Living in a Fish Bowl


October 5th, 2011

I feel like I am living in a fish bowl. I wake at night in a sweat fearing my most intimate and embarrassing secrets are known, or that I have done something irredeemable I cannot come back from. I feel like my world is coming apart, that the slightest mistake will cause it to unravel. I feel I must try to be perfect.

But why be perfect? How can anyone be perfect?

The feeling is angst.  A general feeling of unidentifiable dread and desperation that people get from living in modern society.  But I worry about past failures, past confrontations.  I have tagged myself because I was hit by a car when I was five.   And I will always blame myself, blame that on my past failures.  I must, in my own mind, be perfect to overcome my deficits.   Yet I can’t be perfect.  I have a subtle difference, a slight hesitation in speech and movement that is so slight it cannot be tagged as a disability.   But people do notice it, and I do lose jobs because of it.  I do become a target because of it, a target of people’s frustration and anger, especially when they find I have achieved some things in life.  I am not humble and gracious and thankful for the little I have received from a “benevolent and kind” human race.  (This is because society has not been kind with me.) I am angry with people that they cannot look past my difference.  Instead of looking at my mass of qualifications people start looking for excuses to de-select me with a clear conscience.  And, if people who would prefer to see me fail cannot find adequate reason to throw me on the garbage heap of society, they lie.  It brings about confrontation sometimes.

I think the deal here is the status quo. It can be described by this horrible little Christian aphorism “I was sad because I had no shoes, until I saw a man with no feet.” meaning that I felt bad about my place in society until I saw somebody worse off than me.  There is something really warped about that for a religion that claims to be established for the purpose of helping.  Because if the man with no shoes finds his self esteem through the fact that the other guy is worse of then him, it is not in Shoeless Joe’s self interest to help the other fellow improve his life.  How do you think the person with no feet feels that someone else is using his misfortune to raise their feeling of self worth?  Just because he has no feet does not mean he has no brain and I am sure he is affected by every little sleight against him.  The status quo only works if the people on the lower rungs of the status quo are not considered as full thinking feeling human beings by the people above.  I know I do not want to be a dumping ground for someone else’s lack of self esteem.

There is no compassion here.  Here a strict hierarchy is established where the people above are supported by the misery of the people below.

It would be so much easier for the evil people in society if I was as stupid and scared as I was different.  It would be easier for me, I think,  Then I could accept other people’s bad attitudes toward me and live down to all their expectations.  But I am not stupid, and I have goals and dreams and needs, like anybody else.

Well then, why should I worry? Why should I suffer from nothing? If I feel guilty about something, if I feel like I am being accused for something outside of my control then why should I hold back my feelings. Why should I suffer from actions I withhold? It is fear more than action which destroys us. I am suffering at night for things I cannot know, shadows of past failures. I know what has happened before but I cannot know what will happen. I have questions about who I am and how others see me, and how that plays out. I am losing sleep anyway because I fear I am telling my secrets, so I may as well tell them.

So let there be a blog.


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