“I’m twenty-seven. But I’m starting to feel like a grumpy old man. I’m negative and cynical and pessimistic. I feel detached from people. I even feel detached from myself. I sometimes view myself from the outside—like I’m dealing with things in the third person. It’s been like that since childhood. I’ve always come across as cold. People tell me that I was a little shit as a kid. My family called me ‘King’ because I’d have anger fits and always get what I want. But even with these difficulties I did well in school. I was able to graduate college. And now things are going well. I have a good job. I have no housing issues or major stresses. But still I feel so negative all the time. And I don’t want to be this person. I’m not actually cold. I’m just stuck in a mindset. I’m not focused on being kind because of unaddressed issues. My mom was in and out of my life as a kid. She had bipolar and maybe schizophrenia. She’d whisper to herself. She’d scream in public. She’d disappear for months a time. Last week I went to her funeral. Everyone was crying but I’m so detached from things that it barely affected me. I didn’t even tell my close friends. All of us hung out after she died, and I didn’t say a thing. Because people tend to back away when you share. It’s not a criticism against them. I’d do the same thing.”

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