Splitting

So it is the splitting I experience. Last week’s exercise on shame (and the shame I feel comes from this) made it perfectly clear that the problem is splitting. I always have done it to some minor extent. Graduate school cured me of most of it, and Reeducation brought it back in a much more extreme form. I am withdrawn, and this is one split, and I have an introjected torturer or persecutor, and that is the other.

Now I am splitting over this paper. All my writing advice — and I do have writing advice, you must give yourself research time, you must give yourself a space of play within your ideas, you must not lose touch with your work, you should not attempt to “binge write” — is true and I need it, but the person who uses that advice has to be present. For that, one must stop the splitting. I tend to think it is better discipline that is needed but that idea exacerbates the splitting. And one must stop the splitting.

(I am still against free writing and “just writing”, by the way … I think they are forms of binge writing or busywork, and I don’t believe in bad first drafts, either. All these techniques cause me to write in circles, and the idea of rushing makes me shut down. I had my system set up long before free writing, “just writing,” and the use of alarm clocks to goad oneself into starting and stopping, came into style. Perhaps the people who advocate free writing do not keep notebooks full of notes, or logs of work, or paragraphs that come to them out of the blue on scraps of paper, I do not know. In any case, trying to free write when your actual problem is splitting will get you nowhere.)

I have been splitting, and it is important to notice this and integrate, it seems. I have to consider this further. Splitting means I turn on myself, and the reading on shame reminds us that nowadays, the perpetuation of emotional suffering is self inflicted and can therefore be stopped. I want to hold onto some fleeting visions: one, of the feeling that trauma was past or could be past, and two, of myself in the center of my life. Not pressed against the edges while some large other person flings around from the center of the room with a sledgehammer.

I want peace. I can remember what it was like not to be splitting; I remember taking really good care of myself on the one hand, but not thinking about myself at all, on the other, because this was not needed; I was present.

Axé.

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