Archive for shame

The compulsion to entertain false beliefs

Posted in health, mental health, personal with tags , , , , , , on February 9, 2014 by theweirdphilosopher

If I have any aim in my personal development (which is far from linear), it is achieving what I would call one possible definition of sanity: The absence of any internal psychological compulsion to believe something radically false.

In my view, such a compulsion would not so much stem from genuinely unconscious motives, memories and impulses, but rather from cognitive dissonance. I have had my fair share of experience with false beliefs and delusions based on cognitive dissonance, and maybe even more than my fair share. While someone who clings to an obviously deluded opinion which is completely out of line with his original ideas and his very own interests might not technically be psychotic, his reality testing is obviously impaired. Not by any traceable illness, but, as it seems, by his foolish attempts at avoiding an injury to his self-esteem. And that, for anyone with intellectual standards, is a humiliating place to be in.

It is a situation that shows me my personal limits like no other. Right from the start, there have always been times when I tried to believe the opposite of beliefs I knew to be false, and yet as soon as I stopped intentionally agonizing over how wrong I was, the false beliefs would slip back in place. Not completely, more in the sense of double bookkeeping. My previous realization that specific beliefs of mine were false would remain without consequence. I would, for example, acknowledge that my family was not actually abusive, and yet still perceive and treat them as hostile. When noticing my behavior, I would seek rationalizations for it which relied on very sinister interpretations of events that, other than my original stories, had actually taken place, thus making my explanations seemingly conform to reality as I knew it while still having the necessary exonerating effect.

From what I´ve gathered, some studies on cognitive dissonance show that people who are faced with contrary arguments or even evidence tend to cling to their opinions even more fiercely. If that is the case, then telling myself how wrong I am and agonizing over my foolishness and the embarrassment of it is actually going to predispose me for another relapse! And yet this is precisely the “cure” I´ve been administering whenever I came close enough to even seeing in which way I was ill.

The motive behind that line of action was my idea that in order to cleanse or rid myself of the past, I had to suffer for it. I still sort of sympathize with this view, but I might be overlooking the price I already payed. Fact is, most of the things I agonize over happened 10+ years ago, so my whole occupation with them doesn´t seem quite adequate in the first place. But that aside, those are 10 years which could have been productive. Productive, happy, adventurous. They were so to some extent, and I wouldn´t want to miss most of them, but there was always an element of gloom and self-loathing which wouldn´t have needed to be there.

I do need to sort out my belief system. But I´m doing myself and my connection to reality a great disservice if I try to make it intentionally painful. It is my good days, not my bad days that brought me to the point of even recognizing my errors. I said before that depression is an enemy of the truth. You have a much greater chance of looking at things objectively if you decrease the need to interpret everything in your favour. Depression, however, only makes you more sensitive towards anything that could be seen as failure.

I fear that I cannot muster up the mental strength to reality-test my beliefs. Some people in my past have hurt me a great deal with what they said, and I don´t know if I could stand coming to the conclusion that they were justified in doing so. The thought evokes a sense of despair, like: Was I right in absolutely nothing? Can´t I even rely on the notion that what hurts me cannot be alright? Unfortunately, that is pretty much what going crazy does to you.

Already we are back in the realm of self-punishment. Torturing myself with such ideas gives me a certain sense of satisfaction, at least as long as I can stand them even though I initially thought I couldn´t. It might actually be useful of sorts, but, like I said: Only if I can stand it. If I realize I can´t and stop, I have renewed the cognitive dissonance and in turn my need to entertain false beliefs.

Maybe this phenomenon can be compared to exposure therapy in the treatment of anxiety disorder. It is only effective if the patient makes the experience that he can stand the situation he was scared of. If he ends it prematurely, he makes the opposite experience. Today anxiety patients frequently receive drug treatment, too, so they have to work through less fear during the exposure in the first place, rendering success more likely. Similarly, if I was less depressed, I would probably be more tolerant towards the idea that I was wrong and that others were right telling me so and reacting negatively to it even though it was torture for me at the time. By accepting this idea, I could free myself from the need for it to not be true, which would open up the possibility of looking at the whole thing with fresh eyes.

There are still some therapists, however, who believe that drug treatment takes away from the effectiveness of exposure therapy because the patient isn´t forced to confront the real extent of his anxiety. Likewise, some have the idea that those who take antidepressants don´t want to face themselves. I´m inclined to believe, though, that a stable mood actually facilitates this task.



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.




Posted in personal with tags , on September 28, 2013 by theweirdphilosopher

I feel like I´m pretty close to the core of my self-rejection, but I´m not sure if I can put it into words that won´t make me reject myself. There is a way of writing down painful truths that causes just the right amount of pain to be cathartic, but isn´t open and indecent self-debasement. That way is hard to find and it is by far not always accessible to me.

If done right, this writing down of uncomfortable things gradually lifts the burden of shame, embarrassment and self-loathing. Most of the time, though, I´m incapable of helping myself that way. I have to deal with those feelings by engaging in daydreams and imaginary dialogues in which some kind and patient person tells me what I need to hear. It would be pointless to write those dialogues down here. I´d have to write an actual story that also contains context, gestures, facial expressions, mutual feelings. Even in private that´s too intimate for me. I never turn those daydreams into stories. This inability, though, is extremely frustrating. It is responsible for a great deal of my crankiness. Also, my need to daydream in order to regulate my feelings of shame is responsible for a lot of my time-wasting.

It is not what I wanted to write about, but it is as valid an insight as any that apparently my shame keeps me from being effective in any area. It sometimes stops me even from getting up to brush my teeth. My inertia, of course, causes me even more shame. It´s a vicious circle similar to that of depression. It wouldn´t be such an interesting notion if that shame didn´t feel so specific.

Usually, when you are ashamed, someone is bound to ask: “What are you ashamed of?” I feel like I´m getting close to the point of being able to answer that.

I`m not looking for that answer in order to fix what´s wrong with me. I´m looking for that answer in order to give something to myself that I have been denied all my life.

Reality Checklist

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

This checklist is personal. It is not intended as advice, not even for me. It is my best shot at what might be a realistic conception of my own psychopathology, whatever its nature might be in clinical terms. At the moment I don´t even want to know anymore. I need to re-define myself on my own.

This checklist is something to come back to when I have another attack of madness in the broadest sense. It could be angry inner dialogues, it could be theories about the origin of my illness. I will look at this list, feel invalidated by it and thrust it aside. But once the acute phase is over, I can go back to the list and re-orient myself. I hope that this way I won´t have to figure all this out time and time again. Like I said before, my (inner) life is subject to constant disruption. Maybe you could say that this list is a lifeline from the sanest perspective I´m capable of. It might help me integrate my latest experiences of madness. I hope to be able to understand where I went wrong, where I strayed from realistic and identity-building thinking.

A short, very simplified theory of madness which might prove helpful to me:

  • It lies in the nature of madness that the symptoms (feelings, attitudes, perceptions…) make no sense. Looking into the past for an explanation that gives a seemingly understandable meaning to them is to deny their nature as expressions of madness. If I get terrified in my own room and conclude that something terrible must have happened there I am denying that my fear is irrational and that I am mad. Fear is not a proof of past or present danger.
  • Madness proceeds in several stages: You start with having symptoms like panic or other emotions which seem out of place in the situation you´re in. This is something that simply happens to you. How you deal with it determines if the madness can proceed to other parts of your psyche or if it is stopped, that is, you stay sane, though ill. If you look for explanations for these symptoms which give meaning to them instead of acknowledging their insane nature, you let madness take over your cognitive capacities as well. Not only do you have false responses to situations, you also start to cognitively distort reality. Hearing voices is a hallucination, a disturbance of the senses. Attributing them to CIA mind control is the beginning of a delusion, a disturbance of cognition.
  • There are two different ways of looking at your history: You can acknowledge that you are mad and look at how being mad has influenced your life and your self-image. And you can look at your symptoms and try to deduce from them what must have happened to you in order for a (as you believe) sane person to develop such symptoms. The first way can be helpful, the second way leads to delusions.
  • Sanity is to be free from delusions, not free of symptoms.
  • By believing that your symptoms are meaningful, you make it harder for you to gain inner distance and freedom from them. If your fears and other problems are rational and make perfect sense, then it would be mad to break free from them and stop being frightened. Thus, delusions prolong and intensify your suffering.

How to obtain a narrative which gives me a sense of identity:

  • You can only gain a workable identity from a narrative that focuses on agency. While, of course, sometimes things happen to you, focusing on these things won´t tell you who the person is to whom they happened. If I view myself as a passive object floating in a cruel sea, I´m victimising myself.
  • The answer is not to simply claim responsibility for everything, and especially not for the actions of other people.
  • When evaluating past situations you feel guilty about or ashamed of, ask the following questions: 1) What situation did I believe to be in? 2) What did I want to achieve or avoid? 3) Which observable actions did I commit? 4) What situation was I really in, seen from a distance? This also includes my level of knowledge at the time. 5) What could I at best have expected to achieve?
  • A perspective of agency does not imply that you brought everything upon yourself. It is a biography focused on your thoughts, actions, motivations and evaluation of situations. It doesn´t really matter if much, little or nothing bad happened to you – you´ll probably always need to develop a perspective of agency in order to move on.
  • Look at what was important to you in past situations, not at what turned out to be important after the fact or at what other people deemed important. In order to judge your behavior you need to know your own perspective.
  • Just because you develop a perspective of agency doesn´t mean that all of a sudden nothing happened to you anymore. Things still happened to you, you are just looking at something different for a change.
  • Identity is fluid and needs to be constructed and reconstructed steadily, especially after (social) defeats, attacks on your self-esteem and current identity, being at fault. If you fail at this, you will fall into an abyss of demoralization. Overcoming this abyss is the implicit aim of everything I do.

With regards to inner tension, angry dialogues, shame:

  • No one is saying anything to me at the moment. It is not real.
  • The people who write things that make me feel any of the above are not talking about me. They don´t even know I exist.
  • Whatever the solution to my problems is, it is never that I should feel this way. A real solution will not feel like this.
  • Imagining humiliating scenarios is simply something I instinctively do in order to try and relieve the tension. It might not be the only way, and even if I needed such things to happen to me in order to relieve the tension, it wouldn´t mean that I deserve them.
  • Just because the voices in my head aren´t real doesn´t mean I was never bullied or verbally attacked. While they certainly use every interpersonal defeat or even conflict against me, though, they are an entitity of their own and they consist of more than things that were actually said to me. The dialogues in my head are no flashbacks of dialogues that have taken place in real life. They are fantasy. They have never happened and they are not really happening right now.
  • I feel angry at people I argue with internally even though those people (real people) have never said the things they say in my head. It´s because of this that I don´t feel sure if they have really given me a reason to be mad at them or if I´m just a vengeful person who cannot cope with herself. This, by the way, sounds like a black-and-white distinction.
  • Just because the dialogues aren´t real doesn´t mean it would be alright to talk to me this way. It´s normal that they make me feel the way they do. It´s just not really happening. Therefore, even by winning discussions with them, I don´t stop any kind of real life evil from happening.

Me and Others:

  • It is okay, even expected of me, not to expose my innermost secrets to everyone.
  • Lying and keeping my feelings to myself are two different things. I can give my honest opinion without having to give away how personal the issue in question is for me.
  • People who meet you for the first time don´t know that you believe you can make yourself invisible. It surprises them when you don´t greet them, look away and fail to display a normal amount of self-confidence.
  • People who meet you for the first time don´t know how you think about yourself. You can actually shape how they think about you.
  • Trying to influence peoples´ view of you is not per se an act of people – pleasing or self-denial. You can use it as an act of self-protection. It is very reasonable to keep your vulnerabilities away from people who have views which might hurt you.
  • It is legitimate to protect yourself. You don´t need to use relationships to other people as a punishment.
  • Nobody can read your mind. Most people probably aren´t even noticing you.
  • You don´t have to agree with others. You don´t have to discuss everything. You have a right to private thoughts and opinions and no one can first demand to hear them and then be upset.
  • Other people aren´t all out to psychologically demolish you. You have experience with this. You´ll recognize it when it happens. Relax.
  • It is okay to postpone discussions and responses because you want time to think.
  • When in doubt, keep your emotions under wrap, politely tell people you need time to think, remove yourself from the situation, sleep over it, rethink it, respond.
  • Other people are not the Holy Inquisition. They have just as many issues as you, and those who act like the Holy Inquisition probably have most.
  • When criticism is mingled with aggression, cruelty, scorn, the way you´ll feel about yourself receiving it does not reflect who you really are, even if the criticism itself is justified.

To be, I am sure, continued.

Agency and Identity

Posted in health, mental health, personal with tags , , , on April 26, 2013 by theweirdphilosopher

I think the unsatisfactory thing about many of my narratives (that is: how I tell my story) is that they tend to make me a passive being. Like this, though, they cannot give me a sense of identity. I still don´t know who that person is to whom all of this happened. The way to get a sense of who I am, then, might be to create an active narrative, a narrative in which I am an agent.

Some people – I´ll boldly say misunderstand – this approach. They seem to think it is enough to claim you are responsible for everything that happened. You are not what you did and intended at the time you acted, you are what resulted from your actions. Implicitly or explicitly those people assume everything that happened is something you secretly (consciously or unconsciously) wanted to happen.

I think that is nonsensical. It defies common sense. This kind of thinking is incredibly wide-spread at the moment, but I think it´s a fairly recent trend that will go away again. If I want to believe this, I also have to believe courts judging people on the grounds that they did or didn´t have certain intentions are acting unfairly. With the approach above you don´t have to ask for intentions. The agent has always intended to achieve exactly what happened anyway.

What I want is a narrative that allows me to feel like I´m the end product of my life story and that I can move on to working on my aims now. I want a narrative that enables me to act, and I think the only such narrative can be one that focuses on my own doings. What else can give me a realistic idea of my behavior patterns and my previous and current limits? The key here is, of course, realistic. Blindly taking responsibility for the outcome of everything I was ever part of is useless because it leaves just as much of a void as seeing myself as completely passive.  It is just as impersonal. Absolute victim and absolute perpetrator are both images which disable me from feeling a sense of identity.

I find again and again that it doesn´t really matter what I did in my life, what matters is how I look at it. The moment I can look at it through the lens of agency I feel safe from the judgment of others. I am my own judge then, and I can decide on my own how to deal with myself. I get a sense of self-respect just from that, independently of the actions I´m judging. Consequently, my current shame and lack of self-respect do not so much result from my real life actions, but from the way in which I´ve seen myself and my life. Most of the time, after all, I have adamantly refused any sense of agency. Everything just happened to me.

This, right now, is a mere assessment of reality. If I want self-respect, a sense of identity and to stop fearing the judgment of others I need to take a realistic and ego-syntonic perspective of agency. This is not yet a perspective of agency itself. It is at best a mission statement.

Actually, nothing changes so much. I still need to look at my life, and in order to get a realistic assessment of my own agency I also have to look at the actions of others or how I perceived them. This “sense of agency” revelation is more like an explanation as to why combing through my memories again and again and writing down the same complaints again and again doesn´t set me free. It becomes clear to me what I need, and it becomes clear to me where the source of my shame lies.

Maybe, just maybe, this sense of agency also describes the difference between sanity and madness.

Depression, self-destructive thoughts parading as solutions, and my insecurity about my future

Posted in health, mental health, morbid, personal with tags , , , , on March 6, 2013 by theweirdphilosopher

I so bloody dislike myself.

Whatever I think about, I find a way to read something into it so it demonstrates how pathetic I am. I´m not even sure it makes sense to rationally figure out if I am pathetic or not. Not that I don´t read something into this, too.

I know this is depression. And the horrible thing about depression is that it perpetuates itself and sabotages all attempts at rescue. To begin with, if you need rescue, if someone else knows better what´s good for you than you yourself, you have failed. If anyone can describe your thought processes and behaviors, you are ridiculous. If anyone calls them dysfunctional, and even more so when he explains to you in a humorous tone why they are, you are completely stupid and embarrassing and you should probably die.

Whether there is rescue or not seems to depend mostly on how much of this pain you can take and still stand up again to try anew. Another sentence that is definitely not made to improve the self-respect of those suffering from this illness.

What I mean is that I´ve realized very simple things can alleviate the feeling of depression at least temporarily. Going for a walk, doing the dishes, taking a shower or brushing your hair. And yet all those things hurt physically when you´re depressed. This thing you carry around with you, this body, this self, it disgusts you to feel it in any way! This hatred you feel for it! You wouldn´t mind someone to slash through it with a butcher knife! Just destroy it! Make it go away!

And here is the catch: If you want it to go away or get less for a while, you need to get up and move. Which makes it hurt more for a while.  Hence the question: How much of the pain can you stand? Though this is really not a matter of personal strength. It´s a matter of how strong the depression is. Since there is no objective measure for depression, this is the only way round it makes sense. You cannot say: Person A is stronger than Person B because despite having the same level of depression she still functions better. The level of depression is determined, if anything, by how badly it impairs your functioning. So this is the truly bad news: The worse a depression, the harder it seems to cure it, because in order to be cured you need a tiny little shred of health to begin with.

It is said that depression can be the result of having a dysfunctional personality with dysfunctional beliefs. It seems to be what Dr. Stoneface thought about me. The way I see it, though, is all we know is that there´s a correlation between certain thought patterns and depression. How do we know those thought patterns are the cause of depression, and not an expression of it? Take narcissism and the sensitivity to criticism: In the manner of someone like Dr. Stoneface I could argue that because I cannot deal with criticism, each time something doesn´t go my way or I don´t get enough praise I get depressed. And at the same time a heightened sensitivity towards criticism is characteristic for depressed people. Not just in how they react to criticism, but also in what they perceive as criticism. Now go tell a depressed person he´s a narcissist. There´s a reason for diagnostic hierarchies.

Maybe my own attempts at finding my way out of my depression aren´t entirely non-sensical. Reason and even defensiveness at times help me to make psychotherapy´s answers to my problem seem less personal. Ten years ago I´d have yelled at anyone who´d have told me to do more sports or go out for a walk. Now I´m starting to understand on which level that might help. Part of understanding that, though, was understanding that depression is really something serious, not me just being stupid, and curing it is not a case of “just do…”. There´s no “just” in curing depression. There´s only leading you to a point at which you can almost, almost “just” get out of bed, and then encouraging you to force yourself a couple of times even though it hurts.

I think there´s too much inhumanity in treatment. Blaming the patient´s personality for his suffering. Way to get his self-esteem back on track. Way to make him feel like he´ll get back to full functioning. Way to make him feel like it´s even worth trying. Like he´s even worth trying. There´s other kinds of inhumanity, too. Impatience, for example. Commands that contain the word “just”.

Inhumanity is not just found in therapists. It is also found in patients. They wish someone would force them to function. Slap them if they fail. Slap them for being who they are. Tell them what failures they are. I have such wishes, plenty of them. I can read a lot into this. The interpretations are cruel as ever. “Apparently you just need structure. You have failed at being free.” Could that be the lesson? That I need other human beings? Maybe not punishment, but praise and incentives and support? Maybe I only fantasize about punishment, rejection and condemnation because whatever you do you can always be sure of those? Maybe it isn´t safe for me to dream of other things because I´m sure I wouldn´t get them? Maybe I´m scared of rejection because it would hurt my pride and therefore I only dare dream of human contact in the form of rejection? So my ego remains intact? So I´m incapable of love and satisfying human relationships because of pride and ego, and my depression is mercilessly showing me this? And I´m only fighting my depression so bravely because I don´t want to hear this truth and I hope to somehow get around it if only I achieve enough external happiness in life?

What will it be like if I break sometime? If I dare let this happen? Won´t I feel terrified and helpless? Won´t I feel like I depend on other people and like I cannot treat them like shit anymore? Won´t I have to earn their approval and try to work on my undesirable character traits so someone likes me? Tolerates me? Gives me a second chance because I blew the first merely by existing? Yes, I will certainly live on parole for the rest of my life! Yes, it´s difficult living with a personality disorder, and I´m very strong and mature for finally realizing that! I can always see my therapist, though, so I have someone who knows about me and helps me accept that somehow I was struck with this, sometime in early childhood, and I bet he´ll even help me forgive my parents that they did something wrong in, what, the oral, anal or genital phase? If I get to angry he´ll remind me that there are unknown biological factors, too, and that my parents did what they could! We´re all just human, apart from me. I´m sub-human and I have less than equal rights. I must always make the extra effort, otherwise I can expect no understanding.

And there it ends because the end of this tale is my complete psychological annihilation. And obscene as this scenario sounds to me I´m glad I wrote it down because those are the sick ideas going through my head. They go in circles, they always return. It´s a sophisticated but nonetheless clearly depressive line of thought. It´s like a computer virus that uses the computer´s firewall to disable the user to download a program that removes the virus. I take whatever psychotherapeutic theories there are and turn them against myself. So probably everything I wrote on my blog about this is rubbish and a complete misinterpretation and distortion of mine, except that it isn´t. At least I´ll just boldly say so.

It´s a question I´ve been asking myself lately too many times. Am I distorting everything? Will I one day wonder how I could ever be so adamant about those concepts and cures? Think of this time as a period of sickness? Craziness? Those concepts say “yes” to all of this, but why would I trust them on this? Still, that makes the thought of me being misguided and deluded even more painful.

A lot seems to depend on this. Such as a career choice I´ve been toying with lately. Shouldn´t I go and try to change those things? Make sure patients get more rights, are treated with greater transparency and less inhumane, anachronistic and unscientific concepts? But what if my motivation will run dry once I myself am over what happened to me? Have I been changed and deformed so thoroughly that this will always be important to me? Can I only cure myself by gaining official authority on those subjects so I am heard? Different question: Could I stand that and wouldn´t it corrupt me? Is there some different kind of happiness for me far away from the fights and the exhaustion that would result? Am I missing out on it?

Bloody insecurity. And I´ll get out of bed and go outside now.


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

I´m having this terrible feeling again, the feeling that some inescapable truth will destroy me. I feel disturbed when I do normal stuff like chat with an Internet friend. We´re working on a horror story and I´m much more sensitive to the material than usually.

I feel disturbed when I do normal stuff. This should tell me something important. Because, even though the narrative of my life was broken and my sense of normalcy heavily attacked, over the last few years a new normalcy has developed. Probably not completely new, but at any rate a sense of normalcy. Part of that normalcy is that I write my Internet friend. If I suddenly feel disturbed by the fact that I do this, then something is happening to me that undermines my sense of normalcy.

I wouldn´t want this to happen again. I have a sense of urgency that seems to forbid me to be normal, that demands something should happen. This sense of urgency is part of the crazy states. I had when I was desperate to find out if I had amnesia and what had happened to me. This feeling that I cannot continue with life until something important has happened or until I´ve had a major insight.

I have that feeling all the time on some level. Sometimes I really get important insights or so I believe. Still, it is a dangerous feeling. It threatens my sense of normalcy.

It´s quite natural that I have this feeling. Yesterday´s insights were frightening. What could undermine your sense of normalcy more than coming to the conclusion that you are crazy?

I´m still rewriting the past. While I do not invent events, I interpret them and I try to find out what happened inside of me and what caused these events. I´m trying to repair my narrative, and by doing so I´m constantly fucking with my sense of who I am.

Some of my old personality has always stayed with me or at least returned. Such as sense of humor, dark and dadaistic. Or that I love puns, but if they´re too stupid they make me physically cringe. Both not terrifically original, but as long as I´m joking I know I´m sane.

I need something to occupy my brain. This blog, this whole trying to find out what´s wrong with me – is part of “crazy”. When I started this blog I was in the throes of my second abuse mania, I had just learned to be a lot more careful and objective. Maybe there is hope after all, because giving in to my obsession under the strictest rational supervision I was capable of led me here. I do feel a sense of peace with regards to my behavior towards Lola. I just feel a lot of distress regarding what followed, but maybe that, too, will pass.

In my sane state of mind I have no problems having rational opinions on things, even when they´re controversial. I have no problems evaluating arguments and evidence. I sometimes reach the conclusion that I should stop trying to figure myself out and start pouring my mental energy into some entirely different subject, something scientific. There´s something to it, but I don´t think I can look away from myself for the rest of my life. I want to reach a state where I don´t have to be afraid of myself and I´m not sure if suppressing my craziness is going to get me there. Why would I suppress it, after all, if I wasn´t afraid of it? Suppression is different from “keeping in check”.

I´m not sure right now if my craziness is pathologically crazy or if it is normal irrationality. Maybe even what people call feelings. This “feeling in analogies” thing: If I feel through stories I make up in my head, then maybe I am crazy of sorts, and maybe it is no surprise that I come up with crazy ideas which feel real and important. Would it make any sense, though, to analyse this craziness? I don´t think so.

I tried to analyze the pictures and thoughts I came up with. Especially during the abuse mania. I tried to conclude what had happened to me from them, I thought they symbolized something. That was a dangerous way of dealing with them, though apparently it resembles some of Freud´s methods. I should not try to use my daydreams and stories as sources of personal insight. I´m fairly sure I did that on this blog here, too. I guess a lot of my theories here ought to be revised or even deleted. I wonder if I will become more creative again if I stop analyzing my crazy ideas and just let them float by.

I think one thing that contributed to me becoming so troubled was that at some point I started to make myself responsible for the crazy ideas. I was always deeply in touch with the creative chaos in my head, and maybe too deep, but what I came up with wasn´t my fault. Sometimes you have a violent fantasy, or rape fantasies, or whatever else, and the moment you start to believe this says anything about you you´re on the path to madness. You might start to become obsessed with the thought that you are a potential serial killer, or you might feel like unless your fantasies are caused by a history of abuse they mean you are indecent, disrespectful and self-important. I don´t mean sexual rape fantasies, but when you´re making up stories in your head in which you are a rape victim.

This doesn´t sound acceptable to me. It surely must say something about you if you enjoy such stories. Still, reason tells me that it shouldn´t. It must be allowed to relax and let your thoughts run wild without having to feel like a bad person because of the outcome. What, though, if you get the same thoughts over and over again and they intrude into your daily life?

I don´t know. I feel much too vulnerable right now to think about that question. I think that there is a close connection between repulsion and allure. At least in sadism there is. Perversion is, to some extent, being lured by the repulsive. I think some therapies try to exorcise perversion. They look for a human being who can let his thoughts wander without coming up with such things. Other kinds of therapies try to battle obsessive thoughts by prescribing them. You are supposed to consciously think about how you´re going to stab your toddler. I think I, being the person I am, would start to enjoy the thought in a dreadful way. Maybe the solution is to make it less personal. Exorcise it by writing a story about a mother who stabs her toddler, but most definitely someone who isn´t me. Not that I have a baby anyway. Or any definite answers here.

The thing with feelings and craziness is: The moment they set in, it´s like getting drunk. You know that tomorrow you will feel very different about your behavior, but somehow that doesn´t matter because this drunkness is something that feels right and necessary now. Similarly do feelings feel justified and mania true. Both can, in some ways, be intoxicating, and in those cases your rational self can only run along and try to limit the damage. And there can be a similar moment in perversion: Few things are more powerful than the feeling of “I know this is wrong, I know exactly how wrong this is, but somehow this knowledge has lost its power…I´m free!” Free to do absolutely anything. That damn sure is a state of intoxication.

Since I´m just in a process of defragmentation or something the like, this post is horribly incoherent. Never mind. It will get better. Hopefully.