I’ve written so much over such a long time and I have no more answers now than I began with. It’s always been a coping strategy more than anything else. Like any skill a person can develop, the more you use that ability the more you sharpen it. I don’t feel as though I’ve sharpened my communication skills much over time. It isn’t that I’m particularly bothered by it, but it signals to me that perhaps it’s always been more therapeutic than anything else. I can unload whatever baggage I’ve been shouldering for however long and finally have a break from being encumbered.

There will always be weights too heavy for me to carry. I guess you could say, if anything, I was born with a chip on my shoulder. My father was even less prepared for fatherhood than I was, a fact only underlined more by my own ability to at least surpass him as a father. Yeah, he set the bar pretty low, he drank a pint of bourbon and took his car out for a spin without wearing a seatbelt. I don’t have a great relationship with my mother, either. She’s always been a cold and unforgiving figure in my life. I’ve had so many examples of how not to parent kids that I think, all told, I’ve succeeded in a lot of ways. There are also a lot of ways I’ve failed, and I’m not proud of it. I’ve failed to impart to my kids that participation is important, that hard work is the single determining factor of success in life, I’ve failed to prepare them for the real world as the real world is. Not that I was ever really prepared for it. I wasn’t, not even remotely. The real world hit me upside the head and laid me out.

But this writing thing, I can’t make time for it like I used to. I don’t have things to say anymore, not like I used to. I used to be able to latch onto an idea and just draft a few thousand words on a whim. Sure, the original idea would always morph into fifteen similar ideas nearly immediately after the first paragraph, and nothing that came out in the end could ever be called “focused”. C’est la vie, no?

I operate a lot on rationalizing things. It’s what I do. I try to sort items into neat little buckets in order to make sense of the broader sum, no matter what I’m trying to rationalize. But there are things I can’t rationalize. Like why does my mother not care about me? It’s kind of a double whammy. I can’t make sense of it and I can’t make peace with it. I can’t really do anything with that information except let her exist outside of my life as she seemingly prefers. It’s funny, too, because I’ve never felt good enough. I can understand why I feel inadequate. I can’t understand why my mom wants me to feel inadequate.

Nothing is right. Nothing feels right. Everything is an imposition. Everything is an overextended welcome. Fabric chafes, food is flavorless, drinks don’t satisfy my thirst, and sleep is simultaneously too much and not enough.

I can rationalize feeling like shit. I’ve done it on so many antidepressants that I honestly am not sure if I can be treated solely chemically. This is also not helpful when it comes to talk therapy. I used to challenge therapists. I used to say what was actually on my mind, but eventually I just stopped. I just let them ramble on with whatever they were fixated and just fed them whatever I thought they were expecting on topics that never had much meaning to me. I’m not even sure I can be genuine with a therapist anymore. There’s such a horror to too much honesty with therapists because they have hair triggers from the things they’re exposed to in their line of work. It was planted in me early in life that you don’t tell a therapist anything that could get you involuntarily committed, under any circumstances, whether it’s fact or fiction. There are instances where honesty gets you sedated against your will, unemployed, and eventually- once you’ve started just lying to them or feeding them what they want again, released back into the wild to be gawked at by everyone that’s never been through the wringer.

I don’t know what I need. I honestly think that a contributing factor might be that I do not need. There’s nothing that I need with any immediacy. There’s nothing for me to struggle toward, and certainly nothing I want to struggle toward. There’s no carrot dangled in front of me. Am I still a horse being led around by his nose if there’s no carrot, or if I don’t even care about a carrot? I hate goals, but they’re useful when you need to achieve them. I don’t need to achieve any goals imminently.

I don’t know. There’s a lot that I don’t know, and the more I learn the more I realize that I can’t know anything.