Insolulable conundrum

I think you have to figure it’s a bad thing when you realise that the two songs that best describe your life are both on Evanescence’s Fallen album. Especially when they turn out to be “My Immortal” and “Going Under.”


4 thoughts on “Insolulable conundrum

  1. mame_snidely

    I think you have the songs reversed. Because in Going Under, she explains how she got to be asleep for a thousand years. But that’s little of no importance. Or actually it might be.

    I admit, I see two sides to all of this. Either we are deluding ourselves and keeping ourself in this futile pattern, or there is something bigger at work. Let me flesh that second idea out since the first one requires no extra explination. It’s my thought that we late twentieth century and twenty-first century people are not restructing how humanity interacts, but rather attempting to break some social absolutes that exist despite changing social climes. And like any law you attempt to break it has a tendancy to screw things up in vast ways.

    They say that love is blind; being delusional is just a special variety of blindness. So there is the bulk of my argument for delusional being true. It’s certainly a legitmate place to be given what has happened to the three of us (Alison, you and me–several times at this point.) We are all in (or have been in) the position of having the person that we adore most ignore us. It is terrible. And yet, they rely on us for certain things. Let me confuse the issue further: if you read some of the literature that covers dysfunctional people you’ll understand a few scary things:

    1. What they are doing is love, in their eyes.

    2. They are in such denial about this, they have no idea the pain that they cause us.

    3. When they are aware of the pain they cause, they go away to ‘spare’ us. They may or may not know what they are doing in the forefront of their mind.

    I’ll give you this, I think that with unconcditional love and unremitting acceptance, some of these people will heal once they are done testing us. But I would never ask for someone to do that for another. Because sometimes there is no payout, sometimes they just get the idea that they are god, and it doesn’t matter how they treat people. And likely it’s a pretty bad idea to take this path, when counselors have come up with some significantly better ideas over the last thirty-some years. But, the reality is, the first time you let things slide, do something you really don’t want to do in the name of unconditional love or acceptance, you’ve already taken the steps downt he first path. It’s something of a deal with the devil in my opinion- at that point you give yourself in hope of the ultimate payout. There is no guarentee.

    Maybe a delusion of futility to change circumstances is necessary at this point to keep us from losing ourselves. If we give up the path of unconditional love and acceptance, what have we to show for ourselves. I’ll be honest here– NOTHING. We give up a significant part of our self to make that leap for someone else, and if we cannot maintain it, we can’t even respect ourselves because the worries of what could have been if we were just stronger will destroy us.

    And now, for something entirely different:

    I do wonder if this isn’t a result from a broken social construct. We are encouraged to be individuals and live and let live. While these are noble pursuits, I do wonder where Alison’s mother was when she was running off to Chicago. I wonder where my own was. I wonder where yours was. The things that used to keep people from deeply harming each other are no longer extant. Our parents did not know each other, and thus could nt discuss any necessary things. In fact, parents attempt to NOT meet each other now. There is no way to say the equivalent  of “We noticed your offspring is suddenly missing from the life of ours, and ours is terribly depressed.” because the parents wouldn’t recognize each other. There is no community to take umbrage when parents let things run amok. Whereas for the bulk of human history there has always been someone to say ‘you cannot do that to others’ and a community from which to be ejected when one insists on one’s course…… there isn’t anymore.

    When it is said by parents and the older generations, “You do your things, and I do my thing and never shall the twain meet” there is a problem. If we thought that they were looking out for us, if we thought that they would help us in our lower moments, how would have things changed? For you and I, maybe not much, but I wonder about some of the people that have badly hurt me, if they thought they were being watched over, if they thought that there would be an reprecussion, would have they done what they did? I don’t think they would have, because they would have known their connection to us, they would have known a healthy kind of love. People who feel the fingerprints of others on their soul from a time before they remember often behave better. It gives you limits, and in limits you have a structure, and structure there is safety.

    But then, maybe, to maintain my delusion I get lost in social philosophy.

    I cannot help untangle your mind, obviously. But do not hesitate to lean on me, I’m stronger than I often appear.

  2. BobRichter

    Actually, you’re thinking of “Bring Me To Life” ( “I’ve been sleeping a thousand years it seems/got to open my eyes to everything” ) This is probably the most hopeful track on the disc. It’s about awakening, or resurrection, or something. 

    “Going Under” involves quite a bit about drowning, bleeding, falling, and otherwise dying (apparently repeatedly,) but nothing at all about sleeping, which certainly seems appropriate of late. It’s a song about struggling with or against a dysfunctional relationship.

    I’ve always maintained that love is little more than a peculiar kind of insanity. For the human species (if not always for the individual,) this insanity is usually functional. It encourages reproduction and cooperation, which are essential parts of the species’s survival strategy. On the other hand, it can have some dead nasty side-effects, and dysfunctional relationships can make love become indistinguishable from mental illness.

    I don’t think relationship dysfunction is more prevalent now than in the past. To the contrary, I think that we now have better strategies for dealing with it and less incentive to avoid talking about it. This means, however, that the problem is much more in the open now, and tends to serve in some venues as a spectacle. It tends, in other words, to get noticed more.

    Alison’s mother was the same place she would have been in any other decade or century — at home, while her daughter (offspring, anyway) went off to college. The same can be said of mine or yours or, hell, Jonathan’s. College students have always been a kind of probationary adults. We’re supposed to face down our problems on our own, but we haven’t proven our ability to do so.

    Giving us room to succeed also means giving us room to screw up, and often colossally at that. Which we did.

    At some point, though, we have to do the adult thing and DEAL WITH our mistakes and their consequences. Identifying those mistakes is part of it, but so is moving beyond them and adopting a rational strategy for dealing WITH THE NOW.

    I do think it’s a shame that we’ve lost the sense of community that used to exist on the local level, but look at what’s really happening here. Like everything else, it’s moved online. Your community is no longer chosen for you based on your location and your relations. Now you choose it yourself based on who you are and who you want to be. This new structure is not necessarily worse than the old one. Online communities can be very supportive and often offer a wealth of relevant experience.

  3. mame_snidely

    You know, now that I think of it– love does resemble a mental illness. That’s a very good point. I need to keep it in mind.

    But, I do have to politely disagree with you on the point that College students were usually seen in history as probationary adults. That’s perfectly true of the men, but certainly not of the women. Never. Even as late as the 1970’s, women’s dorms had something of a mother figure. In some of the most conservative colleges in the south, they still do. By cosseting the women, they men had limits set as well. (As Jason keeps reminding me, controlling womem ultimately is the easiest way of controlling society.) In that circumstance, much of what happens now, couldn’t have happened then.

    And, while I agree that the online community is fantastic, it’s no substitute for the functionality of the local and visible community.  That’s what keeps us on the straight, and makes us grow up. If we just grew up at our own pace, I know that some of us never would. I think the online world often finds a sympathetic ear and valadation for those that should have neither. On the other hand, it is freedom to finally interact with those that share your world. Like so many things, it’s a double edged sword. What’s probably more to the point is though it is perfectly suited to co-existing with a community, one must also have a local community too. The two compliment each other well.

  4. BobRichter

    What you’re seeing then is the result of sexual egalitarianism. I don’t think not letting women be people is really a solution to society’s ills.

    Some people never grow up anyway, and the most dysfunctional people have always operated outside of community.


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