I started my new job and it is working out well, and I am working from home until this COVID 19 crisis is under control.
A lot has been happening aside from landing in a new community; I have been dealing with challenges of navigating friendships and relationships- personal, online and otherwise.
No one has perfect relationships; I think typical families have at least one pink elephant that attends all family gatherings. No one wants to point the finger of blame where it should lie, and everyone wants to dump it on the scapegoat rather than onto something or someone else who is the actual guilty party.
No one wants to talk about uncle Tom’s raging alcoholism or his wife’s adultery. Everyone wants a smiling and happy family, but looks are often deceiving.
Right now I am dealing with a neighbour who has loud, one-sided sounding conversations with whoever on her phone, outside my window. She’s loud and it constantly involves her complaining about others. Sometimes I wonder if someone is even on the other line with her, or if it’s just a stream of conscious complaint, where she spews profanity with sentences that almost sound intelligent. I imagine this person on the other line gets up often while she talks, answering “hmmm” and “yes” to give the impression they’re listening.
I am also wondering if she is a paranoid schizophrenic and no one is on the line, except her audio hallucinations. It’s strange and I am unsure if she entangles me in a delusion now and then. But the conversation runs with deep complexities about layered relationships with a friend who only exists in her head.
I am wondering how the relationship in her head started, and how it kept her there, and took her down a tangled path.
I get stuck in the relationships outside my head, but I imagine I get stuck with the memory of them, moreso once they’re gone. I get stuck on the internal process, and the memory of the past resonates loudly with now. I am left piecing everything together, every bit by bit, still trying to dig up a solution; and sometimes I get to volatile stages, and then at other stages, life is less in flux and things are quiet.
And this lady’s brain is running a process that demands attention more loudly than the world outside her. Do their demands tire her, or do they bolster her, or both? The people outside of her feel like a façade, while the inner ones seem most real. She interacts with the inner world to give and take messages from the façade while her inner self instructs her on how to act.
This can all seem like it’s a brain working like it’s supposed to, with a clear separate stable self, with clear concepts of the outside world.
In other minds the self shatters, either from a severely volatile outside world, or from itself.
This lady’s mind started inventing people to talk to. Does she know they’re not real? How do Doctors discern a dissociative fugue from a schizophrenic break from reality? Or some other disease? Is it time and observation?
Do they take shape and form? Or do they invent another world? Are they stuck permanently in waking dreams, while trying to convince themselves of what’s real and what isn’t, and that there is a another door they can really walk through?
Or is this just everyday life? I get sleep paralysis and I wake up thinking I see people in my room, and I know to let my eyes and brain adjust before I continue. Is her world just really her carrying on from a dream in her head, that never quite shuts off?
Is it better to live amongst the living, or amongst the ghosts of comfort in our head? It seems whatever side of the spectrum we fall on it’s the latter, especially since this pandemic started.