Let the right one in

I hear it’s a very good movie, but for the moment, it’s an unrelated blog post title.

Back to not being able to let people in.

It is not without cost, and I am not just talking about the icy starvation I talked about the last time, although that’s more than enough.

I think I suffer from the numbness of the interface layer as well. I think that the lack of the emotional input that should be there is painful in and of itself, and that I avoid social contact as much due to this pain as due to the usual social fear.

And I suspect that this pain is the palest of shadows lesser, but of the same kind, as the pain autistic people feel. And possibly also the pain that drives some sociopaths to act of violence and sadism.

Deep down, we know what should be there. And so even when the part of us that senses the missing thing is dead or numb, part of us cries out with pain from its phantom, like when your foot falls asleep.

Technically, you are not in pain. Pain is a sensation, not a lack of sensation. But some deep inner warning system is tells you something is WRONG.

And whatever part of you receives the input from that mental limb is picking up nothing but painful static and a tortuous kind of dial tone.

Holy shit. Kids today will have never heard a dial tone. Let alone dialed anything.

I think this pain fuels and informs my social anxiety. On some level, it hurts to be around people, even when it is otherwise quite lovely.

Luckily, I am not the sort ot turn that kind of thing into some grand philosophical system of misanthropy. I have never been able to image the grapes to be sour simply because I want them and can’t have them.

Maybe I would be better off if I was. The deluded seem so much happier.

This painful isolation of mine began at an early age, as we have discussed, and so I don’t know how much of my sense of abandonment and feeling that I was lost and neglected is legit and how much was simple due to being sealed off from the world by the traumatic scar tissue from my early childhood rape.

Sex has such a powerful effect on us that it’s no wonder some retreat into prudery. If some stranger had walked up and socked me in the jaw, sure I would have been upset and I would have taken quite the blow to my sense of trust in the world, but it would not have been the same kind of deep trauma.

It also would have been something I would have immediately told people about and the perpetrator would have instantly been seen as a villain and dealt with accordingly. Because no dark and tender taboos were involved, the situation would have been easy to talk about and deal with, and I would most likely have seen justice done.

But because it was a sexual attack, I never told anyone about it. That’s common in victims of sexual assault. The deep sense of violation brings with it a very deep sense of shame. It’s the only way the brain has of interpreting the experience.

Intellectually, you might know and believe that you did nothing wrong and that it’s the perpetrator who should be ashamed, but on a deep level that doesn’t matter because it’s something far deeper than reason and logic that has been injured and nothing rational can penetrate that deep.

I have internal injuries, and those can be tricky to spot.

I still think someone should have noticed how poorly I was doing outside the academic arena and arranged some kind of intervention.

The right child psychologist could have done wonders for me. Or even just someone who cared enough to invest sustained effort and lots of love in me despite what an odd little creature I was.

I try to imagine what it must have been like to be around a highly unpredictable and willfully independent child as I was. I did not follow any of the usual patterns of behaviour people expect of a child.

I had little to no interest in toys. In fact, I never really “played” in the old fashioned schoolyard sense. You never would have found me happily building a sand castle or pushing a toy car around making vroom noises.

I never saw the point of that kind of thing. Even then, I was constantly hungry for mental stimulation, and toys don’t provide that on their own.

It would never occurred to me to make up little stories to go with my play. No Spaceman Spiff for me. I can only assume that most children do this sort of fantasization because of some deeply programmed social instinct.

And even back then, I was not one to act on instinct.

And that should have been a sign that there was something very wrong with me.

I was not going through the usual stages of development. I was not doing well emotionally or socially. I was very ill, and nobody knew.

They were too dazzled by my precocious intelligence to imagine that there was anything wrong with me. And those who knew better found me strange and unpleasant to be around and therefore did not want to deal with me at all.

And I was too shy to demand attention.

If I could go back and start over (preferably skipping infancy, because eww), I would be one feisty little kid. I would not allow myself and my concerns and my wellbeing to be ignored. I would kick up a fuss whenever I was being neglected and given my native IQ and sharp mind, I would have a lot of fuss volume.

And I sure as fuck would not let myself be bullied or let my bullies go unpunished by the authorities. I would demand action and if I did not get it, there would be heck to pay.

I’d be too young for hell.

But it’s far too late for that. All I can do is try to cope with reality the best I can.

That’s all any of us can ever do.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.



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