A Pillar of Strength with a Crumbling Core

People trust me.  I don’t know why or what I say to inspire it into people, but people trust me.  This is not me being big headed or arrogant, it is a statement of fact.  It is not gender specific either, both women and men have opened up to me and told me their fears and worries, their problems and issues, and asked for my advice or just poured out their hearts to me because I am a good listener.

I do not know why people feel that I am a trustworthy individual.  Just because I say what is told to me will go no further doesn’t mean I actually do that.  I could be lying, or some sort of devious individual, or a pot stirrer, but people believe that I am someone who will take their secrets and hold them until I die.  In reality I am exactly the person people think I am; I will take your secrets guard them as closely as I guard some of my own, never to be spoken of to anyone.

As a visual representation I see myself as an obelisk; a giant stone monument, tall and strong, clearly visible and very powerful.  That is how I see myself in the sense of how people can trust me.  Each person who entrusts me with their secrets are like climbing hooks which have been screwed into me with the weight of their secret in a bag hanging attached to that hook.  I must be strong to hold that hook in place and keep it securely attached, because if I don’t that bag will fall and I will have failed.  This does not mean I will tell the secret, it means I will have a damaged area of my pristine structure.

For people to want to trust me my structure must look strong, stable and secure, and apparently I give off that aura.  Inside though what you would think is a solid structure is just a thick exterior with an interior filled with rubble.  A strong obelisk would have a steel core to help support it and give it internal strength, I have loose rocks and gravel filling me up.

I stay strong for everyone else who trusts me and feels they need me to help them.  I am the person they can turn to if they need to when their chips are down, they need to vent or just a friendly ear to listen to their worries.  I encourage people to tell me things at times because I know talking through problems can help.  I try as much as possible to not make people uneasy around me because I wouldn’t want to be made to feel awkward, why would I inflict that upon someone else?

The hypocrisy of it all is that a fair number of people are willing to trust me with their problems, yet there are scant few who I trust enough with mine.  My current issues I cannot really talk about with anyone I know, because none of them will understand this situation as none of them have ever been in it.  That is not a teenage angst filled “you don’t understand me” moment, it is a case of literally no one in my friend circle would get what I am talking about.

I once had that solid steel core, but it was broken by someone unintentionally.  Now I must make do the best I can with what I have.  I will be that pillar of strength for my friends, my family and whoever needs me, but the question is who will be mine when the strain gets too much and my cracks start to show?

Sinking

Today I woke up happy as one normally is in the mornings, but it progressed to get better.  At one point I felt really good, and a new side of me emerged.  While writing I had to get myself into a darker mindset.  In doing so I found a new part of myself I didn’t know existed.  When I get into a dark mood I am wild and at times violent, but highly physically driven.  I feel like a caged animal and it shows in both my actions and my words (or lack thereof at times, so I have been told).  This time I went dark and I was in complete control of it.  I was calculated and plotting, I felt like a devious deviant.  In writing in this way I think I really got what I wanted out of what I wrote, and am rather proud of my piece, but I am unsure if I will ever write like that again.

As much as in the moment I loved it, afterwards I felt the darkness take a turn towards sadness and guilt.  I felt that expressing myself in this way, and taking pleasure out of it was wrong.  If I were to ever perform the acts I wrote of I know I would be wracked with guilt for my actions for weeks to come.  (I write a great deal looking through the characters eyes and immersing myself in their persona, rather than a third person narrator). I wrote this at around 10am and it is around 18:30 now and I still haven’t been able to shake this feeling.

I went to the gym to try and relive this tension.  I thought I could focus my mind on exercise, breaking barriers and pushing limits might help to distract me and hopefully forget what was clouding my mind.  It did not.  I was unable to focus at all in any way. My usual 90 minute to two hour session was 35 minutes.  I couldn’t even lift what I normally do, and was breathless after my warm up and I did it slower than normal.  My mind was completely out of its normal frame and this annoyed me, and worse disappointed me.

Disappointing other people really gets me down, I try to live up to the expectations which have been put out for me since I was a child.  Not only do I loathe disappointing my family, but my friends, my work, anyone who I say I will do something for and cannot follow through I feel so horrible about myself for.  Feeling disappointed in myself just made me wonder what the hell I was doing to make myself so weak and inept today that I just feel absolutely useless.

I guess I thought I was able to regulate my emotions a little better than I am right now.  I have had many more good days than bad ones in recent weeks, but this is me dropping.  I feel like a boulder sinking to the bottom of a stagnant lake. I am not sure when I will surface from this watery hole, but I hope I do before I drown.

My Symbol of Commitment.

In my past relationships I have always loved the fact that I belong to someone, that they are my partner, and that they belong to me.  The bond between us is strong and the love we share is boundless.  As is the case, my relationships have ended, so I guess the strength of the bond was not as strong as we both thought, but I believe I will always have a place in my heart for those I have been in a relationship with.

This post is not about me rehashing my old relationships, but about a tangible part of my relationships which I always carried around while committed to that individual.  With every relationship I have been in I have always worn a ring.  It was always on right ring finger and I only ever took it off to play with and at the end of our journey.  This post is about the symbolism of that ring to me.

I wore my rings with pride and with love.  My ring was a daily reminder of the other half of my life, the other person who helped balance me out and make me whole.  I wore my ring as a commitment to them.  It may not be as powerful as a wedding ring, but to me this was my symbol of my commitment to that person, to be theirs only and to love them completely.

My partners wore a symbol of their commitment to me as well, a ring (diamond, but not an engagement), to remind them that I was with them always in spirit, even if my physical being was miles away and unable to hold them in the way that I wanted to.

I loved wearing my rings, they brought me a sense of comfort.  I used to fiddle with them for hours at a time, twisting them round and round, or sliding them off, flipping them around, then putting it back on again.  I remember on my 18th birthday I was given a gold ring by my parents, which I could not wear next to my ring from my partner, so I took off hers and put it on a chain around my neck.  For me that was good enough that I still had it on me, even if I was not wearing it in the way that I was supposed to.  I remember even asking her if that was ok because I felt so guilty taking it off.  Just the reminder of that memory is making me smile now, at how happy I was in my relationships.

I appreciate symbolism a great deal; the symbolic meaning of traditions and objects usually makes a great deal of sense to me, even though I cannot fully explain why they do at times.  My rings meant a great deal to me, they were a tangible, daily reminder of my partner.   In future relationships I know I will end up wearing a physical reminder of my partner.  It may not be a ring, but I can guarantee I will keep something of theirs on my person, something which will emotionally connect me to them when they are further away from me than I want them to be.

An Outing, A Change of Perspective and Getting My Feet Wet.

Yesterday I went on an outing.  A good friend of mine spontaneously asked me if I fancied joining her on a little jaunt to take some photographs and have a wander.  I thought why not and accepted her offer.  I like spontaneity. In myself it is easier to ascertain why I am being “spontaneous” if I sit down and think about it (I have a belief that everything happens because of something else happening in the past, everything can be explained, but that is another post for another time), but in others I can’t always work it out, and in her it is difficult but doable at times.  This time I didn’t bother trying too hard as I am working on going with the flow and being a little less rigid.

So off we went to someplace and then ended up at Seven Sisters (the big grassy one with cows and sheep, not the train station as was my initial thought, before swiftly admonishing myself for my utter stupidity).  I have driven past this place so many times and always thought “look at those fools wandering around in a field, how stupid is that?!”  Then it dawned on me that I am now that idiot wandering around in long grass and who knows what else.

What really surprised me was how much fun I actually had doing this.  I am the first to admit that I am a city boy.  I like concrete, civilisation, and being within shouting distance of people, so if I am murdered someone will hear me and, hopefully, call an ambulance.  Out in the country no one will hear you scream, apart from Shaun the Sheep or Ermintrude the Cow and I am pretty sure they cannot administer CPR or tie a tourniquet with their animal feet.  Nevertheless I still had a great deal of fun and broke a mental barrier.

That barrier was doing something I normally detest with a passion; having wet sand on my feet and between my toes.  I dislike this with a passion but I did it anyway.  There was a sand bar out about 50 meters away from where we were standing and my friend took of her shoes and walked out to the bar through some water, whereas I opted for a slightly longer route which involved a stone path route of sorts, and not taking off my shoes.  Halfway along my path I realised that this “path” was actually half water and if I didn’t want soggy shoes for the rest of the day I had better rethink my strategy.  So off the shoes and socks came, jeans rolled up and off I strode.  Crazily enough I really enjoyed it.  I loved having my feet wet and hopping from stone to stone, I loved standing with the waves lapping around my ankles and staring out into the sea, I loved the fact that all I could hear was the sea and the sound of some children laughing further down the beach, I loved the tranquillity of it all.  I even loved the fact that my feet hurt and I nearly fell over several times, though she may attest to this as I griped like a colicky infant about it for a solid 20 minutes much to her pleasure (and yes I do genuinely mean her pleasure, she was absolutely loving how much I was out of my comfort zone and how completely inept I was in every way).

What I have learnt is that I should try and break down the no go barriers I have built up in my life through discomfort and, in a way, fear.  I really should embrace life more than I do now, because new experiences like that are eye opening, even if I don’t do it again, I know that I have at least given it a chance.

Sunset View.

I Don’t Know

I don’t know why I am not as stable as I was

I don’t know why I my mood fluctuates so strongly

I don’t know why I can’t be happy every day

I don’t know how I will feel from day to day

I don’t know why I can’t control my emotions

I don’t know why I let my walls break down

I don’t know why I can’t break free

I don’t know why I can’t embrace all of myself

I don’t know why I can’t accept the truth

I don’t know if I can live up to expectations

I don’t know if I will ever be good enough

I just don’t know.

Fade to Black: Batman and I

Batman and I share something in common: we both operate in the shadows.  I cannot believe I am even comparing myself to such a legendary superhero, but I guess because The Dark Knight Rises has been on my brain, it has merged partially with an idea that I have of myself.

I have a habit of disappearing into the shadows after helping people with their problems.  If a friend is in some sort of trouble I will help them as much as I can, be that by talking to someone on their behalf, listening to them or doing something for them.  Once they are in a better state of affairs I just fade into the shadows and become part of the background.  I am undecided whether this is a good trait or not, but I am very much more leaning towards it being a positive one.

I love to help people, it gives me a feeling of purpose, and knowing that I have helped them, even in a small way, makes me feel great about myself.  In a very odd way I am letting people use me to help them, I am that helping hand or supportive shoulder which is required in a time of need.

I’m not sure why I felt I needed to write this, or why the title is “Fade to Black”.  I am not sure why this was even knocking around in my head in honesty, but I am glad it is out of there and down here.  Maybe now I can take off my cape and utility belt and deal with my own deep seated neuroses.

Intelligence is Sexy

After a conversation with a friend of mine and seeing an old 9GAG post I liked (link here to post) I was reminded of the fact that I find intelligence extremely sexy.

There are many qualities which I find attractive in the opposite sex, both physically and intellectually, but intelligence is definitely one of the factors I give a very high ranking.  A woman who is capable of challenging me on an intellectual level, as well as think in ways that I would not consider and provoke me into thought is something I adore.

On a superficial level it is all well and good to have a beautiful woman who has curves in all the right places, but if there is nothing between their ears then the attraction level plummets for me.  I need mental stimulation, I need to be able to have and hold a conversation with that woman, I need there to be more than just a pretty face.

When it comes to being friends I am happy to talk to whomever happens to be around, more likely I will allow them to lead the conversation and interject the appropriate “yeah” or “I know what you mean” when necessary, but when it comes down to brass tacks and I am interested in someone, they better be able to evoke thoughts and inspire me, otherwise in the long term, you and I will not be getting very close.

The people I have found attractive in my past have all been intelligent, more intelligent than I in several cases.  That would provoke insecurity in a great many people but oddly enough for me it doesn’t make me feel massively inadequate.  It is almost like a gauntlet thrown down for me, I feel the need to improve myself to be on par with them, which could be construed as insecurity, but I see it as more of a rising to the occasion.   It makes me want to be a better person, not only for them, but for myself, and that is a really great thing.

Intelligent women out there, don’t hide your intelligence from men because you feel they will be threatened, be proud of who you are and what you are capable of, and a man who appreciates you for just that will find you and cherish you forever.

Playing Games

I am very much not a fan of playing games.  When I say games, I mean mind games.  I understand why they are necessary at times, and how they can and are used at times, but that does not mean that I like them.

I see mind games as manipulation, and I am very much not a fan of people manipulating others, and more so being manipulated myself.  This is one of the reason I do not think a job in sales will ever be on the cards for me, because it involves in part manipulating the customer into thinking that they need what you are selling, coercing them into the purchase then walking away with their money and/or a contractual commitment.

The sad fact of the matter is that I am very easily manipulated, especially by women.  I am an absolute sucker when a girl asks me to do something, whether that be part of the chivalrous side in me always wanting to help a woman who needs it, or the fact that I am just that easily controlled by a woman I am not sure.  I know that women have played games with me, and I have done things that I would not necessarily do under normal circumstances for them because they have “asked”, but the irritating part is that I only realise afterwards that I have been used, and therein lays the heart of my problem with manipulation. It uses people.

Using people for gain is something I do not like.  I cannot act like I am a saint here because, unintentional or otherwise, I have played games.  Due to the fact that I find psychology and human interaction fascinating, particularly flirting, it is part and parcel to see some games being played throughout this process.  As fun and light-hearted as they are in these scenarios, I still prefer not to play them at all.  I am very much of the school of thought “Ask me a question I will give you a straight answer, or I will not answer at all”.  I am that simple.  To some people that seems a little too complicated for them to understand so they go on roundabout journeys to the centre of the earth and back to get an answer from me, when all they had to do was just ask me outright.

The fact of the matter, as much as I loathe this thought, is that games are necessary in today’s world to get anywhere.  Simple honesty is no longer something desirable; you have to be able to play the game.  I really dislike playing games, but to get ahead I had better start embracing them.  I just hope I don’t start enjoying playing them, because that is a road I do not want to venture down.

Feeling Hollow

Today has turned into a day where I just do not like who I am as a person.  I like to feel like I am being productive and helping someone, even if it is doing something as little as doing the laundry or cooking dinner so my mum doesn’t have to.  Today I just feel like a completely useless individual incapable of helping anyone around me, which is my ideal, and more dishearteningly that I am incapable of helping myself.

When I get into these moods I find myself incapable of being positive about myself.  Generally I find myself a distraction and attempt to immerse myself in that in the hopes I will forget about my hopeless inadequacy to face the world at large.  More often than not of late I go to the gym and try and focus my mind on exercise, or I watch something which cheers me up like a good television show or film.   Today I don’t feel watching a show will help me at all, and my body is still sore from the gym two days ago, and I am feeling so stiff that I am worried I will injure myself I attempt to exercise feeling like this.  That just compounds the inadequacy of mind with a completely useless body encasing it really.  Joyous.

This is really a First World Problem; it is not like I am starving, homeless and bereft of all family and friends, suffering with a terminal illness or have just lost a close loved one.  I feel inadequate for the environment which I am supposed to thrive in.  I have had what I must do set out for me more or less my entire life, and now that I am unable to really do what my purpose in life is I just feel like an absolute failure.

I really hope this mood shakes, I do not want to slip back into the mindset of 6 months ago, I have worked so hard to get my mind away from there, but I am just being drawn back into the darkness.  It feels like a rope tied around my waist slowly dragging me to the mental state I was in, pulling me down deeper and deeper into the hole that is my eternal self loathing and all encompassing self doubt of everything I supposedly am.

Amazing Gym Session!

Yesterday I had an ominous feeling, and I couldn’t shake it.  Something was going to go wrong, I couldn’t work out what or why, but I knew something was up.  So I decided to head to the gym as by concentrating on exercise it helps me to work through problems in the back of my head subconsciously.

So off I headed to the gym and decided that today I would beat my PB on the bike, I knew I could, I just didn’t realise by how much I would. My PB was 20Km and that is pretty good I felt, until today.  I did a 2Km warm up on the cross trainer then smashed my PB doing 41Km in just under 2 hours.  My thighs and bum are so sore now it is unreal, as I followed that with a round on the weight machines doing a bit of upper body work, but I feel fantastic, unbelievably sore, but fantastic.

I would have gone further but my knee was hurting too much and I knew if I carried on I could do some serious damage to it, and that is not worth it.  I surprised myself that I managed to focus for 2 hours solid and not get bored of such a repetitive action, but watching one of the music channels which happened to be pumping out some great music and I never knew what was coming up next helped a great deal.  It kept me entertained while my body worked on automatic.  Every time I saw my pace dropping I picked it back up and tried to keep it around 27Km/h and I managed that for a great deal, apart from the last kilometre or so where I started flagging badly and had to slow right down before cooling off.

I am so happy that I managed to do this, the rush is incomparable, pushing your body further than you ever knew you could, seeing those barriers, breaking them down and achieving more than you knew you could.  I have a feeling I won’t be beating that for a while, but I’m ok with that, I’ll just break my PB on something else.