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Being weaned and feeling contradictory?


#1

My insane head injury, where I do not know what it is I need to know, is forty-four years old this year. Because I do not know, as I have trouble reflecting, my mental connections have went haywire many times. At times, I was convinced I was deteriorating into craziness. I use to even feel my fears were being fulfilled, especially the fear of being violated and overwhelmed, so I would counterattack this fear with my aggression. My rage would explode and I become an intense, like an intense stream of water from a fire hose holding back a crowd, and my mind became overheated into these aggressive impulses. The rage was meant to hold people back and repel people from influencing me. This maintained my isolation and I withdrew into a glowing hateful silence.

My rage became ruthless and mean in 2016, as God and my cancer all became this enormous stumbling block, as more horror and uncertainty. I am also an extremely high-strung individual and my nervous system will tune to a high pitch, mainly because my intense involvement in my perceptions. This thought process is complex, the “ugly-duckling” who felt I need to compensate for my physical and social handicaps. This year I now feel myself being weaned from my rage and aggression. It is like I am being weaned from splitting things into the known and the unknown, the inner world and the outer world, the dangerous and the safe. Being weaned is like there is no framing device to understand the world or myself. Being weaned from the rage makes me realize there is no place to hide.

Being weaned makes my unconscious impulses want to express an inner voice. I want to give this weaning a name and naturally transcending self-consciousness. Naturally it is beyond me. Maybe this weaning is an acceptance into my flaws and irrationalities, even where things are not merely incidental to who I am. It seems this rage is beginning to reflect an inner essence, serenity. The opposites are becoming touching and yet I also feel embarrassed for being the antagonizing individual I can be.

Forty-four years of being obsessed, alienated and depressed, then being weaned from everything is like being okay in my nothingness. Nothing true or valuable in which I can believe in, nothing left, and I am weaned from the meaninglessness. I can just say being obsessed with defending myself from threats from the environment was not worth it. It would have been better if I had put myself on the line and admitted my mental disability, rather than letting my aggression and impulses overpower my mind. And maybe I should feel guilty and shameful for being a misfit in life, sigh deeply, yet the suffering is not worth it anymore.

Being weaned from my rage feels worthwhile, a practical value, and yet can it be given expression? Is this merely my individual consciousness or is it other people’s awareness feeling weaned from existence as an individual? I ask this because I do not understand this acceptance and serenity where I feel weaned from existence, weaned from nothingness, weaned from my rage, and even being weaned from being an eccentric crackpot.

Thank you for allowing me to try to understand and the fullness of your support.


#2

Hey Syd,
Hmmm, weaned. Interesting way to put it. What you see as weaned I tend to see as acceptance. A fuller acceptance. I know for myself, I put up walls. Walls to block others out, to portray a false reality. People ask “So how are you?” “Yea, I’m fine” When inside I know things are far from ‘fine’. My wife knows me all too well and will tell me "That’s the wrong tone to be saying ‘fine’ " Under normal circumstances when I speak and say ‘I’m fine’ I naturally raise my tone with the word fine. When I’m not fine but say I am my tone is either flat or lowers with the word fine and she knows my tone all too well. I know I do it but it’s not a conscious thing. For people who know me can often see it in my face. I may say the right things at the right time with the right tone but I look like shit. So as much as I try to portray ‘normal’ my mannerisms depict a clearer answer and I’m not very good at masking them.

I used to have that rage aspect too, but as time has passed that has diminished to simple frustration and although I used to focus that outwardly now it has become part of my acceptance. I’m not happy about it but fighting it as much as I was, was just exhausting, which only added to my frustration. It was feeding itself at my expense. It took me a while to see that or maybe I could see it but didn’t want to identify it for what it was (Probably the latter in hindsight). Acceptance of that was a bit depressing and I suppose I felt low enough without adding my own defeat it the mix and therefore I was reluctant to identify it for what it really was. If that makes sense.

When I could see a progression of improvement I was ok with it all, even if it was slow, but when that stopped or stagnated my frustration shone through. So I pushed myself harder to restart that progression. Acceptance has meant that small progression has become a bonus rather than an ego driven ambition, which has made acceptance a bit easier.

Merl


#3

Thank you Merl. When you write about how you communicate being “fine” to others and you are not feeling “fine” appears to be a method of detaching yourself from others. For me, my emotional attitude of detachment and rejection of others was my way of turning away from the world. I did not want to be a part of it. My head injury made me too small and helpless, thus I doubted my ability to function in the world. I also felt this universe as uncaring, even in my own family, so it was like I had to make do with minimal support and resources. “I am fine” as you are saying, in a sense, is also my way of clutching at the little I think I have. It is if I am afraid of losing it. My clutching onto and shrinking back from others is caused by my feeling of hopelessness and powerlessness.

You express, “It took me a while to see that or maybe I could see it but didn’t want to identify it for what it was (Probably the latter in hindsight).” This sentence appears to be communicating how you did not want to identify with the hopelessness. The anger toward the hopelessness was self-defeating for you, so in a sense it appears you moved yourself into radical acceptance of your reality. Your acceptance communicates a certain compassion also for you and also in your compassion appears to be your wife, who appears emotionally attuned to you as a person. Her empathy appears to be with quality and she appears able to feel with you, as if the experience is her own. Deeply touching Merl and the strength of your compassion both from you and your wife is a source of great comfort.

Understanding compassion and the caring side of humanity is something I struggle with. I still cling onto defending myself and potential threats from the environment, which excludes the good. So this being weaned from my clinging mind is an opening to you and your wife’s compassionate heart. Compassion also seems to offer a generosity of spirit and a better attitude toward others, as your wife appears to be emphasizing this good and the good she finds in you. For me compassion just meant being charitable and seeing compassion as the “good” in others is just beyond me. In a sense your wife is an irrational gift for you and some reason is helping me to open the door to this compassion around me.

Your acceptance is appearing more natural for you and your acceptance appears to be part of the way things are. I am also feeling this acceptance of nature and nature’s ways. Naturally, there is a part of me that is defiant to the natural order of things, probably from my rebellion and prideful independence, but this weaning is teaching me to yield myself to this acceptance. Compassion seems to be mixed into this acceptance and a serenity into the way things are. Anyway, thanks again for identifying with me, identifying with our nature, and allowing this compassion be something larger than ourselves, as it is a door I need to allow to be open. Also please tell your wife thank you for her compassionate heart, this gift she bestows on you and others, which is this immense reservoir of “good”.


#4

Hey Syd,
I apologise for not answering sooner, had a bit on my plate.
As part of my working role I needed to support people in learning new skills and for some relearning old skills. With people who were born with disabilities, I won’t say it was easier for them, but, they had no reference to remember things before and after. For those of us with acquired disabilities, we do and that makes thing 10000x harder. For me this has been one of my biggest stumbling blocks. If I didn’t have those former references I’d have nothing to compare to. I know what I use to be able to do and that was always what I aimed for and this was simply setting myself up to fail and each time I failed I’d berate myself a bit more.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve had a few surgeries and each one has knocked me harder and harder. I kept trying to return to my former normal and sure I was able to get myself back to functional. It wasn’t what you’d call a straight line route, I had successes and failures, but I pushed myself really hard and got back into life. Each time there were some things I didn’t get back. After the last surgery I again pushed, but this time my body pushed back. Previously if I perservered simply pushing harder but this time the more I pushed the more my body pushed back. I eventually got to a point where I identified I needed external help as my resources weren’t working. There are agencies out there that have the resources to give such assistance and I went and saw a psychologist via one of these agencies. Previously I had considered myself a lazy sod for not pushing on through or thought this had all just got the better of me, but with the shrinks help I identified that I had tried and I wasn’t simply being lazy but that my former tolerances were no more. So trying to reach them was an impossible endeavour. It was no longer a psychological thing, it was a physical thing and for me physically impossible for my body to reach my former limits. Coming to term with this has made my journey less torturous.
My wife has been my biggest supporter through all of this, without her I’d be dead. People said to me after my last surgery I should go out and buy lottery tickets but I told them that’d be a waste of time because I used up all of my luck when I found her.

Merl


#5

This summer will be forty years since my first TBI. There is no normal there is just what is today and what the hell you can today because tomorrow your symptons and the demands put on you will be different. You have to learn to turn down the rage and recognize when it is appropriate and when it is not and use it to accomplish each days tasks. Those people that ask how you are on any given day just tell them fine because they really do not want to know that you cooked yourself a fine breakfast you but puked it out on the ground two hours later when you got dizzy and nautious on the way out to the mailbox or top get into you car. I work on volunteer boards cabin tract and waterboard and fire prevention I only answer truthfully if I can help it. Some of these people are concerned when I am working and have a pukeing spell so I just tell them I can work at it and as long as I am not pukeing up blood I am good to get some work done


#6

hartcreek,

Thanks for saying there is “no normal” and learning to be not at odds with this. It is just the way things are and learning to yield ourselves to it is powerful. And may you know the gift you are to the other, just before self-consciousness and alienation.


#7

It is great that you have become comfortable with yourself.