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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Only the Lonely

This is an excerpt from something I wrote in 2004 but never posted. In the context of my current situation, I think it’s worth posting.

Do you know loneliness? It is one thing to be lonely and alone. It is another thing to be lonely the way I am, with many people wanting to be my friend, people wanting my time, people travelling around the world to meet me even in a café between meetings, at an airport, or in my hotel lobby past midnight before I head to bed; to be lonely in a world filled with invitations to exclusive social events, A-list parties, premieres, discussions with the learned and wise, dinners with the famous; to feel alone while being popular with women of resource, beauty and intelligence, invited guest to the dens of the rich and powerful.

Why in such a life, a life that is envied by many from the outside, a life that is the goal of so many worthy people, why in such a life would I be lonely? Why would I find myself deciding not to attend events, actively shun meeting people, and publically make it known that I am antisocial?

I cannot point to the people in my social circle and say that they are dull or uninteresting. They are fascinating, worldly, knowlegable, erudite, wise and often beautiful people. They are CEOs, Nobel Laureates, media moguls, and world leaders. I can only point at myself and say that I do not belong. That somehow I find I cannot belong to a society that is there, but perhaps can only belong to one that I create, a small, private circle that bears my scent. Is that due to an insecurity? Am I protective of myself and my privacy? Do I fear loss, betrayal, or a bad return on my social investment?

All these things may have a ring of truth. But fundamentally I did not engage with society because I did not want human contact and I completely distrust social conventions; neither will protect me from significant harm. I had a deep wound from previous relationships and social circles, emotionally deeper than I have communicated here, from which I never fully recovered. My self-administered therapy was to lock up my heart and to ice it with fear. Fear of commitment to another human or even to society, because such commitment can lead to so much pain. Long ago I did the self-sin of burying that fear deep under a socially acceptable distraction: work. An addiction to work and knowledge as complete as a drug or sex addiction, but fully sanctioned by society as a mode where they will leave you alone. And the world compounded my neurosis by rewarding me!, meaning now my fear was buried even deeper under layer after layer of success.

And I am certain many others are like me at one level or another, alienated by the same society that they dominate with their charisma and success. They appear to be masters of the world, but are also slaves to it,

What kind of neediness is manifest from this loneliness? It is not merely companionship. It is not a warm body. It is not the security of numbers, or the kindness of friends, or the familiarity of society for which I want. No, this loneliness drives a different kind of need: from a woman, a person who will build a world with me. One that is constructed from our own principles of warmth, affection, love, desire and safety, but also containing rules of fear, anxiety, hate, pain and conflict.

I find it interesting to re-read this (and a few other posts) in light of my current situation. I hope this is what I have found.


Blogger Karate Kid IV said...

Quoting the Smashing Pumpkins "The World is a Vampire".

And maybe, that's all there is to it.

The Christian walk, as I'm finding out, is to be in the world, but not be of it.

6/21/2006 11:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Sigmund,

I have been reading and appreciating your blog since landing on it by chance a few months ago. Your writing shows clarity of thoughts that I admire so much in good reads. Thank you.

I hope so sincerely that what you found is indeed the one.


6/22/2006 4:29 AM  
Blogger Gillette said...

Beautiful post.

To be seen and experienced at the deepest levels of intimacy and to return that is indeed a gift. It cannot be found in parties and A-Lists but rather, I think, in the quiet.

It sounds like you have found what you want. Now it will be interesting to see where your committment to the "third party" leads you with the ups and downs, the hate, the fear and anxiety and all of it.

Yummy. The juice of life.

6/22/2006 2:02 PM  
Blogger k said...

It’s interesting, what you write. The biggest “players” in my experience, often have the biggest hearts. Something happened, they were deeply hurt and then they spend years going out of their way to prove their independence and self-reliance. Eventually, someone comes along, unassuming, usually someone quietly powerful, so much so that they would never expect that their whole world is about to change. But it is.

From what I have seen, when these people finally commit, they usually follow through, because at some core level they always wanted to.

I’ve noticed a change in your writing – I hadn’t checked back here in a while since there was a big vacant period. I didn’t even know you were still blogging until I saw your comments elsewhere. Your voice has changed – softer, more open, I can even see the smile in your eyes. Love looks good on you. :)

6/23/2006 1:47 AM  
Anonymous Alex said...

Ah, the age-old story of the playboy who gets "played out", finds true love, and settles down (a little bit anyways).

People change during their lives. To be expected.

A beautiful woman still will still catch my eye regardless.

After all, love and sex are two different things.

Btw, are you married now, or still in the "meeting family" stage?

6/24/2006 1:11 PM  
Blogger patentclerk said...

Sigmund, you need to get married :)
But then again, 1 in 2 marriage ends up in divorce

6/25/2006 5:04 AM  

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