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Clarence Worley 05-13-2010 12:28 AM

Responsibilities as a man / Trusting others
Quick aside: I grew up in a rural area where there were noother boys to play with. As a result, I was shut in all the time with my superfucked up, alcoholic, parents. The followingobservations about my life were triggered by my distraught ex-girlfriend (brokeup a month ago) confronting me about stuff earlier tonight because she stillfelt as if there was not really closure in our relationship. The following is a reflection on the way I feel about sharing details with others, and what I view as being a man.

I feel completely alone in this world. Iím not close with either of my sisters, and Ihave cut my parents out of my life. Mygrandma is my closest family member and sheís getting to an age where shestarts to forget menial, but important (to me), details of my life. While I do maintain close friendships here atschool, they seem to be based upon whatever impulsive interests I have at themoment. My true passions lie inacademia, while most of my hobbies (playing video games, sports, previouslydrug use) result in convenient friendships from people vastly different fromme, whose friendship is only made possible by this slight commonality. I donít really feel like sharing a lot ofpersonal details with friends made this way, because I feel like things I mightshare would scare them off.

Past girlfriends of mine with whom Iíve shared my secretswith definitely feel badly for me, but they donít really understand how much myexperiences have affected me. Not evenmy sisters can relate to me, since they often sought refuge at the neighboríshouse (where two girls, their same ages, lived), and received special treatment(relative to me) from my parents.

The result of friendships based on convenience has resultedin a new circle of friends each year at school. Iím not a bridge burner, but if I feel like my current set of friendshas nothing further to offer me (i.e. no longer entertains me), I will slowlyphase them out in favor of new friends. I still feel obligations to attend social events, such as birthday parties,grill-outs, etc. with old friends, but these are the only occasions where Ispend time with them. Iím told how muchthey miss me, how long itís been since we hung out, and to an extent I have thesame feelings, but I donít really feel like they are being completely honestwith me. Like the issue withgirlfriends, I guess I feel like if somebody doesnít understand my experiencesthey donít truly appreciate who, or why, I am. This could be the extremely cynical side of me skewing my view ofthings.

If I am with somebody else, and something traumatic occurs,I try and appear as if it doesnít phase me. This gives the illusion that I either donít have emotions, or that ittakes a lot to sway me (the latter is closer to the truth, but more accurately,it takes a lot for me to express my emotions). Appearing strong, stable, and successful is the trademark of being a ďrealman.Ē My ex-girlfriend is upset because she still wants to be friends, but feels like I am no longer the sweet, compassionate, mature guy that I was when dating her. I feel like this is no longer my responsibility, which she understands. BUT, I am not in a relationship with her any longer, and as such, I no longer feel it is necessary to protect her from aspects of my personality which she may find to be distasteful/upsetting (drug use, swearing when I'm upset about something, talking about sex with other girls, etc.). This just may be due to my insensitivity, but I feel like if she wants to be my friend, she should accept me for who I am as a friend, not still judge me from the criteria that a boyfriend would be held to.

The last time I cried in front ofanybody was at my grandfatherís funeral a year ago, and prior to that, I doníteven remember. However, this causes menot to share things which I probably should, which over time can degrade thequality of my relationships. Additionally,I feel like bottling up my emotions is very unhealthy, and it causes intenseperiods of self-loathing and despair which just intensify negative feelingsabout my circumstances. I know peoplehave had it worse, and somehow persevere and maintain healthy relationshipsÖ Ijust donít know what to do. The problem is, I donít open up to [I]anybody[/I] unless Iíve known them for anextended period of time AND unless I am extremely upset. Because of my childhood experiences, I haveno trust (or love, really) for life figures whom I am supposed to. This has caused me to put up tons of walls toprotect myself from further emotional pain.

Iíve seen counselors. No dice. They give me exercisesto help with anxiety and tell me that I have had bad experiences because Iím abad person, but the former Iíd independently discovered long ago, and thelatter is something Iíve never felt. Iknow Iím not a bad person, and I know I didnít have a fucked up childhoodbecause Iím a bad person. I just feellike nobody can relate to me, and as such, I donít share much about myhistory. I donít resort toself-destructive behavior; quite the opposite, I work very hard at almosteverything I do to other people to prove that Iím worthy of their respect andfriendship.

I guess I just donít know what to do. Iím just kind ofventing, since what was said to me earlier tonight has definitely been one ofthe most upsetting things Iíve experienced in a long time.

chuckybob 05-13-2010 12:46 AM

a few things:

intimacy is the most important part of any good relationship, friendship or otherwise. youll never feel close to other people if you dont allow yourself to get close to them, and vice versa.

people dont say shit they dont mean to people they know. if they say they want to hang out they mean they want to hang out. it doesnt feel genuine because your self-confidence is low and youre finding ways to shield yourself from human interaction so that you dont get hurt.

its important to be who you are, but sometimes you need to change who you are to become a better person.

not sharing anything except when youre extremely upset is what i like to call "yarn balling". for every bad thing that happens you save a little piece of string and make it in to a ball, but that ball will become heavy and hard to balance over time. eventually, you lose control of it, and if youve been saving the strings for long enough and the ball gets big enough, its going to roll over and destroy the closest thing to you.

some people dont deserve love, no matter who they are supposed to be to you. but the ultimate challenge of a person is letting go of the past, learning from the experiences, and avoiding detrimental situations in the future.

imho, all people are immoral. find me a respectable person and ill show you a hypocrite. what makes a good or bad person is not who they have been, but who they become. your past doesnt matter. what matters is who you are today.

i have trust issues too, but at the end of the day, youve got to give people the benefit of the doubt. if you dont, youll never give them any chance to prove you wrong. and you are wrong ;)

what happened earlier tonight?

Clarence Worley 05-13-2010 01:42 AM

Well, my ex just basically called me out on all the methods I employ to stay guarded from other people, and said it really isn't fair.

Saxman924 05-13-2010 09:01 AM

I've been in very low moments myself, and some of what you write I can empathize with and the other parts I can sympathize with.

However, you really need to let yourself be emotional. This is key to learning about yourself and their effect on you. I used to be of the mindset that being emotional is weak. Emotions are weak. That doesn't help you in the end. You really need to embrace your emotions and let them out. Even letting yourself experience sadness alone can help. It really helps to write what you feel down in the form of a journal, creative writing, script writing, etc... Try either writing your feelings down directly, or through a character you find interesting.

Through this, you can accept things, sympathize with others, and learn to live with being yourself.

Ultimately, the only way you will even begin to make meaningful personal connections with others is to make that personal connection with yourself. Now, I'm still all for embracing logic and reasoning (live long and prosper), but now I have this other emotional side of me that has really helped and made me a bit stronger.

plainsong 05-13-2010 01:58 PM

how old are you? and what besides having parents that drink made you feel like your life has been so bad? you got any examples of these "things" that have been done to you?

Frock 05-13-2010 05:32 PM

I stay guarded from other people as well. I tend to alienate myself from my friends because I don't feel like there is anything there, if you know what I mean.

My problem is that I can't relate to people because I don't think very much, I have few if any opinions, I don't hate on other people or situations, I don't hate work, I'm not political, and I don't do much more than smoke weed and sit there all content.

However, I just don't like some people, because some people are phonies, it seems, and can't get past all the mutual interest crap and just be friends who can sit together in silence without feeling uncomfortable. I'm the kind of person that doesn't ever get bored, even if I'm doing nothing.

I think I understand where you're coming from because I feel very similar to you. As a result, I also have no solution to your "problem" Personally, I've just come to terms with the fact that some people will hate me because I don't play into their beliefs, and I don't join them in complaining or hating people. Good, I say, because I don't want those kinds of people around me to begin with. I may have fewer friends, but I'll tell you what, the friends I have now are the wheat of the chaff, so to speak.

Only by being yourself everywhere you are will you discover friends who are most like who you really are.

Forever Domon 05-13-2010 05:36 PM

Yeah, that whole "the counselors told me i was a bad person, so bad things happened to me" just reeks of attention whore.

Frock 05-13-2010 05:43 PM

[QUOTE=domonbaylespam;24347500]Yeah, that whole "the counselors told me i was a bad person, so bad things happened to me" just reeks of attention whore.[/QUOTE]

Who the fuck cares how is is expressing his desire for help?

Electrikfuzz050 05-13-2010 05:44 PM

[QUOTE=Clarence Worley;24346419]Well, my ex just basically called me out on all the methods I employ to stay guarded from other people, and said it really isn't fair.[/QUOTE]


Personality has nothing to do with fairness.

Frock 05-13-2010 05:46 PM


Personality has nothing to do with fairness.[/QUOTE]

What does this have to do with helping him?

Frenetic 05-13-2010 07:01 PM

I'm having some difficulty imagining counselors telling you're a bad person due to bad experiences, since that smacks in the face of a lot of psychology practices. No one is perfect, but sheesh. I dealt with similar issues to you, and my counselor made sure that I didn't think I was a bad person due to my problems.

One big thing you said is that you can't connect with people because they can't relate to your past. You're pretty much saying if they didn't have the same experience as you then they don't appreciate who you really are and you don't want to hand out with them. This type of thinking fucks over you and your friends because you've basically set up a bouncer with a checklist in your psyche.

And hell, how can they even appreciate who you truly are if you don't open up to them in the first place? You're just putting yourself in a self-defeating cycle.

Let me ask you, what would you like your life to be? What would be a good life for you?

Electrikfuzz050 05-13-2010 07:09 PM

[QUOTE=Frock;24347518]What does this have to do with helping him?[/QUOTE]

It sounds like his ex is complaining because she's upset that she isn't getting all the attention she wants when she wants it.

Also, OP, are you unhappy because you can't relate to people or what? If you're happy as you are now then I don't see why you have to pay any attention to what anyone else has to say.

Clarence Worley 05-13-2010 07:15 PM

[QUOTE=domonbaylespam;24347500]Yeah, that whole "the counselors told me i was a bad person, so bad things happened to me" just reeks of attention whore.[/QUOTE]
I explicitly stated counselors have told me I'm [b]not[/b] a bad person, which apparently a lot of people feel like if they experience traumatic stuff as kids. I also stated I've never had this issue.

Woah. I just re read my post and I guess not. I wrote this in MS word and pasted it, and some stuff must have gotten cut out...?

Forever Domon 05-13-2010 07:25 PM

Yeah, looks like some stuff was typo-ified if thats not what you meant.

theNoid 05-14-2010 10:19 AM

Get a new keyboard, your space bar is broken. I had a hard time reading any of that and gave up about 1/4 way through. :(

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