Saturday, 2 August 2008

Choose your battles carefully II

Because of current issues, here some reflections on victims and martyrs. Instead of some additional thoughts about "schizophrenia" and mutated chromosomes, that I will return to later today.

There are people who are so deeply in love with their existential suffering, they can under no circumstances imagine being without it. Not only do they try everything in their power to maintain their suffering, they even seek out any opportunity to increase it: they are, in a narcissistic, i.e. identifying, way, in love with their role as the victim.

If you engage in an argument with one of these people, they will take whatever you say, and turn it upside down. They will interpret every word you say as a personal insult, a personal attack on them. The worst possible attack on these people, on their ego: you didn't understand them.

Indeed, it makes them feel good. Why? Well, if you are identified with your suffering, any increase in the suffering equals an increase of personality (i.e. ego) on your behalf: you become more, and even more of more, the more you suffer.

So, what these people inevitably will do, is begging others to attack them. Becoming attacked feeds their suffering, and through this their ego-identification. Since the ego actually is a very fragile construct, it needs constant approval, constant feeding, or it starves to death.

I must know. I've been there myself. Not so long time ago. And I still sometimes succumb to the temptation: "Oh, please, let there be a misunderstanding, about a weekend off for instance, so that I can be the victim!" Now, usually, I don't necessarily need to stir up strife with other people continuously. I only need to invite them, once in a while, to ignore my boundaries. I have my voices to take care of the rest, to tell me how worthless I am, so that I can feel miserable. While there's a true drama going on in my head, I suffer in silence on the outside. I am the self-sacrificing victim, the martyr. Perfect.

I learned this from my mother. Only, the little voice in her head wasn't quite sufficient. So, she looked for more drama in relation to me and my father. Stirring up strife: "I never said that", "You misunderstand", "You don't want to understand", "You're wide off the mark", etc. etc. My father withdrew. I couldn't.

I know the name of the game. Ad nauseam. It is extremely destructive. It causes nothing but suffering for everyone who plays it. It was what, in the end, made me "go crazy". It is what I see the mental health system expose its clientele to. With what is going on in the mental health system being a very clear reflection of what is going on in society in general.

So, if you're out there, deeply in love with your suffering, and looking for a playmate to "attack" you: I'm not the one. Read: I won't publish your comments.

And: no, I'm not suffering nearly as much as I did anymore. The mental noise in my head has decreased remarkably. Because I took responsibility for my suffering, and chose to do everything in my power to end it.

Update, August 2nd 2008: Hi Larry, I rejected your latest comment, yes. The discussion is over from my side - and on my blog. Thought, I'd made that clear with this post. (And why on earth do you feel attacked by this post?? - Just a rhetoric question!) Well, now it should be clear.
I won't take down the comments of yours that I already have published, though. I see no reason to do that: "It is as it is".


Monica Cassani said...

brilliant insights...I'm still there much of the time I hate to say.

I think I'm going to ditch the blogosphere and concentrate on my spirituality and really healing my soul.

My ego does indeed need to come down a notch or two...

thanks for the humbling words of truth that are really hard to stare at.

Marian said...

I think, most of us are still there, in one or the other way, more or less. Me too. If I weren't, it wouldn't have come as far as to this post.

The world is full of challenges, if it's the blogosphere or "real life". I sometimes feel like running from the challenges, hiding on a mountain top, at some form of retreat, in a challenge-free space, so to speak, me too. But it's the challenges, the suffering, that make you grow. That's why koans were "invented", to provide challenges in the otherwise quite challenge-free atmosphere of a monastery. So, it's not only bad.

It can be a wise thing to do, to leave (part of) the world behind for some time, and concentrate on what you feel really matters, here and now. Like healing your soul, taking on inner challenges. Jane's a very good example for this. Just make sure, you're not running from something.