“A giant cockroach with unlimited strength, a massive inferiority complex and a real short temper.” That’s a good description of me except for the unlimited strength bit, which can be substituted by “knowledge of various martial arts and firearms”.

Last weekend I was at a bachelor party, and caught a cold, so this four-day Easter weekend I put myself in seclusion. It wasn’t long before the loneliness struck, and I took a quick synopsis of my life, and it hasn’t changed much: still no job, therefore no money; the (1991) motorbike still chugging along although I expect it to die soon; no girlfriend; living in a one-room bed-sit, although I do have use of a proper, if old, stove for the first time in five years. I can afford to go dancing only if its free, and haven’t many friends there: certainly I never see anyone from dancing outside that activity.

When I feel like this, I can sense all the frustration and anger of my past simmering inside me, and I start to imagine myself, having been ignited by some comparatively small disrespect, going temporarily insane and inflicting severe physical trauma on various people. Or maybe walking over the edge quite calmly and progressively disfiguring or dismembering someone who thinks they’re the ultimate tough guy.

I wonder what precisely God is trying to do with me: a lesson He’s trying to teach me, a characteristic He’s trying to instil in me, an emotional crutch He’s trying to break. One of my defences in those times was to emotionally withdraw from the situation: people thought nothing of ignoring, belittling, threatening, mocking or interrupting me, and if I started to fight back my emotional intensity would make me incoherent or stammer and people would laugh at me and treat my feelings as a joke. Plus I was told it wasn’t nice to make a fuss and it wasn’t Christian to stop others from doing what they wanted – if it meant you were inconvenienced – or I’d otherwise be at their mercy, so I got to pretending everything was okay; hence my apparently calm demeanour.

Basically, I’m too afraid of people. I don’t ask girls out, or even pay casual compliments, because I’m used to being rejected and seen as weird and to be avoided. In fairness I can see why: I’m physically unattractive and my personality isn’t scintillating; I’m emotionally repressed so I’m a bomb waiting to explode. I confess to being mildly astonished at the amount of grief and hate and anger my psyche contains. Plus, from what I’ve just admitted, I have a weak character: I am a coward. In chapter 21 of Revelation they head God’s list of those thrown into the lake of fire. I suspect I am what God would call lukewarm. I’m used to being ridiculed for being who I am; add the ridicule of being a Christian into the bargain and it seems too much to take.

If God is trying to bring all this to the surface, He’s certainly taking His time, while I am slowly becoming poorer and more frustrated. Counselling isn’t free; so I remain alone and lukewarm and unchanged, bulging with loneliness, suppressed fear and misery and rage, without the means or money to deal with this emotional elephantiasis. Certainly I have no desire to remain alive, except for how it might affect my immediate family.

People say that “hell is other people” but you can always learn to cope with other people. I say hell is being alone.

N.B. From Year 11 in high school I have had many part-time and casual jobs; however, only once have I had a full-time job, and that for only three months. Even after completing a second degree I couldn’t find decent work, so I went interstate because I was assured I’d easily be able to find some. In fact it wasn’t easy and after three months, the trial period, I gave it up as a dead end. I’ve had superb testimonials from my employers: they like me and consider me an excellent employee but they can’t hire me because there are no positions available. Just like the comments I get from certain women: I’d make a great husband but only for someone else, since they’re already in a relationship.

Otherwise, life is fine. But if you ever hear that I’m “helping police with their investigations” into some event involving excessive and apparently gratuitous violence, you’ll have some idea why but I think it’s unlikely, and I’ll remain like this until I die: single, unemployed and miserable, living in quiet desperation.

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