I Do Feel Like I’m Losing My Mind

I’m going to the doctor this morning. I’m going to try to get some of this shit settled out. I mean, my family is… well… them. But I’m not bouncing back. I’m sleeping weird. I’m in a raging jealousy that my coworker has a social life, for no good reason, when in real life I like him and I want him to be happy here. And I don’t want to hang out with him myself, because it seems like all he does is drink and stay up all night and I like to not drink and sleep a lot.

Maybe I’m jealous in part because he got a date just by walking into a place and being responsive to someone while a hungover grouchy mess and I have walked into many places in Nashville being vaguely responsive to someone while a grouchy mess and no one has ever asked me out in those circumstances.

The complicating thing is that I really like my life. But a question that sits on the back burner in my mind is “If I’m so great, why doesn’t anyone love me?”

The answers are that my family is right and that I’m not so great. I’m a sad sack of shit to be pitied. Or that I am so great and I have a hard time recognizing love that doesn’t hurt me, which…. god… is depressing.

But also, I like this life, how it is right now. And I want to feel good (even great) in it without needing the validation of someone loving me in order to feel it.

And I am loved, deeply loved, by my friends and intellectually I know it. I’ve never been any more lonely than I’ve wanted to be. I’m also very loved by my community, which is another amazing blessing. Not everyone gets public validation of how much people like them. I get it pretty regularly.

I’m so lucky. And yet I can’t bring my whole self along to believe it.

3 thoughts on “I Do Feel Like I’m Losing My Mind

  1. I’m of a similar age to you, and though I have a good life and many friends who value me, I’ve never found requited love. For me it feels WORSE that I have so many friends, not comforting, because it shows that there’s nothing inherently wrong with my personality or my social relationships that would drive love away from me.

    But I’m a smart, fat woman in America. And I can have great self esteem and a wonderful personality, but that will still always be a problem, no matter how I work on myself. No matter how much I think I deserve love.

    I’ve had a hard time talking this through with counselors, because they seem to want to find what I’m doing wrong that’s keeping love out of my life. Do I not feel worthy of it? Am I not open to finding it? And when I say that, sure, that could be part of the problem. But there’s also a problem of social stigma that I can not overcome through self development and force of will, they don’t hear me. They just can’t understand the words I’m saying.

    I came across the concept of “ambiguous loss”, and have found that helpful for my own self-knowledge. It’s when you’re mourning the absence of something, mourning a loss that has no discrete end point. There are articles out there that can help.

    I always feel weird commenting here, as an internet stranger. But I feel for you. You’re not the only one going through this. It’s real.

  2. J.S. I really appreciate your comments. And this one has given me a lot to think about. I do think I probably do tend to be hard to love, at least at first, both because I don’t want to be abused and yet that’s familiar to me, and because I don’t want to be someone’s experiment in “bizarre bodies.”

    But I have been spending the week feeling like I’m not good enough for anyone. I’m not good enough for my family even though I have all these accomplishments and I’ve done all this neat stuff. And while I certainly know, intellectually, that there isn’t anything I can do to change that dynamic, I think I have this fantasy that, if someone who didn’t have to love me loved me, then they’d have to see that I’m worthy of love.

    And, since I don’t have that, I think there’s an ugly part of me that believes wholeheartedly that they’re right, even though, objectively, this is my life.

  3. I’m glad that my comment didn’t hurt your feelings. I’d worried after I wrote it.

    And again, I feel echos of myself and some of the bullshit I’m dealing with right now, in what you’re saying here.

    So I’ll say this: How many people out there have found love? A whole lot of them! Are you not as good as ALL those people? Are you more flawed than ALL the partnered people? No. No, you are not.

    You know who found a partner? Hitler. Hitler got married. Are you worse than Hitler? Was anyone telling Hitler, “Adolf, you really need to work on yourself in order to be worthy of love.” No, no they did not.

    Also: If your family has decided that you’re “impossible to love” then anything you do, anything at all, will be seen as proof of that. No matter what it is that you do. Maybe you raise puppies and hand them out to people in need for free therapeutic cuddles. Well, dang, you’re just a self-aggrandizing puppy peddler, aren’t you? You puppy-peddling jerk.

    You can’t win this one. The only way to win this “game” is not to play.

    (Again, this was a hard-won realization I came to because of my own nutty-ass family.)

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