opened up either.  Admittedly, I struggle to now.  Writing IS therapy.  But writing bullshit ramblings and loosely drawn parallels only goes so far.  Irrelevant stories are a band-aid, not a solution.  And well, I'm running out of band-aids.  I sat idly by while a hundred internet memes, quotes and song lyrics told the tale of the downfall of my marriage.  Anyone who remotely understands how to read these things will know everything they need to know.  After all, that's why songs and quotes exist.  A means of expression.  As I sit here trying to put my own pieces together, becoming more and more frustrated with the situation, I think of a thousand of my own memes and songs I could post.  But what would that really achieve?  It would certainly offer a much wider perspective to those who engaged in reading the ones posted in the first place.  The see-saw would appear to level out quite a bit, I think.  I don't know.  I'm so tired of damage and trying to heal right.  I don't know how to heal without being heard.  Sure, I pay a guy to hear me now, and that's great.  But how about the people I know who played an audience to so many of the things publicly mentioned above?  I'm tired of being looked at and frowned upon by people who possess but a fraction of the requisite knowledge to form a legitimate opinion of anything.

What's the balance between open honesty and finger pointing?  Who knows.  Since I don't know the answer, I've always held down the mute button on my story.  Lately the more I struggle, the more I feel misunderstood.  The ones looking in, I can see the questions in their eyes.  I know what they're thinking, before a word is ever spoken.  Why can't he put things back together?  Why can't he seem to climb up and out of that tough spot?  It's not THAT bad.    Maybe it's because they are studying a half-completed painting and interpreting what they see.  And I'm torn to pieces about picking up the brush or throwing it in the fire.  "Do what's best for you, Jake."  Are you sure?  Sure you want me to really open up like that, and shine a light down my own road?  I don't think the collateral would be so pleasant.  And we can't have that.  It wouldn't be fair, or productive in moving forward.  Hey, hold on a minute.  Moving forward?  Wait, was I supposed to move forward?  Dammit, I missed my train out of here.

The path this entry has taken is typical of most days, now.  I begin contemplating a lot about my situation, how I arrived here and how to remove myself from the bottom.  And the more I think about it, the more I feel as though my hands are tied, and the more angry I become.  Eventually I spiral out of control and lose whatever ground I'd work so hard to gain that day.  I am no martyr, nor will I ever claim to be.  I am flawed on the inside beyond anyone's possible imaginations.  That's fine, I've learned to accept and live with that.  I learned a long time ago to take responsibility for my own shortcomings.  After all, they have also contributed to the mess that is now every day.  But then, just like with the realization that I'm not too-much-of-everything, stain on society, I am ready to fight back at the perception that I am the only one who has ever caused hurt. All the pain inflicted here has very closely followed Newton's Third Law.

You want to know what I think is wrong?  That the advice and support offered to one person in a struggle, is frowned upon to the other.  Is it some kind of gender-related thing?  I don't really think it is, to be honest.  Though from my own observation, women are quicker to rush to judgement before coming to learn the details of any relationship issue. "WHAT DID HE DO?" seems to be a recurring theme.  Is it because people see two people struggling and naturally assume it is only the man who can hurt the woman?  Is it wrong when someone hurts another, but acceptable when the other retaliates?  I've been told a lot of 'hard truths' about the fallout of my decisions, lately.  Being on the receiving end was extremely painful and required a lot of time to process and accept.  But that was what had to happen.  Hard truths are still truths and deserve the same acknowledgement as the easy ones.  As I find myself in the opposite shoes, I am now silenced.  Not physically silenced, of course.  But once where "not pretending" and "being honest" were championed as the only path to something better, would now be considered counterproductive, spiteful and irrational.  And that's bullshit.  If I were to fill my social media with my own thoughts via internet memes and quotations, it would tell a story of a man reeling from a complete loss of trust and faith.  My day to day now is overwhelmed by an inability to open up to anyone anymore.  I hide in a box because the last time I tried stepping out of it, I ended up crushed.  Am I even allowed to submit something like that without a bunch of pointed fingers and judgmental stares?  I don't think so.

So that's me now. I don't really know how to get the weight off my back. So I remain motionless at a time when I'm supposed to be getting up and dusting myself off.  I feel like I'm going o where except down, and the reason for that is because I'm leaving all the real reasons for my own struggle in the closet while I tell grand stories about everything else. And while I regret the pain in discomfort it might cause to read an entry like this, I can relate all too well.  Until I can rid myself of the toxic habit of burying what really hurts for fear of causing more hurt, I will remain crumpled up at the bottom of a staircase. Looking up at the light shining through the door and wondering why I'm the only one who can't walk through it. Well this is why. I'm sorry for the collateral. I'm tired of going no where and tired of watching life pass me by.  Now I'm the one who's tired of pretending and tired of misdirecting the reasons why I struggle every day. I'm the one who's been knocked down and am trying to get back up. I'm the one who's trying to let go of hurt and anger and get to a better place.  Go ahead, call it karma. I'm sure it's on the tip of a lot of tongues right now. Call it whatever you want. I accept it. At least I will be heard.