Nothing to see here

(Except when there is)

One-winged Bird

by Niklas Haas on December 4, 2019

Tagged as: personal, rant, feelings.

I feel like I need to get my thoughts out of my head, but I don’t know what to write about. So I decided to just write about everything - or perhaps ‘nothing’ would be the more appropriate word. Mechanically translating my thoughts into the form of words. What am I even thinking/wishing? What is the cause of this state of… what, exactly? Anxiety? Loneliness? It feels like something’s missing in my life, and the harder I reach for it, the further away it feels. It feels like my life is perpetually empty, as if I’m waiting for it to either start or death to take me. I want to cry but don’t. I want to vomit literary bile but stop myself. Why? Social norms? Who am I trying to impress? Who would even be reading this? What’s the reason behind this post?

I don’t have any good answers for these questions. Or perhaps I do, but I’m deliberately stopping myself from writing them. The only thing I know is that I can’t stand.. this, anymore. Not that I expect things to stay the same: I’ve been living the past two months in a psychiatric clinic, and after a short break (mandated by the health insurance company) I plan on continuing. I’m not entirely sure I feel the motivation to go there, but at the same time, the quagmire of the status quo is compelling me to do.. something. Thus far I’ve been living my life in a mixture of retreat and apathy, wasting away my hours trying to distract myself from the lack of meaning; but this lifestyle is taking its toll on my psyche.

The only thing that seems to drive me is the compulsion to fulfill my core needs; some of which have been chronically underfulfilled my whole life. Love, acceptance, friendship. It all doesn’t stick - no matter how many people I reach out to, none of them seem to matter in the end. I always demand more from the sunset than there is, or otherwise preventing myself from doing so out of a mixture of guilt and shame.

Almost all of my relationships (both romantic and platonic) feel one-sided. I’m always the more needy one, the one desiring contact and togetherness more than everybody else; and when this imbalance reveals itself, I cut myself off to avoid further harm - on either side. I’m not even sure if I feel genuine love, or if I just feel a craving for the feeling of being loved. Not that I’ve been getting much of it - my life has been a one-sided fight for the affection of others; but said affection doesn’t seem to reach me even when it’s offered in troves. It doesn’t matter how many times you tell me you like me; if your nonverbal language signals rejection, I will still feel miserable in the end. I can’t trust such simple truths for longer than an hour, when I wake up the next day it feels as though all progress has been reset and I need renewed affirmation that you care about my existence and I’m not bothering you with my mere presence.

I feel like I’m constantly hypervigilant towards signs of rejection - personalizing matters that shouldn’t be personal, and giving myself the blame for desiring company more than the rest of humanity. Shouldn’t this desire be a core human need? Why does it feel like I’m the only one that feels it? Or perhaps the issue is that I reject all those who would offer it to me, because something about them feels unsatisfying? Like the acquaintance who desperately tries getting in touch with me but only ends up irritating me. I think, because the issue is that they’re basically forcing me to continue wearing my masks. Or perhaps that they’re wasting my time which could be spent pursuing the people I actually want to love me. It feels like my affections are incredibly selective - there are a very distinct handful of people who I want to be with 24/7 - or in the extreme, even merge with completely - but a vast sea of people who I don’t want to let anywhere close to me and my feelings. And at the heart of this asymmetry is a persistent fear of rejection - of my craving for twosomeness with this ‘core group’ being incredibly one-sided.

I have close friends I’ve known for years and still regularly assume hate me. For stupid reasons, too: maybe they didn’t reply to my messages “on time”, or maybe I just haven’t spoken to them in a while and my brain warps that into me being a terrible friend and ignoring them and them clearly getting annoyed at me for it. Silly thoughts, that I normally prevent myself from materializing or voicing, because I know they’re egotistical or even nonsensical. But that rational reasoning doesn’t make the feeling of me being a terrible person go away. If there’s one fear I have more than all others, it’s… being all alone. I desperately cling on to people like my life depends on it; have been through toxic relationship after toxic relationship without being able to let go until they finally hate me to the point of driving me completely out of their lives. Once somebody captures my attention, I glue myself onto them with emotional epoxy and refuse to let go. It doesn’t matter how many times they directly or indirectly reject me - I simply refuse to acknowledge the reality. Construct a fantasy world and keep begging the universe to let it be true; or otherwise just spend my days in bed, dreaming away the worries and anxieties by pretending everything’s alright (when I know deep down, nothing’s ever alright).

Even when I spend time with people I think I like, I’m constantly scanning for little signs of them not wanting me around. As though I’m clearly the one forcing myself into their lives, which they would be perfectly happy living on without me. I strain myself to keep up with their pace, afraid of being left behind and having to admit to myself that they don’t actually care about me and probably wouldn’t even notice if I was left behind. I adapt to the mannerisms and values of those around me to the point where I sometimes question if I even have beliefs and values of my own, or if my life is just one big attention-seeking lie. It seems as though that’s the only thing I can do - seek attention, usually as a result of not being able to bear the isolation any longer. Somebody stronger would continue fighting alone, or heck, actually get up and do something about the whole situation; but I’m afraid I’m simply too apathetic and chronically unmotivated to do anything other than complain and wait for time (death?) to solve it. How much longer can this go on before people stop giving me the affection I crave until I manage to actually do something with my life? It’s this fear nagging at the back of my brain that’s constantly preventing me from talking to the people I most desperately want to talk to. That, and the shame of all of my desires being Bad and Wrong.

I mean, to use a stupid example, how do I go up to somebody that I like and tell them that all I want to do is spend the rest of the day cuddling with them? There’s no way I can admit that, especially not after we’ve only known each other for a few days at best. That’s like saying “hey, I only care about you because of your bodily warmth”, right? The only solution to my dilemma that I can see is to continue struggling to satisfy these desires in my dreams rather than in reality. My whole life has felt like a big exercise in managing to control my emotions, though admittedly this usually has catastrophic results. I can only control them for so long before they eventually explode on me. I just wish I had some outlet for this all-consuming hunger for warmth; but I feel like a monster for even admitting it. I just want to be loved, for once, for somebody to want to get close to me as well, rather than just the reverse… but no matter how hard I try to change and improve myself for the sake of achieving this goal, the more it just results in frustration.

People try giving me advice.. ‘just calm down’, ‘stop overthinking things’… I don’t know how this is supposed to work. How can you stop overthinking things when your only natural instinct is to sit down and overanalyze every scrap of interaction you had with people to determine what their feelings for you are? Every attempt at distraction seems meaningless; all other motivation is sucked out of my body. I can no longer work; I can no longer focus on, concentrate on or enjoy anything else. It feels like overanalyzing my relations is built into my very nature; like a persistent anxiety that doesn’t let me go - and every moment I’m separated from the person I’m thinking about feels like I’m doing nothing except waiting for them to return; pacing backwards and forwards, grinding my teeth or chewing on things, fidgeting with my hands, and so forth. That’s the only emotion I know after separation from my primary attachments has occurred, and it only goes away once I’m in their presence again.

If I had one wish, I would close my eyes and wish with all my heart for one person on this earth that feels the same way - the same codependence, the same emotional instability, the same hunger and constant craving for closeness. The one person who would understand what my life feels like; and accept me for it rather than bastardize me for my emotional immaturity. Are you out there?