Flowers I had to have because the colors were so artificial and delicious.
The Well of (Homo) Loneliness
“Sometime in the late ’50s, Frieda Fromm-Reichmann sat down to write an essay about a subject that had been mostly overlooked by other psychoanalysts up to that point. Even Freud had only touched on it in passing. She was not sure, she wrote, “what inner forces” made her struggle with the problem of loneliness, though she had a notion. It might have been the young female catatonic patient who began to communicate only when Fromm-Reichmann asked her how lonely she was. “She raised her hand with her thumb lifted, the other four fingers bent toward her palm,” Fromm-Reichmann wrote. The thumb stood alone, “isolated from the four hidden fingers.” Fromm-Reichmann responded gently, “That lonely?” And at that, the woman’s “facial expression loosened up as though in great relief and gratitude, and her fingers opened.”
Fromm-Reichmann would later become world-famous as the dumpy little therapist mistaken for a housekeeper by a new patient, a severely disturbed schizophrenic girl named Joanne Greenberg. Fromm-Reichmann cured Greenberg, who had been deemed incurable. Greenberg left the hospital, went to college, became a writer, and immortalized her beloved analyst as “Dr. Fried” in the best-selling autobiographical novel I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (later also a movie and a pop song). Among analysts, Fromm-Reichmann, who had come to the United States from Germany to escape Hitler, was known for insisting that no patient was too sick to be healed through trust and intimacy. She figured that loneliness lay at the heart of nearly all mental illness and that the lonely person was just about the most terrifying spectacle in the world. She once chastised her fellow therapists for withdrawing from emotionally unreachable patients rather than risk being contaminated by them. The uncanny specter of loneliness “touches on our own possibility of loneliness,” she said. “We evade it and feel guilty.”
Her 1959 essay, “On Loneliness,” is considered a founding document in a fast-growing area of scientific research you might call loneliness studies. Over the past half-century, academic psychologists have largely abandoned psychoanalysis and made themselves over as biologists. And as they delve deeper into the workings of cells and nerves, they are confirming that loneliness is as monstrous as Fromm-Reichmann said it was. It has now been linked with a wide array of bodily ailments as well as the old mental ones.”
Homo: Fags know all about loneliness, just listen to the Smiths. That it can sicken and kill is unsurprising. While Dan Savage and the other pros go on about “It Gets Better”, our campaign would be “Just Get Some”, and no, we don’t just mean teen sex. Just get some friends, some community on your own terms. Again, intelligent use of the Internet can save the day!
The problem is, many young gay people feel completely alienated from the monster called the “Gay Community”. They are baffled for a reason: the Chimera makes no sense, not even to itself. Most kids figure out that between the porn on Xtube, the pick-ups on Craigslist, and the bullshit on Towleroad there are PLT (people like them), but others don’t. It’s daunting to look into the Solaris screen of a Pride Parade and figure out any notion of “the good life” because that pathological exhibition expresses nothing like a livable life project for many kids (or adults). The LGBTQI catastrophe is regrettable in most ways, but for robust and wide awake young people, and that is the vast majority, it’s a cautionary tale: it teaches one how to think critically, realise the value of real difference and chose your own path.
We are traditionalists on loneliness, as on all matters. We look back to our rich past for answers to today’s questions, pulling down a heavily inlaid leather bound volume of Plato’s Symposium from the book shelf. Being fundamentalists, we don’t vary a jot from this sacred text. It informs us of how to raise our young into a viable community of men. We work through friendship and affinity in an intense mentoring program. We just built a wonderful sports hall by the lake!
Loneliness is another name for alienation. It’s a fact of life in the modern world, but worse for homosexuals who cannot see themselves fitting in anywhere. The need to find someone who can tell them that between the prison walls, love and friendship can be found amid the ruins lest they die.
Under the Wig with Jinkx Monsoon
Awesome interview from pal in VA Eric