Disclaimer: I ramble, digress and jump trains of thoughts a LOT in this post. Approach at your own peril
Let me tell you a story. A few weeks ago, I was speaking to a psychiatrist colleague. I was doling out details about the turbulent past year and the flagrant lengths to which people can lose their humanity. When I said, in a very impassioned manner, expecting a barrage of empathetic reassurances, “How could they do and say those things to me, about me?” ..he only looked at me quizzically and said” What happened to you, was expected. You should have been prepared for it. You have, what psychologists term, unique vulnerability. All the abuse that transpired, and continues to this day, in whatever form, could easily have been foreseen, by anyone in our society. How can you not see that?” Needless to say, I was aghast, not by the content of his chafing words as much as the stabbing realisation that I was experiencing deja vu.
I was not born and raised in this society. I moved here in my mid teens. I thought I gelled easily into my new environment, why, with what I have been told repeatedly,a jubilant, affable demeanour made it easy for me to connect. Or so I thought. I have ALWAYS had that feeling, the feeling I experienced when i spoke to the psychiatrist. The feeling of ” I am such a misfit” ” Why do they misconstrue what I say? ” The only difference, now, in my thirties, is that I’m not cringing to the extent of self sabotage ( not as much, anyway )
What was my point? Brain farts galore. The point is, this feeling on not belonging is not a pleasant one. Honestly, I am so wary of this self aggrandising zeitgeist of ” You are unique” “You are exemplary” . WAIT. Don’t be put off. I have more, I promise. I am NOT condoning the view of self deprecation or self sabotage and I most certainly as hell am not condoning this blatantly harmful view of ” You deserved what happened to you” “You brought it on yourself.” I don’t care how bleeding rampant abuse is in a particular society. It is WRONG. The perpetrators shouldn’t be left scott free to roam the earth just because they happen to be part of a misogynistic, chauvinistic, suffocatingly sanctimonious, hypocritical society. I, however, have learned that rather than waste my energies in deciphering the anomalies, I need to change the way I react to things. I might not be able to change this place, the people, the way they think and act but I can stir a revolution in myself. How? I don’t intend to be a hermit, I don’t see the need to engage in pointless debates that end up being arguments ad hominem and I certainly don’t in tend to punish myself with the constant self victimising thoughts that everyone is out there to get me. I am grateful for the very few true friends and family that truly understand me and accept me, quirks and all. I am grateful to God for that and for having the unique opportunity in this past year to be able to weed out those innumerable so called friends, acquaintances et al, that I tried tirelessly to please but who had no scruples maligning, harming and eroding my life when times got rough. Good riddance.
I am on my path to self awareness. I am aware of my faults and I will work on them. I am proud of my qualities but I will not let them make me complacent. This is my journey. I need to be the best I can be, even if it means I might sometimes be that lonely person in a crowd. I know you feel that somewhere, too. Let’s begin.