Nice to meet you. I’m Saikawa Goto. Thank you for coming to my blog “Lushiluna”.
If you came directly to this page, please also take a look at the entire profile article.
In this article, I will write about my life so far, focusing on topics such as “difficulty in living” and “not fitting in with normalcy”.
I wrote this as a “guideline” for reading my blog articles.
Otherwise, everyone wouldn’t normally want to read it.
I was born in a prefecture where Mt. Fuji looks big. When I was a student, the nearest station became an unmanned station after 9 pm. It’s kind of rural, but I wasn’t surrounded by mountains or fields, and there’s nothing particularly noteworthy about where I was born.
I have felt a sense of discomfort towards my family since I was young. As far as I can remember, even in the early years of elementary school, I already had a sense of disgust towards my parents. At that time, I thought it was just a feeling of “dislike,” but looking back now, I think “not being on the same wavelength” is a closer description.
“Blood-related strangers” is a fitting expression.
That’s a harsh way of putting it…
Since I was a child, I felt like, “What’s so special about being family?” The sense that “family is a special relationship” is something that comes through messages from school or TV, but I always felt like I couldn’t understand it.
Was there any violence or differences in treatment between siblings?
No. I was rarely scolded, and because I played the role of “the eldest son who is good at studying,” I was rather treated well among my siblings.
As a child, I couldn’t understand the nature of this feeling well, so I simplified it by labeling it as just “dislike.” However, as an adult, I have reconsidered my thoughts on this matter.
Trigger for my change of feelings towards my family was when I moved to Tokyo after entering university. It wasn’t an immediate transformation since my accumulated emotions from 18 years couldn’t be undone overnight. However, I felt that “if I can create some physical distance, the feeling of ‘dislike’ would fade away” and I eventually came to think of my family as “existences that doesn’t matter.”
Now, I understand that “I am a person who is not suited to living with others.” I changed my perspective to think that “I felt disgust not because they were my parents but because I lived with them.” In my 20s, I barely communicated with my parents and siblings, but now I think we have a “normal family relationship, albeit slightly distant.”
In my 20s, I showed up only for family events like weddings and funerals.
Well, you tried your best in that aspect, at least.
During My School Days (up until High School)
The environment of “school” was very challenging for me.
Although now I believe my communication skills have improved considerably, as a child I suffered greatly from the state of being unable to understand at all the reasoning behind the behavior of those around me. It felt like being forced to participate in some sport without even knowing the basic rules, as if everyone else understood the rules perfectly except for me.
So it was like playing Kabaddi without knowing the rules?
Yeah, that kind of feeling.
Furthermore, although I am now able to be alone without feeling much pain, as a child I felt fearful of being seen as “friendless” or “lonely”. That’s why avoiding being seen as “someone who doesn’t know the rules” became a serious mission for me during my school life.
The most memorable thing for me is “laughing after anticipating the content of the conversation “. As a child, I often couldn’t understand why those around me were laughing during conversations. I would continue in a state of not understanding what was so funny about the topic being discussed.
So, I tried to laugh at the point where I thought everyone would laugh in the conversation flow. It usually worked well, but sometimes I found myself in a situation where “only I was laughing” and had a hard time covering it up. This habit didn’t go away until I was in college.
Can you really cover that up?
Well, I guess I couldn’t really cover it up…
However, I was good at studying. I was in the top five of my grade at an elite high school in the prefecture, so I think I did pretty well. Anyway, I managed to get through my student days just by being the “character who teaches study someone.”
I finished my own test preparation a week ago and taught everyone for the week leading up to the exam.
Oh, there is a person like that, huh?
Since I was good at studying, I used to think of it as someone else’s business, that I would go to a decent university, but I didn’t really have anything I wanted to do. In fact, I didn’t want to do anything since I was a child. Especially, I was afraid of entering society. I still remember that in junior high school, I already vaguely thought, “I probably can’t become a salaried worker.”
However, I pretend that I didn’t realize my own feeling of “I probably can’t enter society” for a while and I enrolled in a famous university that every Japanese person knows just because I was good at studying.
During my university days, I didn’t experience any dramatic changes in terms of communication skills. However, I did meet some unique and interesting people who I probably wouldn’t have met in high school and I was easier to live somewhat. This made life a bit easier. Living on my own away from my parents was also a big factor.
But another major problem loomed ahead – job hunting.
So in the end, you didn’t go through with job hunting, did you?
Actually, I’ve never had an interview for anything other than a part-time job in my entire life.
Honestly, I still think it’s amazing when someone has been on the stage of an “interview,” regardless of whether they did well or not. I could never do it.
As I’ve grown older and experienced various types of work, I’ve come to realize that I’m capable of doing anything to some extent. There are only a few things that I excel at, but I think I can perform above average in many cases. At least, I don’t think I’m the type to cause trouble for others.
However, I still find the idea of being on the stage of an “interview” terrifying. Even now, I feel like it’s just not possible for me.
I am always impressed by people who are actually working as salaried workers without any irony.
So, I dropped out of college at the end of my sophomore year. Although my parents paid for my third year tuition, I never attended any classes.
Until then, I had always been an honors student, attended almost all the university lectures, and my grades were almost all A’s. So when I suddenly didn’t turn up, my friends were surprised and contacted my parents through my friends.
I still don’t regret dropping out of college at that time. Of course, my life afterwards was not necessarily smooth sailing, but I feel that if I had not dropped out of college and had gone through the job hunting process properly and worked diligently, I would have fallen from an even higher place than when I dropped out, and suffered even greater damage.
However, I feel sorry for causing so much trouble to so many people.
From then on, although it was not a very long period of time, my hikikomori period began.
In my life, I think this period of hikikomori was probably the darkest. It was harder than any other time in my life. It was an irregular form of twice in half a year, but I lived without seeing anyone for about a year. There was a convenience store on the first floor of where I lived, so I went there, but other than that, I didn’t go out, didn’t see anyone, and didn’t communicate with anyone. I was living alone in Tokyo, so now I feel like I caused trouble financially.
I heard later that my sister couldn’t live alone during college because of me.
What a terrible brother.
I had nothing to do but watch TV in my life, which was reversed day and night. Smartphones were not yet widely used, and YouTube did not exist yet. I felt intense self-disgust for living a life of only watching TV, and I think that feeling led to a desire to escape hikikomori. In that sense, I can say that the environment of having nothing to do was good.
During my hikikomori period, I considered suicide. I stood on the edge of the rooftop of the building where I lived and tried to jump for a while, but I couldn’t die in the end.
Up until then, I had managed to live by thinking, “Even if life is hard, I can just die in the end.” However, I came to understand that it is difficult to “die” unexpectedly, and that I needed to rethink my way of living. It was an experience that made me realize this.
Lately, I’ve been thinking not “I want to die,” but “I wish someone would kill me.”
Both are dangerous thoughts, though.
In the end, my hikikomori life came to an end in the form of “being forced to return to my parents’ home.” As parents, they probably could not tolerate my single life that cost money.
As a result, this forced return became the starting point for my return to society.
From a little runaway to a bookstore clerk
After being forcibly returned to my parents’ home, the “family issues” resurfaced. Anyway, I felt uncomfortable being at home. I repeated short periods of running away from home and stayed at my university friend’s house.
Repeating such things, I started to think “this is bad as it is.” From quite negative reasons, such as “I want to leave this uncomfortable home” and “I have to work to do that,” I decided to find some part-time work.
However, the problem was where to work. Because I had quit my part-time jobs without permission many times during my university days.
I quit after three months of working at a family restaurant, a convenience store, and a home delivery sorting job without permission.
Quitting without permission is seriously annoying.
Thinking about where to work, assuming that the industries I had worked in before were probably not suitable, and wandering around the area where I used to live during my university days, I found a recruitment poster for a bookstore clerk. Oh, I have never worked in a bookstore before, and I’ve always been reading books, maybe I can work here…
For that reason, I started working as a bookstore clerk.
You started working there because you like books, right?
I do like them, but it’s not like I wanted to become a bookstore clerk just because I like books.
From Bookstore Clerk to Present
As a bookstore clerk, I had a few lucky experiences. I was given the chance to appear on TV and to speak in front of people, which was an unexpected and wonderful experience. I worked as a bookstore clerk for about 15 years while moving from one bookstore to another.
Did you enjoy it?
I think I was good at it, and there were many enjoyable aspects, but it was also quite a tough job.
I am no longer working at a bookstore now and still have an unstable work situation, but I am somehow managing to survive. I want to stabilize both my professional and personal life as a working adult, but I find it difficult to achieve.