Holy fucking shit she posted again! This is exactly what I am struggling through. Except I laughed at a ball bearing.
Just as I am about to hit the sack this video struck me as it has been something that has haunted me since I met my ex, and for many months after she divorced me. I remember she would discuss the rat race constantly. The drone like life style of suburbia hell and how it is such a horrible life choice and we must avoid at all costs. Forget consuming possessions, forget mundane jobs, a big house, fuck the monotonous rat race! Go for art, music, craft, travel, knowledge! That is what makes you a valuable, cultured, important, interesting, and “rich” in life; to do anything else is waste.
It didn’t take long before I began to tag along with her in this passion, detesting the dead eye’d life style. I became critical and self-centered. I went into what the video called “natural default setting” mode. Looking at people and judging them at face value or what they did in life as either meaningful or not. My ex would constantly point out this in others, from family members, friends, strangers, ex’s and even me. I chimed right in with my own input and became as masterful as her. Over time a pressure started to build within myself. The pressure to perform; to learn, to develop skills, to obtain that “rich” life and avoid the rat race.
Time became our worst enemy; too much to do, but no time to do it all. In fact the pressure was so much for my ex she frequently would talk about how little time we have. She hates wrist watches and clocks and even wanted to tattoo “Tempus neminem manet” on her wrist in replace of a watch. To top it off she’d dwell on the past and future a lot. All of this is very ironic given the meaning of the tattoo; “Time waits for no one.” I don’t think she understood what that quote was really trying to convey. This pressure for time cause her and I to crumble in various ways. For me, I literally collapsed into myself. In less than a year I became a vortex of procrastination, and fearful of any failure hence never starting anything fruitful. To top it off, the hobbies I did enjoy where criticized as either wasteful or more often copying or mimicking her. The hobbies that brought us together, only later became copying her much like her “younger brother does”. In fact there was a lot of relating me to negative people of her past, but that’s for another post, …or never post.
I got so bad that by the end of the relationship, my relations with my parents was the worst it has ever been in my life. I also stopped talking to most of my friends back in the states, and I thought I almost lost my childhood friend over “political & ethical” views as I was acting extremely critical and pretentious. She didn’t like them, or pity them, and I was falling in that direction. I completely lost sight of what was important; what the video talks about.
It wasn’t until I had that last conversation with my ex at the restaurant that I realized how much of a façade the whole arts, culture, and knowledge striving thing was. At least in the sense my ex was, and I was putting it. My ex said two things that shook me to the core. The first was, “You’re boring.” Yes it was an emotional attack, however here was a person who crushed on me for literally years, and boasted how we have so much in common to the point of creepy mind read. The second is what she backed this statement up with. She ripped into a friend of hers who lives next door to us as an example. She stated how wasteful and wrong it is that this girl does not care about striving to be this “cultured” person, that she is an idiot to live life like she always did if she only had a week left to live. She took this and pasted this statement right onto me. Now I can go into speculation about why she said this, but that’s not important. But for me, I was offended at first, then self-defeated, followed by, what fucking right do you have to say something like that about another persons life choices? She then avoidably states, that is just not for her, “I’m different, I have different values, it’s fine for her, but not for me.”
It wasn’t until much later that I finally saw the façade in it’s entirety. Before I meet my ex I had it, I didn’t know it then, or understand it well, but I was free from the rat race. College was almost over, I have my friends, and all the time in the world for anything with no pressure. Just pure freedom. Freedom to “understanding how to think. Choice.” The arts, craft, travel, explore, knowledge, etc., all that is great and wonderful, and it is my greatest passion. But what my ex didn’t understand and what I unknowingly fell into was that it’s a façade. That those things are not needed and are just another “rat race; the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing.” Simply put, placing more value on your self-interests than on yourself and those around you. The very thing we criticized others for was not the materialistic lifestyle, or life choices, it was the entrapment over yourself. We became what we despised. None of those things are necessary at a personal level, ever, only for self sacrifice to the benefit of others. Friendships and social interactions with others don’t need you to be interesting, anyone who truly cuts you because you are boring is only reflecting their own inner flaws. In the beginning of our relationship I was always told by my ex that I down played myself and was too “modest.” Never expressing my skills, talents, etc. I told her I don’t brag and those things are not important. She looked at me in pity as if I was dead inside and beaten down by others to stay quiet, but the very opposite was true. I’m sure to this day she is still in that rat race, pushing out tid-bit after tid-bit of information to fill a silent void of awkwardness, expressing how difficult it is to refine or practice her talents, or out right lie and exaggerate stories due to her BPD. Never stopping to think that none of it matters to what is really important.
In the processes of realizing the rat race, one of the things my father said to me a few months after the divorce was, “I don’t understand why you think you are a bad or boring person Eddie. Since the age of 8 you would strike up a conversation with every customer and stranger we had on the job or came across at a store or sub shop. There wasn’t a single person who did not like you. You don’t remember how they constantly complimented me for having a great son. You don’t remember the food, books, gifts and tips they would give you, just from talking to them for an hour? I wanted those tips! People like you Eddie, because you can relate and sympathize with them. You were always curious. A walking encyclopedia too. You always asked why. Always why, why ,why. You still do it. It’s gets you worked up sometimes because you take it too close to heart. But the fact is you keep an open ear and people like that, you want to hear about their lives, and they want to hear about yours. You connect with people better than most on this planet, and you’ve meet a lot of people in your life already. More than most. You are a like-able person Eddie. I dunno what the hell happened to you. These past two and a half years, just snap out of it. And chill the fuck out.” I have found that everyone is interesting and has a story to tell. No one is ever boring even when they stop telling the stories. You just need to be aware.
Be aware of your surroundings in any environment and make choices. This new idea our generation has about developing skills in arts, craft, culture, travel, experiences, education, etc., (even obtaining friends) over materialistic things and money is just another rat race avoiding a more obvious rat race. It’s still a rat race for status and validation by bragging rights. You didn’t escape it, you are still a part of the “suburbia hell hole life style.” You merely changed the goals and covered up the struggles with a false label called passion and procrastination. It will consume you and make you miserable. Be aware of your surroundings, free yourself, cultivate authentic relations with others.
Edit: added tl;dr
“Back From the Edge” - Borderline Personality Disorder
A great documentary about what BPD is in a nutshell. From the self expression, emotions, personality, symptoms, music tastes, even the masking of bipolar disorder, it is all true. In fact after the relationship ended, as a cover up my ex claimed she never mentioned she had BPD, but bipolar and schizophrenia. An attempt to avoid the stigma of BPD. She would argue it is a questionable diagnosis or sexist. Understandable, and a decent attempt actually. It is diagnosed more often in women than in men, as most psychological diagnoses are. This is unfortunate, because it means almost a third of men go undiagnosed in America. It was also debated whether BPD should be acknowledged as an official disorder in the DSM-IV-TR released in 2000. However, today it is in DSM-IV-TR and will be solidified completely with new revisions in the DSM-V coming out this May of 2013.
My ex had way more control when she was with me compared to the testimonies due to taking DBT when she was younger. It sounded like she went through hell in her teens from the stories she had told me, but you can never truly know due to her symptoms; pathological lying, hyper-exaggeration, disillusions, and self-deception just to list a few. Unfortunately she walked out on treatment and never finished when she was in her mid teens for various personal reasons I will not mention.
As for our relationship, physical aggression was non-existent from her, only verbal. Severe verbal abuse did not occur until after the breakup at which point the “distortion campaign” began. Regardless, she did a good job trying to keep it under control, but there were some moments of extreme manipulation and one incident of wrist cutting while under the influence of alcohol; just 2 months after we got married, returning from our honey moon. She refused therapy when I suggested it once, and later refused couples therapy with me near the end of the relationship stating she was not ready for it, and did not want to face it. We were only married for 7 months, and apparently this is not uncommon from the testimonies I’ve read through.
I only wished this documentary discussed more of family and partner crises and what emotional and physical side effects BPD can have on others. And… how to protect your self, and help the one diagnosed. At the time when I was with her, and for quite awhile after the breakup, I had no clue what she was doing to me, and from what I gather neither did she. White knight complex is just one of the common symptoms a partner or family member can have for example. There is also codependency, anxiety, loss of apatite, apathy, listlessness, and in some cases, verbal abuse, physical abuse, manic depression, and suicide. In fact I read somewhere that the suicide rate of partners after a breakup is 11%; that is incredibly high. One in ten will commit suicide. Another problem is family members and partners can also osmosis some of the BPD symptoms; this happened to me with the “I hate you, just break up, don’t leave me” symptom near the end of the relationship. What is shocking about this whole odyssey I had with my ex is that she mentioned all of this to me countless times in various miniscule ways. It was like a certain side of her was trying to wave the red flags as high and as hard as possible to me. But like most partners, they were unheeded until something bad happened, just like the documentary states.
Fortunately, my ex, through her emotional hell, was still able to convince me to go to therapy just weeks before the breakup. I was a shell of my former self at that point, so it didn’t take much convincing. I was able to get things sorted out using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and in my own personal endeavor, research BPD, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, ADHD, depression, DBT, and a battery of self improvement and meditation techniques I never tried before. A side effect of this is that my reading speed quadrupled in month, so that’s one positive thing that came from all of this. I was also blessed with the kindness of a mentor from a BPD discussion board who helped me get through the tough times. We went from contacting each other every day, to now just once a month just to see what’s up in life. I am very fortunate to have the help I got, and this is why I am making this post, in the hopes that others will see it and get help. BPD is heavily misunderstood by the mainstream and even requires specialists in the professional world.
With this all stated I think I should provide at least one resource for curious readers that will fill in what the documentary left out. This book was a big help for me after the breakup and a huge relief. It helped me realize I was taking 100% of the blame of the failed relationship and the imposed burdens for her poor decisions and lack of control or responsibility.
This is a quick pro tip guide if you are right in the muck of things. I hope you will scrutinize some of the obvious faults of this article, and take only the important points from it.
For those who are in a crisis right now, I hope this post helps. You are not alone. As exhausting as it may be right now, it does get better. I promise.
“Some non-BPs told us that they have been falsely accused of harassment and abuse by the BPs in their lives, been the subject of damaging rumors, and even faced legal action brought against them by borderlines without legitimate cause. We call these distortion campaigns. ” - Stop Walking on Eggshells
ADHD As A Difference In Cognition, Not A Disorder: Stephen Tonti at TEDxCMU (by TEDxTalks)
I approve! Part of the reason things have been getting better for me (again) is because I have been tapping into my ADHD and using it to my advantage. I realized there is no point in using medication for suppression reasons. It’s just a means to conform to society, or selfishly use it as “motivation,” or as an energy stimulant like coffee. That is not how it should be used. I only recently realized that the “just deal with it” is also not the way to go either. The past three years I have been un-medicated and I have experimented in various ways on how to manage my ADHD by fighting against it. I was viewing it as a problem instead of a solution.
Two months ago I decided to NGAF and let it flow uncontrollably, and so far it has been pretty awesome. A change in diet, exercise, and sleep has helped a lot, but not nearly as much as the way I am learning to accommodate my ADHD tendencies. From various scheduling and productivity techniques, personal environment control (cause you can’t control the world around you), and coupled with keen mindfulness, it has helped me execute whatever I need to do at the right time with my current tendency. Lots of careful what-if planning is needed and sometimes my schedule needs to be changed on the spot. There is no more stress of “I need to do such and such now because etc.” It’s more of, “Oh that’s nice, but right now I need to trigger this chicken’s tonic immobility.” What this has lead to is a very sporadic and random Radical Edward, but with structure. A method to my madness you could say. Except… I’m actually mad.
So you probably noticed the huge wave of social networking stuff I’ve been doing (especially on Facebook). Sorry about that. I’ve been busy for most of the day, un-private-ing and migrating profiles here and there. I have linked everything together to make my posting all nice and smooth and easy to follow. Most of my activity I do on any social network goes directly to Facebook and Twitter now. Makes my life easier this way. If it’s too much and is beginning to look like spam please let me know.
The reason behind all of this is because I’ve shutdown EdoinTokyo.com. A few reasons behind this choice:
- Costs me $60/year and increasing.
- Bandwidth speeds were slow.
- Storage was small (4GB).
- A pain in the butt to maintain and use.
- In the 7 years of operation I only got 15,000 visitors.
- Edo in Tokyo is not always in Tokyo.
With this I move to the cloud. Unlimited space, fast bandwidth, easy to manage, and if the data is lost, whatever. Haha.
After 2.5 months of being a ghost on the internet due to my ex-wife being a horrible person. I’ve finally come to terms that I really should NGAF. I’m awesome and there is no reason to get worked up over someone who doesn’t matter. I am extremely grateful for the friends I have and the unbelievable patience and support they gave me over the past nine months. They saw my worst and stood by me with frequent Skype calls at random times throughout their day (and night). I seriously could not have got through it without their help. I should also note my family has been extremely supportive as well and I’m very grateful I have them in my life, I have never been this close to them as I am today.
Looking back I am blown away by how much my world views and convictions have changed. I have learned so much, and I want more! So cheers! You are going to see a lot more of me again. Sorry about being a hermit for the past 2.5 years. I’m back mofos and the universe is fucking awesome.
Holy crap this is a must read. Warning, it’s really long, but so worth it.
Psychologically, we are known to act in a way that reflects the people we are surrounded by. So if you are going to hangout with pessimistic friends, then expect yourself to feel less optimistic about your own potential. Usually, these people are around to use you anyway. They compose an artificial circle that will bring you down more than it pushes you up.
If they do not present a positive worth, then you should question their worth as friends to begin with. Always remember this rule of thumb: you are whom you surround yourself with. So surround yourself with those who are positive.
done this so many times, it’s great
I tell this to a lot of my friends. They laugh. The smart ones then think for a bit, and do it.
How heavy is your glass of water?
A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?” Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz. She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.” It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!