A place for a


Why is he unhappy?

You see a good looking guy and wonder: What can be wrong with him? He says he suffers, but why?

He does not look straight at you, more like through you. He has a sad expression in his face. You wonder what is wrong. Is that a hint of boredom and contempt, too?

He is your friend and you want to help. But you can not. His problem is that he is not your friend. His problem is that he is a slave of who he thinks he needs to be. And that may mean that he thinks he needs to be your friend.

What is wrong with him?

Caught in a body

He can show nobody who he is, that is wrong with him. You can not know him.

The only way you can know him is through his music perhaps, because he never reveals himself in real life. Music is his outlet. But he fails to see even that.

He is isolated among his peers. He is lonely inside the crowd. He is a lost soul in the guise of a leader.

He wants to be loved for who he is. But he is too terrified of revealing himself. If you force him to it, he will invent a pretense of honesty to satisfy his obligation to you, but he will not reveal himself. Your goodwill will destroy him more than it will heal him, because his sickness forces him even deeper into the pit of pretense and dishonesty. And every lie stacks up on that pile.

You see a good looking strong man among his friends and wonder what can be wrong with him.

What is wrong with him is that he has no friends.

He spends time with his friends more because he feels he must be friends with them for some reason than because he really wants to.

What is wrong with him?

He yearns for freedom, but the ties of his lies bind him to slavery. Every encounter with another person tears him apart between his guilty obligation to be a friend – whomever he feels obliged to – and the fear of the guilt towards his friends for eventually revealing the pretense, because he can not make the friendship real despite his felt obligation. A double bind.

You want to help him? What if his biggest wish is not to have to spend time with you? Not to have to pretend to like you? To tell you that he despises you and wants nothing to do with you? Do you love and understand enough to wish him freedom from yourself? But also, do you love yourself enough to not want to be in a false friendship?

What does he yearn for? He yearns for expression of his self. He yearns to not be a slave of his addiction to fake. He yearns for showing someone who he really is, to use that body of his not as a tool to fool others, but as a friend to himself.

So old a lie, that it has become the truth

But he is at a point in his life where if he is himself, he will lose everything, will make all his friends rightfully hate him, will attract disrespect and contempt and everything he wants to desperately keep away from himself through this addiction to pretend.

Since no one showed him that his self is lovable, he can not love himself. Instead, he is dependent on the love of all the people he fools into loving him. Which can never satisfy him despite – or because of – the similarity to what he really seeks.

If he showed you his true colors, you could not but hate him and that is what keeps him from doing it. But neither could you decide not to hate him, if he actually revealed himself. It would not help him. You would just once more take away from him what he needs most: The acknowledgment and an anchor of his self in reality. Your pretense would merely reinforce his own.

Of course, his only escape is honesty; with himself and with others. His catharsis lies in making enemies out of those who never were his friends. For betraying them, and for the pain it brings to them.

He may lose everything, but at least he will have his peace. The only hope he has is that he can afford and dare to lose everything.

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