12:15 AM - 10.09.15
I don't know where to start, and I haven't given myself much time to do it...
It's not much fun being me right now, which is a little confusing, because I shot a Shameless last Friday, the commercial on Monday, and (found out today), I'm shooting my next Shameless on Monday.
This is supposed to be "the good stuff"...but I'm really about as miserable as I get.
A lot of things are weird to me right now...
Like being disappointed that my experience on the commercial wasn't more embarrassing (That was kind of the point of doing a thing involving "nudity" - Getting over my epic level of modesty because that's what was required), but at the same time, still coming away feeling somewhat "demeaned" by the experience, because I don't think the actors were treated as well as they should have been on the shoot (Nothing awful/abusive - just the general feeling that we weren't being "looked after").
Like having - not for the first time - the disconcerting realization that sometimes I enjoy my day job more than my "acting career" (Adding to the "weirdness"? I desperately don't want to do that day job anymore. And in a world where I wanted to get out of acting and only do that day job - which I don't - I couldn't, because it doesn't pay enough).
Fri 10/9/15 (6:25 pm)
My brother Gregg had his surgery today.
The hope was that the surgery itself would basically do the trick, and that any follow-up would be "just in case".
But that's not what happened. Things were too close to other things (Don't be thrown by my medical jargon - I almost played a Doctor once on TV), and not everything got got.
I was worried when I hadn't heard from him/about him as soon as I'd expected, so at first I was just glad he made it through the procedure.
Now I'm back to worried again.
He's seeing his Doctor on Thursday, so they can figure out a game plan.
Was really hoping the surgery today would essentially be the end of this saga...
There's something that's been going on for awhile, and I haven't written about it in here, because I was embarrassed - I thought it would "make me look bad".
But now I have to write about it (And really, I shouldn't be avoiding embarrassment or "looking bad" in here - I'm pretty sure avoiding "embarrassment" or being fearful of "looking bad" are two good ways to write a really shitty online journal).
It all started weeks (months?) ago, when I went with my friend Howard to see a movie (American Ultra, to be specific).
Afterwards, we went for coffee, as we often do, and we started discussing/arguing about the movie - As was often the case with us, I liked it more than he did (You'll hear more about that in a moment).
And I can't explain/don't fully understand what happened, but I found myself getting angry and annoyed with him, to the point I wanted to exit the establishment (And I know I made him mad as well at one point - He'd said something about how he could "write a better scene" than the one we were talking about, and, annoyed, I basically said, "So do it. I dare you. I'll give you $100 if you do". Or something along those lines. Which made him want to, in turn, get a little snippy and snappish with me.
We "talked through it", and moved on to politics and such (we're pretty closely aligned politically, though he's got an odd streak of conservatism, I think left over from his youth in Corpus Christi), but when I went home, my general annoyance and upset were still there.
Clearly, it didn't have anything to do with that movie, cause really, who gives a shit?
I think it just made me realize that, over time, going to movies with him had become more stressful than enjoyable - I was getting tired of him almost constantly "harshing my movie buzz" (If you're a casual movie/tv fan, I'm probably more critical than you are. Howard, on the other hand, is more critical than everyone else in the world - I'm exaggerating...but only a little).
And I think there are probably darker threads at work here - feeling like he "thought he was right all the time", that he's smarter than I am (He's not), not feeling "listened to", maybe even just, in my heart-of-hearts, not liking someone who could sometimes/often, to my ears, sound like a pretentious blowhard - but maybe not.
Maybe it really is as basic as an anguished cry-to-the-universe, "Jesus Christ, Man! Don't you ever just unequivocally enjoy anything?".
In any case, I didn't think I was done with him altogether, but I was pretty sure I was done going to the movies with him.
I just wasn't enjoying it anymore.
From there, I behaved badly - cowardly.
Instead of bringing up my issue, I just continued to go over to his house for "movie nights", usually on Saturdays (We'd watch a movie on Netflix, the two of us and his friend Beriau - which for whatever reason, wouldn't trigger the annoyed, angry feelings I'd feel when we went to the movies).
And when he'd ask if I wanted to see this or that at the movies, I'd beg off for one reason or another (Or just decline with no explanation).
Mixing and mingling with this was the fact that both of us wrestle with fatigue and depression, and - a frequent topic of conversation - a sense of frustration about our careers (The last thing I think was becoming kind of toxic all by itself - If you're with someone who bitches about their life all the time, and you bitch about your life all the time when you're with them, but neither of you ever takes much action to "change the circumstances"...well, that doesn't seem "healthy" to me).
Anyway, today it finally came to a head, via Facebook Messenger - I'd messaged him to say I wouldn't be making "movie night" tomorrow, because after work, I was seeing a free film at the SAG Foundation, and would very likely be "out of gas" after that (A side note - the CPAP continues to be making no fucking difference in my sleep).
But I suggested perhaps we could get together on Sunday. He passed on that, and didn't want to talk, playing the passive-aggressive game of "I'm upset with you, but I want you to beg me to tell you about it" (As opposed to the conflict-avoidance game I'd been playing with him).
He's not been happy with me either, turns out - He feels like I don't think he's a good writer (And to be honest, I kind of don't, based on what I've read), that he's "putting more into the relationship than he's getting out of it", and that I really only hang out with him because he's available.
And I don't think he's wrong.
Truth to tell, I've never really had a lot of real relationships/friendships, certainly not long-term. So it seems clear that I'm fairly deficient in that area.
I think I was avoiding talking to him, when it comes down to it, because I knew this "I'll hang out with you, but I no longer want to do that thing that's been the centerpiece of our 'relationship' since we've known each other" was never gonna fly.
And guess what? It didn't fly (There's the chance that I helped it "not fly" by how I handled things, but I don't really care).
So we're all done.
And I'm okay with that.
(Though I'm going to have to get back into the habit of seeing movies by myself again - I haven't seen anything since this all happened...and there's some really good movies out right now.)
Beyond this thing with Howard, I've been in a bad way for awhile now, a bad way that hasn't been helped by having a not-good time on either of my last two acting jobs, by a bunch of changes at WW I don't fucking want to deal with, by the feeling that my "acting career" isn't going anywhere, and by a general feeling that life hasn't worked out, that "It's all over but the shouting" for me.
Oh, and the CPAP thing - I don't know if I'm actually more tired than I was before...but I feel more tired, because I'm so disappointed and angry that I don't feel any better.
And I'm hitting myself.
There. I said it.
I've done it forever, so long that I don't remember ever not doing it - though I perceive it as a behavior that had gone away, then "came back" at some point (But I don't know if that's true) - but slapping my face hard as I can, six or seven or eight times in a row (In a fit of frustration or some generalized inner rage), or biting down on an index finger (Occasionally breaking-the-skin), has started to give way to urges to full-on punch myself in the head.
I don't know why, I don't know what I think I've done - other than fail at life - but clearly, I think I need to hurt myself more than I have to date.
It's happened enough so that, one day, it left a mark around my right eye, and someone actually asked me about it (I feigned ignorance - "Really? That's weird...I don't know how that could have happened..." - but I felt insane. I mean, what the hell was I gonna say, "You know how some people are in abusive relationships? Well, I'm in one with myself"?
Right now, my right cheekbone hurts because I hit myself pretty hard the other day...a couple times.
It's not the only reason I've decided to "get some help", but it does seem to make the need pretty clear and unequivocal, as opposed to something I can just explain away - "You're just feeling 'down', Jim - You don't need therapy, you just need to become a 'Series Regular'..".
And it gives a therapist a specific dysfunctional behavior to work with, something that can be addressed more readily than a generalized sadness and anger, a lonely middle-aged man's lament that "life hasn't worked out".
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