So I have always considered myself a funny person. I am quiet in crowds. But when I find my people, I come out of my shell. I like to have attention come to me, but I don’t chase it. Mostly because I’m afraid of rejection, but I play it off as narcissism. I want people to like me, but I put up a wall of protection. I do this by saying, “Hi, I’m ME, I’m an asshole.” Then explain, if I set your expectations low, I won’t let you down. And people think it’s funny, or dislike me. Either way, I’m covered, I don’t get hurt.
Typically, I have fun, an ornery smile usually is on my face. I’m quick witted and always have an inappropriate joke ready. I like people around me to be laughing, maybe at me, themselves or someone around. I like having fun. Until I don’t.
See when I start to drink, and something has been bothering me, I try and be my normal funny self. I start to make inappropriate jokes, but this time, they may be a little bit more true than before. Maybe you’re someone I care about, and don’t like to hurt your feelings, for fear you’ll hurt mine. So I’ve held stuff in, and now, Coors light is my filter. And it doesnt help hold my tongue. It gives me courage to challenge you. To air my problems with you. And don’t you dare challenge me, because I will have a 6 pack down by the time you start your second, and then the jokes, they start to disappear.
Next, I start in on things that just bother me. Like lately with my wife, it’s work schedule. Always gone doing something. Never committing to anything because of work. Always on your work phone. Why don’t you make time for me? Why can’t you see I need your attention? Haven’t you heard my jokes? I’ve been making them for days, or weeks, maybe even months. Oh, you’re angry now? Let me show you how much you have hurt me.
BOOM! Right back into the cycle!
See, I have realized this over the past couple years. So I try and open up some, but only selectively. See I want to make you understand where I’m at, I don’t care much where you are coming from. This is typical me when I drink. Sober, I can process this a little more. Doesn’t mean I will have worked thru it by the next time I get smashed. But there is at least a chance.
Having gone to some counseling, and having developed some mentors, I have started to work thru some of the deep issues that are stuck in the depths of my brain. I think the issue of needing to be heard, needing to be validated is normal, part of the relationship process. But I need it, and I need what I say to be validated. This probably stems for my lack of relationship with my dad, the biological one. See, him sending me tapes of him talking was a kind gesture. It was the result of a 5 year old who didn’t understand talking on the phone well. And the cost associated with long distance calls (you used to have to pay for those, and they weren’t cheap I guess). And being from a family where he never had a strong male role model. So I can’t blame him for doing it. He tried. As a father, I understand that now. But I resented him for not listening. I have memories of me crying about him just taking and not listening. So the tapes stopped. But the pain didn’t. I guess it never has.
This is also probably why I am so long winded with stuff, I dominate conversations I’m comfortable in. I want people to understand why I am saying what I am saying. And I don’t want to listen too much. I’m better at talking than listening. Side note, not a great way to be in a marriage. Trust me, mine isn’t great right now, if even that helps someone else, this is worth it. I realize this in my marriage now, again probably too late. It’s how I was talked to when I was very vulnerable. It’s what I learned.
Again, this is probably never going to be read by anyone. Maybe I’ll read it again in a few days or weeks. Maybe it will help remind me why I’m doing this. But getting these words out today, my mind feels much more organized and clear. I’ve connected some dots. I’m making progress. And right now, very humbly, I have to admit, before I can try and save my marriage, I have to save me. Dig out of this hole. Fill it in 1 scoop at a time. And I want an earth mover, but all I have is a teaspoon.