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#461958 - 03/03/14 10:46 AM I keep doing/saying the wrong thing
Magellan Offline

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1516
Loc: California
For those of you who are following my fucked up journey, wondering how it is I can come down so hard on myself; here's an example as to why I am such a failure.

The leader of the improv organization that I've been taking classes with sat down next to me at the bar. There were several others hanging out after class. She's doing her social butterfly thing. I complimented her profusely on how the organization is run, how it challenged me to take risks. And then I blurted out that I had PTSD, and that I was finding improv to be valuable in helping to address some of the knee jerk fearful reactions I have.

And then I said "I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that I wasn't chosen to be a part of a troupe during auditions last time". She was one of the judges for auditions. I didn't get in. "I understand why; I have a tendency to become self absorbed on stage when I feel nervous / scared."

She became a little defensive and reasoned it off with "Well, you know how it is. You're a filmmaker. You try and put something together and it falls apart."

"Yeah, of course. I don't have any hard feelings".

At once, I realized that I should never have brought it up. How stupid I am for bringing it up in the first place.

And then ... THEN ... I had the audacious stupidity to text her on facebook and ask her if I would be disqualified from being a part of a troupe if I had a weekend retreat (WoR) at the end of March.

I never heard back from her. Though I did see her briefly again a couple days ago. No mention.

I commit so many social faux paus. There is nothing funny about my predicament. Most times I commit these infractions without realizing it until it is far far too late. Once in a while I catch myself in the process of actually committing the infraction, but again, it's too late.

I grew up believing I was autistic because I'm so fucking slow in this regard. My therapist has almost convinced me to let go of this belief. But I can't stop experiencing these lapses of attention and idiocy.

I can't make friends. I don't know how. People have told me all the things I'm supposed to do. But I'm still not making them. I know a lot of people, and I *guess* some of those people genuinely care about me. I've asked them why they do, and I still don't understand what drives or compells people to be friends with each other.

Take a look at my more recent post "what drives/motivates people to be friends"? This is a case in point of my retardation. I really haven't got a clue what makes people want to be friends with each other if there is no sexual attraction.

I have no clue. I have no idea. And I commit all these retarded social idiotic moments and wind up cutting my own head off at every turn.

No amount of 30 years of recovery work has remedied the issue I identified 30 years ago; I don't know how to make friends. I simply can't fathom what I'm missing. And recent science is emerging that early and severe childhood neglect can have a dramatic effect on brain development. Some capacities for socialization can be turned off during these stages. Evidenced by romanian orphans from the war in the 90's. They live lives that are remarkably similar to mine. Lost, lonely, filled with resentment, rage, and without hope for a bright future because they've been so disabled by their early experiences.

I don't know why I keep posting here. My recovery isn't going anywhere. I'm still in the shit hole I was 30 years ago. But now I see that I'm further down the shit hole after all my efforts.

#461960 - 03/03/14 11:16 AM Re: I keep doing/saying the wrong thing [Re: Magellan]
don64 Offline

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 1001
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Magellan,

It's been in honestly seeing myself that I have found freedom. I was sexually abused and tortured in infancy through 3 1-2, and most likely violently raped by my father again at age 8. My mother systematically tortured me into submission as a sex toy. Did this do substantial damage to me. You bet. At 64, I'm beginning to really like me. I don't care what others think, I care what I think of me.

Not too long ago, I would have interpreted my life similarly to the way you seem to be interpreting yours. But, I have changed. I no longer see the responses of others as personal, merely honest reactions that are available to me. What I do with that information determines what the quality of my life will be. If someone is not able to be sensitive and kind, then that is not someone I choose to have in my life. I've heard that in order to see the way, I have to clear the way. It seems to be true that as long as I make space in my life for energy that doesn't work for me, the energy that does work for me doesn't show up.

My experience is that the level of damage I sustained so early is very difficult to shift, as it gets laid down at a level similar to instinct. But, I am learning that with persistence and patience it can shift. And, the learning is cumulative, and eventually moves exponentially. I've spent most of my life unable to learn from experience. However, since my mid forties my experience has been that symbolically the right book falls off the shelf and hits me on the head. Having consistent experiences of serendipity has been enough to get me through long difficult years.

Sending you love and support,

Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

#461964 - 03/03/14 02:06 PM Re: I keep doing/saying the wrong thing [Re: Magellan]
Magellan Offline

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1516
Loc: California
Thank you for your support and response, Don.

Your first sentence : "It's been in honesty seeing myself that I have found freedom."

For me? It's been in my capacity to see myself honestly that I have found that I am bound and confined. Now I can understand why I grew up feeling like I was retarded.

The honest assessment of my social abilities, and cultural understandings is that I AM DUMB AS ROCKS. This is evidenced in all the failed romances, and evidenced in my incomprehensible flailing and failing to make friendships.

It is also with honest assessment that I can look at all the challenges I've had, and acknowledge that I've had some measure of success in the things that don't really matter - I have some money, I have made some sound investments, I know how to budget and run finances. I have established a meager career. I have challenged and pushed myself way beyond my own comfort zones repeatedly.

But the sad truth remains. 30 years of questioning and searching and begging and screaming for help has not brought me any closer to my life long goal. I still don't know how to make friends. I don't understand romance. I've never been in love, and I have been increasingly lonely over the years. In fact, I've never experienced a '1st kiss', nor have I ever romantically held another person's hand. I'm 42 and I'm ashamed to admit that I've never had these experiences.

I'm as dumb as rocks. I am socially retarded. This has always been the case. I don't see this ever changing. If it could have changed, it would have changed somehow and some way after 30 years of dedicated work to make it change. This has not changed at all.

I'm ashamed of myself.

#461969 - 03/03/14 05:47 PM Re: I keep doing/saying the wrong thing [Re: Magellan]
Landscape Offline

Registered: 01/31/14
Posts: 49
Loc: New York
I had to look at the post a few times to make sure you wrote it. You see, I could have written almost the exact same post about myself.

We want to have good relationships and feel that people accept us. We know that good relationships require trust. We feel like we need to assume a high level of trust and intimacy. We share something we're later embarrassed about, or we say/do something that gets a less than 100% positive reaction. We feel like we just killed the relationship forever. We spend a whole bunch of time beating ourselves up over the "stupid mistake" we just made. After that, we reach out cautiously to test the relationship to see if we did any real damage. Finally, we get ourselves so embarrassed about it that we feel compelled to decide that either they are stupid and worthless, or we are (and we almost always decide that we are). Sound familiar?

I think the key here is reading what you wrote in the quotes and what you wrote outside of the quotes. What's in the quotes doesn't look remotely "wrong" as far as I can tell. Outside the quotes, you are making some major assumptions about what she was feeling (defensive and reasoning it off).

The reality is that you expressed disappointment about not being chosen, and she responded with a silly platitude ("Well, you know how it is. You're a filmmaker. You try and put something together and it falls apart.") instead of a helpful response. Now, you're interpreting that as a sign that you did something wrong.

You sent a text message asking her a follow-up question, and she has so far ignored it. Again, what did you do that was "wrong?"

We don't know what she was thinking. Was it too loud and she didn't hear you ask about why you weren't chosen? Did she not have a good answer and felt embarrassed that she couldn't give you constructive feedback? Was she worried about something in her personal or professional life and wasn't paying attention?

I don't know what she was thinking either, but I can tell you one thing for certain. You are not stupid or a failure. You're a good man who is thinking and learning about himself every day in a lifelong pursuit of happiness. That's the best kind of person I can imagine.
"And there was a kid with a head full of doubt
So I'll scream 'til I die and the last of those bad thoughts are finally out"

#461970 - 03/03/14 06:52 PM Re: I keep doing/saying the wrong thing [Re: Magellan]
WriterKeith Offline

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 975
Loc: southern California

Regarding self-deprication, I, along with the others here, can relate. It's the strongest symptom we survivors wrestle against. All is not lost even though you may feel like it has been.

I kept rereading your original post because I don't see what you did or said that was out of line. Stage work is about "putting yourself out there," "taking risks," "being real," and "being yourself." That's exactly what you did, which, in my mind, makes you an excellent candidate for stage work. If you could take that vulnerability and openness and use it "in character," you may be connecting with the very attribute that will bring your success.

Auditions and casting are quite complex sometimes. "Not now" certainly does not mean "never."

When you are onstage, do you second-guess yourself and internally shame yourself for a choice you just made in your performance? If so, do you think you may be showing that to your audience?

Many performers find a way to use that inner struggle to win over the audience's endearment. Is that something you may be able to do?
"A burned bridge can be a gift; it prevents us from returning to a place we should have never been."

#461971 - 03/03/14 07:43 PM Re: I keep doing/saying the wrong thing [Re: Magellan]
randombreeze Offline

Registered: 02/03/14
Posts: 60
Loc: WNY

I'm a new guy here but if I may jump in here and just give a short reply. You've been given some great advice by others who are likely more qualified than I, but from reading quite a few of your posts it's clear to me you're an intelligent and insightful man. Try to find a way to stop beating yourself up.

A family member very close to me recently asked in a discussion if I ever planned on getting back in the dating game and finding someone to spend the rest of my life with(I'm 56). My reply, without even thinking about it, was that I felt I needed to learn to be comfortable with and love the person I am before getting involved with anyone else. It took two failed marriages before I finally realized the importance of accepting me for me, despite the flaws. Hope this makes just a little sense.

Hang in there, and just try being yourself. Don't put on false airs or try to hard to impress anyone. I don't think quality relationships, be they romantic love or strong friendships, are something you "find", but recognize and accept when they come to you. I'm still on this long journey to learn how to love and be loved in a healthy way. With all of your and other's support and insight here I've little doubt I'm "on my way."
"Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky"- Rabindranath Tagore

#461986 - 03/04/14 07:32 AM Re: I keep doing/saying the wrong thing [Re: Magellan]
Mountainous Buck Offline

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota

I think you're a lot wiser than you give yourself credit for.

The phrase that comes to mind is "how could you learn what's never shown?"

I think we are all in process of learning and shedding the wrong teachings, false beliefs and lies of our past.

You have a right to expect a response to your query- although Facebook is probably not the best medium for communication with your troupe leader.
I know there are many people who haven't replied to my messages on Facebook I don't take it personally- some people aren't even aware of message function or how to use Facebook!

It's okay to ask for an answer- even a second time.

The only thing I would suggest is that it's not her business to know the nature of your weekend commitment (WOR) - sometimes that is too much information for other people to handle until we get to know them better and develops level of trust and safety.

I see you showing up, risking learning, and experiencing life- it's great to hear!
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner


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