Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Reflections of Mr. Glass House

Of course this blog is a blatant exercise in exhibitionism. I feel unashamedly titillated by the idea that someone actually reads these lines and shares the misery/glory of my life. I'm always amused by celebrities who go to lengths to "protect their private lives". I don't have much of a private life, therefore there is nothing to protect. It's all transparent -- or maybe I merely hide by revealing. Just go ask anything about my sex life -- I don't have one. Depressions, mental disturbances, personal frustrations, "boo-hoo, I'm so lonely and no one loves me". I can give you a psychobabble galore any time.

It's not a big deal that I have taken Prozac (all legally subscribed and purchased) for nearly ten years now; that I have been to psychoterapy and still see a therapeutist in every two months; that I received state pension because of depression (of which I had an official doctor's statement) for a couple years in the end of 1990s. That I've been registered unemployed since February 2001 and also receive money from welfare (it is not such a shame here in pinko Scandinavia where we are yet to fully embrace the miracles of the economic fascism of Reagan/Thatcher/Bushonomics). It is not a secret that I come from a family which is more or less mentally dysfunctional under the respectable working-to-middle-class surface; that I'm a combined result of both of my parents' traumas, themselves in their turn traumatized by growing up in the post-Depression/post-World War II environment of economic deprivation combined with neurotic psychological fascism. My mother and father: they are not dumb by any means, only mentally fucked-up. I'm not looking here for any scapegoats for my own condition, though. My parents have given me a lot of care too, even though sometimes one tends to reminisce just too much of the bad things. There comes inevitably a day in a child's life when s/he finds out that his/her once seemingly omnipotent parents are mere mortals, just human beings. We are all just social end product, as the cliché goes.

Yet, I have survived somehow. And I refuse to be part of the "victim culture". I wouldn't be the same person I am now without these experiences. It's all part of the learning process. I spoke earlier about my "Guardian Angel". William Blake wrote about "the Fox providing for himself, but God providing for the Lion". Yes, I lead a lonely and drabby existence in a dull and gray environment; I feel like I'm living a life of endless repetition where every day following each other is alike; still there's some beauty in every single day. It's a question of perception, isn't it?

There's always the danger that one gets stuck in one's personal loop of navel-gazing, narcissism and self-gratification. Especially when one spends a lot of time alone with one's own thoughts only. It's good to devote some time for personal reflection, but too much of that, and it becomes stale. One always has to look outside, even when one looks inside (oh, these forrestgumpisms!) Leading a life of mind can have its entrapments.

Compared to when I was younger, I worry these days less about being perceived "strange"/"creep"/"weirdo", etc. When you're a kid or a teenager, there's a huge peer group pressure to be like "all the rest". I used to suffer from that. Then, in time I learned to accept that I'm unique and not similar to anyone else. Yes, I'm still shy, restrained and reticent; more an observer in social situations than an active participant, but I accept that as part of my own psychological and emotional make-up; as what I am.