Tears of Incarceration | Stealing from Your Kids - Part 3/3

» This entry is PART THREE, continued from » Part Two. It was split into three pages in order to adhere to principles of web site optimization. Here you go...

» The Two Sides to the Denial Method of Coping

It may seem easier to simply deny the presence of a faulty circuit in our lives, and indeed, for the Fifth Grader, that may be his only option » to lock the sparking monster-of-pain in his closet and hope the ugly beast doesnt try to escape.

Monster hiding in the closetBut my experience has been .. that these sparking monsters, if not dealt with, continue to zap us thru-out our lives .. that these monsters never stay put.

They always escape .. and affect our lives (.. usually when we are least able to deal with them).

Then we grow up and develop skills, but we forget about the sparking monster that we stuck in the closet ..

.. or we simply get accustomed to him .. cuz he has been there so long .. even when he causes trouble and misbehaves.

They are never as scary as they seem. Tho they do indeed seem scary (.. especially for little people). But as adults, we now have SKILLS to deal with these things (.. and friends, and people who love us) .. that werent yet developed when we were small.

Some people simply rename their monsters, giving them adorable pet-names.

Me: "What the hell was *that*?
Them: "Oh, that's just Pookie. Isnt he cute?"
Me: "Uh, he looks pretty damn scary, if you ask me."
Them: "Oh don't worry. You'll get used to him. We're the best of friends. I've known him like forever."

Now yes, people can wallow in their misery. Yes, I've seen that. But I think you'll find it is rare, compared to the number of those who partake of the blessings of Denial.

I am not talking about the wallowers. Because far more people are in denial about their limiting problems than those who wallow in their misery, and all wallowers have much bigger problems than their wallowing.

[ There is a ditch on BOTH sides of the road .. that we need to avoid. ]

In general .. if you follow-the-fear .. follow the sparks .. it will lead to your monster .. to your bad, faulty circuit. Most people plant flowers along the path to their ugly monsters .. so it doesnt seem so bad.

Once you've found it, you can reach out touch it. Consciously. It's a conscious thing. Usually involving much emotion. But it's not about the emotion. That is simply a related function.

Don't wrestle with it; rather just reach out and touch it. Yes, it will zap you .. but that will be the beginning of its end. The rest will come intuitively (.. and Dostoevsky will suddently start to make sense).

[ What is the difference between denial and forgetting? ]

••• today's entry continues here below •••

» Apocalypse Now | Chief Water-Burial Scene

The best cinematic representation .. that I know of .. to describe what I'm talking about (.. which is not easy to describe) .. comes from Apocalypse Now. [ Guardian review dated May 2011. ] I'm talking about the scene where they bury the Chief (.. who was pierced-thru with a spear).

Apocalypse Now | by Francis Ford CoppolaI can't find the exact scene on YouTube, but it comes shortly after this scene, which is a good one (.. Stones soundtrack).

In the scene that I'm talking about, it's sunset. The water is calm, still, tranquil. Quiet. Nobody is wailing. You can hear the sound of the water and birds. And he's simply » let go. As gently and naturally and respectfully as possible.

But Chief is dead .. so it's time to (.. in street vernacular ) » put him to bed. Same goes for our sparking monster. Put that dude to bed.

Perhaps it is possible to move on [ in life ] while still in denial .. without out dealing with the severe childhood emotional trauma .. but I dont see how .. not really ..

.. because it seems like your success would only be in proportion to your ability to COMPENSATE for the sparking monsters hiding in your emotional closet. And you cannot compensate without affecting OTHER THINGS in your life. [ 'Other things' being your loved-ones. ]

And that's why I say that 'denial is not the easy way' (.. tho it might indeed seem easier than confronting the deep, dark well-hidden monsters-of-pain in your life).

Piglet and Pooh looking for butterflies» Friends You Can Trust

You can't send a friend FOR you .. in lieu of going yourself .. but a friend can go WITH you .. accompany you ..

.. for moral support, encouragement, cheerleading, connection-to-sanity. And this needs to be a friend you can TRUST ..

.. or someone who loves you .. in spite of all your imperfections (.. and maybe even because of them).

I have found (.. from personal experience) .. that it is possible to be-in-denial without even knowing it (.. probably because I knew no other way .. because it was so deeply ingrained in me .. that it seemed 'normal').

It took loving friends for me to even entertain the possibility .. that I might be in denial. Loving friends are ones who you trust. And it's all about TRUST .. isnt it? Cuz without trust .. you havent much (.. far as relationships go).

[ PS - Speaking of not having much .. don't miss the newly released Ken Burns special on » the Dust Bowl. Amazing perspective. Makes most any American feel like he has got it good. ]

Bolt of lightning strikes Empire State Bldg NYC» Reluctance to Getting Zapped

You can normally tell folks who have long-closeted monsters from childhood still sparking in their adult life ..

.. because little things bother them .. things that remind them of their monster ..

.. things that most people care nothing about. And they are apparently fine with some things that would upset most people.

I dont know the proper clinical word to describe this apparent distortion .. but it's easy to identify when you see it in action. Very easy. "The whole world is crazy. I'm the only one who's sane. Ergo everybody should be like me."

So naturally, even when it is meant constructively, they are incensed by criticism. Since critcism serves to remind them of the monster they harbor, a fugly monster .. that they are obviously powerless to confront (.. because of fear). So into justification-mode they go. And hard they go.

Yes, we all have our idiosyncracies .. because we are all individuals .. and we all have our issues. Some seem to deal with their issues in a way by which they become a strength .. a grace .. a gift .. and no longer a weakness .. no longer a liability .. no longer a curse.

And if you've done this, or even tried to, you know it's not easy. Not an easy thing to do.

[ Yes, I could elaborate. =) The Dog is the best I know at this. Really remarkabkle. Admirably so. Impressively so.

(That is a significant part of what makes the Dog the Dog.)

A good chunk of what I know about this shit [ information ] I learned from the Dog .. AFTER we had gotten out of the Navy .. when he was living out here out on the Left coast .. up in the Hollywood hills .. walking distance from the famous sign.

Now he lives near NYC .. where he grew up .. and where he later attended college. ]

And you CAN'T DO that .. if your monster is not manageable .. in other words .. if you can't even TOUCH him. If you can't even admit that he is fucking up your life. If you can't even admit that he exists.

But I understand the reluctance (.. to getting zapped). I get it. Confrontation takes courage. Cojones. Maybe even somebody who's a bit masochistic. =) Easier to confront (and focus on) others. No?

And you know when yo have arrived (.. for me anyway) .. cuz you start feeling grateful .. for things you didn't feel grateful about before And things that used to bother you .. no longer do. They suddenly seem .. insignificant. Surprisingly so.

"Trifles," as Dostoevsky likes to say.

Priorities seem to re-orientate themselves .. shifting automatically .. to a strata that feels healthier. Obviously so.

Balanced. Peaceful. Contented. [ Regardless what may come. ]

Blue hoverboard» Release the Mooring Lines

We dont go back in order to relive the past .. to wallow in our misfortune, no.

Rather we return in order to RELEASE THE MOORING LINES .. that are holding us back.

I am all for forgetting the past and moving on. But if the past is fucking up your present .. if your past is chewing on your ass on a regular basis ..

.. it can be difficult to move on. "What that crunching sound? Oh look, it's this alligator from my childhood .. gnawing on my ass."

The DIFFERENCE is whether these things happened when you were an adult or a child.

Note that Mandela was an ADULT when they threw his ass in jail (for 30 years). And Paul, I suspect was referring to the bad things he had done earlier in his life (as an adult).

Children do not have the skills necessary to deal with overwhelming emotional trauma. And that is why they need to return (as adults) .. when they have acquired the skills to deal with (resolve) this shit ..

.. and especially when they have the support and love of someone who genuinely cares for them. Because EVEN THEN it is a mutha (very challenging).

This has been my experience. That sometimes we need to go back in order to move on. A paradox, yes. For what it's worth.

If your experience has been different, then I would consider myself fortunate.

DSM-IV | Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders» Self-Diagnosing Inmates

I also wanna discuss, later, how many of the people you find in jail really need some type of psychiatric care .. more than a jail cell. That much is easy to see. Very easy.

In the cell of one of the guys (who I could see was not-quite-right) I saw sitting there on the table (as I passed by on my way to the shower) ..

.. a copy of the DSM-IV (the official psychitric guide to mental disorders) was a well-worn copy .. as tho he were self-diagnosing. [ You might know people who self-medicate. ]

He seemed to have multiple personalities .. during different days and even times-of-times ..

.. few of which were not pissed off .. about one thing or another. Who knows?

I saw another guy (as I passed by) stripped down to his skivvies (.. not crazy) .. in the middle of an intense workout .. jumping up from a set of push-ups. He *did* look fit. Very much so. He looked right past me, never making direct eye-contact.

(This guy did not seem crazy. I'm just trying to paint a picture for you .. of life in a county jail. From my perspective. )

Muslim prayers» The Guy-with-the-Beard

Another guy was doing his Muslim prayers (like they do on TV) when I knocked on his cell door. The other inmates called him "the-guy-with-the-beard".

Another inmate had asked me (thru the crack in his door .. while I was on my hour-long break-out-of-my-cell) to give him the daily LA Times newspaper.

Of all the inmates I saw, this guy had the only sense of true-inner-peace .. that I saw in his eyes. I thought he might be upset at me for disturbing his prayers, but I slid the newspaper under his cell door. He thanked me with remarkably kind eyes and went back to praying.

But that sense of deep inner-peace / contentment / kindness .. that I saw in his eyes stuck with me. It seems to contradict what I've heard people say about Islam .. that it is "an angry, hateful religion."

Tho I must admit that I have only heard this from people who have never been Muslims themselves .. nor do they know any.

Which is interesting, because I hear that the worst adherents of Islam feel the same about Christians.

This is why I feel that all the world's students should be given a basic class on » World Religions. Because few religious extremists have ever had a class on world religions, and everyone I have ever met who HAS ..

.. seems much more understanding and compassionate of those earthlings who embrace a different religion.

[ I also feel that every high school student should get a decent class on » astronomy .. because we all look up at the same moon and stars every night .. and mankind has spent many millenia gazing up in child-like wonder.

But this is a discussion for another day. ]

Does it not seem hypocritical to judge another human being for remaining committed to the same religion into which they were born .. when that is precisely what the vast majority of people do?

He had the best cell (in my opinion) in the entire cell-block (16 cells, 8 upstairs & 8 downstairs) .. a 'center-corner' cell .. a little bigger than the others .. with only one rack/bunk.

» Coffee before Jail

The second time in jail is not nearly as nerve-wracking as the first .. where you have fear-of-the-unknown to deal with. For the second time, you basically know it will suk. (And it does.)

The court was busy all morning, so they told me to come back after lunch (at 1:30). With lunch, I had a couple cups of coffee, which I never would've done had I been nervous about the ordeal (.. like last time).

.. which is probably why my coffee headache started Sunday afternoon this time .. instead of on Saturday (.. like it did last time).

Rotting in a jail cell» Solitary

I also would like to discuss solitary confinement, cuz I've always heard that .. even the most hardened inmate will comply .. if threatened with solitary.

I was only in for 4 days (Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon) .. so my insights will be limited .. but I was paying particular attention to myself .. in that situation and how I responded.

Humorous closing vignette » when I was finally getting out, on Monday afternoon .. the deputy gave me a plastic bag that contained my street clothes, and said, "Hurry up and get dressed," .. before he walked out of the room.

I didnt say anything, of course, but smiled and thought to myself, "Dude, what do you think? .. that I am going to MILK my stay here? .. at your lavish concrete resort?" I was dressed in record time. "Hasta la vista, baby."

Update 15 March 2014 (Ides of March) » I have elaborated on this topic .. see here » Solitary Confinement. <end update>

» Jail Food

Suppose a guy approaches you on the street and says [ with a look of anxiety ]:

"Look, I need an endless supply of food. It can't actually harm anyone, or kill anybody, but I need this food to look as unappetizing as possible .. as unappealing as possible. Kinda dry and cold .. as tho it has been sitting out on the counter for hours. And taste is no priority. So don't worry about seasoning or spices."

Now you might find such a request strange, such a conversation bizarre .. but, if you ever do hear such a thing .. fear not, because I know *exactly* where you could find such culinary fare. =)

Carrots with everything. There would be carrots with your Cheerios .. if they gave you Cheerios. Potatoes galore. Milk with every meal. Small carton. They bring your meals to your cell, delivered.

Breakfast comes about 5AM. You wake up, eat brecky, and go back to bed. I could have easily skipped this, but if you don't eat, they think you are depressed and want to kill yourself. So I wake up and eat brecky at 5AM.

And yes, I *have* seen pancakes in jail [ Sat AM ] .. tho nobody ever brought me any. Instead I got the rainbow-colored hard-boiled eggs .. after drooling as I watched the pancakes go by on a cart (.. after I had been up all night .. playing musical holding cells).

Some things, thankfully, are hard to screw up. Like bread and fruit. They must hard-boil those eggs for 4 hours. Colors you have never seen before inside an egg.

» The Van-ride from the Courthouse to the Jail

An afterthought » the Van-ride from the courthouse to the jail [..the van was full, not a single extra seat ] .. during BOTH visits .. was a bizarre story .. the conversations I overheard enroute ..

.. all of us sitting there, wearing our shiny bracelets, with 'fences' separating the front from the back and the back-seat from the way-back (.. where the girls were).

This is a big social time for inmates who are normally locked up with only one other person. Now they have a van-full. It may counterintuitive ( .. because you are going to jail) .. but for those GOING BACK .. it has something of a party atmosphere.

That might not be the best way to say it, but you catch my drift. Not what I would have ordinarily expected. Entertaining .. to experience a concentrated slice of a secluded section of society. ■

Return to the beginning of today's entry here » Tears of Incarceration | Stealing from Your Kids - Part One

Radified home


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rad published on November 28, 2012 11:28 AM.

Tears of Incarceration | Stealing from Your Kids - Part 2/3 was the previous entry in this blog.

Mayan Doomsday Party + Totally Rad Quotes + Fiscal Crack + the Nuclear SNOB is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.