As with almost all my writings, I type at the speed of thought, and do minimal editing. This is a first draft, written as I thought.
Every so often, I set aside time just to think. Soetimes i8t is planed time, and sometimes it is just the blank between distractions whenI hear no music or have no tasks. I may be sitting at a stop light, or driving down a road, or I may be in bed, with the TV paused or off. For some people, it may be a cigaretee break.
Everyone ius different, as the more I study and examine and learn about brains, and people and me, the more I understand that. I will never be able to fully comprehend the way that other people think, or what they are thinking will never be something I can fully get… even if I think I may get cloaer than many. It’s equally clear that words can never fully explain the way I think, or what thoughts I have.
We make a lot of assumptions, as those get more educated the longer wqe live, and the more people we meet, and the more reactions we observe… but when I ask you a question, I can’t always know your process to come up with an answer.
Machines do things we program or design them to do. We’re working to let computers make decisions, but they do so withmath, and evenwhat we call artificial intelligence, are juust choices with more options, but the intellect is still always a calculated the best choce for the best situation based on previous results and projected results. In mnay ways, this is how I see myself. Having grown up without the kind of emotional supports some people have, my brain developed a little more like a robot than a real boy.
New train of thought.
I had much fun this weekend, pretending and practicing to be a real boy. I missed out doing it quite right the first time I left high school and entertained the thought of entering the “real world” as a young man, but high school had not fully equipped me, and my home life was a photo of a good family on display, and some great moments in time captured in still memories. The real family life was equally as unprepairing for life as my schooling was. I was a smart kid who had learned a defence meachanism. As long as I had a way to start a conversation, or could join one already in process, I was able to react like a human, and people accepted it. My response skills developed well, because that is what I could see others do, and em ulate, thanks to a wandering mind, an active imagination, and the skills to say and act the way people would be happy with, and maybe even smile.
Hiowever, what I diod not develop, was a way to duplicate that charm, when there was none talking. I was not very good at starting the conversation. Without something to react to, my brain goes into wait mode. It wanders the room with active listening on… waiting for anything to break the silence, and provide a way to react. Often, this means I do nothing, and feel sad. Like a robot without a task, all I can do is return to memories and thought, with a slight sadness overtone because I can not figure out a solution.
My main objective has been to make other smile and happy. I can compare this well to a dog, although we have no way to know what they realy feel, it appears they gain their joy from the moments their master, or any human interacts with them. They seem to be content in wait mode, but come alive on demand, to please. They want to learn new ways. Please master, show me a new way to make you happy, and give me that yellow ball to know I’ve done well. Please master please.
However even a dog can get bored. If you have not asked them to roll over in weeks, they may find their ball and bring it to you. They have figured out the right time to ask. Not all dogs do, because they too, learn those facial reactions and body language. They learn what master hates, what master likes, and they test what master will let me get away with. Dogs know some things are bad, but unattended turkey dinner is worth the risk and the punishment. Dog knows he has master to dependant on his affection both ways to be mad for long. It’s not like he will stop petting me and throwing the ball if I eat that Turkey.
I’m pretty happy as a dog, working to make people smile. Although money pays the bills, and I accept payment is a requirement of a human’s life… like a dog, I do it for the happiness reward. My happiness is based off the people around me, not me. I have based my happiness on others.
My therapist has tried to convince me this is bad. It is wrong, and I need to figure out what makes me happy. She didn’t accept the answer that her smile makes me happy, and I understand her point, but a robot has a hard time changing the core programming. SCience Fiction has showed us it can be done, at least in stories…
Lets consider the dog again for a moment. He has to make very few of his own decisons. Once he has an owner, usually for life, he may see very few other dogs, and not on a consistent or predictable basis. He lives in a home with human companions, and each has their own needs. Happy master, happy dog. The proice the dog pays, is doing most of what master wants… although dogs have limits too. They have however, this life… with few personal options. Rather than be depressed with the situation, I can’t know if they accept it with any actual understanding, but they seem happy when I’m happy so tmaking me happy is what works.
Now, if we look on the other side of the fence, we see a ferrel dog with no master and limited access to the same humans. They need to make all their own decisions and learn the act of the con. They make people happy on their terms, and work for food or shelter. They don’t seem happy. I sense many have learned to appear happy, because you get the petting and a treat… but they’ll take the sandwich from your plate if you look away.
I am the dog that lived with families all my life. Each chapter in my life story is much like a dog. Here is my new family. Lets move into this castle and find where my bed is. Now, what can I do to make everyone happy. Lets go for a walk. I enjoyed life as a roommate because it was a good mix between robot, human and pet.
After no more than 5 years with each, I found a way to get bored and need a new home. A new life. I’d done all the things, and the predicted results of doing them again wasn’t fresh and exciting. From society I see this isn’t just a me thing, but for reaction based A.D.D obcessive people like me, with low selkf esteem and a difficulting suggestion anything new without firtts knowing it wonlt be a bad idea, it’s hard to change.
I still have not learned to ask. The dog gets a newpaper to thehead the third time he tries to throw his wet ball in my crotch to play. It learns; two nags is OK. Lets move on. I remember the newspaper and don’t even try the first time. I remember the facial expression of annoyance, and it makes me so sad – I don’t try.
So… I am over 50 now, and for the first time in my life, I am abandoned old dog living alone without anybody to watch, and please, and play fetch with. I have considered a pet of my own, but think ahead into the futue and scenario out only the annyances. They don’t offer me the kind of companion I require. They have needs, but the smile they generate isn’t the same. The work I do to keep my pet happy will more than that reward… and it doesn’t help me with the main issue.
A man who lives in reaction stays in the same place. It may be a whole new unpredictable world everyday, which satisfies some of my happiness… but When I do not have a task to do, or a smile to make or a customer to keep happy… I do not move. I turn off.
I have not figured out how to make myself care about myself. Alone, without a master, I sit and observe and obcess, but I don’t know how to do things nobody asked for. If I pick up a phone and make a call, nobody rewards me. Nobody smiles.
It’s so odd, and somewhat frustrating to have tried so many things, so many ways… but it all comes back down to me, siting in silence on a Monday moring ready to start a fresh week, and the deprsssion greets me instead, with an almost “why bother” attitude. I stare at my task list, but instead of thinking – Oooo.. This will make somebody happy, lets start… instead I am staring at them wonder how mad each person already is, and if I do nothing again today, will they leave… or do I staill have time to save that one.
I’m not making people happy anymore… I’m procrastinating till they get mad, yell at me a biy and leave, and then I flip between sad, mad and back to blahhhh…. star at screen. Some Mondays are great. I start fresh and clean. THis Monday, my to do list is long. There are three people – good money, nice people, easy jobs, that are upset. Neglected.
Sadly, my main pride point and job – to keep people happy – is at risk. I am failing at my main objective, and letting it happen because it’s easy to run away. It means I made people mad… but they left, so it’s ok… in an odd way. That’s a depression thing I guess.
Sadly, in an iroinic way, in my life, ignoring the problems really has made them go away… but that is a horrible cycle to start, and I really try to not stay low and depressed a few weeks at a time, but some boughts hit fast, and if enough people yell, and the mental block to do a task that may be hard or dull needs to break. I figure out ways. I pay people. I get it done.
However, it’s harder now. I’m getting tired. I’ve lived in many lives and tried many things, and now – even with a startup budget available, I can not bring nmyself to move forward. To take a step. I get close, but I can not work as a dog without a master. I seem to need constant attention from a companion.
However, having tried and failed can become your only experience and memory to work from. If all my memories are of failure, trying gets harder, and my inner fear of making people mad or annoyed makes it difficult.
I have painte myself into a corner where my brain believes this is me. As much as I know I will not beat you at chess or billiards or baseball or … anything, I will cry when I fail you… all the time.
So what do I do. I coast. I continue standing on this spot, unable to open a new door and succeed. I wear my depression inside, and smile outside, like I have been doing for 25 years. I sut down every now and then to write, and agknowledge I’ve tried a few more things this year, all odf gthem have failed, like previous years. My money runs out faster than I predicted, which I predicted.
I still have internal pride for my creativeness, my writing, my inventions and business ideas and quotes and slogans. I have pride in my awareness of pop culture and the world. I love thinking about conspiracy theroies and reality vs public perception about stuff… but I’ve had that all to myself, and single alone Star Trek fans living in a basement with a fat tummy, rough beard and poor fasion sence conspiracy theorists don’t useually get along with like kind in person. Like a religion, beliefs are better without contradiction.
Faith means I need to beoieve my beliefs are true… which means I should probably not listen to yours. I do not want to have a choice, because my life as been based on this one.
Religion works because people like to npot have to make a choice. The conservative party will always get voters who have decided; That’s my story, and I’m sticken’ to it, as will the liberals.
I am concuioiusly and unconsciously afraid that change always means there is a risk of your choice making your life worse. I always have to evaluate, will this choice make my life worse, and believe me – my mind is very create at showing me possible negative outcomes. It’s easy. Worst case scenarios always exist. What if you got hit by a bus tomorrow. Don’t leave the house.
I do not fear death. I fear living. I will drive my car, but so many other things I have discovered it’s so much easier to do nothing. Doing nothing is easy. The only down side is, it’s as addictive, and harder to quit than cigarettes… assume. I’ve never smoked a cigarette.
I live my life, quite literally like a flow chart.
IS there anything to do right now that is easy and wil make somebody smile? Email to-do list or message or phone call?
Yes – > Do it.
No -> Ok… lets go to the things on that list you avoid. It’s big
Is there something to do -> Yes – Do it.
No- You’re lying.
Is there something to do -> Yes
Will it cause anybody to hate you, yell and complain? – No
COme back tomorrow. Go to bed and wait till 1 come up again.
Some items stay on my to do list for weeks. This silly chart doesn’t even ask what NEW things I can do to maintain a beter business. All my plans for new business. They are not even on my cart.
Remember an important key factor. I am a dog alone. I do not have any way to stop this list re-loop until the phone rings or a customer request comes in that I can react to. On gthe phoine I am alive… doing what master needs. Happy.
As soon as the phone is done. Repeat loop one.
My pride in what I could be hurts on mornings like this. My main frustration in life is that I will not be recognized for any of my hidden genious.
It’s a slump. It passes. I know this. However what changes is never the situation, but rather my life changes to realize it really isn’t that bad, and that life isn’t so bad when lived on the weekends and maintained on the week day. Even the dog faking happiness for a treat still enjoys the treat and the pet on the head.
In my recent pondering moments, always at the bottom where I contemplate life in this rutt, and whether sceheduled and practive public happiness is enough, I think up new plans. New ways to find people to help me make a step. I get excited. I get too excited. I get manic, and my plans get huge, and then I scare everybody away because I know a small advancement would be like gigantic move… so I climax to early on the emotions of anticipation and potential and success.
Then, everybody runs away – usually me first, and I’m back alone at home, eating muchies in bed.
I was thinking of the story, the little engine that could. He had a book written about him. I didnlt realized it was his life story, compressed into a few pages with big print. Like with almost al fairtails they revise history. That train was probably over 50 years old when it finally gave up failiung and won. I bet there were millions of rails that naever made it, but hoped. That book to them is hope.
That book to me is proof some people can, and some people try and apologize.
But the struggle goes on. There is a market for trains that don’t need to up hills. There is less money, but people need the subway. You’re doing good work… even if all you hear is complaints and all you smell is pee. Poor subway. You really can’t go up that mountain, and everybody else knows it… but you keep trying if that hope keeps you alive.
The instant I stop typing, these rush into my head like a crowd of papartzi with cameras all yelling; Jeff! Jef! This way! Can you just answer; Is this too sad to share? Will people think I’m suiocidal? Can I share this and let potential customers see it? Will they believe it? Wil I be,l able tio use this as an excuse for sleeping today? How manyh days do I feel like this before I seek help? A week has passed already. I think two weeks is a lot to ask for no support prgress. Lets be optimistic about Tuesday. I hope the sky will be blue at least one day this week. Blue sky helps so much it seems, or at least I have convinced myself it does, and that is just as good. This of course, didn’t help. It was a brief vent torelease my thoughts into words in a creative way… which helps… but it joins the hundreds of like posts I donlt share in lublic. Public Jeff is happy… mostly. At this point, I’ve already used my depression card a few times on long time customers. I am not happy with a metgal health excuse. As real as it may be, I know it may be percieced as an excuse… like my dog ate my homework.
Growing up as a kid with sever A.D.D before anybody knew it was a thing… you get to see disbelief. I never had the named disorder to use as a defence. I was just … well al sorts of names for the kid who doesn’t sit still or stay quite during read time. Today’s schools must be crazy on teachers. Kids can use A.D.D and other mental health disorders like a badge. Sorry teacher I have polically correct diplomatic imunity. You have no attack against my doctors note… so I can say and do whatever I want… it’s a brain disorder.
I can’t image a teachers life in this world where we can’t slap them and might even get in trouble for yelling.
But I am not in school. Nobody is telling me what to do anymore. I have lived a life responable to others. Alone, I wander – or… lets face it. I lay in bed… staring at the ceiling, hoping the phone will ring and somebody will be calling to play fetch.