Thursday, February 14, 2013
Tell me doctor (part 2)
By the time my siblings were born and I started school, I had already developed addictive tendencies (an understatement for a full blown addiction) and a rage act. An act I would constantly submit my mother to, because of the disconnect, which I found tedious and unnecessary. Like her. And because of the habit. Addicts become angered and defensive when confronted, and that was me. A little too often. Screaming that I hated her, that she wasn't my mother, etc. Anything to hurt her and walk away. Disregarding consequences.
At this point, I was already showing signs of antisocial behavior. Sure, I liked to go out and play, with very few selected acquaintances. With friends. But I much preferred (and still do) staying indoors, by myself. Either playing on my own, drawing, or watching a movie.
Sometimes I think and wonder if I was born to either be in jail or in a mental hospital. I’ve always felt that way. I can tell you that I’d do just fine. Confined in a four by four, blank walled cell. With nothing to do and no one to talk to. I’ve always lived in my head so there wouldn’t be much change. I’ve never had a problem with pretense (it’s like a switch.) With dissociation and compartmentalization. I mastered them at a very young age, due to my one-too-many, objectifying, hospital stays (I see myself as a Subject rather than a Person) and, I often use them to my advantage. Not as a coping mechanism but as tools. Though I am more than sure any therapist would say differently.
Also, I’ve never been too keen with showing affection, or having it offered to me. Hugs alone make me doubt my every move. If I am to give one, or am given one, I have to mentally prepare myself beforehand. No matter how spontaneous the act may seem, it’s always carefully calculated. Any sort of affectionate gesture is, to me. A kiss, a hug, a--whatever else. It’s rehearsed, in my head at least. And it has to be. Otherwise, it’s an uncomfortable, awkward moment, for my counterpart. For me it’s simply confusing. Same goes with compliments and love confessions. My usual response, “Um, OK.” Then, silence.
Ex. One of my mother's favorite tales.
If someone, either in attempting to be polite or because they genuinely wanted to, kissed me on the cheek, I would immediately rub my face clean. Agitated. Obviously, I was seen as rude, though they would say "cute". Soon after many insults of this sort, from my part, my mother had to teach me to be polite. Such a concept. Like a pup being prepared for a dog show. I hated it. The idea of not only putting up with people but also having to pretend to like them. To be "nice" to them. It took me years to get used to it. Used to it, not like it.
As for the addiction, it wasn't a big deal. Not from where I was standing. My parents knew about it but never did anything to stop it. Suppose I can't blame them, being new to the whole parenting alone, it's no easy task. Or so I'm told. Specially with a sick kid. The expected over-protectiveness and all. Suffocating. And so, an opposing reaction. Sometimes.
I would hide, lie, act. Whatever had to be done to get what I "needed" (wanted*). Consciously. After many years, the summer before I started high school, I decided I was going to quit. Cold turkey. And I did. And I haven’t gone back to it since. Will power, another switch. Reason why I have little to no sympathy for addicts. Bit ironic, I know.
During one of appointments, my then pediatrician warned my parents to be really careful with me. He told them that I was really smart, perhaps too smart for my own good, as they say, and that I knew how to handle people. That I would know exactly what, when, how to do whatever I had to do, to get my way. That they shouldn’t take on my “disability” as an excuse to let me get away with murder. That if not careful, I would use them. Manipulate them. That for their sake, it was better off if they kept me intellectually stimulated. Busy. I suppose that’s how I became an artist. Art. We all have our ways to feel connected.
I'm not sure what I did to make the Doc so concerned for my parents but, to date, it remains true. Sometimes, when extremely frustrated, I have outbursts. Small, raw moments when people get glimpses of what I call the “inner me”. Though rare, I hate it when it happens. Not because I’m shy, or coy, as people usually perceive me to be (I keep to myself). But because it means I was distracted. A spontaneous and small loss of self-control. Like with those childhood pets. Loss of self-control. Extremely irritating to me. My thought process is, “I know better. I can do better. I am better than that.”
Somewhat compulsive, I admit it. Borderline scary, I admit that too. But being as experienced as I am, as good as I am with controlling myself. Even those small impulses. Those primal urges. This, this is like a slap on the hand. Undermining. If I’m as good as I’ve come to be with this sort of thing, the average reactions shouldn’t be a problem. But I am aware that I have been caught in the middle of the confusion when trying to find an appropriate expression, reaction, reply. When I don’t know what people want from me and I have this odd, blank expressionless face. However, there had been times when the absolute opposite happens. With my siblings, it’s happened, "People should be thankful I don't manipulate them as much as I could!" To which they usually agree. I'm not sure if that's a good thing, or bad. If anything, these small moments of off-guarded behavior show me that, yeah, maybe, somehow, in some way, they know that something is off. Not right. Not properly.
My siblings. If I believed in love, I'd love them. Thing is, I'm not sure if I’ve ever felt love. Or loved. Even with my father. I felt understood, accepted. Not loved. I don't even know what that feels like. And the picture I have of what the L-word is supposed to be, it seems too Disney-like to be real. Of course, that could be expected from an atheist, which I've been my whole life (never wrote to Santa.) Nevertheless, I am curious. I don't think my idea of love is the same as the “real thing.” If it does exist.
In fact, I don't think I love. Sure, I care enough. Appropriately enough to make a mental note of X subject. I tend to be more, territorial. Protective. But that's not love. As far as I see it, that's animal instinct. It's primal. It's selfish, and sometimes childish. Like a wolf with its cubs. Or food. It's always been that way and I don't think it has any possibilities of changing. At least, I hope it doesn't. Because I wouldn’t know what to do with sentimentalists and the uselessness that comes with them.
Anyway, growing up, I was never interested in relationships. In puppy love. In crushes. I’ve always liked being alone so, I didn’t see the supposed need to have any of that. If it ain’t broken don’t fix it, right? And sure, don’t get me wrong, there has been attraction towards some individuals but, never something I couldn’t live without. That much’s still the same. But I must admit that there have been moments when, out of boredom or frustration given isolation, I wished I was in a relationship. Like my peers. Then I think about it again and shake off the idea as a whole, because if unnecessary, absurd.
And maybe that’s part of what’s brought me to write this letter. Curiosity first and then, a small need to know if maybe there is a logic explanation to my ways. Please, do not misinterpret that as a need for “meaning”. A “purpose”. I find both myths ridiculous.
At the age of twelve my father died, and I’ve been alone ever since. Well, in a sense. I’ve always been alone. We are all in our own. Respectively. At least I see it that way. We create relationships with constant shared moments but, in the end, we’re on our own. Some like it, some don’t. I, I remain indifferent.