My Wordspace

A dumpster full of various musings over life, God, scripture, and any random thought that may fly by meanwhile. Comments welcome.

What I Want To Write?

Posted by Iszi on September 27, 2004

Greetings, Readers.

I find myself in the middle of a deep rut of boredom and emptiness. Something has told me I should write, and write about my feelings, but I don’t really know what to write, nor am I sure I know my feelings. Or maybe I do know them, but don’t understand them. Maybe I’m just afraid of what they are.

A good part of my life, I think I have been hiding from my feelings, my true emotions. What made me want to do this? I can only guess it has to do with my experiences in school, since the 3rd grade until probably about the 10th. My days were constantly filled with bullies, jeers, and insults during that time. At times I would shoot insults back, but would only get worse ones in return, with my own having been entirely ineffective. Other times, I would be too tired of the failed retaliation attempts to even bother. At those times, I would turn away sullenly and try to move on, but was still left feeling very stung.

Through this time, I was always taught that ignoring the bully would make him go away. Why are we taught this? Most people seem to think (as true or untrue as it may be) that childhood bullies pick on other kids because they’re looking for attention. So, the obvious counter to this would be to not give them the response and attention that they’re looking for. This, theoretically, would show the bully that this method (or target) for getting attention does not work, and so (supposedly) they should move on to trying another method (or target).

However, for one to completely be able to ignore a bully, one must also be able to put aside or ignore the feelings brought on by that bully’s words and actions. Not only are a bully’s words and actions often personally hurtful, they are many times publicly humiliating to their target. The feelings brought from this are anguish, inferiority, shame, worthlessness, rage, and – when everyone else seems to be on the side of the bully, or otherwise neutral – isolation.

So, how to ignore one’s feelings, then? It’s not easy at first. For awhile, you have to grit your teeth at whatever hits you. Eventually though, you get used to it. It even becomes second-nature to you. They say your feelings become “bottled up” at this point. In my experience, it seems more that you’ve become immune to them. Even if there is some bottle to break, when it is broken the ground that it is broken on is hardened to the point that it does not absorb the bottles contents.

For some reason, that almost doesn’t even make sense to me. Pardon if I ramble a bit, but I’ve now decided I should probably just spill out whatever comes to mind the way it comes this time. So, I’ll not be re-writing any of this as I go.

Perhaps there’s actually stages to the dulling of emotions. The first would be where you have to focus yourself on ignoring them – the “gritting your teeth” phase. The second is where you ignore them subconsciously without trying anymore – the “bottling up” phase. Then, there’s a point where you just don’t feel them at all – the “hardened ground” phase.

So, now I’ve found myself in that “hardened ground” phase. I think I’ve been here for quite awhile now. Several years, at least. What are the symptoms of this? For one, it’s not too easy to make me really laugh. I mean honestly laugh uncontrollably. Outside of that laughter, there’s not much that makes me really smile from the heart. And the hardest thing to get me to do is cry. Surprisingly enough, the last thing that made me cry was something that most guys might think is just a little thing that only a woman would cry over.

That was a year ago now, plus a few weeks or so. During the planning of our marriage ceremony, there were all kinds of snags in having to deal with other people’s schedules and locations. Part of the difficulty was due to lack of funds to be able to pay for a neutral location that would be central to everyone else’s position. Schedule difficulty was because it had to be done while my wife’s mother and grandmother were down, (since they were paying for the paperwork) and both my parents had plans that overlapped this time. Eventually, I was able to talk all the major parties (the in-laws, my parents, and the person conducting the ceremony) into a date and time that (albeit in some cases barely) lined up with everyone’s schedules.

In searching for a location, there were only a few available, none of which were in the family-politically-neutral category. The one we had to settle on was a neighbor of my mom’s, whom I’d known since I was 12 at least. Meanwhile, I got a letter from the only local aunt and uncle that I had on my father’s side, saying that they and their children (3 of them, the youngest probably now 13) would not be attending because they did not agree with the way we were doing things. I don’t recall the exact wording, but the reasons were pretty much based on religion. I don’t think they liked the fact that we were getting married after already having a child, but what was probably the bigger problem was that we weren’t getting married by a minister in a church. In either case, those situations were both due to the financial situation we were in at the time. (And still are in, pretty much.)

So, that did kind of hurt, but it was somewhat to be expected, so I tried to keep it aside and not let it bother me. What did hurt, however, was when I talked to my father about the when’s and where’s of the wedding. He told me that he and his wife would not be able to attend there, for personal reasons. That hurt bad. In fact, it’s probably the only time since childhood that I can recall going to my mother (and that was an hour-long drive that my wife made just for me – for those who don’t know, I don’t drive and my mom’s house is an hour away.) for emotional support, and actually crying on her shoulder.

In the end, we moved the wedding to my mom’s house and everything went okay. It’s quite funny in a way, what’s coming across my mind now. The most recent time that I have felt genuinely hurt (albeit I didn’t literally cry over it), was a few months ago, and also involved my father and a wedding.

This time, it was his wedding. If I’ve already posted on this, I apologize for the redundancy, and I’ll try to keep it as brief as possible. Originally, when my dad e-mailed me to tell me that he and his fiancee were (finally) getting married, he said that he had wanted me and my brother to both be best men. However, in a later IM conversation, he said that he wanted my brother to be best man since he would be in uniform. My father was formerly in the Navy, and recently retired from the United States Air Force Reserves, and my brother is recently enlisted in the USMC. So, since they both were going to be in uniform, (the wedding was not a military ceremony, but it was on Armed Forces Day, so all veteran attendees were asked to appear in uniform) I could understand if he wanted my (note) younger brother to be the one directly at his side, with me standing next to my brother, but to say that my brother was to be the sole Best Man, essentially relegating me to a lower position in the ceremony, just because I could not be in uniform, pissed me off.

However, that wasn’t the only factor to my hurt. See, this also opened up an old wound. All my life, my dream had been to enlist in the Air Force, and go to school to work on the computer networks there. All my life I’d wanted to serve in the armed forces like my dad and granfathers. When my interests and skills developed so strongly in computers and technology, the Air Force seemed the best and only way to go. Also, I had a predisposition towards that branch, since that was where my father served most of his time. If I’ve ever had a “lifelong dream” that was it.

So, when I was 18, I went to the recruiter’s station. Next step from there was the ASVAB test, which I passed with flying colors. So then, I was in a position to choose any career the Air Force had to offer that didn’t require perfect eyesight. (I’m supposed to wear prescription glasses 24/7, but currently don’t know where they’ve run to. Fortunately, I can see well enough to function without them, but not pass a military optometrist’s inspection.) So now, on to the MEPS. The only thing that could have held me from passing through here (I thought) was that I could come up underweight. If that had been the case, a little bit of working out and chowing down could have fixed it easily. Okay, so there was also this little curve in my spine, but it had never impaired me before, nor did I ever feel any pain from it, so it should pass muster, right? Wrong. The biggest lasting heart-break of my life was the day that I was told the curvature in my spine was too great to be acceptable for military entrance.

So, now I was being told that because I couldn’t wear the uniform that I wanted to wear so badly with all my heart, I couldn’t stand as my father’s Best Man at his wedding. Not only that, but in my place was my younger brother. Not a best friend of my father’s or one of my uncles, but my younger brother! Perhaps it’s wrong of me, but with all things otherwise being equal in regards to personal relationship, when a father has to choose between sons for a particular important role in his life, isn’t the eldest typically given precedence?

It came to the point that I couldn’t let the hurt go unanswered. I calmly confronted my father with my feelings on the issue, and he tried to smooth things out, making it look like a misunderstanding or something, but all the talk didn’t make things feel too much better. Furthermore, when the wedding came around, and then the reception, I was constantly hearing my brother being introduced, and referred to as, “My son, the Marine,” by my father. At some points, I would be introduced as “My son, Jacob,” but in my mind I kept hearing “My son, the convenience store clerk.” What else was I supposed to think?

So enough with the past, what am I feeling now? I guess I’ve dropped into something of an empty stupor. Empty because my wife and daughter are hundreds of miles away, and stupor because there’s not really much to do right now. Okay, so there’s a good deal of stuff to do, but nothing I want to do. Nothing that I could look forward to doing even if I did do whatever else needed to be done. So therefore I am left here doing nothing, in a state of utter boredom and depression.

Oh, look! Another blog has updated. My wrists are starting to cramp up from all this typing anyway, so I’ll wrap it up for now.

– Iszi

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2 Responses to “What I Want To Write?”

  1. Deborah said

    Bullies are the worst! Iszi, you are a wonderful writer. I have much to catch up on here. When is your family returning home? Regards to you!!!

  2. Iszi said

    Originally, the plan was for mid- to late-October. But with the weather being the way it is down here, I’ve got half a mind to ask her family if they’d keep her through the rest of Hurricane Season. Although that is said half in jest, I think they wouldn’t have a problem if I did ask.

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