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.

Advertisements

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.

MBTI Types At Sea

SJs pool together at the surface, at times diving down midway but quickly resurfacing due to a lack of oxygen. They’re puzzled by how the iNtuitives enjoy getting lost in the depths of the ocean when the surface is a much safer and more comfortable place to be, and try to school the scattered SPs who’ve gone astray from the SJ way of life.

SPs spread out at the surface, tinkering with things they find floating at or near the surface, at times diving down to bring something interesting back up to break apart. They sometimes feel constrained by the floating SJ communities and are perplexed as to why the iNtuitives aren’t as excited about all the wondrous things the surface has to offer.

NJs dive deep down into the depths of the ocean and remain there, sometimes going up to the surface but never staying for long or else restlessness kicks in. When they find something that interests them at the bottom of the ocean, they tunnel down deeper to investigate further. They wonder how the Sensors are able to float at the surface for so long yet not be overcome with ennui, and mock the NPs’ lack of depth.

The NPs scatter about at the bottom of the ocean, many times propelling to the surface excitedly before quickly diving back down again with similar enthusiasm and speed. Most everything fascinates them, and they quickly swim from one thing to the next shiny thing that captures their attention. They wonder why the Sensors don’t dive down with them as enthusiastically and frequently, and laugh at the NJs’ tunnel vision.

Tears Falling by a Playground

I hadn’t noticed her there. I was on my phone looking up the directions and walking past a playground. This little girl looked up at me and, instantly, I knew something wasn’t right. She was slumped on a bench and there didn’t seem to be anyone else around.

I stopped in my tracks and asked, “Are you okay?”

Tears started spilling uncontrollably. I knelt down beside her and rubbed her back. Her troubles spewed between sobs. As I looked up at her, I tried to understand where she was coming from. The few words I could catch were ‘London’ and ‘going back home’.

I took a shot in the dark and asked, “You don’t want to go back home?”

She corrected me and said that she did want to go back home (to London) as she did not have any friends here.

“How long have you been here?” I asked, still scrambling to comprehend her situation.

“For a while,” she said.

“Maybe if you wait a little longer,” I replied.

“Okay,” she exhaled.

“Is your mommy or daddy here?” I asked. She looked at me quizzically. “Is your mom or dad here?” I rectified. She told me that they were at work, that she was with her aunt, and that her aunt let her go to the playground on her own.

Something clicked within her. Her tears ran dry.

“Aw, you look so sad…” I said and winced. I stood up, placed my bag on the ground, glanced at the ball on her lap and offered, “Do you want to play?”

She declined politely and said, “I think I’ll go back home now, but thank you.”

I asked if she was sure and she nodded. So she rode down the path on her scooter with the ball in one hand and I headed off in the other direction, glancing back at her a couple of times pondering about the situation.

Perhaps she realised she was talking to a stranger, perhaps I spooked her, perhaps I hadn’t comforted her the way she needed to be, and perhaps I should have been more of an adult and gone with her back home to ensure her safety.

She struck me as a little INFJ, which pains me.

Mr. Black & Mrs. White

Mr. Black and Mrs. White
Were different as can be
Like night and day
Meeting never halfway
Impossible it was for them to agree

Mr. Black liked to change
He always changed with glee
Not just on a Monday
But every single day
Even during midday and also at three

He would always change jobs
Before and after tea
Once on a Friday
He changed his name and fiancé
Can you imagine his family tree?

Mrs. White hated to change
And never once did she
Day after day
Doing the same and never going astray
It was her one and only identity

She never changed her underwear
This truly isn’t hyperbole
Tuesdays were for takeaways
And Wednesdays for word plays
She never changed even for an emergency

Mr. Black and Mrs. White
Obviously failed to see
That the world is full of grey
And nothing is black or white in every way
That is life’s idiosyncrasy