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2002-08-19 | 12:35 a.m.

Just played about 15 games of Bounce Out. Tried to lose myself in the game but instead it seemed to focus my mind. Unfortunately, what my mind wanted to focus on was self-loathing. So we played Bounce Out, my mind and me, and I cried, and the better I played, the more I cried until the act of playing the game became transparent, like driving sometimes is. Especially if I'm crying. I get in the car, fasten my seat belt, commence crying. Next thing I know, I'm parking, I'm shutting off the engine, I'm somewhere I wasn't a split-second ago, and my collar is wet.

I went to see an old friend and we got into an argument. I feel frustrated and angry at myself for not even being able to truly participate in the argument. Instead I sit there, and I choke out some incomprehensible phrase, then I tear up, and then I stop because the idea of not-crying appeals to me. Except I cry anyway, because the other person is always riled up and keeps going. Why do I cry this way? My friend wanted to know. My father always wanted to know. He said, You have your bladder between your eyes. It could send my sister into a stampeding rage. You want something to cry about?! I'll give you something to cry about! Dr. Wheat says it's because I am a "highly sensitive person." There is a whole book about it. But what am I supposed to do, go around telling people that "my therapist says I'm a 'highly sensitive person.'" The book says you should tell people, so they'll understand. This idea is excruciating to me. Lately everything I think, hear, or learn about myself seems to revolve around this idea that I am deficient, yet deficient in a way that is absurd to relate, suspect, specious.

I have always disliked people who talk about themselves as if they are children. Yet I also believe that this is my very problem--or at least one of them--that I am not a proper adult. I live a very sheltered life. My thoughts tend to be idealistic in the extreme and I don't like it when people disagree with me and when they do, I burst into tears. Then I sit in my room and plot the darkest revenge, just as I did when I was eight. Or else I bask in the feeling that nobody likes me, and it's not my fault, though I've done nothing particularly likeable. Really, I'm the worst sort of friend you could possibly have. I've lost more good friends in my life than some people ever have.

I was trying to be a good friend tonight and find something in the argument to salvage, and I made an attempt at it. But I can't shake the feeling that he didn't much care what I had to say. He didn't think I had anything to offer and, frankly, that sort of attitude becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. One way or another, whether it was him turning a deaf ear or me being incomprehensible and weak, I could not make myself understood. The truth is, and because my ego is at stake this is almost more than I can make myself write, the truth is, I think he only wanted me to come over because something was wrong with his computer and he thought I could fix it.

I really don't know and feeling the way I do, there's no chance I can ever figure it out for sure. And if it's true, I don't blame him. I want people to like me for reasons that don't actually apply. I think of myself as good company, forgetting that I am really only good company for myself. Everybody else gets the dregs.

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