Archive for November, 2013

A journey to all the dark thoughts

Posted in health, mental health, personal with tags , , , , , , on November 24, 2013 by theweirdphilosopher

Recently, I sent to a penpal of mine a description of my current depressive episode. She replied that she could not imagine that a psychotherapist could not immediately conclude a diagnosis from my, as she put it, lucid self-analysis, and devise an effective cure – effective provided the patient cooperates.

She knows that I have a bad history of psychotherapy attempts, and she appeared to try and empathize, telling me she didn´t want to persuade me to see a therapist again. And yet the tiny little qualification she made with regards to effectiveness speaks volumes about how many worlds we are apart. She has swallowed the blame-the-patient approach to therapy failure hook, line and sinker.

Ever since last weekend I´m struggling with what to answer. Part of me wants to be honest and tell her, without rage, in what way exactly I have been hurt and why I cannot believe anymore those were just instances of bad luck or black sheep. I can also predict, however, what is likely going to happen next: With the best intentions and in the solid belief that she is helping me she will tell me in what way she thinks my views are distorted, how she experienced her own (mostly positive) therapy and that I must have gone through some really tough shit in my family of origin if I interpret the well-meaning offers of highly ethical experts in such a self-defeating way. She might ask me if I´m sure that what I read into their words isn´t just my own depression speaking. She will assure me that of course I´m not the kind of person they made me feel like, and therefore I must have gotten them wrong, because it will go beyond her imagination that other peoples´ perception of me might differ from hers (if anything, she will add: “Of course I don´t know how you behaved towards your therapists, but the way I know you…”). And then what? What do I reply to that without at some point starting to sound defensive, paranoid or closed-minded?

When I was younger I admired proponents of the moral minority. I identified with 19th century atheists, early campaigners for women´s rights and those who fought being outcasted because of their sexual orientation. I admired their passion, their spite, their all-encompassing criticism of society and I could the intellectual sharpness of their arguments resonating inside of me, making me feel good, strong and like a pioneer. When I myself got into arguments that dealt with issues which touched upon my own, very personal conflicts with commonplace ideas and demands, I did not feel strong and in the right at all. I felt stupid, childish and impotent. For the longest time I could not win such arguments, and yet my own most personal stakes were too high for me to accept a defeat. If the others were right, I could no longer live with myself.

For some time I thought that the sheer monstrosity of the suffering this caused me was proof enough that the others couldn´t be right. It could not be reasonable that someone should righteously have to experience that amount of psychic destruction. This argument, however, never seemed to impress anyone other than very soft-hearted people. Whenever I encountered yet another stone-cold rejection of my passionate appeals I could feel my mind both turning dull and starting to race with torturing thoughts; and some painful, hollow feeling seemed to be eating itself through my chest, making me want to cut it out. Not to mention the wish to hurt the person who´d caused it in some way or the other.

It makes me doubt myself a great deal that many of those feelings were caused by my defending of beliefs which I now recognize as false. If much of what those “others” said back then was the truth, then my sense of humiliation related to being confronted with reality. And while the reality of ten years ago might not matter to me anymore, it still matters to me that I might have a problem with reality. I don´t want to be the kind of person who cannot bear to live her life based on what is true. So what do I do if all evidence is pointing towards just what I dread most?

There is no way out of this. I can either ignore or explain away the evidence, turning myself into precisely what I don´t want to be; or I can admit that the evidence is accurate, but unfortunately that noble act comes too late to redeem me. The damage the evidence relates to is damage I have done long ago. I´ve already become the person I never wanted to be, and admitting it won´t change it.

Some might think this is stubborn. The past is gone, and everybody deserves a second chance. Unfortunately, past and present are not so dissimilar. I still very much identify with that old sense of humiliation, I´m still having similar experiences and I can not whatsoever guarantee it won´t happen again. The thought alone of second chances scares me, the life of a penant doesn´t seem a life worth living to me. If I don´t even manage to be halfways decent without practicing a stressful amount of self-denial, how am I supposed to be able to be super good?

My thoughts sometimes work in mysterious ways. I was thinking about how much I would want to ask my former professor for his opinion on my life story and everything I had done. I would not so much ask for a moral evaluation, but rather appeal to his creativity, as he is the one person I could imagine off the top of my head who I´d trust to have a happier solution to all this than life-long penance and self-enforced toxic humility. And at some point in our imaginary conversation he, flatteringly and ever observantly, said: “I think it will be very difficult for you to really get rid of your way of torturing yourself, as this is part of what makes you so lovable.”

Imaginary as his view may be, it struck a nerve with me. First of all, I realized it reflected my own opinion of myself. I would not like myself if I wasn´t like that. Paradoxically, I can only agree with myself when I talk about myself in a harsh, critical manner. It is a paradox I tripped over quite often in my life.

Then, however, I actually encountered that view in real life, in someone else. It was Athena who told me that my ability to self-torture was the one thing she had always admired so much about me. She told me this in a very judging fashion, when I had just started to violently try and shake that fatal “ability” off, and this hit me. If my torturing and dissecting and deconstructing myself is indeed what makes me valuable, lovable, worthwhile to others, then what am I supposed to think of those whose love and appreciation I am trying to gain?! What is so different, so severely wrong with me that I have to persistently scourge myself in order to earn what others get for free? Why are others allowed to just accept themselves the way they are and somehow it doesn´t taint their honour? What am I – some kind of example? Something that isn´t likeable but useful, as long as it does what it does best?

What might have been most healing about that imaginary quote was, however, that he kind of called me out on my own neglected infatuation with my self-torture. Not in a confrontative, humiliating way, but by validating me. Since that conversation was but a figment of my imagination, I can say authoritatively that he really meant what he (didn´t) say. He finds me lovable that way, but he told me so in form of a self-critical observation about what he enjoys, not in form of a sourpuss moral demand that holds me to different standards than everyone else.

It did not come across as him telling me that I was bringing my suffering upon myself, but rather it felt like a reminder that my being like that isn´t all bad; it is nothing I have to fight with all I have. I am allowed to be this way, play with it, use it to charm others just a little bit. I don´t have to be all sourpuss myself, either – but liberating as that sounds, it is starting to conflict with my need to genuinely self-torture. Here is where imaginary conversations crash hard against their own limits. I have not really been absolved by anyone. It is something I do myself, and on my own responsiblity. As it is, there is no one out there looking at me that specific way. The conversations feel so real that it is sometimes hard to remember that. Again, I appear to have a problem with reality; and yet the conversation with Athena was real, and isn´t my anger about it somewhat righteous, too?

I feel like I´m, in a way, on to something when I say that there was a certain tendency in people in my life towards reinforcing a specific trait of mine more positively than good for me. This positive feedback created a certain pressure to remain that way, but also, I was held by standards set by my best self-critical behavior and those cannot be met at all times without cutting oneself off from life and emotions. “You can be so mature oftentimes, why can´t you be so mature now?”  My maturity, maturity in general became my nemesis; the very thing that made me feel like a failure in comparison. I was mistaken to believe it was the maturity of others I that pathologically envied and raged at; it was my own former behavior others measured me against that I could no longer live up to. Most of the people who confronted me back then were a lot older than me, and yet I feel like a failure for having been less mature than them – and, essentially, they, too, treated me like one because they were expecting me to act differently. Much of my immature behavior back then, however, did not so much consist in trying to get my way in ordinary teenage matters (going out, allowances etc.), but it was solely about the right to be immature, stupid and unreasonable. Maybe that explains some of the more outrageous things I said back then, things I cannot and couldn´t really agree with but which to defend seemed necessary.

My mother seemed to admire me in many ways, and that can be scary. When I think of her – sometimes almost shy – smiles and looks, I feel both lonely and awful, like I´m a person who intimidates others. It is difficult when you feel that a person really wants you to like her. My mother keeps on saying that I imagine her to be more vulnerable than she really is, and maybe that is true, but that doesn´t change my feeling of uncanny omnipotence. I do have a way of feeling responsible for too many things, too many peoples´ moods, and for believing that my own thoughts and feelings can cause terrible things to happen.

As I think these thoughts, I´m torn between two ideas:

1) I´m not really that important, my mother didn´t really admire me, she was just wisely humouring me because I was a demanding child with a terrible temper. My belief that my thoughts can make things happen shows that on a deeper level I´m narcissistic to the point of delusion.

2) I should have recognized the power I have earlier and used it more wisely, I must have caused so many terrible injuries, and most of all, my helpless, loving mother.

Neither idea does me any favours. They merely offer me the choice between a sense of guilt and a sense of ridicule. Neither idea takes into consideration what I want, or that I even am a being of my own with personal feelings that can just as easily be damaged as anyone else´s.

I´m not sure where all this takes me in terms of my original question. Maybe towards the conclusion that I´ve been so conflicted for so long that I really don´t need to try and resolve my issues now by telling my penpal what psychotherapy does to me. Or that I cannot trust myself at all, so that I should better not ever say anything about anything.

Or, of course, that I have no obligation to always be wiser and more mature than everyone else, although there was a certain pressure to do so that did not originate in myself. I can respond emotionally and take this risk that I make a fool of myself, and it will be no more of a shame if I do it than if anyone else does it. I´m afraid, however, this remains a very theoretical option, as my penpal, too, has an ever so slight tendency towards idealizing me – and that never ends well. When someone idealizes you for being something they value, they will never forgive you for managing to convince them that you are not like that, and their admiration will turn into vitriolic disdain if you try to tell them this is actually okay. In their eyes, it will make you weak – weaker than they themselves think they are for not fulfilling their own ideal.

Some people seem to understand themselves as the helpers of “genuises”. They enjoy the thought that they might be able to understand a genuis better than he understands himself. Instead of climbing all those other social prestige ladders that all too slowly lead up to the “genius” and trying to earn themselves a place of their own, they jump to the top of the invisible hierarchy and merely try to get one up on the person up there. All they need is someone who is clearly bright and creative, but just as clearly suffering and somewhat dysfunctional. What could prove their own, the helpers´ intelligence more convincingly than their ability to understand the mental workings of a misunderstood, outcast genius? It seems to indicate an intelligence that is superior not just to oh-so-ignorant society, but even to that of the object it studies. I feel a certain sense of caution towards people who call me a genius without a trace of sarcasm or hostility in their voice. It seems perfectly natural to me to have a great problem with the idea that someone else might be more intelligent than oneself, so those who have no problem whatsoever with that appear to be unnaturally superior to average people in at least one department: Self-confidence and how to display it. And it seems like a good idea to be just a little bit wary of such people. Clever, convincing displays of self-confidence are, after all, key to social dominance. Maybe it´s the sum of my experience, maybe it is sheer envy of the pure, selfless souls of somehow more mature people – I don´t know. If I dare trust my gut, however, I´ll remain cautious to spill my guts when people assure me one time too often that they think I´m brilliant and wise. I´m quite sure that their respect and adoration don´t go far enough to a) change their minds on things and b) not use everything I said against me should I develop a will of my own.

I think with those last bits I´m being horribly unfair towards my penpal. That was more directed towards a long-time friend who managed to both put me on a pedestal and look down upon me. It is amazing, though, to understand where so much of my paranoia is coming from. I discount many of my thoughts and perceptions as narcissistic and judgemental, but once I try to understand how I reached those conclusions, I find that they were formed based on observations and experiences which are perfectly valid.

I still don´t know what to write my penpal, but I think I´ll have an easier time figuring it out now.



Posted in personal with tags , on November 17, 2013 by theweirdphilosopher

I always thought that my greatest flaw was arrogance, but I´m starting to believe I might have been mistaken – maybe because I was called arrogant so often. Actually, my real Achilles´ heel might be my propensity towards rage.

A good deal of my furious temper might actually be hereditary, though, as with any traits that run in a family, it is hard to tell what is nature and what is nurture. My temper isn´t solely a bad thing; much of my writing stems from being provoked by something and having to set it right. This is exhausting, though, as it forces me to constantly be more clever than those who angered me. Also, it is rather painful to be so easy to provoke. It makes you easy prey for anyone versed in psychology.

My rage is, in a way, a kind of stimulant. With the right amount of emotional distance it can inspire me towards putting a lot of work and thought into my writing and the result can be quite satisfying. If my rage goes overboard, however, it dulls my intellect, and that is one of the most torturous feelings I know. It makes me feel incompetent and powerless, and also, it makes me say rash, lofty or just plain incorrect things I´ll later feel ashamed of. I might have a furious refutation of whatever idea angered me echoing in my head, but I cannot seem to write it down coherently. It is a phenomenon that can cost me whole days.

My rage also makes me feel alone. It separates me from other people who all seem to have a different experience of most situations than me, and, even worse, it alienates them. They find me scary or immature and don´t want anything to do with me anymore. I realize it while it happens, and yet I cannot stop myself from raging. Their lack of rage and my isolation make me even angrier.

The most unforgivable thing you can do to me is provoke me on purpose, especially when you present yourself as psychologically superior (that is: smile serenely, refuse to be emotionally affected by anything I say or do, act as if I´m the only person in the world who would react the way I do). It fills me with so much hatred, with such a sense of humiliation that my mind seems to race on the spot: All my thoughts are revolving around it, my whole body reacts to it with inner turmoil, and yet it´s all going nowhere. I´m stuck in this state of mind and I cannot seem to free myself from it.

I´m so ashamed of this vulnerability that usually I instinctively deny it. It seems to prove something terrible about me. Sometimes – though definitely not today – I feel more tolerant towards this side of me. As soon as I encounter any triggers, however, I´m right back to where I started. Like I wrote before, this vulnerability doesn´t seem to go away.

Even though I feel so vulnerable and at times pathetic, I cannot imagine ever wanting to stop getting angry about things. It seems to tamper with my integrity, whatever may be left of it. I think, though, my sense of being forced to change that part of me unless I want to suffer comes from the power apparent psychological superiority has over me. My raging against my own vulnerability makes it feel like if “they” ever get one up on me, I cannot remain the person I am; so if I want to remain the person I am, I have to win against “them” first. I need either their permission or their defeat.

What I notice, too, is how judgmental I actually am. Again, this is a trait which I don´t think is solely bad. To begin with, I´m not sure if anyone can be completely non-judgmental in the first place. Those who believe to be, for example, still judge those who aren´t. When Dr. Stoneface accused me of devaluating this or that – wasn´t he, too, giving a moral judgment about my behavior? The tricky thing about therapy culture is that it pretends to be non-judgmental, while most of the time, in fact, it has its very own set of values and codes of conduct, and if you violate them, you will be judged, just that in this context it is called diagnosis.

My mother once said to me that it´s not enough for me to be right; when I think I´m right I won´t stop until everybody else agrees with me. She has a point there. When I´m thoroughly indignant, there´s just right or wrong. Another trait of mine that doesn´t fit my milieu of origin. It´s so low-brow, being a fanatic. On many occasions, I hated my family simply for appearing superior to me. They seemed to be able to fulfill the ideal of the academic who merely sees grey, nothing so radical as black or white. It was not really, however, an inability to differentiate on my part that made me look like a rambling maniac. Merely an inability to control my anger.

It´s like only now I can see how lost I was the entire time. Looking at my life under the aspect of rage seems like a promising perspective. Not for fundamentally changing, but for becoming a tiny little less vulnerable, maybe. It has to be possible to find out how that rage works and what exactly triggers it – without believing any of the explanations that trigger me.


Fear of illness

Posted in health, morbid, personal with tags , , , , on November 9, 2013 by theweirdphilosopher

I´m constantly worried about my health lately. I feel like I´m losing too much hair, I´m not happy with my teeth and my stomach troubles me, too. It is making me anxious as it appears to crush an image I always had of the life I would live one day. Going bald, being ill and feeling like I can´t maintain sufficient dental hygiene no matter what I do was never part of that image – and so I cling to the hope that somehow miraculously everything will be okay again and life doesn´t have to end yet.

My anxiety got worse and worse over the last few weeks until today I finally realized something of value: That life isn´t over until it´s over. Few people whose actions we still remember were perfect the way I envision it. I guess if we admire someone for something our brain irrationally completes our picture of that person in a misguiding way. We admire someone´s poetry and assume that he or she must have been beautiful; but by today´s standards, no one from one or two centuries back above the age of 15 and below the highest income class could have been regarded as anything other than a tramp. So we either have to assume that people can create something of value despite being gross and ugly, or we have to quite ignorantly trash all of our cultural history whenever a widespread increase in health and hygiene comes along.

Mind you, I´m not trying to give myself permission to completely let myself go. I´m trying to give myself permission for existing in a society whose beauty standards are devised in photoshop and in which illness becomes more and more a matter of moral failure. I´m trying to break free from the idea that if I was diagnosed with a chronic, life-shortening and gross illness today (like anything intestine-related) I am not allowed to have dreams anymore. And should I continue to lose as much hair I don´t want to feel like I need to adjust my self-esteem and my expectations for life to my dropped levels of attractiveness. If this sounds perverse, here´s a story from a forum I used to read: A woman suffering from severe hair loss kept on beating herself up over having preferences with regard to the looks of others! She felt she no longer had a right to find some types of men unattractive because she, having nearly no hair left, needed to take whoever would take her! At the same time she complained that her relationships never seemed to be symmetrical. Well, guess why! She basically defined herself as inferior to everyone with hair (and even without hair).

Does it make her a hypocrite to have standards even though she has hair loss? No. If anything, what is hypocritical about her having standards is that she desires the company of someone she perceives as valuable while offering something in return that she perceives as worthless: Herself. I still don´t think, however, that´s a particularly humane approach to her predicament. Since she wrongly perceives herself as worthless, she´s not actually ripping anyone off. And if she isn´t, then what´s the point in making her feel bad for wanting a relationship with someone she feels attracted to?

So, yeah. What I´m trying to drum into my head is that I don´t lose my right to feel really, really awesome if I should get ill or otherwise damaged. One thing I really dislike about many writings by and for people affected by one condition or another is that they don´t talk about happiness, they talk about life quality. That in itself is something I find scary. That for people with chronic illnesses, there is a separate term, a separate thing that can never be as good as the real deal. It increases my feeling that should I really have a serious illness I´m somehow no longer part of the ordinary human population. That absolutely everything has to change and no part of my life, my self and my psyche can remain unaffected, and that I will never able to experience the folly of believing I´m the king of the world again. Which is really sad. Since that feeling is never justified, there is no reason why being ill should exclude you from it, right?

It seems like the adequate emotions for a chronically ill person are gratitude, humility and the infamous seeking of pleasure in small things. Wow, no surprise people fear diseases! Come to think of it, this kind of mindset is characteristic for people who have lost all their hopes. Sure, you might think, hope for healing or getting better would be misguided in many cases. That is true, but given that everyone is mortal, isn´t all hope misguided eventually? What separates ill people from us is not the fact that they´re going to die, but the fact that they know how they´re going to die (minus the occasional ironic accident). And yet we carry around all kinds of silly hopes: That we´ll meet the love of our life, that we´ll get a nobel prize, that we´ll get to buy a luxurious house. Why are we entitled to aiming for that level of happiness and gratification, while ill people are expected to content themselves with  the dubious and often artificial pleasures of “small things”? It does happen that people are so miserable that a day with no or less pain is like a miracle, but that´s completely different from expecting people to stop being hungry for life.



When I blog instead of sleeping

Posted in health, mental health, personal with tags , , on November 7, 2013 by theweirdphilosopher

There is a lot on this blog I no longer identify with, a lot I no longer want to be part of. Such as scrutinizing my parents´ behavior, or blaming them for my troubles. Or maybe not so much this, as everyone makes mistakes or does unfortunate things and I´m sure so did my parents. What I have recognized as fundamentally wrong now, though, is the idea that they had deep-seated hostile intentions towards me. I´m sure there were negative feelings at times, but what I had in my head was some kind of conspiracy theory.

What those years have left in me is the feeling that just by trying to tell the story of my life, I can bring huge guilt upon me. I could tell it wrong. I could say something that isn´t true, and all of a sudden I have compromised innocent people. I frame them just by internally writing my autobiography. I always feel like I should be more wary of what I say than I am right now. I feel like, with each assertation I make, with each entry I write, I´m doing something bad – for purely selfish reasons. For entertainment. For having something to say. So many everyday life actions are associated with feelings of guilt for me.

The fear that I cannot speak without telling a lie lead me towards being unable to get out a straight sentence. Large parts of my former diaries are essentially incomprehensible. And to this day, what is incomprehensible to me is how I could be in mental treatment at the time and yet my therapist did not notice what was going on. I must have appeared more collected than I felt, or maybe the fact that my confusion itself disabled me from communicating the extent of it got in the way. Or maybe he was just an incompetent twat, but that belongs elsewhere.

I don´t know if anything I write now sounds clear and easy to comprehend. Often my blog sounds like to me like the ramblings of a lunatic. I forget most of the time that my readers cannot feel the sense of wrongness I feel when I post here, making statements about myself as if I was sure of them. Reading this must feel quite different from writing this.


A true anniversary post as it sums up this blog quite well

Posted in morbid, personal with tags , , , , on November 4, 2013 by theweirdphilosopher

Wow…if WordPress hadn´t alerted me, it would have completely eluded me that this is my blog´s second anniversary! Well, happy birthday, Possible Truths!

I feel a bit foreign on here right now. For the last few weeks I´ve been working on some larger post, yet I simply didn´t have the time to finish it. Additionally, I´ve been feeling ill for the larger part of October. Still, I can try to note down some quick snapshots of the thoughts I´m having lately.

1. One thing I noticed about feelings of guilt and inadequacy is that they can make me want to surrender to something – just about anything. I don´t need to believe in it, I just need someone who takes out of my hand the responsibility for my being a decent person. I´m going through another patch of depression, and often I feel like I´m a failure on so many levels that I simply cannot fix it on my own. Health, personality, household, studying – even hobbies. Worse than that, little actions, emotional reactions and thoughts seem to reveal just how inadequate I am. And at this point I realize I´m incredibly tense and stressed out and I would feel so much better if only someone forced me to act better. If someone else told me that my thoughts and feelings are just me feeling sorry for myself. It would be so comforting if I could do something right just by accepting someone else´s reign over my life. If I could earn approval just by agreeing.

2. I also read up on attack therapies. And I realize that, in a way, it is just an external version of what is going on in a depressed person´s head. Or maybe even worse. In the early stages of my first depression, I could still believe that I somehow had a point in being depressed. I could proudly refuse what I thought was superficial happiness. Then, however, I was slowly broken down towards seeing those thoughts as something that made me an insincere person. I “learned” that my depression was self-serving. A non-depressed person might have concluded that there were better ways to stroke their ego. I, however, came to the conclusion that I had the duty to be truly and solely unhappy. I worked hard at eliminating all secondary gain to make sure I was genuinely suffering. Of course this is an endless regress, as the moment I would have become aware that I reached that goal I would have gained something.

Now, there is a certain allure in the idea of having someone who makes sure you suffer enough. Someone who, in exchange for your submission, allows you to have a clear conscience. While you are still a horrible person who regularly needs to have it pointed out to her, you earn basic acceptance for surrendering to your guru in the widest sense of the word. I never wanted to reach a point in my life to understand this. Or maybe I always did. I guess I kind of wrote so in my last post. It might be the greatest ambivalence my psyche has to offer.

It could create inner peace to know that you don´t have to monitor and doubt yourself – someone else is doing it for you, and if you fail, you will feel the consequences immediately, without ever being given up on. And yet I know from experience how horrible this kind of situation can be. It was precisely the kind of threat Athena was hanging over me – if you don´t make an effort or if you whine too much or if anything makes me think you do not really want to change, I´m going to give up on you. It is weird that you can experience something painful, have it ruin you to the point of complete mental breakdown, and yet you continue to idealize it without even making the connection.

And then again, with Athena I was responsible for monitoring and fixing myself. While she tended to go colder and colder rather than become emotional, she still didn´t have herself and her own fears under control, and it was because of this, because of her dependence on me that she had to treat me as (emotionally) brutally as she did. She needed me to answer in certain ways, she needed me to be a certain kind of person and most importantly she very much needed me to not be certain other things. It was her weakness, not her strength that made her abuse me. I don´t think I ever saw it as clearly as this, and despite all the humiliations she dealt me I can´t feel inferior right now when I think of her harshness and that´s incredibly liberating.

Unfortunately, though, I know that my ideal of non-judgmental, all-forgiving listening and correcting can never come true. Neither can I fulfill it, nor can anyone else encounter me like that. Everyone has needs, opinions and an ego and you can only deny yourself for so long. I´ve been on both sides of the fence. I´ve been trying to be the perfect guru, I´ve been trying to find myself one. It is a beautiful illusion, but it is an illusion. Maybe a solution to many of my problems would be to 1) stop searching and 2) stop beating myself up for being an actual person. I actually do feel guilty for having opinions, as they make me more judgmental. But then again, if you really believe you have to accept everyone and take everything anyone says seriously, you´re not doing yourself a very great favor. You cannot let just anything and anyone into your mind unless you want to lose it. In a way, there is something spineless about never just speaking your mind, never risking to offend people by giving an opinion. It seems I can easily feel ashamed for one thing and its opposite at the same time, as I feel like I´m both spineless and judgemental.

I was raised an atheist, but I was always just a little bit hesitant to call myself one. I simply don´t have that kind of psychological make-up. I don´t want to be responsible for the ways of my soul, or, in modern terms, my thoughts and emotions. I might be relieved to accept a punishment for my thoughts if only it eased my anxiety a little, but I feel like the order to “take responsibility for my thoughts” is to demand that I dash it out myself. And that seems cruel and degrading. In reality, it probably means no such thing, but I guess this kind of misconception is what happens when you face a person of such a masochistic mind-set with modern-day morals. I cannot treat myself the way I would accept to be treated by others, because I cannot give myself the general approval and ease of conscience I´d get from others for taking that treatment.

Again, more reason for shame. Dependent, unable to be responsible for herself, and so eager for a regressive, somewhat dodgy relationship towards a fantasized father figure…what does this tell us? I don´t know. I deal with those thoughts the same way I deal with everything else – I imagine to get what I deserve for them, but in a somewhat safe way that doesn´t endanger anything that is truly important to me. It seems to be the only way to ward off the anxiety that my being who I am will cause something terrible to happen.

I just wonder where all that anxiety is coming from, and why I am so ill with feelings of shame and guilt.