all too human
by, 18-Apr-2014 at 18:58 (749 Views)
You know, I like to be the calm, dispassionate, helpful voice in the internet ether, playing the same role I play everywhere else in my life: the peacekeeper, the advice-giver, the teacher. And I hate it when something happens, whether it is in real life or here, that exposes whatever darkness lingers within my soul where darkness lingers within each of us. I try to avoid it; I try to deny it and keep my distance from it. I want to suppress it, keep it down, down, down where it can never ever be known, not even by me.
But despite the fact that I like to think I have this superpower that allows me to be more than I ought to be, sometimes I do fail. Sometimes I yell at my kids. Sometimes I can't keep the calm in my voice when speaking with an unruly person I run into in a public place. And I hate these, but I understand them: I'm a human being and in the moment. But the one I have a harder time accepting is this one: sometimes I find myself in an online thread and I let my emotions color the thoughts that come out of my ever-flying fingers.
(OK, disclaimer: "flying" is such a lie I have to call myself out for it. My fingers do not "fly" over a keyboard. They "pulse," maybe. Or they "junket." Or maybe they "wander aimlessly in search of meaning." But they definitely do not "fly.")
(Yes, I know "junket" is not a verb. It just seemed right.)
Anyway... back to your regularly scheduled piece of self-flagellation:
I'm not talking about times when my pain comes out, when I let my tears or fears flow online. We all do that and I see nothing wrong with it; this is a support site and it's why we are here. No, I'm talking about anger. I get angry at myself for letting myself get angry. You might think that is silly; I don't know. Maybe you think anger is just a normal human emotion and we all experience it, so why the big deal? And I don't know; maybe you're even right. But I cannot help how I feel: I do not like the loss of control that comes with even the smallest bit of irritation taking charge of my writing. I am at my best when I am writing; I am my finest self, my purest form of me. If my human, present incarnation sometimes cannot separate the wall between emotion and logic--and I must say that it usually can--well, as I said, that is what it means to be a human being in the moment. But writing...well, that is another matter altogether, and that is why it is my preferred means of communication: it gives me the chance to be perfect.
Which is why, when something goes haywire and things are not perfect, when emotion manages to get in my way even in writing, when something or someone pushes all of the buttons that break down all of the barriers and the demons get out, well, you get to read self-flagellating blog posts.
I'm not me when that happens... even though it never gets to the point of real vitriol or real loss of control. Though I maintain control enough to reign in whatever temptation exists to lash out with all of my verbal skill, I still hate the very fact that I have given in to even minor temptations. It concerns me. It is a breakdown of my superpower, which is, as I have implied, to remain above the fray, and I don't like it when someone finds my kryptonite. It is too much a reminder that superpowers are as much a product of the mind as the ability to create clever verbiage, and that those who possess them are, in the end, all too human.
And I hate that.