Saturday, April 21, 2012


I’m in Ohio for a tournament this week.  It was a long drive, followed by long days, and long nights.  Filling the time has been with stories.  Stories like how it wasn’t until after I was 5 or 6 years old that my mother would let me play with other kids.  So, I did what any child would do.  I used my imagination.  It was just a silly and laughable story about how the red fire-hydrant in front of our apartment was my friend.  I told a couple of people about how it and I would spend hours playing ice-cream-parlor.  And how I would be called in, if a neighbor kid came out to see what I was doing.  …This, has been a long trip.

There seem to be a million synonyms for that word, “trip.”  Journey.  Stumble.  Falter.  Set Back.  Hallucinate, as in “trip out” or “bad trip.”  This…  has certainly been a bad trip.  And one that has really instilled the knowledge in me, that I will NOT be repeating such a trip again.  There will be NO amount of begging that could EVER be successful in convincing me to do this another year.

Being a nontraditional student is not the most pleasant of experiences as it is.  There is this odd balance to be found of who you are supposed to view as your peers.  Are you supposed to consider those your age your peers?  Meaning your professors?  (especially when you have had friends for YEARS whom happen to also be professors.)  Or do you consider your classmates peers?  Who are ten years, or more, younger than you?  You tend to get looks of “Act more mature,” from the professors, when you spark a report with the one demographic, and then contradicting looks of, “why aren’t you bonding with the rest of the ‘kids,’” if you don’t.  You are supposed to “set an example” in how to behave, and yet, you are treated as if you are an ignorant child in almost every simplistic task before you.  And the “kids” look at you like you have this odd pocket sized handbook for life because you’re older.  There is a generation gap somewhere that just can’t be erased.  You do not belong to either party.

Being thirty in this environment isn’t easy.  And yes, I’ve smiled, and put on false “happy” tones here and there.  And yes I AM happy to be back at school, and that it’s been successful.   And NO I don’t like when 19 or 20 year olds bark orders at me…  or when I have to adjust to close quarters with a bunch of people who all have very different habits and consider your habits to be the most strange or inconvenient.

So here I am, thirty years old.  In my pajamas.  In a strange town.  Sitting on the floor, in a hallway of a hotel, while drunk men keep walking past me the way to their rooms.  Typing away, because it is apparently the only place that my keyboard clicking won’t annoy others.

I’ve…  I’m not sure what to do anymore.

I lost a friend this last week.  …not really sure what happened.  Last year, I was told “You’re too negative.”  I was told I was bringing people down.  Apparently my failing health, financial difficulties, and having a slew of people I knew die—was too much for several of my friends to deal with.  So they walked.  Including this particular friend for a while.  Which I don’t understand because, other than facebook…  I don’t tend to open up to people on an emotionally connected level very often.  Sure I tell stories but can’t do much else.  They’re just stories.  You won’t see the pain behind them.  …but I was too negative.  So I made some adjustments.  I tried to make sure to post good things.  REALLY GOOD things as often as possible.  And at least I would post them alongside the bad posts, if there had to be bad posts.  And I was recently told those SAME people that exiled me for being a “downer” are now envious of my “good fortune.”  What a confusing place to be…  What a confusing reason to lose friends.

I’ve been seeing a councilor, as mentioned in previous posts—through the school—to work through some of my issues on opening up to people.  You see, it was thought that maybe the reason I have such trouble with relationships in general, whether romantic or platonic, is that I hold everyone at arm’s length.  How can’t I?  I get shunned for telling people if I’m depressed, I get jealous reactions if I’m not…  GOD I miss that fire-hydrant.  But I’ve made some progress in my sessions.  Oodles.  Hell I even let myself CRY INFRONT OF MY COUCILOR LAST WEEK!!!!  (*insert gasp of shock here!)  THIS is how difficult it is.  After MONTHS of therapy, I still can barely cry in a safe environment in front of a person who is PAID to make people feel comfortable with crying?  How stupid is that?

So, tonight…  after having two days worth of time for some harsher circumstances to build up…  like my left side not working and having a literal “trip” getting out of the shower.  After feeling I’m here, but not really “involved” or really that wanted/welcome… feeling I’m consistently hindering others, where they can eat, when they can sleep, how they behave…  I’m just done with the whole experience.  In the words of Danny Glover, “I’m getting to old for this shit.”  Because tonight, I read something that just drove an extra nail through my heart.  Something that is only going to make the rest of this trip all the harder.  And I can’t say what it is, because, well I just can’t.  It’s too personal.  All I can say is after having read it… I want to cry until my eyes bleed.

So here I am, pouring this out to the great void of space that is the internet.  Because…  it’s that shiny new make-believe friend.  Because in the words of my grandmother, “No one wants to hear the bad stuff,” and I’m “ugly when I cry.”  Because, as it turns out, no one wants to hear the good stuff either.  All these months of working with a councilor to convince myself that it’s possible for me to open up to people and let those barriers down.  That there’s hope for me to be able to share a living space with someone again someday…  gone.  I can’t even survive ONE WEEKEND sharing a hotel room with others.  Getting married again?  Ha!  And the only person I could remotely open up to about ANY of it, my friends and teammates banished me to a hallway in order to be able to type out my conversation to.

It’s past 4 in the morning, and the birds are waking up outside the windows, while I’m sitting with a numb left side as payment to the hard floor.  But I can’t sleep.  And maybe tomorrow I will be fine.  Maybe next week I’ll find some stupid sliver of hope to make a connection with flesh and blood again, that I failed to squash out tonight.  But for now…  In this moment, how I feel?  I have no desire to make new friends anymore.  I don’t want to date anyone or try my hand at romance.  I’m slipping back to just wanting to move in to my own place, finish my degree, and be left alone.  This whole concept of making friends in real life is just…  I don’t understand people.  Fire-hydrants were far less complicated.

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