Who are you? What defines you? Your values, your morals, your judgements? Those inner voices whispering to you . . . the ideas of the id and ego.
For the most part they are formed by the society around you; the cultures and their contexts of approval and disapproval, write or wrong. Then there’s the culture of family, or cult, if you prefer, since “cult” by definition is something you cannot easily escape from – and each family enforces it’s own peculiar beliefs and secularism upon it’s members.
Right and wrong and all the shades of gray in-between begin with and end with the culture (or cultures) you were raised in. Or live in, if like me, you were raised in a different cult or culture to begin with.
Which is why I don’t know “who” I am. I don’t know where I came from – not really. I was raised in so many cultures and traditions – a strong military one, another one in the “South”; a foreign one, family from “out West” (and parents to boot) – a mix, a conglamoration of cultures as a young child . . . I learned to respect them, see why their traditions were right where another culture viewed them as wrong, adopted them as part of my own – learning in each culture I’d been what was wrong or right – for them. And often those choices conflicted.
Some were simple enough. “Do no wrong” seems to be part of them, and inherent to that is the belief of “do no harm”. Of course that is a basic belief of all mankind – he just fails all the time. Of course we make laws all the time – that ‘do no harm’ drive has spawned a lot of them – but in enforcing them we often do wrong.
You can’t help but lose in some situations, and that’s when the weighing has got to be done: this wrong vs. this ‘right’ which may in the end cause more wrong. Or you gotta stop someone but doing so . . .
In one of the cultures I was raised in (about four, five years) it was “okay” to have sex with a child. It was normal; expected that children might do that. As such: no big deal. And in those members of that culture, I see no problems like ones I’ve been having for years, when I got transplanted into another culture where it was wrong, taboo, forbidden to even think about or discuss.
In another culture I was in it was “okay” for a person to eat horse meat. In another: a live human being. Another? Dogs and cats weren’t forbidden on the dinner table. I grew used to this kind of thing.
I viewed it as my “new normal” – for that time and place. My mom was always very insistent that we respect all the cultures we lived in, were around; to ‘learn’ them and how to get around in them frictionless and effort free . . .
And that’s where the DID thing kicks in: having to, sometimes in one day, switch from one culture to the next. I needed a new person, a new identity – one “I” at the time could believe in, without conflict . . . and yet sometimes it would go against me, against the grain.
One cult/culture I was in all but worshiped drugs. I watched children go down the drains while their adults sat passed out in the living room. “Drugs were good” was the phrase back then, and the more of them the merrier, the better . . .
I’ve been in several “familial” cultures – one, the parents and their culture I grew up in; then another when I was a drug addict: a con-man, his girl friend, and her two girls. We were like a family then . . . another with the Marine Corps, where every Marine is your brother (though you might hate some of them) – and yet another when I got adopted by a family when I turned “21” (a personality and near that age). And yet another when I married my wife – a Deep South farm culture (cuz’ yes, I DID marry that farmer’s daughter, though everything they say about them’s not true).
I grew up in a military culture – first the Army military (as a young kid and teen) – including a long stint overseas, in the Army animal labs, and then much later, after my stint as a Marine, working for them on a contract basis.
I’ve seen my share of green. That’s “O.D.” green to you who know what that means . . .
So I’ve seen a lot of cultures, which explains (at least to me) why “I” don’t fit in anywhere – while blending right on in with any cult or culture I’m in to.
I get along with rednecks and supervisors, have dealt with corporate presidents and CEO’s – stick up tight in their butt types to the janitor downstairs (I held a janitor’s job one time, for a long summer – in a cotton mill). I get along with everyone, but . . .
I don’t quite fit in altogether. It’s like there’s always some parts of me that don’t “blend in” and it feels like I’m staring through a window . . . at all of you. Sometimes it gives me the feeling like I came from some other planet and are studying you human beings. Sometimes not: I’m well aware and all too aware that I’m part of this “project” too . . .
Which brings me to my final point: that one about conspiracy. I cannot help but suspect that was one of the goals – the ability to embrace and become someone in another culture . . .
At any rate – I ain’t one of “you” as some of my long time friends have pointed out. “He’s not like anybody else,” I overheard one of my friends saying to some others. “He’s different – that’s for sure.”
I think that could be said of anyone – including all of you.