Distance. I was recently re-watching one of my favorite shows, "Frasier," and the eponymous character was celebrating his new award, the Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in radio broadcast. While he ponders this award, a thought sparked by congratulatory flowers from his former college mentor, he spirals into an existential crisis. In his fifties at the time, Frasier tries to come to terms about what to do with the rest of his life. Though he has been a part of the field of psychiatry and strives to help people, he's been distancing himself from everything, protecting himself. For him, psychology and his radio show have been ways for him to distance himself from emotions and pain. It was a comfortable distance. Even in his love life, he pushed everyone away and broke up with them because he had a fear of being hurt. In his own words, "I'm alone because I'm afraid to be alone."
Why is distance comfortable? Why is being busy comfortable? For me, there are only three things that I've been focusing on, especially this past summer: my job, taking care of my house, and sex. Without those two things, I don't know what I do. Everyone I know thinks I'm crazy and quite often, they tell me that. But I've always been like that. I always overdid everything, whether it was school work, the way I dressed, the things I did. I wasn't exactly so out there that I didn't have friends and such, but enough that I was always a bit off from everyone else. I have an extreme type of personality. Maybe a bit crazy. Sometimes I take pride in the craziness, but other times I just accept it because how else do you respond to make it seem like it doesn't hurt. To not be awkward when someone just introduces you to others as being crazy. You just accept it, revel in it and others tell others and the cycle continues.
You just let it happen. Let people see you in the one or two dimensions that they want to see you in. Push it in their faces until nothing else can be seen and you can hide away. Behind some thin version of yourself. Just let people think all you do is yell and care about the little things at work, at the way you clean a dish, at the number of people you've fucked. So, they don't see that without those little things in place, you don't know how else to contribute. How to exist among everyone else. That without being perfect, which is an extreme, how can you stand yourself, how can you reconcile in your mind that you weren't wanted, that you were abandoned and were just a replacement for another child? That you can't seem to understand how anyone would want you if you weren't exactly what they expected because there must have been something wrong with you for someone else to not want you.
If you put up the façade about work and cleaning and sex you can push people away. You can put distance. Because the worst thing that you can ever do, the best way to crush someone, is to show them the light, show them a bit of hope, and then take it away. So, to protect yourself, you take away the light first. You take away anything that could possibly be taken away so that you're left alone, knowing that you can't lose anything.
Work. Being a mom. Sex. There's always distance. You're in the middle of the fray, but you separate yourself from the fray, like an eye in a hurricane. Except the eye is just a ball of nerves and anxiety. That you use as a shield as well. Because no one wants stress in their lives. Unless people are on top of things, they don't want someone telling them to get on top of things. They don't want to be told what they could be doing. They don't want an overbearing boss or mom. They don't trust someone who has sex with everyone. So, you become the things that they don't want. So, they won't want you. But they will need you because you served them well. And in that tower that you've built, you can watch from afar, safe, but alone.