Don't worry, not going there. I don't put that stuff into my mouth any more. I'm just stuck on a word smash week where words ping around in my head and won't leave me alone. Like sternocleidomastoid. Why in the world that word popped into my head is beyond me. Those muscles aren't bothering me at all lately, which is a nice change. I really was bouncing philosophical stuffs around for awhile yesterday, though. I think my stomach butted in because I was too busy to notice I missed lunch.
I've had a few very interesting private convos this month, each were completely different subjects with completely different people, but they all had a common theme- I clearly didn't know what love even was growing up. I didn't question it, didn't expect it, didn't care about other people bringing it up, didn't feel sad about not feeling it, and almost never applied it to myself or anything going on around me. I did know, though, that I didn't feel it, even though I could feel protective or enjoy hanging out with my sister.
After I had a child, I spent a few years filtering through all the social pressures and expectations that becoming a parent opened my eyes to. By the time she was five I was eyeball deep in a relationship that would strip every last shred of innocence that my first marriage had somehow left tatters of still clinging around like old wallpaper. By the time my little girl was seven, I knew exactly what love was NOT, and wrote out 3 pages of gripping philosophical sadness that concluded humans discarding each other like used dryer sheets could only be cured by at least one person rising above the expectations for love and hope to become love and hope. While we wait for love to rescue our pitiful lives, love can never really happen and no one has hope, because waiting around for love to 'happen' cancels out what we think is supposed to be coming from someone else. If we are expecting it like that, we can't be it ourselves for someone else. But when we rise up and love anyway, hope becomes real for someone else. The one who does the rising up must do it not only without hope, but against all hope. As long as people discard each other like used dryer sheets, 'love' spreads like a virus, and we teach all the bad habits to new loves, and they in turn teach it to new loves, because love is a throwaway item. The baggage we carry infects more and more people around us until we grow bitter and lonely in our old age. I found that unacceptable. The only way to stop it is to stop treating each other like dryer sheets, objects that are supposed to fluff up our emotional lives, hold down the static, and make everything smell fresh.
My second marriage is well into its 23rd year, and not because it's easy and we're romantics. I am one of the most fortunate people I know, meeting someone who thinks the same way (not in so many words, but more intuitively after a painful childhood himself), and what makes it work for us is we're so terribly stubborn and not easily swayed with every little breeze of emotion. Oh, there's been emotion, long years of gritting our teeth through mess after mess, challenges upon challenges, and it all boils down repeatedly to neither one of us would ever abandon the other even on our very worst days, weeks, months, and years. We've both been abandoned, neglected, ignored, used and abused, and we both know what love is NOT. We know that looking around for something we don't create ourselves is a ridiculous lie to tell ourselves. We. Are. Love. Why look around for it and hope to find it when the next person is doing that too, looking around and hoping. How can we be what the other person needs from that point of view?
I don't feel emotions right like other people do. I don't feel loving. I don't feel kind. Love and kindness are philosophies of emotional logic I developed to survive, because without them I am terribly alone and deeply sad. I don't think I am capable of being in love correctly, yet I'm in love all the time. The euphorias I've developed in later age (hormones out of the way?) can now easily be triggered, and they are the only thing that's ever connected me to feeling happy, especially the first time when my brain was so chemical soaked that I was high on chemically induced love and felt happy for the first time in my whole life. I enjoy people and things, I laugh quite a lot, I am pleased with this and that, but outside of euphoric episodes, I don't feel happy. And I don't even think about that, whether I 'feel happy'. This has been discussed at length with a psychologist over several years, looked at from several angles that include autism spectrum with complications like synesthesia and narcissism and possibly even dissociation, the way my parents raised me and my years of wrangling with a conflicting belief system, my best friend being maliciously murdered, injuries from a nasty accident, a first marriage to a pedophile, an affair that wound up in what boiled down to a 'forced' abortion (reverse rape, complete with restraints)...
Did I just keep switching it all off? How do I switch it back on? Did I survive because I couldn't turn it on in the first place? Yet I puzzled it all out into a philosophy of being that my psychologist thinks on par with extremely advanced awareness levels and thought processing skills for young child, preteen, adolescent, and young adult. I absorbed philosophies like people around me absorbed holiday candy and TV shows and the other lies of social structure, stuck on roller coasters of feeling happy and unhappy because that's what modern society insists that we constantly assess in ourselves. Are we happy? Personally, I think that feeling is so easily mimicked putting sugar in our mouths that we've become accustomed to habitual feeding frenzies and then agonizing over all the ways food makes us unacceptable. Food porn. There are stories throughout history of socialites alternately gorging and starving themselves, but what darker secrets lurked beneath?
The reason the questions are coming back up is because I noticed I didn't feel anything doing something that another person would likely have found exciting, possibly even exhilarating. Sometimes I do something that other people would feel prone to brag about or use as personal resume padding, and I feel nothing, even though I know now that I should. I'm aware nowadays that I'm numb most of the time. I used to harbor anger like Dr. Evil petting Mr. Bigglesworth, but I've mostly let go of that, so I'm on a sort of testing ground, poking myself here and there to see if I'm feeling anything.
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Happiness is conditional on people and events and material things and feelings affecting me, and there is nothing in this world that makes me happy, although eating certain foods used to come close. Nothing *makes* me happy. I never understood what happiness was even supposed to be, like what does it mean when people say they don't feel happy. I grew up completely missing the ability to grasp that concept. I've tried to word out my thoughts on it through the years in some of my silly surveys at Surveypalooza, but after I went through the initial euphoria (almost completely stopped eating and sleeping for 12 days and was continuously gurgling in a love state, which alarmed my psychiatrist), anyway, after I *felt* that, I finally had some kind of context, because I was able to say "I feel so happy." I had never felt happy before. No meds or drugs or events or people in my life had ever induced any kind of happy feeling even remotely like that, but as soon as I was in it, I recognized it. And then when the euphoric episode crashed back down, the happiness was over and I haven't really felt that kind of happiness since, even though I go through euphoric episodes fairly regularly now. I felt happy for 12 days out of my entire life, and the whole thing was a brain chemical imbalance.
Love and happiness are important, I know that. I know it's important that I help the people around me feel loved and happy, even if I can't or don't feel these things myself. I care deeply for the people around me, and I know I'm very lucky I actually have people in my life who love me back, even if I don't have any desire or need for them to go out of their way to do and say things to show me this. Well, poor @bonenado caught it a few times, but we're both hung up on our conundrums, and pretty much apparently nailed the love thing out of sheer stubborn devotion.
Not everyone is so lucky. Not everyone finds the glove that fits their weird hand. Not everyone feels understood and accepted, quirks and all. Not everyone feels comfortable just being themselves around people who are supposed to be the most important loves of their lives- parents, sibs, offspring. It's not something that came easily for me and Scott, and yet here we are, out of nothing more than sheer stubbornness and an unwillingness to drift alone again among the dryer sheets. Neither one of us can ever go back to that kind of thinking. We make the love we want and we live the love that we need. We've become for others what we desperately needed and didn't have for ourselves. It's been hard and it took time, but we are who we are and there was no other way to survive. We draw firm boundaries around misconceptions and dysfunctions, and we don't tolerate that crap in our own home. Our love depends on utter honesty, utter trust that the other won't leave over something stupid. My home is my sanctuary, and my people are exactly that- mine.
A great big part of this was letting go of and walking away from the kinds of things that perpetuate emotional codependency (dysfunctional relationships doomed to fail because they are not love even if they are disguised as love), chemical dependency (alcohol, drugs, meds), experience dependency (things inducing rushes of adrenaline and euphorias, shopping, thrill seeking, for some people gambling would go here), pretty much anything that masks pain, to put it very simply. To feel pain is one of the privileges of being on this earth (it seems designed especially for pain), and if souls and eternity exist in any form at all, then my being here is by choice because I wanted to learn something important. Blocking that process only slows down my spiritual progress and hurts other people. Even if I can't feel remorse or guilt, I know that is a bad thing and that I will be held responsible for being stupid. Years of deep reflection point no other direction than this- that we are here to learn to love through the toughest kinds of pain imaginable. It's ok to be weak and fall on our faces, but it's not ok to *not* learn from that, and once learned, it's definitely not ok to turn our backs on it and be selfish. I think this holds water in any religion or belief system you'd care to bring up.
My name is Broken Dragon, and that is my phyllosopapilla on life, the universe, and everything. I was 42 when I woke up. The next year I made a blog...