Thursday, August 21, 2008

Truth or Paranoia! (Home Game, 5th Edition)

"You're just being paranoid."

I hate that expression. I really do. To me, that's basically an off-hand dismissal and invalidation of one's feelings. Given what I'm being "paranoid" about, it can sometimes serve to make the feeling worse, actually. "Great... now I'm paranoid about being paranoid... thanks!"

My biggest fear is abandonment. I used to think my biggest fear was being alone. But I've lived alone before and did quite well. Through the process of elimination, I've narrowed it down now to abandonment. If I put my time and energy into something (or even someone), I don't want to be left behind. I'd rather not even have expended the energy in the first place. I know that at it's root, it's a personal security issue. If one is truly secure, it won't matter to them who enters or leaves their lives or what happens to all that they put their time and energy into.

So, just like the rest of the world, I'm a little "paranoid" ... but at least I'm willing to admit it ... even if I don't like the expression.

I've been left behind physically, mentally and emotionally by many different nouns (people, places and things) in this life. So much so that given my remembrances of living alone successfully, it's tempting to recreate that situation rather than allow myself to get too comfortable with someone (or something) too much. Heh... this is also considered a symptom of classic "fear of commitment."

This is not an abnormal or irrational fear. It's quite common. I think there's something intrinsic within us that lets us know when this fear is unfounded vs. times when it is not. In my experience, when it feels like the fear is justified, the general consensus of others, at that point, is to call it "paranoia."

So, okay, others seem to manage to get past this, somehow. I offer my parents as an example of this. They have been together for 55+ years now. Obviously they have overcome the fear of abandonment. Each one knows, intrinsically, that the other will be there for the rest of their lives.

Is it because they didn't take themselves or each other too seriously? After all, if one believes themselves or another to be of more value, then the potential for separation becomes clear. Why would someone stay with someone they consider less valuable than themselves? And why would someone stay with someone who considers themselves as less valuable? Value. That which is said to be priceless is the most precious and the most valuable. So therefore, it has infinite and no value simultaneously.

Maybe it's simply lack of experience. If you were treated well your entire life, you probably would never think anything other than good things. There would be nothing to fear and no reason for the paranoia. Hence the expression "Ignorance is Bliss." But for an explorer, an adventurer, ignorance is kin to stagnation and therefore death. It's almost as if we explorers LOOK for trouble. Now we're control freaks too! "There's trouble here somewhere. I must find it and stop it!"

I know what it is. I just can't explain it. It's like trying to explain color to someone who's been blind since birth. Why is it that there are some people we can look at and intrinsically know that they would never leave us behind? Why is it that for some people, we never get that warm fuzzy feeling? Worse yet, what happens when our wires are crossed and we end up second guessing ourselves? This is the basis of paranoia, in my opinion. It is when we are unable to determine the outcome based on conflicting results from past experiences. What feels good must be bad since it turned out bad in the end and vice versa.

Interestingly enough, given my example in the previous paragraph, do blind people get that intrinsic feeling about people the same as sighted people? Do they just "know" about people from the sound of their voice or the way they feel or smell? Our are senses actively working against us in that by their very nature they provide the potential for observing and perceiving potential threats regardless of whether they exist or not? It's an interesting question... can a paranoid person be cured by sensory deprivation?

Perhaps the very reason for keeping someone entertained appears to be simply to keep them from learning the truth.

Either that or I just don't take rejection or abandonment very well. Yeah, given my diatribe, that's probably closer to Occam's Razor.


No comments: