Understanding disaffection

I don’t intend to write a long essay on this matter as I have hardly ever written any good essays. It’s either about justifying one’s opinions or evaluating other people’s opinions by referencing them and beating around the bush. Furthermore, your opinion becomes their opinion because they were the first to publish it.

The term disaffection was circling my head at 5 a.m. the other morning, and the more I spelled it out to myself, the more I realized I was spelling out my torso, limbs and head – how detached I was from everything and everyone around me (hence the self-centred bitch comment).

Ben once lent me a book called “A Disaffection” in which the main character, a teacher, goes through everyday absurdities trying to make sense of things. This reminds me of a series of semi-fictional characters created by Camus or Sartre, or even Bukowski. And that’s me digging into existentialism again to look for meaning only to encounter the same old conclusion that meaning is only what we fucking create. I must be getting old because I keep forgetting it. (Or because I currently have nothing to create that will help deal with certain emotions. It reminds me of a line in Kafka’s diary in which he states that he works with ‘weights’ that he can’t get rid of.)

Now, why is it? Why do we repeat this point over and over like we haven’t learned anything? How do we deal with it?

Marx would call it a social matter, a condition of alienation or the lack of integration skills. He never used to refer to a single person but society as a whole. But fuck, I’m not interested in people. I’m interested in a person. I hate viewing people as a whole. I’m not a fucking politician or a philosopher. One person is more than enough to handle. And who says that integration skills are mandatory in life?

When I’m exposed to a group of three or more, I don’t usually have anything to say; they either chat about topics I have little knowledge of, or it’s dull small talk. Unfortunately, you can’t easily escape these situations, especially if you’re in a partnership or work in sociable environments. It makes me feel so EMPTY!

I want to tell people that they know nothing about loneliness and its meaning. If people are alone and don’t know what to do with themselves, they are wrong. There are ways many ways, and there is always something to do so that you’re not physically alone. Hardly anyone realizes that actual loneliness is triggered by not being understood, as you are around people that have not the slightest idea about you. The sad truth is they don’t want to go beneath the surface; it doesn’t even matter if it’s beneath yours or theirs. I’m pretty sure it’s because I hang out in the wrong places – wrong because the people I meet are a mixture of drunk sanguines and lazy phlegmatics whose hedonistic tendencies don’t interest me. I feel a sense of paralysis rendered by the presence of certain people to whom I have no connection. A hollowness spreads around me like some mental disease.

The more I tried to conform, the more estranged I felt. And I keep doing it again and again, thinking that someday it might work. Yes, there was a time I wish I were the same! Every time it takes ten years for me to wake up one night and ask myself, “Why the heck am I doing this (again)?!” And every time, I slap my forehead to remind myself that I’m working on liking myself and not on them to like me.

You don’t usually get much of a glimpse of who these people really are anyway. They don’t let you in. All this time, you’ve known them; you’ve merely been standing on their doorstep. Now and then, you knock and offer free biscuits, but they say no thanks.

No one will ever know anyone entirely. True. But I’ve never asked to know someone entirely; I’m just asking them to let me in. I want to know what they do during a struggle because I want to learn from them. It can’t be that you learn more from fictional characters than real people.

And the sad thing about all this? I’ve become that person myself. I reject any help if I know I can do it on my own. Sometimes I wouldn’t even answer the door. I don’t want to admit that I’m trying to like myself better by spending more time with myself. The only way to like me is to be creative and produce something of value, and since there has been a great lack of it (big time), I hate myself – does it make sense? The only way to learn to like me is to be left alone for a certain amount of time. That way, you gather material by scraping bits and pieces off your brain and heart to create something meaningful. How often have I thought of packing my bags, leave and not tell anyone? Searching one’s heart and brain for words is like looking for the needle in a haystack.

I’m not a good writer.

I need to practice as much as I can every single fucking day.

But this is not possible now.

In simpler terms, what triggers disaffection is: responsibility, work and finding a spot in society. It’s frustrating and brings out the most selfish person in you as you revolt against all this to save yourself. No one other than yourself should blame you, but of course, they blame you. They always do. Luckily, society and work are the least of your concerns; however, responsibility is different, especially if your own mother thinks you don’t give a shit about the family. In her eyes, I am a terrible choleric with violent mood swings.

These aren’t mood swings, though. It’s the constant attempt to act and pretend. Some people do it well; some are just scarring themselves by doing it. And in front of my family, I don’t pretend to be anyone else but me.

Is it a bad thing if you try to save yourself? Or is it just a sad thing because it’s taking you all your life? It makes you feel like you’re not learning.

At the end of the day, people will just view you as a whole, and there is no escape. There has never been.

3 Replies to “Understanding disaffection”

  1. Lange her, dass ich das letzte Mal dort stand und irgendwohin dachte, bloß weg von dort. Auf dem Foto sieht es so viel schöner aus als es tatsächlich ist, es macht diese innere Abneigung plötzlich nostalgisch. – Aber das wollte ich alles gar nicht schreiben.

    As the phrase goes: “Nice pic.” Oh, and you are a good writer.

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