I came to the conclusion fairly early-on, that I was surrounded by people who simply didn’t “get” me. My “parents” would have been utterly apathetic, except inasmuch as they needed to put at least a half-assed amount of effort into keeping the local variant of DCF off of their backs. My idiot, heroin-addict half-brother — in addition to being both an idiot and heroin addict — also hated me on a level far deeper than typical “sibling rivalry”, and treated me like shit as a means to (as he put it) “get back at” my dad.
Those who my mother persisted in (mis)characterizing as my “friends” from school tended to jump me at recess, and knee me in the groin until I vomited. Later, one of them who happened to be slightly less illiterate than the others discovered the female variant of my name (“Henrietta”), and decided to begin calling me by that version (since I was probably a “faggy bookworm”.)
Now, here’s the really odd thing about me, that sets me apart from (almost) everyone else I’ve ever encountered: I utterly hated all of them (including my “parents”), and had NO DESIRE to “fit in” or be “accepted”, by any of them.
Quite frankly, the only way to “fit in” or “be accepted” by any of them would have been to conform to their bigoted and idiotic worldview — to become THEM.
I am also (almost) completely free of the vices which most people (mis)understand as “social skills”.
Fundamentally, there are only three such “skills” which are distinctly “social”:
APING, PARROTING and BOOTLICKING.
Most people ascribe an unwarranted sense of importance and value to whichever (externally-imposed) “identity” has been forced on them by their significant “others”: their “race”/religious “belief”, etc.
Often, rather than understanding these “identities” as a form of victimization, they even begin to take “pride” in them.
What I find incomprehensible is: how is it possible for walking stereotypes (which are essentially hollowed-out “shells” with nothing “inside”) to also be narcissistic?
They can only deal with other “shells” from the same demographic (which is the central issue of prejudice/bigotry etc.)
The truly incomprehensible thing is: to the extent that they are capable of emotional response at all, they feel “guilt” about having “failed” to accurately mirror whichever idiotic “identity” stereotype was foisted on them.
For example: religious “believers” who feel “guilty” about the fact that they just can’t manage the level of mindlessness required to uncritically swallow whatever dogma was force-fed to them by Mommy and Daddy without at least attempting to UNDERSTAND IT.
Or: females who are derogated as “tomboys” with interests which aren’t “lady-like”.
The basic fact is: your “individuality” consists exclusively of everything which makes you INCAPABLE of aping/parroting/living DOWN TO such identity stereotypes.
The primary reason I cannot bring myself to engage in racial/religious bigotry? Doing so is pointless:
- There’s a good chance that I’m dealing with a “walking stereotype” which is simply not conscious enough to be able to NOT be a walking stereotype.
- IF I am dealing with the (regrettably much smaller) subset of the populace who manage to rise above such aping/parroting, failure to acknowledge that fact would be a serious mistake: there are (comparatively) few individuals who manage to become or remain conscious enough to BE individuals, that it is borderline-criminal to overlook any such individual — DESPITE whichever demographic “identity” happens to have been foisted on them.
In other words: to the extent that any given individual happens to “live down” to the various stereotypes which constitute his/her particular demographic “identity” I tend to experience something between pity and contempt — but definitely not respect.
The only individuals I find to be genuinely interesting in their own right, are those who DO NOT “mirror” their specific demographic “identity” stereotypes — because this fact at least implicitly indicates that they are conscious enough to have ACTIVELY CHOSEN at least some of what makes them “who they are”.
In most cases, however, I simply don’t give a shit. I have no interest whatsoever whether the cashier at the local supermarket happens to self-identify as Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Wiccan, Hindu etc. Further, I am (in most cases) utterly disinterested in whichever “identity” they DO exhibit. For example: there was no way for me to know whether a guy named Pramesh Patel (a former co-worker of mine at a shitty temp-job) self-identified as Hindu because he actually understood — and valued — Hinduism (which would at least imply some sort of free choice in the matter) — or whether he had been brow-beaten into doing so because not self-identifying as Hindu would have upset Mommy and Daddy.
In most cases, I tend to implicitly assume that those living down to their demographic “destiny” are doing so because of the aforementioned “Daddy issues”, bu, like I said….I mostly don’t give a shit.