The Light at the End

Will my bullshitting be enough to scrape through?

Just six more months to push through and it’ll be over and done with. The end is so near. There’s no point in prolonging the agony any longer than I already have. How quickly and drastically things can change. What was once a source of enjoyment has turned into a source of dread and anxiety. It’s taking such a toll.

Just six months more and I’ll be rid of this miserable monotony. I’d then have more time to do what I enjoy (i.e. distractions). To take classes I’m interested in, learn things I want, read materials I like, devote more time to my work, spend more time writing, have more time for recuperation. I have to set my sights on that light at the end.

Malfunction

I’m not functioning. I’m not functioning at all. I can’t even cope with the bare minimum. It’s too far to reach and weighs me down heavily.

It should have been completed months ago. All that’s left is just the final few months and I want to give up. I’m trying to push that urge away but it’s becoming a real possibility if I don’t start functioning.

It’d be such a waste. A waste of time, money, effort. Others will inquire if I stopped. It’d be unexpected and strange. They’d naturally be curious to know why. Those questions are not something I wish to answer and talk to them about.

Where is the ‘reset’ or ‘quit’ button?

What do I do?

What can I do?

I’m trapped in a pit of anxiety and can’t climb out. Everything’s crumbling and I just want it all to cease.

Self-worth

My sense of self-worth is almost entirely based on my intellect. To continuously learn and accrue knowledge, and use that to benefit, advance, improve, develop, educate, and help earth and its inhabitants. Without intellect, I am worthless. Unfortunately, this is the path I’m on.

Sometimes, others perceive me as intelligent — which I beg to differ — and they are intimidated by it. On top of this, my behaviours, mannerisms, and expressions come across to them as arrogant and combative. Thus, they conclude that I’m someone menacing, someone formidable, someone with ironclad armour donned.

They jab, pierce, and stab, thinking that I remain unhurt from their attacks. They do not see the wounds. Squish. They do not notice the bleeding. Drip. They retaliate against perceived strikes from me. Twist. I stab myself too. Slosh. Old wounds reopen as they torment my mind over and over again. Splatter. They dig in. Slice. I puncture. Splash. I’m drowning in my own blood. Gurgle.

Like Scissorhands, who unintentionally cut those he came into contact with, including himself. Like King Kong, gunned down in retaliation. Like Boo Radley and The Phantom, recluses who tried to connect. Little me would add ‘Katie Gorilla’ and ‘Dianasauross’ to the list.

There’s no break. No relief. Until the ultimate plunge into the deep end.

Defeat

I’m walking into failure.
     Tick Tock goes the clock
It’s going to sting.
     Hanging on the wall
It’s going to sting for a long time.
     Tick Tock goes the clock
The attacks will come.
     Telling the time to all
But I have to make myself
     Tick Tock goes the clock
Go through it.
     It’s time to go to bed
And hope to scrape through.
     Tick Tock goes the clock
That’s all I can do.
     Put down your sleepy head
     Tick…
     Tock…

On Friendships

Relationships — platonic or otherwise — are a concept I don’t fully grasp. The definition of friendship appears to be highly personalised, with each individual having their own take on what it means to them and their own determining features of what constitutes a friend. My vague definition and basis of friendship seem to involve higher standards and expectations than most. Many use the term with relative ease and swiftness, tossing it around frequently without much thought. I do not consider myself ever having had a friend. It is not a term I use lightly.

I’ve always wondered why friendships form so much more effortlessly for others when it is onerous for me. Even as a child, I felt foreign to this land. Others didn’t (or couldn’t) understand me, and I didn’t understand them.

Perhaps I had to find someone or at least hope to come across someone like-minded whom I could click with, I thought. Perhaps the standards for others and myself were unrealistic. Perhaps I was being too fussy. That I had to be patient. That I had to work on myself and on being a better person (and I have).

Throughout all these years, relationships still are my Achilles’ heel. Perhaps it isn’t so much about the external factors — the environment, circumstances, the people — but internal aspects instead.

Perhaps they’re right. Perhaps I’m a fraud. Perhaps I’m horrid. Repulsive. Antagonistic. Obnoxious. That I’m manipulative. Selfish. Self-centered. If given the chance, I wouldn’t want to be friends with myself.

They are not the problem. I am.

Enneagram 5, Level 5

When I read the levels of development for the Enneagram Type 5, I realised how much the fifth level described me. Certain parts were almost as though I were reading my prophecy. I thought I would have been further down the scale, but the lower levels seem to be consumed by anger and aggression. I am neither filled with rage nor animosity. I may come across to others as hostile, but that isn’t my intention. Those who perceive or notice an endearing side of me are typically confused by my seemingly erratic nature of communication (a trait of 5w6’s). Someone once described me as being hot and cold. Even though I may not show it, I am equally puzzled by the interactions I have with others, if not more.

At level five, a healthy (or unhealthy) 5 moves to being an average 5 as the fear and insecurity of not having sufficient knowledge to function in the world set in. They function, instead, as disembodied minds and perceive their physical bodies to be mere vehicles for their minds. They withdraw into and live very much in their minds, preferring to stay within the confines of their cerebral preoccupations. Being able to deal with the world intellectually provides average 5s a blanket of security. They seek to achieve mastery in areas of their interests that become increasingly narrow.

Average 5s view themselves as possessing insufficient inner resources to deal with the external world. Thus, they defend against (potential) impingements on their valuable time, space, and energy. Social interactions and other (perceived) intrusions are seen as distractions from their quest for mastery. Contradictorily, average 5s distract themselves instead with unconstructive activities as a way to gain a temporary sense of competence.

5s at this level fail to communicate clearly as their thought processes are highly convoluted. They engage in monologues that make it difficult for others to follow. Their anxieties about themselves and the world grow in intensity as they retreat from the world. Avenues for verifying their thoughts and perceptions diminish, so their realities get progressively darker, more fearful, and more ominous. Instead of observing and investigating the world objectively, they focus their attention inwardly and become absorbed with their thoughts and interpretations of the world and their experiences. They begin to engage in mere speculation and imagination so as to keep their minds active.

Average 5s have a fascination with power. For them, knowledge is power as it provides them with a sense of security and protection from dangers. However, they are also ambivalent about power. They avoid others having power over them for fear of being rendered vulnerable and helpless. As such, they become more secretive as a way to control the amount of access others have to them. They limit the amount of information they release about themselves and are often terse, cryptic, or uncommunicative. They also compartmentalise their relationships and aspects of their lives so no single individual will form the complete picture. Therefore, they make efforts to prevent their acquaintances from meeting one another and exchanging information. Average 5s can’t comprehend why anyone would take a personal interest in them so they think that there has to be a catch. “Emotional involvements arouse strong feelings which average 5s find difficult to control”, so although they are fascinated by people and relationships, they still are wary and become reclusive.

At this level, 5s start reducing their needs, which includes (but not limited to) basic amenities, comforts, bodily functions/needs, activities, and relationships. These are viewed as insignificant hindrances to their quest for mastery. Often, average 5s will work in positions far beneath their capabilities so as to minimise the demands placed on them. “Ironically, they are avoiding living their lives so they can devote time to preparing to live their lives.”

Isolation fuels their helplessness, anxieties, and fears. “The horror and uncertainty of the world is so apparent to 5s” that their view of reality become ever more bleak and doubtful.

 

(Reference and quotes from Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson)