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About a boy

daniil (775990) writes | more than 9 years ago

Java 8

There's this boy i used to know. He once said something very strange to me (and another friend of mine who happened to sit at the same table with us): he said he was afraid of happiness. It sounded funny at that time, but when i later thought about it, i realised he had been serious. You could see it in his behaviour: whatever he did, his own happiness was always the last thing on his mind. Other people always came before him. He would sometimes even go as far as to sabotage himself. I don't thiThere's this boy i used to know. He once said something very strange to me (and another friend of mine who happened to sit at the same table with us): he said he was afraid of happiness. It sounded funny at that time, but when i later thought about it, i realised he had been serious. You could see it in his behaviour: whatever he did, his own happiness was always the last thing on his mind. Other people always came before him. He would sometimes even go as far as to sabotage himself. I don't think he ever hurt himself on purpose, though. I guess it was because he was probably afraid of pain, afraid of being hurt. Or maybe he just didn't take pleasure in it (do self-cutters take pleasure in hurting themselves?).

Then that boy disappeared for a while -- for a few weeks or so. And when he came back, he had changed. I'm not talking about the sun tan he had -- he had changed inside. This change (these changes?) also reflected on the outside, in the way he looked. You could also hear it in his voice. And it was incredible -- incredible how much he had changed over those few weeks.

"What happened to you?" I asked.
"I fell in love," he said, smiling.
"With whom? With someone you met when you were away?"
"Not with whom, but with what."
"With what then?" I asked, baffled.
"I fell in love with the Underground."

And then he told me his story. He told me how he had, for the first time, ridden an underground train. How he had felt claustrophobic at first, as it had been so dark outside. But then the train had emerged from the underground, and it had been a most extraordinary feeling for him. At first, he said, everything had been dark. But then the darkness suddenly had become to recede, turning gray instead of black, and the next moment everything was white. And then, from this whiteness, emerged the green grass and trees of the suburbs. It was, he said, as if he had been Enlightened.

Of course he lied. I could see it in his eyes -- all the time he was telling me this story, he never looked me in the eye. He kept avoiding my gaze. So i instantly knew this was not what had happened to him. Well, it probably had, but it was not the thing that had changed him. It had been something else. Something else had happened to him that had changed him.

...and here i am now, sitting here, trying to figure out what it was.

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Cutting, like most masochism (1)

sielwolf (246764) | more than 9 years ago | (#13225495)

is about control. Here self-control (as compared to satisfaction derived from domination) and more specifically validation of our basic urges and that of cause and effect.

The c&e part is due to proving to the cutter they are still autonomous, independent and willful. This comes from a sense that not only is much of the cutter's life controlled by others but a sensation that their actions are actually pointless (e.g. your job just sends paper into the either, you make a meal no matter how good you will need to make another tomorrow). No task is completed to a satisfying level. In this way it is a proof by negation: I can cause suffering I am directly aware of. To reaffirm your ego with action.

The validation of urges comes from the dulling sensation associated with depression or other forms of mental illness. You recognize things as funny but you don't laugh. Things are angering but you are too tired to get upset at them for any extended period of time. A classic hypothesis of schizophrenia is that it is the result of when the brain can no longer feel pleasure. Even sexuality is deadened by it. Lack of appetite. In cutting, cutters realize much of this is reflexive. So cutting is a way of shocking the system. Sort of throwing yourself into the ocean to teach yourself how to swim. A major difference of pain biological systems from all other sensory systems is that there is one track that never really can be blocked out physiologically: A-Delta pain nerve fibers.

These are the carriers of "fast pain", the acute pain associated with tissue damage ('sharp' pain. The sort stimulated by cutting). They are called "fast" because they are some of the fastest fibers in the body (6-30ms) and have a much simpler pathway as compared to "slow pain" nerves ('burning', 'dull', 'aching' pain. C type fibers. 0.5-2ms). Fast pain pathways operate out of the jurisdiction of much of the seritonin control pathways. So when your dopamine/seritonin systems get fucked up due to depression or illness, fast pain networks still function.

Hence cutting. Wedding Crashers doesn't work. Brittany Skye doesn't work. Schubert doesn't work. But running a razor blade quick under your fingernail does. A light finally goes off. That a cutter can control this looms large in a life dulled to nothing.

Self-control (1)

daniil (775990) | more than 9 years ago | (#13225721)

I think one of the scariest moments in my life was the one time i actually cut myself a bit on purpose (i've done it a million times by accident; there's scars from knife cuts on all my fingers). Back then (it was... maybe three or four years ago, during a dark period in my life), i thought of suicide quite often -- not in the sense of planning one (i never got that far), but just contemplating whether i would be capable of committing suicide.

I was almost certain that i wouldn't -- not because i was afraid of death but because i was afraid of the pain that came before it (it hurts when you cut yourself, you know). So, one time, i decided to make a small experiment to see if it was true. I took a paper cutter and cut my hand a tiny bit (i pretty much just scratched it; you cannot even see the mark).

To my horror, it didn't really hurt as much as i had thought it would. The pain was nothing. I was not afraid of it any longer -- perhaps had never been afraid at all. I was, however, afraid of myself now -- afraid of what i could do if i wanted to.

It did put an end to all those suicidal thoughts, though.

eye contact (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 9 years ago | (#13225807)

He could have been lying, or maybe he felt stupid telling you the story, or that you would think it was stupid. Or maybe the squirrels in his head were telling him, "Stop! Don't give out the secrets of the undergrounndddddd!!!" Heck he may not even know. Excuse me, my squirrels are telling me to go get a candybar (one with nuts).

What. The. Fuck. (1)

Luke727 (547923) | more than 9 years ago | (#13226053)

That makes almost no sense. I would need to be fucked up on coke and heroin to even begin to comprehend whatever the fuck you just said.

Re:What. The. Fuck. (1)

daniil (775990) | more than 9 years ago | (#13228778)

That JE was posted at 11:41 PM. As a rule (and this JE is no exception), i'm not capable of logical thought or proper English after half past eleven. Knowing this, i try to take advantage of this weakness of mine and post things like this JE at such a late hour to mess with your brain.

Re:What. The. Fuck. (1)

SolemnDragon (593956) | more than 9 years ago | (#13229241)

Daniil, don't feed the trolls. LEt them be. And as for you, Luke, i think you might just be too fucked up to understand. Go hit your head on a sidewalk for awhile, that might help.

  Daniil, dear (if i may call you that on this one occasion) it made sense to me and i'm barely awake, so don't worry about it. It's just fine.

 

Is this a true story? (1)

weierstrass (669421) | more than 9 years ago | (#13231044)

Because it sounds like you mean it. It also sounds like something you might make up.

Re:Is this a true story? (1)

daniil (775990) | more than 9 years ago | (#13233153)

I wish i knew.
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