Reality Bites


In a blog post for my company’s website I wrote about how Kanyeing is destroying American culture.  Kanyeing – for those of you unfamiliar with the term – is the act of putting someone else down so that you feel better about yourself.  This is a real thing.  People actually feel better about themselves for putting people down.  If you feel like you can only feel good about yourself when you make others feel bad about themselves then you have a very toxic mindset.  This isn’t just toxic to you, it’s toxic to anyone who comes into contact with you.  How do I know this?  I’m one of these people.  It doesn’t matter who you are I will look at your worth only as it affects me and if I perceive you as adding value to a situation I’m going to attack you and try to get you to a level below me by proving how vastly superior my intelligence is.  This is a pattern of behavior that I have developed over twenty-five years of interacting with people.  Believe me I wish this weren’t the case.  I try to be perceptive about it and to the degree I can be self-aware, but whenever someone tells a story my gut reaction is to tell a better story about me.  This is qualifying from a place of need and I cannot stress how toxic this kind of thinking is.

I’ve spent a good chunk of my life hiding behind my problems or using one thing as an excuse for another.  When I was younger (mainly elementary school and part of middle school) I was bullied because I was different.  Now I know that I was bullied because I had Asperger’s, but I had no idea what that was at the time.  I just figured that there was something socially that everyone else understood, but I was never let in on.  When I graduated high school I let people use me because of my addictions and then I let my addictions get between me and my real friends.  As I got older and started trying to take responsibility for my actions I found that there was always an excuse as to why it wasn’t my fault.  All the problems that I’ve had in my life can be adequately explained away by blaming something or someone else.  Except for this one thing.  If you get under my skin or sometimes even just look at me funny I can make you feel so bad about yourself that you will want to shrivel up and cry.  Just now I’m realizing that it’s not you it’s me.  It’s in these moments where I let my insecurities speak for me.  It’s terrible and I wish I could apologize to every single person I’ve done this to, but the fact is that the list is too long and there are probably people that I did this to when I didn’t even realize I was doing it.

When the spring semester ended I knew there were a couple of things that I wanted to work on this summer.  I wanted to really dive in and polish up our current project: This is Flyball.  Due to circumstances beyond my control that hasn’t been working out very well.  The other big thing that I wanted to do this summer was work on who I was as a human being.  This is what the hipster generation calls “just doing you.”  I hate the word “just” in there because it suggests that analyzing who you are as a human being is an easy thing to do.  Figuring out who we are, what we want, and how we’re going to get there are three of the most challenging things I’ve ever had to work on.  But, I finally realized that who I was wasn’t who I wanted to be and that there were serious obstacles holding me back from becoming the person I wanted to be.  A major component of that is making peace with my past.  It’s come to define so much of my existence that who I was is not something that can be divorced from who I am.  There are people who can’t do this.  I know however that I suffer from Depression and Depression is anxiety about the past.  I don’t want to have any more anxiety about the past.  The past has already received far too much attention from me.  I need to focus on the future.

There is a lot of fear that surrounds becoming a different person even if you’re becoming a better version of yourself.  I know that’s what I’m working towards.  One of the things that I know I need to improve on is simply getting out and doing things.  I need to get out and meet new people.  There are huge parts of the world that I have been cut off from because of my Asperger’s and I’m tired of it.  I know that there are positive things out there waiting for me and that all I have to do is get out there.  It saddens me when I look at all the relationships that I’ve let fizzle out because of either my ego or because of my own destructive tendencies.  In the past, you either accepted the position that I put you in or you didn’t accept me at all.  Although I’ve learned to accept the things that make me who I am and thus polarize others I will not accept my need to degrade others simply to gratify my own self-worth.  That’s never worked for anyone and besides it’s a nasty thing to do.  One key thing that I’ve focused on is the difference between blaming and complaining.  You can complain about someone without blaming them and for far too long this concept eluded me.  Rather than make my feelings known or talking to someone about how I felt I found it much easier to simply blame them for whatever negative things happened in my life.  Just now am I realizing this is incredibly unhealthy.  Overall, there is a lot that I have to do to become the man I want to be, but hopefully by understanding the problem I’ll be in a better position to come up with a decent solution.

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