31 May, 2013

Lies, Secrets, and Sadness: a winding trip down the stream of consciousness

I have a serious thing about lying.  For much of my childhood, I'm pretty sure I was a pathological liar.  I distinctly remember a lesson about fire safety in grade school in New Jersey (second or third grade).  It was about having an escape plan and a family meeting area, and I said that I couldn't have gotten out my bedroom window in Florida because of the cactus outside my window.  But it was ok, because I had a skylight and my parents kept a ladder in my room.

(the nuggets of truth in that story, in case you were wondering, are that I lived in Florida and had a bedroom window)

I don't know when it happened, but I guess gradually over time I realized that it's so much easier to just tell the truth.  Sure, sometimes it's hard, but at least you don't find yourself picking through a mine-laden web (my analogies, let me count them for you...).  A bunch of people have heard me say, "sorry I didn't call you back - I'm an @$$hole sometimes," instead of a story about a dead phone or malfunctioning voicemail.  To the best of my knowledge, it hasn't lost me any friends.

Sadly I haven't quite been able to give up my addiction to lies of omission, otherwise known as secrets. I've never really been good at drawing the line between personal and public (hello, random stranger!), and sometimes when I know someone is going to disapprove or disagree with a decision I've made it's just easier to keep it to myself.  For example, see my previous 4-months-belated post.

Keeping secrets is a lonely business.  I have to keep fun or interesting bits of information from people I know would appreciate them because I'm not sure whether I'm going to give something away.  But you know what's even worse than that? Not having a support system in place when something goes wrong because people don't know the back-story and it's too long and difficult at that point to fill in the gaps. 

Speaking of loneliness, I was having a text conversation with my favorite aunt the other night, and she said something about not worrying about me because I was self-sufficient.  I told her that for me it's easier to do things for myself than to ask for help.  I'm fairly confident I get that from my dad.  And I hate it.  For example, right this very second oh my golly I have an amount of sadness in me that I can physically feel pressing on my lungs.  I know if I tried to pick up the phone and call anyone that I would turn into a sobbing incoherent mess and they would think I'd been in a car accident and had my legs amputated.  And what the hell would I say in a text? "Hi, world is crashing down on me. Want to give up your fun Friday night plans and listen to me lament?" Or perhaps something a little more selfish: "I know you have genuine soul-crushing sadness of your own right now, but I need you to focus on me."

I know this will pass.  The fact is this particular emotional collapse started as the kind of anger that makes you physically tremble.  (PLEASE tell me that's not unique to me and my paternal bloodline...)  All I wanted to do was leave the house and find a friend to bitch to.  And that's when I realized I had nowhere to go.  Outside of Scott and work friends, I haven't really seen anyone in a few months.  And I can't impose my freak-out on someone I've barely spoken to.  And yes, Scott would drop anything to help me.  But it would be selfish of me on 17 different levels to go to him.  So the anger turned to despair.

And so I came here to my blog.  I had a good cry all over this messy post of self-pity and catharsis.  I played some off-brand Scrabble online with Scott while I was typing, so it was sort of like having someone there to talk to. 

Tomorrow and Sunday, I think I have no choice but to throw myself head-first into homework. It's the best thing for me emotionally and educationally.  Monday, I might have to finally admit I'm in over my head and call my shrink.  (funny, I believe it was last month around PMS time I looked up his phone number)  I want to run away from home for a few days, but I can't actually afford to.  I can but I have a feeling I'm going to need my savings for more practical things.  I've got standing room offers from people within driving distance, but who wants a black cloud coming for a visit?  I'd be pissed at me if I showed up for a visit in a mood like this!

So if you're reading this, don't be worried about me.  I am self-reliant, even when I would rather not be.  And I'm already feeling better than I was three paragraphs ago.  But if you have any advice on not being socially stunted, I'd love to hear it.  It's obviously something I need to work on!

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