When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

On Life And Death

Last night I did my first additional hours of work at B&N. It was fine. No complaints at all. It is in New Jersey, but is still only 15 miles away from my NYC apartment, so my get-home time at 11:45 landed me in the neighborhood in fifteen minutes. Especially at that hour of the night. So I'll be keeping the job and am looking forward to the additional weekly paychecks.

Additionally, I went to the gym between my day job and my new night job, and I'm not feeling any physical repercussions today. So hooray for my nearly-43 year old body.

And speaking of my body, I was thinking of my toxic friend again. Last night at 1:30AM I got a call from him, and a message was left--but there were no words. So one of two things happened. 1) He read this blog and was highly bothered, and called me, but decided against it when it was time to leave a message. Or 2) His phone dialed mine by accident. I mention him and my body in the same paragraph because part of his call to me on Sunday included a rant at me about the food I was eating when our gaming group was together on Saturday and additionally, he wanted to know what I had eaten that Sunday before his call. It went like this; "What's the matter with you, huh? What's wrong with you? *waiting to hear my response* Don't you know that stuff is poison? You're going to wind up as a statistic."

This is his style of caring. Aggressive. I'm not receptive to that personality style. I didn't understand that there was caring going on there until much later. (What is it now, 3 days ago?) Instead, all he made me do was get defensive. So yeah. I'm obviously attracted to bossy, verbally-abusive people but my relationships with them inevitably wind up broken. This is a pattern set up for me by my caretakers (read: parents) from way long ago.

I suppose I'll call Mr. Toxic later to find out why my phone rang last night, and I also suppose I'll still be friends with him if that's what he wants, but I also have to tell him what I've been feeling lately. I need to give him the information he needs to either use on my behalf, or to scorn me with. The same way I do when I blog. I love the encouragement --absolutely need it, in fact-- but I know I'm also opening myself up to some ridicule, some aggression, some impatience, and a liberal sprinkling of intolerance. And I can accept that.

And on death; I think when people have a good amount of life under their belts, and opportunities to learn how to cope with loss, then they can handle death better. I'm not one of those people. The fact is simple--I've been experiencing loss from the age of six--or less. Loss of innocence. Loss of security. Loss of love. So now for me, experiencing loss is like taking a drug. My physical body actually takes a blow. And I know this is common--I'm sure of it. This is what crying is--a physical reaction to emotions. But it takes longer for me to recover. It's real and it's just awful.

My therapist helped me understand this thing when I talk to her about my fears and stumbling blocks about relationships. She does it so easily, too! She just uses one or two sentences to remind me of my own past experiences, and boom! I recognize the origins of why I feel what I feel (see Loss; One paragraph above).

My challenge is to find ways to cope. Blogging is definitely one of those ways. Some of the heaviness--the thickness in my chest and the preoccupation in my head--actually does get managable after I've typed out what I'm feeling. So I'm going to go ahead and keep on doing that. And when the mood around here gets heavy, you can know (as we like to say in the 'hood) "I'm just going through some thangs!"

I value your patience and concern. It feels a lot like love.

So that's alright then.


S* said...

Is Mr. Toxic someone you can let go of? One of the hardest things to do is take stock of those surrounding you and get rid of the toxic folks. I did...there was hardly anyone left. BUT, it left lots of open room for good people to start coming in.

Even if he's not all bad, you describe him as Mr. Toxic. That should tell you enough on its own.

Loss sucks and toxic people suck. But you don't suck and you'll get through. Have faith (not hope) that it will be alright because it will.

Alan said...

Thank you, S*.

I don't know if I can let him go. He has his moments. Like lending me a bunch of money. And helping me move during my eviction. And helping me hold my head up during. And being my lifeline when I got exiled to George's house.

Like all people, he's got plusses and minuses. That's why I'm going to be honest with him about what's bugging me about him lately. He has the ability to go easy. He just so rarely uses it.

And of course, like anything rare, there's always the deep desire to see it again.

GrizzBabe said...

Here's hoping that your talk with Mr. Toxic will go well.

I'm so jealous that you have a therapist. I wish I had a wise, neutral party to bounce my feelings off of. And all I need to do really, is get my thoughts and feelings out of my head. They seem to loose power that way.

I imagine that if I didn't harbor fears about being vulnerable, I could share my feelings with my friends, eliminating the need for a therapist.

Alan said...

The talk with Mr. Toxic will have to wait. When I spoke to him today, he was back at neutral. He hasn't been to this blog. He didn't even know I took the second job. And he sounded concerned as to why I needed the job. He's so much easier to deal with when he's human. I'll have to pick the next time he's obnoxious to address him on it.

Grizz, you can't use your friends for therapy unless they are the kind of friends who have already been with you through the thick. Held-you-at-a-parent's-funeral kind of thick. But even then, you pegged it--you need neutral feedback from an unrelated third party. Someone who you know has nothing to gain or lose with you.

Shesawriter said...

Does your friend even know you have a blog? And if so, have you ever discussed what you post about him on here? I know you don't mention names, but ... well, I can see where this would be a problem in your relationship, especially if he is as "toxic" as you say.

FWIW, toxic people can't stand their 'dregs' being exposed, especially if they think they can continue to toss their garbage at you without consequence. I'm sure he got an eyeful reading this blog. Now he knows you're not the city dump and you don't want to take his trash anymore.


Alan said...

According to his tone of voice yesterday, he hasn't read this. The last time he posted was more than a year ago, and back then, SiteMeter alerted me that it was indeed his town coinciding with his replies. And what's funny, back then he used to tell me that he was reading it to see if I was saying anything about him. Since I hadn't been, he stopped.

Yes, he's egotistic like that.

We'll see what happens. But I'm left with the impression that I'd make a perfect abused spouse. People can be mean to me, but I'd tolerate it as long as they threw some crumbs of kindness to me every now and again.

Yes, I'm dependant like that. :/

Shesawriter said...

Oh, Alan. Nobody deserves to get dumped on. Stop taking his crap and tell him to get it together or get lost. You've got to be the strong one.

Alan said...

I'll give it a try, Tanya.