On The Burning Of Two Bridges

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2017-11-30 13:00:00 No comments

One of the long-standing self-destructive psychological tendencies I had to work hard to rid myself of was this habit of presenting myself to certain people as pitiable. The thinking behind this, such as it was, was that if I did so to the "right person", said person would take pity on me and "save" me.

This was before I finally got two things through my fat head. One, the only person who is capable of taking responsibility for my own liberation is me. Two, you don't want other people saving you, because most of them don't want the job — and if someone did want that job, there's a good chance they didn't have my best interests at heart.

One of the last times I did something like this — at least, I hope it was one of the last times — was a few years back when I was at a convention. My work situation was crummy; my whole reason for being at the show in the first place had been ruined. "Dispirited" was the nicest word that I could use to describe my mood then.

At the show, I ran into not one but two people I'd known from previous phases in my life, both of whom had achieved good success in a number of different pop-culture franchises. What I should have done was just smile and chat them up and find out how things were going. Instead, I acted like a complete dolt to both of them. Oh, look at me! Look at what a mess I'm in! Can you help me? And to the surprise of no one but me, they shook my hand and nodded and did their best to get rid of me in short order. I don't blame them; I wouldn't have had any patience for me in that state either.

What bugs me so much about this whole thing in retrospect is how the entire time I was contriving this act, I was completely conscious of what an act it was, how I was under no obligation to sustain the act in the first place, and how it would have been far easier to just drop the act and Be Myself. The real me wasn't a pathetic sob story, and I knew it. But the sob-story me was in charge just then, and it spun a really good line of b.s. to the rest of me about how somehow this would pay off.

Well, it didn't. And I'm still smarting from how badly I embarrassed myself in front of two people I respected. Irreversibly so, I suspect.

Tags: psychology relationships