Sunday, 14 November 2010

Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my name!

It’s been a while.

My original intention of keeping this blog up-to-date with ‘my life bulletins’ took a pretty serious knock when I heard someone I respect moaning about the number of people of no particular importance forcing their opinions onto the world via blogs and social networks (ironically, this was said in a blog!). My friend believed – and still does as far as I know - the world doesn’t need to know about a person’s aches and pains unless said person has done something of interest to introduce themselves to the world. In other words, they have to have an element of fame attached to their name for people to be interested. Unsurprisingly I took this to heart and brought my short blogging career to an end, but as you can tell by my writing these words, something has changed. It turns out I need the therapy. I need to moan. And as an email from a stranger proved to me, people are interested in hearing about my aches and pains because my aches and pains are more severe than the average person’s. I’m handicapped. I might not look it but believe me, I am. There are those who presume handicapped individuals need something to prove the existence of their disability: a wheelchair or walking sticks or a body cast. And if it’s not an accessory, they need a physical exclamation mark: a missing limb; a distorted face; a crumbled body like a ball of paper. Apart from the occasional use of the walking sticks, I don’t carry these signatures, but that doesn’t mean I’m no less handicapped. I live with a condition I’m sure my friend would agree with as being a disability. And others in my situation want to hear what I say. They want to hear because, like me, they need to know they’re not alone. And they’re not.

So I’m back. And I will now say what I came here to say

I’ve been asked to change.

“You’re too angry. You get wound up too easily. You’re too self-critical. You need to deal with your lack of self-confidence. You’re depression is ruining your life. You have no patience. You snap too quickly. You’re scaring people. You’re humour is too sick. You take things too far. You need to calm down!”

It’s no secret that I hate the world. Don’t get me wrong, I love and like a number of individuals who walk its crumbling crust, but as a whole, I hate this place; hate this world; hate this fucking existence. I happily do what I can for those I can – ironically enough, even if I don’t know them! - but my loathing for fucking people – simply fills me with fury. I have a number of reasons for feeling like this, but what it basically means is that I take things to heart far too easily and end up hating people for the most innocuous reasons. Whereas others would shrug such minor incidents off – incidents including a promise being broken or someone whom I thought had my interests at heart proving they did anything but – I take it too personally. I let it fester and fill my blood with snapping dragons. I bark for no reason. Yell for no reason. Punch the wall, stick pins in my arm of take a razor to my legs for no reason. I have no outlet so the anger is always there. And I’ll be honest, this notion of the world being filled with people out to fuck me over is getting me - and my loved one - down.

I’ve tried ways and means of ridding myself of this anger, but it simply makes things worse. I don’t like computer games, so they’re out. My disability prevents me from doing anything strenuous so previous interests such as squash are out. I’ve tried Pilates and Yoga and hated both. I enjoyed Tai chi but it did nothing for my frustrations. Sex used to be a wonderful experience but nowadays it’s either painful or maddening because of the pills and their side effects. Reading is dictated by my head’s state and if I’m angry, it’s impossible (I haven’t completed a novel in over six weeks – there was a time when I could get through three a week). I watch films as and when I can, but watching one all the way through is impossible because I either find it too uncomfortable or don’t have the attention span I used to. I barely look at my erotica (not porn) and Batman (not a comic) in comparison to years gone by for exactly the same reason as my film watching and when I get interested in a television series, I can’t handle anything over half-an-hour and quickly lose interest after a few episodes even if it’s fantastic. So the options are few and far between and as a result, my urges to hurt all and sundry for the slightest reason (being interrupted whilst I’m concentrating on this, for example) are intensified by sheer frustration.

I thought writing would do it for me but I was deluded – or too desperate. I thought I could write down everything and it all would be okay. But it’s not worked out like that. I’m angry when I write, which is shown in the type of things I write – the type of thing that more than one person claims to have made them feel ill - but I’m worse if I don’t write. Why? Because I beat myself up about it - as all wannabe writers do, only I seem to take it overboard. For me, not writing means I’m bone idle. I ignore the real reason and blame my inadequacies. If I want a career switch from architecture to writing, then surely I should be writing as much as possible? If I want to write instead of draw, then why am I pacing the room? (because I want the burning to stop in my legs) Why am I not dictating or making notes? (Because I’m an idiot.) Then I lay a massive guilt trip on my shoulders, savour my depression and get angry. If I don’t write, I beat myself up inside my head and as a consequence I make people’s lives miserable, I give them cause for concern and I take myself off to bed. So why don’t I write? Believe it or not, it’s not because I’m too idle, and it isn’t because I believe I’m crap or I have nothing to say.

It’s because of my pain.

It’s too simple to say my pain is the sole cause of all of my anger, but it’s certainly not helping. My demons are too big, too deeply embedded in my psyche for my pain to be the sole (soul?) cause. This isn’t the time or place to talk about those demons, but they’re the reason why I am adamant the world is made up with bastards who wear different masks to hide the same bullshit! The pain simply builds on this, feeding my insecurities and nurturing my frustration. I’ve had 13 procedures, countless consultations, false promises, shite treatment and terrible lies and what’s the outcome?

Good question.

My pills no longer work. My operations failed in their purpose. I now suffer from a constant burning in my legs that stop me from living. The pain in my back is such that I can no longer sleep on my side and as a consequence, when lying on my back, I upset my wife with my snoring. So I either sleep in the spare room or don’t sleep at all. My sleep, when I get it, isn’t the greatest because of the pain and the pill-induced dreams I have so I tend to lie in bed and consider worst case scenarios. And the problem with this? More and more of them are becoming true case scenarios and I’m scared these will follow suit. Such as my ability to walk becoming so painful that one day, I won’t be able to do it anymore without the aid of the sticks or the chair. And then perhaps people will realise I really am disabled and not looking for an easy way out. Or the fear I have of never being able to write again because the pills and pain have taken away the little talent I might have once possessed. These thoughts are there in my head and they feel very real.

I am now back in work. The financial situation has forced me back into the office. There was a time when I had hoped my work could remain home-based, given that I have to sit at a desk and draw all day, but sadly this hasn’t been the case. So if I couldn’t do that, then I wanted to go back part time. Impossible. The nature of the game demands full time. The place I work is 40 miles away from where I live and the driving is excruciating. I then sit at a desk for 9 hours a day, staring at a screen that is slowly trying to swallow me. And this isn’t a ‘oh god, he’s just pissed off at his job’ blog because I’m not. I might hate architecture but I enjoy my place of work because I work with some decent people who fall into the ‘I like’ category. But why should I sit there all day in agony, taking dangerously addictive pills and making mistakes because I cannot concentrate on anything properly for a decent amount of time? Others don’t have to do this but I do. Alright, my boss is sympathetic to my condition and helps best as he can but ultimately he’s there to make money and if I don’t make him money, he’ll fuck me off. I’ve already been in and been told my work standards are slipping. And it’s because of the pain; and because of the frustration and the blinding rage which accompanies this. True concentration is a thing of the past and I’m letting people down. And when I get home, when I want to do the one thing I love, I can’t because it hurts. So I take the pills and I sit and I drool and I feel my brain turning into the same stuff I fill my toilet bowl with after a successful colonic irrigation session. And when the weekend comes around, I try to go out and do the normal thing but the streets are full of people and all I want to do is rip the face off the person in front of me because of who they are: a stranger for whom I feel nothing other than loathing. And when the walking around the streets is over, I’m forced to spend the rest of the weekend in bed because I can’t move and the reason I cannot move is because the painkillers failed in their purpose. I then get angry at myself, at the pain, at the people in the street, at the whole fuckin world etc. etc.

This is why people are telling me to change.

So I am.

Shaun has taken a beating. For the last however many years, through one form or another, he has taken a beating and his response has been to lash out with angry comments, spiteful looks and disgusting remarks. Well, I’m going to do something other people I admire have done.
I’m splitting myself up.

Shaun Hamilton will be the caring person. The one willing to help all and sundry. The one in pain but able to deal with it. The one working as an architect who does what he can for his clients and tries to satisfy the needs of his boss.

Dai Zsasz isn’t that person. Dai is the hateful person. The spiteful person. He swears a lot. He’s perverted. He speaks his mind and doesn’t give a fuck. He hates you because you hate him. He talks about hurting because it’s all he wants to do. He screams abuse because you have what he wants. He is in agony and wants you to feel it.

Two entities. One body.

I’ll answer to both names. There are times when I’ll be both personalities but there are going to be times when only one of them will be in control. Shaun or Dai, I don’t who or when. But I feel this gives me some control. This gives me some freedom to express my frustrations instead of getting pissed off for no reason. If Shaun gets hurt, Dai can protect him. If Dai gets offended, he’ll offend you back, only more so.

There are reasons for the name and if anyone is actually reading this and wants to know what they are, ask away. Otherwise, they will stay with me. It’s not going to be an easy transition and no doubt there will be some who see this as confirmation of my impending insanity, but I’ll say this as Dai: if this is your opinion, fuck you and fuck off.

I don’t make this decision lightly. It’s something my therapist and I have discussed on a number of occasions and we’ve agreed it might be the best way to keep me from being sectioned (something she thought she might have to do if I did not get my anger in check). It might not even work but I have to give it a go. The urge to make others understand my pain just lately has been getting out of control and I need to get it under control before it goes too far.

If people have any suggestions for helping me ease my frustrations, whether they be hobbies, therapies, jokes or insults then please fire them my way. It would be good for Shaun if he heard from you but please remember his invisible disability. As for Dai, he doesn’t really know what he thinks yet. He’s only a few hours old.

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