I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, reflection more than anything else, and I haven’t been happy with what I’ve seen. Since moving to Arizona I’ve felt out of control. When I lived in San Diego, I knew how to handle some of the chaos going on because I had a network set up. I knew people, institutions and I had familiar surrounding that could help ground me when things went off-kilter.
When I was exiled to Arizona, I hung onto the idea of coming back to San Diego the way I have dealt with a lot of personal issues in my life; I assumed at some point things would get better. I assumed I would return back to California. I assumed Arizona would be a temporary stopping point. Now, here I am, close to ten years and I’m still in Arizona and I’ve held onto the idea of returning to San Diego for so long that it seems like a lot of time here has been wasted because I assumed I wouldn’t be here long.
That’s just how my mind works. I get things stuck in my head and I wait for the salvation that will never come. By the time I realize my error, time that could have been better spent seems to have been wasted. The part about wasted time; that’s me being hard on myself. It’s another ‘loveable’ trait I have, where I am way too hard on myself.
“No matter where you go, there you are.” I used to quote that line a lot and why I’ve forgotten about it, I don’t know. Maybe I thought I was grown and didn’t need it anymore. Even though I bought a house and have a cat, I just don’t feel here. The thing is, the only thing keeping me from being here is me, which I knew all the time. I just wanted someone else to take responsibility for my position; some outside person to emerge from the curtains and say yes, I am the nemesis that has been the torment of your life.
Well, I went through some trials, and just like the last episode of The Prisoner I went into the missile silo and when I removed the monkey mask from Number One I saw myself laughing at me. It’s hard to admit I constructed my own prison. It’s hard to admit, and maybe again this is me judging myself too much, I have been the one who doesn’t really want to be free. I have prevented myself from escaping because deep down I don’t want to escape. The jail, perverted as it is, was a known coping device and allowed me to be safe but it prevented me from being resilient and standing strong.
The thing I have been realizing for over a year is I have been trying to be accepted by myself to be a person I didn’t want to be. When I first came out here, there was a moment where my parents offered me a chance to move to South Carolina. There was a moment of weakness there, because I felt my judgement had been off by stuff with the Professor. I knew going to South Carolina was wrong for me and I was so sure I was going to get back to San Diego I set myself up to shift and twist myself to fit ‘for the moment.’ I was going to do what I had to do, change myself however I had to do, until I was able to get back to the way things were.
Looking back I can see all I did was a very poor way of coping. As weeks and months past, a little of myself, my real self, started chipping away. Last year, when I got the weird sick, when I lost a lot of my things and a few months ago when some long term personal issues got altered (no, I’m not going to talk about them, that’s why I said personal) the malaise I felt was something I couldn’t define. I was in a funk but didn’t know why. It’s been the past month as I’ve been digging deep into myself have I seen the problem has been me and I’ve been building this ‘protective’ emotional wall for years.
Understanding what has happened is cool; trying to get me back to being me is going to be rough to do. Unfortunately this is a journey I have to do on my own. I can’t call on friends or loved ones for support because I have none. I don’t mean to sound cruel but a lot of you who might read this, people who have known me for years, haven’t bothered to reach out. Look, I put a lot of the blame for that on myself, but I haven’t received many personal phone calls, emails or other communications. I think my isolation of friends was a way for me to cope with the confusion I was dealing with, but now I can’t rely on the people I would call friends to lend a hand, to be an ear I can sound ideas off of. I’m in a different place from where you guys knew me and I honestly have a hard time relating to normal stuff now. I can’t talk about the kids or how the spouse is doing. I honestly can’t get my head around all those things.
I have to get back to the old me to evolve from that. I was always the odd black kid who freaked out most people because I didn’t fit with the box constructed by outside forces trying to categorize me. I’m the mad, bad and dangerous to know guy who is very quiet, very observing who is a mix of Spock, Avon and Number 6.
I’ve got a lot of work to do to get back to me, to stop feeling sorry for how I am and embrace being me.