I think every maladaptation I have is an attempt at managing anxiety. It is why I seem so calm — I was raised in the power of people who were delusionally anxious and it was important at all times to discern the actual state of things and remain calm, while also attempting to calm others. Then in Reeducation everything one was supposed to do was so destructive, yet this was purportedly the recipe for health. Dealing with this was how I became anxious myself … yet one could not say that, because to say one felt anxiety would be construed as an attempt to justify the use of pleasant drugs, so to show one was not that kind one could not say one felt anxiety, although one was also of course a liar if one could not “be honest” about one’s “true feelings.”
Being trapped in this set of double binds — and I seem to be trapped in more than one set if I am trapped in any — does not give one the impression of having any validity — it is like being a card in someone’s pack, a leaf in their lapel, but not a person. This is, I suppose, why I felt I must negotiate with Reeducation, and forgot I could just leave.
1. All your ideas are wrong. They are wrong because they are yours, because you are wrong by definition.
2. A sign of being wrong is having ideas and the power to reason.
3. The aforementioned sign of being wrong is also a sign of mental illness.
4. You are teaching a seminar on one person who has mental illness and writing a book on another who, you say, is not a unitary subject but is fractured. What do you think the choice to study such people says about you?
5. I will tell you what I think it says. I think you must be suffering from a very serious mental illness that needs very dangerous treatment.
Z: All right. I will give up the projects if that is what it takes to avoid treatment that could harm me in ways as yet untold. THIS IS WHEN I STARTED HAVING DREAMS ABOUT PUTTING MY IDEAS IN THE FREEZER.
Z: That means I need another profession, though, because at this point I cannot both give up the projects and keep my job.
Reeducation: There you go, lying again.
Z: I am not lying. I can provide copies of my contract and other relevant university documents, and even witnesses if you would like, to explain why, given current time-lines, I am wisest to continue on my present path.
Reeducation: You are lying. You are wrong by definition, I have already told you. You are not capable of judging such things.
Z: But I can provide witnesses…