i’ve been thinking a lot these days about detachment and adaptation. wondering which is which. how to get from one to the other. in my childhood, i developed my detachment skills quite well, as a shield to protect my psyche from dense layers of shame i seemed to carry around with me far too much of the time. from my family, from my environment, from the culture. from the unknown. an acute awareness of everything i thought i was lacking. it was a heavy weight that i’ve never quite shaken off.
but here i am now.
so it turns out, detachment became a survival skill of sorts.
i never imagined it would manifest physically as a survival skill I would need to get through my accident and all of the surgeries and the long recovery. While I was on a feeding tube for 4 months and could neither eat nor drink as humans do, I had to detach from hunger and thirst by imagining that food was made of concrete and water was sewage, which made it a lot easier for me to be around my friends who tried their best not to eat or drink around me, but I told them that it was ok, because I could not understand their cravings for inanimate objects and waste matter. i felt sorry for them.
Detachment will do that to a person.
Detachment also comes in handy at those moments when I find myself on stage, fighting off tremors and nausea just to walk out there. Detachment allows me to be an artist, maybe more so than expression.
But it’s not something I would recommend because it can become a bad habit that can only be disrupted by some sort of shamanic death, which perhaps may happen by the time i finish typing this sentence.
Adaptation is not very easy, not much fun, but, if given the choice, i would much rather adapt than detach. It might even be a strength. Especially when it comes to unrequited love, which, very fortunately, I have only read about but not yet experienced. But I hear that people can adapt to heartbreak by seeing people in multidimensional ways. not thinking of a relationship as all or nothing. finding other dimensions to love about a person in a non-clingy, non-possessive way. I think Barthes described something along these lines as NWP (non-will to possess). And then realizing that one’s life is far richer with the objects of one’s unrequited love than it would be without her/him.
I think if I could not adapt, I would probably only have 1 or 2 friends in the world. I would not be quite as wildly popular.