Thinking about myself and with the reflections from my recent surroundings I am more and more interested in analysing myself. With little reading on a broad spectrum, from Freud, Fromm, Adorno and other less known and more progressive thinkers (e.g. Queering Psychoanalysis) I am developing a base of knowledge on which I try to get some insight. It is hard to decide whether to start from the beginning, starting from my early childhood or whether to start from my here and now walking back. both will lead me on different paths I guess. For now, connected to the lack of memory of my early childhood I will start at the here and now and walk back, curious about what I might find.
After writing about the relationship to my mother and my sister it is obvious where to start with my approach.
I am deeply in love with my mother. I am looking for romantic relationships to compensate that and to cut the cord but I do not even have the possibility for that in relationships, because it is the wrong place to look, I will not find a 30-year long prepared and kept relationship in a romantic partner that is of the intimacy of my relationship to my mother. Not only because I do not find the right person, but because I know that it is impossible and the realm of romantic love is for hierarchically flat relationships in contrast to the high moral authority that I project into my mother.
This strong relationship to my mother is, I believe, because she has a very special position from the very beginning of my life. Due to the trauma of witnessing my father hurting my mother and my family, him abandoning us, I blurred all memories of him, removed him from my hard drive. I can not recall his voice, I can not recall his odor, his tenderness or his strictness. I can not recall his behaviour towards my mother, his love or how he inspired me and my siblings. Although my mother told me, that he was doing all that. That is a major problem and a root to most of the difficulties that face.
The masculinity that I could have learned from him, the male figure that he could have been, I did not allow him to be that person. I could not even think of identifying with a person that brings so much harm.
I acquire parts of my masculinity from the masculine sides of my mother and through that she became both, the father and the mother. Since she is still a woman my idea of masculinity is a very feminine, minor form of it. I identify much more with anything female and my male friends are usually strange for me to witness, since I do not understand their masculinity and see it as something childish.
Not having acquired the skill to transform the masculine energy that was seeded by my father in my early years (he left when I was six) this energy rose and once the pot was full, in the right moment of puberty, spilled, unleashing a destructive force that led to years of consumption of mind-altering (mostly alcohol due to access) substances, bringing confusion and misunderstanding into my personality that took years to recover from.
With me not being able to act out my masculinity I am using 3 vents:
Adrenaline/Adventure. I am engaging in many activities, many of them involve physical action and my body, where I prove myself to – myself. I have a strong desire for going through extremes, on a physical but also on a social level. Doing things that are hard (besides working my ass off to destroy my body just for the money).
Depression. In moments where none of the two other things mentioned are in reach or I am mentally weak and exhausted I drift into depression. It is a space where I deny myself any humanity in generall and well, am just depressed.
Writing this I figured that I have to dig more into this father topic. Search for my early childhood. Find this father, confront him and most propably I have to forgive him for what he did to open that knot that keeps me from seeing him.
I think I am a cat person. I do not bind to people. At least not to specific people. I have a family that is very dear to me, but not even all of them, some of my siblings are further away than friends. And my friends are scattered across Europe. Usually it is a partner in a relationship that stays close to me. It is the commitment that draws me to them, my own ideal of not breaking the trust upon which they build their actions. This I think ist the second strongest bond in my social relationships. Only the connection to my mother, one of my siblings and her kids is of an intensity to make me suffer in case they suffer, to make my happy in case they are. Where I panic if something happens.
This last bond is one of at least unidirectional emotional dependence. It is hard and in many cases impossible to separate myself inside from them and I can’t but identify with their emotions and live through them on in my brain.
In symbolic terms my mother is my grand self. I am an extension of her self, not yet I was able to separate that childlike affection to her. I have a strong care-desire for her, I want to do a lot to put her in a position of comfort. Because inside it is as if I was giving that comfort to myself. She has the moral upper hand. She is the one I turn towards if I need guidance. If I am uncertain, she will be there with knowledge of myself like no other and speak words that integrate into my emotional state, as if she was programming me (not aware of it of course). She is the safe heaven, the last resort, my ticket to freedom. She let me out into this world. She did so on many levels, physically, emotionally. She let me go to around, to break free and she is the one that is capable of accommodating me in case I went to wild and need to go back. She is also the person I at least want to offend. The relationship with the least conflicts. Where aggression does not have place. I am very clearly a subordinate to her. Because she is somewhat the almighty goddess that is endless. She is the oasis of calmness. The shadow in the hot sun, the warm fire in the winter. She is the body that I want to feel close to me in case my life would end.
I can clearly see that this affection is not the base on which I will be able to easily create new relationships or strong bonds with others.
In my sister I see a lot of myself, as a mirror image. From the times of puberty we were close to each other. We went a lot of paths together, our ideas and ideals were very symmetric and ran in a course together to the same end. As if we would stand next to each other, the two legs in the inside bound together, walking in perfect harmony, together, next to each other, with a common leg in the middle that we both rest and rely on, that gives us rhythm, that gives us a drive. Together we were set free by our mother, together we started to fight this society, together we failed. And together we got up again. Where my mother is on a different level of hierarchy my sister is not. She is the one that is the most like me in a sense of our positions in this city, in this country, on this planet. We both struggle, in very different ways, but we both do. I think this might be exactly the reason why we are able to care for each other so much, because where I am weak, she has strength and knowledge. Where she needs support I am there, often with abundance. So together we work as a team with high efficiency. Thinking of a future is always thinking of a future together with her. I do not see my life separated from her life, I can not see that as a possibility. I will go where she goes and I will be with her and part of her life. I want that very much.
My sister is my partner in crime. She is the one that gets the most attention. I can clearly see that this affection is not the base on which I will be able to easily create new relationships or strong bonds with others.
Starting from this two relationships as a foundation to my social life I am looking at all of the other people who are somewhat dear to me, that feel close to me. Why do I nurture them? Why do I put energy into them? What lust is inside me that needs space, which desires are there that search fulfillment?
This is not an easy one to speak out about. Being honest I would say that I am somewhat bored in some kind of way, that I am trying to spend life with interesting people because it amuses me, it educates me. Also I feel that I consume my friends, as in consuming a book, a movie. I watch them and observe them. Some of them are with me since a long time already. There are my other siblings that are at least close enough for regular communication and a shared acceptance of each other, a motivation to inspire each other, to shape each other, to be a point of friction. They know me since my beginning so there is not a lot to clarify in advance. Same goes with long-term friends. Where you do not have to warm up, to do small talk. Where even after some months of disconnection you see each other and end up in an hourly deep talk session. This people are awesome, it feels totally great to know them, but compared to the way I feel merged with my sister and my mother they are like dry leaves on a table with a freshly blooming bouquet of flowers.
One part of me feels comfortable in this situation but one part of me doesn’t. Another conflict inside myself.
As I write about the weird things that happen in my head when I see an attractive woman (few are not attractive) I figured that it is very hard to describe how I rebel against myself. I have this ongoing discussion of two parts of my subconsciousness, one fighting against the other, their standpoints are:
Hedonist NoahCritical Anti-Sexist Noah
Wohoo, I want to have sex with so
many different women! And at best,
Hey, hey, chill! First thing, question
your desire! (Thank you, Swani)
And second: Well, it is nice that you think like
that but not everyone on this planet thinks like
that and especially not at the same time when you
What the fuck do you want? I feel that great
desire and it feels really good. I really want
to go and ask that woman who is passing or the
other one that is sitting over there in the park on
their point of view, maybe they have the same
feeling at the moment and we could … 😉
Stop that, you idiot! Leave the other people alone and
don’t carry the topic of sex around and stuff it in everyones
face! I learned that women get enough of that “Hey, wouldn’t
you like to … you know…” and offers for sex like that.
Just because you don’t get them all the time doesn’t mean you
can run around and do exactly that.
But hey, what if I frame it with other words, to explain
myself, to show and declare understanding for the situation
and be like:
“Hey, can I talk to you?”
<assuming ‘yes’ as answer>
“I would like to speak about something rather private, is that
<Assuming ‘yes’ as answer>
You are assuming a lot of “Yes” here!
“I am aware if you are confronted with it a lot you might be
rather pissed but at the moment for me it makes sense to
say this: In my imagination we would have a very good time
having sex and I feel a strong desire for having sex with you.
Do you have the same impression? Do you also feel a strong desire
What if they answer with ‘No’?
Well then I of course say thank you and good-by,
sorry for having interrupted you.
And what is exactly so different to a creep coming
directly to them saying “Hey, wanna have sex?”
Well, I show them that the main focus is not only for
me to have sex but to figure out if the both of us would
enjoy that. And what a feminist are you, patronizing women
based on mathematical statistics, isn’t that a farce itself? Why don’t
you let them make that decision, whether they accept the questions
or smash it by simply saying no?
There are many situations of that kind. And always both positions are to be criticised. Always both positions are somewhat right or wrong.
The thing that bothers me the most is that they are only in my head, but this is not a problem that I could solve on my own.
For that not even books and fancy statistics will help. It has to be deduced from the acts and answers of the living beings around me.
From many sides I hear the voices singing about the superiority of the man.
There are those voices that sing hymns to the strong, the prosperous, the warrior. The ruler, the head of the family, the wise old man. Those voices sing in romantic tone and they sing so loud, they will not hear another voice.
There are those voices that sing with numbers, their choir is academic. Of the winner in sports, the champion in science, the best in rethoric. Those birds sing a song of violence. They sing of a history built on slavery, a tune that goes in harmony with the screaming of the billions of women that suffered through what they sing of.
Not all voices are singing positive songs. There are those that sing of the superior man as the devil. The man that is dangerous, by default. The man that goes viral, the symbol of oppression, the one that has rape programmed into the brain.
I can hear voices singing about the father. The tower of strength, capable of holding everything together. The objective truth, the validator, the rational, the other. A man that is in control. A man with responsibilities.
Those voices do not sing about me.
Even though I know that I could in theory become any of the sung about, I know that I can not claim to be one of them. I feel, I feel it deep in me, that I want to be all of them, as I search for myself I hear those voices resonating with the sound that society has planted into me and kept me listening to all my life, but this resonance is painful.
Why would I ever make this decision to become on of them?
My dear digital friends! Due to recent events I will leave Facebook once more. If you want to stay in contact with me and you do not kow how to reach me by mail/phone/friends please send me a private message with your contact details. I will wait until 30.03.2018 and then I will be gone.
I had completely deleted my profile twice before and every time it felt great. Each time it was a matter of just one klick and then not logging in anymore. Here is a more detailed view.
Logging in is just a habbit and if you manage to replace that by somethign else, be it juggeling, calling your mum, walking outside or just making yourself aware of the reasons you left.
Here is a short How-To on deleting your account:
1. Hit the small arrow on the top right corner, klick settings, klick “Download a copy of your Facebook data.” if that is possible in your country.
2. Klick on ‘Manage Account’ and search for the section where facebook promises to keep your account even when you die. Klick “Request account deletion”.
3. Maybe it is best to wait until you have your data (All photos will be there, all messages, all dates when you logged in and from what device,… a lot of info that will also show you what power can be behind it.
The reason why many people do not want to leave is because of the benefit they see in the plattform. The news, the events, the staying in touch. I tell you this:
If you think you can not manage your social life without Facebook, then you have a major problem!
But, sadly, not even then you have a major problem, in fact, all the social media of the present has a problematic structure. Famous executives, developers and whistleblowers from inside the companies talk about how the main goal is to hack our society to make you more ‘addicted’ to social media. And even in scientific terms we can talk about an addiction here, because recent publications show clearly how the social media giants are feeding on our dopamine. With Chamath Palihapitiyas outing that Facebook active trys to hack that reward cycle it is clear that the problem is not rooted in Facebook alone, but several social media apps/plattforms (Twitter, Instagram) are doing exactly the same.
If you consume all that media you will have a hard time stopping. It will feel like you are ripped appart from your family, it might feel like your tribe has made you an outcast.
Here are some things that you can do instead of looking at your news feed:
Take a nap. Sleeping is considered really helpful!
Go into the sunlight and relax. Both will tremendeously increace the joy in your life, if you never tried you will be surprised!
Read a book. There are too many good books. No matter which, any book is better than the news feed because it improves your understanding of language and your ability to concentrate.
Apropos language: learn another language. Use Duolingo as compensation for your Facebook addiction, learn a language for free!
Feel free to share this on Facebook before you delete yourself and/or publish your own statement on why you make that decision. If your friends and family consider doing it, think of tools that you like to use to connect that are more direct in communication. Videocalls are widely possible already 😉
Before we go on to read this part, some disclaiming:
On the quest of discovering the intimate corners of my gender/sexuality I stumble upon strange creatures. Be aware that by reading you might get to know them.
I recently read the German version of “Passionate Marriage: Sex, Love & Intimacy in emotionally committed relationships.” from David Schnarch. If I speak of the “reptilian part of my sexuality” I speak of the concept he is using in his book (a little summary on the topic by a random google search)
One time I was allowed to speak with a group of woman in a woman-only space. I was told something that I could not understand back then and still have trouble integrating into my perspective of reality.
I was told that they are seeking a space where they are not only not interrupted by men, not only reduced to an object during statements, not only approached with a sexual intention somewhere in the background, no, but that they are creating a room where they are not even looked at with a male gaze, with male eyes. All of them had in common that they experience the male gaze as something discomforting.
Their experience is not to be discussed. I, male, gazing, want to discuss my gaze.
I am walking on the street. I am sitting in a class. I am doing sports in a group. I am reading in a cafe. I spend time in front of my screen. I hitchhike. I discuss in groups. I dance. No action that I remember is clearly free of the reptilian part of my sexuality. In all (and by far mostly) women that I see, even if they are an image or even an imagination, there is a sexual component. This does not stop at barriers of age, not at barriers of form or social barriers of family/teacher/student/partner of partner. I can feel it in the back of my mind.
Am I a snake?
The lust when I see a woman. Much stronger when she moves. If I want I can lose myself in the moment, let my brain go with my imagination and drift into unconsciousness. So strong is the lust that I feel. The image (mostly it is visual, this has to be reflected on) that I see and if close enough (and no artificial odor in place) what I smell triggers a chain of timelines that open up in front of me. As if looking up, standing next to a tree, my back towards the stamp, the network of timelines lies in front of me. Every single action that I take will influence which of the branches, which of the lines in the end I am choosing. The possibilities are endless.
Here in a millisecond happens the decision on where to go. There are tabus that I can not touch so part of that tree is clearly a no-go area, forbidden. This no-go areas are to be reflected on, in a professional setting. Because they are there no matter if I want it or not. I only know I can not walk the path they show.
What is left is usually a decision between:
keep on looking, enjoy, try to not make anyone aware of it
stop looking, looking somewhere else
approaching the person starting a conversation leading towards a totally different tree with new branches, new lines. Usually I am to afraid to behave improperly or ashamed of my curiosity but I guess it would be the best way to destroy/keep any bad/good impression the woman has of the situation.
I have mixed feelings about option 1. On one hand it is clear and obvious to me that I project a sexual component into the being in front of me. On the other hand I am clearly taking into account the possibilities of feelings and reactions the other person might have towards me doing that.
one can not give a shit.
one could enjoy it, as I experience myself how much I enjoy being looked at and complemented, even with a gaze. Or just plainly enjoy the attention. Being seen, being recognized, being given a smile in a grey, concrete jungle. That is what I, in that moment, would like the most and hope for the most.
one could feel ashamed because exactly that attention. Felt like a critique. ‘Do a do something wrong?’, ‘Is there dirt on my clothes?’, ‘Do I behave improperly?’
one could be pissed, because one receives so much looks, so much unspoken compliments, but never for something they accomplished but rather for just fitting the desire of someone else. To feel objectified.
one can be afraid. Probably in combination with time and location including possible experience of the woman who I am looking at I might represent a creeping, aggressive sex maniac looking for a woman that I can dominate.
This thoughts go through my brain whilst navigating the lines of the first dot. So much uncertainty. In the world that many women in my social surroundings want to live in I should most probably not risk to be dot no. 3, 4 or 5 of the last characters just for the chance to be the first two. Most of the times, especially within a critical distance between the woman and me I do not keep on looking. If I am far enough away I keep on looking if the situation allows it. I do not feel bad towards being a voyeur.
The option I choose most is No. 2. A strict denial of that urge to look, of the lust that arises. It works quite well and I do not feel bad about it although I like to criticise me sometimes. The ones that are profiting, mentioned on the second dot above, might be the ones this time that are pissed or ashamed. Clearly looking away from someone can be read as ignoring them. It can be seen as a denial of their existence. I like to pop this critique like bubble wrap. Stomp on it, puff, and gone until it appears again.
No. 3, the active approach, is chosen if one of those lines ahead seems so interesting that I risk being a fool trying to walk it. Reaching into the future I see the woman who I am looking at idealized to the momentarily “perfect fitting female” for me, the ecstatic partner in sexual fantasies, the reflected companion in desperate times, the childish poke to do something stupid that I will not regret. This projection can be strong enough that I approach her.
Now where am I going with all this?
I clearly feel a lot of desire to have sex, especially with someone who I have not had any sexual encounter with. The typical hunter-male. I get pleasure from it. What seems(!) to be so natural(?). Declared as an original masculine feature. A relic of 50.000 years of evolution? A portrait of potency? The reptilian relic?
It is the reflex. It is the moment where no matter how much I reflect on it and the consequences I can not deny sexual action is one of the first priority when choosing any timeline. Sometimes I don’t even see that, even in moments of me trying to be fully respectful to the humans surrounding me (in the past I used to get very drunk to look past my on constructions). Sometimes I realize I am respectful with an opportunist motivation, the one that it might lead to sex. Now here I am. A snake, one that bites its own tail at least! How the hell can I put any value on that? What does it mean for me, for you, if I combine the ever lustful for new and the respectful feminist? How can I solve that chicken-egg-riddle?
I am very, very, very happy to have this insight into the process of decision-making of myself.
It led me to use dating platforms to search for sexual partners. I figured, that I can not do without new energy in my sex life. I figured, that I can not swallow all that lust, who knows how that would vent once my stomach is full. It did not decrease my lust and my fantasies when seeing a woman are not gone, but – mostly through listening to myself and writing this text – I can put those fantasies where they belong. They are a part of me that I enjoy. I guess I will keep them. But also I am aware of them and thus they do not have so much power over my decisions anymore. Where I would go lengths on a path that is clearly not making me happy just to check if there lies a great sexual encounter on the other end I now leave this decision mostly to the other person. I reduced my initiative to act.
Not only I engage passively with this topic, I also talk to every woman before a sexual encounter about this topic, about desire, about implications and about what sex means me and them. Showing myself to empower them to consent.
And of course I can tell myself that I am doing everything right. The feedback that I get for this way of dealing with myself and others is generally positive. I keep on walking this world with a lot of sex happening in my brain, happy about it. Not so sad about the fact that most of it stays a fantasy. Just a little bit. The reptilian sexuality is there. I guess still waiting for a moment where I am to weak.
Sigmund Freud says that a man is full of the unsatiable desire to ‘conquer’ all women sexually and only the pressure of society is stopping ‘the men’. Despite the criticism I still find myself in a situation pretty much like that.
As a man it is my duty to balance the instinctive desire to give it space, constructively, where it will lead to great moments and to hit it hard in case it wants to break out of its cage. Symbolically I am the tamer of my snake – which I find extremely funny!
Through very considerate and understanding partners I was able to deal with this topic and I am thankful to them.
Even if I would try, I could not count the number of times that we sat together and talked. Our intellectual connection is a fruitful tree that grows stronger every time we water it, and we do that a lot. So very close is this connection that we both declare, that we will invest in that tree. That we will nurture it. That we will enjoy the fruits and go through hardship of carrying water a long way if there is a draught.
The feeling of love is flushing through our bodies from time to time. It is not a dramaturgic ideal that we live. Not all the time life lets us live the way we want it and struggle seems to be a companion of both of our lives. But we have each other. We rely on each other. We trust each other.
What does that have to do with gender?
There comes the big draught. There comes the dry summer. There comes the dying tree. There comes pain and suffering. What do I do? It feels like I work myself off. I have the impression of burning myself out. I want to go to extremes, to safe that band that connects us. But my action does not lead to safety. You do not see myself working. You do not see me burning. Too much I am only searching to protect my own well-being. I seem to have forgotten about you. In this challenging situation, at least after enough time that it becomes challenging to me, I drop you.
The sirens are shouting: “Alarm, alarm!”. Your precious, your precious. The acknowledgement of me being a desired partner is under attack. Chains rattling, planks are creaking, feet are stomping on the ground.
“Pull up the bridge, shut down the gate!”
“Raise the walls! Raise the walls!”
And there I go. Up, into the sky, looking down to you from far away. You can not touch me anymore.
What does that have to do with gender?
You look at me. You wonder. This moment ago I was there, and now you physically feel me fading. You can actually feel it. You ask me: “What the f*ck is going on?”
And I am to afraid to talk. I am to afraid to open myself. Afraid to show how impotent, how powerless I feel.
Where I had pain and sadness in my chest a cool and stiff feeling on discomfort remains. I am crystal clear. My analytical intelligence is on attentive mode. My emotional intelligence ran away with my human part. I am the wall. I am the fortress, the stronghold of my angsty inner self, crippling in fear in a corner of my depths. Screaming and crying. I am cold. And I do not care about you anymore until my fear is gone. Nothing can touch me here. I am in control again.
What I say: “I am not sorry. I don’t feel anyting at that time. I do not ask for forgiveness, you must not excuse my behaviour.”
And what I can not say is: “I ran away from you. I took myself from you. I cut off that band. I dropped the water bucket. I burned the tree.
When I open the doors of the shower, after brewing my body in steaming hot water
the scheme of me slowly clearing up to a pure reflection in the mirror on the other side of the room. Red skin, steam rising from my shoulders, my curly hair dark. dripping.
Heat and water made my skin go tense, edges, bones and muscles appear, when I breath in my chest widens. My shoulders broaden. My statue rises. I feel so strong, so powerful. So beautiful and desirable. I look at my face thinking of a lion, my red beard and brown hair, my mane, my blue-green eyes in between. The hair on my chest resembles a butterfly, my nipples as decorative circles in the lower part. Wings wide spread. Up in the sky. Gliding through the universe.
I imagine myself walking out in a fantasy land, naked as I am, through the fields. Everybody turns around, head and eyes fixed on my legs, my hips and my back. The body moves, soft wind blowing over my skin. I radiate power.
It is a very intimate moment. It is a hidden moment. Because I am afraid to show myself that way on the outside. So much dirt, so much poison and disease is sticking on the outside of masculinity. All the reading that I have done, the conferences, the lectures, the discussions. The masculinity is subject to so much denial, hate, anger, frustration. And inside me I have it. I am carrying it. The virus.
My urge to be admired. The longing for recognition. A terrible subconscious fear to lose control. Not being told how to cope with that I walk through life, hiding. I stumble through my days putting huge amounts of emotional work into not being what I am, into not allowing my gut to push out what I swallowed. I can not. Too much has been done wrong with these energies. There is a tabu in my world, no room for my male ego. To many spaces are dominated by male egoism and I can not be part of that.
I am too afraid to be dropped by the ones I love.
I am to afraid I could be considered unworthy of my friends closeness.
I am too afraid to be considered disgusting by my fellow females.
So much is bound to those other humans. What irony.
How could I ever feel strong and sovereign if I can not even handle my emotions on my own?
How could I be that admired lion if I can not even stop to think of the implications of my actions to my surroundings out of fear to be left alone?
Searching for my inner self I draw to my mother in reflection. Her deep understanding of me, her sympathy for my suffering makes me cry. Her strength, the power that she embodies. It is nothing I can ever reach. I feel so weak.
I have this message stored away since several years. I have sent it to a friend during a conversation about our relationship. I am very happy to read it now and see, that I have changed a lot. That I am much closer to myself and that I have much more control and especially much more knowledge about myself and the tools that I can use to work together (!) with myself.
I know. And I was looking for some information in my head as well. And there is one thing I absolutely know now. You should not meet me anytime soon. Because I will only hurt you. And I hate myself for that. ( I am pretty drunk). But I know that inside me everything is trying to get only the best for me, and that I do not care for anyone else around. I would never say that I dont want to meet you again, but I know that I only would do it for my own good. I discovered that today. And I am sorry that I am this kind of chaotic inside
You should not expect me to be a person that you could bind with at the moment. I can give you the most enormous amount of feelings that you can get from someone, but I will cancel you in the first moment that I see fit, when I want something else. I am not someone to build upon. And in the end it would hurt me to see that I hurt you. And I would feel bad about it, because it would show me, that I made a mistake. Not because of you.
Do you see the problem?
I have a REAL problem with being egocentric. And I feel bad at the moment for talking you into considering me. I hope you can forgive me for that. And we should not forward it to tomorrow if it is about my state of mind. no hangover, rather work. I think it is best to talk about it now since I can not think clearly when I am sober.
I have only access to my emotions when my brain is occupied with something. I managed over the last 20+ years to enclose my inner self into very high walls so that whenever I have to make a decision about my emotional feelings, my basic needs of life (sex, food,..) come first.
Breaking this walls with alcohol makes my feelings available for me, so that I can see what is there for life that I really want. It makes me hurtable. It crushes my “everything is under control as long I as I say where to go” thing. It is hard to describe.
To make it more clear:
When I am drunk, I see what I want.
When I am sober, I see what my selfish ego wants.
I feel really shitty saying this, but my personality is enclosed within years of special personal emotions and feelings inside of me. To not confront me with them, to not deal with then. Because life is easier without.
It is easier to “fall in love”, “break up” if it is all just a technical thing, sth. to get you from a to b in society. It is easier if you manage to just not have feelings.
I do have feelings, but they are so far away, that I don’t even know them and I am glad (oh my god does that sound ugly) to be able to tell you that before my sober self tells you otherwise.
I know, that if not drunk, I would be able to explain everything according to my needs and that I would able to satisfy any of your expectations without even thinking about it, but I know. I know that it is my “bad” self that talks me into it to get the best for me. To get everything there is for me and I will drop you in the first moment where I want to do sth else.
You will not be able to excuse me for that, but please believe me, that I was not always aware of that and since I had a very specific talk with a friend today I managed to be able to drink so much that I could put it into words.
I became the perfect machine and only breaking the machine by drinking too much I can break it. drunk I can see it. Sober I am locked out of the place where I can see it. I optimized my self so much that I can function in this system at my best, but outside, where there is social interaction, within that field I fail to satisfy others.
Looking back I do not feel shame. I do not feel proud either. I see myself and I feel a little amused and trusting, as if I saw myself as a kid, tumbling through life with clumsy feet. I had a lot of fun and joy working with myself, I have a lot of awesome people around me that are the perfect peers to develop my relationship with myself. And I am very thankful.
I read this lines and see my struggle, I see how I wasn’t happy, how I was afraid and uncertain. I didn’t know who I wanted to be and I wasn’t even sure who I was that time. Not a good start to get somewhere. Not, if you want to make yourself and other people feel good.
If you ever feel not self-conscious enough, if you have a general feeling of low self worth, if you think, that in you past, you have not really been the person that you would want to be in the future: Try all you can and get maybe even professional help. You can change yourself. You are not written in stone. You are human and you are a product of an ever-changing biology and so is your mind.
Don’t stop to work with yourself, destroy the things you don’t want to be and create that happy being that you need to be.
What is left? We were in Birjand, sleeping on the “tables” of a restaurant until they kicked us and the other homeless out. North we would go. Far north. Through some half deserts until the Elburz Mountains to get to the jungles in Mazanderan. We had been told of a place called Jangal-e Abr, Cloud Forest. We made it to Shahrood and slept there inside the yard of some abandoned buildings. We had figured that there is something that looks like a road through the mountains and we were certain we could theoretically hitch through.
To get to that road we hitched on the back of a car – yes, outside, sitting on the trunk – to the start of a road where guards were collecting a fee from the ones that want to drive into the mountains because it was some kind of natural reserve. Soon after that, we had walked for about 800 meters on the gravel road, a family that was split up into 2 cars stopped for us. We rearranged the seats and the luggage and up we went to the mountains. People had told us it would take 12 hours to walk through the mountains or something like that, we didn’t have a lot of information, but even google told us there was a roadish thing through so we were cool. And we were in a car that already took us half the way, to the top of the mountains. The only thing left was to head down.
As we left the car the people handed us a watermelon. Something we had to take with us, no matter what, they wouldn’t accept us not taking it. So I put it on my shoulders, between my backpack and my neck and it worked quite well. About an hour of walking steeply down on slippery mud and gravel roads we arrived in a mountain village. Everything reminded me of the Pyrenees, that’s what the climate, flora and fauna was like.
The road led us to Tehran. The north provinces are super crowded during summer because its pretty much the only part of Iran where you can stand the temperature. Local tourists all over the place. We hitched a bus and a soldier who showed us photography of dead DAESH fighters in Syria, together with him posing next to them. That was quite disturbing. Then we were in Tehran. Dropped near Nobonyad metro station. The metro was closed though and the only places where we could go were either parks or the Khayyam House.
The first person we approached in English was super friendly, let us use their phone and we called the person at the Khayyam House and yes, it was open and running, yes, it would be crowded, but yes, we are very welcome!
The Khayyam House is a cellar with one big living room, a small room with beds, a tiny kitchen and a toilet + shower room. The Khayyam House – at the moment “was” – is open for everybody, a place to rest, to sleep, to cook, to make music, to socialize, to get information and find friends. It is managed by random Iranians that stay there at the moment or live next to it and feel connected to the idea of a nomad base. We got a taxi there and were taken into the group of people who were already waiting in front of the door to get some snacks from the local street food shop.
Khayyam house was my base for the next 5 weeks. I made very good friends there, I managed to be part of the team behind it, at least informational. I added a lot of my wisdom about openly organized groups like that to the situations when there were troubles and helped refurbishing parts of it.
Since Stefan left the next day to see our friends in Zanjan I had a whole new environment with new people to get to know and explore. Inside of a whole new and incredibly huge city. I started to teach German to get some money, I was hanging around a lot with the managers of the Khayyam House in parks, especially in the evening. I used several ating platforms to get to know the females and their point of view about the situation in their country. I participated in several different and definitely illegal activities that I can not name here. I was in the mountains, I was in the desert, I was at smaller and bigger gatherings of locals and/or tourists. And all the time I poked people around me with questions about their life, their history, their way of growing up, their approach to ethical and philosophical dilemmas, to religion, to society and politics and economics. I challenged their traditions with emancipatory ideas, I fought against their dogmas with logic and tried to pry open their hearts to let me know how they feel without covering themselves in the superficial idea that rules over pretty much everything in Iran.
The south of the Tehran:
People that live in the south of Tehran usually fight a lot of problems but are not necessary more unhappy than the ones from the north. There is a lot of drug abuse, chaos and dirt in the center and south. I didn’t feel very well there, I was accompanied by a very strong and trustworthy person but still, when one of the groups of 4 males started to attack us because I took a picture of them my adrenalin levels went berserk and in the end I was happy to get out of the place fast. Especially since the old woman sitting on the road told us in Farsi (which was later translated to me by my friend): “Run, they have knives! They will stab you! Go fast!”.
The north of Tehran:
The north is very different from the south. It is the rich and middle class district, gradually stretching from the north part of the city (=millionaires) to the north part of the center (=middle class). It is the district where I stayed most of the time. The place where I know the metros, busses and line taxis, where I know some parks, food stores and friends. It is rather clean compared to the south, the architecture changes dramatically, the cars that you see become so super fancy that you could guess you are in Switzerland or Monaco. The shops become expensive, you see approaches to organic shops and cafe’s and you can usually walk the streets at any time of day and night without problems, even hitchhiking works here at night, inside of the city.
Some of my conclusions about Tehran:
Tehran – the city of cars, the moloch of traffic, the overgrown ant farm of people. But not even an hour with public transport and you stand in front of a 4000m altitude peak with countless paths, gorges, hideouts, climbing spots, waterfalls and what else the childish heart longs for. Why not stay there a little more?
“Tehran was designed to have a capacity of about 700,000 cars but currently more than 5 million cars are on the roads” (Wikipedia)
Also Tehran hosts about 4-5 million commuters that enter and exit the city every day, usually by car.
The population in the metropolitan area is around 15-20 million – on an area that is only about 3 times the size of Vienna, my hometown with a population of 2,6 million.
Unhandled Exception: BrainError caused by IntegerOverflowException. Aborting thinking process…
Tours around Tehran:
One day, to see the desert and the Perseids falling from the sky, 3 friends and I decided to go to Kashan where we were introduced in old Iranian culture (see pictures) and new Iranian culture (tourists pay 3x the price). One of the friends and I headed further into the desert to a caravanserai and hitched back the next night.
Another day I hitched over to Damawand, Iran’s highest mountain (5610) and climbed it despite some people telling me not to do it on a path where I was completely alone. I wrote a very detailed report about it in German on Hikr.org.
The 4000 (3910) meter high mountain directly next to the city is called Tochal. I teamed up with another guest from Khayyam House, Khalid from Oman, and walked op there. To the top it took us 10 hours, including some sleeping. The next day though I had planned to go to Kashan and the desert so in the morning, starting 5:30 I ran down, like literally, in 2,5 hours. It felt as if I had had a tank ride over my legs for nearly a week!
The rest of the pictures that I have from my time in Tehran:
In a car
The Ministry of foreign affairs
The crowded metro
When I left the city I had a lot of very sad goodbyes to say. The people around Khayyam house had befriended me and took my promise to come again. Other tourists that I had met wondered why I wouldn’t stay until they come again. The German student wanted to stay in my class. The women I befriended more closely were hoping to see me in Austria soon. All in all I have to say it felt as if I had lived there and was moving away. I was embedded into the context of the city so much that I felt as if I was living there for a year. Leaving that place cost me some negotiation with myself and the others. And the cultural shock that hit me when I came back to Europe showed me how used I had gotten to the conventions, rules and social structures of Iran.