My lack of communication

Recently I have been watching Twitter and not interacting much. This post has been inspired by someone I follow on Twitter who tweets like I used to. This person sometimes struggles to do the task they know will help them feel better. I see the tweets and wish there was something I could do to help them understand.

I watch without tweetting for various reasons

  • I do not feel like I can contribute anything useful
  • Sometimes I just don’t want to have a conversation
  • I am scared of saying the wrong thing and making people upset
  • I am scared of being judged

I am 55. Am I “to old for this shit”? Let’s take each of the above in turn.

“I do not feel I can contribute anything useful.”

Some of you reading this know me better than others. You see me hanging around the edge of conversations and DM me to find out why I do not join in. See below lol.

There is a sex worker I see whenever I am able. We seem to click and we are able to talk openly about anything. Recently, however, I do not feel that I can carry on a useful conversation with her. So what do I do? I do not email or DM her. This is the worst thing I can do for our relationship. I know from experience the joy I feel when my friends DM or email me and just say hello. Why don’t I do the same? There is that deep dark voice inside my head that tells me that I am not a good friend and that thought is what stops me from engaging. I know this thought is wrong, but I find it had to ignore.

I will be contacting my friend after I finish this post.

“Sometimes I just don’t want to have a conversation”

I know there are others who feel this way. You just want to see what is going on, how your friends are doing, read the news, learn useful things, but don’t really have the emotional energy to engage. And this is perfectly fine. So why do I feel guilty when I do this?

“I am scared of saying the wrong thing and making people upset”

I am not good with conflict, especially with those I consider friends. There is a situation on Twitter at the moment that I do not want to talk about for this exact reason. I believe I will upset people I follow. However, here I go talking about it even though I fear there may be a backlash. There is a very robust discussion going on between some people. I follow all the people involved, but I do not think they follow each other. In fact, I know some block the others from time to time. I have not got involved in the discussion on Twitter and will not get involved. I only mention it here as an example of how things can go wrong because sometimes we can say the wrong thing or we say something that can be misinterpreted. This is something I fear greatly.

“I am scared of being judged.”

I find there are very few places in this world today where you are not judged. I am lucky in my work. I enjoy my work and I am very good at it. My speciality is being brought onto a project that has fallen off the rails technically and bringing it back on track. However, work has become an environment in he last few years where you are not allowed to make mistakes. Make a mistake and you are judged, and people remember.

Families judge. I didn’t think my family judged. How naive I am. Since my brother divorced a number of years ago and has recently married again the judgement has been thick and full on. I was one who believed that a family was a place where you could feel safe and loved. I no longer tell my siblings much of what is going on in my life. They know about my depression, anxiety and suicide attempts but I no longer talk to them about that, especially the times I tried to kill myself. Most of the family belong to Christian churches and I now know that they do not look on my previous actions in a favourable light.

Twitter. Twitter is an interesting environment. Things I post are public, I have chosen this to be so. I will not change this until there is a very good reason to do so. I, probably naively, think I am fairly anonymous on Twitter. Being public poses an interesting problem for me. I run the risk of upsetting people I do not follow (and people I do follow). And this has happened. I follow a myriad of people; scientists, sex workers, sex worker clients, writers, poets, artists, football players, religious folk, non-religious folk, skeptics, joke tellers, tattoo artists, PhD academics, and the list goes on. What I do see in all these people is…they are all people who have their own beliefs and feelings. I try my hardest to understand every person I meet. But sometimes that is not enough. And it hurts me deeply when I find that we are unable to communicate in a civil and restectful manner.

Someone, thanks @xxxescortamber, recently posted this on Twitter, Mute, my babes. I can’t agree with Amber enough. Sometimes muting keeps me sane.

Eccles/Barliman
A man who struggles to communicate

It’s Been Awhile

ItsBeenAWhileSo here I am, with you, and all that shit seems to have disappeared. I am sitting at the computer, the headphones are on and I am listening to It’s Been Awhile by Staind. I quite like this song, I find a lot of myself in it.

Anyway, it’s been a while since I last wrote anything, last October in fact. I’ve been struggling to write anything since then. I’ve started many times but never get past the first few lines. Was chatting to a friend in Melbourne the other day and he said to just sit down and write. So here I am. I may not make much sense as I haven’t thought of anything to write about so, to fit in with my blog title, here are some ramblings of a man just trying to survive and keep himself together.

One of the things I have found over the last year on twitter is that there are many, many people who struggle in a similar way as I do. Each person has their own way of trying to cope. Some have a pet that helps. Some do exercise. I listen to music and write. Some of my writing ends up here. I find it interesting that the choice of music for me does not seem to matter (except polka maybe, I don’t listen to polka). My music tastes are very eclectic; I listen to anything from opera to classical to heavy metal and everything in between (did I mention that I don’t listen to polka?). And when I write the world just seems to disappear and I am here, with you, in the words I write and the songs I am listening to. I should be able to sleep well tonight.

A friend just sent me a text and asked “Why do we pretend to be what we are not?”. I was unable to provide an answer. Her answer “To make everyone else feel happy”. Do we do that? Do I do that? And does that affect me? If I am being honest I am pretending to be someone else to please my family and friends. How does that affect me? Sometimes I struggle to talk. Scared to say things. Things that may hurt. Things that may cause conflict. Things that may have big consequences. So I will keep my mouth shut and continue pretending.

Anyway, it’s past my bedtime, again. So hopefully I will be back again soon.

A rambling man,

Eccles

original

My secret life

Leonard Cohen in my secret life
Leonard Cohen in my secret life

I consider myself to be a decent enough man. Others may not call me decent after reading this blog post. I am married and have two adult children. I have a good job and I like to think I am kind to those I interact with. I have a lot of friends who care about me. Up until this year I had been a practising Christian for over 30 years. I had a comfortable but troubled life.

That all changed last November. My brain and body stopped operating (again) in what most people would call a normal manner. I had a bit of a breakdown. Since then I have been learning about myself; what caused the meltdown, how I am feeling, what can I do to continue on with life. There are no easy answers to any of these questions but progress has been made. For instance, I am back at work and have managed to work my way back to working 4 days a week. In two months I go back full time.

I now know that I am not a Christian. This has disappointed a number of my friends. One in particular. I told him yesterday morning. He and I, and a few others, meet for breakfast every Friday. We chat, joke, help each other with life problems, and read the Bible. I made him cry. But I could not be truthful to him or me and not tell him. We have been having breakfast together for 20 years and I hope it continues for another 20.

Since last December I have once again been seeing a psychologist, weekly to start with, then fortnightly and now I we meet once a month. These have been the best sessions for me. I have found out a lot about myself, some of my issues (I am sure there are more) and we have figured out some plans on how to deal with life issues. Some issues can be helped with medication. Some you just have to face, like my social phobia. No magic cure, just take little easy steps and practice.

One of my issues has led to what I will call my “secret” life. There are quite a few people I have met in this secret life. Some have became good friends. A lot I respect greatly. I have learnt a lot about myself and others from this life as well. I am brave enough to admit that I was a hypocrite and I was able to lie to myself very convincingly. I can’t believe some of the things I used to think and sometimes say about other people.

I have one friend in my non-secret life who knows about my secret. I am sorry to say that I don’t think that many of my other friends would understand what my secret life means to me and that it helps me get through life. In my secret life I would be called a “punter” or a “john”, terms I don’t like. Personally I like the term “client”. To be frank about it, I have paid private escorts to spend time with me, sometimes very intimate times, sometimes not. I started my previous blog post, My public life, as follows

Last night I spent a number of very enjoyable hours with absolutely gorgeous lady. We enjoyed a meal, we drank, we talked, we did other things. I can’t remember ever feeling so at ease and relaxed in my life.

This was the third time we have spent time together and we plan to spend more time together. There are also two other ladies I see regularly, as time and money permits.

I have found these ladies to be some of the most understanding people I have ever met. They may not know it but they have helped me a great deal. A lot of my increase in self esteem I owe to them.

This time it has taken me 8 months to get to where I am now able to start coping again. There have been some major changes in my life – for the better as far as I am concerned. I’m still not fully there but have come a long way.

Ladies, you know who you are. If you read this, thank you. I am glad to know you and be part of your world and that you are part of mine.

Man, when I start I just keep going.

A secret man,

Eccles

Leonard Cohen in my secret life