Chapter 5 Strangers Whom I’m Related To

My emancipation from the suffocation of cohabiting with my parents give me the privacy the personal autonomy i craved. I had this overwhelming desire to be free to be exiled from the vexation of family life wanting to exist away from the agita of human contact. This yearning was fulfilled with the tumultuous decision to live on my own to break the chains the bondage of family. Family which I had grown apart from. The warmth had gone, family who i had no connection no affinity towards.

This solitary removed life with reduced daily anxiety was initially glorious to be untethered from the misery of residing with other humans. By the time I was 21 my illness my atypical idiosyncrasies had were cemented in my identity with the behavioural abnormalities the dearth of human interaction the lack of desire to have friends to have a passionate loving partner. I had become accustomed to living as a hermit a life exiled in the wilderness in the desert without love. Nobody to talk too no witness no human bonds only distant superficial associations.

In my early twenties i had relinquished dreams of a intellectually enriching vocation i had discarded dreams of a life beyond the walls of Mayberry. Effectively given up on myself on exploring the luscious fruits of a richly lived life. Abandoning illusions of escaping the grey the concrete jungle the hollowed out buildings of my desolate town to escape to expand my horizons. Never traversing to lush exotic cities experiencing intoxicating enriching cultures. I wanted to these electrifying adventures to broaden my horizons so intensely. I’m precluded from partaking in these escapades due to the social impediments of being schizoid. To meet new people to live a nomadic life would be too onerous for my atypical personality. I had become a prison trapped inside the walls the iron cages of a encumbering condition.

At 21 i had become habituated to the drudgery of the warehouse existence. The boredom the endless loop of home and work nothing else no socialising no fraternising with any other human became my routine. Moving out becoming unshackling myself from my awful family establishing my own private enclave while my personality flaws exacerbated further. Being removed from the daily conversations sequestering myself from any human contact. It facilitated my negative traits to become more prevalent as i regressed further inwards intro fantasy. There was freedom a initial glorious novelty in being absent from the daily angst of family in being alone. At first it was a wondrous joyous relief to severe the cords of family. Spending days all alone with my own company was pure nirvana. Over time the novelty of elongated solitude wore away and I noticed the worsening of my antisocial tendencies. To not have to converse with anybody spending your entire personal life ensconced in my dank flat only escalated my abnormal idiosyncrasies.

The dwelling I existed in allowed me to detach completely from family. The already strained relations deteriorated into a estranged association. Declining to ever visit my family home it was always my parents usually my mother who tried to retain a degree of contact. Having no desire to call my parents to make a arrangement to ever darken their door with my presence. I by this time held such antipathy such disdain for my odious family why would I want to spend time with them. In the early years of living alone we would rendezvous once a month if that. When i was cordially invited to a Sunday dinner i grudgingly accepted my mother’s invitation. Being in the company of my family was never a happy serene occasion there was no connection no warmth I shared with these people I happened to be related to. Spending a few hours in my mother and fathers company felt like purgatory. Feeling confined in this claustrophobic uncommunicative environment. In my parents presence I yearned to be free to be alone it wasn’t a convivial harmonious atmosphere in my parents home. Spending a measly few hours once a month in my old abode was pure hell it felt like purgatory. The stress was all consuming i craved the sweet oxygen of isolation. There were times days when I genuinely missed the company of my distant estranged family. Then i would acquiesce to my mothers request to visit on a Sunday for a meal. I was reminded of the claustrophobia the dysphoria I endured cohabiting in this haunted place. A home devoid of any warmth of love with superficial facile conversations never engaging in our deepest emotions. We had brief laconic verbal exchanges lacking emotion or human affection.

Even if my solitary habitation had escalated my depression had advanced my personality disorder symptoms being confined in their home was a reminder of why I left why i eschewed their company why i have isolated myself from the toxicity of family. I left home because i urgently needed to liberate my fragile self form this cage of nothing towards a serene locale. A domicile where i could breathe where i had complete autonomy over my personal life. Eating when i desired being able to listen to music to go to bed of my own volition. Despite the freedom I had in my new living quarters there was this overwhelming sadness at my antagonistic icy relationship with my relatives. Once there was warmth emotional resonance between us vivid colourful memories of happiness we shared. Of course I would never promulgate my antipathy my contempt directly to my parents i put on this facade of empathy. A pretence of compassion when on the inside i felt nothing but disdain for these people. As the years strolled by the visits became increasingly sporadic. Visits from my family only occurred at Christmas and on birthdays were i obeyed the social protocol of attending family functions to keep the facade of loving my family. At least attempting to maintain a semblance of a relationship by visiting them a couple time a year. These visits were part of the family social contract which I felt obliged to attend they helped to preserve a serviceable impersonal association with my family

The interconnection the bond i had with my mother in the disappointment of my adulthood had disintegrated into a impersonal emotionless barely functional relationship. Once there was intimacy there was love now there existed walls of dissociation. In the rare moments i spent protracted time with my mother i maintained the guise of caring when on the inside their was a dearth of warmth. In adulthood our affinity had further corroded in part to my inability to preserve and cultivate emotional bonds with humans. We were once so close, in my infancy she was a pivotal person in my life. My mother protected me pushed and encouraged me to flourish as a person. Her warmth her infinite love empowered me to deal with the agony of being so extremely introverted. Having this comfort blanket of boundless compassion gave me the courage to overcome my interpersonal shortcomings.

I can recollect being 5 hating myself despising how I couldn’t relate to other children. Despising my lack of verbal dexterity my failure in forging friendships from an early age with my childhood peers. My mothers compassion her maternal love furnished me with hope with self confidence it empowered me to fulfil my intellectual potential. I believed this maternal nourishment deterred and minimised my flaws. In my opinion if I didn’t receive this love this healthy flow of emotional gratification the worse traits of my disorder would have been evident earlier rather than in my early adulthood. However this union which was once so strong had degraded over time. As a teenager i detached myself from my mother. I became less communicative less open with my inner concerns and withdraw completely into my shell into the womb of my room. This detachment continued as it relocated into my private 1 bedroomed flat as our relationship disintegrated further into a broken interconnection. To the point when i moved out we had virtually no contact with each other. Moving out was the final step towards being almost ostracised from each other. Never speaking never socialising other than a few times year when i adhered to social protocol and attended tedious Christmas and birthday celebrations. Making no effort whatsoever to reanimate the dead connection with my mother.

It was my mother who had the resolve the diligence to preserve a modicum of human contact with me. In according to my antisocial character i rejected and neglected her. Refusing to call fabricating up excuses why i couldn’t come round for dinner. I perpetuated the detrimental pattern of social isolationism for my blood relations. Finding the idea of solitude much more preferable than being subjected to protracted periods of human contact. Even if that person was my mother my creator so i not only ignored my mother vociferous requests i lied repeatedly. Constructing elaborate lies to preclude myself from attending or meeting with my family more frequently. I would invariably say i was going out with my friends inventing scenarios to keep the distance keeping me from having the ordeal of spending a day with people who were essentially strangers. Despite all this reclusive hermit like behaviour i cared for my family but found it so arduous so emotionally taxing interacting with these people. That to eschew requests from mainly my mother and spend days off in heavenly isolation was a far more serene enriching manner to spend my days off from work. I repeatedly conjured up whoppers to protect myself to dissociate to exile myself from this family is was born into.

There were numerous instances where i refrained from even answering the door. I would cowardly cower and hide turning off all the lights in my aesthetically unappealing flat turn off all electrical appliances that emitted a noise that might indicate i was home. All in a effort to give the illusion i was out. It was a cowardly peculiar idiosyncratic behaviour that was indicative of my decent into a severe impairing personality disorder. Being in my cell of isolation in a ivory tower sequestered from the rest of humanity in my early twenties when i disengaged absolutely from my family. I disengaged refrained from any anxiety inducing social situation where there was the threat of pain of emotional intimacy. Mother was a symbol of pain of depression and sadness just seeing her looking on photographs made my heart well up with sadness. When we did meet up usually in my flat we had nothing substantive to say to each other we had through the sands of time become strangers. All those memories of childhood all the pain all the joy we shared counted for nothing as i felt so cold to here. I had a dead numbed feeling meeting her no hugs no kisses just icy non verbal expressions.

As my condition grew more severe the longer i spent in solitary confinement my behaviour my ability to sustain human connections fell precipitously. My mother tried to reestablish a rapport with me to reconnect to reform a intimate caring mother and son bond. I no longer desired or needed any contact any love from mother. Had these dreams these fantasies of being permanently estranged from my odious family. Having these chains of family severed was a blissful sick wish.

The blond I had with my father had slowly eroded since I was a toddler. We were never that close due to our introverted insular personalities that contributed to the fissure in our relationship. My father wasn’t a naturally extroverted warm effusive person he like me lacked the adeptness to readily convey his emotions. A cold difficult soul who did love me but found the onerous task of articulating his innermost feelings almost insurmountable. From my flaws my fathers outward aloof persona we struggled to formulate a healthy emotionally literate kinship. From early childhood when I commenced my primary school education when my glaring social decencies were evident to the teachers to my guardians. The early primary school trauma of being branded abnormal was the genesis of our relationship falling apart. My dissociated bond with my mother was comparable with how my bond with father degraded as my disorder became more pernicious as i became a adult. Where the symptoms of being schizoid started to manifest between the ages of 16 till 21. When I changed when I removed myself from society from people the division from my father grew. We became strangers rarely visiting each other. It was horrendous when i lived in close proximity to my father the communication was non existent. Then when I relocated several miles away from my parents home to achieve some liberation from the claustrophobia of living with my austere father. This valiant decision only exacerbated the gargantuan chasm between us. We were strangers connected through close genetic bond is all we were no warmth no feeling just a functional relationship. I had a numb sadness a sorrow at how this pivotal individual became lost from me. I was starving for love from my father screaming on the inside desperately needing that validation that never existed with us. There was a mutual connection blockage where nothing meaningful was conveyed between us. This was the single family relationship that gave me the greatest degree of anguish of profound sadness. The coldness the outwards perception i received from my father of not caring for me drove me to the depths of despair towards the abyss. I wanted love wanted hugs from my father. I got a blank void of nothing where love died of black emptiness pervaded by soul where i thirsted for the sweet oxygen of love. My father and i found it impossible to engage in deep meaningful interactions. Apart from Christmas and birthday functions we never got together. Christmas and birthday events which i was duly obliged to attend to maintain a veneer of love for my family. When i did attend these turgid stressful events the conversation was lacking in any vitality. Saying very little apart from vacuous small talk whilst internally having this waterfall of suppressed emotions. Desperate to be unburdened i kept these feelings trapped finding it impossible to articulate a modicum of emotion to either parent.

In the decade I’ve been living alone my father has visited on a handful of times. Even taken he was accompanied by my mother who definitely had the initiative to visit my gloomy flat. He would never pay a visit to my humble abode of his own volition like i would never call round my parents residence. Our physical interactions were limited to rendezvous at Christmas or maybe my birthday that was the extent to our visitations. I had given up the illusion we could foster a beneficial adult connection. The feeling died as I progressed into my twenties stopped caring externally or internally losing all empathy for my father. Till it became a flickering dim candle waiting to be extinguished. Our inflexible withdrawn personalities were destined to have a unhealthy frosty bond. Never did i have to hide never had to decline a phone call never had to cowardly pretend i wasn’t home because the visitations from my father never happened. Never had to attempt the elaborate masquerade of pretending i wasn’t home. If there is any prevailing feeling with my father its a melancholic sensation at the absence of a affectionate ameliorating paternal bond that left me irrevocably scarred from this defective relationship.

As i became this exiled hermit ghost like figure in the lives of my parents. As I slowly receded into the background removing my physical presence from their lives. Till i reduced our frosty kinship to a couple of obligated social events a year. My rapport with my younger sister was just as disconnected and estranged. I reconnected briefly with my sister at Christmas and that was all. There was a dearth of contact with her for the rest of the year. No elongated effusive phone calls no convivial social network communications. She became for 364 days a year a phantom figure in my pathetic life. The emotional beneficial attachment we once had dissipated. He were strangers aloof distant for each other. She was once a pivotal salutary presence in my infancy. A person who allowed me to flourish to cast off my emotional and social impediments in my childhood. As cited previously our kinship was a intimate bond which was vital in assisting the development of my stunted cognitive proficiency. I laboured in forging friendships at primary i was largely unsuccessful in constructing due in part to me having limited verbal skills. It was my sister who facilitated the improvement in my development with her emphatic extroverted effervescent personality. We were more than mere brother and sister we were for until the alienation of my adolescence best friends.

As we grew older into the hormonal maelstrom of puberty we gradually drifted apart from each other. The intimacy the affinity the bond had disappeared it would never return to what it was in my formative childhood years. As the years rolled by we became increasingly withdrawn from each other. I regressed into insulated states of isolation from my family from the entire human race. I ceased ventilating my thoughts with my sister we refrained from visiting each other. As I moved out and untethered myself from family life migrating to my fortress of solitude in my private 1 bedroom flat. We had a cycle of seeing each other once a year at Christmas exchanging gifts at this family mandated gathering. I lost this once indispensable bond as the torment of living with this brutal personality disorder took its harmful effect on me. There is sadness there is infinite oceans of pain over the erosion of this once beautiful kinship. Now she is another soul i cant reconnect with another spirit I have discarded through my interpersonal impotence. Another beautiful creature i am precluded fromfully loving or be loved like a brother and sister.

When i contemplate all these years of solitude sequestered away from my family i realise all of these beautiful memories i have missed out on. My sister has become a happy married mother of 2 wonderful daughters. I am a virtual stranger to my nieces a stranger to my sisters husband. It’s the detrimental consequences of living a segregated cursed life. I see my sister and her colourful exuberant family at Christmas to them I’m this weird alien being who is only tangentially associated with them visiting once a year. There’s no emotional linkage no rapport I’m remain a distant stranger who they regard as a weird creature who offers them shallow gifts as compensation for the lack of intimacy. I am unable to express outward displays of love or any emotion so offering Christmas presents is the only facile manner of expressing my love. To them i am a weird uncle who lives this subterranean life hidden away from the warm embrace of family denied the therapeutic power of humanities love.

Christmas time with my family in my childhood formative years was a euphoric experience. It was a glorious yearly celebration of family of love of superfluous consumption of chocolate and being bestowed with a bounty of gifts. Christmas a period of overwhelming excitement where you imagined what assortment of presents you would be lavished from your generous relatives. Now in the purgatory of my adulthood in the affliction of my disorder all that joy all that excitement has disappeared. Now i dread the holiday season with each passing day as Christmas Day approaches nearer the anxiety intensifies the nausea the anguish for this one day. This singular intense day of protracted social contact with a family who ive become this reclusive stranger. The thought of this horrendous day fills my head with such disquietude. It builds throughout the entire month of December until it reaches a crescendo on Christmas Eve. The stress becomes so unhealthy that it ruins the entire month. I cant concentrate cant appreciate any simple pleasures the agita precludes me from enjoying anything. Pleasures such as being alone in the sanctuary of my flat consuming alcohol with a insatiable appetite. That escapist pleasure of being intoxicated is tarnished by the heightened anxiety of Christmas Day. What Christmas Day emphasises in my damaged mind is how i despise spending any sustained time interacting with family members. It’s a elucidating day that reveals how i have nothing in common with these people that the empathy for the family has subsided into a numb indifference. This ceaseless anxiety i have to endure over Christmas Day and the weeks leading up to Christmas started in my early twenties. It commenced when I moved out and severed myself from the minutia of family life. With each passing year existing in self enforced solitary confinement the anxiety gets worse as i insulate myself from the human race. The paralysing dread that permeates by entire consciousness all for a day of celebration. Nothing about this day is celebratory or pleasurable or gives me a modicum of enjoyment.

It starts with the purchasing of gifts that imbues my entire being with distress never knowing what to purchase for my many relatives. Having to adhere to social protocol to buy gifts for essential strangers for individuals i am apathetic towards. Then the actual day is where the real agony commences. Getting up uncharacteristically early by my mum having to pretend i actually care for these people. Putting on this mask this outward veneer of compassion opening up the presents whilst presenting this illusion of excitement. It’s where the heightened anxiety starts with the traditional ceremonial revealing of the gifts that distances estranged relatives have bestowed on me. The gift opening is the first step in a day of relentless nervousness that never abates at any moment on this day of perpetual torment. Then gradually over the course of the day various family members arrive with distant and immediate relatives. Then in these moments of sustained social intercourse my personality defects are laid bare as my inadequacy in social situations. My maladroit interpersonal skills are exposed even to individuals i have been acquainted with my entire life. I spend all year diligently avoiding these extremely uncomfortable social situations. Hiding from the world living a subterranean life absconding from human contact. Now to adhere to tradition I’m forced into close proximity with family i despise. I try to present a visage of normalcy but I am much of a outcast too defective to appear as a normal functional person.

The conversations in these family gatherings are often uncomfortable and staid. I responded listlessly to their effusive questions on my life i end their verbose conversations with my characteristic laconic blunt conversational style. Often on Christmas hours will pass without me uttering a single word i prefer to remain mute and passive in the festivities. Never taking part or engaging in the jovial celebrations. The heightened tension that never abates at any point throughout this tormented day inside I’m begging to be released from this hell and be returned to the bliss of solitude. Begging the universe to let this psychological ordeal of a day end. It’s just one day but I’m reminded of the myriad of reasons why i avoid people why being around strangers or familiar relatives is unbearable torment. I yearn for the sweet serenity of being alone in my uninspiring aesthetically ugly flat.

My perfect Christmas might seem sad and pathetic to any normal human but I’m a social leper a broken person. The perfect Christmas is me spending the entire day in isolation getting extremely inebriated watching superlative television. No family no awkward discussions. Just me myself and i emancipated from the lead weight of family.

The nightmare of Christmas is a horrific one off occasion. However there are other acutely awful contractually obligated family gatherings. The worst kind of mandated family event is the wedding. Nothing fills my fragile mind with sheer panic inducing dread than the the knowledge i will have to attend a wedding. You cant decline a invitation you have to put on the mask pretend to care for a insignificant family member who’s taking the momentous decisions to get married. The worst wedding ceremony i was forced to attend was my sisters wedding. This was a person I’m supposed to have a deep bond with a childhood of shared experiences. Now there’s no emotion no feeling. I have become apathetic to my sisters happiness longing to be alone permanently partitioned from her. Spending all day in protracted social interplay was a horrifying ordeal. Again on occasions such as these my asocial tendencies are exposed when I’m forced to socialise with a multitude of relatives. Devoting an entire day to conversing with tedious relatives getting drunk around family members distant and immediate. Days like this are pure torture i know I’m supposed to be imbued with happiness with jubilation at this glorious sacred celebration of love. In reality there is nothing inside of me but this vast ocean of nothingness throughout the various events of the wedding day.

A wedding day is almost unbearable suffering for my fragile damaged body and soul. Putting on the traditional wedding attire the suit the tie that is a requisite for attaining a traditional religious wedding ceremony. Trying to appear normal, presentable, trying hopelessly to be this smart urbane polished adult. When in reality I appear as this odd cold emotional flat loser. On this day my glaring personality flaws are laid bare to my family I have nowhere to hide. I choke on the noxious fumes of intensely stressful social situations wanting badly to insulate myself to a place of private existence. A place where i am able to survive without this acidic unending anxiety. The entire wedding experience from commencement to the last dance lasts for approximately 12 hours of pure torture. Often I remain verbally inarticulate declining to display the appropriate range of emotions that’s in accordance with a wedding that’s celebrates the glorification of love.

I ache for solitude it’s like a drug a opiate that allows my soul to breathe. The wedding day and other elongated family functions are revelatory experiences of how much i despise other people how I’ve become this misanthropic loner. That a life existing surrounded by people in perpetuity is untenable for my maladroit self. The wedding reveals my wounds my defects it unveils the lack of emotional proficiency to show a modicum of joy or love for my sister.

In my twenties in my longing for solace I have gradually separated myself form my mother and father. Becoming over time incredible secretive protecting my emotional vulnerabilities never exposing my repressed emotions to any family member. I retain this stoic robotic visage which enables me to hide the sadness the depression. The mask never slips never letting myself appear vulnerable. Throughout my twenties i have been critically infected with long term depression. My relatives I assume are completely ignorant of the depths of my internal suffering. I lie pathologically to shelter myself to keep a vast distance between myself and other humans. The lies the robotic persona began as a defence mechanism for being a repressed introvert now its metastasised into this character trait of a personality disorder. In the depths of my disorder my insatiable need for solitude my family are to me a useless appendage that needs to be extricated from my life. I have been largely successful in my pursuit of alienating myself from the sanctum of family life. There is sadness in feeling this way in my segregation from family there is streams of misery in being so alone for people care for me who love me profusely. I don’t want to be this way so damaged so broken. I want the love the well of kindness that family gives you. However the pain of family of tangible human contact is too excruciating to bare. I have to alienate myself as a means of surviving with this pernicious condition. Alienate myself so visits from family become increasingly sporadic. The absence of family the absence of family the absence of human connection encapsulates what’s its like being schizoid. That’s i have nobody to share my life with to feel connected to.

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