CONTENT WARNING: Homophobia, Mental Health
Psyche is integral to who I am. Despite the fact that this seems obvious, I think that there are parts of my personality which are at odds with the things I do. I hold negative thoughts towards my personality as well as my actions because of the detached nature of my psyche from said actions. Part of this comes from my presentation of myself, especially during my early teenage years, and how I felt. I think that a lot of people can sympathise with this disconnection. For me, psyche is not only an ever-present aspect of who I am, but also a fundamental part of where I have been and what I have become.
Most obvious in understanding my psyche is the discovery of my sexuality, which I hid for a long time. Initially, this was simply because I was in a heterosexual relationship but eventually it developed into me simply not telling my parents. In my mind, I was every gay stereotype under the sun, but in practice, I became extremely cold and distant from a lot of people. I didn’t have the trust in my personality to be myself around my family, and I became extremely cynical as a defence mechanism to hide the truth of my psyche. This all came to a climax when I outed myself to my parents. Suddenly I was confronted by a situation in my mind I had thought about a million times, but I had never prepared myself for dealing with it. I completely shut down. I spent the rest of the semester emotionally raw, forever wondering if my parents were going to come into my room and ask me to get out of the house. Instead, months passed, and I became so apathetic to the issue that I simply no longer cared if my parents kicked me out. I despised myself for my own stupidity. I avoided the issue by delving into my assignments, not talking to my parents about anything other than the essays I was writing or the journal articles I was reading.
My psyche was incredibly fragile at that point. I had been confronted by my worst fear without any warning, and while I got through mostly unscathed, I was still facing consequences for my actions. I had placed myself into a position of self-sabotage, despite my naturally cautious nature. The realisation of my disconnected psyche and body was, understandably, extremely worrying. My psyche suddenly didn’t have the constraints of my parents, but it was still suppressed because of my self-hatred. My self-loathing, mostly brought about because of the realisation I wasn’t straight, has meant that I have yet to properly embrace my psyche, and led to a failure to unify my body and spirit has left a somewhat broken person.
The problems that arise from such disconnection are obvious, and are alluded to above, but I don’t think I appreciated that until I was faced with my actions that my psyche wasn’t able to deal with. I’m quite arrogant and would say I suffer from hubris, which is when an individual possesses an excessive amount of pride or self-worth. I take unnecessary risks to prove to myself that I am great. On the other hand, I am passive and avoidant to a fault. I don’t like to deal with conflict, simply letting the issue to calm down and oftentimes moving past it. This oxymoronic mixture of personalities creates me: someone who throws themselves into situations that could seriously damage me, while not allowing an effective way to deal with it. In essence, the passive-aggressive nature of my psyche is a volatile thing that, when matched with being closeted, causes a great deal of internal conflict. Moreover, my sexuality, and the feelings and emotions brought on by it, eventually led to my acts of self-sabotage. I think, in some respects, the problematic nature of my psyche was the reason I didn’t want to come out for so long. It also formed the basis for the great division within my family, which led to me remaining silent for such a long time.
The relationship I have with my psyche is tenuous at best. My own self-loathing has caused many years of being despondent to others. While I do not mean to, and I am trying to improve my interactions with others, I can be extremely cynical to others. Having said that, I think that the opportunities at university to mature and develop have kept me from spiralling out of control. My friends have kept me on the straight and narrow, and my studies have always been what grounded my psyche. I think that while there is an internal conflict between my psyche and body, hope and belief from those around me are what keep this war in check.