I've always been different. And until recently I've always felt like it was because I was crazy. But as I've grown, and I've lowered my defense mechanisms, I've continued to find myself standing outside of the norms. And that raises a good question: why am I so strange? I have found three main reasons, that when considered (especially when considered together) make sense of how it is that I can be so fucking strange. I will only go into the third in detail.
1 – The death of God.
When I wasn't playing video games or in school, I was often in church. Both of my parents worked for churches, and neither believed in daycare. So I would always go to church with my parents, and spend all my time there. I thought a LOT about God when I was younger, and I even dare say that I believed. But as I grew older, I realized that belief in God was entirely unjustified (though while disbelief in God is vastly closer to justified, it still isn't). But I was imbued with the professed (rather than practiced) Catholic values – they were burned into my brain. And at the same time, I had no God to worship. It created a niche that is usually filled with weed or spirituality, but I always had too much sense to be spiritual, and my catholic values always prevented me from doing drugs or losing myself in the ways that normal teenagers do.
2 – An intensely fucked-up and dysfunctional sexuality.
I don't even want to write about it. But for a very, very, very long time my sexuality was exceptionally fucked-up. I am very glad to say now, that NOW it is not. But it took nearly 5 years to heal, and that didn't even begin until I realized how entirely fucked-up I was. And not just fucked-up, but evil. I never did anything that would have gotten me in jail, but it doesn't mean I wouldn't have. And I did do plenty of bad things (though always when I was much too young to get in trouble for it). I don't even want to talk about it. I sound really fucking sick just admitting this. But now that I have a healthy sexuality, and have gotten over the whole purity thing (I kept my virginity until I was about 22 or 23). I can look at it and realize that, well, actually, I REALLY REALLY WAS fucked-up. And I still feel guilty about it. I think I will continue to feel guilty for it till the day I die. And I think that is precisely how I am supposed to feel.
3 – A ravenous hunger for truth molded by illusion.
Most people live by acting, and they seek out others because the act is much more believable with supporting roles than when it's a monologue – when we are wrong as an individual we feel stupid, while when the we are a part of a consensus that is wrong we are still right. And that is why I am so alone. Because while most people take at least a small (sacred?) part of them and hide it away where it can't be touched by experience and the falsifying power intrinsic to it, I don't. So much as I can grasp a thing I am slamming it against every other thing I know until something breaks or everything coheres.
I have a profound hatred for lies. The only people I've ever met who seem to care as much about honesty and truth as me are professional analytic philosophers. And they aren't even regular professors. They are vastly more intelligent than the average professor (much closer to REAL [as opposed to "omg, he's like a genius!"] genius than I will ever be), and well published/respected within their fields. And so I think that is why they can handle it while it destroyed me. I think that is why they have wives and hobbies and flourish, while I struggle just to hold myself together in light of it all. No, actually… on second thought I don't think that's why. I think it's because they can draw from the strength of others platonically, rather than just romantically like I can. (But please note that I'm indifferent towards non-romantic relationships in FEELING only – I don't feel better or worse because people like or dislike me platonically. On PRINCIPLE I'm maintaining and developing friendships now because I've lost too many girlfriends from them being creeped-out by my complete lack of friends.)
So where did all of this come from? A disgusting reality, and a beautiful illusion.
I did not have a fun childhood. I was even identified as "at risk" and would be in studies ("at risk" is code for "this kid is fucked-up, or is in a fucked-up situation"). Going to the nurse's office daily from getting beat-up, being in an affection vacuum, being scolded and yelled at regularly, going to the hospital so regularly that they talk to my parents to see if they are abusing me, having parents that fight and scream at each other constantly, etc. And then, in the other corner, Nintendo and Supernintendo.
I could explore the deep secrets of the seven wonders of the world. I could travel through time to fight an evil demigodly alien from the other side of the galaxy. I could, with my dog, fight my way through worlds and save the planet. I could feel something other than pain. And all I had to do was one little thing. All I had to do was what theatre people call "the willful suspension of disbelief." And it wasn't long before my imagination, confined by concept, began to bloom. I would "enhance" the video games by imagining that I was there. And I could taste the air. And then, I had enough, with counters at 999:99:99 something clicked. Like a bad transplant, I rejected it. No, IT WAS NOT REALITY. I think it might have even been existential angst, for it was when I imagined myself dying having done nothing but these games, that my intense hatred for self-delusion and lies emerged.
Imagine a celebrate priest who inherited a harem. Now imagine a retired pornstar who after growing bored with sex was struck by lightning and became so ugly that he could never get laid again. Between the two of them, which do you think would more passionately believe that fornication is wrong? Obviously, the preist. Because the preist NEEDS to believe that fornication is wrong. In fact, the priest needs to believe that it is wrong to the point that it wouldn't make sense for him to give-in and fornicate. And that is vastly more than someone who has become jaded in regard to sex.
Every happy memory I had was of video games. Every hope I had, revolved around more games. And I had to hate the illusions they created – I had to hate illusion itself (perhaps because I COULDN'T hate specifically game-created illusions). And I had to hate it enough to break free of what was relatively paradise. But I still pay, and while most of my brain is atrophied my imagination is colossal. And that just makes me feel even worse.
Imagine if someone were to abduct you and then put you in a sensory deprivation tank. The only stimulus you had was through a virtual reality viser, where you could play video games with bad graphics. It just wouldn't feel like reality. But why would something need more rather than less information to feel real? What feels real and unreal is not a matter of resolution, but emotional investment. And differentiating between video games and reality is much like differentiating between two languages. And it was the virtual language that I invested all of my everything as a child. And it is that which I have walked away from. And it is that which I have come to hate.
Everything feels as unreal as an 8-bit game feels to the average person. The only exception is romantic love, something that began to activate in my brain after I had started to get over the games. But now I find myself too strange to find anyone that I can feel connected to. There was one woman, but she just ended-up being one more person lying to me and playing me. Another illusion. And that's one person in my ten years of looking. I don't want to be 35 before I can feel again. And I really don't know if I can make it. But I won't date someone I don't respect (there is no shortage of women who like me – its not a matter of finding A woman, but rather someone who I can talk to and who can understand me and KEEP UP with me, while at the same time not look down on me because of how UNDEVELOPED I am in so many other regards…)
I'm tired. I'm lonely. I'm angry.
I should just go to bed now. I've just been ranting for this entire thing anyways.
Goodnight. And I'm sorry if you read this whole thing. I have interesting things to say sometimes. Really, I do. I guess the only hobby I have now is collecting concepts. It's the closest I can come to video games.
That and watching old clips of my favorite games…
I see scenes, or I hear old 8-bit music, and it's like I have a flashback. Like I remember "oh yeah, Minnesota exists! I spent the first 21 years of my life there! I had forgotten it existed!" Sort of like that. 🙁