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The American Caliban

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What am I supposed to think of this? [Mar. 4th, 2004|04:04 pm]
The American Caliban
Since I’ve given up pretending anything is okay, and since I’m louder and whinier about how shitty it feels, I get responses.

And I know people are trying to say what they think is helpful and truthful. And I know these are people who want the best for me. But, I get:

“You should work on being content with what you’ve got” from people who have what I want and don’t seem to think it’s such a big deal

“I have no sympathy for you unless you meet lots of people” from more than one attractive person who doesn’t exactly need to comb match.com for people

“You need to go out with people you don’t actually want” from people who have someone they wanted and didn’t have to fake it

You know, folks, I don’t see most of you going out every Friday night with someone you barely know and don’t like so much. I don’t see you being content with whatever plate of shit is all over your lap, you’re as upset as anyone else when there’s something broken in your lives. I don’t think you get it at all, or even want to try. You assume that I haven’t tried any of the fixes you have in mind.

Just so you know. I’m not just whining that “I can’t get a date”. It’s a lot worse than that. I’m a sexually immature guy pushing 40 who’s never had a real girlfriend. I’m horribly sensitive. I get dumb 12 year old kid puppy love crushes on people who disdain me. I can’t get along with anyone my own age and the younger people I’m friends with find me old enough to be gross. I’m overweight, bald, and ungainly. My intense fear of rejection makes it nearly impossible for me to approach someone unless I like her so much that it’s a self-defeating project. I magically pick people who are unavailable to me. I care when you’re not supposed to care, I don’t lie when you’re supposed to lie, and I get attached to people before they have any interest in me. I fall for people who are too young for me, too beautiful for me, too experienced for me. I am in no “league” at all.

I am a punchline to a joke about sexual losers.

I’ve lived with this reality for more than 20 years. I’ve maybe tried some of the things you think of in the first 30 seconds. I don’t mean that you’re not trying to help, I mean that it feels like I’m in a wheelchair and you’re suggesting a new brand of athletic shoes because you’ve never been here.

I’m in therapy for the second time in my life and there are no guarantees of anything getting better, ever, even inside my head. The likely outcome of my life is that I will die very alone having connected with no one. Evidence to the contrary has not appeared. All I have against this huge disastrous neurotic mess is 21st century voodoo, that no one can prove actually does anything.

The fact that some of you find me entertaining and good at Trivial Pursuit is oddly enough not cheering. I appreciate that you want to say nice things but when my core as a male human is totally rejected it’s not easy to say “hey, but I told a funny story last night and knew where Panama hats are made!” and feel good about it.

Yeah, it is me. I am obviously doing - or being - something completely wrong. But my chances of fixing that are slim, and long-term, and right now I go through every day totally fucking empty inside. And I have to watch others connect over and over, and get nothing, ever.

This has been my entire adult life. I am broken inside. None of you are, not like this. Please stop pretending you know what I feel like.

I should never have shared this in the first place. Everyone hates weakness. Well, hate this: I’m a sexual failure for reasons no one understands. Half my life has dripped away and the rest is looking worse. Fix that with a dating service and a self-help book and a “pray about it”, why fucking don’t you.

I’m sure every woman who reads this would never let me near her after this. And that would be different, how?

[User Picture]From: effluvia
2004-03-04 04:11 pm (UTC)
What response would you like from your friends?
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[User Picture]From: substitute
2004-03-04 04:13 pm (UTC)
oh, and if i don't know, then I have no right to complain, right?

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[User Picture]From: effluvia
2004-03-04 04:37 pm (UTC)


I was really asking. I'm not criticizing.
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[User Picture]From: lostcosmonaut
2004-03-04 04:34 pm (UTC)

say hello on a i m metalhedwig some time i don t often go on a i m but sometimes i do

My intense fear of rejection makes it nearly impossible for me to approach someone unless I like her so much that it’s a self-defeating project. I magically pick people who are unavailable to me. I care when you’re not supposed to care, I don’t lie when you’re supposed to lie, and I get attached to people before they have any interest in me. I fall for people who are too young for me, too beautiful for me, too experienced for me. I am in no “league” at all.

i ... got nothing for ya today, man. I don't know where you're @. If you weren't brain-peelingly articulate about this stuff, I woulda just stopped reading a long time ago.--mza.
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[User Picture]From: substitute
2004-03-04 04:39 pm (UTC)

Re: say hello on a i m metalhedwig some time i don t often go on a i m but sometimes i do

Thanks for the compliment. I do try to be articulate. And I would have stopped reading me too.

I put you on my aim list :)
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From: sour_lemon
2004-03-04 04:37 pm (UTC)
I liken it to most psychologists... those that I know often suffer from the same conditions that they diagnose in their patients.

Most people don't comprehend that this is not something you shared because you hoped someone would come along, utter a few words, wave a magic wand, and - et voila! - the world is all better. It doesn't work that way. There's no easy fix.

Comments along the lines of "well, what did you expect me to say?" miss the point entirely because (correct me if I'm wrong) you're not putting it out there for the world to judge your comments and suggest fixes. This is your soapbox and you should get to say whatever the hell it is you want to say.

Here's the point folks: sometimes people say stuff to get it off their chest without expecting you to fix it!

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[User Picture]From: hep
2004-03-04 04:40 pm (UTC)
You are a nice guy. This might be part of your problem. Girls never want to get involved with nice guys, we don't want to hurt them, they are nice so we dont consider them, etc. It's a well known fact that mostly, girls go after jerks. It's the chase instinct. Those that are uninterested and unavailable, we pursue, much akin to what you are saying you do.

Like many others, I don't have magic advice. "Be a jerk" is not great advice, but I know from experience watching others with a similar problem, that it works. When you put off the vibe that you don't care, people become interested. Not always the ones you want, but still.

Real world test case: i relentlessly pursued my current boyfriend despite his constant objections, the chaotic dramatic situation, attempted prevention from all sides and his apparent disinterest.
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[User Picture]From: substitute
2004-03-04 04:44 pm (UTC)

I wish you weren't right

Maybe I should sign up with cougardate
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[User Picture]From: hep
2004-03-04 04:45 pm (UTC)

Re: I wish you weren't right

yiffing sadly
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[User Picture]From: dorothy_parka
2004-03-04 05:05 pm (UTC)
oh, that's not true. i'm not saying it's not true in your case, but it's not true in my case. guy ain't nice, and bad at trivial pursuit, he can kiss my big fat ass goodbye.

but i too have no fucking advice. life sucks. you can't imagine how often i bemoan the fact that i'm not an alcoholic, where, if you want to stop, you have a big fat support system, and easy step-by-step system on how to take care of your problems. and your health insurance will pay for anything to do w/ substance abuse, but if you have something like unipolar depression, well, you're fucked.

so, i'm sorry. it sucks. maybe the emdr will do something.

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[User Picture]From: limbsforcash
2004-03-04 04:54 pm (UTC)
"from people who have what I want and don’t seem to think it’s such a big deal"

nobody ever thinks what they have is a big deal. (why would they? they already have it.)

its what people want that is the big deal. no matter where you are. everyone wants something. everyone always wants more. ive never met a 100% satisfied person. if they say they are, its bullshit. and if you did receive what you want, it wouldnt be a big deal, and youd just want something else. "hmm. .well. that was good. ..but now if i could just have 'this'!!! oooh THEN!!! then! ohhh"

if i just met "the one", if i just won the lottery, if i could just get that career ive always wanted. . .blahb lahb lah my life would be great, id be satisfied, i could die happily, i would give up anything for it. .blah blah blah.

it doesnt matter if youre a homeless man with a skateboard for legs or the most attractive movie star ever, nobody gets everything they want. lots of people get absolutely nothing they want. and some people get exactly what they want which turns into exactly what they wish they never had. life is horribly miserablely fucked up. but think of it this way. you are in control of a life. and you can do whatever the fuck you want with it. thats pretty amazing in my opinion. wants received or not. there are a lot of things id like to complain about, and i do on occasion, but it wont help anything.
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[User Picture]From: xtreme_pr0k
2004-03-04 04:54 pm (UTC)

shallow am i

Here's some shallow and worthless advice:
Become whatever it is that they want, and they will want you. Dress how they want. Talk how they want. Do the same activities they like. If they like fit, get fit. If they like party guy, be party guy. If they like roided out monster, become the Hulk. If they like Armani suits, wear them. Girls all over the shiny shirt big watch guy, get to the black fly's store. Don't become what they want, just appear that way. This isn't going to really get you anywhere good, it certainly isn't a road to moral and spiritual happiness, but it will get you where you want to be. At least for the short term.
You speak of being "sexually immature", well, i know that when i liked a girl and was in that stage, i tried to be whatever i thought the girl i thought i loved wanted. shit, i started smoking because of a girl. internally, i know that part of the reason i drive motorcycles is because it's cool. that may not be why i do it now, but it was a pretty big reason to want to do it when i started. That's just what you do when you don't know what to do. Until a reasonable medium was found, that's just what i did. Sure you can't do anything about the being older part, but as for just about everything else, you can. and yup, it might make you an asshole (i'm pretty sure i'm an asshole for giving this kind of advice), but at least for once you'll be getting what you want.
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[User Picture]From: limbsforcash
2004-03-04 04:57 pm (UTC)

Re: shallow am i

"Become whatever it is that they want, and they will want you. Dress how they want. Talk how they want. Do the same activities they like. If they like fit, get fit. If they like party guy, be party guy. If they like roided out monster, become the Hulk. If they like Armani suits, wear them."

no offense, but anyone that does this should be beaten with a pipe.
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[User Picture]From: substitute
2004-03-04 10:25 pm (UTC)

Re: Slut Speaking.. Move Along.

Yeah, you do know what I'm talking about. I can tell. Sorry about yours, it sounds pretty equivalent.

Stupid brains thingies.
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[User Picture]From: the_silent_one
2004-03-04 11:52 pm (UTC)


Thank you for saying something I have been unable to find the words to say myself.
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[User Picture]From: kennfusion
2004-03-04 05:39 pm (UTC)
I wrote out this long response to you earlier, but it was about my perception on how all of your friends think. That was unfair. So here is what I think:

I think that you are right, I have no clue what it feels like to be 39 and never even kissed a girl. I cannot even fathom what that would be like. And neither can anyone else that you know.

I also think you are right in your disbelief in the rhetoric about being better off. You are not. Nothing in the world is more important than loving someone and having them love you back.

And you are also right that your relationship maturity is that of a junior high school kid.

So you know all of this my friend. What are you going to do about it?

Because there are suggestions, plenty of suggestions, you just do not like any of them.

No matter what all of the people who truly care about you say, you only like one answer...the one where you get to point at the shiny toy that you want, and it gets handed to you. I am not even sure if this is really about women at all, but then I know nothing about psychology.

Forget all the bull about moving to a better city, or dating a billion women, or any of the other advise you find detestable. Because it is all moot until you get past the notion that you get to point and say "give me" and then stamp your feet when you don't get it.

Maybe you will hate me for saying all of this, I sure hope not. Because I truly value you as a friend, and I believe in you.

But from everything you have told me about your life, your experience in college, and how you got to where you are career wise, I think you are under the notion that 'happily ever after' is just going to accidentally fall into your lap. How long do you have to wait till you realize it is not going to work that way this time?

Or do you already know this and are denying it?

Take care, and I am here to talk if you ever need it.
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[User Picture]From: substitute
2004-03-04 06:41 pm (UTC)

that was naty

Thanks for reducing me to a cranky baby asking for a toy. Remind me to belittle your pain too sometime.

And no I am not under that lovely illusion or any others, now.
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[User Picture]From: kennfusion
2004-03-04 06:48 pm (UTC)

Re: that was naty

I get belittled plenty, and I usually deserve it.
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From: the_friend
2004-03-04 05:39 pm (UTC)
I only told you what I thought because you implied that I didn't care.
I guess I really messed up.
It's amazing, all these words and ideas were poring out of me in one way and being heard in a completely different way.
Well, I can see very clearly that I hurt you. That I somehow just don't understand. That I don't get it, am judgmental and not thankful for this wonderful life that I have.
Well I am thankful. I am very happy. I am sorry that you are not.
And I won't presume to know anything you. I thought I did, but I see now that I was looking at you through my own eyes.
Please believe me Conrad when I say that I wasn't trying to give you a quick fix it.
I was trying to empathize. Stupid, I know.
I thought it was what you wanted.
I was wrong.
I hope you'll speak to me after this.
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[User Picture]From: substitute
2004-03-04 10:24 pm (UTC)

it's okay

We just had a misunderstanding, don't worry about it. You are a good friend.
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[User Picture]From: chaptal
2004-03-04 09:33 pm (UTC)
I read this, and I get quite a bit of it. I don't know you, you don't know me. I had one fucked up marriage for 13 years, and when she moved out I was a mess. I was fat, gross, depressed, a stressed out OCD mess, in therapy (do try the EDMR), broke, getting rejected by women, stalking, drunk. loser.

This isn't fair, who gave out these fucked up genes? Who asked for this? But here it is and here you are and dammit you have to work your ass off just to get out of bed and function on a minimal level to keep a roof over your head.

It sucks. I know. It sucks. I don't know.I wish you well.
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[User Picture]From: fengi
2004-03-04 10:01 pm (UTC)
I do not offer this as solace but just as observation: where there's life there's hope. I say this because right now you are saying things which verge on the suicidal. When you are feeling this bad and hopeless and find a way to disregard every comfort and hope the problem is at it's worst. You are doing the right thing by seeking help. I can't claim you'll fix the problem, but there ways to make it hurt less. You might be a social cripple, you are not dead and from the bottom any step up is an improvement, even if it's medication.

You used the metaphor of being in a wheelchair. This is actually a very accurate analogy for your situation. From my experience the combination of bad luck and bad habits can be as constricting as a chronic physical conditions. Like alcoholism, spine damage or manic-depression, treating it takes forever, often seems hopeless and might fail. Worse, problems like sexual frustration doesn't have the narrative of redemption like addictions or diseases. The cause and solutions are vague and one feels like a mere loser - unsure if it's even your fault or not. I get this - not your specific problem, but the feeling of despair over a chronic situation.

But like I said, where there's life, there's hope.

Also: there is the option of legal prostitutes and/or sexual surrogates. There's no shame in these options, especially when all others have been closed to you.
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[User Picture]From: fengi
2004-03-04 10:01 pm (UTC)

Typos - sorry

I know I used it's for its. Sorry.
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[User Picture]From: substitute
2004-03-04 10:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the first part of that. I actually have been successfully treated for depression with medication and therapy before. Now I have to start over to have any kind of life. Starting over at 39 sucks ass. There's a lot I'll just never have now.

As for the second part, I'd prefer the five finger discount to rent-a-fuck. It isn't sex I want so much anyway as intimacy.
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[User Picture]From: rivetpepsquad
2004-03-04 10:12 pm (UTC)

you are the. most. honest. person. EVER.

and you have my admiration.
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[User Picture]From: nefas
2004-03-04 10:42 pm (UTC)
i know there's really nothing that can be said about this, and i feel like if i do say anything, it would be pretty pointless (or maybe even offensive?) anyway. i just wanted you to know that i read this, and i feel for you.
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[User Picture]From: trinnit
2004-03-05 06:52 am (UTC)
I don't think I'm as witty or intelligent enough to generate a three page response so I won't. I don't think anything I could say would change the situation anyways.
Anyways, you know where to find me.
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