I have been mean to myself over the last two weeks. Even more than usual, and that is saying something. Extraordinarily mean. Exceedingly, aggressively mean. So hostile I have stopped myself in surprise. So rude I have wondered how I could treat anyone that way, let alone myself. And, yet, I have. I do. I am.
This is not mere description, not evaluation, but judgement. All judgement. I have vacillated in my belief of free-will, and yet somehow feel that my willpower is fully under my control. And many of you will agree it is, as does part of me. A small part. The part that looks on, aghast. Not the part that derides, castigats and punishes.
I was listening to music today, as many days. I put on a song by The Carpenters, “Bless the Beasts and the Children,” and listened, and, as often I have when listening to Karen Carpenter sing, cried a bit. How she could hate herself, her own body, so much that she would starve herself to death? Starve and die. How could she? Yet, I’d do the same, if only I had the willpower.
Willpower. It is stronger than I think, and I am usually right on. I get to the gym regularly, eat “right” for me, and do what I need to do. Yet, any small meandering off that straight path feels a failure, a disaster, and a breach of that which is sacred – a mistake for which I will surely be punished. And if the Gods do not, I will find a way to do so myself.
For letting myself down, and, worse, letting my family, my loved ones, all, down, for the constant disappointment I must be, there is only punishment and suffering. For being of no value. And no way to redeem myself but to make things easier for everyone and leave. At best, to fall asleep and not wake again. At best.
Value. Value depends on how well I adhere to the protocol. And lack of orthodoxy, which is common, means a diminution of personal worth. A decrease of value as a human being. And a reduction of usefulness. Being useful means being of no value. Mind you, this refers to me only. This is never a standard I would think of applying to anyone else. For others, simply being is all that is required for worth. The idea of worth is silly. They are. They are loved. They love. What more could one want?
This entire last week I have been preoccupied with a question. Do I look more like a troll or a dwarf? Dwarf only occurred to me as a sort of partial redemption, since they are at least industrious. I have even been looking to see if dwarves write, since I am not a smith or builder. I was working to justify my place as a dwarf.
I have thought often I had come to accept myself as an endomorph. That acceptance is always short-lived. I see others who are short, thick, stout, able, and I think that is fine. Really, I don’t think much at all of it unless it comes up. But, examining my thoughts – low center of gravity, tough and dense, strong. This is a fine fine way to be. But that’s not what I see when I look at myself. Troll. Others, strength and power, softness and ability. Myself, troll.
And that is something I feel I should apologise for. I’m always feeling like I have done something, many things, wrong, always something wrong, and always feeling I should apologise and mostly never sure what for, except for just being me. For inflicting, on them, myself. I want to take each family member aside and thank them and apologise. Each friend. Anyone who has to deal with me. Any coworker I can’t look in the eye. I can’t believe anyone would want me around. My lack of understanding I feel I consistently exhibit, miscommunications, look, twitching, habits… everything. It must be very difficult being my friend. I’m not sure why anyone would be. They deserve better. I’m sorry.
And all these things, and the emotions, I feel I should be able to control. And, regardless of effort, at that I have failed as well.
One friend, now dead, once told me I must have a very low opinion of her to think she’d be friends with me if I was what I think I am. So, as I had a high opinion of her, quite high, I must be pretty special. And that must prove I am not as I see myself. Logic. I have a very high opinion of my friends and can’t believe my fortune. Sometimes I wonder what I must have done right, but mostly, I just wonder. And so I keep trying.
I do the best I can. That I can say with neither reserve nor doubt. I always have, no matter how much I have screwed up, and I have done so monumentally. Always. The effort there, always. The best I could with what I knew and the tools I had. When I was in school, I went to guidance and asked for help. In my twenties, thirties, forties, I went to psychologists for help. Never any real assistance. No tools. No skills. Not for the frustration. Not for the confusion. Not for the communication. Forget the lack of social skills. Just help me get through a day without wanting to punch myself in the head. Without actuallybanging my dead against a wall. That would be nice. Finally, with a chance remark by a clerk in a psychology practice, a clerk who thought I was in the wrong place and that I was supposed to be downstairs in the Center for Autism Treatment, with some pushing with her to explain what she meant, and discussion with the psychologist where I nearly demanded the battery of tests, and diagnosis of ASD in the severe range. Finally. And finally skills. Finally tools. Finally the ability to modulate my reactions, to choose responses. But the feelings are still there. And no amount of Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy is going to change those. And so here I am. Still working on being better, doing better, and still looking up any information I can to prove that I’m a dwarf, at least, and not a troll.