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/

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

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

Street

street
is Duchamp
is ready made
dada
is the celebration of uncertainty
is the celebration of life
street is line shape colour tone texture rhythm
fornicating
exposed
guilt shame embarrassment anxiety depression rage
is that contrived in the studio
aspiring to be
street

An Open Letter To My Past

Sorting Shit – artist unknown.

It wasn’t that bad, don’t be such a baby. Don’t worry about it. You are such a worrier. Comments like that from family and parent growing up.
It didn’t happen, if it did it wasn’t that bad.
This is how I was groomed, youngest child, to be Mom’s little helper for life. A family tradition. Uncle Charlie squelched his needs for communication companionship and sex with booze and A.A. to live with his Mom for life and care for her.
Tears are frustration, the frustration of loss.
I cried all the time.
I left Mom at age 14, older siblings long gone into foster care as young criminals, and hit the street, living in a squalid boarding house, on welfare. My remaining family of narcissists having dumped me, shamed me, guilted me, and threatened me. (FOG fear obligation guilt).
My brother became a trained mass murderer with poor impulse control in the military, who once broke into my house, threatened me with violence and stole my camera because he needed it, and tried on another occasion to sleep with my wife.
My sister when supposedly consoling me for yet another loss tried to sleep with me when drunk one night, she now runs Tantra Yoga sex groups.
My oldest brother refused to come to my Art School degree graduation because a diploma was OK but a degree was just ‘putting on airs’.
I mean these are awful awful people, who learned from and were deformed by my extremely conservative British bigoted Mom who grew up being raped by her stepfather and step brother on an island British colony where incest was the national sport.
My inevitable narcissist wife, Carol Graham, now a labour lawyer for management, promised love, and said all the right things. You can’t tell it’s bullshit without training in what to look for, withheld sex, then dumped me for protesting it, threatened suicide if I spoke of it, to a counselor, a common manipulation, divorced me because its all my fault, then married a rich banker, not a broke artist.
On top of the sexual frustration there was the old family frustration of it’s not that bad.
Minimizing and trivializing.
I smoked a lot of pot to mellow out between episodes of extreme frustration where I broke a lot of dishes.
After Carol dumped me, overvalue, undervalue, dump, I got into yoga to get out of pot, the computer age had arrived, I wanted my mind back. I wanted normal sleeps.
It turned out that cult recruitment like yoga seeks smart people in ‘transition’ misery really, and rapes them of their bank accounts, promising self esteem now and in the afterlife. They too, being narcissists, withhold sex, its called brahmacharya, institutionalized inappropriate self sacrifice.
They also dumped me as I didn’t have much money, the excuse (again) was I wanted to be an artist, and going to art school was an ‘indulgence in the senses’ as if that’s a bad thing.
I went to the hospital, depressed and anxious and saw a family therapist, got deprogrammed and treated with, and trained in, evidence based psychology, be your own therapist. REBT. For free.
While researching this I found an paper by its founder, The Case Against Religion, which showed me my sources of frustration with family and religion and faith based organizations even the political ones.
Basically, it didn’t happen, if it did it wasn’t that bad, now focus (by disregarding your needs ) on my ( the ashram, the church, the priest, AA, whatever) desires for money, free labour, priest-sex anything but your needs. These are real needs, you die without them, communication companionship and intimacy. People suicide without these things in their lives.
You are trained that self esteem is your God, you must aspire to have it, so you can be manipulated by threatening to take it away. If you have self esteem you can lose self esteem.
Self esteem is generated by (conditions) how much you give to the organization, how humble you are, by never mentioning it, how honest you are by telling all you shame secrets.
Then how fearful you are that they might be revealed. An extortion racket basically.
Ruthless isn’t a strong enough word.
REBT solves all this by teaching you dump self esteem, it’s a poison.
Instead rate your strategies for your own satisfaction.
Narcissist cult leaders, wifes, parents etc. hate your own satisfaction.
Talk to strangers, ask for what you want, a job, love, friendship, sex the usual satisfactions.
The narcissist will leave because they don’t have any of that to offer, they are in it to get, period, and your satisfactions don.t matter.
They say they do in the initial love bombing recruitment stage, but they are liars.
Just ask for what you want, they will scurry away to their dark holes, no communication, no frank conversation, no willingness to compromise.
Walk away, leave the mutual friends, the joint bank account, everything.
Choose peace.

Links and References

Yasodhara Ashram
Susan Oughtred was my cult recruiter I think she runs the joint now.

REBT
Will Ross was my online teacher, while he was dying of liver cancer, stubbornly refusing to upset himself over such a normal life process. He never asked for a dime.

Shrink4Men
Tare is my fav rational narcissism educator. Education is free, a fee for counselling services.





Arrested Development

displaced from my home
pets art music clothes car everything
homeless for 6 months lived in hospital
climbing out of a wheelchair is harder than any mountain I’ve climbed
creating a new home finding 30,000.00 to do it
from a hospital bed
/family/therapists/doctors/nurses/cabbies/grocery people/
complaining to me that I’ve inconvenienced them
was the worst of it
most people are insane orphan 4 year olds
competing everywhere
for the the parents that abandoned them
manipulated through guilt obligation and fear
conditional acceptance
we all suffer
setbacks
it’s part of life
grow (some empathy) the fuck up

How to Deal with a Health Scare Using REBT

  1. I had a stroke. Reality is reality, not the way I think it has “got to” be.
  2. Although I keenly prefer not have a stroke, a preference does not equal a “got to.”
  3. Although I have extra financial and employment hassles with a stroke, that’s all I have—hassles, not horrors.
  4. It could be nice to have a respite from work, which would provide a longed-for break to make art and write a book or two.
  5. I have savings and pension income I am able to live on for life. I am able to take my time and do a really excellent job of rehab & recovery.
  6. Having a stroke could give me just the push that I have been lacking to take a chance on my dream—returning to my profession as an artist.
  7. Having a stroke has given me a golden opportunity to practice accepting misfortunes, rather than needlessly worrying about them.
  8. I can see, concretely, that even the worst-case scenario is not as bad as I had anticipated.
  9. Having a stroke, this is a bad situation, but it would not make me a bad or worthless person.
  10. I am more money-conscious, for example, move into a shared apartment, eat at home more, and buy a new car in five years rather than immediately. This would mean some deprivation, but I’ve survived deprivation before, and I will survive it in the future.
  11. The simple fact of having a stroke, by itself, can never disturb me. Only my bellyaching about it can do that.
  12. Even if I never get a job as well-paying the one I lost, I accept that and still considerably enjoy life, although I could enjoy it even more with a better salary.
  13. Having a stroke provides an opportunity to eventually get a position that may have certain advantages over this one: self employed so a more supportive boss, more friendly co-workers, less pressure, more interesting work, shorter commute times, less crowded work space, or potentially better pay.
  14. Pressuring myself saying I shouldn’t have had a stroke will not help me recover. Moreover, it could turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy: the more I demand this, the more stressed and distracted I get, and the worse I perform in my recovery.
  15. In the larger sense, health is temporary. Health changes, unemployment, and lost jobs are part of life.
  16. I started at “square one” at relearning to walk, I worked my way up out of the wheelchair and continued to improve.
  17. Everyone has significant discomforts, inconveniences, and hassles in life. This is part of the human condition. No reason exists why I have “got to” be exempt.
  18. It is a relief not to be so focused on competitive work and instead do contemplative art.

This is adapted from Dr. Michael R. Edelstein’s book Three Minute Therapy Chapter 2, on worry.

The Major Sting

The view over Glenmore Dam from the hospital where I learned REBT

astrologists/religionists/ know it doesn’t work
ruthless in their preying on the vulnerable
for profit
those in transition/loss are vulnerable
they seek certainty
where none exists and never has
the demand for certainty created vulnerability
it is the major sting
of loss

A Successful Relationship

According to Dr. Burns the CBT guy, a successful relationship is based on 20 things I find satisfying. So I rate my level of satisfaction 1-5 for each thing. This gives me a percentage when I add it up.
20% – coffee buddy
40%- dining dance sex whatever
60% – marriage
Because a successful relationship means I am accepting and putting up with 40% bullshit.
Because I’m not a damned perfectionist.
There are deal breakers like drug addiction etc. but I am talking reasonable mentally/emotionally compatible adults from the get go.
So what about my relationship with me?
Here I find I am a damned perfectionist.
I must I should endlessly, making myself anxious and depressed for not being perfect.
Then along comes a stroke, and now I’m really not perfect. Now I’m fucked because I’m living with a tyrant. Me.
Oh.
Fuck.
Hmmm
Is there any evidence that I must should be perfect at anything?
Nope.
I highly prefer to, and so I work hard, but I don’t have to.

here is my 20 things:

compassionate
sapiophile/sapiosexual
affectionate
likes art
available
attractive to me
exhibitionist
internet savvy
mentally/emotionally reasonable health
good conversationalist
likes to dine out/coffee shop
likes exercise/gym
likes healthy food
atheism/rational
frank conversation willing to compromise
has at least one strong interest
liberal at least
life long educated learner
introvert