I have started psychoanalysis. This is a better fit for me than cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Don’t get me wrong. Coping beats not coping. I just don’t feel that CBT addresses the real issues. It can show you how to handle your feelings in a more constructive manner and perhaps not kill your boss on a bad day, but it doesn’t get at the root of why you feel a certain way in the first place. It has abundant resources for finding various alternative behaviors, support systems, etc. However, it may simply aid in learning how to react more “normally” in abnormal situations.
In my opinion, the glory and horror of humanity is our ability to adapt to anything and everything. We can change our environments for the better or worse and children can adapt to virtually anything whatsoever. This is why addiction is a family disease. This is also the problem of abusive relationships. The abuser never starts out beating his girlfriend. It starts with yelling, and then a slap, and by then the girlfriend has zero self-confidence and will sometimes die emotionally and/or spiritually. That is, if the boyfriend doesn’t physically kill her in a fit of rage. We adapt. Adaptation is not always a good thing.
I’ve been blogging a lot lately about this new-agey group I attend. At one point, I said that I did not want to be interrupted when I speak. I was told how inappropriate and judgmental I was. I came in the next week and told that person that their attitude was toxic. I would do it again. If wanting to be treated with a basic level of courtesy is “inappropriate” in this group, then my participation in this group needs to end immediately. The core value is non-negotiable; my participation in the group is highly negotiable.
I spent some time with the leader of the group and she said that that lady (who ran out crying after I said her attitude was toxic) was struggling because of her “Balanced View” (BV) perspective and how everything in that philosophy is just “data.” I have since done some research on BV.
BV looks like the next stage in human development, but it is not. It is amoral. There is no sense of justice. It talks about human relationships without mentioning ethics. It is all about how things are now. The idea is that everything we encounter is just data. Information for us to use. It talks about normalizing everything. George Orwell could not have written it any better. In my opinion, BV is demonic, delusional, and destructive. I am not kidding. This stuff can be easily used for evil.
If you take their philosophy to its logical extreme, you easily see the inherent evil of BV. The holocaust? Just data. Child molesters? Just data. Lynchings? Just data.
The reason my friend ran from the room crying wasn’t because she was a poor BV practitioner; it was because BV doesn’t actually work in the real world.
BV is the ultimate in moral relativism. This woman is one of the sweetest, most good-hearted people I have ever known. But moral relativism simply does not work. And it never will. The most ardent moral relativist becomes a strict moral absolutist the very nanosecond they feel wronged or treated unfairly in any way.
You have to understand how far left on the political spectrum the women in this group are. They talk about social justice all the time: racism, criminal justice reform, LGBT rights, etc. I don’t ever want to hear about any of that stuff again if it is all “just data.”
Talking to the leader was very enlightening to me. She said that what I perceived wasn’t even real. I remember thinking, “What an odd way to be invalidated.” She also talked about the Matrix and how everything may just be an illusion.
The problem is simple: even if we are just in the Matrix, we still have to function within the Matrix. We still have to get up and go to work in the Matrix. We still have to get our cars fixed in the Matrix. We still have to make our rent or mortgage payment in the Matrix. Even if you believe you will be instantly released from the Matrix upon death, you still have to function within it in the meantime.
I identify as Buddhist many times. Buddhism believes that everything is ultimately an illusion. Yet it has a high ethical/moral code. Why bother with ethics/morals when it’s all illusory? Because, in the meantime, we are stuck within the illusion of consensus reality.
I believe that our culture has lost its moral bearings. Because of white supremacy and misogyny and rules only applying to some people, a contempt has developed for all rules.
The problem is that every group, association, culture, business, school, or whatever has to have some code of conduct and meaningful consequences for those who refuse to conform. That is called “morality.”
Conservative Christians are hypocrites for supporting Trump. Hypocrisy is when you claim certain values and then do not live up to them.
This is the problem on the political left: a refusal to accept that behavior has consequences. Anal sex is a fabulous way to get AIDS. Marijuana inhibits the intellectual growth of adolescents. Drinking leads to cirrhosis. You can make something legal, but you can’t make it healthy, safe, or non-addictive. Reality always, 100% of the time, rules and comes back to bite you in the ass. People on the left are not hypocrites because they claim no morals in the first place. They are simply amoral. Loving feelings are not a substitute for common sense courtesy.
I want something better than what our culture seems to offer. Adaptation is so not the goal. Becoming better adjusted to insanity is not a worthy goal. I am not interested in spending my remaining days trying to cope with stupidity. If that makes me “judgmental,” my I become more so every passing day.
I had a psychoanalyst appointment today. I think she finds me highly entertaining. I guess that’s good.
What I am really working on is figuring out what my issues are versus other people’s. There can be either/or or both/and. It’s not all cut-and-dried or black-and-white.
We all work out our issues on each other and I don’t think there is a way to avoid that.
I have thought a lot about going back to the meeting. I understand that I misread everything about the meeting. The meeting changed and my needs stopped getting met, but I was too overwhelmed dealing with Barry and then his loss to even begin to notice.
What I have realized is that my bottom line has not changed: if it is “inappropriate” for me to say that I wish to be able to speak without interruption, then I am done with this meeting. If that makes me come off as arrogant or condescending, then I plan on being arrogant and condescending for the rest of my life–and proud of it. I realized that I have had this problem only with this group. Nowhere else in life have I encountered a group where sticking up for oneself was so disapproved of. That does not make my expectation wrong or off, only theirs.
I am trying very hard to take responsibility for my stuff, but only my stuff. I am looking hard at my own expectations and behavior. What’s reasonable and what’s not? Where do I want to invest my time and energy into?
But some things do not change. There is never a point negotiating non-negotiables. And you have to know where yours are. Apologizing to keep the peace might be a way to keep a job that one desperately needs (something that I, thank goodness, have never had to do), but it is a poor road map to healthy friendships. Friendships are based on common values and if sticking up for a primary value is “inappropriate”, it is the friendship that needs to be questioned, not the primary value. Somewhere in the Old Testament is a proverb that applies here: “Unless two be agreed, how can they walk together?” That’s where I am.
I have been through the emotional wringer in the past few weeks.
I misread everything about the new-agey group I belong to. It turns out that the women in this group think it is a normal part of conversation to interrupt each other, that it is a sign of enthusiasm. And they thought I was using the group inappropriately for therapeutic purposes. Basically, the rules had changed and I had been oblivious.Therefore, in this context, I was wrong on oh so many levels.
I was at work one day and saw some random guy and it hit me–I don’t have these problems with men. Maybe it’s from having three brothers and no sisters. I called out what I consider to be toxic behavior (criticizing me for stating that I expect to be able to speak without interruption as a matter of common courtesy). Men are more direct. The irony is that the reason they like me at work is precisely because I am so respectful to others. My concept of courtesy and respect match society’s more than this group’s.
I can apologize for my presentation, how I said what I said. I cannot apologize for what I said in good conscience. I waited too long to say something. I was oblivious to my environment. I was on automatic pilot. I was wrongly assuming the old rules applied.
I am finding a more psychoanalytic therapist and trying to deal with my issues. I was subconsciously projecting a lot of crap onto the group. The only way not to do so is to become more aware of where my behavior is coming from.
To me, awareness is everything. You can do all the right things for all the wrong reasons or all the wrong things for all the right reasons. I think we come to earth to increase awareness.
I have more days behind me than ahead of me. I have to carefully decide on the groups I belong to. The definition of respect comes from the consensus of the group. I totally misread the group. An uber-liberal female-only group does not operate on the same rules as the rest of society. It’s all about not hurting people’s feelings because we are all doing the best we know how. I understand that…BUT a lack of agreed-upon rules ends up creating a situation where some people’s feelings matter more than others’. The rules are not evenly applied and therefore null and void. Only some people’s feelings are respected. Instead of being an old boys’ network, it is an old girls’ network, which is not superior in any way. I will probably stay with this group because I do love the people and now know the rules. But I now understand why the group shrank down to five people and includes zero men. Most people will not say why they are leaving; they just silently leave. I’ve seen it in companies and churches. Why argue? Good luck with that. I did not pay attention to the shrinking size of the group nor the shift in rules. I was on automatic pilot.
That’s what I am working on: being aware of where my stuff is coming from and making conscious, deliberate decisions. I have emotional issues, such as crippling shame and the like, but my mind is sharp and I don’t want to be tossed about by subconscious issues or find myself sunk in a situational morass of my inability to have or enforce boundaries. Life is too short.