There But Not There

The people that know me and interact with me often remark that I always seem attuned to people and my environment. They remark about how I know so much about certain things, that I have clearly experienced a lot and retained the benefit of this experience. My awareness of matters is high and it is often commented on how I am able to “plug in” to something and instantly understand it, know how it works and what to do. Whether it is a meeting, discussion or event, I always fit in. I am not going to disagree with those comments.

Let us imagine that you are a massive football (soccer for our transatlantic cousins) fan. I listen to how you analyse a forthcoming match and discuss the impact of an expensive new signing. I carefully pay attention as you detail how the opposition centre-half is weak on short passes played into the penalty area. I see your eyes widen and light up with interest as you debate these issues with fellow fans. I make a careful note of what is said by you and the others and store it so that I can regurgitate it later to someone else who is similarly interested in football and pass it off as my own knowledge and observations. I do this with conviction so that nobody recognises that these comments are not my own. I spent the morning before the match that we are attending, reading the sport sections of two quality newspapers and also the satellite broadcaster’s webpage for the match, along with other bits and pieces from around the internet in order to assemble my knowledge for this, our first match together. I knew from your social media postings that you are a passionate fan of this team and as I targeted you I pretended I was as well. I managed to recall key trophies the team had won and recent events from the football club’s website to enable me to demonstrate I was also a committed fan. In the course of the discussion with you and your friends who are also die-hard fans I trot out a piece I memorised from a football writer, tweaking it here and there to give it a ring of authenticity as I explain how the captain, sorry our captain, needs a holding midfielder alongside him to allow him to venture further forward and play key balls to the lone man up front. You all nod in agreement showing admiration in my knowledge despite it being acquired elsewhere. I feel the fuel flowing.

I attend the match with you and see how excited you are by the occasion. Your conversation speeds up as you talk about the team the manager has selected. The smell of beer and hot dogs and pies mixes together on the concourse, heightening the occasion as the singing from the away fans drifts from inside the stadium. An event like this assails the senses. The press of the crowd as it makes its way inside seems to lend energy to you and your pace quickens, causing me to have to speed up to ensure I am not left behind. Once in our seats your face shows how you are eagerly anticipating the game, the chanting and shouting already loud, bouncing around the stadium and competing with the delivery of the pa announcer. All around me I can see nervous anticipation, bullish enthusiasm and well-founded confidence. I listen to the chants so I learn the words enabling me to join in. I watch you as you crane forward in your seat, eyes fixed on the unfolding match, fists clenched and repeated utterances issued loudly to urge your team on. I mimic your exhortions and body language, leaning towards the pitch and then jumping up as your team, now our team, opens the scoring. You hug me and I return the hug, jumping up and down in a replica of the delight that washes across the home crowd. The taunting chants aimed at the opposition ring out and I readily join in, gesturing towards the disconsolate faces in the adjoining stand. A second goal is scored, this time from the cries of delight and the conjoining of profanity and blasphemy the goal is clearly of both quality and importance.

“That puts us on top of the league on goal difference,” you explain as if you are able to see that I am wondering why there is such a heightened reaction to this second goal. I know however that you are not wondering that at all. I know that you are thrilled that I am embracing with such enthusiasm the match, sharing the main passion in your life. I join in with the cheers, the shouting, the cries of frustration and disappointment, the barracking of the referee when he makes a poor decision and ensure I am fully integrated with the experience. I look around me watching the passion, the hope, the fury and the delight etched on the other supporters. The stadium is a cauldron of noise and emotion. I am plugged into this experience along with fifty five thousand other people. I can see the emotions are raw and visceral, even primitive.

I see all of this around me yet I feel none of it. I merely mimic everyone else in order to fit in. I am attached to the experience but I feel nothing. I am completely detached from it. All it does is serve  a purpose to enable me to create and build bridges and ties with you. I can see how it all affects you, it is clear to see. I am there yet I am not. I am connected yet removed. This is how it feels, or rather, this is how it does not.

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17 thoughts on “There But Not There”

  1. Oh, I love Camus!

    “Whatever does not kill me, strengthens me. Yes, but … and how painful it is to dream of happiness. The crushing weight of it all. Better to say nothing and pay attention to everything else.”

    ***

    “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
    And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”

    ***
    I love your works, too, HG!

    And I bet your therapists love Camus’ Myth of Sisyphus.

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  2. I cannot even begin to think about totally not feeling. I was detached from my feelings but am loving the new experience of authenticity. I know I am not one of your kind but honestly it is sad for us. Are you furious with your parents always for the trauma they have caused you? You mentioned a brother. Is he of your type also and did he have a similar upbringing?
    Blowing your trumpet again. Fab work. I am not the only one enjoying learning your kinds ways. Unfortunately but fortunately we have to avoid you if you get my drift.

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  3. The more I read your posts the more I live my life the more I have interactions with others the more I see that we are all simply “narcissists” to a degree.. I see what you are describing is human nature .. albeit simply/ complex human nature.. ok some may despirately need that “fuel source” as you put it and will even feign emotion to keep it .. this emotion is purely what in turn we have witnessed or experienced by whatever life lessons imposed on us .. it just depends on how attached to that feeling / source we are .. ( not sure if I’m confusing you here, I’m confusing myself slightly but I no what I’m trying to say ) some people survive by helping others some survive by not there is. O pecking order just everyone’s reality of perception and ways to do stuff .. we are all being manipulated one way or another just it hurts some more than other to be thought of as being taken for a fool even empathic people can be manipulative . Just depends what everyone’s goal is .. some aimless they’re still in the hurting / trying to figure it all out or being under someone’s spell or having been under someone’s spell some ambitious there main input is success / data / knowledge / reward / social .. and lots of types in between .. what we really all want is to feel part of the bigger picture on whatever scale is acceptable to us not rejected not taken advantage of and appreciated albeit by what ever level shows us appreciation … what do you think HG? Off key or on the money 😂

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    1. I do not feel lonely as I am often with or connected to people. I know people comment that one can be surrounded by people and still feel lonely. I am set apart from people but I do not feel lonely, I am in my Relational Tower (see article of same name) CL.

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  4. Sounds like an an awful lot of work. I wonder, does nothing in and of itself ever move you? Music? Art? Surely there must be something other than gaining fuel that fires your spirit. For example, your writing.

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      1. and the same you mimic a football expert, you mimic a loving boyfriend or you are a caring father – just to get your fuel? and fuel is power and is the only thing that you don’t feel empty? It’s interesting to get into your thinking.

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      2. Thank you for the clarification, HG. I can relate to the idea that all living things require food\fuel. However, your sources, methods of extraction, are difficult for me to grasp. Is that which compels you to devour fuel the furious Creature hidden inside that you’ve mentioned? I would like to read more about this ravenous monster.

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  5. Sitting there at the game mimicking the behavior of others you say you are detached. So is it like a surreal feeling ?
    Is it like if I was invited to have dinner with the queen and other dignitaries and no one briefed me on protocol and so I was watching and mimicking everyone else?
    That would cause a lot of anxiety and be exhausting.

    What is your mind thinking of during the hours at the ballpark or does it take your full concentration on your behavior?
    When you say “….Not there” – do you mean that part of you is out of it – like if you were sedated? “Comfortably numb” to quote Pink Floyd?

    I don’t know why we need to try to get into the head of the Narsissist – I think that it makes it easier to realize that it really IS nothing personal-

    You help with your amazing descriptions. Thanks!

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  6. My ex…..I thought a mid-range but after reading yesterday’s article on upper-lessers, I think a ULN is more fitting…he often feels lonely and cannot tolerate being alone. It is like he hates his own company. Being alone leaves a void in him. Usually he has nothing he connects with…except the pain of being alone and football (American). He screams, he throw things at the TV, he rips off his shirt and throws it, he swears, turns red and one time; was screaming so much that he started choking on his own saliva.

    As much as he loves football, he has to have somebody to watch it with him. He cannot handle even watching football by himself. He now pays a prostitute to sit with him to watch it (after the game, I’m sure he gets those several hundred dollars he spent used on the carnal activities).

    When it came to activities I enjoyed, he could never feign interest…is that because he is a lesser? He’d rush me, sigh, act bored, etc. and I’d say “never mind, let’s just go”.

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  7. “I see all of this around me yet I feel none of it. I merely mimic everyone else in order to fit in. I am attached to the experience but I feel nothing.”

    I nodded my head so many times reading this. Mine used to frequently tell me “I do not know what it is like to not feel, even when I feel nothing I still feel it”. Poetic liar much?

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  8. H.G.
    Do you feel the excitement at all in that scenario or similar ones? Do you sometimes wish you could experience those emotions if only for a day? I sometimes wish I could know what your kind thinks for a day?
    Thanks!

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