Last night, something incredibly painful happened to me. A mate of mine pissed me off while driving, and I threw him out of the car in the middle of nowhere. Of course, someone I considered to be a good friend was in the car, and got out with him, went to go get his car, and drove this mate home. As far as whether he’s still a friend, time will tell. He blamed me for the situation last night, and I protested adamantly that the mate had it coming and, ergo, it wasn’t my fault.
It was my fault. I knew he wasn’t really a friend, and I was embarrassed to say that I put so much into the relationship and this mate never really reciprocated. It ended several times in the past and I came crawling back. I knew damn well what I was getting into each time, but convinced myself it was different.
It’s the story of my life. Time and time again, I’ve said here and everywhere else that honesty is important in a friendship, emotion doesn’t matter, and mistakes are something we need to learn from. I keep saying it, but when it comes to relationships, I don’t follow my own damn advice.
I even got ahold of the old John Hodges on the messenger to apologise for blaming him all these years. Sure, he sprayed my brother in the face with ammonia, but he couldn’t have done that if I had learned from my own mistakes, so for all intents and purposes, that accident was my fault, and I’m sorry for that Apex. I told him I was cutting contact after I was done apologising, but not out of hate. Out of learning from mistakes.
Time and time again, I’ve blamed everyone else around me for what’s wrong with me. Not only for what they did, but for how I let it affect me. Like I tell an endomorph who blames his genes for his fatness, “Sure your genes make it harder, but that doesn’t mean you can blame them for your being fat.”
So, yes, my parents made some mistakes getting me mixed up with the American mental health system. Sure, that mental health system drugged me, manipulated me, physically assaulted me, and broke me down. Sure, people have used and abused me. All of that is the fault of those people. But I only have myself to blame for how I turned out as a result. But, more importantly, when I know damn well who someone is and still maintain a relationship, that’s entirely my fault. Fool me twice, as the old adage goes. I’m bitter, I’m cynical, and I’m angry. And that has more to do with how I reacted to the above injustices than the injustices themselves.
I’ve clung to people in my life that were bad for me. That I knew were bad for me. That my family told me were bad for me. They always said I was a poor judge of character and they’re right. Not because I don’t know better, but because I let my emotion cloud my judgement, much in the same way that I’ve told you not to let it cloud yours. All the while, the precious few I should have been holding onto, I pushed away, accusing them of being “just like everyone else.” How many times did I have to pick up the hose before I realised maybe that’s why I keep getting sprayed in the face?
So, with all the John Hodgeses, Barndos, PyroFalkons, Ankh Infinituses, Alan Holmans, and Underfastens in the world, with every one of those failed relationships, there was one constant. Me. The problem wasn’t them. The problem was me.
Now, I could spend the rest of my life as a recluse, or I could continue this pathetic cycle, or I could take my own damn advice and move on. Originally, I felt sorry for myself. That coddled my pain, but accomplished nothing of significance. Then, I said to my very special friend, Cathy, that I could never truly shake complacency without destroying this life and leaving it all behind. When she agreed with me, I don’t think she realised I she was part of “it all,” because she hates me now. It’s okay, Cathy. I’m not doing that. At least not yet.
No. While I was making my apologies to Ankh Infinitus, he helped me a lot. It sounds cliché, but today is the first day of the rest of my life. I spent my whole life blaming these problems on those that were harming me, but in the end, I caused more harm to myself than they could ever hope to. Sure, I was abused in so many ways, but who the hell wasn’t? Instead of blaming my past for my shitty present, I plan on taking responsibility for my own actions (That’s the word of the day, Apex), admitting the mistakes I’ve made, and trying to salvage what’s left of the life I have, and then rebuilding with the overdue lessons learned from the repeated mistakes.
I don’t plan on living as a bitter old man who bitches about everything. I don’t plan on living as a slave who takes every piece of shit he’s given. But, somewhere in the middle is a decent existence for me. My past may have been lost as a result of all that pain and abuse, but that’s no reason I should forfeit my future and blame it on those people from all those years ago. Besides, bitterness and blame inhibits my ability to make funny out of it all, which is my job as a comedian.
I mean, if I’m going to expect others to take my advice, then I need to take it too. And now that I’ve taken my own advice, I’ve upped my standard of living. So, John, up yours.