Monday, September 14, 2009

For you I turn wine into champagne...

Sometimes I wonder if the morals I so steadfastly cling to are simply a way for me to cope with the world. A way of retaining some sort of identity.

I found, when they were challenged a few weeks ago and I allowed myself to slip in a fit of lust, I found myself wondering who exactly I was. It made me question my concept of myself and the way I have built myself, my so few grasps at trying to understand who I have become and what I have been, to the point of knowing that if I no longer followed that, what I would love to call but truly know otherwise, internal moral compass, I would not be what I consider me.

I would be someone else.

We have a concept of self, some theories state, that is created by a division of self versus not-self. That we identify who we are based on who (or what) we are not.

We look at others around us, at objects around us, at ideas around us, and examine them as a child examines a new toy, to determine if they are or are not something that adds to our not-self, or one of the few things that adds to the self.

There are things I think I know about myself.

I know I feel as though I lack self-definition. I do not know who I am, where I belong, or if I'll ever meet others like me. I know I feel as though I have been through so much that I have a hard time being myself around others because I know it will cause confusion and uncomfortability, so I am constantly play-acting. But I also feel as though the things that I've done in my life, and the things that have been done to me, are not so extreme that I was pushed over the edge into that group of people that are, beyond all, radical survivors.

I feel constantly alone.

Not lonely, usually.

Just isolated. Walking in a world at a different speed than so many others, never quite linking up. Occasionally, I will try to be myself and talk to "normal" people, and I find myself wondering why I even try, knowing the eventual result.

I know I unsettle. I know I can intimidate without ever meaning to. I know the majority of people cannot relate to the things I say and the things I believe that I rarely would say.

I created this blog to have the space I needed to exercise (exorcise, depending on the day) my beliefs, my stories, the things that go on inside my head when I interact with others, things I cannot discuss with the people around me because I know that it would bother them, that they would not trust me, that they would constantly question me.

Which happened recently, actually. One of my male friends was forwarned, by me, that I have certain social tendencies. And, for nearly the last year, he was be watching me, growing more and more uncomfortable, noting things that others would not until, a few weeks ago, he finally confronted me about it.

Sometimes I hate this mix I have, this emotional vunerability that I have tried so hard to rid myself of and this cold, calculating, sometimes destructive beast.

It would make things easier if I was more one than the other.

One would think I would loathe myself. Part of me for the weakness I have, the easy infatuation, the overly sensitive nature. Part of me for the things I have done, the things I would like to do.

I rein it in with my moral net, the guidelines I set forth to define me and stop me.

People don't understand. I'm nearly religious about it.

But you end up hurting so many people, so many people, some dearer to you than yourself. And when you stop, you look at the wreckage behind you and you can choose to rebuild, or to burn the foundations into char.

Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Marlowe ends up back in Western civilization, and he cannot stand, cannot understand, the people around him. He loathes them, he laughs at them, he knows they will never comprehend the things he's seen and done, that words could not convey that self-knowledge that comes with the reversal of identity, the reversal of his external world, and thus his internal self.

He becomes wrecked and haunted, a shadow of a man, even more so than his Western ideal, Kurtz, had become. Poisoned by the workings of Kurtz, poisoned by finding that the man he had grown to idolize had fallen, and what could make such a man fall... first he turns to attacks (for one way of resisting is to attack) and then he recognizes the darkness in the civility around him.

Then he fractures.

And then he breaks.


  1. defining ourselves by what we are not reminds me a lot of the hipsters i see everywhere, so desperate to not be the conformist, name brand wearers of whatever and not listening to well-known music, that they simply attempt to be obscure but in the public view far as the perpetual isolation, and the wearing of the mask, most of the time when i cognitively recognize a "moment" is occurring, that I am expected to bear a certain look of whatever, i do as i'm expected, if only to avoid the time wasted in comforting someone for whom i distantly care, but not in the same sense they presumable do for me.

  2. Does anyone ever accuse you of having Aspergers? Sometimes people mention it to me as a potential reason for my detachment, but it doesn't feel right.