Monday, March 5, 2012

Facing the hard truths about myself...

We all can agree that I've met practically every type of life form on the planet, from the depths of the ocean to what flies on wings.  But, I had really thought I had met all kinds of men in my travels through life.  I mean 40 years is nothing to shake a stick at, so I kind of figured I had seen it all.

Let's face it, I've met academia-minded men, soldiers, businessmen, scuba divers, civil servants, politicians, professors, teachers, animal trainers, even the drug addicted...I figure I've pretty much seen it all from control freaks on down, even to men who sport a few too many female hormones for their own good with how they play for the castrati, drama-fests and all.

I have come to find out that, like so many other people, I just don't get it.  I don't understand men and I have come to the point where I have to honestly say that I don't know diddle about the opposite sex.

Now I'll admit it, and I give every single person I come into contact with the "surgeon general's warning" about hanging out with me...I'm not easy, I don't even begin to be palatable sometimes and other times, I'm just an outright PMS nightmare from hell.  But on good days, I'm as sweet as they come.  As Sting so aptly put it, "She can be all four seasons in one day."  I get it, that song could very well be all about me.  I know my strengths, I know my weaknesses and trust me when I say, I am absolutely no picnic, not by a long shot.  I'll admit one other thing too, it takes two to tango, I'm responsible for at least half of the emotional wreckage that is strewn behind me.

I'll cop to the fact that recently I thoroughly tore up one person for text messaging me far too much and far too often.  Lordy, we ALL know about me and text messaging and if you didn't groan and facepalm over the fact that the person text messaging me should have known better (don't you wish you could have grabbed their phone away from them and said, "You don't want to do that, you'll be taking your life into your own hands..."?), here's the brass tacks of it:

30 pages of text messages between my ex and the BHFB three years ago took the whole idea of text messaging and flushed it down the toilet for me.  I don't care for it, I don't like it and I most certainly avoid it at all costs.  Well, after a few months that consistently contained at least 20 back-to-back text messages where it would have taken 5 minutes to tell me the same thing in voice, a close friend got their backside handed to them by my very, VERY sharp tongue.  (That poor soul, I honestly feel sorry for them for getting the south end of me because I promise you it is no where you want to be.)  Point blank I reminded them how much I hate text messaging and if I got another one from them, it was going to take a surgical team an hour to remove their phone from where I was going to shove it.  That's how sharp I can be because I don't want to sit there with my phone dinging like mad, and I'm kind of old fashioned, I actually want to hear the person's voice telling me about what's happening, not read it on the screen of my phone.  But, that's as harsh as I get.  I don't call people names but I do sometimes ask people what the heck they were thinking.  Y'all know me, I don't put up with a bunch of bull.  I like my information quick, simple and to the point; bluntly, it's faster to tell someone something in voice than it does typing away on a smart phone unless it's a "be there in 5 minutes" kind of thing.  Since when do entire life stories have to be told via text messaging?  It's that kind of stuff that sends me screaming right over the edge, arms flailing.

When I get really mad, I actually tell people up front, "I'm upset and I'm going to have to yell at you, but here's why..." and I'll explain why I'm upset.  Then my temper will either cool way off and I'll end up laughing about it or well, the worst happens and I go to the "not so nice" end of the spectrum and the person on the other end gets it with both barrels.  I try to avoid the "both barrels" thing.  Kind, gentle and tasteful is the way I like to speak but sometimes my temper can get away from me before I realize it.  But, we all have that happen to us, don't we?

My problem is that I don't process information the way other people do.  Usually I assume (first mistake there) that I'm the dumbest person in the room.  Yeah, I know, don't roll your eyes, but it's true, I honestly think I'm the dummy in the room so I listen carefully to what's going on around me.  Here's the kicker though, I've realized recently that I'm not the dumbest person in the room (I got invited to Phi Kappa Phi for my 3.72 GPA as a second semester junior, which by the way shocked the hell out of me...) and my brain processes information so fast that things are a "given" to me, which makes me look around and go, "Well, duh!  Isn't that just common sense?"  My mother had to explain it to me tonight at dinner that it's not common sense, it's the fact that I look at things, process them so fast and piece it together in my unique way that most things become a given, not something to figure out because I've already figured it out and it makes perfect sense.  Yeah well, I never realized that people don't necessarily go as fast or think like I do, which is at a high volume and at a pretty quick clip.  It never occurred to me for an instant that it takes other people longer to process information.  I'm the dumbest person in the room, remember?  Well, learned that one over the last couple of weeks, that's for sure.  Note:  If it ever sounds like I'm talking down to you, I'm not, it's just my broken coping mechanisms not realizing that you're not processing things the same way I do.  At the speed I go and how I can spatially piece together things that to others doesn't make sense, it makes life a little harder for me because I get confused due to having to slow down a bit or having to force myself to change speeds or points of view.  So please, don't take it personally if you get a look from me that says, "Well, duh!"

The one thing I'm having the most problem with lately is that I don't like hurting other people's feelings and how I do it unintentionally.  It's the "Well, duh!" thing.  On top of that, I'm a victim of my own kindness when I'm not completely up-front and bluntly honest like my friend and their text messaging.  I end up getting caught with my pants down because I didn't say the hurtful thing that really needs to be said.  How on Earth can you be kind, gentle and tasteful, guarding the other person's feelings, when you have to tell someone that life circumstances have changed and you have to change your direction with it?  This is the second time I've had to deal with the same problem in the last 12 months and it's starting to get annoying.  Sometimes I'm fast and I don't realize it, other times I'm so incredibly slow that it makes me nuts because I can't solve the problem in under two seconds flat.  ARGH!

Oy, sometimes I think I'm just too dang broken for words, but like the old expression goes, "The first step in avoiding a trap is knowing of its' existence."  Once you know what's going on, you can fix it.  And it only took 40 years to get here!!!  *facepalm*

Liz Gilbert is right when she talks about "The Physics of the Quest":

The Physics of the Quest -- a force in nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity. The rule of the Quest Physics goes something like this...
If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter old resentments...and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally... 
And if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue.
And if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher.
And if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some difficult realities about yourself.
Then the truth will not be withheld from you.
Well, we're at the "face and forgive some difficult realities about yourself."  I try to be sweet, fun and filled with nutritional value, but the one part I never expected is that I'm so very difficult to decipher or get along with.  At this point, I have to take my hat off to all of those men who have put up with me over the years...including my sweet father who seems to understand me even when I don't and my mom who has to explain how, when and where my brain likes to process things.  I'm grateful they get it, it gives me some modicum of hope.  Maybe I need to get a translator...oh wait, that's a COPING SKILL...oh well, so much for that...

Tonight I got a phone call from a friend, giving me a proper dressing down and several mean names thrown at me because I'm choosing to spend my time away from the computer, not chained to it and not calling them to give an explanation as to why I can't spend so much time on it anymore.  They made me feel about an inch high, which I guess they needed to do, but at the same time, I guess it was a lesson (one of Liz's "teachers along the way") that I need to be more aware of the world around me.  To that, I should give myself a "Well, duh."  Just like I ask for people to respect my point of view, I guess I have to respect theirs, but not to the point that I'm hard on myself for something I can't do anything about because my world is so mixed up right now and I have things that I have to do that are in reality, not virtual reality. It's like my pal Raj said, "You have to focus on relationships that are based in reality, not in the game space.  Unless a person can reach out and touch you, it's not a relationship."

The hardest thing I'm having to do lately is learn how to forgive myself.  I never realized that forgiving yourself was one of the world's hardest things to do.  But did you know that it relieves anxiety?  I thought that was pretty cool given all of the anxiety I face every single day.

We need a song of the day, don't you think?  Out of thin air, I'm going to go with Airplanes by B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams.


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