What is the proper way to accept a compliment, even if you feel it unwarranted? I find it very difficult to accept compliments most of the time. Even the ones I am in agreement with on rare occasion and really do appreciate the recognition for. I just feel awkward with them. “Thanks” seems such a trite response for someone who has cared enough to think about you and formalize an expressed opinion to you about something they like.

I’m not really sure where all of this comes from. Some of it I know exactly where it comes from, a shit opinion of myself on many things, including looks.

I know that there are those who appreciate and think me handsome. But I honestly don’t see it. I never have.

No matter how many times someone has told me I am (though that’s not a high number when you remove family from the list) I just have to smile nod and move on, because I just don’t get it.

Not one man I’ve ever been attracted to has had the least interest in me. Part of that’s my fault, I’m attracted to the very straight acting guys (though not exclusively) and more often than not, they ARE straight. That gets you nowhere, but does make for a safe setup – no chance for rejection since there was no chance to begin with.

This will probably sound horribly shallow, but I am NOT attracted to my body type or big guys in general. Stout, mildly fluffy, or husky… ok. Nor am into stick figure theater. I like a solid guy who is at least as tall as me and in good or great shape. Be it swimmer or ripped… but not muscle bound…(as in over the top psychotic).

In my own head this is the body that I have, slim – well defined, toned, and comfortable. Let me tell you that’s a helluva shock when you walk by a mirror.

The truth is I’ll never have a body like that. The weight loss surgery that will never happen won’t get me there all the way, and I just don’t have the drive to go to a gym every day and work out and punish myself to daily soreness. Maybe that would change if I weighed less to begin with, but I doubt it. I just can’t seem to wrap my head around the concept that so many guys live for. The Gay Church as it were, the gym.

I try very hard to be appreciative of those who feel like I do look good and am handsome, no matter how every instinct inside screams out that they must be crazy.

I suppose I have too much of a front row seat to my own crazy all the time. I know I have serious control issues, can be EXTREMELY impatient, have OCD type issues with stuff being EXACTLY how I left it and want it. There are, as you would imagine, some major will power issues that expands to not only food but electronics, shopping, and so on. I try very hard with it and do well for periods of time. But when I fall off the wagon, I FALL. OFF. THE. WAGON.

I guess we all struggle with these sorts of things, but I can’t help but to think that maybe I’m not on the average side with it, but then I really don’t have much comparison.

So in my mind I’ve not got a lot to offer anyone daft enough to consider any kind of a relationship with me. Even friendship for that matter. It astounds me every time when people don’t go running screaming away after short periods of time. Truly astounds.

I know it sounds very negative, and I suppose it is. I’ve heard more than once that you’ve to love yourself before others can. I just haven’t figured out how to do that.

I try to be appreciative of the good aspects and skills that I have but that’s rather dry, and much like reading a resume. Not much to put towards a lifetime of trying to love yourself even with your faults.

I try to live a very safe life. And in many things, too safe a life. I don’t go out. I don’t see people in a social climate except for rare occasions. There are NO adventures out to a club, to a party, to large gatherings.

An odd change for someone who spent the better part of a couple of years worth of nights in bars, and traveling to the deep south of Louisiana for HUGE pride and jazz festivals.

Not being able to walk for any meaningful distance makes for a good excuse, but also a frustrating limitation. So that when I DO want to go, DO have the soul stirring urge to dance… I can’t.

In my mind its rather like winding up a toy as tight as it can, packing it with as much energy as you can muster, and then clamping all the moving parts down so that when they try expend the energy it snaps all the gears and teeth inside. Leaving the soul just that much weaker, that much more fractured.

I guess it comes down that I’ve set myself up in so many ways. And I just can’t find the damned map to walk me back out of this minefield. What’s scarier still is that I feel myself accepting that fate a bit more each day, no matter how much I want to fight it.

So for me when I get a compliment it doesn’t land like it should, instead it is like putting on my glasses and all the faults come into the sharpest of focus. And so I cringe inside instead of swelling with the influx of positive energy. Those batteries don’t seem to take a charge like they used to anymore… And who can afford the warranty service these days…. ?

I guess the point of this, after having worked my way through the many and varied torturous alleyways of my mind, is that if you are someone that has paid me a compliment, who has taken the time to write from the heart and shared your positive energy and light with me. I want to appreciate it properly, I want to express the gratitude in the manner it warrants, but that mechanism is just broken, so I hope you understand that when I say “thanks”, it’s the best I can do because inside I’m busy trying to plug all the cracks that show up in my mind when that much light is shown into this darkness.

I hope that someday I will be in that better place I keep talking about, in that place that I keep trying to work to get to, even with my many failed attempts, a place where I am just comfortable not only in my own skin but in my own mind.

They say that Aries is the sign of someone on their first life, but in my eyes it can also be the sign of someone traveling the circuit for who knows how many times in the path. My path is a well worn one. I feel the age in my soul, the weariness in my breath, the frustration with having not learned the lesson that I’m supposed to be learning, my anger at the possibility that in some existence I may have actually CHOSEN to come back and do this all again. What kind of a sadist am I anyway?

Life has its pleasures, and its great moments, but for me it is not a pleasure, it is a task that I am toiling at completing so that for once I can just exist…. in peace.

So until then, and for my mental/emotional, if not my physical – survival I will keep traveling with the blinders firmly in place and just try to make it one more day, in the hopes that I don’t catch too great a sight of my own issues and getting lost in this circle of darkness that has spilled out here.

I’m just too weird for myself. How can I accept that someone might appreciate what I can’t accept and like about myself?

DB