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

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.

 

 

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