July 17, 2012

It’s all a matter of perception

by @ 1:10 pm. Filed under confessional, observations on life

“You think you know … but you have no idea.” – MTV Diary

It’s time to play the artist card.  As an artist I am allowed to be broken. Right? Seriously,  artists are supposed to be all broken and tortured. It’s part of that whole suffering for art thing.

The fact that I have to ask permission is absurd, but sadly a necessary evil in the world of snap judgments.

A friend shared the following after I mentioned getting a B-12 shot to help with depression.  She was unaware that I was depressed and couldn’t really understand why.

“you are the most generous, hard-working, loyal, understanding people I’ve ever met, not to mention creative! and very pretty!… and f’ing smart!”

Yes, I may be all of those things, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have problems.  I’ve never been to a therapist, but years of writing and reflecting on life have revealed that I have abandonment issues.  At the end of the day it is much easier for me to be an emotionally-unavailable hermit, than invest time with people that will eventually leave.

There, I said it.  You may now re-evaluate your current picture of me in your head.

How long has this been going on?  Good question.  I’ve known that I was different since I was four.  In elementary school, I pretty much kept to myself and spent most of my time in the library in lieu of trying to fit in.  Yes, I had friends but only a  handful.  In Junior High I latched on to a group of social outcasts. We were all in band together.  In High School, there was band, drama, choir, and all honors classes that kept me with my clan of outcasts.  Only to left behind as the group became incestuous, sometime around sophomore year, and I became the odd one out.

After Junior year I moved to Texas.  I fell deeper into hermitude (Yes, hermitude. If I put it on the internet it is a real word).  It became harder to keep up with the old gang via letters and I didn’t see much of a point in making new friends when everyone was going to leave for college soon.  I spent a lot of time with my AP bio classmates.

I was still shell-shocked when I started college.  I didn’t move out of my parents’ house and I rarely spent time on campus outside of class.  I spent most of my downtime working at a daycare and babysitting.  It was easy to keep to myself.  I was a bio major taking prerequisites. Most of my classes had 200 people.  I did a complete 180 sophomore year.  I changed my major and moved into a co-op.  It was a bit of a social experiment. I took up dance. I even taught for awhile.  I joined study groups.  After two years passed, I learned that I can exist in a larger group of people and still feel utterly alone.

So how to relationships work for the emotionally unavailable?  Um, they don’t (at least not romantic relationships).  My longest relationship lasted 2.5 years.  After a year or so we were just going through the motions and no one was man enough to rip the band aid off.  After that, I rarely made it past a month or so.  A year ago, I thought I had beat the system.  I made it to 5 months before he disappeared without a trace.  But to be honest, we were only dating because we were too tired to date anyone else at the time (yes, those exact words were said).

I told you I was broken.

So why hide it? It’s my problem not yours.  If anyone asks, I don’t lie about it. I frequently tell people that I am broken. They laugh like I am joking and I may or may not choose to elaborate (now that I have written this down, I can just send them a tiny url to the post).  I just choose not to wear my depression like a sweater in the Abilify commercials (it’s more like underwear).  And sharing has never been my strong point.

It’s time to wrap up this internet confession. I leave you with one of my favorite scenes from “The Breakfast Club”. A reminder that somewhere, underneath it all, every one of us is a basket case.

 

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