Afraid, I’m going to blow off a bit of steam with this one (and needing to borrow the very title of Tim’s blog, hope it’s o.k….). I have to or else I might implode or do something worse seeing as all my bottled up anger, frustration, despair and a host of other negative feelings are on the verge of getting the better of me… As a matter of fact, in 2007 I felt I had exhausted most of my resilience and energy to “put on an act” that was designed to make me look normal, i.e. like I perceived most other people already were and always have been. And I’ve been burning that ember ever since.
And right there – at the thought of being forced to repress the most natural feelings as a response to circumstance the adversity of which goes beyond any semblance of “normal” in addition to the turmoil of inner, psychological war I’ve been at forever – I become infuriated with – sorry to say – jealousy like crazy for reasons of realizing that “they” always beat me to that one thing which “they” have the nerve to take for granted, whereas for me it was always out of reach from the start and for reasons not of my choosing: The feeling of connection! (The New Agers will call this “resonance”, but I’ve come to understand it as basically being the same thing just adorned with a few bells and whistles for a bigger “bang” in the relevant community…) The one thing that makes our human existence worthwhile, the feeling of being connected with your immediate family, your best friends, maybe even your pet – I’ve been going without from the start… That realization alone is a mind-boggling, terrifying thought to think and feeling to have – and it’s been the most persistent one throughout my life. When the lights go down, when the curtain falls, when the roaring laughter and applause from your own personal daily “show” have ebbed away, when silence rolls in – that’s when I’d usually get engulfed by an abyss of loneliness so infinite that my mind would habitually “overload” and my brain would mercilessly flood my system with feelings of lethal danger, though obscure, non-manifest, hidden from plain sight and resulting in a panic attack so profound that the very fact of having consciousness becomes an agony to end all agony! I can’t think of a worse experience one can have in life. And if there had ever been any kind of “constant” in my life, it would be this: The ever recurring feeling of isolation in everything.I.ever.did.and.experienced!!!
No wonder, even the most intimate relationship I ever had until then with my ex-wife eventually fell apart as she most aptly stated she had trouble coming to terms with my bouts of being “inaccessible”, “distant”, out of reach. Oh my, beloved love – I faced the demons of hell for you in hopes of getting to go to places together that I had envisioned as healing! I am now fully aware that I placed an enormous strain on our relationship from the beginning and in doing so, I have been very unfair to the both of us. I apologize and I’m deeply sorry!
Now… lest I get carried away on a wave of remorse… and since I still think of myself as being driven by a want to find solutions to problems in general, what’s there left to do? I have literally exhausted every single option I ever had and could think of in order to get to that place of fitting in, of feeling connected with my peers, co-workers, friends, eventually another significant other. And I always seem to land in the very same place I’ve been stuck in from the get-go: UTTER ISOLATION! Why? Because that feeling of connection has to travel both ways, it has to be mutual by definition. You can reach out all you want – you’ll still wind up alone if there’s no response from the other side. Took me half a lifetime to get it…. I’ve been reaching out like a lost child screaming for Mommy and Daddy for all my life – and eventually always found myself getting turned away because people would probably – I have to guess here, as I’ve never actually been in their replace given my history – somehow respond via their instincts, which told them to be careful with “this guy” as they must have sensed that I was “off” in some way (to them at least), and for reasons of self-protection, even prophylactically, most of them decided to seek distance from me. (In the work place this would usually result in me getting bullied in one or the other way and ultimately finding myself losing my job in spite of a good or sometimes – not to sound immodest – better-than-good performance. And yes, of course I’m also aware that the latter per se might have been the reason, too, in order to quell potential competition. What an unbelievably fucked up world this is!)
So, back to options: Which ones are there left? When listening to my emotions, I seem to arrive at the feeling that I’m beyond fixing. I had to experience rejection so many times and in such profound ways that the sum total of these experiences feels as if the world per se told me: “No, not you! We don’t want you here! Fuck the hell off!” And in very real ways, that person, that bucket of emotional debris coated by bones and tissue and meat, is really some”thing” noone in their right mind would want any part of. At the very least, whatever “choice” I might still scout out and make, I have not a shred of doubt in my mind that I need to leave the environment I’ve been living in for my entire adult life. As a matter of fact, that probably won’t even be a choice any longer as I needed to depend on welfare for the past eight years and whatever “social network” I might have managed to maintain, has shrunk to a very small, select “number” of people who still seem to express an interest in wanting me in this world. But nonetheless, the existential battle with the administrative institutions in my country has taken a big toll and no matter how hard I fight, the system acts like a current that keeps pulling you under and its design appears as leaving me only these options: Remain motionless at the sidelines and live out my remaining years utterly impoverished, without perspective, purpose and any hope of ever getting to restitute my financial situation or even lose those meager basics it provides, thus ultimately risking homelessness. Trust me, I’ve not only thoroughly researched all this, I have talked to quite a number of relevant parties pertaining to this and the “best” outcome is non-conclusive and the worse one is what I’ve said above.
Now, in light of this: If I decided to undertake the journey to an Ayahuasca healing center, either in Peru or in Mexico or even one of the burgeoning ones in Europe – and if I found ways to somehow find the budget for it, what can I hope for? And the answer always is: I have no idea. Not a clue. I might die in the initial purging ritual as it happened to Jennifer Logan in early 2015 (update: There’s another fatal case, one of several more cited in the article, which I had not been aware of. However, this is from drinking the Ayahuasca brew, not from the initial vomitive using [liquid] tobacco . It is one of the very few – but still reported and happening! – fatal outcomes of imbibing the sacred medicine of the indigenous Amazonian people.) Or I might find myself “nudged over the edge” for good and “contracting” lasting psychosis most likely from becoming retraumatized from the effects of the medicine (that is actually the very approach of the entire undertaking, i.e. the medicine taking you to these dark repressed places and forcing you to face them and somehow work through them; to the best of my knowledge, all more recent conventional approaches of western medicine seem to be geared towards avoiding potential retraumatization rather than going for it…, which on the other hand is the exact reason I have come to not trust conventional therapy as being effective and in fact, I was told so by one of the leading trauma experts on my continent, who has performed experimental treatment on a small group of consenting patients using the likes of LSD and MDMA as early as the late 90ies). These are real, substantial risks that I’ll be facing when deciding to partake of one such ceremony. On the other hand, I might eventually launch myself onto a trajectory of coming to terms with those insane experiences that I was put through from very early on in my life and which got somehow “etched in stone” by way of getting retraumatized later both through single events as well as an ongoing abusive quality to my rearing. I don’t have a clue what’s going to happen. And that’s the crux: I have no other choice but to trust – with trust being the very thing I could never afford ever for reasons of my history. Intellect, trying to always walk into situations as best prepared as possible – thus ultimately becoming a control freak, of course… -, avoiding certain situations that I deemed too dangerous, these were the basic coping strategies I employed throughout my adult life. And now I’m supposed to resort to the one inaccessible quality to make it accessible in the first place?!! If this sounds crazy to you, I can’t blame you. It is. It’s a classical paradox, i.e. a situation that is impossible to escape from without sacrificing the very end you aspire to!
There is only one thought that I keep coming back to when weighing the pro’s and con’s of “taking the plunge”: I’ve got nothing to lose any more. The life I thought I could make for myself – I’ve lost it along with everything that was dear to me. There is no more perspective for anything else but remaining isolated from the bulk of humankind for good, in which case I’d eventually have to turn my back on “civilized society” and retreat to the woods or something (Ha! Never saw that pun coming…”turn to the woods” as in: Rainforest? 😉 ). And the other – theoretical – possibility is that my former “self” or rather that makeshift self that I tried to build from the debris of my history gets eradicated in the process and I’ll be gifted with the tools and devices for healing.
I don’t think I’m exaggerating when saying it has come down to an “all or nothing at all” type of situation, hasn’t it?