My Fantasy Reality

I think I’ve lost touch with reality again.  I think I just want something so much that I’ve built up this whole scenario in my head. I know I’m a fool for thinking it’s true, but I don’t know how to stop myself.  I’m seating myself up for heart break.

I don’t know if it’s the stress involved that causes me to construct a safe alternative reality, or if I’m just so delusional and egotistical that I just assume this can happen.

There are two issues, where I set myself up for unrealistic expectations.  The first is my epic return to grad school.  I went from thinking I *might* be able to get into a state school to “I totally deserve to be in a n Ivy league school, because I’m doing well in one class at said school”.  A year ago I was terrified and thought I could never handle the stress involved in the Ivy school.  Now I believe that not only would I survive, but I might even do well there.  I’m not totally sure what my basis is for the change, besides I’m focused and see others that are doing what I want to do and for once I don’t think I’m that far away from them.

It’s going to be a huge blow to my ego when I don’t get in next year.  The voice of doubt and failure in my head from last year is still there.  It’s just much quieter.  I just can’t decide if it’s putting me down or just a voice of reason.

This partially leads into my other false reality.  I believe if I don’t get in, I’m going to disappoint The Boy and he’ll leave me.  It’s stupid and extreme, but I’m not sure it’s that unlikely a result.  He went to Ivy and has been heavy interested in my return to school.  Sometimes I feel like a fake person around him, because my true self is childish and hyper and rambles to the point of incoherency.  I try to control it around him, but it slips out.  He’s still hangin out with me for over 6 years, so I’m either really good at hiding the crazy or he ignores it for some reason.  I still have no idea why he likes me.  No one has ever been my friend for this long and been so close to me.

This may be the other false reality.  To me, he’s my best friend.  I don’t think he feels the same way about me though.  I’m kept in a separate compartment of his life where I only see him in certain situations and I don’t mix with his friends (I’ve never met them, although he used to talk about them more).

This is why I need to keep writing about him.  To remind myself that my definition of an intimate/devoted relationship is not the same as normal people.  What is probably just a regular friend (even work friend) to him is a soul mate to me.  I’ve fallen in love with someone supportive, nice, smart, funny and someone who genuinely cares about me. Those are great qualities to have, but also ones that should come with a standard friend.  I think that’s all he sees me as, but I’m seeing so much more potential than that.  I’m terrified to put myself out there in fear of losing him.  There is not much worse than acknowledging your love for someone and scaring them away.  It’s not that anything significant has changed in our relationship over the past few months.  I’m just seeing his qualities in a more long term light.  I want to be with him, and imagine my life with him to a disturbingly concrete level.  But The relationship isn’t actually moving in that direction.  I just see it in my head and forget it’s not real.

I know sharing this would him would be upsetting, as this has happened to me before.  Someone who I saw as only an acquaintance had built up a whole romantic relationship with me over a year.  it became so intense for him that when he shared it with me he thought there was a chance.  It freaked me out and upset me.  I don’t want to do that to The Boy.

The problem is I don’t know if I should be moving one to someone else.  I feel close to him and attempting to be close to someone else feels like a betrayal.  However, he may be more romantically interested in others.  I have no idea.  He doesn’t talk about his friends anymore, and never mentions any other girls.  I wish would just so I can have closure.

I want the story in my head to stop playing.  I’m afraid I’m going to act on fabricated information.

Walking the Tightrope

I can’t believe it’s been two months since my last post.  February just disappeared on me.  I guess that’s a good thing.  I’ve been busy.  My initial plans to start taking night courses at the local college fell through due to gross incompetence.  On the plus side, I applied to and was accepted to take one class at a very prestigious university.  It’s incredibly time consuming and starting to affect my job.  Mostly because the class is int he middle of the day and I have to leave work before lunch, drive to the school and then drive home to work for the rest of the night.  I really don’t get much work done as I am just exhausted from all the people interactions and context switching. I’m living in 3 different worlds now (home, work, school), and the stress is finally getting to me.  The first week of this schedule was horrible, and I nearly quit, but thinking about all the people who helped me get in was enough to shame myself into continuing, even if I flunked.  After a while, I got used to it, and was excited by it.  But now I’m just constantly exhausted, and my grades are suffering, which is sending down the spiral of self hate.  I’m hanging on for now, but the tightrope is getting thinner and thinner and any light breeze (read: failure), will send me tumbling town.

Not only am I stressed about just one class, but I feel as though I’m wasting an opportunity.  People would kill to be in a class taught by these professors, and I have no idea how to interact with them.  I would love to someday be one of their grad students, and this would be the perfect forum to introduce myself.  I just can’t find a reason to do it.  I feel like I’d be wasting their time, or I would just show them how stupid I am, and thus ruining my chances of working with them.

Plus I still need someone to write a recommendation for me for grad school next year.  The plan was spend a year with the same professor at the local college, and get a semi-decent recommendation.  Now I’m in a class of 250 overly ambitious people and I don’t know how to stand out.

So far, all I’ve learned this semester is ambition = stress.

I waver between giving everything I have or just saying “fuck it” and go hide in a hole.  I hate screwing up.

The really sad thing is I like it at this fancy school, so I’m going to be even more heartbroken when I don’t get in for full time.

I’m not even sure if I have what it takes to survive there.  A year ago, I would have said no, but after being here, I feel like I belong.  I may just be overestimating my abilities.

I’m failing at work, as I don’t understand the assignments anymore.  It’s just stuff I don’t want to do.  I’m a code monkey for a lower ranked co worker and it makes me feel like shit.  I’m hanging on for grad school, but if that falls apart, I’m going elsewhere.  8 years in the same (and only) place, is just too long.

And the tightrope gets thinner…

Procrastination!

Turns out I’m really good at it, as is evidence of this post.  For the past week I’ve been avoiding working on something I just hate to do.  Thursday I’m giving a talk to 20-100 people at work, and every time I think about it, I get nauseous.  The last talk I gave was 4 years ago, and thankfully I feel better about giving a talk now, than last time.  I lost 4 pounds from the stress last time.

This time, I absolutely know my subject, since I’ve been working on it for 2 years, but the thought of standing in front of everyone and trying to tell a coherent story for 25 minutes is terrifying.  It’s one of those talks that you do for visibility, and if I want to strengthen my career, I need to give them more regularly than every 4 years.  Most of the people there will daze off and not pay attention, as long as I’m consistent.  If I pause or draw attention to myself instead of the content, then I’m in trouble.  That’s when my anxiety kicks in and it’s a downward spiral.  I remember that kicking in last time on the last 4 slides, and I rushed through them.  I’m really good at talking fast, so much so that I can be done in 10 minutes (that’s even worse than going on for too long!).  Plus my graphics are boring and pointless.  This audience is used to graphs and charts and detailed analysis.  I have none of that.  It feels so fluffy compared to everyone else’s.

The plan for tonight is to get dressed, find some white noise/classical music and look at my slides.  I started putting this together a year ago, but I never have any idea what to actually say during the presentation.  I wish I could just distribute a paper on it.  I’m fine with people scrutinizing my work, but not in person.  I need time to think to respond.

I know practice will help, but I still know it won’t help enough.  No one has asked me to give a talk since the one 4 years ago.  I semi volunteered for this because I need the exposure to get what I want.

This is something I should be competent at.  Enough to be forgotten when it’s over.  Not bad enough people will remember how much I suck and awfulness of my voice and delivery.

I’m just fighting myself at this point and it’s obnoxious.  I always get in my own way.

No Control

I’m a slave to my family, and I can’t break it.  Everything they want, I cave to.  I don’t know why I’m so weak.  Why I must always keep my mother happy.  I should have left years ago.  As I get closer to closing on the house that I essentially bought for my brother to live in, I keep thinking “what if”.  It’s horrible and I’m in tears writing this and thinking about it.  Where my life would be, who I’d be with, who I would be.  I know it’s all just a fantasy, and I’m probably just looking at the optimal outcome, but it sucks.  I swear I’d have a better career, maybe even married by now.  At least I’d have the opportunity for a serious relationship.  I can’t do that when I can’t have anyone over, with privacy.  Not with her emailing or calling me when I’m out.  I let her walk all over me for fear of just getting yelled at.  I don’t know why she terrifies me so much.  NOw my life savings are tied to a house that I have to continually pay for and my brother lives in.  Today my mom was going on about how happy my brother will be.  “He gets his own house, where he’s incharge” . No shit.  For some reason he gets that, but I don’t.  I’m stuck here essentially as her husband.  I want my own life and now I’m trapped even more.

The tears don’t stop.  I don’t know a way out.  I’m so afraid I’m going to something very stupid to myself.  At least I don’t know where the razors are anymore.  Sometimes just thinking about cutting again makes me feel better.  I hope that will be enough. I can’t afford to get anymore scars.  I don’t have a cat to blame them on anymore.  I feel so powerless and foolish.

I can’t stand anyone right now

People have gotten to me.  Everyone.  I can’t stand strangers, my friends, my friends of friends, and my family.  Everyone acts in their own self interest, which I get. That’s needed for survival.  But in society, we can step beyond that.

I was worn down a week ago.  I spend the day with J, who I’m only realizing now can be high drama and selfish.  She’ll attach herself to the strongest personality in the room.  I think that’s why I like her one on one.  She can be focused, but when we reach her other friends, I’m dropped fairly quickly.  She’ll come back to talk to me when they drop her.  That day was exhausting.  We ended the night at a party for a scifi convention and I thought that would be a good time to meet new people (for some reason I was up for that).  No, her friends met with other friends and we were stuck in various edges of groups.  I don’t understand the point of parties.  Everyone there was just talking to their own people.

Next was my family.  Thanksgiving, which means stress.  I can’t tolerate holidays anymore.  The catering to other people, the expectations, the forced socialization.  It was just my grandparents, but my grandmother can be a handful.  She’ll hide things and watch us spend 20 minutes looking for it.  My grandfather is good, but we only talk about real estate.  I don’t have anything in common with my family.

And now the mother rant.  The one person who I thought I could trust and count on forever.  As with previous posts, I’ve mentioned her selfishness and neediness is becoming evident.  There are other words for her, but I don’t know what.  She guilts me into all sorts of behavior, and I cave quickly.  Ic an’t stay overnight anywhere without getting my head spun around.  I can’t even go visit a friend without X days notice (and she’ll forget anyway).  God forbid I have someone over the house without her making a huge deal about it.  She’ll complain about dirty rugs or she can’t do laundry while my friend’s here.  So many excuses.   Now she’s accusing me of not “contributing to the household”.  Seriously?  I spend thousands of dollars a month, plus my time.  Don’t accuse me of being a jobless deadbeat child living off you.  I buy everything you could want or need.  It’s not my fault you spend $5000 for a car that sits in the driveway to rot (she has another car).  Now it’s up to me to cover the other expenses?  She doesn’t care about my life at all.  She wants me home, and writing checks to her.  I’ll gladly pay whatever utilities need to be covered, but don’t expect me to just write you a check.

Ugh.  She even successfully bullied me into buying a house.  I should have said no years ago.  My brother will rent it from me, but it won’t cover all the costs, so I have to pay for that as well.

What the fuck is wrong with me?  I am so weak, and I can’t escape.  I just feel trapped.

I suck at my job

Although, it would help to know what my job really is.  I call myself a software engineer, which is sort of vague as it is.  I write code.  Application level code.  At least, that’s what I’m best at (best being a relative term.  Other people are better at me than this, but compared to everything else I’ve tried, this is the one thing I’m competent at).

Today proved my skill set is not meant for the job I do.  Since my boss left, I’m the highest ranked person (of two people) for a system.  The details of the system are technical and not software based.  I can’t explain why things work the way they do.  I can tell you about the software to turn stuff on and off, but that’s it.  People are trying to use this system and integrate it and try to assess tradeoff, but I feel so useless sitting in the meeting.  It “my” project, but I know nothing about it.  A technician knows more about the details than I do.  I feel so useless, and I’m supposed to be in charge.

And that’s just one example.  Everything my group produces is nothing I can take true understanding of.  Software is a support tool.  I was ok with that when I started working (yay job!), but now that I’m being ranked against my peers who can contribute in much more meaningful ways, I’m afraid I don’t have a future. Or if I do truly want a future there, it won’t be in work that I care about or really understand.

Problem is, I’m too afraid to leave.  What if I get a a job at a software centric place and find out I’m just not that good?  Then what?  Am I stuck with no career goals or opportunities?  I’m timid as it is and any serious criticism would probably break me.  At least here, I’m good at what I can do, but what I do isn’t important.

I hate fear.  I wish I didn’t care.

There’s something wrong with me

Something in my brain is broken.  I don’t understand basic human behaviors.

At the suggestion of a coworker, I read Lean In, a book by the COO of Facebook about why there are so few women leaders.  The beginning was good and made sense, which talked about gender stereotypes and cultural bias.  However the bulk of the book was bout being a mother and the questioning of a women’s dedication to her work, and the societal expectation that women are meant to be mothers/nurturing.

Sadly, this part of the book did not apply to me, and I don’t think it ever will.

I have never wanted children, and I don’t understand anyone who does (male or female).  I don’t see what the benefit it.  I did some research to try to find out why, but all I got was that people wanted someone to love them and to love them back.  That they just “wanted” to be a parent.  I understand perpetuation of the species and primal desires, but humans are an intelligent race of beings.  We move past our innate desires all the time.  The desire to fight, to eat, to fuck.  We all keep it under control (well, most of us anyway).

I feel nothing when I think of parenting, like it’s meant for someone else to do.  I know there is nothing wrong with my choice, but I wonder why I feel this way.  My mother had me, obviously.  She did however, instill at an early age that sex was bad, having a relationship was bad, and getting pregnant would ruin my life.  To this day she’ll judge a pregnant women, when she herself was one twice, and once by choice (I was not the choice).

Maybe it is conditioning.  Maybe by living in that environment, I know that I don’t want to end up like her, alone, poor and bitter.  I wish someone could give me a legitimate reason for having a child. There’s not guarantee they’ll love you or care for you later, or even be healthy.  All I see is risk and work for nothing.

Maybe I’m just a horrible child myself.