I've been away this week, tending to more important things than yelling ineffectually from the rooftops. It has been an enforced, but completely necessary, endeavor. One of the things I would assume that most people take for granted is being a "functioning" or even "recognized" member of society, and it's only in retrospect that I've discovered -- probably re-discovered, because I know that I've always known this but have conveniently ignored it -- is that it's not as easy as we think it is, and moreover, we make it more difficult by our own (in-)action, mostly unconscious (in-)action.
Yeah, that doesn't make much sense, but bear with me -- I'm a mental patient, after all, and my internal monologues don't always translate well to others. I'm spitballing here. I'm sure that's a common thing; the subjects you think upon and the conclusions you arrive at make perfect sense to You, inside the space of your own head, but they aren't always readily communicable to others.
For about seven years now, I've basically dropped off the radar screen in all respects. This has been by choice, mostly. I find the company of most people to be tedious, annoying, and an unwelcome intrusion. I rarely go anywhere, if I can avoid it, preferring the comfort of home to the Nasty Spaces Outside. Watching 3,000 people get murdered in the most horrible fashion imaginable and perceiving that none seem to really give a shit about it might make you think this way. Misanthropy, I think they call it; a hatred of your fellow Man. I know that it was based on some notion of "superiority", but by what system of comparison I had arrived at the conclusion that I'm better than anyone else is nebulous; it's an amalgamation of concepts that taken singly make very little sense, and when taken together become clearer, even approaching a Personal Philosophy, maybe, but it really isn't readily explainable to someone else.
I believe that "dropping out" was a necessary thing. It seemed that way at the time. You can't suffer the traumas I have and not want to withdraw and still call yourself a Human Being. It is only "normal" to close your eyes at the horror that is Modern Life, if only for a little while, but completely unacceptable to believe that you can consciously build walls to keep it at bay forever without doing serious harm to yourself, and your standing, in the process. At some point, you have to just accept that The World does not operate on the same wavelength that You do, and either learn to accept it, or find constructive, useful ways around it. A form of opportunism, if you will, a sense that I will take Life as it comes, taking advantage where I can, and declining action where that seems prudent, too.
Creating a bubble to live in, where all outside influences are kept at bay except for those you believe you can safely control and regulate to your needs and tastes, is simply a form of mental surrender. You can convince yourself that it's a virtue, and that even works for a length of time, but at some point, that bubble must burst, and the longer it's maintained the more traumatic and difficult the "re-birth". Seven years is a long time, and I've probably done more damage to myself in that time while trying to "protect" Me, than I would have suffered if I had just "Manned-up" and took yet one more on the chin.
It's even worse when you're under the mistaken impression that Life should be fair. And even the term "Fair" doesn't exactly square with anything approaching a valid definition, since in itself, it's a term that has no real meaning in a world of situational ethics; there are people who will die today, and that isn't Fair --but, Hey, at least it's not Me!. There are some who will become fabulously wealthy today, Someone else is going to be told they have three days to live, a child will be born with a debilitating defect, or someone will get hit by a stray bullet while minding their own business at a Bus Stop, and they'll be sitting there thinking, "This is total Bullshit!", I'm certain. My personal version of "Unfair" was based upon the belief, probably a result of my upbringing, that there were certain rules in Life that were inviolate, graven in stone, only to find that they weren't, and then crying about how that revelation wasn't "Fair" to an audience that largely could give a shit, and which certainly wasn't going to disrupt their own version of Life to do anything about it. They had their own litany of sorrows about how Life was Unfair, and who the fuck was I to assume that their losses, indignities and annoyances were any less important than mine?
Why did I expect any of them to care? Who says I should expect them to?
Mostly because I believed, as most idealists do (and trust me, all my Idealism has been pounded right out of me by experience), that people have bonds, they have a set of responsibilities to one another, that "Right" and "Fair" are concepts understood by everyone in the same, unmistakable terms. I've also believed that I had an Entitlement, that when I sacrificed on behalf of someone else that they were obligated by some cosmic sense of Justice to return the favor, and not just when or as they were able to, but when I demanded it or deemed it necessary.
I guess that makes me a disgusting, selfish, idiotic bag of DNA, too, but be that as it may, when that Cosmic Justice thing didn't quite work out for me the way I wanted it too, it became yet one more reason to withdraw a little bit further. Eventually, the only "World" you experience is the one within your own skull, only to find there's really nothing there. Nothing very attractive, anyway. That "Outside World", the one with the unvirtuous, disgusting little selfish beings you hate so much, is really all there is, and you'll just have to rejoin it at some point, as terrible as that idea sounds.
And so you try, but you soon find that your retreat from the Outside World comes with penalties; you've put so many obstacles in the path of reentry by virtue of your own inertia, an abject neglect or rejection of petty, but important, details that were once just a conveniently ignored part of the torture chamber. These petty details have a strange way of coming back to haunt you.
Like when you need new identification documents, and you haven't kept your old ones up-to-date, and now you have to prove that, sans the evidence to the contrary -- you're standing there in front of the Bureaucrat, after all -- you actually DO exist, despite what "The Computer" says. You would be astonished at how deeply and thoroughly this society has been systematically reduced to ones-and-zeroes, with a corresponding mentality to accompany it. A seemingly-bulletproof stupidity that dictates independent thought without the aid of an electronic gadget is impossible. It becomes evident when you have logic and fact on your side, and the Other Side has only a database, which might or might not be accurate. It's gone so far that people are willing to believe what "The Computer says" more than what YOU have to say.
You'd be astonished at how the legal system works against you, in secret and without your knowledge, when it can't contact you -- or more likely -- when it can't be bothered to try, or if it becomes inconvenient (i.e. they might lose the suit) to do so. You'd be flabbergasted if I told you that right now, thousands, tens of thousands, perhaps millions, of Americans are parties (usually defendants) to lawsuits that are being brought against them in states in which they don't even live, or have never lived in at all -- and they don't know a thing about them. Worse, they're having judgements rendered - -and almost always against them -- in these courts when they aren't even present, having never been summoned. They can't offer a defense or mitigation, or offer evidence, and worse, The Law allows it -- in fact, encourages it. Because the Law is no longer about giving order to Society, it has become the personal feeding trough of the Legal Profession, and a a tool of those who seek regulating power over all aspects of your life.
Can't let a little thing like not being able to contact the prospective defendant get in the way of getting a fee or recovering money at exorbitant interest rates for the client.
You'd be amazed to know that it's perfectly legal for your creditors to simply change the address of the "Main Office" from which they do business in order to take advantage of looser state laws and regulations regarding usury and the standards of evidence specifically for the purposes of bringing these lawsuits and obtaining default judgements against you. In a time and place other than "Modern America" this might be called "Extortion", maybe even "Felonious".
At the end of the day, these are all, ultimately, cases of personal responsibility, or rather, personal irresponsibility. I didn't write The Rules -- not to mention the Unwritten Ones -- but nonetheless, there they are. Sometimes, as the saying goes, the flies don't get to pick which pile of shit they land on. My mistake was to believe that I was "special" and entitled to have The Rules applied in a way that was conditioned by my pre-conceived and wholly unrealistic notions of "Fair". And because I believed I was justified in thinking and behaving otherwise, in fact I held this all as a virtue, I have dug a deeper hole.
I've gotten myself into a support group, because I have issues, many of which I have known about for a long time but have refused to tend to, and those can (mostly) be fixed. Yes, you are all diseased, but I will learn how to forgive you that sin. It will require some retraining and a new point-of-view on just about everything, but mostly it will be about learning to adapt to "New Realities", as President Odickhead is fond of saying. The World no longer operates on the system of values I was taught to respect. "Progress", or the notion of it in any case, often does this to a culture.
I've also gotten myself a lawyer (a damned good one, too!), and once I've proven that I do, in fact, exist (we're not yet, I hope, at the point of Orwell's concept of the Unperson. It's amazing that for the purposes of a secret lawsuit my existence was already taken for granted, but God forbid I want a State-issued identification card!) , I can hopefully go about the business of "reintegrating" into Society, and perhaps take all I've learned during this enforced exile and put it to work to my advantage.
If you thought I was a Bad Boy before I withdrew from your (collectively) sickening presence, just wait until I get these problems sorted out; I'll be your worst nightmare. Ten years from now, I'll be blogging about my beachfront property in Antigua, my twenty servants, and how I kicked the crap out of a beggar with impunity in the streets in full view of multiple witnesses. Perhaps my appetites and desires really won't go this far, but what I've learned is that selfishness and personal responsibility (defined as responsibility for Me and to Me, not to or for Thee) go hand-in-glove if you really want to thrive in what passes for civilization now, rather than to simply exist.
Be afraid. Be very afraid. There's a Lunatic out there determined to play your game by his own rules, and if past history is any indication, if you tell "You Can't" don't be surprised when he replies "Fuck you...just watch me!"