Saturday, April 3, 2010

Answering the unasked question

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I have said that having a blog can be a lot like talking to oneself in public, except that it's marginally socially acceptable. Not every blogger is a kook, while someone on a street corner talking loudly about their personal life is almost always a few bricks short of a stack. It's with that thought in mind I jot down a note or two here.

I am contemplating the purchase of an E-book reader. What kind, does not matter for this missive. It's the reaction I recognize in myself that is worthy of examination.

I feel guilty at the thought of spending $250 on myself.

I realize now that I have had that same guilt over most of my life.... even though I have purchased plenty of toys for the little boy inside me, each time has always been acompanied by a pang of guilt that tempered the happiness a new toy brings. Often... destroyed the joy completely.

Now... where the hell did that guilt come from?

Sitting on the can as I ruminated this morning, it came to me that such guilt was the result of a lifetime of training, and one of the reasons my marriage broke up. I know I should not feel guilty about being happy, but I did, and that made me angry.... years worth of angry. A lifetimes worth of angry. Angry enough that life lost it's flavor and turned a monotone and tasteless gray.

The question that's gone unasked by so many..... "Why did you leave?".

I gather it hasn't been asked because no one really cared about the answer. There is no sign that has changed, so why am I writing this now? I guess.... I am talking to myself in public. Working out thoughts and emotions via keyboard therapy. No different than journaling I suppose, in a way.

Anger.... at feeling guilty for being happy. That just sucks the joy out of life, and takes away the reasons for living. Anger based on guilt, and guilt based on.... trying to meet demands that just couldn't be met. How much is enough? Wrong question. The real question was... how much have you got, how much can you get, and how quick can we take it away from you? Work day and night... 13 hour days... just to watch it pissed away at Costco buying frozen cheeseburgers and junk food. Buy me a new $50 video game.... which I will trade next week for 1/10 what you pay today...... Prove you love me by buying me.... 'stuff'. A house full of stuff, an empty bank account, a destroyed credit rating, working day and night.... and it would NEVER BE ENOUGH.

Anger at not being able to satisfy those who would never be satisfied. Anger at myself for failing what was an impossible task.

There's many reasons I left. A decision to live, rather than die in servitude... knowing there was a world outside that held joy and happiness... even little things like not seeing a sink piled with dirty dishes day in and day out, and knowing that I didn't have to live in expensive squalor.

I still carry the guilt that comes when I consider doing something for myself, but I am fighting it. I am learning to live again, even though it has taken years. Now.... when I get the inevitable requests to 'prove you care by buying me......' I can look away with hardly a pang of guilt.

I don't have to live for others anymore. I can choose who, when, where, and how much I wish to be generous.... and demands go straight to the trash bin.

When the answer to 'How much is enough?" is 'More", it can be soul crushing. When more is demanded.. more... more.... MORE... and there is no more... what is left?

Like I said.... I'm just doing a little keyboard therapy this morning. Don't pay it too much attention. In the grand scheme of life, It amounts to little. Just another minuscule click on the cogwheel of time, advancing another notch.

Answering an unasked question, purely for myself, and utterly without guilt.

It's nice for a change.


2 comments:

Ted Amadeus said...

"If you love me, you'll GIMME!" sounds too much like religion, which is why I gave it up...Altruism is bullshit (pardon my eloquence, but there it is).
Ayn Rand set me free:
"I swear by life, and by my love for it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." - John Galt's oath, from Atlas Shrugged

Ted Amadeus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.