Child: Being

A Facebook friend posted an interview with Dr. Bruce Lipton, a leader of epigenetics research (i). During the interview, he mentioned that our personalities are established by age seven, because prior to that age, children operate in an unconscious state and automatically download what they observe of their parents and other people behaviors. In effect, children store instructions that, they are waiting to run later in life. These programs operate at the subconscious level. Furthermore, Dr. Lipton said that 95% of our actions as an adult comes from the subconscious. And then we rationalize them until they seem logical.

Seventeen years ago, I was struggling with intrusive thoughts and impulse behavior due to my bipolar, I was given one drug after another by my therapist until I found one that worked which did not exacerbate my illness.

Geodon was the most effective. Initially, the impulses disappeared, then slowly the intrusive thoughts dissipated. For the first time in years, I felt peaceful and clear-headed. Plus, I felt I had more energy, since I was no longer suppressing the illness.

However, as the weeks pass, my sexual drive began to slowly disappear. It was a quite interesting experience not having any sensual thoughts. I could watch a movie scene where a couple is making out and found it unstimulating or bedroom scene where a couple is stimulating sex seemed like strange a foreign custom between two people. I didn’t find the absence of sexual thoughts disturbing. Thinking about it now, I realized how peaceful life can be and it brought to mind an article by a Stanley Siegel, a psychotherapist, that sexual fantasies are established by adolescence(ii).

What I can remember as a grade-school child in the 1960’s the world was quite safe and un-sexualized. That period didn’t last too long for me during kindergarten. I was molested in school and began having daytime sexual fantasies by first grade.

Comparing my thoughts before the drug and now, intrusive thoughts capture about nearly all of my thinking and focus on sex, mindless violent, and gory images during sex. Perhaps violent and images were from repressed feelings of the molestation. I have only told two people about the molestation and I come to the conclusion the reason I never told my parents was because they were dysfunctional due to alcoholism and co-dependence. The essence of a dysfunctional family the experience of not being seen, not being heard, and not being allowed to feel (Tony A, 2006). I instinctively knew sharing the molestation with my family would cause me further trauma. And remnant of that alcoholic dysfunction since exists in my family to this day.

That period of respite didn’t last very long because at the time I was married, and my wife became frustrated and angry as I continued to take Geodon. I tried different doses and would skip one day and take it next day, but the side effects were also causing strange sensations. I finally stopped the taking the drug, when I felt my memories were becoming disassociated (iii).

For the next six months my libido slowly returned, but to a new lower level which only occupied half my thoughts and the violent images disappeared. But looking back at those short two-week period of asexuality that could have been my childhood experience as six years old; peaceful and naïve outlook on life.

(i) https://www.facebook.com/BruceHLiptonPhD/videos/1792448227436362/?hc_ref=ARS8r2Diew3pKik15uGK83TkU3xuDMckiZAuT72cU2OJ5aksns7YL9hJHwyZ_qA5a4A&pnref=story

(ii) http://psychologytomorrowmagazine.com/stanley-siegel-lcsw-sexual-fantasies-say-past/
(iii) http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2014/10/31/geodon-side-effects-list-of-common-adverse-reactions/
Tony A, Et al (2006). “The Laundry List”. Tony A, Et al, Adult Children of Alcoholics (pp. 5, 17). Adult Children of Alcoholics / Dysfunctional Families World Service Organization, Inc.

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Women Emotion: Stinging Acknowledgment

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2e07fcfWhen I arrived at Burning Man in 2014 I was given an event book. I quickly scanned through the book and marked what events that initially interested me. One of the events was called Emote-A-Thon.

On the day of the event, I reread the description; Conscious, present men wish to receive the full force of feminine emotion. Women, express the full depths of your rage, sadness, or passion.

I started thinking what would happen if I was only male at the event. I imagined a scenario of women screaming at me and only me, cause me to pause. The kind of fears that create doubt in you and hold you back in life. However, after thinking about, I decided to go because that is one of the reasons why I was at Burning Man to move out of my comfort zone and to participate.

The event was held at Naked Heart camp, inside a large dome tent. There were fourteen women and fourteen men, from ages twenties to their sixties, in all shapes and sizes. There were only four minorities; two Asians, a black person and me in the entire gathering.

The hosts were a woman and man in their sixties. Seating the tent, I notice there were two young women crying, one silently, but full of anguish. As if they were just assaulted entering the tent. I pass along a handkerchief to one of the women, but she declined it.
We were then broken up into groups of women and men.

Guidelines were one woman, at a time, would walk to the center of the dome and request one man from the group to stand before her. The woman would freely express any of her opinion, thoughts, emotion toward that man, as long as she wanted to. The role of the man was to stand witness and silently listen to her until she was finished. It was up to each woman to when she wanted to speak or choose not to participate.

We, men, were escorted out of the tent and followed the male host outside. He gave us some physical and mental exercises to prepare us for the encounter. I am sure the women did similar kind of process. We returned to the tent and formed a semi-circle on one side of the dome, and I was stood at one end of the circle. The women just gather together.

After a few awkward minutes, a young woman emerged. It was interesting that twenties years old came out first. They selected men who were similar in age. The women express was contempt, fear, and anger. As each woman spoke, the progression of anger grew and grew. Then some of the women started getting physical towards men, like kicking and hitting them.

The male host then stopped the proceeding and announced that if the woman wanted to hit a male, they should select him instead of the others. Unfortunately, that message was too late because that train left the station, hours of gone.

This anger reached it pinnacle when one of the two initial upset women spoke. That woman was crying out loud and spoke with pain in her voice. Then she was followed by the one who was silent, but now burning with rage.

She screamed at all of us repeatedly, then began insulting and downgrading men for their action and motives. After a pause, she announces she could no longer express her anger with words, but needed to slap every man in the tent. She then slapped the man in front of her, quickly.

Then she started towards me. My thoughts followed “Is she really going to slap me?” “How hard is she going to slap me?” “Why is she going to slap me?” “Is she going to slap all of us?” “I have been slapped before, for reasons I didn’t quite understand” “but this. I can understand” “Is she going to slap me hard?” Then she slapped me, very hard on the cheek.

She processed to slap remaining twelve men in the face. Afterward, she says she was still anger and began crying out loud and collapse to the ground. A group of people came forward and pick her up and moved her to the women’s side of the tent. The process continued until all the women have spoken. During the event, one man left the tent and never came back.

Their statements fell into main themes within age groups. Women in the twenties did not trust men who spoke to them. Men often betrayed them or abuse them, or would talk to them about their physical appearance, never asking them who they are.
Women in the thirty’s, selected older men and complaint to them how they were never able to meet their father expectation, disappointed their father, or that he really wanted a son instead. Some men were hit or kicked by these women.

Women in their forties talking about how men stop relating to them once they were married and/or when they had kids. Physical and emotional their men ignored them and stop talking to them. Instead, they focus on their careers, their hobbies and in sports or watching TV.

During this period of the event, I became emotion caught up with these women. Their complaints resonate when me. I had an ex-boyfriend who I lived with that sometimes only say five words to me for the whole day. From the time getting out of bed in the morning, until I went to sleep. Some days he never said a word to me. And attempts to start conversation were futile because his responses were few words, and he would end the sentence using downward inflection to his voice, signaling that the dialog was over. I, too wanted to speak to the men.

Women in their fifties talk about how men were destroying the world and Mother Nature. And women in their sixties mentioned that men were killing their children in wars because of politic needs to show their masculine and pollution the earth.
The one universal fear that all women express initially, the fear of being raped and assaulted.

I was emotional and physical tired after all the woman spoke, but I wanted to express my feeling to them. That opportunity came in a more organized fashion. The women formed a circle, facing outward. The men formed an outer circle around the women, facing inward. We rotated around and had a chance to talk each woman. Some spoke talked to me. Some gave me a hug, held my hand, and others said nothing as I spoke to them.

My message was simple; that I heard their message, will remember it, and be aware of my and other men actions. As I moved around the circle, I met the one woman who slapped us. As I stood in front of her and spoke to her quietly. She said nothing, just stare in my eyes. I still could see there was anger in her eyes. The entire event lasted three hours and thirty minutes.

For a month, after Burning Man, I thought of the event every day. I found it remarkable that these women are not the typical women of the real world. These women make sacrifices getting there and greater sacrifices living in an open, harsh desert for a week. These are strong, individual women, who express themselves openly during Burning Man event, yet felt the same violability like other women.

I told this story to women and received responses that I was not expected, and one, in particular, that was disturbing. Some of the response that they were relieved that they are no longer attractive men attention anymore due to their age or their physical appearance. Some have noticed that men now are looking at their teenage girls, instead. They would describe their experiences ranging from men said that they would be more attractive if they smile or change their hair style to men staring at their breasts during a business meeting.

One time I told this story to a heterosexual couple and a single woman. The woman was in her late forties and couple in their late fifties. Soon as I finished the story, the young woman stated she did not believe that event was real but was staged. She felt the themes were too political correct to be true. The conversation continued until she suddenly blurted out that she was raped twice while attending two house parties, by men she knew. One time she was drugged and another time she was drunk and blackout. We said nothing, then she added that rapes had no ill effects on her. Nobody response to her admission and she never said any more about it. The discussion wined down into uncomfortable silence.

In hindsight, I would still go to the event because what I witness and learned was well worth the discomfort I experience. I thought I had a healthy amount of empathy toward women, but I was wrong. Like a Socrates’ slap, I found there was more depth I could imagine what some women feeling toward men.

Some men may be walked away from the event thinking that female hormones or misperception of men actions were over blow. However, the purpose of the event was to witness, not to judge. Each women statement was real to her and only her.

Regardless what bias, prejudice, or hate she had; it was her genuine feelings, at that moment. And I hope it was a cathartic moment for them. I also learned there are some women who will never forgive men and a few women who will discredit the suffrage of women. That I feel will result in fueling men hostile behavior.

At the Burning Man website, I saw that the event is being held again this year.

Emote-A-Thon

One thing to do: to know someone you need to listen, not judge.

Writing: labor of love (or until your luck ran out)

Pencil Refraction

Writing my thoughts or to any kind of writing that consists of a paragraph is difficult. It isn’t due to lack of ideas. I have learning disabilities that make it very challenging for me to spell, proofread, listen, and paying attention.

Every post I write is run through two grammar checks and numerous revisions (this post took 400 minutes of editing time). I was using three, but that confused for me because each program would not agree on correct grammar, ugh! I never knew about my disability when I was young, thou, I knew I had a problem starting in junior high. I would try to avoid any kind of writing in high school through junior college.

My greatest fear is in class essays. There was nowhere to escape. I developed the strategy to pre-write my essay, in advance and memorize it before test day. When I did submit in class essays, no teachers ever counseled me. The school knew I had a difficulty; I was temporary assigned to a Special Ed program in high school. I did not receive any training to help me. Instead, I was given easy writing assignment to complete. I guess school policy was to make sure I graduate, thus end to the problem.

It was until my jobs required me to write reports and memo, that when anxiety set in. By then computers and programs were advanced enough to help me, somewhat. I lean heavily on significant other and partners throughout my life to help me complete my work. I felt I was depended on them, cause them an inconvenience, and felt indebted, health dose of self-ashamed.

Over the years, I saw job openings that I qualified for, but did not apply after reading their job descriptions. When I was 40 years old, I changed careers and that first new job was worst I ever held. Every week, I had to write personalized letters and memos to homeowners, staff, supervisors, and city council members.

Like in school, I devised a plan. I created boilerplate letters and memos on all job-related subjects. I just needed to fill in the blanks. However, like in school, there were times I needed to create a new type of document, immediately. So I arranged with my significant other that I would email it to them, and they would proofread and sent it back to me.

However, to maintain a continuous lie; you need to be clever, have fear, and lots of energy. Even so, like all lies, the odds are against you, like at a blackjack table; the house will always win at the end. That day, what I call “true will set you free,” I can still remember. A memo needed to be done that day, and I had no one proofread it. My supervisor was not happy after reading it. I finale explained my limitation, and she became very angry.

She is what you call a bully; with her uncensored, loud, rageaholic she belittle me. It took about a month for the employee’s union step in and settled the matter. However, there was nothing I could do to stop the cruel gossip that circulated in city hall.

It forces me to confront my disability, and I was tested at local college. I was diagnosed with Audio Processing Disorder, which means I cannot process words fasten to grasp them or even understand them. So when people speak I don’t catch all the words they said. I can hear them, but my brain can’t process it. There is simply a void space in their speech. Like any learning process, if I’m tired, sick, or worried, there are more silence spaces in their speech. When one has a handicap, that they want to hide, one has to adopt. Speech has a predicted pattern of words. When people start conversation, I can foresee how their conversation will continue and at times can finish their sentence for them.

However, if I miss a keyword or the subject matter, I‘m screwed, literally. I know we are talking about your inconvenience, but I didn’t catch that one important word. So I don’t completely understand what we are talking about. I could ask them, but conversation has moved too far along and the shame has nestled in. So I will continue the lie (the conversation) until I can figure it out. Sometime I can never solve the riddle, especial if we are in crowded room with many conversations are going on at the same time.

The one dialogue I can’t predict the words are sequence of numbers. I have replayed voice-mail messages four to six times, so I can write down the whole phone number. Sometime there is one number of sequence that I can’t grasp more matter how many time I replay the message. According to my test results it takes me three to four times longer to write, the then average person.

The ironic part is I can’t even hear my own speech correctly, thus I when proofread, out loud, I can’t hear the proper tense, plural, or missing words within the sentence. I also can’t sound out words, and at times experience Attention Deficit Disorder.

It wasn’t until 2009, that I finally began to let go of the shame. After watching the movie, The Reader, the process started. A woman allowed herself be convicted a life sentence, for a crime she did not commit, to conceal that she is illiterate. I felt empathy to this character and completely understand why she did it.

And I realized I have been doing the same thing, every day, for decades; convicting myself. Now, I accept the fact will make grammar mistakes no matter how carefully I am; I don’t need to agonize over a sentence because it doesn’t define myself-worth.

One of the things to do before you die: self-acceptance.

Hello World !

FB crop_edited

I have thought about creating a blog for a long time. I found Facebook website to be constricted on something’s, I want to write about. The catalyst started when I met a special person who was sharing her life. After reading her posts it convinced me to begin sharing my life, (thank you Kitty for the inspiration).

There have been many difficult, challenging events, that now I have realized their values. When I have shared myself with friends, they commented how interesting my life has been.

I hope you will find my entries just as engaging and may be useful in your life. You are welcome to share my blog. I also know that some of you may find my blog not your cup of tea, but that alright too.

P.s. The ten things can be more or less than ten, I just like the way it sound.