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Tuesday 28 May 2024

Busted Dreams
M Alan Roberts

The capacity of the human mind to endure the insanity of life is immense. Our brains protect us from so many forces that are constantly wearing away at us. And many times, the defensive mechanisms employed are not really what's best for us. For millions, their minds allow them to lock themselves into lives of misery, just barely staying alive, never enjoying a single day, and just accepting that the way things are can't be changed. They become afraid to attempt to modify the situations they're in and create new, more fulfilling experiences.

Consider the woman sitting in her spot in front of the TV, addicted to prescription drugs, sippin' on booze constantly, smoking cancer sticks and just hoping for a single kind word that never seems to come. She's in her mid forties and sometimes, during moments of lucidity, can remember how she used to feel empowered. She had always dreamed of an honest life where she would work the home and raise the children while her husband provided for them. And she had seen that dream come true, some years ago. She smiled when he'd return home in the evenings, handing him a ice-cold beer, delivering a quick cheek smooch and then exchanging the stories of the day.

She had married a man who was caring and communicative; not wealthy, but able to make ends meet and provide what was needed. They had a simple, true life where everything was shared and fidelity could actually be counted on. And she dedicated her entire life to him, and later, to the child that she instantly loved more than she ever believed she possibly could.

Her husband was equally enthusiastic about the new life they were creating together. He labored hard and devoted himself to the union. He would pass his days in the hot sunshine, working diligently and thinking about her and his beautiful baby daughter. He was proud of his marriage and never hesitated to show it. And when the children came, he was prouder still. He made all the right moves, took care of his responsibilities and was enjoying every second of life.

The baby became a toddler that became a teenager about the same time the company went under. He was now unemployed and was shocked into a world where nothing made sense any longer. Like 25% of all American girls, his daughter lost her virginity and gained her first STD at age 14. And the happy couple did what happy couples do: they forgave ether precious child and implemented a new plan for family advancement. They got involved with more church activities, went to expensive consoling sessions and made sure that their little angel had everything she needed to be happy. And they blamed themselves.

Time continued to pass and the challenges continued to become more intricate. The happy couple began to feel depleted somewhere along the way and the communication stopped. Each was holding hidden grudges, secretly blaming the other for the daughter's failures. When the daughter was 16, she got pregnant. She was unsure who the father was as she had been sleeping with 3 different guys over the preceding 5 months. She was adamant about keeping the baby, and about not giving up her strengthening addiction to crystal methane. He teeth were beginning to rot away and she was completely losing control.

When she turned 17, she left home and moved away to the city with a man 12 years older than her. Every 2 weeks or so, she would call home crying about being beat, intelligently placing guilt trips, and of course, asking for money. That's when her mother got the prescription for the Valiums, just a little something to help her relax and take the edge off of the sharp mental pains that were dominating her. She thought about killing herself one day and wondered where it all went wrong.

She felt cheated, cursed. She cried for long hours and never could seem to even begin to discover any resolutions. Her husband had taken a traveling job and frequently left her alone for days at a time. She took up the booze soon enough, started smoking cigarettes and lost herself inside the television. The alcohol mixed with the pills mixed with the developing mental illness had ruined her. It had taken her precious family dream and crushed it flat. Soon, she judged when to take another pill by how strongly she felt like dying.

Her husband functioned at work, always with a bottle of vodka tucked neatly away somewhere very nearby him. He'd take a snort here and there to pump up his confidence and relieve some of the anger he harbored so deeply. He stopped going home some nights, saying he was working, but really just because he felt dead when he was there. When they were at the house at the same time, they didn't talk much, never met eyes, yet both wishing they would again.

The human brain is capable of protecting its host, and it will, even when he actions, thoughts and feelings that it dictates are everything except healthy. Most of the accepted coping mechanisms in world societies are ineffective and often detrimental. And most likely, if what you do to cope with your problems is commonly accepted, you're probably soon in for a world of pain like you've never imagined.

M Alan Roberts is a radical thinker. He has a gimlet eye for injustice, much as did Frederich Engels, a century and a half before. Still, Roberts finds a way to write effective SEO copy. This suggests both sides of his brain, his mind, work equally well.

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