has any real importance,
I suggest it is as a year
of vast change …
… when GREAT walls may at last
come tumbling down
& the life & light they stifled,
can finally flood through.
A little over two weeks ago the wall that is my mother, collapsed.
My sister phoned to tell me that body parts had been found on her lawn.
I was shocked
but not surprised.
I wrote a non-haiku last year
to try & give voice
to the screaming of my past that refused to be silenced –
frozen metal mother with grip of death
father looks on, awaiting his leave-taking“
Some time ago my sister’s counsellor suggested that my mother might suffer from narcissism. I read a very fitting book & even wrote an article, attempting to lay the pieces to rest.
About six months ago, my sister & I visited our mother’s psychiatrist (of more than 37 years) to try & get further understanding. He told us she suffered from anxiety. I worked really hard to make that diagnosis fit & even wrote another article.
I’ve actually spent a lifetime trying to understand the woman who gave birth to me. I never understood why I loathed her so much. Why I couldn’t stand physical contact with her, even from a very young age. On & off I wondered was she ‘possessed’? Or an emotional vampire. Growing up it felt like she had a hole in her – anything I gave just seemed to drain right through her.
Now we have a different diagnosis from a different doctor.
… funny really,
I’d have thought her name
might have given them a clue.
She is currently undergoing endless ‘assessments’ – maybe at long last she will get real help, though I’m not holding my breath. The body parts on the lawn were not real, they were hallucinations – sorry were you hoping for a juicy story?
I spent the last couple of weeks in a daze of slow comprehension, going back to the old house again & again seeking something I couldn’t define.
My sister & I tried hard to clean the house but nothing would work, so in the end we pulled up carpets, chipped off the tiles & scraped away the wall paper. We exhausted ourselves in an exorcism of filth, & of the past.
Last weekend my brothers arrived – the four of us together in that house for the first time in years & years. In the evening we replayed some old board games from long, long ago – once was enough to let them go forever.
In an almost last ditch effort to understand this woman, I have read the journals she wrote in the years after my father left …
… taking half of everything as he went. That was more than 20 years ago. She had once told my sister that she wanted her to read these journals, so I felt no betrayal.
And it’s because of these journals that I’m writing now.
You see I just cannot put the the two people together –
… the one I know & the one who wrote.
I am able to feel very sorry for the worded woman, I can easily make sense of her & her tragic story.
I feel great pity for her as she pleads again & again to her God for help, as she rails against the unfairness of her marriage breakup, the awfulness of semi-remembered sexual abuse & the pain of abandonment by her children.
If I wasn’t one of those children I’d be convinced that they were heartless bastards.
She talks about how she always hated babies. Babies …
… & dolls.
She tells of her father exposing himself to her in the garden as a child & then she seeks & fails to access the memory of what followed.
How her father would urinate in the kitchen sink.
The fear she & her sister had of the stairs, landing & their parents bedroom especially when it was dark.
How her father would make her mother go upstairs & she would then be heard muttering angily, telling him to hurry up, that he was hurting her & the look of revulsion on her face as she walked back down the stairs carrying a rag.
How certain white foods & drinks would make her throw up.
She speaks of how she didn’t think she was maternal but then surprised herself (my sister nearly chokes when I read this out loud to her). Later she admits that she did not love me. I found a letter in her house addressed to me, I don’t know how long it sat there, telling me that yes she did really love me, yet it seems she could not bring herself to send it.
I think her journals would make a great book – far more real than Anne Frank’s & yet just as fake.
My family has been trapped in cycles of trauma. I intend that that the cycles shall end – this blog has been a great part of that. If I seem cruel by writing some of the things from my mother’s journals here then so be it, I would rather lay the skeletons out in the sun to dry than let them fester any longer in cupboards unseen.
So I’ve been wondering about our two selves.
The one on the inside & the one we are around others.
The subscribed view appears to be:
‘that the self we are around others is a mask, behind which we hide our true selves‘
I’ve certainly seen the split in myself again & again – the ‘real me’ that I am on the inside & the ‘fake‘ person I present to the world.
But after reading my mother’s journals I have to ask:
“Is this view a load of bs?“
Why should the thinking/feeling me be the ‘real‘ me & the ‘doing’ me the ‘mask‘?
Why does having emotions, feelings, thoughts make something more ‘real’ than having interactions with others, or the world?
What makes the stories in our head more important/truthful than the selves we emit?
How often have you found your real self with its thoughts/stories to be wrong?
A fuckload of times I’m guessing.
Is it really wise to side solely with such a fallible entity?
You may have noticed that looking in the mirror is a very cold experience. More often than not the eyes that stare-glare back are unforgiving.
Do we really want to inhabit a world kinged or queened by such a person?
If we make the inner world the real world, then we are forced to cater to the ghoul in the mirror.
Now think of what happens when a dear friend greets you … they shine warmth into your eyes ..
… they bring the sun to your world, as you bring the sun to theirs.
How much of the self-we–could-be, is designed to be created by such interactions?
Yesterday I did some gardening for my sister. As I dug out the weeds & cleared the soil I couldn’t help thinking that perhaps soil may be a very good analogy for the person on the inside of us …
… a magical substance for sure, yet without the external applications of water & plants & insects it becomes …
It only comes to life by interacting with the outside world.
By giving life,
What if once again we have gotten everything arse about face & the only way we can truly live is through interacting with others & with the world?
What if it is only by such interactions that our inner selves can live?
Only when a baby enters
the outside world …
… can it take it’s first breath.
I’m reminded here of religion & it’s endless focus on the spirit world & the afterlife – driving people ever down & back in, upon themselves …
… Yet I’ve seen my mother’s journals, read her constant cries for help – surely those combined with all the efforts she put into her church for years & years merited her something more than a bed in a mental ward.
Or is she there because she could not/would not relate to the real world? Did she create her own madness by trying to force the world to mimic the one in her head.
Robert Fritz sums things up extremely well:
“Reality is an acquired taste“
Maybe it’s time to be only half the person we think we are, rejoin the world & give something new a chance to grow within us.
After all, what good is soil without seeds?
“the genuine condition is relatedness … a creature apart from a social group is little more than an organic being … The person is to a large extent a set of social interrelationships. As Bogardus has put it, “As a result of intersocial stimulation he moves up from the biological level. The interstimulation that occurs between him & the members of the group … explains him more than any other method of approach can do”.” ~Ashley Montagu (Growing Young)
“Jung said, ‘One form of life
cannot simply …
… be abandonned
unless it is …
… exchanged for another’.“
The apocalypse has come early for my family this year – my sister & I are here watching the collapse of a tower that I thought would stand forever.
Yet it’s only by its falling that light comes through now,
understanding arrives in waves.
The oh so long awaited piece of a jigsaw puzzle has been found – a tiny yet massive piece of information that makes sense of our decimated family past.
Now comes a time of unlearning.
According to Robert Fritz the process of unlearning is vital to learning. To make room for the new, we must clear out that which no longer works for us (or perhaps has never worked):
“Learning is only one part of learning. Please read that sentence again. It is not a misprint. Learning is one part, and UNLEARNING is another. There is the active pursuit of learning, and there is the passive resistance that can get in the way. Get in the way so much so that the learning becomes impossible. ... unlearning…precedes the learning process. You can’t hear new music, at least not very well, while you have your old CDs playing on your old Walkman, on your outdated earphones, with the volume cranked up“
I read somewhere yesterday that painting a wall is 70% clearing & only 30% repainting – if we don’t clear out the old how, how can we possibly create or learn anything new.
“the focus is on emptying and creating an opening“
With this unlearning comes many new ideas … I’ll be back
Got my coffee & ginger biscuits …
all ready to write …
but the words won’t come.
Actually, on quick contemplation that makes perfect sense,
for today’s topic
is intimately connected to a
“Be afraid, be very afraid”
Or … maybe not.
“Banner’s anger, his emotional stress, his panic, brings forth the Hulk. He becomes the Hulk to survive. It’s a symbolic survival, a scientific version of a warrior’s spear and a bear skin to protect against the elements. Banner becomes the most advanced form of Man, as the Hulk…a creature which heralds the primitive instincts while Banner’s intellect tames the savagery. The Hulk is actually more evolved, not less…
… the two beings are one. The Hulk has to summon Banner’s intellect from his subconscious, and Banner has to face his fears and repulsion of the Hulk. To survive“
Something snapped in me a week ago. I have been living in rage– (I anger) ever since.
One too many life-assaults combined with one too many back-stabs into the self-I’d-built-up-over-a-life-time loosed my ship-self …
… from its moorings & cast it adrift in a massive storm. I am no longer the person I once was.
Before I continue I feel I should add that if you don’t like swearing, now would be a really good time to fuck off. And if you don’t like my work then what the hell are you doing here?
That said, let’s continue in-raged.
I wrote a post a while ago about embracing the seven deadly sins. Under the heading of wrath, came the following words & accompanying quote:
“… but sometimes you have to step in.
I think that’s what wrath is about – a powerful emotion telling us that it’s time to step in & take back control.
“Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot”.“
I realise that’s easier done than said.
The media fuckwits who’ve maimed our world did an exceptionally effective job in scaring people witless when it comes to …
… rage & anger.
As if to prove my point, the murder mystery I watched last night had the murderer losing control & committing one of those “I-don’t-know-what-happened, I-just-snapped” acts of homicide.
Let’s let our opening-quote-maker make some much more incredible sense:
“The Hulk is a common denominator for all of us, a missing link one might say to a primitive yet necessary evolutionary path. The Hulk is not “just” Banner, he’s Mankind itself, the core basis for the beast who walks upright, capable of using both brawn and brain to survive any situation. To survive, and to become more” Link
My personal process of rage seems to involve deconstructing myself.
It has been brought home to me quite forcibly how much I have been stuck in my own personal Ideal-Belief-Reality conflict – a term coined by Robert Fritz, he goes on to say …
“Personal ideals are extremely easy to form, given the abundance of notions in the world about how to be a perfect or proper human being. … A personal ideal dictates standards by which to live … Seldom to people form ideals for themselves that are consistent with how they currently are, or what they think they are … If you doubt your intelligence, it is likely you will include intelligent as part of your ideal. If you suspect you are weak, you might include strong as part of your ideal. The ideal will not be a conscious choice, but rather a natural automatic compensation for inadequacies you suspect you may have … then the driving force … behind your actions is the elimination of inadequacies … Most people are unaware that this is their true motivation when they form an ideal for themselves.
If a person believes he is somehow bad, he might compensate by constructing an ideal of a good person. He may then attempt to fulfill the ideal by doing good deeds over his lifetime.
In effect, then, the person’s actions would be motivated by avoiding the undesired belief … Yet the belief about being bad does not dissolve in light of countless experiences of goodness …
… Ironically, it is reinforced“
The latter was my ideal.
To be a good person.
A nice person.
I suppose somewhere along the growing-up-way I was given to ‘understand’ that I was not a good person. Perhaps that was true, perhaps not, but for the purposes of this article, it matters not a whit. What matters, with this current line of thinking, is the wastage of my life in trying to live up to that ideal …
So desperately did I clutch onto this belief that it took a whole lot of hell before I let go…
… & fell into a raging emocean.
I have been living there for a week now. Sometimes the rage is stronger than others. No one has died from the venom I’ve vomited up – apparently its not nearly as deadly as I was programmed to believe.
In investigating this rage – one of the strange things I’ve found is that, even on the bottom of this emocean, I still breathe & live.
But I live & breathe in a whole new way.
I would now go so far as to say that rage is
& direction changing
Note of uncaution to all ‘potential ragers‘: –
Unless you are triple–seriously fucked in the head, you have the same chance of become a raging psycopathic killer as you have of jumping out of a plane without first checking there is …
… a parachute attached.
We have inbuilt self-&-other-life-protection-mechanisms …
… These mechanisms make sure we go so far & no further – in much the same way that most babies will crawl to the edge of the stairs & then stop, if they are not “saved” by an adult.
We learn how to trust ourselves when we are allowed to learn to trust ourselves.
Kind of simple really.
Either we live,
or we die
pretending we know
how to live.
I see now that being nice is one of the ugliest ideals in existence so …as this is my designated Rage Week, I’m going to put “niceness“, along with it’s miserable cousin “hope“, up against a wall …
… & shoot them.
Damn that felt good.
In my researchings I was surprised by the loyalty people give to the concept of niceness – as if it has something to offer!
It does not.
First off it’s a fraud – it is NOT what it appears to be:
“nice late 13c., “foolish, stupid, senseless,” from O.Fr. nice “silly, foolish,” from L. nescius “ignorant,” lit. “not-knowing …“
It has a strangely dodging past:
“The sense development has been extraordinary, even for an adj.” … from “timid” (pre-1300); to “fussy, fastidious” (late 14c.); to “dainty, delicate” (c.1400); to “precise, careful” (1500s, preserved in such terms as a nice distinction and nice and early); to “agreeable, delightful” (1769); to “kind, thoughtful” (1830).”
Is it possible that a large part of the stupidity of people today (including mine & yours), comes from the insanity that is known as niceness?
Let me go further & suggest that a vast portion of the insidious programming we have downloaded was only made possible by our initiation into niceness.
“The essence of niceness training is obedience to authority. The first teachers are parents but the message is supported and promoted by our educational and religious institutions, by our legal and medical systems, and by governments. Thus, niceness supports the status quo. This social organization may facilitate a subdued and acquiescent … society where people are accepted for the face they present to the world” Link
Even those who claim they don’t care what others think are bound by the conventions of niceness in society. Unless you are “loaded” or live in a cave, you simply can’t get away without bowing to this god …
… for its disciples will not allow it.
Good mannered people all over the world think it is acceptable to force people to plead before they will assist them.
Come on please, sound it out:
1. an earnest entreaty or request a plea for help
2. (Law) a. Law something alleged or pleaded by or on behalf of a party to legal proceedings“
I remember feeling an anger when my son was little that I had to teach him to say “please”. I knew heart & soul that I would never deny him simply because he didn’t say please – have you EVER thought about how fucked up that is? Why would you make a child beg for something, especially when they already completely in your power?
So I taught my son about the word “please” & explained as best I could that most people would get upset it he didn’t use it.
And while we’re on the subject of plea bargaining, how fucked up is the demand for the word thank you from the little ones?
There is ugliness in the sound of enforced gratitude.
True delight …
… rarely forms
“Niceness is a language of apology and politeness, ubiquitous and therefore familiar, as is any social norm, and it is a powerful deterrent to authentic relating, a mechanism of distancing rather than connection”
“At the simplest level of understanding, niceness is a way of silencing ourselves that keeps us out of touch with our authentic thoughts and feelings”
“In the interest of promoting niceness as a primary method of social interaction something is lost“
“As parents are teaching niceness they do not always realize they are also teaching their children to silence their authentic thoughts and feelings“
- cut out our tongues
- crucified our authenticity
- allowed fakery to rule
- allowed emotional vampirism to flourish
“Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both” ~Frederick Douglass
I think part of the reason we bought into niceness was because it piggy-backed in on the fact that (on the whole) people are pretty damned decent – they consistently desire friendship, connection, co-operation & real life.
Niceness mimics that.
But hides its true objective –
plucking fucking over of humanity
the creation of …
(made with 100% human
When we are not ‘authentic’, we are …
… ambiguous, split & very,
How many times a day do you ‘bite your tongue‘ when all you really want to do is call someone out as a fuckwit?
How often do you respond to triviality with the respect it does NOT deserve?
How often do you actually even speak the truth?
Have we lost the ability?
A funny thing seems to happen when we try to speak the truth – our vocal cords seize up & become petrified.
“And the more I prevented myself from voicing my authentic thoughts and feelings the more I lost opportunities to hone the skills of honest, direct expression delivered in ways that are kind and respectful of the other person“
Btw, being rude or obnoxious or assertive does not count as truth – that’s just one more cover story.
If we cannot speak out at the most fundamental level, how on earth can we change anything or create something new?
Here are some antonyms (opposites) of niceness:
“discourtesy, impoliteness, rudeness, ungraciousness, irritability, peevishness, petulance, testiness; hostility, unfriendliness; sourness, vinegar“
That is what your personal ideals have to face should you wish to be authentic.
Up until recently, the big word that kept most woman in their place was:
& more especially
Its really quite amazing just what contortions a woman would have gone through to avoid being tarred & feathered with that label.
I was one of those.
For most girls the choice was made-slash-forced upon them at puberty.
We got two choices – the the good girl or the bitch.
The good girl path consisted of way, way, way more than being ‘choosy’ about sexual partners. It required subsistence on emotional crumbs while keeping those around you in whatever splendour they were accustomed to. It required a constant emptying out of yourself to ‘feed’ others. It required a shutting up of the mouth, a denial of basic needs & of course being so very, very fucking nice.
Being good necessitated …
… making a deal – far more vicious than anything the Little Mermaid’s went through.
In order to take the oath of niceness, a girl had to give up:
her voice, her feet, her fangs & …
What those of the female persuasion never understood was there there was
Good girl or bad?
Both were effeminated forms of womanhood –
in the real & only sense of that word –
i.e. a woman who has given up or been robbed of, her own power.
I’m pretty bloody sure that the make up, shoe & fashion industries fatten themselves up by fuelling the memory of this loss. After all how hard can it be …
… to feed an almost remembered hunger?
Perhaps niceness should be understood as a secretive religion. It promises you rewards in the after-life.
The phrase after-life needs clarification. So let’s clarify:
“After life” = any unreachable future.
The Religion of Niceness promises you great rewards if you will just defer your authenticity indefinitely.
Give up on your needs or speaking your truth, you will be saved & safe.
Be nice to others & they will be nice to you. Hey presto, instant lovey-dovey civilisation.
Errr … what happens in the wild when a creature loses its ability to defend itself?
Ummmm, nooooope … I don’t think that’s it.
In the past few months a number of attacks have been aimed at me, or should I say my idealised-self. I felt great anger at the unfairness, but not being a confrontational person, I simply continued trying to be a good, nice, understanding.
But last week after one too many of life’s, & other people’s little ‘games’, I fell down. According to those who somehow know best, I am a supreme bitch.
It may take a while to forgive a number of people, but to them I am also very grateful.
Because I am now no longer running in fear of being, …
… or being accused of being,
a selfish bitch.
Here is a story from Robert Frtiz’s book Creating – although I’m not big on actors, it contains the equivalent of a nail-file-baked-in-a-cake – use for your own ideal-prison-break should you so wish:
“The great English actor Alastair Sim had a moment of what he called revelation in his life, one that changed him forever …
… He said that he discovered he was truly…
… a fool. Once he knew that this was his opinion of himself, he was able to live his life as he chose to live it. We can easily understand Sim’s profound change; his ideal-belief-reality conflict was over. He was no longer attempting to live up to an ideal of wisdom, intelligence, or understanding, & so he could separate himself from what he created – which included some of the greatest performances in English films & theater“
By steeping inside the idea that I might be that, which I had run so far away from, I have been finding the most amazing freedom
The rage activated by a number of interwoven ‘injustices’ has been used to strafe my past & so much of the stupidity I allowed as a disciple of the Cult of Niceness. So many sinfully stupid things I silently condoned:
Living with an illness for years & just accepting
Living close to the breadline for the last few years & just accepting
Having my time & energy used up by fuckwits, & just accepting
Letting myself be sold the idea that women are some kind of second-rate citizens & just accepting
Having my son die before birth due to hospital negligence & just accepting what they chose to tell me
These are just a few criminal examples that I accepted because I had pledged allegiance on the Altar of Niceness.
That I have been a fuckwit I do not deny. I expect you too will have bowed low to your own gods.
… all drip with the LAWS of goodness-slash-niceness.
“To be nice is to silence aspects of one’s authenticity“
There is another cunning aspect to niceness that needs to be addressed or undressed. It’s use as a mechanism of control.
Jane Austen understood this perfectly:
“I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal” ~Jane Austen
“I’m glad to see you not entirely agreeable Miss Moreland, for when a person is entirely agreeable one feels obliged to be the same” ~Northhanger Abbey (Jane Austen)
“Being nice” forces others to respond in kind – it often maintains ‘connections’ that would have died a short, healthy death had authenticity been allowed. There’s a lot of people out there we don’t like or who don’t like us.
What might a short burst of authentic recognition of that fact offer?
How about freedom from undesired association?
How often do people stay in relationships out of niceness?
Here’s a different thought for the broken-hearted.
Maybe the relationship was a great success! Maybe it was so fucking successful that you have both fully charged your batteries in each other’s companies & can now move forward as a healthily re-charged person.
The ‘sex was so great at first‘ scenario is nothing more than an extremely low battery on urgent recharge now that it’s found a compatible battery type.
Isn’t that maybe just a wee bit obvious?
Isn’t it interesting how similar
in sound & impact
I spotted a little wordplay on Aferrismoon’s site today
that made me think of how the word “police”
is sounded out
a lot like
It should come as no surprise that there is rage in tRAGEdy.
Or that rage is to be found in the aveRAGE man/woman in the street.
I said at the beginning that rage is a word thief – there’s something about it that removes the usual ‘talk, talk, talk’ & leaves you with nothing more than foam at the mouth.
However today, for no extra charge I would like to pass on my new secret weapons of 9 different verbs & spices – these have been muttered in locations all round Auckland this week as well as hurled back into my past – I highly recommend them.
Apply the following generously – out loud (when on your own), or under your breath (in company) – you don’t want to start WWIII – you just want to acknowledge to yourself that you have had enough of any/all fuckwit -persons/events/organisations/hypocricies that you meet throughout your day. Let no-one & no-thing be immune from your re-clarifications.
Phrase number one: “Go fuck yourself“
NEVER hesitate to use this one – there are thousands upon thousands of people out there who urgently need to undertake this procedure!
Phrase number two: “Go stick it up your arse“
This works a treat for the avalanche of hypocricy/beaurocracy/fucked-upacy & general rudeness that you are forced to meet on a daily basis. You are NOT obliged to swallow this shit, & even though you may have to (seem to) acquiesce on a surface level, you are completely free to emotionally reject said ‘shit’ & give the mental command that the shit-giver stick it back where it belongs upon their person.
Well that’s it really – a bit of a mish mash post. I’m really hoping the woman who wrote the following & certain quotes (in this colour), throughout this article doesn’t read this or she might take umbrage – but she makes some excellent points.
“There was a long period in my life when I accepted that I was a nice person. I had buried the more testy aspects of my personality … in the hope that I would be accepted by everyone I met. It didn’t work. After years of this behavior there were still people I was unable to win over with my smile and silence. Worse, I was losing the ability to express my thoughts and feelings. With increased frequency I began to experience anxiety before I spoke.
My silence grew, as did my discomfort with the person I was becoming. There was a black hole in my existence, an interruption of my authenticity that manifested in a real disconnection between what I felt and thought and what I said. And the more I prevented myself from voicing my authentic thoughts and feelings the more I lost opportunities to hone the skills of honest, direct expression delivered in ways that are kind and respectful of the other person …
… I have learned that degrees of niceness are not possible … but this does not mean that rude and disrespectful behavior—which is what one may think is the only substitute for being nice—is acceptable. On the contrary, openness and honesty delivered with respect and kindness is the healthy alternative to oppressive, silencing niceness” ~Evelyn Sommers Link to article
Me, I just had enough. I wish it hadn’t taken so long. It’s been interesting to see, now that I’m aware of it, how often I automatically go into “being nice” mode. My main desire now is to keep my rage alive long enough to help me clear the garbage that is ‘niceness’ out of my psyche
“When you respect your anger as much as your love, you will have matured your emotional intelligence”