Friday, December 9, 2016

Life

I continue to pendulate and titrate my Developmental Trauma.  I contact a chthonic energy--existence level fear, hate, or helplessness--and allow it to be for a time.  Then I get drunk.  When I sober up, I try again to allow that energy some expression.  And so on.  As time goes on, I am gradually decreasing the need for alcohol, I think--and many a drunk has said this many times--for good.  It has been some weeks since I brought hard liquor into my home, although I have twice in the past two weeks closed down some local bars, which is saying something since they close at 4am.

And of course all the "deep" stuff comes up: what am I doing with my life, how will I feel when my parents die, how will I feel when I am facing death, where is this world going, have I done what I could for my kids in building a better world, what are the limits of the possibility of my responsibility, etc.  It's hard facing these questions alone.  Most people don't like going to these places, because most people instinctively avoid painful questions for which there are no ready and obvious answers outside of submission in some given order, most obviously a church, or bleak cynicism.  I suppose I can understand the anger with which dogmatic atheists hold their views:  the possibility of hope scares them more than their certainty of extinction.

On one level I am definitely a fuck up.  I am a highly intelligent person with no career.  I am not an engineer, or doctor, or scientist, or lawyer, or academic.  I don't own the place where I live.  Many months I am hand to mouth, not least because my obsessions and poorly regulated grief often cause me to manage my money poorly.

But I ask myself: what was the criteria by which you intended to live your life?  What was the managing purpose, the theme, the goal?  And my answer is simple: life is about learning to know oneself, and about service to others.  And the one thing my lifestyle has in abundance is time--time for meditation, for contemplation, for reading, for writing.  My that standard, I am pretty much a genius.  I make outstanding money when I do work, leaving me lots of time to not work.  I don't have a boss, don't have to attend pointless meetings (which is most of them, at most companies), and don't have a regular schedule.

And I look at all the work I did on Goodness Movement, and all the ideas I have developed here, and even if I have as yet received no recognition, even if it is unclear if I have yet affected any human lives for the better, I have tried.  God knows I have tried, and will try again.

I often feel abject horror, still: mainlined fear, the pure stuff, which drives you out of your mind, a bit.  But I'm used to it.  I know it doesn't kill me.  I have on many occasions dreamed of being the Wolverine.  Everything is conspiring to kill me, and I have no home, but I don't die.  I think the Wolverine appeals to many men particularly on a mythic level, because he represents in some respects a masculine ideal, or one at least that invokes something in many of us of a certain generation and before.

I did last night, after more episodes of shaking and attacks of terror than I can count.  I literally wear myself out after a while, then sleep well.   I often wake up "speaking in tongues", which in my case amounts to babbling nonsense that sounds like a foreign language, but which I think is certainly nonsense.  I have looked it up, but seen no good explanation.  My best guess is that it is recalling a primitive trauma before I could actually speak, and the part of my brain responsible for language is experimenting with different ways to speak to communicate distress.  Sometimes I wake up and I am more or less lucid but it continues, and it becomes actually a bit interesting, in that I can kind of just observe it.

But here is the thing: the deeper I can get into the shit, the closer I am to being done with it.  This is my strong feeling.  But you can't do it all at once.  This is the essence of one of Peter Levine's most important insights.  But the willingness to "go there" is also important, and this is where I think I am wired differently than most people.

I see wounded people in bars all the time.  They are not hard to recognize, and as a general rule, it is most of them, if they are there regularly.  Most of the people who work in bars are also wounded.  What I have discovered, though, is that almost nobody wants to talk at a deep level about wounds.  They want to leave them alone.  That pain they felt, they have no desire to revisit, even if dealing with the lasting effects means smoking too much, drinking too much, weed and other drugs, or long term failure to thrive.  I know many college graduates who work in bars and show no signs of ever leaving.

This is not always true, and more than once I have had people tell me deep stories they said they had never told anyone else.  In those cases, I can tell it is therapeutic for them.  Freud was not wrong that talking about things can sometimes be therapeutic, but only if it is something very important that has remained a secret.  If you are the third therapist in a year they are sharing "their story" with, then they are simply practicing, and absent true trauma, most likely need something like this.

Where I'm going with all this, other than an inventory of where my thoughts are at the moment, I'm not sure.  Since I am lonely, and since most of the other people I see are lonely--even a great many people with multiple "friends" often seem to feel trapped in a realm of unreality, of superficiality, in a longing for something deeper without the ability to identify that longing, or even guess how to satisfy it--I am going to print cards with a web link to a site I created for my "group therapy" project, or what I call my "Bohannon" project.  I am going to pass them out at bars, until I get 20 people, then start.  I actually think this is a good plan.  I have realized plans get better as ones seriousness grows sharper.

I will add on a tangent to that last comment, that I realized yesterday that everybody is serious on some level.  All human beings have something that matters to them deeply; there is some inner reality they may never show which is in absolute earnest.  Some part of our psyche ALWAYS touches the survival instinct.

I say this in regard to some meditating I was doing about my father, who in important respects is really quite a clownish figure.  He is ridiculous, even when he doesn't realize it.  But that is not how he sees himself.  It is always tempting to take people as they present themselves, but this is quite often a mistake.

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