Well, well, well. Somehow, I ended up back in therapy. A physical gone wrong found me in a shrink’s office. Despite my rotting feet and knees, the physical went well - too well - and the doctor was happy. She said I looked very good - I asked her if her eyesight was failing. My blood work was outstanding - not one problem, even a minor problem. That was upsetting to me and my doctor noticed and the next thing I knew I had an appointment. Luckily, it was with a trainee and part of primary care, not the psych wing. It was only supposed to be 6 appointments. I didn’t really understand the point of it. It was not an assessment and was told it was not really therapy. What was the point?
I went on the condition of no psych meds, and since she is just a therapist that is not an issue.
I made it through 2 sessions. By the end of the first appointment, she was begging me to go to the psych wing for an evaluation for placement into their outpatient. Like that will happen. I did make the appointment, so I wouldn’t have to listen to her, but it is getting cancelled. It was made for after the sixth appointment, so it would not be something for her to beat me over the head with. If I had tried to assert my boundaries - like I was told that I needed to learn - she would mention it every appointment. My boundaries mean nothing no matter who I try to assert them with.
She quit before the third appointment, probably my fault. She would bring up fictional scenarios and call them contradictions when they were not. Being a pedantic jerk, I would respond that it is not a contradiction and is perfectly logical. It was in terms of negative thinking and how it colors a person’s perception. An example: “What if someone was trying to lose weight, but they love doughnuts, so they ate one. That would be a contradiction.” I said that was perfectly logical and there is no contradiction, just someone who lost their weight battle that day.
I told her that just because I might occasionally think negatively, that doesn’t mean it is not accurate. Negative things do exist. She agreed and then had the gall to tell me that she likes me and thinks that I am a good person. She also claimed that what I said about myself was not true.
“You don’t even know me.”
One thing I cannot stand anymore is someone telling me they like me. That is a huge red flag, and it makes me instantly distrust them.
Yeah, I get a little combative and push back, but there is a lot of give and take in therapy, and I am always polite about it. I feel that I need to push them into understanding me and I
expect hope that she calls me on my nonsense and tries to make me justify it. That is how one gets to the root of the issue. As long as it stays polite and in the realm of reality it is a really effective method for me.
We spoke about Irina in great detail in the second appointment. I told myself I would not even mention her. It is what it is and talking about it won’t help. I have tried to write about everything I could possibly think about us, her motivations, and where I messed it up. It never did help. She is still my first and last thought of the day and would do almost anything to get another chance with her - but I am realistic enough to know that will never happen.
I can’t remember how it got there. Oddly, I started shaking badly - she looked frantically at my records on the computer and I think she saw epilepsy and was afraid I was going to have a seizure. For some reason, she kept calling her my fiancé, which is false and certainly didn’t help. She was never officially or even unofficially that. I did tell her that was and is my wish - as if it was an actual possibility - I just don’t know what game she was playing. However, that ship has sailed, at least for her. The therapist mistakenly believed it was Irina’s wish to marry me, but I have no idea if that is true. She did say it was obvious that I loved her very much, and it kept my fire going. I just said, “What does it matter at this point?”
Irina was almost the entire second session. We also spoke about the fact that I am not allowed any happiness and bad things happen when good things happen to me. That got me labelled as potentially having PTSD, which is ridiculous. I have witnessed trauma of other people, but I have not had any trauma to speak of in my life, and I am fantastic at compartmentalizing. Even my several near-death experiences give me no anxiety whatsoever. Even at the time it happened. Oddly, I don’t even feel sad that I survived. I feel nothing about them.
A day before the third appointment, the VA called and told me: “She called this morning and said that she quit.” They asked if I wanted to finish the other four sessions with someone else. I did not. It is for the best as I hadn’t done the homework she gave me. If I had filled out the journal accurately it would have terrified her. I filled it out mentally and was debating if I should tone it down or give it to her unfiltered.
I am not in a good place for therapy, which sounds weird. It is for people in bad places. For me, all it did was cause me to ruminate on issues between appointments, and it affected me negatively. I have been declining for months. The appointments were weeks apart - which is not therapy. That sort of thing is harmful to me.
One thing it did do was cause me to assess other failed relationships, and it made me realize that they were all toxic. Every single one of them.
I had thought that toxic relationships were when people couldn’t really get along or were abusive and at least one of them did things like gaslighting. According to others, I have suffered a lot of abuse in relationships, but it is not the type I think about when I think of abuse or toxicity. There is the small matter that I probably deserved the alleged abuse because I am boring, ugly, etc.
I got along well with all of them, but a few did unkind things - to put it mildly - neglectful things. I can imagine deserving it if true.
Of all of those that ended, it did so in ways that are not normal and supposedly very cruel. It seems that makes them toxic?
They were all different people that treated me very differently during the relationship. From disdain, to disinterest to very attentive and interested. Yet, all the relationships allegedly ended up in a toxic pit.
What is the common denominator? Me! I am the toxic one.
Aren’t epiphanies great?
Here is another one: It is impossible for me to not have a toxic relationship, even though it is not abusive, and we get along well. It is toxic nonetheless, and results in the other person fleeing. It is not even anything she did or is.
It is me. The types of people that could tolerate me really don’t mix well with me, and can’t tolerate me for long. No one does. If everyone is bleach, I am ammonia. They don’t mix without emitting poison.
I think the idea of me is far better than the reality of me. Thinking back to Irina, she definitely acted differently before we spent time together and after. I think I did too. It was light, fun, playful, and exciting before our visit. During our visit, it was a little less open and subdued, but still fun and playful. That visit did have serious implications that might have put too much weight on things. I wish I did so many things differently, no idea if it could have changed the outcome. After the visit, it was noticeably heavy and serious - with periods of playful conversations and videos. Ironically, the last fun and playful video chat was the last video chat that we had.
We still chatted now and again after that for a week or two before she would vanish yet again.
Things were very tense when she came back at first and over the next nine months we chatted off and on. There were only hints of what we used to be, she was trying, but I was just not enough. From the time we met in meat space, I could detect disappointment. Disappointment in me.
I could go on and on about multiple relationships.
In every case, the reality of me didn’t measure up to what they thought I was. That is odd to write because I am not that great on paper either.
If that is not toxic what is?
I am financially secure - not rich. I have wonderful daughters and grandkids. A few sisters and a mom who tolerates me. A decent house that I never have to stress about the mortgage payment. I don’t have to worry about starving. Not at risk for being homeless ever, is all a great blessing.
Yet, I feel empty.
There are two things I wish I had. The first is a body and mind that aren’t falling apart. It is making simple things very hard.
The other is a loving relationship where she is happy with me because I do my best to make her happy every day.
That is all I want, and can never have. Not ever. It feels like it is so common and ordinary, yet completely out of reach. It seems like a big missing piece of life.
I can’t blame women.
I have the personality of wet cardboard. There is nothing about me that a person could attach to and base a long-term relationship on. I guess it was easier to hide that when I was texting and video chatting.
I cannot connect with people healthily.
I also can’t find a good person on purpose. When I do - and I have - it is just dumb luck.
When it comes to someone I love, I tend to put up blind spots- which gets me into trouble. Anyone else I can normally suss them out. There are only a few times I whiffed on figuring out someone. I find that hilarious since I am extremely socially awkward. I think it has to do with my tendency to stay back and observe and not socialize, and added to my INFJ-ness I can figure out people pretty quickly. Somehow, I can’t use that skill on someone I like, because I always instantly know I like them and my superpower disappears.
At this point, I am so avoidant, it really doesn’t matter. If I were invited to some highfalutin gathering, I would not fit in. It would be impossible to have a conversation with anyone there. It would be like a ghost floating through a crowd.
All of this is undeniably true, and it is the reason I will be alone forever, and it is helping with acceptance.
Maybe if I could project a more realistic idea of myself, there wouldn’t be such disappointment in the reality of me. Of course, if I did that, no one would talk to me. It seems to be a paradox that is a loss for me and a huge win for everyone else.
Here is a good enough definition of toxic:
A toxic person is anyone whose behavior adds negativity and upset to your life. Many times, people who are toxic are dealing with their own stresses and traumas. To do this, they act in ways that don’t present them in the best light and usually upset others along the way.
I honestly don’t think it negatively impacts people, so it isn’t severe toxicity. I do not act maliciously against others. It is funny how there are a million articles about how to avoid and reject toxic people but few on how not to be toxic. That tells me I probably need to be tossed into the trash which is why I avoid everyone.
Perhaps toxic isn’t the right term since I am not a danger to anyone under any circumstance. Toxic-lite? All of my negative behavior is pointed directly at me and I don’t blame others, so how can it affect other people?
The term isn’t that important.
One thing I have noticed is that lately, I tend to live very deeply in my mind. The world is just some fuzzy background noise. When someone talks to me, it physically hurts. I get ripped out of my mental world and back into the real world. It does hurt my head. It also makes me disoriented for a short while which is probably off-putting. Maybe I should wear a shirt that says: “Talking to me hurts, leave me alone, please.”
Generally, it takes about 30 seconds before I understand what they are saying and in that time, I also get a little paranoid and think that they are attacking me in some way, verbally. Or just laughing at me.
A good thing about living in my head is that it fills the empty hole I have had since I lost the best girl in the world. I am almost happy in that state. I think the best case for me is that I just live a fake life in my head.
It is difficult to stop thinking that everything and everyone is against me.
Even inanimate objects. I don’t care if people are against me, I have no use for people anymore. If I never speak to another human it will be too soon. Yes, I am aware of the (actual) contradiction between this statement and what I said earlier about wanting relationships. I never claimed to be consistent.
Honestly, if I somehow miracled a relationship, I would still not want to speak to anyone but her so there is some consistency there.
Objects are still a little important to me and need to push through it.
Even basic things have become impossible. Not for physical or mental reasons, there are no definite answers as to why everything is hard these days.
I think it comes down to confidence. I have none. Even riding my bike isn’t really a thing anymore. Changing the oil in my car seems impossible because for some reason I visualize the jackstands sliding out, which is impossible - or at least highly unlikely. Physics is a thing. It is the same thing with everything. Driving my car is scary these days - not just because I hate my car. I visualize getting into an accident which is weird because I am a pretty decent driver and the last fender bender I got into - which was minor, no damage to speak of - was in 1990.
Even cooking is challenging. I have a ton of recipes to try on my list and some new ones I am developing on paper. It is just hard to cook for some reason. Even simple things seem out of reach. This is not good for my health and weight.
It is impossible to get my hair cut. At first, it was the thought of a stranger - or anyone if I am being honest - touching me that I couldn’t deal with. Now it is just impossible to get there. My hair is really long and bugs me. If I can get there, maybe I can figure out a new hairstyle since it is so long, not that I have a ton of hair to style. There is enough to dye it black. My daughters would laugh if I did that.
I guess there is hope. I have been programming. I played around with graphics libraries for the retro-style game system and I also picked up a new project. A web-based recipe book creator. It will be able to generate e-books and print books from recipe submissions. It is not super fun or challenging, but it is getting my mind to wake up a little.
I can finally follow fairly technical astronomy videos, tweak the layout for pages generated for this site or attempt to read books written in Russian. It is insane how far my mind has fallen. It was my only asset.
Reading it is slow-going but it is helping. Duolingo is very limited, I still need resources to help me figure out why ‘я’ isn’t always used for ‘I’. Duolingo is just not helpful for grammar or pronunciation. I can read Russian far better than I can speak, it is difficult to form some sounds. But, I will never need to speak it. I will never need to read it either. I just want to learn it and that means being able to speak it somewhat well. Reading it sometimes isn’t great because I don’t mentally sound out the word, I just pattern match. But that gets me into trouble with words spelled similarly. If I continue getting my mind working, it will come.
Between all my projects on my computer and at home, I am making progress which is helping. It is very slow going. I have difficulty working or concentrating for more than an hour or two. My anti-inflammatory medication for my feet causes a lot of dizziness and sucks energy. It either blocks my headache medication or just makes my headaches worse. This might be why it is so hard to get things done, and I have so much to do. The first medication caused days-long vomiting sessions, so this is a step forward. For non-programming projects, my feet aren’t helping, but it isn’t the entire cause. Is it a lack of motivation or confidence? It may be both.
If the motivation to have a list of projects is there, is it confidence?
It might be possible that my degenerating feet making me limited is the culprit. A lot of this weirdness started around then, it is likely contributory and not the main cause.
Sleep is not great, but not terrible. Falling asleep is hard. Every night for months, I feel like I am dying, so it takes a long time to get to sleep. Then I have a deep 4-6 hours, which is super great for me.
The reason sleep is not awful is that I put up vinyl blackout shades on my bedroom window. With the lights off, it is pitch black in the middle of the day. It isn’t perfectly installed, so a tiny amount of light goes around my blackout curtains. I can’t properly express how calming and nice it is to be able to be in near total darkness 24/7. It is truly a dungeon now.
I need to do something with this annoying want to have a friendship or relationship. It is getting smaller thankfully, but it is there deep down. I will have to take drastic measures to get rid of it completely.
I have been working on a solution to end me. The last time I wrote about it, I mentioned heavy metal poisoning. That is probably not good enough. Like I told the therapist, I would like to die but it has to be done slowly and painfully. Extreme pain that is constant, for at least a month, longer if possible. Anything less will fail and cause my life to be worse. If I am being honest, even though I deserve it, it doesn’t sound like fun. So, it is back to the drawing board. The universe simply will not let go of its chew toy without an epic, grand finale.
It feels like I am at a crossroads, or just in limbo. I can stay on the lonely path I am on that leads to a long and painful death or can turn slightly and move on a path that leads to a long and extremely painful death but a shorter and just as much of a lonely life. It is all pain and regret no matter what.
At least there are no wrong decisions. Whichever path I choose, there is nothing to be gained or lost. I just have to figure it out alone, like everything else.