I want to look back, I am curious about ‘my’ suffering, something that has dominated my life, even down to not regarding it as suffering for fear of sounding precious or special. I kept it in the category of deserved misery/penance.
I can see one easy place where suffering was escalated, though it didn’t start there, school. School is where they begin our indoctrination. Our parents should, or ought to, regard us and treat us as special and unique. Family is kin, kinder in German, of a kind, our kind. At the most pragmatic level, our surname tells us our family or clan. On the streets when I grew up, you’d hear, ‘it’s the Jones boys’, which used in that way usually meant trouble (unique and specific and often a matter of family pride).
School begins the process of erosion of the profound identification and dependency with and on our parents, before we are age appropriately ready. Suddenly we are of a tiny part of a nameless crowd, amorphous and meaningless, just a bunch of kids. Even our names are reduced to a mere label, a registration, “Brown, Franklin, Jones, Patel, Smith”, and even if it’s done by first name, it’s not intimate, it just signifies whether we’re present or not.
In those days we began school at five, they’ve eroded that since, but by the time I went to school I already loved writing stories and it is significant that by the third year of infant school, they had crushed it stone dead. Now why would they do such a bastard thing eh? They didn’t just crush the stories, they crushed me. They should have been hung, but that’s how it was for so many, unless you were picked out as a favourite, a hierarchical favourite, the fame game, the achiever game, eh? There’s a word for 11 years of non-voluntary incarceration. They knew what they were doing, people like me were for the factory, they didn’t want us getting above ourselves, now did they?
For me there was much pain that pre-dated school, some through unfortunate circumstances, my father being a paranoid schizophrenic, not the least. My mother a deeply frightened and anxious woman, terrified that we would shame her, let her down, show her up, especially later as a single parent, and, of course, our parents were first generation post Victorian, still slaves to form without substance (clothes maketh the man [how capitalism used and twisted that]).
So the course of events was set, a life of suffering, self loathing without remission or through penance. A life steadily eroded. A dismal prisoner of school, locked up without my consent, in a hateful place, trained to obey. I hated it, a hate I later realised that was my salvation, I wasn’t completely broken if I could hate, although I didn’t see it that way at the time. But it became pivotal and crucial later.
Puberty saw me cast into the dismal personal hell of acute depression, torn from the arms of my mother, separated by a flood of Testosterone and the terrible awareness that I was now alone, the first steps toward adulthood and dependent on my own labour to survive. I felt that I had been cast into a vacuum, an infinite emptiness without form, which intimately and crucially included my own form.
The empty, crushing years stretched long in front of me, unredeemed by even a glimmer of hope. I allowed no shred of pity or mercy to ease my suffering, I was it’s servant, deserving of it, and how not, it was here, wasn’t it? Therefore I deserved it. So I never once questioned it, what I yearned for was the ‘why’, what had I done that was so bad, so heinous, so vile, to be served such a punishment? I surely must have been really, really bad yet bigger things were afoot, remember my hate of school. I was no longer the prisoner by law of the institution I had to work in, I was a wage slave, a significant difference. Oh yes, I was compelled by the rationing of money to daily drudgery, but there was some lee way, I could jump jobs, so easily done in those days of plentiful work.
Yet still suffering had become a fixture, the hell of depression a fixture because I had became dependent on suffering to affirm my unworth. That’s why such things are hard do deal with, because secretly we’re hanging on to them for dear life, suffering was my raison d’être, my reason for being. Without good therapy, there’s almost no way out, or, at least, it’s supremely difficult, because your entire being often (perhaps usually) justifies the suffering.
I’m not going to beat this into the ground, but I did want to highlight how I became dependent on suffering, even whilst hating it.
Coming back from the dead and discovering all that suffering had gone, dead indeed, is a testament to the years and years of work I’ve done to not just learn to live with the pain, but to painstakingly develop a relationship with it, marked by my respect for the many messages and guidance it’s given me over the years.
None us are ‘worth’ such suffering. yet we live in a country, England, where dismal is a national past time. Our history is crowded with the crimes of punishing the poor for living by the grand bastards of empire, who ensure that we earn just enough to survive a frugal life, and to guarantee our wage slavery. And they make sure that we blame each other. “Why should I pay for that workless and worthless scroungers dole?” Says the Amazon Worker on poverty pay, slaving away for the richest bastard in the world. Oh the evil greed of the lowest poverty stricken sod battling to eat even one meal a day! The hidden glee! Serves him right, him and his overweening sense of privilege, whilst the only thing Jeff Bezos can think to do with his Amazon ‘winnings’, as he calls his thievery, is to spunk them into space.
Let’s face it, despite all my hard work, I got lucky, I died and returned with all that shit and dross left exactly where it should be, dead.
And now I am happy and at peace, people are accusing me of being on drugs, or lying. Shit me, they never question the untold misery that blights this world. But they’ll crucify a Prince of Peace or hate this gentle and kind man who has found peace.
It is truly tragic. The crimes of the powerful against the poor and meek, torture and torment the very heavens.
KOG. 31 July 2020.