There are times when I envy what gods give to their believers: a sense of identity and place in life, and a higher power you can call on in times of need. I grew up with a growing realisation that the godstuff made no sense. I’m logical and literal and limited by my fundamental lack of imagination, so there was never any room in me for angels or demon or gods. It was natural, a deep part of me; all that changed was confidence of expression. There were a series of steps start began with “why do people come here and pray when they don’t follow it for the rest of the week?”
I envy that you can believe there’s someone upstairs who’s there to keep an eye to windward for you. For me, our bodystuffs formed in nucleosynthesis in the hearts of dyeing stars. Then, billions of years later, bits of matter that would up both self-aware and quite unhappy about the fact. That’s me, right now. On some (far off, i hope) day, I’ll keel over dead. And that’s it. The end.
We’re all in the same boat: we gotta muddle through, best we can, between now and then.
Right now, I’m muddling. The Autumn of Autism clued me in to my unconscious emotional currents. There are crippling dissociations deep down inside between my conscious and emotional selves. That disconnect both comes from, and causes, emotional trauma. You grow up a victim, you stay a victim. It’s the easiest thing to spread hurt when you don’t feel hurt yourself. You act shit to friends and family. You perpetuate the cycle and come away with a shiny clean conscience because you always find something or someone else to blame.
Here’s why I’m jealous of you believers: you can drop to your knees, clap your palms together, and ask the woman upstairs for a helping hand. God works in mysterious ways, and probably She has a plan for you. Maybe She’s the happy kind of God who’ll see you through. Me? It’s me who fucked up; I’m the one who hurt my nearest and dearest, then shrugged off the consequences.
Right now, I’m learning to own the fuck out of my guilt. This is fantastic, that I can tune into love and pride for my kids for the first time, but being a balanced human means being able to deal with the full spectrum of emotions.
Whenever there’s a tough moment, I gotta stay checked in. If I fuck up, it falls on me to say “I fucked up,” and not shut down when there are feelings of guilt involved.
Why this is all relevant to my life right now is that I’m sick of carrying around all my unhappiness. A shadow follows along wherever I go, now this time when I got hurt, now a moment when I hurt somebody. It isn’t possible for me to walk away. I’d love to. I can’t because there are other people involved who deserve their own closure.
Yes, people in my past hurt me. Not a one is going to get up someday and exclaim, “oh shit, I hurt Mark and I’m gonna say sorry!” It’s impossible, actually, because some of them are dead.
Stood beside the abusers are everyone I hurt. All the times I turned off emotions, fucked up, and shrugged off the hurt as being the product of circumstance. You can always find something else to blame if you try hard enough. So yeah, it’s on me to step up and start this. You can’t anyone else on my behalf any more than they can absolve me of my wrongs.
I’m 35, and I’m halfway through the only life I get. Parts of my life were shit. I was shit in other peoples lives, and nobody else can fix this. I’m the only person with the power to make my life happy. If I fucked up and hurt you, nobody else is every going to say sorry on my behalf.