Friday, February 25, 2011

the art of self-analysis

based on current research i've been doing in conjunction with significant dietary intervention, detox, intensive yoga practice, and journaling, its become clear to me that i've developed bipolar disorder with schizophrenic-type psychosis as an adaptation to early adverse experience and aspergers. my interest is to document how such conditions can be engaged and worked with self-reliantly, holistically, and used as biofeedback markers on the circuit back to health and balance.

the aetiology in this case is quite complex, beginning with a neonatal period in foster care marked by extreme neglect of providers and my consequent and complete vegetative regression by 6months. a subsequent period, following a hastily arranged adoption to desperate but ill-suited candidates, lead to a spell of fourteen years of extreme physical and emotional abuse, of the kind sufficient to still be visible upon radiography of pelvic bones. for otherwise well-meaning people with their own impingements of physical illness, alcoholism and post-traumatic-sexual abuse, the stress of coping with an abnormally linguistic and highly precocious child proved too great. degradation of human qualities in the parents was the result.

although extreme and depersonalizing controls remained the norm throughout, the physical violence became untenable around my 14th year following a particularly bad episode that lead to a head injury which in turn raised for the first the possibility of situational disclosure. following on this, the rod was spared and in its macabre place food supplies and basic civility were controlled and withheld, with locks installed on cabinets and cold storage. by 17 i could no longer hold appearances, despite my lifelong and ultimately deeply masochistic sympathy for a broken father and victim-mother. i finally turned to a family doctor for help. his concern was to get me out of the home environment and to medical treatment before i departed for university. unfortunately the restorative clinic he described and i enrolled in turned out to be the general psychiatric unit of the local hospital where more stressors were to be borne.

i drifted in and out of dysfunction until i motivated myself into a film school stream. in spite of a rocky start that included my reaping the price of my programmed-to-bone sympathy for the devil in the form of a short-order of disastrous choices that lead me bewildered into more of the same violences, i ultimately routed a career and a stable chapter of marriage where i encountered the balm of love and understanding for the first time. but as i recovered strength and found some meager promise of success as a restaurateur, the marriage, based in larger measure on the fixity of my wounded dysfunction, failed amicably.

abandonment issues triggered, i then launched myself with vigor into a period of slow dissolution and petulant fraying at the seams. after a misguided and failed reunion with a troubled ex-boyfriend and his subsequent suicide on the eve of my departure, i let go of all self-concern, plunged into depression and substance abuse. a failed suicide attempt brought visions of the kind that caused me to at last snap out of my pain-amplitude and seek a real 'way out.' i turned to a family friend for assistance which led to some healing with one of my abusers. i learned that contrary to the advice i'd been given about the necessity of galvanizing a counter-attack, survivalist posture, it was forgiveness that was essential to my quality of life and sense of purpose.

in the years since i danced on the edge of getting real, preferring to continue to escape much of the pain and insufficiencies i felt with drugs, alcohol and erratic personal behaviour. marginal social and coping skills led me to create opportunities which, when showing promise, were immediately scuttled or run away from, not to mention another round of placing myself in the hands of a few more predatorial opportunists. in the last six years i've had manic swings that've lead me to abandon more than ten employers and cancel every variety of engagement for a variety of reasons ranging from the justified to the completely irrational. i grew increasingly incapable of sustaining most conventional sorts of relationships, especially those of a conjugal nature, and i made repeated blunders in all my personal affairs and social judgements. in spite of talents demonstrated in multiple domains i remain unable to manifest more than the promise of fulfillment and service to society.


in just two short months of dietary interventions (no meat, no wheat, no dairy, no alcohol, no tobacco, no drugs, eating only plant-based whole foods with occasional baked fish, super minimal grains, cycling in and out of periodic fasting, megadoses of reishi and cordycep mushrooms) and the above mentioned practices, i've been gifted with an objective view on my circumstances that was always slightly out of reach. highly self-analytical and clever, i understand my experiences very well, but this sort of chronic over-analysis left me out of touch with the emotional carnage left in their wake. i now feel more hopeful of integrating my intelligence with emotional attunement, learning to love myself instead of enforcing rigid habits of fear and self-hatred, of exercising wiser choices in my actions, and most important, modulating my social skills to bring myself down from the ice tower and into the play of life with the right companions and larger community of allies.

it was in reading 'Emotional Intelligence' by Daniel Goleman that i was reminded of the healing power of coming clean about the truth. the whole truth. i've often tried to broach this kind of unloading inappropriately, with the wrong people at the wrong time. but in the final analysis, for the cycle of violence, and the exploitation of the once-victimized to end, people like me need to speak their truth, acknowledge their complicity in maintaining suffering where choice is always hiding, and to set about making amends to the life principle that has lent us its persistence. some might say that's what therapy behind closed doors is for, but i don't concur. we need to get our human and often very dirty secrets out in plain view where the sun can melt them.

nature makes her units according to need for this karma machine. thusly, there must be a reason why i've been crafted to have generally withstood the cabinet of horrors to get this far. and while i've made mostly a mess of my recovery and reintegration into what constitutes the normal human family, its only because i've been guided by an unquenchable (if sometimes pathologic) need to give people and life the benefit of doubt.

to reframe, i've been gifted with an understanding of how otherwise decent people can be twisted by their own pain to commit monstrous acts, surely an essential point of view that has broad implications for healing and forgiveness. but i also understand that the people who harmed me in those unconscionable ways were themselves human beings and _not_ monsters. this makes me think that i, like everyone else, have a right to feel a special guiding purpose and a point to my life that i've become newly eager to make good on... for however many chapters i have left.

energy moves through time along a chain of generations that transmits both wisdom and woe. the woe, i've found, can be turned to wisdom, and this is the dross to gold of alchemists' lore.

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