You know, I’ve come a long way with my current therapist. I’ve had so many of them but not once, except with this one, have I ever been fully understood. I think that my problems are very different from others’ so it may have been that that made it difficult to “connect” with previous therapists. Fundamentally, my problems are probably the same as anyone elses. I yearn for companionship; platonic or otherwise. I yearn for acceptance, gratification, fulfillment, a purpose, to be happy, etc.. All of those are rudimentary foundations for humans to desire. What separates my problems from others is my perception of things and my acceptance and tolerance of things. I’m not trying to bloviate, but I am very intelligent. I don’t know if it was learned from experiences or if I was predispositioned to be this way, but whatever the case, I have found it to be more of a burden than a gift thus far. Because of my intelligence (perspicacious intelligence, not knowledge-based or genius), my fundamental desires which I’ve just explained, are met with a handicap.
I have a close friend who shall remain nameless, but for now I’ll call him John. John is my age and has also been through a lot of emotional distress throughout his life. What I notice is that his desires ALL work in accordance with what society has established as a foundation for achieving happiness. He desires (and has recently acquired) a job, a car, a girlfriend, to finish school, eventually get married and raise a family, purchase a home, etc.. All are noble, respectable, and well-intended goals and aspirations. My point is that although on some level I desire some of those things, the things that I really desire have nothing to do with the norm.
I desire power in some form. I think most men seem to be predispositioned to be attracted to and astrive for power, but my ideations about it are a little weird. I don’t necessarily care to be president or a boss or authority figure of some kind. I find my sense of power through my physique. It’s almost all strictly corporeal. Most people (except a lot of teenage males) strive to look younger and weigh less. I’m the opposite. I strive to look older and weigh more. I find those two aspects to be indicative of power or at least the opposite of visible weakness. So why am I so fascinated with this, though? Why aren’t I able to indulge in activities that would promote this ideal physique, but focus more on moving on with my life in other aspects? To tell you the truth, I don’t know why. I can tell you why I feel like this and I believe that nearly all of it was certainly learned; not natural. I wasn’t ever victimized or tortured or abused or bullied as a young child. As a matter of fact, up until the age of 12 when martial arts values and my father’s influences took effect, I was an antagonizer. I inadvertantly kind of bullied others. I can say honestly that I didn’t do it out of any personal insecurities; at least none that I was aware of. At the time, I didn’t even believe that what I was doing was harmful. I can only suspect that my motives may have been for acceptance. Acceptance from my peers when they cheered me on and became well acquainted with me, presumably because of what I was doing, which in one way or another, was an example of asserting power, though wrongly.
My major depression started at the age of 15, but investigations into my past allowed me to realize that I’ve always been a skeptic of instilled morality. I’ve always questioned things, usually met with the simple answer, “because that’s just the way it is.” I never found that to be acceptable. Upon my investigation, I’ve learned that even before my obsessive fascination for my ideal physique began, I’ve always wanted to separate myself from the mere peon in a situation. I remember an incident that happened when I was 11 years old at a family reunion. My father was playfully wrestling with two of my younger cousins while I sat on a barstool watching with the rest of the family. We all laughed as we watched the three having fun on the carpet, my father being the dominant one, ofcourse. What I remember most about that incident is the feeling of signifigance and power by sitting with the rest of the family as opposed to being on the carpet taking part in the activity. I recognized that if I was to make myself a part of the fun (which is what it happened to be on this ocassion) that I would be deemed simply as “one of the kids” wrestling with dad. It was more mature to sit and watch. It was arguably more respectable and symbolic of superiority that I needn’t any longer take part in such a juvenile activity. My father ofcourse would be recognized as the adult playing with the kids, so it was safe for me to do the same had I been another one of the adults. At the very least, physically, I wasn’t, and therefore, wouldn’t be deemed as such. I didn’t want to feel belittled even if I was the only one that looked at it that way.
Now, that may seem like a real minor and petty thing to be upset about or to have influence my actions or perceptions, but there’s a consistency of it. I believe that there’s a consistency of it in most everyone’s lives. What I’ve never fully understood is why people continually strive to look younger or remain looking young. Yes, physically, it is more attractive and healthier to look this way, but age is generally a symbolism for knowledge and insight. Age demands respect. Respect is expected upon looking old or older. You don’t give someone who appears to be 13 the same amount and kind of respect and credibility as you do for someone who appears to be 40. Obviously, someone as young as 13 is stereotypically not as smart or necessarily deserving of the same kind of respect as someone who is 40. However, in order for you to truly know you extent of the 13 year old’s insight, you’d have to have an extensive dialogue with him. At first glance, you’ve inadvertanly made a judgement about him, even if he’s professionally dressed. He is to be taken less seriously than someone who is fully grown. For this reason, I’ve always hated looking young and I do everything in my power to avoid it. Lucky for me, I happen to naturally have aging qualities of my person; particularily, the voice, which there is ofcourse no makeup or workout routine for.
So being fascinated and actually met with much disharmony because of my dissatisfaction with my physical self more often than not has taken over my life. It is my number one priority over EVERYTHING else. I must make sure that my hair is not in such a way that it may make me look younger. This is also why I seldom shave. I must make sure that I work out on a daily basis as well as count calories to be sure that I’ve consumed enough to maintain or gain weight. It is mind wrecking, but it is the only way I feel that I can ever have a chance at being truly happy. An obstacle to overcome, if you will. I hope that some day I no longer need to be so stringent on certain rituals because I will be older and naturally bigger.
There are many nights that I’ve weathered recently that have allowed me to look at my life in retrospect and see the harm I’ve done by being depressed and overly concerned with what appears to be a petty thing. I’m very objective and although I conform to the ways of the world, I do so with a rebellious attitude and take no pride in many things that people would otherwise take refuge in, such as working hard or being a particular race. My therapist has been able to meet almost all of my objections and objective views and has even brought up new and challenging ideas that have allowed for a fairer and better outlook on life. Upon doing this, I have stayed up many nights realizing how much I’ve missed out on so many things over the years. So many social outings, so many things that I could have done, so many more that I have potential for, but am too afraid to try for fear that doing so will no longer allow me the time or resources to continually workout or continue my obsessive rituals. I am nebbish a lot of the time, which as you know, is no way indicative of power. I am nebbish because I am either afraid of what’s to come or uncertain as to what I should do, whether it be at the moment or for the rest of my life.
I’ve been told by many people, mostly in online chat rooms, that I think too much. Honestly, I find that to be something that I almost take pride in; that I’m an intellectual; that I’m superior to the common mind. However, as I’ve said, it has caused me more dismay than it has afforded me comforts. Once you’ve realized the truth of something you can’t convince yourself otherwise if you know that by doing so you’d only be doing it in an attempt to be in denial and use it as a placebo. That being said, my objective views are pretty well ground in, but I’m starting to shed light on a potential subjective view of life that I can build for myself.
I don’t know that I long for a wife and kids and what many call, “The American Dream.” I don’t know that I don’t long for them because I want to demonstrate my rebellion of conformity or that I sincerely have no interest in them. I do however long for a girlfriend. It’s embarassing to say so because so many have accomplished this ten times over and with such ease. I was talking to a gentleman in the gym the other day about match.com and one-night-stands. I have never been a member of that site, but we both have had experience with sex with no strings attached. This man was much older than me and advised me to stop this kind of behavior and find a woman that has a good head on her shoulders than can take care of herself and build a future with me. Although I kind of sneared at his suggestion, I truly took it to heart. He is right. He told me of several instances where being with an older woman (which I explained that I generally desired) was not necessarily wise because she would most likely have children of her own, a stack of bills, and no prospects. Though that may be a bit of a harsh generalization, I find it to be generally fair. He explained that I should look for a women near my age that has no kids, perhaps has a job or is in school, who doesn’t do drugs, and who has a good head on her shoulders. I agreed. This has become a new idea and prospect of mine.
One of the things I’ve noticed, especially from relationships that were actually put in play, is that whenever I get close with a woman, eventually I somehow end up shooing her away. It’s not that I have a problem with commitment or that I’m an ass. It’s quite the contrary, though I’m not overprotective or authoritative either. I’m a really good guy, but when we have conversations that require insight, we tend to disagree. I look at things more matter-of-factly than positively and this apparently is not an attractive quality. Maybe I need to learn to lie or keep my opinions to myself. Or maybe I just need to find a woman that may disagree, but is open to listening to other posibilities for things. I’m pretty shallow, by the way. Physical attraction is something that is very signifigant for me to have any sexual relations with someone. I refuse to go out with anyone that is “not up to par.” I have found that the ones that I am able to relate well with remain in friend-zone because they generally are not very physically attractive. The one’s that are physically attractive are generally not very bright, though that hardly deters me from striving to see the intelligence in them in hopes that I can establish some sort of rappor with them that may lead to a future relationship. I want someone who is attractive and humble. Maybe I’m aiming high…
Anyway, as with many nights, tonight I go to bed wondering how different my life may be right now had none of the mental distress ever come into my life. I suppose most people would say that I shouldn’t dwell on the past or the “what if’s” in life, but I can’t help but wonder. I have nothing else to do but wonder when I’m sitting alone with nothing to do while watching as my friends and colleagues have fun together. I can only hope for a better tomorrow. I must learn to “act” in order to associate well with others. I find that when I’m too real, people are turned away. I suppose I need to find a way to heighten my voice, have a profuse personality, wear weird clothes with chains and tattoos, and just say “yes” to everyone. Well some of those ideas will be met, so at the very least, I’m willing to change to gain happiness.