essay non-fiction

50 plus 1

The mistake I made today was not the important one. It was the trigger for the cascade of barely held back self-abuse I’ve always had stored inside, but it wasn’t particularly important because there was always going to be a mistake that I would internalize and obsess over and that would send me back down the well-travelled path of dark thought and punishing doubt. Nobody tears me down quite like I do. Nobody cares enough to, so it’s up to me to do it. I have the handbook and just when I fool myself into believing I might be secure enough to handle a setback, the blow comes and I tumble over and collapse into my deep well of self-immolating thoughts and feelings. Failure is my leisure wear-always available and oh so comfortable.

I was actually trying this time and I cared for the first time in years and that makes the hurt worse, which leads to the shame and the recriminations. I don’t deserve praise or satisfaction and that really explains why I can’t feel joy. Life is a series of tasks and burdens with no reward. It is a vast menu of disappointing choices that you never have to consciously make because your innate tuner does it for you. The divining rod is bent and destiny is written in bitter syllables that sting because they are true. This world is not meant for some of us. At least that is clear and drilled into me after five decades.

© 2022 Jeff E. Brown. All rights reserved.

By jebrownwriter

Houston, TX-based Writer and Photographer. Proud pet rescuer who spends nearly all his money on them.

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