Damaged goods

All posts in the Damaged goods category

Kinda Preachy?

Published April 3, 2018 by Nan Mykel

While continuing my discard trip through ages of hoarding the written word, I’m about to discard the following, but cheating and saving it here:

The majority of people are born with one head, two arms and two legs. They have two eyes, two ears, one nose and mouth.  But there across-the-board similarities appear to stop. (Of course they stopped with the first sentence in some who have had to struggle from birth with physical differences).

Inside, however, great differences can and do exist. Our nighttime dreams are unique to us, as are our combination of innate temperaments, our perceptions, intellectual potential, educational and family environments, and our genes. (Scientists have even identified a gene for “happiness.”)

It is natural to assume that most of us are as alike inside as outside. We begin to feel different soon after exposure to other children, however.  Temperamental differences are one example. With age, some children learn to hide their unique differences; differences which appear unique to themselves; differences which are viewed negatively by others.

Become aware of your feelings as you read the following: cross-eyed, epileptic, club-footed, hare-lipped, retarded, crippled, senile, pock-marked, abused, victim, bow-legged, leper, old nag, brain-damaged, psychotic, neurotic… I wonder if the feelings differ if you’re inside one of these categories or outside.  Probably not, because we soak up society’s perception of us. You think, therefore I am.

Eric Berne developed the concept of life scripting, in which people assume the scripts and characteristics that others expect from them, early in life. Some people start out physically and mentally healthy, but along the way are shamed into dis-ease.*

When we feel diminished, we are diminished. When we feel shame, we are shamed. The carpet of our life rolls out until the ragged end unless we can somehow intercept its path.

*Of course, our parents play a big role in this

 

 

WHO IS MY READER?

Published December 24, 2017 by Nan Mykel

I’m finally trying to get the hang of blogging via WordPress’ tutelage, and one of the questions I need to address is who I am writing for [and about what].  That’s an especially tough question for me, because my interests are so far-flung.  I write–a lot of different stuff–I think because I was never listened to until a rehab counselor who became alarmed at my sudden torrent of tears in his office referred me to a master psychotherapist right there and then, making a contact on the phone during the session.

So, I write in response to folks I empathize with, and almost all of them are struggling with some sort of problem at the cusp of growth and change.  My mind is like a billiard table, with thoughts, ideas, questions and “what-if’s” rolling around inside my head almost constantly, by myself.  I’m lonely for intellectual stimulation. I was most alive in graduate school, studying psychology,  where everything and everybody was a glorious mystery.

I know I have too many pages on my blog, but still I probably need to make a separate one for politics, because I keep getting waylaid by someone’s political savvy. My page on Relief is pure bliss, for those into bliss, and the two on Secrets really reveal the wide range of things I’m curious about. But none of that addresses the question of who I’m writing for–what kind of followers would find my blog most compatible with their experiences and interests?  I probably shouldn’t have revealed my age–that’s an automatic downer, but too late to re-think that.  Talking about my book is also a downer, I think–everybody who blogs seems to have written a book.  Most bloggers I have read seem to have suffered from more heartless incest than I did. I can’t relate to the yearning or jilted lover population, and I don’t cook; never did, really.

I can despise myself as much as any blogger, but that’s a downer for others and not fun, even for me, to read.  Obviously my experience with a Downs syndrome child (one page) didn’t light any fires.  So if I’m not aware of who I’m writing for, why write?  It reminds me of my 20 years of volunteering as a public access television producer, when almost no one ever watched that channel.  So–it’s probably back to the question of why I never reached “my potential.”  Since I was licensed to practice clinical psychology in two states, received a Ph.D., and received top-drawer psychotherapy for myself,  I am reluctant to admit that I still  bear the traces of the sexual abuse (from my father) and the verbal abuse (from my mother).  I don’t want others to know that even the best psychotherapy still leaves some of the damage untouched.

As Briere (1996, 84)  said of survivors, they will never not have been abused–the past will continue as memories, and it will always be part of her life.

Although I look okay on the surface, I am the only one who is aware of the shortcomings, inadequacies and even diseased places within.  I’ll have to go and meditate a little more to put that into words for readers who may in turn have empathy for me.

DAMAGED GOODS

Published February 9, 2017 by Nan Mykel

Herman…observes that “the profound sense of inner badness becomes the core around which the abused child’s  identity is formed.” (1992, 105).  Blume refers to the child’s sense of being “soiled and spoiled.” (1990, 244).

“The notion that a truly evil ‘other’ is embedded deep within the victimized daughter is a reflection of the sexual nature of  her violation. The penetration of the body is experienced  as the penetration of her true self, creating within her psychic being a place of evil and shame that is a source of stigma and self-hatred.” –Janet Liebman Jacobs, 1944).

My father stressing that “boys want only one thing”  undoubtedly fed into my self-devaluation. I assume now that  at that moment  he was excluding himself, but I was not sufficiently quick or brazen to call him on it. (p. 172)

From FALLOUT: A Survivor Talks to Incest Offenders (and Others) by moi:

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