vs. frustrated work
I’m usually pretty careful with burning bridges, meaning I never really do it, even if that person really fucked me up. I used to think this was people-pleasing tendencies, but lately I’ve realized that sometimes it’s because I don’t want people to see how badly they affected me (in other words, i don’t want them to see me slippin lol). If you’re mean to me, I’ll be extra nice to you, which should make no sense, but it does in a kill them with kindness sort of way. So it’s self-serving, and most of the times it does make me feel good in the long run, but there’s also a lot of self destruction involved in the interim. Because everything is energy and instead of destructing outside of me, I just do it internally.
I think my self-destruction is never with intention—unless the intention is to make myself feel bad, which I don’t think is a good intention at all—it’s more of a byproduct of me trying not to disturb what’s outside of me. To describe intentional disruption Flusser uses the analogy of disturbing a chess match: if you flip over your table because you don’t want your opponent to make the winning move, this is not “evil”, because you have an intention behind it. What would be evil, he writes, is if you went up to a random couple’s chess game and flipped their table—no purpose, no intention, just to destruct—that is evil.
The Gesture of Destroying by Vilém Flusser: Disturbance and destruction are not evil, however, as long as they have an intention. Disturbance with intention is frustrated conservatism; destruction with intention is frustrated revolution. When they coincide; frustrated work is the result. From such gestures, we can read a frustrated, which is to say a superficial, un-radical, “disingenuous” existence. Such disturbance and destruction is “false” (inauthentic) but not evil. It becomes “true” if it turns into a phase of a genuine gesture of work. For to work also always means disturbing and destroying.
My older brother’s relationship with our parents has always been better than my relationship with them. Although we mostly went through the same things, he’s always been more vocal, disruptive early on (therefore resulting in frustrated and later genuine work, i.e. a relationship with our parents), and later on I would regret not standing up for myself more. When I moved out for college, those hard feelings between me and my parents were still there, and each year that we didn’t address it, I could feel our relationship getting more and more strained.
Animal Voices by Mei-mei Berssenburgge: Intense emotions are symbolized as mythic figures or deities.
What can you do but worship these deities? There’s nothing to build. We must destruct them in order to move forward instead.
It wasn’t until this year (7 years since I moved out) that I actually spoke to my mom about the abuse, attempted disruption, and it was honestly the best thing I’ve done so far in my life. I’ve never felt so close to my mom. I know my newfound relationship with my parents is an extreme example, and destruction won’t always have such a huge payoff. And I think that’s why I’m still grappling with this despite knowing that self destruction will never result in any work, frustrated or otherwise.
When is disruption worth it? It’s been over a month and I’m still self-destructing. Is it worth it now? I hate that people feel comfortable enough to still reach out to me after they put me in situations that genuinely scared me—but isn’t that my fault? I ask myself, How dare you? But I intentionally made it so it wasn’t hard for you at all. Why are you still calling me at 11 pm when we haven’t spoken in months? Why won’t I just block you? If I catch you cheating during our chess match, I will never flip over the table—in fact, I’ll help you get checkmate; but I’ll make sure you know you won because of me.
I’m not sure I’ll ever be truly comfortable with destruction, because I’m arrogant enough to think that you will appreciate my appearance of serenity.
lol “caught me slippin once, so what?”