Friday, March 6, 2009

Bare (Originally published on 1.05.09)

Point of View.

This is something I’ve been pondering lately. Everyone has a different point of view on pretty much everything; that’s what makes us human. But the one point of view I’ve been concentrating on and identifying with is Vincent Van Gogh’s. His life was riddled with mental illness that eventually caused him to commit suicide. Over 150 psychiatrists have attempted to label his illness, and some 30 different diagnoses have been suggested. Diagnoses which have been put forward include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, syphilis, poisoning from swallowed paints, temporal lobe epilepsy and acute intermittent porphyria

But the thing that strikes me the most was his constant search for affection or love. He yearned for a connection with someone so badly that he felt the only way of proving it was through self harm. Almost saying “I will die for you, I will hurt for you, please, please don’t leave me.” When he was terrified that his friend, Paul Gauguin would leave him, he literally tried to give a piece of himself (his left earlobe) to him in order to prove that he needed him, that he loved him. Gauguin did eventually leave and never saw Van Gogh again after that Van Gogh was devastated and hospitalized in a critical state for a few days.

When he fell in love with his cousin Kee Vos-Stricke and asked her to marry him. Her answer was "No, never, never". From that point on her parents refused to let him see her and told him "Your persistence is disgusting". In desperation he held his left hand in the flame of a lamp, saying, "Let me see her for as long as I can keep my hand in the flame." His uncle blew out the candle and ordered him to leave.

When Van Gogh first began painting he used only somber colors. His style eventually changed to Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism. I know that the way he painted was a style, but to me it looked like he was painting while viewing the world with tears in his eyes. The colors blur together and seem to separate through salty eyes.

On July 27, 1890, at the age of 37, Van Gogh walked into a field and shot himself in the chest with a revolver. Without realizing that he was fatally wounded he returned to the Ravoux Inn where he died in his bed two days later. His brother Theo hastened to be at his side and reported his last words as "La tristesse durera toujours" (French for "the sadness will last forever").

I identify with him in the way that I thought that if I gave people physical trinkets or bought them dinner or drinks, they’re remain my friends. That if I put on a show for them or let myself be the butt of jokes, they’d keep me around. It was especially bad when I was a child. I’m not sure if I already wrote this story in a past post but when I was in 4th grade a girl commented that she liked my bracelet. I promptly took it off and offered it to her. She backed away and from that moment forth I was labeled as a freak. I didn’t have very many friends in my school growing up, and when I did make friends, when they got too close I’d push them away.

I finally understand that the only thing that I have to give to another person is me. Let them across my moat and through my drawbridge. This is positively terrifying for me because it leaves me room to get hurt; hence my intimacy issues. I just jump right in to sex and foreplay is a bit of a foreign thing to me. I want to let people in and not push them away. You could say this is a bit of a new years resolution.

From now on the only thing I am offering is myself and if that isn’t enough for someone, I won’t punish myself. Well, it’s not that I wasn’t enough, I just don’t have the traits that they’re looking for and that’s ok. It’s funny, I can write my innermost feelings and desires in a blog but can’t tell them to someone’s face. When I try and speak the words get all mottled and twisted. Part of me wishes I could just print this out and hand it out to people that don’t understand. Though I am finding a lot of my friends read this blog and I’m always surprised. It’s nice when I don’t have to explain myself because they just respond with “Oh, I read that.” Thanks to all those that read this, it really does make me happy to know that you care and don’t look at me any different.

So yeah. Hello world. This is me, laid bare before you.



Xantraun said...

i have been dealing with a lot of issues myself lately and after having been on and off countless meds in the past few months while doctors try to create a cocktail of delicious relief...

it's comforting to read through your blog from time to time just for that assurance that life really does go on. whether it be a physical or mental ailment, it helps to know that others share in the constant struggle for the semblance of normality if such a thing really exists.

guess i just felt the need to leave a note and thank you for all your instrospective insights.

rock on with your bad self

"If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude."
-Maya Angelou

seems fitting. sort of an elegant way of saying to roll with the punches ...just wish life didn't hit so damn hard when you forget to duck >_<

Tanya said...

Good on ya.

One thing I learned is that people stick around when you show genuine interest in them. I don't mean like, actively pursuing them, or constantly calling them up, or taking up their hobbies, but doing unexpected acts of kindness and bearing them in mind. A friend appreciates when you call them out of the blue and say "Hey, we haven't talked in ages, but I was thinking about you. How are you?" That, for me, goes farther than any present, dinner, or drink would go. Just to know that I am thought about and not forgotten.

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