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/

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

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

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

Adults Having Adult Conversation

I wish I could run the universe like you, and decide what is art and what should be shown

Adults having adult conversation are self censoring,

we are not children that need to be protected from the world, and neither are you.

If you don’t prefer it,

push the magic button to make it go away,

then do that for the rest of life

until you die in a soft padded room

with

no light

no sharp corners

no pain

or loss

or pleasure

or hope.

or magic

or love

I am unconvinced of your belief that you can’t stand it

that you can’t handle life

big beliefs require big evidence.

I don’t have to disprove your belief,

you have to prove it to me.

So far I remain unconvinced of your assertions about the nature of

art,

woman,

sex,

me, or my art and it’s intent and meaning.

Perhaps its better that I speak for myself,

since you doing it for me and for art is a tad patronizing,

and poorly researched,

based on, you know,

evidence.