29 Oct Retarded | an existential experience
Retarded is a word that has been swallowed up by its negative connotation and mean spirited derogatory reference to those with less cognitive capabilities. But I would like to revive this word for its use in describing an existential way of being in the world. It has great significance for describing one’s actual and/or felt experience of feeling stuck.
I was journaling the other day and retarded was the only word to describe how I feel in life. I then looked it up and found other words in the definition that pertained, such as “hold back, set back, hinder, restrain, delay, decelerate, obstruct, inhibit.” All of these pertain to my personal experience as a person in this world at this time. I feel retarded. Whether I actually am or not doesn’t matter. My experience as myself in my world leave me feeling very restricted and that at some point in the past several years I began to decelerate and become held back.
Blocked would be a good word too but I don’t feel as though I just ran into a wall and that’s it. It’s more of a rewinding back on one’s self, a falling backwards, stumbling continuously backwards on one’s heels, never gaining footing. I feel as though my growth and ability to function in this world has been hindered and that I am now held back. There is a trapped sensation that comes along with this because I know that something isn’t working, that I am not reaching potentialities which would enable me to feel more free, more liberated and capable. But instead, I can see that reality and I am paralyzed in my retarded state. I feel like I’ve been given a drug where I cannot speak or move but just lie on a table and see the world going on. I have no ability to have an impact on it and cannot communicate with it.
It’s not a very good feeling – going backwards, falling back, decelerating. I’m sure there’s all sorts of mythological and positive ways to understand my journey/dark night, and that becoming retarded helps to break forth new agencies not previously relied upon, but fuck all that for right now because it isn’t happening right now. For all I know I’ll be on this table, lying flat, immobilized for the rest of my life. And as far as you know, the same.
Do things really get better? Is everything really perception? When people say everything is perception, it is as though there is an objective perception to have in said situation that would lead to a less painful experience. But how can one change their actual view of their world as it is happening? I get all the perception talk and much of the time it applies, but I think there are some times that cannot be met with any antidotes, positive reframing, or spiritual salve. And do things always get better? Maybe in varying degrees but it seems as though our battles are our battles for life. Do we ever get to put our crosses down? Do we ever fully die on them and rise three days later? I don’t know.
Retarded. I feel retarded. Society is retarded. Human beings are retarded. Our concepts are retarded. I see retarded everywhere.