Inner peace comes when all your faculties are working together for common goals.
I woke at two, feeling anger and resentment at a failure of my organism- it hardly matters what- and then had the thought,
I should work with not against myself,
Coaxing not driving.
The word “coaxing” was not right. Inciting? Incentivising? Persuading? In the morning the Quaker metaphor felt right:
At Queer Spirit I had said my work is self-understanding, and projected judgment onto the workshop group: silly navel-gazing, a waste of time. And the judgment was in me not them. I am so glad that I saw this immediately! I see how I project!
I phone the Samaritans for a listening ear so I can work through this. She was so much more, asking useful questions and accepting me.
I felt my judgment. This should not be a problem for me. I felt my pain at that. I bring these matters into consciousness, into slow thinking, because my unconscious fast thinking stops me from fulfilling my promise. This is difficult and tiring. My insights have an incremental strengthening effect on me. I seek to embed them in this conversation with her, and now blogging with you. That involves trusting her, and you, enough.
It involves putting my understanding into continuous prose, I hope rational, a step by step argument which makes me feel safe. I believe I understand.
This is who I am and what I do. I work on my recovery.
My responses frighten me, and I judge them. All sorts of responses to all sorts of situations, and I catastrophise: All of them! No, not all, I like some responses, but the price of not feeling consciously continually anxious- will I measure up- is feeling always disappointed.
It will be worthwhile to consider what responses I judge, and seeing them in a different way, and which I value.
What frightens you about your responses, she asks. That needs unpacking too. The response and the immediate sharp fear reaction to it, what do I fear?
She is surprised, she says. You come across as rational and measured.
That psychiatrist in June 2001. I wanted to transition, and had marshalled my rational arguments why that was right for me. He took them all away. I was left only with my feelings and desire. I have always seen that as a good experience, realising I had to accept and trust my feelings, and now I recall how painful it was. I could not see him again, and had murder fantasies about him.
I did not see that what I wanted could have value without some rational underpinning. So I did not know what I wanted.
Seeing myself as two, rational and emotional, is reductive. Perhaps better to see the two as parties, or even a Quaker position of no parties or only one, but with a range of positions, at first contradictory, which might be brought to unity.
The living response to an actual situation cannot be predicted by rational quasi-scientific means. The organism responds to the whole situation which cannot be foreseen, perhaps cannot be fully noticed consciously.
Why do you need a rationale for your desires? Is it possible, she asks.
I use the ability to rationalise as a crutch. I greatly value my ability to rationalise, and use it where it is not the best tool. It is not always possible, so it means devaluing some desires. I did not know what I wanted because I lacked the ability to accept or value it.
My mother also lacked the ability to know her desires, wanting to fit in so imagining she wanted what she imagined it was conventional to want.
I had thought of healing my relationship with my mother, and seeing Dr Dalrymple, and now see how painful these things have been. I am stil living with the consequences of my mother’s treatment of me.
Now I feel judgment, which I project onto her. “Surely at 53 I should have got beyond ‘I blame my parents’.” I think of the stories to show I have, and feel the pain of those experiences. She reassures me: she sees I am living with after-effects, though no longer blaming.
Now I see how I mock, deride and loathe my failure to have seen these things earlier. I feel shame. I feel tired. It is like Dumbledore having to drink a cavern full of potion, which poisoned him. I will work through this.
I am working through it. I am pleased with progress. I want to be more tolerant and accepting of my- again faults, imperfections, failures are words that spring to mind but the fitting word is Humanity.
I may learn to trust myself without the crutch of a rational explanation. This is me. This is what I desire, what I feel, what gives me pleasure.