I was reading David Deida on the Kindle app on my phone this evening while I was doing laundry. OK. New rule: no more Deida on an empty stomach! I need to get loose and gather my patience when I read that guy! It gets frustrating to plow through all of that guy's floating abstractions and outright mysticism on an empty stomach. I should have eaten something earlier today. My patience is minimized when I am hungry. On top of that, Deida abrades my sexual and emotional deficits with all of his writing about "loving a woman fiercely." Sheesh! It's hard to be conscious of that stuff...makes me feel as "hollow as a chocolate Easter Bunny," as an LJ friend of mine once put it. It makes me feel hungry...and I don't mean for food...and needy...and acutely aware of years of deprivation. Ow. All this stuff. Be careful what it is for which we wish. I used to be so confounded with pull that would appear for a day and evaporate. I wanted it to go away entirely or else bother me strongly enough and consistently enough to motivate me to do more. Sheesh. Well, it's constant and strong, now. I begin to understand some of what I read in my LJ friend's journals about how difficult it is to be alone. It is indeed difficult when you can feel the pull on your psyche all the time.
I had to write. So much is going on. Sometimes I feel in so much turmoil. I feel I am trying to demolish a building and rebuild it, from the inside, without having the thing fall on my head. Other times, it feels like being pounded, like steel under a blacksmith's hammer. Clang! Metaphorical sparks fly and I feel reverberations. The phonons propagate through the red-hot metal matrix and it shivers and recrystallizes, and I'm not sure what to do with what I am feeling. This damned stuff I've been reading, Gerlach, et al. are insidious. It makes me think, yes, but the feel often catches up only later, unexpectedly, and it is disrupting to the serenity, not to mention, my ability to concentrate, sometimes. What am I supposed to do with this stuff? I don't know. I've got to read more, and the reading is slow and difficult.
Yesterday I watched a movie on Netflix. It was "The Prince of Tides." It was difficult to watch. I saw it with different eyes than those that would have watched it only a couple of months ago. That whole sub-plot where the escaped convicts break into the house and rape the protagonist and his mother and sister was entirely unnecessary to the story line. I suspect that Pat Conroy, the author, is hiding from truths himself. It doesn't take a full-blown nightmare out of hell to give people issues. Just the everyday traumas and dysfunctions in the average family will work just fine to do that, but I think the author wished to shy away from that idea, from what I read of the novel's synopsis on Wikipedia, and the movie skittered even further away from this idea than that. The movie and the novel needed a horrific trauma as an excuse for the bent psyches of the characters in the book, possibly as a way of reassuring the audience, or even the novelist or the screen-writer themselves, that there is a comfortable distance and plenty of distinction between the mental issues of the fictional characters in the book and movie, and what goes on in most everyone else's heads and experiences. The writer is reassuring the audience that what happened to all of them is nothing like what happened to his characters, and only people who experience severe traumas are the ones who have problems with their emotions and empathy and intimacy. From what I've been reading and then observing, I am beginning to think that there is some substance to the idea that most people do not want to face unpleasant realities from their childhoods. It doesn't take war, or even gross physical abuse to put lacerations and dislocations in the psyche. I find that what Pete Gerlach has written on his website regarding the insideous effects of even "low level" "trauma" corresponds with my own experience, much as I would have been formerly tempted to dismiss the idea.
Some of the events in the fictional Tom Wingo's life are familiar to me. I grew up in a home that featured a lot of dysfunctional heated conflict, often featuring threats, screaming and yelling, occasionally punctuated by physical violence. Some of the ways in which Tom's life have been warped by what he has experienced are not unfamiliar to me. His trouble connecting plays out differently than mine. He has difficulty dealing with or expressing his feelings (or at least some of them) to his wife and children. His dissociations are awkward and stressful to watch. Nick Nolte is not a bad actor. The dissociations experienced by Conroy's character and myself are fairly different but the pattern is recognizable: that experience of reacting to something in a way that one would not consciously choose in a moment of calm reflection and careful thought. After reading the things I have read, it is easy to notice and understand on a different level, the things I am seeing play out in the story. The thing is, that sets up a kind of jangling resonance in me, the familiarity of feelings and things I remember. It's not comfortable. Some things like these leave me disconcerted, to the extent of almost having a physical sensation. Other things make me want to say something or express something...or seek something. A touch? Reassurance? Sympathy? I don't even know for sure myself.
Laurel has been away the past couple of weeks. I miss her. We've exchanged some text messages but I really miss seeing her face. She has such striking eyes. It will be good to talk to her again and hear her voice.