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Rusted Steel & The Rotten Reel

Coping & Shortfalls

Sunday, February 19th, 2023


I used to think of myself as extroverted, yet recently I’ve been coming to terms with the opposite. A telltale sign of my proclivity toward introversion is my experience that some people seem to drain me.

Oddly enough, I wholeheartedly enjoy and become energized by their company while I’m with them, hinting at an aspect of extroversion in my personality. However, it’s sometimes after the fact when I feel their flaws pricking at my nerves.

This after-effect comes from my love for analyzation of them. While it might be a classic case of overthinking, my gut has proven to be right more times than I care to ignore. I still think it’s a curse, despite I only take it into consideration.

A danger of this comes from the possibility of stoking resentment, so I have one of two choices when that’s the case. It’s entirely probable that any of my resentment is built in the absence of my own healthy boundaries, stemming from the reality that I won’t speak up when I feel as if they’ve been crossed. So, I must speak up. Or it’s that I’m being immature, and I need to move on. I don’t think there are any other options.

While I’m most likely ambiverted by nature and must speak louder when tread upon, it’s undoubtedly still a dangerous game to reflect on our inconsistencies, let alone our insufficiencies. Though, I can’t help but come to the same conclusions about us. Are we all really so weak and broken to flock to the thing that makes our hearts beat the fastest, no matter how rotten its intentions?

I unfortunately think the answer is “yes.”

For example, because I can’t read minds and won’t flirt or teasingly touch a girl like how she wants me to get her heart racing, she’ll run to someone who does. The opposite side is no better. In the presence of those who pine for nothing but the opposite sex’s attention, their own lack of self-love is intoxicating. I just find it such a damn shame that the victims can’t feel the hooks inside their cheeks, cast from those who use others for personal validation—who use others to make themselves feel better.

Perhaps they do feel that hook of rusted steel lodged inside their gums, but they simply wish to ignore it until it's pried out of them by the very person using them for sport.

It makes me wonder if anyone perceives their coping mechanisms at all. If they don’t, I’m hesitant to consider mine. Writing for one, sure. Workout for another, okay. But there must be something others might see in person—a social construct to it. An unnerving thought.

The only thing coming to my mind is my criticism toward others. While I’m heavily critical toward them, I’m no exception to myself. However, that seems quite feasible, a sense of projection. I hate what they do because I hate what I do. Or, more credibly and forthrightly, I hate what they do because I don’t do it like them.

Either way, it’s not so simple. I’ve no doubt an amalgam of intense and abstract things collide to create our coping mechanisms for our shortfalls. At the same time, that doesn’t suggest we have a set of skills to cope with our poor self-worth by any stretch of the imagination.

Alas, here’s where I meet a crossroad. If everyone is so desperate to cope with their insufficiencies by employing anyone but themselves, will it ever end? I don’t really know, and it horrifies me thinking I’ll age with the exact same people around me no matter where I go, who seem so anguished by their never-ending attempts to outsource the love meant to come from themselves. A healthy kind of love that may have always been there if they simply took the time to search for it.

The only remedy to this nasty affliction I can see is age and wisdom, but I’m petrified in thinking they may be nothing but apparitions trapped in time. If I grow old, only to witness this same pandemic still wrapped around me like a cold breeze, I’m afraid any sense of solace might escape from me like a warm breath on a frigid winter’s night. And that, I tell you, is truly a sorrowful thought; one I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemies.

I despise this idea that people run toward anything that’ll simply keep them on their toes and make their hearts flutter consistently. Perhaps that’s all they want right now, for which I can’t blame them. Perhaps I merely wish I had the capacity for it, too—the capacity to cast that enthralling effect on others which everyone seems to possess, and I do not. After all, we’re young and want to feel alive, so what’s so wrong to want to feel our hearts persistently breathe fire?

Again, I don’t know. All I do know is that it’s exhausting to be in the wakes of their feeble attempts to feel good about themselves. In that sentence, perhaps I ought to change ‘their’ and ‘themselves’ to ‘our’ and ‘ourselves.’ I have to remember I’m human too.

How insufferable.

Translation: Would it not be wise to discover and comprehend your coping mechanisms, if only in an attempt to heal you wounds and love yourself wholly? A question worth considering.
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