Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Who's Gonna Protect My Insecurity Now?

"I'm gonna be a lonely, deaf sex-beggar" ~ line just heard on Everybody Loves Raymond

Hmm. My fate also, if things keep going as swimmingly as they are.

My insecurity used to find refuge in my egotism. Any slightly vulnerable emotion I had could be subsumed into my sense of myself as an unappreciated literary giant. The process, in fact, became so automatic I often didn't recognise anymore that I was experiencing simple human emotions; each feeling I had would click instantaneously into its literary correlative. A bad day at work didn't even register. I'd just get on the computer and berate magazine editors for something or other. Or humanity for its swineishness and philistinism. My manager might upset me and immediately my perception of his/ her cruelty and stupidity would be generalised into a condemnation of the same qualities across the entire human race. When they weren't even necessarily guilty of stupidity; they were often just guilty of embarrassing me or making me feel insecure by pointing out mistakes I had actually made--which was their job, and the same job I do with people below me in the work hierarchy.

The egotism remains in me (I wouldn't be writing this without a pinch or six of ego), but since I've retired (temporarily? I don't know), from literary endeavours and--as I said in the last post--from my career as a genius, my insecurity has nowhere to hide anymore. It just floats freely in the air, and it's a powerful thing. Does everybody else in the world feel like a scared and lonely child surrounded by big people and expecting any moment that somebody will come and push them over in the dirt? Or have I just killed all of the brain cells associated with mature emotional armouring?

3 comments:

Janey... said...

It's not killed brain cells whatsoever...just a very long winter of extended hibernation...Keep on the scent...you're catching up quickly...

Bruce Hodder said...

Isn't it strange, I have known for YEARS that something in my life or in the way I looked at the world was wrong. But every moment of insight was followed by the crashing down of the iron shutters. I didn't WANT to see, for some reason. Occasionally I was on the right path. Used to have a still from the Johnny Depp film "Dead Man" on my wall--the scene where he's in the bark canoe about to sail to the Land of the Dead--and one day when I happened to glance at the picture I thought, "I have a death to die too." A living death. A death-in-life. But the thought was too abstract at the time; I couldn't figure out what the hell that death might be.

Simple. The death of my stupid fictions. The passing of my imaginary self, which had always separated me from understanding, and from the world. Well, I caught up eventually; it's dying now, if not completely dead. And I am happier for its passing. But it scares me too sometimes, because I don't feel like I have any defences anymore. I have to take the slings and arrows of my life as they come, undaunted, standing on my hind legs like a man.

Blimey.Have the rest of you been doing this all along?

Janey... said...

Well, we pad ourselves with those defenses for as long as we need them...it's all a part of the developmental process and if you ask me...that re-evaluating and getting off your ass to make those changes before it's too late(so to speak)is something most 40-somethings experience...
You do what you gotta do and you do what you CAN do...and no one has a magic template(some theorize but it's based on a sterile environment, really)...
An emotional hibernation...no matter how seemingly unhealthy or unstable...is still a sign of resilience...People are damn resilient...even though we experience misery...even though we talk about not wanting to live...even though we torture ourselves day in and day out...Even though we see the world falling apart around us as we blow societies up...Ultimately, we're still a resilient species because through all the talk of misery and wanting to check out of this world and enter the next...we're still here...and we're procreating just as fast as ever...Damn, I would think that in this day and age, in such a volatile surroundings...people would think twice about bringing more children into the world...But, but...I've been to more baby showers in the past month, than I ever have...And next week? A wedding...People are damn resilient...You are too...