elizabeth lane lawley
michael "OC" clarke
e v h e a d
sweet fancy moses
wood s lot
m. melting object
Thursday, April 24, 2003
Some Amusing Things I Found on Amazon
Hey! Sorry I've been gone so long. Actually, I was not gone, I was just away. Get it? No, probably not, but that's OK. We can't all be fucking geniuses, can we? So here are the first two amusing things I found...
- Fun With New Age Fuckheads, Part 1
For your viewing pleasure, all the 1-star reviews of Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. Actually, I was a little disappointed in these, as none is even close to expressing the venom this book so richly deserves. Of course, wishing to preserve what little is left of my sanity, I didn't actually read the fucking thing. I would, however, love to piss on Mr. Tolle from a great height. Heads up, motherfucker, here it comes!
- Listmania! Self Help Books for the Blossoming Psychopath
After all that, I needed some comic relief. Fortunately, it wasn't long in coming. Whew! Now here's a guy (obviously a guy) I can relate to. Read his comments carefully. And be afraid. Very afraid. We are legion!
You've probably already guessed that I went shopping this evening. Yep. Running up the credit, pissing away the pittance I make off the suckers who buy my recommendations. Let me say right here that I strongly recommend the following, and a few of them are pret-ty fucking expensive. So go ahead, buy two. One for you, one for Mom.
C'mon, admit it. You missed me, didn't you?
- The Narcissistic and Borderline Disorders: An Integrated Developmental Approach
For a cheaper, more accessible version, try Search For The Real Self: Unmasking the Personality Disorders of Our Age. This is where I first read about "abandonment depression" in 2002. (You know what I did last summer!) Don't try this one at home, kids.
- The Basic Fault: Therapeutic Aspects of Regression
I read a paper by this guy, Balint, that was downright spooky. Psi-like effects in the transference. Inexplicable paranoid mind reading. Cool! Naturally, I wanted to know more.
- Object Relations in Psychoanalytic Theory
The players in depth. The chapters on Kohut and Kernberg were so good, I had to buy the book. Don lent it to me and I didn't want to give it back. One of the co-authors is Stephen A. Mitchell, who wrote Can Love Last? The Fate of Romance over Time. Check chapter 4 on why intimacy and anger, love and hatred, aren't opposites. Contrary to the notions of many new-age fuckheads (see above).
- Psychoanalytic Terms and Concepts
The jargon in depth. Don't leave the ward without it.
- Soul Murder: The Effects of Childhood Abuse and Deprivation
A bit lighter fare to offset the clinical indigestion. "Soul murder is the perpetration of brutal or subtle acts against children that result in their emotional bondage to the abuser and, finally, in their psychic and spiritual annihilation."
3:32 AM | link |
Sunday, April 13, 2003
coyote moon, half high, half full
girl on the radio singing no one
could ever compare to you. middle
of the night, I'm out of cigarettes.
all day reading Alice Miller. not
reading really. what I do. tracking
two days ago I bought this first
edition. not that I collect the
things. not for their dates of
publication anyway. I got a coffee
and walked back to where I'd read
those first few pages a year and
and funny thing, it was a different
book. Prisoners of Childhood it was
called in 1981 when this all started,
just now noticing. that fits. nothing
else does. not really. not well. the
receipt I found in the other one says
01-27-02. sitting in this same spot
that day outside of starbucks on the
mall I said oh my god, this is me.
well of course it was. and everyone
else. what marketing genius.
back then I'd been thinking about
C. Wright Mills. about voice. about
anything but the moon. thinking that
he'd said the sociological imagination
flowered where biography intersected
but In the Drama of the Gifted Child,
Alice Miller says in those first few
pages, first paragraph in fact, that
biography is all that counts, and not
all that abstract intellectual stuff.
it's all we have, she says, to protect
us from mental illness. I'm quoting.
for the personal history of our
childhood defines, for each of us,
she says, our own truth. your truth
my truth his truth her truth.
and this truth, though different for
each, so different that it takes a
boatload of empathy to get it, is that
each of us was abused raped sodomized
beaten. left for dead. but nobody wants
to hear about your truth because of
this secret conspiracy of nasty old-boy
psychoanalysts to hush it all up, like
Freud with his drives and instincts.
Eros was bad enough, but how about
Thanatos, she says. and now how do you
like your blue eyed boy, Mr. Death?
but here's the weird thing. in the
first edition, she says I'm not going
to talk a lot about narcissism. then
does. at length. by that name. on and
on. however, by the new improved second
edition, the word doesn't appear at
all except in a brief retelling of
the story of Narcissus and Echo, which
just sort of sits there, disconnected.
split off and out of place.
she doesn't like Melanie Klein or
Kernberg she says, with their over harsh
views about darkness and pathology. she
does like Kohut, though, who deep sixed
all that nonsense about drives and said
no, instead it was all the self, evolving
naturally, coming to its own realization.
it's own truth, you could say.
but tell me something Alice, honey, where
does all that abusive aggression come from
then? when the true self blooms in the
gentle listening of someone as enlightened
as yourself (no other authors are cited),
is it all just perfect niceness after that?
and nobody anymore wants a piece of your
and tell me another thing before you go,
what happened to all those references to
narcissism, leaving us with our little
personal stories but no common history,
no imagination, except for an undriven
darkness that, in truth, does not exist?
and why no mention of solipsism, leaving
me with your truth, the revised expanded
second edition, and me with this coyote
moon, half high, half empty. girl on the
10:22 AM | link |
Monday, April 07, 2003
What Love's Got to Do With It
Guilt hides from what we have done to others. Shame shields us from something deeper: what we have allowed ourselves to become.
Without shame, there is no empathy.
Without the capacity and willingness to look within and see, feel, viscerally experience how and where we are fragile, broken, without the desire and resolve to let go of the dream of perfection in oneself, there is no way to come to caring for another, for others, whose lives are constant reminders that perfection is so much less sustaining than the heart.
Shame is the terrible recognition that we have done this to ourselves. And to each other. Refused to drink from the common cup of life. Remained in the fantasy and turned ever more inward, not to discover some longed-for truth, some final perfect key that would unlock our longing, but rather to hide, to withdraw, to renounce the call of love, which is always to open further, to emerge from hiding, to come out.
This loss of essence and vitality, of life, is a shame. Buried deep in the soul, it becomes malignant fear of discovery, the occasion of secrets even from oneself, obsession with privacy, with what is hidden, the erection and defense of boundaries and borders, false thresholds, doors that open only inward, moats and drawbridges, towers surrounded by impenetrable forests of thorn trees where your sleeping beauty turns, turns restless, unfulfilled, angry and abandoned. No lover will come. No prince to kiss away the hurt you have, uncaring, done yourself.
Even now, I would wake you from this if I could. More than once, I tried and failed. You are gone too deep, too long, beyond my best magic. The perfect prince you wait for now, The One, is Death. When I am able to weep, to pray, I pray He will be kinder than I feel at your betrayal.
3:39 PM | link |
Sunday, April 06, 2003
OTHER PEOPLE'S PERSONAL SHORTCOMINGS MAKE IT HARD FOR THEM
TO GIVE ME THE COMPLIMENTS AND ATTENTION THAT ARE DUE ME
Blessed Virgin! It's enough to send me flying back to the Holy Mother Roman Fucking Catholic Church. What do I mean? I mean this: Post-Traumantic Stress Disorder (PTSD); Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD); Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD); Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD); Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD). Happy trails to you, darlin. Flashbacks. Texas tea. Who the Fuck Am I Anyway Disorder (WTFAIAD). Jesus H. Herbert Hoover Christ!
So there I was sitting in Starbucks tonight -- having just come from Borders, down the esplanade through the sopping rain, carrying my plastic baggy full of books and bookish doodads -- sipping a quad espresso and cackling over this passage in Interpersonal Diagnosis and Treatment of Personality Disorders, 2nd edition (from which the above headline was also cribbed):
"The theory of the Klute syndrome suggests that patients cannot change in therapy if they repeatedly have orgasms while conjuring images having the interpersonal dimensionality of the disorder."
I suppose it belies my emotional arrest at the level of the fifth grade (Mrs. Gasparini, where are you now? -- not to mention the five-foot Iguana that ran around free in our classroom all that year at Madrone Jr. High School in Sunnyvale CA, deep in the heart of Silicon Valley back when the nearest silicon was the beach at Santa Cruz...) that I perceived this as howlingly funny, pretty much solely based on the appearance of the word "orgasm." And possibly its juxtaposition with Klute. I'm giving myself the benefit of the doubt. I'm also, in everyday life, allowing myself as much psychopathology as I can eat. Some might label this as indicative of mania, but I like to think of it as a form of intellectual bulimia. To my mind, a less worrisome diagnosis.
As it turns out -- I learned this later as a result of my growing proclivity for reading books backwards -- there is, in truth, a context for the above quote that lends it more rational sense than it appears to have here. Which suits my purpose of the moment (whatever it may be) just fine (as I'm no more sure of that purpose than you). However, as this paperback text retails for something like 26 bucks and deals with hugely abstruse details of pathological psychodynamics, it's more than a bit unlikely you'll ever know what that context is. And I'm not telling. Thus, you could say this is a very private joke.
If you were only more gifted, less short-coming (does this refer, I wonder, I mean in its etymology, to premature ejaculation?) you would compliment me and pay closer attention. Achtung, baby!
But wait. Let me not suggest that the humor in this book, and the reason for my Inappropriate Laughter Reaction (ILR) in Starbucks this evening, was all in my head. I mean, inasmuch as the entire universe is not in my head (cf. Hume [wasn't it? one of those guys] and Vonnegut, esp. Breakfast of Champions). But not to devolve into unscientific philosophical speculation, here's another quote, this time from the Introduction and Overview:
"A great way to come down with a case of 'medical student's disease' is to read a survey of personality disorders. For example, a reader of Milton's (1982) impressive summary of each of the categories for personality disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, third edition (DSM-III; All-American Psychiatric Association, 1980) can believe that he or she has nearly every personality disorder there is. Probably any remaining disorders cab be assigned to one's spouse."
Or, as we are not all (still) married, ex-date.
See? Isn't that funny? But as I look over the rest of the paragraph, I realize it may be worthwhile (for you, that is) to quote the subsequent mega-run-on sentence. If nothing else, it's easier than trying to think up what to write next.
"Who does not suffer from official 'symptoms' of personality disorders, including idealization, devaluation, vanity, temper outbursts, boredom, seductiveness, rapidly shifting emotions, devastation in face of criticism, needs to be special or unique, failures in empathy, cruelty, infidelity, working too hard, working too little, hypervigilance, ideas of reference [see Little House on the Prairie], odd mannerisms, wanting to be too intimate, wanting to be too distant, needing advice about little things, being too autonomous, having trouble getting started, feeling devastated when a relationship ends, being perfectionistic, being irresponsible, being too bossy, being too deferential, being withdrawn, hating being alone, wanting acceptance but fearing rejection, resenting others' control, or being critical of authorities?"
I ask you, is that not a fucking hoot? Is it not, moreover, calming to the terminally besieged spirit walking around Synchronicity City on a Saturday night?
For yes, Valued Readers, it is as if but a single day had passed since last we used that phrase, Out of Our Fucking Tree (OOFT) as we were back then a year ago. But now, thanks to the miracle of Psychotherapy for the Lovelorn (PFTL), returned once again to the Tender Breast of Society (TBOS) -- leaving aside the reference to "breast" and the inevitable Kleinian connotations of primary object attachment it may raise for y'all.
Let's face it. I'm just smarter than you.
And not one bit ashamed or remorseful.
Take no prisoners!
But no, really, I'm OK. I'm fine.
Though you might be allowed to wonder. I wondered last week as I sat here on this very couch holding a Yale University Press tome I'd just scored at (a different) Borders, asking myself why it filled me with such overwhelming joy. It did. True, Severe Personality Disorders: Psychotherapeutic Strategies would not be everybody's cup of tea. But then, I'm special.
Why, just yesterday, I read most of Comparing Psychoanalytic Psychotherapies, by James F. Masterson, et al, in which I learned that Heinz Kohut and his "Self Psychology" are totally full of shit, whereas Otto Kernberg, despite a certain leaning toward richly Teutonic prose, is a fucking gas. I mean, anyone who explains Narcissistic Personality Disorder as your basic "ego trip" is all right in my book. Right on, bro. Das ist fuckungstigung-A richtig, du kleine Muttie!
Hi, Otto! (Hi Don R. & Don W.!)
I got a similar rush tonight when I stumbled onto Psychoanalytic Diagnosis: Understanding Personality Structure in the Clinical Process. As Keanu would say, WHOA! Just check out some of these Table of Contents Entries (TOCE):
Repression, Regression, Isolation, Intellectualization, Rationalization, Moralization, Compartmentalization, Undoing, Displacement, Reaction Formation, Reversal, Identification, Sexualization, Sublimation...
I think Emimem might have written this book, yo. Isolation, sublimation, muthafuckin masturbation...
But no, it was Nancy McWilliams, Ph.D., of the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSOAAPP) at Rutgers University (RU). Won't she be surprised when she does a little Ego-Surfing on Google (ESOG) and turns up this page.
Actually, I've been reading a lot of these kinds of books lately, trying to get a handle on how I need to, you know, change.
I met this woman in the bookstore tonight, and I said, "Were you looking for something in Psych?" -- I was sitting in that aisle so I could get a better look up her skirt. "...because I just rummaged through all these books and maybe I can help you find what you're looking for." All part of the service. As you know. But of course she didn't. She was about to find out, though.
"I'm looking for The Dance of Anger," she said. I bit down on my tongue so I wouldn't say, "Oh, I can do that. Would you like to see?" What I said was, since I know a little something about psychology, and about that particular author: "Oh, I see."
Letting her work through it.
"Why," she said, "is there something wrong with the book?"
"Well," I said, "it's a little tough on men."
Knowing she'd love it. Eat it up.
She did. "That's the one for me!" she said. At the expense of my entire gender, I had established a kind of rapport. Why, I wondered. The book truly sucks. Anyone who'd want to read it had to be seriously fucked up. Unlike myself.
Hi, Harriet! (Hi, M. Why the fuck are you not returning my calls? It's not like I'm dangerous or anything.)
In about 30 seconds, I learned that her husband was twisted with anger because his Mom had died a while back, then his Dad last August, and she was about to leave him and take the kids. "He needs to wake up and figure out what's going on. He has no idea." The compassionate type.
Personally speaking, if I were in this guy's shoes, I wouldn't get angry. I wouldn't be verbally abusive. I would simply and dispassionately kill her. All Part of the Service, II.
She kept telling me about this book called Rebuilding by somebody or other; she told me about nine times, but I kept forgetting. Forgetting won. Some guy. "Is he from around here?" I asked, because something about the way she was talking about this book made me think he was from around here.
"No," she said. "He's from the Boulder-Denver area." Which I found more than a little curious, seeing as the bookstore we were having this little chat in is situated midway between those two cities.
"Oh," I said. "I see."
"He's dead now," she said.
People are fucking insane, have you noticed that?
I told her I got divorced last August. A bit too obvious, I thought, but what the hell. Letting her know, just in case. She said oh she understood. Was I looking for something to help me get through it? To help me, you know, change?
I said, no, not really, I don't want to change. I'm more into books about psychoanalysis these days, and you know, personality disorders.
"Oh," she said. "I see."
But of course she didn't. How could she? Which is partly why I was chortling to myself in Starbucks later. Heh-heh. The laughter of the damned.
Spring ahead, I reminded myself. Fall back.
Yeah, sure, I'm OK.
In fact, I feel GREAT!!!
Except now all the espresso is gone, dammit.
Well, we can't have what we want all the time, now, can we?
I suppose that's true. But I don't know why not.
Because we get what we need?
Very good! I see you've been boning up on your Stones.
So to speak.
As it transpired, what I needed was right there in Interpersonal Diagnosis and Treatment of Personality Disorders, 2nd edition, in Part Three: "DSM Cluster C -- The Anxious, Fearful Group." I shit you not.
In that section, the title of Chapter 11 -- and what can we draw from this odd coincidence, class? -- is, and I quote:
Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder (Negativistic Personality Disorder): Personality Disorder NOS
(btw, "NOS" means "not otherwise [something].")
The chapter begins with a quote: "Therapy is not helping."
Imagine me cracking up here, and all the other, kinder gentler Starbucks customers looking suddenly alarmed. Including the young girl with the lovely face sitting by the window with her boyfriend, and the really nice breasts.
But now it's gotten late. Too late. Morning already. And I forgot to take my meds. My head feels funny. I got what I need, though. Another cup of motherfucking coffee. Peets, if you must know. Bought at the local Safeway, for christ's sake. However, despite daylights savings time (DST) -- which saves us from getting the daylights knocked out of us -- the whole point of writing tonight was to tell you about this particular Chapter 11. So whatever you do, don't stop reading now. Trust me, the last bit is quite amusing, really. Not to mention sensitive, perceptive and caring.
It seems that the compilers of DSM-IV (by now you've gotten the hang of this, right? Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Etc.) first saw fit to shitcan the Passive-Aggressive rubric altogether, later thought better of it, but added the parenthetical "Negativistic Personality Disorder" rider, then, adding insult to injury, dumped the whole shootin' match into an oh-by-the-way Appendix. Moreover, they removed nearly all the really aggressive diagnostic qualifiers, replacing them with a boatload of nicey-nice passive descriptors, thus making the asswipes who not only deserve the pasive-aggressive label, but moreover, deserve to be locked in the darkest dungeon of the blackest bedlam forever, appear to be misunderstood little psycho-gimpy wimp-wits who wouldn't hurt a fly. Whereas they are, in point of fact, blood-thirsty vampires of the first water.
And, as if that weren't enough, the acronym NPD, which has traditionally been used for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, is now shared, thanks to this sneaky underhanded psychiatric boondoggle, with "Negativistic" Personality Disorder.
As in: "Ewwww, why do you have so much negativity?
Hell, like it was shit on your shoe or something.
Listen up. This is the work of lowdown lying loathsome passive-aggressive narcissists FROM BOULDER COLORADO, ALL OF WHOM DESERVE NOTHING LESS THAN DEATH FOR THEIR HUMORLESS WITHDRAWAL FROM FUCKING REALITY!!!
God, I feel better now. I just had to get that off my chest.
I realize this post has been a little challenging for you, but just remember this and you'll be OK:
BORDERLINES GOOD, NARCISSISTS EVIL.
3:36 AM | link |
get your badge here.
"RageBoy: Giving being fucking nuts a good name since 1985."
28 October 2004
||More of Chris Locke's photos
Until a minute ago, I had no photos. I still have no photos to speak of.
I don't even have a camera. But all these people were linking to "my photos."
It was embarassing. It's still embarassing. But I'm used to that.
what I'm listening to...
egr on topica
on yahoo groups
terms of service
It is too late.