So I wrote a post about racial discrimination, in particular, my experience with it as an INFP with social anxiety, like a couple of days ago, and posted it; then the next day, when I received no comments or likes, promptly deleted it, out of despair that no-one could relate. And so began the first sizzling days of my tiny purgatory.
Why was writing and deleting this post such a big deal for me? Why did it light the fuse on a couple of days of deep, internal suffering, burning in my flesh and my bones to the point where every second every cell of my body screamed a long, silent scream?
Here it is: when I mused upon racial discrimination, I started thinking about the history of colonialism. As I started thinking about colonialism, the millions of death it caused, I started thinking about the capacity for evil within humans. From there, I started to see the evil present all around us in society and the world today, how some people have everything and others have nothing, how people will hurt and even kill other people and not care. Then I started thinking about the many ways I had suffered or been disadvantaged in life. First off, I was born extremely sensitive, I thought to myself, with growing indignation, which meant any suffering that hurtled in my direction multiplied a thousandfold in strength along the way. Then I was born a woman, incidentally with an abusive father. I am a minority, a person of colour, so I have had to deal with racism and identity issues. I have always been poor. I am introvert, forced to adapt to an extroverted world, and unable to. I have struggled with self-hatred for most of my life and carry with me lifelong shame. I have been bullied. I have anxiety and Asperger’s and all sorts of other quirks which make leaving the house and social interaction difficult. Honestly—I should just kill myself! The world sucks, people suck, I suck, my life sucks, so what is the point?
The truth is, no-one cares about anyone. Indifference kills millions everyday. Everyone is too busy stuck inside their own worlds, with their own problems, to bother with yours. So, the long and short of it is, I went through, for the couple of days, deep suffering, entirely alone, just like every single human being in history. My mind burnt me alive. I screamed. I screamed. Most of the screaming wasn’t because my life was so hard, but because I couldn’t understand why I lived in a world where so many suffered, where there was so much evil and cruelty. I couldn’t understand it. I couldn’t deal with it. I just couldn’t. When I see a person suffering, an animal suffering, it is as if I am the one suffering. I couldn’t understand how millions of people could starve on one side of the world while on the other people feasted in their nine-million-dollar mansions.
I couldn’t understand it. I was afraid of the depths and power of human cruelty. I was afraid of the lack of compassion, imagination and empathy in the world. People spend hours designing clothes even as somewhere, someone is curling up into a ball and dying of hunger! What kind of insane, tiny planet was this? I was afraid. I was confused. I was going insane, myself, trying to puzzle it out. I couldn’t understand it, so I went mad, I went crazy, I tore myself apart trying to understand why the world insisted on being so mad and crazy. Throughout history to the present day, people have tortured, raped, killed, disemboweled, people have watched their loved ones killed right before their eyes, people just don’t care, do they, they just don’t care—and I couldn’t cope.
My insanity lasted for quite some time. Three days, I think. I felt like I was dying. I read many suicide reports. I read a suicide report about a young Asian-American woman who took her life after suffering from years of racial abuse and bullying. She was thirteen. I read about the suicide rate of Indigenous Australians, about Indigenous children who killed themselves, one after the other, because they hated themselves, living in a world where the British had taken over their land, and decided what was beautiful, what was good, what was right, and discriminated against them. CHILDREN KILLING THEMSELVES. That is disgusting. That is unbelievable. Innocent, beautiful, sweet, darling things—I just couldn’t cope with the hatred, the ignorance, the madness, the fear, I just couldn’t cope!
When one’s threshold for coping has reached its limit, there are two choices: death, or insanity; and I chose the latter. In an insane world, the only way to cope is sometimes to go insane yourself. I told myself, “Snap out of it, at least you’re not dying of cancer!” or “At least you’re not starving!” But that only made things worse, because then I started to think about cancer and starvation and how stupidly powerless and stupidly useless I was and how it was a privilege to even get to have a meltdown over the misery and suffering of other people when I wasn’t even starving or dying of cancer myself. And it was just this huge, huge, huge ball of confusion and pain and self-hatred and despair and I rolled around and around and around, going in circles and screaming in pain, around and around and around.
And then I stopped. I stopped. The madness. How, you ask? How? I stopped, because I realised that the only way, the other option, I suppose you could say, other than going mad or killing myself, was to relax. To accept suffering, in all its myriad forms, no matter how horrible. To simply let go, and let it happen, life, the world, everything, even if it was horrific, even if every second my heart bled and tore open afresh; all I could do, as one person in a sea of seven billion, was accept, and live.
By living, however, I mean adopting a new life philosophy, which is that from now on, whatever I do, say, or think, shall not be for the benefit of myself, but for others. Seeing as so many people in the world, such as writers, have helped me, seeing as the world would not be what it is today without the efforts of people who do not despair, did not kill themselves and kept working, I must also stay alive, and keep working, for the sake of those who I might touch, help and soothe.
So. I went bad,.I burned, I broke, and now I am still broken, but the jagged pieces of me, shivering and rattling and scraping in silent agony, will go on forth and make something, do something, to make things slightly better, for some people. And then I shall die, very soon, after a life of suffering, but somehow, somewhere, it will have been worth it, somehow. Because other people exist, and will always exist, it will be worth it, my work and my efforts. I shake with fear and I shake with pain, but I will shake towards action, because that is, at the end of the day, all that counts. So I am going to relax, and just keep moving forward, blind and stupid but at peace.