This is a question that I ask myself a lot, mainly because I’m not all that fond of myself. But this post is about something different, something that actually bothers me even now, four days after the triggering event, three days after I asked myself the question.
Just to show you, here are ways I usually answer the question. These answers have become so much a part of my inner dialogue that they don’t really register any more, even though I know that, to an outsider, these are horrible things to say:
- “I’m fat.”
- “I’m ugly.”
- “I’m not that bright.”
- “I’m old.”
- “I’m lonely.”
- “I have no redeeming social qualities of any sort.”
- “I smell bad.” (Okay, this one isn’t very often thought.)
- “I’m useless.” (This was big back when I was unemployed for six years.)
- …and so on…
You get the idea. These really crop up when I’m depressed. I used to post on Facebook, but somebody told me that every single post I put up (an extreme exaggeration) is negative, and I should try being grateful. So I don’t post on Facebook anymore.
So why don’t I talk to somebody when I’m feeling down, either a friend or a professional who can maybe help guide me out of that thinking? Well for one thing, being socially anxious (at least I think I am), I don’t have a large circle of friends, and none in my immediate area. My friends from high school and on Facebook are all busy. Plus I don’t like to burden others with my problems, which I’ve been told are fairly penny-ante in the grand scheme of things. And, since I live in AmURica, there is a stigma attached to admitting you have any sort of mental issue, so you’re almost forced to keep it quiet. And, again, since I live in AmURica, there is no comprehensive health care coverage (unless you can afford it), and since I couldn’t really afford it, I couldn’t go talk to somebody. Even now that I have health insurance (for the first time in a decade), I don’t know if it will cover a shrink or not.
Sorry, that was a long tangent. So here’s what happened. Tuesday night, my aunt died. She has been sick for a while, so we expected it to happen sooner or later, but still, when the news came, it was like a punch in the oompa-loompas. Mom broke down sobbing (it was her sister). Me? Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. I just pulled out the laptop and started researching possible options to get her to California to be with the family. I felt something (and I still do) but no tears.
Then Wednesday night, I was having a massage, which gives my brain a lot of time to make associations and plot against me. And my brain, trooper that it is, came up with a whopper. What would have been my Dad’s 77th birthday is tomorrow, and my brain brought up the fact that when my Dad passed away in 2009, I didn’t cry either. Again, I felt it (that was like a sledgehammer to the oompa-loompas), but again, no tears.
So, what the hell is wrong with me?
In 2009, I rationalized that I didn’t cry either because it was such a shock or because I had been on anti-depressants for so long that I couldn’t cry. And Wednesday night, I started off with that latter excuse. But it can’t be true, because I can cry at sad moments in movies or books. But when people in my family or people who are close to me die, I can’t remember crying during the past decade.
So what the hell is wrong with me?