Most days I walk around with my writing cap on, hungrily looking for things to write about. Any writer can tell you (not that I’m a writer, but sometimes I like to dress up and play writer) that no moment is too banal as long as you’ve got the right spin. Occasionally, I’ll make it through the work day without one “writing worthy” moment and start to wish one into existence, hoping that someone will say something ridiculous in the parking lot that I could make fun of or praying for inspiration to drop down out of the heavens and bless me with a story.
Other times my dad calls me after a minimum of 2 bottles of wine and can barely speak.
It isn’t noteworthy that my dad is drunk, though it does stand to mention that my dad is A Drunk. Like a good, ole-fashioned hides the bottles in the closet kind of drunk. He’s also a bipolar narcissist who refuses to acknowledge or treat any of these issues through therapy or medical purposes. The upside is it’s made me interesting, empathetic, and a bad bitch when it comes to a crisis. And it doesn’t take a professional to infer that the downside is that it’s also made me paranoid, angry, and a roller coaster of a girlfriend.
It wasn’t until the last year that I realized my “fear” of intimacy wasn’t actually a fear at all- it was flat out contempt. I was so used to the “I love you” and “you’re my world” comments that would come from my dad to be addled with upwards of five vodka rocks and self-indulgence about how much HE loved and how much HE sacrificed for me. To this day he can’t tell me he loves me without turning it into a poor man’s attempt at a sonnet- maybe because that’s how much he loves me; definitely because that’s how much he loves to paint himself into that role. Even loving his kids was always about him. Everything was always about him. So right up until this year, being adored by a romantic partner made my skin crawl; the wires in my brain had become crossed and when the warm and fuzzies were supposed to light up, instead a silent, seething repulsion was lit. It was a visceral reaction and I would literally become hot with anger or start to have my vision blur or would be convinced I would vomit. While my face I’m sure resembled someone witnessing a car accident, the soundtrack of my mind was more like:
Me to me: Don’t freak out.
Me to him: Pull it together you self-indulgent fuck.
Me to me: Stop it. Let him be nice to you.
Me to him: Who in God’s name do you think you are, telling me that you love me? Are you high?
Me to me: You’re going to die alone.
Me to him: You’ve ruined it. If you don’t let go of my hand, I will break your fingers for fun. Please tell me you just snorted a bunch of adderall and we’ll pretend this never happened.
My psychology doctorate that I’ve earned through following Psychology Today on Facebook and almost a decade of watching Criminal Minds in obsessive yet intermittent bouts has finally allowed me to name the problem and start healing. Oh and the partying so hard that my hair hurt did it’s fair share of helping and hurting as well. It’s a new process though, and most days I’m worried this whole house of cards will crash down and Romeo will realize any semblance of emotional stability I portray is a sham. MOMENTS LIKE THIS ARE EXACTLY WHY I DESERVE MORE CREDIT FOR QUITTING SMOKING.
I’m sure it’s becoming more and more obvious why I’m such a catch. (So much humor disguised as insight will continue to be lost on the world until we can all agree on a sarcasm font.)