Underneath my yellow skin

It’s complicated. No, I’m complicated

I’m irritable. In general, but more to the point, right now. The filters I have set so carefully in place are…shall we say…stressed. As are we all. Here’s the thing. I have a constant dialogue in my brain–dialogue? Monologue. Lots of time, it’s just anxious chatter about how I’m fucking up. But, otherwise, it’s a snarky MST3K voice sniping about everyone and everything around me. I’m pretty good at keeping it under wraps for the most part–except when I’m driving. I have bad road rage. Or rather, I used to have bad road rage. Taiji has helped with it a great deal–but then it comes bursting out at the exactly wrong time. I’ve had this issue all my life so it seems as if I overreact to something small after all the rage has built up inside me.

I was taught never to show negative emotions, especially anger, by my father. He was the only one allowed to be mad, and he was very unpleasant to be around when he was raging. He would make his displeasure known one of two ways–either by shouting at the top of his lungs or by completely ignoring you. I don’t mean just not speaking to you, but looking straight through you. Unfortunately, I’ve perfected that ability, and in my case, it’s my way of escaping an unpleasant situation if I’m trapped. It’s my safe space, and I’m really good at blocking out everything.

Side Note: I know the silent treatment is not a good thing. It has a bad rap, and deservedly so. However, as someone who has been trapped in situations in which I cannot win, it’s the least-worst of all the bad options. When I was a kid, I was scolded about whatever. If I tried to protest, I was told not to talk back. If I sat there without saying anything, then I was attacked for the sulky look on my face. I felt as if I couldn’t win, so the only thing I could do was have a blank look on my face while being yelled at.

Many of the things I learned as a coping mechanism as a kid aren’t healthy as an adult. My tendency to be secretive; my stone face and silence; and my lack of setting boundaries. In addition, my pain receptors are all fucked. I trained myself not to feel pain, and it’s really hard to undo. When my taiji teacher started teaching us chin na techniques (joint lock manipulation), she had to decree that I could only work with her. The point is to do them until the person flinches in pain, but I didn’t flinch at all. Joint lock manipulations were meant to inflict pain but not actual damage if done correctly. However, if I gave no indication of pain, well, then the other person would keep going–which then could cause harm. I don’t know if it’s all learned behavior though, because I’m quite flexible, so some of it might just be my limbs bending in a way that other people’s can’t. For example. Pushing someone’s thumb towards the wrist. Apparently, it’s supposed to hurt immediately, but I can nearly touch my wrist on my left hand and can get more than halfway there on the right hand.

It’s a good thing not to feel pain during combat for focus’s sake, but bad for permanent damage’s sake. It’s a metaphor for my entire life, actually.  So many things that helped me survive childhood are not useful now, but it’s difficult to shed them.

Back to my filters. I have many of them, and they’re pretty elaborate. When they break down, however, it’s a spectacular failure. Either I ramble on and on, trying to make the situation better, but making it infinitely worse, or I go to eleven in a heartbeat, and I make others very uncomfortable. I know I’m scary in my rage, but it’s wearying to constantly tamp it down. I’m like the Hulk in that my secret is that I’m always angry, but I usually have a tight control of the reins. It’s simmering in my brain, but only about ten percent of it leaks out. Again, it comes out in weird ways, so it seems as if I’m overreacting in the moment.

This is one reason why I don’t want to be in a relationship. I’ve been thinking about it this last week because I want sex. A lot. I don’t want a relationship, but I want more than just sex. Ideally, I want a fuck buddy or three, but I know the possibility of that working out well. Not because it can’t work in general but because I am really good at fucking things up.

I alternate between clingy and avoidant, and I don’t know how to balance the two. When I’m into someone, I’m obsessed with them. I’m able to keep it to myself for the most part, but then it bursts out in weird ways. More to the point, it makes me miserable. All my thoughts are consumed with the other person and trying to figure out what they’re feeling at any given moment. It’s not a good way to exist, and it’s a large part I don’t want to be in a relationship.

It seems weird to say it, but I know that I’m not suited for or ready for a relationship. They do negative things to my emotional well-being, and I’m much better off as a single person. It’s weird because I read several advice columns, and it’s clear when someone is not ready to take whatever advice is being given. There’s one person in particular I’m thinking of, and any time anyone offers a way for him to work on his issues, he comes up with a reason that he can’t do it. Each individual reason makes sense, but the totality of it is that he’s not ready to work on his issues.

I can so relate to that. I know that I’m the biggest obstacle to better mental health, and I know that I make excuses why I can’t work on it–or more to the point, why it won’t work. The problem is that there’s more than a grain of truth amidst all the bullshit that it’s really hard to separate the two. I am a freak. I am very different than the norm. I don’t like TV and movies for the most part–and I can take or leave popular music. Even in an area that is somewhat more acceptable, for dudes, anyway–video games–I’m interested in niche games. Chicks aren’t supposed to like games like Dark Souls. That’s for manly menz, don’t you know! But, of course, I play as a caster, and unapologetically, so that’s wussy of me according to ‘the community’.

I don’t care in general, of course, but it’s disheartening when thinking about dating. Not only are there my personal anxiety issues, but there’s the fact that I don’t fit in anywhere. I’m not traditional by any means, but I’m not a tortured artist type, either. My musical and literary tastes are strictly pedestrian (well, the former is. The latter is for the most part with a healthy side bit of Asian mania). I’m not enough of anything to really find a niche. In addition, I get bored with groups after a while because they don’t tend to grow, but remain stagnant.

I would like to date and fuck at some point, but I admit that I’m at a lost as to how to do it. It doesn’t matter at this point, of course, but one day, when all of this is mostly behind us, I’d like to get under someone(s) else. I don’t think it’s too much to ask.

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