Book 5 of 52: Denial by Jonathan Rauch – I’m…Part Five
Surprisingly, all of this had an affect on my mental well-being. I was always a bit of a depressive. I was not a strong person who had a big social net to fall back on. I had me. But I cracked. First, in college. Then, before law school started.
One morning, I believe it was the fall, which was the hardest time of year for me because cross country season ended. I woke up early on a Sunday morning like I usually did. I would go for a walk outside and just enjoy the stillness as my roommate slept. When I opened the door, on our whiteboard, someone wrote FAGGOT and there was a rope that looked like a noose tied around my door handle. I flipped out and got very scared. I erased the board and pulled the rope off the door as fast as I could. At this point, I was wondering if that was what I was anyways since I didn’t seem to have any feelings for a member of the opposite sex during a time where everyone was trying to get into someone’s pants. I wondered who knew this about me or if it was true or what it was. But I went for my walk. When I returned, I sat at my computer and I didn’t move.
I remember being like a statue – with hands on the keyboard, readied to write whatever paper I was going to write that afternoon. But I could not move. My roommate eventually awoke and tried to get me to respond. Much of this is very foggy to me and is pieced together from what other people told me. He called our RA down, who was a mutual friend, because he didn’t know what to do. They tried to get me to respond and I wouldn’t. Eventually, they called my brother, who was a freshman at the time, and got me to the hospital. I had a panic attack. And they called my parents who took me home to take me to a doctor and try to get straightened out in the head. I was put on a lot of pills but none of them helped. I later found out that the rope on the door was not a noose. As a prank, someone tied our door handle to the door across the hall, which would make exiting impossible without cutting the rope. It was just a coincidence that it looks like a noose once someone else cut it. I’m also assuming the word on the white board was not directed at me. It was just the actions of a drunk idiot.
I had a lot of bad days between then and the end of college. I had another panic attack where I felt crippled in my basement a month before I started law school. Eventually, my dad carried me up the stairs after yelling and screaming to get me to move. FYI: if you have a family member who is having a panic attack, don’t yell at the person panicking because it doesn’t help. But again I went to the doctor and was given the name of a therapist. This guy ruined my first semester of law school by putting me on a lot of anti-depressants and social anxiety pills. When it didn’t seem like they were working, he told me to stop taking them, but didn’t wean me off of them correctly. Instead of studying for finals, I watched The OC on DVD. I couldn’t focus as my head was a mess.
But that December, I met my current therapist, who helped me get as prepared as I could for finals and how to deal with the stresses. She has been with me for almost 8.5 years. We dealt mainly with social anxiety and my fears. And then we got to relationships. Rauch wrote, “I saw that no one noticed me, no one desired me, that my position in life was always to be admiring and never admired.” I don’t remember getting hit on. I knew there were a few girls who liked me, but overall, I have never felt desired. But I admired so many people. Strangely, it was not in a sexual nature, which is why I was so confused by it. I admired the ability to love. I wanted to have someone to talk to on an intimate level, someone to hold their hand, tell them that things will be okay, share all the good and bad moments with. I admired everyone around me who had that.
“I could not love, I could not kiss, I had no passion, only resentment and a kind of childish longing and a fetishistic fascination, and I knew that other people did not suffer those disabilities.” I kissed two girls before I turned 27 years old. Once when I was 18 and once when I was 21. For the years that followed, again, while many are trying to kiss as many people as possible, I was untouched. It didn’t bother me one bit though.
Continued in Part Six