Diary, Don Quijote, and Binge Eating

I am feeling an intense need to return to the diary again in a fraught attempt to retrain the senses. I wish to regain my life, my own thoughts, since I am always the person those in need of help continually return to so they can unload their burdens. Taking on so much of others’ burdens deadens the sensibilities, my own sense of myself as a person, which is continually transformed through the characteristics of others by that dangerous two way street named Empathy. Intense empathy is both a gift and a curse. I have insight, but no one can listen like me.

I have been taking a class that is partly on Don Quijote. It has been said that one doesn’t read Don Quijote. Don Quijote is actually reading you. I see so much of his journey in mine, principally, the quest for recognition and fame, which is universal. But I also find similarities in other ways, too. In class we were given an artistic depiction of DQ. This image consists of a pile of books that take the shape of the knight-errant. What the artist intends to get across is the fact that Don Quijote’s sense of personhood is constructed entirely from the chivalric novels he reads. I wish to link this idea to the empathic person, because I think that for the empath the people that hover around him are floating texts to be read continuously. I am partly constructed from others’ doubts, faults, strengths, worries. To a certain extent, everyone is. But I frighten myself sometimes by how easy it is for me to simply mirror other people. And I can never say no to any of them, for fear of being alone. It produces within me what I think is a lack of selfhood. I don’t know what is my own, or what has been absorbed from others. And how frail is my unconscious? Think of it this way: One bad seed from another yard can spoil my entire garden. No matter how well you hide the bad seed, no matter how deep in the dark closet you keep the dead plant, I can always sense what has been decaying beneath the visible surface. The truth is always-already-eventually fished out.

A new predicament: binge eating. I hate waking up with the taste of last night’s food hovering on the rim of my throat. When I open my mouth, I release a diaphragmatic miasma. I can feel the food tumbling about as though it were bathing in lava, which produces an uncomfortable feeling. On the outside, I am bothered by, and can see, the roundness, a visible manifestation of the ensuing bolus, as though my stomach were indeed a hand made heavy with the weight of bowling balls. It sickens me.

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