Friday, July 27, 2007

An Addiction To Music

I am detached and emotionally isolated. I often give an impression of coldness combined with an apparent air of superiority which is not endearing. There is a lack of ordinary human contact with me; a feeling that I am unconcerned with, if not superior to, the ordinary, mundane preoccupations of average people; that I am "out of touch" with, or "on a different wavelength" from, the people with whom I mingle but do not mix. Very often, I am accused of keeping other people "at arm's length" and of avoiding intimacy; an accusation which is in fact justified, since this is just what I feel compelled to do. Sometimes I am said to be "wearing a mask;" an observation which is also accurate, since I habitually play roles which, intellectually, I believe to be appropriate, but which do not reflect what I am actually feeling. Thus, I may decide that it is morally right to be generous, or tactful, or considerate, and behave appropriately in accordance with this decision. Because, however, my behavior originates from an intellectual decision rather than expressing my true feelings, it is likely that all that will be conveyed to the recipient of my attentions is an impression of exaggeratedly good manners. I lack the personal touch: the feeling, if not of intimacy, then at least of some shared common ground upon which one person meets another as a human being. There is in fact a divorce between thinking and feeling; an embryo form of the "incongruity of affect" seen in schizophrenia which is familiar to psychiatrists. It is this incongruity which accounts for the unpredictability of my behavior and responses, since, to the observer, there appears to be a complete lack of correspondence between what I say and the emotion I display.

It is likely that my disordered personality takes origin from a disturbance in my earliest relation with my mother. Whether this is so or not, there can be no doubt that I carry with me into adult life attitudes and emotional responses which mature persons have long since outgrown, but which are not surprising if considered as pertaining to an infantile stage of development. The more fundamentally insecure a person is, the more he is likely to fail to grow beyond his earliest emotional attitudes, or to regress into a state where such attitudes become apparent when things go badly with him.

Perhaps this helps to explain my love of music, which amounts almost to an addiction. A psychoanalyst named Pinchas Noy recorded that several of his patients admitted a recurrent pressing need to hear music. "Some time later all these patients vividly recalled early memories of their long-dead mothers." The same psychoanalyst alludes to "longings for the lost paradise of oral infancy," and to music as taking a person back to the primary period when the maternal voice conveyed loving reassurance. He also observes that some of his patients had become "addicted" to music, and felt deprived and unhappy if they had no access to it. This special need for music was not necessarily linked with musical ability, although interest in music and an aptitude for it are generally correlated to some extent. Pinchas Noy suggests that addiction to music is found in persons who have an especially strong desire to regress to the earliest type of emotional communication, that between mother and infant; whereas musical ability is rooted in an unusual sensitivity to sound. Other analysts find such statements to be unconvincing anecdotes rather than evidence.

1 comment:

Stacey Mose said...

Have u always been this way? It seems to me ...what i would gather is that you simply don't want to show who u are.....or maybe your not allowed to? All opinion obviously because I dont know u. You may put on the mask because your not allowed to show your feelings.something preventing it. But, as u said its appropiate for the place and time you need to play a different role..I can understand that. Its keeping safe. We all put the mask on because we have to at times...If we acted out every feeling and were open...we may all get smacked upside the head..right? hehe. Anyways very interesting ,deep and thought provoking post. You are for sure different, but this is good. If you were music you would for sure be in the "underground" alternative category.. : )