Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Unexpected... like seriously.

This weekend I ended up doing a little bit of soul searching. I didn't exactly set out to soul search but I ended up catching a glimpse of it it, my soul that is. The slippery bugger exists, which is more than I could say before.

When I say soul, I don't mean the metaphysical soul that people tend to think goes to heaven. No, I mean my humanity. My empathy and compassion. I have been wondering what has been bothering me as of late and this weekend I think I found out what it is. I'll start at the beginning.

Friday night I set out to have an adventure. Perhaps have something new to post as an "I did something stupid" post. That didn't end up happening. I had a whole lot of fun, but it was surface fun, passing in moments. It seems, lately that is all that I've been having is surface fun. Don't get me wrong I enjoy my life. I'm not depressed or anything like that. I've been rock climbing, hiking, camping, sky diving, and white water rafting. So, I would say I've had an awesome summer. Anyway, back to Friday night. I met some people, had some fun but at the end of the night it was still just me and Token. Walking home I decided that I wanted some Chinese food. We swung by the Chinese food place and you won't believe what happened next.

I had the unique experience of having a nice little sit down with the CLR. That's right the cute little redhead. You can read about some of our escapades here, here and the end of it here. Turns out the reason she stopped calling me is because the last night we hung out, I was an insensitive asshole, I was drunk, and she figured if I was interested in her I'd call. Well I didn't call. Back then I rationalized it as I wasn't really available. I was working 10 hour days. Looking back now though, I just wasn't feeling it. I ended up being totally honest with her. I mean I had nothing to lose so I came clean about everything. Dating multiple people, which she admitted she was doing as well. I came clean on lacking empathy and mostly just not giving a fuck. During the whole conversation the same things kept catching my attention.

They were the same things that my ex, the one that I went to go visit a couple of times, the one I was trying to get to move here, kept saying. She said "It's been ten years and it feels like I don't know you." This was after she didn't think I could do auto repairs and actually laughed at the thought of me doing them. Little did she know that other then the electronics in a vehicle I can fix most things and those that I don't know how to I can figure out with little help. This was apparently a side of me she didn't even know existed. How could someone I care about so much be so far away emotionally.

I let these little brain waves settle into my mind sometime Saturday morning. There it sat stewing away, simmering down and condensing into something. I didn't know what exactly till I was sitting at home Sunday night. I was browsing through my blog reel when I came across my friend Haven's blog and there, right in the title was my little conundrum spelled out in plain English. "The power of Vulnerability and listening to shame." It called out to me and I immediately clicked on it and went on reading. Haven has a link to a Ted-talk in there and it was exactly what I needed to hear. “This is what I have found: to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen; to love with our whole hearts, even though there's no guarantee..."

I lack vulnerability. I am untouchable by other people. I numbed myself to it. Don't get me wrong I have faults I feel sadness and unease but I don't ever, ever let people see it, never mind know that it exists. The lady in the talk points out that you can't just selectively numb one type of emotion, you have to do them all to get any. I need to experience the vulnerability of being human in order to build human connections, which I haven't allowed myself to do for as long as I can remember.

I'm a self proclaimed asshole for fuck's sake. My moniker is Not the Hero. I think one of the things that really got me going on this soul search happened earlier on Friday. I sent out a tweet, I meant it mostly as a joke but it is only funny if there is a grain of truth in it. This is what I said, "I'm an asshole and a narcissist with zero self worth. How do you think everyone else rates?"

Looking at this with fresh, and sober eyes I still find it amusing but in light of my recent self discovery, it saddens me. Then the more I think about it, it scares me.

I'm terrified that I won't be able to fix it. I have no idea where to start to get back to the more human side of my personality. I'm lost in my own world of asshole behavior, and a lack of giving a fuck about anything.

I've built impenetrable walls of sarcasm, snide remarks and an air of superiority that I used to take comfort in. I used to feel like I was king of my castle and everyone should be jealous of how awesomely fortified I was. I could never get hurt and it was fantastic. I always figured that I'd find someone and invite them into my fortified emotional state and we could be happy together in there, guarded away from everyone else. I think I was wrong though, no one wants to come in, never mind stay. They may come have a peek at it but all they see are the stone walls and parapets and then turn away. My walls that were supposed to protect me from pain are now trapping me in my loneliness.

I've carried that metaphor about as far as I can before I make myself gag. Honestly though, I have no idea how to become more emotionally available. Not just faking it either, but to actually let my guard down.

Step one is realizing you have a problem right?

Step two might be adjusting my paradigms?

Step three?

Later Days,


  1. Well, it is true. The hardest part of the whole journey is where you are right now. Realizing the problem and then determining if you have the fortitude to make a change. It's not easy, loving with your whole self, letting yourself be seen, and opening up. It will mean that when people walk away they aren't leaving the asshole version of you that you use for protection...they'd actually be rejecting you. It means if a relationship doesn't work it won't be because you didn't share yourself but because you guys just weren't right. Living the way you have been frees you from any real responsibility for your relationships.

    Wanting to make a change and making them are two different things. It's not an overnight fix. You'll work on it...and if you want it...it'll happen. It's also important to remember it doesn't have to happen with everyone...just a special person or people. You don't have to start by baring your soul to everyone you know. Hell, just start here with strangers....we are pretty damn forgiving.

    Good luck, NTH.

  2. ::smiles:: Wow, that's major! Self-awareness is a bitch isn't it?

    It's hard to see yourself in a new light. But realization really is the first step.

    I've never had the narcissistic edge. I've always felt self-worthless, but for an extraordinarily long time (8-9 years) I coped in the same way. Locked down behind stone walls that I never let anyone in to. Always had a mask of extreme competence and untouchability. To outsiders I looked happy, or busy, or fulfilled, but I wasn't, I just thought it was weakness that no one would love me for if I showed all aspects of me, not just the fun ones. It's a lonely place to be.

    Don't sell yourself short yet. It's probably not that no one wants to come in, they just can't find the doorway. It's takes that bit of vulnerability to even turn on the entry light and show people the way.

    Figuring out where to start is the hardest part when you're doing something you've never done before. But you can. Just takes some figuring.

    I've been battling a personality disorder that's debillitated my life for almost 2 decades now. I didn't really understand and recognize my deeper issues until a few years ago, but once I did I started making changes. Some small, some big, some came more quickly, some I'm still working.

    If getting back in touch with your inner self, and learning to let others into that place is something you really want to do, you absolutely can. Sometimes it can be a painful look at where you've been and who you've become, but the realization that who you want to become is possible and within your control makes it worth it.


  3. "My walls that were supposed to protect me from pain are now trapping me in my loneliness."
    Consider me convicted. This statement pretty much hit me between the eyes, my friend. I usually come her for a kindred spirit in shenanigans but it appears we have much more in common in where we currently sit in view of ourselves. Do the work. Put it down on paper, even if no one ever sees it at least the truth of your fears and walls are in front of you. Then you can start deciding which bricks to knock down first.
    Good for you hero, good for you!

  4. I think this is an amazing post. And kudos for posting it in the first place. It's honest, real and raw. I think this, although where exactly I'm not sure, is one of your steps - letting people in. I think that in order to genuinely care about others you also need to let them care about you. Just like you said, "I have faults I feel sadness and unease but I don't ever, ever let people see it, never mind know that it exists." People need to see that side of you. That's the fundamental basis for human relationships, we relate to one another's joys and sorrows. It's all downhill (in a good way) from here!!

  5. Whoa. Do you know I just deleted a post I started writing that although has nothing to do with what you wrote, it has everything to do with what you wrote. Thank you for writing it. Thank you for having the balls to look at where you're not willing. Thank you for sharing it. I get it was a tough one to write. And as much as you proclaim you're "not the hero" and you "don't give a sh(t" about anything...the less people are inclined to believe you. I think I knwo what to write about now.


My frail ego requires validation.