Unwelcome Visitor

My brother came back for his first visit since moving to S. Korea 4 years ago.  He’s been so rude, disrepectful to me and even tried to intimidate me 😟(I forgot or assumed people can grow up).  Then I remember he is a male that really wanted to live in Korea and thoroughly enjoys it there so being an asshole is totally his destiny.

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Laziness is

Laziness is getting up 40 minutes ago to take a shower but just lying on your bed, scrolling on your phone that whole time.

Dumbass

When a man talks about defending his child by having a gun.  The drunk who blacks out every night wants to keep a loaded gun under his bed.  Because that will make his 19-month old safer.

Evan is a dumbass 

Someone like me

Once I was asked, “Why don’t you spend time with people like you?”

To my surprise, there were two answers.  I thought compromise was part of every relationship and no relationship could be smooth-sailing. And secondly, I honestly didn’t believe there were people like me.  I didn’t feel as though I connected with more than a handful (read less than or equal to 5) of people in my life.  Every other relationship has been strained with substantial, almost daily chafing difference.
A similar question of why I was spending my time with people I didn’t even like, was a result of similar reasoning.  I had been trying to accommodate myself to fit school friends, college boyfriends, and later, all sorts of random people.  My mother once asked me why I was trying to get back together with a boyfriend I didn’t even like.  It was a pretty revelatory statement that opened my eyes to the truth: I didn’t want to be rejected, even by someone I otherwise wouldn’t want in my life.

I spent so much time trying to be someone else for others.  While complaining of others’ failings and my attempts to live with these people, I was asked, “Why don’t you just live according to your own standards?”

Again, the answer surprised me. I didn’t think my standards mattered as much as those of the people I was trying to change myself to be accepted by.  I didn’t agree with their standards, so I always felt tension in the relationships. But I didn’t leave, armed in the knowledge I was being true to myself. Instead, I sunk to ‘their level’. I lived my life according to the principles and behavior that I myself disagreed with.  And why, oh god, why? Because I didn’t think there were people with my values and that I had to compromise to have any friends and not be lonely.  I was desperately lonely. I found interpersonal connection hard to create.  I didn’t find people who I felt like I could be myself around.

So now, self-aware of these insights, in a romantic relationship I want to be true to myself and find someone like me. With the same professed values, interests, humor, and lifestyle.  As a friend once said, “After you marry, the relationship will stay the same or might get worse. But it never gets better.”  But combined with a ticking clock, loneliness, and less than stellar self-esteem, I find myself in my same old habit of trying to wriggle into a fit with someone. 

Anecdotally, I often try clothing or shoes once very quickly and decide it fits. I purchase it, cut the tags and then wear it for an entire day, at which by the end of said day I am very uncomfortable or in pain. The item doesn’t fit right.

I find the same in relationships.  I get so excited initially at what I see as a great fit with a glamourous new man (and rarely, a woman).  Then, within weeks, I realize this person is very different from me. I have just jumped in the deep end of infatuation and desperation and now I am drowning, trying to figure out how the relationship can be managed to fit.

Clearly I need to be more patient, discerning, and selective. It would help if I could catch a break and finally meet someone that’s really similar to me.  That’d be lovely.

“I like that you don’t/can’t.”

It’s bothering me that I am thinking about how to explain this to you.  So I am just going to fucking write it.  I want to smoke. I want to be like everyone else. And that’s never come easy to me. So saying you like that I can’t makes me feel like you like that I have struggles that feel insurmountable, that I usually feel like I am a failure, and that I will never ever be like a normal person.  I have always felt strange, apart, and abnormal/defective.  I have never fit in outside a psychiatric setting and that happened when I was thirty years old.  Until then I was never similar to anyone I had ever met.  I was completely alone. I’m socially inept and physically clumsy, estranged from my body because it feels like a foreign entity.  I am only smart. Actually brilliant and I was incredibly precocious. But decades of stress, anxiety, and depression actually deteriorate the brain, causing premature cognitive decline. I can’t remember. I can’t recall the word I want to say or spell it. It’s difficult to focus or concentrate.  I am not creative anymore.  So I have and am losing the only thing positive I possessed in life. You started drinking at 13, but at 13 I decided life was more misery than joy. That nothing in the future of my life is worth staying alive to experience it.  It’s my most steadfast belief, my truth.  So, you don’t understand how frustrated I feel about not being able to connect, find meaning, accomplish goals, and feel happy. I can’t change my reality or alter my truth.  That is my only reliable experience in three decades.  I don’t like that.  So I worry about failing at a physically activity as mundane as breathing in smoke. I find it difficult to accomplish and therefore am humiliated that I can’t do something almost everyone else can.

Love stories with additive love

The typical love story is boy meets girl, they get married, buy a dog or cat, have kids, then grow old.

Now same sex couples can openly be together and have children. Possibly not what barren heterosexual Christian couples embracing reproductive technological advances had in mind.

But shouldn’t children be regarded as a blessing?  Even to unwed mothers, even to homosexual couples, even to couples that divorce.  A person’s personal feeling on a particular child may be complicated or negative, but shouldn’t society as a whole embrace the children of their future continuation?
As Andrew Solomon wrote, “I do not accept competitive models of love, only additive ones. I espouse reproductive libertarianism, because when everyone has the broadest choice, love itself expands. The affection my family have found in one another is not a better love, but it is another love, and just as species diversity is crucial to sustain the planet, this diversity strengthens the ecosphere of kindness.”

Personally as a single mom, I am looking for additive love. Someone that loves me and first baby, and will want to have more children. Someone whose parents and family will love all my children.  That siblings of different blood to all be loved equally.  To be a whole family, even if one child has a different father.  To have an abundance of love, instead of restricting it to mere biology.

I have struggled to keep my baby’s father involved. I know his family wanted only the baby, not me. Definitely not me with another love relationship and definitely not half-blood siblings.

This makes me sad.  Will my son have to go on solo trips to see his father and the rest of their family?  If I get married and have more children, will we go as well and have a separate vacation from my son?  That makes me sad, thinking about separating siblings because of the complicated and proprietary feelings of adults.

I still work very hard to keep my son connected with the other half of his family.  It’d be easier and less painful to cut off contact.  But the idea of my son having more family to love him is important to me.

It’d be wonderful to have all three families together to celebrate life’s special moments.  Right now, it’s hard to imagine.  Because it’s difficult to imagine people genuinely being happy for others, generous, unselfish, and optimistic.  The idea of people believing in an infinite additive love instead of our traditional redactive model.

Just here at home, alone

I get pretty jealous of lovers, friends, and even relatives when I hear about their plans and activites.  They go to dinners, parties, out on the town, day trips, and vacations.  It seems like I am always home alone.

I was lucky to have 3 friends overseas that spent actual time in the same physical space as me.  They had other friends and went to lots of dinners and parties, but they still made time for me.  Friendless and unlikeable me, the woman always sad and complaining.

The first party I was invited to was after I was 30.  Before that, I didn’t have any social interactions except with nerds, geeks, future-librarians and expats. 

Being socially awkward, I have always struggled with small talk, superficial conversation, mean-spirited remarks, and the natural flow of conversation.  If I recount an event, I always have witty or insightful replies observations and replies. But I only thought them rather than saying them.  Sometimes the perfect response comes to me later, after ruminating on the event.  That of course is perfectly useless.

That social ineptitude doesn’t actually get better in closer relationships that have grown over time.  It’s really that I can communicate only with a minority of accommodating human beings.

Additionally, I have a problem being present in the moment.  Life is on the other side of a glass window. I see life. I study life.  I do not experience life.  I overanalyze everything as it’s happening, trying to draw lessons from the past while anticipating other people’s reactions.  So mostly, I am completely lost in the worry and confusion in my head all the time.  It’s a wonder I have noticed the sky is blue, right?

Actually in aloneness, I can notice my physical surroundings.  But that is because I am a simple observer.  There is still the indirectness of all experience of reality being perceived through our limited senses.  But at least complicated human interaction isn’t in my way.

My conclusion is that my inability to act in coordination with the people and immediate environment in front of me makes it impossible to relish the fun times I believe other people to be having.  If even I had the same social opportunities other people seem to enjoy so easily, I can’t connect with truly being a part of it. I feel self-conscious and out of place, barely managing my unabated anxiety. There’s simply a component in me lacking.  And I am very jealous of normal people who have it.

“I really like you,” he said.

He really likes me. That’s what he said.

He said I was beautiful.

He said I was smart and interesting.

He said he wanted to get to know me better.

He said he wanted to see me again.

And I told him I wanted to live in Asia.  And he told me he didn’t want to live in Asia.

So, that’s it.

Great listener, sweet, accommodating, chivalrous, interesting and passionate guy that I don’t want to see anymore.  He was also tall.

But I have dreams to ride the subways and bullet trains, eat food from stalls and food carts, visit the beach, sing karaoke, walk the little alley ways, shop at the street fairs, visit the temples, drink fancy teas and lattes in the eclectic coffee shops, and feel the strangeness of a world apart from ordinary.

It’s like out a movie: drying clothes on the balcony or roof on a line, walking everywhere on paved roads and sidewalks, quietness on the mountainside, clean and clear taste of green tea, the furniture and design of the homes, seeing a rural house of wood in the old design, and a crane on the river.

I miss my adventure.  I miss the excitement of the first six months in an utterly foreign environment that has the same blue sky.

So, do I want to give up the one goal I could accomplish?  Do I let my dream die to not be alone?

Or am I willing to be alone now to not give up on my dream?

I used to want to be with someone no matter how I had to change. I believed in compromise and adjustments.  But I was alone anyway.  Romantic relationships didn’t last.  The person I truly am was not loved.  I wasn’t even considered seriously.

But now, I want to hold onto myself.  I want to value my feelings, hopes, successes, failures, beliefs, and self-respect.  Joan Didion wrote, “However long we post- pone it, we eventually lie down alone in that notoriously un-comfortable bed, the one we make ourselves. Whether or not we sleep in it depends, of course, on whether or not we respect ourselves.”

And so, in the end, we are all alone in ourselves.  I have to sleep by myself at night.