But perhaps it was just that - given my cognitive abnormalities and social "special needs" status - I knew that I couldn't succeed in This World unless I accepted the mores of this world. Don't be different. Fit in. Don't talk about things that confuse or scare other people. Don't draw attention to yourself. Above all, do what you're told even if it's stupid or the people telling you to do so are evil.
So, out of the combination of all of the above - and a fortutious layoff - I went freelance. How wonderful! Don't have to leave the house when I don't want to! Don't have to talk to humans for days on end if I don't want to! I can turn down any work which is morally offensive or just inconvenient! And - most importantly - I am no longer tied to one place or one timetable! So, when the heavens open and the Angels descend and tell me what my Mission In This World is - or if I just find a more interesting project - I'll be able to get right onto it with a minimum of sacrifice.
... yeah. Minimum of sacrifice. Should have thought about that one. "Minimum of sacrifice" means not having anything in the first place. Being independent means being totally responsible. No-one's going to help you market or tell you what to do. So you're stuck at the limits of your own personality - the only way you can achieve your goals is to take responsibility and go out and bust your ass to achieve them.
And at the moment, I absolutely hate it. Oh, the idea of a "portfolio career" - a bit of indexing here, a bit of translation there, hopefully someone pays me for my weird music or my abstruse communist cultural-studies ramblings - sounds enticing. But when you declare independence from the Prince of This World, that means this world ceases to care whether you live or die.
As Tony James found when he started Sigue Sigue Sputnik, telling the mass market that it's run by the stupid, the greedy and the plain sociopathic, is not a recipe for success in the mass market over the long run. The idea that freedom is freedom to starve, and success means accomodating with the Powers that Be, is still scary for someone who was brought up to both hate and fear conformity and power.
So I'm precisely where I've always wanted to be - free. But that also means poor and excluded. It means not being able to consume those delicious leisure commodities that all your peers are, unless you make a Faustian bargain with the Demons of Credit. The problem is that some people are tough enough to go into the belly of the beast and survive - to work for The Man and make money for him while still building up revolt in secret. I'm not. My skin is still too thin.
My response to confrontation is still the response of the hypervigilant, abused child - either hide, run away, or scream obscenities until they drag you away. I'm the kind who has to live in the woods outside the village rather than pay fealty to the local landlord. And being Robin Hood isn't so much fun when you don't have a crew of Merry Men.
I have to find some way that I can re-engage with the world on a level where I can keep my integrity and yet still be "inside" it. "Working in the market place but refusing to live by its dictates", as Robert Fripp put it - "in the world but not of it", as I think Paul of Tarsus put it. Either that, or accept being the crazy guy in the corner who no-one talks to, forever.