I Live My Life Vicariously

I live my life as a hermit. Staying hidden in my shell is where I feel the safest. I escape through books, videos, movies, games, music, podcasts, and daydreams. When I have to leave my comfort zone for work, I hide beneath books for temporary cover.

I ventured out of my shell all on my own accord once, for no other reason than to challenge myself to experience life firsthand and to mingle with others in society. It took courage and arduous effort. I exposed myself and peeled back the layers. It took a lot out of me and was extremely taxing, mentally and physically. During the times when it got too overwhelming, I scurried back into my shell, metaphorically — if there were no possible escape routes then, or physically — if said escape routes were accessible. But I was accused of being an escapist, of pretending to be someone else with others, when I was forcing myself to be out there, all bare and naked without a shell. So I retreated back into my shell, crestfallen and defeated that my efforts were for naught. I have not left since. I am encased in a metaphorical shell when I’m out, and I stay in my physical shell as much as I can.

I live my life in a shell, experiencing life vicariously through escapism.


It’s a Wonder

It’s a wonder how, even with a deeply cracked shell, I’m still able to mend some of the cracks in the shells of others, and am glad to do so. They don’t seem to notice how badly cracked mine is but, instead, view my shell as the more intact and stronger one.

It’s a wonder how positive feedback at work lifts me. They had no reason to lie; there were no hidden motives, no hidden agendas. They were just glad to report the positive changes in their lives. My typical response is to chalk it up to external factors or to compliment them back. It feels good though that I’m positively impacting the lives of others, that I’m aiding in their improvements, that I’m nurturing their intellect.

It’s a wonder how a certain handful see my endearing qualities while most others see only my abrasive side.

It’s a wonder how I seem to be a magnet for the INFJ type. Perhaps I spot them more easily, perhaps the places I go to happen to attract them too. Almost every venue where I’m at, I can be certain to bump into an INFJ. I’ve recently come across another two. Roll the repeats and credits, s’il vous plaît.

Hanging by a Thread

I’m hanging by a thread,
And it’s fraying.
I tried grasping onto other threads,
But my efforts were in vain.
They were all too fragile,
And they snapped.
I don’t have much,
Yet I’m still going to throw it all away.
My time, money, and effort
Are vanishing into thin air.
I’m clinging on,
But I don’t know for how much longer.
There’s nothing much left for me;
I’m not made for this world.
I’m hanging by a thread,
And it’s fraying.

A Couple of Solo Theatergoers (& Excerpts)

Is it common for solo theatergoers to socialise with another singleton at the theater?  Is it a social practice that’s generally accepted and implicitly understood?

It happened once before, although this time, it was a lady who sat beside me. A while had passed before she asked,

“Are you here alone?”

Her question broke my reverie. It took me a moment to gather the scattered pieces of the puzzle and form a comprehensible picture of the social context — that she had indeed said something, that she had asked a question, that the question was directed at me, and that those were the words that formed her question. As it took me by surprise, I wasn’t quite sure how to react so I simply smiled and gave a slight nod, then turned back to face the stage and resumed my original sitting position, wondering what her motives and reasons were that prompted her to break the silence between us and to ask me that question.

It got awkward between us after that, and there were no further exchange of words for the rest of the show.

On a separate note, the following are excerpts from 3,096 Days in Captivity by Natascha Kampusch. They echo my thoughts and are worded much better than I could have.

Nothing is all black, or all white. And nobody is all good or all evil. These are words that people don’t like to hear from an abduction victim. Because the clearly defined concept of good and evil is turned on its head, a concept that people are all too willing to accept so as not to lose their way in a world full of shades of grey. When I talk about it, I can see the confusion and rejection in the faces of many who were not there. The empathy they felt for my fate freezes and is turned to denial.

That, within the evil, at least brief moments of normality, even mutual understanding, were possible. That’s what I mean when I say that there is neither black nor white, neither in reality nor in extreme situations, but rather many subtle shades in between that make the difference.

Our society needs criminals like Wolfgang Priklopil in order to give a face to the evil that lives within and to split it off from society itself. It needs the images of cellar dungeons so as not to have to see the many homes in which violence rears its conformist, bourgeois head. Society uses the victims of sensational cases such as mine in order to divest itself of the responsibility for the many nameless victims of daily crimes, victims nobody helps — even when they ask for help.

Crimes such as the one committed against me form the austere, black-and-white structure for the categories of Good and Evil on which society is based. The perpetrator must be a beast, so that we can see ourselves as being on the side of good. His crime must be embellished with S&M fantasies and wild orgies, until it is so extreme that it no longer has anything to do with our own lives.

And the victim must have been broken and must remain so, so that the externalisation of evil is possible. The victim who refuses to assume this role contradicts society’s simplistic view. Nobody wants to see it. People would have to take a look at themselves.

……It is society’s self-hate that rebounds on society itself, begging the question of why it allows something like that to happen.

I was unable to find any desire for revenge within me — just the opposite. It seemed as if I would only reverse the crime he has committed against me if I delivered him into the hands of the police. First he had locked me up, then I would make sure that he was locked up. In my twisted worldview, the crime would not have been cancelled out, but rather intensified. The evil in the world would be no less, but indeed would multiply.

The sympathy extended to a victim is deceptive. People love the victim only when they can feel superior to him or her. …But even the offers of help were indicative of what was going on inside many. It is a human reflex that makes you feel better about yourself when you can help someone weaker, a victim. That works as long as the roles are clearly defined. Gratitude to the giver is wonderful; but when it is abused to prevent the other from developing his or her full potential, the whole thing takes on a hollow ring.

A Cause to Blame

I sometimes wish that something truly tragic had happened to me, that something bad were to happen to me. I’d then have a tragedy to explain why I am the way I am, why I feel the way I feel, why I think the thoughts I do. I’d have a label that I could simply utter and others could easily comprehend. A specific reason. Something to pinpoint the source of where it all started. A cause to blame. Something that’s outside of my self, that’s bigger than my self, that’s beyond my control.

I then feel bad that I think this way, that I’m diluting the terrible events others have gone through or are going through. Who am I to wish upon such? Who am I to feel the way I feel and act the way I do when I haven’t experienced any catastrophes?

The reason is essentially me. This is where it all leads right back to. It’s a simple word, but a complex answer. There is no specific moment in time when everything began to snowball and go downhill. This is just how I am.

Frankenstein’s Creature

Why do men live in herds… But then… massacre each other?

Where’s the logic in that? It’s insulting in its stupidity! What fool said prejudice can be overcome?

What is love?

Did I ask to be created? … I am different. I know I am different! I have tried to be the same but I’m different! Why can I not be who I am? Why does humanity detest me?

To kill me? Why then did you create me? … So you make sport with my life?

Yet you’d kill me if you could! … So why is your killing justified, and mine is not?

Master, what is death? What will it feel like? Can I die?

Piercing questions.
Thought-provoking and deep.
Questions that mirror mine.
Questions I’ve asked before the age of nine.

I am the one who stands outside the door. I see inside. But I daren’t go in.

(Describing the moon) Solitary… And sad like me… Because it is solitary… Because with all that I read, all that I learn, I discover how much I do not know. Ideas batter me like hailstones. Questions but no answers.

I did not ask to be born.

I should be Adam. God was proud of Adam. But Satan’s the one I sympathise with. For I was cast out, like Satan, though I did no wrong.

I am good at the art of assimilation. I have watched, and listened, and learnt. At first I knew nothing at all. But I studied the ways of men, and slowly I learnt: how to ruin, how to hate, how to debase, how to humiliate. And at the feet of my master, I learnt the highest of human skills, the skill no other creature owns: I finally learnt how to lie.

Haunting thoughts.
Question-provoking and dark.
Thoughts that echo mine.
Thoughts that reflect the creature of Frankenstein.