Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Dilemma of Sanity

She keeps speaking to herself. Reiterating words that offer her comfort. Lies they may be, but they are her only hold on sanity. Her face a ruin. Its terrain marked with fears, suspicion and hate. Each emotion switching to the other seamlessly, with a continuity that scares the more 'normal' people. Normalcy is overrated. It gives us the cover of society and sociable behavior to wreak havoc on the emotional and mental health of the weak. We speak in hushed tones of our neighbours. Our barbs disguised in the more delectable cover of gossip. Uninformed, careless of the havoc unleashed upon our innocent victims, we revel in the success of our verbal missiles. Meanwhile, the weak suffer. They run for cover from these rumors that swirl around them. They confide the truth to friends, who turn upon them and reveal a different version in their absence. The trojan horse of myths supported by the facade of truth can be devastating. An admission to a part of the truth is considered an admission of the whole. So, the true fall victim to the truth. Justice is dispensed and denied at the same time. It is politics of a nature that Machiavelli would be proud of. Yet, those who cannot act according to such rules are abnormal.

She has heard someone. Or so she says. Voices gosipping about her. She forgets where she is. The fear of infamy drives her, literally, crazy. The instigators are all around her. Voices attack from every corner. She is not safe, even in her own home. There is no one she can turn to for comfort. Those who love her struggle to find an answer. They cannot hear her version of the truth. It does not exist for them. The voices are imaginary. They can only try to comfort her by telling her that she is safe. But is she really? How can they prove that there has been no gossip about her? That would be a lie. And if they do accept the truth, they have to accept her ramblings. They are caught. Between the world, a struggle for the daily life and this emotional battle, they are collateral damage.

There is damage. There are fights. Physical, mental and emotional. Slowly, the ties that bind them grow weaker and weaker. Strands still hold on, but each wants to break off from the whole. They can't. They want to. They can't. Under the yoke of this burden, they chafe. They foam at the ends of their emotional and psychological identity and turn to any comfort they can find. Some to drink, some to medication and others to God. Distractions from the bane of their existence. Hell is other people, Sartre said. These unfortunate individuals run from other people, and yet, are bound to each other. Each the cause of the other's sorrow. In the want to be normal, they turn to the abnormal. They curse, rail and fight each other. They point to each other as the cause of their problems. They grow insensitive, cruel and absolutely ruthless. They seek to hurt each other, to escape the pain the world around causes them. Family, the one thing that should stand between them and the world, becomes their kryptonite. It kills them slowly, steadily, surely.

Meanwhile, the victim, she who is guilty of nothing but believing in the figments of psychotic imaginations that her brain projects, struggles. She finds the walls closing around her. She scrapes against it with her nails. No one believes her. Everyone keeps telling her to not believe in what she hears, what she thinks she hears. How does one do that? she asks. How indeed!

And so, the mad dance continues. 

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