Ok, so really the Millenium isn’t really ‘new’ anymore. But, with the advances in technology, and the ‘information age’, some things are always a’changin’…whilst my socialization remains totally “old school”
I blame several factors on this problem – least of all me.
Haha… ok, well, maybe that’s not entirely true.
I went back over my facebook notes before I started typing what was sure to be a psychological-insight doozey. I wanted to make sure this was not a subject I’ve already beaten to death, resurrected, then kicked the crap out of again. I was quite amused as I skimmed my ramblings. Shit, I am one weird, wordy woman! Why didn’t you people TELL ME?!?!
Luckily, as I sifted through my musings, I noted that though I touched upon this subject more than once, they were more passing glances than hardcore delving. Ok, to be fair, I didn’t scrutinize them…merely skimmed – BUT, for crying out loud they were long!! But, then again, I realize everything is cyclical. So, I apologize to those of you who faithfully read my thoughts, and feel like you know more than you’d ever want to about my darker sides. I swear, you haven’t heard everything – and I try to keep everything amusing at least (meaning, I will have to go back & add some jocular sidenotes to balance the blechies in this particular ‘prolific’ piece)…
So, the subject of the moment:
Haha – who else would I be referring to? Jeez, get with the program!!
Those of you who know me in ‘real life’ can confirm that I very rarely talk about myself or any issues.sss..ssss I may be facing. I sometimes look stressed/miserable/sad (ok, OFTEN), but I rarely start blurting personal details or stories, unless prompted. Then, well – you asked for it! I go one of three ways when someone asks how I’m doing…
1. I lie through my teeth – usually with an obnoxiously cheerful “FAN-TAS-TIC!!!!”, and equally obnoxious toothy smile. You’ve got to give me SOMETHING for that – especially since I’m a bit insecure about my decidely NON-pearly whites!
2. I give the briefest, least-detailed version of what I’m thinking or feeling. Like I’m on trial for molesting a goat…mostly stick to the bare-bones, just the facts, ma’am….preferably yes or no answers, short and sweet & as least incriminating as possible. (Point of fact: I have NEVER been tried for molesting a goat – lest we forget, I don’t like facial hair…and ‘goatees’ definitely qualify).
3. The floodgates open, verbal diarreah in full effect & I ramble in a torrent of information that may or may not actually have to do with the question being asked.
“Have you seen Jim today” “Jim? You mean that guy I was seeing last year, who claimed I was a kickass gal, and was cool being friends, but then stopped talking to me, and I finally told him to send my stuff to me – and he did, but not even a note?”
“Um…no, Jim – in receiving?” “OH, Jim? No, I think he’s out today”
Haha – ok, I don’t think I’ve gone that far…out loud.
I have this recurring thought where people in my life ask me if I’m ok. I think I really do want someone to sincerely ask that, give a shit about the answer (AND be able to handle it) so I can answer it truthfully. I honestly think there is anger/bordering rage about a lot I’ve been through in this life. The stresses and bullshit that form my everyday existence, scars and long-buried burdens of the past, and fears/realities of the present and future. But, if asked, the closest truth you’d get would be “not too shabby, thanks”… Otherwise, I’d probably just cheerfully assert that I’m FAN-TAS-TIC!!!
Of course, I have a lot of recurring thoughts (hell, I may have typed half of this blog before – and again, my apologies as I HATE repeating myself). I’ve tried to explain this to people, without sounding like a violent psycho…. But, I have an obsessive mind. Period.
If something’s bugging me, it will fester, mutate, and consume my thoughts and physiological state (an extra thank you to Mr. Diabeetus), bastardize & metastasize until I’ve faced and dissected every possible conversation/result/purmutation within my overburdened cranial cortex.
If I like someone, they’re on my mind, CONSTANTLY . Barring actual endless communication from the interesting party, I have to make up my own commentary & scenarios. And, no – no one has ever kept enough contact (or enough openness) to satiate my endless need for this connection. But, to be fair, that would probably either indicate a psychic bond (and I don’t want someone rooting willy-nilly in my brain), OR they have no job, life, or anything else going on…and I become their entire universe. THAT is not a desired outcome either. In fact, I think that falls on the ‘obsessive stalker’ plane.
I have entire conversations with people in my mind – and they often don’t go in my favor. WTF is up with that? I can’t even get my way in my FANTASY LIFE?!? Thwarted by my own damned mind?!?! What sort of insidious plot device is that? And WHO’S writing my life? How in the hell is someone supposed to be a match for THAT?!?!?! Or a caregiving tamer. Hmm… do they have ‘mind tamers’?
Do they ever go on sale, or will I have to shell out full retail?
It’s a nearly-endless cycle of fantasy and interpreting what little nuggets I receive from the object of my obsession. AGAIN: Keeping in mind “obsession” is NOT the scary, stalker-type. And, I DO function in the workplace and amongst the ‘normies’. Also note: I have NEVER created a shrine, collage or other similar endeavor to ANYONE I had interest in.
I’m ok, you’re ok.
But, within this unbalanced balance of reality and fantasy, eventually I may realize that it’s not mutual level of ‘like’….or they start acting like my less-than-ideal fantasies..or they’re a cretin….an a-hole, or d-bag….or I just find a more suitable fantasy object..or, they just stop talking to me with no warning. And, so we have reached “Shiny Object Syndrome”..
I was trying to describe this to someone today, and it’s hard for me to put succintly (as with everything else I type…). Basically, it’s this:
I am a totally unique, highly intelligent, fiercely independent, free-spirited freak, weirdo – what have you. The point is I’m something DIFFERENT. Much like a shiny object, my mere quirkiness attracts people – on whatever level…whether as possible love interest, new friend, or someone desiring to ‘help’ me…
So, for whatever reason, someone starts to pay attention. Then I start craving said attention, because I don’t usually get it, ask for it, or necessarily realize when it’s there. But then one of several things seems to happen… either the novelty wears off, and I’m not so ‘shiny’ anymore, or they realize that the wholeness of ‘me’ is too much for them to handle… or a new and better shiny object crosses their path….
All I know is, suddenly they’re gone. I’m left sitting here wondering what in the hell happened? What did I do wrong? What is it about me that is so fucking repellant, yet slow-acting, so that just as I’m starting to open up & trust someone & want their time & attention, pffffttthhhhh it’s gone – as if it were hoovered into a black hole that manifests itself as a cardio void.
And, just like that, shiny object syndrome strikes. All I’m left with are some glorious memories, remnants of unfulfilled fantasies, and an ever-growing insecurity which is inversely proportional to my evaluation of my self-worth.
It ain’t easy being cheesy.
My life consists of going to work (and getting/staying stressed/frustrated), coming home – either napping, or just chilling on my bed w/my laptop & watching a movie, eating, and sleeping. I’m too damned tired/fatigued/unmotivated for much more. Once in a while I will go on a hike, or to the zoo with my camera. And, if the moon is in the seventh house, and Pluto is a planet, I will go out with friends….and proceed to hide behind a camera or a pen.
I live a very isolated existence – and most of the time, I’m totally cool with that. It can be lonely, sure, and damn, sometimes I miss physical interactions. But. it’s a comfortable, if patterned life. There are no nasty surprises or consequences. I do not get attached to someone I fear will later drop me or disappoint me. I don’t take risks that could result in lifelong dire consequences ( VD FREE!!!!)
I look at my facebook friends’ lives, their updates, pictures of their families, stories of their successes, the progress of their lives. I feel pride, and honored to know them. But, at the same time, envious of their obvious growth and strides into adulthood. Even those going through rough times can be a twinge, because they have lived within a realm of greatness before this current setback – and they probably don’t even know it. Though I have grown somewhat, and have had my own awesome experiences, I am decades behind the steps of my peers. And, I don’t know if I will ever catch up….though, sometimes I don’t know if I would want to bother.
Because, the reality of others’ actions has often left wounds that were later re-opened or worsened by the betrayal of others.
Wow, this is getting heavy, eh?
So, let me take a minute to make my sincere apologies.
I apologize to everyone I ever thought I was better than (except when I was…and I mean you – lazy, exploitive employees….. using losers…. bullying bores… cunty countesses!!!). I realized far too late, and ever more often how much I should have valued your friendships when they were offered. I was just as big a jerk as those I preach against – without the money, looks or snobbish cliques to back it up.
I apologize to you thoughtful and sincere souls who were met with my most diligent defenses, who couldn’t get past the gate. To those who couldn’t get in because they were not in possession of a V.I.P. or Press Pass. I understand now that you could have balanced my sparse existance. That you were real people, too….in search of love and acceptance. I am sorry I could not provide you the validation and belonging that you no doubt deserved. I was not strong enough, and in many ways, am still not able to offer that gift.
And my most heartfelt apologies if I ever made you feel any less than the beautiful and worthy person I know realize you to be. No one should have that power. Yet, sadly we all do. There have been many of you who crossed my path who haven’t/hadn’t found your gifts, your worth, your raison d’etre. I hope I was not a factor that held you back, and I hope in the future, I can be a force to propel you forward. I have few things I’m ashamed of in my life, but specific spurts of jerkdom definitely apply. I wish I could have let you all in, surrounded you in a love blanket of warmth and acceptance, and helped you felt at home.
But, in my defense, I couldn’t connect to more than fringe friends. I was (and still am) just so damned uncomfortable and insecure in crowds. And trying to keep up small talk – or even feel like part of the group, always just felt AWKWARD! I put my trust in far too few people in my lifetime, and for that I got severely burned. Perhaps if I hadn’t burdened them with all my….ME… things may have turned out differently. If I had balanced my needs, desires and ‘me-ness’ amongst a large group, instead of a select few ‘trustees’, maybe the weight of it all would not have been too much to bear, and things would have occurred differently. But, as it was, I felt I couldn’t open up to anyone (a feeling that is reinforced because when people treat you like you’re weird your entire life – and you’re smart enough to realize they’re right)…
An example: As we were closing out the high school chapter of our lives, I was going around, trying to take pictures of my fellow classmates. As I intruded into people’s personal space, one person asked what I was doing. I explained I was trying to get pictures of everyone. The response: Why don’t you just take pictures of the yearbook pages.
Ouch. And, so the true proof I was not, nor had I ever been part of ‘the group’ was driven home in a hurtful finality.
And, so I graduated to the next phase, and kept myself protected throughout my college years. Aside from my cafeteria table, and participation in music ensembles, I remained a class/study/computer solitaire champ kinda gal. And, if I was feeling starved for attention, I’d draw cartoon characters on the sidewalks on campus. Luckily, I was not starved that often, though I’m sure the kids felt a void without the appearance of Beavis & Butthead, or Scooby Doo on their pathways.
When I worked in the factory warehouse, I made friends with this guy named Gary – he’s older than my parents, and was kind of a caustic guy. But, he really cared about me, and wanted me to just be happy. I tried explaining my social insecurity – that a lot of it came from childhood through high school, and that it was ingrained. I was MADE to be this way.
His reaction: “STOP IT!!!!!” He argued you can’t let the past be your future. “That’s STUPID!”
But, to me it wasn’t stupid. Everything that happens in your life effects you somehow. Especially when the same kinds of things happen over and over.
“Besides”, my rational self now pipes up, “we never truly leave high school.” I have this thought as I take a bathroom break from writing this piece… But, it’s true – we still try to fit in – to a workplace, a family life, etc… And, unless you are lucky enough to own your own business, have a sugar-significant-other, or win the lottery – you’re relegated to someone else’s schedule and rules, mores (more-rays – not moores) and standards. Besides – does the catty, bitchy or snarky back-talk end when we turn 18? 38? 58?
I’ve worked in a few different industries – and it happens EVERYWHERE! Middle-aged women talking about a co-worker, groups of people who lunch together, and the outcasts left to search for an empty seat – that doesn’t have a bag or coat occupying it. The snickers, the stares, the ‘holier-than-thou’s’, the shit-eating grins, the shit-dousing stares. It’s all around us – ALL THE TIME. And, don’t get me started on ENTITLEMENT! I’ve lived in the same f’ing cesspool city all my life, surrounded by those who believe that not only does their shit not stink – but you are LUCKY to be deigned worthy to scoop it up.
This juvenile bullshit boggles my brain, and brings on the beastly bile that makes me want to break boneheads, braggards, and unbecoming busybodies. We tsk at the state of youth, without owning up to the fact that they’re actually following our lead. We berate them for not being nice or for taking crap from bullies, or for lashing out at it all – when we manifest the same behavior within our peer groups.
And, you wonder why in the hell I can’t trust people! Why I’d rather (in most respects) be a loner and not deal with the hypocritical horseshit that pervades our everyday existence… Why I don’t understand the point of small talk – which masks the actual judgements, intimations and ‘between-the-lines’ meanings in benign banter. We don’t usually mean what we say. And, on the rare occasions someone breaks this unwritten caution, they are met with the askance eying and whispered awe one generally reserves for the mentally handicapped or socially unacceptable.
And, so we come back to me, and the apparent duality I try to reconcile on a daily basis.
I won’t go so far as to say that I’m adored by everyone I work with – I’m not nearly so egotistical or delusional to make that claim. However, there seem to be quite a few who generally care about me and my well-being. Of course, I will always keep some skepticism even to that possibility. Why would anyone like me – I’m a freak. A weirdo. Not of the norm…but even the consideration of that true invitation of friendship as truth still throws me for a loop…. as do the friend requests I receive from time to time here on FB. Honestly, I am absolutely taken aback when I get friend requests – especially from those who once knew me…or knew OF me. Seriously – you didn’t deign to talk to me in high school – am I any more acceptable now? Did you want to be my friend back then? Did you see something good/special in me, but were too afraid to find out? Was I too offensive/defensive/scary then? Yet, seem mellow and approachable now? Or, are you just collecting all the ‘friends’ you can in hopes of winning some imagined popularity contest? (you can guess which theory I subscribe to)…
I have so long been under the Social Retard Realm that the mere concept of people actually LIKING and RESPECTING the actual person that IS Laura Ayn Pepper is met with disbelief and suspicion. After all, I am the SAME person I have always been. We grow, we evolve, we learn what is acceptable, what is true, and what the perception of ourselves is. But, at the core, we are still the same damned person. I refuse to be someone else. I may not always like me, and I will never love everything about me. But, to be otherwise is farce and folly. You can’t keep up an act, and remain yourself. Honestly, I don’t have the energy or the patience for that bullshit.
On the other hand – it is absolutely emotionally EXHAUSTING dealing with the consequences of being me. At the very least, the words that escape my lips become the evidence used to sentence me to the mental and emotional outlands. The few times I speak, it is usually without filter. I say what I think, what I believe, what I perceive. And, well, most people would much rather hear the “How ya doin”, “Ok” kinda jive instead of the truth of the reality that surrounds them. Or the actual emotion that encapsulates the envigored organisms that occupy their corporal existence.
My best friend from childhood minimized a 12+ year relationship to being ‘high school friends’. That was a sucker punch elevated to a machete violation. In fact, unless you have been in that exact same situation, you have NO WAY of understanding the true violence of such a simple conversation. To make matters worse, she expressed a confession that talking to me depressed her and made her sad. That she had hoped that by being my friend, it would help me, but at the current point in her life, she was advised to jettison emotional baggage.. and HOT DAMN!, I was considered part of that baggage. I had NO IDEA this was coming. I was always open to being her friend, as she had been to me. I welcomed and longed for the day she would lean on me for something personal and important – not in a drama-craving way, but to BE that sort of friend I believed she had been for me. I never meant to be a soul-sucking simp, but apparently that was my role in her life.
It made me wonder if she ever truly considered me to be HER BFF. In fact, a few years earlier, she had given me a care package as I went off to college. Part of this gift was a letter, THANKING ME for being her friend, and helping enable her to walk down the halls with her head up, instead of being an insecure shell existing within those walls.
I was (and still am) so confused by this obvious paradox. Based on this latest revelation, I had been living a lie. Either my friend was NEVER truly my friend, and I was living a lie from childhood through adulthood. OR, my friend was growing, evolving, and was lying to me (and possibly herself) in her adult years, and the letter I received was the lie. And, to make matters worse – at the same time I was, in effect, being dumped – she told me what a great and beautiful person I was…I had so much to offer, etc…
So the dance of ambiguity raged on, no one actually leading, no one following, no one pausing…everyone merely BEING.
Either way, the one person I trusted above all others had allowed me to live a lie. And, I may never know exactly which lie was truth. Was our entire basis of ‘friendship’ a lie? Was her letter negating our friendship a lie? Will I ever know if I have true worth to any human being beyond ‘project’, ‘shiny object’, ‘intellectual amusement’ or ‘nagging mama bird’? ‘Appreciated benefactress’ or ‘science project’? ‘Character’ or ‘curmudgeon’? ‘Helpless hag’ or ‘hapless hermit’?
CAN I BUY A VOWEL?
(By the by, we have since mostly reconciled, though I have constant reminders how a part of this person’s life I am NOT (and possibly have NEVER BEEN). And, man, that hurts…more than I will EVER publicly admit to. I can only apologize to her and her family for the unwanted burden I must have been as I invited myself over countless times. To have thought I fit as easily into their world as I believed they did in mine. Only time and distance has shown me that the possibility of the negative even existed. It is a wound that will never fully heal, and I live with that knowledge most every day).
And, this same vibe has been reinforced countless times. The ‘you’re a kickass gal’ speech was a true story, for example… Again, I am sorry to say, it has been at the expense of those who could have been true friends/lovers that I absorb & react to this truth. One does not want to let others in with the real probability that it will not end well. Hell, it ain’t no picinic waiting for the other shoe to drop, either. But, to accept people in is to brace oneself against the inevitable fallout. What’s the point? Will there be enough happy times down the road to mitigate the hardships? The insecurity? The mental and/or physical violence (intended or not)? The neverending struggle between wanting to trust & give one’s all, and need to protect oneself from the wounds and barbs that even the most well-intentioned inevitably fire? The very fear and validated fear of abandoment and rejection?
Those of you who have found your match, your unequivocal soulmate, and/or your family/children/BFF know that such ponderings are ridiculous and self-defeating. But, when every illusion of the same has been stripped to the frail and tenuous reality of lies, mixed messages, and heartbreaking disappointment, you really begin to think twice about the fantasies of ‘forever’ and ‘happily ever after’ that we all grew up with. Constant figurative slaps in the face, stab wounds, and cold shoulders are as real as the tender kisses, proclamations of unconditional love, and comforting bear hugs that mark your partnerships.
So, since this has been written over such a long period – and we’re now nearing a very appropriate holiday, I leave you with this.
Instead of hoping for or giving flowers, candy, ‘fine jewelry’ or other treats this coming Valentine’s Day, take a moment to examine your reality. If you are one of the fortunate ones to be surrounded by a significant other and/or wonderfully supportive family (and I know MANY of you are)…… STOP!!!!!!
That’s right. Stop where you are, and take a moment. A moment, a smidgen of time, a fraction of your lifetime to let it hit home how lucky you are. Through even the most tedious or annoying of times, you are with someone, you have a supportive and loving family, and/or you have a really good friend (and for those of you who think you have none of the above – what am I, chopped liver?). You have worth, and beauty, and a real reason you are here. There are gifts you possess – whether you’ve uncovered them or not, that are aching to be shared with the world at large. You have children or close friends who look to you for their survival/guidance/acceptance/growth. You have parents who have tried to do the same for you. And, perhaps, you have yet to find that special person that clicks with you, but (s)he is there, waiting in the wings. When all is ready, you will meet and pursue the next part of your life’s journey.
In the meantime, just STOP!!!! Appreciate what you have, and what you have lived through in your short time on this planet. Hell, if I can still be hopeful, and open to the possibilty of…possibility – you have no excuse.
So, tell your loved ones how you truly feel – they need to hear it as much as you do. Approach your secret crushes or those you just appreciate for being a part of your life and express that they mean something to you as well. No need to fear a creepy vibe (but, of course, don’t BE creepy about it), and harbor no fear of rejection or retaliation. A simple expression of admiration, or appreciation for someone leaves a lasting impression. Imagine what it would mean to you if someone sincerely did the same.
Will it wash away the garbage and grime that we’ve collectively accumulated throughout the years? Will it take back every barb, humiliation or insult we have endured?
Nope. Nor should it. Some of those same slights helped us realize what the other side feels like, and hopefully helped us not make those same mistakes toward someone else.
Will it heal old wounds, help you feel good about yourself, at the same time you’re helping someone feel good about themselves? Will it possibly bring one shiny point of light into an otherwise grim and bleak day in someone’s life?
And you know what – that’s good enough for me.
Happy VD everyone.
From me to you.