sometimes I get angry

I find myself internally yelling “How is it that no one could ever meet me halfway? How could it be that all these years no one I ever approached could even give me a chance? Why can’t I get just one mutual attraction, ever?”

I’ve seen women around me choose dangerous, evil, addicted, brutish, boring, piggy, assholes over and over but I’m somehow not worth a second look. I’ve gotten the polite, condescending brushoff or the embarrassed, self-conscious pitying brushoff from people who settled for mates that make me look like Cary fucking Grant. And the maybe two, three times maximum in 25 years that any woman has asked me out or told me she was attracted to me, it was each time a motherly collector of wounded animals who wanted to feed off my depression and control me in some sick love/hate relationship.

Now I’m too old and I’m painted with the loser brush. I get it; I’m not supposed to succeed with anyone I’d actually want now. But even when I was the skinny kid with the cool taste in music and the quick wit, I got the same response. No I don’t think we should go to dinner. It’s not you it’s me. I’m not really dating right now. You’re so great, you’d be a totally perfect date for someone else, not sure exactly who at the moment.

My sane and reasonable self knows that I have to work on my own brain and deal with my own issues. And that the problem must somehow be me, because otherwise the universe is a really much more peculiar and unpleasant place than I thought.

My day-to-day brain, the one that I live in, tells me that something I couldn’t see or feel or change made me totally unacceptable as a potential mate before I’d even had the chance to try. And that I’ve been unfairly written off my whole adult life and no one even finds me worth the trouble to tell me honestly why, because that would be troubling to them and I’m not important enough for the effort. Somehow no one, ever, either wanted me, found me worth trying, or thought I deserved the truth.

And that now a couple decades of this has made me what you all treated me like then: radioactive, untouchable, pathetic. At this point I can’t blame anyone for keeping me at arm’s length.

But I didn’t think I ever was that bad. I’m certainly not as bad as some of your other choices. And if not, I’m at least worth the truth. Why have none of you ever bothered? What the hell did I do to deserve total rejection and failure? Why won’t anyone honestly tell me?

I honestly don’t feel like the loser I’ve been treated as. I think I have a lot to give, and that I’m more than the sum of my problems. But you proved yourselves right in the end, I guess. After endless put-downs, let-downs, and hypocritically complimentary pity I’m now That Guy, without a chance or a bye or an honest critique from anyone.

That’s not what I started out as, not what I set out to be, not what I reached for. And it’s not all my fault, either. Sometimes I’m just mad as hell about it.

21 thoughts on “sometimes I get angry

  1. an honest critique from anyone.
    is that something you’re looking for?
    as you may have read, i’ve dated a whole lot of superconfident dickheads. most of them were ugly, too, and in some cases, even smelly. and it’s not because i was at the bottom of the barrel–people were always telling me how much better i could do.
    it was alllll confidence. the guy would make me laugh or tell me exactly how things were in a bombastic fashion and i would agree and follow him around like a puppy. most of these men had large groups of friends who felt the same way. you can make anyone think anything (within reason) about you, if they think that you believe it, too. i catch myself doing this to people all the time. and even now, knowing what i know about appearances and superficiality, i could never date a guy who wasn’t solid and self-assured.
    anyway, there’s ethical problems in manipulating people, blah blah, and i don’t think that you should go brainwash some idiotgirl into thinking you’re superman. but like you said, you’ve seen the women around you choose all these horrible brute-force meatpackers. there’s a reason. confidence is everything, at least from what i’ve experienced.

    1. is that something you’re looking for?
      Yes, at this point it can’t be worse.
      And yes, confidence. I’m confident to the point of arrogance about my opinions but at this point I absolutely can’t believe that anyone would want me courting her. I’m not sure where this started (blah therapy figure it out), but by now I’m so far out of the game that I feel like a ridiculous fraud and a liar even suggesting to someone that I’m worth her time. It’s a big problem.
      I wish I could press some button and fix it faster. At this rate I’ll be dead first. That’s pretty hard to deal with.

      1. allow me to tell you more things that you already know, please
        god forgive me for acting like i’m the world’s foremost expert on conrad, but i really think that confidence is the answer to your problem. cos it seems like you’re tops all-around, but you sure do hate yourself, and i can imagine that being a hurdle in, say, having a casual conversation.
        and as a former fatty with a current i’m-so-fat complex, i do know how it is to reflexively pull away from saying something flirty in a confident way. what if i have food on my face, as i often do? what if all of my flaws are instantly recognized and methodically listed?
        i’m not sure how to gain confidence when you don’t have it, other than losing weight, and you don’t really need to do that. yeah, maybe your therapist knows?

      2. Re: allow me to tell you more things that you already know, please
        I’m really good at casual conversation. I make friends easily, and most people seem to like me. I’m too fearful to be more than casual, though. I end up being very obliging and not asking for anything, as though it was somehow my duty to be the world’s unassuming butler. Result: lots of good friends, no POONTANG.
        I’m still too heavy, especially for Southern California. But I had the same problems when I was skinny. Losing weight for me is 90% about health and 10% about appearance, mostly because I’ve always felt ugly anyway. Being 260 lbs was just the latest “oh great, thanks God!” in a long series. Being down to 230 is a big deal mainly because I don’t want a long slow horrible death.
        Therapy is indeed the tool, and we work on ways of making me feel more powerful and more in control. My main problem lately is that I have no idea if any of this will ever help, and that I feel very intensely that my life has half slipped away and is still slipping, and the chance of getting out of this mess gets less and less as the years go by. That’s when I get really wall-punching mad, weepy etc. because I feel totally ripped off.
        And reasonably or not I feel angry at women in general when I get this, because I think: Jesus Christ, how many times have I seen women pursue withdrawn guys, or chivvy some guy out of his nerdiness, or give some guy the confidence he lacked, and never me? What do you all have against me?
        And boy, that’s sure mature and stuff. Also, productive!
        Therapy’s too slow, and has failed before. I’m so scared that I have thirty years of this and then the grave. It’s hard to face.

      3. “a new life… picture it….”
        i don’t know what we have against you as a female race. “i never met the guy.” the only glaring flaw of yours that i’ve noticed in our online interactivities is that you totally fucking hate yourself. or women. or the world. you hate somebody.
        i really dunno if that’s what you’re Doing Wrong, though, or if it’s just cos you’re in southern california, which i have a strong prejudice against because i met like three unshallow people while i lived there. or maybe cos people are just so goddamn motherfucking stupid everywhere you go and they can’t look past age or clothes or hairstyle or whatever mysterious thing about you that they find unacceptable. i’d have to study you in action to have an opinion on that. but it sounds as though it’s roughly half lack of confidence and half people being awful, as usual.
        i mean, it seems like you know that you are great and go through the checklist of super qualities all the time in your brane, but can’t do it in real life. it’s kind of a tragic waste of a person, to be both so great and so fearful about sharing it. you’re ripping yourself off.
        you need to recadnize. then move to seattle where people are better. and join my trivia team.

      4. Re: “a new life… picture it….”
        Sometimes I do hate myself, or Things in General. I don’t hate women; I can’t.
        Southern California doesn’t help, especially this part of Southern California, where money and appearance are everything and the same thing. One of the things that really stomps on my nuts, though, is that the people who reject that also reject me. It’s a spiral of poo.
        I’m all about the trivia team.

      5. Re: “a new life… picture it….”
        I’m all about the trivia team.
        do it. and i kicked everyone else out for being drama morons, and also not knowing any answers. we’ll reserve a spot for you.

      6. Re: “a new life… picture it….”
        you kicked people off your trivia team? me and my BF, we just stopped going and let the team die. we were the reason they won every week. now they are losers–ugly, trivia-playing losers.
        we should have kicked the people we didn’t like off the team. altho it’s possible that my BF would have kicked me off.

  2. My sane and reasonable self knows that I have to work on my own brain and deal with my own issues. And that the problem must somehow be me…
    What do you suppose it might be? If you had to hazard your best guess.

  3. you said it here: “I’m too fearful to be more than casual, though.”
    people can sense that. it’s like you’re rapunzel, and you’re in the tower, and you have hair to throw down, but you’re afraid of split ends. so you want the prince to find another way up, because you’ve seen other princes do that for girls who weren’t all that.
    i’m lucky, because i’m a girl. at various points in my life i’ve had the same problems as you, but there’s always some guy who wants to “date” the crazy girl. and then it always tuns out that i’m not crazy enough. bi-polar girls have a definite advantage over the unipolar ones in this arena.
    you have to get rid of that fear of being more than casual.
    BTW this is not an honest critique, since i don’t know you at all. just an observation.

    1. Just a side note
      Actually, bipolar girls don’t always have the advantage here. Because some bipolar girls are attracted to the guys who are not into the crazy girls and then when the bipolar girls go nuts the guys go, “Holy shit, get me the fuck out of here.”

      1. Re: Just a side note
        well, that’s just silly. you gotta play to your strengths! there are so many good looking guys into crazy girls!
        it’s true, tho–eventually they all come to realize that it’s not all fun and games, especially when they get stabbed in the hand with a fork. and then they’re outta there. as if they’re not crazy themselves.

      2. Re: Just a side note
        I know. It took me so long to embrace my own crazy that I had time to learn most everyone else was crazy too, some way or another. Then it was a matter of deciding whether you I wanted to embrace their crazies too.
        But yeah, shoulda stuck to the crazy lovers.

  4. My 2 pence
    I’m still too heavy, especially for Southern California.Southern California doesn’t help,
    While there is much in this post I agree and empathize with (and also experience mice elf!), these statements are telling…at least for me. That’s why, after nearly 24 years in SC, I’m getting the Fuck Out. I do not enjoy the people nor the environment (vibes) I get around LA any longer. I could go off on a rant, but….what’s the use?

    1. Re: My 2 pence
      This is my home town. Sometimes it feels like swimming in a poisoned sea, other times I think I’m winning. In any case I can’t leave suddenly for other reasons.

      1. Re: My 2 pence
        I smell what you’re cooking (even if sometimes it is a fetid stew). In my case, it is not a sudden move. I have felt this way for over a year, and so, for me, it makes sense to change my environs if – and while – I can. I’m tired of not meeting anyone, and if I do, they’re either too young/stupid (“The new Blink album is really bitchin’, isn’t it?”) too established (“My kid[s] need a Father figure,”) or completely unattracted to me (“You drive a Saturn?”).
        20 years ago, “L.A. is vapid” was an cliche, isolated in Beverly Hills & certain other pockets. Now it is fact.

  5. Re: My 2 pence
    I know there are good reasons why you can’t leave here, but “it’s my home town” should be re-examined. Sometimes the ties that give one roots and make one feel grounded can also constrain. Moving outside the comfort zone – mentally or physically – is a terrifying thing, but sometimes it’s a necessary step. You know I only say this from experience, and as discussion, not directive.
    And I have to agree about Southern CA, and especially with . All the McMansions and Mercedes and big sparkly diamonds and platinum blondes. How nicely it all fills the big gaping void where something of substance might once, in some alternate universe, have existed. Or perhaps, how nice it is to know that here in OC, even though the classes may be hugely divided in terms of income and opportunity, they still share one thing: taste.

  6. I keep wanting to print out parts of these posts and hand them to my therapist. It feels like it would save a lot of time. :-/
    And that now a couple decades of this has made me what you all treated me like then: radioactive, untouchable, pathetic. At this point I can’t blame anyone for keeping me at arm’s length.
    This reminds me greatly of I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang. That may not be a good thing.
    Good wishes to you.

  7. A while back I participated in a transformation workshop. While I feel you might scoff at this, I want to put it out there. Having been in therapy for years and not really feeling I was making too much progress, I can say this weekend moved me leaps and bounds forward in understanding my issues more fully and working to heal them. It focuses on how one is seen in community. Here is a link to their calendar. If you have a chance when you are in San Francisco, go to one of the introductions. I wish I could bring you, but I’m in Utah for the time being.
    Email me if you’d like to talk about it. grackle8 @ hotmail

  8. This deserved an answer. Forgive the lateness.
    I don’t know you but I think we’ve had similar problems with women. But, for me, it’s not that much of a problem any more.
    I got that way through some painful realizations. I’ll describe them in the hope that they may be useful, but they will sound quite ruthless. Just be aware that I’m in one sense speaking to myself, and letting you listen in.
    1) Attracted to the wrong women
    If the women you’re attracted to heartlessly reject you, and they say “it’s not you, it’s me”, consider that they may be right.
    a) Consider that you may trying to validate a fantasy of yourself. You do seem to hang around people a lot younger and hipper and less mature than you are. And you admit you have this problem of wanting to redo your adolescence. Maybe you are setting yourself up for failure?
    b) These women may not be as amazing and cool as you think. A little while after this, you posted how you like “women who don’t take shit from anybody”. That sounded familiar to me. I do prefer strong women, but back when I was miserable about dating, I was attracted to batshit insane damaged man-hating women. Possibly, you may have this problem.
    2) Misunderstanding of attraction
    I happened to see your Craigslist personal ad. You outlined your benefits as a boyfriend: your cooking and conversational skills and so on. And you humbly suggested you’d be adequate as a companion to chat with over dinner.
    This is not what anybody wants from romance. Women especially want to feel valued by, and receive attention from, a person of high status and quality. Women will actually jump through hoops to deceive themselves that the person they are with satisfies these conditions. (This is the ultimate source of the women-attracted-to-assholes problem.)
    But they can’t feel that way about you, because from the first sentence you have obliterated the possibility, by approaching on bended knee.
    Unfortunately North America has this myth that “nice” people are attractive. And people (especially women) are embarassed that they aren’t more attracted to “nice” people. So they may suggest that you’re not a match for them, but surely you would be a match for somebody, like their cousin in Fremont…
    And here’s where you rage at the world for overlooking you because you’re not evil. But here’s the problem: “nice” is not virtue. “Nice” is a social strategy of offering favors in the hope of being favored afterwards. “Nice” people congratulate themselves on their superior morality, but they are generally just as selfish, only thwarted and self-loathing.
    But, more to the point, being “nice” pegs you as low-status, because you’re acting like you have nothing to offer.
    I’m NOT saying you now have to be a jerk. In concrete terms, in the future you will not: listen to someone you really like moan about their personal life, when they KNOW that you are really attracted to them. In effect they are saying your personal feelings don’t matter, and you are agreeing with them! The future you could instead realize that to pay attention to someone is to do THEM a favor. In fact, deploying all the talents of the real you is a lot nicer than being “nice”.
    So, to sum up: romance is not an exchange of services. Offering services marks you as someone who is of low status, and precludes the thrill of being valued and cherished by someone who is themselves valuable. You should be demonstrating the excellences of your life, and looking to share them with someone who’ll appreciate you.
    3) Thinking of yourself as a tragic figure. It is the bane of literate people to see their lives as a story arc. Tragedy occurs in fiction, exclusively, because it requires a clever writer to close off all avenues of escape. You’re just a guy with a few problems and probably there are many ways out.
    Now that I’m emerging from depression, I find that life is pleasingly random.
    4) All-or-nothing thinking. Disdain of small advances is pride, pure and simple. It should be okay to be two pounds lighter, or to have a date with someone you’re not madly in love with.

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