Paul Ryan is truly disgusting and I have to say, this is why I do not like to teach lower division students — too many of them resemble him, and emulate men like him. And that, in turn, is why I do not like the fall semester. I do not have dissociative episodes about the work in general, but about dealing with this kind of person, and while I deal with this kind of person, and after I have dealt with this kind of person. I am practicing the cara de pau I will use when I respond to their objections — why “must” they study a language spoken by “illegals,” why must they meet the same standards as more willing students, and so on. I am practicing laughing with them, showing them in a good humored way that these insinuations are not acceptable.
Speaking of dissociative episodes, one must remember that organization and good work habits do not address them. That is why I am so militantly opposed to instructions on getting work done as remedies for exhaustion. I remember being this exhausted for a long time; neither rest nor discipline worked. Notice how Rented Life is happy about even small amounts of work; this really is how to approach things, especially in that situation.
When I go into a dissociative state I do not forget events or who I am, but I am unable to contact myself, as it were. The image I have of it is that the person who can act, who can decide, who can make fine distinctions and interpret a text or a situation, has gone into a freezer cabinet to be preserved until the bombs stop falling. I, meanwhile, a simulacrum of myself, am outside dealing with the debris; I know what the capabilities of the self in the freezer are, but I myself cannot work at such a high level.
This problem became very marked at one point, but I had difficulty getting it recognized, let alone treated, because it was never bad enough, disabling enough. (Apparently, I would have had to end up on Times Square with no memory of how I had gotten there, for anyone to believe I had a problem which was not a mere question of organization and discipline, exercise and rest.) I started this weblog as an experiment, to see whether I could bring body and mind, as it were, closer together.
It is working fairly well, especially lately. I can do things like concentrate fully when I read, and walk into work without having a panic attack or feeling it is a dream. My mind stays clear even in places with which I have very bad associations. Talking back to people helps a great deal as well, although I am not sure they like it.
On remaining firm so as to head off as many dissociative moments as possible, I have a new story: the DNC telephoned me and I did not give them money. Here is the conversation, more or less; do you think I was too severe? (I do waver between not being assertive enough and being too severe, and I am attempting to construct a middle ground.)
Telephone: A group of committed Democrats would like to make sure to retake Congress….
Mictlantecuhtli: If I donate to you, will any of my cash go to Louisiana candidates? To Dennis Kucinich? To Barbara Lee?
Telephone: Well, if we decide a candidate has no chance of winning, or does not need our help, no.
Mictlantecuhtli: Then I will donate to the candidates of my own choice.
Telephone: But we must retake Congress. We need a Congress that will support the President.
Mictlantecuhtli: I will support the candidates of my own choice.
Mictlantecuhtli: Look, I am not pleased with the Democratic party since the DLC took over. I am not pleased with this party’s abandonment of the state in which I live. You are actually lucky still to have my vote, and lucky that I accept your phone calls. I will support the Democratic and also the left candidates of my own choice.
My thoughts on this: I could have been nicer to this guy. Phone banking is hard to do. On the other hand, being nicer could have just laid me open to further pressure. What do you think?