Friday, February 14, 2014

Q is for Quadral

Quadral: in four parts. Irvin D. Yalom, author and renowned existentialist, created the four states of the human condition:

1) Meaninglessness: "Despair is the price one pays for self-awareness. Look deeply into life, and you'll always find despair." ~Yalom   
     There doesn't seem to be much meaning to life. I've heard "great minds" say that nothing has meaning in itself, but that meaning must be attached by the individual. I can see that. Not much matters to me right now. I am just going through the motions and hoping something sticks. No luck yet.

2) Isolation: "To the extent that one is responsible for one's life, one is alone." ~Yalom
     I was raised for a life of isolation. When I was a teenager, my dad made a little room up in the attic for me. It was a relief to get away from him (He used to sit in the room I shared with my little sister almost every night. Why?) but it was incredibly isolated from the rest of the family. I was so lonely up there that I used to call the radio phone line and listen to the Top Ten lists, just so I could hear a human voice. Then I married a sociopath who took great pleasure in ignoring my existence on the planet. My loneliest times were when I was with Ex. And now I live alone and am quite certain I will die alone. Thanks, Mom and Dad. Thanks.

3) Freedom: “The spirit of a man is constructed out of his choices.” ~Yalom             
     At least in being alone, I can choose my own destiny. Although I have no heart and, as I said before, am just going through the motions. I must find some spirit in there somewhere. I can't possibly have given it all to Ex. Could I?

4) Mortality: "Though the physicality of death may destroy us, the idea of death may save us." ~Yalom
     My rampant suicidal thoughts have quieted themselves for a long time now. There was one brief moment a few days ago in which I was quite angry that someone else had died and I can't. My friend told me of a doctor we used to refer patients to. He was found dead in his apartment and they think he died of influenza. I was instantly angry that things like that don't happen to me. Then I felt really sad, because this guy lived a very solitary life. He worked alone. No receptionist, no assistant; just him. He lived alone. He died alone.


I am alone now but I am not lonely. I am choosing isolation most days. I just want to be left alone. I don't know why. I don't know if this is something I should allow. I do get out and see friends, but all I really want to do is lie in bed and cuddle with my dogs.

Therapy has been really rough lately. I am attributing this current wish for isolation to my rough therapy. It's not easy when you go back and look at how, in each stage of growth, your parents went the wrong way. How can I hope to be "normal" when I have no base for that? Every major relationship in my life has just furthered the proof that I am unlovable and not worth time and attention. I am worthless. Hopefully, there will be a breakthrough soon, because I can't take much more of this.

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Don't make me talk to myself, yo.

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