Like in logic puzzles, there will be misleading and missing information in this piece. That’s why you’re compelled to read it from beginning till end in order to decipher if you, yourself, fall under the category of having the Big P.
Shedding off any pretences, all of us are/were/will be paranoid at least once, twice or a hundred times in our lifetime. But, it’s more than the simple fears and suspicions. The consistency and gravity of being distrustful and sceptical that are above and beyond obsession qualify you as clinically eccentric.
Taking it at face value, we won’t know the true nature of the Big P unless we have lived with it and stared right through its eyes. And, when you do, you’re sure to be possessed by its dark gaze and fall down to the depths of its charmed lair spinning your mind into believing that your perception is straight however distorted it may be. The feeling is like snaking through a labyrinthine maze full of zigs and zags while simultaneously viewing the ups and downs of circumstances all in one motion.
I know. You can only imagine how complicated this situation is. Yes. You can say it’s out-of-this-world in the opposite sense of the term.
For one, in open spaces, you cannot help but think that passers-by are talking behind your back and all people’s eyes are on you—scrutinizing your clothes, hair, face, body (covering the two b’s for females) or all-around looks; judging you from head to foot; devouring your overall demeanour. It’s a given that there are indeed several kibitzers and rumour-mongers in public that we must avoid but reversing the thought, these unknown folks might either be indifferent of what’s going on around them or would just like to share a good-natured smile or two among strangers. This should be the norm. That’s why you happen to catch them looking at you while walking side-by-side on the street. No need to stress yourself out that everyone you see on your way to work or school is a possible terrorist on the loose which is being too self-cautious by any human standards. Although you may have a point for looking after your safety outside of home as gruesome shooting attacks are a fad nowadays, suspecting and insisting that everybody might hurt your feelings as a critic even if they couldn’t care less about you or wouldn’t pose any threat as a suicide bomber, would make you a suitable candidate for agoraphobia.
This next one is a cool experiment in favour of those with the Big P or Small P if you want to be euphemistic about it. In the Philippines, jeepney is the main public transport vehicle. Now, visualise yourself inside a jam-packed jeepney. There happens to be this liberated girl who’s wearing short shorts (trendy with millennials and Gen Z’ers) on top of a spaghetti-strap blouse. Watch out for the eyes of male passengers. Where do you think these balls (eyes) will be travelling? 95-100% of the time, these guys will make a 180 degree turn (of their heads) (even 360 degrees, they will do, if needed) just to have a clearer view of that scantily clad female on board. Why not 100%? I’m giving some of us men the benefit of the doubt. However, if you were that person (the girl, I mean), would you not be conscious that all eyes are on you or you were expecting it? The definitely weird state of affairs is that if you’re not under clothed like that teenager or woman (in some instances), and if you still feel that someone (if not more than one) stares at you with lust, then there must be something wrong with this idea. Or, this could be true sometimes, right? But, if this is your persistent emotion while commuting using public transportation, don’t you think there’s something amiss or what are the odds that you get to have a pervert seated beside or in front of you in a jeepney (or bus) every day? Which is which?
I’ve tried to be as neutral as possible in the previous paragraph but this time, I think I will hit a chord against the Big P. When this condition strikes inside the comforts of your very own domicile that could be considered a red flag. When you get this feeling that your neighbours are just hanging around and can hear every word you say, sort of saying that they’re eavesdropping all the time, and this hinders your right to talk to your family members inside the house, this is a clear cause for concern. Despite the fact that your home is in the middle of two houses separated by non-noise-proof walls, this shouldn’t give you the pesky impression that someone’s sneaking around the side of your residence trying to spy on your personal plans and secrets. Of course, there might be a point that someone in the household speaks too loud and everyone is entitled to privacy. But, making a huge fuss about this nagging sensation that neighbours are lingering around to snoop on you day in and day out is absolutely (psychologically) awkward to say the least.
One more thing, when you hyperactively connect the world of make-believe TV shows and movies to actual life, especially those aspects without one-to-one correspondence, then things simply become seriously problematic. Nevertheless, there is a valid scientific argument that whatever you watch (about violence and sluts) will stick into your psyche for years. But then again, can you essentially claim that these individuals who have watched those gory and pornographic flicks will constantly think [even in secret] (and may act) violently and lustfully in the company of others such as at the mall, workplace or even in church? Is this true or just a case of paranoia?
What I know for sure is that the power of the mind is under the control of the person wielding its powers.
God certainly knows.