I don't remember feeling this much pain for this extended period of time. It just keeps on going and going (like the Energizer Bunny). I think people begin to disappear from your life when you suffer from severe depression. I haven't had the guts to go back to Kaiser for awhile. I'm still terrified that they will 5150 me again. My life is an open book. I have nothing left to hide from anybody at all. Try and make an appointment with an HMO. If you get in to see someone it is a major miracle. I will keep trying to reach the people over at Psychiatry. It may be something as small as increasing my medication. I haven't had an increase in over two to three years. I was doing really well, until these ridiculous holidays came around. I have seen a definite increase in the level of ennui that people are experiencing this year. Whenever I mention it, people shake their heads as if to say "yeah, I'm with you...it's the war". That was my first thought as well. The war, invisible that it is, has cast this terrible pall over the country. I think we all feel so unutterably powerless. But it seems more than that, for some reason. It feels very much like the monotony, the sameness of life, the alienation caused by poverty, the fear caused by addiction to security. All of these have a profound impact on my state of being. Plus, this never ending circle of self that keeps on rolling along, no matter how many people I help, and no matter how many activities I perform to "get out of " myself.
"Quite often I have been faced with people who were praised and admired for their talents and their achievements, who were toilet-trained in the first year of their lives, and who may even, at the age of one and a half to five, have capably helped to take care of their younger siblings. According to prevailing attitudes, these people - the pride of their parents - should have had a strong and stable sense of self-assurance. But the case is exactly the opposite. They do well, even excellently, in everything they undertake; they are admired and envied; they are successful whenever they care to be - but behind all this lurks depression, a feeling of emptiness and self-alienation, and a sense that their life has no meaning. These dark feelings will come to the fore as soon as the drug of grandiosity fails, as soon as they are not "on top, " not definitely the "superstar", or whenever they suddenly get the feeling they have failed to live up to some ideal image or have not measured up to some standard. Then they are plagued by anxiety or deep feelings of guilt and shame. What are the reasons for such disturbances in these competent, accomplished people?"
" The child has a primary need from the very beginning of her life to be regarded and respected as the person she really is at any given time.
When we speak here of 'the person she really is at any given time,' we mean emotions, sensations, and their expression from the first day onward. In an atmosphere of respect and tolerance for her feelings, the child, in the phase of separation, will be able to give up symbiosis with the mother and accomplish the steps toward individuation and autonomy. If they are to furnish these prerequisite's for the healthy development of their child, the parents themselves ought to have grown up in such an atmosphere. If they did, they will be able to assure the child the protection and well-being she needs to develop trust. Parents who did not experience this climate as children are themselves deprived; throughout their lives they will continue to look for what their own parents could not give them at the appropriate time - the presence of a person who is completely aware of them and takes them seriously. (Italics mine). This search, of course, can never fully succeed, since it relates to a situation that belongs irrevocably to the past, namely to the time right after birth and during early childhood. A person with this unsatisfied and unconscious (because repressed) need will nevertheless be compelled to attempt its gratification through substitute means, as long as she ignores her repressed life history. The most efficacious objects for substitute gratification are a parent's own children. The Newborn baby or small child is completely dependent on his parents, and since their caring is essential for his existence, he does all he can to avoid losing them. From the very first day onward, he will muster all his resources to this end, like a small plant that turns toward the sun in order to survive".
-Alice Miller - The Drama of the Gifted Child.
(Both quoted paragraphs).
Looking back is looking forward. It is liberation from the prison of self. It is a mythological act of courage. To live, conscious of the past in its entirety without flinching, is the very thing that will save this planet. I can think of no other act with so much depth and with so much ability to save us.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah.
Peace on Earth, Good will to man.
Love, Tony, Inky, Sahaja, Kitty.