Tag Archives: Empathy

Advent Calendar Day 19 & 20: Not Again

This year has felt like a sort of groundhog day type year, the same stuff over and over again, and I don’t just mean in terms of the mistakes I’ve made. I wish I just meant that. With Monday’s night events it feels all so very familiar, indeed the same things are said all over again. The same hatred and racism is brought to the fore. Lots of things are said but little changes. A lot of people are ignorant of what’s going on in the wider world and they want it to stay that way. Syria seemed like a place far away and so the events there could be ignored, except now such things are happening right on Europe’s doorstep. And some people’s answer, to ban all refugees from entering Europe. To refuse to help the very people who are trying to escape things like this. I don’t know, nothing makes any sense, I’m not sure anything ever did. I just don’t understand how anyone could be so blinkered and ignorant not to care what’s going on there. The fact it’s so faraway should make no difference, nor that the people are of a different nationality or religion. People are people no matter where they’re from. It certainly doesn’t feel right to be celebrating Christmas whilst all this is going on.

Monday was not a good day anyway, and it become less of one because of what I woke up to. Just when you think you have a shot at getting back on track something else goes wrong. In reality I don’t think it had a shot of going right, I just wanted to believe it could. Everything feels just about as pointless as it’s ever done, yet I can’t stop writing or doing any of this. I’ve seen what happens when I do that, no matter how pointless it seems you have to carry on. A few days ago (I’m not sure which one exactly) I was watching The Counsellor, I don’t know why I decided to rewatch it, I didn’t think much of it the first time round. I felt drawn to it for some reason. I saw it at the cinema when it was released with a friend. Before seeing it I thought it would be good and they thought the opposite, after seeing it our positions were reversed. They said it was better than they expected and I was disappointed with it. I’m not sure I can articulate why exactly, I do however know why it angered me. The main character doesn’t care about the violence in Mexico when he has the potential to make money from it, he only cares when it affects him, when it’s someone he loves that gets hurt. Which is kind of like the situation now I suppose. The majority of people don’t care what’s happening somewhere else as long as it’s not affecting them. I’m not sure why it bothers me so much or why I can’t stop thinking about all this, maybe it’s because I’m often accused of lacking empathy, clearly that’s not true.

I have plenty of distractions but none of them are working, I don’t feel much like watching football, I couldn’t focus on tonight’s game in which Dortmund drew 1-1 with Augsburg. I don’t think the game made any difference, had I watched Gladbach’s game I probably would have felt the same. It’s a good thing I didn’t watch their game in fact, I would have felt even worse. After losing again there’s a good chance Gladbach will be parting ways with Andre Schubert before Christmas. I hope Wednesday’s game does a better job of distracting me, though at the same time it feels wrong but then almost everything does. Even writing this but I had to, I couldn’t not write it. As suffocating as routine is it can be comforting too, and sometimes it’s a little of both. Truth is without routine I wouldn’t know what to do.

Speaking of routine that brings me to the final part of the post, the advent calendars. Behind door number 19 in the Freiburg one was summer signing Janik Harberer and in the Dortmund one Andre Schürrle. And behind door number 20 was Julian Schuster and Roman Weidenfeller. Harberer scored his first Bundesliga goal the weekend before last against Leverkusen, he also got the assist for Niederlechner’s equaliser against Schalke last weekend:

janikhabererscfreiburgteampresentationJulian Schuster goal celebrations 1Schuster - 5th goal - Pokal 1st round 3Julian Schuster – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 120161221_002851-1

Advent Calendar Day 8 & 9: The Double Day

Writing a double post like this means I’ll only have 23 instead of 24 posts but I think it’s better this way because Wednesday and Thursday really were one long day for me. No matter what I did I would have been wrong and I would have been annoyed with myself either way. It was just the case of taking the least worse course of action, I guess damage control in a sense. So I’m not going to bother obsessing over whether I shouldn’t have gone or not which is what I’d usually be doing. There’s no point in doing that. It’s just a case of stupid person does yet another stupid thing. And I feel exactly as I expected to feel. Of course I was tired when I got home, tired enough to have spent all day in bed too. I needed the sleep yet it puts me back at square one. Having gotten up so late I’m not going to be able to get any sleep between now and the game. Not that I ever would miss a game but this is one I really can’t miss, it’s the last home game of the Hinrunde. And with their  poor away record it’s a must win game, I mean they all are but it’s extra important. Not least because Darmstadt sacked their coach after last weekend’s defeat to fellow strugglers HSV. Usually a team get a boost from having a new coach in charge, though not always. Obviously I’m hoping that won’t be the case for Darmstadt, for one thing it’s not nice to end the year at home with a defeat.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, I’ve got the rest of the night to get through first. It’s just how I expected it to be, how it always is. Tired last night and not at all tired now. Despite being so tired when I got home I couldn’t stop thinking about everything that happened. Looking back on  it now I realise what I hate the most about the way I obsess over everything. I constantly worry about being a good enough friend, and in allowing myself to obsess the way I do then I’m not doing that. I allow the anxiety to take over and question things I know to be true. I shouldn’t allow myself to doubt whether they’re my friends or not. Because that’s what I always think about, if they really are my friends or not and all the rest of it. And with regards to this particular person I really shouldn’t question anything. After all they’ve survived several of my obsessions and that is a rare thing indeed. Our friendship survived beyond the initial interest which first brought us together.

Plus they kept their word, they promised me if it was too loud then we could leave, and when I said it was they said ok, no questions asked. Sometimes people can be funny about that, but they’ve never been anything less than patient with me. Which only makes it more absurd that I allow such worries to get to me. If I wasn’t being a good enough friend in some way they would call me out on it. They’re not the kind of person to let themselves be walked over that way. The fact I’m sitting here thinking about all this makes me laugh. The reason being an article someone sent me a few days ago about how people with AS aren’t capable of empathy and how they destroy everyone around them. If I didn’t care about other people then how come I worry about them so much? How come I worry so much that I don’t care enough about them? It’s not caring about other people I have a problem with, it’s showing it. I think it’s kind of unfair me to be judged on how well I’m able to show and understand my feelings in regards to other people when I struggle to understand my feelings in general.

In thinking over all this friendship stuff it’s made me realise something else, another reason why having friends is a good thing. They give me a perspective on things I wouldn’t otherwise have. And just last night I had that pointed out to me. It seems how I percieve myself differs from what other people see, there are things about myself I don’t even know. For example I was telling them about something from one of my stories, something which another person found funny and I couldn’t understand why. I had written it to be slightly humourous but not laugh out loud funny yet that’s exactly the reaction I got. Thing is they weren’t even surprised I didn’t get it, apparently I don’t see or understand that I can be quite funny. That surprised me, I have to admit it really did. I know I make sarcastic comments which make people laugh but I would never describe myself as being funny in any way. I appreciate them for a lot of reasons but for their insightful comments about my writing most of all.

Point is I don’t think it’s just my decision in whether or not to have friends. You can’t just cut people out of your life that way, it’s not just about my feelings. When I’m thinking this way I often wonder if I’d be doing them a favour by ending the friendship but all I’d be doing is hurting them. I’ve done that before and I hope the person in question can forgive me for it, though I can’t forgive myself. To disappear like that is unforgiveable. Ending a friendship is one thing but you should at leasts have the decency to explain why and tell them. It still makes little sense to me why I did that, but then things don’t make much more sense now. Not much does in fact and it’s not because I haven’t gotten enough sleep. Right now I feel like I’m a daze, awake but not really there. My mind is relatively quiet which is a good thing but it’s not the way I want it to happen. What’s left of Friday and Saturday will be another double day. It’s messed up but it’s the way it is. I can’t do anything about the schedule at the moment. You have to deal with the hand you’ve been dealt and not what you wish you had.

And now to the final part of the post, the calendars. Behind door number 8 for Freiburg was midfielder Onur Bulut who they signed from Bochum in the summer. It’s unfortunate that one of his major contributions to the campaign so far came in the Leverkusen game last weekend. He’d barely been on the field for a minute when he brought down a Leverkusen player to give away a penalty. But maybe him doing that wasn’t such a bad thing, if he hadn’t made that mistake Schwolow wouldn’t have got to save the penalty. Good can come out of bad. In the Dortmund calendar was Spanish defender Marc Bartra and I have equally mixed feelings about him because he’s a potential threat to Ginter’s place in the starting 11. Behind door number 9 was the Dortmund man Pascal Stenzel, but not in Dortmund’s calendar because he’s on loan to Freiburg and has been since last winter. Now him I don’t have any mixed feelings about and I’d very much like Freiburg to keep hold of him, how realistic that is I don’t know. But I would like it to happen, he’s a great addition to the team. Joining him was Dortmund and Poland player Lukasz Piszczek. Quite fitting giving his nationality because that was my Christmas present, the one I recieved on Thursday consisted entirely of very tasty Polish snacks.

20161210_014904-1onur-bulutFinding a good picture of Pascal is no problem, in fact I have the opposite problem, picking which one to use. You could fill a whole post with nothing but pictures of him. The first one from the KSC game last season and courtesy of the Südkurier is a particular favourite of mine:

pascal-stenzel-alexander-schwolow-sc-freiburg-v-ksc-2015-16pascal-stenzel