Post

Still, But Still Moving

Where to begin....

I was born into a low income family that came bundled with the stereotypical package of an abusive marriage, drug addiction and poor educational background. Throughout my childhood I have had the unpleasant experience of having to file police reports against my father both as a victim and a witness to domestic violence. My father was an alcoholic who abused cocaine, marijuana, heroin and other various drugs. Funding a drug addiction with a less than ideal income translated into the discontinuance of various utilities along with numerous evictions, a trend that would follow up until my later years of high school.

My parents refinanced the house in order to pay for renovations and set aside the money needed to pay for my college. In the end, no repairs were made, and about one hundred thousand dollars were spent on drugs over the course of three months. The trend was broken only after my father was hospitalized for overdosing, nearly dying and dying for a minute. An experience that he will most likely never forget considering the fact that he now has a permanent speech impediment along with other cognitive issues.

Shortly after this fiasco, I met the girl who became the love of my life. With high school approaching an end, I worried that I would not be good enough for her. I did not want to become my father. The money that was set aside for my college was non-existent and I needed a way to finance my education. An Army recruiter came by our school one day and to make a long story short, I ended up joining the Army.

My girlfriend had a great family that was very well off. In my adolescent mind, the only way in which I could even measure up to her family was to at least graduate from college. I ended up doing two years of active duty In order to qualify for full educational benefits. Luckily, she was a rising junior when I graduated from high school so we were able to start college at the same time after my time on active.

I transferred over the National Guard during the summer before classes started so that I would be able to focus strictly on school work. The Army was paying for all of my schooling and providing me with a stipend on top of that. All was going well up until 4 months ago. Without going into much detail, she ended up cheating on me and we are no longer together.

All of these things have caused a period sadness in my life, but not depression necessarily. I am fully aware that losses are inevitable and handle these situations relatively well.

What does upset me is the human condition, the indifference of people. The ignorance and ineptitude that consumes the general population is more than depressing. I feel like I don’t belong with this race. The inability for people to move beyond mundane ideals is astonishing.

My internal conflict begins here.

I am a rising junior majoring in mechanical engineering and mastering in aerospace engineering as part of a five year program. Although I know where my life is headed as far as a career, I have no clue why I am doing this. My motivation to succeed and do well was all inspired by me ex who is obviously no longer a part of my life. She was the one person that I felt connected me to the rest of the world and with that link now severed, I feel as if I am a zombie going about my daily routine. 

I am not the antisocial type. I have no problem interacting with strangers; I’m actually a very social person although I am very selective when it comes to befriending others. I cannot tolerate a lot of what’s seen as normal behavior and thought. I do have many friends.

I feel like an outlier when it comes to comparing trends in personality traits associated with intelligence which is why I may feel this way more so. I am not your reclusive gamer type with an acne problem, I am not overweight, I am not a jock, I don’t scare girls away by giving off a nerdy impression. I exercise regularly and run at least three miles three times a week. My problem isn't any of this; it’s the fact that I feel detached from the human race and always have.

I enjoy spending time with friends but this is only a temporary relief to my continuous feeling of isolation. I do have hobbies that I enjoy such as programming, finding new ways to solve problems, and relating different mathematical theories to one another. My favorite is probably going on Wikipedia marathons with a cup or eight of coffee and absorbing an abundance of knowledge. I do not watch much TV since I have a lot of 'homework' that requires countless hours of work and sleepless nights. I really enjoy being able to stay up all night working on a problem and have the solution be correct when no one else can get it. My workload is so high because I am taking 21 credits, not because I find the material to be incredibly difficult. I have yet to be challenged by any class, they require a lot of time due to the amount of practice needed per problem, not because I have had any problem with conceptually understanding what is being asked.

I am driven to excel but always feel empty.

Sometimes I feel unable to process emotion. I know how I should feel but am unable to do so. These occurrences are not specific to a polarity, they hold for any circumstance. I have never been to 'get help' or see anyone about any of my problems. I fear that they will not understand my logic and I will then be told by someone who cannot fathom the idea of setting up an integral that I am insane.

I don’t know if my problem is that I think too differently or....I really don’t know....

(I realize that I have gone off on many tangents)

I am respectful of others viewpoints and beliefs. I do not think less of people who are religious, homosexuals, minorities or anything that could be seen as food for judgment. I respectfully ask that you do not try to push any religious beliefs on me.

Divergence64 Divergence64 22-25, M 8 Responses Apr 17, 2010

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I think the good news is that all of these feelings and struggles are manifestations of depression. In your case, its probably temporary as it wasn't an ongoing issue. Still need to seek medical advice so you don't throw away what you've accomplished over someone that's not worthy. Find a way to cope until it passes. It will pass.

As for the human condition, I read where someone with social anxiety was shown to a room full of people and ask to list what he felt the people in the room were thinking about him. Presented with the list, the host tore it up and told the young man to look again. No one was looking at him or paying notice of him at all.

"None of them are thinking about you. They are talking about themselves and only to people just like them."

There are evil people in this world. Believe me, I've met more than a few of them but they are actually quite rare. Most of the criminals I see are not evil, they are just so self obsessed that taking from you is justified in their minds. That's also why when good and enlightened men such as yourself go and do unselfish things, it gets noticed. It matters. We know how much of a difference getting some consideration would have made so we can know how much of a difference showing some will make.

And I am very impressed with how far you have come. In my line of work, most of the kids I come in contact with go on to repeat the same mistakes. Your story is rare and valuable.

You are not alone. And I commend you on sharing your story. That being said, and I don't even know you, but I can speak for many when I say that we need you. We need your talents and intelligence in order to solve our problems. I'm sorry that we are living in a world, some would say "the greatest country in the world" that seems to continue to kick this can of mental health issues down the road for the next generation to deal with. Maybe it's my group (Gen-X) that will finally pick up the flag and run with it. Maybe the current college and 20 and 30 somethings. But now is the time. We need real solutions and we need to break down the walls, especially with men and have people talk about what challenges they are having. If the Internet allows us that freedom, then so be it. If it is in a group setting, that's fine too. Either way, we can't afford to wait any longer.

Wow! your story leaves me speechless. It's amazing who you are dispite the fact so many have left you done. You are a success, intelligent giving human being. I like that you don't judge other for their beliefs and appearances. I don't know where you are going either, but I see you flying high wherever you go because now this is about you, not your parents or girlfriend. You will live on and be happy.

I grew up in a working class family with an alcoholic parent who raged. There was support but I grew up fearful and developed low self esteem. Nothing I did seemed right or worthy of praise. I felt like an "edgewalker" and sometimes still do. After having therapy in my 30's and recently as a 50 something, I have learned that I do not have to fit. I just have to be myself. Accomplishments are not for others but for my own satisfaction and growth. I was stuck emotionally but achieved academically and professionally. I am a mental health therapist. I have learned to think differently about myself and my view of the world. My own religious beliefs have changed. Learn to be yourself...receive from those who genuinely care...and give in those ways that please you. Finally, appreciating the unique, awesome individual you seem to be will keep you moving forward...Good Success to you, may you find your true self.

All I can say is that you should be exceedingly proud of yourself. However, growing up in a state of such chaos I can understand how you would feel so detached from 'society'. It is difficult to live your life solely for someone else, and that in itself creates its own problems. What was it about this girl that made you push forward, motivated, or strong? I wonder if this particular issue has anything to do with being rejected at different points in your life. I mean, I am certainly not making any assumptions or judgments, however, simply speculating. Thoughts?<br />
I can't imagine this is an easy time for you, but look at your strengths and achievements, be proud of the person you are.

I read Colin Wilson's The Outsider once, at a similar period in time, and it' helped me with my journey ..... (IMO: The detachment is normal given the context of your life so far. Yours is a far, far more honest experssion than pretending to be all "facebookie" "cookie cutter" when inside you're dealing with the journey all real humans make. Integrating our psyche into society. A society facing extremes, pop. size, events, chaos everything. It's coming to terms with what you mean by "love", not by what others tell you it should mean. Takes time. Heck, it takes what it needs to take! Keep looking for real love... it doesn't matter your past, take the lessons and move on. Each experience is given for a reason. Your presence on the planet is for a reason. When you find it, you will have found all your "why's", but only you can find it. It's an amazing journey. Be safe! Stay centered. )

yeah its a ****** up world. And it might not be that you're "unable" to process emotion, i can imagine you get burned out with all the emotion you carry around with you, whether you show it or not. you're depressed, and its gonna suck man. its gonna suck. But you'll pull through, and you're obviously a smart enough person to know that. <br />
(ps) life has even more meaning, and is even more interesting without religion, props to you stranger)

Its hardest to say something comforting to somebody who talks so much sense. Because the truth is, that life is a big pain and we are all living to end something that has only given us pain. The happiness isn't always worth the pain. But as we ARE here, we have to keep trying. we HAVE to try and make it easier, and happier, for ourselves. We have to be a little selfish, we have to keep looking for love and comfort and doing everything that it takes to make us a little happy, even if just momentary happiness. You have come a long way, and if you just stop for a minute, and think over all those tough times that you managed to live thru, and not just managed, but conquored, ask yourself this question... will you still be able to manage?<br />
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I'm sure you will. You just need a little boost. Though you have always been enough support for yourself, needing a little support now and then doesn't make you weak. All tough times pass.. there are lighter days, though newer griefs always DO thrust themselves in the path of some people, maybe we're luckier that we see life in the true light?<br />
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Just need to keep trying.. and finding happiness the little things..... right.<br />
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The world is not SO bad!