The Nine Faces of Dave
2003-06-25 08:21:46 (UTC)

harmful therapy and deconstructive criticism

So not much has actually changed since my last update. I'm
still losing weight successfully, and I've managed to stick
to my diet while still expanding my exercise plan. However,
I have had a few insights with respect to the current state
of affairs in my life.

For starters, I had a rather bizarre dream the other night,
but it gave me some insight as to what I'm feeling. In the
dream, I was stuck in high school again, and for some reason
I was playing in a massive basketball game. On one team, we
had all the people who were arguably normal or popular, and
most of the smart people. And my team was made up entirely
of counterculture types. So we went up against them, and we
were winning at first, but as soon as the score became tied,
everyone just quit playing.

On the "normal people" team was this girl I knew, with whom
I had some history and over whom I had gone through a fairly
long period of depression. And the entire game, she refused
to acknowledge my presence, so I eventually just said "fuck
it" and played my best. But it all ultimately went nowhere.

I'm not 100% sure what this dream might mean. But it might
be a clue as to how I actually feel about this girl, on some
subconscious level. The whole thing is extremely upsetting,
mainly because of the change in our relationship. We'd gone
from being friends a year ago to nothing today. And I don't
even know how or why. But for some reason I'm evidently not
worth her time, and I guess that's making me resentful. It
would be one thing to be outright rejected, because I've had
to deal with that plenty of times, and at least I'm used to
it. But to be led on, and subsequently ignored, is a little
more than I can deal with easily.

So I guess what's keeping me stuck on her, probably moreso
than any actual attraction I may still feel, is this lack of
closure and the resentment I'm feeling about it. I suppose
that, having recognized the problem, it should be relatively
simple to work through it. But it's pretty difficult. How
do you deal with kind of thing from someone you once thought
so highly of, and once felt so strongly for? For what it's
worth, I'd probably welcome her back into my life without a
second thought. Although, I would expect some explanation
of what's gone on in the last year. The point is, although
I may have identified the problem, I can't figure out how to
deal with it.

This is exactly the sort of revelation that I don't have any
use for. All it does is expose unpleasant information, and
leads me no further to a solution. If anything, it provides
another path to follow, though how difficult it will be, or
even whether it will get me to my destination, I can't say.

It kind of reminds me of my brief stint in therapy, back at
college. I kept digging deeper and getting in touch with my
feelings and all that jazz, but I never got any closer to an
actual solution to the way I was feeling. And what good is
something that exposes the problems without actually giving
you the tools to actually handle them? All it does is make
you more afraid and more screwed up.

After I saw this girl over spring break, I realized that I'd
spent a good 25% of my time and energy over four years in my
various attempts to impress girls. So that's a year out of
my life, which I'll never be able to reclaim. And to think
of all I could have accomplished in a year! It feels like a
massive chunk of wasted time, precious days of my youth for
which I'll never be able to compensate. And it's all gone,
in a pursuit that was ultimately fruitless.

How do you deal with something like that? What technique of
rationalization can possibly help you recover? It's a year
of my life that I could have spent learning, exercising, or
even just resting, all of which would have at least had some
positive net value. And instead, it's ultimately worse than
being a waste of time, because it actually set me back a few
steps, instead of just leaving me where I was.

Back in March and most of April, when I was depressed, I was
sinking into a very self-destructive cycle. I was having a
few problems with my classes, I spent too much time working,
my eating habits turned to complete shit, and the only thing
that made me happy was playing Dance Dance Revolution. Had
I not finally broken down my wall and talked to my dad about
my problems, the semester probably would have ended up much
worse. And instead, I was able to keep going long enough to
come through with flying colors.

Now that I'm back home and have plenty of time on my hands,
the effects of talking to my father have worn off. Slowly
but surely, I'm sinking back into that depressive state that
I was in before. Now fortunately, my physical health is too
sound as of late for me to actually feel pain over what all
is going on. But the mental anguish remains, especially at
night. And my only outlet is this journal.

I'm afraid to talk to my father about this, because although
he got me out of this before, I've fallen back in. The only
thing I've ever been able to take much pride in is that I've
not been a disappointment to my family, at least not in any
respect that they've ever stated. And now I'm fearing that
maybe I am, because I can't heed the advice I sought out.

I definitely feel like a disappointment to my mother. Maybe
that's because she's the only one who's ever actualy gotten
on my case about my lack of female companionship. Why can't
she just accept her youngest son as a big loser? I'm not a
very handsome or charming fellow, and I've never been a very
good socializer. The one relationship I had fell apart just
as quickly as it began, and I don't even know what my role
was in its destruction. Granted, my mom hasn't given me any
static since I fessed up about my troubles, but I can still
see that I've not been the sort of person she wishes I were.

As for the rest of my family, who knows. Two of the three
people on my mother's side who valued me have died. And who
can even say how my siblings view me. I don't think that my
sister respects me as anything more than a smart guy, and I
think my eldest brother views me as less than a real man. I
still have my brother here in town, but even we're not very
close, especially now that he has a family of his own.

I can't tell how my father's family sees things. I suspect
that my grandmother would have preferred for me to become a
classical musician instead of a scientist, though my father
says that's not likely. One of my uncles is a fitness nut,
so we may have a bond there in the future, but the last time
he saw me I was still a fatass. My eldest uncle is so damn
anti-social that you can't tell how he feels about anyone or
anything. And my youngest uncle made fun of me for dating a
Pakistani girl, though not in a racist sort of way.

I feel like I've let down just about everybody in one way or
another. I'm not a disappointment to my father, or at least
not right now, but I don't know how he'd react if he knew I
were having these problems. And the only other "person" who
still thinks I'm great is the dog.

I suppose that's something to be grateful for, though. No
matter what sort of screw-up I might be socially, no matter
what rites of passage I've failed or missed, no matter what
I end up doing with my education, the dog stays loyal. Your
dog doesn't care that you've been alone for almost 19 years,
or that you've never held a job you didn't hate in the end;
at the end of the day, your dog is just glad you're home.

Interesting how this entry turned from a simple analysis of
a dream into a long-winded one-sided therapy session.

As always, feedback is appreciated.

This is Dave, signing off.