Archive for the morbid Category

Well, didn´t I miss being sane!

Posted in morbid, personal with tags , on January 12, 2014 by theweirdphilosopher

You can probably tell that I wasn´t quite myself in my last two posts. I have a file on my computer dedicated to more of what I´d like to call “my new psychosis”, as I can clearly feel – however accurate what I say may be – that I say it in a state of madness. I now recognize fixed ideas and sudden, manic obsessions in myself; not so much by their content, but by the accompanying feelings. That would typically be: Excitement to the point of physical arousal, absurd euphoria that can give way to megalomaniacal optimism, and the feeling that something big is about to happen and bring by the great change that will make all that I know as misery obsolete.

You wouldn´t think I had such feelings judging by the content of the stuff I last wrote. Indeed, this started out as increased inner conflict and being upset about possibly contradicting myself and changing my mind on things, and then it turned into a barely controlled self-destruction orgy. The resulting feelings are, unfortunately, highly addictive, and they also are the last thing I´d ever want anybody to see in me. And yet I seem to depend on that, as after a few days I suddenly lost the ability to make me feel them myself. At first it was actually hard to bring myself down like that, but then it got incredibly easy, to the point that I thought I could really cope with anything life threw at me because I´d learned how to drop my ego and let it shatter. Or I guess maybe I actually did know better, because like I said:  By now I know madness when I feel it. My judgement was dulled, though; I might as well have been drunk. I guess you could pin it down to a complete lack of sleep, though. I´m clinging to reasonable explanations, which might not be so unreasonable, given that last night was the first night in five that I slept more than roughly four hours. Anyway. Lack of sleep explains the when, it doesn´t explain the what-the-hell-do-I-do-about-this.

I regularly sit there, cranky as it gets, and I want to scream for someone to take me apart and beat the hell out of me for being everything I am because I need it so much I could punch a wall. Trouble is that I can´t communicate this. I can tell someone what to do (if I´m allowed to assume a different identity, speak in vast circumscriptions and a foreign language), but I can´t tell anyone what I want to feel, leave alone let them witness it. I cannot tell anyone my intention behind this, that is the beliefs that drive me, since they feel so damn genuine in the moment and that is at odds with everything I represent. Without this kind of honesty, though, actually doing anything (such as taking a beating) would miss the point. The subtext is sorely needed.

In fantasy, this is solved by mind-reading, but if anyone in reality failed to go through the necessary steps of establishing consent, it would give me very bad vibes and I wouldn´t want to go any dark corners with that person, leave alone those of my mind. So there´s really no way around this problem. And as it is, that drives me up the walls.

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Undoing myself, for better or for worse

Posted in morbid, personal with tags , , , , on January 8, 2014 by theweirdphilosopher

If it is true that our greatest fears typically deal with things that have already happened, then I´m fighting a battle that was lost long ago. I´m struggling to justify being who I am, but I feel an increasing alienation towards the me that is doing the struggling. In my mind it takes the form of a noisy, querulent fanatic who is rabidly enthusiastic about every miniscule way in which he can prove his opponents wrong.

My most treacherous feelings are those which contradict what this self-righteous mouthpiece is saying. Their existence is humiliating, but it is quixotic of me to assume that this makes them an illness that must be removed. They are legit. They exist. My feelings contradict my stated beliefs, which means that I state them despite knowing better. What I do is highly unreasonable. I only need to look at my feelings in order to know what is true, at least in terms of the truth I´m looking for. What I do is ill.

Looked at from the depths of my heart I see a troll when I look at myself. I see someone who will humourously contradict everything she resents, a false note in her voice, because humour means she doesn´t have to answer to anyone. I see someone who is using humor in order to justify reprehensible things. I see an abuser.

At this point nausea hits me straight in the stomach and I cannot go on anymore. There´s nowhere to go from this thought. There is no darker thought I can use to punish myself for what I am. I´ve gone from hurting my pride to a much darker place. Trying to challenge myself to stomach even worse thoughts in order to get relief or as a form of atonement seems like a highly indecent act to me. The worst punishment is to dwell on that thought without considering it a punishment. It should come naturally to me. But since I´m apparently emotionally too twisted to react appropriately to the graveness and the reality of my guilt, maybe I should pay my debt to humanity by denying myself things I enjoy. It is the only shot at relative decency that I have. The only way to prove I at least vaguely understand the depth of my guilt, even though I´m incapable of emotionally taking it seriously.

When I look at this groveling, castrated part of me, I see a rapist who was put in a ward for the criminally insane for life because he can never be expected to develop true moral feelings, which is also why everybody turns away in disgust when he whines about how remorseful he is. He is just one step below fully human, and so am I.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

I´d have to re-read this to find an appropriate title and I´m afraid sleep comes first

Posted in morbid, personal with tags , , , , , on September 27, 2013 by theweirdphilosopher

There is something I seek time and time again: Advice and how-tos about things which are very personal to me. Such as writing. Or living at all. It´s not so much practical advice as it is advice about which attitudes to have or what to feel. And I really don´t know why I´m doing this to myself because I always end up feeling like shit and rebelling against it. To make things worse, the latter also adds immaturity and arrogance to my list of personal shortcomings.  I´m trapped in that cage of “but why do I have to be such a horrible person where did I go wrong”, running against the same four walls again and again. It is impossible to just accept you are like this. I should know better than to ask those questions, really. I´m too much of a cynic to believe in a great why, and the “how did it happen” question only gets you into more trouble since you will inevitably look for explanations which take the blame off you or make it look like it´s a proof of your character strength that you didn´t turn out worse.

It sounds much more reasonable to identify my strong reaction to this kind of “advice” as the problem. My only problem, maybe. Nobody is perfect, but I have too strong a reaction when faced with my shortcomings. This doesn´t help me, though. It makes me feel like just as much of an arrogant nitwit. Not accepting you have any shortcomings is ignorant, immature and somewhat ridiculous, if not pathetic. It also leaves you extremely vulnerable. And I hate feeling like I´m at anyone´s mercy. So maybe that´s why I keep on going back to such advice even though I´ve noticed plenty of times it does me no good. After every major or minor life change I challenge how solid or important it was by putting myself to the test: “Can I stand this now? Can I take it with a smile? Can I learn from it or do I maybe find I no longer need to? Can I perceive this as helpful and constructive?” So far, I have always failed.

These failures have always demoralized me. It happens so reliably that you can rightly call it “self-sabotage”. But when I go back to those advice pages I´m always bursting with optimism. I´m dimly aware I´m doing something I had, in a moment of better judgement, promised myself to avoid in the future, but I do it anyway because something about it is intoxicating. It is intoxicating in a similar way as is any kind of transgression, just that in this case I get punched in the stomach half-way through.

It is a pattern I´ve shown even as a little kid of maybe five when I insisted on playing rough-and-tumble with my father even though I knew it would end badly. I was always excited for that part when I would start to get afraid because I was hoping that this time – by using fucktons of willpower, self-discipline and attitude adjustment – I could make it feel good. I never could, I always ended up panicked, pleading, and eventually deeply resentful. I complained to him, I might even have complained to my mother, but it didn´t satisfy me when he stopped taking it too far. It is a great life lie of mine that I didn´t want such things to happen to me. I do, and a lot of my anxiety is tied to that. A lot of my self-disdain as well. It´s probably the same guilt-shame-what-kind-of-an-ungrateful-monster-am-I mixture most masochists suffer from at some point in their lives. I´m sure I´d never have tried to believe I had really been abused if it hadn´t been for those toxic feelings. Or, as I´d say in my darker moments: If I wasn´t that kind of monster. That kind of person (let´s not kid ourselves here; “monster” is a form of flattery. It´s so poetic.).

I digress. What I was originally going to ask myself (before I started to ponder the complexities of masochism) is why on earth I´m wasting my time fighting one tiny little vulnerability. Okay, maybe not so tiny. Vulnerabilities are big and serious by definition. And maybe it is kind of relatable that one would try not to be vulnerable. The only reason to stop fighting vulnerabilities is if there is a chance it might make you less vulnerable. Is there?

Let us do a thought experiment. I walk through life and I still feel horribly upset every time I encounter someone who is better at living than me. Shouldn´t be difficult, as I´ve just proven I´m one of those fools who think life is a competition, so absolutely everyone is entitled to lecture me by default. But enough of the snappiness and self-defense. I walk through life and I cannot cope with the fact that I have serious personal shortcomings. Meaning that every time it is somehow pointed out to me I either fly into a fit of rage and angry internal (hopefully!) dialogue or I feel depressed and demoralized and secretly punch myself in the bathroom. Well. The worst thing that can happen is that things remain just the way they are. Which means that I can keep on fighting or I can give up – the outcome will be the same.

The advantage is – as long as I´m fighting, I´m aware of my problem. I am anxious to avoid situations which could expose my vulnerability. The disadvantage is that in order to do that, you pretty much need to avoid life. Any attempts at doing something I will suck at initially – and be it writing the first draft of a novel – are such a punch in the stomach that I avoid them, too. The result is more shame. Not good at anything because my ego is too sensitive to be a beginner. Great. Who doesn´t want to be that kind of person?

The promise that lies in awareness, though, is that it might help me avoid humiliation. I always remember to display so much humility that no one could possibly think of attacking me. I try very hard not to find myself in a situation where I angrily yell at someone who´s just scratched my ego (best of all, at the verge of tears, full of self-pity and over-the-top accusations) just to realize they´re not only right, they´re also going to call me out on my behavior. Of course, awareness is a 100% guarantee this is never going to happen to me again. Until the next family meeting, if I´m lucky.

Family meetings are the worst thing ever. You compare notes with anyone roughly your age, you realize they´re more happy, more successful and better sons and daughters than you are, your sister helps your mom in the kitchen while you´re just surfing the web and by the end of day two you are seething with barely restrained self-loathing that makes you want to start fights and take everyone down to your level. Comparing yourself to the person you believe to be at work or around your friends is to look into the mirror and to find your image chuckling at you with just the right amount of pity in their disdainful voice, saying: “You bloody hypocrite!”, before smashing you straight in the face. No need to mention I approach family meetings the way I approach life advice.

So, essentially my only conclusion can be that fighting my vulnerability doesn´t make me any less vulnerable. It doesn´t make me feel less shame or provide less reason for self-loathing. I will run into my that sword all the same. So why don´t I just stop fighting it?

Excuse me, what? That would require anything about my character has changed. It hasn´t. I´m still dead scared of any kind of humiliation. And the thought that I carry the recipe for my own worst case scenario within the foundations of my personality is nothing I can just shrug off and get over. At best, I can find it tragic and inspiring.

Well, there might be something equally good, or maybe it goes hand in hand with “tragic and inspiring”. If the shame, the rage and the hurt pride are somewhat fateful emotions I´m bound to experience again and again, then maybe I can separate them from whatever currently happens to be their object. I cannot prevent myself from feeling them, but I can deal with them more intelligently. Such as by not assuming I should respond to them with therapy or any other attempts at self-improvement. Fate should not be messed with. Those emotional responses are my individual burden and if they are rooted so deeply in my character as I fear they are then I´ll be damned if I let something so personal be taken away from me.

I think your life can be a whole lot more characteristic of who you are if you devote less time on trying to force yourself to be someone better.  You can get realistic expectations of the kind of experiences your life will likely contain by imagining which conflicts a novel character with your sort of character flaws will encounter in various areas. That story is a whole lot more individual and interesting than the happily-ever-after-I-fix-that-one-unforgivable-flaw fairly tales we tell ourselves. It only works, though, when you have a fundamental and not entirely philanthropic liking for predicaments.

This is not to say that you can never try to conquer your flaws. Even swallow your pride. But you should make sure you have your own consent. Are you doing it in order to reach a self-chosen goal (such as learning a craft even though you hate being a beginner with all your heart and soul), or are you trying to escape the stinging bite of shame and the scornful voices of a bunch of people who don´t even know you exist? Doing what you do on your own free will lends a lot of dignity to actions that would otherwise damage your pride. Actually, that process itself is, like any kind of transgression, kind of intoxicating.

And here we are back to where we started. One of my most intense fantasies at this point in my life is to let someone point out to me everything that tortures me about myself and to let him see exactly how much I mind that. Not just anyone, of course. I do have a specific person in mind, but the main point is that it would have to be someone who wants me to be just that flawed. The intention behind this exercise couldn´t possible be to improve me. If it turned out the person doing this to me does not 100% embrace who I am, that would be an unforgivable breach of trust. I´d feel used and manipulated, just like I always did in therapy. I want love for who I am, not help to become someone else. And if I do need help, I want help for the person I am. Telling me that I wouldn´t have the problems that I have if I wasn´t the person who I am is not help. It is a trivial observation with an overtone of dismissal.

 

 

Unorthodox conclusions about self-love

Posted in health, mental health, morbid, personal with tags , , , , , on July 27, 2013 by theweirdphilosopher

What strikes me about my last post is the level of fear it reveals. I write as if displeasing my superiors just the slightest bit could lead to my death. We´re approaching a very sensitive spot here, entangled with both pleasure and self-loathing. The self-loathing whispers to me that I´m just so scared because I fear someone might see my true nature, which is none of this good girl crap. For truly I am lazy, selfish and disinterested in other people. And the pleasure, while feeling pure and right in some hard-to-describe way, makes my behavior seem even more artificial. Which may be why I always feel that I can only join the world of work by giving up who I really am. Because who I really am is something embarrassingly antisocial. Nice twist. You´d think when someone says “but that´s not who I really am” he´s defending something precious.

I don´t know for what fucked-up reason I defend something that feels vile to me, but yes, even while watching movies I´ve always identified with and defended the villains. Even the pathetic ones (especially, maybe). I always recognized myself in behaviors that made me cringe while I saw them. And no, I cannot let anyone pat my head pitifully and ask me in a tone of saddened sympathy why I cannot love myself, be less hard on myself, see myself in a more positive light. Hear the lion of loathing roar behind these cynical, ungrateful lines? Because he is. The idea of “just loving myself” is ridiculous to me. Not because I´m such a particularly bad person, I just don´t know how you even do that. What´s it supposed to look like? With some vague terms like these, I have at least a hunch how it might feel to be able to do what they suggest, but “love yourself” is an empty spot in my imagination. Not because I´m such a severe case of self-loathing, but for some other reason I cannot really grasp.

If I think about it, though, could it be that my associations with self-love are just mistaken? I expect it would be something that would make you feel good, but maybe that´s wrong. Love can make you feel quite bad after all. And what is it other than love if I feel unreasonable rage and pain and get into silly arguments with others over what happens to a movie character I identify with? Who ever said that love was seeing everything through rose-tinted glasses? Sure, a person in love often does, but love without those glasses is just a sad, fucked-up loyalty towards someone you know is useless but unrevokably part of you. Someone you can´t let go. Why wouldn´t I have that same relationship towards the personality I believe to have, given that I angrily defended it throughout any attempts at changing it, such as therapy? Oh the irony, if my resistance is but a firm expression of self-love!

I know that my version of self-love is not how the term is used in the lingo of psychotherapy. They, for example, will tell you that not taking care of yourself properly (that is: eating pizza instead of cooking a proper meal, procrastinating, missing opportunities, spending excessive amounts of money, drinking…) reveals a lack of self-love. In fact, they excuse all your bad habits by saying your parents didn´t love you enough, and therefore you cannot properly love yourself. It sounds nice: becoming a paragon of health and efficiency just by doing something as fluffy-sounding as loving yourself. Win-win. I always felt, though, it is terrible to appropriate something which should be a free, personal and maybe conflict-ridden feeling in order to create more conformism towards a current social ideal of how a person should act and be.

How is my self-love conflicting, though? On the one hand, I do want to thrive, succeed, achieve stuff. That makes me feel frustrated with those character traits that stop me from doing so. Makes me hate myself even. On the other hand, I cannot wish to expel them, I cannot want to change, I cannot let them go because that wouldn´t be true to myself. Because of this loyalty towards my worse half I am never sure I deserve the approval I get for what my better half does. This loyalty, too, is were my guilt is coming from, not the flaws themselves. I am hard on myself not because I cannot live with my faults, I´m hard on myself because I am loyal to them. Refusing to change is dangerous. You can, of course, pretend that you are trying to change, it´s just that….but if you actually don´t want to, if you are loyal to who you are, then you might experience some severe anxiety. The fear that someone might find you out. You try to avoid conflicts in the first place. You are scared anyone might find fault with you. You feel like you´d have to lie to say you will improve (even though you will indeed probably not make the same mistake again), and lying is a sad, alienating business. Maybe that´s the connection between “I might do something to displease people” and “I will be abandoned and lonely”. “I will never be accepted the way I am” is not “I will never be accepted with all my flaws” but “I will never be accepted with my loyalty towards my flaws”. At least for Athena, that´s true. It´s just what stood between us, and I´m scared to make this experience again. In a way, it´s also why I knew therapy would never help me.  It makes me feel hopeless, like I´m destined to either be alone or anxious. And this – hopefully false – dichotomy is dangerous, too, as it might cloud your love for other people. I feel like my anxiety is a curse I have to live with, a direct consequence of my inherent badness, of my allegiance to badness, of my lack of will to be good, to be more like other people want me.

What causes me the greatest anxiety, however, can also result in unreal pleasure. To imagine that someone could break my allegiance to my worse half is probably the most powerful fantasy I have. This plot lies at the core of all my masochistic ideas, and it also justifies them, because a person like me really needs some breaking, right? Bad people need to be turned into good people and the plot revolves around overcoming the resistance this evokes. The real-life repulsion these fantasies cause me, of course, is easily made part of that plot, and I usually jump right to the idea which repulses me most. Consequently I´m much less conflicted already since I accepted those fantasies as fantasies and don´t take them so seriously anymore. As a kid I sometimes realized during daytime what I was thinking about at night and felt some kind of despair given my own self-betrayal. Maybe my inner conflicts are not so different in kind to those of feminist women having rape fantasies. Then again, have things changed so much since I was a kid? It doesn´t fill me with dread anymore that I imagine those things for my personal pleasure, but the very same fantasies I enjoy at certain times intrude on me during daytime and present themselves as plausible and I don´t even notice it! I always thought I had those intentional fantasies as a way to deal with the obsessional belief that I need to be broken, or maybe even as a way to avoid the necessity of it by dragging the idea into the dirt, but this thought itself could be straight out of one of these fantasies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hierarchies

Posted in morbid, personal with tags , , , , on July 27, 2013 by theweirdphilosopher

It´s weird starting to write again after such a long time. Still, I´m glad people are still stopping by this site and some care to comment. The reason for this hiatus is that I´m working full-time. Add to that my work starts at half past six, so I get up every morning at 4:30. Guess how well a night person like me fares at that. In the last few weeks it´s been a rare occasion that I´ve been awake at this time of the day (that is: midnight).

My work is physically exhausting, but it is also emotionally draining. The main reason for that are the many colleagues (that is: superiors) I have to cope with. It would still be exhausting, though, if there was just one person. Eight hours a day I´m at the bottom of a hierarchy. I have to do what others say, ask others what to do, ask them if I can go for lunch. Sitting down at the wrong time can get me into trouble, yet simultanously when they offer me to take a seat I´m not really free to turn down that offer. I have to pay respect to a strict hierarchy and yet at the same time pretend this hierarchy doesn´t exist. I have to pretend that I pay respect to it spontaneously, without being aware of its existence. And this, complicated as it is, is not even my main job. My main job involves learning a lot of procedures and rules at once and applying them while people watch.

Do I wear this hardship as a badge of honour? It would be pointless to deny it. In a fucked-up way it makes me happy, but I´ll also be glad when it´s over. Pretty damn glad. Sometimes I don´t even know how I make it through the day. If I sound different to how I used to sound – I cannot judge that – then it´s because this work experience demands all my focus and mental energy. Everything else seems insignificant compared to the importance of not fucking up. This intense state of focus makes me feel alive, but I don´t know how much longer I can keep it up. I cannot imagine the last day will really come. When I look back at this later I will barely recognize myself, hardly remember the time. And there might well be emptiness and crying fits, just like when it started. I cannot protect myself from that because I´ve lost any ability to find calm in introspection. I can write about what I think is my situation, what I think will happen, but I do so with the same sense of urgency, the same panicked focus I exhibit at work. I always knew I was a kind of stress addict, this confirms it.

This job – without wishing to reveal to much about it just now – speaks both to my masochism and my sadism. I get ordered around by seven people at once, I have to do gross and disturbing things, it´s hard physical work and I overstretch my bodily limits on a daily basis (in order to avoid false impressions; no, I´ve not joined the army, I´m just very weak and out of shape physically). Regarding my sadism…ugh, no, that would be revealing to much. I assure you that I´m working in an honourable job, though.

Let´s stick with the masochism. What really helps me thrive in this environment is my tendency towards servitude. Forsee other peoples´needs, do as you´re told or what you´re expected to do, don´t complain, don´t contradict, always stay polite. It would seem I´m actually liked for these traits at work. It embarrasses me because that means someone has noted them. They are something I´m deeply ashamed of. I thought that these servile behaviors would be just about enough to keep me out of trouble (me, the disgraceful individual I believe myself to be), turns out now I´m suddenly a model for others. Which is terrible because it feels like I´m deceiving everyone. I´m nowhere near as angelic as this. It´s a role I play because it was the only one that would work for me in this environment.

What all this teaches me, amonst a million more significant things, though, is what I need to feel secure. I need power structures to be open and transparent. If I have to ask someone if I may sit down, I want this question to be acceptable. It isn´t at work. It embarrasses people when you ask them such things. It embarrasses them when you assign so much power to them. They don´t want to be the kind of person you need to ask if you may sit down because that kind of tyranny is frowned upon mostly. The result is that I don´t get to sit down at all, other than during my breaks. I cannot just sit down, I cannot ask if I may sit down, so I must pretend that I don´t need to sit down. The result being that my superiors tell others that I´m so busy they literally have to force me to sit down. They tell others such things about me while I´m present, as if I couldn´t hear them (though they still leave me wondering if I should, indeed, pretend I´m deaf or if I need to smile), which probably tells you everything about the level of authoritarianism at my workplace you need to know. What wouldn´t I give for fixed, transparent rules regarding sitting and standing right on the first day at work! And for everything else, too. Even facial expressions, should they matter.

What this helps me understand is what is so soothing about BDSM play. First, you can have whatever lunatically strict and detailed rules you want, and second, they´re all explicit and you don´t have to pretend you´re not obeying while you are. You don´t even have to pretend it´s not difficult because what fun would it be if there wasn´t an element of struggle? Struggle to comply, of course, not so much a power struggle. Also, of course, you don´t have to hide your feelings. You can, for example, be openly embarrassed when you get praised as a good girl (and this is just what is happening to me at work, in front of people who, to me, are random strangers). And you don´t have to hide that your back and legs are hurting from not sitting down, as this game is perfectly intended for you to be in pain. There is no danger your “superior” could be embarrassed about the fact that you don´t dare or know how to voice your discomfort. While many people wouldn´t change a thing to better suit your needs, they´ll still want you to feel comfortable in their presence and environment and they don´t take kindly to you not being alright.

This must sound like a scathing critique in disguise. I don´t know what it is, to be honest. I do not yet dare have an opinion of my work and my superiors. There´ll be plenty of time for that when it´s all over. Maybe this need not to judge is what makes me feel like I´m not actually thinking anymore even though my mind is working at a remarkable speed. The uncomfortable thing about this stance of servitude is that I cannot shed it at home. I never feel free. What is happening now is exactly what I always feared would happen if I ever had to work. I think I need some supervisor, a different authority who forces me to come down again. That being, of course, an open authority figure.

Since I just fell asleep writing this I guess I´d best go to sleep.