If you have ever asked yourself where exactly you stand on the mental health food chain, consider the following; what, if anything, do you truly do for other
people? We all know that pain and suffering constrict our consciousness, and that pain above a certain threshold demands our immediate attention to the exclusion of most everything else. However, once you achieve a little breathing room and are no longer in constant distress, our thoughts and concerns can include others and the world around us. The last thing any of us needs is one more moralizing diatribe on the right way to behave or how to live our lives. The Primal position has always been to think dialectically and as such, views behavior as an organic whole, linked to our internal state and personal history. For many of us, the intuitive appeal of Primal Theory is that mankind, at its healthiest, is basically good at heart. An essential component of Primal Theory is that if our basic needs can be met at the appropriate developmental stage in life, then our true nature, which is peaceful, loving, and life affirming can flourish. This is the bedrock upon which therapy is built. Why else would we bother to go through all the pain, the anger, the loss, the hopelessness, if not to emerge with a sense of self that is less tormented and as a result more deeply connected to the world around us.
What exactly is generosity and why should we care about it anyway? When I
think back to my University days, I recall reading philosophy and religious
based definitions of generosity. Most discussions would tend to focus on either the behavior of giving something away or the reward in self-esteem and happiness that “the giver” can expect in return for their magnanimity. “Giving to get” if you will. Are there other types of generosity? Does the motive of the` giver effect the experience of the recipient? In other words, if you give a homeless man money for food to impress your date, does it matter? Doesn’t the homeless man still get to eat dinner? Win, win, right! This topic will probably raise more questions than can be addressed in a short article, but it is a worthy topic for consideration. Have not philosophers, clergy, psychologists, mystics and great writers all advanced opinions of man’s ultimate aims?
I have read a fair number of autopsies (don’t ask why), and I believe most
medical men would agree with me when I say that no one dies from old age! In
fact, no one yet has ever died of old age. The ultimate aim of medical science is to allow us to die of old age or even better,to somehow discover the secrets to regenerating adaptation energy (life force).  Autopsies teach us (excluding a bullet to the head and traumatic death), that we die prematurely because one vital component has worn out in proportion to the rest of our body. Life is only as strong as its weakest link. With this breakdown we can no longer sustain life as a single living being. This is the price we pay for the evolution of the human body from a simple cell into the highly complex cellular organization we call human beings. One lesson from this is that we must find ways to live that are in harmony with our true biological nature. To the extent that we live in conflict with our true selves, we will age more quickly, vital organs may fail,and our general health and sense of well-being will be compromised.                                                             The complex organization of our bodies is designed to work together, to share the stress of the workload of life. If any one system is called upon to do more than its designed share, for prolonged periods, stress, breakdown or what we call aging occurs. Whether aware of it or not, the typical physician spends his professional consulting time treating the symptoms of this unbalance.
Our Primal perspective understands that the metabolic cost of unmet needs and repressed pain is staggering. The lifetime effects of stored pain may be one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time. As previously stated, as individuals there will be times when our acute pain and anguish will force us to focus inward. In our quest to find some possibility of healing we discover that we must become selfish.  It seems to me that selfishness has gotten a bit of a bad reputation in modern culture. The true biological reality is that an organism must first and foremost survive for itself, it must do that which will insure and sustain life. All instincts, behaviors and pleasures flow from this elemental truth. What we learn from autopsies, Darwin, and the study of complex systems in general is that all the parts must work together, functioning in sync if the complex system is to thrive. Life, it seems has evolved and continues to progress from the simple to the complex. Consciousness is part of this evolution. The natural and healthy narcissism of infancy and childhood, if all goes reasonably well, matures into a complex consciousness that includes self preservation, individual pleasure and achievement, but also need for, and love of others. Further growth will include a sense of community with friends, family and a profound sense of wonder and belonging to the physical world. Admiring a sunset, or appreciating great art is part of our heritage as is the understanding that we are part of a larger universe.   This evolving consciousness,or Primal consciousness, is made manifest as we heal and resolve the deficits of our personal history. In the course of the development of a species, every member of each generation must relive, as an embryo, the entire history of its ancestors from the primeval amoeba up to the contemporary newborn state. “Ontogeny recapitulates Phylogeny” is an accepted scientific truth. This layering upon layering of complex coordinated cooperation from the cellular all the way to our political and social systems is our biological destiny. Benevolence and a sense of our place in our family, city, country, and solar system are additional evidence of this evolution in progress . For many years now we have incorporated techniques, and I use the term very loosely, at our Retreats that are designed to arouse, promote, trigger, and help resolve feelings that block the inherent , natural self-expression of generosity. It is interesting to me, that for many, this gets translated into the purchasing of a gift. This is not a criticism because for some this may be a first and critically important step. At the same time it is our view that generosity can eventually be expanded beyond gift giving.  As always, in Primal terms, we are more interested in the feeling of generosity or the feelings that interfere with the natural expression of generosity. To feel charitable is to have achieved some measure of success in providing for oneself. To feel an ability to give one must have found ways to confront or conquer acute pain, be it physical or emotional. The continuum of consciousness suggests, and clinical observation of Primal patients supports, that as we resolve personal repressed pain, our sense of connection to people and the world around us deepens. Generosity is a state of being that can only sometimes be viewed in terms of words, behavior, or exchange of material goods. If you have ever had the good fortune to have a simple conversation with a truly giving person, you will understand the following. One feels cared about, as if this person simply and sincerely wants to know who you are and is happy to spend a few moments with you. The actual content of the conversation many not even be of interest to you. Still, one feels, in the presence of generosity, that the person does not seek approval or advantage, but only the chance to be here with you, however briefly, to know you. It is a breathtaking experience and you will know it when it happens. My point again that generosity at the most basic level is a state of being that cannot easily be measured or observed, but that has an unmistakable feel when one is in the presence of it. Giving is a form of self-expression and like
all forms of self expression can manifest in many ways limited only by the creativity of the individual. What to do if you find yourself still in too much pain, if you distrust others and only care about what is good for you?
There are steps one can take toward growth and options worth considering.
Foremost, you must continue your own personal exploration and trauma resolution.  Generosity is our species birthright, so be alert for
even the smallest impulse to give of yourself.  Notice I said, give of
yourself, not give a Starbucks gift card or material currency. I am not poo-pooing these types of gifts, just reminding that self-expression and altruism are part of our true nature and can be expressed in infinite ways. We do things all the time in our lives, and in therapy to stimulate our feeling, why stop with generosity?
If we can be alert to impulses of self expression and giving in all its possible forms, and more importantly, act on those impulses, we further the process of Primal consciousness which means coming just a bit closer to the person we were meant to be. There is no greater joy than being able to give to and love those around us. Our lives in the final reckoning are about the love we have created and nurtured. Possessions, achievements, titles, status, money, matter much less than we allow ourselves to see. Only love, in all its wondrous guises really matters. Don’t let yourself forget, don’t be distracted by all the bells and whistles of our modern chaotic world. The final link in breaking the chain of Primal pain and deprivation can only be realized by the active expression of our generosity towards others.
Connection to others and this world at large is our birthright, pursue it
with all that you have inside and become the person your were truly meant to be.

This entry was posted in Previous Blogs. Bookmark the permalink.

378 Responses to Generosity

  1. Ulrich says:

    That’s the best article/statement/insight/written stuff I read for a very long time. Thanks very much – since it’s a gift as well.

  2. Pete Eade says:

    Thanks Barry,
    Fantastic message!

  3. Margaret says:

    [Email link for Margaret – set up]

  4. tk says:

    Giving with love has been a great lesson in receiving and also a great way of taking the focus off of my own trauma.

    Great message Barry.

  5. Jack Waddington says:

    Barry: Not quite sure what the message is here. To and for me, if generosity (whatever that word really means) ought to be spontaneous, otherwise it has little relevance. It cannot be taught or hinted at; that’s what all the religious teaching were/are all about. Presumably feeling-full man would automatically be generous of spirit (what-ever that also is supposed to mean). However the very word conjures up so many different meanings for each of us. In the end it boils down to “know what I mean” to which my answer is “No I don’t quiet know what you mean … I know what you say, but that another matter” Neurotic man needs words cos he’s lost a part of himself that feels his way in life. Jack

    • Vicki says:

      Jack, I hadn’t read Barry’s Blog, before reading your first 3 posts, so I wondered what I would find when I did read it. Although Barry’s writing is more complex, and tends to use more words to say things, for example, than Gretchen’s, I still had no problem understanding and following him — I did not find his writing “not well written, unclear, long winded, or convoluted”, as you stated later below. It is not simplistic, however — is that what you really wanted?

      Jack, you just sound so “lost”, that I’m wondering what’s really the matter, or whether something else is bothering you. It’s hard to believe it’s really about what you’re writing here, as it seems so “off the wall”. I don’t mind differing opinions, but yours does seem strange. Anyway, I do hope you’re okay, but I doubt it very much, so I’m just asking if there’s anything else going on with you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Vicki: It seemed relatively simple to me, I merely expressed my feeling about the blog and subject matter. In retrospect I feel seeking to be generous is not persuadable, just as I feel happiness is not persuadable. If others found it to be a great message.and are able to get something from it … great. But I do wonder sometimes at what I call the herd mentality. I see that in the ‘tea party’ movement. Not sure it’s healthy.

        I feel I understand why many are irritated by my feelings. Your concern for me was great, but I am doing fine Vicki, hope you are also. I think it was you that mentioned the J. H. Kunstler blog. I too read his rant and follow many of the comments. Seemingly there are a lot of feelings out there. Better they are being voiced on a blog rather than shootings in the streets. My final comment; it is after all only a blog. Jack

        • The Ultimate Guru says:

          It was me that presented Jim Kunstler’s Peak Oil blog. The “Tea Party” people want to cut taxes to the bone for wealthy Americans who benefited the most financially from automotive travel that has killed almost 400,000 Americans since 9/11. The Tea Party group overall is a sadly misinformed scourge that needs to be snuffed out before doing any further harm to society, but that’s just my opinion..

          • The Ultimate Guru says:

            Ugh….I would have used much better English structuring in my last post, but I was half-asleep when writing it and I went to bed right afterwards.

  6. sfrancess says:

    Wow, Barry, what a fabulously written article. It’s true and I have learned this more and more about myself. Relationships with our friends and families and how we inhabit those relationships is what real life is all about.

  7. Margaret says:

    Fine article Barry!! More comment later on, but thanks for bringing up this subject again!

  8. Fiona says:

    I wrote a whole bit (a negative comment) and deleted it because I realised my truth is more like:

    I am a ‘people pleaser’! It is habitual. As I wrote, I realised that I try to please people for selfish reasons. The purpose is to make myself be loveable or loved (or NOT as the case may be!). Therefore I am still in ‘selfish mode’; and have not ‘primally’ matured into the ‘free-giving-of-myself’ person I would prefer to think of myself as being. Bugga and fckuk it!

    I am sometimes intimidated by your big/complex sentence structure and vocabulary, Barry. But I don’t want to tell you that either… so I did. Didn’t want to announce it to the WORLD wide web either…. so I did.

  9. Fiona says:


  10. LETICIA HUAREZ says:

    Barry, I will have to read this later, as I am in the middle of taking care of those who are higher up on the food chain. I know I am cynical, but my theory of mankind is that we evolved from groups of monkeys who got their food by stealing from one another. And since man got involved with dog-kind, they monkey-saw the dogs and monkey-did, and thus became very adept at finding sneaky ways to steal from each other and the rest of animal-kind. A million years later, we are still stealing from each other to survive. However, only the poor go to jail for stealing their crust of bread, while the rich keep stealing bakeries with no retribution. Well, as you can tell, I have had a lot of loss in my life to come up with such wacky theories…or are they really so wacky?

  11. Ken Morris says:

    great article! i enjoyed reading it immensely. I know that I need to learn how to use the ‘paragraph break’ on WordPress, too! Might make for easier reading….

  12. Margaret says:

    I have only read the article once so far and will have to read it over again, but I like the subject so much I already want to react.
    I do disagree with Jack seeing giving should be only some spontaneous thing and no thinking process involved. Of course it can be like that too, but not exclusively in my opinion.
    I do know it is necessary for many of us, I was one of them, to learn not to bend over backwards to please and to express our own opinion and needs, a very important step in therapy.We do have to get in touch again with the centre of our true self we partly lost out of sight during our childhood, so we indeed need to go back to that stage and make the connection again with that child,naturally selfcentered as all children at a certain age. It is also a crucial step in therapy to regain the ability to be aaware of what we really need and to come up for ourselves. But as you say so well, Barry, that is not where it ends, is it? The goal of therapy afte all is not to become a child again, but to become a healthy adult. Once we have become more capable of coming up for our own needs, the next step is to become able to make a free and conscious choice. It is not in other words so that because you have discovered to have the right to behave in a certain way, that that way is the one and only ‘right’ way. Then comes indeed the freedom and choice to decide how much we are willing to do in taking in account other people’s feelings and needs. If like Jack suggests that would only be happening when it would be immediate and spontaneous, we would do ourselves and other persons short. Sometimes I find myself consciously going through a proces of experiencing and acknowledging my first and most selfish urge in a situation, but then assessing that situation from the viewpoint of other people concerned and only then making a conscious decision about how to behave, how much I can and am willing to give. That to me is the true freedom we can gain, the freedom not to be ruled by pleasing others, or to be ruled by only being focused on fullfilling our own needs, but the freedom to really keep a continuous and conscious check on what amount of caring for we have to offer, out of our comfort zone.
    To be able to become more focused on others, not only on myself, is what feels like growing up to me.
    I don’t think we are only stealing monkeys, we are also sociable and caring living beings with a huge capacity for affection, compassion and caring love.

    • Larry says:

      Margaret, I like how you distilled Barry’s message through your own experience and crystallized it with your own feelings and words. I especially like you 3rd and 2nd last sentence. I like what Miquel says too, that we cannot give what we do not have. In retrospecting on my own life, I see what a long and difficult task its been to untie the negative knots of protection that insulated me from feeling what I didn’t get, that insured I would never get, how scary and painful to learn to reach out and get what I need now. I’m feeling more generous to my parents as I appreciate more how damaged they were. I feel very sad for them and for me, for the reasons for their parental failure, for the senseless ruin of our lives. The shortcoming, or strength of this therapy is that it never pretends it can change and fix our past. It just helps us fix our present. The act of generosity, whether me giving or receiving, is painful when it stirs awareness of the simple caring I critically needed long ago for shaping the rest of my life, but didn’t get. With glacial pace I’m learning what should have always been mine to know, that the more generous I am, the more I get from life. I’m sad that it has taken me so late in life to learn. And I’m learning how very frighteningly alone I’ve felt. And how very fortunate that I met my wife and finally knew for many years what love and caring is and how game changing, critically important that was to shaping my adult life.

  13. Margaret says:

    thanks again for what you wrote. I just read it over again. It feels so good to hear you confirming all those thoughts and feelings that were so much on my mind lately. More and more I feel struck by a still new and tentative capacity to feel able to care, I mean really care and look at people from a viewpoint that is not only designed to fill up my own needs. It is a deep and touching experience I cherish and I was struggling to put words to it for the past weeks, and thanks for summing it all up so well.
    I actually feel close to tears just feeling I am regaining my capacity to love and care for the world around me. Sounds mushy but is true.
    I feel so privileged to have found a widening circle of people to share these kind of feelings with.
    Thanks again, Margaret and cat.

  14. Irena says:

    I will have to read it again, your article, Barry. But when I read it first I thought it was one of the best, one of the most wonderful ‘articles’ I have read. The message is very clear to me. It’s beautifully written and fascinatingly interesting. This moved me deeply. I have shared it also with Stefan.

  15. Jack Waddington says:

    To the Primal Community: All these eulogies being accredited to Barry’s blog to me is ingratiating. By my standards (I too don’t pretend to any great writer), but it is badly written, confusing to say the least, long winded and conlvoluted. This blog seems to imply that if we were all able to be BE GENERAOUS TOWARDS ONE ANOTHER we might overcome our Primal pain. What bullshit Barry. Overcoming Primal pain is accomplished by reliving ones childhood pain, EXRESSING it and permuting our own personal insights to direct our being, yeah?.

    There seemed to me to be a whole host of respondents all eulogizing about how GREAT this was. ‘Preaching to the choir, but the rest of the congregation after the sermon, were left with Yeah, yeah, yeah, and gong on in their own merry way’. It was misleading to say the least Barry. If I am angry or pissed with someone I ain’t gonna be generous towards them: I’m going to express my feeling (pissed-off-ness) towards them and IMO that’s the HEALTHY way to go.


    • Jack, Clearly we will all have our own reactions to things and our own reasons for having those reactions. Obviously it is also unlikely we will all like the same things – I for one see that as a positive. But that being said ….. I think you may want to reread the article because I believe Barry is saying the exact opposite of what you are imagining him to be saying. In my view the most important thing that you said in your comment was “If I am angry or pissed with someone I ain’t gonna be generous towards them: I’m going to express my feeling (pissed-off-ness) towards them”. Of course the key to that is expressing those feelings directly. Gretchen

      • Jack Waddington says:

        Gretchen: Not surprisingly, you read me wrong also. Liking or not liking the same thing was not at issue here and not what I was saying or implying; I said, I thought clearly, “This blog seems to imply that ……….”, and that was my reason for suggesting that it was badly written. Gretchen; I read it several times and when I wrote my first comment, there had not been any other replies I stated in my first comment “However the very word conjures up so many different meanings for each of us”. I was sort of, somewhat, aware of what Barry was attempting to say, I’ve known him long enough, which was why my first comment stated:- ”Not quite sure what the message is here”.

        It was from reading the ‘eulogies’ that I got the impression that they were implying that Barry was offering some sort of ‘Primal remedy’ To me … one is either ‘generous of nature’ OR ‘one is not’ AND IMO, it is not teach-able; thus the blog was IMO mis-leading. Jack

  16. Margaret says:

    you can use the blog to say whatever you need to say.

  17. Margaret says:

    I wonder why you only see what is being said in terms of a remedy being offered.
    In my perception this is not about a remedy but about valuable achievments and quality of life we can reach through therapy after we have dealed with enough of our pain.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Margaret: Allow me to re-iterate. I was NOT referring to what is said BUT to what is implied. Jeeze, talk about being mis-quoted. So! to me, your “wonderings” seem to be IMPLYING something that is going on in my brain. THAT is not what I consider to be gong on in my brain.

      MY PERCEPTION of myself is that after 30 years of therapy I have squired A QUALITY OF LIFE that I am somewhat enjoying (Yes, it could be better AND it is for me an ongoing process). You SEEM TO BE IMPLYING that I need to do a lot more therapy before I can get on with my life. If that is your feeling about me I will not argue your feeling about me; BUT it is NOT MY FEELING about myself. Jack

  18. Anonymous says:

    Jack, who the fuck you think you are to imply that I’m not able to tell my ass from a hole in the ground? You just stumble in like so many times before, waving your great PRIMAL FLAG in front of you and tell me, I’m euloging for what reasons ever. I feel like you don’t show much respect for other people. OK, you might look for a safe place to be angry and have found it here, in groups, in Janov’s blog, hiding perfectly well behind your stupid Primal Theory, but where does this leave me? Just an object for you rolling out your FEELINGS? Being so god damn proud of being yourself, bad guy Jack, who doesn’t give shit for anybody else? Because you need to EXPRESS. Hell yeah, expressing exactly what? Being a pain?

    I know, you’re walking the road like we all do, trying to get a grip on live and making it worth something, but I do feel very humiliated by your comment. It’s been heartless to me (and maybe some others who liked the article) and – maybe just for me – senseless.


  19. Jack , No I don’t think I read you wrong. I was specifically addressing this comment “This blog seems to imply that if we were all able to be BE GENERAOUS TOWARDS ONE ANOTHER we might overcome our Primal pain.” I don’t believe that is what he is saying. Rather the opposite, that if we deal with our old feelings what we call generosity may come naturally to us (among other things). I also believe he means generosity in the wider view – not so much in terms of giving in a specific way but as loving and open people. You also said “Overcoming Primal pain is accomplished by reliving ones childhood pain” Yes, that is exactly what Barry is saying as well in my opinion. But he is also hypothesizing that feeling that pain will result in a kind of generosity – lets call it generosity of spirit. You did comment that the article confused you which I agree with. I was hoping to bring a bit of clarity. In any case I am not sure why you seemed so angry that any one else might have liked the article. Gretchen

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Gretchen: Lets start with what I agree upon. “I don’t believe that is what he, Barry, is/was saying.” I too don’t believe that is what Barry was trying to say either, BUT my point was he did not make clear the message. Again “he is also hypothesizing that feeling that pain will result in a kind of generosity – lets call it generosity of spirit.” Again, I also agree. I feel strongly that ones insights from deep feelings, will precipitate a ‘generosity of spirit,’ and that IMO is the only way to create ‘generosity of spirit’. BUT again I did not feel that was made clear in the blog. No Gretchen, I was not confused by the article. I suggested that in not making it clear, that it could be confusing.

      To the best of my recollection of my feelings, I was not angry, nor was I confused. I just expressed my feeling that I thought it was not well written, was unclear, was long winded and convoluted.

      Seemingly my expression of my feeling seemed to ‘piss others off.’ I had no problem with their feelings either. After all; it is only a blog. Jack

  20. Margaret says:

    I think you worded the feelings of many of us, certainly mine anyway. I don’t know what is going onw with Jack if he doesn’t even admit anymore to being angry.
    If he makes up out of what I say I am implying he needs more therapy, maybe that is his feeling talking, not me,lol

  21. Miguel says:

    Wow, very nice article indeed Barry, one of the best I have ever read. It has to do with giving. You can not give, if you had not being given before. You can not give what you do not have. To give, you had to be given before. Unfortunately many of us were abused emotionally and it is difficult for us to love because we are engaged in our own problems.
    Barry is also right pointing on the supreme significance of primal pain for our life styles and aging.
    I am recovering from my health problems and thank you very much Margaret and Larry for your interest

  22. Margaret says:

    thanks for your nice words. I was just thinking of you this afternoon and how hard your recent loss must be. I was listening to bits of a classic top 100 and they played Wish you were here from Pink Floyd. I was singing along and when I sang the words of the title thought automatically who I might want to adress.
    I t hit me like a rock when I suddenly realised my husband that died 20 years ago sprung to my mind, and I immediately started crying. The whole atmosphere with the seventies music also helped to bring back so many vivid memories and I cried deeply for quite a while.

    So still carrying feelings like this after 20 years, made me suddenly realize how it must be for you.

    I plan to bring two pictures of me and my late husband to the retreat that show us in happier times.
    They will help me to adress this more deeply, as I can sense there is still so much pain inside me, .

    I am happy with your positive comment as I was getting upset about this post being sidetracked into so much irrational negativity.

    All the best, Margaret

  23. Margaret says:

    I feel irritated about Jack’s negativity again sucking away all the attention on some sidetrack that doesn’t seem to lead anywhere.Let’s just move on please.
    I would also like to get some comment of you from time to time Gretchen, to be honest, and it sucks Jack gets so much attention over and over again by being … fill in at your own choice.

    • Larry says:

      There is nothing stopping you from moving on Margaret. If Jack irritates you so much, you could wonder why. We all bring out something in each other that we could learn from. I am fascinated and saddened by how slippery Jack is as he shadow boxes from behind Primal Theory. I am touched that it seems difficult for him to grasp what seems obvious to so many others. I think we have our blind spots for a reason, a sad one.

    • Hey Margaret! 😉 Gretchen

  24. Margaret says:

    my first and immediate reaction is you are making fun of me and make me feel ashamed and ridiculous, and that hurts.
    I guess I did set myself up but still, it reminds me of my mom laughing at the funny face I had when I was crying.

  25. Margaret says:

    p.s. I know and hope I am probably projecting.

    • Margaret, Actually it was said with affection and to indicate I was hearing you. Gretch

      • Margaret says:

        Thands so much Gretchen. Luckily my feeling wore off by dancing all afternoon, but while I was still in it it was scary to feel how it touched the core of my being, long time ago since I got in touch with something that went so deep. I really appreciate you letting me know it was affectionate .

  26. Jack Waddington says:

    Two things struck me reviewing all the comments. The first is; that Primal Therapy (as I perceive it) is about getting back that, that most of us had at birth … to feel (at that stage we did not have the capacity to think).

    The second factor was just how easy it is to project our feeling/s about someone else and make it a fact; instead of understanding that ALL that is, is:- our own feeling/s (about that other person). I try very hard in my responses to bear this second factor in mind; and when and where possible, refrain from it.

    I had no problem with many that had feelings about me and my responses; first and foremost Ulrich who voiced his feeling very forcefully if somewhat incoherently which I thought was great for him. Others were not quite so forthright, nevertheless I read their responses, but again was not disturbed by them feeling (knowing) they were voicing their feelings. I have enough self confidence, and yeah therapy to know that all my utterances are from my feelings and that THINKING, in and of itself, is an act-out. This is a conclusion I came some years ago from an insight after a deep feeling. I know many disagree and when I voiced this on Art’s blog he asked how many others agreed with me. No-one responded and I don’t know what Art’s feeling was about it cos he never said; but he didn’t reject my idea either.

    One final comment. At the end of Barry’s blog he writes “The final link in breaking the chain of Primal pain and deprivation can only be realized by the active expression of our generosity towards others.” This IMPLIES, to me, a Primal Remedy.


    • Larry says:

      After writing it, I decided I wasn’t going to submit this response to you Jack, but then we wouldn’t have much of a blog if we weren’t risking responding, so for what it’s worth, here goes:

      What I’ve learned, is that carrying the searing emotional burden of our childhood needs screaming to be met, sculpts and shades the direction and intensity of our thinking and feeling today. We are burdened with having to discern how much of our thinking and feeling now is projection and how much is fact. It is to our advantage Jack, the more we are able to trust our feelings as fact. If I feel afraid of snakes and spiders, it’s not a projection but a fact that some of them are poisonous and killed some of our ancestors who weren’t afraid and got too close to them. If I’m on a Greyhound bus at night with strangers, travelling across the prairies, and a guy in the back screams and I look behind me and see him being stabbed and his head cut off by his seat mate, I wouldn’t be projecting if I felt terror and that the stabber is psycho and I want to get off the bus right now. In fact, the stabber was psycho and off his meds. He is now confined to an institution in Manitoba. Many of the passengers who were on that bus are still traumatized, not because they were projecting their feelings about the stabber, but because their feelings about him were fact. No, I wasn’t there, but I was glued to the shocking news reports. I feel we are deluded if we treat feelings as projection only and never any basis in fact.

      Maybe your way of thinking is an act out Jack. That seems to be what you are saying. Ultimately only you would know. But if thinking is your defense, then the way to dismantle it is to think differently. No one engaged in normal daily life can stop thinking. I use my thinking to understand my defenses and how to dislodge them, when I feel ready. My thinking helps me understand my feelings, and I need to be able to trust my feelings to guide my thinking. I feel fortunate to not have the problem of my thinking being an act out, insomuch as I use my thinking to test the factual reality of what I am feeling and to ultimately experience the feeling and give it credence for what it is.

  27. Jack Waddington says:

    Larry; Interesting … feeling of terror when you saw the stabbing. Not sure that your thinking concluding he was a psycho is correct. He could have been defending himself against his fellow passenger who pulled a gun on him. The feeling is valid … the thinking could be ‘way out of whack’ and, at best, is a conjecture.

    Similarly; your fear of snakes is just that “fear of snakes … your conjecture “that some of them are poisonous and killed some of our ancestors.” is; by definition; a projection.

    It requires a ‘CONCEPTUAL LEAP’ to think through some of what I suggest, which I feel most of us are reluctant to indulge … not that I blame them.

    I have a chapter in my book on “The Nature of Thinking” which if you are genuinly interested to read just this chapter and send me your email address, I will send a .PDF file of it which goes into far more detail (eight pages) than I would be allowed to take on this blog.


    • The Ultimate Guru says:

      Margaret brought up projection and it reminded me of what I did with Fiona (and to a much lesser extent) Art in the last blog with the “pronoun projection test”.

      Jack, are you sure this chapter isn’t “The Nature of MY Thinking”??

      No one (including MY-self) is immune to such projections being laid out unless that person was scrupulously aware of the possibility and consciously tried to avoid these projections.

      Also, I will back up Larry in saying I vaguely remember the news reports of that guy decapitating that bus passenger. If my memory serves me correctly the killer was of Asian descent..

      • The Ultimate Guru says:

        This is a special note for Larry:

        I still feel a bit discouraged when you talked about being “glued to the news” over that bus killing. I’ve finally learned this is what the news media WANTS the viewer to do this in order to stay tuned for the upcoming revenue-enhancing advertisements…

        If there is an afterlife, I will be looking foward to kicking the news media in the balls over and over and over again for leaving me with a tiny three-paragraph article over my mom’s own killing.

        (Don’t even get me started on those multi-million dollar 9/11 settlements…)

        Anyway, I’m making progress in this area because I was in a chat room a couple days ago and someone complained about the news being saturated with a royal wedding. I thought to myself, “What royal wedding?” That, to me, is progress…

        • The Ultimate Guru says:

          And if there is NO afterlife, I do at least take some form of solace in knowing that the people and entities I don’t like will also have their consciousness obliterated eventually.

          • The Ultimate Guru says:

            It’s very, very rare that I would make four posts in a row like this, and this will be short:

            The three posts I made above were made before I became aware of the news media’s hoopla over bin Laden this morning, so don’t bother asking me any silly questions along those lines. Thanks.

        • Larry says:

          If it helps you feel any better UG, I never listen to the advertisements. I mainly listen to public radio and there are no ads. 🙂 I never read advertisements, and I hardly watch television. Nor do I respond to questionnaires, surveys, or polls. In their eyes I don’t exist, but that’s OK with me because I don’t buy their products anyway.

      • Jack Waddington says:

        UG: Of course it is my thinking, or better yet, my conjecture, or even my hypothesis. It is my (all the above), of the beginnings, or evolution of mankind developing into a ‘thinking’ being. Jack

  28. Margaret says:

    isn’t this idea to not think something you thought of?
    You don’t particulary strik me as the non-thinking type
    Maybe as the selective thinker yes, using hthinking sometimes to build up a strong defense, and ‘not thinking’ to avoid to discern a ‘feeling’ from a cover up for old pain.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Margaret; Just quick reply, you are absolutely correct I am a big thinker and I suppose somewhat an intellectual. Just cos I think ‘thinking’ is an act-out doesn’t preclude me from thinking (if you like acting-out) and that ‘thinking’ is an ‘act-out.’

      A little anecdote, before came to LA to do therapy I had an interview with Wendy Campbell in Cambridge (1976) who was thinking of opening an institute in England. A the end of the interview she said “Jack; you have a very intelligent understanding of Primal Therapy; albeit that your intelligence is your best defense.” I knew instantly she was correct. Jack

  29. The Ultimate Guru says:

    Here I go droning on and on with a fifth post.

    For my own mental health and well-being:

    I will pledge to ignore the news as much as I possibly can for the next two weeks. Relegate the bin Laden “news” to a state of utter meaninglessness in any way I possibly can. While the shee-ple crowd clamors for details, I will try to take pride in myself by ignoring the details.

    I don’t know anything now, bye!

    • Vicki says:

      Guru, that’s what I did resolutely for two years, with regard to “the O.J. case”, immediately after I was in a video store, and that white car was tooling down the freeway the whole time, on a screen in the store — nothing else on the planet seemed to matter on any channel. I could see it would not end for months, and felt I can’t let this happen to my life, so in the store I decided, and stuck to my plan. It can be done.

      • The Ultimate Guru says:

        Good for you there, Vicki. When the OJ trial was running I was watching Court TV every single day of the trial from beginning to end! (Something I would consider pretty insane and stupid to do anymore.)

        Sidenote for the paparazzi and stargazers: I once saw Judge Lance Ito (yeah, an Asian!) in person eating with his wife at a restaurant.

  30. Hi Barry,
    Well done! There is so much I’d like to say, because you are covering so much that truly resonates with me. As you said yourself, so many complex issues are raised with the topic of Generosity that they can’t all be covered in a short article.
    So let me share just a few thoughts. I struggle on a daily basis with the balance between “being selfish” for my own survival (which I feel is very much at risk due to having started a new business) and giving to those around me. After 18 years in primal, the load of my pain has lightened A LOT, yet certain key issues such as romantic love and making a good living at something that I love continue to present real challenges. I know I have progressed tremendously and feel resolutions are within reach.
    Despite this, just the resolution of so much of my old pain has made room for a deepened ability to feel connected to the world around. I hope this does not sound too hokey, but I marvel at the little things in life almost daily: the baby possum that has moved into my yard, the delicious brightness of the spring flowers or the humming bird that zooms in and out of my yard all the time bring me great pleasures. There is a sense that life is good and that we are all in this together trying to make this crazy thing called life work.
    When I don’t feel this way, I quickly reach out to close friends for comfort to regain my equilibrium. These days, it seems to work most of the time and I find myself back in more generous spirit of mind.
    Furthermore, thank you for bringing up the retreat giving exercise. I have loved this exercise for many years, both the giving and receiving and even created a spin on it for LA Family Therapy. While you are correct that true giving goes beyond something material and has to come from an open heart, for a lack of a better word, I’d like to add an additional thought. It seems that many people simply treat it as a “retreat exercise,” but fail to really integrate how this needs to be applied in their own life. Still though, I have seen this exercise bring out the best in so many people. I wonder if additional questions related to the exercise could stimulate further feeling and re-connecting with our giving selves.
    Thanks for a thought provoking article that I plan to re-read many times.
    Lots of Love,

  31. One last note: The timing of your post is eerie. I just posted my newest piece on Psychology Today about Schadenfreude and arrive at some related conclusions.
    The topic was very much inspired by a lengthy discussion about jealousy that developed after Gretchen’s last post and also in response to my Charlie Sheen posts.
    I’m saying this also to thank everyone who responded and provided fodder for a new post AND to notify all who have asked when my next post will be up. You know who you are:>

    • Nadja , I just read your new post on your blog site. I really enjoyed reading it and found myself wishing blog posts were longer than they are! It is a fascinating topic – I will post some thoughts on your site later tonight. Your earlier comments have me thinking about the “Retreat Exercise”. I think it is often true that people have a difficult time incorporating some of this in to their lives beyond the retreat. I would love to hear more about your ideas for additional questions that might help with that . Lets talk!! Gretchen

      • Hi Gretchen,
        Thanks so much for the feedback and support. It’s wonderful to have you as a regular reader to my blog.
        Yes, I always run out of space with my posts which is why I have once again a Part II to this piece, just like I did with my Sheen post. There is so much more to this topic!
        FYI, I read your comment on my blog and have responded to your great (and challenging) question there. Can’t wait to hear your comeback:>
        In regards to the retreat exercise, yes I do have some specific ideas and yes, let’s talk soon!

  32. Fiona says:


    Why did you write this sentence above?
    “If my memory serves me correctly the killer was of Asian descent.. “(May 2nd)

    I can’t see any significance or purpose for it being here?

    For the most part I avoid paying much attention to what you write as I just don’t “get you” at all. I feel distressed, often, as you veer off on vague tangents (as do I) but you leave me bemused as to your motives, purpose and input. You don’t even use your real name (anymore) for effs sake! You leave facts and figures, occasionally some anger.

    I have to say something NOW because you seem to be racist!!!!!!!!! The murderer (in question above) cut off someone’s head – and you find it of note that he is of Asian descent! WTF??? Who gives a shit where he comes from! He still took someone’s life; and ruined MANY more lives by the sounds of it!

    You are getting the brunt of my REACTION here – but there is no apology coming.

    Judgemental, racist shit phrases I keep hearing around me are getting me so mad lately. For example “I am not racist BUT…..” and I KNOW that whatever comes next involves the words “they” or “them”, and some sort of racist shit.

    I will not address you as ‘guru’ in future.
    [“is one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom, and authority in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others (teacher).”] This in NO WAY defines you.

    I don’t understand why you trigger me so much – I am sure I will find out it has little to do with you. In the meantime…

  33. Fiona says:

    I am still right – it is racist. And why couldn’t you have asked Larry as confirmation, “…was it about 3 years ago?” like you just did. ……

    “thousands of deaths, but no americans were involved” – the implication is ‘phew! none of us’. Defend all you want – it is racist.

    For me past this is touching on sexism, ageism and homophobia that I have been the victim of all my life…. and from those closest to me.

    Why would I worry about where you are from? What difference would that make?


    Vicki: That hurt.

    • The Ultimate Guru says:

      I don’t want to get involved any further in your struggle here, Fiona. I wish you luck with your feeling though.

      This is not something I’m particularly proud of in some ways, but I once slept with a very sweet and awe-strikingly beautiful Hawaiian prostitute 10 years ago. From what little I knew of her she seemed like a wonderful person to get to know more intimately (just not enough time!).

    • Vicki says:

      Fiona, it was not intentional, but I’m sorry you were hurt, anyway.

  34. YoYo says:

    Barry meant to say give me more of your money. He is no Arthur Janov, eventhough he thinks he is. He is in this profession just because his wife is. He would be better off flipping burgers at MacDonalds; then at least he is doing something real for others. The rest is a all claptrap.

    • To YoYo,
      Who are you and what is your problem? If your opinion is so low of Barry, why bother?
      You clearly just have some axe to grind, which makes you lose all credibility in my book. To top it all off, you are so completely wrong!
      Barry Bernfeld is one of the kindest, most dedicated, talented and intelligent people (and therapists) that you will ever find. He has saved my life and that of many others many times over.
      I feel sorry for you YoYo that you are too blinded by whatever issue you got going to experience this remarkable human being for who he really is: an amazing human being.

  35. The Ultimate Guru says:

    I might have some disagreements with Barry on some issues not worth struggling over today, but even I have to come to his defense here.

    I really don’t think Barry’s in this for the money AFAIK. Why not work for Goldman Sachs?

    Art was the one who got the book royalties, didn’t he? Barry and Gretchen never even bothered to pursue that angle…

    Also, I was once down and out and Barry wanted me to stay in LA. He offered me a bunch of free group passes if I found myself an apartment at the time….

    • The Ultimate Guru says:

      Sorry for bold…I forgot to “unbold” yuck!

    • YoYo says:

      Barry wouldn’t be able to work for Goldman Sachs. You need somehow a brain for that.

    • YoYo says:

      Barry wouldn’t be able to work for Goldman Sachs. You need somehow a brain for that.

      • Yo Yo, Wow, I always thought you liked Barry 😉 G.

        • Email:


          Okay I made fun of Barry, I thought it was funny and when I read the first part back:
          Barry meant to say give me more of your money. He is no Arthur Janov, eventhough he thinks he is. He is in this profession just because his wife is. He would be better off flipping burgers at MacDonalds; then at least he is doing something real for others. The rest is a all claptrap.
          Then the Ultimate Guru says:
          I really don’t think Barry’s in this for the money AFAIK. Why not work for Goldman Sachs?
          My response:
          Barry wouldn’t be able to work for Goldman Sachs. You need somehow a brain for that.
          Gretchen’s response:
          Yo Yo, Wow, I always thought you liked Barry G.
          My response:
          Wow? Listen I was kidding, I still think it’s funny though. And I do not think so highly of Barry. And that’s just my opinion. And I sent an email through the website and for that one I apologize but fot one thing. I was very angry at Vivian she wasn’t thruthful to me by telling me that she was running a business. That is a very transparent thing to say on a trust level, excuse my English. This is my opinion and I believe this to be true. You shouldn’t tell that to vulnerable and trusting people because what you say is true, because you said it. You’re a very nice person and very soft as a human being. Or you seem that way. That kind of got me thinking though, so. I could go on and on but I kind of had it with all this for now.
          Good night
          And Barry is just a Diet Coke drinking YoYo.
          And my name was chosen because of like YoYo what’s up. What’s up, Yo! What’s in the house! Where is my homies?
          And saying that about Barry is not nice, but still think it’s funny. And my opinion.

          Night, night you all.

    • Vicki says:

      AFAIK = “as far as i know”

  36. Ulrich says:

    This is really getting interesting here 😉 I’d like to come in for UG’s defense being a racist – but I guess it’s not my fight.

    Regarding Barry I feel like responding to YoYo. Surely cause I love that guy (Barry, not YoYo :-), but also because I never had a situation with him that could give me the idea he’s greedy. In fact I had times while doing therapy being flat broken and he used to offer me a freebie or the possibilty to pay whenever I would be able to pay. Ok, one might say that’s a good business decision and I’m usually the person being afraid enough to do so, but not in this case. (Thanks again, Mr. Bernfeld, you hear me?) In fact, I came to know him very much the person he talks about in this blog.

  37. Margaret says:

    this attack ou tof the blue sounds pretty crazy to me.
    And what is that ‘ He thinks he is Arthur Janov’, you say it as if that would be like saying he thinks he is Jesus Christ. Jeezes…

  38. The Ultimate Guru says:

    Maybe doing what Gretchen is doing is the best way right now?

    What I mean is….We already have 4 people (including me) dogpiling YoYo in defense of Barry like a tackled quarterback in a football game. If I was YoYo I could see where this in itself would be a very intimidating experience and I wouldn’t want to post anymore even though I had more things to say (as hypothetical “YoYo”).

    No more information would be elicited this way and all we would end up with is a small crowd of people cheerleading Barry without any real progress or new insights.

    Why not clear the way and let YoYo have his/her say?

  39. But more importantly why choose the name YOYO as your alias? Very interesting indeed! LOL! G.

    • The Ultimate Guru says:

      What is it supposed to mean? I’m lost on that..

      • The Ultimate Guru says:

        Obviously I know it’s a toy but is there some slang meaning I’m missing here??

        • The Ultimate Guru says:

          The ominous silence following my YoYo question is starting to make me feel like the “Fish” or “Mark” in a tough poker game where everyone knows the secret except me!

          Probably a sign for me to cut and run, bye!

        • Vicki says:

          One site says it means “You’re On Your Own”, another says it means “a male that goes back and forth between men and women”. I first thought the person could be someone who’s just baiting us here, like a “troll”, and of course, hiding.

      • Larry says:

        YOYO’s assertions are so preposterous that my first reaction was that it was just someone who was messing with us to see how we’d react. But Gretchen seems to have a suspcion of who YOYO is, which makes me think that YOYO’s comment is her/his real feeling. An online dictionary has this as one of the definitions of YOYO: Slang . a stupid, foolish, or incompetent person. Like Gretchen inferred, why would someone chose such and alias. Now I can’t help feeling that YOYO must going through a really difficult time right now, in a place in life that none of us would want to be in. If true, I hope he/she can work through it. That’s just what I feel right now but we can’t know what’s going on until YOYO tells us.

  40. Fiona says:

    Give yo yo some REAL therapy Gretchen. Sounds like he needs some (more!).

    Not only you who feels “not included in the secret” Ultimate.

    I think Gretchen is being very professional here, that’s all.

    Don’t forget that she receives the email address of the person behind the comment. And yes, Vicki – hiding – you are spot on!!

    • Hey All, I am actually at work now so no time to say more but remember people who are hiding who they are in order to say what they feel do not give real email addresses ! G.

  41. Email:

    Okay I made fun of Barry, I thought it was funny and when I read the first part back:
    Barry meant to say give me more of your money. He is no Arthur Janov, eventhough he thinks he is. He is in this profession just because his wife is. He would be better off flipping burgers at MacDonalds; then at least he is doing something real for others. The rest is a all claptrap.
    Then the Ultimate Guru says:
    I really don’t think Barry’s in this for the money AFAIK. Why not work for Goldman Sachs?
    My response:
    Barry wouldn’t be able to work for Goldman Sachs. You need somehow a brain for that.
    Gretchen’s response:
    Yo Yo, Wow, I always thought you liked Barry G.
    My response:
    Wow? Listen I was kidding, I still think it’s funny though. And I do not think so highly of Barry. And that’s just my opinion. And I sent an email through the website and for that one I apologize but fot one thing. I was very angry at Vivian she wasn’t thruthful to me by telling me that she was running a business. That is a very transparent thing to say on a trust level, excuse my English. This is my opinion and I believe this to be true. You shouldn’t tell that to vulnerable and trusting people because what you say is true, because you said it. You’re a very nice person and very soft as a human being. Or you seem that way. That kind of got me thinking though, so. I could go on and on but I kind of had it with all this for now.
    Good night
    And Barry is just a Diet Coke drinking YoYo.
    And my name was chosen because of like YoYo what’s up. What’s up, Yo! What’s in the house! Where is my homies?
    And saying that about Barry is not nice, but still think it’s funny. And my opinion.

    Night, night you all.

    • The Ultimate Guru says:


      Ok, that’s fine, thanks for telling us what you wanted to say in more detail. I did want to cover something on Vivian and the business model that you were upset about, if I may. As far as I can tell Primal has not had a great deal of acceptance among the psychiatric community as a whole. There are many reasons for this being too long to mention in this post. However, there appears to be no government funding or any serious money & manpower coming into the Primal concept from outside endowments, charities, etc. so I can see where Vivian would be forced to convert to a business model.
      I think one big problem is that some people seem to expect Barry, Art, Gretchen, Mark, and Leslie, etc. to perform non-profit miracles and to try to heal the entire nation (310 million people) and world (7 billion people) at next to no charge!
      (Not to mention the constant stream of paperwork that needs working on!)
      I would have thrown in the towel on this endeavor long ago and I would have been left shaking my head in disgust at the never-ending stream of: jealous/narcissistic/sadistic/needy/masochistic/depressed/anxious/greedy/insecure/gregarious/egotistical/sad/desparate people coming through my doors year after year after year after year….

      It would put me into too many FEELINGS! ^^

    • Vicki says:

      Hi Yo, it doesn’t seem like you’re kidding, because you’re angry. Why did it make you angry that Vivian told you “that she was running a business”? Since it is a business, then why wasn’t that truthful? I don’t get it. You said, “You shouldn’t tell that to vulnerable and trusting people because what you say is true”, so I am trying to figure out what she told you, that upset you. Sorry, but I don’t understand what you really mean.

      • Jack Waddington says:

        Vicki: I can well see why a new and very vulnerable person being told that Primal Therapy is a business on an initial interview for therapy. I find it very unsympathetic on your part if you can’t see that. And again, why should a vulnerable interviewee be showing a deep subliminal anger by expressing his/her vulnerability ???


        • Vicki says:

          You’re wrong, Jack.

        • Larry says:

          The piece of the puzzle that’s missing for me is for what reason would Vivian be telling a vulnerable new interviewee for therapy that Primal Therapy is a business?

          • Larry says:

            I see ambiguity in my May 6 comment. For me it there is no question that therapy has to be a business. I can guess why the topic might come up in an interview. My question was an asking YOYO for more context so I wouldn’t need to guess, so I can better understand why YOYO is so angry.

  42. Jack Waddington says:

    Just my personal feeling but I think Yo Yo played a huge joke on us all.

    He/she sure did play is all. Jack

  43. Jack Waddington says:

    I should have said “play us all” Jack

  44. Jack Waddington says:

    Gretchen: I thought you might have suspected it was a joke from your reply:- “I thought you liked Barry”. In hindsight I do feel that whomever, was legitimate in expressing his/her feelings, but if it was a joke it could be perhaps in somewhat bad taste. I did not respond to any of the comments made by Yo Yo and I felt that Barry from refraining also, was good on his part.

    I still contend that this is merely a blog and do worry that some offering therapeutic advice to such bloggers, which for me get’s all convoluted and in view of it being a joke might seem embarrassing to those respondents.

    On one point that Yo Yo made did seem to me to have some validity if as he/she stated Vivian announcing that Primal Therapy was a business venture might upset a very vulnerable applicant for therapy. Had I been told that it would NOT have troubled me, as I knew it was a business. Most things are. I am somewhat an intellectual anarchist (not a violent one) and do think it would be lovely if we humans could abolish money; but most think that’s a crazy notion. Ah Well !!!! Jack

  45. Jack Waddington says:

    There was one comment in this generosity blog Barry this did get me to thinking and that was that we none of us die of ‘old age’. This statement to me, represents the ambiguity of words and phrases, something I wrote about in my book, (plug plug) To me the very phrase is ambiguous:- what is meant by ‘old age’ I am not sure any creature dies of ‘old age’ but rather that some bodily part/s just ware-out and the rest of the body subsequently collapses and dies. What and when I ask would ‘old age’ occur? To me, it’s natural and normal that one or more parts will give up and then we/they die. I wonder if you have a reply to what I am saying here Barry. Jack

    • Vicki says:

      Jack, a bit after “no one yet has ever died of old age”, Barry’s Blog says “… we die prematurely because one vital component has worn out in proportion to the rest of our body. Life is only as strong as its weakest link.” You called it ambiguous, but it seems essentially similar to your point.

      • Jack Waddington says:

        Maybe Vicki, My point was to state, I feel that the phrase “Old Age” is what I considered to be ambiguous. As I stated, at what age and when might we consider “Old Age” to start and or even end. I thought it to be a phrase, that I felt had no real meaning, and that is why I suggested the phrase was ambiguous (without definition or being stated definitively.)


        • Larry says:

          I’ll tell you a secret Jack. I agree with you that Barry was kind of ambiguous, even downright wrong. We do die of old age. It’s just that some of our parts age more quickly than the others, and lead the collapse of the network of systems that generate the life. Old is relative. I’ll be 60 soon and am feeling old. But if and when I’m 80 I’ll look back and wish I could be a young 60 again. From what I read, we are pretty much genetically programmed to wear out and die, for the benefit of the species, to make room for new generations, with new genetic adaptations, some of which will be of survival advantage in adapting to a changing environment. I think the message Barry was conveying was the less stress on the parts, the longer the system will keep running. It makes sense. The only way to test it is to find a crowd of people just like us but who don’t primal, and see who lives longer, the primallers or the control group. Personally I want to be in the primal group, for a more satisfying life, whatever its length.

          • Jack Waddington says:

            I find it sad that you feel old at near 60, but accept that is how you feel. I will be 80 next year and don’t feel old but then I’m perhaps deluding myself. Some say I don’t look it either, but I do know some of the bits are dropping off.

            And to add a joke; it seems like only a few weeks ago I celebrated my 25th birthday. lol


  46. Larry says:

    What is happening. I don’t see a joke. If the person behind the YOYO alias is someone I know, I am worried for that person. I don’t know who YOYO is, so I am afraid to respond, but don’t want to silently stand by either. No I don’t see a joke. I see someone afraid to express their anger. If this is what therapists have to go through, being a target to help someone get at their anger….what a tough job!

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Larry: Why is someone playing a joke is someone afraid to show anger. That didn’t make sense to me Larry.


      • Larry says:

        OK. Maybe it didn’t.

      • Larry says:

        This is how it makes sense to me Jack. I know nothing about YOYO except the person comes out of nowhere and makes preposterous assertions about Barry. If the person is having a joke, then the person frightens me because I see the person as a malicious coward for hiding behind an alias while being hurtful and to Barry. On the other hand, if the person is having trouble expressing anger and is cloaking behind an alias to indirectly get at that anger, then I understand and have empathy for that person.

        • Jack Waddington says:

          Larry: I find it a bit worrying that you let yourself be frightened by what someone might be adding to a blog. Meantime, I happen to know now who Yo Yo is. I was told by another friend. Jack

          • Larry says:

            I’m shaken by the state of my life right now and the things that seem impossible to do to bring about change in it that I need, and to top it off, I’m rattled by the outburst of bizarre behaviour on this blog from someone who perhaps I know a little bit. I need to step away.

            • Jack Waddington says:

              Sorry to hear you are going through bad time. Hope things get better for you soon, though I am aware that my comment is no consolation for you. All the best Larry.


  47. Miguel says:

    Yo-Yo. If you are trying to get into a feeling of angriness that can make sense, if not why don’t you speak up and tell us the whole story? If not you are hiding something and I do not see any joke. About Barry, he is a very good director of the Primal Institute, a very valuable psychologist, an excellent writer, the same goes with Vivian. They might not be perfect, but they are good people and very good therapists.

  48. The Ultimate Guru says:

    I find it fascinating that many of us in here (myself included to some extent) ended up protecting Barry as if he was a small child when Barry is widely considered to be the
    most advanced primal patient of this entire group!!

    I wish I could apply some dictionary term to this sociological phenomenon….”Protecting the child king” is the closest I can come up with right now…

    • Jack Waddington says:

      I agree with you UG Barry is very capable of defending himself. My guess is that Barry didn’t think it was worth a response. Jack

      • The Ultimate Guru says:

        What you said still IMPLIES to me that monarchs such as Barry cannot be bothered to interact with peasants such as ourselves. Or, perhaps, just on special selected occasions for public relations reasons…

        Please understand I don’t say this out of anger at all because I find it really fucking fascinating, it’s just that your last sentence: “My guess is that Barry didn’t think it was worth a response.” has this ancient monarchial structure heavily influencing it….just my observation!!

        (ie. To me in your case, Jack, it’s an acknowledgement that Barry is a Primal king, but in your case Jack you would not go so far as to protect this “Golden Child”….again, just my observation!!)

        • Jack Waddington says:

          Ignoring a response does not signify to me monarchy or anything else; just a simple desire to ignore it. I’ve done that on some occasions and I’m sure I’ll do it again in the future.


  49. The Ultimate Guru says:

    Probably thinking of The Chosen One (child king) in Eddie Murphy’s 1986 movie “The Golden Child”

  50. Ulrich says:

    Since this blog entry circles around money I’d like to tell you what i think. When I hit the institute some decades ago I somehow thought like YoYo: “Damn, they’re here for the money. Why does an initial 3 week session stops after 1 hour, more or less, when the book says it’s open ended? Is this a money machine?” Today I’m disappointed by myself I didn’t ask if my feelings had been right. I robbed myself of a chance to feel that I needed somebody so bad to take care of me just because it’s been me. Not for the money. Like Manfred Man once sang ‘I came for you’.

    I don’t know either who YoYo is nor does it matter. Could be a troll, maybe he likes to troll around a bit, he could be right, too. If I learned something from PT than it is that if someone sees UFOs on a warm sunny afternoon, he actually sees them. No matter what I see, no matter what anybody sees. Same goes here. The task is to see through somebody elses eyes and, if it’s not possible, to stand by and wait.

    That wouldn’t pretend me of hitting his nose, if he ever insults good ole Barry again. 🙂

    Have a nice day, all of you

  51. A few thoughts about Yo Yo- There has been some discussion about the “feelings” that are being expressed by our visitor Yo Yo- I did want to point out that in my view no real feeling can ever be resolved in hiding – in fact, it is anti-feeling . There are times when I have been asked about using an alias on the blog site. I have no problem with that as usually it has to do with concerns associated with the work place. This was clearly a different situation – I actually think this person began innocently enough – they wanted to make a point and in a sense CREATE someone who would agree with their point of view – I think it may have started as a joke but as is often the case real anger was also being expressed. I personally feel this person should “come clean” – not because they should now be reprimanded or punished but as something they need to do for their own progress in therapy, come out of the proverbial closet – that being said I do recognize it would be a leap of faith. Alright…. I want to address this issue of the Institute being a business. Someone wondered how that might come up in an interview – any number of ways- for instance, we could be asked if we might do their therapy for free (yes,we get that question a lot) and in that response Viv might point out, among other things, that we are also in business and though we do as much as we possibly can to help those who are struggling we still have the responsibilities of any business. It could also come up in a more casual way – someone might ask how long we have been around at which point Viv might say we opened the business 40 years ago. What I am sure of is that the initial interview for therapy is normally focused on what is bringing someone to therapy and how we might help. That being said I am not clear why being a business is a bad thing – as Vicki pointed out- it is the truth and if we are not a business what are we, what label shall we use ? G.

    • The Ultimate Guru says:

      The way I see it: The big conflict between primalling and business is that they’re a bit antithetical to one another by their respective natures. I certainly don’t think this should preclude primal therapists from trying to make a normal doctor’s living.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      I have argued with many in the past that thought Primal therapy should be free. There reasoning were, to me, somewhat obtuse by suggesting that it was a universal truth that ought to be given universal treatment. Nice idea, but I don’t know that, that exist anywhere in the capitalist world, not even with religious organizations even when they only pass round the collection box, and certainly the huge religious bodies, TV evangelicals etc. seem to collect millions in some name or other.

      Personally, I thought I got my therapy very cheaply and have gotten a great deal from it and will go on for the rest of my life, in terms of the lessons I got from it.

      I know there are those who felt cheated and some that have since rejected the whole notion of Primal pain. I did not argue against their point of view. I just listened and marveled at what I got.

      Agreeing – disagreeing, to me, was never the point … just my feelings and my ability to express them when appropriate. Yeah, yeah, yeah I know I get accused of waving the Primal flag.

      Thx guys. Jack

    • Larry says:

      Gretchen, real anger, out of control and hidden behind a mask, sickens and frightens me. YOYO’s behaviour tapped a deep vulnerability in me, perhaps from when I was three years old, that the world can quickly metamorphose into a dangerous place. I want truly dangerous people kept away from my life. I don’t feel danger from any of the people who regularly contribute to this blog. Intellectually I need to accept your assessment that the outburst by the person behind YOYO began innocently. I want to believe it. Still, if the person is someone who contributes to this blog, then for me some trust has been violated and I feel myself pulling away from this blog community. Maybe at least until I delve into and resolve some of the fearful empty feelings rattling inside me now. I want the person behind YOYO to know that it would help me and help me to feel better about that person if the person were to come clean. As for the person being reprimanded or punished, I never have a stomach for reprisal.

      • Fiona says:

        Trust those people you KNOW, Larry. Ask them if they are the yoyo weirdo via email etc if you can. Try to feel comfortable with those people on the blog that you trust.

        Is this problem solving? Am I trying to ‘solve’ your feeling? Sorry if I am.

        Obviously you are addressing your feelings about the fear that you have. It is good that you wrote what you did. I hope that you can continue to benefit from ‘being here on the blog’, Larry.

        My view of the yoyo ‘incident’ was that it was a childish snipe! A comment intent on nothing but mischief. A personal attack safely hidden by anonymity. A gutless person did it, someone scared of confrontation. I was more irritated than scared. Why yoyo found it “funny” I will never understand. To me – justifying what they said by saying, “I still found it funny though” is a further show of that person’s fear of confrontation. Stick up for what you say, or back down!
        Still…. it caused a myriad of reactions in us all.

        I am glad for yoyo… because MY craziness earlier that week pales into insignificance by comparison.

        • Larry says:

          Thanks for your support Fiona. I have a deep sense of abandonment from very early in my life. Laid into my core is a fearfulness that the world is unpredicatable and anything bad can happen and there is no one for me who I can trust, who I can reach out to for help, because then there wasn’t. Sharing life with my wife Noreen was the first time I’d known a sense of inner peace, stability, love, and belonging to life. I feel much more fragile now without her. This evening I’ve been crying for her, reliving her dying, screaming at the truth of her departure, so permanent, the feelings spiralling down to the little me who never had love and security until Noreen, and now she’s gone. The feelings deep down are I can’t make it on my own. I have to prove to myself that’s not the case anymore.

          Hey, we all go crazy some time or other. That we try to understand ourselves and each other and try to support each other and work to undo the craziness is what is precious to me about this blog. It’s amazing how we get so much from it for free. Very generous of Barry and Gretchen.

          • Larry, If anyone is entitled to go a little crazy it is you. Sometimes we really do need to allow ourselves to do that – but at the same time knowing that we can get through it. There is support here for you . Gretchen

  52. The Ultimate Guru says:


    An insight struck me just now…
    Have you ever considered turning the Primal Institute into a non-profit organization? I’m not sure how all the legalities would work in this case, but I’m fairly certain the organization would still be able to maintain salaried employees just like today…

  53. Jack Waddington says:

    I have given some considerable thought to adding this comment of mine and in part it was indirectly inspired by Larry’s comment about YoYo. After thinking about it I decided that I always want to be ‘Open Honest and Direct’ … So here goes.

    Last Tuesday, late afternoon after getting bad reception on the one and only TV program I watch during the week (PBS News Hour), I decided to climb on the roof of my trailer (stupidly) to sort out the antenna. Then on coming down I missed my footing on the ladder and fell, first onto my patio plastic table, smashing it and cutting my arms and back then dropping on the hard tiled patio floor with a bang I screamed in pain and the next door neighbor ( Mary Ann) came out, yelled and ran for help to a another male neighbor. I struggled up off the ground came into my trailer and went to the bathroom, the male neighbor came in donned rubber cloves (I reminded him I was HIV +) and helped clean me up with toilet tissue, surgical spirits and peroxide and gauze and band-aid my wounds. My left side bottom rib and my pelvic bone were hurting like crazy and I was moaning. Meantime I had phoned my friend Jim, who immediately came over just as the neighbor had completed dressing my cuts. Jim, my friend, checked me out and didn’t think I had broken any bones even though I was having difficulty standing. He asked should he take me to the emergency room and I said definitely “NO” from my aversion to emergency room experiences in the past.

    I eventually went to bed where I had a very difficult night trying to rest and sleep. I wondered if I might have had nightmares about the incident but fortunately didn’t. The following morning I got up and with great difficulty got my breakfast of oatmeal (porridge as I call it), Jim came round again and re-dressed all my wounds and applied antibiotic ointments after cleaning up with surgical spirits and peroxide, then bandaged them all again. The pain in my rib and hip bone still hurt like crazy and everyone suggested that I say in bed and rest but I knew I had to keep moving, otherwise I would stiffen up and then perhaps take even longer to heal. Then with the aid of a rolled umbrella as a cane I walk the length of the park, where it seemed the whole neighborhood had heard of my fall. I felt so stupid when they all concurred that, that was stupid of me.

    The following day my friend Jim came round again, dresses my wounds and cleaned up my patio, made me a coffee walked with me again the length of the park, this time without the stick, but having Jim at my side to lean on if I needed. He said he would come round the following day. The rib was still hurting like crazy especially every time I coughed which was frequent, thought there was no blood from coughing, just great pain jabs. Things seemed to improving a little and so I was prepared to battle it out, trying hard not to cough.

    Then on Thursday night I had a very bad night with pain every time I moved. So Friday mid-day I asked Jim to take me to the emergency room to check out for any broken bones with x rays. It was a three hour ordeal, but eventually was given the result that I’d bruised the pelvis and that they saw no break in the rib and more importantly to the doctor that I had not punctured the lung.

    My main problem now is coughing and the pain jab, but I can walk and sleeping last night was ok and no bad dreams. Jim is amazed just how quickly my cuts seem to be healing and the smaller ones he doesn’t band-aid saying, “give them air”. I know it was such a stupid thing for me to attempt to go on the roof alone and the patio table did break the 8 foot fall which perhaps saved me. Seems the coughing pain jabs will persist for at least a week, but I feel psychologically relieved that I broke no bones. All I am left with is to suffer out the pain (I refuse to take pain killers) and to be at least honest about my stupidity. I am not asking for sympathy, (that never helps me) but endeavoring to be, as I stated, ‘Open Honest and Direct.’ Also lastly, I feel very strongly that my therapy has helped me enormously get through these last few days and having my love and companion Jim, I love him dearly also. Both these, I do feel good about. Jack

    • Fiona says:

      Shit Jack! Take it easy! Hope you continue to heal quickly! 🙂

    • Larry says:

      I hope when I am 80 I will be as spry as you are Jack, and my neighbours find me on my roof adjusting my antennae. 🙂 And if I have any wits about me I hope I’ll have learned from your story, because I doubt I would survive a fall as well as you are. 🙂 Enjoy the News Hour. Take care.


      • Jack Waddingtonj says:

        Thanks Larry: that was good to hear. The News Hours is ok but never as good as the old BBC.


    • Vicki says:

      Enjoyed your account, Jack. I’m glad your neighbors all chided you for your stunt, so I don’t have to chime in. Take care, Jack-o.

    • Ulrich says:

      Damn, Jack, that was close! Congrats, you’re safe at home with your neighbours, your friend and your luck. Be well.

  54. Fiona says:

    Ultimate G:
    I apologise! I was wrong and just a little crazier than usual last week. My perception of you being racist was NOT your reality. I still don’t know what happened there, or where my reaction came from.
    I am sorry!

    • The Ultimate Guru says:


      Your apology was very nice to hear and I’m happy you’re back on the right side of the tracks again. Feel free to imagine any words you’d like for me to say that would bring about absolution for yourself and to close this matter.

  55. Jack, That is one scary story! You are most definitely the cat with 9 lives! Please don’t ever do something like that again!! Gretchen

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Gretchen: You sound like my mother “don’t ever do something like that again” ….. Ok mommy, I promise. LOL


  56. Margaret says:

    it is also good to hear you have such a good set of neighbours and friends. Could that be because you are really a nice and friendly guy?
    A cautious hug, not to hurt your bruises…!

    I was touched by you describing your feelings, Ican relate to what you say, it is such a good way to describe that fear that suddenly the whole world can turn into a hostile unpleasant place.
    Take good care,
    p.s. Fiona, what craziness?

  57. Miguel says:

    Hi Jack What a terrible story. I am glad you survived and received help from your neighbours and friends.
    Be well

  58. Jack Waddington says:

    Thanks everyone Miguel, Ulrich, Margaret and Gretchen for your condolences (or whatever). I feel even better this Monday morning and the cough seems to be better so have only coughed once this morning and I had a good nights sleep.

    Gretchen; being the “cat with nine lives” how many of them have I used up? LOL

    Yep, everyone in the park knows I am gay and have HIV. I have never made a secret of it, which helps. I think that is a testament being ‘Open Honest and Direct’. i’ve argued this case at my HIV support group.

    Larry: I concur with Getchen. We’re all crazy; it’s a crazy world.


  59. Larry says:

    Margaret, it seems that we share some similar fearful feelings, because I too find myself identifying with your feelings that you write about here.

    Gretchen, I am touched by your reminder that I can go crazy and find support here. I do find support here. Something keeps telling me it won’t last, it will die, it’s not real, don’t reach out to it. I’m noticing that life sapping feeling is sweeping up everything that once interested me, and I’m having to swim against its’ current or be carried away and drown.

    I feel that a lot of voluntary spontaneous real generosity was shown by a lot of people on this blog in the last few days, and I feel good about it.

  60. The Ultimate Guru says:

    Not to stray things away from Jack and Larry’s adventures but…

    I don’t smoke cigars very often but I do like a good one once in a while. The Cohiba and CAO cigars are in a nearby humidor, but I am sorely missing some breathtaking instrumental music from the 1980’s “Miami Vice” television series. I’m not interested in Jan Hammer’s title song for this series, but rather the more dramatic and emotional instrumentals that were interwoven throughout the series’ 5-year run. Somehow…smoking one of these cigars and listening to this music feels like the right thing to do right now..I just wish I had that damn music!

  61. Larry says:

    If I had a crank like the one in this music video I would turn back time. Right now it feels to me like with a little tweak of physics it could really happen. I really want it to.

    • Vicki says:

      I like it, Larry, but it makes it clearer how sad you are, and how unhappy. I hope for better for you.

  62. sabine says:

    I am a bit overwhelmed with too many things/feelings are going on at the moment. There is one thing I am thinking for a while already to write here. I was actually checking the blog a lot recently to see if there is anybody else writing about it.
    I am saddened about Mark´s leaving the institute. It feels I wanna share this feelings with others who might feel the same way.
    I also wanna say that he is probably the most remarkable and kindest person I have ever met in my life. He touched very deeply my heart and helped me opening up.

    • The Ultimate Guru says:

      Oh wow, Mark left the PI? Ouch…Now even I feel a little sad at the moment. Was counting on meeting with him again one of these days…..

      I’m totally out of the loop because I am far from Los Angeles for now.

      People have been really…creepily quiet in some ways around here lately and I was wondering is “something was going on”. Even my little joke with Jack didn’t resonate at all. Oh, well….

      • The Ultimate Guru says:

        Just…..ouch, ouch, ouch….yeah I can see where Mark’s departure would be a major body blow.

        • The Ultimate Guru says:

          Although I’ve already learned the hard way you can never count on things in life lasting forever….I have to ask: When did he leave??? I’m shocked and taken aback by the news.

          • Vicki says:

            Guru, Mark announced it about 4 weeks ago, so this is his last week of sessions, and his last small group was earlier tonight. In the last two Friday groups, a lot of people expressed what he has meant to them, their thanks to him, and sadness. Hopefully in the future, he’ll be able to come back for retreats, as he indicated he wants to.

      • Jack Waddington says:

        UG: I didn’t get the joke; I took you seriously and thought it not worth a response. Maybe I am losing it or getting too old or something. Even now, don’t see the joke. Ah well!!

        About mark leaving: Maybe it’s none of our business; but yeah I can see why many will miss him. I too wish him well for his future.


        • The Ultimate Guru says:


          You don’t remember when you talked about people here on the blog getting their therapy “on the cheap” some months ago?

          Fiona and Gretchen kidded about this when Fiona said she “likes getting her therapy on the cheap.”

          Maybe Fiona remembers, not sure…

          • Fiona says:

            Yes I sure do remember. You are correct with your recollections, Mr Ultimate. I even got a free comment (or more accurately; a question from Gretchen) when I was saying ‘confessing here is more like group’. It carried on for a while.

            I missed the ‘joke’ here because Jack didn’t ask for, or require anything. He just got ‘get well wishes’.

            • The Ultimate Guru says:

              So when I give a long story about something bad that happens to me, it is not crossing a line into the “therapeutic zone”?
              I really don’t mind or care that Jack does this, but it did seem a bit hypocritical on his part to express disapproval at everyone else using the blog as “therapy on the cheap” when (to me) he was doing the very same thing himself.

              • The Ultimate Guru says:

                And Jack…

                It is my FEELING that you may FEEL that I am consumed with my complaint about your apparent hypocrisy. I want to let you know I am not; I was only responding directly to Fiona.

                I still hold you in much higher regard than a dangerously dishonest and worthless news media thundering the “Bin Laden ” memetic for all the world to see.

  63. Fiona says:

    Re Mark Leaving:

    I am more in shock, still, that Mark is going. Even though he was not my main therapist, it feels really un-settling to be reminded that they are basically just doing a job. [I know NOT applicable to all of them, G!] To feel so totally cared for, and sympathised with; to be understood so deeply – whatever we say, is hard to loose. All that ‘history’ shared, and to have to build that up again with someone else must be awful. After all – this is the first time in our lives that we feel that depth of support from someone.

    I have only been around for a few years – so I can’t imagine what it must be like for some people.

    I did not want to be the first to bring it up here. Felt like it is not my responsibility. It is like the news about a death in the family – should be dealt with great care and sensitivity for people’s feelings. Not nice to read about loosing someone close in a newspaper or on a blog comment on the internet. Better to have someone to discuss it with in person.

    I wonder why Gretchen nor Barry wrote about it here? … OR Mark for that matter!

  64. Miguel says:

    It is very sad to hear Sabine saying Mark’s leaving the Institute. I wander why it is so difficult to be a Primal Therapist. Since I begun therapy many a few therapist has gone through the Institute. I guess some professionals are attracted to being a primal therapist but after some time they might think their professional interest lay somewhere else. People interests change. After all, being a primal therapist must be a very most interesting and rewarding job because you learn to know as nowhere else the deep intimacies of the human psyche and learn a lot from human condition.- At the same time I acknowledge that must be a very demanding job because the patients pains reminds you of your own. Anyhow pschychotherapy it is in the Primal Institute, unlike other therapies approaches, must be rewarding in itself, because if the patient truly collaborates, opens up and is honest, sooner or later the therapist can see the results, the rewarding of his/her job..
    I am happy I can count on Barry and that Gretchen continues. It is difficult to say goodbye. I only met mark once and I wish him good luck.

  65. Miguel says:

    Sabine I can understand how you feel it must be a big lost for you.
    I would say that being a Primal Therapist is a big opportunity to hel others.

  66. The Ultimate Guru says:

    Well one of the reasons I was upset was because I was under a mistaken notion. Mark’s departure happened shortly after YoYo’s surprise appearance and Sabine’s announcement occurred right after Gretchen urged YoYo to “come clean”.

    I figured maybe after 20 years of being a therapist Mark finally snapped, became pissed off at the Institute, and regressed into becoming “YoYo” trolling the blog.

    A brief discussion with Gretchen corrected this for me. I wish Mark the best in his future endeavors, but it is kinda sad knowing he won’t be bolted down to the Institute’s furniture fixtures for as long as we need him to be…

    • Guru, You thought Mark was YoYo!? Ha! That’s great! G.

      • The Ultimate Guru says:


        Well, I thought there was a strong POSSIBILITY of it at the time, yes. The timing was too suspicious having Mark leaving after you urged YoYo to “Come clean”…Yeah, I can laugh about it now…

  67. Margaret says:

    If I imagine being a primal therapist I can see the positive sides, but also it must be very frustrating occasionally when you already sense where a patient needs to go in order to get to a certain feeling and when he or she keeps backing out of it or hides behinds some strong defense.

    i imagine being a bit of an impatient person like I am would sometimes make that hard.

    I feel more and more strongly about there should indeed be more clarity about the hows and when and whys of Marc leaving, instead of lettting all kind of assumptions flourish.

    I also feel we foreigners not visiting the groups deserve to be informed as it is not nice to find out something important everyone else already seems to know just by coincidence.

    There must be so many patients that still don’t have a clue.

    What is the matter, I am surprised too Marc hasn’t spoken up yet, maybe things are still not entirely decided.

    There must be a sensible explanation for this, but it would be nice to hear some more.

  68. Hey All, We really could not address this on the blog until Mark had personally contacted all his patients. As Fiona pointed out this is a sensitive issue that really could not be discussed initially on a blog. Rest assured he is working hard to reach everyone both in Los Angeles and in other parts of the world and we of course are following up to insure that everyone is on track. Almost everyone he works with has a co therapist who will take over his cases and those that don’t will be reassigned. For those of you that don’t know he is moving back to the East coast where his parents and siblings still live. We will miss him and he knows our door is permanently open to him. Gretch

    • sabine says:

      Hi Gretchen, I am a bit confused about your explanation as I have talked to Atty and Barry a while ago and they said Mark has already informed all his patients. Barry also said that needed to be done at the same time, because otherwise people would chat and shouldn´t get informed that way. I also asked Mark and Barry to announce it to everybody, so that everybody has the possibility to have their reactions and eventually express something while Mark is still there. I have never get informed when Eva left or when Mark reduced his groups and I never found that okay. I am sorry when people get informed this way, but I find it better to get informed this way in time, than when it´s too late to express any reactions towards Mark. I am feeling bad about again being critical, but nevertheless I have to speak my mind. I also wished it would have been announced weeks ago and I could have been sharing feelings weeks ago.
      Anyway – I wish you the very best Mark, you will always stay in my heart!

      • Sabine – I am not sure what you are so confused about. First of all to clear this up Mark has NOT yet left. I think it is obvious Mark would tell as many people as he could at the same moment but clearly that is not always going to be possible- For example, if he tried to call someone and they could not be reached he would not choose to leave a voicemail in most cases or if there were people he wanted to wait till their weekly session to have a face to face with then he would. This was not like a bomb one drops in the Primal community where magically everyone is informed simultaneously but he did his best. I think you missed the overview of what Atty and Barry meant about how Mark would inform people. Yes it would have been wonderful to have more time to express your feelings to Mark and hopefully you have set up a phone session this week to do just that. It was not announced weeks ago Sabine because Mark did not know weeks ago – it was announced almost immediately after he told us (around 2 weeks ago). One last thing, Mark has been with us for around 13 years. He wanted to make contact with those he personally worked with and those who have kept in touch with him. Clearly he has done countless sessions over the years- if you were not his patient or had terminated therapy with him it just would not have been humanly possible for him to contact the hundreds of people who have come through the doors. Barry, Viv and I felt it was appropriate to stand back before commenting to allow him to make as many personal contacts as he could. Only now that he is finishing that process did we feel free to comment. In the end he did a very good job informing both his Los angeles patients and those in Europe as quickly and as close together as possible. I hope that clears up your confusion. Gretchen

        • Vicki says:

          Gretchen, just one note — it has actually been about 4 weeks since Mark announced he is leaving (not about 2 weeks).

          • Vicki – Yeah I just asked someone – we will split the difference – It is 3 weeks, but the point is we all wish he was staying longer. I was simply saying that he began contacting people as soon as he knew . I think Sabine was saying she was informed when it was too late to express her feelings. I am saying maybe so but take advantage of having a session with him now and that also he did not conceal the info for months – he announced it when he knew . That’s all – what was your point? G.

            • Vicki says:

              What was my point? Nothing Gretchen, except what I said already.

              • sabine says:

                Thanks for your explanations of the procedure Gretchenwhich are helpful to me. I appreciate Mark doing his best to contact his patients.
                I acknowledge Viv, Barry´s and your decission to wait till Mark has informed as much of his patients. I still don´t agree though waiting till it is too late for patients of other therapist to express their feelings as long Mark is still there.
                I personally get informed from Mark 22 days ago and was very well able to express my feelings towards Mark. I was talking about people and I meant people and not me. I just found it hard to hold back to share and express my feelings to others. So I said I wish it would have been announced weeks ago and 22 days are in my understanding of language weeks and I don´t see why you needed to clarify it was not months ago, although it actually felt like a very long time to me.
                I also needed to clarify for myself if I had done something wrong in talking here on the blog. I did so based on the information I thought all of Mark´s patients has already been informed. Also based on my feelings patients of other therapists should get informed when there is time left to express something towards Mark and that was four days before his actual leaving which is today. Also based on my own need to finally talk about it and also based on my wondering after my previous experiences with the institute of never getting informed on other occassions, if it would ever get announced?

  69. Margaret says:

    I still feel a little hurt I wasn’t noticed in any way, except through the grapevine, that Marc was leaving.

    I was hoping he would send some general message around and I was waiting to respond to that, and now i hear he is already gone.
    Goodbye Marc, hope to see you again some day, lots of luck!
    At least I asked A a while ago to give him a hug…

    Something else: This afternoon I was trying to decide whether I would go dancing tonight.
    I felt I could go either way, but then focusing on my own gut preference, loose from my feeling of duty to have to put myself out there and not give in to my fears, I did decide not to go.

    I focused immediately after canceling my evening out on how that felt, and started crying in a confusing mix of feeling sad about making myself miss out, and relief of admitting myself not to have to be strong.

    I just continued crying and then the feeling became more clear.
    Just pure sadness, accepting the part of myself that didn’t want to be strong, and felt it couldn’t cope.

    I kept crying and crying until even my cat came to lay with me, quite exceptional for her unless I am really distressed .
    I felt I was getting in touch again with the little girl I once was, before I started to take the load on my shoulders to take care of my whole family, emotionally.

    I have literally been bracing my shoulders all my life in order to be strong . I felt I had to but it also cut me off from a frail but precious part of me that didn’t want to be strong but just to be what it was, a little girl.

    Another part of myself I am regaining and will cherish.

    Too bad there is so much sadness too.

    xx and purr, me and her, Margaret

  70. Fiona says:

    During my buddy session this morning, I found I was feeling really censored again. Censored by considering other people’s feelings, or circumstances. I realise that I am censoring or stifling myself; but I can’t stop it. I WILL NOT just speak my mind and say what I want to; when I want to. I don’t even want to do it – it often has so many repercussions that are endless and impossible to solve.

    I have (because of my therapy) begun to speak up and say how I feel on occasions. Sometimes – (as people around me tried to assure me) nothing ‘bad’ happens. No upheavals or reactions of anger or (worse) disappointment. No arguments or anything. I just said things…. and it was…. ok!

    But that is NOT always the case. Sometimes it goes on and on and on! Upsets and repercussions that I did not anticipate. Or that I did anticipate – but were WORSE!

    Here’s a simple un-associated example:

    Therapist: “just tell your partner how you feel”
    Me: “Partner of mine, I feel…”
    Partner: “Grrrh! That makes me feel…”
    Me: “Boo hoo!…. now I feel…”
    Partner: “……..”that makes me so…”
    ….. Well – you can see what I’m getting at. It never ends! It just never ends. Tennis – but without a ball; bashing feelings at each other instead!
    “Just say how you feel!” should come with a government health warning, or at least one from the therapists! Death by endless, unavoidable, unpredictable consequences.
    God forbid you say how you feel to your family member or friend on the same day!

    As a child I was not allowed to! Just not allowed to! Slight exaggeration maybe – but I was not allowed to say how I felt. I was constantly censored; “how do you think that makes US feel if you do/say that?”. “What will they think of us if you…” “What about your brothers?” and even “what about the neighbours?” and “teachers” “the people walking past”, “the other shoppers” EVERYONE!

    I had to constantly make sure that I offended no one. I had to think of ALL OF YOU out there… yes you! Even the yous that I don’t even know.

    I was hoping that writing would bring up the feeling again. I stifled it while I buddied, of course. Even though Margaret encouraged me, I censored myself. Taking time for myself????…. “what would my buddy think??? would she prefer to talk…. am I boring her??? … am I this or that. I’ll tell you that I am exhausted now; keeping it inside all day. Making my struggle worse.
    I wanted to get it out of me. I want to be free of it all for a while.

    Let me be free…. Let me be…. Let me

    I think, maybe, there are two separate things going on with me here. Not sure.

    • Larry says:

      Fiona, I’m wondering, when you were buddying with Margaret, if you hadn’t censored yourself do you know what you would have said?


      • Fiona says:

        Good question, Larry. The thing is that this was one of the times I censored a feeling (or letting go of it and allowing myself to cry). Margaret and I discuss this often – and she has pointed out what I am doing, and encouraged me to ‘go with it’ when she spots what I am doing!

        As for censoring what I would have said – I do know in those moments what I want to say. There are always many options (thoughts do not take much ‘time’ after all). These censored notions stay with me; and the worst ones fester. I resent them.

        I do not feel free to ‘just say it’ – ever!

  71. Okay Fiona what are you needing to say? G.

    • Fiona says:

      I don’t know Gretchen. Worried (right now) that you might be feeling attacked because of recent comments by us all. Can’t think past that.

      I wasn’t attacking you (or any therapists) in my comment – just a simple example that has nothing to do with any current situation. …. I’m freaking out a bit…..

      I do feel a bit lost with what I was trying to say. Sorry.

      • Fiona, No I was not feeling that at all – actually I was jumping to the conclusion (perhaps mistakenly) that you had something very specific to say to someone here – not sure why your post gave me that impression. As for what you said re Mark going to the East coast – I thought your post was very sensitive to the situation. G.

        • Fiona says:

          You know better than to doubt yourself Gretchen! You are right about me; that I probably SHOULD ‘say some things to some people’ here and elsewhere. I will address that as soon as I feel safer…. or at least I will do it one at a time rather than a whole list one attack after the other. Still – it would liven up the blog for a while.

          It is not only my reluctance to say things; but I stifle feelings when they are right ‘there’! When they are a pain in my throat aching to get out! But I censor and postpone my feeling. I have a myriad of reasons and excuses – none of which are valid or sensible. On two occasions during one tv programme tonight I could have cried. I was triggered – but avoided! (one was about being with my mum just after she had died – I just swallowed it).

          I know I was in a mess of feelings yesterday, but I want to trust my feeling that you were ….. maybe frustrated or tired or something. I cried a little just because you tried to help me; you gave me ‘time’ by asking your question, it showed me something that I missed out on. I really appreciate that help, thanks.

          I will write down (NOT on the blog) things that I want to say to people, or things that I wanted to do…. see if anything changes.

      • Vicki says:

        Fiona, it sounds like you’ve just cocooned (wrapped yourself up) in a long moebius strip of fear!

  72. Sabine, I am very sorry but I am unclear about what you are saying. As I explained as soon as Mark knew he was leaving, which was approximately 3 weeks ago he began contacting his patients – I believe you are saying that is when he contacted you. His leaving was also openly discussed in groups. You are concerned about those who are not working with Mark ? Who are you talking about when you say people? In any case you keep saying you wish he would have announced it weeks ago. He did – as soon as he knew he was leaving! He could not make an announcement BEFORE he knew he was leaving. Maybe you are talking about those YOU felt he should contact but didn’t. As I said before his focus had to be on those he works with currently. I don’t understand why you would be concerned about someone Mark may not have seen in years anymore than I understand why you would be upset about a change in Mark’s group schedule if you are not attending the group. Those are important feelings you can discuss privately or on the blog if you like. Gretchen

  73. Margaret says:

    with all respect, I think Sabine and I are trying to make the same point.
    It happened the way it happened and i am sure there was no intent to be hurting anyone, on the contrary.
    As a patient who only went to Marcs groups during short stays in L.A. and only had a few private sessions with him , I still feel I wished there would have been a general mail from him with a few words so I would have felt adressed by him.

    Again, I hear he has been working extremely hard to take care of the people he worked with on a more regular base, and that is ok, you can’t do miracles and nobody is perfect.
    But still mypoint remains it is only natural that I and others like me feel a bit left out, specially as the information about how and when and why was so confusingg.

    An example is that only by reading Sabines comment I know now which day he was actually leaving.

    I can cope, and I respect Marc and regret he won’t be there, but I still think everybody needs to be informed officially of important changes, even about things like group schedules.

    It is not because we aren’t there all year long, we don’t feel part of things and we mentally prepare for groups we look forward to on our visits.

    Then it is a bummer when that group turns out to be canceled months ago.

    My point being I relate to Sabine, and this isn’t meant as criticism, more as clarifying our viewpoint.

    I am already very grateful for all the extra efforts the staff of the Institute makes for their patients, my mere point is just an occasional extra general mail around in cases like this could be welcome, if possible, and if not, there are probably reasons too, no hard feelings, I feel down enough already without engaging extra struggles.

    • sabine says:

      Thanks Margaret – you got me!
      I hope you are feeling better soon!

    • Margaret – I do understand what you are saying and that some of this is old and some a very real reaction to the current situation. I would encourage you to send off an email to Mark to express your feelings, it may help. It is interesting to note that some have not taken advantage of the time Mark still had to arrange a session and it was often those with the strongest reactions – neurosis in nutshell! I think it is also human nature that we tend to focus on ourselves and how we are impacted as individuals in a given situation vs the group as a whole. Sadly, I believe much of this would have been a non issue had there been more time. He would have been able to contact all of his current patients and possibly do a mailing as well – my understanding was he would have very little time before leaving and that it could not be helped. That being said he did begin his contacts as soon as he knew he was leaving for sure – there was no delay – as it was I really believe he had concerns about a general letter crossing paths with those he needed to speak to. There is a reality as well to your feeling that you were somehow not as important. Clearly he would prioritize those who needed to know and when they needed to know – I would. I would have assumed there would be less urgency with those he has not seen or sees rarely than someone with a weekly connection. It does seem logical. As for group – yes, it is frustrating when a group or a session is rescheduled . To be honest I can’t imagine doing a general mailing to hundreds of people when there is that kind of change but I do understand if you visit you might hope that a group falls on a particular night for instance. It does become complicated when one person is saying I want my Tuesday group and 3 others are saying no I prefer Thursday – or worse yet we leave the schedule as is and the visitor says I hate group I am not coming ha! In most cases Atty can let you know that kind of thing in advance. Anyway hopefully you can write Mark and tell him how you feel. Gretchen P.S. I too was unsure about what day he was leaving till a few days ago- I know he has changed that date as he worked to arrange more time in Los Angeles – sometimes we just don’t have answers as fast as we would like LOL

      • sabine says:

        Thanks Gretchen – your explanations help giving me the picture of your point. Regarding group schedule: There are only about a few international people coming to the retreat. I don´t see the problem about sending a general email to those who are likely to attend the retreat. You send a general email to announce the retreat, so where is the problem here? I plan lenght and exact dates of my flight based on my informations I have about group schedules. I have attended Mark´s group for 19 months within the last few years and it doesn´t feel good you saying why would I like to get informed, when I am not attending his group anyway. I also ask Atty about groups before I book my flight, but she couldn´t really tell me.
        I also gave it quite a thought how I want my “last” (if it´s the last) contact with Mark and did exactly what felt right to me. I feel very happy about our last contact, but feel adressed by your comment that people with the strongest reactions didn´t take advantage of the time they had and that´s neurosis in nutshell. I also feel adressed ( whehter you meant me or not) by your saying it´s sad that we are focused on ourselves, rather than seeing the groups as whole. Indeed I was a lot concerned about the others. And I revealed the whole issue, because I thought Mark has already contacted all his patients. Again I am the bad one, the insensitive one, I think I am having a point in my expressions, but get considered as crazy ( also triggered by your comment on may a 12th, explaining me he could not inform people before he knew he was leaving).
        I did in all this issues what felt exactly right to me, but I feel I get considered (if I really do or not) as bad in various ways.
        I am also so frustrated about my problems to express myself clearly where I really try sooo hard and I am sooo frustrated about my inability to learn this fucking english properly. After all that speaking, writing, studying english I still can´t properly understand and express myself. Occassionally it comes to a point where it is so painful that I feel I can´t continue therapy, because of this language problems. It´s hard enough already to express myself properly in german, but in english it´s overwhelming on the top of all the other problems. In fact I believe I am in many cases doing so bad, because I grew up considered as being horrible in every regard. It effects my behaviour, my feelings about myself, about others as well as my capabilities. I am crying.

        • The Ultimate Guru says:


          Although I think your English is very clear (certainly light years better than my German!), have you considered working with Nadja a little bit? She might be fluent in German and it could make things easier, not sure….

        • Larry says:

          I think it is good that you are saying what you need to Sabine. After reading all of the exchange between you and Gretchen, where you both try to explain yourselves and understand each other, I feel I understand what you both are saying. It sometimes takes repeated effort to make myself understood in written word here on the blog. Sometimes a reader surprises me in interpreting a meaning in something I wrote that is different from what I meant. It sounds like your feelings make it even more difficult for you to try to express what you need to if you think others don’t want to hear it. I hope you can keep trying and expressing yourself and working through those feelings. You shouldn’t have to have them.

          • sabine says:

            Thanks UG and Larry – You know the strange thing is I haven´t thought much until the last days about how deperate I was as a child to express myself. First I didn´t start speaking as toddler ( the doctor who examined me because of that said this is because nobody spoke to me), later I most of the time didn´t speak or responded. When I was in feelings I couldn´t manage to say anything clear why I am crying. I was absolutely desperate of never being able to make myself understood. If anybody would just speak to me in a normal tone, I would start crying immidiately, because I would only speak when somebody talked to me with the most careful, soft voice. The first years at school were hard languagewise, were all the other subjects were easy for me. Finally at about 14 I was usually best in class in writing. It went so much better when I started writing down some key words what I wanna express, before I finally wrote the whole essay. I so easily get confused and overwhelmed. And then the foreign language here on the top of it is often really a lot. But after a while I calm down again and Barry and others gives me so much encouragement about it all the time.

  74. Margaret says:

    p.s. I realize myself too one of my biggest old feelings, the one of being ignored, is being triggered here.

    Daddy or mommy is indifferent and resents me when I ask for attention. I am despicable when I try.
    I end up feeling ashamed of myself for even needing. My defense for years was to be demanding as just asking was too painful, who would want to be vulnerable in those circumstances?

    I feel pretty vulnerable this whole week already.

  75. Margaret says:

    P.p.s. I hate to imagine all that extra amount of work you must be having with one therapist less.

  76. Jack Waddington says:

    I weaned myself off TV some years ago, only to get addicted to opinions in blogs, the LA Times and other forums. I often wondered just how some people came by their opinions, but when I started to get insights as to how I formed MY opinions; it made sense to me how others did. My conclusion (opinion if you like), is that our opinions are NOT thought-through-notions, but rather subconscious events that caused primitive (early infant-hood and child-hood) reasoning, (means of making sense of early childhood events).

    This in turn caused me to re-think the nature of THINKING. In order to do this, I needed to go back to conjecture when and where in our evolution as humans we started this endeavor towards early thought. I was influenced by the writings of an English thinker in 1941 Benjamin Lee Whorf who stated that “we ‘think’ in language.” He hypothesized that without language there was no way we are able to “think”. Many have denounced Whorf’s finding, but none, to me, are compelling.

    If as Whorf stated, we are only able to think at the onset of having language, then I started to ponder (yes that is thinking) at what point in our evolution we started to create language. I made the conjecture that there was no need for any creature, least of all early humans, to do other than FEEL and that ‘thinking’ became a substitute for feelings at the onset of becoming neurotic (relegating feelings to a subconscious).

    “Voila,” my Eureka moment.

    This is a very useful insight for me in my life’s travels. It means I no longer wondered why others think and have the opinions they do. From the top thinkers, philosophers, scientists, et al, all the way to just ordinary people. It’s all a part of our evolution to, and through neurosis. So much so, that I wanted to impart my findings (opinion) and encapsulated it into a book that I titled (with tongue in cheek) “A Gospel” … the good word. Alas, that title has not gone over well. Ah well !!! I tried. Jack

    • Ulrich says:

      Hi Jack,

      what if sensations inhabit the need to create feelings to represent themselves and feelings inhabit the need to create words to represent themselves? Isn’t it a need for nature to evolve, cause as soon as matter begins to change all other matter needs to change as well to adapt to ever new surroundings … Just a … thought (?)

      • Jack Waddington says:

        Ulrich: Nough said: “just a thought”. Jack

        • Ulrich says:

          Wrong cited. What should I say? Representation gone wrong?

          • Jack Waddington says:

            Ulrich: As I understand ‘the Primal notion,’ there is an whole other realm beyond thinking; called feelings. I am for ever inundated with folks trying to get me into a THINKING debate. I am attempting to get beyond that.

            I spent a great number of years formulating my notion. I’m not looking for agreement. I am merely setting out my “Gospel’ for any that might find it useful.


            • Ulrich says:

              Ok. I leave you alone, wondering a little bit, what the heck it is, you’re trying to say. You are “inundated with folks trying to get [you] into a THINKING debate”, but you’re writing and debating in a blog? If your are attempting to get beyond that, it might not be the best way to start. But anyway, pardon me for not being on the same level as you are. And yes, you’re right. We don’t agree. We never will.

  77. The Ultimate Guru says:


    Based on my own experience I have some disagreement with Whorf’s finding. Sometimes when I am hungry a picture of a brittle chocolate-coated raspberry ice cream pop will form in my mind. Sometimes a picture of pasta vegetable soup laced with a little shredded cheese and some crumbled Club crackers makes its appearance.
    Even when I need to do some errands, for example, a picture of the nearest post office will form in my mind with no words attached, etc. etc.

  78. Jack Waddington says:

    UG; “Based on my own experience I have some disagreement with Whorf’s finding. “. this about the best I get from all those that disagree with Whorf. To me, no-one has said anything compelling, and I have read some. It’s what I consider “waffle intellectualism”.

    I searched my own feelings and thoughts to see if I could find an example of thinking outside of language and was not able, after several months trying. It get’s reduced to “my opinion” from all Whorf’s critics Since I was discussing the origins and nature of opinions, then other’s ‘opinions’ counted for little. That’s why I call it “waffle intellectualism” If indeed I could meet a real deep thinker that genuinely had thought any of this stuff through, I sure would listen and take that into consideration.

    I equate a lot of this with what Copernicus and Galileo went through merely suggesting the world was not flat and that we were moving not the sun. I call it “a conceptual leap”. Of course, I’m way out beyond the mainstream, and considered ‘crazy’ by many.

    I attempted to contact Stephen Hawking to propose that ‘Unified Field Theory’ OR the ‘Theory of Everything’ turned up in 1967 and not in physics or mathematics, but in psychology. Alas I was not able to get past his gate keepers.

    I contend Primal Theory is:- “The Theory of Everything”. It is very sad to me that Hawking gave up his whole body to delve the depth of ‘thinking’ and come up with “Black holes”. Of course, he used that other language, Mathematics to make his point.

    Some bright guy of the future might see my point, if we don’t don’t blow up the planet and all living creatures meantime … highly likely … sad. Jack

  79. The Ultimate Guru says:


    I believe the sentence below is the most critical one of your last post:

    “I searched my own feelings and thoughts to see if I could find an example of thinking outside of language and was not able, after several months trying.”

    I also believe this sentence would be more appropriately changed to:

    “I searched my own feelings and thoughts to see if I could find an example of my thinking outside of language and was not able, after several months trying.” (I inserted my)

    • Jack Waddington says:

      UG: just to rock the boat a little and be mischeivous. You say “I also believe this sentence …”

      I would suggest you’ve reduced it all to ‘believe’. Mmmmm interesting.


      • The Ultimate Guru says:

        Using the word “believe” doesn’t bother me at all.

        Consider this, Jack….Who’s to say our ancestors weren’t required to think things through in order to formulate language to begin with? It seems a bit like the “chicken or egg first” syndrome and I can personally see where the opposite of Whorff’s hypothesis could be true such that thinking came before language (and yes this could include my own thinking, personally).

        • The Ultimate Guru says:

          Let me take it one step further…

          Jack, you yourself said that mathematics is a language all its own and that two (or more) people had to come to an agreement that a single item or multiple items should be designated a number such as “1”,”2″, etc.

          My question to you is: Doesn’t it require thinking and consideration for self and others on the part of multiple people to come to such an agreement to begin with, and thus, to formulate language? If so, then it would actually appear to me that the opposite of Whorff’s declarations would invite a deeper look.

  80. Margaret says:

    your explication confirmed and cleared up some details about what I had already imagined to be the case.

    So I do feel I have been trying to see the whole group view and not only myself and thought I had made that clear in my coment, but maybe you weren’t specifically adressing me there.

    So my feeling of being ignored wasn’t just directed to Marc, but more to the general fact of not getting any notice.

    Again this is moree theoretical than true as I was informed through friends and finally the blog.

    My point seems to be just that I hate the idea to feel left out if i hadn’t been following the blog.

    My feeling is I deserve that my presence is acknowledged.

    I am writing this here instead of writing to Marc as I am not really blaming him.

    I don’t mean to blame anyone, I am just trying to clarify my feeling, which wasn’t that terrible to start with.

    Now I seem to end up in the all too familiar feeling of my childhood, where my mother scolds me for being demanding and never satisfied.

    I repeat I am not demanding anything, I know everyone is doing a great job already and working overtime.

    I just got a call from my brother being concerned about my mother and if she takes care of herself well enough.

    I guess all that worry drives me to be extra needy for support.
    I can barely cope and I am sorry if I got on anybody’s nerves.
    I feel worn out with having to cope.

  81. Margaret says:

    thanks that really means a lot to me.
    When I am in too much feeling my selfconfidence starts cracking at the seams and even selfloathing sets in.

    Then I don’ even trust my own feelings anymore and start feeling crazy and q’despicable’.

    This can become a spiral down and you managed to stop that hideous creeping in paralizing depression I could feel setting in.

    Hey, I did really need that bit of support seemingly, thanks again vicki, I owe yyou one!

  82. Fiona says:

    Damn! I did it again !! IT WAS ME LOL-ING AT MR ULTIMATE’s yoyo joke back there! Not Margaret. I keep forgetting to change the details. Sorry.

  83. Margaret says:

    Thanks Sabine.

  84. Margaret says:

    Hey Fiona,
    what is that joke you were lolling about?
    I hadn’t heard you lolling as I don’t get my own comments mailed to me, or well, your coments as my ghostwriter in this case seemingly.

    Just curious.
    Margaret the Real One.

    • Fiona says:

      I think this was a ‘visual’ joke by Mr Ultimate. I will explain as best I can:
      Larry wrote “looks like you’re on your own” to Mr Ultimate, in response to the struggle he was having with Mr Jack. Mr Ultimate (cleverly) used bold type to highlight the initial letter of each word of the phrase, “you’re on your own” which spells the word yoyo! I thought it was funny, as he suggested Larry was in fact yoyo.

  85. The Ultimate Guru says:

    Hi Fiona:
    I was wondering, could you kindly give me my “Guru” moniker back? You took it away when you were mad at me about the racism stuff and I have an ego I would like to protect, thank you.

  86. Sabine and Margaret, I wanted to see what I could find out about your inability to schedule group around the retreat and the problem of changes that may or may not occur and why you are not informed. Atty seemed to think she had explained this by email but maybe you did not receive it or understand the issues. There is no problem scheduling any of the groups or sessions you may be wanting- the problem is that we book retreats up to a year in advance and within that year changes can occur and most of those changes would not impact you – as we get closer to the retreat we begin to move these things around as much as possible so the greatest number of people can attend – for instance my Sunday group falls on the first day of the retreat – obviously we will move it- but we can’t decide the best place to put it until we are closer to the retreat and have collected as much information as possible about who is coming and when. By the way we are not just looking at the few from Europe but from Australia,Canada and various parts of the U.S. and even sometimes Japan. So when Atty can’t answer your question about a group it is because we are not close enough to the retreat to have gathered all the necessary info. – I think when you book a retreat you can rest assured we are doing our best to make sure we have as many groups as possible arranged around it- on the other hand we can’t know some of this scheduling as far in advance as some would like – Obviously you can email Atty for the latest info as we get closer to the start date of the retreat. No question there is a great deal of juggling that occurs but we are trying to make it work for as many of you as we possibly can- we hope that clears up some of the confusion about the group schedules G.

  87. Margaret says:

    Thanks again Gretchen,
    as I said before, I think you are all doing a fine job, and I want to give my special respects and appreciation for the wonderful person , I don’t know if I am supposed to say her name here, that does so much more than answering my every call and e-mail in a swift, efficient and very pleasant way.

    I am very fond of her for many reasons and want to make clear I have no complaints whatsoever about her, on the contrary!

    Just to avoid misunderstandings, I am very grateful and respectful of all the hard work all of you do.

  88. Kimmie B says:

    Great blog post, Barry. I’ve struggled with emotional generosity. I know it’s partly due to “being unable to give what I didn’t get.” Just telling someone they look nice today, or asking where did they get those cute shoes, is just about impossible for me. It seems so much easier for others.

    If we all (meaning people seeking/needing therapy) “didn’t get” early in life, why is it some people are able to give and give, and others struggle to utter a simple compliment? I feel like I’m in an emotional straight-jacket when it comes to these kinds of things, or expressing joy/happiness in general. I can be funny, laugh at jokes, even enjoy people’s company at times, but allowing myself to get truly excited about something and express it is virtually impossible. Or if I do “go there” and allow the smallest bit of excitement or hope, it’s extremely fragile – subject to collapse at the slightes negative nudge.

    People ask me if I’m proud of myself, and I’m perplexed by the question. The feeling of self-pride alludes me. Self-generosity is just as difficult for me (if not more so) than giving to others.

  89. Kim, Interesting comments – I think you put your finger on the root of the problem when you say you can’t give what you did not get. Why are there some who are able to give despite their own deprivation? That is such a good question! My question for you is this – Do you have the thought “cute shoes” and then you can’t say it or do you not even have the thought at all? I hope that is clear! Gretchen

    • Kimmie B says:

      Hi Gretchen – I do have the “cute shoes” thought, but it doesn’t come out of my mouth. I assume a negative response will come from the other person… crazy, I know! Who doesn’t like getting a compliment and being noticed. Somehow it has to do with me being vulnerable and exposed in that moment.

  90. Margaret says:

    that was such a well-worded description of what is on your mind,it really got under my skin.

    Specially not feeling able to express happiness sounds so hard.
    I wish I could do something to help, but I don’t know what to say.

    I have never heard you that outspoken though, and you sure raised some very interesting questions.

    • Kimmie B says:

      Thank you Margaret. You don’t have to come up with anything to say… the fact that you want to help is comfort enough! Kim

  91. The Ultimate Guru says:


    I thought about what you said on self-pride and it reminded me of what Gretchen said awhile back about the concept of freedom not having as much meaning as before. (I don’t remember Gretchen’s exact words, so maybe she can refresh..)

    Was this what Tears for Fears could have been referring to when they sang the lyrics: “Shout, shout, let it all out…these are the things we can do without?

    Like, maybe these are old, useless memetics being discarded?

    • Kimmie B says:

      Hi UG –
      Unfortunately, I don’t know what memetics are, but I think the song can be interpreted any number of ways. It’s just generic enough that the listener (if they choose) can use it to mean whatever they want in order to make it personal to them. Allow them to feel supported (and maybe understood?) enough to shout and get it all out for themselves. 🙂

    • Ug , I confess I don’t remember the discussion on freedom – When was that ? G.

      • The Ultimate Guru says:

        primalinstitute says:
        March 2, 2011 at 9:27 am
        Sabine, I could be wrong but I think you may be misunderstanding something. I don’t believe that anyone is suggesting we treat children as “little adults” in fact, I believe it is quite the opposite. I think you may be confusing the difference between allowing children the freedom to be children and the lack of respect for a child’s liberty that we often see. In terms of old feelings you may be unclear about the difference between autonomy and what is really neglect. In the present we often struggle with what is actually in the past and what is happening in the present. I think you will find, as you confront the painful childhood memories, that concepts like freedom will hold little relevance anymore. I actually think you might feel that your “freedom” can never again be threatened. Gretchen

  92. Fiona says:

    I had no idea that this would be such a problem for you; (I have in fact, been on the receiving end of at least one compliment from you! – although it did seem hard for you to say, at the time.) I guess I now understand a bit more. Funnily enough, it is hard to receive a compliment too. My point is I DO remember when you said it to me! So thanks for your effort.
    I have a similar reluctance sometimes to give like that; but more when I feel like I HAVE to give the compliment.

    Reading what you wrote is making me think a bit. It is great that you ‘gave us’ all something by writing – I wonder if you thought about that.

    I have a problem “giving” the sorry word! I find that so hard – especially when it is vital! I mean; when I have to say it to those that I cherish the most it can be an impossibility. It is like would ‘loose’ somehow. I can never manage to describe what that feels like to any degree of satisfaction. I would loose face? loose the battle? loose my life? All sounds drastic and way too dramatic, but it seems that big to me at the time. And all I needed to do is say “I’m sorry”. Such small things can be so hard.

    • Kimmie B says:

      Hi Fiona –
      I didn’t consider my original comment as giving, so much as a way to gain attention. But I can see what you mean, giving people insight into my thought process, and something to think about as well.

      Re: saying “I’m sorry” – do you feel differently about it after you’ve said it? Are you generally glad you said it? Or not?


      • Vicki says:

        Kim, it’s not just an “insight into [your] thought process”, it’s a connection to “you”, a part of yourself (“exposed” to use your word).

      • Fiona says:

        I am glad I have said ‘sorry’ always – I never regret saying it (that I can remember).

        My trouble seems to be fairly recent and most notable when concerning my partner. It has caused problems when I have NOT said it to her. I have written about it somewhere on some PI blog in the past. I am terrified of ‘letting go’ or becoming so extremely vulnerable. Because she is mad at me I CAN’T back down. I really can’t. I know I have to in some distant future event… but for now I will merely shudder at the thought. I am not sure of the ‘history’ that got me to this place.

        I should clarify – it is only during an argument that this new found fear of the ‘sorry’ word manifests itself. In regular life it is not so noticeable.

        I still think you ‘gave’ something here, rather than just ‘getting’ attention as you call it. Both happened of course. Wow! Attention AND free therapy all in one place!

      • Kimmie B says:

        Consider me exposed and given. 😉

        Thanks, both of you.

        • The Ultimate Guru says:

          Was thinking about what Fiona said about how hard it is to say “Sorry” and I was reminded of an old Elton John album I had stored away:

          I have no problem saying “cute glasses” there….

  93. Fiona says:

    Where’s Larry? Anyone seen Larry??

    As for me – I am totally anxious. I feel like the white rabbit – but rather than being late I am un-prepared, not ready, wont have enough, have forgotten to…

    I am setting targets and doing lists. But I am still anxious. I dream about these feelings now, too. Not sure how to “feel it” so that I eventually get some relief. Tears don’t seem to be linked…. or maybe I am to “???” to be able to cry about how “???” I am.

  94. Larry says:

    Hi Fiona,

    I much appreciate your mentioning me. I guess we all like to feel missed.

    I’ve been quiet and withdrawn, licking my wounds, disturbed by stark reality of the life that I knew collapsing around me, the ground beneath my feet almost slippery as ice instead of rock solid. I feel very alone with my predicament, in that I have ultimate responsibility for shaping my life and only I can move it and move it in a direction where the remainder of it is meaningful to me, if I knew what that was, or dared to choose. Noreen is gone, my Dad is gone, Mom has not much longer to live, one brother is a survivor of prostate cancer and has a wife who is very ill, another brother is diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer, my other siblings have spouses or children with health problems, I live far away from them all and wish I was nearer to them, and my job has lost much of its meaning and I often struggle to get through the work day. If the person who I was ten years ago looked into a crystal ball and saw this future, he would have anxiety attacks, nightmares, and depression. Yet the person who I am now isn’t completely overwhelmed. I can feel very alone sometimes and in danger of quickly spiralling down into despair, helplessness, and hopelessness. At those times I’m finding how very very important it is to reach out and try to enjoy people despite my feelings of inadequacy, and how I find that in different ways people turn out to be there for me and they completely change my mood for the better. Most things joyful to me pretty much died with Noreen. Recently I’m finding my joy for landscape photography is coming alive and the past two weekends I was able to lose myself in the passion for it with a photography buddy. It seems like despite the bleakness, I have to keep walking forward and trying to find joy and make something good of the rest of my life, not knowing of course how things will turn out, knowing that at this stage of my life I can count on losing more and more, but I still have to keep trying to fill it. I’ve been in quiet, reclusive, almost stunned reflection and realization of where my life is at.

    Do you have any clearer idea about what specifically you are anxious about Fiona, or is it more of a growing consciousness of a state of being that has always been you but you weren’t as aware of as you are now?

    Do I know Kimmie B? At first I thought Kimmie was a stranger and I reflexively pulled back, hid behind my caretakers, shy of people in general and strangers especially. Then UG told me who he thougth Kimmie was, and I know her. Immediately I reread her comments, my antennae all over them, wanting to know more about this person who I know a little bit. Are you the Kim B. that I know. From what you’ve talked about at retreats, it’s understandable that you feel afraid of feeling excitement or hope. I’m glad to see you sharing here.

    • Kimmie B says:

      Hi Larry –

      Yes, it’s the Kim B you know from the retreats. Sounds like you’re dealing with quite a lot right now. It takes a lot of strength to make it through, and it seems like you have that strength. Always looking for a ray of light in the darkness.

      C u at the retreat,

      • Larry says:

        Thanks Kim. That was a nice and generous thing to say. Actually I feel kind of moved by what you wrote, because I feel all dark right now and not like the person that you see is always looking for a ray of light. At the moment I can see a little ahead where I gotta go, and I stall and wonder whether the life I will get is worth the truth I have to face. But the status quo is not acceptable. There is nothing but go forward. And I have you guys for support and inspiration.

  95. Margaret says:

    Hi Fiona, Hi Larry,
    I relate so much to all of your feelings, and feel so much sympathy for you.

    I have been overwhlmed myself this week by all kinds of fear and feelings I couldn’t and wouldn’t cope.

    I had togo to dance class I had to do shopping and all kind of chores and preparations for my upciming trip, I had to prepare for a singing perfomance on last friday, and to top it all I had to talk my mother out of suicidal feelings caused by her loss of memory, and then I also had to make sure she can cope with some more practical matters in her life.

    night often didn’t bring me relief but nightmares full of fear and one time a dream building up towards a desperate “MAMA” feeling without a screaming solution as it was the middle of the night in a house full of sleeping neighbours.

    I had a final singing rehearsal scheduled on wednesday, but I canceled it. Very exceptional thing to do but I felt so ovewhelmed missing the rehearsal felt less bad than making myself go through the stress of having to go there.

    I had a dance planned on thursday with my dance parnterwho is about to have his hip operated so really wanted to go but at the last moment canceled that too as again I felt so overwhelmed I couldn’t bring it up.

    This time immediately after canceling I was able to cry, just felt I needed my mom.

    Then came friday the day of the singing on stage, I was tense and frightened, but knew all I could do was prepare my voice during the day and prepare in other ways as well as possible.

    So I forced myself to warm up and practice and eat and bathe and chosse nice cloths and jewelry and practice again.

    I went early and practised some more and made sure I could practise some more during the break,as my turn would be after it.

    Then the dreaded moment of my aria came and even though I took a bit of a hesitant start, the “Force” within me started building up and I sensed how I gained strenght while singing.

    On the crucial moment, a long long loud repeated high phrase of expressing happiness in the aria, I could do it…

    I got nice feedback and felt so relieved.
    Worn out but satisfied.
    I even socialized until 2 a.m.

    Now I feel even though my fear and sadness about my mother is still there, I gained some more selfconfidence about being able to function despite of all the fear and sorrow, by just keeping putting one foot in front of the other one step at the time.

    I also noticed how good it can be occasionally to give myself a complete break and decide for myself loose from all social expectations what feels best for me, to force myself to do something or to just stay home and accept and allow my feeling of fear and weakness and sadness.

    That last seeming very important. Yesterday I was at another dance event and even while being there I was able to get in touch with my sadness and to get tears in my eyes, and that felt like a good thing.

    It is awful to have to feel scared and sad, but it is better to admit it and allow it than to push it away and try to deny it.

    I am still so terribly afraid to loose my mother, or to know she is suffering and scared and alone.

    I relate to you Larry, I know how terrible it feels to have to deal with everything by yourself, and specially that terrible fear of losing your mother.

    I can see how proud we all should be of ourselves, to keep going for our true inner reality, even if it is full of fear and sadness at some point.

    With tenderness, Margaret.

  96. Fiona says:

    Hey Margaret. I have been buddying with you for too long I think! Last night I dreamt of being chased by a rampaging hungry Polar bear. I had to save other people; and in doing so, I had to put myself into more danger. This sounds too much like one of your dreams! I locked the other people into a vault (huge safe). A metre of metal should stop a polar bear, after all. Even if I say so myself, I was ingenious in that dream; laying scents and smells to distract the bear from me as his main course. All the while I was bloody scared and ….just waiting….

    Surprise surprise; fear was the feeling. Anxiety and impending doom. Possible? more probable really, and soon.

    I am glad that you and Larry chose to write how things are for you right now. I don’t feel like I can comment much about your pains, sadly. Nothing anyone can say makes it easier.

    Larry – In answer to you question: am getting stressed about the retreat and all that the preparation entails! But you are right that fear, as a topic, is a big part of who I am irrespective of summer retreats.

    • Larry says:

      I’m getting a little nervous about the retreat too Fiona. What is the preparation that is stressing you? I mean aside from packing clothes, toiletries, meds, and passport? Listening to you, I’m beginning to think there must be something I should be anxiously preparing for too but am forgetting to do.

      I guess my biggest worry is being there and feeling unable to connect with people and being left out. Actually so many at the retreat are so warm and friendly that it is painful for me and I find myself doubting I am able to participate with them and I am at risk of withdrawing….something that I have to fight against. I look forward to seeing you and Irena and Vicki and Margaret there, and others who I am starting to get to know here on the blog or from past retreats.

    • Larry says:

      I didn’t know there were Polar Bears in the UK. 🙂 This morning I was listening on the radio to a first person account of a polar bear encounter in norhtern Canada. The innuit elders say if you are otherwise defenseless, the way to deal with the bear is to punch it in the nose. 🙂

  97. Margaret says:

    I was discussing my mother’s problems and my concern recently and the fact that I considered not going on a far journey next year.
    That person of whom I value the opinion, said something about that I should not spend the rest of my life just waiting worrying and ready to take care of my mother if needed.

    At first I felt criticezed and even a little angry, but I kept thinking about it.

    Slowly I am becoming able to see things in perspective and I was just able to talk about it with my brother on the phone.
    My mom is ok right now and he seemed to be on the same wavelength and agreed we could share the responsability with my mother’s social circle and let her find out her own limits.

    I am summing up in a very short way a lot of things here, but the bottom line is this is bringing me and my brother much closer together and it was very useful to listen to the viewpoint of an objective and trustworthy ‘outsider’.
    Thank you Gretchen.

    I am still struggling with a bunch of big old feelings triggered by my mother geting older and frail but I can let go now of some of the guilt and unrealistic obligation to protect my mother from all danger I was inflicting on myself.

    I admire her and love her a lot and owe her the respect of regarding her as an independent person .

    She still leads a full life and wants me to do the same.

    She told me and my brother several times we are two fine children and should never ever feel guilty or bad in any way about her, she says she has had a good life and we have done everything in our power to take care of her.

    The painful, or one of the painful parts is that she actually makes mé feel safe when she is around and I am not only scared about her, but about myself and having to miss her.

    Now I feel like crying.

    • Margaret, I am so glad you could think about that feedback and discuss it with your brother. I feel certain it will bring the two of you closer as you navigate this stage of your mother’s life. Your comments about respecting your mom’s independence seem so important to me. None of us want to feel diminished as we get older. Lastly, you are quite right, it is almost always true that we are not only afraid for the person we may be losing but of course for ourselves. Gretchen

  98. Fiona says:

    Margaret – great honest writing from your guts here! Nice! The honest part can be so hard. I like the fact that your bond with your brother is strengthening as much it is. That is a bond which (I believe) you have missed for some years. Do you think that if you had a less open honest relationship with you mother; (like most of the rest of us do) that you would also be savouring the new and stronger bonds that you would be forging with HER too, in this situation? The good thing is that you already HAVE a good honest open relationship with you Mum. I envy you of that. I wanted that with my Mum.

  99. Fiona says:


    All the usual things are making me panic – yes! But maybe you DID forget something…

    We leave for almost a month – so there is MUCH to do in preparation. I am self employed… so there is also that concern!

    I am expecting (as usual) mega conflict at the retreat. I always think people are going to get mad at me, or me at them, and subsequently there is the near-nuclear fallout that follows. There are old issues I KNOW about, and the new ones that I DON’T know about…. I don’t even know which are more intimidating. Last retreat I discovered I need to say how I feel. Since then I have been recoiling at the backlash and after effects of telling people how I feel. Most of the time I STILL think I should go back to square one and shut my mouth. This “telling people how you feel” shit is a really stupid idea! It serves the purpose of making sure there is a row, hurt, upset, resentment, anger… etc etc!

    It HAS been ok on occasion. I have felt the benefit of saying how I feel….. occasionally. It is the OTHER times I struggle with.

    There is also my “issues” with (I’m sorry I know this hurts you!) ….men. I get so distressed by some things I just can’t express yet. I have so much deep DEEP pain inside. The retreat is huge for me in this respect.

    In group; I say how I feel – I am honest and I talk about my fears and what I ‘hate’ and what disgusts me. I am trying to get through my shit to have a better life. Then (as an example) at lunch, I have men come to sit next to me in the dining hall asking if it is ok if they sit here…. and then apologise to me for “being ONLY a man” in a “jokey” way. But this isn’t fair! I don’t find it funny that I am lumbered with such a repulsion; and through no fault of my own. People don’t just ‘LEAVE it’ in group. They don’t leave what I say ‘there’ and be ‘normal’ outside of it. It makes me mad, and right now it makes me cry. It is hard to say the things that I do say in group – and as I said before… IT ALWAYS SEEMS TO CAUSE A MYRIAD OF REPERCUSSIONS!

    ……. [one big feeling later] …thanks for the question Larry. Brought some big stuff up for me.

    • Larry says:

      Fiona, I don’t want to be hurting you, anymore than you want to be hurting me. Knowing you have men issues helps me understand you. Your “issues” don’t hurt me, so long as I know that you don’t hate me and you don’t reject me. And I believe you don’t. You try to understand and I admire that. You are brave the way you tackle your issues, and I’m glad you do. I’d hate to see you unjustly burdened with them for the rest of your life. I hate to see someone’s life damaged through no fault of their own, when there is a way to undo the damage.

  100. Fiona says:

    Thanks Larry.

    We don’t have ANY bears in the UK any more…. unless you consider the ones in zoos? How successful do you think I will be (at 5’2″) in punching a pissed of polar bear on his nose? They are around 8′ when on hind legs, right? Can’t I just shoot the bastard? LOL! Or at least Taser him?

  101. Larry says:

    I don’t know their dimensions, except they are big enough to fill a nightmare. 🙂

  102. Fiona says:

    The things I think people think in:

    Group = “I want to be heard”, “I need to speak”, “I never get enough time”, “why wont the therapist ask how I am?”, “…but they KNOW I am having such a hard time with… and they wont call on me” etc ….

    Blog = …………………………………………………….[silence!]…………………………………………………..

    Apart from a few of us who cling on to the mini community (we know who we are!) I really do wonder why this isn’t more popular. Is it just my neurosis that finds a haven for act outs here? Is it an act out? Is writing this yet another act out of mine? Why am I disappointed if there is no new activity here on the blog? Must mean I am seeking something then. My neediness rearing its unwanted head?

    When a new topic is put up, there are so many “that was a fantastic article”, “loved it” type comments. But then it peters out; and reverts to us few saddos writing our bit – weather blog connected or not. I am keen to see new people with their own stories that can evoke reactions within me. But it never happens. There is courtesy, and compliments. But it is empty. Futile. Boring.

    The old Primal Newsletter, although before my time, had the same effect on me, when I read it, as the blog does.

    It was NEVER “THE” book that brought me to primal therapy, but the stories and processes that friends and my partner shared with me. Their life transitions brought about purely through their therapy (and pain) that showed me I could get ‘well’. It was not the IDEAL of therapy that convinced me… but ‘HOW’ it manifested, and how and what people found out about themselves as their therapy progressed. It was the reality of all the individual’s therapy that was a beacon of hope.

    The case studies in “THE” book had me captivated more than the theory of how it works and why. Through reading it I understood the process. I did need to read it; and I don’t doubt its efficacy, it just wasn’t as potent as real people for me.
    [Jack – I am just different to you!]

    Anyway – if no one else writes – I can add my bit whenever I like as it is your choice whether you read it or not.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Sure Fiona you’re different; we’re all different. You’re doing it as far as I can see, just writing it all and letting it all out as best you can. That’s all there is for any of us.

      I read all the comments, as soon as they get posted. Keep it up; yeah, yeah, it’s a slow process and it takes us through all the trepidations and on and on. After a time (whatever the amount of time that is) it starts to fall into place and then

      “Wow”, “Eureka”, or whatever your word or expression is for it all. Take care. In the end it’s all about ME and MY LIFE …. or …. YOUR LIFE as the case me be.


    • Larry says:

      Do you doubt you”ll get well?
      -a fellow saddo 🙂

      PS. Thanks for ending the silence, giving me something to respond to, and taking some of the edge off my emptiness and loneliness. I’ve been laid low with a cold for the past week.

      • Larry says:

        A propos of nothing, I only just now posted on my facebook page a link to this music video. Then I thought, maybe Margaret would like to hear this, so I am posting it on the blog. The two times I heard this piece on the radio, I was rousing from a nap on the couch. In that state of approaching wakefulness, when our subconsious isn’t yet quite under executive control, the music conjured in me the mystery and beauty of a summer thundershower. I like listening to this performance with my eyes closed. Be forewarned. The piece is 9 minutes long.

        Sabine, you show healthy wisdom in your reply to Fiona. You blog people are an important community for me, but I need to develop more of a life and spend less time addicted to this blog. 🙂

  103. sabine says:

    Fiona – I think it can be very useful to write here. You repeatedly said it helps you getting into feelings, you feel more part of the community….The same is true for me.
    But I personally are also concerned about finding balance. I have often a bussy life, many things to take care of and it is often a decission eighter I do a workout, to clean my house, meet a friend OR read the blog and eventually comment on it. I appreciate the opportunity to write here a lot, but at the same time I am very concerned that this doesn´t become a substitute for real life. I really need the primal community as I don´t have anybody in real life who understands the same way and who I can talk to in the same way. Most of what I need to talk I do with buddies or in a session anyway. There are times when I look at this side every day and then there are times where I don´t visit here for a few days or weeks and that´s fine,too. I was away over the weekends, saw friends, worked or just wanted to watch a movie and recover.
    My personal problem is also that it takes me much longer to read the comments and there are often things I can´t follow because I don´t understand things. It took me 75 minutes to read the original arcticle ( yes – I watched the clock to figure out if it only feels so long or of it really takes so long). Sometimes I end up very frustrated of not understanding enough, sometimes I am frustrated about disagreeing so much, sometimes I am frustrated of not getting a reaction, sometimes a discussion doesn´t interest me and sometimes I am too bussy.
    But overall I am happy about the blog, it often helped me to get into feelings or express them, I often got great responses and hope it continues. I just think many people are even significantly more bussy and they prefer to focus on their lives. People inLA also have access to groups what we internationals don´t have. We also don´t have all the same need to talk about our feelings. Also some people might not feel that it´s safe enough here.

    Irena – I am wondering for a while what happened with your job?

    • I will say there are many people who tell me they consistently read the blog but for a variety of reasons do not feel comfortable responding publicly. Usually it will have something to do with a fear related to work or possibly family seeing a post they have written. There are some who feel frightened by the response they might get or any number of possible old feelings this might trigger. But based on my overflowing email rest assured people do read this and appreciate those of you who are comfortable responding here. I also don’t necessarily think that WANTING this interaction is an indication that you are not living your life or socializing or for that matter that you have a less busy life than someone else. I think it is simply that this forum offers something difficult to find elsewhere. Particularly for those of you who live out of the area and do not have the option to attend groups. Thats my view in any case:) Gretch

  104. You know who you are, Someone I know had an assignment involving this blog. I am checking and hoping it will get done soon 😉 Gretch P.S. It would be funny if 25 people responded to this HA!

    • Jack Waddington says:

      I know Gretchen you were not referring to me, but I will put in my two pennuth anyway. I am almost 100% healed from my adventure onto the roof, three weeks ago. The bone bruises 98% gone and the cuts as good as disappeared (except for my proclivity to pick at wounds). Thanks to my therapy (feelings and expressing them) and those that helped me with them, Vivian, Gretchen, Barry Nick Barton, Rick Janov, Mary and others. I feel good, if only now I can get over thinking that I’m still 25, and some other stupidities. Gretchen suggestion that I was the cat with nine lives, even though she seemed reluctant to tell me how many I had left, but my friend Jim said I have two more left.

      I don’t talk about them on the blog, but I get into deep crying about once every fortnight (two weeks to those that don’t understand real English) and occasionally some anger, specially with symbolic people like Amy Chau and right wing Republicans. All this keeps me (relatively) sane and I love my walks in the trailer park with the clear blue skies and sunshine and tree tops. The traffic bothers me, but I can get past that. Meantime, take care everyone and keep blogging … it’s good for the soul.


  105. Margaret says:

    thanks for the music, that was a nice thought and I appreciate it.

    I must admit it is not entirely my kind of music at this moment, I think it confronts me with the emptiness I already feel in my life by being more or less rpetitive and meditative, and I crave excitment and passion and emotions.

    In this style of intrumental ‘natural’ music I prefer for example camel with Flight of the snowgoose, do you know that,

    Over here there is a lot of changes, my dance partner having a girlfriend and a hip operation and my dance teachers splitting up, friends away on holiday, I feel a bit in a void.

    But I have a big singing exam coming up so that with having to move my cat to my mom and preparing for the trip promises a regular shifp from emptiness to stress.

    I feel more or less ok though, helped my dance partner to find his girlfriend and helped my dance teachers to split up.

    I just feel a bit tired of having to keep struggling by myself, it would be nice to have a companion, or have I mentioned this before?

    Fiona, why would it be a bad thing to need and want something from the blog? I don’t see it as a problem unless someone would be trying to hide some truth.

    I can see your point too of course of not wanting to act out, but in your case I think you are already so aware of your feelings and so honest with yourself, you needn’t worry too much, whatever you do,write or not write, you will keep exploring your feelings and you’ll keep growing, you are a natural!

  106. Margaret says:

    Ha Gretchen you raised my curiosity with that assignment!

  107. Margaret says:

    glad to hear this, you sound fine and I like your description of how you enjoy your walks. It is nice to picture you like that, with the sunshine and the trees.
    Hope you will be at the retreat again.

  108. Jack Waddington says:

    Thx Margaret, I think the retreats have had enough of me; and for me now with claudication in my legs just walking to the dining room is a chore and I ain’t gonna get a wheel chair. I did twenty five years and got my money’s worth … so I will leave to you other retreaters to do it all. It was my yearly treat to end all treats, but as the saying goes; ‘all good things come to an end … including life … “fuck” (my second favorite word)

    Meantime if I could find myself another Ibiza and get Jim to go with me that’d be wonderbaugh … as Jim would say.


  109. Margaret says:

    I’ll miss having you around at the retreat, I really mean that.
    You are good company and you have so often given me comort and good advice and made me laugh.

    I am sure so many of us remember your personification of all the therapists on their chairs, it was so vivid even I could see and enjoy it.

    why not make a guest appearance and take Jim to Santa Barbara?

    • Jack Waddington says:

      It feels good that you’ll miss me. I like that.

      The idea for a guest appearance is a great thought; if only I can pursued Jim to run me up there. Forgotten the dates of the retreat. I’ll phone Atty.


  110. Fiona says:

    Thanks Jack. Glad that your acrobatic ‘Aerial’ (English pun!) stunt seems to be well in the past. I was wondering if you would say how you were!

    On another note: do you ‘feel’ regularly about the ‘age’ issue that seems to haunt you? I know you explained here, how you feel deeply and very regularly. I have just had a birthday and I am getting to the point where I am increasingly conscious about death/dying/no longer being… just no longer!

    I am nosey and I wonder how you are with that. I am scared about it when I think too long…. so guess what …… yep… the subject has gone out of my head again. Like you said – the problem is that I am ‘thinking’ about it in the first place. I was just wondering how YOU are.
    My Dad is 81, and lives alone. I hate to think what living at THAT end of life is like for the poor sods without therapy; or a coping mechanism. I suppose he finds comfort in his religion.
    I do wonder about you Jack. Damn! That almost sounded like concern!

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Fiona: How I am, is not easy to answer as sometimes I feel really content and others sad, and even pissed from time to time. There are moments of shear panic and fear but they are rare and usually in bed at night reflecting on my life.

      Yes, I do have a THING about getting old and don’t like it, certainly as the bits drop off. I hate to do the consolation thing like considering others and their difficulties. I suppose the death thing is:- in-and-of-itself is the end of feeling, existence etc. and what I hope for is that I can die relatively peacefully (if there’s such a thing). I try, best I can, to deal with now, and hope for the best and to refrain from thinking, (but that’s a near impossible task). Your dad being 81! he’s just a couple of years ahead of me, fuck … now I’m one of them … OLD. My mother kinda welcomed death feeling (knowing in her case), she was going to be sitting on the left side of God; Jesus on the RHS. I would hate to bestow on myself that kind of delusion. I’ll do my best to feel the fading away.

      Wondering about me!!! don’t wonder; just ask, and chances are I’ll tell you. Yeah! I am very special to myself and also to my Jimbo, as I am to him. That’s my great gift for now … and hope it lasts .. but who knows ??? it’s all a gamble. Done quite well so far in these last 79 years. Many would say to that;- so I can’t grumble … but I love grumbling… so what the hell.


  111. Fiona says:

    Larry – Get well soon! (re cold)

    You asked if you think I doubt if I will get ‘well’? No I don’t. I am getting better…. I may die BEFORE I get ‘well’. LOL! I don’t think there can ever be a finite ‘well’ or ‘still ill’. I am not as sick as I was…. hopefully I can keep saying that …. and just always be weller than I was! [I think I just made up a word!]

    Sorry Sabine! No wonder you struggle to read these comments. I will write more on this below.

  112. Fiona says:


    I had never even considered that it would take you so long to read the comments. I remember you saying in the past that you struggle to understand and to be understood. That is agony for anyone. I would hate that. I suppose it is like with any ‘handicap’ (not meaning to cause offence to you) that unless we really UNDERSTAND how it affects a person in detail; we can never help when it is needed or in the best way for the person concerned.
    Margaret is a good example. Until we ask her what she needs from us we can not hope to help her in her best way if she needs help. For example, whispering in her not so good ear to ask if she needs anything would be a bad thing. If she does not hear a question she cannot answer it. Then someone could feel hurt that Margaret seemed to ignore them, even more painful as they are reaching out to her. I know you and Margaret are very close, so I feel that you understand what I mean by this.

    I wonder what (if any) help you could ask for here?

    I suppose I am lucky that I don’t feel it takes much time out of my busy day to read the blog. After all, it is my first language.

    The other thing I notice is that ONLY the Institute get the email address when we write here on the blog. It is NOT published. I could call myself “Barbie Doll” or some other children’s toy, so that I could feel safe to comment. In fact I will ….

    • Larry says:

      Fiona, how would I know it’s you?

      I imagined recently about what it would feel like to me to comment from behind a moniker where no one knew me. The thought of doing it disturbs me. I think it’s because I’ve been hiding all my life before therapy, and desperately lost and afraid. Therapy has given me the only way forward, the option to reach inside myself for hope and come out from hiding and risk life and be me. It boils down to being me is all I’ve got and my only hope for making my life better. The more that I am me, the more I can connect with people, finally, where once I was excruciatingly shy and afraid of them. I can’t risk losing the honest feedback from those who matter to me and honestly see me, because they make life worthwhile. It’s what makes therapy work. It’s what made my life with my wife precious. It’s what I treasure about this blog. I shudder when I see that if I consciously start hiding, I’ll get lost. I need to stay the course.

    • sabine says:

      Thanks Fiona! Your comment touched me a lot and I find it very sensitive. It feels noone before has realized what big issue the language problem really causes for me. I know there are many people in pt who haven´t english as first language and nobody seems to have so much problems with it. But I do. And I feel very ashamed about not being able to do better. I have studied more than some others I know, I forget the words again and again and I can´t hear that well, what is extra embarassing for a musician. But that´s how it is. In no discussion I can be spontanous, because I first need to ask to repeat, to ask for explanations for some words. It is horrible on the top of everything else. I hate it, hate it, hate it!
      It also caused so much misunderstanding, so much problems.
      It also triggers badly my despair when I was growing up and couldn´t bring my thoughts and feelings into words. For those who don´t know : I started speaking much later than other kids and at the age of seven my language was still very poor.

      Regarding your question if anybody can help: speed, the words someone use makes a big difference. Also if somebody speaks more slang or not. Honestly some people are too hard for me too understand because of their slang so that I give up. It also makes it much easier when people are patient with my problems and willingly to repeat. Thanks a lot to all you guys who are so patient with me! It only happened very rarely that I get yelled at or somebody refused to repeat or speak to me. I understand it´s annoying and it interrupts the normal flow.
      I don´t know it anybody can help me? I am trying to look for a software so that I can click on the word and I get a translation. I have tried it on my own and couldn´t figure it out and I have asked a few people to help me, but wasn´t successfull yet.

  113. Margaret says:

    reading your comment was touching as it makes so clear how you felt and feel.

    I also realize myself how diffrent it is for me, my feelings are almost opposite. I want to be known as me, want people to see and hear me for who I am. My old pain is not being noticed,or worse, being noticed and then being ignored. Specially the lack of interest and attention of my dad left such a tremendous need for even the mere fact of my presence being acknowledged.

    So having a false identity would be very frustrating in my case.

  114. sabine says:

    Larry – I noticed over the last months a significant change in you. You are less shy – I actually don´t know if you are still shy at all any more? You were expressive and even when it felt hard to you, you tried it again and again.

    Margaret – I find it so great what you all express on the blog. I often think – Jesus Christ , there is so much going on with you. What happened with all that before the blog?

  115. Fiona says:

    Larry – I think you would KNOW it was me! I would feel odd not to be ‘honest’ about who I am on the blog by using a false name. Not an option for me now.

    Sabine. I am glad that you were touched by what I said. I was sad to read that you feel ashamed! That is not right! There is no shame in communicating in a second language; especially something so hard as explaining our feelings. Let one of us try to explain ourselves in German or French as a second language and see how long it would take for our temper to explode.

    Even in English (my FIRST) language, Vicki and I and Irena laugh at my first feeble attempt to express a feeling. We were on the beach, and Vicki asked me “but how did that make you feel?” I was in a panic, because all I could think to say was, “I feel bad”! That was it! Nothing else came out, but I knew it was there somewhere. Even now I don’t know sometimes how to express the words, and I have to accept that all I can say is “but I feel bad”!

    Just a point to note, is how WELL you do if language came so late to you as you explained! TWO languages that you speak now! Pretty impressive really. Feel free to remind me ANY TIME to slow down or repeat what I say. No problem at all.
    I don’t envy you at all with your situation, I am happy to help when I can.

    • Vicki says:

      LoL, Fiona, given that the only German words I know are insults, Nazi salutes and acronyms, for sure, tempers would explode!

      I remember that day at the beach. I said something like, “See, it’s not that you don’t know how you feel — you ‘feel bad’. You do know how you feel. You have to start somewhere.” I saw it as a positive step. I still feel that’s important.

  116. Fiona says:

    I went with my lovely woman to the hospital for a minor treatment yesterday. She is fine – don’t panic! But it brought back memories of when my mum was dying. I think it was the hospital gown, and the uncomfortable seats; the waiting and the tension I felt.

    Seeing my partner in the gown was too much. [Thinks of Larry and his grief].

    By the time my mum was admitted to the last hospital she had already ‘gone’ really. There is no accurate diagnosis (no post mortem) of what killed her – but I strongly believe it was a brain tumour. I did some research, and her symptoms fitted a tumour in one particular part of her brain too accurately.

    My mum’s coping mechanism was always to sleep when things got ‘tough’. So any time she was ill; she would sleep. Even during labour; she slept! The midwife convinced herself that because my mum was sleeping between her contractions, that she was taking illegal drugs! HA!! MY mum?? No way! The midwife scolded my mum telling her that the baby could be damaged if my mum didn’t own up to the drugs! But this was how she coped. She had many illnesses, and slept to cope with then all!

    This last fight she had was exactly the same. She drifted off to sleep; not really waking towards the end, where she seemed to be in a dream state even if she was awake. She didn’t always make sense if she spoke. I remember on one occasion, getting really distressed (as I am now) when she kept trying to do something to her arm. I remembered from the past, ALL the times when she would come round from an anaesthetic complaining of pain in an unrelated limb or part of her body, different from the operation site. Well meaning nurses would always tell her she was wrong. Her operation was on the other hand etc…. but days later the surgeon would say something like “oh yes, Mrs …… while you were under than anaesthetic we ‘manipulated’ your other hand – so you may feel some pain there”! One time they crushed her other hand by mistake! But mum always spoke of the trauma of not being helped or believed. I hated the stories as a child. I think they affected me a lot.

    My memory is of her saying how woozy she was, and how hard it was to try to get people to understand or hear her (Ah ha! Sabine!!) and help her. As a child I felt like I should have helped her. That it was my responsibility to help her. And I couldn’t do it. I didn’t know and I should have.
    I felt the same when my mum was pulling at her arm. I wanted to help. To ease her pain; to scratch the itch; to make it better, to let her rest and be pain free for once! And I didn’t know how! I couldn’t help! I think she may have been hallucinating – I don’t know….. but I couldn’t help and I let her down. I didn’t do my job. I looked at her swelling but I knew it was not her usual flair-up swelling. This was as her body shut down – as her lungs and kidneys failed… but she needed me… and I couldn’t help. She looked so different. She was not in control. She was only half MY mum, an emptying shell. Unrecognisable by comparison to the real one.

    [this really hurts]

  117. Margaret says:

    you know already how much I relate to your feeling about not being able to help your mother, it must have been so hard for you.

    I just visited my own mother together with my brother, and even though we are all constantly doing our best to take care of each other and are really being nice to each other, there is so much pain always in the background.

    I am becoming more aware how I long to make them feel happy and safe and how i feel it is my responsability if I don’t succeed. RAtionally I know we are all doing all we can and I can’t solve everything and take care of someone else’s feelings, but emotionally I keep looking for things I omit or should be doing differently and find it hard to accept the idea of not being able to make htings right.

    I think the fear of my mother getting older and ‘something dreadful’ happening intensifies the whole process and brings the pain and sadness up to the surface.

    All I can say my mother, brother and me are doing all we can but we can’t undo that huge load of pain and fear, or anxiety we carry due to our pasts.

    I can also see the amount of care and kindness and warmth there is between us, and thinking of that I feel I start feeling like crying.

    • Fiona says:


      You said “I can also see the amount of care and kindness and warmth there is between us, and thinking of that I feel I start feeling like crying.”

      I just wondered why this would make you sad? Is this not a nice thing to know? Maybe I am being stupid, but happy things shouldn’t make us cry….. unless…???

      I am glad you wrote, but did you stop before the feeling hit? What happened?

  118. Larry says:

    Margaret, Sabine, Fiona and Jack, your comments touched me and made me think.

    I still have a cold. It starts in my nose or throat, and if I can’t get rid of it right away, it ends up in my chest before I finally recover. I’ve had it for two weeks. It’s in my chest now. Breathing is difficult and I’m too tired to do anything after I get home from work. My body doesn’t have the energy to cry and my feelings bottle up. I get more and more isolated, and have more and more time with nothing to do but reflect and stew.

    Yes Sabine, I’m not as shy as I used to be. I find myself more often saying something spontaneously when the urge arises, because otherwise I don’t exist and risk being forever unknown. It is seeing how alone I’ve been and am that drives me from my shyness, to try to fill the emptiness before I die. The obstacles in my way loom so large, the time needed to overcome them a lifetime I don’t have, my confidence as weak as my childhood has been empty, the supports that propped me up falling away as I age, and my past is forever, and I will never be the person I could have been. I look around and see a vibrance in other people’s lives that contrast the weak pulse in mine.

    With this cold, having some trouble breathing, feeling weak, tired, bored, isolated, I wonder if this is how it will feel as old age creeps over me and death approaches. I have a deeper appreciation of the shock borne by my wife from the obscene cancer diagnosis that sentenced her to death. I appreciate more how it might have felt for her to know her life was ebbing away, to get weak and completely helpless and in pain and to struggle to breathe, until finally with regret that we wouldn’t be together any more, she welcomed death, and needed only for me to release her, so she could let go. In little more than a year, she lost…..everything. I hope I was there enough to be a comfort to her on those difficult difficult difficult last months and weeks and days of her life. I wish I could have hugged all her nightmare away and made it all better for her. …..I can’t help but sob some as I write this. I wish I could let go and cry it, but the inflammation in my chest won’t let me. My life feels on hold, grey and bleak and empty.

    Twenty years ago, in our early years building our life together in Canada, she wanted to improve her speaking and writing skills, so she took a course for composing short stories and poems. A few months ago I was rummaging through her files and things, looking for a message from her. I miss her. At the end, knowing there were only months or weeks left, it was her choice to die not in hospital but at home. Somehow I found in me strength to do it, to have her at home the last months of her dying. In truth I could not be apart from her. I wanted her with me always. She wanted me like no one else in my life ever did. She died at home in peace. Some months ago, among her things I stumbled upon this poem hidden until now, that she composed 20 years before in that writing course. Through the poem she is alive for me. I know she wouldn’t want me to waste my life. She makes me find resolve to keep trying to make my life better. I imagine her smiling and at peace if she could see I’m not giving up.

    Love lament

    Wow: I am amazed.
    Your loving tender gaze
    Could possess such power
    To tempt me that I wonder.

    You’ve this terrific hold
    Over me till I am old.
    In body, and mind senile
    Comfort me with your smile.

    As twilight fades to darkness,
    Help me face the nothingness
    Waiting to engulf me forever
    Calm me with a kiss, my lover,

    Enamour me in your arms.
    The Void can do me no harm
    For death holds no fear
    If you’re always near.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Larry; You sound very hopeless … that’s very, very sad … and debilitating. If you can afford a session at the institute; try that. If not, and you have ‘skype’ (mike and speakers) you can call me (Jack Waddington Santa Monica, California) any afternoon or evening (Pacific time) or anyone else, just to express these feeling … which you are doing by writing.

      If you don’t have ‘skype’ (I believe it is free) I have a cheap phone service and can call Europe for one cent a minute; “OneSuite”. Don’t know if it’s available in Canada, if not, call me and I’ll call you back using this service. 310-828-7749.

      Talking this out to someone, I feel, is one step better than writing … but any case writing it all, is better than isolating.

      It maybe that a female to talk to would feel better … meantime feel free to email or phone me your number.


  119. Fiona says:

    Great poem!! You must be very proud and very moved to read that; what’s more – to know that it was written of and about YOU is something to cherish. We all crave that sort of confirmation that “we are the ONE” for our lovers. You are lucky that she left this for you. Well done Noreen!!

    I hope you can get well again soon, Larry. Breathing troubles are so scary and exhausting. It is a reflex we take for granted… until… It must be a concern for you as you also battle with you asthma on top of feeling low and miserable with a cold.

    You have great courage – well done for not giving up. Keep writing and talking to those you can trust. You are doing well, feeling and expressing what and when you can. My thoughts are with you.

  120. Fiona says:

    I love the support and instant generosity you so often show here on the blog (and elsewhere) where you offer that all important listening ear. The generosity to give your time to Larry; be it email or phone etc, is quite touching. I like that quality in you. I have often noticed you give out your details, to “be there” for someone in pain.
    I have heard people speaking very highly of you in the past, and now I can see for myself the qualities they have seen in you. Your willingness to actively help someone in crisis! I like that a lot, Jack. [Mush over!]

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Fiona: Isn’t that what this particular blog was all about. It’s about being human. It comes back to me.

      Not sure what you mean [Mush over]?

      • Fiona says:

        Sorry Jack – I just felt what I was writing was a bit ‘mushy’; or a bit too sweet for your taste. I got all sentimental about your generosity, that’s all!

        • Jack Waddington says:

          Fiona: that made sense … be as ‘mushy’ as you like … don’t worry about what I think … or anyone else for that matter.


  121. sabine says:

    I can relate to your shock about your hardly recogniseable mum. I experienced that with my um and my dad and my cat when she had seizures. I don´t know what it is, something completely against our instincts, something we can´t understand. Where is the person we know? My sympathy about your mum´s death.

    I could hear all that care, warmth and love to your mum and brother on the phone. It´s deeply in your voice and I am touched by that. It is wonderful that you are like that and that you can feel like that, even when it is so hard in this situation. I am sorry about your fear what the future might bring with your mum getting older and … I hope you can find some relief from the responsibility you feel about making everything right for them.
    Thanks again for being there for me yesterday when I was in a difficult place. That helped me and after that I spent eight hours chatting with my nephew and that also helped a lot.

    Ach – you wished you could hug all her nightmares away – how caring, loving is this!!
    It must be sooo hard for you. I hope you get better soon.

    Reading your last comments make me think : in what world is this? There are people who care about the ones they love, who want the best and try desperatly to do everything to make them feel better. It´s like : wau this also exists? It gives me hope.
    It´s not that I have never seen, experinced or felt like that myself, but I often experience the opposite and fall back into my “family-life- feeling” . I wanna get hold. I want open, warm hearts.

  122. Margaret says:

    I went to lay on my bed right after stopping the comment and cried.
    I wasn’t too sure myself why I cried but they sure were a couple of big tears.
    I htink getting in touch with the genuine warm feelings got through my defenses against all that pain and made me cry about the sadness of it all.

    Of not being able to make everything right in their life.
    Of seeing my own life and seeing theirs and specially my mother’s coming closer to an eventual end and thinking is this really all?
    Will my life not be the wonderful experience I dreamed it would be when I was a child? Is the wonderful romance and deep love I still dream of just an illusion that will never come true for me anymore?
    Have I wasted my opportunity?

    I desperately wanted to make them completely happy and want to be happy myself, now I feel all I am left with is the capacity to be a more true and kind person again, not a small thing but just now I woke up out of another dream about meeting another nice man, with kind eyes and a good sense of humour, and htis one in my dream played a trumpet, in the style of Chet Baker, and I wanted so much to know more about him.

    I keep having all kind of dreams in which my mind keeps coming up with a variety of attractive partners but in reality they are so terribly scarce in my daily life.

    The dreadful thing is too that in my dreams I can still make eye contact with them which is so much part of the process, while in reality I can’t do that anymore.

    All of that was zipped into those few minutes of crying big tears.

    Larry I feel guilty of not feeling able to come up with anything to say to you but I am sure you know how it is like when there is too much pain on yourown side.

    Jack well done, hope you can convince Jim to a trip to Sta Barbara,

    • Fiona says:

      Thanks for the bigger picture Margaret. Now THAT makes more sense to me than the half comment before. Thanks!

      It is very sad to know how lonely you are, and to hear you voice your concerns for your future. We can talk more on thursday.

  123. Irena says:

    The poem is exquisit. Beautiful. She had a talent.

  124. Irena says:

    I received a card today. Picture of a toddler with head and shoulders on the grass, bum in the air and the feet touching the ground behind the head.
    (I still do this often)
    Writing on the card goes:
    “..turning upside down makes you happy because sad feelings get all dizzy and fall out…” written by Jack, aged six.
    I thought of you.
    Primal Therapy at its simplest.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Nice thought Irena. My friend Jim says I am 7 years and 8 months old and yeah I think that’s about the simplest cure for neurosis. I’ll try it. LOL


  125. Jack Waddington says:

    Margaret; Jim made a resounding “NO” to that idea and insists I don’t do it alone in my almost fallen apart Toyota. I’ll try again, but he’s pretty adamant.


  126. Margaret says:

    Hi all,
    just feel like sharing this.
    My mom sounded fine on the phone this morning, but this evening she called and was confused, didn’t know what day it was and what she had done in the morning, and started talking about rather wanting to kil herself than living like that.

    This time I almost snapped at her, told her she should eat rightaway and not think just some cookies or a yogur was enough.She promised she would go and eat something.

    After hanging up the phone I felt frustrated, worried and for the first time it was clear I also felt angry.
    I considered not calling her back but after an hour or so realised myself I would remain stressed out and worried and decided to call her back to check and talk it out.

    She had eaten and indeed felt better, so it was easy this time to point out to her how waiting too long to eat does really affect her capacities and then her mood until a point she feels like killing herself.

    I told her too how much a call like that affects me and she said she wouldn’t say anymore she wanted to kill herself.
    I told her that is not the point, my point is she should immediately when she feels she goes down, go and eat properly as now it is very clear this is such an important factor.

    No my mom is not diabetic.She just gets severe dips when she waits too long to eat.

    I am glad I called her back and could say what was on my mind, as the stress I felt before was hard to bear, too many confused feelings and too overwhelming, too much fear, anger, virtual guiltand sadness if she would really have been bad and I would not have called back ,everything mixed together to a big bundle of stress, on top of the stress I already have with my singing exam and the upcoming trip and having to move my cat to my mom’s place.

    I think I did what I needed to do by calling back and saying what was on my mind, but I still feel scared and sad and tired.

    I can say to my mom’s defense she did really hear me and responded in a nice and caring way.

    Sad and scared. Who takes care of me? Who will hold me?
    About to cry.

    • sabine says:

      Ach Margaret, it´s such a sad situation! It must be horrible for you. Very scary. It involves a whole bunch of very painful feelings. I am thinking at you!
      Good luck with your singing exam and I hope you can take your stress about your preparations for your trip easy.

  127. Margaret says:

    Thanks Sabine,
    I feel completely overwhelmed today, am having suicidal thoughts myself, no plans, don’t worry.

    Struggling to find a ride toand from Sta Barbara too, preferably one that is willing to pick me up where I sdtay.
    I am really having a hard time to scrape myself together to go to singing rehearsal today, headache, sore neck and shoulders,I think they get some inflammation with too much tension, and feelings of wanting to give up, cancel everything, trip and all, move in with my mother and stay in bed and hide.

  128. Margaret says:

    It is amazing what a difference sharing my feelings made.
    I am not really jumping with happiness now but do not longer feel I can’t cope.

    I also took some anti-inflammatory painkillers for my neck and shoulder and now only have to deal with the remaining headache, so things are definitely improving.

    But it still was a scary dip, full of fear and hopelessness.
    I hope it was the bottom I touched, wouldn’t want to go much deeper really, not on my own at least.

  129. Margaret says:

    I found a ride !
    Managed to go to singing rehearsal, checked on mom and she is ok, off to bed now to listen to the pouring rain and read a little, hopefully with the cat purring by my side.


  130. Fiona says:

    Hey Margaret. Well done for writing and feeling so much. I was glad of the updates and to know you were feeling at least a little better.

  131. Fiona says:

    I had one of those moments, yesterday, that rudely reminds me that I am still grieving for my mum, and missing the things I needed from her.

    A student of mine passed his test yesterday, after many MANY years of training. I put a lot of effort and a whole lot of myself into helping him in every way I could think of. This guy has been diagnosed with dyspraxia (a condition he told me about after 4 years of teaching him). His main problem was not with this, however, – we could overcome this issue easily between us. His main hurdle was coping with his lack confidence. (I met his mum; and yes – I blame the parents!!)

    Over the years I had been discussing this young man with my mum. As we never talked about feelings, my partner, relationships or anything personal at all, this was the only sort of thing we could talk about and share. Mum and I would often laugh about the jubilation I would experience when he passed his test, and I longed to share that news with her. She died before I could tell her. She died before she could let me know she was proud of me. [that was my trigger phrase!]

    I can’t tell her and hear her being proud of me. She wont ever know that I did something well. She was never just proud of ME; only what I did or achieved that was of public substance or recognition. I wanted to SHARE that with her. I wanted her to love me; just love me whatever and whoever I am.

    I should point out maybe, that on average, it takes people about 46 hours to be able to pass the test. This guy took over 700 hours. (7 years of lessons to the month! ) In the other extreme I have had people pass with as little as 20 hours. This young man had 4 other instructors before me, who discarded him as it was obviously going to be a challenge. I was honest with him early on, and explained that I was willing to help and support him, but I believed it was going to take him longer to learn than usual, and that it would cost an awful lot more too. He was absolutely fine with that, and I think respected me more for saying the truth.

    He does have a fascinating (to me) talent for remembering dates. Mention any popular film, and without pause or even an “erm!” he will say the date and month it was released. I eventually ran out of titles to suggest. I once asked about the film E.T. to which he responded “well it was before I was born, but it was 1982”.

    I am waffling. Telling this brought up the feeling about my mum not being proud of me; not loving me for who I am, and of being desperate for her to like me even a little bit. After my feeling I started telling my life story for some reason. Bad news for those of you who like one sentence comments!

    My “Wonderful” DID make me feel special yesterday; and truly knew what this test pass meant to me and the student. She bought me a lovely celebratory gift. I think she knew about the feelings I would have as a result…. she always knows…. usually before me, damn it!!

  132. The Ultimate Guru says:

    I struggled for 20 minutes trying to decide whether to make a public spectacle of this or not..
    A good friend of mine committed suicide last night. I feel shocked, kinda numb and, of course, asking, “Why? Why? Why? Everybody dies in the end anyway, what’s the big hurry?”
    I only stayed in contact with him sporadically since he moved far away from me three years ago, but I did talk to him about primalling some years ago and he liked the concept.
    I just wish I had been there to wrestle the gun away from him and just talk with him and see what was going on…It’s too late for that now and I’m left staring at my computer screen in a semi-catatonic state.
    Knowing him as I did…he probably wanted privacy and I hope I didn’t disrespect that by posting what happened here. I just needed to let people know I’m upset about it, I guess…

    • Anonymous says:

      UG: I have only once thought about suicide, many years ago at the breakup of a relationship. Comparatively I don’t know how near I was to doing it. All I know and remember is that I was in a terrible state of despair and went to see a psychologist at a freinds request: it did not help me. I do remember reading Art Janov’s take on it in one of his books.

      Taking the means away from someone that has decided to do it is cruel IMO. Presumably your freind went through ALL the machinations before comitting the act. including all the help lines on the phone where there are trained persons dealing with suicide.

      My feeling UG is all you are left with are your feelings about your freind and what he did. Had he called you and asked for help might have been a different matter, even then, what could you have done other than just listen to him: which might not have changed the outcome. Suicide is very sad and the closer you are to the person comitting it is all the sadder.

      On another note, my maternal grandfather comitted suicide whilst my mother was 5 months pregnant with me. My mother told me years later, she refused to let herself be upset with her fathers death, because of the baby insde her: me. I feel my mother would have done less damage to me had she let herself have her sad feeling about her father, whom she adored.


      • Anonymous says:

        What’s with this new format?????? I put in my name but was unaware of any password I had for this site. Jack

        • The Ultimate Guru says:


          Despite your feelings of it being cruel I would have still tried to grab the gun from him (but then again, he could have pointed it at me for all I know). If I had somehow grabbed it from him, I would have told him, “Just put this off until tomorrow and tell me what’s wrong???” Just a vain hope to buy some time maybe…

          • Jack Waddington says:

            UG: Tomorrow, to someone having made that decision and about to do it is a long, long, time. He’d perhaps already gone through many tomorrows.


            • So true Jack. UG, I am so sad for you. I think I understand what you might be going through – all the “what if’s” , it is really painful I know. I have always thought it was a slightly different kind of grief. Will there be a funeral you might go to UG? This is strictly my opinion of course but I don’t think you disrespected his privacy at all – I think you did the right thing in taking care of yourself a little bit. Gretchen

              • The Ultimate Guru says:

                No, he lived the last few years of his life thousands of miles from me and he wanted a simple cremation that suited his ultra low-key personality. A closer friend is taking care of things; I was in a circle of about four friends outside this closest friend. The initial shock has worn off and I’m carrying on with the day step-by-step. He would have wanted me to just carry on and not make a big fuss.

    • Larry says:

      I’m glad you were able to tell us about it UG. We don’t knowyour friend, so his privacy isn’t compromised. Larry

  133. sabine says:

    UG – this is horrible. Horribly sad. No wonder you are paralyzed. How was your realtionship with him? How do you feel about him?

    • The Ultimate Guru says:


      I wasn’t exactly sure what you were implying, but I didn’t have a love relationship with him (I’m not gay). We were just good friends that did lunches and recreational stuff. It’s just sad because I always enjoyed talking to him except when it came to politics. I even argued with him about gun control once and explained to him that more gun owners end up turning the weapon on themselves rather than for self-protection. He owned a pistol. I saw it once. The scene next to his car was a mess and it was probably very traumatic for the EMT’s that arrived there. The gravity of this action has sunk itself in too much for me now. I could talk more…but I’d rather do so in a more private setting. Thanks for your concern. Right now I just wanted to let people know I feel upset about it.

      • sabine says:

        No I wasn´t thinking you had a love relationship. I was just wondering if you wanna talk more about it. That´s all.

      • Vicki says:

        Hey Guru, I’m sorry you lost your friend, it’s not an easy thing to “process”. If you thought he would “always be around”, then even more so. Years ago, a friend of mine did that, and I understood why, but was still surprised. I had feelings about it, off and on, for a long time after. But the best thing for me was just letting myself have my feelings in the cemetery, after everyone had left, after the service. Even though your friend was cremated, it might be good for you and his other friends to get together, just to talk about it all, informally. A way to get together, and share some aspects of the grief you may be going thru similarly. It also made me think, is your mom buried in a cemetery, and do you ever go visit her grave? I’m sorry if this is too sensitive, or too much, but I couldn’t think of how to ask, without asking.

        • Vicki, I think it is very helpful – a really good suggestion! Gretch

        • The Ultimate Guru says:

          Hi Vicki:
          Thanks for writing about this. I will respond to what you said in three parts:
          1) Talking things over with friends about my friend’s suicide. This is already underway to a certain extent. The victim was also a friend of my dad’s. We were all shocked but we did find out two underlying reasons for what happened. I’m not sure if it explains everything because it’s still a shock. The guy was very intelligent and carried out all of his daily affairs with a military-style discipline. He was alone for the most part, however, and my dad and I were among his few friends. I will continue to think about him and how sad it was for this to happen. He was a very generous guy and gave his time and some money to poor children and families.
          2) As for visiting my mom at the cemetery…Yes she was buried in a Catholic tradition. Her death happened so long ago now (since I was only 2 at the time) that her grave marker has faded to gray over time. It makes me sad to think of all the time that has passed since she died. I rarely, if ever, visit her at the cemetery because of…
          3) I would really like to believe there is an afterlife, but with both Arthur Janov (founder of Primal) and Mark Zuckerberg (casually making $15 billion with Facebook in his spare time at Harvard) both believing when we die, we simply no longer exist…well, I have my competition cut out for me!! What does it mean that we don’t exist? To me, quite simply, it means we are thrust into eternal unkowingness of anything at all…permanently…pretty much akin to being under total anesthesia at an operating table. We never even know we were alive. So…if this is true then what would be the point of visiting a cemetery? The dead wouldn’t even know anything, much less that we paid a visit to their grave marker. Now, one could say, “Wait, Ultimate Guru, we visit the grave sites for our own grief! We do it for ourselves.” Again, though, if the griever is an atheist and believes that there is nothing beyond death and KNOWS that the dead person does NOT know s/he is being visited, what’s the point? It would be like trying to visit someone who resides behind a solid brick wall of unknowing on the other side. Maybe to an atheist we might as well just throw all the dead bodies in a nameless pile and burn them for warmth to save some non-renewable resources?
          I’d like to believe there is an afterlife and that visiting a gravesite would make more rational sense under that scenario, but I don’t feel confident in placing a big Pascal’s Wager on it these days, I’m afraid.

          • The Ultimate Guru says:

            And yeah I realize that grave monument manufacturers and engravers, cemetery landowners subdividing their land into profitable plots, and florists would not find my line of thinking to be very profitable for them…

            • The Ultimate Guru says:

              Also I pondered medical science donations for the bodies too, but the sheer number of incoming cadavers worldwide would probably outweigh the all the world’s medical researchers’ ability to process them. I typed this out in case any local atheists tried to outfox me with the medical research angle and to steal the limelight away from me. Bye!

          • Vicki says:

            Guru, we do visit graves for ourselves, for the feelings it brings up. The wish that they really were still here with us, knowing they’re gone, but this place was the last place we know of them to be. Confirming how “gone” they are, how much we feel or felt about them, how all that feeling is still so much a part of us inside, and what an impact the person had on us, and how we carry some part of that around with us every day, still. And whatever personal connections they had to whatever feelings we happen to be going through in our lives, at the time we visit, or not. — It’s all those things, and reasons, and many more, besides. Whatever you’re open to feeling.

          • Larry says:

            Gee UG, you were only 2 when your Mom died. You must hardly have any memory of her at all.


            • The Ultimate Guru says:

              I’d rather used “killed” than “died” in this case (more accurate from my point of view), but as for having hardly any memory at all of her…well, it’s a difficult issue to approach for me. According to Janov I should have a huge amount of repressed material stored in my body over it. Janov made references to “valence level” of traumas whereas the younger you are when something bad happens the more pain is stored away.
              I’m not sure what to believe here, exactly. One interesting thing for me is I have is high-frequency nerve deafness in both of my ears (approximately 60 decibels). I wish I knew how it happened and I have more trouble hearing women than men. My ear structures are fine, but the auditory nerves from my inner ears to my brain are exactly at the same level of deafness. Could it have something to do with mom? I’m not sure…I discussed this with Gretchen but all she could really say was that it’s “quite possibly” trauma related. For now I simply chalk it up to “uncharted territory” and try to live life as I go along…

              • The Ultimate Guru says:

                typo – *rather use (present tense) in first sentence

              • Larry says:

                UG, I have no memory either from before 2 years old. In pictures of me from when I was about 2 , I see in my eyes and facial expression the anxiety and disconnecting aloneness that contorted my life thereafter, that is in my memories, and that has a grip on me still. But in an earlier baby picture that I’m told is of me, I’m happily smiling, sparklly eyed, gazing confidently, joyfully at the adults outside of the picture. I’ve been told the sad events, but have no memory of that time before 2 or of the circumstances that crushed that baby’s life. That baby with his joyful expectant trust in people is someone I hope I’ll get to know some day.

                • The Ultimate Guru says:

                  It’s funny you should mention old pictures because I had just finished sorting out my own family’s old pictures (3-4 boxes of them!) early this week. It was a big, rather gut-wrenching project and I am fortunate to have quite a few pictures of me when I was a child..all the way from a few months of age to teenager and beyond. And…yes there is a sweet little baby boy with a big smile that coos and babbles with a small roll of irresistable baby fat under the chin. By the time I was 5 I had dark circles under my eyes and I really looked spaced out. The dark circles disappeared after a few years but I looked more “reserved” at that age and beyond.
                  At my current stage of life I have grown beyond specifically trying to recapture the ebullience of babyhood. I was also obsessed by this early photographic transformation during my first few years after reading Janov’s books, but my confidence started to grow in some ways when I looked carefully at the underlying causes of the transformation (eg. the road fatality epidemic and the tight lockdown on any public information related to this matter).
                  Any return to a bouncing baby boy for me would be just a byproduct of looking and understanding other things (or maybe to use a favorite word here, “feeling” other things).
                  I want to point out that when I first applied and sent my biography to the Institute a long time ago I purposely made it a point to have a happy bouncing baby picture along with an intentional “sad face” adult picture to send an indirect message to the staff, “Please hurry up and help me will you?!?!?”

  134. Miguel says:

    Suicide is a big pity for the person and those around them.
    Fiona your post related to passing a test to a pupil I guess about having problems of learning due to lack of confidence in him/herself and writing about your feelings on your mother not valuing yourself made me cry. Not having a mother loving me had caused so many troubles, problems and calamities in my life. After I cried about it I felt lighter, more alive, and relief.

  135. Fiona says:

    I am happy that you got some relief from your past pain. This blog is great for triggering each other. Writing always gives me time and space to allow my feeling to come out. Not having access to group; it seems that this is second best for me, anyway.


    As for suicide; what horror it is. Horror for the individual and horror for those left behind who have to integrate their new pain and doubts. There will never be answers. There will never be closure. It is so sad that people feel so alone and hopeless that this feels like their only way to relieve their pain. Nothing else is a possibility.
    I have never had to deal with this issue with someone close to me, and I am truly grateful for that.

    One thing scares me about this subject though. I worry about the ‘totally hopeless’ or ‘helpless’ feelings that are probably in my primal future……. to REALLY feel hope-LESS…. without any hope at all that a pain will pass is very scary. I was brought up with, “look on the bright side” and “there’s always a silver lining”. So when I find out that primalling means that you DO feel, that bad; and that you DO let it happen, and it IS going to feel like the world is going to end…. well…. what then? Will I cope? Will I ever ‘go there’ and end it all? Will I get to that same desperate knowledge that all I can do is get away from it …. … to end my being… and kill myself?
    What I mean is, that without the safety net of ‘hope’ and the ‘thinking part’ that knows that this pain will pass, what do I have to trust in? If we do not think but ‘feel the feeling’ how come people manage to live through that? Scary. Highly postponable feelings IMO.

  136. Miguel says:

    Fiona thank you so much.
    When people do not feel their feelings there are two possibilities: they act out their pain with other people or they act in causing themselves problems and illnesses. The best think that can happen to us in this life is to have our mothers love. If we do have our mother s love or not enough of if, we tend to think that life many times is impossible, too difficult, that there is not hope, not help. The best antidote to this lack of love is to feel the lack of it. If not the poison continues. We are not the masters of our biology; we are only its customers. When there is poison there is always an antidote, and this antidote to the lack of love is Primal Therapy.

  137. Larry says:

    On rare occasions when I can let it all go and immerse in it all encompasssing, crying and feeling the lack of that love I needed back then and that it is forever, I curse this therapy, that we hope will solve everything, for not being able to change my past and make it better. Then when I’m fully into that feeling of loss, I stop doing therapy, I’m actually pissed off with the therapy, I’m finally just on my own purely and fully in the feeling of the loss that has always been with me and that marred my life. Of course it’s this amazing therapy that takes me to feeling that harrowing truth, that the child is eternally cursed to never getting what he needed and the adult is forever stunted by his past. What’s incredible is how feeling those searing truths lightens the yoke of my past and frees me to be better able to see straighter and find love now. This therapy gives me my life back. Thank you Primal Therapy.

  138. Primal Therapy says:

    You’re welcome, Larry!

  139. Margaret says:

    Yihaaa! after all that stress I passed my singing exam, with 85 for the solo singing, and 88 % for the ensembles, which is far more than I expected!
    It is such a nice crowd too, very positive and nice and feeling,%talented and creative, I feel privileged to be part of it and well, I am a little tipsy now and it is almost 3 in the morning, haha!

  140. Margaret says:

    I think that when you have had a number of experiences with different feelings, if things in that hopeless feeling become unbearable, you can always hold on to the part of you that can still think rationally and say to its feeling self that at some point this feeling will go by, as our feelings always do, or at least diminish.
    communicating about it helps also not to get stuck in a paralising kind of hopelessness, the worst kind or maybe not the worst, but the most debilitating.

    At least all this is just how I experienced it so far, and I feel pretty sure you will cope.

    • The Ultimate Guru says:


      Even though I don’t agree with everything you say, I do like some of the wisdom you put forth. You have alluded to the “adult” speaking to the “feeling child” about how these awful feelings are just that….feelings that can be worked through. Two caveats apply to this, however:
      1) I’m not sure how much of a certain person’s bad feeling can be grounded in present-day reality, or in other words, that person’s current situation..
      2) Also, I know that if someone shared this with me 10 years ago I would have let those words go in one ear and out the other. I felt so bad back then that it was the ONLY reality and nothing else mattered. Today I’m a little more open to the idea that the heaviness and oppression can be worked through bit by bit (maybe just a little bit). I sometimes wonder, though, whether the natural aging process imparts this wisdom to some extent rather than purely being a product of primalling.

  141. Margaret says:

    you have two good points there. I am glad you mentioned I also talked about something that can be helpful sometimes, otherwise I might have felt stupid, haha, no kidding.

    I know there is a lot of truth in what you say, that if the actual circumstances are part of the problem,that is what needs to be adressed if possible.
    And yes, sometimes even the little bit of support you , or maybe someone else,can give you by reminding you that you will eventually start to feel bettereven if the whole feeling says otherwise, finds no way in or as you say, one ear in and the other ear out…
    Then it is only to hope that you can bring yourself to share that with someone, now with the blog being there I am still startled everey now and then how much difference it makes to share and express even a hopeless feeling and to notice to be heard.

    Maybe it is even all the more important with a hopeless feeling.

    Thanks for your feedback,

  142. Margaret says:

    thanks! It means a lot to me to get some response as this ‘achievement’ means so much to me as a tremendous boost for my selfconfidence and selfesteem.

    You have no idea of the amounts of doubts and fears I have to overcome to keep believing I am not deluding myself by keeping practising to learn to sing properly.
    I know I do make some progress but it is so hard to have a good idea of your own performances, and having to go on stage for a whole crowd and a professional jury, well, it does tend to trigger quite an amount of real and old fears and eh,fears I guess.
    But then when I can make myself do it and manage to deal with the stres,I actually messed up my text but kept a poker face and noone but the teacher noticed, and the jury appreciated my staying cool, well, when all of that is being dealt with and the arias turn out reasonably well and then my mother runs up to me when I go back to my seat and hugs me unexpectedly and then my score turns out to be much higher than expected, well, it is simply exhilarating and I still feel the afterglow.

    My teacher’s husband, her former teacher and ex director of the opera house, formed part of the jury, and he is like an ideal father figure. Distinguished, well-educated,outspoken but kind and gentle, and he came up to me too to give me such a great long hug I will always cherish.
    He spoke with me for a long time and I will also cherish all the things he said to me, specially coming from him, a man I admire for his professional achievements and human kindness and development.

    I guess I am making clear this is a very big thing for me, it feels a bit like how I felt when I finally achieved my black belt judo after many years of struggling and fighting, overcoming my fears in a more literal way.

    I guess I am feeling pleased with myself and proud of myself, it feels a little scary to allow myself to say it out loud, I feel scared to be disliked and disaproved off for it.

    I know i wasn’t the best singer at all, but that is fine, I simply did well and made progress and it feels good that was appreciated.
    Hah, sorry, once i amon stage I don’t wanna get off, ok, byyye,Margaret

  143. sabine says:

    Hey, how sweet is that? I hope you will spend a lot of time on stage for singing and in real life! It´s very courageous working through your fears and self doubts and do what you wanna do without allowing anything to stop you from that.

  144. Miguel says:

    Margaret congratulations for your singing advances, in difficult conditions. you are very courageous. I am taking care of my health issues in difficult conditions and I am improving,
    Larry, as always, you expresses very well, the horror of having had a “lost” childhood, and that lost childhood conditions the adult. Then one says “why me, why do I have to pay for something I am innocent? Shouldn’t Primal Therapy or something else repair totally the damage caused by a bad childhood and be born again in much better conditions and begin all over again? It is like we had had poison and spoil everything. It is much easier to blame a thing that persons.
    Fortunately we have the antidote and we can share our experiences and listen and understand and be understood and that makes a big, big difference.

  145. Margaret says:

    I’m glad you misplaced the smiley, I wouldn’t have known it was there if you wouldn’t have mentioned it!

    • The Ultimate Guru says:

      This is mostly for Larry, but maybe Gretchen would want to stop by on it..

      Larry, last night I was so overwhelmed with an unanswered rage and disgust at everything for such a long period (2-3 hours) that I was having a panic attack over it.

      Just a lot of rage and a total sense of paralyzing disgust and alarm at a world that suddenly didn’t make sense. Some of the early pictures of me had this scowling expression on my face. I was totally overpowered by my own disgust at mom suddenly disappearing forever and being dumped into some strange new area to involuntarily live my life.

      No one would listen to my growling outrage and disgust at what happened..Maybe you went through the same thing when you had to move away from the farm to the city from the medical condition (I know what it is but not sure you wanted it public)?

      • The Ultimate Guru says:

        I wanted to add that I would be remiss by not saying that much of my disgust is based in present-day reality, too.

  146. Larry says:

    It makes sense UG. I can completely understand your outrage and disgust back then at what happened. It is a normal and expected reaction when anyone experiences a loss of an important person, as I’m finding out in my bereavement group. But no, I’m not aware that I exhibited or harbour rage and disgust over what happened to me back then. There no doubt is some rage inside from then. I plunge into some of it now and then when having my feelings. I think that back then I processed the experience differently from how you did. For one thing, I don’t think that was the pivotal experience that branded me. I’m told that before I was a year old I was rushed to hospital because I was choking, and I was left in an oxygen tent there for a week, and I suspect that experience forged in me a sense of being vulnerable, abandoned, alone, and the world a big, frightening and unpredictable place. I think that stamp was later reinforced when I was made to move away from home on the farm to live with relatives in the City. I’ve since become conscious that how I processed that experience back then was to unconsciously believe and tell myself that I was bad and unloveable and too alone and weak and unable to make my way in a world that can’t be trusted, and that no one was strong enough to help me. In Primal Therapy I’ve had to learn to undo all that, to exert myself into life, to trust some people, to discover that I can love and be loved. It is incredible, and fascinating, and sad how like a parasite those early experiences of deprivation seep through all of our days and mould us for the rest of life, unless we undergo Primal Therapy to disentangle and break free of the tentacles from that past.

  147. Hi all, Just wanted to mention Nadja has posted her new blog at . It is very interesting so give it a read! By the way ours will be posted soon – it is almost done! Gretchen

    • Jack Waddingtonj says:

      Nadja: I checked out your site and have comments (wouldn’t I just though). Firstly; the idea that there are bad feelings is an erronous idea (re-action) to a feeling that I would prefer to say;- “A feeling I did not like”. It’s specific to me and takes away from the complication of everyone’s idea of certain feelings being universal. To me, all feelings are valid.

      The notion of feelings having genetic or DNA roots only complicates matters. We’ve lost IMO the ability to be simple.

      Jealousy, I discoverd years ago, is not one feeling, but two, sad & hurt. Knowing that made matters simpler for me. I was able to cry about the sadness and cry (differently) also from the hurt. In my case the expression of both these feelings helped ME to get beyond them.

      Attempting to learn from “what not to do” is complex; too many permutations. It’s difficult enough to learn from ” what TO do”.

      Art Janov has gone extensively into the fragility of the child’s psyche. Divorce, is threatening to the young psyche cause it threatens security for that child. No other explanation seems warranted.

      Depression and suicide are some of the manifestations of terrible terrible feelings on the accent; without understanding that it is merely a feeling that is on the rise. Knowing this may not make it any easier to face, but I feel knowing the cause of these (I call psuedo feelings; suicide and depression) might help.

      I suspect Nadja, that having put in a great deal of thought to much you have written here, my comments will perhaps hurt or irritate you, but I feel strongly that pursuing SIMPLICITY and the expression of simplicity is the only way to eventually get a sense of an overall … grasp. Sadly, I feel my response to you is more likely to alienate you from me. C’est la vie. I spent 20 years writing my book to get through with a simple very understandable notions. I maybe didn’t succeed.

      I compare it to the Copernicus/Galileo notion of their discovery of the universe. In the end their notion was so terribly simple. Now we all understand it.



  148. The Ultimate Guru says:,0,1606080.story

    Occasionally there are some really, really bad horror stories out there like this…(if you’re feeling too lazy to check the link it’s about a mother killing her baby in a microwave oven). This is not a unique case.

    To prevent horrors like this I want to know why there isn’t an invisible pressure plate underneath the rotating microwave dish area that keeps the oven automatically turned off if there is…say..more than 5 pounds sitting on it (who puts 5 pounds of food in there anyway?). The microwave oven would also be disabled if the pressure plate is tampered with or altered in any way. If a heavy glass rotating plate is being used there would have to be some workaround for this problem, but I’m sure it could be done somehow.

    To me it seems like a good way to prevent maniacs from throwing babies and pets in a microwave. I’m sure someone has thought of this problem before and maybe even came up with a solution similar to mine. Why won’t microwave manufacturers do it? My suspicion is cost. Everybody would have to pay perhaps 10-20 US dollars more for their microwaves to cover the cost of a calibrated pressure plate.

    Would you be willing to pay more on your microwave for such a feature?

  149. Larry says:

    Requiring that all microwaves have that safety feature might not stop such a disturbed mother from finding some other means toward a similarly horrific outcome, UG. I wish there had been help in time for the mother, and especially for the baby.

  150. Buffy Yerdon says:

    Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Very helpful info specially the last part 🙂 I care for such information a lot. I was looking for this certain info for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  151. Margaret says:

    I got your comment as I get anything new on any post by direct e-mail.
    But if you want to be noticed I think reacting on the last post might be the most efficient;
    But I am not at all an expert.
    I hope you will continue to participate, it is always nice to hear a new point of view.

  152. Margaret says:


    what is it you liked about the blog and about that info you mentioned?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s