“The outside world is hell”: how are Russian hermits-Hickey

Hundreds of thousands of people in Japan became a voluntary recluse, Hickey: young people for years locked in their rooms and cut all contacts with the outside world. Attempts to socialize their positive results have not yet led. In Russia, this movement is gaining momentum.

Who are they — Russian Hikki and why virtual reality takes in more people from real life?

In Japan, there are more than 700,000 individuals leading the lifestyle of a hikikomori. In Russia, statistics are not maintained.

“I’m 26 years old. I watch anime, play video games, read comics, listen to music, do not go for six months on the street. I don’t develop, but I am. Every second of my life — rest. No problem, no nerves, no responsibilities, no stress. Why should I conform to what society dictates?”. This post belongs to a young man who refused to communicate with people and voluntarily locked himself within the four walls. He calls himself a “Hickey”.

Hickey — an abbreviation for the Japanese word “hikikomori”. So we call people who seek solitude and isolation from society.

“Open your eyes. The ceiling. Close to a half-full bottle of coke. Tired. Rise. My room is always light, because I leave the lights on. Never. And the computer always works. Pull the curtain, to see what time of day. Dark. Evening. We ought to eat. Not bothered to go to the toilet and to the bathroom. No, the bathroom aside, when I have good mood.

Kindergarten father said, “Be like everyone else and obey my elders.” Then there was school. In high school every day I heard that I must go to University. After school, I sat in courses in the evening sat down again for textbooks. The closer was the day of exams, especially of iron became my head. Inside there was a growing concern. My whole world revolved around textbooks and assessments.

Come hour IKS. I went to take the exams and miserably failed them. Inside I felt torn between fear, despair and resentment in my temples throbbed with blood, his hands were shaking and clenched into fists, the lump in his throat prevented to breathe. Another moment, a second… chick. As if someone cut the thread, which was all. And it’s all gone. Left only apathy and emptiness inside. So I became a hikikomori. Outcast and recluse.

This squeeze from the story of a young author under the name Anastasia, which is published on the portal for aspiring writers. Sketch about how young people go from real life to virtual. Parents trying to free their children from the durable carapace of a fantasy, but in the end, leave things as they are. It’s easier. Close pretend children don’t exist anymore. Teenagers also pretend they don’t exist.

So adults are losing their children. Often forever and forever.

“I stopped going out on the street and almost forgot what it is. The only window to the world was the Internet. Every night I sat in front of the monitor, communicating with the same as I do. In the morning I fell on the bed and slept until evening. Sometimes I didn’t do anything, just lay and stared at the ceiling.

In rare moments of enlightenment wanted to start all over again. To freshen up, get a job and live like everyone else… No, it can’t. Again the night comes, and the glowing monitor calls to her.

My room has accumulated a mountain of dirty clothes and debris. Making their way to the table where among the uncountable number of empty cans, wrappers and the remnants of some food is my computer. I look around — the squalor, dirt, trash. Notice his reflection in the mirror. Muddy, stained glass looks at me not a man but a shadow, a shell. I have to look away. Who do I need this Parents turned away friends was never. Who is to blame? No. I myself”. (Anastasia, “Hikikomori”)


photo: Natalia Muslinkina

Eternal spring in solitary confinement

Hikikomori, Hickey — Japanese subculture. The essence of the movement — young people are closed in their own homes, not work, live on parents money and benefits from the state. Only in Japan at the moment, there are about a million Hickey. The most famous Japanese Hikki never left the walls of his house 30 years.

A few years ago it was covered and Russia.

From the Russian forum hikikomori:

“I sat at home for 6 months, went outside only to take out the trash. Never thought about girls. I live with my mother. I am 19 years old.”

“Sitting on the neck parents. Not studying, not working. Outsiders spending me the money for a Network of 350 rubles a month — and cheap ground coffee”.


photo: youtube.com
Often in anime series the main characters are hikikomori.

“All my life I was a loser, I’ve been bullied in school, called an outcast, I never had friends. Better to be alone nobody can hurt you. From home, I can’t go more than a year”.

In Russia passions around a reclusive subculture is heating up with each passing year. And today, a teenager experiencing even the most minor problems with socialization, begins to belong to the Hickey.

But if in Japan the psychiatrists are sounding the alarm that Russia this problem has not been studied.

Russian — Hickey is an ordinary lazy people who want nothing in life, a kind of “oblomovism”, — says psychologist Emma mills. — A huge percentage of Russians voluntarily put on the label Hickey, although they are not. It’s losers who want nothing from life and decided to play in a Japanese hikikomori. Don’t understand that this game can tighten them down.

From the forum hikikomori:

“I woke up in the afternoon. Lie another hour in bed. Got up, washed, cleaned, with tousled hair (not sheared). Ate instant noodles with sausage, again listened to music then lay down and sleep even for a few minutes fell asleep. My mom came in, asked if I ate. Fit music player over. Wrote to a friend, he didn’t answer. By the way, it would be necessary again to eat, the evening already. And wash. For three days, delaying the trip to the shower.”

“For two years as a hypnotic monitor. I drink tea almost every hour. The mechanism has adjusted itself: drinking tea and for PC, then I go to the kitchen and make new tea.”

“The days are so fleeting that I almost don’t even notice. For seven years, the time is measured in weeks, if not months. That moment when you realize that it took another one the next week, and you’re sure that it took a maximum of two days”.

“Everyone forgot about me, and I ass home”

Hermits in Russia are unable to communicate with the press, avoid any communication with other people. Us agreed to talk to the only Creator of the largest public hikikomori in social networks. The number of subscribers on his page for five years has reached nearly 500 thousand people.

People who share with him their stories — anonymous. No one calls your name, do not expose the photo.

The interviewee is also asked couldn’t identify.

— At us in public rather anonymous stories from people who do not go out, ” he began the conversation. — I know these guys, but we do not advertise their contact information. Today many Russians consider themselves to Hickey, don’t know. Such statistics is not conducted. Let me just say that the average age of the Hickey — from 18 to 35 years.

— What do Russian Hikki?

— Someone who lives on disability benefits — Hickey physically ill people, some sitting on the neck parents, someone who works via the Internet. Russian hermits harder to survive than the Japanese. In our country, the low standard of living, low salaries, and that makes parents keep their children with them. In Japan, parents are renting apartments for their children who have decided to isolate themselves from the outside world. In addition, there are more opportunities to earn money at home.

— Communicate Hickey?

— In The Network. There are several specialized Russian-speaking forums. Homebodies live or there, or anywhere else.

— How many years do you stay at home?

More than three years.

— How did your retreat?

— From school. Classmates to me bad attitude because I didn’t have rich parents, I couldn’t afford fancy gadgets, nice clothes, gadgets, which were “Packed” the rest of the children. I also wore the ugly teeth of the plate, which became the subject of ridicule. With all this, I grew up home a sensitive child, was often ill in childhood and almost no contact with peers. Friends I’m only a neighbor boy who lived across the street.

School I began actively skipping 4-5 grade when the bullying crossed the line of harmless insults. I thrashed, classmates spoiled my things.

My parents truancy reacted negatively, but I still couldn’t bring myself to go to school. I was expelled in the 5th grade. The year I spent at home. The following year I transferred to another school, to home schooling.


photo: ru.wikipedia.org
Hikikomori tend to extreme social isolation and seclusion, are unemployed and live dependent on relatives.

But then I didn’t lose hope to make friends. But no matter how hard he tried, nothing came of it. Happiness came when I bought the computer. I started to blog. Network to meet people. We began to meet. I first tried vodka. He began to drink. A lot. Very much. Now I realize what fun I was just under the alcohol and call new friends friends do not dare. But nevertheless I had fun. Well, imagine a gathering in 2004-2005, many strangers freaks in one place, all drink, but among them was me.

Festivities ended that I was in the hospital with abdominal pain. Lay there for 3 months. During this time everyone forgot about me. And I’m talking about all forgotten. Ass home again and thought that even better. Calm, no problems, worries. Then I decided that it is better. I was about 16. I am now 23.

“Coat wearing five years”

— What do you do?

— I do not work but receive a small income from a reclusive public. I don’t have a lot of money. What is, allows you to pay the bills and Internet. I don’t go to school. He graduated from the 9th grade house. Then went to College. Year spent in school, the other spent two years home schooled. That’s all.

— Tell us about your routine. The feeling of “Groundhog day” covers?

— Accurate rules, everything happens spontaneously. I can sleep in and can day or night. But there is the usual list of events, which is sometimes annoying. But to diversify I do not want it. I’m used to stability and afraid of change.

— The Network you were able to find new friends?

I don’t believe in friendship. I have a few Internet friends whom I know for five years and communicate with them exclusively over the Network. New Dating do not want. Five years ago I was more or less active. But now I’m tired of unnecessary communication. I prefer a good book, movie or computer game.

— You live with your parents? How do they relate to your lifestyle?

— Live with my parents. They was no pressure, although each year hinted that it was time to look for normal work. But overall, as long as I pay the bills, grandiose scandals can be avoided. My mother is gentle and calm person, she always tries to support my endeavors, although worried about my future. Father had greatly raged, pressed on me that I don’t bring money into the house. I then turned 18. But when my account started to drip the first money, the father calmed down.

— How much money you spend per month, if you don’t go anywhere?

— Personally I spend only 400 rubles per month. A separate item of expenditure — payment, Internet and food for a pet. I don’t buy new clothes, never go to the doctor, even fillings in your teeth do not change. About a year can not afford to buy glasses, vision plummeted in the last time.

— Who buys the products?

— Parents. I go to the store once a week. It’s pretty common for Hickey. For the most part I go for the rodent that I have lived. You have to buy him food, otherwise will look at his long death from starvation, and I would not like. Parents to buy him food refuse. Sometimes I go out in the mail, sending letters, Lotto gifts public. Once a month parents are asking me to buy products. I order via the Internet.

— Buy clothes too on the Internet?

— I don’t follow fashion. Because a lot of clothes is not necessary. What is in my wardrobe, pretty worn out, but still worn. For example, my coat is 5 years old. I think it’s still the same live. I also have winter wear, very little. I have enough a single pair of shoes on a cold and warm season, there are a few shirts, a pair of socks. I don’t see the point in big clothes. I do not need it.

— Is there any benefit from sitting at home?

— It depends what you consider the word “benefit”. Income is no no special. Except that I have inner peace and comfort. On the street and among people I am uncomfortable, can feel the tension. But not all hermits as lucky as me. Some just has a bad home life, and among the people they have to be hard. A dead end.

— I think, if not years to get out of the house, you can go crazy.

— I don’t think. Most likely, you can earn depression or apathy, when there is no purpose of life, motivation to action, or support from others. These moments are the place to be. Those who such as covers often, needs to get out of the house and socializing, they are not ready to be a Hickey.

— You for the years of sitting locked up have not lost the skills of normal communication?

— Communication skills definitely lost. To resume a normal life in our case is still to see the light of day after the darkness. I admit, we are not able to get along with people, simply like to understand them, to communicate. Any conversation becomes more intense with a stranger, I feel uncomfortable, do not know how to maintain a real dialogue, because you don’t practice it for a long time. And it is very important to emphasize the word “real” because communication on the Internet for me is very different. I feel safe.

In fact, many people who began to lead a reclusive lifestyle at an early age, dependent. Don’t know where to pay bills, how to enroll in the clinic, what products are worth buying and which are not. Trivial things they do not have time to learn.

What is the future for voluntary shut-ins?

— Maybe someday in me talking survival instincts or the salary of the parents will come to naught, and I’ll have to make your own, go to the people. On the contrary, would destroy itself finally. Objectively, the future Hickey there, and even if it is, it is bleak. Because the work and chat with other hell. And to co-exist or does not work.

— How long you plan to stay at home?

— Two years for sure will sit. I am ready though to spend a lifetime behind closed doors, but is unlikely to succeed. I tight given programming or drawing, those are skills that you can earn while sitting at home.

“A friend sits at home for seven years”

— Do a way of life psychological problem the founders of the movement hikikomori?

— You should not compare the Japanese hikikomori and Russian. Between them are strong differences. They believe seclusion to be a serious problem and disease on the mental level, so many Japanese Hikki offer a treatment, a chat with a psychologist. Yes, and all the strange cases of hikikomori, originate from Japan. I well remember the sensational story about Nevada-Chan, who at the age of 11 years old killed his classmate. Believed that it is prone to hikikomori syndrome. Allegedly, she has lost touch with reality. In Russia, such a lifestyle is not considered a problem, psychologists blaming it on laziness.

In Europe this phenomenon is also the place to be?

— Of course. Such people are everywhere, and not even necessarily to identify them with the term “hikikomori”. You can simply call them hermits.

— Do you consider this a privacy problem?

Is the problem only because most people do not live. The world is not arranged under people like me. We have no conditions to earn money to do something useful.

— Among your acquaintances there are those who are sitting at home much longer than you?

— One of my old Internet friends sitting for seven years. He works and lives with mom. He will soon turn 30. He tried to find work, but somehow do not get it. Probably doesn’t want to. Some Russian hikikomori perceive the work as slave labor for the sake of survival. Who wants to be a slave?

— What makes an adult to quit work and minimize real communication, to join the ranks of hikikomori?

— I haven’t talked to those who went into seclusion after he worked, got acquainted with the concepts of “friendship”, “love”. Although heard of them. To quit work and to limit communication their forced surroundings, the General atmosphere. From the series “something went wrong”. Cause everyone has their own.

You read a lot?

— A lot. Mostly fiction, not science, anything educational, rather just for fun. I love science fiction. For three years I could master a decent number of books, but I have not mastered. Sometimes I was distracted by something else on the same games and anime.

— Watch soap operas?

— Watching rarely, but neatly. I find it hard to force myself to start something to watch, but if I start, then retracted. Can watch the full season to form a screen. Well, let’s say, 7 hours spent daily on movie.

— Play computer games a lot?

Once I was stuck on one game day. No longer stand it. Usually spend 5-6 hours a day playing video games. This is for me the norm.

— You could learn a foreign language…

The problem is that the book I wanted to read, and to learn the language I wanted. I mean, I could force myself to, because I have a lot of free time, but I have no habits to me. But I can feel sorry for yourself.

— Movement is life. You are almost not moving. This lifestyle affects the health?

“In my life, no sports, but I do not suffer from this. Never was physically strong, always tired quickly. Eat a little — move a little. It’s simple. I was even in the army did not take for medical reasons. Not good.

— Have you ever wanted to visit other countries or just to go to the Museum to see how Moscow has changed in three years?

In museums I have been to primary and secondary school. Particular desire to go somewhere does not arise. I probably would have changed the country, would have moved to Ireland, but I have no such opportunities.

— If you won a million rubles, how would you spend the money on?

One million rubles is not a very large sum, considering the dollar. Most likely, I would try to open any trick to earn more in the future. But the specific idea I have, because I realize that I will never be able to hold the same amount.

— You have a dream?

I have no dreams, no purpose. In fact, my life is meaningless.

From the forum hikikomori:

“I’ve been looking for the wonderful place where you can escape from all problems, to become someone else. They say you can’t escape yourself, but I ran away. To the expanses of virtual reality. Here I can be anybody I want — goddess, nyasha, a brutal alpha male, do not want to choose. I could do virtual fishing or hunting, you can learn the profession of trader or a wandering alchemist. There is an enormous world, beautiful locations, unknown distance, and to get there, no need to pay a lot of dough, you just click on the desired shortcut.

But at the same time, I often ask myself the question: what went wrong in my life, if I locked myself at home? I can’t track the point of no return, can’t remember what influenced me. When ordinary things have lost its meaning for me? Action — value? Surrounding interest?

I don’t regret that I sit at home, or that I don’t have a crowd of friends. Not necessary. It’s just another trail. I just do not understand exactly how I chose it. Something just burned out, cracked, or exploded, God knows, I don’t remember”.

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