Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me

I don’t really know where this is going to go.  I really shouldn’t even be writing right now, but I can’t seem to focus on anything else so maybe this will help clear my mind.

I’m feeling so lost right now.  So many things going through my mind and I don’t know how to sort it all out.  I genuinely hate feeling this way.

~~~~~

My class ends next week.  I have the final exam on Wednesday and I’m terribly afraid I’m going to fail.  I don’t really have a lot of time to study and I’m kind of all studied out.  Thursday I have a twelve-hour shift in the county trauma center as a part of the curriculum for my class and I have no idea what to expect from that.  I’m sure it’ll be fine, but I’m terribly anxious right now thinking about it.  I’m so ready for the whole thing to be over except I don’t really know what comes next and as long as I’m in class I don’t have to think about that.

I feel like everyone’s expectations, including my own, are too high and I’m not going to live up to them and that could be really embarrassing and hurtful, if I fall flat on my face.

~~~~~

Late one night last week, when no one was paying any attention (which is usually when I have – and post – my most pitiful, feeling-sorry-for-myself thoughts) I posted to Twitter, “I wish I could see what you see.”  I only got one response to that, which really was one more than I wanted, but that one response was about the inches of snow on the person’s back patio.  Definitely not what I meant.

I’ve made a lot of connections with people on the internet and those people all seem to like me.  The thing is, I genuinely do not understand why.  I just don’t see all the apparently good things they seem to see.  I certainly don’t see the “sexy” guy some of them talk about, when I look in the mirror.

But those people are all on the internet, they’re not physical beings in my life and with a couple of exceptions, they’re all far away.  Why is it that I can’t make connections with real people, one’s who don’t live in the box on my desk, or the slip of a screen in my hand?  Why is it that I can’t connect with people who live near me?

~~~~~

I had lunch with, Lori,  a friend from work, today and after the course of our conversation lead to how I spend holidays alone, she invited me to come to her family’s house in Modesto on Christmas Eve.  It was a very generous offer which I sincerely appreciated but which I also declined.  I told her that I feel like I’m intruding on other people’s family time that way and that Christmas is a particularly complicated day for me.  I don’t enjoy being alone, but I don’t enjoy feeling like I don’t belong either.

~~~~~

Being alone has sort of become a recurring issue for me lately.  I am really tired of being alone.  But there are so many reasons why I am and I couldn’t even begin to guess at how to change them.  It’s not just that I’m tired of being alone, but I’m tired of being… God, I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I can’t think of another way to put it… I’m tired of being single.  I’m tired of not having anyone to share my day with and have conversation with and laugh with.  I’m tired of going to bed alone every single night and waking up alone every single morning.  I’m tired of coming home to an empty apartment and cooking dinner for one and cleaning up all by myself.  I’m tired of having no one else to clean up for and putting it off because of it.  I’m tired of feeling apathetic and lazy because I don’t have anyone to be accountable to or for.  I’m tired of feeling lonely and unworthy and unwanted…

And I’m tired of feeling sorry for myself.

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What’s So Bad About Being Alone Anyway?

I had my bi-weekly therapy appointment today.

It never ceases to amaze me how some weeks I feel worse when I leave than I did when I got there.  It’s not always like that, but sometimes it is, and today was one of those times.

Our conversation started out awkward as I told her I wouldn’t be able to pay her until our next visit.  Too many automatic bills on the same payday as my rent is due.  It’s out of my hands… Only it’s not really, but I don’t know how to control it… yet.  I couldn’t help feeling like — I don’t know what, really.  Deb said it was almost like I was afraid I was going to get into trouble.  Maybe she’s right, I don’t know.

It’s not like she has to worry.  She knows I’ll pay her for both sessions next time.  It’s happened a few times before when the timing was bad and I’ve always made good on my bill.  I’ve never given her any reason to worry that I’ll skip out on her.  I feel guilty though, because she’s self-employed and relies on the payments from her– what am I a patient?  A client?  I don’t really even know.  But I can only assume that, unlike me, she is not living paycheck to paycheck.

I don’t know.  Maybe I wanted her to tell me exactly how this would affect her, or more specifically, how it would not affect her.  Maybe I wanted her to let me off the hook when in truth, I’m the one who had me on the hook in the first place.

From there our conversation turned to my relationship with money and what I lacked growing up and my need to fill the void.  I talked for a bit about the financial lack I grew up with and how earlier in my adult life (not so terribly long ago at all, actually) I had a bad habit of frivolously spending money and then not having enough for the things for which I needed it.  I’ve made significant improvements in that respect; thinking carefully about how and on what I’m spending my money and whether or not it’s worth the expense, whether I can truly afford it.  I’ve learned a lot and done a much better job of controlling my finances each pay period and what I’ve learned is that I now need to work on effectively managing my money on a monthly basis, carrying over funds from one pay period to the next as needed to cover expenses that the next check won’t be big enough to cover.

This whole being a grown-up thing kinda sucks.  I really hate “I can’t afford it” being the thing that holds me back, the thing that keeps me from doing what I want to do.  But it is and it does.  Being a grown-up kinda sucks.

Then Deb said she felt like we weren’t just talking about money, lacking material things.  She thinks there’s a relevant connection between the lack of material goods that I’m apparently trying to make up for (or at least I was) and the lack of emotional provisions I grew up with.

This is an old song, and if you’ve heard it before, please forgive me and skip down a few paragraphs.  But here’s the thing.  My parents split up when I was two years old.  I’m the youngest of three with a sister three years older and a brother five years older than I am.  My Father cheated on my Mother and ultimately left us for the other woman.  I saw him on two week-ends a month (sometimes less) and the other two watched him come to the house and take away one of my siblings and leave me behind.  (He thought he was doing a good thing by spending one week-end alone with each of us, and then the fourth one with all three.)

My mother was clinically depressed and had nothing to give her children in the form of emotional support or availability.  She didn’t manage her money well and left her family lacking in material possessions and good food on a regular basis.  She was always “too tired” to deal with her children.  She never helped with homework, she never “played” with her children.  She never even wanted to listen to us.  Oh, I could tell you stories about her inability to be available, but suffice it to say, she wasn’t emotionally available and she wasn’t paying attention enough to know what that was doing to her children.

My brother hated me.  He used to beat me regularly.  The world is a different place now, but if we were kids today, we’d have been separated and taken out of my mother’s home by now.

My sister and I got along OK, but she’s three years older and there came a time when she was more interested in teenager things, and her friends outside of the home, than she was in me.

I was unpopular and relentlessly teased in elementary and middle school.  And in middle and high school, my mother never approved of the people who actually did want to be my friends.  She wouldn’t let me go out with my friends.  She’d yell at me to get off the phone with them after 15-20 minutes. And they couldn’t understand what the situation was.  Eventually, she drove a wedge between me and each of them, until being my friend was just too much trouble for them to go to.

I was alone all the time, even in a room full of people.  It sucked, but I got used to it.

I truly believe I have worked through most of the anger and pain that I felt for so long over the lack of emotional connections growing up.  But despite working through those things, I don’t know how to “undo” the damage.  I’m working from a deficit, here.  I don’t know how to do emotional connections and I’m not at all convinced that it’s worth learning, even if I could.

I told Deb, “I don’t know how to fix that ‘lack.’  I don’t have any control over that, so I just focus on what I can control; money, things.”

And then we stared at each other for several agonizing seconds, like we were in some sort of Mexican stand-off.  Maybe I was trying to convince her, maybe she was waiting for me to reconsider.

People are so afraid of being alone.  They’re so afraid to be alone that they’ll stay in bad relationships, years after they’ve stopped being any value at all.  People hop into bed with the first person who shows interest in them, all in the name of emotional connection; trying to fill the void of love left by their parents or other significant figures.  Only it never works and people hop out of that bed and into the next one, over and over, just trying to find something that can’t be found in the first place, and for what?  So that they won’t be alone?

But I’m used to being alone and it’s not so bad.  I’ve got no one to answer to. No one to fight for the remote, or argue over what shows to watch.  No one to clean up after.  No one to be dissatisfied with how much, or how well, I clean up after myself.  No one to hog the covers at night or squirm in the bed while I’m trying to sleep.  No one taking up space in the closet or dresser.  I go where I want to go, do what I want to do, watch what I want to watch, listen to what I want to listen to.  I deal with my own problems and I don’t have to listen to anyone else’s.

So really!  What’s so bad about being alone, anyway?