I'm not a school shooter.
Steve Kazmierczak shot a bunch of people at Northern Illinois University last year. I didn't hear about it. I remember the Virginia Tech shooter, but he killed a lot more people than this guy. Also, that happened 3 hours from me. He shot the father of a guy I know casually through playing in hardcore bands. His father lived--Cho shot him in the arm. But that happened. I'm tangentially connected to that shooting. I'm not connected to the Kazmierczak shooting at all.
So why am I breaking format on my blog, possibly in a way I will never do again, to write about this guy? What in this story has brought on this reaction? Well, I know exactly what it is: this guy had a girlfriend. A serious one, which the early parts of the story make clear he was planning to marry. Maybe as I read farther along I will find that it's a lot more complex than that. In fact, I'm sure I will. Anyone freaks out and shoots up a classroom, they've got a lot of complex shit going on under the surface. The reason I'm bringing it up, though, is because Steve Kazmierczak was on psychoactive drugs for depression. And while I'm not on any drugs, it's not because no one ever wanted me to be.
So what the fuck? I guess I don't get it, and let me hasten to add that that's a good thing. It's good that I'm not someone who could have a life where everything is going pretty well and still freak out and go postal. But I mean, I can't imagine being lucky enough to have someone that close to me in my life and not have it create a beneficial effect on my overall mental state. For me, though, loneliness is one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, negative factor in my life. The only thing that really competes with it is my desire to do more creatively than I have done. I guess that's why I'm posting this on my blog rather than just continuing to lie in bed and read a magazine article--I haven't written anything for two days, and I had something to say, and it's better to write it than not to write it. And I don't really feel good about my writing unless I've put it out into the world for other people to see. That's probably enough psychological grist for a completely different personally-oriented blog entry. You'll be lucky if I never write that one.
Loneliness is one of two biggest negative factors in my life. When I'm sad, most often I am sad because I am lonely. If it weren't for the fact that I work at a job that requires me to interact with people, and if it weren't for the fact that I have a roommate, it would have been over a week since the last time I had a conversation with anyone. I have been getting work done, and actually things have been good on a psychological level because of it, but if I'd ever stopped to consider going somewhere and seeing people, or calling someone up, or whatever, I wouldn't have done it. I'm not always paralyzed in the face of that idea, but lately I have been. So I stay lonely, because I'm really just lonely due to my own fear of rejection. What might happen if I call someone and they aren't picking up or they've got other stuff to do or I say something dumb? Sometimes I can handle the thought of the actual answers to those questions, sometimes I can't.
I've relied on dating sites for years now. I haven't had an actual relationship since the beginning of 2005, so three and a half years now. I dated a few people during that time, but all of them were people I met on internet dating sites. All of them lived in other cities that were one and a half to three hours away. I never clicked all that well with any of them, and the one I came closest with ended up bailing on me because of other (supposedly unrelated) issues in her personal life. The more I use dating sites to talk to girls, the less satisfied with them that I am. I just want to meet someone and have a relationship with them evolve naturally. I know there are all kinds of factors that influence how I react to people's dating site profiles that wouldn't come up until quite a bit later if I just met them in person and started talking to them. That's the kind of thing that makes me think I shouldn't bother with the damn things.
But if I'm only confident enough to talk to people when there's the technological buffer of a website mediating our interaction, then I'm not really confident enough to talk to them at all, am I? The other day I heard that Tim McGraw song "Live Like You Were Dying" on a radio somewhere. I hate Tim McGraw, but the song got me thinking nonetheless. Could I trick myself into throwing aside my crises of confidence, my barely-there self-esteem, if I told myself that I might die tomorrow and I'd regret not talking to this girl if that happened? So far, the answer is no, which is ironic in light of the fact that I might die tomorrow. Just because I'm not terminally ill doesn't make that any less true. So, even threat of a hypothetical death doesn't make me overcome my confidence enough to try and combat the loneliness I feel.
All of this is logical, rational reason for my bouts with depression. And I guess that's why I'm different from Steve Kazmierczak. Because there are reasons why things that are wrong in my life are wrong. For him, it didn't even matter if things were wrong or not. Something was fucked inside his head, and sometimes it was more of a problem than others. Until one day it was too much of a problem and it blotted out everything else. That's terrible. It's terrible for him, for his loved ones, for the people he killed and their loved ones... for everyone. And it'll never be that terrible for me, because I'll never be that bad off.
I should see that as good, shouldn't I? Instead, I just feel trapped in some emotional purgatory. Never quite bad enough that I'll do anything drastic, never quite good enough that anything will really be better. I feel like I'm destined for a life of loneliness and mediocrity. I hope I'm wrong, but every year that passes without significant improvement leaves me with a little less hope.
Sorry about all this. I'll write about Superdrag or something tomorrow, OK?
Labels: Personal stuff