October 2nd, 2009

Bruce, Caroline

All Things to All People

If I had the capacity, I'd end misery, depression, hardships,
discontentment, and dissatisfaction among all the people I care about.
One of the problems I'm seeing in social networking is that people seem
far more likely to write about a negative than a positive. I call this a
problem, that's not an appropriate choice of words ... Maybe
"difficulty" would be a better one.

So I read and read and read: person A has had this bad experience;
person b hates this type of people; person C has been hurt in this way;
person D never gets any breaks in life; person E has been mistreated in
such-and-such a way, and so on and so forth.

I want to fix it. I'm told that's a guy thing, but I know lots of women
who are presisposed fixers too. But the point is I want to fix it, to
make it all right. I want the people I care about to be happy. I myself
may not be, but, I tell myself, that's to be expected, at least wave
some kind of magic wand and make those you love happy. Oh, I can't do
that? Well, then, I'm a failure, aren't I?

Is this desire to make everyone happy some kind of altruism? Probably
not. I've come to believe that altruism doesn't exist, anywhere, except
with God Himself ... And (and forgive me if this is heretical) even He
has His reasons for doing what He does, so maybe I'm back to true
altruism not existing. So why do I want to achieve the impossible and
make the lives of everyone aroudn me utopias? I think it's a selfish
desire for validation, for approval. Unlike some, I can't just say, "I
don't care what others think". I think that those who say it are
deceiving themselves, anyway. But I want the approval of others so bad,
and I rarely get it. I get it plentifully from people who don't know me
closely, people who don't interact with me on a daily basis. But it
seems the only person with whom I interact regularly who offers that
approval I crave is kittytech. And don't kid yourself, that
approval means the world to me. And I also deeply appreciate it when
those around me express their approval too. But why not my family? Why
not my roommate? Are they thoughtless, uncaring, insensitive? No,
they're not. They don't know what I'm so desperate to hear, and I can't
tell them because that just wouldn't be right. And so I keep living my
life, secretly fearing that these people are disappointed in me, that
they think lowly of me, that they simply tolerate me out of some sense
of obligation.

I want to be told, if it's true, that I'm not an inherently bad person,
that I have merit, that my absence from this world might be soemthing
other than a positive thing for the rest of the world. I know this is
selfish of me. I know that wanting validation is selfish. But I'm not
going to deny, either, that that is what I crave mightily. So I hear
that someone else is hurting, in want, upset. Then I feel have to
fix, to provide, console, or smooth things over. If I don't, even if I
can't, I'm a failure of the worst order. Is it because I'm some
super-selfless human being? No, quite the contrary, it's because I'm
desperatley and selfishly seeking that approval. I crave it like a
druggy craves his or her next fix. I want to know that I am not a
horrid, bad person, and the fact that I don't know makes me simply
wonder if, maybe, that's precisely what I am.