Monday, October 27, 2014


Life has a way of forming and shaping us. We attend to patterns and paths that have worked for us in the past. Over time we find their well-worn ruts a comfort to our minds, peace for our souls. Routines and behaviors are forged over many long seasons that today may bear little resemblance to how they were initially conceived. Think of the hermit, the hoarder, or the cat-lady. When we encounter stories of such people we label them as pitiful freaks. Yet their afflictions were not formed instantaneously out of the aether. Pains and hurts and disappointments slowly accreted their burdens incident by incident and morphed into something unrecognizable. A monster on their shoulders robbing them of reason, of clarity, of true relationships.

While the term freak is liberally applied to such individuals, I have come to understand how such a transformative metamorphosis can take place. In fact, I have seen it in my own life as I am likely on the fringe of the freak crowd given some of the mechanisms that I have developed to protect myself. Over the years I have worked to build a fortress around me to keep the world out. Battlements raised, moats entrenched, earthen embankments fortified. If relationships that matter carry such risk of betrayal, of pain, of hurt, better to hide away, isolated from contact. It seems the only way to quell the din of the harsh words, the broken promises, the life draining goodbyes. However, after this pattern of isolation has long been established, the perplexed tears still occasionally arise of why nobody likes me, why I have no friends, why I am alone, why I am such a freak.