Monday, August 22, 2016

Touching absence

The process of growing is making contact with what I visualize--and feel--as tight balls of energy, and allowing them to rise up and expand, and melt into the universe.  Some are prickly and painful.  Some ache.  Some bleed.  At some point I expect them to be pleasant and connecting.  That is the energy behind it all.

I will often lay in bed in the mornings and just feel.  I will interocept--I just made it a verb--and see where I am guided.

I have been lonely all my life.  Part of my problem, of course, is that few people can understand me at the level where I like to operate.  To a great extent, uniqueness and loneliness go together.

But as I've come to know, and as I've described here, I seem "have"--I'm not sure what the best word is--Developmental Trauma Disorder.

And I went this morning to a primal place, that of being a small child, looking into my mothers eyes, and feeling the terror and confusion of not seeing her looking back.  She could only see herself.

I touched this feeling.  It is oceanic, overwhelming.  But I have developed enough skill in this sort of thing--in pendulation, in titration--that I was able to work with this high voltage safely.  It is painful, of course, but my day will go on.

And I realize that is feeling myself, I am making up for that primitive lack. I am my own mirror.  And I feel that to SEE this is narcissism, but to feel it is healing. It matters how one does it.  Narcissists only see themselves, but they do not see that they only see themselves.  Narcissism is simply how the world is for them.  It, too, is the result of a primitive trauma.

And I feel this not being seen is what makes the world go mad.  It explains wars and cruelty and obsessions.  It is invisible for nearly everyone.

And I was pondering child rearing in this country, especially in light of a question a Democrat asked me in a bar.  We were talking politics and I said I was a conservative, and his first question was "what do we do with the old people?"  I first asked him "what did we do with old people before?"--to which he really had no response, being a bit drunk--and then I pointed out that in countries with socialized medicine they keep old people alive far less aggressively, and several leaders--such as in Japan--have openly wished for the old to die, as they were "unproductive" members of society.  In an allegedly morally superior social order, the old are seen solely in terms of their economic utility.  There is a huge push to get people on government run medical plans, then resentment at the cost.  The whole thing is ludicrous and contradictory.

But here is the relevant point: in the old days, aging parents lived with their children.  Grandmothers were there for their grandbabies.  In the old days, numerous women were around in an extended family, such that the babies looked in many eyes, had many opportunities for connection and union.  And because this was the norm, the parents themselves would have been more commonly available to their children emotionally.  There would have been much less Developmental Trauma Disorder.

And the old days continue in much of the world.  It is likely that the average child in an African village feels more love from its mother than the average child in America, even when the mother is playing Mozart and making sure there are lots of colors and shapes for the child to interact with.  Her mother is in California  Her sister is in Idaho.  The fathers mother is in New York.  They all come to visit, of course, but are not in and out of the home daily, as happens in more traditional communities with tighter family ties.

Healthy children become healthy adults, and they are not mass produced.  There are not techniques for thriving, other than those of connection, and providing a good continuum of both safety and opportunity to explore.  They need to feel safe, and they need to be allowed to express their natural curiosity, and to fail sometimes.  Failure is not death: it is, on the contrary, the essence of life.  Fail better, fail harder, fail forward.

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