When You Really Feel Just Downright Useless.

(posted this in the wrong section before, I'm sorry if this is technically spamming)

To everyone who I have wronged in my brief time on Earth,

I am sorry. I always allowed myself to believe a twisted lie, a self aggrandization, as if I was a virtuous man fighting against the dark powers that plague humanity. But in all actuality, those powers and I were perhaps one and the same. Throughout my life I have struggled with two sides—one of humility and a nurturing spirit, and one of depravity, viciousness and avarice. It is hard to say which side is truly me; maybe one, maybe both, or some odd collusion that is not quite either. I love to see people smile, I love to help them grow, and I love to be the person who listens to them when no one else would. That, I think, is true and genuine. My whole life I've wanted to be the one who puts pedophiles behind bars, stops husbands from beating their wives (and vise-versa), raises a hand to shield a defenseless animal. I can't help it; I see the injustices and want to rip open my shirt as if I was Superman and get down to business. Nothing in the world disgusts me more than people who see a problem, throw their hands up and just say “tough ****.” You can't solve everything, no, but if a solution seems in reach, why not do someone the favor? It's not anything I think I should feel bad about. The world's suffering is great and vast, and if everyone only gets one shot here, it better be a damn good one. That's how I always saw things. I've let strangers use my cell phone and beggars have half of the money in my pocket. I've fed stray animals that didn't have a friend in the world. In my educational days I provided assistance to even the cases deemed hopeless by others. If I couldn't provide what they needed, I at least referred them to others I knew could. In essence, a constant contribution to the greater good. Plus, I'd defend my family to the death. Before you can take on the world's problems, my mother always said, you have to make sure to build up your own family first. And build it up I did. Home invasions, attacks from savage animals, anything and everything was something I'd jump fearlessly into the fray for. I took on a variety of roles necessary around the home for my family's safety. I wanted to create a haven in which my family had all of the necessary comforts and amenities I thought they deserved. For years I was mediator, negotiator, chaperon, guardian, repairman, joker, researcher, makeshift vet and mentor. And for that, I thought I had done a good job. Surely such devotion shows that I am indeed a “good man.” Perhaps that was only stroking my ego.

But, at the same time, I have betrayed the trust of those who cared for me multiple times. Almost like Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, my opposite half thrived upon deception and harshness. For some reason it seems people were inclined to deliver upon me a variety of unkindnesses. I'm not saying that I should deserve any special treatment for it, nor a free pass as it's anything but unique, but everyone's way of dealing with such pain tends to be a little different. I was sensitive and easily broken in my youth, and maybe that's what allowed the other part of me to form. A spirit hardened by unfairnesses and pain visited upon me seemed to nurture the birth of a daemon whose call I could not fully resist. The end result is that I've hurt people. People who trusted me. People who told me, “you know what? You're an all right guy, and I like you.” An all right guy? I was apparently anything but. I can't say that I did it all with zero remorse; my transgressions have haunted me time and time again. But, like a gambler going for that ultimate thrill, I just couldn't stop. It gave me power; the ability to say “you're not going to stop me, but I'm going to stop YOU.” It wasn't something I loved, but something I did. My life is a shattered thing, one in which I feel simultaneously sub-human and worthy of a harsh fate, yet strong enough to defy all—be they right or wrong to oppose me. As a result, I am not only conflicted, but miserable. I feel as though I've created a million enemies ready to go at my throat, and throughout this world I have nary a friend to defend me. That isn't to say I haven't had any friends; my friends have been of the truest and most kind sort, and to my dying breath I'll say no different. But friends like them are not something I deserve, and I'll always appreciate their seeing through my **** to see the glimmers of good inside. For, even as I write this, I want people to know that there is indeed good inside of me, just good marred by many twisted thoughts and actions. If there wasn't, I wouldn't have bothered exposing the bad with the good.

I have, despite all of my time trying to understand who people are, never quite managed to truly “get” my fellow human beings. I exhibited both empathy and sympathy, but never quite understood what it meant to be a social animal in a social setting. Every social interaction was something painful; a difficult guessing game of right and wrong answers to find acceptance and assimilate into the group at large. Most of the time, I lost. Badly. My whole life was spent like a caged oddity, accepted by few and respected by fewer, yet all could make a spectacle out of my surely out of place nature. As a result, I hurt. I raged out against those who refused me, even if only in spirit. For, weak and alone as I was, I would have had no chance otherwise. Even with my closest friends I was always on the defensive, worried that one action I did here or there would forever destroy their opinion of me. I can safely say that no one knew me entirely, and I was, for a time, comfortable with that. I fabricated personae that served to both both distance myself and appear more fantastic to hide my true self, out of both genuine shame for who I was and a desire to finally break free of those same fears that so wracked my life with sadness. But such personae serve little good when you can no longer keep them up, and people only grow disgusted when they realize when they've been had. Perhaps people could see I was full of it, and that's why they by and large avoided me. But even when I did put my best foot forward and tried to exemplify the traits I thought people would admire, traits I truly believed in, I was still an oddity awkwardly avoided in both narrow halls and open spaces. People often denied me even basic eye contact, and others barely acknowledged I existed. I tried to live my life admirably and for the benefit of all; I really did. When a man lives so many years frustrated and unhappy, it manifests in odd ways. In my particular instance, I started to develop a cut-and-dry nature of dealing with people—break them off before they break me. To cut off a poisoned limb to stop the spread of its taint, so to speak. I became able to quickly detach my emotions from what I was doing, even quickly dropping the very emotions I had felt for people only days before. Oftentimes I did it preemptively, before they even had a chance to say what they truly felt about me and my company. It's sick, it's callous, and it does little to make me seem like an empath, but it was a defensive mechanism I developed to deal with being used, toyed with, discarded. It's a mechanism that came into use from active experience; don't think it's something that just popped up out of the blue.

That is, regardless, no excuse for what I've done. Maybe it is my destiny to be liked by few; some are just meant to be left on the outskirts of society. But I cannot be happy when, despite every effort I've made to remain on the side of good—to truly be a just person who treats all with the respect I'd think all humans deserve—my only reward is to be spat upon and laughed at, treated as something second-rate and unworthy of respect. The things that many people have been able to enjoy in their lives, things like love, trust, sexuality, free expression, commonality and a feeling that one does indeed belong; most of those have been denied me, or enjoyed in brief spurts that quickly fade. It' seems I destroy the possibility of these things almost willingly; I feel as if I'm simply not worthy of them anymore. Even when people freely offer these same things to me, no hurt intended. The fears of it all having been a ruse, or for disappointment and loneliness to set back in after the possibility of happiness, is enough to make me jump ship back into more familiar waters. It's happened before, and it will obviously happen again. Like I said earlier, at my heart I am a nurturer and a person who cares. I'd give my life for the sake of making someone else's life better. I still think that's true, even now. But at the same time it seems I've both irreparably damaged myself and the trust of some who have given me a chance. It wasn't fair; to give some people the feeling that they could trust me, only to yank it out and show the other side of me; the cold and detached side. The hurt that has marked my life keeps manifesting in my interactions with others; but what kind of excuse is that? Regardless of what my life has been, what right did I have to pass it onto others? Especially when I espoused how I wanted to stop that same cycle?

There have been a multitude of people who have cared about me over the years and, sooner or later, I leave them. Like that poem that mused on The Old Familiar Faces, I've done a million things to distance myself from others, my presence eventually fading into nothingness. In some cases, I simply disappeared—not because I tired of their friendship, necessarily, but because some almost indescribable feeling kept imploring me to get away. Even when those considerate souls chose to extend their hands out to me, I could not accept their gift for long. I still don't know why. But I've done it for years. I just want them to know I appreciated every minute. Sorry for being unable to follow through. Others I've actively hurt in the process, through criticism or just downright being a jerk ***. I let some kind of emotion or slight build up inside me, and, sure enough, the vitriol flows out. It's almost never necessary, and yet it comes up to the surface anyway. Despite being a person who tries to accept others as they are, I've had a tendency to get easily miffed. When things don't go as I had hoped, either in truth or just how I'm perceiving it, I quickly become dissatisfied. I don't ask for perfection from anybody, but it's like I know so little about friendship that I tend to ask people for more than what they are, as if they have to meet my ideals, and that's disgusting. I've already hurt someone who cared deeply about me in this fashion, all the while thinking I understood the person they were. I treated her as though she was a source of unhappiness to me; it's true, I had been unhappy, but she was not the root cause of that unhappiness. Had I only talked about it instead of dumping it out in a one-way explosion, the friendship might have still had a chance. I made her cry and I made her hurt; she'll never forgive me, and I have yet to see the full repercussions of what that might entail. It's not something I shrug at and continue on—I genuinely feel like garbage for what I've done. I'm not going to excuse myself and say it's a result of how I've been treated, for, as much bad as there's been, there's also been good. Some have treated me well, and I thank them for it. The only person I could blame for being who and what I was is, well, me.

What I want more than anything is redemption; to put things right to those who I have hurt. For the first time in this ridiculous train of thought, a sentence is dedicated to the feelings of others. This isn't about me; it's about the people who were perhaps foolish enough to give me their trust. Although I've indeed treated many with kindness, it's those who I have failed for whom my heart aches. How painfully hypocritical it is to have sought out trust and acceptance, yet not having the chops to dish it back in return. Life is painful, life is harsh—I shouldn't have contributed to that same cycle of pain and loss. I don't know what my future will be. I could die tomorrow in the most brutal of ways. Even now, I still fear that something will happen that will end me for good. What I do know is that I have to give a testimony, a sign that, for all it's worth, I do regret. I regret every last *****awful thing I've done. I regret being born. I regret having made friends who came to trust and admire me, since I was nothing worthy of such admiration to begin with. I regret having “friends” who let me make an impression in their hearts, only to disappear overnight like a shadowy wraith when friendship was something I could no longer sustain. I regret those who have come to love me, only to receive a one-two punch to the heart from the one they thought was good. I regret what I've done to my family, being both their greatest protector and yet an instigator of pain and division and possibly putting them in harm's way. I still regret having to leave them, defenseless as they are. I regret having parents who never lost faith in me, even when I was anything but a paragon and source of pride. To all of you, I just want to say that I'm sorry. Sorry doesn't cut it; trust me, I know and I've been told. If there really is a hell, then there'll be a millennium's worth of my suffering for each of you I've wronged. Redemption is something I will seek out for the rest of my life. But I just don't know where to find it; it's rarer than the gods of old who supposedly inhabited the highest peaks and wild seas. Does it even exist, or is that yet another idealized thought that exists only in the realm of fantasy? When you go to seek it out, you have to hit a thousand walls and climb them all to get to it. And even then, only maybe. Some say it's God's place to give, but to be honest, that means all but horse pucky to we who barely understand the universe.

It's just so tiring. I don't know what else I can say. Just don't pass a judgment too harsh on this weak, pathetic man who walks the Earth one moment and vanishes the next. Humanity is both a joy and a curse; the same things that make us unique and empowered give us the potential, if certainly not the propensity, to be terrible and wretched creatures. If and when I happen to die, I just wanted to be able to say this much and regain an ounce of my humanity, instead of going to the grave a gross caricature or a monster. There is good in me, I swear. Goodness and peace and long suffering and heartfelt care for those around me. It's always been there. It comes out at times when it seems inopportune to be there. Even if it seems otherwise, just know that 99% of the time when I said I cared, I indeed did. I cared enough to do anything and everything. But I've failed much, often, and hard, and it only takes one slip up to mar one's record indelibly. Perhaps some will read this and feel only disgust; that is acceptable. Perhaps others will read this and feel sympathy for what has been said; that, too, is fine. Some of you will wonder what in the blue hell I was going on about. Meh. Just know that I'm writing this last paragraph out for all of you—everyone. It is what it is.

At twenty-three years old, I can safely say life is for the birds.
MasteroftheDistantPrison MasteroftheDistantPrison
22-25, M
1 Response Aug 24, 2012

That was amazing. It takes a lot of courage to make apologies, amends, and explanations, and often times people still shut you out in the end, leaving you alone with the only truth you know. But some surprise you and can be just as understanding as you are complicated. <br />
That was some amazing insight and depth.

Thanks, man. I really appreciate the feedback. I just wish sometimes that I had never slipped up, so that I wouldn't have anything to regret years down the road. But then again, isn't that everyone?

Of course everyone feels that way, but I get ya, man