Accepting Stories

It no longer surprises me when I meet someone and instantly think “Yep, I want to get to know you better.” It’s also no longer surprising to me how often this happens.

There’s a common saying about luck: luck has to find you before it can bless you. The more chances you give it to find you, the more times it does. The more I actively look for and take chances, the luckier I am.
It doesn’t stop me thinking I’m useless with people and will never get with the sort of people I’m worth.
I’m reading another self-help book, and this one seems decent. It was recommended to me by my counselor. It’s called “The Happiness Trap” and it makes a shit ton of sense.
I won’t go into too much detail – that’s what the book is for – but something that’s resonating with me is the view that our thoughts are just reactions. Our thoughts are just stories and words reacting to the stimulation around us. They are not the truth. They do not predict the future. And they aren’t always helpful.
Because I have the thought that I’m useless with people, I try hard when it comes to people I like. I obsess over their reactions and play with infinite ideas for dates and jokes and sex. It’s all a waste of time and energy.
Because – in all my arrogant humility – I know I’m good. I know I’m worth it. And that’s a helpful thought.
I received a letter from my father the other day. It made me so angry. It took me a while to realise that, actually, it only made me feel so angry. Realising that stole all the energy from my anger and allowed me to look at what was causing it.
This letter is the second time he’s ever told me he’s proud of me.
The first time was at my school’s final ball. At that stage in my life, I didn’t like wearing nice clothes, believed sex was for marriage and thought dancing was stupid. I’d been feeling my then girlfriend’s pussy and arguing with myself whether marriage required a church or not. I was also dressed in the most ludicrously-fitted suit to ever drape a body. I didn’t want to go to the stupid ball and listen to stupid speeches by stupid jocks about the stupid friends they’d made at the stupid school, and I definitely didn’t want to do any stupid dancing: I wanted to stay at the hotel and make out.
My girlfriend decided that sex was only for marriage and vanished herself to the bathroom. My father’s impeccable timing led to him knocking at the door to help me with my tie – school taught me nothing other than how to climb trees.
I was quite distracted. My mind was in a large amount of “what the [non-offensive swear-word]?”. I felt queasy and guilty and lost and horny and my father pulled me into a bear hug and with a tear-filled voice whispered “I’m so proud of you.”
It was about then that I started to realise I didn’t give a fuck.
I didn’t tell him this. I awkwardly hugged him back and said thanks. I noticed he was crying. It was the second time I’d ever seen him cry. The first was when his father died. We’d loaded the wood-shrouded body into the car together. We turned and my gran was stumbling out of the church, her face wrenched into a grimace of grief as the boot door hid her soulmate’s body. I looked at her face through my soaking tears and all I could think was “she looks hilarious.”
I wanted to laugh. I wanted to burst out laughing at the sheer stupidity of it all. Behind me, I heard what sounded like my dad laughing. I turned in horrid wonder, a grin spinning onto my face, but he was crying.
I realise something about my father: to him, family is everything.
It’s not to me.
I hate this seven-page letter. I can’t write anymore.
——
And that’s not a helpful thought. I wrote everything above five days ago. This post has been sitting on my screen since then, reminding me I need to write. It just hurts so much. So I kept reading the book.
It offered some new ideas.
Driving analogies work best for me.
Taking a corner at speed requires a subliminal balance of traction and angle. The better the angle, the less correction, the less traction needed. The less traction, the less resistance, the higher the speed.
It’s all pointless if you enter the corner backwards.
The state of your car before the corner is vital. It must be steady, balanced, perfectly paced and perfectly lined. The better the entry, the less fiddling in the corner, the faster the exit.
To better myself, I need to accept who I am now. I cannot move through the next corner successfully without being at peace with all the things inside me.
It feels like I came out of the last corner correcting crazily, feet blurring in a panic on unresponsive pedals as I saw at the wheel. I’m still not back in control, I’m still gripless and lost but I have time. The next few corners look simple and unmentionable. I don’t know what comes next, but I have the time to accept me before it comes.
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Fuck You

My brother is one of the bravest people I know.
I got angry today. I got so angry, I completely lost control and attacked the people that care for me the most.
This involved calling my mother an “arrogant bitch”, telling my brother to keep out of it or “I’ll hit you in the face”, and following this threat by grabbing him by the throat and smashing the back of his head into the stairs.
I told him if he followed me, I’d hit him again. Mom tried to calm us down. He leapt between me and mom, determined to not let me hurt mom. He shut himself in my room with me and told me to “put me into hospital, see how you feel then!” to which I responded “Fuck off, I don’t feel.”
And then I grabbed him once more, opened the door, and threw him across the hall and into mom, who crashed backwards into the wall, winding herself and falling to the floor. My dazed, supportive and loving brother then tried to help her up. A pang of shame filled me and I went to help. He tried to push me away.
I responded by swinging one arm into his chest and throwing him into a pillar, from which he then fell and lay crumpled on the floor.
Fortunately, seeing my brother crying on the floor gave mom the strength she needed to get up, pushing me aside. They disappeared upstairs, leaving behind the memory of their scared and bewildered eyes.
I packed a bag and left.
My granddad used to beat my grandmother. To stop him, my dad would provoke him, get in the way, and take the beating himself. Sounds familiar. My granddad at least had the excuse of being a drunk. I just have no control.
And now my brother is as upset with me as I am with my dad. Probably more so. It’s not like my dad ever attacked me. He just stole from me, insulted me, ignored me, criticised me, belittled me. He no longer even knows who I am. He told me today that I am “shy”. It’s like he’s been in prison for the last five years, not the last five months.
Fuck him.
And if I can hold that attitude towards my father, then I can perfectly and utterly understand how my brother feels towards me. I’ll get round to forgiving my father at some point. I hope my brother can someday forgive me.
But, I left. When my mom was freaking out about moving, when I was supposed to be organising all the moving and the packing and getting all those heavy damned things from one household to another, I left with a fucking heavy bag rolling along behind me, and sat down at a bus stop.
I watched the cars drive by, hoping against hope that the bus would arrive soon and that no one I knew would drive by. I ignored my mother when she pulled up. She eventually left.
I’d started to calm down. I’d gone from that angry place to that “what the fuck just happened, lock it behind a door and make jokes” place. Do you know how many weird looks you get when you’re walking through St Heliers in a nice jacket and cool boots, lugging a heavy suitcase behind you? Now add in talking and muttering to yourself and you end up with a bunch of fucking confused rich people.
It was a little while later that I realised I’d forgotten a sleeping bag. And my passport.
I’m such a shallow arsehole, I’d packed my bag full of clothes and forgotten what I’d be sleeping in and how I’d get anywhere. I’ve lived such a pampered, sheltered life, I don’t even know how to run away properly.
In the process of rectifying these discrepancies however, I realised something.
I’d only reached out to one person for help. She was the sort of person who’d spot an attention-seeking text immediately and just ignore it until she had time.
I’d asked her for help via text because I knew she wouldn’t respond. That allowed me to carry on doing whatever I wanted under the belief that no one cared about me and that she was a bad friend.
So I came home and phoned another friend. I told her what had happened and I opened that door I’d locked and I cried until my nose clogged with snot and then I just hiccoughed.
No, I’m not okay, but yes, I will be okay. Right now, I feel stuck in a place where anger is delicious and the thrill of a fight is beaten only by the thrill of driving sideways.
I’m lost, I’m uncertain, I’m lonely and I’m scared and fuck you if you don’t think that’s ok.
‘Cause I’m still here. And that’s all that really matters.