Monday, January 2, 2012

that mirror

We seldom see ourselves as others see us. Even the most examined mirror doesn't view us with any eyes other than our own. From the tiny flaws we see as scars to the beauty mark everyone else sees as a mole, most of us have constructed images of ourselves based on our fears and wishes and hearsay and flattery. We cling to notions of our personalities constructed from our self-regard and family anecdotes and astrology. A picture of a person made from a hodgepodge of cognizance and coincidence, the moments that we behaved as we thought we should while all the other incidents are swept quietly to the side. For some of us, the gap between this manufactured self and the self everyone else sees is greater than it is for most others. This is the part of the Venn diagram that encircles me.

The sub-group I am in includes all manner of crazy, delusional, and other-wise socially disassociated people. My group includes all manner of the severely afflicted, deep shadow outsiders, and the other-worldly. I say my group, but it isn't as if there is a club charter, or there are meetings with coffee and sugar cookies after. This is a bit on the too bad side, because I bet the minutes for those meetings would be hilarious. Or tragic. Or both.

Part of this affiliation is being a depressive, part is thinking I am a creative type. A lot more is probably a simple animal inability to understand the motivations and actions of others. It took me so long to grasp the workings of the wheels of much of society, and I spent so much time on the outside that I now find it hard to come back in. Play sannyasin long enough, and you might just lose yourself to the role. I spent most of the last ten years pretending to be a reasonable person, working with severely emotionally disturbed kids, all the while allowing my own fairly severe disturbances grow from bad to worse. Some of my own deficits were assets in this line of work, and I managed to hardly get fired at all. Now I am thoroughly unemployed, on the long downward slide into a sore and shabby middle-age, and about one hard look or wrong word away from a felony. And I don't care much for the look that mirror is giving me.

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