Way Past Humanity

I started sobbing uncontrollably. I am usually pretty detached from things and don’t let them affect me but something had happened and I was in pain. The emotional kind. As warm drops of tears rolled down my cheeks, I wondered what this feeling meant. You see there had been moments like this before and I hadn’t so much as frowned, but this time around, something really hurt. I had hurt someone’s feelings and I was miserable. Then I took out my phone and opened the front camera and looked at my ugly crying face. And I didn’t feel pity at myself. I felt disdain. That is the relationship I share with myself.

More than two decades ago, I had a really traumatic experience. I was abused. Which impacted my life in a big way. But childhood trauma is neither interesting nor uncommon. How I dealt with it, though, was peculiar and set the pace of a lot of things to come. I convinced myself that I was actually enjoying the trauma. I even convinced myself that I was in control, that I wanted it. And that messed me up in the years to come. Because you see, since I felt like I wanted it, later it gave way to a deep-seated sense of guilt and shame. That’s how I developed an acute level of self-loathing.

Now think about it. Self-loathing is in itself a really traumatic thing. And to deal with it, I further convinced myself that I was a villain, the bad guy in the story. So I deserved all the bad and hence, didn’t need to feel any guilt. It is that coping mechanism that has helped me whenever I wanted to cry in the past. But something had snapped, even if only for a while and I couldn’t stop crying. And then I looked at myself on the front camera of my phone. I hated who I saw. And I hated him more for crying. As if he was a victim. He and I both knew that we were monsters, we were the bad guy.

Somewhere in the past two decades, I had done something impulsive and ended up feeling guilty for it. And to deal with that guilt, I had used my deep-seated sense of self-loathing by telling myself again and again that I was a monster. And when you feel like a monster, you act like a monster. I had managed to turn the volume down on my guilt, to really dial down my conscience in a big way. But when your conscience is turned down, it leads to other feelings getting numb. And I realized this eventually when my reaction to really sad life events was 'indifference'. By the way, the indifference created more guilt, because I felt more dysfunctional and less human. 

Somewhere in this journey, I ended up hurting a few people deeply. And every time, it created more guilt and self-loathing and that pushed me further down the rabbit hole. So when I looked at myself crying, I felt several things. I felt like I was acting sad because I was a bad guy and I felt no guilt. I felt broken up about the person I had hurt, for what I had put them through. And I felt immense rage and hate for myself. For a moment, I felt like ending it all. But then, the monster in me took over and I sobered up. I stopped myself from feeling pathetic and rationalized with my own conscience. “The people you hurt are better off without you,” my mind told me, snickering like the villain it thought it was. And I felt just a little better. I felt like by hurting them and driving them away, I had done some good. “Because the alternative would have been bad for them.”

I know when you are concluding a piece like this, people usually expect some sort of redemption, some kind of a happy ending in the form of self-realization. But sadly, I have realized that self-realization isn’t my problem. I know very well what I am and what I do. I just can’t stop doing it. The last time I consciously decided to break the curse. And I failed. Miserably. The vicious cycle of guilt, repression and self-loathing has turned me into the monster who feels very little. I walk the earth looking like a man, but I stopped being human a long time ago. There is no redemption for me.


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