Dr. W's Space Travels
Space Cadet Returns to Hell
Dr. Wood XLIII
I’m a wreck today. I wanna cry. I feel like an unexploded ordinance – just a dead shell with the potential to overflow with emotion. So I drove to my grandparents’ house today to visit my dad’s/stepmom’s side of the family for 4th of July. Got there with no issues. My stepbrother Jack then came and asked me if I could move up just a bit in the parking lot. Tried to turn on my car and – in beautifully nightmarish fashion – there was no response from the ignition. Gosh, to recall the feeling of abject dread – such a small act as turning a key 120 degrees, yet it made my heart sink. I tried again, and again. Nothing. Not even clicking. My dad started walking out to check on the situation since I’d been gone for some time, and I just kept saying “this is a joke. This is an absolute joke.” So yeah, I had singlehandedly jumped back into having car issues. My dad, brother and grandfather did some evaluations and it was kinda determined to be a starter issue. I wanted to die. Not actually die, but like, remove-myself-from-my-life-temporarily kind of die. I couldn’t believe it. The nearly nonexistent pit in my stomach after getting my car fixed exploded itself into fruition.
The rest of the day (“rest”, as in, everything after the first 10 minutes) was spent with me choking down my emotions for the sake of keeping everything happy. I still couldn’t do that perfectly though as I spent a lot of my time in deep rumination, kinda looking into the distance and stuff. But I tried my best to not mope and at least smile a bunch. My stepmom actually commended me for internalizing it for the gathering, which I was kinda happy to hear. Many of them felt bad about the issues and did what they could to help, and I appreciated that, although I was so caught up in just wanting to beating myself over the skull with a lead pipe to really feel it at the time. I truly just wanted everyone to stop trying to help and just let me bite another bullet. And the thing that I feared the most was the “well, Tyler, I think it might be time to get a new car”. Like I already know that. But maybe I needed that again, and needed in a dose as large as was administered today, because that propelled me into action somehow. More to follow on that. But yeah, it was a very fun gathering with that aside. But my emotions right now are just not positive.
Every time the car issue was brought up today filled me with irritation and anxiety. Even indirectly-related things such as being asked what kinds of cars would be suitable for someone like me made me feel annoyed. And then one thing that made me wanna just run away – so there is a neighbor’s backyard adjacent to my grandparents’, and the neighbors were out doing their thing. As we were playing croquet, my grandfather called out to me from in front of the patio and said to talk to the neighbor about my car issues since he works on cars. I can’t really explain what I was thinking without just writing out a transcription of the monologue that was probably going through my head, so I’ll do that: “Huh? What is that gonna do? I already know I have to get a new car at this point and get my car towed back home. I’m already set on that. So why do I need to talk to a neighbor about something I absolutely wanna put behind me right now? I don’t even know him, and I don’t wanna talk to strangers right now. I’m already so anxious speaking with family about it because I’m afraid to get judged and be embarrassed in front of them. It might be irrational to feel that way but it’s how I feel. I don’t wanna talk about it with more people. Because then I have to supplement it with dumb small talk, introduce myself, etc. And then I’ll feel bad about it even though he’s probably happy to help regardless. And he’s just gonna tell me what we’re all already speculating. Even if he confirms it, to me, it’ll just feel like salt being rubbed in the wound.” Somehow I sputtered out the beginning of a conversation with him. He was very nice and provided good insights, but at that time I just wanted to cry. I wanted to cry so hard. I wanna cry now. And then my stepmom conversed with him a bit, reiterating the notion that “sometimes you just have to move on and get a new vehicle”. I wanted to bash my face in with the croquet mallet I was holding, or choke on the croquet ball. Those things are large too.
I love my family very much. They’re honestly great to hang out with and I could say so many more great things about them individually. But I came to realize that I’ll probably never be able to share my truest emotions with them ever again. I don’t think I’ve done so since I was an adolescent. It’s just always me biting my tongue, putting on a happy face and swallowing back the negativity. Don’t get me wrong – I told them I was sad. And they understood that, and said that’s totally reasonable. My dad and stepmom and grandparents and siblings all get it. And they didn’t tell me to just “cheer up” or tell me to not feel bad. I’m sure when I look back a week from now, I’ll really appreciate what they had to offer in this situation. That all being said – in my truest self, I’m so freaking sensitive. There are so many times where I wish I could break down, and I don’t because it’d be socially unacceptable. And I don’t wanna let my parents down. I don’t want them to know that their oldest son has paper-thin skin and cries a lot. I wanna be the cool oldest child that can be ragged on for his quirks and his long curly hair, but still respected and one that a parent can be proud of. I’m totally aware that this looks like I’m blowing up the matter of car issues into something more fundamentally awry, but that’s what I felt today. I don’t wanna show them that I’m as imperfect as I am. I definitely don’t think they’ll disown me, and chances are they’d accept the kind of person I am. But I think I would just be so anxious and annoyed about the process of doing so that I would just prefer to have my current acquaintanceship with them that I have. Yeah, maybe that’s what it is right now – an acquaintanceship. No, actually it’s not. I’m wrong about that. It’s a one-way acquaintanceship. I’m the one barring myself from opening up to them. While my decision to not open up to them emotionally comes from many spread-out signals I’ve picked up from interacting with them over many years, it’s ultimately me who’s making it. But, I will say that I’m afraid to do that. I really just don’t wanna be the “crazy” child. I wanna be the normal, respectable and admirable one. So if I have to take that disposition to the grave, fudge it, I’ll do it. But today really, really tested me in that regard.
So now I’m sitting here, past 11pm, and I just bought a car on Carvana. Yep, I just did it. I couldn’t bear the thought of doing dealership crap, so I bought a car online. And it’s getting delivered on Friday. This week’s gonna suck. And something’s gonna go wrong, I know it. Just like it went wrong today. Fortunately, my parents received the idea of doing a Carvana order pretty well (I thought they might think there were gimmicks or something behind it that would make it well inferior to in-person dealership stuff). I realize my actions are largely influenced by what they approve or disapprove of. Maybe that’s another reason why I don’t wanna share my emotions so much with them – I worry that they will disapprove of my unreasonable behavior. But the thing is, I also know I disapprove of my own behavior in front of them to try to save face. Holy crap, I hadn’t actually put that into words before, but it’s totally true. Is my thought that they’d be quick to disapprove of me just in my head? Do I always just try to beat them to the punch by calling myself out on being ridiculous? Maybe I wanna show them I’m self-aware to make it seem like I’m normal enough to know my behavior sucks? I really am in my own head too much. I should see a therapist again. But that costs money, and now that I sank 15K into a new car, I need to be money-conscious again. I’m not in dire straits financially by any stretch – I’m still very well off. No car payments since I bought in full, so I can focus on making the money grow again without worrying about car issues (ideally). Luckily that’s where the overtime at work comes in.
I’m feeling a crazy rush of emotions right now, but in the end I just wanna hug Hifumi and cry. I wanna cry a lot. I wanna cry like a child. I wanna cry without any fear that it’ll be presumptuous to do so. I wanna cry. I wanna let out all the emotions I held in today. I wanna rue my current vehicle, which I foresee myself giving up this week (they still have to appraise because of the condition it’s in, they couldn’t automatically convert it to trade-in credit on the site). I wanna cry for it. I wanna cry for myself. I wanna be selfish. I just wanna let the emotional floodgates open finally.
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