Am I just evil?

When I started yesterday´s post  by describing Irene asking me where all my anger was coming from, I hadn´t actually planned on writing the post I eventually wrote. What I had in mind was not my family´s intellectual mud-wrestling, but the fact that basically I have no clue where my anger is coming from. I can make educated guesses, based on whatever psychological theory I currently buy into. But I don´t feel that any of them is true.

So here it is. I hold a lot of anger. And particularly against my family. And yet I have nothing to accuse them of. I did so on and off this blog, but I always feel there is a false note in whatever I say about them. These accusations feel self-serving. I think my family sucks by default. They simply have to be wrong. They must have done something to me.

Just why is that so? And since when? Since when do I see my family members as enemies? It is completely irrational, but I can´t help it. Of course I could say to myself: “Okay, kid, you´re not a sulky teen anymore, so start being nice to your family again and quit hiding behind an I-blame-my-parents attitude.” I try that every now and then. This just doesn´t make my anger go away. It is simply turned inwards – against myself.

I don´t know how to go on from here. I am angry in general, and I am in some weird way vengeful towards my family. I have no idea why. When someone asks me, I give them some kind of explanation on the spot, just like I did yesterday. The explanation might be very plausible. I am not making anything up. My family is quarrelsome; and it can be hurtful and frustrating to never be taken seriously, and to never have the last word. But how does that cause me to have anger issues now? Again, there are plausible theories that would explain why there has to be a connection. It is just that I feel no emotional connection between childhood events and my current issues. Why am I complaining about these old stories when I don´t have any feelings about them? I´m only being vengeful. Passive-aggressive.

I took acting classes a while back and we did a Meisner exercise called “Repetition“. You say something you notice about your partner (like: “you are sad”) and he will confirm or deny it, or respond by saying something he notices about you. And one girl I practiced with said to me: “You want to evoke pity.”

I was dismayed at this notion, but at the same time I realized she had hit the spot. I wish people would pity me.

It doesn´t make too much sense to me. Being pitied all too often means being looked down upon. Telling someone that you feel sorry for him can even be an insult. It was used as an insult against me, actually. In one of those phases at school when I was a complete loner and had no friends at all, two other girls approached me and started to make friends with me. It went well for a while, but we were way too different. They were really the goody-goody type, and I was cynical and grumpy by default. So one day one of them told me that I only ever hurt her, and I, sarcastically, asked her why she was still friends with me then. Her reply: “Because I feel sorry for you.”

I wish I could tell you I was hurt. It would be so goddamn human, and it would show that I have a minimum of pride. But I wasn´t hurt. I was oddly satisfied. Again, I don´t know what satisfied me in particular. Maybe it was the fact that I knew precisely how hurtful and unacceptable her remark was. Not so goody-goody after all. Quite arrogant, actually. Maybe I also felt confirmed in my self-image of a lone warrior. I was strangely glad about the break-up of our friendship.

But – that one really strikes a chord. The lone warrior. An outcast of humanity who has nothing but his cause to live for. Somebody who is isolated, someone who is loved by naive, living souls without being able to love back. Somebody who is beyond all hope. Somebody who has been bereaved of all the things in life ordinary people can enjoy, by some horrible early tragedy. It is in this context that pity feels good. Pity confirms this fantasy self-image.

What I describe here is your archetypal vigilante or rebel. Batman. V. Rambo. And guess what: I still enjoy fantasies of becoming a hero. If my mental age and gender counted I´d be an eight-year-old boy. No surprise I never really entered the princess phase. Being the hateful, embittered avenger who suffers for a noble cause was always a lot more appealing.

Imagining that I am a person with a secret, meaningful mission who is surrounded by enemies makes me feel alive. Even being laughed at and bullied can make me feel alive. I mentioned many times that I was a loner at school, and of course people also teased me and said mean stuff to/about me, but in a way I always felt flattered. I welcomed the challenge. I looked down upon my classmates anyway.

I don´t know when exactly this lone warrior persona became my mode of being. It was in full gear by the time I entered fifth grade. But even in my first year of elementary school, I displayed strange or antisocial behaviors in order to get…well, what? A very specific kind of attention, I guess. I tended to run away from a friend of mine, for example. I refused to speak to him and just ran. Of course he went after me, and I enjoyed that in some twisted way. It was not merely playing chase. I enjoyed that people wondered what was wrong with me, I´m pretty sure of that. I enjoyed it when people thought I was not alright.

Is that the main reason why I have this blog? Do I want people, just anyone, to acknowledge that I´m not alright? I know this is like putting up a disclaimer that says “I always lie”, but somehow I trust that this will not scare readers away. I do not lie, after all. If I lie, I lie to myself as much as I lie to you.

 

 

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