Friday, April 21, 2006


...or, the first of what I’m sure will be an occasional, but continuing, series of looks into my head.

I’m doing this for two reasons: the first is that it helps me to put things down in words. But, and this is more important, I need feedback, for reasons that will become obvious.

Whenever I’m in of those situations where life seems to throw a big rock at my windshield – and yesterday was the start of perhaps the worst example I’ve experienced – I always end up asking myself certain questions:

1. Why did the other person or persons involved do/say what they did/said?

2. Why did I react the way I did?

3. How should I have reacted, or should I have reacted at all?

And the final, most crucial question is...

4. What, if anything, can/should I do now?

I can’t give answers to any of these questions as they relate to yesterday, and that’s not why I’m writing this anyway.

What I have realized is that my answers to these questions are inevitably flawed. There are several reasons for this.

PARENTHETICAL THOUGHT: One reason may be, simply stated, that I’m nuts....

But that, too, is beside the point. What I realized is that, for far too many years, my personal interaction with other people has been far too limited. Because of the nature of my work – and other reasons, of course – I spend the majority of my days, and all of my nights, alone.

When I wake up in the morning, I see the same old face in the mirror. When anything happens, there is only one person on whom I can rely for advice: me.

That being the case, I fear I have reverted to something like the state of mind a baby lives in: I react to the emotion of the moment. I feel a desire, a need, or pain and I want something done about it instantly.

The baby neither knows nor cares that Mommy might be busy with something else, or may have done something she did for a very good reason. It knows only now, is incapable of thinking about other people.

I don't have to think of other people for too much of the time, and that has caused my skills in that critical area to become atrophied.

I don’t like that about me.

At times, I can be very considerate. Even under great stress, I can stop, look and listen before reacting, and my reactions are the "right" ones. But I’m afraid I am slowly losing that ability, and I want it back.

This is more difficult to admit than you might realize. I like me, most of the time, and I would like to both be, and be thought of as, the good person I ought to be. I don’t like beating myself up, all the more when I hear two voices – both mine – in my head, one saying “you are a major-league worthless *bleep*, you fool,” while the other says “naaaah, don’t listen to him. It's all someone else's fault.”

I’m not sure which is right, or wrong. Or if each speaks a degree of truth.

So, since I cannot entirely trust my own judgement at this time, and because now, as always, I would like to be a better person, I toss this personal hot potato to you for comments and, I hope, suggestions.

Clearly, I would be happier about myself, and others would be happier with me, if I never had to ask Questions two, three and four again.


Kel said...

Self Analysis often leads one to open new doors in about a hobby that involves people?

solar wind said...
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HarpO'Fly said...

The two voices you presented don't represent all the choices. It's like Republican vs Democrat, occasionally, by accident, one of them may be right for a few minutes.
Your reaction to a bomb should not be such a walking-on-eggshells proposition. I identify with it though. Trust betrayed, sincere effort ignored, and I worry that I may have reacted in the wrong way. That's crazy.

Netmale said...

My job requires interaction with many people during the week, but like you, I spend most of my free time indoors. My job may be the reason that I can be lonely at home, yet still function normally otherwise.

You mentioned that you don't go to church; me either. I think that you do need interaction with people in some way. Volunteer work, or part time work in retail would give you skills with people. You could even hang out at the marina, and offer your views and obervations to anyone with a questioning look in their eye.

Or just be bold, and strike up random conversations when you're out and about. Most folks don't bite :-)