Disclaimer: I’ve noticed some people from my past are annoyed that I’m asking anyone to read this blog by sharing it around. The only people I have specifically asked to read this are people I look up to and would benefit from getting their specific opinion and feedback. They are people I trust enough to be honest with me, call me out on my shit, and be critical when I need it. I don’t like this culture of confirmation bias and I don't need that in my life. I’m not drawing attention to myself. I’m not bragging. I’m just doing something I want to do, that does not affect you in any way.
So let me be clear: You don’t have to read anymore.
If you don’t give a shit, and you don’t want to know/care what I have to say, stop reading now.
I’ve been asked multiple times to sort of justify why I’m writing at all.
First of all: What does it matter to you? No, seriously, why? Why does anything I do, that has no effect on your life, matter to you in the slightest? This whole concept is lost on me. I could go on for pages and pages about how it makes no sense to give a fuck about what other people are doing if it doesn’t affect you at all, but I won’t... today.
Why am I writing? I think I have some interesting things to say because I look at the world differently from you, just as you do from everyone else you know. We all have interesting things to say. I don’t think it’s arrogant to get my thoughts out and make them public.
If you, The Omnipresent Reader, doesn’t like the fact that I’m writing anything about myself or my life, just stop reading. This one’s a little personal. It’s all about me.
I don’t like opening up to people.
It’s been a huge problem in every relationship I’ve ever had.
It seems to be getting worse the older I get.
It’s debilitating and it holds me back from the greatest things in life. It makes me miserably lonely at times, and it’s just fucking stupid.
That’s a huge reason why I started this self-indulgent blog.
If I write about my life, it allows me to convey certain things I wouldn’t usually put out there.
This is, by all accounts, me letting people in.
Writing these is an exercise at getting my honest thoughts out... It’s an attempt at becoming more vulnerable. I’m offering myself through these words. I want to be able to grow as a person. I want to get better. For god sake, I want to be able to open up!
Even as I wrote that, in the back of my head, a not-so-subtle voice just poked me in the back of my eyeballs and said, “You fucking pussy!”
The truth is, there are a lot of reasons I don’t trust other people. Almost all of them are foolish and not worth holding on to, but I do anyways.
Yesterday I woke up to an old friend posting a snarky comment on one of the billion social media platforms I have.
(I have multiple accounts with various names, hiding various things from various people... Guarded? Nahhhhh)
It was a post of an innocent joke that I made at my brother’s expense.
The comment was about something so completely ridiculous and nowhere near their business, and really out of character. (I think?) It insinuated that I was attempting to maliciously hurt him to draw attention to myself.
That fucked me up.
The entire day I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
First of all, anyone who knows my brother or me would know that this would never in a million years be offensive.
We have a great relationship. We are so fucking similar in all the best ways, and very different it all the non-important ones. This makes for great conversations. I look to him for advice, guidance, and most importantly, laughter. He’s fucking hilarious.
We will debate all the time, but it’s (almost) always intelligently done and respectful. If he presents a better idea that makes more logical sense, I will change my mind. He does the same. Or, if we do disagree, we don’t get butthurt about it.
That’s how people are supposed to communicate, btw. If someone presents facts and can back it up, adjust your views accordingly. Debating facts with beliefs is just fucking silly. Stop being such a team player to the losing team of non-sense. If someone proves you wrong, don’t cling to your incorrect original idea just because your ego can’t stand being wrong. That’s childish.
But I digress,
My brother is a goofball.
I am a goofball.
We joke around, a lot. We make fun of each other all the fucking time. It’s healthy. We don’t protect our egos like they are something to be valued. (Spoiler: no one’s ego is)
So when a friend sort of insinuated that I was doing a shitty thing for sharing a dumb joke, I got upset. I started second-guessing my self. For a brief moment I thought, “Am I a huge asshole for this?”... But then I realized it was obviously a fucking joke and should be treated as such.
This person knows me well. They know my brother well. We all grew up together. So what the fuck was the problem? When did making salty/snarky comments become an acceptable thing to do? What benefit does it have? And why was it this person doing it? It didn’t make sense to me. It kinda hurt.
So why am I still rambling about a comment on social media the next day? Because the way it fucked with me, helps lead into the reasons why I’m so shit at opening up to people.
It’s a perfect example that shows the roots of some of my issues.
I don’t truly trust many people.
And even them, I still guard a lot.
I have a lot of friends that I genuinely love and will talk endlessly to about all sorts of things, but I always reserve a lot of important shit.
I protect certain things about myself and it doesn’t help me at all. It’s actually debilitating. Letting friends in and letting them help is a great benefit of the human experience that I don’t often take advantage of.
I don’t want to be viewed as vulnerable. I don’t want to be pitied. I don’t want to appear weak in any way. I don’t want to let people in, because when you let someone in, you give them the ability to rip your fucking heart out.
And sometimes, they do.
Any time I have ever been hurt by someone that I trusted, I put walls up. I shut down the flow of any personal information immediately. They will, for the rest of our lives, not have the chance to hurt me again. Even if I forgive them, and move past it, I am hugely reserved in sharing certain information. This isn’t something I like about myself. I have rarely been able to successfully forgive someone completely.
This is a problem. It’s a self defense mechanism, so it’s understandable and I can tell where it comes from, but it’s a real problem.
There are only a handful of instances where I have been betrayed by someone close, and then was able to move past it. It has never once been me attempting to move past it. I don’t seek to forgive. Their actions can change my mind, however.
Once, when I was in seventh grade I had two friends steal money out of my P.E. locker. I knew it was these two people immediately. It was my first thought. Followed shortly by series of thoughts that would set the groundwork for developing my future insecurities. Those thoughts were: Why the fuck would they steal from me? Do friends really do this to each other? Are they actually my friends?
I asked them immediately and nervously and they said it wasn’t them. They even tried over compensating by pretending to help me find out who did it. It was at school, so we even went to the principal together. They were, and still are, horrible liars.
This is a clear moment in my memory. I can remember details so vividly about this negative interaction that it sort of scares me. I can re-live this by closing my eyes and picturing my self as a child going through this with intense clarity. Just thinking about it makes my stomach turn. As I’m writing this, I can feel that horrible feeling. It’s loneliness. It’s anger. It’s sadness. It’s betrayal.
This was the defining incident that taught me two very cold, but necessary life lessons:
1. People will hurt you, so be careful who you give that ability.
2. People you trust can take advantage of you, so be careful who you trust.
Anyways, the school never found out who did it. I knew they did it, but I was too much of a coward to press the issue any further. My pain told me that just pretending it’s cool was better. So, my friends got away with it. I just quietly "let it go"
(I didn't let it go.)
Many years later in college, I told them one drunken night that I knew it was them. I can’t remember how it came up, but I remember thinking it would be funny and light-hearted. They looked at each other nervously. Like they were caught, or maybe even for a split-second looked at each other and internally debating on whether or not to keep lying? I could have just been paranoid.
My stomach started fluttering. My little “ha-ha” moment got serious on accident. They both came clean and apologized. For some reason, with my voice trembling from an unnecessary adrenaline rush from being incredibly nervous, I just spilled out, “Yeah that’s where a lot of my trust issues started haha!”
It was wildly uncomfortable, to say the least.
One of those friends I trust today. We have great conversations. I gain a lot from having him in my life. I learn a lot. I am thankful he is around. I have a lot of love and respect for him.
But it wasn’t me who sought out to forgive him. It was his actions, his character, and his honesty. I value that in people.
The other friend, however, I don’t allow myself to trust very much. This isn’t necessarily an isolated occurrence to this person specifically, either. I do the same with 99.9% of all people in my life. He's not a bad person by any means, but I have walked in on him talking shit behind my back multiple times through out my life. That shit sucks. I’m sure I even did the same when we were younger to some how get back at him. Mature. There are, strangely, a lot of friends from high school that I’ve caught doing that as adults –not that long ago.
I’m not sure if it’s just that we all grew up together so there is a lot of weird history that you would expect from knowing someone for so long, or if it’s weird childish gossip-y tendencies that are somehow still acceptable amongst this group. To be honest, they may have grown out of it by now. I haven’t been around much the last few years. I know I was still doing shitty things three years ago that I would never dream of doing today. People change. People grow. That’s how life works.
Whatever the case, these things didn’t help much for my growing insecurities and trust issues at the time. I don’t hate any of them for doing any of these things. I don’t even really mind, much. In fact, I’m still (relatively) close to these people. I would consider them good, life-long friends. I just don’t really trust them. I’ve been burned too many times. Again, maybe it’s the product of knowing people for so long. Who knows?
I just know that I prefer the whole, “If you have a problem with me, have a conversation with me and let’s figure it out” type of situations. They seem to preserve trust better, and be a more honest/healthy way to go about these tricky situations.
Any one of the five people I trust would call me on my shit. That’s a HUGE reason why I trust them. If they have a problem with my actions (or me), they will let me know. That shows that they care about me. I need people around who are able to help me grow. If I’m doing something wrong, I trust that these people will be there for me and tell me what I’m doing is wrong.
So, I need to open up more to friends. I have a lot of amazing friends that I love to death. It’s strange when thinking how little some of them know about me. It’s not their fault, by any means. It’s mine. I will rant and talk about anything, but I never give much information that’s crucial to me.
I’m working on it.
Isn’t this too long already? I think blogs are supposed to be shorter than this.
I don’t really read many blogs. I’m trying to now, and most of them seem to be shorter.
Maybe I should just skip this section?
Yeah, that’s not cowardly.
This part is the real reason I wanted to write this post. But it’s fucking difficult! Every thing in my body screams, “Don’t share this! What do you stand to gain from sharing any of this?” And that voice in my head is still calling me a Pussy.
I want to be open to Love.
I have claimed to be “broken” many times, through various parts of my life.
I have shut down the possibility of letting a potential partner in, and at times, I don’t know how to reverse it.
I have been called:
Distant, emotionally unavailable, cold, bitter, angry, depressing, wild, untrustworthy, distracted, negative, uncaring, etc.
All of which have been true at one point or another.
This is a close second to what I despise most about myself.
I fancy myself a caring guy. I’m relatively happy. I try to become better every day. I make conscious efforts to be a good friend and be kind to anyone I come in contact with. I smile at people. I talk to strangers.
I’m obviously a really good/amazing/perfect guy... Maybe one of the best that has ever existed.
Fuckin' Christ, can I avoid relationships like the plague.
The few times I have been in love, I have been called (usually in order): Romantic, caring, kind, loving, obsessive, complicated, jealous, angry, vindictive, competitive, cruel, etc.
This is the thing I despise most about myself.
I have given my heart away a few times.
Each time I fall ridiculously in love. I become obsessed. There is an intense physical feeling of joy. Dopamine, Serotonin, and all that other good shit starts pumping through my brain causing these amazing happy feelings. Every time I see, smell, or hear them, I get a fix. I become addicted. I become dependent on that feeling. It’s the greatest goddamn feeling in the world. Better than any drug I’ve ever done. Better than any amount of money. It’s even better than any other form of love I have ever experienced thus far.
“You fucking pussy!”
However, each time I have been hurt by someone in some small way (where I could have easily had a conversation about it and attempted to resolve it), I keep my mouth shut. Instead, I do the same thing that I did when my two friends stole money from me in middle school. I just pretend it will blow over. I pretend it’s easier to not start an argument.
In my experience, if I let someone know that I’ve been hurt, they try and deny it and it starts an argument. There is a break down in communication and feelings come out and it just gets ugly.
So, instead of doing the correct/healthy thing, I put the walls up. Slowly and incrementally, I build the walls around me and leave my partner out in the cold. The problem with that is that I always seem to leave my heart outside those walls in the protection of the one I love.
What happens in a codependent relationship when one person shuts the other out, while the other one starts to get revenge by stabbing at that heart with comments and poking at their insecurities?
It turns into a fucking emotional blood bath.
I know what you’re thinking, “You’re not doing love right, Matt.”
I shouldn’t put the walls up, right? I should be more trusting, right? I shouldn't treat it like a competition, right?
Yeah. Hindsight is twenty-twenty, asshole.
Obviously all the relationships I’ve been in have ended. I haven’t been in many, and none have ended well.
I become devastated.
That supply of all those happy chemicals in my brain is depleted and intense grief fills my entire being.
I go through withdrawals.
I shut down.
I can’t function.
I can’t leave bed.
I act like a whiny little bitch.
I become incredibly vulnerable and it’s the worst feeling I’ve ever felt.
I swear, I fucking hate admitting that.
Every serious relationship I’ve been in has ended the same way. The break up is brutal and I become reduced to this ghostly, non-productive, unrecognizable, whiny little bitch version of myself that I wish didn’t exist. No matter how hard I close my eyes and pretend that part of me doesn’t exist, it does. I can’t avoid that. That fucking terrifies me.
It cripples me.
It doesn’t allow me to let people in and it shuts out the possibility of experiencing the greatest thing in life; Love.
Worst of all, it’s hurt people I genuinely care about.
There has been a few times in the not so distant past where I thought I would be able to get over this and work through it, but ended up not being able to. It’s not fair. It's incredibly uncool. It weighs on my conscience heavily.
I’m terribly sorry.
I feel horrible.
You didn’t deserve that. No one deserves that.
I’m just.. I’m just so fucking sorry.
I’m working on it.
I know that got a little depressing there for a few seconds (the whole time). I don’t want to bum anyone out that does in fact read this post, but this blog is me trying to work on this stuff.
I am working on these problems. I understand what’s happening now and therefore I can prevent myself from building any more walls.
(WALLS ARE NEVER A GOOD THING YOU ORANGE FUCK!)
Being honest is incredibly beneficial to me –Both by being unapologetically honest to others, and having them be the same to me.
Honesty prevents the walls.
And for the walls already in place?
Writing about all of this is my attempt at dealing with these ridiculous issues and taking those walls down brick by brick.
This is me letting people in.
This is me, being vulnerable.
This is me, recording my life.
And you knowing this about me is not information I would normally offer up. Until right now.
There’s hope! Everywhere I look there is hope! There is so much fucking Love in this world. Some times it’s overwhelming to think about. I, like you, have a lot to offer to other people. Let’s have a conversation. Let’s get to know each other. Let’s add more Love, because it’s the greatest fucking thing on the planet.
If I wrote about you and you are upset with me, please don’t be, but if you are, just know that these aren’t things I’m saying in a vindictive, malicious or cruel way.
These are things that I’ve mulled over many times and attempted to deliver in the most honest way that I can think of. If you want to talk about it, give me a call, shoot me an e-mail, send a raven, do whatever... just get a hold of me. I’m available.
(Though I’m notoriously horrible at texting.)