Frustration

November 19, 2005

My frustration level is at an all time high these days. The slightest wrinkles in my plans leave me seething with anger. I know that the root cause is the loss of the one place where I could talk out the surface "story for publication" crap, and then explore the real underlying motivation and emotions. Most people when you talk to them about something that is emotionally charged want to fix or alleviate the cause of the charge. I don't want you to fix my life - it isn't broken. All I want is some one who will listen to me, validate that I have real feelings and that, no, I'm not some freak because I'm upset by some tiny event.

Immediately trying to tell me how to address the surface cause of my emotion, or rushing to say, "I understand, look what happened to me...," only serves to cut me off further. If I say I had a long miserable drive home, that it took 45 minutes to cover ground that normally takes 20, and you say, "Yeah, but it took me 2 HOURS to get home," then all you have done is make me feel my stuff is insignificant to you. Any real connection that might have occurred by honest listening will now, never happen.

Several days ago my lunch time plans were disrupted by events beyond my control. I usually only eat out once a month and these plans had been in place for two weeks. Not getting to participate they way I wanted was extremely upsettng. Yesterday coming home was a miserable drive, construction delays combined with leaving at 5:00 pm on a Friday, nearly tripled my drive time. I was supremely frustrated and upset. Without Michele as a safe place to fall I had no place to vent my frustrations, no place to clear off the surface distractors and get to the real underlying problem. This morning only added to my pain as I was unable to follow through on my plans to spend the morning at work. Despite my having specifically asked if I had weekend access to the building, and being assured that I did, I was denied access this morning after getting up on my day off, and having a construction delayed commute.

Happy, happy, joy, joy.

I know that these little things are just indications of a larger issue. As I try to sort through it I think the underlying issue is the disconnect between the surreal landscape I now see at every turn, and the normal one I perceive everyone else inhabiting. The rest of you still have normal lives. Your world hasn't stopped spinning, your days aren't endlessly long exercises in emotional tight rope walking. I want to yell and throw things at the people around me. I want to scream at them until they understand just how fucking awful this one event has made my entire life. And yet I still have enough compassion to recognize that they are just being human, and that were our roles reverse I'd be act much the same way they are.

And therein lies the rub, I want to scream and hit and destroy, but I know it won't help. I want understanding from outside when what I need is acceptance of myself. I need a place with no judgment to express my thoughts and emotions, a place where they can be validated. I have been putting off finding a support group because I wasn't in the mood to expose my self to strangers, even if they were going through a similar experience. However, I see now that I need a group if only to help me see that I am not the only person going through the aftermath of death by suicide.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.