Thursday, 11 August 2011

Sometimes I almost feel just like a human being

Do I feel like a human being? No, not really. Never have.

There's little doubt that I am one. There's little doubt that I'm quite a nice one, too, from what I can gather. I even feel nice at times. Good. But mostly I just feel nothing at all. Lost, really. And completely on my own.

I sort of wish I did. I have a suspicion that this wall of numbness is what separates me from others. Not elevates, separates. Insulates. I feel it would be easier if I didn't have to do anything for myself. Not in terms of getting dressed, but in terms of lavishing the kind of care and attention that I enjoy giving to my friends.

My empathy is a curious instrument. Finely honed in some regards and utterly blunt in all other directions. It's developed to the point where I can empathise on a theoretical level, a necessity when my own personal feelings are so preposterously stunted. I really couldn't care at all what happens to me, as long as it doesn't negatively impact on the people that I love.

For everything else, nothing. Suffering. War. Poverty. Starvation. All of it barely registers. It's a monstrous streak of obliviousness, unfeeling and selfish. If I think about it I feel complete disgust at myself, at my amorality. But of course this is soon replaced by the same old familiar void. The only thing that punctures this void are spikes of extreme energy, and only the ones which are directed outwards do me any good at all. But lasting good? I don't know. I feel as much like a robot being put back in his box ready for next time as anything. You know the way cats stare into space, waiting for something to move? That.

In a way I wish I felt more. Or felt at all, sometimes. My fear - a fear which strikes me cold and rigid - is that in Icarus style I would lose everything I had in reaching for something more. Because I love the things I have. That's where I'm alive, vital, human. Sat here on my own, I doubt I even have a heartbeat.

2 comments:

Merry Mary said...

You might do what I tend to do. Find a reason why something's not upsetting, or something. Of course, I do cry like a babeen at many things, but then I'm a woman, it's my role in life to do this.

Of course some global catastrophe is awful, suffering is suffering. But it's a very British thing to grin and bear it, to make light of the awful because to do anything else is too much to bear.

Something else I do, I think, is to not care about an event or an issue because, awful/shocking as it may be, I have enough on my psychological plates. I can't give a shit about X because I can't afford the
emotional and mental energy it would take to do so.

You put yourself through plenty. Don't beat yourself up because you're not carrying the weight of the entire world on your shoulders.

dotmund said...

I often argue that the human brain is still caveman. Why should I worry about what is not in my cave because someone else made a device which allows me to see the horrible things happening to other cavemen in other caves all the way across the world in real time?

This doesn't seem to hinder so many other people, though. I think this is why I feel so dislocated.

Maybe they're all just acting, too. Doing the things they think they should be doing? If Rene Descartes ever spoke to me I reckon he'd tell me to take a chill pill.

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