As is my custom every year as my birthday approaches, I begin to get depressed and anxious. Everyone knows this – especially Nick, my long suffering partner in crime. It’s not too bad this year, but I wouldn’t say I’m great. I guess I’m a 6 out of 10.
Anyway, the Fear and Loathing™ is not horrible, but I’m trying to evaluate my year and figure out how to proceed. It sucks being middle aged. It really, truly SUCKS. I have absolutely nothing good to say about it at all. It’s like you understand TONS more than you used to, but you lose any and all relevance to society and your understanding is therefore moot. Suckage.
This year’s new twist to my navel gazing is that I’ve been recording Oprah’s Life Class. Say what you will about Oprah, but the woman does have a clue. She speaks the truth. I won’t do the online thing, but I’ve been watching the shows and have gotten some valuable input. As well as some cryin’ time. Buh. Yesterday I watched the one about how your upbringing totally colours the way you deal with people. Yup: more cryin’ time. Damn you, Oprah.
There was a woman who had been abused by her stepfather (her sister was abused, too) and yet her mother chose the man over the children and stayed with him. This woman had trust issues and really hated her mother. With good reason, I say. All she wanted was her mother to validate her and acknowledge that the abuse happened. And for the mother to admit she CHOSE the man over the girls, therefore taking his side rather than her children’s side. And all her mother could say was, “I’m sorry. What else could I do?” The mother could not understand the issue, which is validation. Well, that certainly rings a bell for me.
Anyway, it got me thinking about my relationship with my mother and how that has made me such a bitch of a person. My mother has never given me any validation at all. I may as well be a mannequin for all the true validation I ever got from her. Her eyes were only for my brother. HE is the only child she has, pretty much. She has had an abusive husband and a dismissive mother before that and she’s not capable of understanding or validating anyone. Especially me. Basically, she doesn’t like me and I don’t like her. We would never be friends. We just happen to be related.
Validation and being seen, really seen, by your parents is a key developmental issue. (But validation doesn’t mean that your kids should run amok or be your friends, either.) I think my ongoing rage issues stem from the realisation, at around 5 or 6 years of age, that my parents don’t see me and they don’t understand me. No matter how well I did in school, no matter what I tried, it made no difference. Even though I tested out at years ahead of my peers, even though they were told that I was exceptional and should be skipped ahead in school, nothing sunk in. They still told me wives tales as truth and belittled me for trying to learn as much as possible and excel at school. They never acknowledged that I would, indeed, go further than they did in school – it was actually discouraged at every turn even though that was the ONLY thing I had going for myself: being smart. My frustration and anger is from a deep place. I learned to do things myself and never trust what anyone says as the truth. Those defences are entrenched and will probably never come down. All I can do is work around them the best I can. I will always be opinionated. I will always be disinclined to suffer ignorance. I was surrounded by militantly ignorant people growing up and I won’t have it.
I’ve struggled my whole life with trying to be a “good” person. I flat out SUCK at it. I’m not a good person. I’m a bitch and a half and it appears that it’s bred into me. I just can’t seem to get around it. I try very hard to do the right things and be honest and be nice. But I fail. Often. I try to think before I speak. And I fail. Often. I’ve always been like this. I’ve always had bursts of temper that range from just saying mean things to full on fits of screaming and breaking things. I’ve not had the energy for full on fits in decades, but I used to. I am the definition of “mercurial“.
I remember in first grade having a fit of temper and seeing red. I don’t know what it was about or what happened after, but I remember the RAGE and slamming my locker door. That tells me that this is the fabric of my being. I don’t know why I’m like this, but there it is. It’s puzzling (even to me) when I blow up and I don’t know what to do about it. I don’t rage much these days, but I my fits of temper still happen. I lash out in various ways: emails, posts, blocking people, deleting people.
These behaviours (that I DESPISE, btw) just keep on coming, no matter how I try to shove them down, down, deep down. I think what’s happened by trying to shove them back IN has made them turn on me. I think I have managed to turn that rampant rage inward and that’s why I have become a hermit. I really, truly do NOT want to be out in public. It’s twofold: 1. I don’t want to be out because I don’t trust myself to maintain “niceness” and 2. I am a fat fucker and I think I look AWFUL. Mostly #2.
My weight has always been an issue. I was the fat kid in school. I knew what the “X” in 6X meant: FAT. During the teens and 20s, when keeping your weight down is easy, I still felt fat, but I could wear cute clothes and get by. The 30s started out OK but the weight creep started around 35 and has never stopped (5#/yr x 10. Do the fucking math.). Sure, I can weigh 165 and wear 10s, but 165 is a LONG WAY away from where I am now. I’m the kind of fat that NOTHING fits. There are no jeans that can deal with the middle aged fat gut. It sucks. I’m so fat that none of my watches or rings fit. I had to buy a new watch and wear my THUMB ring on my ring finger. Even my fucking shoes don’t fit.
I’ve cleaned out my closet of all my old club clothes and they are on CraigsList. The only thing that’s sold is all my vinyl. A fetishist bought it all to masturbate on. Which I find oddly pleasing. ?
I really feel like I’m giving up and giving in to being a fat old lady. It just seems easier to say FUCK IT. Who cares, anyway? I’ve never been a “pretty girl”, so it’s not like I have that to lose. I guess I’m just tired of it all. The diets, the diets, the diets. The struggle to even take walks on the Rack because I’m so fucking FAT. I think I have Wilson’s Syndrome.
Back to Oprah. Sorry for that well worn tangent. It’s old news and irrelevant to this. Sorry. ::sigh::
Oprah made a good point about your past making you, but you can change it. There were some main points and tips that I’m going to try to do. I’m going to try to show Nick how much I love him and how happy I am to be with him. I’m going to work on putting on a happier face when I see him and others I care about. When my temper rises, I’m going to try to devise a way to cool off before I do or say something inappropriate. (Heh, good luck with that one.) I’m going to try to SEE the people I care about. Really SEE them and validate them. And I’m going to try to find some sort of direction for myself. I have been working on this for years. I know I don’t want to do web sites or anything technical any more – I’ve officially retired from all that. I know I want to work to get the comics more popular so they actually make money. I know I want to keep futzing with my artsy stuff – and maybe make some money at *that*.
It’s just hard. All of it is hard. It just seems that life is all hard and no easy. Shouldn’t something be easy? Shouldn’t there be balance? I feel off kilter and unbalanced but I swear I have no idea how to fix it – mainly because I don’t know how it happened. I’m sitting here right now shaking my head.
All I can think to say in conclusion is:
Yes, I know I am a difficult person. I swear to (insert your deity here) that I don’t try to be this way. It just happens. I am having a hard time with middle age. It sucks. I’m on edge one second and absolutely debilitated with depression the next. I have a hard time getting things done (I’m sorry Nick.). I have a hard time being around people (I’m sorry everyone.). I’m having a hard time of it in general and I apologize to everyone that I’ve ignored or deleted or flamed or whatever.
Just know that I am doing the best I can, even though it is hugely inadequate.
I appreciate all the friends I have who put up with my particular brand of crazy. I know it’s generally a thankless job. So take this THANK YOU for yourself, for all the times that I’ve neglected to say it when I should.