A winter’s day, in a deep and dark December
I am alone, gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow
I am a rock, I am an island
I’ve built walls, a fortress deep and mighty that none may penetrate
I have no need of friendship, friendship causes pain
It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain
I am a rock, I am an island
Don’t talk of love well I’ve heard the words before
It’s sleeping in my memory
And I won’t disturb the slumber of feelings that have died
If I never loved I never would have cried
I am a rock, I am an island
I have my books and my poetry to protect me
I am shielded in my armor, hiding in my room, safe within my womb
I touch no one and no one touches me
I am a rock, I am an island
And a rock can feel no pain
And an island never cries
The importance of supportive people in our lives is essential for any growth to occur if you are feeling down and having trouble getting out of the situation you are in by yourself. We cannot rely upon our own voices when we are subject to a diminishing view of our affairs because we have the weight of our problems on our minds. Our voices may take us away from an uplifted path that keeps us focused and rational. We will often sabotage ourselves when these voices begin to take a dominant role in our thinking. We begin to doubt ourselves, and we will neglect important daily functions, and even neglect anything that is not imperative for our being able to function without others knowing about our hidden pain we keep from their acknowledgements.
As for myself, I know all to well the burdens of an inner voice that will push out supportive help in times that one can benefit from such influence. Why I continue to push others away is hard to say but it is still as painful as when I began this behavior during the time of my childhood many years ago. As an adult, I have relied upon those close to me, but at times I have not had anyone to give me any emotional cadence in my time of need. I don’t think it is for the same reasons that the Simon and Garfunkel song speak about; in that they reference a bitter unrequited love remark in the song I interpret as one that is of poetic sarcasm. On the other hand I can relate to coping by isolation from others, as it is an intentional strategy to remove oneself from the potential of discovery. The loss of trust in others can also bring about a failure to console with others.
Thus, we who think we are “islands” or “rocks” keep ourselves under the illusion that we do not need others to help us. We are in fact self-sufficient and can do without the interference of others. But this is only a lie we tell ourselves, a condition we impose to subsist without the help from others. In my experience this seldom works, and is only a reminder of how we need the connection of others to give us sound information when we fail to see things in a clearer light. We will lose ourselves in a fog of our own making if we cannot rely upon another sensibility, when we have forgotten our value and are challenged by a personal weakness of spirit.
What is most sad is that family members do not even know what is going on because of the nature of the relationship you are in. They may be oblivious to the precarious nature of your thoughts, and do not reach out, but even more despairing is that they do not even really notice. If you are indeed a good actor, you can fool them, which is fair to say that this is responsible for their nihilism of your condition.
The fact that so many people are living under such tribulation is testament to the widespread nature of this malady. The breakdown of the family, the problems of the current state of affairs in human governance; geopolitics, economics, world poverty, racial escalation of indifference, and business ethics are symptoms of a culture in retrograde. For these reasons alone the mind tells us that we cannot rely upon others. The castle cannot be built upon the sand, and we continue to live thinking that this is justifying our behavior and continue to live in isolation. But when all is said and done, we will never make a better vision unless we have the help from others who can right our errors of thinking. We must rely upon others given the right foundations, otherwise we will not live to see better days. We forget we can often be our worst enemy and be more brutal than the others we initially fear.
Understanding that the world can be a mad adventure, does not exclude that we must live under such conditions alone. We should seek out those to help support our sanity. Change can occur from resistance or from an inspirational fortitude. Metaphorically the rock is hard and unchanging, but truthfully a rock can still erode from other forces upon it. Removing the metaphoric analogy our strength does not come from being stoic and in isolation. Rather, if we join our forces with others, strength can again become our salvation in a time of need. Sealing our hearts off from the views of others may be the tale we tell ourselves to survive, and saving heartache is the reason for such a decision, but in truth we cannot use this kind of strategy for every occasion since we would dwindle our spirits down to an indistinguishable relic which would end up defining us as emotional apparitions.
Nay, we should learn to deal with this heartache and extend ourselves appropriately to others as to reignite our burning fires.
“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.”
― Alan W. Watts
“It is more shameful to distrust our friends than to be deceived by them.”
“If you cannot trust yourself, you cannot even trust your mistrust of yourself – so that without this underlying trust in the whole system of nature you are simply paralyzed”
― Alan W. Watts
“Risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.”
― Leo Buscaglia
“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”
― Mother Teresa, A Simple Path: Mother Teresa
These are the Observations and amalgamations from the excerpts of journals struggling to find answers and truths under the grips of a depressive state of being. It is a glimpse into the mindset of those who suffer from an Existential Bewilderment.
I am yet another casualty of a life full of loss. I have no blame to place on others for much is of my own doing, but I’m not certain how the karmic deeds translates into the lives of those who depleted me when I was vulnerable and exposed myself to their ploys in my weakest moments. We all skin our knees, have bumps and bruises in this sojourn we call life, and that is a part of our existence we cannot circumvent. Hopefully we become better at navigating these events that befall us, but I have endured much, and possibly created much of my undoing.
The story of my life is one that is relatively simple, with several twists and turns, but much of them are expected when viewing them in hindsight, yet, they still seem to baffle me not knowing why these losses have befallen upon me with such intensity and voracity.
Life can be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. –Søren Kierkegaard–
I do not wish to go into the details of the life of an average man’s misfortune, but rather to contemplate the place it puts you in after you absorb the chaos and avarice of the souls we share this earth with including our own sometimes precarious ‘elan vital.’
I do not know all the reasons why I have had to undergo tremendous amounts of loss in my life. I do not think my experienced losses are more critical than another person’s, especially when they have lost family members due to sickness or some other tragic power that takes away lives. I can only say that the losses I have met continue to inflict misery upon my soul, leaving me with a brutal assembly of anguish for somebody with a sensitive nature.
It is hard to describe the inner pain of a life that is slowly extinguishing itself after many years of failed attempts to fit in. Through the years enduring different challenges, each decade included major episodes that can negatively impact and pick away at one’s inner core and one’s self-esteem, that will erode and turn the possibilities of a life into a diminishing reality that may never come to pass.
Living with loss over an extended period is a dreadful existence that if experienced may hinder a person in seeking out professional help to aid them in overcoming this lifestyle when burdened with this diagnosis. It is precisely these cases that end in tragedy and spirals out of control from a once controlled livelihood if no help is sought.
The Irony of this particular life stems from the previous motivation to improve oneself and become a better person. To self-actualize was of primary concern inspired by the studies of Abraham Maslow that deeply touched me. The idea of perfecting oneself, continually making strides in a healthy way both spiritually, mentally, and physically was one that was of central importance primarily because of my beginnings. It was a contrast from what I had to negotiate every day in my home life. Born into a family with an emotional abusive, narcissistic, self-centered, and uneducated male figure with anger issues, this bigoted father was the living example that dominated the homestead. The humiliation sustained under such a household has lasting effects that are present even to this day. Everyone lived with a hidden fear in that household. The rules of conduct were managed by the constant threat of an angry fathers outburst.
My subservient yet co-dependent mother justified her husband’s behavior most of her life until she finally called it quits and separated. It took about 40 plus years to act upon suspicions that their loveless relationship was resulting in no benefit to her if we don’t count the time before she tried to leave him for a span of several months in the previous decade.
The understanding that awakened me as a boy slowly revealed itself in association with other friends families as the years passed. Observing how other families cooperated was a huge wake up call for me because it gave me a sense on how other families negotiated their time and shared their love. The world became much bigger after realizing that people can treat each other in kind and loving ways.
Overcoming the obstacles and transforming a life into something that every human being recognizes as beneficial in addition to making an ordinary life extraordinary was once the dream I wanted as a boy to achieve. Living in a world that brings us harsh lessons can mold a person into shaping a life of their own creation based on how they would like to live. Unfortunately realism often subdues the idealism of the younger mind that has not accounted for much of a life they would have wished to live and therefore does not accurately anticipate the unforeseen misgivings. We are not omniscient beings, we are human and thus render our decisions by way of learning in the experiences of everyday life, hence, we make mistakes. How we live with these mistakes are completely up to us. The secret of living in darkness is known all too well by those afflicted with depressive disorders. The horrible truth about such a condition is that many do not know why they are bound to these trepidations.
If they do know, they know not how to put an end to the troublesome thoughts that hinder their lives. The agony of knowing about the causes of our failures can attribute much to the defeat of a persons self-image.
When the direction of a life takes on the weight of their own persecution, then it is harder to restrain the negative inner voice that takes control. Sometimes we feed the wrong inner voices that are inside our heads. When the direction of a life is forever changed due to the associations they have made, and leads them down a path that takes disastrous tolls on one’s inner fortitude, the outcome may too often be seen in real world misfortunes. The combination of successive failures and bad decisions under the rule of an oppressive psyche will often result in the downfall of the spirit unable to unchain itself from a fall that takes the soul away from the thought of a second chance. If the chances for redemption and penance is not seen to be a possibility, then so too is the chance for the spirit to be mended and will wander down the same meandering path it knows best.
After years of turmoil, the soul looses its chance of hope and a brighter future ahead. The bleak and tainted living exists and perpetuates the bleak and undesirable outcome of a living in such conditions. The detachment from others on an emotional level was evident very early in my life. The intellectual goals became a vehicle to overcome what was experienced in grief and embarrassment growing up in that household, only to cause it’s own problems with unrealized goals and poor relationship choices later in adult life.
The early conditioning of a boy can have some hard outcomes when the life is lived, and the lessons are not realized to their potential. If the conditioning is positive and reinforced with a loving message, the sky is the limit. On the other hand, if the conditioning is negative and with a senseless application of apathetic parental negligence, the outcomes can have disastrous effects upon the bestowed. The persistence of messages that play over and over despite new information that may come into being and present itself to a person, may indeed escape our attention. Sometimes the younger you are, the more hope you can subsist from, and the greater chance for you to get over the hurdles and bring in a new day with hope again. The older you are, the less likely you will have hope to get you through.
After some hurdles continue to line up and remind you that maybe you are meant to find another hurdle to jump, and thus you become fixed in the idea that you are meant to live a life jumping hurdles with no end in sight, and this alone slows you down from wanting to jump. Of course we all know that life will have trials and “hurdles” that we all must face and negotiate; but when the count of hurdles becomes what appears to be an endless sea of them, it is then that we become numb.
When you live with the idea of equity, and live therefore by a morality that is supposed to bring you some kind of karmic fortune, you have built an expectation around this thought. But if instead living this way only makes you become the target by people who prey off of your ameliorating ethic, than you have not learned the complete lesson. For those that have no or few manners, for those that do not believe in mutually beneficial social graces, the law of the jungle is fair game and living by those who try to dominate, or those who manipulate seems to be the default order of things for the unskilled mind that occupies much of the world.
One can become worn down by living with the same mechanisms in play over a long period. They are bound to influence your navigational choices if you do not make course corrections and changes over time. But if you are unaware of any flawed perceptive ability, and the beliefs you form are based on these perceptions, then how do you correct that for what you do not know? If your lenses are smeared, then so is that of what you see in the world. If we believe in the image without correcting the lens errors, then we believe that to be the world we see.
The senses can become dulled with pain, and therefore you are less open to be receptive to gifts from the universe. A universe that is able to give you what you may need when you may need it. Unfortunately we lose sight of what we need, and either start asking the wrong questions or we might ask for the wrong things that we don’t need. We become confused and complicate our issues within our minds. If the senses are dulled, we focus on the wrong ideas or we focus on the wrong internal voices that lead us down a road of futility. It is true that at times at our worst episodes of failure we awake and see clearly what must be needed to end the situation we are presently in. The example of when a drug addict awakens from a near death experience and sees the emptiness and vacuity of their situation. Remarkably they turn another page into a brighter future with a completely different path taken this time around.
There are times when we align ourselves with the wrong ideas of how we should behave, or that we align ourselves with the wrong people that are not a good match for our spirit. Because of our frailties we choose poorly and connect to the wrong energies that attract us, as we do if we are abused in some way, we are often attracted to that trauma that caused us so much harm in the early stages of our lives. This is why many people somehow wind up with the people that have a familiarity about them, even when they are not sure why they become attracted to them in the first place. You can see it over and over in many relationships that are clearly based on other elements than what is right before you. The congruency of the attraction is not merely a physical one, but has a deeper connecting mechanism that binds people in ways they truly do not understand. It is as if we develop a sense about something in the other person that reminds us of past traumas that sometimes determine whether we continue to develop the relationship. Something that we sense without any rational thought, but rather some emotive piece that weaves into the fabric of our behaviors and we respond in kind to these people who spark this interest. Working out from that dilemma can take a lifetime to shake in many cases.
One can walk among the examples of people known through-out their lives, and think back upon how lost some of these people seemed to be. At the time we possibly didn’t know the extent to which they may have suffered, but there was surely evidence that they did suffer when we think back hard enough. If we take notice of these incidents, and we remember that maybe we were just caught up in the times, or that we did not have any say into what others were doing with their lives because we were just trying to get by ourselves, than I can see that our awareness of something wrong was right, but we were not in any place to do anything about it anyway.
They may have just been acquaintances and that we were not going to save them from anything since we did not have any influence over them. Most likely we did not view it as critically then as we may do so now from a retrospective analysis, but as the passage of time brings about many thoughts in a former life lived, one can have a deep connection to patterns of how we have navigated our journey’s to current day results. The meanings in what we do, the opportunities gained and lost, and the people we may have met that imparted these memories to us will often reside in our reflections.
It is not so much the failure to make better decisions in your choices of friends and companions, because during those times you may have held enough positive spiritual energy to correct any possible outcomes if it goes south, rather what is more alarming is when you stop making connections, when you stop caring and become transfixed holding onto the negative energy that has overwhelmed your defense mechanism and has you left in a zombie-like state of being that is harder to contend with.
More and more one cares not what others think. The superego, or the conscience, are subdued and skewed by these negative forces inflicted upon the psyche thereby minimizing valid judgements after these assaults take place. In a series of defeats within a lifespan, the mind itself weakens to the pressures of anxiety, stress, fear, and the maladaptive behaviors which are created out of the mixture of these psychological factors. I would like to venture a thought. If one’s mental state is disheveled, then the way one deals with their lives is also in accordance with the way they are thinking. Jaymes Joyce once said that “mistakes are the portals of discovery.” What he does not account for is one can only find those discoveries if and only if one is receptive to the information.
The mind can become a prison, when you cannot figure out how to correct the errors made, when you become somehow attached to the trauma that you are trying to escape from by any means possible, then the cycle will perpetuate. The vicious circle revolves around the unwanted drama that is a result of the weakened mind state.
A lifetime of reflection only makes matters convoluted with memory lapses and selective memories that haunt the bewildered mind hungry to learn more. Digging into the past can be constructive at times, but when you choose only those memories that are hard to escape from, and trying to select those moments that made you who you are today in search for answers that don’t come easy can be a troublesome venture and may become destructive.
Something happened between those years growing up that I’d placed aside for many years. I’m not sure what the psychological message was that I found hard to master, overcome, subdue, or grow-out of, but it seems that those messages seem to haunt me in ways that sabotage any chance for a redemption when falling back into the mindset of a hurting small boy revisiting this former formidable foe. How could such a time disrupt the psyche for such a long time? Is it wounds that won’t heal because they seem to be reopened with every relationship failure that occurs, or is it that these relationship failures occur because of the rift received and trauma received back in those days of youth? Choosing a companion is an essential skill that is definitely effected by the messages learned from childhood. Being attracted to the wrong types of people will be a very hard thing to break when you cannot distinguish just who is the “wrong type” of person in the first place. Studies show in many psychological scenarios that we somehow are attracted to the trauma received in early childhood that was painful to undergo in the first place. I’m sure it has something to do with an attachment style of love modeled by parents as children grow up and much of what we learn from the enneagram theories.
In Dr. Drew Pinsky’s 2003 book Cracked, he makes some very insightful conclusions from his practice experience. He notes that patients who have struggled with the effects of trauma suffered early in life, (when they were still developing the brain mechanisms that allow them to relate to other people and the world in general) are struggling because of the brain’s arrested development. The development was arrested at whatever age the trauma happened. Unable to trust, they grow up without a sense of self. Ultimately these people choose others in relationships that may make them “feel safe”, but still somehow manage to reenact traumatizations and reinforce the shame, guilt, and sense of self as a victim in their relationship cycles. Many of these patients will form additions or suffer extreme pain. Many of them learn to dissociate from these feelings to protect themselves further psychological impairment. Dissociation is the activation of a primitive region of the brain that we share with lower life forms. It’s basically the remnant of the mechanism that’s responsible for an animals feigning death when threatened.
A child seeking out the affection of a family that does not return that affection can lead one to question the world in profound ways. Given the need for love and affection, the lack of it in one’s life, and the search for this fulfillment seemed to be a central theme that has shaped much of my experience. The disconnection from everyone in my family also hyper-accentuates this predicament and may be indicative of having little or no family support for contributing to healthy nourishment of the soul in the early formative years from birth to six years old.
If you take away any hope, or any attribute that may mend some deeply felt injuries in a life, then the resulting outcome can have disastrous implications. It is usually the result of multiple losses experienced in many facets of a lifetime beginning from a childhood devoid of a nurturing affection, leading into forming romantic relationships that were problematic and flawed. If creative passions and past-times are extinguished such as no longer being able to perform activities you once enjoyed, you can see the result of limiting the happiness that can be experienced. If health issues are increasing, and educational goals are not completed out of sacrifices made for others are not mended, and if professional goals are augmented for faulty reasoning, then again a diminished experience of life will be felt. If ties to a family is torn apart from a divorce, and the ensuing alienation over a span of decades ensues, and the single most important passion is wanting a family connection, then you will feel the pain and misery of waking every day until you can create happy examples of a life to balance these unhappy memories. Therefore sequentially decimating these hopes and tribulations in our human connections, can lead to despair when profound losses lead to a sum total of a life not worth living.
Lao-Tzu was quoted as saying that …
New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings
Again, when no “out” or “end” is seen by the observer, when no door or exit is visible, then the chance to gain a new environment cannot be achieved unless some other agency acts upon that dynamic. If the element of hope or faith is extracted from most social interactions that have pending emotional future implications for a person, than there is nothing else to rely upon in the accounting of human interactions.
The feeling of belonging is central for one to exist and be a part of a community. When you feel that you do not belong, that somehow you do not fit, the chance for you to remain stable or strong or connect with others diminishes greatly within that community and with yourself if you cannot find others with like minds. Your wanting to belong will also slowly fade away, after years of denials and dejection’s believing that you only belong to lower forms of the social stratum because you have not managed to achieve any significant success in this area is highly probable. Social climbing is measured upon by which you have provided and earned passage into a material world of lifestyle and possessions. The material essence stripping away before you systematically by those around you will lead to erase the memory of you in everyone’s eyes, including your own, because you bought into the surface levels of this personna which is a false one. It does not complete you as a person, but you start to think that maybe it does. If you cannot overcome this challenge, you may possibly drop out of a life that will sustain you emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. You will possibly stop any search to better yourself, as you have been debased and began to believe in what the outside naysayers or the inside negative voices are saying.
The energy that you use or live on takes much of the agony with living under such circumstances that your contemplation of ending everything becomes more of a reality. You stop producing good arguments and submit to bad ones, you give up and play victim, and thus defeated by an antagonistic force, you no longer have the strength or will to continue under these conditions. Failure must be overcome by mere perseverance when all other outlets are exhausted, when all other resources are diminished beyond capacity to realize them, and when nothing else seems to be a viable alternative, the outcome of successive failures just may be the reason for ending a life that is viewed as worthless.
Looking at the social inventories that people often parade out to the public using social media to show others their accumulation of wealth, their accumulation of a lifestyle others may not be able to partake in, such as showing the luxuries of a lifestyle that seeks to communicate to others that they are seemingly happy to show off these trinkets of novelty and have a desire to show others their accomplishments of possessions, status, or possibly parading an attribute of emotional or spiritual success is a dual edged blade. Before the social media technological boom, kids were only able to show what they wore to school, what they drove to school, and where they lived via demonstration in personal contact. Parents were able to do this at work, or even showing the neighborhood the latest development within their own yard. Sharing this information to all was done by personal demonstration. Where you lived, where you went to school, where you benefited from having opportunities that others did not have were all on the table when the politics of kids would emerge from their gatherings. The world is now much more communicative in all the events of human narcissism, and in a world that promotes self excess, and ego-centered persona’s, the result can have negative impacts on everyone participating. The want to fit in seems to dominate the medium and ironically is what bonds many of us together.
Aligning with people that can help you achieve and realize a better life, placing your trust into those that can lead you to a better way of life is truly rare when you consider all the other elements that impede, distract, and dissuade you from a pathway that you can depend on. After the departure of good friends, family, and others who were once in your circle, but have now moved away, or you have become separated or distanced from them for other reasons, and they have lost touch, then if you do not re-acquaint yourself with some other quality people, you may find a very lonely existence.
Losses with no other noticeable gain can lead to despair.
When you lose all that you love, there is little to compensate you for the losses you held close to your heart. You are in no condition to establish bonds with others to pull you out of the devastation you experience. Having nothing else to take solace in, you become embittered by a world that has taken away that what you held dear, or that world has not been able to provide in your opinion what you have been missing in life to make you happy and sustain you.
The misfortune of not having a support system to lead you out from such desolate thoughts is a very sad situation indeed. Not having a word to steer you onto another path when you have lost an effective path is tragic but is so common in the world.
Perhaps it is that you have not been receptive to the messages that are provided by those around you, rather, you tend to ignore these since your mind is not clearly focused and is caught in a battle of fuzzy clouded thoughts vs the clear factual information that can lead you to make better decisions and avoid much of the chaos that is a by-product of your interactions. If you continue to fail, and do not learn from your prior mistakes, then one must be able to forgive themselves or there is zero chance to overcome the malaise of their making. One must reach out at some point and manifest their own destiny, but the cost to do so is to awaken from the fog of the unclear mind that is enchained by a tortured past that catches one in a vicious cycle if you continue to think about it as you have usually done. Thus you never will heal and become caught up in the circle of pain from your own creation since what has happened before is allowed to happen again and again at your own guilt or painful memory that is allowed to live and thrive again within a worn and wearisome soul.
The selective dark memories of the past always seem to keep me in perpetual unrest. Have I become addicted to sorrow? Can I not liberate myself from this past toil that consumes my present attention today? If I can filter these troubling memories, than I can place my full attention on my life in the moment? From the cradle to the casket, we must carry the burdens of being human. We can transcend the past, living only in the present moments we experience now.
When I was a boy, my father would make sure my brother and I would play baseball in a local league. I don’t think I really had any wish, nor my brother, but we somehow were just part of these sports teams that include some of the few family photo opportunities that are still in existence in the family albums. Playing in a family with a sports fanatical father did not give any pleasure to me or my brother since none of us had any aspirations during the later years of our lives that dealt with professional team sports. It was during the Nineteen-Seventies, and I happened to be on a team where a coaches son also happened to play the same position I usually played. A position that was a direct result of having a father that thought this position was one of great importance for a baseball team to have; that of the catcher. But because of the powers that be, I wound up playing first base for some of the games that we played on that team if memory serves correctly during that season.
I remember that during one game, my father was in the stands, my team was on the field, and I was on first base. I remember it was a major’s game, from the field we were playing on, and that the crowd was of fairly good size. There was a direct hit down the middle of first base and second base that I was able to field. Unfortunately that ball took a very nasty hop as I ran in front of it to intercept it on the infield, and it struck me directly on the mouth missing my extended glove to catch it. Since I wore braces in those days my lips were shredded from the hardball striking me with a great force of impact. I don’t know just how the play ended, but what I do remember is the crowd reaction and that of my father’s. Thinking back it could not have looked that good. I was spitting blood and it hurt like hell, but I don’t remember anyone coming to check on me and I don’t even know if they were considering a replacement. I was in pain, but I had to keep up because I had to tough-it out due to who I was and the times in which we played. I was my father’s boy, and I knew he was in the crowd.
So I waited in pain, as the game was paused briefly from the injury that fell upon me. The coaches and the umpire did not really know what to do moments after the event, but a voice from the crowd spilled out over everyone onto the field. A voice that did not consult me, a voice that I was intimately familiar with, It was the voice of my Dad. He shouted …”Let him Play!” It was a voice that wanted to show the rest of the crowd that I was tough enough to play, and I should still play despite the bleeding and the injury I sustained. I do not know of any father that would advise that for their young boy after an injury like that, if they did not consult or inspect the person injured, but that is what I had to live with. I played the rest of the game in utter misery, because that was the wish of a father who probably gave no thought about how serious the injury was, and placed more thought on what others would think if I did not continue to play.
Many memories come to mind during this time in my life. Much happened since I was 7 to the time I was 17 years old. A decade that provokes many painful and joyous times, yet my memories of the joyous times were fewer than I would have preferred. My overall nature was naive which gave rise to a bit of optimistic hope at heart but also tied a very shy and uncertain demeanor of my abilities due to the oppressive nature of my family history I surmise.
The optimism came from my imagination and probably the influence of my naiveté. I don’t think I was as negative then as I have become in my later years. I believe whole-heartedly that my experience with people who have used and taken advantage of my natural open nature, has led to some poor decisions on my part in dealing with them effectively and justly. My betterment would come in the aid of experience and learn from these encounters, but it must also be tied directly to a stronger self-esteem that would protect my inner self from troubles that have come in the form of exterior and anterior motives from others be them accidental or intentional I know not. I must admit that my reading past journal entries comes an epiphany of my own solitude and misfortune that I have largely contributed to these encounters going into them partly blinded, and partially opened eyed!
I have yet to analyze this in detail, but my overall conception is that my growth/demise comes in many shapes and forms. I see there are noticeable differences in the past several decades and my relation to them is correlational to my culpability. Though I find that many of these have a similar pattern, it is also noted that the decade in which they are found has unique circumstances that bring about their possibilities to begin with.
The course of my life has made me reflect too much on things others take for granted, or is it that they do not anguish as I do over the things that take my mind away from the better parts of life? I have had no affirmative answer to question this for over the last 40+ years of my life.
When the lightning bolt struck my mind those fateful days in class, a grand epiphany in my life when I pondered those moments in Professor Wheatcroft’s classroom in Grossmont College concerning the BPL or Best Possible Life, my entire outlook on life was enveloped with a crystal clear view of what I wanted to learn and live by; that of being an enlightened person. The ethics class, and the introduction to Philosophy changed or rather refocused my mind on the same things I had always been asking since as long as I can remember.
Growing up in an environment, starved for affection, knowledge, love, peace, and autonomy was a hellish place to be. Having no communication about self-worth and affirmations from family left me in turmoil. If you have not any sustenance in nurtured cultivation, you then become lost. To be influenced in whatever the direction of the wind takes you is the first inclination, unless you can find stability within yourself to navigate another path.
Many of us have to face challenges through out our lives. It simply must be a truth to say that the more love, respect, acceptance, and good behavioral example an individual receives as a child; it is more likely that they will be better off in becoming good human beings for the following stages of life.
I think statistically the converse is also true, though I do believe in anomalous extraordinary circumstances and possibilities for this not to necessarily occur. The true hero’s are those that despite their circumstances in life, rise up above it and become better human beings. I believe that there were times I rose above my circumstances and choose to be better. I also believe that I have also fallen far below my potential and have been crippled by my “achilles heal” and resorted to poorly executed coping strategies that have kept me in a bête noire state , silenced my better nature, and to an extent kept me in a perpetual prison of sorts.
With a disposition of being alone, or only being able to rely on my own sensibilities, I’ve made some discoveries and made some mistakes on my reliance of other people and myself. I’ve never liked deceptions, or other factors that bring about the bad in people, especially those that are not of maturity, or desire to become better than they are. I’ve learned that selfishness and other such faulty human ego-attributes are problematic and unnecessary. They don’t have any valuable payoff in the long run, but are so often utilized by so many for different reasons. I would not be honest if I did not admit to having such problems myself from time to time.
When new experiences begin to happen, and you can forget, or move on from past injuries, then you can build upon and create a new life full of hope and begin new experiences that will develop you further. The mid nineteen-eighties were a time for dramatic change, and a huge development was transpiring, but it was not sustained, and somehow led to the failures of dreams once made for education and for employment.
Why do I think sometimes that I was raised as a single child? How many of my early memories do I have that leads me to believe this? Why do I sometimes think my experience in the world is of being alone and having no siblings to share it with?
My isolation must have started early in my life since my ambivalence of my situation became a part of my experience in the world. Is this reactionary coping mechanism or is it hard-wiring my brain to view the world as such by the lens of my distorted view of the world. How much truth can a child absorb before the hand of adults curb the experience by thoughts, rituals, habits, and customs?
My memories of my past are made up of numerously filled visions of world in which I was “ALONE!”
I had others around me, but my experience in the moment, was filled with times when I was all by myself in a reflection of thought in the past. I was doing something, but entertaining myself, or having a distinct memory of being by myself in an activity for myself seems to be the prevalent theme on such past memories. Why? My mom rarely worked, my father never went out at night, my brother could not have been that active in earlier ages, yet I seem to have these memories of such isolation from a family that was not connected in a any meaningful or loving way. Only in ritual and habit did we gather, often at the evening dinner counter where we were scolded or humiliated by dad for doing nothing other than looking in a direction at him in the wrong time. Mom never ate with us either. She just served us, often eating at others times. How I remember the solitude so vividly is that all of us probably isolated away from the dire consequences of living with a man who was selfish and demoralizing it left an indelible impression upon us.
Anger and oppression were the prevailing characteristics of a family structure rife with atrocities occurring in the early family of which we were a part of. It is of little wonder that I have so many memories of escaping the iron clad ruling dictator that shaped much of my experience during my childhood. My only liberation must have been escape form such forms of abusive behavior that led me into a life of searching for another way to be. A life devoted to a better understanding that one could be without fear, torment, or humiliation. A life that unfortunately has led to my condition of overwhelming doubt and skepticism that has affected my vision. As I stroll down memory lane, I find myself distorting my experience with old ones, occupying my mind with thoughts of earlier days that disallows me to occupy my mind in the moment today; NOW!
I cannot help but try to reflect back, so that I may correct the now thinking, ironically this is just how I have done things. I cannot totally give up my search in this way, but may someday choose to abandon this framework and choose to live in the now with better thoughts, a better life, a better experience of the now. Opening up the past has been practiced for as long as psychology was founded and most likely predates that to the beginning of man itself. The enlightened ones have escaped this cycle of constant regurgitation, but some value may lie within, or at least to the beginning student wanting to find out about a better way to live, or a better way to experience the world and his own reflections may be causeway to this revelation. The notion of becoming must have roots in the examination of the self on some level. Getting beyond this point is the trick of the Eastern mind overcoming the obstacles of the self, and the human condition, whereas for the Western mind it would usually include a thorough examination to uncover the ailments that would prevent the growth of the individual / the community / or the world.
I remember awaiting Christmas, and in the eve of Christmas week in the early 70’s, I have some distinct memories with mom in the kitchen, but my brother and Dad nowhere to be found. Dad was probably at work, and my Bro? No idea where he was, and for that matter, much of these memories are vacant of any reflections of him being in the house. Its possible that he was just in his room, and such, but it seems so many of these early memories exclude any activities with him, and that I was alone in a house where I would escape into my own mind for recreation, or when I was unable to go outside, I would take refuge in the comic book or possibly music record, or that of a book. I’m sure that I must of at some time played with my brother, but as it turns out I have no recollections of these events, and thus the separation of our lives begins early on, and the fact that he is so detached, and that I have been so detached throughout my life only makes this argument become more credible. I have not spoken to him about such matters, but I don’t think his memory will give me much of a result since I am very mistrustful of his vision as it is. He often reflects back painting his emotions and thoughts with the current pattern He holds to this day. So he is tainting the picture, or embellishing the memory with ideas of “how it may have been”, due to his take on the world.
Is my vision so removed that I cannot see the forest through the trees? Do I behold an incorrect vision of my reality? Am I that removed from the truth of matters about my life, my loves, and my experiences that prevent me from seeing how things really are?
This remains to be seen, but I can say that I have missed the mark many times, not knowing how to be! Not knowing the “proper” take on something has caused me great strife and resulted in the imbalance of my perceptions that has swayed my thoughts and actions in a direction that may have been better utilized. The question does remain however, had I been correct in thought/belief/and action; than was my doubt the flaw which has caused these feelings of inadequacy? Was I set up to see things and doubt myself due to internal conflict and not external conflict of events that may have held a different lesson or experience? I often have thought that some of these have come into question in the last few years, and have caused me great discomfort in the feeling that I don’t know if I was right or wrong, and that when investigating it, I was told I was wrong, and that I was incorrect in my handling of the situation by individuals with issues on their own that held me back from a congruent observation of these events. Old girlfriend, ex-wife, superiors at work have all said, or done things that have disrupted my observations and reported a different view than that of which I had held. Some may have had some good points, but others may have distorted the facts and events to suit their own agendas given the histories and facts.
Could I have been wrong on many of these occasions? In my recent conversations with my daughter, she tells me of how her mother has told her many things that I found morally objectionable, yet her perception of them is in agreement with what she had been told (or seen)! This is cause of great stress and duress on my part hearing from your daughter that you are of little consequence in her life, that you did not try “hard enough”, or were much involved in her life. How ironic I thought hearing these words as to reflect in a moment all the years of events in which I have tortured my soul, of the times I have persevered and tried so hard to be connected to them, of the times I sought out legal help to initiate my participation in events of their lives that I was not allowed to control or participate due to her insistence, and the end result is that my daughter believes I was not there for her, or that I am a crazy, disassociated father who cares little for her, and was not involved in her life! How evil this world is to have bestowed this thought on her mind, or how evil is the person who allowed this thought to have entered into her mind? I know I have flaws, yet my certainty of once believing in myself has decayed over the years of this toil and pursuit of doing the right things has led me into an existence of troubled ruin. My torments have been my battle cry to anyone with open ears. My existence has fallen from great ideals and effort into that of a 47 year old man, who has no material ties to anything other than debt, self-loathing, selfish desires for avoidance and coping with a hostile world that brings no satisfaction to a life lost in a muddled mind full of negativity and despair. At least that is how I feel, whether it be true or not, my question only leads to more questions, and more confusion about my true role in this world. I have questioning my questions, questioning my ability to discern the truth about anything anymore. I am lost in a conflict that has driven people out of my life, by my own desire, or by their reaction, I am longing to put this to rest and restart, reboot, reform my life into something that I can be happy with.
I know not how to do this, but only have a few ideas about the experience along the way. Buddha’s right association may be the first step, but where does one meet those people? Giving to the logic of Dr. Drew, I know that level of attraction to the drama I once faced may be an indication of my continued troubles, yet how does one break from this cycle? Prevailing wisdom has shown that I should simply resort to the tried and true methods of becoming that which I admire most. Or in other words, pursue my passion, work out, eat right and take care of health better, become engaged in healthier living practices and healthier mind practices. Become involved with the things I know may attract others with like minds and bodies. It usually starts from there. Correct my flaws of coping, correct my financial situation once and for all, correct my job situation and actively seek and not settle.
the trick is still leaving me with that age old question..”What do I want to do or be when I grow up?”
What do I do with my life and my work? Where am I to best excel in this life, and prosper with my loved ones? The question of having loved ones has often led me to commit suicide! The question of my fight to have my loved ones close has led me into many psychological battles that I have lost, and left me in ruins. What will God’s plan be with me? Why do I continue to suffer over these basic human values? Why do I have such a different view on the world, or am I truly messed up as to the congruency with my daughters beliefs and being raised with these notions of a magnitude that will be extremely hard to reconcile into the years of her upcoming early adulthood? Will this impact her livelihood with others, will the lies distort her view of reality, or is my own mind fictionalizing the parts of this story to a degree that I can no longer see the truth? Even when the evidence hold true to my case, I now question my experience to see if I am incorrect! Even now I can little discern the difference of how I should resolve the matter at hand. I have lost my certitude about many things in life, about how I retreat to numbness and no longer fight for beliefs that I can not tell if they are real or not. This is truly tragic!
I must admit my ramblings are always leading me to interesting conclusions. I began this entry on a course of thought designed to provoke old experiences and memories of my childhood, and have come down a path to provoke some very troubling conclusions about the negative aspects of a de-personified self preoccupied with truth. I don’t know if that can be a good thing philosophically, but the result is a fragmented/fractured soul that is rife with conflict. Is there a correlation to my childhood and my adulthood? What is the connection between the dramas evoked? What are the consequences of these unresolved issues that persist in my life? Do I create the drama in the first place, or do I get attracted to it? Do I find myself in a situation I can’t manage to resolve and create a set of circumstances that disallows me to learn only to perpetuate these events or ones like them and continually throw myself into the chaos?
Do I need to find a good therapist? Quite frankly the answer is yes, but my earlier recollections of my experiences are extremely poor with the quality of care previously given to me. I have yet to find someone with enough insight, skill, or ability to resolve these psychological perplexities and anomalies of thoughts. My experience of this world have led my thoughts in a direction that has caused me to be disillusioned. That of the world or of my inner world I am not quite certain. These are the questions that tear at the fabric of my heart and soul.
Sunrise doesn’t last all morning,
A cloudburst doesn’t last all day
Seems my love is up
And has left you with no warning
But it’s not always going
To be this grey
All things must pass,
All things must pass away
Sunset doesn’t last all evening,
A mind can blow those clouds away
After all this my love is up
And must be leaving
It has not always
Been this grey
All things must pass,
All things must pass away
All things must pass
None of life’s strings can last
So I must be on my way
And face another day
Now the darkness only stays at nighttime,
In the morning it will fade away
Daylight is good
At arriving at the right time
It’s not always
Going to be this grey
All things must pass,
All things must pass away
All things must pass,
All things must pass away
The story of living with dysthymia may not be as bleak as it may sound. It has opened many doors for me as a child and as an adult. On one hand it has given me a very reflective outlook on life, and on another it has driven me to look for answers I may not have ever discovered if not affected by this condition. I have led a life that I am proud of, yet I think I have so much to learn and want to re-direct myself to expand outside my comfort zones personally and professionally. I would call myself an average person and have tried to do my best with what I have been given; but due to circumstances long ago I had no control over, I live with an extraordinary sense of existential bewilderment.
There are psychological details about ourselves that we are unaware of. We hold undisclosed secrets from others as well as hiding it from our own consciousness. Truths about the ways we behave, and the ways in which we think are often mistaken if little or no attention is paid to them. Traits within us have gone undetected because they are submerged deeply into our personalities and this often escapes discovery by not allowing others a glimpse inside. The circumstance that we are blind to these traits partly explains this failure of recognition from others and ourselves. We often do not know some of the reasons why we behave the ways we do, but we do know how to shield our own thoughts from others by not talking about them. We observe and interpret the world through the lens of privacy.
The psychological attributes that are part of our persona, that embed deep within us and have yet to be uncovered by ourselves or by others in their observations of us simply because we have not discovered them yet. Our family members and our friends have not revealed some of these inauspicious attributes that may have lain dormant inside our minds for many years. A fractured connection with family members at an early age is an unbearable hindrance. As for myself, the consequences of this relationship have left upon me a mark that has endured over half a century. There exists the possibility of a resulting psychogenic amnesia to past traumatic events or maybe a dissociative pattern of depersonalization that has fused itself within my earlier states of consciousness and this in turn has seized much of my life, which may explain why it resurfaces during times of duress. The fact of the parallels in observing an affective disorder going between a dysthymic to a major depressive episodic state has often diffused itself within my mind for much of my life. The endogenous nature of this connection seems likely if not apparent. Do the “bad feelings” experienced tend to be generated from within this maladaptive disorder? Does the condition become precipitated by life events that are manifested? The “cause and effect” are very hard to sort out and distinguish. We must not confuse “cause” with “correlation”, but isn’t that the million-dollar question?
I cannot say how many times as a child I’d wished for a better life, even more profoundly that I’d have never been born. That I did not want the life I was given, and that in my tears late at night, I’d wish my father would die because of the intolerable pain he would bring down upon me and the rest of my family when I was a boy. I would pray to end my suffering, as maybe I would like to die myself, than undergo another day living in that household. I think the sadistic nature of my father was possibly more hurtful to me than many of the other misbehaving things that he confronted us with. After years of growing up in a household being the object receiving random angry outbursts from our father, a narcissistic parent with low self-esteem that treated us in detest, instilling fear, and exhorting humiliation from us; has led me to question much of just what happened during those years growing up. The foundation for a faulty sense of self was framed during that time I imagine, and it has been a hell of a thing to shake all these years later. The sub-conscious thoughts that lead us to conclusions about ourselves are deeply rooted in this context.
If we were deeply injured in some way in the past, I believe that if we do not properly process this injury, or put it into a more conductive perspective, then we may again revisit those pains as they reappear in later events of our lives. To bring about a transformation when the sub-conscious becomes conscious, and the therapy may then begin to unfold the hidden toxins that enslave our opinions about ourselves. Many of these events may not trigger any responses from our friends or family until other episodes bring about something hidden deep within us. A sublimation of thoughts or behaviors experienced later on in life by those who do not put to rest the brutalities of a past time are often a truism I cannot deny.
When we somehow repress these memories, or replace them with newer ones, we may forget the misdeeds of the past. Unfortunately we can regress into a mindset that reminds us of these haunting memories from time to time. I am not sure of why I seem to bind myself to some of my former injuries but they have a presence that I cannot seem to escape from completely. Perhaps I have repressed the specific memories that upset me and I simultaneously held on to the pain that I immersed myself with from those days. However this dynamic works within me, I have subjugated myself to the damages sustained those many years ago. In a recent conversation with my brother I learned something about my struggle in words I have not thought of before after telling him of my thoughts on the matter. He asked why I seem to seek approval and acceptance from those that have treated me in an unkind way, or that those who have “f#*ked me over? I had not thought of it in that way before; using those words has not occurred to me in that I am somehow psychologically bound to those who have done an injustice to me, in that I am somehow seeking some approval despite their inhospitable treatment in dealing with me.
There is a scene in the perks of being a wallflower written by Peter Chbosky where the main character Charlie was admitted into a hospital for psychiatric care after he’d had a breakdown toward the end of the film adaptation of the book. He stated something in the film that struck me on a profound level because I can relate to the meaning of those specific words he uttered to the therapist.
“Maybe you can tell me how to stop it?” “Stop what” the therapist asks? Charlie goes on to try and explain. …“I can’t stop it. Seeing it. Their lives all the time, just how do you stop seeing it? There is so much pain, and ah, I do not know how to not notice it…. It’s not me, its them, its everyone, it never stops; do you understand?”…
I have a very close affinity with those words spoken in this fictional account of a character that strikes me very close to home. I have yet to describe my “sensitivities” any better than what has taken place within this book and movie in reference to the existential predicament he seems to be placed in.
In another scene in the movie, Charlie asks his favorite teacher, someone he trusts, why people enter into relationships that are not mutually beneficial, why some people allow others who are not good for them, and who do not appreciate them, but still tolerate them within the relationship they hold. In his words…”Why do nice people choose the wrong people to date?” The response from Charlie’s teacher Mr. Anderson was that for many of us; we simply accept the love that we think we deserve. The data to show this inference is overwhelming when we look at the compelling correlational evidence in abusive relationships.
The character of Charlie in the book is described by Chbosky as being composite’s of people he’d known in his life, if not loosely based upon himself altogether based on interviews given. This leads us to possibly conclude that he himself has survived some trauma endured within his own life given the character of Charlie, an emotionally sensitive 15-year-old boy grappling with two very traumatic experiences form his past.
His assertion of not being able to stop seeing it seems to be a central theme in my living experience. I have had some challenges in my adult life as well. When you consecutively experience disruptions on a psychological level throughout different periods of your life, you can find evidence of patterns that may populate the world in which you live. Ever since 911 I have tended to look much deeper into things I once took for granted in the world outside myself. The conclusions are not comforting, and are indicative of a discerning case study that is not able to turn off the negative factors that filter into our lives. I have now taken into account not only my disposition in relation to the world, but that of the world itself as well. It is a weight that brings me to my knees at times.
I have kept a secret for some time now from those all around me. I have navigated the social world brilliantly not allowing anyone inside the darker parts of my mind. I have worked and related to my family, friends, and others avoiding these troubling dispositions, pretending that I am fine, that I am normal, that I live an average life. But the truth is far from that assessment. Periodically I am prone to reflect about the world, and when I have entered into this world that preoccupied much of my thinking, I have a tendency to observe the disparities. Much of what others may take for granted, as they participate in the regular social norms and lead happy lives, I seem to be on the outside looking into a world that only has me looking down the rabbit hole; the farther I look, the more I see. In matrix phraseology;…“You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” I do not think I am special, gifted or precocious, rather I am more transfixed on these disturbing themes that seem to occupy my mind and capture my attention probably more then it should which leaves me in unrest.
What is it, repressed memories, or some other troubling disturbing factor that continues to disrupt someone’s thinking? I cannot say, but to this day I struggle in my life to get beyond those days that seem to impact my disposition. I cannot seem to shake the disquietude that weaves it’s way into my present day. An unknown psychological/psychosocial factor that brings me down, and forces me to stay isolated in my own suffering and since it is hard to identify; I live with this unknown attribute of my persona that feeds a negative injurious incident when provoked. I exist only to rid myself of these troubling days, but cannot find the reason or path to forgive these unknown events that seem to scar me and pay their allegiance to my unrested soul. Abraham Lincoln once stated….”I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would be not one cheerful face on earth. Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell. I awfully forebode I shall not. To remain as I am is impossible. I must die or be better it appears to me.”
I have tried to educate myself, and have sought some counseling but was disappointed with the resulting counseling treatment of my problem and to no successful avail did I retain any suitable answers.
In my education I studied everything I could get my hands on to alleviate my quandary. Ironically I am hyper aware of my problem, yet I do not control the unconscious states that haunt me in my sleep, or the other hidden language of my thoughts that precede my cognitions that probably leads to much of my oppression. The emotional factor that haunts me is sometimes subdued by the rational factors but this psychological battle being waged endures the ages and goes on.
The rational factor can be victorious for sound reasonable positive thoughts, it can result in happiness and contentment following my own internal compass, but the emotional disruptive subtext usually takes me to some very dark places and leaves me in a mental paralysis as this ping pong game continues to play out. I am smart enough to figure out what is happening, but when the damaged emotional side of me kicks in, then I tend to fall into the depressive states that are classic textbook and mismanage my health, mismanage my daily affairs.
I’ve read of some studies that coincide with my own observations. Studying my life, my background, and my beliefs about my experiences, and studying psychology as one of my undergraduate majors; I had some good direction to further my understanding of depression.
Connecting these puzzle pieces together I was able to formulate one of my own theories as to why I seem to suffer: “learned helplessness”! The psychological community does not lean towards this theory in general due to the laboratory results with animals, but I found it very interesting.
Feeling of helplessness and loss of hope have been emphasized as basic depressive reactions by investigators of differing theoretical orientations. Bibring (1953) held the basic mechanism of depression is the ego’s shocking awareness of its helplessness in regard to its aspirations…such that the depressed person…has lost his incentives and gives up, not the goals, but pursuing them, since this proves to be useless in their mind.
Other symptoms include the possibility of being characterized with an “Anhedonic” problem of affect, which has come across my studies into this difficulty. In my case Anhedonia is the inability to experience joy or pleasure, and “blunting” of affect; or the lack of emotional reactivity. It is manifest as a failure to express feelings either verbally or non-verbally, especially when talking about issues that would normally engage the emotions. Also notable is a decrease of volition, or goal-directed activities initiated by the individual that is disrupted and is seen in maintaining a minimal standard of personal hygiene.
After searching the literature to find the most prevalent patterns of this affliction I found that they seem to stem from psychosocial factors in early childhood such as:
Early psychic trauma and increased vulnerability
This often leads to the development of defense mechanisms to cover-up the injuries, but what lies underneath this façade is an unresolved conflict of tension and anxiety, strong feelings of bitterness, resentment, and hate toward those offenders due to the inability or inexperience to fend off the emotional attacks.
Pathogenic parent-child and family interactions
Pseudo-mutuality and role inflexibility, faulty communication, and the undermining of personal authenticity are tantamount in the maladaptive behaviors learned in the establishment of affect disorders. Destructive marital interactions is a particular malignant feature of chronic undermining of the worth of a marital parent by the other makes it clear to the children that the parents did not respect or value each other. Considerable rigidity in the family role structure, which tended to depersonalize the children and block their growth toward maturity and self-direction, can be observed. Parental modeling of behavior to the children ideas, feelings, and demands that are mutually incompatible are examples of faulty communications. Amorphous patterns of thinking are characterized by failures in differentiation; here attention towards feelings objects, or persons is loosely organized, vague, and drifting. Fragmented thinking involves greater differentiation but lowered integration, with erratic and disruptive shifts in communication. Undermining personal authenticity such that no matter how a person feels or how they act, no matter what meaning they give their situation, their feelings are denuded of validity, their acts are stripped of their motives, intentions, and consequences, thus the situation is robbed of its meaning for them, so that they are totally mystified and alienated. In general, if parents create a family milieu inappropriate for training a child in the cognitive abilities essential for categorizing experience, thinking coherently, and communicating meaningfully, then if coupled with feelings of inadequacy and other damages to the child’s emerging self-concept, this may help explain the challenges of later cognitive distortions, communication failures, and difficulties in interpersonal relationships.
Faulty learning and coping
A confused sense of self-identity coupled with basic feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, and self-devaluation tend to be prominent. Emotional insulation protects these individuals from the hurt of disappointment and frustration, but their regression enables them to lower their level of aspiration and accept a position of dependence. Projection helps them maintain feelings of adequacy and worth by displacement of blame.
The possibility of anxiety disorder in that of withdrawal disorders share common characteristics such as oversensitivity, unrealistic fears, shyness and timidity, pervasive feeling of inadequacy, and sleep disturbances. These symptoms often stem from the failure of an indifferent or detached parent to provide adequate guidance for the child’s development. Although the child is not necessarily rejected, neither is he adequately supported in mastering essential competencies and in gaining a positive self-concept.
Hurt, resentment, and guilt are closely related. When something is taken away from us, or something we want is not made available to us, we can feel hurt. Hurt is difficult for people to feel and express. So, some people avoid it by turning to anger. If we get angry with someone or something outside ourselves, it’s called resentment. If we get angry with ourselves, it’s called guilt. Anytime we feel anger – whether it’s expressed as guilt or resentment – there’s hurt underneath it. Since we usually don’t hurt over things that we do not care about, then finding the way to transition out of hurt has to do with the attachment we assign our care to! If this does not work then the usual forgive and forget often imparted to us is a fundamental teaching.
I will not go into the biological treatments often using Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) because I do not give attention to methods that merely medicate for a treatment that is in need of so much more understanding, even though they may restore typical brain functioning with the manipulation of these neurotransmitters. I still see the genesis of problems for myself created more in the behavioral and cognitive learning adaptations that can thus to be corrected in similar manner. The multi-disciplinary approach of therapy using behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, gestalt, existential, and stress-inoculation along with the power of the will is my prescription to clarify this adversity.
Some people who have battled Depression:
Ludwig von Beethoven
Hans Christian Anderson
F. Scott Fitzgerald
John Stuart Mill
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Edgar Allan Poe
Vincent van Gogh
There are many examples in one’s life to draw upon when reflecting on the events which can lead one to re-evaluate the effectiveness of their life. This is especially true when one considers the relations between family members or other significant relationships that would have an influence on their assessment. I have often been told that I “Think too much”, or that I “Care too much”, either because I question the events that happen in my life and I want to be aligned with the truth, or that I have been scarred from nefarious ethical encounters that have left an impression on me thus I make an extra effort not to be presumptuous. I believe the criticism for spending too much time on trying to solve the moral issue has been raised and I attribute much of this to my conscientious nature. If I over-analyzed the situation, then I believe it is due to the fact that I failed to benefit from what was modeled to me when I was younger or the behavior modeled did not meet conditions I felt comfortable with. I questioned everything internally as I was ambivalent to my examples that were modeled to me in my youth.
At times it is a misfortune to follow your conscience which can indeed make things seem much more grievous than they actually are if you do not go ahead with an accurate perspective upon reflection. When I look around and see others who seem not to have the same difficulties I seem to endure, I often look deeper within myself, and I also look around me to find the answers that gnaw at the very essence of my soul.
Why do I suffer, whereas others do not?
Those that do not share any sort of sound moral code I’m aware of, or those with an ethical guideline that does not exclude them from benefiting from their social transactions seems to be a rare breed and is clearly identifiable but is not really the focus of this post. The evidence of a world swept-up in an ego-centrism observed in human history through-out the millennium is not a difficult argument to make.
Nowadays one only needs to look towards the newly drafted legislation’s, the countless governing bodies to find ample cases of corruption and vice. Egregious examples of human behavior is found on all levels of society, and seems a prominent force in the world. Faulty reasoning, self-deception, denial, self-centered ego-based grasp of reality all lead to conclusions that distort the perspectives of people and lead to ethical problems that are found in everyday life. The reason for establishing laws are to govern those that cannot govern themselves when situations occur. Unfortunately this form of rule also has its challenges due to the fallibility of human beings. The foundation for a social collapse imminent in many countries around the world as can be evidenced by the Coup D’état ruling factions that have taken control.
On the personal level, the same principles still apply even though one may want to fight for liberty if the state is the oppressor, and one may liberate themselves with a different method in contrast to the matters of the heart. No matter how much you can be hurt by the actions of others, no matter how personal you internalize the pain, and suffering from the result of others behavior, the final analysis depends greatly on our ability to accept responsibility for our behavior, and ultimately our forgiveness of them and ourselves.
The exoneration of the self is a very hard thing to do when we face resistance. There can be much pain and suffering experienced unless we move out from that attachment which bonds us to our thinking, and our feelings when confronting the moral questions about our relationships despite whatever erroneous arguments we meet. This is especially true when the judgements of other family members are involved. The acceptance of truth is fundamental key to resolving any angst we attach to our dealings with others but in does not always diminish the emotional pain experienced. When it seems that the world is not favorable to the view we hold about the events that have taken place, we are disheartened and with diminished strength we become susceptible to losing our perspectives due to the opposing antagonism we face. We become disenchanted and will often doubt our original findings if we subscribe to the conflicting view. If even the conflicting view has no basis in reality, but they are continually insistent, they can often beat you down through their ignorance and manipulations that wear out your tolerances.
However one feels, granted the truth is very important, but it will never always be mutually shared by all members in a misunderstanding. That is why the principle of forgiveness is important to use as a vehicle to move forward in a situation despite the mutual reckoning of a situation. I cannot state how many times I have struggled with this obstacle in my dealings with opposing views due to the self-imposed interests of the self-centered. Since the search for truth has been valued in my belief system, no matter where that may lead, I have struggled in my contentious accounts of battling a faulty reasoning process, deception, and an ethos that only seeks to be self-serving because of an infection of moral certitude that diminishes any opposing viewpoint. This arrogance may seem to have the advantage by manipulation in the using half-truths when stating their case in an adversarial argument, but I am disillusioned since the truth is not an important reason for them, it is indeed of no consequence to them.
But the consequences of such behavior are much more profound to those who are thoughtful.
It has been stated that I am someone who tends to “wallow” in the predicament I happen to be in. That observation may be true, but the term wallow is just another word for self-pity. I’m not certain if those terms apply to me, but they indeed may be true. In my experience, there is clearly a right and wrong behavior for the moral situations we encounter during most of the conflicts in our lives. We do not always expect these events when they come up, but we also recognize that some people will not conform to a reasonable moral decision that reduces the tension between parties that are not in agreement. When this happens, there are many scenarios that describe chaotic possible outcomes. It is precisely these outcomes that have an effect on people and their lives, especially if there is little or no control over these events when they happen. The example that has led me to a very profoundly disturbing discovery is when it involves our own families; and the dictates of a capricious legal system that can lead to an utterly ineffectual and incompetent conclusion with a massive bias.
When someone like me thinks about these situations, I tend to try to contemplate errors made and reduce them, as this may seem like “wallowing” in them, it is not my intent. I try to understand them, and experiment with possible actions to take, to cut the disagreements, and yes that sometimes means talking about them and getting feedback from other sources. Unfortunately I have been in some very challenging situations that have given me absolutely no representation of my rights, absolutely no validation of my experience, or has given me any legal action to counter these misdeeds, largely due to the poorly drawn documentation from the attorneys. So if that means I have participated in the profound disappointment of a system that was supposed to serve what is best for the child, which continues to ignore a fathers right to see their own children, that continues to ignore the parental alienation that has been ongoing, and that has led to the deterioration of a relationship that was one of the most important in my life, then yes I openly admit my contempt for decisions rendered by a governing body that’s aim is a claim to protect the child.
At one time I was very close, but now, over the course of many traumatic years, the de-sensitivity and manipulation of truth, has taken center stage in the upbringing of the child’s life. When you lose any influence upon your child you question many things in your life that most people take for granted.
I wonder are grieving and self-pity related to the same attribute in the emotion, or that if you denounce those who suffer that have no recourse of action to take, just how easy is it to dispense such knowledge to them? Does one qualify to be a candidate of self-pity when one speaks about the unjust decisions, or the problematic outcomes a mockery of the legal system about family court, or are you possibly just fighting a battle with opposing resistance? The perpetuation of a system that allows one parent to literally decimate the financial control over the other parent, dominate control on all other levels even when joint legal and custodial grants have been made to both parties, yet inequity is still a very harsh reality to swallow to many who suffer over these events. I think that it might be worse to not fight, and except opposing forces, since capitulation to moral misconduct is the greater evil, than the one who is astounded by the behavior of others and suffers over the profoundly obtuse behaviors done in spite and ignorance to others who cannot change those decisions.
Self-pity is the psychological state of mind of an individual in perceived adverse situations who has not accepted the situation and does not have the confidence nor competence to cope with it. It is characterized by a person’s belief that he or she is the victim of unfortunate circumstances or events and so deserving of condolence. Self-pity is generally regarded as a negative emotion in that it does not generally help deal with adverse situations. However, in a social context, it may result in either the offering of sympathy or advice. Self-pity may be considered normal, and in certain circumstances healthy, so long as it is transitory and leads to either acceptance or a determination to change the situation.
In my studies I have read and found that most of these definitions deal with the obvious excessive cases of perceptions that one is “victimized”, and therefore leads to the attraction of possibly more negative emotion. I do see the logic in this and recognize its presence. I also see a lot of advise given about this observation in human behavior, but wonder if the “advise givers” have ever experienced some of the unknown drama’s that can affect one’s life on an adverse level over consecutive years, with little or no power to do anything about it? What may be “learned helplessness” in many cases in the abuse of people is a powerful case to make for those that have had no control to change their circumstances, or their perceived circumstances.
Learned helplessness is the condition of a human or animal that has learned to behave helplessly, failing to respond even though there are opportunities for it to help itself by avoiding unpleasant circumstances or by gaining positive rewards. Learned helplessness theory is the view that clinical depression and related mental illnesses may result from a perceived absence of control over the outcome of a situation.Organisms that have been ineffective and less sensitive in determining the consequences of their behavior are defined as having acquired Learned Helplessness.
Much of what we learn is from our sub-conscious programming from our birth to the age of 6 years old as we experience the world. The limiting programs as we received as children are largely due to the ways our minds are wired and hence the lower theta brain frequencies are dominant until about the age of 6. They are responsible for our acquisition of thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors from recording everything we see, hear, feel, and touch due to the wiring of our brain functioning. Dr. Bruce Lipton doing research in Epigenetic Control : Science of Spirituality has influenced my thinking of late from his experiments that directly correlates to this post.
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“Life, I fancy, would very often be insupportable, but for the luxury of self-compassion.”
― George R. Gissing
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“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunity.”― John F. Kennedy