Category Archives: Da Whiteman

Une des versions originelles et plus simples (de la méditation de cette semaine)

I am easily understood if one understands the reactions of abuse victims. Otherwise everything seems complicated and circular and incomprehensible and exhausting. I fear doing anything on my own behalf because I fear the destruction that will be visited upon me if I do. Acting on my own behalf means flinging myself into an irrational space where I will be powerless to escape permanent mutilation.

I need to think about the meaning of that sentence, how to counter it — because really, acting on my own behalf means entering a rational space, even the only rational space.

What immobilized me was the combination of recriminations for being research oriented, the “boundary” violations, the internalization of these recriminations, the rage at the boundary violations which I turned against myself, and the conversion of what had always been positive spaces into scenes of torture.

That was the combination of elements. But I find that abandoning self and abandoning my research projects meant that I had nothing with which to defend against those “boundary” violations, those recriminations.

They always say you have to feel better first but I think the path to that is to take self and project back. Those things, not “discipline” and “boundaries” — which come of themselves. I mean: it is because I had abandoned myself that I let crows eat the carcass.

Condensing: those research projects are mine and are my friends and will help protect me against invasive people. No: the deeper idea is that my life is mine. It always seemed to be someone else’s.

Axé.

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Flash!

This, concisely, was the message of Reeducation: you must be a child.

But that is not true.

Axé.

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Sur Deleuze, et sur le sujet

It is time to actually read Anti-Oedipus and the discussions of it from those days, in places like this.

Here is my Vallejo problem: my issue is psychic invasion, and I have a visceral reaction to the idea of subject shattering.

“Then that is a non-liberatory, but binding, shattering,” someone said.

What is fractured subjectivity in and for Vallejo?

Axé.

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On some origins of self-hatred

The child would have reacted like this or something similar if enormous anxiety hadn’t paralyzed her. These children feel physically and morally helpless. There isn’t sufficient consolidation of their personalities in order to be able to protest, even if only in thought. The overwhelming authority of the adult makes them dumb and can rob them of their senses.

“The same anxiety, however, if it reaches a certain maximum, compels them to subordinate themselves like automata to the will of the aggressor, to divine each one of his desires and to gratify these; completely oblivious of themselves, they identify with the aggressor” (Ferenczi, 1933). Through identification, he disappears as a part of external reality and becomes intra instead of extra psychic. The child succeeds in maintaining the previous situation of tenderness to the [abuser] but hates herself. She now treats herself with the same sadism previously expressed by the [abuser].

When she attacks herself for not having fought harder she is demonstrating a lack of connection with her own helpless rage and is enacting a sadistic attack on herself. They behave as if they are largely id and superego and there is little ego. Modern psychoanalytic work with trauma supports Ferenczi and finds there is “little ego” during traumatic over stimulation (Davies & Frawley, 1994). Diamond (1994) elaborates on this adaptive response to trauma.

Axé.

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Comment écrire

The way to write is to write 2.5 hours in the morning and do things that strengthen you the rest of the time.

But those are just practicalities. At a deeper level, you have to fill the project with yourself, as Proust might have said, and pull it onto your ground.

I find myself unable to work efficiently on Vallejo because I withdraw. I withdraw because I feel I am being crushed by the mountain of work on him that I am not interested in, but should theoretically control and address when I would much rather read him alongside other things. Outside as well are the shouting voices of various supervisors telling me to write more and faster (from an era when in fact I was writing more and faster than they, I must point out).

Now that I see the reason my mind seems to scramble is withdrawal, I may be able to improve the situation. The other thing I notice is that I do not seem to think Vallejo projects are my friends. Vallejo materials only seem friendly when I look at them as an amateur or fellow traveler. I find I must keep reminding myself that even at a professional level, they are my friends. This is somewhat odd, I find, but it is true.

#OccupyHE

Axé.

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The mistreatment

It is like self-injury, or is self-injury. It has been happening since Reeducation said (or seemed to say, or communicated) I did not deserve to be enjoying life as I was, to be in as good health as I was or to have achieved the things I had.

I should stop following any Reeducated recommendations.

I should also give myself credit: I am working on something now that throws almost my whole life in my face. I could: give myself credit for this on the one hand, and on the other remember that objectively, it is just a little project.

I feel healed now.

But the mistreatment has a payoff, namely, that one gets to become ill, and to recover. (That is as though one only deserved a nice day as compensation for suffering. It also means one is convalescing instead of living well. The cycle is: self-injure, convalesce, repeat.)

That means it is a strategy for hobbling. And I would love to see what I would be like, and what my life would be like, unhobbled. But on the other hand: if I were only self-injuring moderately, I would not notice it and others would not, but I would still be undermining myself. It is almost as though I had magnified the phenomenon so as to be able to see what it is.

The destructive aspect of being ill and recovering: one does not get to do the things one could do if well.

The constructive aspect: one gets some time to think, time to see what underlies, and time off the straight and narrow (because otherwise one is doing what one should and what is correct and practical … since what one wants does not appear to available or attainable …).

The straight and narrow path I seem to be rejecting by engaging in self-harm: doing as one is told.

What I would like: not more obedience but rather, the vista of life unhobbled, life without self-harm.

My problem, still, is still about granting myself authority of any kind, and allowing myself to be at the center of my own life.

Why do I engage in self-harm? So that my mother will love me. Which I need her to do since I need her shelter.

But my mother is dead.

I must reoccupy good living. When I used to live well, treat myself well, enjoy life, be good to myself, do things during the day that advanced me, it was not because I was on the straight and narrow but because I was on the path of pleasure.

I would like to see what life is like without this. Not just a few days — I do manage that often enough — but months on end.

Yet it still feels as though Reeducation had killed the person who did so many beautiful things, the subject of those acts.

But one of my friends signs all correspondence, “Onward.”

Axé.

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Terra estrangeira: a minha vida vai mudar

I am going to change my life. A goal is not to fall into destructive patterns of thought as much, so I do not have to spend as much time arguing against them on this weblog.

A thought on this: the problem with much US psychotherapy is that it makes certain erroneous assumptions, to wit:

a) you are here as a last resort: something terrible has just happened, whether you recognize it or not; or
b) you are massively “dysfunctioning” and need to be forced to recognize this, like a crime suspect forced to confess; or
c) you are having a major or minor crisis and are only interested in being “stabilized;” ord) you only want to vent, not to explore or change.

For me, of course, all of these options are traumatizing because the message is: I do not believe you, and I will not actually listen to you. That naturally drives someone who does not fit the four possible categories to a greater level of pain, as it, most likely, replicates precisely the events that led them to consult this industry in the first place. The slightly better, common assumption is

e) you are so frozen and encrusted in your neuroses that you can only progress very, very slowly and delicately. This may be true for some, but as a best option it is not good enough.

What do you think?

Axé.

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