Thursday, November 24, 2016

Stop all the clocks

I keep my true self hidden away from others because its unpleasantness (and my sense of shame) is at odds with my need to be accepted by people around me. An unintended consequence is a loss of intimacy. People I have known for years often suddenly come to the realisation that they don't know who I "really" am. People with stronger intuition perceive this much earlier.

At that point, I usually have two choices: either reveal more of myself and risk purge, or make my superficial self more believable, more real.

Over the course of my life, I've usually chosen #2. It's easy, and I've developed my capacity for lying so adroitly that it's second nature. Occasionally, even I find it hard to distinguish my real and superficial selves. I've been reading Alice Miller's The Drama of The Gifted Child (a David Foster Wallace favourite, it turns out), and I'm understanding this reflex a little better.

This year in particular, I've tried #1. It's easy to be truly yourself with strangers, particularly those in a different country. I really felt like I effected a permanent shift sometime in the middle of the year, but I am regressing again. The problem with being oneself is that any kind of rejection is brutally devastating: it's easy to change one's superficial self and be a different person; how does one change one's true self when it's not good enough?

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About Me

a recluse waiting for salvation