Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Schism

There is a fundamental property of the average human mind in this culture, and that is duality. I'm not wanting to go into this concept deeply, but there are root causes in Western culture for this type of thinking. I'm saying this because it is not the only way to think. Dichotomy. Us versus them. In this mode of thinking, which I assume almost everyone reading this will have, everything can be divided up into two things, and that is what I'm doing here. It is a dichotomy. It is us versus them. 

There are two types of people, those who repress, and those who feel. Just like good and bad, there is a sliding scale upon which we can measure. There are those who are totally repressed, and there are those who are totally in their feels, and there are all the positions in between. And of course, people fluctuate between the two. The issue is when we break it down into simply repressed versus feeling we've turned something which in reality is extremely complex into something that seems simple simply because we worded it simply. Yet, it is simple, when we get right down to it, the ingredients are simple that is, but the mixture is complex. It's both. In describing the phenomenon there is no dichotomy, but in reality there is. Like salt water. It's just salt, and water, there is no opposition, but once they get mixed together, separating them becomes a chore? It requires some processes, effort, and energy, to unmix the two.  

I laughed so hard. We were in the midst of a painful talk, and it was the perfect distraction. The conversation had turned dark. I was asking my grandmother to tell me stories about when I was a child, trying to take it away from the darkness a bit. A couple of months ago upon my request she mailed me some photos she had of me as a child. The wife was wanting to know what I looked like as a child.  My favorite photo sits next to my screen as I type. In honor of that little boy inside, we mischievously smile at one another. I've got the same shit eating grin on my face, the same ornery look in my eyes, then as I do now.  That part at least did not get beat out of me. I don't mind saying it at all; I was a cute ass little baby. Grandma told me that I was not always easy to deal with. I told her to pray for my wife, laughing, because I still am that exact way. The wife is still trying to figure out how to get me to do things without being able to tell me what to do. 

Grandma told me about this time they bought me this shiny metal dump truck, and I had taken it outside to play. When it was time to come inside, they told me to bring the truck in, but I refused. For days I refused. Now I know what some might think, all babies go through a stage where they are defiant, but I'm telling you, still to this day; I cannot be told what to do. My grandma was referring to the fact that my whole childhood I was difficult. After days of refusing to get the toy truck and bring it inside, grandpa threw it away. I was laughing so hard. My grandma is still trying to get me to bend, at least for a job she says, my life would be so much easier she says; nope, no fucking way. Laughing so hard. This poor woman couldn't even get me to listen as a baby. Poor woman is still trying. 

When I get a job, within the first week there has to be discussion about not telling me what to do. I can be asked, but no one can tell me what to do. I won't fucking do it. I worked for five years once for a guy that screamed at everyone. He never raised his voice to me once. Fuck that. By agreeing to work at a job, I am agreeing to perform certain previously agreed upon tasks in exchange for certain goods (money), and that is it. I do not agree to any other forms of social bullshit. I'm sure most of you are aware that there is this certain idea that people who pay others money own them or something. It's practically automatic in this culture. Centuries of farming humans for a paycheck has taken it's toll on the human psyche. Ya, fuck that. I'll be homeless and without. No one owns me.  I never signed no social contract. A gun is required if you're going to tell me what to do. My poor grandmother thinks my life would easier if I just bowed down a bit, conform, but I told her, it appears to me to be obvious that I was born this way. Laughing so hard. 

She told me another story when I was about four years old. I was riding a big wheel in the drive way. A preacher man had come to visit, and was walking in my lane. There was a small hill, maybe fifteen feet long that went up to a garage. It was like a y, connecting to the main driveway. I would ride the big wheel down the little hill onto the flat stretch of the drive way. My grandmother said she couldn't remember exactly what I said to him, but it embarrassed my grandfather terribly, because I cussed at the preacher man. She said it was something that I must have heard from Donnie. She said they made sure I wasn't around after that when this preacher man would come to visit. Oh my god I was laughing so hard. It appears I was born to put preacher men in their place. He probably told me that I should watch where I was going, or some such, and I bet money I let him know he should watch where he was going. I laughed so hard. No one tells me shit.

These stories from my childhood made me feel such love for my Self. I stayed true to at least that. Still to this day; no one tells me shit.

Could we not easily say, that those who conform, are repressed?

It seems to me, that within my own family, I am the black sheep. I am the one who did not conform. Fortunately for me, but unfortunately too, in my family I'm the only one. I will agree that my own psyche repressed a great many things, but I did not repress in the name of conformity. I don't remember as a child making a decision to not remember the traumatic events. My psyche did that on it's own. This is a different thing than an adult refusing to see the facts at hand. So here, we come to a crux in the conversation. Conscious repression, and unconscious repression. There seems to be a vast difference between deciding to repress one's self, and it happening automatically. This is where I am drawing a line in the sand.

Once upon a time I made a conscious decision. It wouldn't be for many years that I discovered this tactic being used by others. The Alchemists call it turning lead into gold. It's when you take the shit of your life, and turn into something useful. In my own life, all I seemingly had was shit, so in a certain way it wasn't that difficult for me start turning things, my "negative" qualities, into something useful.  Don't forget, that from my own perspective, I believed that I was fucked up, and that something was wrong with me, so from that vantage point it was all shit. Just like these stories of me as a child not being able to be told what to do. All these repressed people thought something was wrong with me for not conforming. Why wouldn't I do what I was told? According to them, something was wrong with me, for simply being who I am. 

Why weren't they figuring out a way to get me to what they wanted without using commands?

In a certain sense, particularly as an adult, it's not that hard, to be a non conformist with this kind of personality. One could say that it comes natural, so of course it's easy for me. Well, that is true, but there are a great many heavy prices, consequences too.  Being a non-conformist hasn't been easy even though it seems to come natural. It has still required work, because I as a monkey, that is to say, my body, wants the approval and affection of others. I got beat as a child for not conforming. I've lost out on countless opportunities that others gained easily because they conformed. Money is also a primary driver of conformity. If I don't bow my head like most everyone else, I don't get to have nice stuff. Unwilling to put up with dumb bullshit, there are literally millions of jobs I simply cannot do. Seems to me, from this vantage point, most adults are still acting like children, am I right? Eat your meat, or you don't get any pudding. I've gone without a lot of pudding.

It lifted my heart so much hearing those two stories from my childhood. When I look at this photo, staring at little me, with that glint in his little eyes. 

What I've noticed as someone who doesn't consciously repress is that people are always asking me to act differently for their sake, so that they do not have to feel, but they never want to act differently for my sake. How is anyone else, any more important than me? So you can see, here now, clearly, this is the foundation of almost all the shadow work that I do. The very second, the millisecond, someone acts as if I should be different so that they can be more comfortable in their own skin, that is the exact millisecond I demand the same from them.

If you've never heard the term shadow work, this is a Carl Jung concept. The Shadow is the aspect of one's personality that is repressed. It is the part of one's Self that one denies. So when I say that I do shadow work, what that means is, I cause people to deal with their repressed aspects. It is hard work. As you can easily imagine this is not something people enjoy. And since literally everyone has consciously repressed their feels, they all give me that millisecond. Matter of fact, if one becomes a full time shadow worker, one will not have any friends. This entire blog is shadow work. I'm writing about the things, no one wants to talk about. Yin/Yang. I'm not making any friends.

Remember my grandmother asking me not to say anything in a book that would cause others pain? She was attempting to protect my brother, but the issue at hand is they are both repressed, and consciously so. It's a conscious choice they make every day. They do not want to face the darkness of their lives. My brother will gladly point out how fucked up everyone else is, but the second I point out that he is fucked up, he will turn his rage towards me. He can easily admit when others have been abused, but he will not admit that he was abused. This is classic shadow projection. The issue here, is, that shadow work is exactly what he needs, but no one is doing it for him. Grandma needs it too. His rage prevents anyone from getting too close. He and I have literally been in fights. My grandmother will turn cold as ice the second I put her in her feels. They are not the only ones consciously repressing their feels. They are just the ones in this particular story giving me that much needed millisecond.

This is what makes me a shadow worker. I know my own rage well, I've never repressed it, so I do not fear my brothers rage. I too can turn cold as ice, I don't repress that either, so it does not bother me to walk on ice. I know how to swim. 

Good and bad. We can always divide it up into good and bad, or here, right and wrong. Who is right? Who is wrong? My brother will tell you he is right. He will go about naming all the ways that I am fucked up in his eyes, to discredit what I am saying, so that he does not have to feel his feels. One time I prevented him from drinking and driving, and all he did was talk about me being high. I must be wrong, because if he can't make that the case, he will be forced to deal with his feels. He was not prepared to own up to the fact that he was a drunk. 

So perhaps its time to acknowledge another duality; ignorant and knowledgeable. We all know how it goes if you tell someone to their face they are ignorant. Oh well. Facts are facts. It's a well researched fact that repressing ones feelings and emotions is not healthy, and that it causes all manner of side effects that are detrimental to life. So it logically follows that anyone doing so, must in fact, be ignorant. It is also extremely easy to make the argument that to be human is to feel, and have emotions, so anyone consciously repressing these qualities is not living fully human so to speak. How can that be good? or right?  They are not in touch with their own being. How can this be a good thing? So why doesn't my brother acknowledge that he was abused too? Because it hurts. He has to maintain this self image that he is not fucked up. Unfortunately for him, that is my favorite image to smash. 

I said to her, why must I not do what I do, for his sake, when he is unwilling to do what I say, for my sake? He gets so completely in his feels that I say it like it is regarding his parents that he practically goes crazy. That is the state of his feels. Why are his repressed feelings more important that my unrepressed feelings?  We all know the answer. They are not. And here we can see what is going on in the world. The repressed feelings people outnumber the unrepressed, or better yet, spontaneous feeling people greatly, and are completely dominating the culture. 

I'm here, now, letting you know, your feelings won't kill you. No matter how badly you hurt, no matter how fucked up it is, you can face it, face your own feels, and it won't kill you. I do it all the time. There is nothing special about me. I stay in the dark more than the light in a certain way. The issue will be all the repressed people criticizing you, and telling you they know, and you don't. Telling you to get over it, move on, grow up, take medication, think positive. Some will be so bothered by it they will punish you, and that is the real issue. What could kill you, is a repressed feeling person. Look around, they are straight deadly.
 
Historically speaking, this is a heretical concept. The idea here is that the truth comes from within, and not without. Conscious repression is actually an outward fixation. It's conforming one's self to the dominate culture. It's an admission that the truth about how one should be is out there. I say fuck that. The truth about how one should be is within. Honor ones self, listen to your own inner voice, your own inner knowing. A couple of hundred years ago expressing this would have gotten me strung up by the church. Burnt at the stake. They would literally burn me alive for those few sentences. The Church repressed everyone, claiming they were the authority over how one should be, and to disagree was a death sentence.  This is exactly what happens to us as children, we are forced to conform, or die. Death here, being the withholding of love, which seems like death to a child. That is a fractal my friends. That is the gist of it all. I never really listened to any external influences about how I should be, or live, despite all the hating. Whenever I did listen, I paid a price in regards to my own soul. 

Nearly all these people have been doing exactly that, killing their own souls, conforming to how they were told to be.

Which one are you?

Sadly, depending on how repressed one is, at first, one's feelings and emotions will be immature. The point is to start growing up. Repressing one's feelings and emotions so that one can better perform in the culture is not growing up. That is literally just domesticating one's self. Fuck that. Everything one needs is already within.

“A warrior must cultivate the feeling that he has everything needed for the extravagant journey that is his life. What counts for a warrior is being alive. Life in itself is sufficient, self-explanatory and complete. Therefore, one may say without being presumptuous that the experience of experiences is being alive.”  ― Carlos Castaneda




















Tuesday, January 16, 2018

No Wonder (Childhood Memories)

I broke down and made the call. I simply need more info. I can't simply guess. Part of the recapitulation process is just knowing the logistical facts. You know, I lived here then, then moved there, and so on. So I called her mom. She's the only one I can talk to without it just being over the top confrontation. My grandmother is the only one who will speak to me even though we do not agree about life. She does pray for me every day. I'm her oldest grandson. I can tell it bothers her, but she won't say no. I asked her to tell me stories. I could tell it was uncomfortable for her, the questions I was asking. It's not an easy story, but like I said, she wasn't refusing to tell me what I asked.


I've been saying the affirmations. Say it with me; I forgive these people for not being who I wanted them to be. I've spent so much of my life in rage. That is not an easy statement to make. Not and mean it.

So naturally, synchronistically, I got exactly what I asked for. You see, part of that affirmation is understanding they were people too. They were once little children too. Just like me they needed love. So this story isn't only mother fuck them. I'm not that much of a fool. This universe isn't spinning around me. Life is complex. I just seem to take it further than most. Albert Camus once said, "Always go too far, because that is where you'll find the truth." That's my shit right there. I love to run things right into the ground, smash them to pieces, to see what is what, even my own mind; even my own feels. If rage it is, then rage it will be. I ran it into the ground. I say we have to do both, be the rage, but we have to also forgive.

I had to explain to her, that during my studies I learned that it is typical of people violently abused to not develop memories. I simply do not remember my childhood.

She did make a condition though. Before she would answer questions she made me promise not to put anything in a book that would hurt any family members. She was referring to one of my brothers. When Donnie died, I publicly said it was a good day it not so nice a way. From my vantage point he played a primary role in smashing my life to shit after all. Pretty much my whole life has been; fuck that guy. One of my brothers saw my public display and was upset. He called grandma to talk about it. My grandmother cannot stand to cause people pain. Me? Not so much, and this is obviously an area that her and I do not agree on. I will most definitely hurt someone's feels right to the face without batting an eye. So her condition was that I not say anything to upset my brother. She wasn't wanting to tell me anything about Donnie, but she ended up telling me something about him anyways.

My grandmother told me that when Donnie and Doug were young, Doug still being a baby in diapers, their mother put them out on the front porch, and locked the door. Grandma said they never saw their mother again. Mother fucker. Mother fuck. Mother fuck that guy, and yet....I felt sick inside. How could anyone do that shit? No wonder this fucking guy was like he was. No fucking wonder he threw me under the bus. He was young when he married JoAnn. Fuck. Kids who aren't even outright abused don't know what the fuck they are doing in their twenties. No one does.

I know the feels. Most of my issues in life were about my own mother, and had nothing to do with anyone else. The relationship between a boy and his mother is life itself. I've always known there is a separation there. I've always held my mother accountable. He was not responsible for me. She was responsible for me. No fucking wonder this guy was the way he was. No wonder he was with a woman like her. No wonder his brother Doug drank himself to death. Donnie basically did too. That fucking Jimbo guy? Never had a chance.

Mother fuck.

I've studied abused people pretty much my whole life, first hand, with my own eyes. I'm that guy who is always paying attention to almost everything, calculating, evaluating, measuring everyone up. The violence of my childhood made me hyper-vigilant to my proximity. I capitalized on my gains. I used my powers to my advantage. I've spent over a decade now studying abused people as a professional would. I also study those who study them professionally. People like Alice Miller, John Bradshaw, and Thomas Moore. People who've spent their careers counseling abused people. I've read hundreds of books written by professionals of all different kinds.

I always knew his childhood could not have been good. Mother fuck. God damnit mother fuck.

I could hear the pain in my grandmothers voice when she talked about some of the things I had done that had really stressed her out. She talked about the time when I ran away. She thought that I might have gone to her house and was hiding in the woods. She told me she went back to the woods and just yelled and yelled for me. This made me cry. I was no where near those woods.

You see, when it really gets down to it my grandmother has no idea how fucking crazy I am. All these crazy situations I've written about, she knows nothing about. She would be terrified if I ever let out my demons. She would think I was a demon. I told her, that I did what any violently abused male would do when I was young. My life followed that trajectory nearly perfectly. So did his.

No wonder this guy was the way he was. Can you imagine your own mother putting you outside as a small child like that? There's no way life goes well after that. His father was a drunk piece of shit too. What must his childhood have been like? On and on this shit goes. Here where I live; it is the fucking norm.

My line ended with me. I made sure of it. Mother fuck.

I forgive these people for not being who I wanted them to be.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A Recent Manifestation

One of the things about me is that I do not keep track of time, or days consciously. I put zero mental energy into time. My unconscious keeps me on track. When did this particular story start? I've no freaking clue. Maybe a month ago? Maybe two? Fuck if I know. It apparently doesn't matter. This one isn't going to be easy to tell because as we all know life is complicated. The shit is all blended together as far as I'm concerned. This is one of the issues with living a spiritual life; there is so much going on at any one time that life becomes incommunicable. Here a myth, there a myth, everywhere a myth myth. When it is consciously realized that life is a dream, it becomes a symbol within a symbol. This creates the issue of where to begin this particular story. So much was going on. Still is. It's not over yet either. I crossed a significant threshold though, and I want to share it before it's gone to the next. I have no intention of slowing down.

I'm forty two years old now. Once upon a time I was talking to someone in their mid twenties, whose trauma was, like mine, the definition of their life. The twenties are incredibly dark years when one was systematically abused as a child. If we were forced to compare lives this persons childhood was considerably worse than my own. Way worse actually. She was complaining about still having to deal with it. I laughed a little bit, but wanted to cry. If only she knew. I tried to tell her it was something she was going to deal with for the rest of her life, but she didn't want to hear that. I tried to tell her the brain is still developing all the way into the mid thirties. Life changes when this happens. Real growth takes place. She's duped. The culture tricked her into thinking shes an adult already. She already knows, doesn't this sound familiar? We all think we know what's up in our twenties. What a lie. Like I said, I'm into my forth decade now, and the trauma is still the defining characteristic of my life. It's still in my unconscious, my body, projecting onto the world.

There is a very simple explanation for this, but it's not time for that yet. I'm going to drop that at just the right time. I followed my game plan as best I could. Before even attempting to get into my feels I had to get my mind right. I had to learn how to think. I had to educate myself thoroughly. I had to solidify my ego in the appropriate way. All of these things are well documented. The issue is that they are all processes, and they take a considerable amount of time because each of the steps in each of the different processes require experiences. They require interactions with other human beings. It requires synchronicity. There isn't a straight path either.

This little stretch of my life began when my wife told me to read a book by Louise Hay titled You Can Heal Your Life. Just so happened this book came to me when I was writing in my Metaphysical Monkey blog about the unconscious. That is what this book is about; talking to your own unconscious in a loving way. Reprogramming yourself autonomously. I've read more than a few books about auto-suggestion, self-hypnosis, positive-thinking, and the like studying the unconscious, but this book is the best one I've ever read. She lays it out in the most unbiased loving way. I'm saying that you can feel this woman loving you while you read the book, and that in itself has a healing effect.  It is profound how well she put the thought down.

So the issue, having been traumatized as a child is that I am blocked emotionally from my own body. Emotions are as important as thoughts, because they are the energy. Just like one must learn to think, one must learn to feel emotionally. Another way to say this is that I do not ever actually know how I feel. I'm two people emotionally. Now this is probably confusing, because if you met me you would definitely realize I have feelings, and I express them, and use them, matter of fact I project mine into the room, so if I am in my feels everyone can feel it. The issue is deeper. I'm struggling for a metaphor. These feeling I feel are like make up. I can put them on, and take them off. I have a choice in which make up I'm going to wear. Maybe another way to express it would be, there is the real ME, and there is this facade I use.

Ever since the trauma of my childhood I've had to wear a facade, and after having had to wear this facade for so long, I became the facade. In psychological terms my inner child is complete lost. My identification became solidified with the fake me. When it comes to feelings and emotions I do not know who I am. Still. After over a decade of hard work. Sometimes this makes me quite sad, but again, that is just my facade, who knows it should be sad, but isn't necessarily actually sad. Sad isn't it.

You can see why I wanted to laugh and cry when this friend of mine was complaining about the trauma of her life effecting her still. She hadn't even begun to do the work that must be done to heal it when we were talking. So many times I wonder if I"m chasing a ghost. I've always asked this question, who would I be had I not be abused. So many times I wonder if I should just give it up and be an egomaniac like everyone else. Maybe I should just turn on the TV, dive into another video game, go back to getting stoned all day every day. Pretend to be an authentic human being like everyone else. Numb and repressed.

Fuck that.

That Louise Hay book was so good I literally felt a shift inside. The problem with healing trauma is that it is dark. Extremely dark. It is not rainbows and butterfly's. This is why I completed that list I mentioned earlier before diving into it emotionally. If I had not learned to think, educated myself, thoroughly grounded my ego in the appropriate way, diving into those emotions would kill me; literally. It would make me go insane, hurt someone or myself, tear shit up, who knows. These things actually happen to people. It's a serious issue. If those dangers were not the case, there wouldn't be the divide in my psyche. You understand? If it weren't the case that the emotions of the trauma wouldn't destroy me; they wouldn't be repressed.

This is something that Hay doesn't talk about. Talking about it would scare people off. They would put the book down. In that way her book is a spell. Reading the book casts a spell on the reader. I watched it happen to me. While reading the book I could feel things shifting inside my psyche. Not only was I reading the book, but I was doing the affirmations. The Universe loves me. I love myself. I am worthy of love. I even went to so far as to do the forgiveness affirmations. I repeated many times out loud, I forgive my parents.  All of this put powerful things into the works. This unlocked doors to allow for synchronicity.

Interestingly the dream books are the same way, the psychoanalytic ones. They will talk about patients, and their dreams, but they do not talk about how, before the healing, it actually goes down for the patient. They don't give the details. They have the freedom to do so, name changes, changes in story even, but they don't. They can't afford to scare people off. They can't say, such and such, was dealing with this trauma, had this dream, and then got cheated on, lost everything, learned their lesson, and now lives a more full and complete life.

I know better. I've already been applying the knowledge and process of using current life experiences to engage my emotions. I've already fallen in love with women who I knew were going to cheat on me so that I could re-experience betrayal emotionally because I repressed it when I was younger and didn't deal with it. I already knew what this Louise Hay book was going to manifest.

I continued to write my blogs, and I continued to read books. During the scope of this story, from the Hay book till right now I synchronized six different life changing books. All in succession of need. Back to back to back. It has not been exactly fun. I've not had any fun since that Hay book. I've not had much fun in a long time actually. I've been in near total darkness for something like six months now. I got fed up with a repeating cycle in my life, and forced the issue. Darkness upon darkness.

I wrote a blog about childhood memories. I didn't know it then, but I wasn't going back far enough with the memory. Most of my life I've focused on the abuse that occurred at the hands of my first step parent. I had avoided this Motherless blog for some time because it stirs up so much darkness, but the affirmations unlock doors you see. Unconsciously. I was internalizing the fact that my entire life was a lie lived in fear. It was only my facade that was so brave, if even that. It was my broken half that did all those crazy things in my life. I ended the blog with a Shakespeare quote, "Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." After posting that blog my life went dark. I can't stand living lies. The kind of darkness that would have ruined me if I had not gotten my mind right first. If I had no solidified my ego appropriately realizing my life was a lie to that degree would have ended it all. The kind of dark that makes one feel lost and all alone. What was I going to do...

Just a shell. I've still got to do what I have got to do. One foot in front of the other. Just a shell walking around. Unconscious autopilot. I go to my home away from home, and on a whim check the new book section. Synchronous style, I let my intuition do the looking, I'm just a shell. I wish I could teach people this. Can you see the difference between going to the library thinking, or knowing, "I am going to get this kind of book" versus just walking in having no idea what I will come out with, if I come out with anything at all? My eyes lock on a book. Bearing the Unbearable. The kind of book I would not normally read. It's about dealing with death. I pull it off the shelf and go home. 

Right on time. Holy shit. I cried so much reading that book. It was the validation I needed. I associated the death the spoke of with the little boy in me who died long ago, who I've missed dearly ever since. This book shined some much needed light into the dark. The Universe really does love me. This book confirmed one of the major sources of anger in my life, all my life. Real validation for my feels. I've spent almost my entire life surrounded by insensitive emotionally repressed assholes. The author, Joanne Cacciatore, truly understands the feels. Do you know what she repeatedly says through the book? That people dealing with grief suffer more at the hands of insensitive emotionally repressed people than they do over the grief itself. Maybe that is not the best way to say it, it's probably better to say that the actions of insensitive emotionally repressed people causes more harm to the psyche of someone grieving than the incident that actually caused the grief. Grief doesn't actually harm, it's a natural human phenomenon. The coldness of fellow humans though actually harms one who is grieving. This is exactly how it went in my life. The stories she tells about how others were treated during their grief is exactly how I have been treated.

Hey Ben, Get over it, Move on, Think positive, Get some help, You need medication, Something is wrong with you! I've heard all of these, all my life. All the people who refuse to even acknowledge they were abused telling me how to deal with it. Go figure. Never not one time have I received understanding. Do you know why? Because around here child abuse is socially acceptable, and also because understanding costs about a hundred dollars an hour.

Holy shit this book changed my life. That is two books via synchronicity. Boom boom. And we ain't done.

Up and down, round and round, we go. Darkness, then some light, then right back into the darkness. Why? Because reading a book doesn't undo a life of repression. Why? Because life is a process. An organic experience. Reading a book doesn't heal the wound. It doesn't undo the trauma. Real life experience via interaction with other humans does. The books merely lead the way. They guide and assist. They provide support. Books are obviously particularly important in my life. How could I possibly know what someone who has spent most of their adult life studying grief knows? But right when I needed to know, there it was. Same day. When I first began this journey over a decade ago I considered that type of synchronicity an miracle. In a certain way these books could be viewed as the literal voice of the Universe; my unconscious made manifest.

I study a lot if you can't tell. There is always a pile of books around me. Right now one of my areas of interest is on shamans and dreaming. Shaman is a loose word though. A shaman is not only a person in the jungle. For instance, Carl Jung was a shaman. Terrence McKenna was a shaman. There are urban shamans. Shaman and psychoanalyst are synonyms. A shaman is someone who understands the unconscious and who also goes there. Shamanism is without a doubt the most intense, and complicated professions. I'm a member of some shaman pages on Facebook, which I silently troll for information. Dreams are brought up a lot, so naturally people post books. Interesting right? I love books. I keep a Google doc file for books to read. Someone asks about dreams, someone comments, I chime in, and boom, this guy gets brought up who writes books about dreams who is also a shaman. This guy is still alive. I go to the library. Nada. I go to the reference desk, ask for one in particular. Nada. Some time goes by. Perhaps I needed to read that book about grief first. I don't pretend to know the machinations of my unconscious. Perhaps I needed to get through this other dream book I checked out first.

I end up at the library on the other side of town. I can't remember why. Following my unconscious I end up in a non fiction isle. I'm scanning the shelves with my intuition and boom; there he is, a Robert Moss book. The Boy Who Died and Came Back: Adventure of a Dream Archaeologist. It is a memoir. Mind blown. You'll have to understand that once one begins conversations with the unconscious everything is synchronous, EVERYTHING. This whole situation is symbolic. The profession of the author, the title, the dreams. Life itself becomes symbolic, and everything is a dream. I feel much less alone. I needed this book. This guy travels all over the world talking to people, giving lectures, guiding people in their dreams. This guy does things that every single person I've ever known in my life would say is bat shit crazy, yet there he is; living the life.

What is that saying? Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes. This quote is attributed to some famous people on the internet, but it's just the tweet of a frustrated woman that went viral. Does it matter? I've for a fact, been surrounded by ignorant insensitive assholes all my life. Even the ones who claimed to love me oh so much were just that; assholes. True enough most of them weren't necessarily doing it on purpose. They, like me, are in a certain sense victims of the culture, but at the end of the day, facts are facts. Assholes.

The shaman book was double edged. Yes, I'm not alone here on earth seeking as I do, but holy fuck do I have a lot to learn still. Reminds me of the phenom big fish little pond. If I walk out my door right now and just randomly start engaging people I'm going to be so learned that they won't know what the fuck I'm talking about. Put me next to this shaman guy and I'm barely in kindergarten. I have indeed been surrounded by the most ignorant of people all my life. This ego inflation business is no joke.

I think in all I requested twelve books on symbols and dreams from the library. Still waiting on a couple, already knocked down several. Two were shit. Several of the books came recommended from a Jungian page on Facebook. One of them turned out to be one of the best books I've ever read in my life. Ego and Archetype by Edward F. Edinger. Same as the previous books; right on time. One of the easiest ways to know a book is synchronous is that I do not have to struggle to read it. Nom nom nom. My mind will just absorb them. I can put down a synchronous book sometimes in a single day. Edinger's book was too deep for all of that though. It took a couple of days to get it into the noggin.  The book is truly amazing. I can't wait to buy my own copy. It tied the whole myth, ego growth, dream, unconscious, life into one process so to speak. It relayed a lot of information I already knew in a new way, and brought it full circle. Matter of fact it showed how the psyche grows in a repeating circle. Up and down, round and round; we go. It explains the cycle in depth. It showed me where I got stuck as a child, and where I am stuck here now. That is priceless information.

I can feel my psyche just churning all of this new information. I asked for it. I initiated the process. This is what I live for.

From the affirmations, to the grief, to the shaman, to the ego. I can feel that I am changing inside. I'm still saying the affirmations every day. The Universe loves me. I love myself. I am worthy of love. The Universe loves me. I love myself. I am worthy of love. I can feel it building up. I am going to do my best to not avoid the pain. I'm not going to avoid it.

Remember I said human interaction. Well, it shouldn't be a surprise that the one person who activates the feels more than any other is going to be the ones we love. This is a real inhibitor of growth in this culture. Everyone wants the perfect relationship without doing any of the work growing up. Well, if one hasn't grown up emotionally a perfect relationship is not ever going to happen. In my life, here now, that is my wife. This is obviously double edged. The one I love, is the one who triggers my pain. I knew this going into the relationship. I already knew how it worked. It is after all a fact of life that it is our relationships that heal us. This is why I educated myself during my years of being single. If you ever take up the idea to heal yourself, you will immediately begin manifesting relationships that are towards that end. If you don't know how to think, that process isn't going to go well. These relationships will not be all peace and love. No one grows when everything is peachy king. Just expecting it to be all peace and love will bring about suffering without even adding in the trauma.

All the while, all this is going on, my shit is being triggered by the one I love. It is a constant state of affairs. Constant. Constant. Constant. It's piling up. It's coming to a head. Up and down, round and round; we go. And what do you know, she synchronizes me a book.

I add it to the pile. I've got several going already. It's not time yet.

Half way through the first chapter my world gets turned upside down. He speaks directly to what was discussed in the Edinger book but from a completely different angle. The book is Coming to Our Senses by Morris Berman. The book is masterful, so I'm not going to be able to do it justice summarizing it here, but it is about how us modern humans are not in touch with our bodies, and why. Who would have guessed? That is the problem I have. He explains how when children are not raised as we were meant to be raised, that is evolutionarily, you know, with it in mind that we are 98% chimp and have been around for millennia, which is something the religion that dominates our current culture does not do even a little bit: Breaks our psyche. The psyche break came about, or I should say the scale tipped, in the 1600s when philosophy and religion decided that humans should not be animals. Think about this, everyone is incultured, thinking the way we do it, is the way to do it. This is a huge problem, because despite what anyone thinks we are monkeys.  We are biologically animals just like all the rest of the animals on the planet. He clearly talks about the split in self that all of us modern monkeys have. What is important to realize is that this is the case for anyone raised in the modern way. The way this culture teaches us to raise children, mindlessly passed down from generation to generation; breaks us from our own bodies psychically. Since our bodies are our unconscious mind, this is a break in the psyche. Bad news. You'll have to read the book.

Many months ago I met a woman on Facebook from Europe on a Jungian page. This person has done a significant amount of homework regarding life. She shares books and information with me from time to time depending on what I'm posting. One topic she has studied thoroughly is genital mutilation. Shouldn't be that hard to imagine for anyone with any kind of sensitivity at all that having ones genitals surgically mutilated at birth is traumatizing, and this topic has been thoroughly studied, so it's not really up for debate. Unless of course you're arguing with an insensitive emotionally repressed ignorant ass. Well, I posted a picture of a page from this book, and shared it online because it basically summed up how and when we are detached from our own bodies during early childhood. She liked the post, and said she had read the essay cited on the page. 

All the while this is going on, I'm being triggered by my love. On top of that I'm in the darkness of my life having read all these things. I wake up in the morning, and this woman on the other side of the world sends me a photo of a newborn baby being held. Something inside snaps. The gate opened up. A door unlocked. I know for a fact they mutilated my genitals. I know for a fact my mother did not take care of me when I was a baby. I know for a fact I was abandoned and neglected. I just can't remember it consciously. Well, my body does.

I end up in the bed. I'm purposefully not thinking about it; just trying to feel. Just feeling my body. I keep thinking I'm not going to fight it. I don't want to block it out. I'm not going to run away. I'm not going to repress it. I'm not going to do anything else; just trying to feel it. I sob and cry. Rocking back and forth. Swaying. Feeling crazy and crazy can feel. I end up laying flat on my back, my arms and legs going stiff and rigid, crying and crying. So much energy. My body is raging. I think to myself I look just like a baby would in a crib. My whole body is hurting. Feeling so crazy. Panicked. I can't bear it anymore. I reached out. Got to find someone who understands. I message the woman who sent the pic. She understands. She was abandoned too. She's done her homework. But then, she doesn't understand. She's giving me advice like I have not done my homework. Everyone always does this to me. They always think because I have yet to experience my feelings firsthand that I don't know what I am doing. Back into the darkness. 

I don't fight it. I turn my mind off Eastern meditation style. Just experiencing. Here now. I just let my body do it's thing. Crying and sobbing. My body starts hurting. My whole body hurts. I feel as if I've been working out like a madman. It builds up again. Too much despair. It's been hours now. It's getting too dark. I reach out to my love this time. I attempt to put my feels to words. She listens.

Spent two days recovering physically. The ride isn't over though.

All I know is, had I attempted that emotional episode earlier in my life it would have broken my psyche. Words cannot describe the craziness of that experience. Do you know how crazy a baby feels left alone in a crib with no idea where it's mother is? Probably not. More than likely this culture got you. More than likely this culture got you so badly, that you're insensitive and emotionally repressed. More than likely you think it is perfectly acceptable to leave a baby crying all alone. You have too, otherwise you'd have to come to terms somatically that it happened to you. Facts are facts.

One of the definitions of a shaman is one who heals their self.  I'm manifesting that. My hope has always been that by telling my story it will empower others to do the same. Most people have Stockholm Syndrome, and this is the greatest barrier our culture faces. Everyone loves their abusers because they've been conditioned from birth that it's okay. It's not. 

























Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Spiritual

There can be no telling of this story without god.  Spirituality is just a plain fact of my life. I'm currently reading an incredible book that talks about religion. It has turned out to be one of the better books I've ever read. The book is called Ego and Archetype by one Edward F. Edinger. I am in debt to this man for putting this book together. It is that good. I'm not sure how much Carl Jung I would have had to read to figure out what Edinger has said in this book. This man laid it out in a single book that is quite easy to read. He had to do a lot of homework. It is not easy to understand all that Jung was trying to say, and anyone who understand history knows that because of the culture Jung could not say everything he knew. I've learned the most about Jung's life work reading the books of others who studied him. This book is one of those, and it has changed my life.

The book is primarily about three things, the ego and its relation to the Self, the symbolic nature of the Self, and how myths when explained psychologically are a path to the Self. Of particular importance to me is the story of the Lord Christ as a psychological phenom. When the stories and dreams of the bible are interpreted as how the psyche develops a whole new world is born. Of course all of this is of great significance to everyone, but this is incredibly important to me because of my childhood. I've engaged the Lord Christ in my life for a long time now, and as has been perfectly explained to me having read this book much of it went exactly as it should have. Waking up, growing up, purposefully increasing one's consciousness is not exactly fun. It's actually the opposite. It can be fucking terrifying. There is always a phase in growth known as the "dark night of the soul". 

On top of that, it always scares me when I read about how some people's psyches are permanently damaged due to childhood trauma. Edinger speaks of this. He has first hand experience of such people. I cannot help but ask myself, am I one of these people? That is a terrifying thing to have to ask one's self. I still feel much as I did when I was a child; no one loves me. By even asking this question I am giving voice to what I have been being told my entire life; there is something wrong with me.

The way I think of it, it's a double bind. Perhaps a triple whammy. Everyone, even if not abused, develops an ego, and must go through psyche work to find the Self. But the abused person, semantics; either develops a different kind of ego, another ego on top of the ego, or the link between the ego and the Self becomes broken. I can make a solid argument that because everyone in this culture is so ignorant of what it really is to be a human being, that all children are abused, so there are some fine lines about this ego business. I've never met anyone living in harmony with nature and culture. I'm sure different analysts, and psychologists have all manner of ways of describing these ego problems. I've read enough psychology books now to know this is exactly the case. Does it matter though what words we use to to describe the phenomenon? We know it is happening. 

That's why I am telling my story, because surely I am learning here too. They almost all agree one must tell their story. Humans are story tellers. It's why we have a frontal cortex.

It seems to me the real break to my psyche happened in two parts, at the same time it seems. One with society, or culture, and one with god. Not only did my own culture cast me out, so did god.

My family was already broken, I just didn't know it yet. You see, I had no idea that my situation at home was not right until I started going to public schools. In my child eyes, it was all I knew, and being it was all I knew, that is how I thought it was for everyone. I remember it as a feeling, I felt normal. I mean to say that when I went to kindergarten I acted my normal, and because I thought everyone had the same normal, that I would fit in. It took me a long time to figure out why I never fit in because this assumption was just how I saw it. Denial in childhood for self protection perhaps. Obviously, my home life was not considered normal or healthy by cultural standard projections, and so it started dawning on me very slowly that something was terribly wrong with me. This is perfectly normal for a child at this age to make that assumption. All children at this age believe the whole Universe revolves around them. I had no way to realize it was my parents who were fucked up. It wouldn't be until adulthood that I fully put the puzzle together

I was sent to the principles office the first week of kindergarten. My public school career started off wonderfully. For some reason when the teacher stepped out of the room I got up on top of the table dancing, acting a fool, to which she conveniently re-entered while I was mid stride. I don't remember why I was doing this. I was probably just showing off. I was probably unable to contain my anxiety. I was probably already longing for the attention of some girl in my proximity, hoping to be loved. 

I remember too, in those first weeks of school a girl sitting next to me, who asked to go to the bathroom, and was told no. The teacher said she could wait. A couple minutes later I could hear fluid hitting the floor. This was when we were all still unsure of how it all worked. She had no way to articulate, to stick up for herself, that she could not wait. She ended up peeing her pants, and I laughed at her. Donnie had apparently already effected my sense of humor. I got into trouble for this too. No one knew of course that I got beat at home for wetting the bed every night. I didn't know what shadow projection was at five obviously. Needless to say I didn't really make any friends in kindergarten. Technically I shouldn't have even been in school yet. I was too young. I didn't make the cut off date birthday wise, but JoAnn was in a hurry to get me off her hands. I passed the tests, and did well enough, so she was able to convince them to let me in. I was always the youngest in my classes all the way through high school.

I didn't do well in public schools socially, big shocker, and it only strengthened the brainwashing that something was wrong with me. I was always in trouble. Due to the fact I have never been able to remember anything actually traumatic in the first six years of my life, and the way my life darkened at this time, I've always wondered if someone at the school got a hold of me. In the city where I currently live, still in the Midwest, only a few hours from the small town in which I grew up, I've seen several people arrested for engaging children in public schools sexually. It happened four times that I know of in two years. Maybe the principle was spanking me too. I just don't remember. I do know that my life went dark. I lost touch with my own psyche. I lost contact with the Source. 

It turns out, that when a child realizes that the thing being done is known to be unacceptable, that one's self worth really goes down the toilet. If everyone gets beat, and beating kids is okay, then somehow the psyche can bear this, but once one knows that they know they shouldn't do it, and they are doing it anyways; darkness ensues. Real deal darkness. This is what makes sexual assault on a child so debilitating, the perpetrators always know they shouldn't be doing it, and the child can always feel this. As far as I can tell, for me it was violence, and the man doing the most violence found it quite acceptable.

Kindergarten for me would have been 1980. It's fucking 2017 now. I watch a ten year old, and a five year old go to school every day. I walk them to school most days. It's only a couple of blocks away. It's an inner city school, and even though it is not a large city, this place has all the things a big inner city would have. Prostitutes are known to hang out at the gas station across the street from the school at night. Drugs are everywhere. Third graders are talking gangster, acting like thugs. My wife over heard a kid in the forth grade, upon being asked by his teacher what his plans for the evening where, that he was going to Netflix and chill. If you don't know this is slang for having sex.

I've learned that the people in these bigger cities are just as ignorant and repressed as those who live in small towns, they just have a trick up their sleeve. They will not be racist, or sexist, or hate gays, or eat better, and then will think they have the upper hand. They will have some trick for tricking themselves into a sense of superiority over the person living in the trailer park, the person who is one rung lower on the pecking order, but usually they are just a little better with money. If you delve into their personal lives they will be just as ignorant and repressed about what it is to be human. They will think because they dress better, eat at better restaurants, have a nicer car, do more "city" things, that they are not just as ignorant and repressed. It's just a fancier way to be ignorant. It's like most rich people that I've met; take away their money and they end up being more white trash than those in the trailer park. 

This is the case at this public school I walk to; it's the same as any other in the Midwest. These school teachers are not trained whatsoever to deal with these kids, living in one of the highest crime per capita neighborhoods in the whole country, who are all being abused at home. They think that college degree makes them actually intelligent. If you ask them they will tell you they know how life works. Now I'm not saying there are not intelligent public school teachers, there are surely some, but I can promise you they are sufficiently buried in the culture and bureaucracy that they have no voice. It makes it easy for me to see, why instead of asking what was wrong with my home life, they simply said; there is something wrong with him. That is much easier to do
 
The point I'm trying to make is that nothing has changed. Four decades later and nothing has changed.

The ten year old is an introvert. I am an introvert. This ten year old isn't being abused like I was, and the public schools social environment is still fucking up his sense of self with their mass ignorance. He gets picked on, and made fun of. His teacher calls him to the front of the class despite his terrifying introverted fear of doing so. He has a list of things he has to deal with. I think to myself, what chance did I have? This kids mother loves him, and she shows it. For me it was even worse when I went home. I was trapped on all sides with no way out. 

Most "educated" adults don't really know what the unconscious is, much less that there is multiple layers to it. We have our own personal unconscious, then there is a collective unconscious, and then there is a level beyond that. We could go out right now and find all kinds of public educated fools with psychology degrees that have never even studied Jung at all. How is a child going to manage it? I'm saying this, because if most adults did have this awareness, then it would be in the collective unconscious, and this outward pressure of ignorance would not be dictating more ignorance. In other words, if the majority find it acceptable to be different, and realize things wisely, this can be felt by everyone even if they are not aware of it consciously.

If you were born in the Midwest as I was, you would have been immersed in the most ignorant of collective unconsciousness. This would have tricked you the same as me. Profound ignorance regarding life, and what it is to be human would be the norm. I remember reading something in prison, about how only three percent of the population was actually functional. My counselor was giving me this information in his attempts to rid me of some of my loneliness. He was trying to help rid me of some of my shame letting me know that most everyone is dysfunctional. Not three percent of the prison population, but three percent of the actual population. This was one of my first hints that not all was as everyone was pretending it to be. This mentor of mine was showing me a bit of the cultural facade.

In Hermann MO, the year 2016, the recorded population was 2,366 people. I can't imagine it was much higher in 1980. This means there were potentially eighty adults at that time who would have been considered functional in my collective unconscious. Seems to me they were terribly outnumbered.  

Put this into context please, for yourself. If you're in a room with one hundred people, and only three of them know the actual way something should be done; are they going to win out? Say you are at work, and there are one hundred employees debating an ethical or moral issue, like say, spanking, and only three people know that spanking is wrong; what is the social standard going to be? Mother fuckers are going to be getting beat. Make it ten percent. Even if ten out of a hundred wouldn't be enough to sway the field.

In 2016 the state of Missouri claimed there were six million people residing within. Going by this estimate of three percent, there are roughly 180,000 functioning adults in this state. Now if we take into consideration where Missouri stands as a whole culturally, I'm going with this number being way too high. Missouri is going to have a lower average than quite a few other states. Intelligent functioning adults don't tend to live in run down small Midwestern towns where most everyone is bigoted. Hermann, MO isn't where one goes to find a nice job. There were no jobs. The founder of the town had skulls and cross bones on his fucking tomb stone.
  
I remember getting kicked off the bus. This riding the bus business created so much turmoil in my life. I've been responsible for children as an adult and went out of my way to keep them off the bus because of my own life experience. I was getting into trouble on the bus constantly because other kids would pick on me. I have this particular personality that sticks up for myself. I was born that way. I have this crazy thing about not backing down from fights even if I know I'm going to lose, especially if it is on public display. Fuck that shit. Ride or die. I would even try to fight high school kids for picking on me. I didn't give a fuck. If I couldn't fight directly I would calculate behind their back. Because it bothered me so much to be picked on, I was picked on even more. It was a vicious circle, and I didn't have what it took to get out of it. In the early 80s the worst thing for a boy was to be called gay. It didn't take long before I was being called Ben-Gay. The name comes from an analgesic heat rub. Add to this that Donnie would constantly belittle, ridicule, and beat me for being emotional and sensitive. I got extra beatings for crying like a pussy, as he would put it. So when the kids tried this shit, not being so big as Donnie; I was willing to fight for my honor.
  
Every day on the bus it was some drama. When the bus driver finally took actions against me this put JoAnn in a bind. She had to work, she couldn't afford to take me to school. She didn't even have a car. Donnie used the car to get to his job, and he was gone long before I needed to be at school. She was a stay at home babysitter. I was too young, the school too far away, for me to get myself there. My life was basically threatened at home to not get kicked off the bus. JoAnn ended up going into the school with me. She had to make it work. They worked out a deal. I had to sit in the front seat behind the bus driver. If I was good I got a blue piece of paper that I would have to take into the principle every day, and then I was allowed to raise the flag at the school every morning. If I got x amount of white papers in any given period of time I was off the bus. What they did not know was that I found it incredibly embarrassing to raise the flag. I was being punished for being good. To be singled out in such a way was torture. So there I was, being tortured on all sides.

Everyone was picking on me, even the people who were supposed to be looking out for me.

When the next school year came around the paper thing dropped. I'm pretty sure it was the first grade when I was raising the flag. One day, this kid JoAnn babysat was sitting in the same seat with me on the bus. A bunch of kids were making fun of me, and he started chiming in. I really don't know how to say it. When people make fun of me publicly I can feel it inside. They might as well be striking me physically. Since JoAnn babysat this kid, in my mind he shouldn't have been chiming in. He should have known his place. He said something extra mean, everyone was laughing, so I grabbed his head and slammed it into the bus window such that the window cracked.  We all know how it went down when I got home that day. It cost Donnie money that time. Money he didn't have.

There was no where safe for me.

Of course we went to church. We had to go to church. No one was a good person if they didn't go to church. Church sealed the deal. The church was directly across the street from the gas station Donnie ran. A small white church with that classic Christian feel and look about it. The steeple on one end of the high pitched roof. The classic steps leading up to the door. The wonderfully placed stained glass windows down both sides. Large yard in front of the entry. It wasn't a Baptist church so it had a much lighter feel to it. Serene feeling compared to the Baptists churches I had attended. I could feel the Lord there, and this added to the dupe. 

Maybe it wasn't school that made it all go so dark. Maybe it was what I was hearing at church, while at the same time experiencing the school. Maybe it was that both of these things were happening at a time when I began to remember. The church duped me the mostest. The school did not have that energy. I can still feel the energy of churches. It's a thing. I know others who have this same sense. I'm not going into metaphysics and magic right now. My five year old self didn't know anything about metaphysics or magic. All I knew then was what they were telling me, and that I could feel and "see" things of which solidified the concept of god in my mind. 

If I take the Myers-Briggs personality test, I score as an INFJ.  Normally I would be quite skeptical of such a simple test being revealing of my personality, but when I got on INFJ blogs and read first hand accounts of other people's experiences of social life as an INFJ it was a critical moment for me. I cried. My mind was blown. It confirmed that in certain ways I was not so alone as I had believed. It lessened the noose that is always tight around my neck. Perhaps after all, nothing was wrong with me. Not ever really having a sense of self, never knowing who I really am, always wondering how I would be if I had not been abused, reading those peoples stories affected me profoundly. I've always had to be other than I am in a certain way in order to survive, but obviously even for the craziest of people that only goes so far. We all, even if we go stark raving mad, follow our own natures to some degree. It appears that I followed my nature as well.

Turns out that a male INFJ is the rarest of personalities, something like less than one percent of the population. A male INFJ is by cultural standards quite feminine in many aspects of personality. Sensitive, and emotional being two of those things. Those two things got me beat and ridiculed more than a little. Turns out, no one was ever going to know me. This is a double bind of the worst kind. I can't not want to be known. My heart longs for it to the point of constant pain. This hole they created with their abuse, abandonment, and neglect was too big for me to fill on my own. I was going to have unknowable qualities without the abuse.

I must find god, for it's only god who knows me. 

Unfortunately, I was in my thirties when I found this out, so this INFJ information did my five year old self no good. Being an INFJ ties in with spirituality because what this means is, is that I have an ability to see things others do not see. I can practically see the unconscious activity of others. And so if we are talking about god, which is the unconscious, I have a personal window into that realm. I can see things going on that others do not notice and it doesn't take anything extra on my part. It happens naturally for me. I was never able to figure out why everyone else couldn't see what I saw. This added to the idea that I was flawed. This added to my loneliness. This ability also made my life synchronous in a way, or I should say, I could see synchronicity when others could not, and I attributed this to god. These ignorant small town Midwestern folks thought of god as some guy up in the sky, handing out punishment and rewards. I could see this happening, so it proved to me that god existed. That there was this force operating behind the scenes, and that force must be god. I knew this because I could "see"it. 

It would be a long time before I figured out this was not how it works. The issue was that my little child mind could not see the bullshit of organized religion, of the culture. I could not tell the difference between the personal, the collective unconscious, and the deeper levels of the unconscious.  To me it was all god. I had no way to separate out the lies from the truth. I did not know how to defend myself against this storm, so I swallowed much of their bullshit whole. This made my life dark.

Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.
Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to him belong
They are weak but he is strong

Over and over again I would hear about god loving his children, protecting them, yet everywhere I went, especially at home, that was not the case. I learned that not even god loved me.





Saturday, December 23, 2017

Straight trailer park

As this goes, I'll never be able to keep the linear path of events straight and in order. I simply don't remember it well enough. What came first, the gas station job, or the prison job, before they got the house? I've no idea. It doesn't matter to me. I just know what I know, and the order doesn't matter to me. We can look it up about our memories and how they are not reliable anyways, so any recapitulation is fiction. I've no mental link between which grade of school I was in, and which trailer or apartment I lived in. I've no idea what grade I was in when we finally moved into a house. Like Bukowski once said, "it's my story, I'll tell it how I fucking want."

She left Barry. The next one was no better, if not worse. There's no way to know how bad Barry would have gotten having to deal with JoAnn's promiscuousness. Where Barry had no self esteem, and no confidence; Donnie had confidence. Confidence is all one really needs to hold down a female with no self esteem. False as it may have been, shitty as the dude was, his confidence kept JoAnn around much longer than Barry could have ever dreamed. It probably would have kept her around forever, except that eventually he made a tactical error.

She moved us to a small German town. Hermann, Missouri. This town became the home of my childhood. It wouldn't be until the seventh grade that I made it out of there. There is a cemetery there where the founder of the town is buried high on a hill.  His grave is one of the ones at the very top of a hill. This particular cemetery runs all the way down a long hill. They put skulls on his tombstone. We went there once for an art class. I drew a picture of it. Art has always been one of my favorites. Supposedly everyone hated this man for founding a town where there is nothing but steep hills.

She moved around a lot in the beginning. My assumption is, rent wasn't getting paid. As an adult I've stood outside places I know that I lived and cannot recall a single thing about them. I should be able to do so, but I can't. I've gone to Hermann on several occasions at different times of my life attempting to recall my childhood. Nada. I've stood outside several different apartments. My grandmother told me where they were. One above a business on a business street. All I could recall was the stone wall in the back. One the second story of a house. I only remember the deep dark brown. Trailer parks too, although I remember bits and pieces of these.

Donnie was as white trash as it gets. The kind of fuck that makes kids fetch him beers. At one time he owned this huge blue Ford LTD. Giant boat of a car. I remember JoAnn telling a story about how he had just cleaned it. Waxed it down. This was when we lived in the second story of that deep dark brown house. On the side of the house was a metal staircase, going right up the side, leading to the door of the apartment. For whatever reason, someone, who knows, was outside leaning on the car after he had waxed it. Donnie stepped outside with a shotgun, and warned them that if they smudged the car they were going to re wax it.  I'm pretty sure he was a drug dealer.

Years later he came home one night with his head cracked. Blood all over him. He got jumped at the pool hall, someone hit him over the head with a lead pipe. He refused to go to the doctor so as not to involve the police. Who knows what he was really doing, and it's not like he would have told JoAnn what was really going on.

This man was bigger than I am now. This means he was not small. 6'2" at least. Black hair. He had terrible vision, so he always had to wear these crazy thick glasses that made his eyes look ridiculous. He talked white trash. He was white trash. He had this laugh, this tssst sound, snicker like. I still catch myself doing it. Like I said, he was confident about it. Even thinking about it, trying to write this, it makes me sick how straight trailer park this man was. It disgusts me that this man was the one to influence me. It makes me cry thinking of the little boy I was at the hands of this piece of shit. He beat me like he beat his dog.

His father lived in an even smaller town nearby, Gasconade. River rats. Small trashy river town with nothing in it. Just a run down collection of run down people. I remember going to visit his parents sometimes. They lived in this totally destitute trailer, in the middle of a trailer park. There would always be Stag beer cans piled up everywhere. This man, Buck was his name, had the hugest belly. He had those crazy pock marks all over his huge nose. Bald head. He was never not drinking. Ever. I remember going to check trot-lines at 4:30 in the morning on the Gasconade river, and he would be drinking. He worked on barges his whole life going up and down the Missouri river. This mother fucker couldn't have been more white trash. I would always be afraid to go into their trailer. The real mystery to me was, where did his kids sleep when they were kids? Looking back now, I don't want to know.

Donnie had three bothers. Doug, Jimbo, and Wes. I believe that follows their ages as well, Donnie being the oldest. Wes, being the youngest somehow made it out I think. The youngest usually gets the better treatment in these types of families. Went to college, got a high paying job, engineering or something, married someone nice perhaps. Wes basically fled the family. I don't know what's up with him. He went away. He left the state. I never remember talking to him. I am pretty sure he avoided his brothers. He never came to the house. Doug and Jimbo were drunks, addicts, just like Donnie. Doug came and lived in the basement once. He stayed drunk. Jimbo was too fucked up to be around. That should tell you something right there. These people even thought one of their own was too fucked up to be around. I don't ever remember seeing Jimbo at the house.

Eventually, after living in all these different apartments and trailers, they somehow bought a house. This house was on the highest hill in the town, with a water tower across the street. To my child eyes this house was really big, but having seen it as an adult I realize it was not all that large. It had a huge field behind it that ran all the way down to the ravine. There was even a barn. An old cistern that was used for trash. A garage off to the side too. Compared to all the previous places, this place was amazing. I'm guessing my comparison was based on small apartments and trailers. My legit memories are from this house.

It had an upstairs. This is where us kids slept. The stairs going up, had a landing in the middle. The coolest part was the back dining room no the main level of the house. It was windows all the way around, and off to the south one could see the Missouri river slowly churning by. Could see the whole hillside behind the house from the windows. There was a door on this room, with stairs leading out to the backyard. A tree right off the back with a tire swing. 

When Doug came to live in the basement he had this huge square metal cage on his head. Drunk driving his motorcycle, he wrecked on a corner, and wrapped his neck around the speed limit sign. They screwed bolts into his head, to secure it to the frame, which was strapped to his upper body. It was the craziest thing. He literally had bolts screwed into his skull. No one was sure how he lived. He did not quit drinking. Doug was a nice guy though, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't allowed to get drunk around us kids. He probably was a different man drunk than not, like most men are. Many years later he eventually drank himself to death. Like I said, he did always seem friendly, which is why I assume he was allowed to stay in the basement. Sometimes he would do stuff with us, like he wanted to be cool.

Right at the edge of town, coming into Herman is a steel bridge crossing the Missouri river. Back in the day it was narrow. Scary narrow. I would always cringe when passing oncoming traffic thinking there was no way in that boat of a car we were going to make it. As soon as the bridge is crossed, to the left, going into town, was a gas station that Donnie, I think owned, for several years. This was before he became a prison guard. Life got worse once he became a prison guard.

He usually had a boat, and would take it out on the river. I remember his dog too, Kooter. It had been beat into submission, just like me, so to the family it was a scaredy cat, just like me. Funny thing though, it would always bite Buck. If Kooter wasn't on a chain whenever Buck would come over that dog would run right up and bite his leg. That should let you know right there what was up with that.

I'll never forget this poster that somehow got hung up in the kitchen above the cabinets. It was a full sized poster too, and it must of been the combined influence of Doug and Donnie that made this happen despite any protests from JoAnn.  It was a poster of six different women, on a beach, in thongs. There back side facing my baby blue eyes. Many times I would stare and ponder that gap. As a kid it always seemed like they had pooped in their thong. That gap was, on every girl, full and oh so apparent. I would just stare and stare trying to figure out what was between their legs. Once I even worked up the nerve to make a comment when it was just the brothers around, to which much laughter ensued. I think the word kooter was used.

JoAnn married into white trash far worse than where she had came from.





















Friday, December 22, 2017

Semi-remembered stories

I'm forty two now, but even if you had asked me about my childhood when I was sixteen I wouldn't have been able to recall anything under the age of four. I've got some memories of kindergarten, but not at home. I've never remembered the violent or stressful times, which would have been most of the time. They've studied this too. That is how it goes. Children who undergo violence and stress, their brains don't develop the same as a child who doesn't. They say it changes one's DNA.

These first four years of my life I've never remembered anything. I used to repeat stories though. I'd even imagined them after hearing them, as if to make them my own. Pretending. Imagination is powerful stuff. Of course, I had my favorites. Some I would tell, and some I wouldn't.

They lived in Mexico, Missouri. He had a job at a steel factory. He ended up working there for decades. I've no idea what she was doing. I just know she dropped out of high school. Their parents had to of been helping them even though they created so much shame for the family. Of course they had to get married.

My brother and I are three years apart. I've been told he didn't learn to talk until he was four or so. They say I would tell people what he wanted or needed. I talked for him. My brother and I have distinctly different personalities. We've always handled things much differently. What was going on that my brother feared to talk?

There is the story about Barry beating me when I was two and a half for spilling his tool box in the basement of their house when there was water all over the floor. JoAnn let this one slip. For her to even bring it up means that he really went to town on me. Him being drunk means he didn't hold back. She was needing Barry to seem a monster to alleviate her of her own guilt and shame for ever even being with such a fuck. She played the same game as the grandparents; blame the other side.

You see, I'm piecing together the puzzle here on my own. This dude was maybe twenty years old, a factory worker in a small shit town, and a drunk already. He was drunk when he beat me for knocking over his tool box. The house most certainly was a rental, and there is no way their financial status was good. We all know how money stress makes for bad decisions in life. The shame he would of had. The terror of real life all around him. He obviously would have been taking it out on me and her. He obviously did.

I thought about it a lot. If he was insensitive enough to beat a two and a half year old baby what the fuck else was going on behind closed doors? It must have been enough to have me wanting to burn the place down at three years old. I'm old enough now to know that the shit people do behind closed doors is a hundred times worse than the shit they do out in the open. This is particularly true when it comes to typical Midwest white trash.

Barry and JoAnn eventually separated because one night, when driving to her parents' house, she fell asleep a few miles from their house at the wheel.  The car rolled several times through a ditch into a cornfield. Luckily this happened near the only farm house on that stretch of road. My little brother was thrown from the car, and I stayed in the back seat. All the blankets must have protected me from harm, and my brother too, somehow came out unscathed. Being tossed from the car must have saved his life. JoAnn was wrecked. The steering wheel and her got into a fight and the steering wheel won.

When people showed up, no one realized I was in the backseat of the car. Everyone was focused on JoAnn and my little brother. I still to this day cannot grow a proper beard because if I end up in a car for too long I pull it out. A thirty minute car ride can result in half my beard being gone. The anxiety is still too real. Obviously my body remembers what my conscious self does not. I've learned that when the conscious does not recognize reality the unconscious finds a way to tell the story. We'll talk about that concept a lot more as the story goes.

When Barry showed up at the hospital he went crazy on JoAnn, accusing her of trying to kill his kids. Drunk. She must of been making the drive in the first place to avoid his drunk ass. Some typical white trash shit. Somehow this was more than JoAnn could take, but that can't be. What was going on behind the scenes? What bullshit did these two have going on? No one knows. Neither of them had any idea what the fuck they were doing. Still to this day that is the case. Some day I'll unlock my body, and will know consciously, but until then I'm making safe bets.

I'm betting she already had another man in the wing. She always had other men in the wing. She was always sleeping around, so there is no reason to think it wasn't happening when she was younger. She was after all that little girl doing whatever she could to get a man to love her, which most certainly means spreading the legs. I'm not hating. I understand the plight. I'm just calling it for what it is. Since the dude had no self esteem, his wife sleeping around would have been absolutely maddening. No one would have said JoAnn was ugly. 

Then there is the story about me when I was threeish. After the car wreck. Grandma Ann told this story. She said I came to her house once, and had threatened to burn down the house so that my mommy would move back in with my daddy. I was probably fourteen or fifteen when she told me this. I remember asking myself, "Goddamn, was I just born fucking violent?" How does a three year old even come up with something like that?  What was going on around me that even made that an option for my three year old self? Hearing that story changed something in me, and while I do not remember being three, I've never forgotten that story.

There is a story of Barry giving me beer. Wanting to seem cool. I still love beer.

My left hand point finger looks different on the tip than my right. My grandfather made a toy box for my first birthday. I cherished this box for a long time in life. It was made of plywood, with the alphabet engraved across the top, and the year it was made. He carefully painted the grooves of the letters with different colors, and stained it nice like. It was a big box too. When I got too old to play with toys I kept clothes in it. Anyways, one day my brother closed the lid on my hand and I lost the tip of my finger. It's a permanent reminder of this time in my life. I eventually lost the box when I separated from the first wife. I left it with her son. Since I'll never have children, at the time that was as close to a son as I was going to get. He once upon a time called me dad after all.

She left Mexico Missouri after the wreck, and my life continued to become more of a wreck.

























Wednesday, December 20, 2017

In the beginning

It all began in the rural Midwest for me. That's what this story is all about after all; growing up poor white trash in the American Midwest. I'm not sure where their stories began. As always there are two sides to the story; his and hers. Theirs and mine. I was never close enough to any of these people to even begin to tell their story. These people, naturally, were incredibly insensitive and judgemental, even the ones who pretended on the surface not to be. There will come a time in the story when we learn that nice people are just assholes in disguise.

His family was from Europe, moved to the Midwest. Her family was from Europe, moved to the Midwest. Americans. Both sides poor farmers. Both sides judging the other like they judged everyone else. 

His family. I still remember my great grandfather. This is my fathers mothers father. He was a nice enough man. Bald as could be. He was friendly, laughed and made jokes, even if I was too young to understand. The story goes that when he came to Missouri at the age of eleven or so, straight from Europe, he only knew Dutch. What they called Low Dutch. Sounds German to me. Hoffmeyer, Hoffmeier, who the fuck knows, I've no idea how it is spelled. I'm not going to call anyone to find out either. She's dead now. She died bitter too. The last time we talked the conversation ended with her asking me who I thought I was, "God or something", and me telling her she was fucking stupid, but that too is another chapter in the story. My great grandfather was remarried by the time I knew him. I've no clue who my grandmothers mother was. I don't remember ever hearing any stories about her. It was probably considered scandalous that he even remarried. His second wife was wheel chair stricken by the time I knew her. Literally, her legs were gone. Nubs. Diabetes. There house had that old person smell, such that you could smell it outside the house.

I keep saying, by the time I knew them, because they had already lived their lives by the time I knew them. We were warned to be on best behavior, and for some reason that warning worked around them. He outlived the woman in the wheelchair by many years. This woman always seemed crazy looking to me. I was too young to understand how someone could even live, while living in a wheelchair. These things were beyond me. I do know, I'm bald just like he was.That bald head always stood out to me.

I've no idea how this man raised my grandmother. I remember one Christmas at her house, when he was still alive, well into his nineties, we were playing Pictionary, and he drew an old ass antique phone, to which no one guessed telephone. I saw what it was after he told us what the word was, then I recognized it. He was embarrassed of his age. Embarrassed to be playing the game. To be the reason we were losing. I wish I could have told him how cool he was to me, with his old ass ways, instead of being the ignorant punk that I was. I wanted so badly to tell him it was remarkable he could even play the game at all considering his age. To me, only being twelve or thirteen perhaps this guy was fucking ancient. I remember being so impressed with his mental capabilities at his age. I remember thinking that I was going to live to be very old myself. I still know this to be true.

His family. I don't remember any of his fathers family. I don't remember any stories about his parents. I never met them. I know my grandfather was a war veteran. Stevens is British or English, or is there a difference really? I'm sure they would say there is a difference, but to my dumb American ass there is no difference. I know he took the pride out of my younger years for being almost entirely German. Everyone was German but this guy. If only I had that German last name. My grandfather was a quiet man as far as I was concerned. Detached. More than likely ashamed. He would talk the head off an adult, especially if music was the topic. I know he could play the fiddle, and acoustic guitar, and he would sing in that old school blue grass high pitched whiny white boy voice. Rumor was he was quite the drinker when he was younger, and this would explain my fathers bent on life. He never drank that I knew of. 

I'll tell you something though, that might put him into perspective. He was the kind of racist that when he used the word nigger it would raise the hair on your neck. When he said the word nigger he meant it. I'll never forget this story he told one Christmas. A black man who worked for them on the farm, had somehow ripped his cheek open. He said they just held this man down on a table and sowed his cheek up like he was an animal. The way he laughed about it I'll never forget. I knew right then; I didn't like this man. I never liked this man, and I'm sure it was mutual.

His family. She was as big around as she was tall. My grandmother was maybe 5'2", and so big around she eventually had to have knee surgery on both knees. She went through this in her fifties I believe. I don't think she loved herself very much, but she sure knew how to pretend she had her shit together. It's easy to fool kids. Looking back as I am now she wouldn't have been fooling me at all. My grandmother was a devout Baptist. That old school feminine mentality about church. One must go to church! Equally racist. Highly opinionated. 

So naturally she couldn't stand the woman who gave birth to me, and she blamed her for everything that went wrong in my life. During our last conversation, that was what it was about, her putting some of the blame on my loser of a father. She just couldn't do it. I can't say she was ever mean to me directly, but I could always feel the judgement. My brother and I were a permanent reminder of the shame and guilt of her oldest son getting a high school girl pregnant. 

Both of these grandparents were the same in this regard, this weird distance, standoffish, as if, almost, we weren't their grandchildren. We were problems. There was something wrong with us, particularly me. I'll never forget this time we were at a Sears for family photos. I'm talking the whole Stevens family. Their three children, and all the existing grandchildren. The Sears was in Columbia, Missouri, which is much larger than the small town my grandparents lived near. Sitting in the chairs at the photo-shop was a black family. Acting like black people do. I'm not being racist I assure you. I'm acknowledging the difference in cultures. On one side there's these, lived on a farm all their lives, small town Baptist white racist fucks, and on the other side a probably equally racist black family that probably wouldn't be caught dead on a farm. I've spent a fair enough time in the black culture to make this assessment, while looking back at my memories. My grandmother was so upset about their presence she almost left. This was the 80's. I seriously think they were worried about getting robbed or something inside the Sears store. My grandparents turned it into an ordeal, and I was never sure if the black family picked up on it or not. The woman who gave birth to us made sure we didn't have these racist tendencies. She was at least that sensitive to life. Although I'm not so sure she still holds that thought after having worked as a prison guard for decades now.
 
His family was stereotypical old school, farm boy, Baptist ignorant. He, this is my biological father we're talking about, had an older sister, and a younger brother. He was eighteen years old when I was born. He was seventeen when he got her pregnant. Scandalous. He was already a drunk. The farm he grew up on was a hog farm. They raised hundred of pigs. It was nearly a seven hundred acre operation. I remember my grandmother telling me a story once about how Barry would be so self conscious about smelling like pig shit he would bleach himself before going to church.  Honestly, having never talked to Barry about his own life I can't imagine what it would have been like growing up on that farm being raised by those people. It leaves room for justifying his ignorance, except that his siblings aren't quite so ignorant. All I do know, is that his self esteem was, and is, so low he barely functions in life. He had a heart attack at fifty and gained over fifty pounds afterwards. It's supposed to go the other way. Looking at it now, they were perfect narcissists. They focused on the presentation; how they appeared, regardless of how fucking stupid they were. Typical of the times, by focusing on the outward appearance, they did absolutely no inner work whatsoever.

Her family. Same deal; born to farmers. My grandmother was one of many children. Her father too, was a war veteran. I never met any of the great grandparents on this side except for my grandmothers mother. There weren't even from a small Missouri town. The farms they were raised on were way out in the middle of nowhere, where the water came from a spring. I was taken to this spring once. It was literally just water coming up out of the ground in the middle of a cow pasture. I stood for several minutes staring at that water coming out of the ground trying to imagine living that way. I had been raised in small towns, and had never been subjected to what I call reality. As a child I had no appreciation of how they had lived without all the technology, running water, heat, electricity.

My grandmother took care of her mother all the way until she died. They were quite close. When my great grandmother could no longer live on her own, which she did until she lost her vision completely, she went to live with my grandmother. These women were much more down to earth in a certain way than the other side. I'm not saying they didn't have their ignorance and judgemental ways, they did, and it was profound, I'm just saying they were much kinder about their judgements. They were just uneducated, and bought what they were sold. Baptists too is what I'm saying. Even if my grandmother was abused, you'd never catch her copping to it.

Her family. Her father overtly abused her. Abused her such that by sixteen she was sleeping with douche bags attempting to get the love she never got from her father. This is an extremely common life path among females. It's highly likely he sexual abused her, although no one will confirm this. That would be heresy. Scandalous. Too much pride involved. The woman who gave birth to me has hinted about this being the case, but just doesn't have the gumption to follow through. Too painful to chase that down. It's easier to go the other way.  

I remember hearing a story about how her father would ridicule her, and choose her younger sister over her, basically shaming her right to the face in front of her sister. Even as a young kid this was a red flag. I knew something wasn't right for a father to act that way to his daughter. I don't remember the language, but I remember thinking, who would do that to a fucking child. This was only one story that made it through to my young ears. There had to be many many more cases of this in her life, living everyday with him as she did. My grandmother has always been the type to keep quiet instead of upsetting people too.

My grandfather was always nice to me, so there was a certain disconnect between these stories and my experience of him. He wasn't anything like my grandfather on the other side. But with her it seemed to be the same. She never made it out of high school. She was pregnant with me at sixteen. Dropped out. Like Barry, this person had no self esteem at all, and going by this story I had heard of her father ridiculing her, it's no wonder at all. 

Her father worked for McDonald Douglas for many years. This was prior to there being safety regulations. Turns out he breathed in so much toxic shit, by the time I remember him his liver was smaller than mine. He was always going to the doctor. Something was always wrong with him. He died a slow painful death. My grandmother has stayed single ever since. She's going out alone just like her mother did. 

Both sides were ignorant as can be. I can't lie and say that I never learned anything from these people, but I can say I could have easily learned what I learned from them from people who weren't so ignorant. It's impossible, no matter who raises a person to not learn some shit am I right? I guess what I'm saying is, they didn't teach me anything special.They didn't prepare me for life. Actually, they made my life harder than it needed to be, and in turn I followed that energy, and did like they did, and made my own life harder than it needed to be. I found out in the end, no matter how hard one tries, one ends up like those who raise us.

Her father was the kind that would tear down a barn, and build a house out of it, then sell it to someone poor who couldn't afford to buy a house that wasn't made out of brand new wood. This gave me memories of working in his shed doing things like building rafters, sharpening used nails. He taught me how to drive a tractor. How to grow tomatoes like a champ. He would use a post hole auger on his tractor to dig a deep hole, layered it such and such a way, with a tomato plant at the top. Boss tomatoes. In all my childhood this was the only man who was ever nice to me. He was the only man who ever taught me anything at all. His father never taught me a single thing. I barely remember the guy talking to me.

Both of their mothers taught me a love for cooking. I've always preferred being with my grandmothers over my grandfathers. All my life actually, I've preferred to be in the company of women. Those mommy issues start young, or perhaps I just have the soul of a woman. I read an article in my adult years about how women of the previous generations used food as a way to feel powerful, and in control; they were the providers of life itself. His mother is dead now, she died bitter and dumb, but if you go to my other grandmothers house you're going to get fed. There will be the most amazing cookies you've ever had on deck and ready to go.