This is not a story of a hero trying to better himself. This project is underway because I woke up one day and looked in the mirror and thought, “who is this jerk?” But one does not become a jerk overnight. It takes years of insecurities and compensating to become the cocky jerk that I am today.
Growing up I was always weird and awkward. My body grew in spurts but not at the same time. My left leg would grow an inch but the right leg wouldn’t budge for another few months. Then maybe an arm or another leg would grow before we got mostly caught up. Still waiting to catch up with my nose. I also grew up skinny. Really skinny. When I graduated high school I was 6’4″ and 165lbs. I was skinny and scrawny. In my mind, that meant weak, which does not help with insecurities. I have always been self conscious about how I look and I was convinced that no girls were interested.
I had my first kiss in 8th grade and first “real” girlfriend in freshman year. We broke up after being together for a year and I did not date again until the summer before college. Essentially, I spent my entire high school career single and watching my friends go to parties and meet girls. I was too nervous and self-righteous to see past my own crap, but also too self-conscious to ever approach a girl I was interested in. It was a never ending circle of fear and self loathing that continued on top of itself.
My internal monologue would go something like, “She would never be interested in someone like me, so why would I even try? She doesn’t know how good of a guy I am and she doesn’t deserve to know anyway.” All of this self-pitying bullshit essentially led me to become very depressed while also accepting zero responsibility. I was never talking to girls or trying to date because I was too afraid and fragile to be rejected so I would reject them first. This mindset consumed me and I just accepted I was going to be alone forever. And then, I fell in love.
When was senior in high school, I met a girl high school who was 2 years behind me. We became friends because she was strong and a smart-ass, quick witted and beautiful. Once I realized I liked her, I couldn’t stop thinking about her. She would soon be my first love. I will skip the romance as it would turn into me trying to validate my feelings and actions, but this blog is about vulnerability not justification.
The issue, that will have caused me years of harm by now, started with my first love wanting to keep us a secret. After I worked up the courage to tell her how I felt, she wanted to wait to become official until after I was out of high school so that there wouldn’t be a lot of people asking questions and making a big deal out of it. I was in love and simply so shocked that a girl I liked actually liked me back that I accepted. It was a small issue but it was something that nagged at me and was a continuous argument in our relationship. If she was in love as much as I was, why couldn’t we be seen in public holding hands?
To make a long story short, lack of affection and me being too afraid of rejection to say how I really felt caused us to split apart 2 years later. It was a constant battle of me asking to hold hands or kiss in public and her pulling away or saying “why?” I was devastated when we broke up. Destroyed. I thought I would never love again. That’s when I became a whore.
I slept with every girl I could in college. Didn’t matter if you were slightly cute or a complete bombshell; if you were around, I was trying. In college it is more acceptable to be a whore because it is more widely accepted that it is a learning phase, especially when coming out of a long term relationship. My friends refer to s as my douchebag years as I went full tool. I was rude and disrespectful and just embarrassing. And even in this state, I met someone too good for me. Before going to grad school, I met a very nice, sweet girl that I wanted to date. The problem is that we lived in Chicago and grad school was in Arizona. We agreed we would try a long distance relationship as it was only 2 years. We made it 6 months. This girl loved me for who I was and would have supported me through anything, and all I could think was, “how could you like me because I don’t even like me? I know I can be better, so why do you accept me as mediocre?” Essentially, her accepting me for who I was at the time was unacceptable because I knew I could be better and needed to be with someone who wouldn’t settle for me below my best.
Being in a different state where you don’t know anyone is both enriching and terrifying. After the break up I did some whoring but I was more focused on school and work and frankly didn’t have the time. So instead I turned to female friends to satisfy my attention needs. I never slept with these women, but there is something amazing about beautiful women turning to you. All of my friends are beautiful and smart and incredibly hard workers. These are not your average women, but I have always had powerful women come to me to talk and vent.
Maybe it was growing up with 3 sisters and a powerhouse mom that made me comfortable around women and them around me. I always wound up in the friend zone, but at that time it rarely bothered me because in my mind I was trying to become someone of worth and I wouldn’t want to date me either. But, one day it would be my turn. I am not proud to admit this but it is the truth about how I thought.
These ladies would turn to me whenever they needed and we would talk about everything and anything. It boosted y go s well as helped ese iros the their problems. It was a win-win with these friendships. The problem was that I started to recognize a pattern. I would get phone calls from them to talk around holidays and birthdays when their boyfriends would fail to meet standards. If these ladies had an issue, I would be the first to be called to talk them through it. I started to notice my phone was considerably quiet on my birthday. I would test this theory that when they called, I wouldn’t ask how they are doing. I would just talk and say very basic things. I could sense their discomfort at being unable to discuss whatever they had called about and new my theory was right: I was in the middle of multiple one-sided friendships with girls who in honesty did not care about me and were using me to feel better about themselves. They used me to feel better when their guys didn’t step up. Suddenly my feeling of superiority became feelings of being used and discarded.