I had experienced a life of desperate loneliness from my teens until I encountered The Program. In The Program, I felt exploited, but I still, for the first time as an adult, had someone with whom I could talk and confide on a regular basis. Then, after leaving, I was more lonely than ever – more than in my days of being a star isolate, more than when I was oppressed by the competitive demands of graduate school, lack of intimacy, and lack of love in my life. More than in my days of wandering.
Wait….! Did I not just mention “love” in a previous sentence? Finally, in The Program I had made a connection. I had stabilized. I had stopped wandering. I had someone to talk to. I had someone to discuss my problems, successes, and personal failings with. Yet, it was an exploitive relationship. Was there love? When I stopped participating, when it was over, I was talking to myself. I was experiencing loneliness even more intensely than in my days of wandering, than in my student days, than at any point in my life. Now I was plunged into even deeper despair. I no longer had a loneliness based on being other-directed or from the psychic dysfunction of anomie.
저는 학창시절부터 프로그램을 만나기 전까지 절망적인 외로움을 겪어왔습니다. 프로그램에 있을 당시 저는 이용당하는 느낌을 받았지만, 그곳에서 성인이 된 이후 처음으로 이야기를 정기적으로 나눌 사람을 만났습니다. 그러나 그 프로그램을 나온 뒤, 저는 예전 어느 때보다 더 외로워졌습니다.
그 프로그램 안에서 저는 다른 이들과 연계되어 있었고, 안정을 되찾았고, 방황을 멈췄습니다. 제겐 이야기를 나눌 이가 있었구요. 누군가에게 저의 고민거리나 개인적인 일을 터놓을 수 있었습니다. 그러나 그 모든 것은 이해관계에서 오는, 부당한 관계였습니다. 진정한 사랑이 그곳에 있었을까요? 그 프로그램을 나왔을 때 저는 제 자신에게 이야기하고 있었습니다. 그 전에 방황하던 때보다도 더 크고 깊은 외로움이 저를 기다리고 있었습니다. <계속>
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