the look when you find out your husband is fucking your best friend
Arrived: my first print copy of my first book. When I had a stroke and ‘lost everything’ therapists said I needed recreational help, enrolled me at the seniors place to play shuffle board. There they asked me what I enjoyed and didn’t like my answer: lesbian porn. well, affection really, but I was kinda bitchy for a few years and I view seniors recreation programs as babysitting waiting for slow demise.
Anyway, I digress, again, I enrolled myself at the gym, hired a kinesiologist, took driving lessons, learned to drive with my left hand and foot, bought a car, learned left handed typing and photo, and adobe creative suite. 3 years and 5 books later, what good can I make of this has become the focus of my creative juices.
It is I believe the central question of all creative activity, all therapy, all life, since life is random as fuck and there is no predicting. joy/tragedy, hope/loss are the same goddamn thing, they come when they come but for sure they are coming, and we deal with both sides of the coin with great skill.
There is no purpose to life so I had better get off my ass and create some satisfaction. deal with my losses as best I can, then ignore them, forget my goddamn awful past as well, and focus on something more satisfying. If it is to be it is up to me.
Anyway my first printed copy of my first book arrived!
here is how it all works
The unpardonable sin. The everlasting wrong. Sobbing and sobbing, never to be consoled. – Patrick O’Brian, The Fortunes of War.
With these words I was reminded of ‘relationship’ with narcissists I’d known and chosen to trust.
And the consequences.
When it got to the part, as it eventually does, of asking for what you want, in relationship, I was no longer being ‘nice’.
I had been chosen for being a ‘nice guy’. One who does not have needs expressed, making the narcissist uncomfortable, for they have nothing to offer.
I mean they were out the door as soon as they were bored anyway, I just never saw it coming. But like the blue water sailor approaching a continent, I felt the loom of the land, something of a lee shore, imminent disaster, the narcissist loves chaos.
So after months and even years of this anxiety it finally happens, they fuck off with their new beau accusing you of some everlasting wrong, smearing you to all your friends, poisoning relationships left and right.
What good can I make of this?
About Cliff on CBC
Went to the mountains today after hearing that Cliff had passed
stopped at Deadman’s Flats, ironically, and listened to
Bob Dylan sing she’s never gone as long as she’s inside you
So this sense of connection is a choice
Choose a sense of connection
Dr.David Burns said fighting is an intimate connection
and a choice to connect with resentment
so choose to be connected
choose to be not connected
They don’t have to be in the same room
to enjoy this feeling this sense of connection
or even on the same planet
or even in the same time period
I feel very connected to my favourite writer
long passed away
to read his words is to read his mind
To see Cliff’s artwork
is to see and feel him
what he valued and loved and connected to
Some connections, like with Cliff, I value extremely
and will always be with me
I posted things like this on dating sites, hoping to meet someone with a sense of humour. About me: Art degree with a major in gynecology. I’m not a doctor but I’m willing to have a look. About you: You have sufficient musicality to be able to hum the William Tell overture complete with cannon. You can view this handy instruction video here
It didn’t work too well for dating but I had fun which come to think of it, is why I wanted to date. Win/win.
2. I really like Coen brothers movie The Big Labowski. Reminds me of growing up in redneck Calgary with an equally bizarre underground drug culture of stoned weirdo’s. I see that they were all aspiring to be Scots:
3. I recently changed my genes and their expression of diabetes and heart disease in 3 months by reading this guys book and doing what he suggested. After an ultrasound and a thallium stress test the cardiologist said I went from a candidate for a heart attack to having the blood pressure of a fit 35 year old. My blood sugar is now normal. CHANGING LIFESTYLE CHANGES GENE EXPRESSION A Talk with
14. I’m an ordained minister. At least I think I am. After spending 10 bucks on the Internet they sent me this handy email, so it must be true: Congratulations, You are now a legally ordained minister at the First Church of Atheism!
5. I’m an initiated yogi. Hang around Ashrams long enough and someone will eventually initiate you. I’m not sure what it means but at least they didn’t ask me for the deed to my house. I gave all that up for REBT. See#7
6. I am an INFJ in the Myers Briggs personality type system. Rarest of all types I relate to 1 person in 200. So I’m on the outside observing. Same type as Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King. Oh yes and God help me Shirley McLean as well. I hope I’m not channeling an ancient Egyptian cause that would be like weird. Find out your type here.
7. My Dad died when I was 2 from lung cancer, he was a coal miner. I grew up in a state of anxiety in poverty and abuse. I medicated the effects of that with sugar, then nicotine, and then pot and dropped all that for yoga/religion. Finally I found Albert Ellis, the foremost psychotherapist of the last century, read a couple of his books and dropped all that other stuff entirely.
8. When I was 40, after a brief career as an addictions counselor, and a longer career in transportation logistics, I went to art school. For 6 years. A process where every 3 months your work is put before the foremost artists in the land, and they decide if you get another 3 months of school. This process I engaged and did well at, 3 times on the President’s honour role, earned 2 degrees, while watching it tire and burn out 18 year olds. Only 100 graduated of 800 entry submissions. Then I taught there for 10 years, specializing in Adult Education.
9. During Art School I was married to a woman who developed a terminal degenerative brain disease (Huntingtons) that affected her personality and emotions negatively and was very difficult on relationship, to put it mildly. We finished up at the same time as I lost my brother as well as my best oldest friend, both to cancer. I lost relationship, my house, studio and my business and family. I was 50 and I started over. What choice do you have? A social worker recently said to me, Jerald you must have been devastated. Is that what you call that? Oh. Now I know.
10. I have taught painting and drawing in the faculty of extension (adult education), having earned an adult education certificate, at local Art Collages and University.
11. I have practiced art as therapy, (using the creative model) in long term care institutions, with people with incurable illness, as they degenerate into slow demise.
12. I learned Photoshop and the internet at art school and eventually spent a few years making a decent living producing images for internet advertising, until the customers left for India and their attractive economy. I would go back to this if I found the right gig. Selling crap to Americans using fear I find to be morally reprehensible, generally speaking. Besides, design isn’t art as I understand it and I prefer to practice my art. Perhaps in the right gig……
13. I have resolved this: If a person I care about doesn’t return my love, I can seek out others who will love me. I could devote more time to my hobbies and other enjoyable pursuits. I can teach myself to enjoy life without a lover. Then if (and when) I do find a lover, I can be doubly happy. I can practice unconditional self acceptance and accept myself with or without a lover.
14. I used to irrationally believe in astrology. I can’t explain what pleased me about it or why I found it to make sense but it just did (confirmation bias). As a Virgo I find this a very strange belief. Must be my Pisces rising and Cancer moon having an effect.
15. Picasso and I are both born in the year of the Snake in Chinese astrology. When I read his quotes I find myself satisfied and vindicated as an artist. Such as: Success is dangerous. One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility. Also: The people who make art their business are mostly impostors.
16. Cameras for me are a delight, as they handle the details, as do computers. I am vaguely interested in the settings of the machines, but mostly revel in the happy accidents of the technology of art, whether it is the chemistry of paint or the code of a flash presentation. To me, it’s all ways to intuitively express my feelings in depth, and it’s impossible to predict the outcome. Don’t ask me how I did something in Photoshop or Painter, I really don’t know. I just push buttons until I get happy then quit.
17. Beth, my former lover, died when we were 17 or so. of a brain tumor. She said to me, “I’m going to die aren’t I”? It was the hardest question I ever had to answer.
18. Glenda Ferster, my former lover, died when she was about 21. She was killed by her taxi passenger, an inmate of a mental institution on leave, while she was driving cab. He raped her and left her body in the bush near Exshaw Alberta. It was the hardest funeral I ever had to attend. The search for her had been called off but the cab drivers didn’t quit. We kept going till we found her. http://www.taxi-library.org/canada/ferster-g.htm
19.The movie Good Will Hunting makes a lot of sense to me. I also was a (virtual) orphan, who was adopted by working class trade folks (transportation) who went on to higher education and career after receiving counseling.
20. I love to drive. I once worked at a bus company training their drivers. Driving heavy equipment pleases me.
21. My Taylor guitar makes the most beautiful sounds. I love everything about it, the smell the feel of my fingers on the strings. It can be loud. I call it my banjo-killer.
22. I studied voice (opera) for a year. My teacher Maudi said, “you really can’t sing can you ? All right then!
23. I got busted for a joint when I was a kid. I got a hundred dollar fine. Still can’t get into the States or work for the City due to my record. I find I don’t miss either experience.
24. I love Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander series of books. Read all 20. 6 times. You are the nutmeg of consolation, the rose of desire and the very flower of consideration. Ahhhhhhhhh bliss. I highly prefer character development to procedural. He is the master.
25. This is what I have come to believe from all of that:
A Real Treasure
There is only one of me.
I am a unique individual, one of a kind.
Therefore I have value,Whether I am young
Fat or thin
Tall or short
I accept myself as a unique work of art
Of limitless possibilities (I think of Steven Hawking, wheelchair bound, immobile, scientist, professor, husband and father if I happen to contemplate my `inability’ to create satisfaction in my life)
I am always in this process of change
I cannot be a finished perfect`Anything’ (Insert label here [if you must])
This imperfection (by definition) has no bearing whatsoever
On my `value’ or `worth’
I have value or worth because I am a unique one of a kind piece of very fine constantly evolving art that has perhaps not existed before and perhaps may not again
And in my mind, so are you.
So I take pleasure in you, simply because I want it,
A real Treasure.
what is it?
I was raised by conservative narcissists
all narcissists are liars
I am afraid
I don’t trust anybody
is no trust
blinded by the charm
to create trust
I must do well and win the approval of others or else I am no good.
I can't trust their approval or their evaluation of do well
Other people must do “the right thing” or else they are no good and deserve to be punished.
I can’t trust them to do the right thing.
Life must be easy, without discomfort or inconvenience
I can't trust life
The Way Out
Is there any evidence that I am no good? The only evidence I can find is that their likes and dislikes only describe them, this I can trust.
Where is it written that others must? Just because I prefer it, does that mean I must have it?
It’s a pain, but it’s not awful
Accept Accept Accept
The purpose of life is satisfaction
What good can I make of this?
So. This is my anniversary.
20 years since smoking cessation
32 since habitual pot/booze was a factor in my life
I was very anxious
The people that I had counted on to nurture and protect me
Abandoned me as a child
Then they attacked me
Guilt, as it was all my fault, I was groomed to believe
I was responsible for the attack
I had asked people who had nothing to give
For what I wanted.
They hate that
They abandon and attack
Overvalue Undervalue Dump Smear
This was my Mom, and siblings
My Dad died of lung cancer and left me in the care of a narcissist Mom
Who abdicated her responsibilities and left me to my animal siblings
Narcissists in training, nothing to give, abandonment & attacking
Grooming me to care for her
My only way to gain affection, as a reward.
Codependent in training
Groomed with Fear Obligation Guilt
So I learned not to ask for what I want to fear the guilt-attack consequence
Asking will get you abandoned, dumped
Raging at the world for not anticipating my needs
My needs are not a priority anyway I knew
So I never asked again All or Nothing became my life
Anxious to please to not get attacked and dumped
By age 12 I was a pack a day man.
Roll your owns, the only skill my mother taught me.
Because it was cheaper for her.
I had taught myself to tie my own shoes
And to read
When I ran from the bullies into the library
They knew I wouldn’t fight back
No one taught me to fight back
That it was OK to defend myself
To hurt others
As the slaves hurt the slave owners
By being free
I taught myself logistics of planning escape routes
From stupid violent people at age 6 who hunted me
I became the best dispatcher in the city
Fleets of 400 vehicles to manage for 20 years
The stupid people drove the cars
I the codependent took care of them
Holding my anger down with cigarettes and pot
Living in a drug induced haze
Is today the day I will get fired?
A self fulfilling prophecy.
So I went to my love
There I learned that the designers are codependent and please others
The Artists please themselves
As I started to ask for what I want, my wife threw me out
Narcissists manipulate by withholding sex
Almost impossible to tell till you are in it
The are overvalue-love-bombing and very convincing liars
I sought therapy
Cognitive rational therapy REBT
I deprogrammed me from over anxiety and rage
Yoga and religion down the drain too
No longer sucking my resources
With nothing to give back
Guilt-attacked for asking
I find that asking for what I want is still scary
There is a tension that exists before the relationship
Sometimes a risk is fun too
Being alone has the joys of solitude
So nothing to lose in the asking, reasonably
Sometimes at the gym I try to make friends
When I go I do stroke recovery these days
So many gym rats have nothing to offer
They see me as a gimp a crip a drain on their resources
The Yoga people are actively hostile
They are there to Look Good In Bed
Pissed that I ask for friendship in a coffee a chat
Whats your email I’ll get back to you
As sincere in their fake empathy as a used car salesman with his prospect
No proof in that pudding
I know where I stand
No longer in over anxiety
Sucking chemicals to feel better
Like my Dad who was abandoned and attacked by his
Awful angeraholic Scottish father and codependent Irish mother
They sent 6 of their kids to live at the Salvation Army
Their needs being an inconvenience
Dad killed his lungs with chemicals to the point of cancer at age 40
To feel better
From the incest-like abuse
Of being attacked by the one you are supposed to trust
To care for you
So this is the anniversary of my self care initiation
Happy Birthday to me!
I am broken
I didn’t do relationship right
Because she left
It’s all my fault
That she didn’t keep her promise
That she wasn’t loyal
That I am broken
She didn’t keep her promise
Because she is not sincere
She left because
I asked for what I want
To Deepen Relationship
She Had Nothing to Offer
She Didn’t Keep Her Promise
Because She Is A Liar
She Slept With Another
Because She Is Bored
She Craves Chaos
I am not Broken
But Not Broken
From my family, particularly my Mother, to my siblings, acquaintances, through my spiritual search for connection that I didn’t receive at home, (my father died of a lung cancer he found in a coal mine); to co-workers and colleagues, my search for family and connection utopia brought only more pain that I was seeking to relieve.
I didn’t mention marriage in that list, for even though I went through the ceremony, there wasn’t even an attempt to sustain relationship from the partner who chose me and suggested the rites.
I was sought out, a victim of the hunt, of a predator, really a series of predators, searching for their utopia of never being bored. Hurt and vulnerable, intelligent, artistic and good looking I was the prime target, then the competitor to be killed, the person to be blamed for their mental health issues when it turned out that what I wanted was a boring old sane stable relationship where healthy people assert their rights and ask for what they want to deepen relationship. This, as it turns out, is the garlic repelling the vampire, they leave a trail of smear going out the door. Rinse repeat.
The problem with the list of my ‘crimes’ was that I believed them. I believed in belief. They had to leave, it was all my fault. I had asked for what I wanted, the cardinal sin. Since they had nothing to give, they left, blaming me.
The healing for the pain: Is there any evidence for the belief? This is the prime deprogramming question whether it is from being convinced of original sin in western Christianity, reincarnation because you are a loser in the Dali Lama’s Tibetan Buddhism, or my ‘wife’ who is controlling by withholding sex, similar to advanced yoga at the Ashram, by saying it is my fault due to poor technique because I asked for what I want.
Assertiveness training saved me. How to ask for what you want from people who scare you. I had a lot of scare. It turns out over-anxiety is a consequence of the belief that I can’t handle life and I must be liked. Evidence based psychology sustains me. Where is the evidence that I can’t handle life, and I must be liked? There never is any as here I am alive and capable of creating some form of satisfaction for myself. Based on pretty obvious evidence.
Where is your family? was often asked of me at the hospital during my 6 month stay doing stroke rehab. Why I’m right here, I would reply. Most thought I was brain damaged from the stoke I’m sure.
Any time I’ve been in trouble, those who were merely acquaintances, as it suddenly turned out, that I saw as close, similar to a family feeling of loyalty, fucked off.
Well we are not available to spend a week visiting was the put off from Rob and Rose, when I asked to crash at their house in Victoria. Not that I asked for that level of creepy closeness, I asked to be alone with the ocean after being dumped by a devastating narcissist. They had on 3 occasions come to live with me during the housing shortages when Rob returned to school. He went on to marry his daughter emotionally, started a business with her, his wife denying him by being sunk in depression. The kid becomes the wife, taking care of Dad’s emotional needs for partnership (at least), typically conservative (he’s an RCMP cop) by making relationship a business deal. A very competitive family, running a karate school cult, anxious and hostile with the wife and and daughter competing for Dad. Incest by any other name smells like shit.
The devastation and the damage, comes from believing that these losses are all my fault, that I asked for what I wanted, making them leave.
Recently Theresa a former girlfriend I had stayed in touch with on FB now living in Little Rock Arkansas took a trip back to visit family, and asked to visit me. A visit she found boring based on her lack of enthusiasm as she was doing a social chore. When I asked to deepen the connection by communicating on social media, she refused saying it felt like emotional infidelity. Nothing to offer, she left, smearing, going out the door. Blaming.
I have been supposedly socially isolated for a couple of years now doing stroke recovery, but not really. I am grateful for social media, my social skills, and for my own company.