Friday, 24 February 2012

No social skills, the ultimate thrill

A typical situation in my everyday life goes as follows. Someone, somewhere, assumes that I am just like them. This is a fine generalisation, but like all such generalisations, it is not always true. And in this particular case it is so very, very flawed. When someone attempts to start a conversation with me, instead of following any human instincts I SHOULD have programmed into me, I simply freeze. This is probably something to do with autism and severe, chronic depersonalisation, by the way. But in any case, while to the outside world I appear as if I have been cryogenically stored, my brain is shifting from thought to thought a mile a minute, thinking: "What should I say? Is this alright to say? What does a normal person say in such a situation? How do I do this without being boring?" Finally I think, "Oh I know, I should follow my emotions. That's what everyone does, right?". And I end up speaking such an atrocity of a faux-pas that I will not even attempt to emulate the sheer disgusting shame it makes me feel by recreating it on the internet. In the end if I don't follow my heart, my response is something of a quick, calculated conversation-assassination, with something like 'Okay', or 'Yeah', or 'Oh, cool'. I cannot make small-talk. I can't talk to strangers. Saying to me that "Social skills can be learned!" is like telling an amputee they can regrow their lost limb by thinking hard enough.

I've developed a lot of coping mechanisms over the years (essentially building an artificial limb over my bloody stump), to the extent actually where if I am in a conversation with someone I know, I can to some degree get on fluently, though rarely in a manner that is socially acceptable - though still, maybe I'm not giving myself enough credit here. I tailor-fit my personality to fit others' needs. I don't do this wildly accurately, but due to the fact that I have been doing this for so long, it has become even easier, as I now fundamentally lack a sense of self and personality possibly because of it.* This is, as you can imagine, a vicious cycle - I create a new personality for someone, and in doing so can less rely on my 'true' personality. On and on until there is nothing left of me but crude copies of TV characters. Everything you see here on this blog in terms of personality is a lie: I am making this up as I go along. While I am antinatalist and depressive in real life, my values are truthful, my overall method of talking is quite deceitful, in that, only my narcissism is actually true to what remains of my broken, battered self. I am not a flamboyant person. I do not generally alliterate and such when I write. This is all what I expect people of the antinatalist community might like, rather than what my personality is like. Don't tell me, "Be yourself, I'm sure everyone will like that", because I don't have a self. Everything is fake to draw an emotional reaction from either myself or others.  This is one of the highest ranked reasons, I am sure, for why I wish to die (despite not carrying it out for a few decades). Being an unthinking shallow automaton is not a good thing to be, and I value the fact that I at least retain enough of my humanity to think, "This is so, so wrong".

By the way, these blog posts are very crude. I am sorry for that. Originally I used to revise and edit and retype and compare different versions to check which would be the best to write, but now I simply can't be bothered. I believe that maybe, one time in the future, if I ever get round to writing a book, I might retool the posts a bit, and write a little better.




*Or chronic depersonalisation. Take your pick. Probably a combination of both in the end.

3 comments:

  1. I empathise. I, as far as I know anyhow, don't fall on the autistic spectrum, but I continually have that cycle of "should I do this? Should I say that?" in my head whilst talking to people. And it's true vis a vis blogging too; everything I write is true, but I censor myself at times, and that's often incredibly frustrating.

    What is the self anyway? A societal or inward concept? I haven't worked that out yet, and suspect I never will.

    For what it's worth, though, I don't find your posts "crude". Or if they are, then your more refined writing must be particularly engaging :)

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  2. Thanks Pan (if I can call you that), I used to tend to be really obsessive about posts, thinking if I did X I could become the next Y. Not gonna happen. And besides, becoming a well-known writer would probably depress me anyway, as not enough of the 'right' people would be reading it if I were well-known (I sort of doubt for example that many people can empathise with Sylvia Plath more than "She suffered. How terrible!" because they don't know what mental illness feels like. When I saw people trying to (in a literary fashion) critically anaylse The Bell Jar I just despaired - analysing a woman's life? Fucking monsters!).

    I can understand censoring yourself. I think I do this a lot too, but I can't really tell these days, since it comes so naturally. But I know especially that I often censor my anger, because I have the belief that letting it out is only going to cause more suffering. As for the self, I don't think it's very coherent for most people, anyway. As Sister Y said in her most recent blog post, it IS illusory, but some people hold more comfort in their delusion than others.

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  3. Estnihil, today I had this intense thought of not being able to talk about and get understood my innermost self, which is the antinatalist. Without that, what are interpersonal relationships for?

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