On Hearing Others and Compassion

It might not help persuade you to read this, yet another blog post on the Internet, but it’s important that I say I’m no expert – so I won’t write as if I have it all figured out. What I do know is that we all need to be heard.

I struggle with a little bit of everything – anxiety, social paranoia, depression, obsessive-compulsive, lack of focus, and listlessness. Not by a whole lot and not on most days, but enough for life to stay interesting and disorganised. Ironically, the more I learned this about myself the less of a victim I feel, as I’m also learning that I’m not alone. Most of us seem to be struggling to varying degrees at different points in life, even though we may have mastered the art of not letting people see it. At least in my own mind, I’m an ally of those who also struggle, and am always ready to lend a hand when one of you reveal this side of yourselves.

People will always have their theories, as I have, on what causes mental/spiritual difficulties, as well as cures people should take. Most seem to think it’s a lack of unscientific pharmaceutical drugs; some think a lack of religion; some, mother/father deficiency; EMF radiation; fluoride in the water; social media; capitalism; collapse of the family…. on and on… but what if it’s a soup of all of these things and more? What if SOCIETY is the cause? Many people have stated this throughout the millennia, but most recently and succinctly stated by the Scottish Anti-psychiatrist Ronald David Laing. He noticed that a member of a family and, by extension, of society, will develop mental problems ranging from depression to schizophrenia. This gives the family and society an opportunity to ignore their own dysfunction by pointing the finger and then going about the process of FIXING that person (in R.D. Laing’s time, this came in the form of experimental electro-shock “therapy”, prison-like incarceration, drugging, and other poking-and-prodding – suffice to say, we haven’t improved from there as much as we’d like to think).

If you speak with anyone who has developed serious mental struggle, they’ll inevitably tell you about the betrayals and brutality of other people. PEOPLE are the cause of all of our woes – dealing with them and their narcissism, greed, and carelessness. Nature (everything other than people), on the other hand, never causes this depth of trauma. Sure, a wolf or a lion may eat you, but s/he will not mentally or physically enslave you for years before doing so. We expect adversity from nature, not from our fellow humans – at least not in our youth.

So imagine how demeaning and cruel it is, then, to go about fixing the victim of betrayal and brutality instead of dealing with those who harmed them. It’s a cruel act of Gaslighting which unconsciously convinces the victim that they are at fault, wholly responsible, and deserve to be punished by becoming an Other in society. Sure, it’s equally unhealthy to be convinced of your own complete innocence; it’s also important to learn how to protect oneself against abuse in an abusive world – this practice of attacking the victim, however, must come to an end, as it’s punishing the victim twice. We are social animals, which means in the depths of our being we don’t expect our own species to turn on us. We expect to be protected and nursed back to health.

With the rise of the New Age to replace organised religion in the West came a terrible habit of using the word “love” – a meaningless word in the English language due to the fact that it could potentially mean anything. Most languages have multiple words for the various forms of “love”, so we in Anglosphere are at a disadvantage. The New Age application of the word is the most insideous, pointing toward some mystical energy that radiates out of a person that could even be used as A WEAPON to assault people with, if the sender is sufficiently deranged. As lofty as the ideal behind it might be – brotherhood of man and compassion for all living things – it seems to often be used as a tool of narcissists to hoodwink the unsuspecting while they plot their demise. What these people mean when they say Love, I just call being a fucking Human Being. Being compassionate – a state of being and action often confused with mere FEELING. Something that you need to practice. The state of continuing to be yourself, maintaining healthy boundaries, while at the same time being selflessly present.

It was only 5 weeks ago I was feeling frustrated with the world and tired of the people around me. I just knew something wasn’t right. I expressed my frustration to a newly-met friend who then went on to tell me I should go see a counselor/therapist. This only served to frustrate me even more. She said this in response to my telling her that I feel unheard, not understood. That my internal life had no one to witness it, but instead I’m stuck listening to what everybody else thinks. Her response frustrated me because she missed the point – what’s the point in talking to a person who doesn’t know me, isn’t involved in my life, and has no particular interest in me? I’ve spoken to such people before and it’s just felt like letting the release valve on a boiler once a week so it doesn’t explode. It didn’t help me feel like any less of an alien around my friends and family. The psychoanalysis model makes sense in my situation, but only if it’s those who are truly close to me doing the analysis. It’s not that I want their attention, to get sympathy, to give them a piece of my mind, or have them solve my problems – I just want them to be aware of my story in the same way that I want them to tell me their stories (which a lot of them often do). To have someone come into my mental palace, take off their shoes, and acknowledge the current condition of the place as well as understand how it all came to be this way. I want to be HEARD. We all want, nay, NEED, to be heard. We make plenty of time for work, fun, and solving each others problems – but how much time do we make for HEARING each other?

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