Tag Archives: dread

On Traumatizing Your Inner World

On Traumatizing Your Inner World

I often sit and daydream about how it all could go wrong. I could get a devastating disease, special people could suddenly cease to exist, or someone could undermine my efforts for stability and longevity. I guess those are the main categories to fear and ruminate over how I would handle myself through various survival mechanisms. It is one thing to dream up horrifying situations, yet it another when a perfectly rational individual believes that the moment they fear the most is actually happening and could lead them to the devastating end or life situation that they dread most. But that thesis is best saved for a different essay.

In remedy of these intense periods of anxiety, I try to think of equally horrifying situations that I wouldn’t be afraid of. Through this procedure, I have learned that there are horrifying things that I wouldn’t be so devastated over if they actually happened so long as none of my choices were a contributing factor to the outcome. For example, getting an STD would be much worse than having breast cancer considering that the former involved some sort of break down in my decision making, whereas the latter is probably a result of nature being out of my control. Though I guess you could add the nature argument to both cases, but it is clearly more heavily weighted in the breast cancer example unless I willingly to walk into a high radiation zone, which is highly unlikely despite my extremely over-active imagination.

My intense habit of dreaming up bad situations stems from bad things that happened in the past which I felt totally unprepared to properly deal with in the moment. Like all those situations where after the fact you think of all the perfect things you could have said that would have been much better than what you actually said. It is those moments that haunt me because of their sudden heightened occurrence that forced me to deal with everything that was happening in the moment without break or proper time to think it through. All I had on me at the time were the only resources I was capable of using, and even then I wasn’t even aware of all the tools at my disposal.

These situations have caused me much misery over the bad way in which I believe I handled the situation and in this jungle it seems as though my mind needs more training on how to more properly deal with them when they come along again in the future. Until then, I’ll traumatize my inner world in hopes of not feeling so traumatized from the outside world.

On Despair

On Despair

I sat on the balcony of a cafe next to my work in Sydney gazing out at the puffy clouds in the sky to the west. It was lunch time, well, the end of lunchtime, I was in the habit of taking lunches later to make the rest of the work day go by quicker. I had tunnel vision, meaning I didn’t care to look around and see if anyone I knew was sitting nearby; all I could think of was how horrible it was to be in this situation.

I just wanted to cry but I was tired of crying, I cried for three days after every phone call because I couldn’t stop habitually ruminated over every detail of the call. He wanted to pretend like nothing was wrong; wanted to call me as if I was happy he dumped me and was now off doing what he thought was what I wanted to do all along. I couldn’t do it anymore. There was no reassurance, no mention that the problem existed other than a Freudian slip followed by a nervous laugh when he accidentally said April 4th (the day he dumped me in a smokey bar) instead of August 4th (the day he was planning some sort of backpacking trip). Regardless of him making such a big deal about leaving me behind for some life experience that he couldn’t do tied to some girl back home, he still insisted on calling me every few days to tell me of his adventures and listen to what I was doing.

It was that day, 4 months later that I realized he dumped me after 7 years to go on vacation.

So there I sat, plagued by cyclical emotions. The current emotion I was in was rather analytical and dry of energy. I realized that the only reason my mind was sick was because this voice kept creeping into my life from far away offering nothing more than a hint that it might come visit. The thought of which only filled me with dread.

Then the phone rang again, as if on cue. There it was again, apparently sitting in some cafe in Tibet or some country near there, expecting to get what it wanted out of me for the time being without leaving me with something of value in return. I was mad at it, but I didn’t know how to get rid of it. So I just started talking about all the boys that I’ve encountered to make him jealous (because I knew it would work regardless of how he denied ever being jealous). I went into detail about how the boys all loved me and complimented me on the strangest things and how they were all so different and all such good friends even though I had only known them for the few months I’d been in Sydney, and how I was really fascinated by one in particular.

Then I just came out with it and asked, “Why are you calling me?”

There wasn’t much of an answer, so I just kept talking, “I don’t understand why you are calling me, you were so mean to me, you said such horrible things, and now you want to call me like none of it ever happened, you just want to go on as if nothing happened.”

Somehow the subject of another girl came up, who I knew he had a crush on because he hadn’t stopped talking about her for an entire year. Then he said, “you always get in a such a rage when [girl] is mentioned, you know you’re just going to have to get used to her and I being friends.”

“No,” I said, “I don’t because I don’t want to talk to you anymore, this whole situation is driving me crazy and I don’t want to deal with it anymore.”

“Whoa…. What!?!” he responded almost with a slight laugh over me saying I was being driven crazy because he always called me crazy for having normal female emotions, “But [girl] and I were going to come visit you!”

“What the fuck do I care about seeing [girl], why the fuck does she have anything to do with this?” I said.

It was at that point someone (the fascinating one in particular, of all people) walked by and tapped me on the head with a rolled up newspaper, as if to say what specifically I am not sure, but I perceived as if, to say “hey I’m here and take it easy.”

“Great,” I thought, “I tried to keep all this away from new people, I tried as much as I could to not be broken, but I’ve failed by being stuck in this tunnel vision of a fog all because the phone happened to ring when someone I knew was nearby.” If I wasn’t pissed off at my situation before I definitely was now. And I wasn’t going to put up with this shit any longer.

“But I’ve been carrying gifts for you for three weeks until I could get to a post office, what am I supposed to do with them now?” the voice pleaded.

“Throw them away, I don’t care, I don’t want them anymore, give them to [girl] sounds like she’ll appreciate them,” I snapped back.

“Well okay,” he said, “If you’re going to be like that then I guess this is goodbye.”

“I guess so!” I retorted.

“Okay, then, bye.” were the last words from the voice I’ve ever heard.

“Bye,” click.

Then sometime later… the phone rang back in Huntington Beach, California.

It was the voice on a train to his next city, calling a friend back at home.

“Friend! It’s [the voice],” came a solemnly desperate voice

“Hey man, What’s up?” asked the friend.

“Stephanie,” sob, “said she doesn’t want to talk to me anymore,” he cried.

Just as the friend was about to respond the call was dropped and there was silence.

Coping Skills

Coping Skills

There are just inevitable situations in life that are so sudden and/or traumatic that recovery indeed takes a long time…. and actually you’re never the same person as you once were. This not only happens because you enjoy the new found “you” who has emerged out of your psyche to keep the body living, but also because pieces of you are in fact dead. Once over the mourning period, you get a new rigor and enthusiastically fill into your new shoes. Despite nature’s euphoria melting over your head, things still happen that can be stressful. Luckily the new you is well equipped to shrug off many incidents as normal errors in the process of discovery, but there are some situations that are not granted this stress-exempt status.

As with the rest of life, you find yourself simply reacting to these stress-situations as you would any other situation without realizing how much negativity you are actually piling on your shoulders. The effect of your push to maintain this new, more positive outlook is that perhaps too many negatives are overlooked and continuously overlooked and continuously overlooked, and habitually overlooked……

Then at some point your love affair with your new self fades and you’re back in the swing of real life. Looking back you can think of millions of happy thoughts to make you laugh out loud on elevators or completely space out in meetings…. but also there are those horribly unhappy thoughts that make me cringe with humiliation and dread.

My post traumatic life is filled with situations that haunt me, not because these situations were of any significance…. but because I have lost my ability to handle intense situations involving human interaction. I see people as way too complex for me because I can never know for sure what they really mean or what they are really thinking. My openness has caused me to get myself into situations that ended up being way more than I was told I was getting myself into. They are not all negative, which is worse because I can’t handle the fact that I can never get that love back.

People Who Base Their Opinion of You on What Their Friends Say

People Who Base Their Opinion of You on What Their Friends Say

Most of my friends, I’d say, have cool friends… who I find fun to hang out with and get to know. But a few times in the past I’ve been stuck having to hang out with someone who I don’t particularly enjoy just so I can hang out with my cool friend. When put in that situation all sorts of thoughts run through my head. this included the thought that maybe my friend has horrible taste in people, then I realize that they have chosen me as a friend, so…. what does that say about me if they have horrible taste in friends? Then I realize that some people are just social whores who have a very basic definition of what a friend actually is and therefore have heaps of acquaintances whom they refer to as friends. Since I normally can’t function coherently in diluted relationships I rule out that explanation as well, because, I wouldn’t be there if I felt the relationship was diluted.

The worst though, is when one of those friend of friends points out things about me that they don’t like. All of a sudden my friend sees me through the prospective of their friend who obviously isn’t compatible with me otherwise I wouldn’t dread hanging out with that person. “yeah, you know what.?.?. You’re right, she is like that” my friend says to their friend. The conversation probably continues on as they build together their agreement about me- which serves as a private bond between them from which they are able to read each other’s silent facial expressions, in my presence, confirming their private conclusions about me.

At that point I realize that my friend whore is either not capable of monitoring their own influences or they are willing to find any reason under the sun to relate to their friend more, even that the expense of me. I have seen it both ways. The end result is usually my distance, which I don’t mind at that point because I will do anything not to have to hang out with that friend of my former friend, what a relief!

Another shitty thing is when a friend can only think I am as cool as his friends say I am. You will see this when you meet new friends whose friends have already heard A LOT about you, and I mean A LOT. Like these people can tell you about yourself for 5 drunken minutes. So there you are on your pedestal, freaked out because you’re only that cool to that one person because he fills a specific friend role for you and you tend to treat that archetypal role much different than people you just met at a party. So inevitably, you get a lectured later on what everyone at the party thought of you and/or what you should work on for next time as if you are socially challenged.

So it was my mistake I shouldn’t have subjected myself to these parties because I didn’t go to the party to hang out with THEM, I was there because YOU invited ME and I like hanging out with YOU. So cut me some slack for passing out early because the friend whores at your parties are boring.