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

Friday, September 28, 2007

Here Comes Your Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown

Okay, not really, but what is your definition of "middle-aged"? Isn't it halfway between birth and death? If so, then no one knows when they're middle-aged because no one really knows when they're going to die. But if you take conservative estimates, 43 is middle-aged. And I'd much rather not be that, thank you very much.

Yet, in a little over a week, I very much will be that. Like it or lump it.


What goals should I set before I turn 45?

Because really. I'm not dead. So what I'm not living in a penthouse overlooking midtown with my beautiful wife and children? I am living in NYC, overlooking a beautiful wall of trees. Soon as I get my car paid off, I'll be collecting money again. Which will make me more attractive for the Right One...


I don't feel like it. And not in any doomed, depressed, o-woe-is-me way. But in a middle-aged widow's way. I mourn the passing of the Right One, and I just don't feel interested in trying to do it all over again. Only, in this case, my Right One never existed. But I feel like I've already done all the work about relationship. I've fought, I've loved, I've learned, I've grown. The only thing I didn't get out of it are children. (Or a court-order to pay child-support and alimony).

So what's the fuss? I'll enjoy your children. Your poleclimbers who are eager to teach Daddy how to do the same. Your nervous criers who need some tough Daddy love and a lollipop on the way back to school. Keep telling me those stories. Those are lullabies for someone like me. I promise, I do smile, and I feel very warmly a part of the human race when you share those with me.

But why do I not want to become a full-time participant?

Well, let's see. I still sting from the last time I trusted someone (and this was not too long ago either. I mean within the last few months). The pain is not worth the good times. The pain SUCKS. It makes me furious. Fresh, bright sparkly motes of blazing-hot want-to-kick-somebody's-ASS furious.

Because when I was in my shell, I was f^cking HAPPY. I wasn't causing any harm to anyone and I was happy. But YOU had to come along and pressure me. You had to pry your f^cking blade into the seam of the shell and pry and pry and PRY until you exposed all the sensitive parts. And you got me to trust you, and even depend on you to take care of what you exposed.

And then what did you do?

You got me all wrong. You accused me of being someone I'm totally not, and you did it just to serve yourself. You worked to make me vulnerable, layed me out for display, then kicked it all over into the sand because you wanted your own way.

I was FINE before you.

I NEVER needed you.

And now it hurts just to think of your name.


Readers, I don't even know who I'm writing about. There isn't anyone who honestly fits this description. Whatever I've gone through in the last few months could not possibly have earned this kind of anger. Well, not completely.

So I must assume that what I'm feeling is from transference. This fury inside is an old one. It's older than the internet.

It is, of course, unresolved anger that I bear for my mother. Textbook case. Unresolved blappity bloop. I'm a damn stereotype.

Hate that.

Suffice it to say, my shell was the thing that protected me from ... stuff. If you wanted me out of it, then you should have






If you didn't want to take that responsibility--then I invite you heartily to LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE now.

Okay, back to your regularly scheduled drama ...


Little Wing said...

Ahhhh yes, get it all out!
I know this one!
Get YOURSELF a really good therapist.
Better sooner than later.

GrizzBabe said...

I'm not eeeeven gonna act like I got the answers to this one. But I can listen so feel free to vent.

Alan said...

Hours later, and a nice game of D&D wherein I, as a Master Conjurer, saved the party again, feel better now.

But I was seriously bent until the D&D game started tonight. I was doing sanity checks all evening.

LW, I have a therapist, and I think she's great. I'll be seeing her this Tuesday.

Thanks for riding along, y'all. This monkey has been on my back for weeks. I was trying to deal with it, but I really hadn't burst the bubble until I typed this all out.

I meant every word of it. I have abandonment issues (again, thanks to my therapist I've already recognized it), but I hadn't realized how much the last argument triggered it all.

Back on the road of maintenance...

GrizzBabe said...

It's interesting that mentioned that you have abandonment issues because as I was reading your post I must say you reminded me of my boyfriend. His mother died when he was 10 and he as abandonment issues too. Unfortunately, almost every woman in his life has abandoned him (at least that's the way he sees it) or not taken care of him, as you put it. He very much has a victim's mentality about it all and talks as if these women carried the responsibility of maintaining his emotional well-being and they failed.

I don't have any experience dealing with this particular brand of abandonment (I do have abandonment issues relating to my biological father but the effect is different) so I don't have any real advice. I do remember something I read on a website that deals with abandonment. It said that adults can not be abandoned because they are capable of taking care of themselves. Of course the site didn't offer any details on how to work out that bit of information out in your life but I thought it was interesting.

Alan said...

Grizz, there's big truth in what you said but the abandonment happens in the emotions, and it's hard to convince them otherwise.

Even when you identify the source and dissect the circumstances with an adult mind (ie, "Your mom couldn't prevent getting sick" or "Your mom had to leave in order to make a better life for the two of you, and she visited while she was gone, and eventually came and got you back") still the fear and the heartache comes slamming in whenever there's a shadow of sameness in the adult life. The adult self just melts away. That's where the adult actually cannot take care of themselves--because if they could, they would.

But this is why therapy is awesome. These (we) individuals can LEARN to take care of themselves. For me (and I think for most) I have to train my adult self to respond in the *now*, rather than in the *past*. That's a therapeutic staple.

The fact of relationship is that both parties have a responsibility to take care of the others' emotions. And the other fact is that partners will fail in that responsibility from time to time. We do get selfish, and we do occasionally choose our own happiness over the partner's happiness.

Successful relationships can deal with that. Being secure in the self, trusting the partner even when they are being selfish (trusting they won't always be this way and will return love enough), and standing up to the commitment that was made to the other person is what makes good marriages in my opinion. If both partners have this outlook, I can't see how it would fail.

But if I have these abandonment issues, and the girl I'm with is not only selfish, but uses attacks to enforce her selfishness -- "You never take me out anywhere! My last boyfriend knew how to really treat me! You'll never be any good!" -- that's a recipe for disaster. No one is nurturing anyone in that kind of mix.

If there's a Right One for me, she will be kind. She will not use words of offense to address my failings. She will also not use silence, veiled threats, or withhold attention to address me. She will be honest and she will speak to me about what I need to work on in love and support. And she will believe in me. She will believe that I'm worth the work. I will feel her love in not only the big things, but the little things too. I will feel secure with her, just as I want her to feel secure with me. I'll be the kind of man that I want to be with her, because she'll be my inspiration.

I'm just not interested in the painful test-runs, otherwise.

GrizzBabe said...

That horrible woman you described, kick her to the curb immediately! Do not pass go; do not collect $200 dollars.

The Right One. I like her. Go after that one!

Alan said...

lol, Grizz.

Send all your good thoughts to the island of Manhattan ...

Who Me? said...

Hi Alan,

Have commented here before but didn't have a blog then. I'm "K" from "S*'s" blog. Oh that sounds a bit funny really :)

Anyway...there's alot of interesting blappity bloop here in your blog and particularly this post.

Please visit my blog and read "I don't know who I am without you".

That's my answer to alot of what you've just said here on this post.

I haven't gone right back through your entire blog, but I can see the pain you have from the suffering you had as a child.

I hope you can find your way Alan, and I hope you find the one :)

Alan said...

Hi K/Who Me? -- !

I look forward to be reading you on the regular.

And thank you for the hoping. As you and S* have said elsewhere (I did my research :-)) there might not be a soul mate, but I'll be more than happy to find "the one".

Re: your parents, From a perspective of living The Alone Life which just might go on for the rest of mine, I think it'd be wonderful to have a relationship with someone for so long. That shows strength of character to me. Fighting through the bad times so that they can enjoy the good ones now. And through that relationship, producing you, who in turn produced your three. That's the best of being Human, in my opinion.

Hmm-- If I were to marry next year, and lived to be 86 with "the one" then we would still accomplish a 43-year marriage!

WoW. I never thought of it like that! I'm not too old at all!

Who Me? said...

Thanks Alan...

Hehe.....I like your way of thinking!

Even in 5 or 10 years you won't be too old.

I've pinched part of your comment for a post! Hope you don't mind. You've written it so well :)

Alan said...

Pinch away! I thank you for the compliment. :-)

Coaster Punchman said...

Good luck on this journey.

akakarma said...

Hey- I didn't hit my stride until 40 and now I'm the big 50. There is a lot to be said for single life- it's all good baby if you keep your heart in the right place!