Yohannon (yohannon) wrote,
Yohannon
yohannon

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Coming Out as a Coward

Crap, I thought that last post had winded me... guess I was wrong?

Today (October 11) is national coming out day. Once again I'm surprised at the number of people I THOUGHT were already out, well, coming out. I keep forgetting that I see obvious things that... aren't obvious.

So, to continue my latest process along, we come to another aspect of my anger at suicides as cowards -- I am. A coward, that is.

Just as homophobes are insecure about their sexuality, my main anger with suicides is borne, in no small part, from envy. Why should they get to check out early? Why should those of us left behind have to take up an even heavier load because we stayed, but they couldn't?

My cowardice is not just my predilection to ending my life, it extends throughout my life. I've gone to such insane lengths to prove my bravery (for goddess' sake, what prompted me to get NUDE in a documentary on BBC4 seen by over 7 million people -- more if you count all of the international airings...), to show a lack of fear when, at my core, I was a quivering mass of yellow jello.

And then there are the uncomfortable moments in life. Did you know I can't even watch a TV or Movie scene where people are being humiliated, by themselves and/or others? I literally can't look. I can watch as all sorts of horrors are inflicted on people, real or imagined. Show someone being laughed at, or someone making a fool of themselves through their own ignorance or the crass manipulation of others, and I cover my ears and eyes. Seriously.

Imagine how that translates to my personal relationships. I can only imagine how many people gave up on me because I was unable to face them after I made a mistake. That could be as simple as not calling enough, or not being there when I was needed, or I just plain screwed up.

Have I gotten better over the years? In some ways yes, in others... not so much. I know Linda probably thinks I hate her, but between the fear of driving I enforced on myself for so many years, plus not being able to draw boundaries against those times when I just couldn't be there for her when she was depressed, I withdrew instead of talking. COWARD!

When Rob started taking over my house and my wife, instead of facing her and telling her to get the fuck out of MY house and to stay away from MY wife if she couldn't abide by the simplest rules of polyamory, I just left things as they were for fear of losing... well, the things I wound up losing anyway. COWARD!

I could go on, but they all look the same -- things get uncomfortable and I get scared. I run away.

A large part of my current strife is clearly karma for not having the courage to talk to people, to be honest no matter how hard. The irony is how much I've improved just in the last 5 years, but mostly from the perspective of work.

Which kinda makes sense. Since I believe most of this is residual abuse crap from my step-father, where any mistake could be painful physically, emotionally, spiritually, or all three, it wasn't until after I found myself in a company that wasn't a dysfunctional mess that I could finally start to see mistakes as a process, and not always fatal errors.

I remember during my first interview, when my bosses boss was chatting with me about my work history and my writing skills.

She spotted a glaring typo in my resume.

Remember, in 2005 this document had been maintained, massaged, and reviewed countless times, especially between 2001 and 2004 when I wasn't able to get any work whatsoever. Yes, others reviewed it for me... but this was likely introduced and missed after those reviews.

I still remember my reaction: Defensive and panicky. I think that's when I saw one of the first signs of a sane work environment, when she pointed out that was NOT am instant disqualification.

If something similar happened today, my reaction would be closer to "well, how about that? Thank you for pointing that out!". 5 years of people at all levels of a company admitting that they were wrong, that they had made a mistake, and it not being a detriment to their careers and status, finally got it through my head that there really was another way to look at such things... at least professionally.

Which isn't to say I haven't been TRYING to integrate this mindset to my personal life. Unfortunately, not all of those skills transfer directly, and some of the techniques I've learned to use at work to not come across as a pedantic, over-bearing, hyperactive know-it-all with no capacity to compromise has, in several cases, backfired badly. Which leads to situations where peole are mad at me, or accusing me of things I know I wasn't attempting, or... well, it doesn't matter what specifically happens, it's just negative enough that I go into full retreat mode to try and "undo" it.

Or, failing that, into full failure mode -- as in, if I can't fix it, I might as well destroy it.

Taken to the obvious conclusion (remember, we're talking my thought process here, not what's right), if I can't fix myself... end it.

Like I said: COWARD!
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