Everyone Suffers Moments of Alienation

2018-04-14T22:11:57+00:00April 14th, 2018|Writing Encounters|

Fiona has it all. Everything. Tall. Beautiful. Blonde. Blue-eyed. Rich. Influential. Charismatic. Nothing can stop her. She is the It woman of Beverly Hills. She rattles off Louis Vuitton and Jimmy Choo accessories like they’re pieces of cantaloupe. A shopping trip down Rodeo Drive is a boredom to be endured. So why is she unhappy? Why does she feel alienated?

The root of her problem was in the back of my mind as I wrote my piece on Heather entitled Who Will Your Words Kill Today? At some point in our lives, everyone suffers a sense of alienation–even those we perceive as having it all. A sense of alienation in our society is so strong and so prevalent that we have created multiple levels and titles to specify those levels. In 2013, parental alienation was added to the lexicon. In the Psychology Today article, Dr. Heitler even alludes to the fact that the our political parties appear to be exhibiting the behavior across the political aisle. And much of the conversation revolving around the use of social media, especially by some of the original creators of Facebook, refers to our knowledge that we need it because it still ties us socially, rooting us to each other, even as it continues to erode the personal bonds we crave as humans.

The term alien has become a clashing point, but it is also the term most closely linked to our concepts of the Other. It is a term that has been used for the eons to name someone who does not belong to the village, town, tribe, etc. That is the point at which most violent and genocidal activities arise, especially where a sense of lack is perceived.

It is also one of the feelings that contributes most to universal suffering. To be alien is to be excluded. To be included is to belong. Sometimes, in our quest to belong, we exclude others to make ourselves in and them out.

How does this relate to my character Fiona who seems to have it all? At the root of her own sense of alienation, especially from herself, is a deep dark secret that she carries with her. No matter how rich, no matter how many diamonds, no matter how hard she tries, she cannot find the part of herself that deserves to be loved. The part that became alienated from her.

It is this sense of deserving love that bedevils so many people. No matter how many tools of civilization we acquire, they are poor stand-ins for our need for acceptance, community, and love. If we threw all of our tools away–money, guns, cell phones, computers, diamonds, etc.–could we survive? Would we realize that our tools are poor alternatives for what we really need?

The delusions we acquire and carry with us are magnified by the constant acquisition of those tools. Tools are meant to aid us in our lives, but many of the tools we seek today only amplify our alienation. In creating divisions through status or threat, we lose ourselves and each other.

In some ways Fiona is the other side of the coin of Heather. They help mirror each other.

There is nothing mixed blood about Fiona and she is stunningly beautiful. But all is not as it seems. Fiona is lost in her own delusion of worthlessness. Can she be saved? Can she save herself?

 

 

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