Note: I’m referring to the negation of self that happens when one is abused, invalidated or deals with lack of money and resources, illness or other issues that lead to loss of rights and freedoms.
You have no sense of direction. You think of cleaning your room or house, but why do it? Why pack, why clean, why dress up, why shower? Your life’s not going anywhere. It’s like the concept of being all dressed up with nowhere to go.
It’s not that you never do anything or never go anywhere. It’s just that it’s not really “your life”. Or you don’t even feel like you’re “there”. One or both of those can apply. You can’t really take credit for your accomplishments. You don’t live your life with meaning and purpose. You don’t even really know what you want or need. You can’t feel it. That part of you is gone.
The only thing you can live for is hedonism. Moment to moment pleasure. The things you have to do to reach your goals aren’t always pleasurable, but you have a reason to do them if the goals really means something to you. If the feeling behind the goal just doesn’t exist, it’s hard to find motivation to do meaningless and unpleasant things. You can do them, and maybe you still do them, but you find unhappiness and dissatisfaction with life sets in pretty fast.
You’re just tired of doing things.
When you can’t feel your wants and needs, you lack a sense of direction. Or the want and needs somehow feel negated, like they’re barely there or they just don’t matter.
So you can’t truly make life goals and feel excited about them.
When I was growing up (having been raised by parents with cluster B personality disorders), there were very few things I had control over. The one aspect of living I really remember feeling I had control of was my choice of clothes.
That wasn’t enough to get me excited about life. You can’t live for clothes.
I knew something was missing in life. I knew I wanted to be my own person. I saw how other kids had such a strong sense of self. However, I seemed to have a diminished sense of self. I didn’t act out of my own instinct, out of a fire that came from inside me. I felt I had no personality.
“I” seemed to be missing.
Again, I didn’t know why. But it was something I saw in others that I wished I had.
And still I feel this way. I see kids way younger than me with a strong sense of autonomy. Yet I find myself confused. I wish I could want something. I wish I could do the things I want. This state now as an adult has been the result of illness and lack of money, but also the result of abuse.
You could grant me one wish and tell me I can have anything I wanted and I wouldn’t know what to say. I wouldn’t even know what I wanted. I wouldn’t know what I needed. Just an escape from this. This mindless, pointless life. But I don’t know what I need to escape this.
Well, I do know. It feels like I need too much, like I need everything to escape this. I need freedom to be myself. I need validation. I need safety from people who disrespect my boundaries. For that, I need so many resources I don’t have.
After that, I can recover my sense of self and truly know what I want and need.
But you said just one thing.
There is no “one thing”. Er, how about a completely new life? Does that count as “one thing”?
Once I have a new life full of resources and opportunity, as well as safety and security, I might be able to regain my “self”, to feel what I need and want so that I can pursue it.
But I can’t escape my life.
I’ve turned it over and over and over, and found no solutions. And, of course, no one else is going to help me brainstorm or research this issue.
Sense of security is one reason the military is so appealing. Guaranteed housing. Guaranteed meals. Enough money to buy everything you need with some extra cash. Relative safety. Relative freedom from isolation. Protected boundaries? Questionable. Emotional support? Perhaps, partially.
Yes, I wish I had real friends. I wish basic human rights were respected and valued.
My friend does not allow me to feel. He is soulless himself with no real sense of direction and vague goals. His only goals in life revolve around hedonism. It’s cyclical. He uses hedonism to escape his emptiness and his feelings and his goals are to further pursue more hedonism to fill up an empty life and empty soul.
It is depressing, but you have to see it with your own eyes in order to see how depressing it is. A man without a spine who gets stepped on by everyone. Who never complains because he stands for nothing. With no boundaries who justifies and accepts the abuse of others because he can’t feel his own self. It just doesn’t exist. A person that drags his own semi-lifeless body around as if it is a puppet. The most soulless, lifeless zhombie you’ve ever seen. Will not lift a finger to do the right thing yet fels nothing when things fall apart in front of him. And after a tragedy, just goes back to his entertainment as if nothing happened, without the slightest twitch of a facial muscle.
A man with no ambition. Devoid of purpose. A strict hedonist. Relies strictly on entertainment and finds everything else boring or a waste of his time. Refuses to work towards goals, problem-solve, read a book, or listening to a boring lecture because he has to fill every minute of his time with entertainment. Is easily frustrated and pained if he has to help another person out.
It is a very disturbing image to people who haven’t embraced a life of pure meaningless, purposeless hedonism.
The visual is more disturbing. He looks dead. He’s doing things, but he looks dead while he’s doing them. He is standing in front of a computer, seemingly in an active state of mind, but his body is lifeless. When you look in his eyes, it looks like no one is there. It feels like you’re looking right through them like you’re looking at the eyes of a man who is literally dead but somehow standing. Or a literal zhombie. Needless to say, he doesn’t dance and when he tries to be expressive it looks awkward and forced. That’s probably because it is. He has no natural impulses in his body.
Having to be around him with no one else in my life feels like pure terror. For these reasons but for others as well, which I won’t get into right now.
Somehow, I never ended up as bad as him. I’m not sure why. But being around him makes me feel like I’m being pushed and influenced into zhombie-dom. Be a zhombie like me, feels like the push I get from him. Partly though his invalidation, his silence, his lack of emotion and feeling, his boundary crossing and negation of me and other overt abuse. Just being around him feels numbing. When I see him, suddenly, life feels drained, empty. I can’t feel a spring breeze on my skin anymore or enjoy the grace of a fluttering bird. I find myself searching desperately for stimulation to fill the void.
I find myself becoming someone who I don’t want to be — a person who lives a life of meaningless stimulation who can’t sit still and focus and work towards goals. And I wish he would go away so I can find my peace and feel pleasure,joy and patience again.
Sometimes he admits that he feels empty.
Yet, he embraces hedonism and his lifestyle fully with no regrets and no desire to live otherwise.
He crosses my boundaries seamlessly, making me feel like a rag doll. If he can’t feel anything and he’s content with it, why should I feel anything? must be his reasoning. He must believe that I should be content with this loss of self because he is content with his emptiness. I tell him to stop, but he makes the decision for me. He doesn’t care that I want him to stop. He is the adult telling the child what to do. He makes the decision that I should be impinged upon. Lose my self. Become soulless like him. He isn’t bothered by the fact that he snuffs the light in me. He makes the decision that I am wrong to complain, suggests that there is something wrong with me if I complain.
He says my emotions, values, and beliefs are wrong.
He will continue to invalidate me.
He will continue to say yes when I say no. Sometimes he says he’s doing it for my own good, as if I can’t be trusted to make decisions for myself. Sometimes he says he lacks self-control and I have to try harder to stop him. But my soul leaves before I have the chance (ie, I become paralyzed and have trouble moving my body).
Who knows what is really going on in his head or if he knows or cares. Does he realize that he contradicts himself? Does he realize that he has multiple explanations? The real truth is that he’s compelled to cross my boundaries, to take from me. That’s all there is to it, regardless of his explanation for his actions.
A zhombie that’s also abusive. Negating. Soul-sucking. Disrespectful.
For some reason that’s something he loves to do, is not respect people. He doesn’t respect anyone. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him have respect for a person. Does he have a natural compulsion towards disrespecting others?
Regardless, he is a zhombie that wants to make you a zhombie. He wants everyone to be a zhombie like him. Zhombies are superior, in his book. He hates spirituality in any form. He hates ambitious people and wants them to “chill out”. He thinks he’s making me a better person by teaching me to give up and quit caring. He hates things that are done for practical purposes rather than sheer aesthetics. He hates when I’m honest about my feelings towards him. As much as he dislikes people and their actions and values, he surprisingly often has a liking for the narcissists that others so often dislike. He doesn’t seem very bothered by their pathological lying, stealing, jealousy, gaslightinng, boundary violations and disrespect of others. Rather, he appears charmed by them.
I push myself every day despite the lack of meaning and purpose. I cannot find my reason, I cannot feel it, but I keep going. Someone said that you have worth even if you can’t feel it. I can’t feel worth, purpose, or anything else. They seem like complete fallacies. What’s more true and real is my life right now. This self-negating life with no end and no escape.
It feels like I’m in prison for life. A life sentence.
(I’m glad I don’t hear his voice in my head right now mocking my grammar or the way I write. — Another strange, unnecessary and off-putting aspect of his behavior that I don’t understand. But I won’t get into it right now.)
I want to end this. This life I have now that goes nowhere. This numbness and soul-depletion, this joke. I’ve secretly wished that someone would save me. That a family member would pull me out of this mess. (But they only want to hurt me and punish me and rewrite reality in a way that suits them because they are cluster B’s. Dealing with them is a pact with the devil.)