Posted by: jt | June 17, 2008

how am i not myself

The title of this post is from the following scene in I Heart Huckabees:

Damn, I love that movie.

This evening, as my beleaguered brain struggled to give voice to the sheer absurdity that has been my life for the last week, I found myself, somewhat surprisingly, ranting about a relationship that is currently little more than an endless source of frustration for me.

Once upon a time, it was reciprocal. Once upon a time, conversations involved dialogue. Once, instead of just being a listener, I too was occasionally heard. Lately, I feel boxed into just being an empath. A therapist. A sounding board.

Because, apparently, I’m expressing my thoughts through movies tonight, I’m reminded of this exchange from Fight Club:

Narrator: When people think you’re dying, they really, really listen to you, instead of just…
Marla Singer: – instead of just waiting for their turn to speak?

This sums up, precisely, virtually every conversation I’ve had with this person for the last year.

It’s been building longer than that though. I’ve felt increasingly removed and isolated for at least two years and it’s clear to me that the primary source of this shift is this person’s depression, which they refuse to treat. I’ve asked. I’ve begged. I’ve advised. There is little more that I can do.

But it doesn’t make me miss what used to be any less.

My frustration has flared more over the past year because, frankly, I’m in a new place and I kind of hate it. I left my home and my friends and my support system and, in the face of all new things and plenty of crappy situations, I’ve needed what support remained.

Not someone who’s just waiting for their turn to speak.

It’s not that this person doesn’t care about me. They always want to hear from me and, though they wouldn’t admit it, are mildly offended when they don’t. Which just begs the question:

Who wants to talk to someone who’s desperate to hear from you but doesn’t listen to a thing you say?

While I was busy pointing fingers and picking apart someone else’s brain, my therapist asked a very good question. How have I changed in the last few years?

Fair enough.

And I’m struggling to put words to that. I honestly feel as though I’m pretty much the same person I was two, even four or five, years ago. I’m a little bit more experienced in the Thou shalt not treat me like crap department and, tangentially, somewhat more self-assured but…fundamentally, I feel like I’m pretty much the same.

Which is part of why I’m going to a therapist. Really. Shouldn’t I have grown a bit more? Hello, I’ve got issues to address here.

Some of you have known me a long time; some don’t know me at all. Regardless, I’m asking – honestly – for input. From your perspective, whatever it may be, How am I not myself?


p.s. If you’re reading this, this post is not about you. Don’t even think about making my searching about your insecurities.

p.p.s. Evidently I do not only think in Fight Club quotes when I’m an insomniac. Because I know you were just dying to know.



  1. This entry is good.

    I need to think about this before responding. I will do that tomorrow at work. I’m sure there’s a long email coming in the next ~72 hours. I think there’s more that I’d like to address than the obvious question.

    iloveyou. ♥

  2. Well, I can’t answer that question, because to me it doesn’t make sense. You ARE yourself. You always have been, always will be. Because the “self” is fluid and multi-layered and always revealing more dimensions that may surprise people who only know you superficially or in a specific context (e.g., work).

    Plus, I’ve known you for damn near 20 years. Nothing you do/say/pull out of your ass could surprise me at this point.

    (I love when you post I Heart Huckabees clips.)

    And… (((((((()))))))

  3. And all that being said? I do have some thoughts. I’m too tired to put them into coherent words at the moment, but I’ll either leave a comment tomorrow or catch you on IM. I should actually have some (relatively) free time to chat tomorrow.

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