My Invisible Exile

"I'm on the outside, looking inside. What do I see?"


It's hardly visible, but I am an outsider in a very significant way. I am almost completely incapable of relating to people. My emotions are vague, dull, and escape any attempts at categorization or communication. If you ask me how I feel, I'd tell you "I don't know". I can't express myself. I play music, and I write, but I can't quite express anything. Consequently, I also have very few opinions on anything, few cares, worries, passions, hobbies. I don't really have an identity, I couldn't describe to you what it is that makes me who I am. It makes me feel a little retarded being completely clueless like this. It makes me feel lost. I know the basic social codes, like not lying or cheating, or killing, the little things by which I can cruise just under the radar.

But that's not all. Not only is it difficult if not impossible to communicate my own emotions to others, it's even worse going the other way. I can't empathize with people, I can't imagine what it's like to experience the world through their eyes, to feel the way they do. Any emotion on their part, be it anger, joy, sadness, pride, grief, determination, confusion, lust, apprehension, whatever, I just get uncomfortable because I don't know what's going on. These are just words to me. I don't FEEL them. When they talk to me about their feelings, I know people expect me to give a little too, to reciprocate a little, to offer advice or something. But I'm sorry everyone, I can't. I feel like everything in this world is a curtain concealing an infinitely expansive and dense fog: love, loss, pain, salvation, adversity, life, death, it's all a pale shade, all lost in the fog, all equally meaningless to me. I am an observer from another world, a spectator just here to watch but not to experience, like a trip to the aquarium. "What are the octopi thinking about?" "I don't know, but they look pissed". I am inescapably secluded from my fellow human being. I feel like I will forever be incapable of relating to people, incapable of marriage, children, love, loss, all those things that normies feel. This fear on my part has led me to construct an elaborate frame of ethics around me, to provide a safe-guard from the darkness that lurks beneath my skin. I am a vegetarian, I am training to be a therapist, I spend as much time with family as I can, I act as nice as a saint, never passing judgment on others, I refuse to lie. But that's the thing... it's all a big lie, to others, and to myself. I don't want them to see what I am, and I have a desperate hope that this veneer of morality will act as behavioural therapy, making me truly good. I am not good, I am not bad. I am not the Anti-Christ. I am worse: I am nothing. The perfect nihilist.

I fear death, not my own, but others' deaths. Soon family and friends will pass, and I will have to attend their funerals. I picture my stoic face amongst tears, and I will be irrevocably revealed to the world for the fake I am, to all those closest to me. I don't want anyone to see me for what I am, because I know I'd be seen as incomprehinsible, alien, untrustworthy, dangerous even. They wouldn't understand me. My exile would be complete. I know this because people already sense this about me, that there is something a bit off. I sense a deep, visceral revulsion on the part of others. They despise me and aren't consciously aware of it. They just know to avoid, instinctively. The story of my social life.

Regular weirdos have other weirdos. I have no one. I am innate, cold, a rock. I want nothing more than to melt seemlessly into others, to experience the full range of the emotional spectrum. I want to taste, hear, touch, see, smell, FEEL. I have this fleeting hope things will get better, or more likely, I will find others like me, who will accept me for the monstrous anti-human I am.

Let me finish by expressing my envy to all the insiders and outsiders alike who have the luxury of feeling, especially empathy. Consider yourselves lucky!
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3 Responses Aug 13, 2010

maybe the person who saved it was meaning for you to find it again. I'm glad to have read it.

I wrote this ages ago... and deleted it because I didn't think it was very good. Why is it here under some else's account?

You are hardly a "monstrous anti-human." And you aren't nothing, either. I don't understand what you're going through, but you are a good person, doing the right things in life as best as you can, and that counts for something. It counts for a lot actually. Some of those people who are very emotional can be also very damaging to other people. I know 'cause I live with some. And I am a sensitive person, and you don't know how many times I've wished that I didn't feel anything. However, I do have empathy, and for that I am grateful. Take care of yourself, and be the best you can be.