September 4, morning
Monday, September 5, 2016
September 4, morning
I’m in a stagnant pond of mood, or maybe it’s an ocean, but I’m only aware of the shallows. That’s the damned “here and now” that the more simple-minded psychotherapists love.
Actually, I know the mood is sourced in the beginning and formative years of my life. I’ve felt and studied that well. The knowledge helped me realize, while bitterly walking the dog this morning, that without an artificial good feeling or Novocain-like thought, there is either only a bad mood or no identity.
I’ll use Simon as a part-lesson. I’m an affection-needy guy, and I also love that mini schnauzer. But he was rescued by my wife from six months’ sad solitude in a PetSmart cage, and bonded to her like God to brilliance. To Simon, I’ve always been second-fiddle. So one moment I feel love, the next hurt and bitterness and if I think about it, lifelong desolation (I think the feeling would stay shallow, here-and-now, without the thought added to it). I’ve named the key, above: identity. Some people have organic identity that grew in their early childhood. Most of us have a more manufactured identity that comes when thought has to replace a hole where self should have been. Be aware that thought can create feeling, as the Cognitive therapists say. But they so screw up, because it is true only in a bad way, an escapist way. A Narcissistic personality disordered man was an empty boy who, under idiosyncratic influences, thought himself into feeling superior.
I won’t give you the ingredients of my present mood state, but for a few parts. I have a job now and a boss, while for the previous five years I was an independent contract therapist seeing clients per my hours, per my days, with no boss. While it felt good to be helping people, it felt better to be disconnected from the false family of a workplace. The antisocial part of my ego felt better that way. But I’m helping people now: the ambiguous blue and rose-red mood. I’m part of a false family: the warm teal mixed with the shit brown. I may yet become independent again: the Novocain of hopeful thought. And I’m still “the therapist”: the gold-plated throne that, for example, narcissistic Trump sits on. Then there is my marriage, with all its parts.
Someone with a late identity will always feel the emptiness whenever thought and positive mood fail. A healthy person will have, so to speak, the wave and whitecap moods in a firm ocean. The rest of us will only have the waves and whitecaps, and our sense of self will change with the weather, but also with the demonic forces that injured our childhood. Our moods will not be grounded in a man or a woman.
September 4, late evening
I completed two crisis interventions – teenagers – at local hospitals. Both young people were the present moment of telescoped histories; one, buried trauma, the other, years of grandparents’ abuse and mother’s passivity. It took unusual information, delivered in an unusual empathy, to move them enough but not too much so they would not need inpatient psychiatric hospitalization. My mood is good. But the weather will change soon.