Tuesday, 10 February 2009

A Nervous Breakdown

I woke up with a really ghastly feeling in my stomach. Last night I thought I was over the emotional shock of being so bluntly rejected by someone I trusted, but apparently I'm not. It was curious how this person was so angry about narcisissm yet displayed the same signs himself; very agreeable in the beginning when things worked according to his schemes, but as soon as they didn't he's like a child who was denied candy in a candy shop. All I kept hearing was "me, me, me" and a somewhat patronizing way of telling me what "we" need to do, and it completely freaked me out. There's not that much good to say about myself either because I just lost it. I really didn't display my anger, merely tried to negotiate, but I might as well have talked to a wall. The bottom line is, I went into a state of extreme anxiety, which might have been some form of post traumatic disorder as a result of too many failed relationships over a short period of time. I'm not saying I'm without fault. My intensity, impatience, and perceptiveness has caused me to over-react to many things. Of course it's hard to say when my reactions have been justified and in proportion with the problem, but if my sensitivity is leading to this kind of insurmountable problems, then what's the use of trying to connect with anyone anymore?

When I met this person I had a beautiful dream one night where everything was difficult at first but then miraculously, everything was being taken care of and this enormous weight was lifted from my shoulders. I couldn't believe the feeling of not having to struggle anymore. I realized upon waking what a ridiculous strife my life has been. But I really have had no choice. At times I could have taken the easy way out and stayed put, but with my need for change and adventure it would have driven me crazy too. So I've worn my heart on my sleeve for many years now but nothing good has come out of it. Even if I do believe that in certain ways we attract what we need in order to grow or simply something that reflects some inner issue, I never anticipated that the opening up of my emotional life would cause so much grief. In comparison, life used to be very easy and smooth. Maybe it's also due to the collective and its changes. But the thing is, I no longer know how to deal with my emotional self. I mean, I understand that I just need to ride out the storms. But I am starting to worry that something really bad will happen to me soon or that I won't be able to function in a relationship anymore. This person also knew that I have the condition which causes me to have very low stress tolerance, but he never asked about it so he either didn't care or didn't want to know. I tried to say that it's not an issue in the company of the right people. But I don't seem to attract the tolerant kind of men. Why? I do much soul searching but I have fewer and fewer answers.

I'm sorry to say this but never have I had as much trouble with people as I have with Americans online. I also hate to put one big bunch of people in one bag. For some reason though, it seems that I just cannot make my voice heard in their company. I really don't know how to explain this. But it's as if I had been part of a cult where my whole sense of self had been systematically undermined. There is only one person I am able to talk to but she's a very intelligent woman who isn't shaken by my ups and downs. The others... well, truth to say I think they know more about me than I ever did about them, and so they had the upper hand. My last experience seemed like that. I got to hear from this guy that you don't expect a person's friendship and trust, you earn it. Well yes... the thing is I thought I already had. I did have an expectation and that was to be heard when I was in distress. Unfortunately, emotional distress in the form of a crisis doesn't wait for people to have time. Apparently this person thought I was being extremely selfish for having a crisis when he wasn't up to it. And I promise I did not bombard him with any long, abusive letters. They were merely short statements about what was going on from my point of view. That I might have had trouble keeping my thoughts together might have been a fact. To really put a knife where it hurt he had to ban me from his Flickr stream though he could have simply removed me from his contacts. This person, who thought of so many others as predators, was definitely one himself. I think that intuitively, I felt this and that's why I broke down.

The question is, did this person do the right thing by abandoning me right then and there with the view that it was all too complicated and too much for him to deal with? As I said, I didn't know this person all that well, but what I had seen of his values I had liked a lot. In retrospect I think that he was only gratifying his own self-esteem by sucking in my encouraging words. It's ironic, since it's hard for me to express any form of admiration for other people, let alone a guy. And I'm not talking about infatuation. There are many more nuances to emotions than that! The fact that he didn't stick around tells me that my break down was a real indication that I was dealing with a hyper selfish person. I have met many now, and so I recognize them fairly soon.

So yes, I was having a fit - but I didn't accuse him. I tried to take responsiblity for my own emotions and the crisis I was going through. I even warned him that it was coming. In my opinion if you already like someone, you give them a chance. He could have been the great friend who helped me ride through the storm and come out on the other side. But no. He was all for great friendship and how one's basic need is to be heard and understood. He was obviously only talking for himself. What happened instead was that I had one more traumatic relationship to add to my list. And unfortunately, this whole thing has undermined my emotional stability even more. It will be even more difficult for me to trust someone. I don't know why this is happening. I don't see myself deserving it and whatever desperation I may feel I try and contain. But now - I'm now officially a nervous wreck.

Artwork: "Caught in the Ice", digital photograph by author, all rights reserved 2008


  1. It sounds like you are taking this guy too seriously. But it's not like I can criticize because I've done the EXACT same thing before. I made a friend and then started to see things between us that weren't there. I saw it happening, and withdrew before it became a problem. I allowed my unhappiness to live its life (the life of an emotion can be long and torturous if you try to stifle it), and then I surpassed it. I felt a love, a connection, that wasn't shared... and it was so hurtful! I didn't think I could connect with someone so quickly and completely, without them feeling the same. But now I'm just happy to have met that person, to have shared a few good times with them.

    There are always limitations to relationships. Unconditional love is so rare; I don't think even our parents love us unconditionally, most of the time. But anyway, you have to appreciate the relationship for what it was. If it made you feel good for a time, then it was a valuable experience. Not every connection we make with people is going to last. Very rarely do they last! But when a true lasting connection is finally made, it is all the more special for being so rare.

    Having said all that crap... now I have to say I'm sorry to hear you had a bad time with this man. But you are special and perfect just how you are, Vivi-Mari, and you don't need me or some American guy on the internet to tell you that.

  2. Hi, thanks for leaving an elaborate comment! Well, the reason I'm complaining this much is that I've had a serious of incidents like this for a period of time and my condition doesn't allow me to deal with stress. So I feel it's breaking me down big time. Mentally I can deal with these issues much better but the stress is very hard.

    Of course, you do have a point. I think that unfortunately at this point in time I'm a bit desperate. I'm getting old and have not yet had the kind of life I'd have wished for myself. For reasons unknown, maybe just growth. The need to connect on a deeper level with people is getting stronger, as time is ticking away and, well, for other reasons too. I admit it's hard for me at this point to appreciate a time I had and hope another good one comes along. I don't have much physical strength so it wears me out to make friends just to see them go. It could be a question of attitude too, sure...

    Thank you for your kind words. It's sometimes easy to lose sight of our specialness when others treat us cruelly. Not saying I don't take any responsibility for my experiences, only that some of it hasn't felt quite fair. Don't know how else to say it. People aren't always sensitive enough, especially not on the internet. I think that's pretty much common knowledge already. Thanks for sharing your own experience, it was enlightening - I mean it helps me to understand why some people choose solutions that seem hurtful and odd. :-)

  3. The photograph is so on target for the subject matter....all sharp edges sticking through ice.

    I know the urge to understand what went wrong is strong but it's also an impossible thing to determine.

    It took many decades for me to stop trying to do a post mortem analysis about a failed relationship. I think we just have to rely on our instincts to exit things where there is either irresolvable pain or your "fear" or "overstreesed" semsprs are going off.

    Be kind to yourself and allow yourself the freedom to trust your instincts. Thank goodness we are writers and can write it out as you did here quite eloquently.

    Meanwhile, just take another breathe and move on.

  4. oops a typo correction that really wont make any sense uncorrected.

    it should read, irresolvable pain or your "fear" or "overstreesed" sensor alarms are going off.

  5. Spot on, Pardes. For one thing I wish that men would realize how emotional women can sometimes be without it meaning half as much as they think. Secondly, I wish they would realize that their actions cause us to fret and ruminate for ages afterwards. Women spend a f*** amount of time trying to understand men but do they care to understand us?

    Of course, it's easy to move on if you have something to move on to. To Anonymous I guess I still would like to say that the situation wasn't the same as described by A. It was quite short and a great promise of friendship. Where on Earth did the romantic aspect enter the picture? How conceited to think that romance can happen online without you even seeing the person, in a matter of days. I strongly suspect there were other ulterior motifs behind the need to take things in charge and break the contact that where all the more hurtful for all the talk of honesty and authenticity. Of course I was hopeful and happy and certainly not adverse to a romantic outcome, but I find it highly offensive when people assume things like that about me and refuse to talk about the feelings openly. If you're on a quest of honesty, then surely that would first of all mean being honest about your feelings, fears and anticipations?

    Well, my blog is about a breakdown and that's why I'm rambling. I just can't take anymore of these sort of incidents, and naturally feel very apprehensive about new ones that might come along. It's not nice to be both burned and burn out. My opportunities of making great friends are so slim, I don't think anyone can even begin to imagine how slim they are. It's easy for all of you to think differently when you have a huge continent at your disposal, one on which everyone speaks the same language... For those who have been attentive and read other blogs of mine, it's maybe clearer that I'm the minority of a minority of minorities.... Tucked away at the corner of the end of the world.

    Ok, I'm rambling. This is part of having a nervous brekdown, pardon me... Thanks for your inputs, they are appreciated.

  6. I love your blog. It's so direct. People say they want that and then the are afraid to deal with it. You're fresh air. Thank you. You're saying great social stuff. Hope you are listen to yourself talk, too. You're also one of the voices.
    I'm having trouble accessing somehow. Don't know if it's the twitter part or what.