I believe Girl on the Net brought up how we can sometimes let those drafts sit and become a scary thing to us. When we first jotted down those thoughts, they seemed fresh and like the best idea we’d ever had. Then later, when we go to look at them, they’ve become this monster. When did that idea turn scary and ugly? We may not remember what we wrote, but it still has the potential to blossom into this brilliant piece.
Right now the Eroticon meet and greet is happening. I’m following it on social media, I am hoping to go to the conference tomorrow but I am feeling all sorts of anxiety. I want to meet other anxious people who I know will be attending but my anxiety feels like a barrier to leaving my flat at the moment.
I feel like a broken record about my mental health. I don’t want to write about it all the time, but my mind is on my mind. My counselling course encourages a deeper questioning of myself. I feel content, or at least I thought I felt content. But I have to question myself, and I’m tired of questioning myself on top of general day-to-day life.
My recent experiences remind me of my first month in HOAD and how my first seminar was discussing the Allegory of the Cave. Everyone else in the seminar was a teenager who studied A-Level Philosophy. I was in my mid-thirties with little classic philosophy knowledge. I hadn’t heard the story but I knew the story. I thought about Ibsen’s Vildanden and how I had spoke about it a couple of years before in my college course; we had a task to explain one of our favourite books to a classmate. I picked Vildanden because I think a lie that provides comfort without harming others is not always a bad thing – and I am afraid of saying that out loud. It sounds manipulative.
When my class discussed Allegory of the Cave the lecturer asked, “If we know the truth, should we tell it to others?” Most of my class thought we should. I vehemently did not. But, you know, anxiety stopped me from speaking out loud (it was probably the first moment I realised that I was not comfortable in higher education, and I was not going to achieve my goals if I couldn’t overcome my anxiety). I think there are three considerations with telling the truth (which, to me, roll nicely into one):
- It is your truth, or rather your perception of the truth. Remember that.
- Why are you doing this? To soothe your conscience? To boost your ego?
- Just because you have the knowledge, or the education, or the access to information do not assume others are ignorant.
In Vildanden Gregers believes that exposing the lie would lead everyone to feel happier. It doesn’t. When I read Vildanden I felt pity for Gregers, but also an annoyance; that he was so certain that his view of the world is the right one. I’d argue that it is akin to a saviour complex. And I think it correlates with privilege. It bothers me.
My reflection for my counselling course is doing the same thing. Except I’m my saviour, and although I’ve done good things for myself I am wondering if I should leave me alone for a while. I’m getting by, not well, but I’m managing. Why rock the boat?