This was origionally intended to be a reply posted to Bluma’s 2010-07-27 blog entry: “Oh shut up, voice in my head. You too, other voice. In fact, y’all can just be quiet.”
…but it grew into it’s own chubby little blogette:
I’ve spent so much of my life trying to be characters, or play up who I am for the benefit of others’ perception, good or bad. I knew I was doing this, but it became a bit of a disease. I had base empathy, but most of my outer emotions were a fake of tidbits I picked up from others and completely constructed since I actually had little emotional dialog of my own. I had trouble socially relating to others and was constantly seeking approval from them or moving on to my next character until something stuck, or being overly passive or overly aggressive to the whim of the room in order to putty myself into it.
It was tough work, and I was becoming exhausted and losing character back to my glum emotionless retreat to the corner of the room more frequently. I had actively looked to get into substance abuse (as desperate as that sounds) to get the social vigor I needed to keep character and all the social trimmings of being a substance pusher that went with it. I regret offering or helping friends and acquaintances obtain these things. One day I looked at my bank statement and made my periodical assessment of “Is this working out?” and realized that I had spent an enormous effort in trying to understand and relate to folks and be just like them, but I had already succeeded and didn’t realize it. I had also made a few good friends, but it was based off of something awful, and not knowing how to emotionally confront them, I walked away.
I realized that what makes people people, is that no matter how anti-social they are, or how much they can be perceived as likable, folks try too hard and go amazing lengths to put on a show for others and be liked, and that’s what I’ve been doing and couldn’t recognize it in others before. I was successful in emulating many aspects of other people, and had fought my own natural dislike of unnecessary attributes people placed on things or themselves (like gifts somehow being “more special” when there’s a bow on the damn box… meta, damn meta properties!). I think most people actually are tired of meta emotional value added to things or events, like birthdays, anniversaries, but it’s so ingrained in them through society, that they’ll socially sabotage and ostracize you if you don’t agree (try walking and singing near a zombie and see if it doesn’t want to eat you).
I’m not going to try to smile unless one cracks on my face by itself, I’m not going to show contempt if I don’t really care just because others are showing contempt. They can get over it. My new thing to watch about my “presentation” is to identify if I am putting on a “presentation” and stop right then and there. I can focus on what I want and not feel as though I should withdrawl because of the eyes of others disapproving or sending me their body language. They get that from other people, they’re used to expectations others have of them, and force aspects of that on others. It’s odd that I’ve ever tried to be someone else, because I’ve often popped out and railed against that behavior in folks.
Bluma, I’ve gotten so terribly off point from what I was trying to convey in my response. :p I guess I should’ve said that I’m not around you often, but in the few times I have been, I could pick up on and respect that you’re out of sync with the world, I admire that, and kudos to telling it to kiss off because you’re fabulous Bluma and you take care of shit.