Monday, April 21, 2008

My Problem

I have trouble communicating.

This seems odd, since I feel I'm a fairly good writer, listener, talker, debater and have been called one of the better speakers at the firm which employs me, but my inability to adequately communicate still a reality. And it's usually - really only - in one area.

I'm uniquely aware of what this stems from.

There is an episode from youth from which I am not proud. It was my first love, the first emotional stretch and flex if you will, and it ended badly. No, badly is the wrong word, "catastrophe" might be a better term. Yes, we'll go with that. So in my emotional infancy I was scarred. Wait, scarred might be too easy a term as well, let's use a more precise "burned beyond all recognition." Yeah, that's better. So there I was a thirteen, which is a horrible age to be in any situation and things weren't working in...and this is key...what I considered the most important part of my life.

Looking back, I wish I could say I over reacted, or gave something trivial an undeserved monumental significance, but since the vast majority of man's purpose is the propagation of the species and trappings thereof (relationships)... considering the long term effects I might not have been that wrong.

I'm single at 38. How wrong could I have been?

It's affected me in ways I couldn't have imagined. I can approach women. I can charm women. I am funny and witty and have been called sexy and all that. Seriously, somebody called me sexy. I didn't believe it either, but who am I to say. I can be the life of the party, the guy who approaches from the south, the old bull who says "let's walk down the hill and get them all", the dude at the bar acting like a jackass. I can and have been all that... and more. That persona has been a conscious decision based on the repercussions of the events at thirteen. Nobody likes sad people. So I made myself something else, something fun. All the time.

And although my social efforts continue to expand my circle, every now and then...IT happens. It being that I am unable to communicate my emotions about how I actually feel about someone. Someone who becomes important to me. And when it happens, I may as well be thirteen again, because my mind can't make it past that bad experience, those flawed concepts.

It's a psychosis of sorts, since I can to some degree demonstrate my affections, just not voice them. But the phrase "actions speak louder than words" loses it's value when applied to the second half of the basic tenet of communication - it's not what you did, it's what they saw. Interpretation is the purview of the viewer, you'd be surprised how often my actions are mistaken. I'm not aggressive enough. I'm a nice guy who does nice things. Apparently women can't stand that in a suitor.

They probably also aren't to crazy about guys who use the term "suitor" either.

But as a hopeless romantic with uniquely contained self esteem issue you believe what you believe because you believe it and hang on to it because hanging on is what you do. No matter what. Because the feeling of love is pure and good and enough that if the world stopped tomorrow, you'd be okay with that.

Only that's not reality.

Which brings us back to the catastrophe and FUBAR allusions. And since the key back then was communication, or the lack thereof, really all the situations I've considered my "real" relationships have just been slow moving reconstructions of that first experience. Reconstructions on a grander scale with different supporting players and new and exciting locales, all with apparently no benefit of having learned from previous situations thus leading to the same conclusions.

Gee, that sounds dismal. I wrote it and it sounds dismal.

And each year it gets worse. If family asks one more time about a wife or providing people with babies to coo at, you just don't know.

They say that knowing you have a problem is 50% of the battle. So I guess I'm up to 65% or 70% because I even know what mine is. But knowing the issue and acting on the issue are two different things.

I really thought with Sporty I had finally gotten it right. I like her as well as love her. You'd be surprised how hard that is to find.

But I was wrong. I did not get it right. Again.

So for now...I'm just holding it in the road.

Barkeep. Glenfiddich. In a broken glass.

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