To be funny the other night I audio-recorded my girlfriend snoring.
She, naturally, had the mistaken belief that she was not a snorer. I woke up in the middle of that night to what appeared to be a log splitter set to maximum strength chugging away three inches from my face. Since I don’t find snoring repulsive or an impediment to my asleep, I wasn’t bothered. I found myself laughing at a the idea that a beautiful woman was doing something so traditionally non-graceful.
I carefully reached over to the side-table, grabbed my phone and set the voice app to “record.” Forty seconds later I had impressive evidence which was presented to her the next morning.
She laughed, thank God.
We all have our insecurities, but this wasn’t one of hers.
This got me to thinking about my own insecurities.
One of my main fears is that I’m “bad.” That I’m a screw-up. That I’ll destroy everything good in my life. That I’ll hurt others irreparably. That you’ll see what a piece of garbage I am and run away. Then I’ll be all alone and not exist.
Or something like that.
Now, this train of thought is not logical, and there isn’t a lot of real-world evidence to support it. But that’s the things with emotional wounds. They’re invisible and gaping and absolute despite the facts.
So there’s a constant battle between my logical mind (the rational part of me that knows this is nonsense) and the emotional wounded child who feels as if he’s “defective.”
Sadly, emotion trumps reason.
Example – I was on a camping trip with some of my best friends. They constantly bust balls. One of them told a story about how, thirteen years ago, I had been staying at his apartment by myself for a weekend. Apparently I had ordered an adult feature (I don’t remember this but it’s not inconceivable) and left him some money on the kitchen counter with a note. The problem was that this apartment was not owned by my friend. It was the property of a NBA head coach and his wife. Who paid all the bills.
My friend received a call from the owners (who are friends with his family) laughing at him for ordering a skin flick on their account. He had to tell them that his douchebag friend was the culprit.
Now, I didn’t know this story when it was being told at the campsite. I, however, wasn’t able to laugh at myself like my girlfriend and her snoring.
It triggered a “D.J. was a bad boy” wound and I nearly crumbled. While everyone was having a laugh on me, I felt like they had just confirmed I was a piece of shit. They, of course, thought no such thing. It was just a funny story to them.
I was so out of my mind that first I denied the entire event. Truth was that I didn’t remember it, but it probably happened. Then I profusely apologized to my friend. You would have thought I was making amends for wheeling his grandmother into traffic. This overreaction was noticed. My friend assured me that this had been long forgiven and that it wasn’t a big deal in the first place.
Even writing it now I feel terrible. No, it’s not logical. And no, I hadn’t even done anything really wrong. But it feels otherwise. Even now.
I don’t know how to heal these wounds. I believe it has to do with self-forgiveness, but damned if I’m any good at that.
Maybe I can practice now.
Here goes: I forgive myself for ordering Car Wash Babes IV back in 2001. And I’m not bad for wanting to see naked women with sponges – that is a normal and natural desire for a man.
However, maybe I was wrong for sitting on my friend’s couch during this viewing, because, well…