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Dissociation stories

I went to a birthday party in Helsinki. It was nice to meet all the people there - to talk, to sing, to eat and to dance together. (They even played Immigrant Song, which always works for me). There were people who I haven't met for years - and the last time I saw some of those friends, they were the years when I was heavily depressed and socially on low energies. Now, it was touching to experience how the connection and friendship is still there, how the communication flows easily, and personal stories get shared. When the party was over, we cleaned up the place - there were some opened but merely half-emptied bottles of sparkling wine, which would've been a sin to pour into the sink. So anyone who could, took a bottle with them. It was a warmish early summer night, and I had an hour of walk to the flat where I stayed - I was already slightly drunk, and I walked down the streets of Helsinki, slowly sipping the wine and occasionally chatting a line of two with the random people I met. Hehe, I think this is pretty normal life for people living in cities - for me this is a different world where I just visit two or three times a year.

As I have written earlier, one of the central themes in my life has been my difficulties with social situations. Lately that has been getting better, but seemingly paradoxically I've also felt very introverted. I think one example of that is my current hiatus in following the blog of Mr. Polecat - I find it interesting to see what he is up to, and how his house renovation project has been going, but for a longish time I've felt like the idea of following his blog is floating there somewhere in the corner of my consciousness, and that I lack energy to actualize the idea. Something similar with many of my real-life friends, many of whom live in Helsinki but were not attending that party - I like those friends, a lot, and I know that it would be nice to meet them - yet I didn't tell them that I'm coming to the city, and I just chose to spend more time in solitude.

To broaden the picture - lately I've seen several people posting links to articles related to dissociative disorders. And I think that many of the phenomenons I've been referring to in my earlier posts, could be more accurately describes as some form of depersonalization disorder (instead of generic 'depression' - although these terms overlap, and one could say that in some cases 'depression' is a symptom, and 'depersonalization' is one underlying mechanism causing the symptoms). I mean, those 'semi-autistic' moments when I feel almost totally disconnected from the rest of the people, or when my life feels like navigating in the mist.

To (over)simplify a bit - as a kid I didn't quite learn how to interact with other people. Instead I learnt how to hide my inner emotions, and I learned that the physical presence of other people is potentially dangerous, so there often was a sense of stress and threat associated with social situations. Safety is solitude. Only that the severity of problems left their mark on my psychological build, and often I felt that even when I'm alone there is no peace but just this numb feeling of alienation. Sometimes it was only my rational mind telling me that the world and my personal existence are somehow real - on the emotional level everything felt just empty, distant and inaccessible. Well, but luckily, already as a teenager I found things like meditation, tai-chi, dance improvisation, and unhurried wanderings in the woods reading translations of Native American poetry - they helped me feel more whole, more present, more real, and in deeper touch with my inner self and with nature. Hehe, it has been a long process ever since =) And sure, there seems to be different phases and cycles - sometimes I need more time in solitude, and sometimes I need a healthy dose of social life. And sometimes I stumble on old memories of severe trauma, which need more time and attention (no, they won't go away if I just try to ignore or forget them. They are there, as long as they get dissolved and replaced by something even more powerful.)

So, hehe, this goes as an explanation, and a sincere thank you to all of my friends out there. You know there might be these periods when I'm not that good at keeping in contact. Sometimes it takes me a long time to reply to a message, sometimes I'm distant, passive or emotionally absent. I do appreciate the way my friends have been patient and accepting with me - and I keep on working with my inner stuff so that communication and friendship would become easier and more fluent for me.

Helsinki at 2 am
Helsink at 2 am
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Aha, you haven't missed much on my silly little corner of the internet, lol. It is a busy time with the farming, so the house has been lagging behind a bit. Though I did fix up one of your old M39 service rifles recently. It really impresses me how well your people rebuilt them back in the day. It shoots so much better than a regular Mosin Nagant that there is no comparison, lol.

Anyway, in response to the meat of your post: I think this is one of the reasons I like the internet so much. I can be alone, which is how I like it, but still have social interactions that fill that human need for socialization, beneath the desire for solitude. But the best thing is that those social interactions can be focused and efficient, and happen in a timeframe of my own choosing, so that I am not exhausted by it. Maybe I am being a little selfish for thinking that way, but I guess if it works and keeps one mentally healthy, then hooray. :P

I don't think there is anything wrong with being a loner. We have that certain stigma attached to it, like "Oooh, he is a loner and doesn't talk much, so be must be a crazy Unibomber or School Shooter or Child Molester or something!" But it seems to me like Narcissism is what causes these sorts of bad insanity, not being a loner. If anything, I sometimes think that maybe the whole "Being a loner is bad" narrative is perpetuated by Collectivist thought (maybe even just subconsciously, but still perpetuated), in order to keep people from being Independent Individuals and thinking outside the Collective.

But I dunno. Maybe I am just a crazy loner, thinking crazy thoughts. :P


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