Wednesday, November 16, 2005

"By the Book or by the gun, there's fear inside of everyone."

Read this tonight in a book about losses of childhood. Not that I would ever or have ever read psychoanalytic feel-better-by-scapegoating-your-parents literature, but at my house-sit, the other options include 22 Keys to Creating a Meaningful Workplace and Bonsai: The Art of Dwarfing Trees:

"When our first connections are unreliable or broken or impaired, we may transfer that experience, and our responses to that experience, onto what we expect from [others]. Expecting to be abandoned, we hang on for dearest life: "Don't leave me. Without you I'm nothing. Without you I'll die." Expecting to be betrayed, we seize on every flaw and lapse: "You see--I might have known I couldn't trust you."

"Studies show that early childhood losses make us sensitive to losses we encounter later on...Emotional detachment is one such defense. We cannot lose someone we care for if we don't care. The child who wants his mother and whose mother, again and again and again, isn't there, may learn that loving and needing hurt too much. And he may, in his future relationships, ask and give little, invest almost nothing at all, and become detached...

"Another defense against loss may be a compulsive need to take care of other people. Instead of aching, we help those who ache. And through our kind ministrations, we both alleviate our old, old sense of helplessness and identify with those we care for so well.

"A third defense is a premature autonomy. We claim our independence far too soon. We learn at an early age not to let our survival depend on the help or love of anyone. We dress the helpless child in the brittle armor of the self-reliant adult.

"These losses we have been looking at...established in me the habit of waiting and expectation which makes any present moment most significant for what it does not contain. Absence can become gigantic and multiple."

I've grown to see the philosophy of my own mistrust,
We all have our faults, mine come in waves that you turn to rust,
Some of us laugh, some of us cry,
Some of us smoke, some of us lie,
But it's all just the way that we cope with our lives.

I've been hanging onto something,
You keep laughing awe-inspiring.


At 3:19 PM, Blogger Chloe said...

oh Valorie
i should have read this book many years ago. damn books, lets watch cartoons and forget all about losses and books
damn starsailor too

At 8:41 PM, Anonymous moondog said...

i was helping a friend house sit and was going through the books at the person's house and stumbled upon the most intriguing title for a book: fighting for peace by casper weinberger. if you don't know who that is, he was the secretary of defense for ronald reagan and a very influential advisor for george bush senior, who ultimately pardoned him (posthumously i believe) for his role in the iran-contra scandal (among other things i'm sure).

anyway, i opened up this book looking to see what cap weinberger had to say, and found the inside hollowed out and $3000 US sitting inside there! apparently these people told my friend that in 20 years of book clubs, get togethers and other functions at their house NOBODY has ever picked up that particular book and asked to read it.

At 2:47 PM, Blogger valorie said...

chloe- i haven't kept reading it since the first chapter. i went onto "light in the attic" by shel silverstein!

moondog: wow that's wild! i didn't know who he was but i think the title would have intrigued me enough to open it. fighting for peace sounds like an oxymoron!

At 3:51 PM, Blogger Etchen said...

Moondog--Now that's a great reward for an interst in politics. I have actually read that book--good read, but I have a feeling your copy was much more intersting than mine was!
Chloe-A light in the Attic? How wonderful! Have you read his Where the Sidewalk Ends?

At 6:56 PM, Anonymous moondog said...

i thought it was a fake book from what i found inside of it. you know, just some fake cover to hide the contents. i just wish i could find another copy like that on the shelf at the store for face value ;)

At 7:21 PM, Blogger valorie said...

etchen- yes i've read where the sidewalk ends. shel silverstein is one of my favorite poets. he also wrote some adult-themed poets for playboy that are funny...


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