Losing Identity And Finding Myself 

Most of my youth was spent trying to find something to attach to my identity that would give me a sense of social-identifiable self that reflected who I am. This is something that many young people go through, but due to the internalised contradictions of my mixed religious family, with an unstable heritage and the contrast between family who were relatively affluent and times spent with very little, mine was somewhat more dramatic at points. Losing my mother, my primary attachment figure, when I was 7, and almost losing my father, my secondary attachment figure, while having instability in my relationship with him, further exacerbated my identity crisises. I explored and experimented with various religions and political factions, with all of them leaving me unsatisfied in my search for who I am. I had points of questioning my sexuality and gender, and at one stage in my early teens got quite nationalistically attached to the Jewish aspects of my heritage.

Just before I turned 18 I had a point of abandonment with who I was, when I first read Nietzsche and Emma Goldman, and formed for myself a self that synthesised aspects of these writers philosophies (and similar others), things in my immediate social environment and Buddhism, which was relatively settled for a short time. 

Then on my 19th birthday I was diagnosed with a brain tumour and started the process of being a cancer patient. Being “that guy with a brain tumour”, “that kid who is probably going to die” was a strange place of being accepted and loved for who I am by the people around me, in a way that was conflictually enjoyable. The MRI scans and doctors appointments where points of objectification, where I’d lose my sense of socially constructed self and be reduced to bare naked flesh – not even just naked, as they saw under my flesh. But that was ok because I would have the love and interest of people concerned for my welfare.

Then in April 2012 through to the end of July 2012 I had my surgeries and my radiation therapy, and I was on the steroids, and I was having special juices in the morning and crystals put under my bed, and be told about the religious people praying for me, and amidst the utter horror and immense suffering and phenomenological sensation of being reduced to bare flesh and survival, I was loved consistently by so many people in a way I had never known. 

And then from August and in the lead up to my 21st birthday at the end of October, I, very quietly, underwent the most profound identity crisis I had ever been through. I reread Nietzsche and Camus, while searching for some kind of meaning from what had happened to me. And in the months that followed I came to find that the truisms around me didn’t reflect anything Real, from my experience. I found myself as a pointless, meaningless piece of flesh and that if I wanted to find myself in the world as meaningful I had to create that, so I followed my creativity in music. Then in 2014 I read Freud’s Civilisation and it’s Discontents and Heidegger’s The Question Concerning Technology and everything that I had been leading to, in both 2012 and right before I turned 18, crystallised in ways that were both traumatic and wounding, as well as joyous and liberating. I found my-self, outside of any socially constructed identity, any technological enframing that would mediate me from myself, as a naked animal, full of embodied passions and desires, immersed in the world an eliminatively physically an extension of it. 

This was horrific, as I found myself condemned to a culture that requires the very thing I was in someways abandoning, so I had to find for myself a means of dealing with this for myself, which ultimately led to the ideas and position I wrote in my book. But in other ways, it was completely wonderful, precisely because it hadn’t granted me what I’d been looking for and had given me the security in-myself, as a physical extension of the world, and a sense of freedom I couldn’t remember. And while this world is undergoing extreme violence daily and that freedom is challenged in an attempt to repress and mitigate it in designated doses, this is something I have taken immense joy over. 

I am a feral animal, in an acosmic perpetual becoming, through flux. I have no true name, gender, or any other point of identity, though I adopt one to navigate this culture. 


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