I started a book last night, “The Abnormal Personality Through Literature” (edited by Alan A. Stone and Sue Smart Stone). I sort of have a affinity for the subject matter… you would understand if you could live in my head at any given moment… from giddy child-like joy to paranoia and all in-between, hourly sometimes, gee whiz.
(I wish I were a better writer so that I could better express myself here… please bear with me.)
Anyway, last night I read this passage from Jean Stafford’s “Beatrice Trueblood’s Story,” where Beatrice is discussing with a friend (through written notes) the fact that she “elected” to suddenly become deaf:
I wanted terribly to marry him—I don’t suppose I loved him much but he seemed good, seemed safe. But all of a sudden I thought, I cannot and I will not listen to another word. And now I’m sorry because I’m so lonely here, inside my skull. Not hearing makes one helplessly egocentric.
(I’m feeling a bit exposed right now, but I’ll soldier on…)
Right now my life is, like Beatrice’s, too much inside my head. I live in a very small town and have no close friends here. I work from home and, except for a daily walk and a visit to the grocery store or bank, I pretty much only see these four walls day in and day out. I rarely even see anyone on the walks!
I am isolated (and I have isolated myself, as well).
The internet helps. Phone calls to friends help. (And traveling to shows and conferences helps IMMENSELY!)
I can’t explain clearly why this passage spoke to me so strongly, but I know it is true for me right now. People need other people to help keep them grounded in reality, I think. If one is healthy emotionally, other people can act as sandpaper on wood, smoothing out the rough spots and helping shape one into the shape they were meant to be
I would like to put more sandpaper into my daily life.
(Am I making ANY sense?)