Skeptical

If you are not skeptical about religion

then you will likely be conservative

and believe what you are told to believe

kindly present the evidence

you have to convince me

I don’t have to believe anything

I remain unconvinced

your anecdote in unconvincing

 

A Very Poor Trade Off

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is the life & work of its creator, Dr. Albert Ellis, Ph.D.  Central to REBT’s teachings is the ancient psychological insight of Epictetus, who said, “What disturbs men’s minds is not events but their judgments on events.”  That idea helped REBT become both an effective, evidence-based psychotherapy and a philosophy of living.” – Will Ross rebtnetwork.org

OK then. I’m at the transmission shop, having just given the owner $6500.00 and my car is leaking oil, again. Still. All the O rings, whatever they are, have been replaced blah blah blah, mechanics bullshit, and it turns out they didn’t tighten the oil plug.

Then, looking at my cane and stroke affected arm, he wants to wonder how I handle all this ‘bad luck’. He complained previously of being stressed out, he is losing his remaining teeth, constantly eating sugar candies.

I said life is random, if I demand the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune shouldn’t happen, I’ll be asking that my next lover or art patron won’t arrive either.

High tolerance of frustration is the key to success in any endeavor, including, being alive. It doesn’t mean being comfortable it means tolerating discomfort.

Like if he went to the dentist he would learn to tolerate it, and find out it’s less discomfort than not going and having teeth rotting in your head.

Like going to the tranny shop and basically making a new car. Runs like a new car and it’s time consuming and expensive to attain. Short term pain for long term gain.

Then he reveals his source of anxiety: “I suppose God wouldn’t give you what you can’t handle.” I said if you believe that. I prefer to think that events are 50% a pain and 50% not, random, like throwing a coin.

I used to agree with him, avoid the dentist and other self helping discomforts. In return for lifelong discomfort. A very poor trade off.

So my limited budget is more limited than before. I can learn to tolerate this discomfort by making my own coffee to go, rather than Starbucks for example, focusing on how well I am budgeting and enjoying the coffee costing me 25 cents rather than $3.50.
I can go for drives with my camera because the car is cheap to operate and fun to drive.
I can enjoy my hobby of reading and building my library, The Library of The Duchy of Jerald.

See? Already I’m having fun and my teeth and car are healthy.

Ignoring = Abuse

Well it does. I’ve experienced this all my life from family, but didn’t realize till recently what this icky feeling of anxiety shame embarrassment guilt all mixed together was.

I met a woman on line, Louise Bak, an artist in Toronto. I tried to collaborate, and deepen the friendship, which she ignored. She maintained contact with daily updates of the news, similar to a twitter feed.

She sent me photos of herself for an editing project I was working on, but no comments on the results. Ever. I had enough work to begin a book project, Letters from Louise, I did a cover sent it around twitter, no response there or email.

I felt myself sink into a depression, I had trouble walking again, had trouble seeing the joy of my recovery from stroke.

Then I read up on ignoring someone:

It is abuse to ignore someones needs emotionally and make them feel worthless, depressed and will cause long term damage so much so that in many cases it can lead to the victims physical health being harmed.To deliberately cause harm to someone by use of the silent treatment, deny a person any emotional care, deny them any praise, starve them of love, affection, compliments, positive feed back, to regularly reject, degrade and deny a person any emotional responsiveness and to ignore a persons needs is mental abuse or also known as psychological abuse. It is repetitive abuse that’s aimed at controlling, diminishing another persons well being in order to hurt, punish, harm or control them.The silent abuser is able to switch himself off emotionally to the pain and suffering he is causing his victim and will deny he is the problem and he may tell himself or others that he is the victim.You stop being a victim when you become the abuser

In REBT, this is called the activating event 
My unhealthy negative emotions, the anxiety shame etc and my self defeating behaviors, such as isolating, weren’t caused by this event. This is just what gets the kettle cooking. This is called life.

What causes the emotions and behaviors is how I look at the activating event.
The consequences of my belief system, my philosophy. This is called the three major musts.

In my case it was, I must be liked and do well or I’m a loser, life is terrible and I can’t stand it.

The next step is to dispute this. Is there any evidence I’m a loser and I can’t stand a setback?
The next is to answer rationally and honestly. The is no evidence. I highly prefer to be liked and treated well but I don’t have to. I have been standing it, I am standing it, so I will stand it. The disputing irrational beliefs form has great suggestions, including the wonderful question, what good can I make of this?

My new motivating self helping negative emotions are just disappointment, sadness and annoyance, my new self helping behaviors are talking to strangers and asking for what I want. Oh yes, and finding nicer friends.

There is no reason, why things should be different from the way they are, no matter how unfortunate or unfair their present state of existence is. Albert Ellis

No matter how badly you may be frustrated or deprived of something that you badly want, you normally need not make yourself terribly unhappy about this deprivation if you do not define your preference as a dire necessity. Albert Ellis

https://www.jeraldblackstock.ca/

Editing

The photoshopper is an armed version of the solitary walker reconnoitering, stalking, cruising the internet urban inferno, the voyeuristic stroller who discovers the net as a landscape of voluptuous extremes.

Adept of the joys of watching, connoisseur of empathy, the flâneur finds the world on the net “picturesque.”— paraphrased adaption of Susan Sontag, On Photography p.55 

agnes
all rights reserved

A Liberal Albertan Speaks Up

Political parties in Canada campaign from the right or the left but govern from the centre. The conservatives think we broke that deal when we instituted Universal Health Care but as long as we didn’t do PharmaCare, Free Tuition, DentalCare, or Guaranteed Annual Income like civilized European countries, such as Germany, and a large part of our income came from selling cheap oil to the Koch brothers, they could live with that.
Now the USA fracks it own cheap oil and gas, China, a rich massive communist country, wants ours, and our population wants more from its resource revenue.
The conservatives are very afraid we are going to give it to ourselves.
They are authoritarian because they demand certainty in an uncertain random world, they hate change. Similar to small children.
A mature adult says, yes, life is often uncomfortable and uncertain but evidence shows not only will we deal with it, but that we are very good at dealing with it.
The conservatives rush instead to powerful rich cults which worship bronze age deities and have centuries of stored wealth and political influence at their disposal to manipulate those in anxiety that was created by demanding certainty. The church offers certainty of an afterlife but if you and I don’t know, then they don’t know. You and I aren’t broken, the church isn’t bequeathed with special mind powers, it’s a snake oil con game based on evidence.
Hostility and anxiety go hand in hand such as the religious based USA, mass murder capitol of the world.
We in Canada are an evidence based society that deals with uncertainty in healthy, mature, adult ways.
We no longer have to choose between taking our daughter to the hospital and paying the rent, or mortgaging our homes to pay for our cancer care.
The conservatives like us to live in fear, attempting control others by offering blame based solutions such as work harder, save more, pull yourselves up, save for retirement while working at their companies for minimum wage creating their wealth like good little economic slaves.
Change is coming, it is always coming, it is always here.
I say to my many many conservative friends (I live in Alberta): it’s OK, the Adults have this. Strong, rational, sane, scientific, educated grown ups have your back. You don’t have to live in such fear and hostility anymore.
#IStandWithTrudeau

Predator and Prey

How did it happen?

She approached me an the gym

I was sought out

Slightly handicapped

Seduced, flirted and flattered.

Chatted me up for an hour.

Walked away with my contract for training

Specialized in stroke recovery

With a side of implied romance

Oh you have made my day love bombing

Undervalued and Dumped

Didn’t respond to an email

Cancelled last minute

Our first session

Another client took it more priority

Grooming with guilt and obligation to accept

Manipulation with nice

All or Nothing

all humour is inappropriate
like an extemporaneous nipple
appropriateness is fascism
all sex is masturbation
choosing who to socialize ones masturbation with
is called adult choices
all people have the right to change their mind
one word: satisfaction
I prefer is two
all lesbians
all straights
etc etc
is eugenics

Notes from the week

Hmmmm

We had a first coffee date. To see how that goes she said. I showed some street photo, she looked politely, saw the clown makeup I’d painted on folks faces. She got it. It’s really a circus on the street, she said.

I was fired once for the suggestion all the guys hanging around and disrupting a pretty co-worker were like flies to bad meat. The manager was also doing some after hours maggot making with her it seems. I went to art school as an adult at that point. Tom Robbins was my influence.

art that changed my life thingy

I’m reading Tom Robbins right now, thankfully, again. He’s talking about what a boy with an imagination, in poverty and neglect, does for entertainment.
I read.
The Reader’s Digest and the mail order book clubs and the library relieved the grinding boredom of being poor. Not to mention the constant terror of constant abuse. Distraction is a wonderful thing.

Besides reading about the dust bowl depression and the Cannery Row of Monterey where Steinbeck would describe dew on a leaf to make your mouth water, I was exposed to Naked Came I,  David Weiss, a novel of Rodin.

I remember him being raised also in poverty, also shortsighted, being under the kitchen table as a boy, drawing. The rest of the novel was above my reading level, age 10, but I never put a book down, it was my marathon reader’s accomplishment to finish it. Having been neglected and abandoned from birth I was never one to leave a book, a pet, a project a person. All or nothing took some therapy to resolve, life doesn’t provide certainty. We have the right to change our minds.

Fast forward to age 18, I’m caught in a prairie thunderstorm, on the streets of Calgary since I was 14, the only shelter was the Glenbow Museum, they were having an opening, and I enter to get out of the punishing rain and hail. There before me was this hand, lifelike, straining describing in 3 dimensions, my life. I cried, I just burst into tears.

Later in life this continued to happen, at art school as an adult student particularly, I would get in front of a work and just start leaking. They called it an aesthetic experience, a spiritual experience, I was ‘sensitive’, all kinds of stuff. I think it was being in front of a work where the artist took great care, exhibited love of his work of his medium, husbanded his resources. A demonstration of the kind of devotion to his creation I didn’t experience as a child from a parent. I say ‘his’ intentionally, as my father, a coal miner, died of lung cancer when I was 2. I was introduced to grief and loss of male love in the womb.

Female love, my mother and likeminded women I subsequently became attracted to, was narcissistic and untrustworthy. They were convincing in their promises of avowed commitment and excellent liars. Took some more therapy to heal that as well.

But that’s another story…

The Clenched Hand or The Mighty Hand, small version, c.1885.
A. Rodin

Dear Twitter

Louise Bak

You must get outrage out?
That
Based on the notion of balancing the humours
For which there is no evidence.
Is 16th century mental health
Evidence is:
Anger is a choice
Send out anger
Get anger back
Send out love
Get love back
Righteous Indignation
Is just anger