Do I exist? Sometimes I honestly ask myself that question. Sometimes I don’t know if I’m real. What alternate universe do I live in?
I don’t know if I know how to be honestly wall-free and real with people. As much as I try, I think the walls I’ve built around my life - and my heart - are ever present. When I think I’m breaking them down are they really crumbling? Maybe they’re just getting slightly transparent, therefore psyching me into believing they are coming down.
Some days I get on a roll talking to people. I say, “Hello.” I smile. I really try to be personable and without fail I get nothing in return. I’m led to wonder if I’m setting up this lack of response in advance. I so often feel I get nothing in return that I’m just preparing for the nothing in return each time. That leads to a bout with sadness then anger then an I-don’t-care moment then loneliness sets in then I’m back to my normal again. Inevitably, the cycle will start over when I’m feeling like I want to try again. It’s vicious and I’m caught in it.
I want to matter to someone. That’s what I’ve been feeling a lot lately. I’m not feeling the love or the caring from anyone. Well, there are a few, but that’s just it, it’s only a few.
I surrounded myself for years with just a few close friends thinking I didn’t need scores of acquaintances in my life. Now I’m realizing that when those once closer-than-they-are-now friends don’t reach out, and I don’t see them - ever - then I feel truly alone. Alone in a City that allows one to be anonymous and swallowed up. A city where time never stops, footprints don’t last unless they’re carbon and no one visits your grave.
By this point in my life it shouldn’t shock me anymore that people are people and I don’t like a lot of them very much. It shouldn’t surprise me that NYC is full of pretentious gay men. Hell, I’m one of them. I’ll admit it. I’m one of the people whom I hate. What does that say about me?
I’ll tell you what it says: It says that I don’t like myself. That’s the truth. I don’t. I’m unhappy with who I am. Maybe that’s because I’m working on myself every day and there is so much coming up that I have to deal with that I feel like I’m drowning in the quagmire of my own shit. I can’t remember when I heard it, but the idea of having to love yourself before you can love someone else has been in my head for a very long time. I hate it. It makes me wonder if I’ll ever be able to love someone.
There are so many days that I feel unwanted, unloved, unworthy. It’s amazing. No amount of mantra-like chanting, “I’m happy, I’m loved, I’m worthy,” changes it. I guess that means I don’t really believe what I’m chanting. I guess I’m just saying the words and feeling them reverberate around my head, bouncing off the crowded walls of cynicism and disappointment.
I know that I’ve changed over the course of my life. I know that I’ve changed in the past four years. I know that I can’t rush it. Therapy seems more and more like the most viable option for change and growth and success. I’m not afraid of therapy. What I’m afraid of is where to start. There’s so much.
I try to walk with confidence in my life and don’t often succeed. I don’t trust myself. I don’t trust other people. Back to feeling unworthy I go.
Lets talk briefly of sex. I don’t know how to let someone in. For too many years I’ve only had hook ups; sexual encounters that mean nothing. I’ve lived my life this way for so long it’s all I know. I don’t know how to be friends with a man before trying to throw my body at him. I can’t imagine how I appear to someone who might like to get to know me, but is put off by my forwardness. When that person doesn’t respond in the affirmative for a bedroom romp then I take it as rejection. Yes! That’s me! Constantly feeling rejection. Rejection that I create. It makes me wonder if I’m happier rejected so that I can continue to wallow in the misery I create myself. Of course, all of this leads to people who are my friends NOT wanting to be around me because when my mood is affected by this I’m unpleasant. I know that.
I get lonely. I want to be touched. I want to be wanted: as a friend, as a sex partner, as a person. I’m human, damn it!
Forty years of self-learned behavior and self-loathing isn’t going to go away overnight. I realize that. No amount of retail therapy is going to help either. The new wears off and then there are just pretty possessions filling feng shui'd rooms. The emptiness inside is still there. Only I can change it. I know it’s up to me and no one else. That doesn’t stop me from wondering what would happen to me if another man, someone I was interested in, showed interest in me and reached out. Would I open up? Could I open up? Would I change my life? Would I tell the fearful and untrusting side of me to, “Get Lost!”?
The journey continues...