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Childhood trauma and its consequences
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 Post subject: Re: Sinead or ?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:37 pm 
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DRB, I suppose those people who long for the old times coming back, have a very selective memory. There's a difference in the attitude towards the Second World War here in Europe and people in the US. Schools here often have projects on the holocaust, resulting into a trip to the former concentration camps in Poland. But a lot of the American people hadn't even learned from the Vietnam war when Bush declared war to Afghanistan and Iraq. But now, when war propaganda is worn out, and countless people dead, the general opinion is against the war. One of the most impressive anti-war books I've read is Vietnam Veteran by Ron Kovic, later made into the movie Born on the Fourth of July. The scene in the book that made the biggest impact on me, because it showed the hypocrisy of war so bluntly, never made it to the movie.

Steve, if you have time, do read the rest of the pages on that thread because it shows denial in different stages. It was unfortunate that the moderator Angel had removed her post, but her opinion on glorifying the spankings from her mother can be read in her other posts in other threads. I had posted before in that Forum, and I don't think there were any regulars. But apparently the administrator felt he had to protect his nest of moderators. There are many people like Angel in similar forums, and I expected to be verbally attacked, but felt like I had to set the tone to the abused children who come there in that category or in any of the other ones there. There are many horror stories to be read.

Sorry to hear that your letter to the editor on corporal punishment wasn't published. If you want, you can publish it here. Did your mom hit you with your guitar on your head when you were 15? That's terrible. It's weird because in my very first experimental novel back in 1994, I wrote about a guy who discovered one day 3 scars on his back and he doesn't remember how that happened, but slowly gets the memory of his mom trashing his guitar on his back when he was about 16 years old, crushing all his dreams of becoming a musician. I'm not musical myself but I'm usually full of awe when I hear someone playing.

Dennis

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 Post subject: Re: Sinead or ?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:23 am 
Dennis wrote:
The scene in the book that made the biggest impact on me, because it showed the hypocrisy of war so bluntly, never made it to the movie.

That often happens. The best parts of great books get left out of the movies. If it's relatively short, and it's not too much trouble to post the passage here, I would be interested to read it. If it's a lot of work, what i've found in the past is that if I type a few phrases between quotation marks into Google, someone has already posted the text online.

There are more customer reviews of "Born on the Fourth of July" at Amazon.com than there are at Amazon.co.uk, by the way. I didn't see the movie. I'm anti-war so I don't need more convincing. It's tragic so few Americans learned a lesson from the Vietnam war. Even though the Viet Cong won, American retail outlets are now thriving in Saigon -- McDonalds, Starbucks, etc. -- so commerce could have been the winner either way. In Iraq, the Brits have just pulled out of Basra even though rebel militias outnumber Iraqi security forces.

I would also be interested to see Steve's letter to the newspaper if he's willing to publish it on the forum.


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 Post subject: Re: Sinead or ?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:47 am 
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D.R.B:

I suppose quotations are boring, but "Words, mere words, no matter from the heart. Th' effect doth operate a different way or something." Point is, I think standing for some little kid about to get whacked in a grocery store is at least a thousand times a bigger thing than writing to newspapers, and that's something I've not done to this point. Never needed to, but had some calls close enough to know that I've got a ways to go before I can say I deserve any kind of badge of courage. But yeah, they printed it Monday (though "It's all the same fucking DAY, Man!"). Nothing momentous has gone on so far, my end. Which is fine. Here's the version I sent. Editors removed my warts, then stuck a couple in for themselves, and used their own title:

Parents Need to Control Themselves

I think that what looks like lack of training in children are in fact attempts to show how their parents and others in authority have already “trained” them. Disrespectful, aggressive behavior, I think is an acting out of how kids have themselves been treated, a repetition of what they were taught was acceptable behavior by people they trusted and were in fact born naturally honoring.

“Non-directional permissive” parenting has proven to be unhealthy for kids, since it amounts to apathetic, non-care on the part of the parents, which kids reflect as well.

Between these two styles, the authoritarian one embracing Old Testament advice encouraging violence toward children (and toward women, slaves, and people who eat pork) is probably more destructive, but neither works because neither respects the humanity of children. In the end, not just children but everyone pays for parental irresponsibility.

It's not a matter of “middle ground”. Apathy, violence, fear and humiliation are all forms of the same poison. There is no “appropriate level” of it that is good for a kid. I hope anyone who will use the Bible as a source of guidance in raising children will ask themselves if the New Testament figures Joseph and Mary would ever hurt their child, the man who is equated with Peace on Earth, the man who said “Whatever you do to the least of my sisters and brothers, you do to me.”

Children are the most powerless people on earth. Don't hurt kids. Stand for them. It's important.

Steve Thomas




Got a respectful promise from Clay Tucker-Ladd to correct his definition of 'soul murder' in his Psychological Self-help this week too. Reads "YOU kill or disown a part of yourself..." Freudian slip, no doubt.

Dennis:
I'll read more of that Angel thread next chance I get. If you wrote about hermits trying to recover from devastatingly debilitating affairs of the heart, there's more than just smashed guitars here that are weird. Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Sinead or ?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 6:34 am 
Steve wrote:
Editors removed my warts, then stuck a couple in for themselves, and used their own title

Good title, and the wording is superb! I didn't notice any warts. If letters that good appeared in newspaper frequently, more than a few parents would reconsider their discipline habits. Sure, standing up for some little kid about to get whacked is a trickier thing to handle, but letters printed in newspapers reach more people.

One time I was in a small store with narrow aisles. A boy of about 10 years and his mom were ahead of me. The mother screeched at him "Get out of the way!" He looked dismayed because he was standing quietly and hadn't noticed me. As I went past I smiled and winked at him and said in a soft voice "Don't worry, it's OK." His face lit up. He understood that another adult didn't see any need for mom's loud words.


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 Post subject: Re: Sinead or ?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:21 pm 
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I tend to agree with DRB, that it shouldn't be underestimated the effect articles or letters in the press have. Even though I think it's important to react to child abuse in public places, it can easily be interpreted as an invasion of one's privacy and causing a huge scene that scares the child even more. So to just let a kid know that his mother is wrong, gives him the experience that not all adults are evil. To name an example of the power of the written word. In 1979, Sweden was the first country in the world who banned spanking from childrearing, even though the majority of the people was against such measure. Every person got informed by a brochure and now, 28 years later, more than 90% approve this law, and is against spanking of children. I don't think this would have been accomplished by one on one confrontations in supermarkets.

But it's a good letter and I understand your frustration that they changed it. I had a similar experience 5 years ago, when Dutch politicians were debating if slapping a child was abusive. Here you can read my letter, and the results.

Dennis

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 Post subject: Re: Sinead or ?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 9:38 pm 
Swiftly from a borrowed computer: thank you, Steve, for sharing this letter! I think Dennis is right. And that we can contribute each one of us in our personal way in forwarding this message. And expressing things leads to more expression!? Hopefully it is lika that at least.

Merry Christmas to all (knowing this holiday can be gruesome and burdensome...)
Warmly
Karin


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 Post subject: Re: Sinead or ?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2007 4:40 pm 
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D.R.B.,

Thanks much! I'm fairly sure that I'm pushed to the face-to-face business by the fact that a guy stopped my mother from what to me felt like (and may actually have been) beating me to death when I was four. Other people come from other situations and are driven by other things; there's sure nothing wrong with "just" writing. I have a debt to repay, is all. It's my own thing. Has as much to do with saving myself, probably, as it does with saving somebody else. Far as I'm concerned it's best for me to happen in person. Everything else feels like cheating to me, one level. I'll try to remember the calm smile and wink trick--sounds good. I do like the idea of keeping "drama" to a minimum. I'm not looking to draw attention to myself as some kind of hero, just want to feel satisfied that I can face what frightens me. Had to take a deep breath the other night; several feet from me about a three-year-old girl was screaming her head off in the ice cream aisle--her mother had bent over her with a firm grip on her coat collar, her head very close to the girl's, both their backs turned toward me. Especially now that I've shot my mouth off just about everywhere about how important it is to do right by kids, I knew that to live with myself I'd never be able to pretend it wasn't happening-but "Mr. Huge Giant Chicken" grew very strong in me just then, just like I expected. That's the thing, for me. I heard the mother say firmly but gently and very respectfully "Thank you!" to her daughter; the girl stopped screaming right away. Mr. Chicken went "Whew! Whew! WHEW!" and we just stumbled on. Later I thought how odd it was that I was considered by the U.S. government fit enough to fight in a war. I never "served", but there's no reason to think that if drafted I wouldn't have been at least as aggressive and "brave" in that situation as the average guy. And even if I'd won actual medals for "bravery", I can't think of a reason why I wouldn't still be chicken of unarmed, hundred and ten pound mean mommies in grocery stores. Far as I'm concerned, that's the only war that needs to be fought. Weird but true. I'm just convinced of it. I don't feel completely qualified to 'shoot my mouth off' without first having given myself at least some small kind of medal for action in the field. The world' doesn't need me adding more hypocrisy to the pile it's already got.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Sinead or ?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 7:23 pm 
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Dennis,

Just wanted to let you know I finished reading the Psychforums thread you linked earlier. Can't think of saying a thing about it that I'm sure you don't already know is true. "Their side" did very much remind me of something; I almost wish it hadn't because I've lost an incredible amount of time trying to decide if mentioning it is anything I really want to do here, but have you seen Mike Reed's "Flame Warriors" charicatures? http://redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/index.htm Check "cyber sisters", "evil clown", "admin" and maybe "nanny" at least.

Eagle Scout Steve

Okay I guess I better put a "haha" after that.


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 Post subject: Re: Sinead or ?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:37 pm 
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Those were funny descriptions and caricatures on Mike Reed's site. I used to say, if it wasn't for internet, I never would have realized how many idiots there are in this world. I once read that one of the creators of modern Internet has escaped into the mountains, away from technology, after he saw what Internet had turned into. I don't know if this is true but I like to believe it is. Nevertheless, I also think that Internet can bring out the worst and the best in people. Just like in the real world I suppose. But Internet shouldn't replace all other sources of information, conversation and entertainment.

Steve, how dreadful it must be to have experienced how your mother wanted to beat you to death at age 4. At least someone had the sense to interfere her.

'hundred and ten pound mean mommies in grocery stores'

Good line! That could be a good name for a band. Or at least a song.

Dennis

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 Post subject: Re: Sinead or ?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 4:08 pm 
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"Mean Mommies in Grocery Stores"!!! Maybe with "Hundred and Ten Pound" in parentheses right before it! Now I gotta quick get some guys together and we have to delete this thread so nobody steals it! God! "Mean Mommies"! Could it be punk, sort of, a little? Or maybe punk/country/rock/folk/psycho? I've never tried that. I'd like to have like maybe a lady drummer or something. Somebody skinny and pissed off as hell, probably. God think of the album art...

Okay that settles it. I'm sticking in here what I woosed out of posting yesterday. Two entries from this sort of personal journal I keep. Picture of me and 12-string at the end if I can figure out how. Just remember that it's from 30 years ago happy new year yeah right. I'm older than dirt now, maybe even older than Sting. And never could sing as good. (Also the beard's been gone since a year or two after the picture was taken. And I got new glasses.)

08:17:04 PM Sunday evening.
Well I'm doing absolutely worthless. Multiple reasons, don't feel like writing about any of them, but: lot of procrastination today, for one. Did get out for a half hour to get smoke supplies, had close encounter with another evil kid, 15 or so—I was able to do the 'ignore' bit, just get into the car and drive off—chances are fair he wasn't directing his shit toward me (he was behind me and to one side, I never saw him and couldn't tell) but possibly to another teenager—I don't know—but essentially it was the same as what J*** had had to witness in the park between a mother and her child. Anyone in that parking lot within earshot (40 yards at least) had to have been offended by that kid—same as J*** ended up crying after having to witness the child being spanked by its mother in the park. In this case tonight it was just verbal disrespect—something said loudly about “weenies” being sucked, followed by the same kind of authoritarian, belligerent, demanding “Hey! Hey!”s that when I was fifteen kids would hear from an adult who wanted us to fear him and was about to chew us out for doing something wrong or being somewhere we weren't supposed to be. A kid trying to treat an adult that authoritatively would have been nuts to even try. Today, like it or not, like the old biddy whose “Smack 'em harder—God says to” letter to the editor said: we really do have an inversion of that world. I had to consciously will myself not to turn around and look—though I felt as though I had been commanded to do that and felt myself about to obey. When I got into the car I did check around; couldn't see the kid anywhere.
When I wrote in my response to the biddy: “Stand for them” I meant “be willing to take the pain asshole parents are about to or already in the process of giving their kids”. And that's great. And a mouthful. And I still stand by every word even though I have yet to do it once for real. Only now it seems clear that it really has to be that way no matter relationship of those involved. Bullies are bullies. And parents—somebody's parents—are ultimately the source, no doubt—but it just stinks how soon kids start repeating that crap! Ignoring the situation in the parking lot did not leave me feeling good. Tonight I was the man who “heard evil but walked on.” I wish there were a way to say it without the drama, but I feel like Humphrey Bogart looking over the side of the boat, knowing he has no choice but to climb down into a river filled with leeches. I think I feel worse than that. Some of this shit I'm looking at can be genuinely fatal anymore. It's just that doing nothing feels like it's killing me anyhow.

12/31/07 07:05:34 AM Monday morning.
Woke up with something in mind that I was sure would make me feel good to have written out; whatever that is is gone now. Don't believe it was cowardice-related though that's what's spinning in my head now. So. I'm here, may as well consider that question: am I a natural coward or am I the product of my mother's fucking goddam vacuum cleaner cord? Or did I get here some other way?
Let me back up and say something I wanted to work in yesterday: I did call Sue maybe an hour after the parking lot incident. I'd been running it in my head and gotten nowhere. I really regret not having anyone else to discuss it with—she's great, but I hate her being the only place I can turn with most of this stuff. At any rate, her first reaction was to say it sounded as though I'd acted wisely to just ignore the problem. “Ignore bad, praise the good”. Not what she said, just the 'philosophy' behind it, which I already understood and with at first I had justified my choice of actions. What's wrong with that of course is that a puppy chewing the furniture or peeing on the rug isn't being 'bad'—it's being a puppy. There's no malice, assault, intimidation or intentional hurting anyone involved—that kid in the parking lot deliberately and uncaringly assaulted everyone present. Like a suicide bomber.
Anyhow, soon Sue was telling a story. She, nearing sixty, was standing in line recently at some crowded shop at the mall. A kid—who turned out to have been fourteen or fifteen—standing behind her with his friends said something completely senseless and cruel to her. She didn't repeat it and I didn't want to ask. I know it was said without provocation or reason though, unless “impressing your buddies” counts as reasonable. Personally I think I would have responded with anger or fear or some weird combination of the two—probably leaning toward despair since I know that neither reaction could lead to a good outcome, would generate sneers and more disrespect—without doubt exactly what the jerk had in mind. But the fact is that that moron had hurt Sue badly. She turned to look at him; he saw her face. Her real face, with real hurt on it, I'd guess close to tears. He immediately said “I'm sorry!” feeling, sounds like, completely genuine remorse, realizing that she was no enemy. I feel awful that it had to happen to her. I also can't imagine a better outcome for a situation like that.

I tried to relate that to my parking lot thing. Maybe I need to try harder, but so far I've come up dry. All I can picture is me trying to act as though I were “hurt”--I think some sort of confrontation really was called for, not something 'authoritarian' or lecturing or threatening on my part but neither could it be fake or 'caring' or bullshit in any other way.
Strikes me now that it's likely exactly like my experience with music—something to which I still have to return—the fear of walking in to apply for that first solo job was overwhelming—I remember I was literally shaking for five minutes while standing in the bookstore parking lot across the street, trying to collect enough courage to cross over and walk in that door. I remember making my pitch to the manager, saying I was good enough that without doubt I'd help him sell more pizza and beer, but it turned out to take me a good ten or fifteen minutes of blowing it, of making a total ass of myself, of people scratching their heads, looking up at me from their conversations with odd looks before I hit bottom that night, naked, trashed, humiliated—at which point I finally saw I had no choice but to either run screaming from the room or to trust, relax, be real, reach the audience and enjoy the rest of the experience. God damn it. It shouldn't be so hard.




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 Post subject: Re: Sinead or ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:56 am 
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Mean Mommies in Grocery Stores with their debut album Tonight I Was The Man Who Heard Evil But Walked On, featuring their hit single Mother's Fucking Goddam Vacuum Cleaner Cord. Go for it, man. For someone who doesn't value writing as the major form of communication and expression, you sure have a way with words. Finding pissed off people in the field of music, shouldn't be such a big problem :)

Primal therapist Sam Turton plays music as well and can be heard here. But if you're looking for authentic angry music, I have to say that no one beats Henry Rollins. Though in recent years he has calmed down and is more into Spoken Word Performances.

Thanks for sharing your journal entries. Powerful stuff!

Dennis

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 Post subject: Re: Sinead or ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:16 am 
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I am very familiar with Sam Turton's songs, My favourite one Nobody sees her is played regularly in our house. You can listen to a clip on his site http://www.samturton.com/feel.html. I think that his music is more evocative than provocative, thus reaches a wider audience, and gets a powerful message across.

Sam, as you know, is not just a singer/songwriter but a very fine Primal Integration Facilitator, and Educator, and interestingly enough, he has written somewhere on his website http://www.primalworks.com about how he came to be expressive as a musician through his own primal therapy work.

I have a question, however. Can anyone recommend a powerful drumming CD. I find that drumming is very helpful in opening up to deep angry feelings. And I am looking purely for a drumming one; no other instruments. I have the CD Nomad, which is an excellent collection of Aboriginal and Native American Indian music and very provocative. But I am seeking a recommended simple drumming CD. Can anyone help.

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 Post subject: Re: Sinead or ?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:10 pm 
Hi Clare,
Maybe ought to have a lot of tips about what you requested... It didn't feel so. I have thought of it, and came to think of the percussion ensemble Kroumata. Here is a link to their site and there you can listen to what they do: http://www.kroumata.rikskonserter.se/en/index2.html
It's strange, I am working with music, but for me music seems to be something that it isn't for other people... Or maybe it isn' sot? I am not sure.
I have a CD somewhere with reconstructions of prehistoric music. They used drums, and also bare feet on rocks; dancing on rocks making sounds with their feet.
And in Japan or China they also have musicians only playing percussion instruments. I saw a program on TV with these musicians some years ago.
I have had to digest this, and I will probably have it with me in in my back-head, maybe I can give you more tips. Hopefully.
And Steve, thanks for sharing!
Warmly
Karin


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 Post subject: Re: Sinead or ?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 12:41 am 
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Clare, I'm curious, how do drums lead you into feelings of anger? I mean just drums? Not 'angry music'? Anyway, I was thinking of the Dutch drum band Slagerij van Kampen. Here's a direct link to a sound clip on their site that I think is characteristic for them (screen stays black because I only linked the sound clip but here's their site). 'Massive raw drums with thundering power!' as they describe themselves.

Dennis

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 Post subject: :Drums
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:50 am 
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Thank you Dennis and Karin,for your suggestions. I have checked out both sites and listened to the clips. Both, for me, were in effectual, as they sounded melodically mild! I think if other instruments are used at all, I need to hear dissonant chords. (smile). Karin, some of the clips from your site were quite mystical, which I also loved. And will listen to these again.

I have no problem getting into angry feelings, but initially in my journey, it was drums that opened me up to these positive feelings. I was taking part in my first Holotropic Breathwork Group workshop, and some guy had brought a cd of African drumming, which was being played in conjunction with two other CDs, (mother's fast heartbeat, and dissonant orchestral music ) I never got the name of the drumming CD but it certainly opened my lower chakras at the time, and in my work at that time, I connected deeply with a huge rage I had never felt or expressed previously.

Dennis, I find angry words don't do it for me. In fact, others' words take me away from my feelings. They are their words, not mine. My sense is that most of my rage comes from pre-verbal experiences so thumping sounds (maybe like a heartbeat!) and my breath will do it.

I am, mainly interested in finding a CD which I can use with groups ( I have looked on Grof's site, and saw some familiar CDs. Shamanic or native indian are probably the best.

Thank you again for your suggestions.

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