An Apology to My Angst

I like to ruminate in my mind more than write it here. But to set things straight, I was just ruminating on how much I hate people as much as I cling to the fleeting promise of their attention. My aversion and evasion of human contact, I think, has always been because of my fear of people and their scrutiny since I have no control over their thoughts compared to how much control and censorship I have over my dreams. Later on, I discovered that this particular fear, angst, nausea, or even despair are caused by an objective and external force contrary to what the definition of anxiety is in general that it is an ‘unfocused fear’, it has no object for it is espoused by ‘nothing’ (this nothing being the projected possibilities the time, situation, action may render). My anxiety is both, that is, the object of my dread are the people—I fear the activity of socializing or asserting myself to them and the possibility that they may or may not criticize me whatsoever. Of course, I understand that you can’t make everyone like you but a part of me says that, “of all the few people I urge myself to meet and interact with, shouldn’t I make the best impression of myself?” This made me bitter, much to my dismay of myself, as this edged me back to my hatred of the so-called “humanity”—or is it ‘human-kind’? But alas! Humans have lost what little kindness is left of them. . . of myself. I have lost compassion for myself because I have adapted the external voices of doubts and insults and made it an internal monologue within myself. It became a routine whenever a challenging situation presents itself I would let myself down before anybody actually would, so the pain won’t be too public. I hope not to be scolded that I didn’t even try or tried harder at relinquishing my fear and loathing of people, I’ve tried to embrace and understand people; I joined university organizations, the student council, I did volunteer works, I went to protests and marches, I joined and was indoctrinated by different church groups, I was even a Marxist and called myself a communist while working in a government office!

But anywhere I looked, people were unkind, they weren’t genuine to one another. Worst there was politics everywhere, a ‘power-struggle’ amongst groups of people—between two people. Society, religion, and politics are supposed band people together but we all end up getting divided by these, I do not call for an abolition of these structures, my only point is that the telos (purpose) of things in our world are not actually performed. Maybe we should call for the Confucian political theory of rectification of names and the ethical maxim of  not doing to others what you do not want others to do unto you so that there will no longer be a disorder in our world, and perhaps the Christian dictum of doing to other what you want others do unto you just to balance things out. People shouldn’t take what is not in their scope and limitations just to ideally fulfill their ambitions and satiate their desires, because the number one fact about desire is that it will never be satisfied. Once you’ve acquired or satisfied your thirst, you will quench and hunger for more. In this sense we can never be truly happy because our desires or concupiscentia lead us to guilt, to more desires, and to existential agonies and ultimately to the suffering of despair. Perhaps it is true that of the oriental belief and possibly Schopenhauer’s claim that 1) life is full of suffering, and 2) our suffering is caused by our desire. Even when you are happy and things may be going well, you will feel uneasy thinking ‘this happiness is just a fleeting moment I need to find something to cover this with another pleasurable experience’. We are continually searching for ourselves but the fact remains that that is just not possible, in a Lacanian sense “the Real” is just impossible to find—we look for it in other people to satisfy our incompleteness thinking that they may be ‘the one’ or my ‘soul mate’, that love is real which would bind two people together, to look for the other half as what Plato’s Symposium told us. Then tell me why there are countless marriages ending up in divorce, annulment, separation and one of their reasons for this is “irreconcilable differences” or when couples break up or get together, more and more are opting for an open-relationship? Because in our commodity fetishistic culture, Tiqqun would tell you, “love is just a word in the dictionary”. We are all Young-girls trying to find ourselves whether in people or things, so long us it seduces us of a promise that we will be completed an finally become happy.

I came to a critical realization that not only our withering world is on the brink of collapse, Marxism is also faulty—faulty in a sense that I cannot live up to its ideals because I am not courageous or strong enough, for I have rooted myself deeply in my solitude, pessimism, and loneliness. Despite this, I would still stand that Marxism is relevant today, perhaps it can still change the world. I would still assert that we are oppressed altogether, but we suffer alone.

My childish attitude has been my coping and defence mechanism against the dizziness that envelopes my whole being around others. I have been fronting this appearance for as long as I can remember that it seems I never grew out of it nor could I longer distinguish my real self. I hope I am yet to be discovered by myself. There were two things I used to mutter to myself: “I hate people. I hate people.” and “I hate school I never liked school.” But a voice within me is arguing that I am bitter because  I cannot maintain a ‘good’ relationship with anyone. It’s mostly I who cannot foster a relationship’ I constantly withdraw back from certain people once we are at the peak of excitement, curiosity, and enthusiasm. All of this in the fear of getting left up there and more nauseous than ever. That is why in the beginning of every new friendship, I immediately probe as to how it will dissipate with me vanishing first. I have not been always successful with this, of course. And it hurts me every time I torment myself whenever I’m left up there in the mountain with the question founded in dread and perfectionism: “where have I gone wrong?” Because you see, I am also looking for what could complete me whether it’s a person, things, hobbies, films, books, work and whatnot. And like anyone else, I will not be able to find that singular thing to identify or complete myself with except this angst, that is me.

A Panic in My Heart

I woke up with a panic in my heart. It’s the second time it happened. I have been meaning to write of my sorrows and worries somewhere I’m anonymous as I have nobody to talk to anymore, to disclose the dread of my soul. It’s because of me and my anxiety. I gradually withdrew from my friends and acquaintances—I could no longer deal with their happiness and optimism. Their dreams and ambitions make me feel even more helpless and scared, these in turn provoked the closeted secret that I am in fact ‘unfit for this world’ as Pessoa would say; Darwin’s ‘survival of the fittest’ has no ring for me, anybody I see who are happier and eager to own the world than my pathetic self would need no permission to overtake me. Indeed, this is a race to the end and I don’t intend to win it. The natural and biological part of my being laments over the weakness of my spirit, it knows that I am good and I could but also that I would never claim for greatness simply because . . . I am me. I am exhausted of “life” before it even begun. I literally have the scars of the battles I have avoided. I scramble to conceal my struggles because really, what are my problems compared to the problems of other people? This is so when my innermost problem is nowhere to be found; it is anywhere and anything and anyone. I am a petty excuse for a human being that has to think, feel, will, and love. The breaths I emit are no longer the breath of life but the sighs of resignation I often heard from the wretched people I wished not to become.

These sighs of resignation are not all I have given. I lived, for a while, to resist the spectre of my own anguish. I had a great ambition not only for myself but for the people—the marginalized and the oppressed—to be free. I thought, for a time, I was part of something meaningful that fought for the collective ambition of changing the system, freedom from alienation, a compassionate advocacy for the lowly, and an intellectual lifestyle. Together we answered the question for whom and this served as a force for us to continue the struggle. The fiery passion ebbed. Hate and alienation ensued with the critical antithesis, but who is the mass; then resigned to estrangement and sadness all over again. Once, I was called a comrade and whenever I saw a comrade we’d exchange a nod of encouragement—now became estrangement and indifference. My skin which acquired colour through marching and protests against the bureaucratic capitalism—the bourgeoisie—now paled and grayed once again. The mass of people whom I learned to love  and fought from my social phobia are once again the main trigger of my dread. It has evolved into a corporate dread as I am streaming towards the corporate environment.