This is going to be a long read.. this post details the pain that I have bottled up inside for so long, more then a decade worth of pain. I though that I could just hold on to it.. but so far it has only caused me even more pain and it needs to be offloaded some place, so here it is. It took me a long time to find the words to describe the pain, and my apologizes for anyone feeling angered or hurt by this…
It started out as an ordinary day, went out early in the morning to grab some breakfirst at the Indian coffee shop nearby. Went back home, sat down and had my breakfirst. I was nearly done eating when my mom woke up. She went on to clean up a few things in the kitchen and then proceeded to sit down next to me to eat. She then uttered these words:
“Adi, when do you want to get married?”
“Well, that came out of nowhere”, said I, being kinda taken aback by it.
“You are close to 30 years old and you haven’t found a girl yet. Do you see yourself getting married within the next 10 years?”, she asked.
“Yes, of course”, said I. It was the ‘correct answer’, I guess. I didn’t want to worry her on things like this. The more truthful answer would probably be, “Yes, but probably in the next life”. See, I’m not the type to argue, I just give ’em what I think they want to hear, which is way easier, with a lot less drama.
She then talks about God and religion, encouraging me to do my own reading. I guess she must have read my Aunts playbook (ie. use God as a way to lightly coerce me into quickly getting my act together and finding a mate ASAP). God wants you to get married young, after all, so that you could raise healthy offsprings. Be fruitful and multiply, and stuff. It’s time to pay it forward, etc etc.
I then said, “I would only be comfortable getting married when I feel things are more stabilized”, to which she said something along the line of: you know, back then we (ie. my parents) started out, we didn’t have much, but with our combined efforts (and money), we are able to survive.
I nod in agreement and just let the topic drop on its own.
But in the back of my mind, I was thinking, “Ma, why do you have to open Pandora’s Box so early in the bloody morning”.
See, the thing is, I have a very different memory of “back then”:
My parents were having some epic argument. I can’t really remember what age I was in or what words were exchanged, all I know was that things were getting really heated between the two. My dad stormed out of the house shortly after, and my mom called me into the room. As I entered the room, I saw her lying on the bed, sobbing heavily. I went next to her to console her, then she said something that I will never forget:
“Adi, don’t be like that man”.
Of course, she most likely meant, don’t be like the person who hurt their wives. That stayed with me. Over the years of witnessing turmoil at home, mostly over money, I’ve made a rule for myself:
Don’t bother getting married young.
I remembered that when I was in Primary school, I was bullied by my classmates. The teachers did nothing, as usual. I didn’t really know how to process it all, and I remembered just sobbing away multiple times in the middle of class over the first times that I felt this immense feeling of loneliness and alienation. I didn’t really socialize with my classmates that well I guess, due to shyness and my odd behavioral tics.
It was also around this time that I remember being sexually abused.. a bully held a knife to me and forced me to engage in oral sex with him. I kept quiet and just did as I was told. I didn’t tell anyone about this, mostly out of a deep sense of shame and I didn’t want to bother anybody else. Didn’t bother to tell my teachers because, well, they are busy with other stuff. Didn’t tell my parents because I didn’t want to bother them, too. Probably they won’t take it seriously, anyway.
The trend of self imposed isolation and being socially distant continued in secondary school and it’s only until later in my last year in the school that I opened up. It was here that I was sent to a counselor for writing some essay or a journal entry that has some mention of being deeply depressed and contemplating suicide. I think it was a piece on “what would you do if you only have a few weeks to live” that I turned into a revenge story that closely mimics the Columbine Massacre, with me killing all the “popular” kids in a bloody rage and then killing myself (I guess I was Tarantino before I knew who Tarantino was).
Looking back, I guess it all came from the feelings of anger and betrayal, of the people I looked up to as “adults”. It’s also due to the isolation that I feel, at school and at home sometimes. I guess this is when I developed the ability to tolerate being alone for so long without talking to anyone. I would go out, not because I wanted to be with people but because I wanted to be alone in the crowd. Sometimes I would think about something and I would have lively discussions in my head that I vocalize (ie. literally talking to myself), which lead some kids who saw this behavior to believe that I was cuckoo crazy. What would you do if you feel like you have no one else to talk to? Like your feelings don’t matter? You’ll become emotionally vacant and you’ll create phantoms in your mind.
It was also during those years that I developed a keen interest in the girls in my class, but due to my shyness and other factors, I couldn’t bring myself to talk them. I was much happier observing from a distance, like I am watching an animal documentary or something. “Observing” quickly turned into staring at them, which I guess lead to them feeling really uncomfortable. I guess I like to have an image of the girls in my mind and not to directly engage them in conversation, like I created a fake version of them in my head. I did this so that there wouldn’t be a way for me to hurt them, physically or otherwise. How can you hurt something that is not real?
Reminds me of my time in an SME two years ago.. There were a few girls in the company who were pretty but there was one girl who likes to wear those short jeans and tight shirts. Really pretty. As she walks past my table, I couldn’t help myself.. I just turned and looked at her. My mind was playing tricks on me again.. couldn’t really concentrate on the job at hand. A few months later when she resigned from the company, she confided to my team lead saying that she didn’t feel safe working there as I kept staring at her all the time. I didn’t say anything to her, it’s just my mind playing tricks on me. Its not like I was stalking her, following her to her house or something. I regret making her feel like that, which was one of the many reasons why I decided to make a move from that company.
I mean, to me, it makes a lot of logical sense.. I was deeply afraid of being “that man”. The only way to avoid being “that man” is to not be in that situation in the first place, that is, being married and having kids. How do you avoid being married? Simple, just avoid having a girlfriend. How to you avoid having a girlfriend? Don’t talk to girls unless they talk to you, or you need to talk to them as part of your work.. you know, just avoid them completely. Your existence alone is enough of a burden to the people around you. There is no reason to add to that number. It runs so deep that I developed a phobia to females in general, I mean, I just feel weird when I am around them, like there’s this deep sexual attraction that never gets addressed (and maybe that is for the better). Even just momentarily touching a girls hand is enough to put me into a state of deep anxiety and worry. I guess I am destined to be alone for the rest of my life.
There were times in my life that, for some reason or another, some girls were interested in me, but because I was so afraid of being “that man”, I essentially just run away from them. Avoid bumping into them, avoid talking to them. There’s even one time at work one girl even pulled me aside and said “I am in love with you, Adi”. That was my “deer in headlights” moment, I was completely taken aback by that statement.. the thoughts running through my mind as I stood there frozen were “what do you mean you love me? Even I don’t love myself. I don’t have much money, even. Go find someone else who is more worthy of your love”.. of course, I didn’t say nothing to her, and thankfully she found someone else to love who is going to love her back. I guess I have hurt some of them with my reaction, but I think that it would be much less painful then actually being in a relationship with me.. I guess I am saving them from myself.
So yeah, the above is what I have to deal with, one of the things that keep me up at night. If you have been avoiding females for such a long time and you have already developed a deeply negative emotional response in association to just the thought of being in love with a girl, where you start feeling moderately stressed when there are girls around, how do you even begin to start finding a girlfriend? There’s also a feeling of learned helplessness when it comes to this situation, like “you are born alone, and you will die alone”. Like this is something totally unfix-able, and that I should not even bother with the question in the first place. Something to take with you to your grave. Maybe the next time my mom or my pesky relatives start asking “when are you going to get married”, maybe I’ll share this post to them, maybe they will understand how deep this wound that they are touching really is, and maybe they’ll stop asking me that stupid fucking question… or maybe they won’t. Maybe, they’ll genuinely want to help me overcome this thing, but i highly doubt this.
In a way, I admire my parents ability to just say what they are feeling. They just start scolding and screaming, get that out of their system, and then go on with their day. I feel like I can’t do that, to be honest with what I am feeling, like I have grown numb to my own feelings, such that it could take about half a day before the full truth of the emotions start to present itself to me. If I could ignore my own feelings, probably I could (in a sense) ignore other peoples feelings as well, whether I realize it or not.
So how to we fix this? I don’t know, maybe that’s why I never have. I played video games and bury myself in work to avoid answering that question. It’s a minor miracle that I did not start drinking alcohol, smoke, or start abusing drugs to cope with the pain. I’ve used painkillers to dull the pain and help me fall asleep, but you know, you’ll do what you have to do. Thank you for reading this till the end, I hope this helps you understand the way in which I am broken, and if you have been hurt by what I have to say, I hope that you could find it within yourself to forgive me.
TLDR: On girls and relationships in general. I’m NOT gay.. It’s just some painful things happened in my life and it taints my ability to have a normal relationship with them ever since.