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« Pollyanna's Dad | Main | Women with Regrets »

April 27, 2005

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Oh, Danny, I am reminded of Charlie Brown -- and The Book Report (from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, the original, not the revival!).
CHARLIE BROWN:
If I start writing now
When I'm not really rested
It could upset my thinking
Which is no good at all.
I'll get a fresh start tomorrow
And it's not due till Wednesday
So I'll have all of Tuesday
Unless something should happen.
Why does this always happen,
I should be outside playing
Getting fresh air and sunshine,
I work best under pressure,
And there'll be lots of pressure
If I wait till tomorrow
I should start writing now.
But I if I start writing now
When I'm not really rested
It could upset my thinking
Which is
Not good at all.

Sometimes "feeling bad" is comforting because that's all I know. It's a habit, style, like a big security blanket. In my family one of the predominant styles is that suffering is honorable. So it always starts with the feeling (and the words): "What a terrible day that was," or "do you know what so and so did to me?" and goes on from there - everyone "tsk tsking" and shaking their heads but really endorsing more of the same - as if there is no other way to do it.

I really don't know that many people where joy is a habitual style. I mean, genuine and authentic joy from the guts!

Plus, Danny, while I hate it that you suffer so much, your "angst" is what makes you one of the most interesting, humorous, intelligent, creative, compassionate, empathic, curious, generous, and loving people, who I have had the best luck to meet and get to know.

I used to have those mornings. But I never had those parenting skills with them. I think that's a great approach to take, because you're supposed to identify and separate yourself from those feelings, and that's exactly what you're doing.

And I so deeply agree that the recriminations are worse than the feelings that cause them. Wonder why we're built that way...

It also reminds me of that song from "Avenue Q," "It Sucks to Be Me," which is what everyone is thinking -- and feeling -- inside. As you and I know, however, the fact that others may be feeling that isn't really such a great comfort. Other than to know that we have company, dysfunctional though it may be.

I gave that little voice inside me a name. And I can see his face. And he's pathetic. So sometimes I win now.

Think I'll go post about it.
Thanks.
David

When did your dream change from the African-American barbershop to the off-ramp?
I always thought a bench at Venice Beach might be my final hang out. By then I will have reverted to a full on Yiddish accent and I’ll go and just sit there between the pimps and dealers shvitsn in my support hose. There’s room on the bench for you too (if you grow tried of the freeway the way you did of the barbershop).

Danny,
You would not be a homeless person for long because you'd be so funny that everyone would put lots of change in your cup and you'd have enough money to at least move into a shelter where you could put on a show every night-- so do not despair. Your description of yourself on the street is amazingly amusing. Anyway, I think you are exactly right that watching ourselves be neurotic and hating ourselves for it is probably worse than the neurosis itself. Yesterday, having physical therapy on my knee (I was lying down on a table with electrodes strapped to my knee so I couldn't move) I started to have a total freakout. They were electric stim'ing my knee and I felt abused, abandoned, bereft, tortured, and disintegrating. I felt sheer panic. And no one around me even noticed --what would it take I thought to really make a stir -- screaming? Howling? And then I got up from the table and said thank you very much for the torture session and did the rest of my chores and was pretty all right.

If there's anything worse than our own self observation of our neuroses though, I would suggest that it's having a spouse to watch. And what is it about first thing in the morning and last thing at night? Those are the times when the dread and self-recrimination just accumulate like toxins in the blood. When I climb into bed at night and whimper just a little, quietly to myself, kind of an uh, uh, uh, occassionally with a mmmmm added (I know that if I cry MommyMommyMommy I'll probably get locked up) my husband says, "What's the matter with you?" Stop carrying on! Don't be so melodramatic. Go to sleep." and that's even worse than my self-judgment although maybe it's better because then I can just get direct all my anger at him for being so insensitive and that distracts me from hating myself.

Anyway, great blog.

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