DeathBoy (deathboy) wrote,

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utterly mucking things up


yep, well, here I am again with a massive ball of shite I did wrong/has messed my head up/LA LA LA.


So, I'm 38 now (wow to that) and I'm trying to

a) keep my job going without killing anybody / getting fired (actually, my colleagues are almost entirely awesome with a few exceptions and OH GOD THE STRESS). Only ranked above b), because if I fuck this up, WOW will b) become difficult. Maslow, right?

b) keep my non-job-non-love-life sorted, ie, keep my home life good, be as good to my son as I possibly can be, keep my mental health in order (more about THAT later) and generally be a normal, decent human being

c) I dunno. Make cool shit. Be happy. Have something to say for the time I spend on this earth that ISN'T working/parenting/shitting/feeding/sleeping/repeating

While I've fallen out with somebody BADLY recently (I tried dating somebody who was a little right of centre and aggressive and not really clued up on mental health, who after I openly said I was bipolar then asked EVERY time we had a disagreement if this was "because of your condition?") ... it's been made painfully clear to me that my mental health is still a problem. A fair sized problem.

I'm high-functioning as hell. I DO pin down a GREAT job (at least in terms of pay, responsibility, achievement), my son is wonderful (I think I actually have not fucked this ONE thing up) and, you know, I have a flat and nice people talk to me and occasionally let me snog them. Woo.

But in the throes of trying to deal with a few relationships, HOLY SHIT has my broken brain fucked everything up for me.

So, here's the thing (man, I hate that string of words, sorry): I am very much getting the realisation that the quirks of how my brain works are far more of a barrier to having any sort of happiness / normal human interaction / decent life than I've been letting myself think for maybe the past ten years.

After my mid-twenties and the madness that happened then... after the carnage that was my marriage... after stopping working from home and leaving the echo-chamber of only my own thoughts and those of the internets that I chose to frequent...

... I was standing there thinking pretty much this:

* I've survived a bunch of ARSE things and I'm still here and a bit smarter

* I guess I'm getting older and I'm not so pretty but I still have a lot to offer

* I have put a number of the important things in life in place (flat, kid, work, etc)

THEREFORE (and here's where it all goes wrong):


However, a quick sit-rep on things reveals:

* I still have a lifestyle that regularly makes me hate myself and my life

* Can't save money / do anything for the future at ALL. I live in the momeny/paycheck

* EVERY relationship I have, I manage to sabotage

* NOT regularly suicidal or bleak but OH GOD am I regularly a fucking pain in the ass because of how badly I can't deal with emotions (and how they interact with people / the world)

I do not want to walk around saying to people "Hey, I'm emotionally compromised in most social interactions, please treat me differently or gently because if you don't I'll either suffer hugely, or react horrifically or (often) BOTH"

But honestly, the most important interactions with people - people I dearly adore - have been characterised by this.

I can't deal with emotions in the way most people apparently do.

THINGS LIKE: I used to think I had crushingly low self-esteem. For a while, I think that was true, but I can pretty much tell you that now, my self-esteem can be pretty grand for quite a reasonable percentage of normal life, but I can STILL react to thing as though I have crushingly low self-esteem. What gives?

... I think (now) what gives is this: I have developed ok (maybe good!) self-esteem. BUT (and I like big BUTs and I cannot lie) - the degree to which my self-esteem can be bent out of shape is *OFF* the *FFFFUCCCCKINGGGG* *CHARTS*.

From the simplest of things. The most facile, innocent, pathetic things.

When I was young and before people knew much about mental health, they said I was "highly strung". That's still not a terrible descriptor. HOLY SHIT the amount my emotions will twang and (as a result) the degree to which my self-esteem (just for instance) can be demolished (OR BUILT TO GODLIKE SUPREMACY) by things most people might just not even register... it is... well, it's fucking debilitating, if I'm honest.

It is EXACTLY the sort of thing that I pretend doesn't happen and tell people isn't a thing any more and EXACTLY the sort of thing that fucks me on a daily basis and can lead to WEEKS of my feeling like I want to die just because one person I adore said one thing they didn't realise cut me to the quick and that my STUPID fucking mind has been playing on repeat since then, every SINGLE moment.

I can watch the stat of my happy go down down down, like when you're taking shots in a video game and your health bar is punching down down down.

And when it gets low, the fucking monkey-brain in me, maybe not even that, the fucking LIZARD hind-brain takes over all of the other functions and all the limbs and screams FUCK YOU, YOU MOTHERFUCKERS, HOW *DARE* YOU TREAT ME THIS WAY, I WILL MAKE YOU ALL SUFFER, I WILL *RAZE YOUR SHIT TO THE GROUND* UNTIL YOU *NEVER* MAKE ME FEEL THREATENED AGAIN.

Then, some time later, the dust clears, I have a sleep, I sober up, the monkey/lizard/genocide-machine has gone into hibernation mode and I realise I have responded WHOLLY inappropriately to a situation that was probably fairly benign or at the very least didn't require me to brutally attack every single fucking person standing near me that wasn't actively sucking my cock at the time.

THAT was not just my teenage years, but my twenties too. And I thought that in my thirties (because I have honestly, truly tried to mediate this) - that it was under wraps.

Turns out not.

This paranoid, spastic rage-lizard inside my stupid fucking head... this thing that gets PUMPED when I don't get what I want to make me feel warm and squishy (not SAFE, not CONTENT, but often just NOT GETTING WHAT I WANT or FEEL I DESERVE) ... the fucking bastard is still there. STILL there.

And I watch with detachment as I sabotage friendships and relationships with loved-ones. Like a documentary camera-guy in the back seat of a fucking 4x4 in some horrific American reality-TV show, I WATCH myself spoon things up, irrevocably, with the people that I adore more than *anything* else in the world.

I have spent an entire week thinking that somebody I care about was being shitty to me, REALLY shitty. Deliberately, callously putting me in my place, making it clear through their actions that I need to back off and suck it up.

My self-esteem was in the fucking ditch. I talked to somebody I care about tonnes and they said - VERY AWESOMELY - that you shouldn't trade self-esteem for not-feeling-lonely. And they were bloody well right.

Except that I just re-examined a bunch of things (actual things, you know, conversation records) to confirm how much I'd been wronged.

Aaaaaand I could not find the evidence I was looking for at all.

The other person had been, largely, okay with me. A few occasions where I could have gone "hey! I'm here, right! pokepoke", but actually, I had *imagined* several instances of being treated like shit that had been on my fucking back ALL week.

Let's just look at this for a minute.

I spent *ALL WEEK* upset. Feeling like this. And acting like a douche to the other person *in reply* to their perceived misdeeds.


It was pretty much almost *ALL* in my mind.

Now, I have a response to that, which - like all the other MONKEY BASTARD responses - I learned from my dad.

That's to pretend the slights and the arrows and the deliberate violence were REAL, retcon your own behaviour (as a set of perfectly reasonable responses), STEP UP the passive aggression and fucking well demand the other party acknowledges how they wronged you and damned-well agree to a plan of never doing THAT shit again!

But I'm fairly sure they didn't actually do hardly anything wrong.

I'm fairly certain, as it goes, that I constructed all of this. Through my own preconceptions, and the biases built up in my stupid head, and the way I try to rationalise my interactions with the world, with other people, and my own instinctive actions.

I was about to write that I don't even have a lexicon of how to admit that to somebody.

But I do. I DO! I'm introspective as fuck and I can fess up to a fuckup and I am GOOD at expressing myself!

And so here's where we get back to the point at the top.

I can only make that apology by saying "I think that my mental health issues were a fairly big part in the way that I responded and acted recently. I can see that now, and I could see it then, but owing to how that works, I couldn't prevent myself from acting the way I did, even though I tried to think about it and act decently"

And that means saying "my disability pretty much did this. to you. to me, too. I'm so sorry."

And that means saying to myself: I really, really do still have a disability.

Realising that I've told myself for a good ten years or so that I don't.

But that, like my parents do, if I pretend otherwise, then the blame and the consequences and the compromises needed must come from YOU and not from me.

When actually, it's me that's flawed.

I don't want to live this way, knowing that I'm flawed this way, knowing there are things I *just can't do*.

I've always said I can do anything. And fuck me, I've done some fucking things! I really fucking bastardarding well have.

I don't want to have to say that there's a whole range of things... how I cope with emotional responses, primarily, that I actually can't mediate well. I make other people cope with them. And that's not right.

But mostly, I don't want to have to say there's stuff I can't do properly.

But I can't. And my current response is hurting people. Specifically, important people.

So yeah.

There's stuff I can't do.

I don't want accommodation or sympathy or help or anything, I WANT TO BE JUST LIKE YOU.

But fucking hell. There's stuff I apparently, provenly, historically: can't do.

What a fucking ballache, man.

What a ridiculous state of affairs.

If you read this far down, thanks and sorry.

Better things will come. I promise.
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Storms come, storms go.

The Storm Rolls In

I don't normally recommend this, but it might be a good idea in your case to get a tattoo on your wrist that says "Am I fucking this up?"
You need some sort of stimulus to give you pause. So you can pin the other you down. That's the best I can describe it. I needed an internal check list before making decisions. I considered the tattoo but the body objects to even earrings so fuck that.

You not only made it this far, but noticed you were driving purposely into potholes. Well done, in my book. And kiddo is ok. Even better.
I've had friends come unglued on me for no apparent reason. I still hold the door open when they come back.
Good luck, babe.
Glad to hear I could help. Also very glad to hear that you can appreciate that EVIDENCE is an awesome thing indeed. It's a very tricky thing to keep in mind when spiralling, for sure, but it's the one thing that can stop the spiralling either from getting worse or possibly even from being a spiral in the first place.
I can empathise with every word here. We're here for you, kiddo!
I have episodes where I am being an absolute cunt to Axel, and I can explain why I'm doing it, apologize for doing it, do my best to make it up to him for doing it...

What I can't seem to do is stop doing it.

So yeah, I hear you.
Does the second paragraph here ring any bells?

I'm really glad you spotted it. And that you're admitting you have a problem. I hope it helps, and that you can get the help you need.

It's impressive that you went back and checked and admitted the other person wasn't much in the wrong.

Mental health is a funny kind of disability because it's something you can nearly always learn to manage at least a bit by learning more about yourself and finding coping strategies and not exposing yourself to exacerbating situations.

Unfortunately getting wasted and having fun is often an exascerbating situation for me. The less I do it the more even my keel. It's taken years to admit that and longer to act on it. It's nice my brain isn't being a dick much anymore though. Obviously I still do get wasted because it's fun, and I often see a corresponding rise in paranoia and irritation when I do that too often.

I'm not saying that's the case for you, but it's worth trying early bed and healthy living and long walks in the countryside and all that stuff if you haven't for a couple of months.  At least it gives you a baseline for how much stability you can achieve and how much chaos is optional.

I hope you feel better soon.  It sounds exhausting :( x

At the tender age of, what, 42? 43? I discovered I've been walking around with not only depression but rip-fucking-roaring anxiety for likely most of my life. I am beginning to see how both of those bastards have woven their way around so many things in my life. I'm currently managing without meds and with only a weighted blanket to soothe my crazy. It works better than one might think. Point being, invisible disability eats a bag of dicks but you're not alone. You've also got the power of self-awareness on your side. I find that helps a fucking lot. Folks who get it will take your word for it when you say HI I AM A CRAZY FUCKBAG RIGHT NOW AND YOU SHOULD BATTEN DOWN YR HATCHES. I've found it immensely useful. <3 <3 <3

I mean, my situation's different than yours, and my brain's different than yours, so all the specifics are different. But, nonetheless, ayup.
As someone who has no (discernable) mental health issues, let me assure you, you don't have the monopoly on failure, overreacting and screwing things up. I have a long history of similar stuff. Since I was a kid, really - and who am I to break from tradition, eh?

I nearly wrote a post offering some sage advice like "Let it go..." like some adolescent ice queen who won't stop bloody singing. What I realised is, you know that it would be good to let go of all those feelings of inadequacy, gloom and persecution, but that emotions aren't quite as easy as that.

All I can say is, there are some people around who appreciate that certain people can be perfectly cool and excellent friends and still act like a dick now and then. I get the impression that many of your friends appreciate that (like the replicant in my livejournal handle), your emotional responses are a work in progress. I hope my friends have a similar understanding of my quirks.

Don't underestimate the power of a heartfelt apology. If you feel you've overreacted with someone, hopefully, they aren't gonna use that as an excuse to ostracise you - they are gonna deal with it and not let it bother them or colour their opinion of you too much. And an apology/explanation shows them that your overreaction was an anomaly - not the real you.

I doubt there is anyone who gets to (in your case nearly) 40 and hasn't almost irrevocably screwed up some aspect of their life. Many of the best ones (myself included I hope) are still merrily screwing things up to this day.

If we were all conformists, there'd be a cool manual to follow that told you how to keep your accountancy job, keep your wife miserable and raise a family who are all dead inside. We have to write our own manual, so inevitably, we fuck it up loads more than the average doofus.

Sometimes it is hair-pullingly annoying how much clearer things can be in hindsight than they are when you're in the midst of a situation, isn't it? - and how much fucking brain-weasels can distort everything.

*virtual tea*
I know I'm late in the game to this, but you're not 'flawed'. You have certain shit in your head, you have certain challenges, but that's being human for you. And the more you are honest with yourself about it, the more you can figure out better ways to deal with it. I think the hard part comes in that part where other people are involved - that can be very difficult to navigate. On the one hand, you want people around who understand that sometimes your brain makes you throw a shitfit for no reason, but on the other hand, you can understand if they can't deal. It sucks. *hugs*