Recently, a loved one pointed out, in a not-too-harsh, but rather matter-of-fact way, that I complain a lot. In my all-too-common fashion, I stepped back and watched myself wade through the elements of my rapid-firing brain. Or better yet, I observed the domino effect as one thought kicked another thought’s ass. And one after the other, I collapsed.
Here is a very brief scenario:
I complain a lot, I should kill myself.
If I am that terrible of a person, I shouldn’t be on earth.
If I think in this type of martyrdom fashion, like the last two thoughts, I am surely not worthy to have anyone love me.
How could he say that? Do I really complain a lot?
Is this his reality, my reality, or some other reality? Whose perspective is real? I should reread my Buddhist books for the third time. I have such a bad memory.
He is cruel and unjust, I am never speaking to him again.
Actually, I am going to be mute for the rest of my life. I will never speak to ANYONE again. If I still can’t get things right after this many years, I am doomed. What is right? I hate that there are rights and wrongs. They don’t make sense.
I can do it. I will start with one day. If I am mute no one will ever judge me. Well, at least not my spoken words. Should I still write? I will have to write. But to whom? And how much? I will be a saintly mute like the older lady on the popular prison show. I kind of look like her anyway. I wonder how my children will react. Would my silence traumatize them? Maybe I should slowly become mute. Little by little each day. I could write on a notepad.
[Intermission: I looped into a fantasy of my life as a kind mute.]
And then, anger: I will show that asshole. I shall never speak again!
He complains too. He is pessimistic. He is moody. He is….. It’s not fair he pointed this out to me. I hate him for doing this. I hate him. Doesn’t he know how much goes on inside my head already? How hyper-sensitive I am to everything? That I am trying my best? I don’t want to ever see him again. Ever! I miss being around people who aren’t honest all the time. No, I don’t. Yes, I do.
Tears (again). Well, I point out things to people and I am sure it makes them uncomfortable and they process. Or they just ignore. I don’t have the capacity to ignore. What would it be like to think everyone else is the problem and not self-reflect and not look at self? Freeing I suppose.
I am still caught up in this perfectionism. Damn him. Damn me. I don’t deserve to be here anymore. I just can’t do it. I can’t function in any type of relationship: friendship or romantic, not even casual. I don’t know how to do it. I hate being alive. Do I really complain a lot?
That’s it. I am marching up to my bedroom and I shall stay there and sleep the day away. I am locking my door. I am not coming out. [Toss and turn replaying all past hurtful things anyone has EVER said to me in my ENTIRE life…stab, stab, STAB] I can’t sleep. I will run away. I will drive away. I will just leave. No one will miss me. They will be better off without me.
Marching downstairs. (I actually step lightly but in my imagination I am stomping.) “Hi Violet, you want to go outside potty?” Asked with baby-talk inflection to my wagging-tail shadow. “Shit,” said out loud. I can’t be mute to my dog.
Mute plan demolished after thoughts of buying clickers, whistles, teaching my dog hand signals, and buying her extra treats, and after I’d already told her, “Good girl for going potty!” and her eyes lit up.
Drove away….Forever…. Logical me re-stepped in after one mile. Did errands. Paid bills. Texted a friend. Waded in self-pity. Analyzed self-pity. Analyzed myself analyzing self-pity. Analyzed my therapist’s thoughts of me having self-pity. Is it still self-pity if I am aware I am wallowing and analyzing the pity and making measures to eliminate the wallowing and admitting to martyrdom?
Analyzed general truism at the time: NEVER returning to my old life and ways. Like the victims in Body Snatchers, I shall arise reborn. Maybe half-dog.
Wondered if I begged really loud if my home planet would beam me up.
Drove home. Pretended nothing was wrong but planned on never speaking again. Forgot I wasn’t speaking ever again. Threw out that plan once and for all, but not before fantasizing about a commune where all mute Aspies lived together and developed telepathic abilities so not one person had to open their eyes. Wondered if people would miss my voice. Wondered if other people get sick of hearing their own voice. Contemplated if life would be easier sensory wise if I couldn’t see. Yes, it would, I decided, but not before mourning the feasible loss of an azure sky honey-combed in powder-puff morphing clouds above the evergreens. Sigh. I needed to see.
Continued to cry sporadically when no one was looking punishing myself for yet another thing I do wrong, not right enough, and not good enough, and wondering how I could ever be enough for anyone, particularly my own self. Dead set settled on the fact that everyone who was ever critical to me in the past was right. Set about to analyze each and every person, and concluded they all have issues. We all have issues. But I suck the most. At least it’s feasible I do. Wondering what the world would be like without me and if my death would affect and hurt people. Yes, it would. Not a good idea in general. Questioned: Was I suicidal or just wallowing. Wallowing was the outcome, blended in with self-persecution and lack of survival plan or skills for this round, mostly-blue planet.
Held pain inside. Did not speak of it. Did not mention it to anyone. Stab. Stab. Stab. Decided to send emotional daggers out in every direction in attempt at self-preservation. Youngest son enters. He is miserable about something. Not him too! He states harmful statement projected towards me. I explode. I breakdown. I just can’t hold on. Freak out. Freak out more. Rush to fix what is broken. Rush to fix family issue. Rush to redeem myself and help my son. Sink back into temporary reprieve as distracted by other urgency, only to return to original funk of I am not good enough now accentuated by previous encounter with son. Sad. Very sad. Terribly sad.
I obviously can’t have relationships with others as I take things too personally. How can I dish out stuff but not be able to take it? That’s hypocritical. I am a bad person.
Cycle back through these thoughts and multiple thoughts, over and over and over. Project into future what life will be like without certain people in my life. Become closed off and quiet. Non-respondent. Function with normalcy, at least my normalcy, smile when expected, answer when expected. Nothing. More. Stuff. Stuff. Stuff with occasional stab. Bleed out until dry.
Finally arise, after days, at conclusion: Everyone complains. At least most people. But I can complain a bit less. It will be good for me. Having uprooted my ego-bits and experienced the pain of wounded self-image, begin rebuilding.
Logic again: Yes, I complain more than some, but likely about average for my kind. I think? But compared to what is in my head I only share one percent of what I hear inside. And I am so very grateful about so many things I think of constantly. Should I speak aloud all of those things to counter balance what is perceived as negative? Ought I just change what I think inside and not allow complain-like thoughts? And how do I separate what is anxiety from what is considered complaining? Triggers from what is considered complaining? Truth telling from what is considered complaining? How do I know what to hold inside and what to tell? When does withholding thoughts or information become an untruth? When do I stay quiet? How much? For how long? How much can I share about what’s inside before I sound like I am complaining? If it’s to inform and I don’t feel like it’s complaining and it’s just informational and logical with no emotion or intention, is it still complaining? When is sharing complaining? At what point?
Still contemplating general mutism after my dog dies.