He Said, She Said.

He said some shit, She said some shit. The argument crescendo ends with a slamming of doors.. I was in my room the whole time.. I was too afraid to say or do something lest I get a verbal lashing myself. He went out with a huff, and She was left crying again..

For a moment I was brought back to when I was little.. When this happens, I wonder to myself, “Was this because of me?” Sometimes I find myself blaming my own existence, thinking that if I was never born, maybe they won’t be fighting as much.. or that I wouldn’t have to witness this, so that it won’t tear me from within..

Is it any wonder that I grew up with a deep disdain for marriage? Is this the reason why I don’t even bother looking for a girlfriend? What is the point of that, anyway? Whatever biological need that I think I have is long gone.. If They can’t make it work, what hope is there for me?

IMH is going to make a killing from me, that’s for sure.

The Table for One

I have never been one to go out of my way to introduce myself in any social settings. I just prefer being alone, lost in my own thoughts as people (who are also busy being busy I guess) pass me by. I am just pretty much inept at the whole complex social dance that the rest of humanity are engaged in.

The excuse that I usually use is that I am not a people person. That I don’t really like to go out a lot (or at all – seriously, if it were not for my parents and my job, I would probably have sealed myself off in my own room and even they probably wouldn’t known that I have existed). I never really went out of my way to meet people and even if I do go out, I more likely then not would be wondering around alone. I have no problems being alone as that was how it has always been for me, a default go-to place of safety. There are plenty of reasons for this but I normally won’t want to list them all out for fear of tearing open the numerous emotional scabs that lay in wait for me. But here goes:

I have always been a person with a great deal of emotional hypersensitivity. Being a chronic introvert, I have always shied away from almost any form of group activity and flocked towards solo activity, like reading books and getting lost on the Internet looking at how deep the rabbit hole goes. Back in school, all I can recall is how small and lonely I was made to feel. The experience of feeling isolated and being made to feel like the odd one out made me loose trust in the people that surround me and solidify my need for solitude. Those feelings are tattooed in my memory and they do have a lasting impression on how I view the world at large and my place in it. In primary school, I remember bursting into tears purely from the loneliness I felt. At times when I bring my concerns to my parents, they somewhat dismissed it as being a childish thing and that it would do me well for me to defend myself physically against said bullies. I also remembered my parents being somewhat amused and made fun of the idea of me being bullied. That was the start of when I saw my parents as Bullies: the people not to be trusted.

It was around this point that I have devised my own self defense method: Just leave them all alone and surely, they would leave me alone. I didn’t talk to them even, didn’t want to needlessly give them a reason to dislike me or something. Well…. that didn’t work. From the start, I became a shadow in the background of the class, not the life of the classroom itself. Not that I mind. My streak of introversion and shyness has led to me being alone for the most part yet again throughout my secondary school years. I made my way to the IT club and found computers and the internet to be fascinating, a welcomed distraction from the needless pain of being. I find being in a group setting over some time is mentally taxing and emotionally draining. I had a really close friend and he sort of helped a bit with my shyness but even we parted ways.

One of my favorite things to do is to go out by myself and just walk around.. I didn’t really go out to be with someone or to be with a group of my peers.. I just like being alone around a pool of people, like I am visiting a human zoo or something. I like observing people communicating among themselves within their normal set environment, like I am watching a documentary or something. I’ll have the table for one, facing a window of a high traffic footpath, just watching the people pass me by. Like I am an alien from a distant planet, observing the nature of human interaction and bonding rituals of various relationships.

Is this something that I need to fix? Maybe. I have no real desire to change this though. Maybe I’ve grown so used to it that I didn’t feel like it is worth changing, for better or for worst. Maybe I should just take the pill and drift off to Neverland, and not worry too much. The end… I’ve got to end it somehow, right?

Who knew that Mr. Bean is the story of my life?

On Girls (and relationships in general)

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.

On Chester and the demons within

Its been a while, so forgive the extended post. I’ve got much to unload from my chest.

Chester Bennington, frontman for Linkin Park has passed away via suicide by hanging. He was 41. I heard the news of his passing from my facebook feed and a part of me *really* wanted to believe that it wasn’t true. As I searched on, it was clearer to me what had happened. From that moment on, I had felt waves of emotions hitting me. It was as if a huge part of me had been ripped away. It pretty much took me almost a whole day to process the grief that I had for this person I never met. The last time I felt this way was when my grandmother passed away.

While on my way to work, I revisited the perfection that was Hybrid Theory and Meteora. Those were my favorite albums while I was growing up and I had not listened to them for quite some time. When listening to parts of them on my way to work, I couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of sadness. I struggled to hold back the tears when I was in the MRT. Not only was I sad about his passing but the songs reminded me of events and feelings that I thought I have buried a long time ago, thinking that those feelings are behind me. I guess there is really no such thing as letting it go.

Linkin Park have been the main support pillar for much of my early teenager years. Their songs helped me to work though much of the angst that I felt. My mother’s friend’s daughter (I can’t even remember her name) was the one who introduced me to them, after listening to Crawling from Hybrid Theory, I was like, “what the heck is this? this is awesome” and I was hooked ever since. I even “borrowed” my friend’s diskman and his copy of Hybrid Theory, and just listened to it on repeat though Secondary school and ITE. I’ve purchased a few of Linkin Park’s albums too. In the age of instant piracy, its the least I can do as a fan.

I guess all of us have to fight the demons within. I believe that it’s part of the human experience.

The words elude me as all of those negative emotions transforms into a feeling that is unmistakable, the physical sensation of pain. That feeling as if you’ve been punched in the gut. Then breathing becomes difficult as your chest tightens. I’ve walked down that path numerous times, where stray thoughts then triggers the feeling of sadness, then sadness leads to feelings of despair and hopelessness, then tears start rolling down your face as you roll to the fetal position on your bed to hide your face away from anyone who is in the same room as you. It helps if its late at night and the lights are switched off. “Oh God, here we go again”. Welcome to Melancholic Avenue. These episodes usually lasts between 20 to 40 minutes, and normally after being being physically and emotionally exhausted, I fall into a deep sleep. It’s like the weather, I don’t really have much control on when it happens, but it does happen at least once or twice a month and has been going on for more then a decade. I think of it as a release valve for the pent up pressure and frustration over the years.

There are emotions that I don’t express to the people around me. I’ve not been good at dealing with conflicts, so I tend to say a lot of things to put at least a temporary end to it, regardless of whether its true or not. I have very few friends growing up and I don’t really hang out with them even. Part of it was due to that strong feeling of not wanting to be a burden to the people around me. It then morphs into feeling as if my own existence is a burden. It then feeds into the erroneous notion that I should not even consider having a girlfriend, let alone a wife. There’s just too much emotional baggage, to the point of me developing a phobia towards relationships in general. To answer my cousins’ question of “which girl would be your perfect girl”, I felt like saying “one that doesn’t exist”, so that there wouldn’t be even an opportunity for me to say or do something to accidentally or intentionally cause hurt to her and by extension, hurt myself. I could write a really long post on my nonexistent love life, but that’s not the point of this post.

Goodbye Chester, your songs have helped me out of some really dark holes. I hope you are happy and at peace wherever you are.