Let me preface the following by saying that most of it is mostly in regard to a now-years-past-tense condition. Just watch out for the bear.
Now, in regard to that prefatory twenty-eight words, thank you for your attention so far.
Now, to actually begin:
I can't say, "...in my own words...." I don't have any words. They all belong to other people.
Every time I get a notion that words will serve my own most important purposes, the words are twisted every-which way. Or, at best, they are replied to with a blank stare or it's verbal equivalent, "What's your point, what are you trying to say?"
How can I possibly make it more clear???!
That's when it's back to the drawing board---ideally speaking---to make yet more of the contortionist mental convolutions that I went to to try to find the words in the first place. Words, and phrases, by which I had managed to elucidate the matter to myself. Words that I was confident would point to the obvious, turning people’s heads to look where I’m looking. But, the horizon is far more busy, apparently, for other people than it is for me.
Those mental contortions are so much easier to find by way of writing. That’s because writing makes things I can see. Things that stay put. Written without some vicarious over-the-shoulder scrutinizing, praising, indifferent reviewer-helper.
I write because my memory does not stay put. Only you, the other, stays put. In the face of you, I vanish, whether I want to or not. Writing gives me a chance to know myself at all in the face of you. If only I can remember, in my mind's eye, at least something that I've written..
My very sense of reality is blown into nearly all impossible shapes by the slightest movement of others' hot air.
People are full of it, unable to not tell me what’s what, even though they have no clue what their audible, live words and facial expresions really do to me. The way they speak. They create reality out of nothing, and change it all at a whim, and hold me to it every time, with no effort genuinely reason it out for me. So, I’m always on my toes, and with nowhere to stand. Nowhere to be. My feet don’t belong anywhere. "Dance. Run. Just stop trying to be your own person."
I’m very good at appearing to be what I’m not. And, very good at mistaking how I feel about that appearance for reality. How do I know what the reality of other people is? What they really are, except by what I see of how they act toward me? I'm also very good taking for granted that people know what I know: that I’m not what, by their most positively selfish light, I appear to them to be. That I’m just acting how it seems to me they want me to act, and trying to feel how it seems to me they want me to feel.
Responding with forms, and even with invented emotions, that they are so pleased with themselves to have me do. Like people admiring Superman, for their own selfish wishes to have a Superman to admire.
I had no idea anyone thought I actually was what I 'appeared' to be. No idea at all. It never occured to me that anyone thought of me any differently than what I knew myself to be: a panicked puppet. And, beyond all that, I thought they liked me, or hated me, for what I really am: a person. My own person.
So, writing---with no actual or effectively vicarious scrutiny by anyone---, writing is how I know what I am. And keep knowing. And know better and better. And keep the world of what is, to me, in effect, hot air at bay. Because I can see the words. The few of them that I can remember when someone breaths down my neck. Which then is usually none.
The last time I recall having an internal dialogue was when I was fourteen (I’m forty-four now). Except, I don’t actually recall the experience. I recall only having taken note of it, and having mentioned that to my friend, and having told him that “it is logically impossible to stop thinking, to make your mind silent.”
Well, it is very silent now. Like being in a deep sleep. It’s very restful, very cozy. Unless, that is, I’m being chased by a bear. Then, it’s like falling out of the sky. Or, like having a thoroughly debilitating combination of retrograde and anti-retrograde amnesia. Like being Jason Bourne, only worse, until all my health is spent by keeping myself in the good graces of my myriad self-appointed handlers. At which point Jason Bourne can no longer even make himself feel that his handlers actually give a damn. Then he knows they don’t care. He knows they want him dead, by the longest, most traumatizing means possible. What they interpret as a sense of shame on his part is actually the most impossibly deep sense, on his part, of a lack of the most basic and deep kind of autonomy possible. Of all the things they twist, they twist that the most. So, forget I said anything. And, by all means, get a @#%! life.
Personally, I think it’s all a very fun game: I can play. There are no rules; no true commonalities between the two sides. Only, I’m the real person. The other side is made up of zombies who enjoy controlling actual persons like terrified puppets. And the only horror is that everyone is potentially a zombie, at any time, for any or no reason, each one self-appointed to make my life a perfect nightmare. Like a perfect murder, only no one can be a 'witness' to it because everyone is in on it; everyone who owns things, beginning with their very lives, with their very persons. Yes, it’s a very fun game. I can play this game very, very well---if I don’t die of horror and trauma first. Because, I am a person. So, you will lose. You arrogant viper.
But, I digress. This is about the bear:
If you need to kill a bear that’s chasing you, first you have to make such a scary face at it that it stops chasing you. Then, when it stops chasing you, you don’t need to kill it. Of course, if you can’t make such a scary face, then don’t bother trying; just shoot the bear. All of which means that if you need to kill a bear, you must have something that does the job. Because bears are nearsighted. And, the reason they’re nearsighted is because they don’t need to see you to eat you.
In short, if a bear is chasing you, the first thing to do is determine if it is going to eat you, or is just mad at you. And, if you can’t tell which it is, then the first thing to do is to keep from being killed. Because, getting eaten is only a side-effect of being killed. But, if you feel sure that you are not going to be killed, then by all means simply go limp until the bear loses interest. Unless, that is, you really are going to be killed. Some bears are like that.
All of which means, never be chased by a bear. Try being chased by a caterpillar instead: it isn't out to eat you---not by any means. I once had the great fortune of being chased by one. It's one of my fondest memories. I mean, ever. And, I really do mean a caterpillar. The bear was the metaphor: a metaphor for people who misidentify what is right and wrong with you, and then who tyranize you based on those misidentifications.
Caterpillars, unlike bears, are unassuming. And, caterpillars don't take appearances at face value: they don't even know where your face even might be, or even whether you have one.