I only seem to know myself when I see myself in relation to others, and even that is fragile.
I do not just rely on people for reassurance; I rely on people to help me feel a part of this world – to remind me that I am alive. Without the few specific people I can connect with, I remain a floating and directionless vessel. It is only through these people that I become reunited with a sense of self, a purpose and feeling of being grounded in life.
It is ironic because the only way I seem to be able to know myself, is through seeing how others know me. The only way I seem to be able to feel alive internally, is through the external aliveness of these others – as though I am dependent on others breathing life into me to keep my engine running. When I am alone, or unable to connect with people, I collapse into the nothingness that defines me.
When I am with certain others, I can come to life and feel alive. When these connections are physically cut (yes, the connection has to be in person, otherwise it feels like it ceases to exist and the problem re-arises), a part of me dies – and from there on I am back in a state of disconnection – both from myself and everything else.
When I am on my own, I live in a fog of muted or distorted senses, feelings of identity loss, emptiness and confusion, and an inability to feel a part of this world. When I am able to reconnect, it is like I have been given a pair of glasses that allow me to see reality again. But the glasses are only ever on loan – they either get stolen, shattered or lost, or I wake up and the glasses were just a mocking feature of a dream.
It terrifies me how much I need others to maintain my place in reality.