Has anything you done made your life better?
From: American History X (1998)
Bob Sweeney: “There was a moment, when I used to blame everything and everyone for all the pain and suffering and vile things that happened to me, that I saw happen to my people. Used to blame everybody. Blamed white people, blamed society, blamed God. I didn’t get no answers ’cause I was asking the wrong questions. You have to ask the right questions.”
Derek Vinyard: “Like what?”
Bob Sweeney: “Has anything you’ve done made your life better?”
This question troubles me. I have done things that have made my life better but seemingly only temporarily. I was watching this tonight, American History X and back when it came out or when I first saw it it made a big impression on me.
My Grandfather was very prejudiced. I won’t go into the details but basically he hated everyone. It didn’t matter if you were white or black, gay or female, I don’t know. You pick a difference and he hated you for it. The hate came off of him in waves of tension. I could feel it, I can feel when people are excited or upset by something. I am like a walking nerve receptor. Being near my Grandfather made me sick with anxiety. If he chanced to snap at me I’d jump. Needless to say I didn’t like being near him. I learned many derogatory terms for different races: Guinea, Wop, Hebe, Frog, Chink, Mick, Coon, and on and on. I am sure there are ones I don’t remember.
Paradoxically I grew to fear white people. It just joined my fear of everyone else. That’s another story though. I was talking about doing things that made my life better. Which is a difficult question in itself too. What I left and what I joined never seemed to be completely the trick to making my life better. And I started to question myself. If I just allowed people to help me, maybe that was the answer. Okay, that didn’t work, maybe it was the people that I trusted (you’ll have to forgive me, I have the trust of a 5 year old child, I look scary but I have no Bullsh!t Detector,) and I fell into other pits.
I joined a cult. I went to shelters. I went back to the church I grew up in and became a Sunday School teacher. I went to therapists. I gave talks about Mental Illness in schools: Elementary, Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, even in front of parents of Mentally Ill children. And I feel empty. Maybe that is good? Maybe that means I’m “clean”?
I don’t want to be a part of anything anymore. I feel like I have to constantly work to be approved of. I actually like being alone. I don’t like myself but I enjoy spending time by myself. I’ve always been that way. Only in my twenties did I feel compelled to be a part of a pair. At this point I don’t really care to deal with a Significant Other. I hear the words people say when they claim that humans need certain things. I question those things. Because everything has it’s price. Everyone has their price. I think that most people, the majority in fact aren’t aware that everything incurs a price. That price confuses me. It messes with my brain and I start becoming paranoid and wondering if the person, organization, whoever, whatever is using me or if I’ve paid enough. I start to feel suspicious; what am I suppose to do mind read? I know, you’re thinking, “Just ask!” Like I’ve never thought of that. Do you know how pissed and annoyed people get when they assume that you should socially know the limits of public and private behavior? I don’t know those boundaries. My mind is empty until that voice behind my subconscious whispers “Did you do enough? Did you do too much? Are they laughing at you behind your back because you are too eager? Keep looking because I know they’re laughing at you.”
I wrote an entry in my journal today. I don’t write every day. I write when the voices start needling me. I write when I become inspired. I write when the dirty past comes and finds me reading a book or doing a mindless chore. If I forget to listen to the iPod while I am doing something that doesn’t need my mind that voice chuckles and starts to bully me. It’s not a clear voice, I know it is me. I’m not schizophrenic or schizo-affective. I know what these conditions are. I’ve dated someone with this condition for more than 5 years. It’s that thing deep behind my subconscious that lurks around until it can get my attention and torture me with self doubt and the past and my impediments.
I still think I can get a handle on it.
These all become more pronounced when I am in the midst of an episode. There, the voice came: “You’re boring them, you sound so needy. Pathetic thing oh BB you are so needing of love and acceptance! Let me coddle you in my bosom! Oh but it’s not me you seek love from is it?” And on and on.
I told myself it’s my blog. Keep it simple, don’t argue with something that only feeds on the pain and fear. And I wrote a suicide note in case at some time I feel inspired to actually do it. For people who get all bent out of shape about suicide: don’t worry about it. No matter how much you can influence someone, you can never think for anyone else. I’ve tried it before. It was half @ssed though. I only had Advil. I was too poor to have any hard drugs. My Mother cursed me and told my I’d kill my kidneys before I killed myself. You see, for some reason people think it’s better to insult someone who is in deep deep pain than it is to ask the really hard questions like: “Why did you do this?” “Are you in such pain that dying is better than living?” “What can I do to help you?”
I guess people focus on the pain you are causing them.
I once had an SO that shot himself in the head. He survived it. He did it before we met. I was curious but I didn’t judge him. Maybe that’s why he took me seriously. I don’t know. Anyway, he showed me the hole in the back of his head where the bullet exited. He often forgot his teeth, (he was a junky and would leave it at at places where he shot up,) so you could see where the bullet went in and took out his teeth. It didn’t gross me out, I have always been interested in wounds. He slurred when he talked and he told me a bogus story about how he was practicing a Satanic Ritual and his brother gave him the gun. I believed him until his sister told me that didn’t really happened. You won’t believe me when I tell you I can’t remember what really happened. It wasn’t as dramatic. He blew a hole in his head with a gun. I mean how much more dramatic could you want it to be? Put your finger in the hole and feel the wound. Anyway he died of AIDs maybe five or ten years after I left him. I could only take so many head games from a junky. I did care about him but I had to ask myself: “Can you really expect a serious relationship with this guy?” Plus when I’m angry I’m always afraid I will hunt down the person who has fooled with my heart and damage them. You don’t need a gun to damage someone. Words have a way of really degrading a relationship when used to twist someone’s beliefs.
Yeah, it’s 3:37 am. I should get to bed. I want to walk somewhere and think some more on this but enough’s enough. I have to put a cap on the past. It can grow into a nasty demon if I let it. I don’t need it colluding with that voice in my head.