Take a walk in my shoes

The day to day life of Benji Dude, except it's not day to day...

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What is wrong with me?
Brace yourselves; this is going to be a long one…

So start of the week I had what some might call a bit of a meltdown.  I made a statement to someone and they didn't respond in kind.  It was, by no fault of their own, a dam busting moment - the straw that broke my back as it were.  It was on top of some other demons I've been increasingly aware of in recent month and the combination was too much for me.  It caused me to look at myself, and my interactions with others and while I hold myself to what many would call an honourable standard I have become increasingly focused on negative aspects.

For the past week I've just been so angry, not at anyone or anything but at myself.  Angry that I can't seem to push aside the demons, angry that I'm just so intent on something that is ultimately a fantasy.

Some of you have tried to help and I've quite bluntly shot you down, so to you I both apologise and thank you.  Some of you know exactly what has happened, and have offered advice and encouragement, so again, thank you.

So, what exactly happened that lead to this meltdown of anger?

Well, there's two issues at play, both separate yet linked.  The first issue, most of you will be aware of, is my continued inability to find a partner to share my life with, it is, in many regards the "last great achievement" for me to get in life, the icing on the cake, the trifecta. Many people are surprised when I tell them that I'm 31 and still to go on a date, let alone have a "relationship".  It's where a lot of this… obsession has come from.  This obsession has caused me to see things that aren't there and rush in before letting things develop.  It is this, obsession that broke my back, this obsession that constantly trips me up.

I've never had the guts to see it for what it is until now, an obsession.  Until now it has just simply, been.  It was just an aspect of myself that was there, in the background, whispering in my ear, putting ideas in my head.

But, as the saying goes, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.  Well, I have a problem, I am so lonely. So. Lonely. I want to share my life with someone, I want a partner, I want a partner I can grow old with, I want to have kids, grandkids, I want to sit in the crowd with a big-fuck-off-shit-eating-grin because my kid did something amazing and I want to share that grin with my wife/ partner/ whatever.

It is, ultimately, unobtainable.  Because of my obsession.

My name is Ben, I'm 31 and I'm obsessed with relationships.  And I have absolutely no idea how not to be, it's been there for so long now that the roots have grown thick and entwined into my psyche.

People have said, "Not to go looking for it" and they're absolutely right, and I don't.  I don't actively search for it, it's like trying to find the end of the rainbow, it can't be done.  I have the patience to wait for someone to come into my life.  However that doesn't help when the heart strings get plucked and those voices start up, at that point it is found.

Issue number two, is again something that upon reflection has been there for a long time I've just never been that bothered by it because, as sad as it sounds I always had my parents to talk to, to hang out with.  Now that they're gone though there's been no release for this… isolation I feel and experience in any social event.  I can sit in a room full of people I know for several hours and not have a conversation with any of them, not because I don't want to but because people don't interact with me.  Even if I join in on a conversation, it soon breaks down and those involved spread out.  I start a conversation 'they' find an excuse or someone else they'd rather talk to.  I feel like I should be a nerd in a Hollywood movie, with the "popular" kids having a conversation around me, like I wasn't even there.

It's all lead to me thinking that there must be something, absolutely.  Categorically.  Unforgivably, wrong with me.  No one should be this lonely for this long, I wouldn't wish this feeling upon my worst enemies.

No doubt some of you are saying, "Well you should get out there, broaden your horizons!"  I do, one way or another I'm out most night, thankfully not always at a pub.  I even go down to the local on my own, just to people watch, nothing.

I'm that guy that just seems to blend into the background.  Even when I'm with what I would call "close friends" I'm regularly ignored, spoken over or just plain interrupted.  Some nights, I wonder if I should just become a mute but then someone says something stupid and I just have to correct them.  I can stand in a perfect circle of friends and be forced outside the circle, forced to listen in over someone's shoulder.

I'm by no means proclaiming that I'm perfect or a great conversationalist; I like you are still human and therefore flawed.  I'm aware of my flaws, I'm extremely sarcastic, monotone and very good at erecting emotional walls.  I'm choosing right now to tear down those walls to try and tackle these demons.  While I don't seek to correct my sarcasm (it is after all part of who I am) or monotone voice (there's not much I can do about that, though I know it makes it hard for people to notice when I'm being serious or not) the other issues can be resolved.

At least I hope so.

So apart from this being an opportunity for me to get my feelings down on electronic paper.  I open this up to you, the reader, no matter how well or little you know me, to explain just what it is I'm doing wrong, because there is clearly something.

I just don't know what.

Thank you.


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