The Protective Wall of Anger and Fantasy

Whenever I’ve thought of making major practical changes in my life, of thinking differently, of eschewing my dreams and being practical and the like, I get superbly angry. It’s as if the rage meter in me goes off the charts.

What does that mean?

I think it means that I’ve taken the course I have because I’ve been furious at the world. To take a more normal course feels like the worst thing possible. I can’t imagine living second-to-second knowing I’d made this choice and I was living this way. The mental weight of each moment would kill me. I get terrified of it. Truly terrified.

That’s got to be a mental health issue.

It’s also an issue that I can’t hear certain songs of my youth, heard around 1975, without getting physically nauseated. I’ve brought this up before. It still happens. I played one of the songs last night that does it to me and it did it again. It’s fascinating in a way. I actually LIKE the songs.

I have never been able to figure it out but I think maybe I can begin to now.

I started the year 1974 in high school thinking I could be a doctor. But I took AP Chemistry and was lost. I did the labs fine but the class work was too hard. The teacher told me I should go back to the regular chemistry but I couldn’t take the ego blow and quit entirely. What does that tell you? I was angry at her for telling me this. I resented her. But I wasn’t really mad at her. She was just telling me the truth and offering a suggestion. It was my ego that was too fragile to hear it. I never told my mother what was happening. She was busy and I didn’t want her to be part of my life anyway. Nothing against her, it was just my thing and my anger and I didn’t want to share it. I guess in a way I felt empowered by it.

But I think truly my life was so unhappy,  a moment like that just thrust it in my face. And I knew my unhappiness had no relief. I mean, I knew it. And any step in the direction of getting better would’ve disrupted my family situation which, to be truly honest, was hanging on by a thread. We were this close to losing our home and my mother would get horribly depressed.

So I dropped chemistry entirely and that possibility in my life disappeared. I drifted further back into becoming an artist. But the definition of artist wasn’t specific. I wasn’t thinking of a career per se but rather that my talent would simply take me to great heights if I just applied myself to it. I didn’t have any thoughts of this as practical whatsoever.

I can remember this as being a time of real isolation for me. I had been in a social group pretty strongly from 8th Grade to 10th and then I’d left that entirely. Now I was at a stage of really defining myself as I saw it and my definition became very syllogistic. I was alone almost all the time. My world view and career view became almost by nature impractical because it was wrapped in this fantastical view of myself. I was walled in. I figured as long as I kept my thing to myself I could keep it alive. No one would question it. I could stay wrapped in and protected by it.

I really wanted to just bring down everything around me because I was so unhappy.

During that time I fell in love but was rejected by my intended. I fantasized about her and began it grow a very bad frame of mind where I dreamed of exacting vengeance against her and the men she dated. One man in particular. I blamed him and her for my pain. Like they were obligated to be for me what I wanted them to be. I don’t know if I really believed this or was playing at it because it was so outrageous and in effect communicated how much pain I was in. I didn’t think of it like that at the time, but I think that’s what I was doing. I was terribly lost.

So we have a kind of infection occurring at this point in my life, a deep-seeded anger and a grasp of fantasy. What do you call that? Borderline personality disorder? Perhaps. Whatever it was I maintained my charade well. And it felt, while not good, at least like me. My life was so unhappy then. We were poor. My mom was unhappy and depressed as I’ve said. We were struggling. Day-to-day life was hard to look at in the face so this fantasy world (which to some degree all kids live in) seemed more appropriate.  I thought of it as just me being me, making choices. But it was me being scared out of my mind, literally.

The music that makes me ill came from that time. I think I got mentally ill then. I really do. Maybe I’d been primed before that. I can think of things I did that were bad and betrayed problems that I would later embrace more fully. But I had other influences that mitigated that in those earlier times. But here at this stage in my life, in 1974-75, that part of me, the sickness, really flowered. I wasn’t nice. I didn’t feel nice. I wasn’t in any sense living in reality. I was passing really well. School was okay, but I was not happy with the kind of student I was really. I was not happy with the kind of life I had and my choice of being an artist was about not being able to face that, to be honest about it. I didn’t think anyone would listen or if they did could do anything about it. I thought I was on my own and rather preferred it. It was me coping in the wrong way. I guess anyway. Although I still don’t see how I could’ve found a right way.

So maybe I chose this sickness rather than death.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>