Illusion vs Reality
Illusions are easy. All you need to do is to convince yourself first that the comfortable envelope of illusion that you created around you is actually what is real. Once you convinced yourself (and that is so simple to do, we all crave the betterment of reality that surrounds us) and you no longer can distinguish between what is real and what is not, the rest of the process is effortless. You just act naturally according to the beautiful mirage in your head and since in your mind the illusion is already real, others will not question the details.
The above description is how I went about it — dreams and illusions were my escape. My safe place from drudgery and violence and expectations of the real world. I am not sure when exactly I lost control and ability to distinguish in my head between those two states. I don’t think I even considered it a problem, or that this distinction is needed or fundamental to normal living. I think that only since I stopped drinking in 2020 has that question popped into my mind — and since then I am hard at work to keep reality at the forefront of my thinking and acting.
But there is another question — is reality needed to have a normal life? Maybe it is enough just to live in the self-made bubble of illusions? Looking around me, it seems clear that people can lead normal lives while in denial of the surrounding reality. They seem happy and busy and productive and do their part in society and family. Seem. And then — what will happen when someone or something will prick that bubble and the reality start seeping in?
I had an example of this over the Easter weekend. All it took were some words to question the outward perfection of my family from a person that is only becoming a new member of our family. Of course — that perfection is only a carefully crafted vision of what a perfect family with perfect interrelations is all about. An illusion created a long time ago and by the currently living people in my family. It was created by the previous generation when the mind-boggling expectation of perfection couldn’t be met, but appearances had to be kept. So, this fantasy was created, cultivated, and passed on. In the situation above, just the possibility of facing the reality was enough to bring anger, wrath, tears, hurt feelings, and even an attack on the one that dared to lift a veil covering the real.
I am not sure if that illusion was even questioned at any time by those perpetuating it in my family? Am I the first one? And since I know — do I dare to bring some reality into the lives of (admittedly quite old) people? Is getting illusion off to uncover what is actually real, worth hurting the feelings of others? Or would it be better for them just to keep going in this warm, comfortable illusion for the rest of their lives? Should I try to make other people better?
I started the process of facing the reality myself — no matter how unpleasant it might be. Maybe that is enough for my family for now. The mental damage done by untold generations is not easy to revert.