A Fish Out of Water

fishoutofwater Annette Blattman


Without alienation, there can be no politics.”

Arthur Miller (1915-2005) 1915-, American Dramatist


Have you ever felt at times like a fish out of water? A feeling that you somehow did not belong to what you were in observance of. Have you ever felt like you were on the outside looking in? On occasion we have been in the company of others that we did not really know very well, and have felt out-of-place, or discomforted by the environment we were surrounded by. What is even more discomforting is being with friends and feeling like you did not belong to this group of people who you have already known for some time when you happen to be at some function. What is most appalling is the extraordinary circumstances that hurt us most when we have these feelings and thoughts about our own family.

Alienation is an awful feeling that leads us to question our own sense of values. A feeling that divides us on emotional levels from people that we have known for some time and can be a very strange experience to us. In some cases there are situations that effect our families and that we may have had the unpleasant experience to contend with. Having family members become estranged from other family members due to the communication dynamic in those families is also known as parental alienation, and is an extremely painful event.

Parental alienation is a social dynamic, generally occurring due to divorce or separation, when a child expresses unjustified hatred or unreasonably strong dislike of one parent, making access by the rejected parent difficult or impossible. The parent that the child aligns with – the aligned parent – may engage in alienating behaviors, by undermining the other parent: these behaviors may be conscious and deliberate or alternatively may reflect a lack of awareness on the effect of their actions on their children. Direct alienating behaviors occur when one parent actively undermines the other parent, such as making derogatory remarks about the other parent or telling the child that the other parent is responsible for the separation or the cause of financial difficulties. Indirect alienation behaviors occur when one parent fails to support access or contact with the other parent, or tacitly accepts the child’s negative behavior and comments towards the other parent.


Whichever the case may be, some underlying concepts thread their way through some of these cases including: levels of awareness, anger and hatred, distrust or mistrust, lack of moral concern, ego-centrism, feelings of disconnection, ad infinitum.

Many of us have experienced these feelings and our dissociation from particular groups that we tend not to have any affinity with. I remember at times when I was younger, not quite certain about my beliefs, when I would still feel unsure about some of the gatherings I was privy to. The internal voice that spoke for me would still alert my conscious thoughts and feelings if any discontinuity of behavior would engage the assembly. As the years have passed, some people may tend to identify with their agitations and thereby hold onto stained memories of the confrontations. This may develop over a time and eventually lead them to have little candor over their reflections of past events. In many cases the sour grapes that take up their minds attention become the dominant profiles of their attitudes. Cases such as these tend to develop into the misanthropes of the world.

The losses or emotional disconnection we sustain as adults sometimes effect us on deeper levels we are not completely conscious of. Our awareness may be hindered, as we try to protect our emotional states by distraction, entertainment, confusion, or some other way we tend to cope with these situations. The result still leaves us as someone who is on the outside looking in. We still feel a disconnect with others who may respond differently or have a different sets of values.

— Misanthropy in the pond of humanity —

Misanthropy has been ascribed to a number of writers of satire, such as William S. Gilbert (“I hate my fellow-man”). Jonathan Swift is widely believed to be misanthropic (see A Tale of a Tub and, most especially, Book IV of Gulliver’s Travels).

Molière’s character Alceste in Le Misanthrope (1666) states:

My hate is general, I detest all men;
Some because they are wicked and do evil,
Others because they tolerate the wicked,
Refusing them the active vigorous scorn
Which vice should stimulate in virtuous minds. “

We humans like to think we are in control and determine where events in our lives are going. There are many choices we make that seem to make a big difference. Most of the time we take credit for the great thing we manifest. Although we do affect reality, our impact at times is much less than we imagine and at other times, it is greater than we imagine. However, most of us never stop to look at why that is the case. In reality, it all depends on the energy of the situation.

What is little understood is how often we ride the current of the energy that is manifesting. It’s like being in a rowboat carried along by a swift river current and not by the effectiveness, or lack of effectiveness of our rowing. The world we experience is much like a Galileo Thermometer such that the environment conditions change, we move naturally according to the energy changes and not by choice. What we fail to realize is that we are energy consciousness and we move into or out of a situation depending on how well our energy matches the situation at hand.

2 thoughts on “A Fish Out of Water

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