Not Nervous   Leave a comment

I wasn’t nervous exactly.  At least, that’s not what I think of when I use the term.  Nervous is how I feel when I have expectations placed on me about performance.  When I’m nervous it’s because I can fail and it’s that persistent fear of failure that makes me get all jumbled up.  It amps me up so that my heart thuds and my hands go numb and my thoughts scatter and all that keeps me from flipping out and going all sorts of ape shit violent is that I must care about whatever the fuck I’m doing there or I wouldn’t have forced my ass to be there in the first place.  And that reason, whatever it is, gets seared into my brain and etched into the bones of my spine so that nothing else happens without it going passed the blatant truth of it.

But this was nothing like that.

I was meeting my new therapist at 5:30.  She asked me how many times I had gone through this process before at this particular facility since it’s basically a turnstile type center for professionals in her field.  That pleasant catch-22 for people with a lot of education who need some experience before they can do what they have just spent a lot of time and money being prepared to do or for people like she who just had a bit more education to go before they were both highly experienced and educated and ready to take on much bigger things.  I hadn’t done the math before, so I ran through my stats and we figured out that in the year and 4 months since I started there I have been with four therapists.  I haven’t had a lot of experience with doctors and therapy, but it felt like a high number and her tone kind of echoed that sentiment.  Regardless of that fact, I had a feeling she wasn’t going to be staying much longer and she was kind enough to give me the truth when I asked her.  I will probably be going through another “first time” encounter sometime this summer.  But I don’t feel bad about it.  I like this lady, she seems like someone I can actually open up to in a way I haven’t been able to thus far with any of my other therapists and, for that reason, I know I’ll miss her when she goes, but I am going to focus on the positive and just try and get what I can out of our time together.  I think it will be a better use of our time to get the most out of it instead of wasting it worrying or complaining about the lack of it.  Besides, if I do open up to her maybe by the time I have to tell someone else she will have written down thorough notes and talked to her supervisor often enough that I won’t have to do as much talking initially next time.

Anyway, getting back to my point, I wasn’t nervous.  But I did feel awkward and I wanted to place the emotion because it didn’t fit in with what I was used to.  One of the things I rather enjoy doing lately, almost like its a little game that I play when I’m alone, is that I try to diagram my thoughts, feelings and reactions before, during and after interactions with people.  At first this started as a way of figuring out just where it is that I first take a step off the so-called “normal” path.  By that I simply mean that I have spent a lot of my life watching people and if in a given situation I can pretty much say that Person A in Situation B encounters Element C and then Reacts by doing or saying D, I know enough about myself to acknowledge that I do not do D, but rather E and even sometimes F or the dreaded G.  But just knowing that I do E, F and G isn’t enough.    Being prepared and ready to cover up things, make excuses, avoid situations, find colorful distractions or what have you is getting not only tiresome, but rather difficult and nearly impossible as I get older and people get closer.  So I need to find other answers to the questions.  So I take apart my mannerisms, my thought processes, my reactions and the like,  all with the sincere purpose of trying to expose just why it is that I am not functioning like the masses.

Now, I have never claimed to be normal.  I don’t want to be normal.  I don’t know what it is and I’m not aiming for it.  I like being honest, I like being unique and comfortable being myself.  But I also am not trying to be anything just to be “different”.  When everyone else was getting tattoos, piercings, dying their hair crazy colors and dressing like punk rock zombie gods I just made sure I showered daily and wasn’t naked.  I have always had major sexual identity issues and have never felt comfortable bringing attention to myself to the point where sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I don’t even know who that person is looking back at me.  I can argue any side of any debate and convince anyone of anything.  But I don’t give a damn about anything.  I’ve always thought that deep down I had these core beliefs that could not be shaken, but that other than that I was just not engaged.  My father raised me to be that way really.  He used to go on and on about it, about having a code and how if “it’s not worth dying for it’s not worth killing for and if it’s not worth killing for it’s not worth fighting for”.  But sincerely, I thought that one day I would find something that was worth dying for and that it would all fall into place, but I’m 38 and still nothing matters to me.

I want there to be a test, a magical set of questions that figures me out.  I want to get to the bottom of it all.  Do you have a conscience if you don’t kill people because you know you don’t want to go to jail?  Is that really what morals are?  Because it’s not about god or love or respect or decency or not hurting someone or not being able to inflict pain, it all just comes down to the fact that I don’t want to be forced into a certain reality for the rest of my days and if I get caught living out the life I really am starting to feel compelled to I know that I’ll be miserable.  But as the days go on and I am losing more and more options to the point where maybe I’ll be homeless soon I don’t know that the next time I feel overwhelmed by my anger and rage and all I want is the freedom to give in and feel the sinking in of the knife and to use the garrote the way my father taught me as a kid because that’s the kind of thing a father teaches his daughter on a Sunday after church, I don’t know, I just can’t see me fighting myself forever.

So I go to the therapy and I talk to the doctors and I take the pills and I tell the people that urge me to just jump in with both feet and make a claim on the world just beyond my finger tips to wait and to stand back and to give me room to breathe, but they never leave and I just stand here playing word games like a foreigner in the motherland of my own soul.

I’m not nervous.  But just what I am,  I have no idea.

Jen Czahur


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