A Retreat Exercise

A Primal Exercise – As most of you know at each retreat we participate in a variety of “exercises” designed to not only trigger specific feelings but to help activate our childhood memories. Over the years we have not only refined many of these exercises and techniques but experimented with adding new ones that we have found to be effective. At our last retreat we chose a word for each participant which they were instructed to focus on and bring up at some point during the week. The word we chose was not at all random but quite specific for each person. What developed from this simple exercise turned out to be not only interesting but illuminating. The following is a blog from one of our participants describing his experience with his word “Friendship”.  As an aside I don’t believe a single person asked me why their word was chosen for them.  Gretchen       Further Reflections on Retreats – I hope you enjoy our latest blog entry submitted by Steve Miller. I did find it quite thought provoking and I believe it illustrates some important truths about friendship and the long process most of us go through coming to terms with our expectations of other people. The powerful forces of therapy, life experience, and getting older, compel us to face the grief of past relationships, while coming to acceptable terms with the people in our life now. It is not easy and tears must be shed, but the reward for expectations based on reality rather than repressed pain is enormous.  Barry                                                                                                                              My Word – It had been on my mind and was not a complete surprise. In the weeks leading up to a retreat, my brain always has a little extra chatter about the topic of friendship. “Who will be there that I know? Who will be there that I like? Who will be there that likes me?” When I opened the envelop and read that bold word sitting all alone on the card, “Friendship,” I assumed it was a mystery I was expected to unravel. If there were double or triple meanings in this directive, I would surely ferret them out and, as the week progressed, I started to review all the possible reasons the topic of friendship was chosen for me at this retreat. The first thing that jumped to mind had to do with a longstanding friendship of 20 years with someone in the group that had apparently evaporated in the previous few years with no clear explanation or ending. However, as I broadened my search and my observations, one thing came into focus. As I sat in group looking around the room, I was intrigued to discover that the whole spectrum of friendship was represented there. I see the spectrum as two-fold; what I would call the spectrum of importance and the spectrum of lifespan. The first fold is a discussion I’ve had regularly with my best friend and partner, Jeannine. I have formulated a model of friendship that helps me keep perspective on mine. Rather than see friendships in parameters of black and white – either you are, or you aren’t; rather than group people on one team or another – either you are for me or agin me, I see friendship as a spectrum, much like the spectrum of light seen as a rainbow. There are my coffee friends and my movie friends. I have 12-step meeting friends and writing workshop friends. I have friends that I interact with in the context of a particular activity, like sailing. I have been able to admit to some that I love and value them greatly, even though we aren’t best pals. I have been able to admit to myself that I need friends of all stripes, not just full time, never let me down friends. I have some friends that I can reveal the most intimate details of my life to and cry with easily (not necessarily Primal) as well as friends who don’t talk about their feelings, have political views in complete opposition to mine and referred to the retreat as a “Hippie Convention,” yet I love them equally. I have wrestled with the disappointment of having friends I only hear from every few months and have lunch with three times a year, or friends that like to chat on the phone but never suggest a movie or a hike. But on reflection I have realized just how important all types of friendships are; that this just may be the comfort zone for that particular friendship. I had a friendship that included intimate discussions on the phone for years on almost a daily basis. We both struggled through severe bouts of depression and suicidal fantasies only to have our relationship burst into flames and self-destruct as soon as we attempted an extended travel vacation together, a sad and disappointing discovery. When I find myself hopeful or disappointed about a friendship, I try to envision where it belongs on the spectrum. Some friendships evolve and redefine themselves only to appear at a different spot on the spectrum, sometimes up and sometimes down the scale. On the far left of this scale would be the slightly more than casual acquaintance category, on the far right would be the best-buddy-tell-em-everything-friends-for-life category. One great advantage of dispensing with the black or white measure of friendship is the sheer flexibility of the spectrum model. Friends who get mad at me don’t have to suddenly be shifted to the other category. I can empathize with someone despite some previous harsh treatment I have received from them. It is truly liberating to be able to be mad at a friend and yet not have my need or caring for them diminished at all. I no longer have to see people in my life as huge chess pieces I am moving around a war map. Sitting in group that day, the insight that descended on me was profound. As with other topics and facets of life, that group was a microcosm of my life outside and life on the planet. In cosmology, the life of a star is depicted as an arc of phases from white dwarf to red giant and black hole. There in the group room I suddenly became aware that every phase of the life of a friendship was accurately represented right in front of me. I could sense burgeoning relationships and new people I held some hope for and interest in. I could see the middle phases of short and long-standing friendships that were solid but often in flux. I saw the remains of important friendships that, unfortunately, represented black holes whenever I struggled to find resolution to the how and why of their endings. And then, in a dark corner of the sky, I perceived another phase I hadn’t noticed previously. It was the hope of rekindled friendship; a friendship that had faded from my life but, like that sun before it rises, was showing a faint glow along the eastern horizon, thus completing the circle. I saw hope and disappointment as one continuum. Some time back I formulated another theory along the lines of my spectrum theory of friendship that has helped me greatly. Years ago there was an advertising campaign by the Weyerhouser paper company touting the many strengths and uses of cardboard. In the print ad, across a ravine they had constructed a bridge made entirely of cardboard and were driving a heavy tractor- trailer across it. The notion was that you could take a relatively flimsy material and, with the right design and implementation, cause it to have great strength and integrity. I adopted this theory in imagining that, if one were to take a toothpick and stand it on end, it would not have the structural integrity to hold up much weight. However, if one were to gather enough toothpicks bundled side by side, they could theoretically support the weight of the entire Empire State Building. I began to see friendships as toothpicks. Rather than place all of the weight of my needs on one person, putting entirely too much pressure on the relationship, I found I could spread the weight around. Valuable interactions, from acqaintances to seasoned buddies, then became part of a bigger structure. No one member took too much of the weight. I began to value the wonderful, pleasant interchanges I had with people like the woman who cut my hair or the checker at Traders Joes that recognized me each week. I even told one person, “You are one of my toothpicks,” and got a friendly but puzzled smile. I realized that some people might actually be 50 toothpicks in my structure; some were trunks and some were outriggers. The greatest advantage of that was, like the game called Jenga where opponents build a block tower and remove one block at a time until one person causes the tower to topple, in this case one could remove a great number of toothpicks from their friendship support structure and not completely collapse. In contrast, if you have only two good friendships that you lean on heavily it could be like walking with crutches; remove one crutch and you will quickly fall on your ass, or at best, walk in circles. Knowing what I want and what I need out of each of my friendships has been liberating; no longer living a life of constant disappointment but remaining realistic about what people can and want to give me and visa versa. In my relationship, whenever I start to dwell on something I’m not getting, to get on the “pity pot,” as they say in A.A., I try to dig deep and find a way to be especially generous that day. It is an indispensible tool in my arsenal to fight that impulse to let my old feelings destroy good things in my current life. When I am listening to people share their feelings in group there is a range of interest and identification that comes to bear (some touch me more deeply than others, I’m sure for very personal reasons) but I am aware that I care about everyone and always hope that they will get what they need. And though I used to think that one person couldn’t truly feel someone else’s pain (if it was possible, I speculated, then some might chose to hire another person to do their therapy by proxy) I have re-thought this notion. More than at any previous retreat, I found myself crying along with people as they shared their stories. As I shared one day in group, it is one of the gifts of feeling old feelings in this therapy that I am able to experience a profound sense of empathy toward others in the present. I feel truly able to sense and participate in the feeling they are in. It is an empathy that, at times, swells my heart near to bursting. I actually can feel their pain. It one of the gifts that allows me to live up to the platitude; “If you want to have a friend, you have to be a friend.” I no longer have to live in the world of what I should or shouldn’t have or be or give, do or say when it comes to friendship when I realize that the person I may have been yearning for or struggling with to be good enough or say the precise thing or be just the right person to earn their friendship – that this person is someone I don’t even like that much – or – they are someone I love deeply that won’t or can’t ever return the feeling. ps – my word to the therapists – THANKS! Steve Miller 7/11/11

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529 Responses to A Retreat Exercise

  1. Margaret says:

    [Set up of notifications for Margaret]

  2. Fiona says:

    Interesting, Steve.Thanks for you thoughts!

    It is good to know how the ‘word exercise’ affected you. I hope that other people feel the need to give some detail or explanations of what their ‘word’ did for them too! I would eagerly read each comment on the subject. I ‘woodn’t’ mind betting your toothpick analogy ‘sticks’ to you!

    I wish you would clarify this sentence a little for me please. It seems so important but I miss something when I read it, sorry:
    ” I no longer have to live in the world of what I should or shouldn’t have or be or give, do or say when it comes to friendship when I realize that the person I may have been yearning for or struggling with to be good enough or say the precise thing or be just the right person to earn their friendship – that this person is someone I don’t even like that much – or – they are someone I love deeply that won’t or can’t ever return the feeling”.

    Are you going to this retreat too?

  3. Fiona, I would love to hear the reaction of others to their “word” as well – great idea! How about yours? 🙂 Gretch

  4. Mary says:

    I’m an old patient (’78-’79) who just found this blog (haven’t been to a retreat). This article was timely for me as I was just coming to a similar realization myself about having many irons in the fire keeping me from being negative towards any of my “toothpicks” – I just move on to another person or interest rather than expecting one person/interest to meet all my needs at any one time.

    I really enjoy these articles, and it’s good to catch up with the institute.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sorry. That was a complex, run-on sentence that confused me as well.
    I think what I meant was that, only if I am really being myself do I have true friendship to offer and receive. If I am bending myself to be someone I think will be acceptable rather than just being myself, I risk establishing a superficial friendship, at best.

    I also was realizing and being empowered by the notion that, as a two way street, friendship is something I get to participate actively in. I get to say yes or no to whether I let someone into my life. I am not just waiting around for someone to decide they want me as a friend and I am not agreeing be friends with people I don’t really like (the way I often used to).
    I used to think that, as the consummate nice guy, if someone expressed overtures of friendship, I had to accept them and let that person into my life. Conversely, if I really, really liked someone, then it should be the law that they have to like me back.

    I once had someone in my small group say something mean to me like, “F- you Steve Miller, I really don’t like you.” My first impulse was to say, “Yeah, well F- you too, I don’t like you either.”
    It seemed like the reasonable, appropriate response except, it wasn’t true. After a sad moment to reflect on how much they’re statement had hurt me, (and the 30 second delay it took to not spout hurtful comments back), I said, “Well, that hurts my feelings because I really like you.”

    It was a day of liberation for me. To not let someones opinion or treatment of me in any way impact the truth about how I felt or what I wanted.


    • Fiona says:

      Ooooh! I am so glad I asked you to clarify, Steve. I totally get what you are saying. I only wish I were as far forward as you are with this aspect of friendship. I can really relate to what you say here…. and many things from groups we have been in too!

      Your statement of, “Well, that hurts my feelings because I really like you” struck an uncomfortable chord for me; it brought a lump to my throat because it would have REALLY hurt me to say that out loud. An instant feeling IF I were brave enough to say it at the time. [I’m impressed at, and envious of your bravery!] I am so used to defending and have a big fear of showing that I am hurt or vulnerable in the moment. Afterwards is fine, but at the time? No!

      My issue that is I want/need EVERYONE to like me; even at work….. and when I write that fact down here, it strikes me as pathetic. It is like self worth starts with other people’s approval; only then am I worth anything at all.

      Feelings of rejection (and the consequences) are a daily struggle for me at the moment. It partly relates to what you write.

      Your writing gives me much food for thought! 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Thought provoking…

      Love is the answer…I decided long ago to flip the quest for love on its head and just love whatever without expectation…this reversal feeds honesty (the truth will set you free)…and love blooms. I value the ability to love even more than being loved.

      From this stance, there’s no need to bend yourself for any reason. It takes guts to be brutally honesty so I’ve always embraced the boldness of it.

      Mary (B – June ’78)

  6. Anonymous says:

    ps – won’t be at this retreat. Am flying east to attend my mom’s 95th birthday party.

  7. Margaret says:

    Ha Steve, my longtime bundle of toothpicks, so glad you joined us!
    I wish you a good trip to the East coast.
    I don’t particularly llook forward to talking about my retreat word, but will definitely think about it and probably give it a try. ,

  8. Larry says:

    I like your analogy of friendships as toothpicks, Steve, or like bundles of toothpicks. I am appreciating how much it is friends of many kinds that help keep me going.

  9. Margaret says:

    Hi all,
    I think I’ll just keep writing about my retreat word in little bits and pieces, as there are so many aspects to this feeling.

    My word, surprise surprise, was NEED

    very early in my therapy, in one of my sessions with Shauna, my co-therapist at the time, once made me lie down on the floor and after a while asked me what I was feeling. Even then, when I didn’t really have a clue what a real feeling was about, my answer was:”I need”
    During all those years since then, in which I havegotten in touch with many of my pains, I used to say Need is the colour of my life.

    The source? Chronical craving and deprivation right from the start.

    A difficult birth, a mainly nice, but damaged and childlike mother, a hardworking but emotionally distant and often cold father.
    A halfbrother that spent his first three years in an institute,also damaged and mostly distant.

    I was also dropped for several weeks in some institute at the age of two, my mother being in hospital.

    These are of course only the big outlines of it all.

    The feeling it left me with is sadness and need.

    At the start of therapy I had to discove all of this, as I had always had the delusional idea i had had the perfect childhood.

    As we all do, I had to struggle my way through my own defenses. It took me years to get to the point where I could feel my fighting spirit and my strength was in a way a quality, but also made it difficult to make the next step to allowing myself to do what I could never allow myself as a child: being weak and vulnerable.

    At some point it became possible, and during that period it was useful for me to express my feelings and to strip off all the defenses, to really show myself and to stop keeping up a strong front.

    It was useful to let go of the fears and shame attached to being sad and full of need.

    But now I have experienced how that feelsit seems to be time for the next step.

    I discovered the hard way that simply always expressing your every feeling, doesn’t solve it all. Wish it were that simple, but it isn’t in my case anyway.

    I guess I hoped to get rid of all my pain if I kept expressing enough of it, but now I know I will have to learn to live with my own private pain the best I can.
    Expressing my sadness and need incessantly would be counterproductive and would alienate me.

    Instead of being controlled by my need, I am gradually becoming more capable of being in control and behaving more like an adult, even if some of the crying child is still inside of me.

    Barry once asked me:”why do you feel you have to get rid of your sadness? Isn’t it a part of you?”
    That changed my outlookk tremendously.

    Suddenly I became aware of how indeed I had been trying to get completely rid of all these old feelings, feeling ashamed about how much I was still carrying around.

    Now I seem more able to accept my feelings, and more free to choose my behaviour.
    It is time to start dealing with my feelings by myself more than putting their weight on other people’s shoulders.
    I think it will take me to a deeper level if I finally start to follow one of Barry’s advices and yeah, just sit with the feeling.

    It is a thin line to balance on,as many times it still is very useful to talk and share what is going on, I’ll have to rely on my internal compass and intuition to decide whether I really need to talk or not.

    In my daily life I seem more focused on making my present life a pleasant one, instead of spending my time and energy longing and hoping for some vague future happy fullfillment.
    I treat myself nicely, and take bette care of myself, and it gives me satisfaction.
    Meeting my own needs is what I am learning and starting to enjoy more and more.
    It also seems a fine starting point to be more able to give and to really see what other people might need.

    So those are my reflections at this point on my very own retreat word, “NEED”.

  10. Shane Roberts says:

    This was very helpful for integrating many reflections I have had over the years about friendship. It also addresses many struggles I have had over how to cope with friendships. Very insightful, very helpful. Thanks for taking the time to share this. I particularly like the analogy of the toothpicks. — Shane Roberts

  11. Jack Waddington says:

    I have something of a problem with this exercise, for several reason, one being I am a great user of words, as was my mother and I feel I picked up on that. I have my two favorite words, the first being “fuck” which to me is the most expressive word in the English language (it can be used in so many different ways, even to the point of affection). My second favorite is “simple” (not in the sense of ‘Simple Simon’ but in expressing as much as I can; simply. My problem with words, especially single words, is that they can mean so many different things and specially to many people. I have, however, pondered what word might have been given to me, where I to be at a retreat, but came up with a blank and expect it will remain that way.

    I agree that the use of words (language) can be a royal road towards full feelings, (other than expletives), except to me, they are NOT “The Full Feeling”. So I thought to splash these few words around on this blog, and see where they go. Enjoy the retreat; those of you attending, and best wishes to the rest of you.


    • Jack, How about “Granny”? G.

      • Jack Waddington says:

        Getchen: I have spent a great deal time thinking about MY GRANNY (not my symbolic Granny, she faded into the background at the end of the last retreat I went to to. I suspect she {Vivian} might have given me the word “silence” though to me, she’s still special for other reasons). It is one of those accidents of fate that my mother’s father’s suicide when she was 5 months pregnant with me, gave rise (I have suspected for years) that ‘My Granny’ considered I was a re-incarnation of her husband; my grandad; and gave me that love and devotion that my siblings or cousins never got from her. It was a great gift that gave me a great start in life. My mother came close, but acceded to my father whom she loved and believed in, which for me was a pity she didn’t follow her own instincts about her babies.

        I suspect that is why I wrote the chapter on child-rearing in my first book and have repeated it in my second one. I knew and know what being loved felt like. There is no greater gift.


        • Mary says:

          I so agree with you – my grandmother saved me too and taught me what love is and thereby to love. There is no greater gift.

        • Jack, I was just wondering if the fact that she saw you as someone else ( Her dead husband) had an impact on your life? It could be difficult to feel loved under those circumstances I would think . That being said I am sure it was complicated. Gretch

          • Jack Waddington says:

            At the time (my early childhood) I was not aware that my Granny saw me as a re-incarnation of her husband. All I knew then was that she adored and loved me, “yes my love” she said to me very often. That was something I came to feel after her death when I was in my mid twenties. What did have a huge effect on my life was that mother (she told me this when I was an adult) refused to grieve he father’s death; whom she adored: because of the baby inside her (me). I feel that made me uncomfortable in the womb as I felt something strange as the fetus. I suspect a great deal of my homosexuality revolves around not feeling good inside my [mammy] for those last 4 months.

            Yes Gretchen, it is a complicated matter and a question I have dealt with way before I knew about Primal matters. I loved her (my granny) dearly and felt so safe with her and spend a great deal of time with her even sleeping with her, until going to school at age 4.

            So No, Gretchen I felt no difficulty being loved by her. What I feel you may be connecting with, is that I said, at one point in my therapy, that I viewed Vivian as as my symbolic Granny. Where that came from for me, was I felt that Vivian liked me a great deal and that sort of connected with what I felt from my granny. I never though of it as some great transference, but felt good sensing that Vivian really liked me. Other than Mary, I never felt that same feeling from any other therapist.


  12. Miguel says:

    Your commends about friendship were very good, specially the analogy of the toothsticks and the spectrum of friendships. There must be friends of all kinds. It is important to be alone but also have friends of all kinds. It is a survival kit, we can not live alone.
    It is very useful what Barry says about seeing friends as they are not as we wished they were derived by our childhood pain, but to accept them as they are

  13. Anonymous says:

    Had a dream recently (before I read your blog entry, Steve) about friendship as I came to know. It’s been about the friend I grew up with, living right across the street. I don’t remember, when our friendship started, although I do know exactly, when it died, even though it happened along the way, step by step. And you should know, that he had been the one friend in your life, you’d call FRIEND in capital letters. Not because he was important for you for this or that reason, but because you love him.

    The dream: I happened to stumble over a dead body, being murdered. It was not somebody I know, but he belonged to a motorcycle gang, which in fact is not unknown to me. Some time later I met my old friend, who’s a police officer (in that dream as in real life). We talked and he told me, that he murdered the man I’d found before – and that he knew I will never tell anyone. Which was correct. But also it’s correct, that killing people is being extremely against my nature and he knew that as well. So here we were: My friend knew that I would never tolerate somebody being killed and that I will never betray him and telling his collegues, who did kill the man. If I were a robot, then that would have been a perfect time for a short circuit.

    The question I didn’t ask in my dream, was, why he did this to me. He killed our friendship on purpose and I never found out why – in my dream and in real life. So I need something to add to Barry’s insight about friendship: that sometimes seeing friends as they are will kill your friendship. Not because you have to realize you won’t get what you need, but because you have to protect yourself and make a decision. For me that decision had been to walk a different road in life, but I never forgot the boy he had been and still love him inside – although the same person as a grown up means nothing to me. He is ‘well adapted to society’ (which means drunken at weekends, aggressive and artificial) and boring most of the time. At least boring for me. For many other people he still plays his role: being entertaining, charming, a womanizer and, of course, good looking.

  14. Hi Steve,
    Congrats on a pertinent and eloquent post. It really struck a chord with me because I have struggled so much with “managing my expectations” in my friendships. Like you, I have recently developed the ability to accept, love and appreciate different types of people and their various friendships. As a result, my life has become much richer and put simply, better.
    Well done Steve,
    P.S. In an interesting case of curious timing, I was invited by Sony pictures to attend a private screening of the new Cronenberg film “A Dangerous Method,” which is in part about the friendship between Freud and Carl Jung. My next post will be about the film and its underlying themes of friendship. By the way, it’s a wonderful movie about the infant stages of therapy and thus meaningful to all of us who have been able to change our lives with the help of therapy (and wonderful therapists:>).

  15. Fiona says:

    My word: “Obedience”

    Unlike other people around me, I seem to be flighty and spontaneous, and I am no different where feelings are concerned. To try to explain a feeling that I had last week, for example, is like trying to explain someone else’s feeling. I have to dredge up the memory, and it seems un-natural and distant.

    My retreats are FULL of feelings; and I flit from one to the next minute by minute. My word was a perfect choice by the therapists, although to be perfectly honest, I must be one of the easiest people to choose for. I am not hard work to “see through” in that way! But the choice of word, for that week, didn’t fit my feelings. So I found it hard to ‘investigate’ it internally. – Like eating when you are too full, it was uncomfortable for me.

    To discuss my word in group THIS week would have been far more beneficial. My dad is currently needing 24/7 care (hopefully) temporarily, and a couple of weeks ago I had to drive to him at midnight (2 hr drive) to ‘tend’ to his needs. [Details withheld]. The upshot is that I am fighting my ‘Obedience’ training! I am angry that I “HAVE TO” be a good girl. He is suffering and I do not feel compassion for him at all. Just guilt because I can’t, or don’t feel sad for him. He has also got a tendency to “cry wolf” where his illnesses are concerned. [Man-flu, not just a cold and all that!]

    My partner has recently been diagnosed with a worrying condition which I am sure is playing a role. An added distraction anyway. But I know that I am angry at my dad (and mum) for not taking care of me. I had a feeling last week – the gist of which was, “why should I take care of you, when you didn’t come to me, and take care of me when I needed you?”

    Obedience fills my every day. I am compelled by ‘nurture’ to be a good girl and please everybody… EVERYBODY!! So when I don’t please somebody… well… that’s where I am at this week!

  16. Mary says:

    I discovered my word only recently, “guilty”. Ultimately, I was guilty of existing (unwanted pregnancy, abortions outlawed, shotgun wedding). I rebelled until my spirit was completely broken whereupon my defense became being “good”. Growing up, I was drawn to both good guys and rebels which always seemed an odd combination, but now I see they are both sides of the same coin, they are both sides of me.

    Just before I entered therapy, unsolicited, my mother offered her excuse “for what she did to me”, admitting her own guilt for the first time – I reminded her of her sister of whom she was jealous, as simple as that?! It was shocking to hear her confession after all those years of suffering, but I would remain guilty/good until I connected emotionally.

  17. John Strazzanti says:

    Friends, The need seems to be directly proportionate to the effort a person is willing to put into gaining and maintaining friends. I have a wife, two children and a dog. I am all set, so I am either very lazy, not very needy or fooling myself. This may be arrogant but aside from being with the aforementioned I am most satisfied when I am doing something or nothing all by myself.

    • Hey John, With the wife, two kids and the dog I’m guessing you may be praying for a little alone time at the end of the day! 🙂 Seriously though you are right about putting in the effort to maintain our friendships but once in a great while you may have a friend who you can see rarely but when you are together it is though no time has passed. In other words a friend that is no effort at all. I think, sadly, that is a very rare thing. We are probably lucky if we find one person like that in a lifetime. Gretch

  18. Hi John,
    First of all, great to hear from you stranger!:>
    Friendships have played the most significant part in my life and as a matter of fact, it was a friend who led to my discovery of primal therapy. Without it, I would have most likely not seen my 40th birthday. So I won’t able to overstate the importance of friends in my life. From that perspective, I can’t relate to your statement, but then again, I don’t have a husband and children. I also have learned (through friendships!) that we all have different needs and priorities in life, so if this arrangement works for you, good for you!
    Still, friends have a very different role in our lives. Unlike family, they choose to be in our lives simply because they like us and feel we are worth their time. Children can’t and never should have to fill that role. And a romantic relationship is a completely different animal. I just lost my beloved dog Bobby 6 weeks and even though I feel I have lost my best friend, it’s a very different kind of relationship than that to my fellow humans.
    So I can’t help but wonder if you might not be really missing out. Then again, it’s your life to live!
    Glad to hear you’re alive and kicking and send my love to Renate!

    • Fiona says:

      Sorry to hear about your Bobby, Nadja.

    • John Strazzanti says:

      Hi Nadja,
      Nice to hear from you! I agree with you that the relationship between dog and human is “a very different kind of relationship…” it is one that I very much enjoy, perhaps it does describe “best friend” better than other relationships. Friendships are just one part of relationships and I do believe you can be friends with a spouse and also romantic. Children are family but they do have free will and they can be in your life or not and they can be friends as Gretchen describes “a friend that is no effort at all”. I just think that what you describe as people “that choose to be in our lives simply because they like us and feel we are worth their time.” is as Gretchen states “a very rare thing” and if they are so rare how do people have tens of them. They require “effort” and I wonder why. I do have many acquaintances I just do not put them in the classification “friends”. There is one person that I see rarely, talk to rarely but when I am with her it is as if “no time has passed” but in my mind I do not refer to her as friend because friend just seems to weak a term to describe the connection. So perhaps it is a question of semantics but the point I was originally trying to make was the connection between “need” and “friends” the more of one than the more there must be of the other.
      Take Care and happy to see you are doing so well.

      • Jack Waddington says:

        John: You still got that jet you had?

        If you’ve got a wife and two kids and a dog then the rest is icing on the cake. yeah?


        • John Strazzanti says:

          Hi Jack,
          No more jets for me Jack! I read the blogs but rarely write anything. I do want you to know that I read all your postings. I usually have mixed feelings, on one hand I just want to reach out and give you a big hug and on the other a kick in the pants but I think I will settle on the big hug. I wish you well!

          • Jack Waddington says:

            Might have replied in the wrong place John.

            Here it is again:- Hey John, try the kick in the pants. That seems closer to your feelings. I get plenty of hugs anyway and I’m all for ‘honest, open and direct’ Least-ways that’s how I’ll be with you.


      • Hi John,
        Yes it does seem this mostly about semantics:>

    • Vicki says:

      I had no idea, Nadja, sorry about Bobby, that’s awful.

  19. Jack Waddington says:

    When I was a kid I never thought about friends or whatever the opposite is. I just gravitated towards those I liked and did my best to keep away from those that didn’t like me, unless I needed something from them; as was the case with my daddy.

    I know this will enhance the notion that I am crazy (which I am) BUT it’s the ‘THINKING’ that got us all screwed up. ‘Thinking’ is mankind’s first and biggest act-out.

    Even Art does not agree with me, or didn’t a few weeks ago, but what the fuck.


    • Mary says:

      Could be cultural.

      • Jack Waddington says:

        Oh really Mary: cultural in what sense. That one flew right over my cuckoo’s nest.


        • Mary says:

          Strikes me that thinking as an act out might describe the more verbose left-brain dominant British culture rather than the often more mindless US culture which might be the reason you and Art disagree on this hypothesis.

          Mary (born Brit, raised Yank, British mother and husband)

          • Jack Waddington says:

            York, that’s not too far from Oldham, BUT way more beautiful.

            Yeah, I have done my share of left brain thinking and in hindsight it convinced me more about it as an act-out (defense).

            I think Art’s disagreement stems more out of the fact that he looks at the brain more in contemporary philological terms, whereas I prefer to look at it as an evolutionary factor and wonder if we did ourselves a favour by developing ‘thinking’; specially, if all that did was leave us with this very debilitating disease … neurosis. I doubt if we had just remained feeling-full we would have developed language and hence thinking.

            However, I see what you mean by culture. I’d love to get beyond culture … not sure that I will ever … but I can hope.


            • Jack Waddington says:

              I should have also said “physiological terms”. Should do a little more proof reading before sending.


            • Mary says:

              It wasn’t that long ago that I would have agreed with you about left-brain language/thinking as I’m more right-brain, but when the hemispheres are connected works best in my experience.

              Culture is definitive from what I’ve observed although my husband is making progress.

              I’m with you on evolution – ever read Nick Lane? Maybe next time around, evolution will get it right? 😉

              • Jack Waddington says:

                Mary: Being more right brain now, isn’t to say that you are a totally feeling-full creature … yet. Agreeing, disagreeing and ones experience isn’t a ‘testament’ to anything either. Not sure what your husband is progressing towards, but I assume he’s coming round to your way of thinking.

                No, not read any of Nick Lane’s work. Give me a title.

                I feel/suspect that evolution is NOT going to give us a “next time around.”

                You might try reading my first book (if so and you give me an email address I’ll send you a copy .PDF file) which could give you a better picture of where I am at. However, I have to say that only one person read it and got through it … even said he liked it.

                Wow, it seems I’m on a roll at the moment … I love it.


                • Mary says:

                  I’ve been more right brain all my life – my affliction so to speak was needing more 3rd line which I now equate with left brain. I was joking about my husband improving – actually, indulging my husband’s need for language is strengthening my left brain which seems to strengthen my 3rd line. I started PT in 1978 btw which doesn’t necessarily mean anything in itself, but I’m my own judge.

                  Nick Lane wrote: Life Ascending, Power, Sex and Suicide and Oxygen. I’m still plowing through Oxygen and will read Power, Sex and Suicide next. A page can keep me thinking for months.

                  As for evolution giving “us” a second chance, I think humans are headed for extinction, I was referring to whatever comes next as Earth continues to evolve.

                  Thanks for your kind offer to send me a pdf of your book – I would love to read it. You can send it to my gmail account h31th3.

                  • Jack Waddington says:

                    Thx for the four titles of Nick Lane’s books. Will look them up. I too feel we humans are heading for extinction and just hope we don’t take all living creatures with us. I started therapy in 1981 on Colby.

                    I take it your email address is h31th3@gmail.com. Will send a copy of my book. If you are able to get through I would welcome any comments you might have and would love it if you didn’t hang back.


          • Jack Waddington says:

            Sorry, I read that as York not “Yank”.

  20. My word is music. It helps me feel when there are no WORDs to express how I feel. And I know someone who is selling their ipod and the computer with which to transfer the music to said Ipod. And they would probably transfer your primal data and musings to that new computer for free. If that should be your shortcut to feelings, as it is for me….

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Hey John, try the kick in the pants. That seems closer to your feelings. I get plenty of hugs anyway and I’m all for ‘honest, open and direct’ Least-ways that’s how I’ll be with you.


  21. Vicki says:

    To Jack and anyone else with comment-email problems: I have checked our Blog settings, and they are correct and there is nothing set up to prevent the emails from working.

    From the comments you gave on the previous Blog, it seems like you are all using the boxes next to the “Post Comment” button below the “Leave a Reply” section, labelled “Notify me of follow-up comments via email.” and “Notify me of new posts via email.” But there is another method you can use — on the lower right corner of my screen, there is a “button” labelled “+Follow”, which if you click on, allows you to “Follow Primal Institute” by entering your email address, and using the “Sign me up!” button. Then it will send a confirmation email. You don’t have to be a WordPress member to use their “+Follow” service, you just supply your email address.

    I tried it, and got the confirmation email, “Subscribe to Primal Institute! Howdy!
    This is an automated message sent by the WordPress.com subscription service. You must confirm your request to subscribe to a WordPress.com site by reading the details below.”
    There’s a button “Confirm Subscription”. The “details” mentioned said, “If you did not request this action please disregard this message. You can block further messages by clicking on Manage Subscriptions”. The emails I got have links to the management page, where I can change when emails are sent, or Unsubscribe (“Unfollow”), if I no longer want Blog emails at all.

    I have also researched some related “Help” pages, and there are multiple possible reasons – e.g., your email service may have a spam filter, so if you have an option to unblock specific email addresses, try allowing *@wordpress.com and/or no-reply@wordpress.com addresses. That is all the help I can give you about this issue today, but I will continue to investigate it, as I have time.

    • Vicki says:

      Unfortunately, it looks like “Follow” only sends emails about Posts, but not about the Comments, so that’s not so useful.

      • Jack Waddington says:

        Vicki: It seems to be working again for me now. Dunno what i did that might have been different, but I get all the comments now Thx


    • Jack Waddington says:

      As I said Vicki, mine seems to be working fine now.

      Thx Jack

      • Vicki says:

        Yes, Fiona mentioned that hers started working again too. I wish I had heard that before I spent 45 min. investigating a non-existent problem, just because I had promised I would two weeks ago, when it was an issue. That does not feel good.

  22. Vicki says:

    As a comment related to the subject of this Blog post, the “Word” I was given at last summer’s retreat, I remember I thought about it at the time, and talked about it when buddying, but I no longer even remember what the word was. I was telling Pete on Thursday that I can’t remember what it was. Thinking that’s all. (Time stops). A little LoL. And, no, it was not “denial”! (Some minutes are ticking by). Nor “crazy”, not “doubt”. It could be “lying”, but I’m not sure. It wasn’t “doubt”, (more time) and not things like “hope”, and “love”, and any “good” stuff. No… I think it was related to all the “bad” stuff I was having to deal with in the Spring, in my family. So my best guess is “lying”. I can’t come up with anything that feels like a better answer, so “Lying” is what I will put my money on. Clearly, I was not happy with how I was feeling, about it.

    • Vicki , Thanks for checking the comment – email issue – way beyond the call of duty! Now for the “word” – I worked on approximately 45 words so I may be wrong but actually I think your word, in fact, was denial! I might even put my money on that! 🙂 G.

    • Fiona says:

      So any thoughts on your ACTUAL word now then Vicki?

      • Vicki says:

        We discussed it in group today, Gretchen said her take, so I was less sure. BUT, afterwards at a restaurant, a friend said,”I know what your Word was.” I asked how she knew, she said I showed it to her, she saw the card — and she said it was “Lying”! I was surprised. I said, “Well, why didn’t you speak up in group?! She hid her eyes, abashed, laughed, and said “I know”, “You’re right”. She “didn’t want to get in-between” Gretchen & me. So I chewed her out a bit (humorously), telling her that was THE best time to say it, what was she thinking?, etc. And she just kept agreeing, it was so obviously true. She believes that’s what she saw, but was not going to fight for it, or insist. So if and when I find my word-card, I will know for sure, but it’s likely to be “Lying”, and not “denial”. Although I have certainly heard my share of both, especially for several months this past Spring, with extremely unpleasant family business, that has given me long periods of some of the worst feelings I have ever had, in my memory.

        • Vicki, I think I was torn between those two words – maybe we did end up with lying. I will see if we have the original but either way they are both worth exploring. Yes, I would have to agree those feelings were indeed the worst! Gretch

  23. Margaret says:

    just a good news flash:
    I just saw a program on Dutch television tonight “The baby brain”. It emphasised how crucial affection,cuddling, attention and avoiding stress is for the development of the baby brain.
    It said how important it is to comfort a crying baby and to really listen to what it is saying. A little falling asleep moaning can be allowed for a few moments, but scared, needy or distressed crying should always be comforted and taken care of.
    It said a lot of good things and the only missing item was how damaged brain connections can to some degree be restored by primal therapy.
    Nevertheless it was good to hear neurologists and caretakers be very outspoken and clear about the importance of a warm and safe care specially in that early stage of life. It also mentioned all the emotional basis already being present in the baby.
    I notice how I would like to be able to tell more people about my experiences with therapy.
    Maybe I should have kept a primal diary right from the startso much has happened and changed during my years of therapy.
    Still I always marvel at feeling and hearing my baby and little girl me crying when my system really takes over.
    What can be a greater gift than finding one’s true self again, the child we almost forgot about?
    I’ll never forget the blissful feeling I had after my first breakthrough in a session. I was sitting on the Santa Monica pier, feeling I finally, unexpectedly, came home again in the happy four year old girl I once was. It was an unforgettable experience, one that was never repeated in that way, but it immediately swept all my doubts about coming to therapy from the table, I had finally found the way home.
    Margaret ,

    • Larry says:

      Sometimes the obstacles loom too large and the progress too slow that I despair of ever getting anywhere, but your comment Margaret reminds me that there is a need in all of us to be healthy and individually and as a society we move in that direction, inch by inch, through persistent effort.

  24. Margaret says:

    why do I seem to remember you told me your word was ‘brother’?

  25. Margaret says:

    I am sorry to hear you had such a bad time.
    My own brother and his wife are in a real crisis situation and it hurts that he told me during the past months over and over things were fine, while I just received a very distressed call from her, in which she gave me several scary details about what has been and is still going on.

    In my case it hurts being shut out by my brother while I feel worried and concerned about what might happen.

    • Vicki says:

      Margaret, that’s too bad, sad that your brother doesn’t want to talk honestly about things. But it sounds good that his wife decided to tell you, anyway. It may be that all you can do is continue to ask your brother how things are, and accept his unwillingness to be candid, until or unless he’s willing to change that. But it would still hurt, yes. But in your shoes, if I could not change the outcome, or solve the problem for them, I would probably not tell him that his wife told me the truth — unless she asked me to talk to him about it.

  26. Margaret says:

    thanks,now I understand where my vague memory about the word ‘brother’ came from.

    Thanks for your advice too about my brother. The thing is she rubbed it under his nose she told me everything. I want to stay informed on one hand, but I also don’t want to be put in a position where I seem to take sides or talk behind his back.

    I guess I can tell him it seems good his wife can talk to me so I can help her to calm down.

    I might try to give support when asked, and not to take initiative apart from as you say, asking how he is, mostly.

    It does feel bad having to hide this from my mother in order to protect her, I hate having to keep secrets because of someone’ else’s craziness, now that I finally managed not having to hide anything myself.

  27. Margaret says:

    my brother’s wife called me twice to say how nice and kind it was of me to listen to her.
    That first time she told me the story, she started crying in the end, when she said she couldn’t talk to her own family. She sounded like a lost little girl.
    So much problems and pain everywhere.
    I am glad I seem more able to find pleasure in little things lately, like the sudden smell of autumn in the air, or crawling in bed with fresh clean sheets that smell of soap, with a good audio book and sometimes a purring cat.
    Just feeling this tiny bit better than ok, even only for brief moments, feels like new and unexpected treats. Sounds pathetic haha, but the best thing about it is that the feeling isn’t caused by anyone else, but comes from the inside and from me getting along better with myself I guess.

    Don’t get me wrong, I feel still miserable far too often, but I guess you know that.
    I tink I am learning more to live in the present and to make that present nice for myself, instead of living waiting and hoping for something in the future that might never happen, or worse, wait and hope for something that already belongs to the past.

    • Vicki says:

      Margaret, it sounds good. And not pathetic at all. Also, hopefully maybe some good will come out of the revelations of your brother’s wife to you and him, even if it’s messy.
      After work tomorrow, I’ll be cooking and packing for the retreat the next day, so I won’t be back here before next week, but also thinking about you over the next few days in Santa Barbara. — Vicki

  28. Jack Waddington says:

    Larry: Got a call on my answering machine about 40 minutes ago saying you were in LA for the retreat. You gave me a cell number 210 871-0892 which I tried five times calling back, only to be told, the code was wrong. When you called I was on my three times a day walk. Should be home if you want to call later.

    Meantime, enjoy the retreat


    • THE Ultimate Guru says:


      Why don’t we just go ahead and place that cell phone number on the Goodyear blimp while we’re at it?

      • Larry says:

        You are right UG. Jack there is a lot of insecurity coursing through me right now before the retreat, so I pushed aside my intial dismay over your message about my cell phone number, and I didn’t think to bring it up in our phone conversation later that evening. I bring it up now that UG stirs it to my attention. Better late than never. Jack I don’t want to share my cell phone number with the world. I only give it out to friends. Please don’t post it on the internet. The fact that the number was wrong helps it feel less of a transgression.

        • Jack Waddington says:

          Since it was a wrong number what was the dismay? Worse still Larry, you didn’t mention it in our phone conversation later.

          I doubt the internet world at large out there is reading the Primal Institute blog, and there’s a lot more intimacy being put on this blog, than wrong cell phone numbers.

          Meantime, take care


  29. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    OK, OK maybe I’m being a bit caustic in saying that to Jack, but the world’s not such a delicate place. More than 400,000 Americans (yes, that’s AMERICANS….A-M-E-R-I-C-A-N-S, you know…Red White and Blue?) have now been killed in automobile traffic since the 9/11 attacks. You’ll see or hear nothing in the news about this. The families will be left to fend for themselves.
    That’s MY “Occupy Wall Street”!

  30. Margaret says:

    Dear Vicki,
    I wish you a very good retreat.
    Your kind words mean very much to me, thanks,

  31. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    Steve Miller’s former girlfriend and I once talked about smoking cigarettes. She said it hid a lot of anger (or something to that effect). Sometimes I think she’s right and it’s been harder than hell for me to quit. I can’t seem to do it. All I know for now is that I’m a boiling cauldron of rage once in a while (for whatever reason, Janovian or not).

    Try to make it back from the retreat in one piece, huh?

  32. Margaret says:

    why didn’t you just say to Larry on the blog the number he gave you didn’t work?
    He would have had to contact you in either case to give the correct number.
    Why don’t you just respect what other persons feel about their own privacy?

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Margaret: That is precisely what I did do. All this pseudo respect stuff I find irritating. I get the feeling “follow my leader” syndrome here.

      Just to fill you all in I went to my HIV support group this morning and had it all out, my pissed-off-ness about that and some other stuff going on with me underneath it all. I beat into the leather sofa and used a few expletives.

      That’s all there is to this Primal stuff as far as I’m concerned. The lovey-dovey-ness doesn’t resonate with me. They do that a great deal on the Primal Support Blog (PSB) also. Not sure that it does much good; but then who the fuck am I?


  33. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    Those are intriguing comments, Jack, and I hope you can elaborate further if you can.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Read my books “The gospel According to Jack” and “Feeling Therapy: Real Health: Yourself”. I feel you’ll see more about me than, perhaps, you want to know. I do forewarn you; the first one is hard to read and neither Barry nor Gretchen showed any interest in it; actually only one person did. The second I doubt that either the Institute or the Primal Center will approve of it as it is a do-it-yourself Feeling Therapy book (not Primal Therapy); based, of course, on my experience of my therapy. If you give me your email address I will send you (for free) a .PDF file of both.

      If you are up-tight about putting your email address on the blog then phone me and give it to me to me on the phone. I would post mine but suspect that I am not allowed to do that, perhaps because it my be seen as a promotion.

      That goes for anyone else in the Primal Community.


      • THE Ultimate Guru says:


        I’ve long known about these books of yours. The reason I don’t read them is because I have an attention span of a gnat due to an underdeveloped brain. But more to the point, I am always interested in hearing what’s going on with you right now instead of through a static book that may have been written in different circumstances.
        I’m not a fan of Facebook, but the best way to explain it is being addicted to a person’s “ticker” of daily thoughts and activities rather than a voluminous compendium of that person’s entire belief system written in a bubble.

  34. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you ! We will be back from Santa Barbara soon. Love, Gretch and Barry ( and ELLE and Pavlov!)

    • Jack Waddingtonj says:

      Oh, is Elle your daughter and Pavlov her boyfriend?


      • THE Ultimate Guru says:

        Was this question an indirect criticism of Gretchen not revealing enough about her personal life to your satisfaction? After all, you’ve known her for 30+ years now LOL.

        • Jack Waddington says:

          Did it sound like a crit???? I just made a wrong guess, that by now her daughter had a boyfriend … maybe even husband. I’m sure that says more about me than the Bernfelds.


          • THE Ultimate Guru says:

            Well OK Jack, there’s no way I can prove you knew that Pavlov was Gretchen’s dog, so I will give you the benefit of the doubt. If you had known it, though, this would have been a bit of a darker discussion, LOL.

            • Jack Waddington says:

              There is an edge, to me, in your response. How might I have known it was their dog??

              Oooops!! maybe there is a personal reason why they call this Black Friday.


              • THE Ultimate Guru says:

                *shrug* I don’t know, my logic circuitry thought this was hilarious and scary. For a very brief moment I thought you were trying to flog Gretchen with public references of bestiality to vividly illustrate to her the potential drawbacks of her not revealing more about herself through a public assumption that you had possibly already known was mistaken yet appealed to one of the darkest human instincts imaginable.

  35. Jack, Elle is our daughter – Pavlov is our dog of course 🙂 G.

  36. Miguel says:

    Have a happy thanksgiving day and a good retreat

  37. Margaret says:

    I didn’t really understand what exactly you were angry about and what the lovey dovey was you were referring to.
    All I immediately wondered about in the first place when I read the comment in which you put the phone number, is if you were setting yourself up as it seemed to me such an unnecessary and provocative thing to do.
    And then if you get the predictable comments, you become furious, but I still don’t get about what exactly.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Jesus fucking Christ,

      Margaret; IT WAS A WRONG NUMBER, why is that disrespecting someones privacy. That, in itself, pissed me off … and I expressed THAT feeling.

      Being ‘lovey dovey’, does not resonate with me … I get the feeling that ‘lovey-dovey-ness is more likely to take a person AWAY from their feeling. However, that is ONLY my feeling.

      “if you get the predictable comments, you become furious, but I still don’t get about what exactly.” Stop playing therapist with me, you ain’t smart enough for that, as far as I’m concerned. Isn’t it obvious what I was pissed about???? Jesus, you’ve done enough therapy to figure that one out, yeah? Piss-off Margaret.


      • vickib5 says:

        Hi Jack,
        It is almost never obvious what you are pissed about. You rant a lot in rage, but it very seldom makes sense. I used to wonder, but your expressed anger is often so scattershot, it seems to be directed at “the whole world” or “everyone”, especially since any attempt to engage you in human dialogue, seems to make you madder, predictably. And then you just spray venom at whoever blunders or wanders within spitting range. Jack, this is sad. Very sad. As a person, you deserve better than this. Can no part of you see this?
        — Vicki

        • Jack Waddington says:

          Vicki: IF, it’s not obvious to YOU also, what I am pissed about; that is your feeling … about me. Keep it that way and you too stop psychoanalysing me. There are many that engage me in dialog … daily (not sure what your definition of ‘human dialog’ is. There’s lots I am sad about and I express my sadness by crying; at least twice a month; and there’s lots I am angry about, but only get to express that about once a month; on average. Then there is a lot that freaks the fuck outta me, and that I am less able to EXPRESS on a regular basis.

          You see Vcky, and some of you others, I did this therapy which is ALL about getting into and EXPRESSING ones feelings. It works real well for me, and keeps me very sane and healthy.

          So to add to the dialogue “Piss-off Vicky”. If that doesn’t make any sense to you I am in no position to help you … cos I feel your feelings towards me go back a loooong time. The most troubling for me was telling a chosen buddy on the retreat, that he had been assigned the worst buddy; ever. At the end of that reatreat HE did not think so.

          However, to this day I have a note from you as ‘my secret pen-pal’ with a cup for a ‘Dick’, which I still think was hillarious … and very well thought out, at the time.


          • vickib5 says:

            I’m glad you still like the Christmas ornament mug — it still makes me smile, when I think of it. I don’t remember having said the other comment, but it’s possible I felt that way, at the time.


  39. Margaret says:

    Hi Gretchen,
    I appreciated your wishes, at the risk of being one of the lovey doveys.
    There seems to be a lot of angry craziness on the blog lately.

    I dreamed about you Gretchen, last night.

    It was some kind of a retreat setting, but with camping stretchers everywhere instead of the bunks.

    I could give plenty of details about the dream, but the audience doesn’t feel entirely interested, so I will keep things more or less short

    At some point I was ranging some stuff and you were nearby, laying on your back on one of the stretchers, talking quietly with a young guy that looked a bit vulnerable. The atmosphere was very relaxed, when you adressed me. I remember what we talked about, but what matters is the open and kind feeling there was.
    “Why do I feel apprehensive to use the word ‘kind’ on this blog at this moment?”

    I woke up, and continued reflecting on the dream. I came to the conclusion that what at that point would have been nice, is to have been able to just sit there and purr like a cat, thus simply expressing feeling very good, without using words.

    As a human, saying in words how I felt would always feel ‘lovey dovey’ or as if I was trying to get something,or infuluence the situation to some degree or another. Also as a human I would start feeling eventually the urge to check if you and that guy wanted to continue some private conversation.

    My point?

    I miss not having a tail to wiggle and not being able to purr, but I am glad my mind keeps creating group and retreat settings with a variety of scenario’s.

    Happy Thanksgiving and a fine retreat to all of you!!
    Margaret and Molimet.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Margaret, Interesting dream and don’t apologize for feelings that are loving. We can certainly feel whatever we want here. At least I would hope so. Sorry you could not be with us for this retreat! Gretchen

  41. Margaret says:


  42. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    The Ultimate Guru is tired, very tired…
    “…should I feebly attempt to invoke table metamethods of which I have no familiarity? Or simply splice the main calculation chunk into many large functions which might keep everything below the variable registry key limits for each function? Which method would provide for the fastest performance on an Intel dual-core?..”

    I need a soothing spa before these aforementioned brass knuckle questions mercilessly pound me into a bloody pulp lying in a darkened alleyway.

  43. Anonymous says:

    UG, No question about it … splice the main calculation chunk – right Vicki? G.

  44. vickib5 says:

    Hey UG, Sorry, I don’t know which method would provide the fastest performance gains, because I am unfamiliar with “table metamethods”, also. So I would think splicing the main calculation chunk is your best bet to be successful, if you’re bumping into registry key limits. And you know I would not just mimic or endorse Gretchen’s flying-leap-at-the-moon answer. I have a mathematical friend I can ask, if you like, and see if he has an opinion. But I think your lack of familiarity with the former, would have to be the determining factor — unless you’ve got the time to teach yourself enough to handle it. Sounds like a lot of thorny work, no matter how you cut it. I hope the work is necessary, since it is so tedious and difficult?

  45. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    Hi Vicki and Gretchen:
    First of all I knew Gretchen was leaping at the moon (as Vicki said) and I got a laugh out of it, but her answer appears to be the right path, nonetheless.
    I asked that semi-rhetorical question with quotation marks just to show how densely intellectual the material is….far, FAR removed from Janovian feelings! My hat goes off to expert computer programmers out there who do this as a profession; I can only appreciate some of the extreme difficulties computer programmers must have endured to created the wonders of the Internet. If I did this for too long I myself would gradually turn into a machine that would only spit out coded receipts to any human interaction.
    And yeah, Vicki, this is very necessary to at least see how it pans out. As a human I cannot possibly perform 45-50,000 calculations per minute (which is what I’m wanting this program to do). Lots of people seem to underappreciate some of the awesomely wonderful things finished computer programs can do, but there’s a lot of “intellectual pain” (can’t think of a better term for it now) when building the machine itself. I will get it done, though. I just can’t afford a potential Zuckerberg Mark II (pun intended) to come along in case I finally figured out something decent.
    Done with my wordy soapbox now.

    • THE Ultimate Guru says:

      technical sidenote for Vicki – Yes, I know an Intel dual-core can easily handle 45-50k instructions per minute…the problem lies in the initialization routine which requires a starting burst of many unknown millions of calculations before it can properly update at the “slow” rate of 45-50k per minute from there on out.

  46. Fiona says:

    Wow!…. Well….. will you look at that!….. the paint is actually dry now!

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Yes, Fiona: did you have something to say to me. I guess not, otherwise you would have said it by now.

      Did I do or say something that stopped you all in your tracks? I guess I did.


  47. Margaret says:

    nice to have you back here!!
    How was your retreat?

  48. Fiona says:

    I try not to post things on here that are links to videos etc. but this one seems quite apt to me. I have long had the feeling that this was the case… just a feeling… but mine. Margaret, I am not sure if you computer will let you access the video, but if you give it a try it would be worth your while. There is nothing to see, it is all verbal information. I can tell you about it when we talk anyway.
    Here’s a synopsis:
    “When does learning begin? Answer: Before we are born. Science writer Annie Murphy Paul talks through new research that shows how much we learn in the womb — from the lilt of our native language to our soon-to-be-favorite foods.”

  49. Margaret says:

    Hi all,
    I hate this blog silence.

    A little while ago there was some old Doors music playing during a program on television and a feeling hit me like a hammer.

    I suddenly got a flashback of how it was to be in a freaky club in the middle of loads of people on more or less the same wavelength, in those swinging seventies, with a continuous soundtrack of good music.

    A strong blow of nostalgia that really hurt hit me.
    I miss the atmosphere of belonging to this group, this family-like subculture that felt a little bit like a home.

    There is so much that belongs to my past I grieve about.
    People I have lost, living circumstances, my vision, even pets.
    more and more I become aware of how part of me still hoped to regain some of it eventually. And more and more I am realizing myself that won’t happen and is even ssimply impossible in case of visually absorbing beloved landscapes. That to me is a tremendous loss.

    I survive, but I do feel sad.
    And lonely.

    And scared I guess.

    But one thing I htink my mother transmitted to me, is a fundamental capacity to keep looking for the silver lining, to pick up the pieces and move on, and to even find a funny side.

    I am not desperate, in other words.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Margaret: “I survive, but I do feel sad. And lonely.”

      It worries me sometimes to hear people talking about their feeling, but few say how they express it. Is is the totality of the feeling, the phsycophysical sensation and the expression, that is the complete feeling (gospel according to Art Janov). Perhaps most do express it, but I hear few talk about that expression.

      I cry a lot and get angry quite a bit, even less, express my fears, which freaks the wits outta me, BUT it helps me a great deal.

      Hope this is helpful … or whatever.


    • Larry says:

      I’m feeling scared and alone too, like a little boy who feels I can’t do this on my own. But several times a week I get out and spend recreational time with people. Often it feels good. When it doesn’t, the walls seem to be inside me and I end up later at home wailing loss of Noreen, that sinks into little boy feelings of desperation at being frighteningly alone. I was hurting at work all day today, and felt lost and awkward around people. Later at home I cried deeper painful acceptance of loss of Noreen that felt intolerable 6 months ago, and then I wailed like a small child frightened and alone, needing to be seen and heard but no one’s noticing. I’m heading out tonight with a friend to a talk and slide show on nature photography, despite it being -17 C (1 F) and going down tonight to -21 C (-9 F). Ahhhh!. Warm sunny Santa Barbara. Was that a dream?

    • THE Ultimate Guru says:


      I know how strongly you dislike me from the previous blog installment and I know you might just ignore what I have to say altogether, but I did want to mention that you have my full empathy on dealing with the day-to-day inconvenience of blindness. Months before our little spat I talked with Jack and another primaller about your vision situation and I couldn’t help but say I felt bad about it. I tried carrying forth with my daily activities with my eyes closed for 5-10 minutes one day recently and it was all I needed to know about the everyday challenges you must face in this area.

      Anyway, I know our personalities don’t seem to mix very well otherwise, so I will just leave it at that.

  50. Fiona says:

    This is really sad, Margaret. Belonging is an important thing in our lives. It helps validate us in a way.
    I have been avoiding writing here.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Fiona: You reminding Margaret that is was “sad”. was superfluous: she had already said so. My feeling;- that did not really help and by my reckoning was pseudo support.

      I attend a weekly HIV sopport group. Support isn’t telling the other paricipants what they want to hear; BUT often telling them that, that seemingly they don’t want to hear, but saying how I personally deal with the same or similar situations.

      To make my point, a subject that comes up repeatedly is; at what point does one reveal their HIV satatus. I say immediatley, cos to not do so can exacerbate their future relationship. Most say it’s no one elses business (even I might add, whilst having [safe] sex with them). I totally disagree. Others are scarred to death, feeling they might lose the relationship. I say that NOT telling imediately is likely to cause greater problems in the future and losing them anyway. Still, that does not way-lays their fears … but slowly (ever so slowly) a couple have began to agree with me, but are still scarred.


      • Margaret says:

        I didn’t get what you were saying to me at all, I didn’t get whether it was criticism or approval or support, whether you thought I was expressing my feelings in the right or wrong way.

        Fiona’s comment did feel suportive as what mattered to me is that she made me feel she understands.

        I am getting a little tired of your criticisms to people, and you inspired me to translate an old Dutch saying, in a free interpretation, here it comes:
        “How serve candles and glasses thee, when thou, dear owl, don’t want to see?”

        My point being you are mostly focused on finding any negative interpretaion you can focus onin what people say, and don’t want to even listen to the rest of the message.

        I did agree though with what you say about being more open about HIV.

        • Jack Waddington says:

          Margaret: you say “I didn’t get what you were saying to me at all,” If you don’t ‘get what I am saying … to you, I suggest/feel instead of reading the message, you were so per-occupied as to whether I was criticizing you, or praising you.

          I wasn’t doing either. I made a suggestion, and called it “The Gospel According to Art Janov” I’ll state it again (page 68, footnote “The Primal Scream” original edition). There are two components of a full- feeling experince: feeling it AND expressing it. I have no idea if you express your feeling of sadness and loneliness, but, to use a cliche; laying in bed feeling sad or otherwise is only the first part of the feeling. The expression, (your own natural way to express sadness {that you knew in early child-hood}) is required to complete the feeling (Gospel According to Art Janov). If this continues to NOT make sense to you, then I cannot help, other than to say EXPRESS it … your way.

          It is interesting that in order to make ‘my point’ you seemed to fully understand my point about when to disclose your HIV status. I caused something of a consternation in my HIV Support Group when I suggested that a reluctance to disclose immediately, was depriving them of a fulfilling life, IMO.

          To Neurotics; denial abounds.


      • Vicki says:

        Jack, I don’t like it that you dumped on Fiona. Piss off!

  51. Margaret says:

    it is not because I don’t like some things you might say that I automatically dislike you as a person.
    How could I as I know so little about you?

    Usually with most people there is a bunch of qualities I do like and some attitudes or bhaviours I don’t like and then I hope they will maybe change eventually as peoppple keep developing, specially when they are willing to be honest and learn.

    And yes, with some people there is more compatibility than with others, but I can’t think of anyone I really hate.

    I appreciated what you said about my vision loss. I am glad I can say there is just a little part of it left, so I can still vaguely distinguish certain contrasting shapes and silhouettes.
    That makes a huge difference, I remember once having had to patch that one eye of mine that still sees that tiny bit, and how scary it was suddenly not to see anything at all. That was so disorienting and so much more isolating still.

    I am curious abou tyou and hope to meet you one day on a retreat or in a group.

    Happy Holidays to all of you, a little early maybe but hey, right now I am in the mood!

  52. Fiona says:

    My world is quite overwhelming right now. Partner diagnosed with one of those scary diseases that only other people get, and a parent who has had a bit of a mental breakdown (as we used to call it), and who consequently wants to sit on my knee and curl up in a ball for a cuddle.

    Ordinarily, I would write on here about my situation, and through writing, access a feeling or two. Right now – because of the aggression, anger, manipulation and twisting of truths that I feel is present from some, I don’t feel safe to write. I do not want to be dictated to about what is “technically” the right thing to do/say/feel. I do not want someone to veer off on a bizarre tangent, and muddle what I am trying to say/feel. Constructive criticism? Absolutely! Yes. Sympathy? yes! Obviously I want something because I read/write here – that is what we are all doing here, right?! We are all TRYING to fill a need here.

    We are ALL acting out here!! It just feels like some of ‘your’ motives are MUCH sicker than mine!

    (and – no! I do not feel the need to address anyone personally. It is unnecessary as the feeling is my objective, not the struggle!)

    • Larry says:

      My impulse is to encourage you Fiona to not allow anyone to dictate anything to you (because I can’t stand anyone dictating anything to me), and to not allow your views to be swayed by someone who is a bully or who is unable to see (because I would be lost if I didn’t learn to listen to my own voice…..if torn between your voice or someone else’s, choose yours), and to not let them silence you, because we all need and deserve to be heard. We who value this blog help make it what it is through our contributions to it. Maybe I’m writing this to you mostly for myself, because one of my inner voices is yelling at me these days, telling me to stop being so f@#$ing afraid to come forward, because in a few decades my life will be over and I could very well safely?? hide right to the end of it, and that would be a sad waste of my life.

      Your world does sound overwhelming Fiona. I’m glad you let us know and I hope you find some help and strength from this blog like I do.

      • Fiona says:

        I just need to feel those feelings of dis-trust and criticism Larry. (which I am doing!) I like the support I get here, and the rest is worth a “trigger” or two! 🙂

  53. THE Ultimate Guru says:


    OK, I’m going to approach this topic very carefully. I fully realize many people don’t like to be psychoanalyzed and I can only give a certain conclusion with which I’ve come to understand things. Be aware I am only writing this for me or otherwise it would simply fade away into forgetfulness.
    If I, myself, was suddenly blinded, I feel that I would be dealing with a primary form of dishonesty every day. I wouldn’t be able to discern the sight-required everyday details of life that most people take for granted. I wouldn’t be able to honestly see things for what they are on a very literal basis.
    I suspect that, in order for my own brain to cope with this primary form of “sight dishonesty” I would have to discard many notions of psychological dishonesty as secondary in nature. Simply put, I feel like many peoples’ emotional sensibilities of what are truth and lies would no longer carry as much importance to me if my brain was trying to cope with the primary dishonesty of impaired eyesight.
    My words seem a bit jumbled above…So, in other words since parts of my brain would have to constantly make allowances for sight dishonesty it would also have to make significant sacrifices in allowing many areas of psychological (secondary) dishonesties to not disturb me as a side effect.

    I have dealt with a background of intense psychological dishonesty and I’m trying to recover from that and set things right. These things are very important to me because I’ve always been able to take the gift of decent eyesight for granted.

  54. Jack Waddington says:

    Larry: You say;- “I would be lost if I didn’t learn to listen to my own voice…..” That never worked for me. I need to feel my OWN feelings and express them. That tells me everything.I need to know.


    • Larry says:

      The difference might be only semantics Jack, or maybe it is something more subtle, I don’t know you quite well enough to sense all of the meaning underneath what you say. We do communicate by more than words after all. By my voice I mean my thinking, my intuition, my feeling all combined, all informing me. I accept how it is for you as you spell it out. That is your experience and it is valid for you. It means a lot to you, is important to you, I’m only replying because I like you and am interested in fostering understanding.of differences if there are any, if any understanding can happen. if not, life still goes on and we each muddle our way through it in our own way..

  55. Larry says:

    I went to my work Christmas party this past Saturday evening. I walked in alone, my stomach in a knot, and sat at the nearest table where I saw someone who I felt comfortable with. The majority of the people in the room were from a sister organization that was sharing the Christmas venue with ours. I didn’t know if my friend intended to stay at my table, or if he would soon get up and mingle with other people he knew amongst the other tables, leaving me stranded with people I felt unfamiliar with. I looked around and saw a few other tables of people from my workplace, but I felt anchored to my chair. As much as I would have wanted to, I would not get up to go visit my co-workers at other tables. I didn’t have the confidence. I worried that I would embarrass myself in my lack of poise and my desperate need for them to take me in. I felt very, very alone and scared, not at all like a mature confident adult at friendly party. I had some nice conversations with people at my table, mainly with the people who I didn’t know well so the conversation was one of getting to know each other. The people at my table got up, mingled, came back. Some didn’t come back. A married couple at my table got me up on dance floor where I embarrassed myself for a few minutes, but I felt good I was up there. Then that couple left the party, and I was back in my chair. One co-worker who I hadn’t seen for many months, a married woman and new mother, came to visit me at my table, even invited me to dance with her but I wouldn’t…I was too insecure…I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of my co-workers…I wanted to hide yet wanted her attention. Then she left to mingle elsewhere. Eventually there were only myself and one other person left at my table. In the event the other person left to mingle, I could not endure to be left alone at mine, so I left the party before that could happen. Other people could visit each other so easily and comfortably and chat with each other so confidently, whereas I, frozen with fear and need, could not even walk across the room comfortably. I’ve been at my workplace of 300 or so for 16 years. I am sick of my fear of socializing with them. I arrived home that evening despising myself and my insecurities. I felt hopeless that I will ever break out of my irrational suffocating infant need before my life is over. I felt very alone and disappointed in me. I thought what a wonder it was that I once had Noreen, and we both came from the same place and understood and accepted each other, understood each other’s fears and shortcomings and they didn’t matter to each other, we still loved one another. Now in my black lonely hour there was no one to love me, not even me.
    It was a shock to us to receive Noreen’s cancer diagnosis. It was being hit by a gravel truck, and trying to get up and being hit again. It was being pounded between anvil and forge into a different life, not one of my choice. It was being helpless to save a most valuable part of my life….my wife’s. It is feeling how noone or nothing could help save us from the destruction that befell us. So when I saw this video yesterday, passed along from primal friend to primal friend, I cried and cried.

    I’m glad I went to my workplace party. It was in the long run better than staying home alone.

    • Larry says:

      Yesterday evening, upon arriving home to my condo from work, I grabbed a towel, just in case, to muffle the sound, and let myself gradually sink into a feeling, and lay on the floor and eventually screamed infant adult need, loss, disbelief, desperate fear. I feel better now on this side of the feeling.

    • Vicki says:

      Larry, I just read your party story, and watched the video — my response: Yes, Larry.

  56. Margaret says:

    I understand what you talk about, in a general way of speaking of course, as only you can really feel the finesses of what it means to you.

    In some way losing most of my eyesight, has had its positive consequences too.

    I used to be overly independent, boasting I didn’t need anyone, didn’t care about having girlfriendsand generally looked at the world as a place filled with rivals in which you had to fight and be strong. I guess I was pretty arrogant, though it was only a defense to hide all the underlying fear and insecurity I preferred to deny.

    And all of a sudden, losing my eyesight forced me to face my vulnerability and gratefullness for true kindness, and my need for other people.

    In the process I soon realised how much closer this was to my real inner self, and thus it gave a boost to my therapy.

    It is impossible to describe it clearly in a few words, so please just take my word for it.

    Don’t get me wrong, I still value greatly being as independentas possible, and still can pick and enjoy a good fight, haha, as most of you know.

    I only know I have become a gentler person in the process of admitting my sorrow and need and sadness to myself. I seem more able to recognise the pain in others and to deal with it in different ways instead of rejecting them ‘blindly’ for their actouts.

    Being blind is a continuous state of being forced to face your own pain most of the time, as there is little way to escape it.

    But it also means I deeply appreciate simple true kindness and how that is any person’s biggest quality in my disabled eyes.

    I so much liked your honest description of that party and how it was for you. I relate so much to you, it seemed like an account of one of my own party experiences.

    Also what you said about how seducing it can be to just hide comfortably for that last lifespan, rang a bell in me with unwelcome but significant shrillness.

    I have to face a couple of parties myself this month, and will try to make the best of it.

    Happy Holidays to al of you,

  57. Jack Waddington says:

    Larry: Words, words, words and that human function that creates words, according to Benjamin Lee Whorf “We think in language” (words).
    Sure it’s semantics, but so is all the political and other rhetoric that abounds. I was about to add to my comment, but didn’t, so I will now:- “a four year old child knows what ‘feeling’ means, but you’ve got to be a 30 year old guru to fully understand the meaning of ‘inner voice'”. I try hard to keep it simple (my second favorite word), but I rarely succeed. So, I was uttering to MYSELF with my comment..

    Allow me Larry, to carry the semantics a little further. You said to Fiona “because I can’t stand anyone dictating anything to me”, then, went on to dictate (or maybe just suggest), “if torn between your voice or someone else’s, choose yours”. Don’t you think Fiona already knows this, and wasn’t that contradicting your earlier sentence????

    This whole blog is one huge semantic exercise, (which I enjoy), but, I FEEL, serves the purpose of furthering feelings (the purpose of Primal Therapy), but I sometimes feel it all gets ‘mushy’ when we are just offering sympathy (pseudo support in my book). To quote President Clinton, “I feel your pain” My response:- “Mr Clinton, that doesn’t help me”.

    Your story about the party was very moving and, seemingly, you got a feeling out of it, and then went home and expressed it. Great!


    • THE Ultimate Guru says:

      I admit that you do make good points sometimes. You definitely have a right to say whatever you feel like saying, but still…sometimes you remind me of the harshy correcting nun with the ruler in the “Blues Brothers” movie (1980). The similarities I saw between you and the nun in this clip amused me somehow:

      • THE Ultimate Guru says:

        typo – *harshly

      • Larry says:

        Ha haaahhhh! And who reminds you of the Blues Brothers? 🙂

        • THE Ultimate Guru says:

          I really have nobody in particular that the Blues Brothers themselves remind me of. This insight was a very slow-forming one for me over many months of time listening to Jack and it only crystallized itself yesterday into this Blues Brothers movie scene with the nun. It’s almost like the insight itself was a slowly activating volcano that finally erupted into the video clip I just posted.

          • Larry says:

            An after tremor brought into focus for me that you could stand in for one of the ‘Brothers”; 🙂

          • Vicki says:

            I liked the clip. I know I saw the movie years ago, but had forgotten. But as she’s fiddling with the stick in her hands behind the desk, it was just a matter of time that she used it on them. Of course, being who they are, they could not keep from repeating every word that kept pissing her off! Resulting in Belushi’s flight down the stairs in a desk!
            I did not choose to do that. After my dad hit me, hurting my back and sending me headfirst into my closet-wall, I never called my brother an “asshole!” again …until after I moved out on my own.

  58. Margaret says:

    I could agree with what you say if you’d only focus on feeling pain and expressing it being the goal.

    Maybe some of us are also practising friendship here on this blog,by offering their sympathy and support without any second agenda.

    not everything in life needs to be therapeutically useful and aimed at letting people feel their pain.

    Sometimes it is just great and welcome to get what you call pseudo-support.

    Without it some of us might even sink into depression, so it can also be very useful. not that that should be necessary, nice is fine with me.

    Why do you feel like evaluating what other people say to each other anyway?

    I’d expect you’d prefer them to just say what they say and feel what they feel with as little words as possible,but it seems you do like to complicate and elaborate the semantics for some reason.

    Not analizing you, ha, I am not intelligent enough for that, I know, and I am about to piss off, no need to scream and shout.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Margaret: “Why do you feel like evaluating what other people say to each other anyway?” That’s your feeling … not mine

      “but it seems you do like to complicate (your judgement of my intent … again, not mine) and elaborate the semantics for some reason.” Since I am into words by virtue of having written two books: hence my reason. I gathered; though I could be wrong; that irks you. Incidentally I do know a ‘bit’ about friendship, I have a few.

      Not analizing you, ha, I am not intelligent enough for that, (there’s a figure of speech to encapsulate this remark; can’t think of it for the moment, but you are quite smart by my reckoning.) I know, and I am about to piss (‘you’ meaning me?) off, no need to scream and shout. It’s hard to shout on a written blog, so again I assume that is your impression of what I was doing … again; not mine. Telling someone “to piss off” is simple, short, to the point, and doesn’t require much by way of volume. I once told Barry to “piss off.” Actually I might have even said “fuck off.”

      Margaret: I love the banter. Hope you do too.


  59. Happy Holiday everyone! We hope to see most of you at tonight’s Christmas group – We will miss those of you who can’t be here. We are hanging ornaments on the tree that have some significance in our lives. I have one as well ! Feel free to let us know what you would put on the tree if you were with us tonight ! Gretch

    • Larry says:

      1983 was my second year in LA and in the Primal community, my second Christmas in LA, and until then my only Christmas’s that weren’t in my parents’ house. And 1983 was my first Christmas with Noreen. By then we were living together. That first Christmas was a stark contrast to what I grew up with…which was 6 siblings, mountains of presents and lots of noise, then later siblings and their spouses and the grandchildren at my parents’ house and heaps of presents and frenzies of activity. But each passing year those Christmas’s felt more empty and dead of real feeling that the presents tried to fill, until the grandchildren brought some life back into Christmas. In contrast, on that first Christmas of my life with Noreen our tree was small, our decorations minimal. The gifts under our tree were few, for each other. Christmas morning was a quiet, simple affair. The gifts under the tree were nice but not the main reason for my contentment. The most precious gift for me was that she wanted to be with me, and share life with me. It was the most profound, priceless gift of all. It felt to me like the gift of life. Of the few ornaments that we decorated that first Christmas tree with, one was a small three inch high teddy bear wearing a Santa hat. We placed teddy Santa at the top of the tree, where the angel or star traditionally goes. That teddy bear sat atop all of our subsequent Christmas trees, and I have it still. To hang it on your Christmas tree would stir a lot of feelings for me. Noreen brought so much positive change to my life, and still does even now in her absence, when I feel how empty it is without her and how empty it was before her, and how lucky I was for the time with her, and how much more grounded and whole I felt then than ever before or since. Because she loved me, and I loved her. And I’d never known anything like it. Now more than ever I am coming to realize what I never had as a child, as I struggle to grapple with what I no longer have as and adult. The world threatens to again become the bleak empty place of my youth, so alone and crippled I try to swim against that trend to find meaning for me. I don’t feel it for myself, but I do wish you a Merry Christmas.

      • Vicki says:

        Larry, I was picturing that apartment you lived in, remembering it, while reading your story. I remember having your tofu lasagna, and how good it was. I asked, and you gave me the recipe. And I remember seemingly endless (two years of) weekends of volleyball at Venice beach, and how bad Noreen was, even worse than me, but she didn’t care, which was wonderful! She was having a good time anyway, and that was what counted. I admired her ability to be carefree about it.

  60. Margaret says:

    Hi Gretchen,
    I thought of something for the Christmas tree.
    You could hang up a little mirror for me.
    It stands for clarity, openness,honesty,caring for yourself and for ‘the one on tthe other side’,insight and reflection.
    Happy Holidays once more,
    Margaret and molimet the cat.

    • Vicki says:

      Margaret, I went to the Christmas group. I found it difficult to come up with something to depict an abstraction. I’m trying to change a number of things, succeeding but still struggling with them all: my diet, my health, my mess of possessions, my home, my job. My ornament had the word “Perseverance”, on a small picture of a Road-sign on the Highway, with related quotations on the back — there were so many, I just picked the ones I felt were best:
      Perseverance is “continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition” – dictionary definition
      – When the world says, “Give up,” Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.” – Author Unknown
      – When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. – Franklin D. Roosevelt
      – Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there. – Josh Billings
      – Fall seven times, stand up eight. – Japanese Proverb
      – Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another. – Walter Elliott
      – Difficult things take a long time, impossible things a little longer. – Author Unknown
      – If you are going through hell, keep going. – Winston Churchill
      And my own current version: “I’m still here.”

  61. Miguel says:

    Marry Christmas for Margaret, Larry, and for all the primal community

  62. Margaret says:

    Ha Miguel, thanks, I hope I get a marry new year too, haha!
    Merry Christmas to you too, or better said, Feliz Navidad!
    Margaret y gato

  63. Margaret says:

    Hi all,
    it is Christmas Eve and I am alone at home with my cat.
    I seem to have taken care of all the preparations for celebrating tomorrow with my mother and brother. Normally we celebrate tonight but my brother preferred to do it tomorrow.
    My mom is invited by her neighbours tonight.
    I didn’t think I’d mind being on my own today, but I am starting to feel kinda lonely.
    I have taken care of all my friends needs and partly of mine by sending them my Xmas wishes,and leaving them alone now while they are leading their lifes and celebrating with their families.
    It is ok and the right thing to do but I do feel sorry for myself.
    I might call someone after all later on.

    At least I did manage to find good gifts for tomorrow, which is nice.

  64. Margaret says:

    Ha! My mother just gave me a call, it makes the world of difference! I was just starting to feel really low, feeling very sorry for myself noone calls me, why does the initiative alwas seem to come from my side and so on and so on…
    Surely in reality it doesn’t always only comes from my side, but I started feeling all alone in the world.

    It was so nice I could tell my mother and we could joke a little about it, and she promised me to give me another call after her visit to the neighbours.

    She really is my anchor.
    i do feel sad about …, well, pick your choice.
    Merry Xmas
    Oh, right now my brother also gave me a call! Big relief, half an hour ago I was dreading how i might end up feeling if noon paid any attention to me at all today.

    • Vicki says:

      Hi Margaret, I have been watching a website in which Norad tracks Santa’s location all over the world, and Santa is in Brussles, Belgium right NOW! I figure, better “Santa” than “god”, anyway. I hope Santa is treating you well. Merry Christmas!

      • Vicki says:

        I watched santa fly over Brussels, and he’s in Paris now. They said Santa travels 91,000 miles in 24 hours. They are not sure how he does it, but centuries of flying have certainly made him a great pilot.

        • Vicki says:

          I also learned that the Canadian Postal service assigned one of their usual 6 character postal codes to the North Pole, of “H0H 0H0” which can be translated to… to “H0 H0 H0”. I like it.

  65. Merry Christmas everyone! We hope you are all having a wonderful holiday – This coming week I would love to hear your New Years resolutions! Gretch

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Gretchen: not a great fan of New Year Resolutions, but since you ask:- Mine, to express my feelings simpler more directly and succinctly, off the top of my head as they occur to me. Then to do a little less thinking. The later being a tough one for me.


  66. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    In deference to your privacy, I won’t reveal the details why but you’re either lying to me or Gretchen and I feel pissed about it.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Guru: I wasn’t sure what my terminologicalinexactitudes were, but since I have no problem about my own privacy,, go ahead.

      I assumed that gurus were able to transcend anger and pissed-offness. It seems I was wrong about that also LOL


      • THE Ultimate Guru says:


        You told me in your email it wouldn’t be appropriate to share what was said. I will respect that sentiment but I can at least be mad about it for a while.

        • Jack Waddington says:

          Guru: Let me fill your comment out out a bit … I felt it would be inappropriate to put on the Primal blog comments I made to Art’s blog that he decided to not publish. Your suggestion to me.

          It’s ok by me, for you to be mad about it: but that’s all, that’s your feeling. QED


          • THE Ultimate Guru says:

            Okay, since you opened it up…

            You told Gretchen almost the polar opposite of what you tried to post to Art. You said to him you have felt “all there is to feel” and this was rejected by Art. I encouraged you to post what happened here. Instead, you went ahead and told Gretchen, “I need to stop thinking so much.”

            Can you see why this turn of events might aggravate some people, at least?

            At the very least, if you’re not a liar then you’re very notorious for sending mixed messages.

            • Jack Waddington says:

              Guru: you wrote “You said to him you have felt ‘all there is to feel’ “. If I said that it was a huge typo, otherwise I assume you mis-read me. Go back on his blog and quote me … at length and in context..

              I suspect all the other commentators are getting tired of our banter.


              • THE Ultimate Guru says:

                On December 7th you told me this (exact quote):
                “Art Janov suggested after one of my comments that the feeling world is better to which I replied that I was as far as could be , in the feeling world. He has not posted this last comment of mine.”

                I can finish this conversation, too, but it really starts to drive me crazy when I see what you told me vs. Gretchen.
                I can let this rest now, but you’re very frustrating to me sometimes, Jack.

                • Jack Waddington says:

                  Guru: Can’t resist this … so as well as being pissed-off with, me you are also very frustrated with me. Mmmm, now you’ve got two feelings.


                  • THE Ultimate Guru says:

                    The problem is:
                    Your approach is much like chopping someone’s finger off with a cleaver just so you can watch him grimace in pain and say, “See? There’s a feeling!”.

  67. Lying?? I am thinking I missed something. G.

  68. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    Gretchen: Jack recently sent me an email. It wouldn’t be fair for me to share it without Jack’s permission, but it helps to explain why I was irritated by what he told you earlier today.

  69. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    I will add that this is only a relatively minor irritant that is not clouding my day-to-day life. I DO think (yes, think!) it’s worth going over in more detail, but Jack’s not on my shit list and I’ve dealt with far worse than this.

    • THE Ultimate Guru says:

      Reluctantly and with a shaking fist I have to close this topic since Jack explicitly requested it. Six-point Incredible Hulk anger score over this incident is 2.5.
      Midway between:
      2) Annoyed
      3) Angry

      • THE Ultimate Guru says:

        Oops, I had forgotten my full Incredible Hulk list from October 17th.
        This would qualify as:
        3) Aggravated
        Anger is another point up that list,

  70. Jo says:

    I can’t think about new year’s resolution yet Gretchen, as I am still ‘raw’ from xmas day!

    I have no reason to feel as bad as I am feeling. I was invited to dinner and dvd chez my son and family Xmas eve, and yesterday, Xmas day was there from lunchtime till 9.30pm. It was a phenomenal meal and company, though at 7.30 I was done, and tired. I stayed till 9.30, (and by then felt overwhelmed at the hyperness of the children!) as that was when son’s wife’s parents were leaving to drive back to their town, and drop me off home on the way. I cried when I got in – fatigue but more I think because it was a mixed day of mostly feeling part of and accepted in the family. But also because I felt on the outside sometimes because of the French language.
    Overall, it was far far more than I ever had when I was young. I felt I so needed someone at that point last night to hold me/make everything alright.
    Our family Christmas’s were something I remember as warm and magical but in comparison to the French Christmas just experienced with my son and his family, my young life when at home was so quiet, barely interactive, non-eventful, nothing.

    It also reminds me of when I was taken to a christmas party (and dropped off) when I was small, I felt ‘on the outside’ and overwhelmed.
    Today, I cant hold in the tears. I have more stuff to look forward to this week, things couldn’t be better. But I am so miserable today!

    • Larry says:

      Sounds like a good way to feel bad Jo, getting something good in the present that clarifies how bad it was in the past. 🙂

  71. Margaret says:

    Hi Gretch,
    my resolution for the new year is to try, well not to have to apologize in the first place, but if I do, to do it in a proper way.

    Recently a person I feel close to took more time than expected to contact me which caused me to feel a whole set of feelings which I don’t want to get into here.
    The point is when that person did get in touch, he/she simply said:”I have let you down again, I am so sorry. I should have contacted you, can we get in touch during the weekend?”

    This simple message did miracles for me. By then I had already sorted out many of the old feelings that were triggered, but now every last remaining bit of fear or resentment that might have been left was washed away.

    It struck me that none of the valid justifications I knew the person in quuestion had to explain the delay were added to the apology, and I felt clearly how that mattered and made a big difference.

    This kind of sorry made me feel the person empathised and acknowledged entirely the feelings I had had to face while being ‘on hold’, feeling insecure and let down, trying to comfort myself with possible explanations, but despiite myself being gradually invaded by hurt.

    If the ‘sorry’ would have been followed in the same sentence by justifications,even completely valid ones, it would have diminished its emotional value.
    Because the emphasis would have been on the other persons point of view, and for me, the one that had felt hurt, it could even be interpreted as “I’d do it again”.

    Now the emphasis was on acknowledging my hurt of being insecure, not knowing what was going on at the time and feeling let down.
    That sorry is much more effective and says that even if the justifications in case were entirely valid, it was obvious there was no bad intention , on the contrary,, the intention was clearly not wanting to cause hurt. .

    I finally understood what I had heard a couple of times before, that a ‘sorry’ followed by a ‘but’ doesn’t really do the trick.
    Explaining can be useful in some cases of course but certainly it is usually better not to do so in the same breath so to say.

    So that is one plan for the new year, to do my best to give a proper apology if needed.

  72. Larry says:

    I am disappointed to write that I’ll be glad when the memory of this Christmas is far behind me. I had a particularly difficult time this year getting into the festive mood. It felt more difficult because I am more aware of and pained at being alone now, and having to alone without Noreen make my life work. I made myself do the Christmas routine. I attended the parties. I phoned or emailed friends I wanted to connect to. I bought presents for family in Manitoba who I planned to spend Christmas with. I made plans to visit other family and friends. I finally mailed out my Christmas cards, and even finally willed myself to put up our decorations. Throughout I felt painfullly hollow because I was alone and would never know another Christmas with Noreen. I knew it was better to try to at least go through the motions of Christmas, and be with people that mattered, rather than shut the season out and keep to myself. Then in mid December I got a cold that knocked me down hard. Weakened and having trouble breathing because I am also asthmatic, I was not fit to travel or visit extensively. For the first time in my life I awoke alone on what can be the loneliest day of the year. I shudder at the memory of the day and the oh so empty, lonely feeling, and my desperate need to not succumb to it and withdraw as is my pattern, but to try to put some warmth and joy in the day somehow. Exploring options, phoning and reaching out to a few people and getting invitations by two separate friends to join them and their family for Christmas dinner, but then participating in the Unitarian church’s pot luck Christmas dinner, salvaged the day from becoming a scar on my memory. And tonight I’ve been invited to a friends’ New Years Eve get together, snatching me again from being lonely and alone on another day when the rest of the world is partying and celebrating. I’m crying a lot for Noreen this month, and how her non-judgmental loving acceptance of all of me as I am, was her gift to me of myself, that gave me a center and a joy and a strength. Now I wander a vast desolate landscape alone, lost, feeling fragile and vulnerably dependent on the goodwill of people who let me into their lives. No doubt not feeling secure in my childhood in a solid bond with anyone contributes to my feelings of fragility now. My resolution for the new year is simple, and I feel I have no choice but to keep it. My resolution is to continue plodding forward with this therapy, and to keep walking toward and dismantling my pain while embracing life. I will keep the resolution because the alternative scares me even more, to withdraw and hide from everything and guarantee I am trapped in this loneliness and emptiness forever.

    • Vicki says:

      In emails, Brian and I were wondering whether you recovered enough to make it to Winnipeg this year. I’m not sure I could have put up decorations, in your position, I wouldn’t have the heart, unless I knew someone would come over and see them. Anyway, Larry, good luck this coming weekend.

      This week, as I’m off work, I am catching up on some errands and housework (which is lonely work), as well as phoning friends, and seeing movies in theatres. I saw “Twilight” & “Sherlock Holmes”, tomorrow probably “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” or “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”, and I also want to see “Hugo”, “Tintin”, & “The Artist”, and maybe “J.Edgar”, and “Mission Impossible”. Unlikely I will make it to all of them. I saw “The Help” already, and liked it very much, it will get Oscar noms, and probably a win or two, unless the new films out have something special.

    • Jo says:

      You salvaged something for yourself Larry, tough though it was…and your resolution sounds right, and I echo that for my resolution too.

  73. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    Wouldn’t the words “Christmas” and “New Years” be a pointless memetic to an atheist that believes in no life after death? If you witness hordes of people following this central memetic that notably provides a ton of income to retailers worldwide, why would you feel better in joining their weakness?

    • THE Ultimate Guru says:

      And before anyone bothers to tell me, “It’s an opportunity to rekindle heartwarming friendships with people, blah blah blah” I’ve been to plenty of sweet little X-Mas parties in years past. I ask this question more as a challenge question since Barry and Art and much of the primal gang are atheists. So….why is this arbitrary scheduling on December 25th set by people thousands of years ago that we never even knew make this day such an enormous pressure for people? Can you envision the sheer power in setting up a magical date to tell millions of strangers when they should go see their friends and family?

      • Vicki says:

        Interesting, U.G., I found myself unable to return a simple answer, but my hunch led me to think, “straw man”, which led me to reading about “straw man” and other kinds of fallacies on Wikipedia — I had forgotten a lot of that intellectual reasoning I once knew a bit better, many years ago. I also have a feeling you set up the question, because you already know the answer. But I’m not sure.
        This is more about anger at all the money some people are making off the holidays, that you are not making, isn’t it? And trying to turn that into some “grand plot”. Because you know that Dec. 25th IS arbitrary, a long-ago-made cultural agreement, which has simply gathered “power” accidentally from sheer numbers of participants. So there is no “overall plot” by some unknown power, at work. The “mind” of “society” just isn’t one organized entity, it doesn’t really exist. So, aren’t you just pissed off about something else?

        • THE Ultimate Guru says:

          I have a bad feeling this could turn into a long discussion, which may not be what I had in mind. Personally I did have several small, upsetting setbacks this month but the main project I am aiming for appears to be just about finished. And yes you were right I was angry about something else this past morning. Something idiotic happened that I’d rather not discuss in public, but I will correct it.
          I asked my questions from the standpoint of a neutral, strong agnostic. The questions I asked were not ones to which I “knew” the answers. I wanted to peer into the minds of atheists a bit and see what makes them tick. Your point on the development of Christmas being a compilation of events is well taken, but if one knew it had farcical origins yet played along with the festivities anyway….does that make the person dishonest? I just had a feeling that many retailers, by the way, view it the way I did in my question. I have no jealousy brewing towards retailers LOL (at least as far as I know).
          My post was not a straw argument for I was exploring things, not trying to prove something.

          • THE Ultimate Guru says:

            I guess it just didn’t make much sense for me to see atheists go near festivities celebrating Jesus’ birthday (no I’m not a Jesus freak, just observing!). It just felt like they were burning the candle at both ends there..

            • THE Ultimate Guru says:

              “Jesus freak” sounds too derogatory to me, make that “Jesus fanatic” instead, thanks.

            • Larry says:

              Fellowship. The potluck supper that I attended at the Unitarian church on Christmas day was attended by 13 other people. Some of them were what you would label as atheists, some as agnostic,and some believed in some sort of higher power which some referred to as their God. I sat next to Bruce, who is maybe in his forties but looks much older. He fights depression and alcoholism. He reeks of the smell of cigarette smoke. He once had a girlfriend, but can’t sustain a relationship. He has a university degree, but is unable to hold a job. His unsmiling face creased with anxiety and his sad eyes can’t hide the unfair burden of emotional pain that is his prison. He’s been given the official medical diagnosis of having mental disability, and as such can receive support from the state. He lives on welfare. He gets some of his groceries from a food bank. In the Unitarian community, which I again point out is a community of humanist non-believers and of believers dissatisfied with their traditional church, Bruce is accepted, respected, and cared about. He partook in conversation with everyone at the table. As we as a group sat down to our potluck Christmas meal, we rose our glasses in a toast to good cheer. Bruce sardonically said something to the effect of “I feel more real Christian fellowship happening here tonight than I get from any of my so called Christian friends.” He said if not for the fellowship of the potluck that Christmas evening, he would be at home drowning himself with alcohol. The teachings of Jesus were about caring about your fellow man. It is a sign of hope to me that for thousands of years people the world over set aside a day to try to pay homage to that sentiment.

              • THE Ultimate Guru says:

                Larry: Thanks for sharing that story. It was a good read, but for me I could never really feel hopeful if hope itself is nothing more than just tinkering with an internal chemistry set. Maybe it is that way and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it anyway.
                Vicki: 96.59% of the time you are a wonderful person to talk to over the years I’ve known you and you’ve been very helpful to me on many occasions. I do feel fearful of the “Release the Kraken!” mode that appears the other 3.41% of the time. Having revealed this information to you may encourage you to keep this Kraken in your arsenal, but oh well, what else can I do??

                • Vicki says:

                  You gave me a LoL this morning, thanks, I looked around, but don’t see the giant octopus anywhere! But thanks for responding above too. Even though the festivities have “farcical origins”, so it’s possible to look at my participation as somehow “dishonest”, I still don’t feel that way about it. I know I don’t believe what religious people believe, but the holidays have evolved with plenty of room for non-believers: I can cheekily follow Santa & Rudolph, or simply enjoy the Winter Solstice and the Rose Parade, along with some good food and company. A cultural tradition I’m happy to enjoy — because it’s more fun than not enjoying it.

                  • THE Ultimate Guru says:

                    No, there was no giant octopus around…but I did see some air bubbles rising to the ocean surface when you brought up the straw man and the retailers’ money topics. That was my warning to back away while the gate was still closed.

                    • THE Ultimate Guru says:

                      My nerves are shot right now. Feeling faint and shaking like a leaf. I have to eat. Shaking like crazy, though. Bad “cold sweat” type of feeling.

  74. Margaret says:

    Hi Vicki,

  75. Margaret says:

    that was a good and real story indeed.
    Thinking about it, I think what appeals to me in the whole set of festivities like Thanksgiving and Christmas, is the feeling that for a short time people make a conscious or subconscious attempt to be nicer to each other, or try to do so.
    I htink what touches me is that little bit of increased gentleness and temporary decrease of indifference.
    It triggers the awareness once more of what I craved and still crave.

    This Xmas with my mother and brother, I did my very best to prepare to make it nice, with poor results.
    The pain in my family is so obvious, and all the anxiety to try desperately to keep it ‘covered up’.

    I was so disappointed at the disfunctioning of it all, I had a very hard time not to loose my patience with my mother’s incessant childish behaviour, and ended up feeling very unhappy and frustrated, and of course guilty.

    I want them to be happy and adult and real, is that too much to ask? Ha!

  76. Margaret says:

    that is the hard part.
    I try like hell, but it i is imposible not to hurt when noticing their pain and fear and need.
    I automatically feel like wanting to fix it as until then there is only pain and frustration for me.

    Things get worse on festivities, as my compulsion to make it ok is much bigger, and it is much more obvious that there is so much fear and pain in our family.

    I have to try not to get sucked in too much, and at the same time to take care of things I can take care of.
    Both my motther and brother do have their qualities and there certainly are moments I can enjoy them.
    At one point I was the one losing patience with my mother, and to my surprise my brother took over and asked her very gentle and patiently about what she meant. I was so surprised and relieved, as so far the roles were usually the other way around.

    I did become aware though of how all this botled up tension and frustration can turn me into a somewhat mean and unpleasant person that tends to be controlling too,so that is definitely something I’d like to work on every time I become aware of it.

    I have recently had a kind of breakthrough sensing how in the past I literally have ‘switched off’ part of my feeling brain.

    So I do hope it will start to heal, but I fear all the locked up emotions in that area may be pretty painful.
    Love you all, I did sign up for the summer retreat.Hope to see you all there,

  77. Patrick Griffin says:

    I have not contributed to this blog before but I happen to know Jack rather well. We worked together on a software project for about 20 years. It makes me sick to see his argumentative skirmishing here, this is just the tip of the iceberg with this guy. It’s true that he comes across often as a kind of smug know it all who likes to argue. The reality is far worse, he is a deeply unfair person IMO and a nightmare if you have any substantial dealings with him. That’s why the blog is perfect for an asshole like he is,……..you never get to really know him, it’s just that his noxious fumes leak out and I do see a lot of people holding their nose.

    He likes to think of himself as a great ‘intellectual’ and compares himself favorably with Stephen Hawking. He actually compared himself to Galileo and Copernicus on the jacket of his ‘book’. HIs ‘book’ is not a book as commonly understood, it is self published, most people find it unreadable and all in all like something a 15 year old would produce for a high school exam. It is childish and consists of very superficial treatments of many topics, economics, psychology, religion etc etc. Again as I said a know it all but actually like a know nothing. He is so delusional that he keeps ‘promoting’ it, calling in radio stations, going on blogs etc…….of course he can’t even get his friends to read it. IMO he is a sick man, and I am not referring to his HIV status.

    On a personal level I have had a dispute with him recently and he just hangs up the phone and won’t talk to me…………..this from the guru of express your feelings etc. I have legitimate things to discuss with him but he hangs up and today even called the cops as I went over to his place to talk to him. Again typical inconsistency from this boorish asshole who poses on here as some kind of ‘whited sepulchre’. You all should know you are dealing with a borderline delusional megalomaniac. He is waiting from some kind of huge acclaim for his ‘book’ but I would challenge any of you to suceed in reading it. That’s not because it is ‘difficult’ (a la Stephen Hawking) but because it’s boring, badly written, totally derivative of Janov’s ideas, like I said something a high school student might produce just to get some credits

    Patrick Griffin
    Some of you may know me, I have had it with this loser

    • Fiona says:

      I agree with SO MUCH of what you say Patrick. Happily, I was able to give up MY struggle with Jack a few months ago. But now I find myself bracing for Jack’s probably abusive responses to what you just said! I await the onslaught of Jack’s twisting of your words and motivations with his manipulative reasonless-reasoning.

      I am glad that you wrote how you feel, it is obvious that you are very angry with him.

      Good luck for the following comments!

    • THE Ultimate Guru says:


      Obviously I don’t know Jack as well as you, but I have to ask: Since you are really bitter about him why did you work with him for so long? (20 years?)

      Beyond this, I can only stay neutral since I’ve only seen Jack in person a few times years ago.

    • Jim Sauerbier says:

      Whatever your issues with Jack, what you did yesterday was totally out of order: You did not just come around to talk to Jack, you actually broke into his house by lifting the door forcefully out.
      The neighbors called the police. Luckily Jack was elsewhere at that moment- it’s anybody’s guess what you might have done physically to him in your over-the-top rage!!!!! to a frail man of nearly 80!
      Jack did not press charges against you for breaking-and entering-although he still could!!
      I had the misfortune to be able to observe your long relationship with Jack up close and it was always tumultuous, to say the least- and your part in this was far from pretty-rather an abuse of your employer’s position.

      Jim (Jack’s namby-pamby friend according to one of your nasty e-mails to him)
      I did this posting on my own accord – Jack did not want me to do this!!!

    • Larry says:

      I want to add a dimension to your one-sided characterization of Jack. From my dealings with him, which has only been for a little more than two years, I know he has a sensitive and caring side.

  78. Clearly somebody needs to take a breath here – I don’t have a clue what this is all about but it feels really crazy. As you all know we don’t censor comments here, at the same time I don’t like to see the blog used to simply be hurtful or as an act of revenge. I also don’t personally have any problem with the site being used to express real feelings but that isn’t happening in this case either. To be honest it seems as though you all need some help with whatever is going on. Feel free to call if we can help in some way. Gretchen

  79. Margaret says:

    I do want to say to Jack’s defense he can be very nice too.

  80. vickib5 says:

    Hi Patrick, I had a similar thought to what U.G. said, “Why 20 yrs of this?” What part have you played in keeping the toxicity of the relationship going? I remember several years back, having a conversation with you, we also talked about other things, but you brought up how you were very angry at Jack, and it seemed like it had been going on a long time, and going nowhere. So whatever the real issues may be, I would guess that you’re chronically “stuck”, in how you’re dealing with it.

    I am not defending Jack, and I don’t know what facts are true. But if Jim is correct, that you broke into Jack’s place, and the neighbors called the police, then why did you hide that fact, Patrick? If you really want to resolve something, why distort any of it? And keeping your rage going isn’t working. Just as it doesn’t help Jack to do that either.

  81. Patrick Griffin says:

    To Jim: it is ironice that you exaggerate what happened yesterday, I did NOT break into his trailer, the sliding door was open and I thought Jack was there so I looked inside. Please don’t misrepresent what actually happened.

    It is ‘ironic’ because you are the dude who chased Jack around with a hammer more than once threatening to kill him, the result was so he could work in peace I bought him the present trailer he lives in. So please check yourself. I only wanted to talk to Jack yesterday which maybe to someone like you might seem strange but I can assure you I have NEVER taken a hammer and chased someone around threatening to kill him.

    Would buying him a trailer to get away from you count as “employer abuse”. The phrase “no good deed goes unpunished” comes to mind, of course for someone like Jack rather than feeling gratitude he tends to resent the person who gives him something because he feel he ‘owes’ them something he never wants to feel. I might also point out Jack refused to be an “employee’ and had to be considered his own company in a typical fit of hubristic pretentiousness. He was an ’employee’ when it suited him and a ‘free agent’ when it also suited him.

    Guru wonders why or how I worked with Jack for 20 years. Jack was/is a good programmer and some good work was done by him, punctuated with power tripping, rewriting the law according to what he wanted and blackmail if he was not getting what he wanted. Like everyone he has his good side but he has a very bad side and I put up with a huge amount of acting out over the years. He created some huge conflicts and crises but he seems to enjoy the attention.

    What I have a hard time more than anything is what I consider ‘hypocrisy’. Jack hung up on me several times recently (he also did this during his ‘fits’ over the years) and it seems very ironic and inconsistent of him given how he promotes feelings, free expression of feelings etc. He seeks out meeting and venues where he unloads his anger and yet when he encounters someone who is angry AT HIM, he doesn’t want to know and repeardly hangs up. This is of course rude but also maddeningly inconsistent especially coming from him.

    Hopefull Gretchen you kind of see what is happening and I am sorry if I bring stufff onto this blog which does not belong there. All I can say as an explanation is I was super frustrated by your ‘star patient’ there giving me the hang up treatment. As for you Jim, it may be hard for someone who seems super repressed to understand the importance of communication or saying and expressing feelings but IMO it is this very activity which makes picking up a hammer and threatening people quite un-neccesary. Please do not project your own issues onto me.

    • Anonymous says:

      Patrick, I did check again with the neighbor who confronted you yesterday and she confirmed that she saw you lifting Jack’ sliding door ( which was locked!!) out of its rail and then went in in a rage, while daring her the to call the police. On exciting you screamed like a maniac to the bystanders something very weird, “you are all heroes…”
      What you also left out to mention in your original posting is all the hate mail you have been sending Jack – calling him a pervert, a fag, and you were going to show him what being volatile really means when you come around to bust his gay ass, although you tried to make it a non-threat just so he cannot make a case against you. Also, since you chose this blog venue (the police told you NOT to continue with your e-mail harassment and telephone calls), why not tell the people here what the real issue is, namely, wanting to use Jack to get back at the people you transferred your business to!!!
      Your feverish brain seem to be concocting all kinds of weird stories about me chasing Jack with a hammer – could be some wishful thinking on your part since you yourself, as someone on this blog said, seem to be stuck in your dealings with Jack. You were always the one who again and again reintiated contacts with Jack.
      Calling me repressed is fine with me, although I could do my “primal number” on you in this respect.
      Hope you can resolve whatever is eating you up without resorting to violence.

  82. Patrick Griffin says:

    Just so people know I am a “Primal patient” though somewhat of a ‘lapsed’ one over the years. (Like a ‘lapsed’ Catholic) I was born in Ireland and lived through the rather stifling Catholocism of the ’50’s in that country.

    I do see elements of religous thinking in a lot of the Primal community. I think one reason I have so much conflict with Jack is he seems typical of a “religous” mindset specifically the priest or the preacher. You have the whole do as I say not as I do, the lecturing and hectoring, the one rule for him and another rule for the rest, hypocricy of course. Also a strong emphasis on the ‘mind’, disregard of feelings which might seem an odd thing to say about Jack but that’s how I see him. I have never seen him cry or heard anything from him that would indicate he had though he says he does. Anger and the expression of it he has in abundance which it typical of the preacher. Think Jerry Falwell, Glen Beck, Jimmy Swaggert (he ‘cried’ he also was a pervert) on and on. Jack is course a “Fundamentalist” of the Left or of Primal which of course is different but what’s really weird is the similarities. A calcified mind, totally hung up on ideology, endless repitition and little or no feeling. Strange but true IMO

    • Larry says:

      I appreciate your taking time to explain yourself. Sounds like you tried to be helpful to him once. Amazing how drastically relationships can change. Seems like you see all sorts of imperfections in him, yet still expect him to behave to you the way that you want. If you don’t mind my asking, what keeps you from disentangling your life from his? If Jack disappoints you, why do you make yourself available for him to? What keeps you two together?

      • Patrick Griffin says:

        Well we had what to me was a very exciting project building software to run moving and storage companies. There was a lot involved in this, as it also included interstate moving, van line interfaces etc

        As i said before I do believe Jack is a very good programmer, logical and extremely tenacious. He would literally go to bed with a problem and not let go until he got it. It’s hard to describe how exhilerating it was (for me) solving problems that I could then apply in my own business.

        Also Jack was “Primal” as I was, so there was a commonality or bond that was good. I always felt whatever disagreements we had could be talked through and hashed out. But now we seem to be at the end of the line. Sad I suppose.

        • Larry says:

          I might be way off base, but your outburst makes more sense to me now when I frame it as you being disappointed in your expectation of being treated fairly by a, and to the point of losing a kind of a (albeit difficult) friend. Sorry if I’m stating the obvious, but I’m fearful of anger, and don’t know you and have a need to understand the more personal reasons for your explosion. Really I thank you for taking the trouble to explain and help me get some perspective.

  83. Patrick Griffin says:

    Ok this is the last I will say on this: Jim I did NOT lift Jack’s door out of it’s rails. Just stop all the hearsay you were not there and the neighbors were not close to the trailer.

    Simple question: Did you or did you not chase Jack with a hammer? I remember Jack begging me to leave you and I gave him $20K to buy his trailer because it was an emergency! I postponed buying my only house for a year to help this dude get away from you! There is no ‘fevered brain’ involved there. It’s all sadly factual.

    I am aware the ‘gay’ thing is a sensitive area. However it ties into what I said about priests and preachers. I did not want to go there but since you bring it up perversion especially of the sexual kind is also part of the syndrome. (Another almost constant problem I had with Jack was legal problems related to this issue) Look at yourself and again be honest about the hammer!!.

    • Anonymous says:

      Simple answer: I did not chase Jack with a hammer -I never had any problems with being honest with myself and others, including you.
      The truth be told: I actually drew the cash for Jack as a down payment on his trailer April 1999 and our split was amicably as shown by this very fact. Jack paid me back and did the same with whatever money was owed to you- so ultimately Jack bought his own trailer with his own money.
      Please seek help, because these episodes with you seem to be recurring all too often.
      Hope you’ll leave us alone from now on.

      • Patrick Griffin says:

        Ok this is getting a bit ridiculous. More like ‘divorce court’. So Jack left because everything was hunky-dory, got it!!

        No need for you to tell me to “seek help”. Patronizing insincere bullshit. I am fine believe it or not. How many meds are you taking? You talk about “episodes”- fake medical sounding terminology.

        You could seriously use some “Primal”

  84. Patrick Griffin says:

    Jim: since I do not sense and honest feeling from you. Let me remind you WHY you took to chasing Jack with a hammer.

    Jack had a ‘shed’ apart from you where he did programming for the moving company. He ‘hired’ a young black let’s say street person to ‘assist’ him in his programming. Now this person knew nothing about software but hey we all have to start somewhere right?. Well it seems there was a lot more than programming going on in that shed if you get my drift, this is also borne out by the HIV positive status Jack subsequently got. So you got wind of this and was very very angry. One thing about me Jim is I have an excellent memory so if you needed yours jogged a bit that’s what happened. No need for “fevered brain” theory.

    I get sick of hypocrites like you trying to build what happened yesterday in a “Federal Case”. It was nothing and what’s good about all this I feel finally finished with Jack, I have no need for him anymore or you. This guy is simply not worth it, all the drama throughout the years, the legal problems, the posturing and self importance, the ‘book’, the rank ingratitude. You too should fit well together!

  85. Anonymous says:

    Thank God- free at last!

  86. Fiona says:

    …… Errrh!……… Could be a good time for a new blog topic, G or B?

    I’m uncomfortable….. Still, nothing new, I guess…… it’s a long silence!

  87. Fiona, You are cute – that is so funny – I say let the discomfort build 😉 – it is interesting what anger can trigger isn’t it – I actually prefer it ( assuming it is going somewhere) – better to express it than not I think. I worry more when these things are covert – the trick is not to shut down before finding some resolution – of course that is easier said than done. G.

  88. Jack, How are you doing? I can see your friend Jim cares very much about you – you are both lucky to have that! Gretchen

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Yes Getchen; I am extremely lucky to have Jim in so many ways. We have known one another now for over 31 years and been together for more than 30; quite an accomplishment in the gay world. I too love him dearly.

      The recent skirmish with Patrick I felt Jim explained it well since, as he said, he’s seen us up close and though he’s obviously biased in my favor. I thought he was fair. It was a working relationship, not a friendship in the real sense of the word, though I did sit for him on a few occasions. He never sat for me. The pity was, as I saw it, was that he acted-out his anger.

      Otherwise, I am doing well and when I get inspired will continue to comment on the blog.


      • THE Ultimate Guru says:

        I’m very much neutral and I will stay out of this….but I did want to say I was confused with what Jim said: “Thank God – free at last!”
        I translated it as: “Thank God – Patrick will leave me alone now with my completely atheist boyfriend.”

        These perplexed moments do not last long with the Ultimate Guru. Savor them while you can.

        • Anonymous says:

          Guru: there is an irony in that statement “Free at last”. At one time in my working relationship with Jack I decided and resolved to get away from him. But he wouldn’t let me so to speak. He held up the program that in all legality belonged to the company (but he makes his own laws). Also he tried to blackmail me with threats that he would call the IRS, Immigration and any other state of Federal body if he didn’t get his way. This is the same dude who writes ‘books’ whose main thrust is the need to do away with “Law, Government & Money” in his words. Just a classic hypocrit, an empty tin can rattling who is deluded that he is an “author”


  89. Anonymous says:

    Jack wrote: He never sat for me. The pity was, as I saw it, was that he acted-out his anger.

    To the first sentence I would say: there never was much of anything to sit for. Usually a hyena like screaming his ‘rage’ except it never even felt like ‘rage’…………..more a form of play acting mostly without substance. Theatrics and very rehearsed IMO. Mostly stuff I had heard a thousand times already. Can you have the same feeling over and over again? I know Jack was an actor something he never left behind.

    The second sentence is classic patronizing insincere crap. There is the one up manship of “he acted out his anger” as opposed to some “standard” that I did not quite live up to. Supercilious one up manship. As far as using the word “pity” it implies that he ‘cares’, disguising the fact that he cares nothing about me, it’s just another way to be superior, smarter, etc etc. Still I don’t feel bad about it, since Jack is ‘superior’ to Stepen Hawking, Galileo, Copernicus et al I am in good company or at least part of the rest of humanity.

    I really don’t care if the ‘group’ comes down on me for this: I know this dude very well, his ‘act outs’ are labyerinthine (sic!), but as complicated as they get they are pretty transparent once you sort of get the program he is running. I felt like writing here because it is sickening to see him here toying with people who are actually for real and are really working through stuff. He is like a virus, he lives off the matabolism of others but like any virus for his own benefit. Should be avoided like the plague IMO

  90. Margaret says:

    to all the people that read this blog but never write on it,
    I wish you would respond to Gretchen’s invitation of mentioning your new year’s resolutionsJust an example, because my wish is more people would participate and make a little effort to turn this blog into the fabulous tool it could be.
    Margaret .

    • Larry says:

      Personally I feel that participating in this blog is a wonderful opportunity to help ourselves rewire our brains and our emotional lives towards a more healthy perspective, especially for those of us away from the primal community, and we get all that for free. Participating in this blog has helped me to a lot of feelings and helped me to open more to who I am. Without it I would have felt a lot more alone and more closed.

  91. Margaret says:

    thanks! I completely agree with you and that is a very nice feeling.
    It also shows me at the same time what I,despite of myself, still was afraid of. Of making a fool of myself and not being undersood,so now you show with your response that reassuring connection from Canada to Belgium that helps us bot move forward by sharing and revealing ourselves.

    I know a blog has its own limitations for being public. I myself put some limits to what I puublish, but that is no problem, there are so many ways to refer to a feeling or situation and talk about it in a significant way.

    The more people participate in a constructive way, the more this blog can be like a worldwide kind of group, and a good one too!

    If it remains a small group, so be it, it just seems like a lost opportunity to make it richer for all the participants.

    So, worldwide anontmous readers, please put in your two cents!

    You’ll be getting a good profit!

  92. Jack Waddington says:

    Margaret: You say “The more people participate in a constructive way, the more this blog can be like a worldwide kind of group, and a good one too! If it remains a small group, so be it, it just seems like a lost opportunity to make it richer for all the participants. So, worldwide anontmous readers, please put in your two cents!”

    It’s a nice idea, Margaret, but I don’t see it ever happening. I feel we need to tackle the problem from the child-rearing end of the spectrum. Not sure how we make that a uniform idea either, unless someone with credability can write a book or start a blog for parents to be, incorporating Primal Theory and hopefully the medical profession catches on; which again I don’t see happening anytime soon. I did suggest to Barry that both he and Gretchen could write a book on child-rearing, but Barry seemingly never took me up on that idea either.. If only we could prevent the onset of neurosis during gestation and the first year of life, I feel that would go a long way towards solving many of the problems of humanity. However, that’s probably just another crack-pot idea of mine.

    Ah well! what’s new pussy cat?

  93. Vicki says:

    You’re right, Margaret. This blog is an opportunity, for anyone who chooses to make it one. That’s why I felt like I wrote about my resolutions for the new year, when I wrote about my ornament for the Christmas tree. I am trying to make more effort consistently in working on “my diet, my health, my mess of possessions, my home, my job”. I find it hard, I get tired, and often find myself just wanting to slide into a coma at day’s end. It seems like a battle just to survive as a person, to take care of myself, while at my job. I’m just worn down. So I am trying to increasingly pay attention to what matters to me, to focus on what is important — to figure out what that is, so that I can find my focus.

  94. Margaret says:

    I only meant it to be used as an extra tool for the people already doing Primal therapy.

    I didn’t look at it as a way to do something for the world in general so to say.

    Only getting a little more input from other patients would be nice.

    your resolutions sound very importtant and indeed like a hell of a lot of work.
    You have been adding a lot to the blog, and even more so lately.

    I can relate to your resolution, as I am trying to focus more too on making my present life a good one for myself in the present.

  95. Margaret says:

    Hi all,
    I am glad to say I talked with my brother about some difficult feelings that can be triggered by my mother.

    It was nice to have a surprisingly good commmunication about it with him, and to feel we are more or less on the same wavelength .

    We agree on how we can best handle things and I told him I was grateful for his support!

    Amazing how some feelings and insights and shifts in behaviour that seem relatively small at first, can change the whole approach and emotional impact of a situation.

    I seem to be letting go of that overall feeling of complete responsability about all my mother’s feelings I carried as a heavy burden on my back.

    I sensed lately how I got sucked in to her actout by discussing with her and how extremely tense it left me.

    I have taken some simple decisions, which will not be so simple to hold on to, but I sense how a process has been started in which I literally can feel more adult.

    I am sure there will be lots of very difficult moments and painful feelings to come, but things are evolving in a good direction.


  96. Margaret says:

    sequel mother:
    I just had a call from my mother.
    I managed to tell her in a clear way without getting angry, only a bit short one moment when I told her to finish my sentence,what I would like her to sort out about some practical issues.
    I told her I wouldn’t keep arguing about it and wouldn’t keep bringing it back up, told her why I hoped she would do it but that it was up to her and that it is her life.

    She promised me to do one of the things and said she had already canceled the cleaning service, but that she needs to feel free and prefers to hire a cleaning lady on her own terms.

    So to make a long story short, we both were able to say how we felt and expressed ourselves in a non-confrontative way.

    My mother can be a real pain in the ass, but she also has great qualities.

    I want the time that we have together to be as nice as possible for the both of us.
    I am learning to let go of my own old patterns and find a new balance.
    I am also starting to find out how much of the struggle has been my own part.


  97. Fiona says:

    Reading and mulling over what I want to add but just so tired.

  98. Fiona says:

    Bullet points because I’m lazy:

    – New year resolutions? NEVER! Resolutions at any time of the year? yes! Just because it is new year – bollox! Anyway….. I will be asking less questions, and the ones I do ask will be more worthwhile. I will be ‘LISTENING’ in the fullest sense of the word! Day one of this was today. I have been better!

    – Effin’ well done Margret! Looking after yourself with regard to your mum! Brill! Be cautious of the use of the word “but” though? Lol? The “but” takes something big away from whatever is said before it!

    – Vicki. You work so hard on yourself. It must be hard, but you do make it! It is working. It is no wonder that you get so tired and then your ‘coma’ idea seems like the only option for the relief you need. I can see that you have already made substantial changes.
    I admire a particular quality that you have… and I find it hard to put my finger on… but it is that thing where once you see you ‘have a problem’ [for want of a better word] you just deal with it! No denial, no blame, no procrastination [that I am guilty of]. Not you – you just get on and deal with it. I know what I mean! I just want you to know that I admire that quality of yours, even if I can’t explain it!

    – Annoying people on here – eff off and be less annoying! Stop judging! Stop arguing! At least if you argue be truthful and accurate!

    – Stop droning on and on – get to the effin point!

    – People who TELL other people what to do – effin stop it!

    – Stop effin writing ‘IMO’ everywhere. Even I bloody started it now!

    – I will be attending anger management classes ASAP IMO [GSOH, WLTM, WTF??? etc]

    • vickib5 says:

      Fiona, you wrote, “that thing where once you see you ‘have a problem’ …you just deal with it! No denial, no blame, no procrastination …. Not you – you just get on and deal with it. I know what I mean!” WTF? I don’t think that’s true. Otherwise, I would have solved my problems, and not need all my resolutions. I TRY to deal with them, but still struggle, so it is all WIP (work in progress). And remember, Gretchen was torn between giving me the retreat exercise-word “Liar” or “Denial”, so your “No denial” is some hyperbole, I think.

      • Fiona says:

        Maybe I should have said something more like “acceptance”. I feel like you accept the reality…… and begin to think forward….

        …… and yes… then the endless struggle of your “work in progress” begins.

        …. which is endless.

  99. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    I really want to give up smoking, but I’m under a lot of stress for very real, non-Janovian reasons. I’m going to have to switch to vaping soon. I tried it with a starter model and it worked okay…but the model was too wimpy for what I needed. Will have to consult with hardcore vapers on this for better results. Thank you for your wonderful invention Hon Lik!

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Guru: Knowing that we are all different: when I gave up smoking (3 packs a day) was after reading “The Primal Scream” I just knew that I couldn’t be serious about Primal Therapy if I was still smoking, learning also that smoking was a pain killer. I was living alone in a very primitive house, One mile away from my nearest neighbor. I went through three stages. !) I made the decision to stop but did not decide when. 2) Three months later I made the decision when I would stop and the day I chose was the day after Christmas (boxing day, where I come from), which was two months hence. 3) Come the 26th of December I gave up ‘cold turkey’. I had nightmares for the next 12 months dreaming that I had started again. My determination was in part due to my feeling that I could not be serious about therapy unless I quit smoking and knowing that what would replace my craving was the pain that nicotine had kept me away from. At the end of that 12 month period it did let up somewhat but I could never be absolutely certain that was free of the addiction for at least another two years. In hindsight it is my greatest achievement to this day. I had smoked for 22 years.

      One other thing you mentions was “stress” Again I wish to re-state that I know we are all different, but I realized some time into my therapy; that ‘stress’ was the result of denying my feelings and their expression. In all honesty I can safely say for me, that I now no longer suffer from stress. Not that I am free from painful feelings, cos I am not, but I just know that I have to feel them and express them, and more recently I have learned that I can feel and express all my feeling on my own. That, for me, is a great asset.

      Hope some of this maybe helpful to you. I sure knew the craving for nicotine as a smoker of three packs a day.


  100. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    I want to respond to your good post with more detailed alarcity, but I am a bit time-pressed this afternoon. I did want to point out that my dad quit smoking cold turkey a long time ago just like you, but he never got involved in primal. I approach what you said about the connection of quitting smoking & taking primal seriously with a great deal of caution, but I’m glad for you that you were able to crawl out of that hole.
    My smoking is a relic of my clueless teenage years where all the “cool kids” smoked and I was alone, totally confused about my circumstances, and I wanted to be a “cool kid” too. The legacy of it is a useless nicotine addiction now. It also didn’t help that much of my family were smokers and yet they lived fairly long lives: My great-aunt smoked three packs per day and made it to 85. My maternal grandma smoked a pack of menthols every day and made it to 91.

    If only I could turn the clock back to when I was 16 knowing exactly what I know now…

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Guru: For me: addiction is simple; you can ONLY become addicted to painkillers.
      For me: Stress can only occur when you pushing feelings aside.
      Two very simple and to my way of thinking; obvious definitions

      We have “studies” being conducted by the pharmacology, the psycho-neurological communities and universities. TO ME, it’s all “bull-shit”. Primal Theory explains it ALL.

      However, I realize I am way out on a limb.


  101. Margaret says:

    My email has broken down, and even though I don’t have anything to say, I want to be heard but I can’t!
    [Message sent via telephone]


  102. Larry says:

    Telling someone who can really listen and hear, and when I can’t to that writing here and sharing with you helps me to grease awareness and crystallization of a feeling brewing in me. Music, and in this case Harry Manx’s performance of “Dew on Roses” also leads me closer to the awareness and feeling, so I’m posting his performance below to help put the feeling out there for me.

    In three weeks I will take time off work and travel to the west coast of Vancouver Island. It is where a few times my wife and I took a short winter holiday, to get brief respite from the prairie deep freeze, and to be near the ocean that she loved so much. It was four years ago that we last enjoyed a holiday together there. At that time she was hoping for and found some relief from an intractable illness that had afflicted her all that winter. In the following month cancer asserted its merciless grip on our lives, and two years later I returned to our holiday idyll to scatter her ashes on the beach at low tide, so that she could always be near the ocean, as per her wish. For the first time since, next month I will return to visit a few days with her at that beach. It will be as close to her physically as I can be now.

    The frame of mind that I’m about to express isn’t my normal everyday perspective but is one I’m making friends with as I acquaint myself with the burgeoning feeling . My wife’s life and struggles and dreams are over. All the therapy in the world didn’t give her the parental love that she should have had. She is eternally cheated. Following her death, and as I get older, I focus more than I used to on the truth that in perhaps 20 or 30 years my life will be over too. Sometimes that seems like a long way off, but sometimes, like now, it seems like the passage of years will be but the blink of an eye. It seems I’ve done so much crying and there is so much more to do, and after all that when my life is done, I still won’t have a childhood filled with loving parents, nor will I get my wife back. Long after she and I are gone, no one will remember us and no one will care. It won’t matter anymore that our childhoods were empty, or how having each other helped us to flourish despite our childhood void. You and I know there is too much sadness and hurting out there and in ourselves. As I age, and my mind and body slowly rots, and I see the end on the not so distant anymore horizon, amidst all the crying and emptiness and sadness that I feel, while we are still in control of our lives I’m struck by how much it is hope and dreams and the search for comfort, beauty, joy, fulfillment and love that keeps us going to the last.

    • Larry says:

      My Jan. 14 posting is helping me with a lot of crying. I thank all of you who make this blog work and for indulging me.

  103. Margaret says:

    I don’t ‘indulge’ you but relate very much to your felings and appreciate you writing about them.

    I was off line with software problems and am now experimenting with a new program.

    You are the first I am responding to so no need to feel so bad about feeling so bad, hm, what can I szay?

    I try to deal with my own feelings of futility and doom by focusing on the little things in the present, like a simple cup of coffee or my cat or well, whtever gets me through the night is allright, allright!

    Some days it is more difficult and everything seems foul, gloomy, pointless and hopeless at waking up.

    Then I do get up and that feeling dissipates little by little, remaining an unpleasant depressed feeling or changing into a better level of feeling up to activity and even intitiative and challenge.

    Keep moving forward through that swamp, or that cold frozen world, it is the best of no so many options.
    With affection, Margaret

  104. Margaret says:

    Hi all,
    This morning while buddying, we happened to talk about the upcoming summer retreat, wondering who we would be paired up with as a buddy.

    Imagining all the possibilities, I became aware of a general negative, hostile feeling towards everybody, even people I get along with really wele feeling connected to at that point.

    Later on in the afternoon I was imagining being in group, and again became aware of that isolatng feeling but this time it became clearer.

    I felt it had to do with my mom, I felt need. I could start crying, and then it tarted to feel connected.

    I felt I want my mommy! Nobody else will do, I want my mommy. I felt like a four year old, being upset and angry and sad and scared.

    I start becoming aware of how this feeling is always with me, making me keep people at bay, as my automatic gut response is it won’t work, they won’t do…

    It tends to feel as if they are not interested, but it might mostly be me not wanting them, or being scared of the unfullfilled feeling I will end up with.

    Lately several pieces of my personal feeling jugsaw puzzle seem to be falling into place.

    Disconcerting often, but probably very useful.

    p.s. by the time I actually will be at the retreat I will have answered the first buddy question already!

    I know I can buddy with everybody, but I could sense some feeling of ‘resentment’, not ‘wanting’ the other person, whoever it would be.
    It remained unclear where the
    Focusing more on the feeling, it felt like my needs wouldn’t be met and there was anger.

    I could feel

  105. Margaret says:

    Hi all,
    sorry for messed up text of my comment. My new software was playing uup, I think it was involved in a struggle with my virusscanner.

    I couldn’t check what I was writing and the trying messed up more.
    I guess the general message is still understandable, Margaret

  106. Margaret says:

    hi all, I just had a nice chat over the phone with my mother.

    I am so grateful for the steps forward I make thanks to the primal process, thanks to my dear buddies, my beloved therapists annd the warmth and suport I get from my friends.
    Their honesty and feedback is vital in the process of discovering my own reality.

    I look forward to meeting you all again in summer, ha, canet wait for the company of 42 fellow travellers in the same direction.

  107. Larry says:

    I like your statement on Jan 9 Margaret where you said you’ve made some simple decisions that have started a process which could be hard to follow through with but at the same time by which you feel more grown up. This therapy gives us that option to grow up, doesn’t it. It is our decision. To make that decision and step into the void, I think we have to have some faith in ourselves, in this therapy, in our support network, and in life. I find myself reassessing my faith in myself,in my support network, and in life as I consider how to approach the next phase of my life, my autumn years, alone.

  108. Margaret says:

    I hate this blog silence.
    It tends to make me feel everybody is busy leading a life except me.

    I know it is only a feeling, I am not always very succesfullat it, but I am working at gaining more control over my life, over my fears, and at being more active.

    I couldn’t bring myself to go dancing yesterday, but today I finally managed to learn my whole part in an upcoming Schumann performance. In German, jawohl!I had studied it but found out I had learned some of the notes wrong, so I had to unstudy those which is difficult, but today I finally managed to sing it through in what I hope are the right notes and words. I will find out on my class on wednesday.

    I also started writing again from time to time, so I am not entirely depressed and passive.

    But I do miss the company of you fellow bloggers.

    Our numbers seem to be diminishing to a now alarming low ‘hardly twoor maybe three’.

    I was wondering if there were still more readers than writers, but hey, that was stupid,no writers makes it kinda difficult to keep the readers, right?

    Vicki, how are you doing? I dreamed of you recently, and Irena was in that dream too, together with more friends of mine.

    Details on request,ha!

    Larry, do you still do the dancing classes?

    Anyone else, what’s up?

    Margaret and cat.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Margaret et al: I personally have not commented cos I didn’t find anything that inspired me; BUT from your comment Margaret I thought to say how I might just be getting along and how I deal with the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” for anyone that might be interested

      I cry on a pretty regular basis, (at least once every fortnight [two weeks}) sometimes deeply and sometimes not so deeply. Invariably the crying takes me back and forwards in my life to the untold numerous events that were/are sad. Sometimes the crying will go on for 10 minutes or more and the only struggle I have had from that is that my contact lenses tend to slip, (which a great nuisance, but meantime I have got a new pair that are not slipping so much). I don’t need a buddy to cry with, but if I contact one that is a plus. There are also times when I get angry like yesterday when I discovered that a check I had sent out had been cashed by someone other than the person I sent it to. The bank is checking it for me, but the anger last night kept me awake for over an hour until I bashed away at the mattress and blew off a few expletives.

      This expressing of my feelings gives me a great sense of (how might I put it?) equilibrium. My feeling is:- this is the culmination of my years in therapy. It is such a great asset.

      Meantime, I go on several other blogs (including Art Janov’s; he doesn’t always post my comments) and say my ‘party piece’. That too feels good even though I come in for quite a bit of flack for some of my opinions and ideas. Still, they are mine, and I have been formulating them for some years now.

      Just in passing the recent comments from Patrick my former boss did not bother me, cos for better or worse, I could see his act-out and inability to have his feeling (instead of going on about me).

      So! that’s me and if that inspires others to get back at me then maybe it served a purpose.

      Take care all Jack

    • Larry says:

      Yeah I still do the dancing classes Margaret. I haven’t gotten so good at them yet that I don’t need them…ha. Despite my insecurities they are almost always fun and they help build up my socializing confidence and allow me some hope of prospects of a social life, and are something I look forward to to get me out of the house on cold dark winter nights. I’m not so bothered anymore about showing up to the classes without a partner. The classes help me learn a lot about myself and how I relate to other people, and gradually I am finding it easier to enjoy a casual, friendly encounter with women.

  109. Margaret says:

    thanks, I do appreciate you sharing this. Feels nice.

  110. Fiona says:

    If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?

    Is a feeling ‘unfelt’ if no-one can hear you scream?
    [Rhetorical question]

    Current feelings are:
    – Trying so hard, it is never enough, and no one knows how hard I try
    – People laughing at me about being sexually abused

    Currently avoided (swallowed and choked back) feelings:
    – Partner’s cancer
    – Recognition of by people of someone’s efforts (eg on tv)
    – Mum’s 2 year anniversary (death)

    Damn! One list is way longer than the other. There is still something ‘scary’ of letting a feeling ‘go’ spontaneously. There is always censorship. I feel like I need permission somehow? I also just avoid it. It being, of course, the natural thing to do that I have been practising since childhood. I was taught to censor. It may not be the correct thing… but it is still there.
    I ‘went with it’ spontaneously on sunday! Go me! [Little steps, little steps]

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Fiona: I understand that the question is rhetorical, but I question the need ask it, rhetorical or not. There is always someone there to hear it, if the only person is yourself. Who else NEEDS to hear it?

      No-one (to the best of my knowledge) hears me cry. I cry for me … not anyone else.


    • Larry says:

      I’ve been wondering, if I am putting in extra time at work after regular hours, but no one is there to see me working, am I really working? 🙂

  111. Patrick says:

    Jack wrote” Just in passing the recent comments from Patrick my former boss did not bother me, cos for better or worse, I could see his act-out and inability to have his feeling (instead of going on about me).”

    Once again typical “Primal grandstanding” playing some kind of a fucking “expert”……you are an “expert” in nothing, a wannabe Steven Hawking. As far as your “crying” goes it beats me, I have never seen you have a spontaneous feeling in my life. Even the way you ‘measure’ out your ‘crying’ just seems demented. Do you expect to get a good grade on it? Will you finally be accepted as the great thinker you think you are? Obviosly I got a ‘failing grade’ from the Teacher. Give me a break!!

  112. Patrick says:

    Maybe I am being too hard on Jack. After all he is just like some Marxist you tells someone else he does not have the “correct line” on something. Or a medieval theologian who decided only he knows how many angels dance on a pin. Point is IMO just another ‘cultist’. What’s ironic about Jack is his whole ‘book’ (and that’s definitly in quotes) is about getting away from a head trip, whereas as far as I can tell Jack is mostly all a head trip. As far as his scheduled ‘crying’ goes that’s beyond me. He is either trying to impress people that he “actually” has feelings or that he is a good Party member.

  113. I don’t know – I may be way off, but I don’t think Patrick likes Jack 😉 G.

    • Larry says:

      If that is true Patrick that you don’t like Jack, you are a puzzle to me, my not having met you. If I dare ask, just to satisfy my own curiosity, do you know why you put so much time and energy toward someone you don’t like?

  114. Patrick says:

    Larry: I don’t think it’s something as simple as ‘not likeing’ Jack. I feel now put on the spot but I suppose if I post on here I must be prepared to sort of answer questions like yours. A lot of it is personal and it would take too long to explain and I am not sure how appropriate it is to put it on a public forum like this. Also whatever I say I would inevitably be putting my point of view, I am sure he would have a different take on it.

    So I think I will pass for now on saying anymore. I really don’t intend to be the sort of person who airs something and then disappears and I am sure I could be seen that way. I wanted to at least address your question even if I don’t think it is quite appropriate to go on any more about it here. Truthfully I think it is something I need to have out with Jack but he is seemingly not interested in that. Hence my frustration but also my feeling that I cannot really have it out with him. Sometimes it seems just because two people ‘believe’ in the Primal process and way of doing things it does not always lead to mutual understanding or appreciation of the other person’s point of view. And that’s a bad feeling.

    I mentioned something earlier about the ‘religous’ aspects of Primal and I think I am caught up in that also. It seems that all issues “SHOULD” be amenable to people getting to their feelings but sometimes that is not the case, At times like this in my mind Primal is like a religion that has ‘failed’, hence my especial frustration with Jack who seems to exemplyfy (bad spelling) this ‘religion’ at least publicly ……….privately is another matter.

    • Larry says:

      Thanks. The reason for your anger is a little clearer to me. I don’t want to put you on the spot. I respect that you took the trouble to explain.

  115. Patrick, I am not sure I am following what you mean but not all issues between people are old. There are times when we have things to work out in the present – in fact, as most of us are aware, it can be frustrating to be told you are in an old feeling when you are trying to address something in the here and now. It would be nice, of course, if we could always talk these things out when we need to but clearly that is not always possible. It is at that point that we are often left with the “old” part of the feeling. Gretchen P.S. As an aside… some of the time it can be helpful to try a new way of communicating when what we are doing is going nowhere but that is often trickier than we expect it to be. G. 🙂

  116. Patrick says:

    Thanks Gretchen for giving some thought to what I was saying. I am not a “paying customer” of the Primal Institute (I started there in 1978 and have not been back for a long time) and it is nice to feel you seem to have some genuine interest apart from monetary considerations. Which was and is always a bit of an issue for me, I came I suppose you could say from the hippie/squatting tradition of London in the ’70’s and the over-riding commercialization of the USA was somewhat of a shock when I came here. Anyway round-about way of saying thank you, I do appreciate your comments.

    I get the feeling I might like to contribute more on here, if I have not blown it too badly with my little jihad with Jack. This morning i felt my arguments with him was a bit like Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney going at it………..a sort of sterile pissing match. I actually got into an intense feeling about how most of my life has been in this sort of stale male area (business, intellectualism etc)and how I have closed off to women. My dad sort of saw my mom as stupid and I internalized that. But my need for a mother was so intense and yet hidden to me for the most part.

    I don’t know if it is considered appropriate here but I think it might be interesting to talk maybe more in general about topics at least related to health and not just in the narrow sense of ‘mental health’ For example I have been reading about how important Vitamin D (the sunshine hormone) is and for the first time in ages I have been going to the beach and getting plenty of sun. I am amazed how it has seemed to improve my mood and generally made me feel more ‘positive’. There is actually a ‘movement’ called “Primal Diet” or “Paleo Diet” which you can google which I find very interesting in that it is a sort of confluence of ideas about health, good diet etc etc and ties into the “Primal” idea also. I think it potentially opens up the “Primal” notions into the world of health in general and sort of gets it out of the ‘mental health ghetto’.
    I dont think I am explaining myself very well but here’s the link…..


    I would be curious about what people here think about this if anything.

  117. Patrick says:

    I read something today I thought was interesting. If you have 2 lizards and one is Vitamin D deficient or at least low and the other one ‘normal’ the deficient one will laze out in the sun longer than the other one (in order to make more of the Vitamin D she/he is low in)….it just makes me think about “intelliegence” and how the lizard who has just a primitive brain, not even a mammalian one is smarter than a lot of people, actually than a lot of doctors. In ways like this we can see support for the “Primal Hypothesis” and how “intelligence” is built into life itself from even simple one celled organisms and how tapping into this “intelligence” is healing and healthy. And not at lot to do with “mental health” at least as narrowly understood. That’s what I mean by getting out of the ‘mental health ghetto’. On the other hand a respect for the mind can also be very important otherwise people look for answers only in diets, exercise regimes etc which ironically if done well evoke painful feelings as well as pleasurable and ‘good’ ones

    • Patrick, Your more than welcome on the blog and free to bring up anything you like. Oddly my daughter just told me she had just finished reading The Paleo Diet and she thought it was extremely interesting. I see the lizard in a slightly different way and actually I believe there is a connection to mental health – I believe when we lose ourselves,when we are repressed as a result of unfelt pain we also lose the ability to feel and respond to our instincts. So I see the sick lizard as responding to his instinct – moving towards what will make him healthy. Of course we people will often do the exact opposite of that. Gretchen

  118. Jack Waddington says:

    It is interesting that it is being intimated that a lizard, being vitamin D deficient is more intelligent in deciding to lay out in the sun longer.

    This, by my way of thinking, misses the whole point about Primal Theory. The lizard doesn’t think, rationalize and use it’s left brain, (or brain stem) it FEELS and hence ‘senses’ the need to lay in the sun longer. A whole different ball game.

    It is precisely this that we humans have lost … via neurosis. If we would feel more and think less, we would IMO live far healthier lives without thinking about diet, exercise and being intelligent enough to lay in the sun … or whatever.

    I made a point on Art’s blog and will repeat it hear. We; even Primal patients, seemingly to me, spend a great deal of time thinking about feelings. All the thinking about a feeling ISN’T a feeling.

    It is my contention/feeling that the left brain was initially (pre-neurosis) meant just to integrate the feeling … but alas we humans got into this position of thinking and seemingly can’t break free of it. Duh!!!!! Feeling and expressing that feeling is:- Primal Theory.


    P.S.This should be enough to get some re-actions going Margaret on the blog, heah!.


  119. Patrick says:

    Weird thing about Jack is even when he ‘agrees’ with someone he still has to ‘argue’ about it. What’s up with that?

  120. Patrick says:

    Never get into a pissing match with a skunk, or wrestle with a pig. Duh!!! A seriously bad idea

  121. Patrick says:

    Thanks Gretchen: It’s interesting that your daughter likes the Paleo Diet thing. Hurrah for young people we older fogies (I am 59) have always something to learn from them. Seriously the mental health ghetto can be toxic, deficiences of omega-3’s, vitamin D, etc etc will never be helped by ‘talk only therapy’

    I really probably should stay away from talking about Jack but………….seriously still banging on the same drum, the constant sub-text of nobody ‘gets it’ except him, argumentative just for the sake of it, the superior/inferior posturing, toxic indeed

  122. Patrick says:

    I don’t know if this works here. Worth checking out IMO

  123. Patrick says:

    OK I am sorry I am probably overdoing this. People used to say Eric Clapton was God, but it turns out it was Jimmy Page

  124. Jack Waddington says:

    Everything Patrick said about me was absolutely correct, Now, all that is required, by my reckoning, is for him to figure out what is going on with himself.


  125. Jack Waddington says:

    Gretchen: you commented some comment back “I don’t know – I may be way off, but ………..” My feeling, and my feeling only:- had you said “My feeling”, rather than ‘not knowing’ you would have been right on. (We can only know what we feel, IMO)

    You had previously commented; “Clearly somebody needs to take a breath here – I don’t have a clue what this is all about but it feels really crazy. As you all know we don’t censor comments here, at the same time I don’t like to see the blog used to simply be hurtful or as an act of revenge. I also don’t personally have any problem with the site being used to express real feelings but that isn’t happening in this case either. ” I agreed with that. One doesn’t have to know the details of what is/was taking place; only to sense/feel someone assuming he was having a feeling.


  126. Jack Waddington says:

    Had Patrick been honest with Larry he would have known it was not a matter of liking me … rather ‘needing’ me, and said so. Couple of things here:- if someone doesn’t want to talk to you then all you are left with is to go home; lick your wounds and stop the struggle.

    The question of Stephen Hawking came up earlier, but recently I read on the internet that Stephen Hawking stated that he didn’t understand ‘women’. To me, having spent my first 20 years with three women (well; two sisters and a mother) and a granny on the side, there is NO mystery about women (unless you want to get into the plumbing). If you’re male you either love women; or you are loved by them; or, if you’re very lucky, you get both. Though many try, you can’t buy love either. So for all Stephan’s understanding of calculus, applied Mathematics and ‘black holes half the human race eludes him. To me that’s dumb … but then I don’t sleep with them.

    Incidentally I don’t need a calendar to get into feelings and express them … they come up willy-nilly and I have no control of feelings and try to relinquish any control of the expression. It serves me well. Of course, as Gretchen noted, I am extremely lucky to have someone who loves me and whom I love dearly (31 years now). I don’t know how long it will last, but it is a great feeling to live with on a moment to moment basis.

    I still have my trailer in a very lovely tree laden trailer park with squirrels, pussy cats, crows and ravens, clear blue skies and sunshine, and take several walks through the park daily. Don’t know how long this will last either, but love and enjoy it whilst I can.


  127. Jack Waddington says:

    I read the link . Can’t say that I thought much of it. It’s still sort of diet and
    exercise and said nothing about feelings. I’d like to re-iterate something I have been saying for a long time now. For us humans there are two states of being:
    1) Thinking and rationalizing. 2) Feelings and expressing them. The first IS neurosis: a debilitating disease … the second IS real health: natural and normal, especially for all other creatures on the planet. I’ve chosen the latter … best I can


  128. Fiona says:

    So stop saying it now please, Jack.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Fiona: Saying what? And since when were you my mother?

      It’s an Irony that it was you that was convinced that Patrick was having his feeling. Gretchen didn’t think so, as far as I understood her.


      • Fiona says:

        Against my better judgement, I made the mistake of engaging with you, Jack.
        I said before that I was ‘done’ with you. I let myself be provoked.
        Would this help you?
        Yes you win, Jack.
        You are superior, Jack.
        I am sorry I pretended to be your mother (or Gran) Jack. (apparently)
        Gretchen, Art and Jack are wiser and better than me. (Sorry Gretchen!)

        I can’t believe that I am stupid enough to let you and your ridiculous twisting insanity, and delusional antics goad me again.

        I will just let you retaliate …. I will not respond………

        ……………………………… have you ever considered having therapy?

        • Jack Waddington says:

          Boy, Fiona: You sound like a female version of Patrick having his tirade.

          Talking of therapy: no I havn’t . I just had my feelings … and that worked for me.

          You sure pick-up the bait.

          As I told Margaret: I love the banter.


  129. Fiona says:

    I started reading the diet but gave up fairly quickly as I am a veggie! Interesting topic though, I am more interested in a more whole food and raw/fruit/veg style as my aim.

    Being addicted to ‘treats’ with food is (one of) my down falls, and a subject difficult for me to broach here. If I announce my food addiction here (or in group) I will have to start to address my problem. I am ok with that…. (or not) BUT it means that at some point, some bright spark of a therapist might suggest I DON’T eat my ‘treat’ and feel the feeling underneath. I was buddying about this today; and I heard myself getting angry that I am not ready for that pain! I WANT my effin ‘treat’, and I don’t WANT to even THINK about going there. It’s too big. I can’t do it!

    I can’t understand why!! When I KNOW something is bad for me, or not healthy, or even detrimental to me, that I still want it so badly! Last summer I ate sugar cookies! I LOVED them and yet there was nothing in the list of ingredients that was recognisable – I am not even sure if they contained flour! I could only see e-numbers and sugars – all with different names – but sugars nonetheless. When I bought them I said OUT LOUD to friends and family, “that I will never buy these again!” And I know I wont. But I had to have them; just once, but I had to. It is such a pathetic part of myself. A weakness that I insist on keeping, and that is WORSE!

    It was the same with Cinnabon (or should that be Sin-abon?). I HAD to have it JUST once. It is an intoxicating smell that permeates any mall in the US. I was so ashamed as I sat eating it. I can remember where I sat, and I remember hating people looking at me! It was a ‘dirty feeling’.

    I do love a nice salad, or my veggies, don’t get me wrong, just as long as I have my treat of chocolate to follow it! (70% cocoa these days). Food is an evil addiction – it is not as though I can just go cold turkey on it! I honestly feel too weak to be able to deal with this one my own, ever.

    • Vicki says:

      He talks at a pace that would turn my brain to mush, so I had to bail out.

      • Jack Waddington says:

        Vicki: The scientific community has be saying just what you said, with respect to Primal Theory and, like you, they bailed out … pity.

        IMO neither you, Fiona nor Patrick actually did bail out … hence the continuing comments.

        Enjoy the banter and/or cop to what it really does to you. Primal Therapy yeah?


  130. Patrick says:

    Fiona: My initial reaction about your food struggles is…………it’s not your fault. The reactions you have to Sinabombs (sic) or sugar cookies is the reaction you are SUPPOSED to have. In other words they are specifically designed that way, they work as advertized, Apparantly if you give a squirrel a choice between an acorn and a chocolate chip cookie…………he will pick the cookie! So very often I don’t think it is so much a matter of covering up a feeling or eating for comfort (though that probably is often involved), we could ask is the squirrel coverning up a feeling. Probalby not, food has for many people become a tricky kind of mine field, but I find it more productive for myself to sort of educate myself about the “enemy” (the food industry broadly speaking) and devise ways to combat it. That way I avoid the self blame trap. By the way there is an interesting book called “The end of over-eating” by David Kessler the former head of the FDA about how food companies deliberatly hook and addict people to their stuff.

    I think another problem behind cravings is many people are deficient in many important nutrients so the cravings point to something real and are not something to sort of beat yourself up about. Again just for me I find it more productive to properly nourish myself and then the cravings become less of an issue. Dont get me wrong I have food issues, am about 30 lbs too heavy and was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes which I seem to be able to control taking no medications. It’s sad when food becomes a battlefield but unfortuatlly it often is.

    The “paleo” or “primal” diet is pretty much anti-vegatarian which is interesting. They claim we ate meat for a few hundred thousand years and that our enzymes etc are set up for that as the optimum diet. I am certainly not going to suggest you change your mind about that but I think it is good to be open minded. I do understand because of the way animals are treated is a reason not to eat meat but if you look at the rest of nature so much involves one species sort of feeding off others. A whale eats a few ton of krill (a small fish) a day, it seems vegetarianism is often a sort of ‘moral’ argument, I’m not sure how it holds up in Nature

    • Fiona says:

      Hi Patrick,

      I’m not a political vegetarian – I just really don’t like meat or fish! I was really fussy about meat as a kid, and I became so comfortable and more adventurous with food once I became a vegetarian. I am fine with OTHER people eating meat. It is hard to eat was makes you hurl though! Though I wonder what would a whale do if it didn’t like the taste of krill??
      It’s ok for someone to say “I don’t eat cabbage” because they don’t like it; but if it is meat, often people assume that there is a political rationale behind it. Not for me.

      A couple of times a year (ish) I crave a bit of fish – and will eat it then. If I crave it, then it is obvious that my body needs omega oils or some such nutrient. I enjoy it, but the next day I can’t understand how. I do listen to my body. I agree that we need to attend to cravings for certain foods because they may contain vital nutrients.

      We eat quite well in our house. We have organic fruit and veg, wholemeal bread, brown rice and pasta, and quinoa. We Have very little cheese, fat free milk, rice milk or oat milk. We have no butter (or butter substitute) and only a tiny bit of healthy oil for cooking. Fat free live yoghurt. We even sprout our own lentils. I do not eat badly at all….. MOST of the time. I like that we eat so healthily. It is even more important for my partner to eat well for health reasons. I know I am healthier for it. In fact – even when I have my treat of chocky in the evening, it is 70% and DARK!

      The reason for my rant about food was because of the ‘treat’ I will buy myself during the day (sometimes). Or when I have extra bread – just because I WANT it – not that I am hungry!?! There can be a ‘secretive’ aspect to my ‘treat’. When it is secretive, I KNOW it is something I need to ‘out’!! That is why I wrote.

      I usually use this blog to help my feeling find it’s way ‘out’. In a way it has helped but only with feelings of shame and humiliation so far.

      • Patrick says:

        Fiona: interesting what you write. The only thing I sort of question is the emphasis on low fat or no fat. It’s also weird for me as I grew up on a farm in Ireland in the ’50’s and we had cows and milk was one of our main products. We took the milk to the creamery as it was called where they skimmed off or somehow removed the fat/cream, which they made butter from. We got back tanks of ‘fat free milk’ which to our way of thinking was close to worthless. We fed it back to the young calves but the people would not touch it.

        So maybe because of my background I have always a weird feeling about the ‘fat free’ or ‘low fat’ thing and now it seems there is a lot of researchrs who question this also. I think especially in the US there is a ‘fat phobia’ and if you think about it, fats, oils or whatever word you want to use were always prized by traditional societies. Even the wording “cream of the crop” etc.

        I am saying all this not be critical and I do take Jack’s point about not just being a mutual admiration society (there I have said it the dude has some worthwhile ideas) but it might be worth delving into this a bit more. I truly believe if we do not get what we need we crave substitutes……….the question of course is what is it that we really need. I like to think about food issues also as a guide or metaphor for ‘higher’ needs. So if in relationships we find what we truly need (I know that’s a loaded idea) we have a much better chance to probe into and resolve old needs.

        Just as in psychology there is a lot of political type propoganda involved in food (Lots of money to be made — just look at Monsanto peddling their GMO’s garbage) and it takes a bit to sort through it. What’s often lost is tradition and ‘common sense’ in pursuit of the latest and greatest trend. For example I think a lot of the ‘fat free’ got going because fats are hard to store, bad for shelf life so the food companies promote a lot of stuff as being good for you, but is actually good for them

      • Larry says:

        Decades ago Noreen and I binged on pastry. It seemed to be one of few easy comforts in a difficult life. Then we read how junk food is unhealthy, and we started to become aware of how it was specifically eroding our health. We encouraged each other to eat more healthy, so we could be healthy for each other. I discovered that refined sugar and refined flour and milk products aggravated my asthma and eczema. Those were good reasons for me to stop eating the stuff but stopping wasn’t so easy. I promised Noreen that I would give it up, but I was weak and my promise hard to keep. At time came when I had been clean for about a week and proud of it, until one grey blustery autumn evening, when I came home broken from a stressful day at work, Noreen asked me to pick up some small item at the grocery. I went to the store and got it, and waited in the line for the cash register. The line moved slowly. There were tables of pastries there. I tried not to look. There was a small cellophane wrapped package of two small soft puffy cakes with strawberries and cream in the center and icing around the outside. I picked it up to look at the price. It was only $3. When finally my turn came and I paid for my groceries, it was still in my hand. On the way to my car I treated myself to thoughts of the gluttonous pleasure I would have when I got home and stuffed those sweet soft creamy strawberry cakes in my mouth. But what would Noreen think of me! She’d be disappointed in me for sure. I couldn’t let her see me eat them. So on that dark dreary evening, tired and broken, in my car with the doors locked and the windows rolled up, under the stark overhead glare of the parking lot lamps, I tore open the cellophane and ate my cakes alone, in secret. I felt like a drug addict shooting up in a dark alley. I was appalled. Truly, how many steps away was I from that. I couldn’t stop myself from getting my fix, and had sudden empathy for the pressures a drug addict must be under. When I got home I confessed to Noreen and I more seriously accepted that I had a habit that I needed to kick. It didn’t happen over night but I eventually did wean myself away from the stuff. I think it took years but gradually the craving melted away and I thought of it less and less. My eczema is gone and my suffering with asthma is way less than a tenth of what it was. Confronting the pastry cravings happened in conjunction with the confronting of any of my anxieties and fears and problems and trying to make my life better. It was all rolled into one big problem. It required continual application toward the goal, with lots of backsteps along the way, primalling, and a slow gradual easing and shrinking of the problems. I still indulge sometimes, but junk food isn’t a craving that has control of me anymore. I’m lucky that I don’t have the far more dramatic addiction experience that some people have to wrestle with, but I’d be in a very poor state of health now if I was still slave to my former cravings.

        • Patrick says:

          Larry: An interesting story, it brings home well the point how strong sugar addiction can be and how difficult it is to ‘beat’ it. Also the food industry is making things sweeter all the time, replacing glucose with fructose which is much sweeter etc. Another trick they have is on the labels they often list 3 or 4 different kinds of sugars that way they don’t have to put sugar on the top as the main ingredient because it is required to put the main ingredient first. I seem to have basically kicked the habit but what I find is in spite of myself I find other way to sneak it in, like recently I realized I was eating a lot of very sweet grapes. Apparantly even too much fruit can also be a problem, following the ‘Paleo or Primal Diet’ idea primitive man would not have had much access to a lot of sweet fruits, certainly not year round as is the case now. Some berries on a seasonal basis, also of course for example apples have been bred to be a lot sweeter than they originally were. And often these kind of ‘addictions’ are at least as much a function of the way we live and the foods available as any so called “pain’ or deep psychological issues. Think of the example of the squirrel who picks a chocolate chip cookie ahead of an acorn. This is a favorite example of mine and I suppose one thing I hope I have to contribute here is the idea that health in the broadest sense is NOT only to do with “feelings” as important as they are. And to be serious for a minute in relation to Jack who I obviously have a lot of issues with in terms of rivalry or whatever I do find his constant repition of “feelings, feelings feelings” unhelpful and to use a word obscurantist. in the sense that it explains nothing or solves nothing. If everything is “feelings” nothing is “feelings” . It becomes just an empty mantra and that’s what I mean by the “mental health ghetto”. Who wants to live in a ghetto? Maybe some people do

  131. Jack Waddington says:

    Larry: there is an inference in your choking response that some feelings you like and others you don’t. All feelings are valid … it’s just that we re-act to some differently than others. I have a yukky feeling when I see blogs that are all nicey-nicey. Life’s not really like that.

    I checked out your link … Mmmmm all thinking, and absolutely no feelings. That, to me, missed out on more than half of what life is about.


  132. Jack Waddington says:

    I have just read Art Janov’s latest blog “On murder and being intellectual”. Very, very interesting. It takes down most of the pre-conceived ideas of what we see talk about around us. I tempted to exclaim “Oh for a muse of fire that would ascent the brightest heavens of invention, someone to behold the swelling scene …………”.

    Some things really thrill me, others bore me to tears, but they are all part of me bantering away about what I feel. Thanks Art, you gave me the promise to become the real/asshole me.

    Goodnight all, now off to bed.


  133. Patrick says:

    Jack wrote: It’s an Irony that it was you (Fiona) that was convinced that Patrick was having his feeling. Gretchen didn’t think so, as far as I understood her.

    Now I hesitate to even go there again, it does get like Gingrich v Romney or whatever and I would think people are bored by out little fued/jihad. Also I do realize Jack just likes the attention so anything more I say is really just playing into his hands and he wins just by the sheer amount of attention he draws on himself………………….BUT…………..the above statement is so condescending and also seems to be based on some weird ‘grading’ system as in somehow I wasn’t “really having a feeling” whatever that means and somehow Fiona “failed” also in that she didn’t ‘get it’ but Gretchen being the authority in Jack’s mind DID ‘get it’. Some kind of sick grading system and for all his ‘outrageousness’ he is still trying to be teacher’s (Gretchen’s) pet. What can you say? Probably the best thing is nothing, he seems to be is some weird arrested developement phase but he is getting attention so he’s happy. Whatever get’s you through the night I suppose

  134. Patrick says:

    Jack wrote: “Everything Patrick said about me was absolutely correct, Now, all that is required, by my reckoning, is for him to figure out what is going on with himself.”

    OK promise last one. Notice the ‘open-mindedness’ being displayed here, Jack is a true “free-thinker” and is so ‘open’ and so self critical. He is an all around wonderful human being I mean really could you get more ‘honest’ than that. He cops to EVERYTHING, what can he possibly be faulted on, he has admitted to all his faults.

    Patrick on the other hand is a bit of dunder head, he is a bit stupid, can’t ‘do’ a feeling properly and worse can’t even figure out what is going on with himself. How more stupid could a person be. And if he one day figures out what is going on with him he won’t ‘express’ it in the correct way and will be given a failing grade by Headmaster Jack.

    So there you have it: 2 people and it should be pretty clear who to ‘vote’ for. Looks like Jack to win Florida (certainly in his own mind)

  135. Margaret says:

    Ha, talking about food, some of us even like Mand M’s, sorry, couldn’t bother about finding the right key, and diet Coke, and those persons aren’t necessarily the most crazy ones in my humble opinion.

    I think we can eat anything if we just listen to our bodies and common sense about the quantities.

    But I do know there is a lot more that can be said about this and there are many old feelings involved .

    I just saw an interesting program about this young Belgian professor that made an amazing discovery.

    He found out that there exist three types of intestinal ‘ecosystems’, populations of combined bacteria. They are spread over the world, regardless of race,place or diet . That means they exist next to each other both in France and in Japan so to say.

    He started a large study recently, in which he asks the volunteers to fill in regularly what they eat, how they live, what medication they use etc., and to keep sending him samples of their …, well, faical samples.

    He already discovered a link between overweight and the presence of a certain type of bacteria.

    A new treatment has also been tried, I am not kidding, the faecal transplant. People with a lifethreatening disease, I forgot which one, where having their intestins thoroughly cleaned, and then were inserted healthy faeces with accordingly a healthy population of bacteria. And it worked really well. This tratment is already being practised now in a few university hospitals both in the netherlands and Belgium.

    He, the professor, also mentioned the amount of bacteria we carry inside is several times larger than the total amount of our body cells, which is pretty impressive already. I know I start to sound like the ultimate one, but hey, I was fascinated!

    Now the study wants to discover how these ecosystems do or don’t evolve, as there seemed to be a lot of questions about the links between genetics,and diet, as none of them were obvious, and it seemed to be possible the ecosystems could change into another one of the three by some influences.

    Well, sorry to the ones not interestedn, but I found this interesting enough to talk about it here, and it does make a change of subject, doesn’t it?


    • Jack Waddington says:

      On the changed note Margret, I did wince at the thought of ‘shit’ transplants. Boy, it seems we can study anything these days, on some pretense or other. My take is that it’s not leading to much of a better quality of life. But I suppose if you are suffering from intestinal stuff, maybe that is better than nothing. Yuk.


    • Jack Waddington says:

      On the changed note Margret, I did wince at the thought of ‘shit’ transplants. Boy, it seems we can study anything these days, on some pretense or other. My take is that it’s not leading to much of a better quality of life; as yet. But I suppose if you are suffering from intestinal stuff, maybe that is better than nothing. Yuk.

      One other thought to keep this blog alive. This is just a blog for ‘Christ’s-sake’. Not a Church or a convalescent home or even “mutual admiration society”. IMO, just expressing oneself freely, will do oneself an enormous amount of good; providing you are talking about yourself and not someone else, that, for me goes, no-where. Least-ways for me.


    • Fiona says:

      It’s bad enough being full of ‘my own shit’, Margaret, without inviting a merger!

    • Vicki says:

      god, Margaret, I laughed and laughed! “I am full of shit” takes on a new meaning and dimension! “Shit transplants” are certainly one thing I never envisaged. Whether this would work or benefit, I don’t know yet, I have grave doubts, certainly. But I love it, thanks!

  136. Margaret says:

    About the food subject, I would like to add that the terrible way in which animals are raised and treated nowadays, has turned me into an almost vegetarian. I still succomb to the temptation of a plate of chicken Korma, but if possible I would like to be able to buy it from a chicken that has had a good life. Otherwise I hardly eat any meat at all, unless I am invited somewhere and it is put in front of my nose.

    So it is not so much the taste of it or even the killing of the animal that puts me off, but the lack of respect in which they are treated. Emotionally I would prefer not to be guilty of any animal being killed at all; So far I haven’t entirely succeeded, but the population of meateating bacteria in my entrails is probably on the verge of starving.

    Plenty of very happy carbohydrate munchers inthere, and they do get a steady supply of sugar.

  137. Margaret says:

    Haha! I finally managed to make you wince, Jack!
    Strange as it sounds, this is a real and serious new way of treatment that has very good results in a number of different diseases.
    About me: tomorrow I visit my mother, with my brother, and I feel apprehensive of the stress it will trigger.It hurts to see my mother become more disfunctional and disorganised. But she is still as pigheaded or even more so so she still knows very well that she wants to live her life her way.

    It will be painful to hear her repeat the same htings over and over and to be confronted with her endless need of attention.

    It is all the more painful because I do love her.


    • Jack Waddington says:

      Margaret: Yep; but it is my feeling you will get through this. I suggest; best you can just listen to her. You might find that it doesn’t upset you as much as you thought. Still, as the saying goes “Life’s a bitch and then you die.” That bothered me a great deal when I first heard it.

      I have been following your comments about your mother on the blog. Keep at it and where and when possible, and when it’s appropriate, say all the things you’ve wanted to say cos when she’s gone you’ll not be able to say it to her.

      I feel lucky that I did have all the things I wanted to say to both of my parents before they died. That now does not per-occupy me. However, I still cry about a lot of stuff that happened in my childhood.

      Cried this morning about some sad stuff. But I know this is the way I have to go.

      Take care and good luck Margaret.


    • Jack Waddington says:

      Margaret: Hope things worked out somewhat with you and brother, visiting your mother. I understand all that about in the end loving her. I came to that with my dad the last time I saw him. He was the only Dad I had and in that respect, yes I did love him. I just wished he’d know how to love me as a kid.


  138. Jack Waddington says:

    Barry once said in a group some months ago (I think I’m quoting correctly), just say the first thing that comes to you, off-the-top-of-your-head … don’t censor it. That struck me as being very significant at the time, and I still remember it. Sure, in a group setting, the therapist is then able to steer you to the feeling behind your statement. However, I thought it might be relevant to what is seemingly happening right now, that seems to be getting some; “of their nickers in a truss”.


    P.S. If you think this blog is getting ‘beyond the pail’, try reading the comments on “Cluster Fuck Nation” by James Howard Kunstler.


  139. Patrick says:

    Larry: An interesting story, it brings home well the point how strong sugar addiction can be and how difficult it is to ‘beat’ it. Also the food industry is making things sweeter all the time, replacing glucose with fructose which is much sweeter etc. Another trick they have is on the labels they often list 3 or 4 different kinds of sugars that way they don’t have to put sugar on the top as the main ingredient because it is required to put the main ingredient first. I seem to have basically kicked the habit but what I find is in spite of myself I find other way to sneak it in, like recently I realized I was eating a lot of very sweet grapes. Apparantly even too much fruit can also be a problem, following the ‘Paleo or Primal Diet’ idea primitive man would not have had much access to a lot of sweet fruits, certainly not year round as is the case now. Some berries on a seasonal basis, also of course for example apples have been bred to be a lot sweeter than they originally were. And often these kind of ‘addictions’ are at least as much a function of the way we live and the foods available as any so called “pain’ or deep psychological issues. Think of the example of the squirrel who picks a chocolate chip cookie ahead of an acorn. This is a favorite example of mine and I suppose one thing I hope I have to contribute here is the idea that health in the broadest sense is NOT only to do with “feelings” as important as they are. And to be serious for a minute in relation to Jack who I obviously have a lot of issues with in terms of rivalry or whatever I do find his constant repition of “feelings, feelings feelings” unhelpful and to use a word obscurantist. in the sense that it explains nothing or solves nothing. If everything is “feelings” nothing is “feelings” . It becomes just an empty mantra and that’s what I mean by the “mental health ghetto”. Who wants to live in a ghetto? Maybe some people do

  140. Patrick says:

    It must be getting late if I am doing this kind of stuff. So cool and anticipates a lot of punk rock. This is the Who in 1967. The words are really worth listening to IMO (I know Fiona you hate that) “Substitute” which for me is a key word in primal therapy

  141. Fiona says:

    I am aware of the low fat issue sounding odd – but modern humans have more fats and sugars in theirs diets. BUT during the second world war in Britain, some foods were rationed. The health of the nation boomed due to the very healthy levels of fats and proteins in the diet. That is all I am doing. Healthier levels – and healthier fats. Enough on the subject for me. I was only talking about my addictive, secretive shameful side here, and I have been stupid enough to start explaining myself. Try not to pre-judge Patrick! (re being a vegetarian)

    • Anonymous says:

      I am not prejudging Fiona. And it’s not about being a vegetarian or not. I was actually trying to help, but fine if you don’t find it helpful. Maybe one day it will make more sense.

  142. Fiona says:

    Thanks for your story Larry. Interesting that you have found that your allergies are sensitive to junk. I have heard MANY MANY similar stories. I have no allergies (thank goodness) and I have no side effects (apart from guilt) that suggest that junk is not ok. I just like it!

  143. Jack Waddington says:

    Vicki says “He talks at a pace that would turn my brain to mush, so I had to bail out.”

    Fiona, you said “I can’t believe that I am stupid enough to let you and your ridiculous twisting insanity, and delusional antics goad me again.”

    In both cases, deep down, it’s not about me. I’m irrelevant, or at best/worst, merely a catalyst. Just say how you feel about me (and it shouldn’t take more than a short phrase, three or four words) and have done with it.

    Patrick is in the same dilemma. What is there to NOT understand about “If someone doesn’t want to talk to you … go home … lick your wounds … and give up the struggle.

    Mushy brains and tirades; don’t cut it. IMO


    • Jack, Aren’t they doing just that? Saying how they feel about you? Or going home and giving up the struggle ( if it is a struggle)? G.

      • Jack Waddington says:

        Gretchen: No; simply and directly, I don’t feel they are. Surely, It’s simpler than what I hear coming from them. However, I grant that they are tying to get there. I just thought I might encourage them. As I said, I enjoy the banter.


    • Vicki says:

      Hey Jack, my comment was directly below Larry’s comment & link, added by using the “reply” on HIS comment — and had nothing whatsoever to do with you.

  144. Anonymous says:

    I’m through with this blog. It is part of the mental health ghetto. Exemplyfied most of all by the demented guru Jack, a pompous superior sounding ass. “Mushy brains” again superior nonsense, What does his brain look like, a hateful pervert but he sits on this blog like a spider in a web looking for victims. Well get another victim I am through with you. And then talk of ‘tirades’ again the “feeling’ doesnt come out the way he wants so it’s a tirade. A fucking demented a-hole mock therapist whatever name you can think of. Why he never got an education, a total wannabe writing his so called ‘books’. As I said I am through with this, thanks Gretchen and several others who at least treat people on some kind of level playing field

    • Larry says:

      I’m sorry that we won’t hear from you anymore. It’s been interesting getting to know you. I enjoyed your contribution.

  145. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    Before you leave the blog can you at least point the way to the mental health lakeside mansions and golf courses so we can meet you there? I’m sure at least some of us enjoyed having you around…

  146. Patrick, I am not sure if you will respond but I will ask anyway – Does it help at all to see that there are others who have similar reactions to Jack ( right or wrong )? In other words, that you are not alone in either what you see about Jack or what he triggers in you (depending on your perspective of course) ? Gretchen

  147. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    What kinda sucks about this is we really don’t know if Patrick even read what Gretchen, Larry, and I said to him:
    a) If he hasn’t read these last few comments it could possibly be inferred that Patrick is truly overwhelmed with rage and disgust at the blog.
    b) If he HAS read these last few comments it could very well be inferred that he is enjoying the fact that people are slavishly chasing after him while he swirls a cold “scotch on the rocks” drink in his hand with a satisfied smile on his face after such a dramatic, powerful exit.

    Either way, should I go with microwave popcorn or use a standard popcorn popper machine with oil?

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Margaret: Great … things worked out better than you imagined. Hope it keeps up for you.

      Guru: From my 25 years experience with Patrick it wasn’t either scenario though the former is closer to what I perceive as his reality. You don’t need a PhD in rocket science; or for that matter psychology 🙂 to figure out why he left. He wasn’t getting what he wanted (not need, cos I feel he didn’t contemplate that).

      He came onto the blog (knowing that I frequented it) to see if he could get some allies, without actually ever stating what he was angry with me about. For me, his anger was legitimate … his expression of it wasn’t. A simple short phrase, or three or four words would have done it, but IMO he sidestepped that.


      • THE Ultimate Guru says:


        The bottom line for me is that you (and I) still don’t know whether he’s reading what we’re writing here now. You may not currently appreciate why this is important to understand, but my own past has taught me brutal lessons that would place Patrick in a far more commanding position of this whole dialogue if he is reading what we’re writing and he doesn’t convey to us that he knows what we’re writing right now. It also only adds to his power if he should happen to know that we don’t currently know whether he’s reading all this.
        Unless Patrick returns, I am finished with this topic. I wanted to briefly share what went through my mind about Patrick’s exit.

        • Jack Waddington says:

          Guru: Since Patrick has demonstrated that he’s still reading the blog, it’s my contention he will continue to read it AND, I suspect, will chirrup in from time to time. That is how much I feel I know him from my 30 years working with him. Sadly, I don’t see him in any commanding position. First and foremost he’s NOT totally honest, and he sure doesn’t know how to be brief. What he’s demonstrating, to me, is that he’s lost any power he had, running a successful 3 million dollar business, then giving it away, and was pissed with me before he came onto this blog because I set a condition to consider helping him leverage his way back to re-owning it. He was furious about my condition.

          Being the sole owner of the business for over 25 years he was used to getting his own way … (except with me, whom he fired five or six times.). So!!!! I very much doubt we will NOT be hearing from him again. He’s way too angry and doesn’t know how to resolve it, other than coming round to my trailer banging on the sides (and denting it), thinking I was inside ignoring him, then entering, and drawing the attention of several neighbors at his raging. Gretchen, not knowing the details did concede that it was crazy.

          It is my feeling, though I could be wrong that Gretchen’s last comment when she wrote “(right or wrong)” upset him greatly. He was hoping IMO Gretchen would say “Jack is wrong”. As I stated in my last comment you don’t need a PhD 🙂 to sense that he’s not resolving his anger. Note this latest long comment.


          • Patrick says:

            I get the feeling it’s some kind of ‘dare’ if I blog here or not. Whatever. With you the manipulations and machinations are literally endless.

            You are wrong on just about every point but again who cares? Certainly not you. Accuracy and truth are always a distant second to your need for drama and attention.

            Your comments about what I wanted from Gretchen are way off but again who cares? Not you. You seem to be the one who wants her approval, for all that you are some kind of tough guy you just want teacher’s approval.

            You wernt ‘fired’ 5 or 6 times. You were being arrested for public lewdness, and had all kinds of legal problems including unacceptable behaviour towards women in the company…..you were also busy making threats and witholding the software and blackmailing……….but other than that you were allright.

            You WILL have some kind of comeback of course, you cannot help yourself and I will write or real here if I want to. It is not any “proof” I am not ‘resolving my anger” whatever you say. Have you ever really ‘resolved’ anything?. The only thing that slowed down your ‘acting out’ was old age and decrepitude.

            I know you would prefer if I wasn’t on here, easier for you to play you spider games with unsuspecting newbies. But I know you, only too well.

            You put any naked pictures of yourself on Craigslist recently? An 80 year old man putting himself out for ‘sale’ to anyone who might be ‘tempted’

            Sadly I do know you too well

  148. Margaret says:

    I suppose my mail got lost, curse curse!

    So here i go again, for blog’s sake:

    My visit to my mother went surprisingly well.
    Already in the car with my brother I noticied I was able to relax more and leave silences and focus more on what I felt like saying, and the conversation developed naturally. we taked about bicycle racing, and about whether or not he’ll separate from his wife.

    At my mom’s place I also managed not to engage in struggles, and there too things were smooth and much easier.

    Only on one occasion I had to tell her to be silent for a little while as I wanted to watch the news and she kept struggling for attention.

    But I must have been able to say it in the right mixture of friendliness and firmness as she started listening to the news without talking all the time.

    Afterwards I did ask her immediately about what she had been saying, and the evening went on very nicely.

    When we left she said she has two wonderful kids and I hugged her and told her the mother was nice too.

    I really feel the change was mostly in me, I become aware of how big my own part was.
    Also the fact that I managed to make them both laugh out loud spontaneously made me feel they are ok and things are not that bad really

    hopefully I can sty on this treack, Margaret

  149. Patrick says:

    Ok, to sort of wrap up and not being a believer in ‘burning bridges’ and also speaking as someone who respects to ‘law of Karma’ (I obviously have read the recent posts). I just want to say a few things and sort of allay anyone’s fears.

    To the “Ultimate Guru” I have no idea what you are talking about or even hinting at but rest assured I have no kind of devious agenda or anything that needs to concern you or anyone elso on here. You seem to have gone through something kind of horrible or is it just the “paranoid style” of the USA. But you may have a point just not in this case.

    I do want to thank Gretchen for showing at all times in my opinion good judgement and as I said before I felt genuine interest and concern from her even though I am not nor have been for a long time a “paying customer”. It can’t be that easy sort of navigating through and around all kinds of peoples “neuroses” and at least from the little bit I saw I give you major props for the way you handle things. It actually gives me some reassurance that the whole human race has not gone sort of completly crazy and also the feeling that there are for sure good things about “Primal”. Not that I ever have really doubted that but some “mock Therapists” can really test one’s ‘faith’.

    As far as Jack is concerned as I said before probably the best thing is to say nothing as he only thrives on all the (negative for the most part) attention. I must concede his point to a degree in that me coming on here was a bit impulsive and not thought out very well. But it wasn’t to “gain allies” it was he would not talk to me and just kept hanging up on me any my level of frustration was so high in relation to him that I thought I can get through to him here. So it is correct in a way to say I don’t belong on here.

    As far as his last statement goes it’s the “same old, same old”. The constant put downs, the bogus superior attitude, constant running his mind through ‘primal categories’ and constantly finding himself coming out on top. “Want” v’s “Need” and of course me not understanding the difference (him yes). My anger was “valid” but my expression of it was “not valid”. (What the fuck is that all about?) On and on like some demented primal automaton running his mind back and forth over the same ground and always finding validation for his own position. Jack should be a “mock therapist”, but as I said before he is a guru type with no followers. Rather than strike out on his own, he lurks on here and does his spider in the web routine or like a virus that lives of the metabolism of others. I know he will has some fucking responce to this, he WILL have the last word but whatever that’s how relentless and punitive his neurosis is.

    But I am finished so everyone can chill. I don’t know if I will coninue to sort of monitor this board I might or might not, it really does not or should not matter to anyone. So to answer Gretchen I don’t know the fact is Jack is on here so I can’t be, it does me no good just increases my frustration levels. Not healthy at all. As a final point I have to admire the visceral and straight forward reaction of Fiona. I did not come on here to get ‘allies’ as Jack says but it is cool to see someone just going with her feeling and expressing it viscerally and effectivly. Though I am sure the “mock Therapist in chief” will have an answer to that also. Whatever. I acutally have a bad feeling almost premonition about Jack. Someone who flouts the ‘laws of Karma’ as much as he does unfortuatly usually ends up paying. At this point though in all honesty I won’t pretend that I care.

    • THE Ultimate Guru says:


      If you are reading this:
      First of all, thank you for responding to my post. You are very perceptive in commenting that I went through “something kind of horrible”. You’re right, I did! I won’t go into details of this here but all the paperwork explaining and irrefutably proving everything is (hopefully) in the Institute’s files and copies of these documents are here at my house.
      I won’t get into whether the average US citizen is paranoid. Too long to cover here.

      One reason why I went into a tizzy of “knowing and not knowing” deductions after you left earlier had to do with your declaration of having “had it with this loser” when you talked about Jack in your very first post. I figured at the time you were simply going to leave the blog shortly thereafter and that would be the end of it after you explained your anger. When you stuck around and did more blogging about various topics, it left me feeling that you may be capable of some devious agenda beyond just discussing Jack.

      Anyway, you’ve pretty much proven the contrary to me and I’ve enjoyed reading your posts. Perhaps with luck, we may meet someday….but if not I wish you well in your future endeavors.

  150. Margaret says:

    what difference does it make to you or anyone writing whether he reads it or not?

    Thanks Jack.By the way I liked the picture of you walking around between the squirrels and the cats where you live. Sounds nice and peaceful.

    • THE Ultimate Guru says:


      Am I trying to convince you to care whether Patrick reads these posts or not? I wasn’t trying to do that. I do ask in return to not try to convince me *not* to care whether Patrick read these posts after his earlier departure declaration. This matter is settled in my mind, anyway.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Margaret: It really is, and I revel in doing it as often as I can, (four times a day at least). All the trees and shedding their leaves and the clear blue skies nearly every day and the sunshine. I just want it to go on forever, but know that it is possible to come to and end … just hope not soon.

      Did you get my last message to you when you came back from seeing your mother. I ask because you said you lost some emails.


  151. Margaret says:

    you finally managed to piss me off.
    It is tasteless to start fighting by putting someone’s private matters out here, specially so as it has nothing to do whatsoever with business matters or matters that concern you.

    I’d like you to get a hold on yourself, and respect the standards of this blog.

    talk about what you feel and stop looking for crap to throw with.

    Guru, I didn’t mean to criticize or patronize you, I merely meant to ask what I asked.
    I understand by now you a little better after you talked about fearing a hidden agenda.

  152. Patrick says:

    I take your point Margaret: the only thing I would say if this smart alec know it all puts his little smiley faces all over the place about how it doesnt taka a psychologist etc etc how I am not resolving my anger blah blah blah. If he feels so free about dishing it out and being such a superior know it all but you are correct.

    Really I should not do this but it is so enraging to me on so many levels just couldn’t help myself. And I do have particularly at hard time with what I see as “hypocricy”. Whited sepulchres posing as something they are not

  153. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    This is going to sound like a super-trivial posting compared to what was being discussed around Patrick, but another reason my mind has been hyper-logical this week is due to my overplaying a Windows game this week called “Minesweeper”. Only the most difficult settings for me, please, so I can endure maximal frustration (16×30 grid, 99 mines, and never start a game with an opening of more than two blank non-numerical tiles).

  154. Patrick says:

    Do I dare say something?. Maybe I am barred (or deserve to be)

    Anyway feel like talking about something else. This evening purely by chance a friend/actually more an acquaintance said there was a discussion in Culver City and an author (Robin Karr-Morse “Scared Sick-The role of childhood trauma in adult disease”) so I went.

    Interesting and kind of saying a lot of primal type things how psychological trauma becomes physical and so on. I bought her book and can report on it in a few days but what I found kind of interesting is I spoke to her after the meeting.

    First off I mentioned Janov & primal therarpy and asked her if she knew about it or had any take on it. She said she had heard of it but it was “kind of out there” as far as she was concerned whatever that means. She talked about other approaches like I think it’s called EDMR or something like that and other ways of relieving things like PTSD. Anyway I left it at that as she was dealing with a bunch of people buying her book etc.

    Later when she was more free I talked to her again and mentioned Janov’s I think latest book “Life before Birth” and she said “oh i have that book” or words to that effect and then sort of rushed off like she didn’t want to talk about it or maybe saw me as some kind of trouble maker.

    Anyway what struck me was almost a feeling of plagiarism. It’s like Janov has influenced a lot of people but they don’t want to give him credit. Then again is that down to some mistakes he has made, somehow he has alienated a lot of people who should be natural allies. Just seems everyone is on their own trip and these ideas that should join up and strenghten each other don’t. On the other hand I can relate to people who don’t just want “primal dogma” I think that’s what I was trying to say here sometimes. And in fairness to Jack I sort of lump him into the “primal dogma” category. But what I was trying to convey is primal would really benefit from some kind of cross fertilization of ideas also involving other disciplines like nutrition, exercise etc

    One other thing Jack has said a few times I am not being totally honest and he is correct to the extent I am involved in a big legal snafu about my (former) company and I really can’t talk about it at this point. It will be all over soon hopefully and then I can. But for now I just cannot.

    I do feel somewhat bad now about Jack, and maybe I have really gone overboard. And really on a certain level I think he is cool, even the way he writes about how he enjoys nature etc seems like a really feeling person who because he can feel has a lot of joy and pleasure in his life. I guess nobody is perfect and a lot of the things I object to about him, I’m afraid I share them to a good degree. Competitiveness, intellectualism, judgementality, pretentiousness maybe. (That’s why I have made analogies to Gingrich v Romney, as a sort of sterile pointless dispute, which obviously I include myself as one of the participants) So there I guess I should say I’m sorry. Now I am bracing for his thunder but maybe it will never come or maybe it will (in which case we can start all over again or are people totally sick of it?)

    • Vicki says:

      Hi Patrick, I am glad you have been writing here, I have found your comments interesting, entertaining, and even educational. I have heard of EMDR a couple of times recently, so I looked up the term, and found (in simple) that the “therapist” uses eye-movement stimulation (e.g., using ‘fingers like a windshiled wiper’), in combination with the patient talking about a traumatic incident, to ‘release emotional experiences that are “trapped” in the nervous system.’ Sounds like yet another attempt to find shortcuts to Primals via techniques.

      For me, at least, you don’t have to worry that I may be deluded by anything Jack may say. I hope you elect to stay, or return sometimes to join the fray, although I hope you are also able to use it as an opportunity to not engage Jack in his pursuit of attention, since it looks like he can’t or doesn’t want to take you or your needs seriously. While at times entertaining, in maybe a mud-wrestling way, emotionally I would guess it is also gut-wrenching for you, if Jack isn’t willing to hear you, or if he hears you, doesn’t “get” it, whatever “it” is.

      Early in the feud, I wrote a comment to you about parts of it, and felt hurt that you didn’t respond to me or what I said. I wondered if you were in the heat of battle, and just didn’t like what I said, or what the reason might be. I don’t care about a response to that now, but just wanted to say what I felt. We never knew each other much in the old days, just had occasional encounters, but when I read your comments, I always hear them in your own voice, with your still-Irish accent.

  155. Patrick, I am glad you are taking time to speak – You are always welcome here – Gretchen

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Gretchen; You are pissing me off intensely. I contend you have handled this whole matter with Patrick very badly.

      First off: if you have not picked-up that this guy is vindictive enough to go on other blogs he knows I frequent and ‘spin’ that ‘even his therapist knows this guy has problems with others in his therapy’? He will base that on your comment to him; “Does it help at all to see that there are others who have similar reactions to Jack”

      In the very beginning You said, “Clearly somebody needs to take a breath here – I don’t have a clue what this is all about but it feels really crazy. As you all know we don’t censor comments here, at the same time I don’t like to see the blog used to simply be hurtful or as an act of revenge.”

      If it was crazy then, is it not still crazy??? You have not made any attempt to find out what was taking place and to this very day he has not said why he was pissed with me way before he came on this blog and furthermore not admitted to why he came on this blog in the first place. Now you say “Patrick, I am glad you are taking time to speak You are always welcome here” SPEAK … he was doing way more than speaking … I would characterize it as RANTING & RAVING … bordering on psychosis.

      It pisses me off about you and I even wonder; yes wonder, if you dislike me intensely also…….. unless ..,.,…… unless you are touting for a paying patient. Least-ways keep my name out of it with him.


      • Larry says:

        Do you not get the sense Jack from what Patrick has written here over time that he wants to change for the better the pattern that you two slide in to?

        • Jack Waddington says:

          Larry: No I don’t. Had he been honest about what he was initially pissed with me about and then even admitted WHY he came on this blog in the first place, you might see this in a totally different light. I will repeat for you. Patrick wanted something from me which I explained in an earlier comment and when I set up a condition to meet his want, he went bananas on me with several emails. Then he tried to phone me and when I picked up the phone and knew it was him I told him I didn’t want to talk to him and put the phone down. He tried phoning me two or three other times, and I gave him the same reply. After that he thought how can I ‘get at’ Jack and got on this blog with his ranting and raving hoping, I figured, that he could make it look like I was the villain.

          He shot himself in the foot. He wanted a favor from me and when he didn’t get it, he went on his ranting binge with emails to me. I’ve known and worked with this guy for over 25 years and know his technique and watched him do to it with others. When he doesn’t get his own way he becomes vindictive. If you too don’t see that his ranting was vindictive then you’ve bought into his ‘act-out’.


      • THE Ultimate Guru says:

        You won, Jack. Quit while you’re ahead!

        • Jack Waddington says:

          Guru: Therapy isn’t about winning and losing. It’s about having and expressing your feelings. I love the banter as I have said before. Sure, I know this irritates the fuck out of a lot of people. So be it.


          • THE Ultimate Guru says:

            Maybe YOUR therapy it isn’t about winning or losing…fair enough. But do realize, that in my eyes, you managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against Patrick. He said a lot of perceptive and insightful things about you that weren’t too flattering, and you allowed him to implode of his own weight and hubris on this blog. I would have ridden off into the sunset after Patrick’s apology, but that’s just me.

  156. Margaret says:

    this is a fine and very honest response you gave.
    I appreciate very much you being capable of saying what you do like about Jack .

    It is good to hear you are aware of sharing a similar kind of struggles and it is even better you are so open about it.

    You sound like such an intense person, I can’t help but imagining you might be quite an asset in our groups. I mean the real ones, not the virtual ones.

    I guess what I am saying is I am curious about you.

  157. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    Time for a beer to celebrate, Jack. You won!

  158. Fiona says:

    No! Fiona!! Don’t do it!! Don’t respond!

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Fiona: Seems like you are struggling to not struggle with me. Just get pissed with me if that is what you are feeling and be done with it. 🙂


    • Larry says:

      I get the feeling that you so much want to.

      • Larry says:


        • THE Ultimate Guru says:

          She’s just being a tease.

          • Jack Waddington says:

            Guru: You could be right, but my feeling is that Larry is closer to the mark.

            As I see it: Fiona set herself up to “not struggle” and now finds herself unable to respond

            I am inspired here to quote Stephen Hawking cos i feel the issue he brought up is relevant:
            The first paragraph of “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking starts:-

            “A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun in turn orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said, ‘What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.’ The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, ‘What is the tortoise standing on?’ ‘Oh you’re very clever, young man; very clever,’ said the old lady, ‘Well, it’s turtles all the way down!’
            Most people would find the picture of our universe as an infinite tower of turtles rather ridiculous, but why do we think we know better?”

            The real wisdom to me is in this last sentence. “… why do we THINK we know better?”


  159. Fiona says:

    Larry – you are right, PART of me wants to respond to many outrageous things on here lately. BUT in not responding, I am getting access to a specific set of feelings. I am happy with that. After all – it’s about feeling the feelings, and NOT lashing out needlessly. There needs to be a purpose or at least an equal dialogue for me to gain anything. I have no interest in pointless argument purely for the sake of it. I don’t need to voice EVERYTHING in order to feel. I do not need everyone to know what it is I am feeling. I do not need permission or reassurances. I just use this blog as the ‘tool’ I need it to be on any given day, and that changes as I do.

  160. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    For some reason a small, vengeful part of me wanted to strike back in exchange for Fiona’s November 29, 2011 posting at 4:36 am. It’s even now. This small item is done for me.

    • Vicki says:

      U.G. then i think that must mean you felt in some small way “hurt” by Fiona’s comment in November, no? (This is not meant as a criticism).

      • THE Ultimate Guru says:

        Hi Vicki:

        You do understand that question puts me at a disadvantage and serves to invalidate what I was trying to do by forcing me to reveal whether or not I was hurt before any information is released concerning Fiona’s own reaction to my “strikeback”? So I will answer your question with a default “No”.

  161. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    To clarify: By insisting on asking ME that question first instead of asking Fiona first, I believe you are indirectly protecting her.

    • vickib5 says:

      U.G., I asked you because of what you wrote, and THAT you wrote. It’s up to Fiona, whether she wants to respond to you, and when. But in fact, I also communicate with her much more than I do you, so I had no need to ask her. I can’t do anything about whether and what you believe. You’re “playing” this conversation like it’s a chess game, and that doesn’t interest me.

  162. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    Regardless of all this shit, I’ve come down with a serious illness over the last 4 days and I’ve been breaking out in cold sweats and it’s been very difficult for me to move around. I suspect a slight touch of pneumonia so I’m going to hunt for some antibiotics or maybe head for a doctor/hospital. I will be out of comission for a few days.

  163. Irena says:

    I have not been on the blog for some time now and have spent an afternoon catching up, reading the lot. I am reminded as to why I stay away. After reading all the entries I feel overwhelmed with frustration re Jack’s usual unsurpassed arrogance, self-indulgent preaching and thoroughly unfeeling comments. I have been put out by where some of the ‘banter’ on the blog keeps going, on and on – and told myself to not get involved since I cannot express myself without having to put a lot of work into it.
    Then I felt elated for most parts when I read Patrick’s comments to Jack. Patrick takes the words out of my mouth and heart and puts it eloquently on the page. I am so very glad Patrick is such a colourful writer, as Larry puts it, for I’m not.
    My resolution for the New Year is that I will find ONE thing/moment per day that makes me happy.
    I started when one of my workers brought in a small branch with tiny flowers, smelling of Jasmin. (It’s winter here with snow). I put it on the windowsill at work, at height of my nose, so I can take a whiff whenever I went past. It made me smile every time. Then things started to follow. Every day something happens that gives me a feeling of joy. It’s accumulative and no longer have to ‘look’ for it. That is all new to me for I’m not the most optimistic person around. So, today it’s Patric comments.

  164. Margaret says:

    that’s the spirit!

  165. Fiona says:

    I think Irena can be very eloquent when she needs to be.

  166. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    Re: Jack

    It goes without saying that Jack inspires a lot of strong emotions in this blog-o-sphere. I do personally feel that, once in a while, people tend to “gang up” on Jack and I feel the need to try to balance things out if I possibly can. How can a 79 year-old man who has trouble walking be such a threat to everyone? From the blog writings of these past few weeks I have truly learned that words themselves seem to be the weapons rather than feelings being “beyond words” (this is debatable, I know).
    I won’t try to change anyone’s mind over Jack. I will only say that the key to conversing with Jack without devolving into insanity is to not take everything he says TOO SERIOUSLY! The first time I ever met Jack at the Institute he was in the middle of a primal. I forget the reason for it now, but I interrupted his primal and he looked up to gaze at me. The look on his face was priceless and I actually had to stifle a laugh at that very moment. It gave me a starting framework for how to work with Jack (eg. light-hearted, good-natured way). On the occasions I speak with him over the phone I always know I will be in for a bit of a condescending lecture from a college professor. Does it annoy me? On the face of it, yes. Within all the annoyances, however, I do occasionally find those sweet hints of Jasmine (good insights) that Irena talked about.

    Speak to Jack.

    Listen to Jack.

    Actively look for flecks of gold within the coals.

    Don’t take him overly seriously, and you should be OK.

    • THE Ultimate Guru says:

      I should add that if everyone on this blog had treated me the exact same way they treated Jack, I could envision myself possibly becoming suicidally depressed over that. Words truly can be weapons. (And no, dear reader, I am not having suicidal thoughts. I am merely pointing out that Jack has displayed some remarkable mental resilience in the face of all the fury coming from this blog.)

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Guru: It’s feels good to read someone that can ‘think outside the box’


  167. Jack Waddington says:

    WARNING: This comment is highly toxic

    I will address myself in the third person in the hopes of getting a point across. Patrick did not get what he wanted form Jack in-spite of going onto this blog for that purpose: and his ‘game plan’ fell through when Jack was able to openly be pissed off with the therapist. If Jack was able to do that, then his plan to get Jack into ‘GIVING INTO A FAVOR’, was blown. Jack was/is way too CONCEITED, ARROGANT, AN ASS-HOLE, and KNOW-IT-ALL, (or know-nothing, as the case maybe) to be swayed. Patrick, (In Jack’s Opinion) has therefore no real purpose for staying on this blog: in-spite of all the encouraging words and accolades from those on this blog who loved to be entertained by his writings. Least-ways for those that contribute comments.

    Jack’s message:- He has known this guy for over 30 years and worked with him for 25 and knows him better than ANY OF YOU, including Gretchen. Alas, that message got lost.

    You’ve got to have done quite an extensive amount of therapy before you can KNOW … and can OPENLY ADMIT that you are a fellow ass-hole !!

    So!!!! to my fellow ass-holes; FART-OFF.


  168. Margaret says:

    I really like what you said about Jack, and I do agree with you.

    I also liked the way you said it, sensitive and to the point.

    I hope you noticed every now and then I have said several things to Jacks defense in the past and more recently.

    You are so right, and I completely understand what you are referring to, it describes very well why I keep liking him despite of the occasional irritations.

    I like you Jack, and I like you saying this UG, I don’t know you wlel enough to say more, hopefully we’ll get to meet some day so I can from myself a better idea of who you are.

    Do you still go to PT at all?

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Margaret: I am aware that you have sometime jumped to my defense; not that I needed it; I am a big boy now and can defend myself. I have admired your ability to come all the way to the retreats from Belgium, you being blind. Quite a feat. If ever you were in Los Angeles the day before going to Santa Barbara you would be welcome to come over to my trailer in Santa Monica and we could have a meal or coffee. I don’t do the retreats anymore; sort of “been there … done that” for almost 23 years now and just the walk to the dining room is now a bit of a struggle though not impossible. I don’t do group either except the free ones (I’m so cheap), like Christmas and some other rare events. I am also in a very fortunate position to get into deep feelings on my own, but if I have access to a buddy that is a plus. Getting to know me better is a bit of a lifetime struggle LOL and my boy friend is still working on that even after living with me 18 years and knowing and loving me for the past 31. I love blogging and the banter, as I have said, cos that to me is life. I go once a week to my HIV support group, where there is a very good therapist (not Primal of course) and that gives me a weekly chance to say my ‘party piece’

      I love life and especially the clear blue skies and sunshine of California and dread the prospect of having to go back to Northern Europe Brrrrrr. I do not like the cold. I am great with people (in-spite of the perception that I am not, with some, and I love animals but I am hopeless with plants. My friend/lover Jim is great with animals and plants but struggles with people.

      I know I am obtuse and have been that way most of my life. A friend, before I came into therapy (in 1981) said of me “Jack; you do know they assassinate people like you” I had never seen it that way; but it’s sort of true. Miraculously I am still alive nearing 80 years.


    • THE Ultimate Guru says:

      Hi Margaret:
      I’ve been away from California for quite some time, but I do have some primal buddies I keep in contact with, though. I wanted to defend Jack a little bit because I feel the need to try to balance things out when things get too lopsided. Sorry I can’t give a longer response tonight…just running busy at the moment.

  169. Patrick says:

    Wow that Jack!!. What an iconoclast, what a rule breaker, a true outside the box thinker!! With one deft and brilliant move he smote the evil ‘plan’ of his James Bond like rival by ATTACKING THE THERAPIST!! Who saw that coming, this is true genius I don’t care what his detractores say he DOES belong in the pantheon of greats!. All this mocking of him because he compares himself on the blurb of his own ‘book’ to Galileo & Copernicus they can fuck off now because they are all ASSHOLES! See how brilliant he is I am even channelling his writing ‘style’. FART OFF ASSHOLES!! Really how brilliant is that, what truth telling, how brave and how ‘outside the box’. Brilliant!!

  170. Patrick says:

    I just have to give up on my evil ‘plan’ to come on here and gain ‘allies’ and curry favor with therapists I have been struck down by the ‘conceptual leaps’ and the ‘outside the box’ moves of that intellectual trapeze artist Jack.It’s true I have known him for 30 years also and better than pretty much anyone here and I have seen his moves before when ‘cornered’………..I have seen his blackmailing, his threats, his witholding but this is the most brillaint of all. He just gets better as he gets older! Just a great ad for Primal Therapy because as he says you have to have done a lot of deep feeling (like him) to be able to make to be so simple and direct to realise that ‘you are a fellow asshole’. What an insight! True genius and see he even includes himself. He is not only brilliant but also modest, he INCLUDES HIMSELF!! Come on now there is no possibe come back from that, this ‘outside the box thinker’ hath smote all his rivals. Reality on the other hand…………..that can wait.

  171. Margaret says:

    thanks for the invitation. I might do that, before or after the retreat.

    I was actually adressing UG when I said I’d like to meet him to get to know him , but I enjoyed reading the things you said about yourself.

    We once were buddies at one of the many retreats we visited together, so I am pretty sure about liking you or not already.

    You have been generous and nice to me on moments I most needed it, and I can ‘hear’ your eyes twinkle while you drive people crazy.

    So in other words, yes, I’d like to come over for a visit and meet you between the cats and the squirrels.

  172. Margaret says:

    p.s. to Jack,
    I will always remember your personification of the therapists on their chairs you did before group started.

    I hardly see a thing, but luckily I was sitting very close and even I was able to make out which therapist you were imitating, that was hilarious!
    Patrick, can’t you find another way to express your feelings? Regardless of Jack, what is all that frustration about?

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Margaret: On second reading I did realize you were addressing Guru, but since I had posted it, I left it as was. I have to say in all honesty that I do not remember buddying with you at the retreat (maybe Alzheimer setting in).

      You would be very welcome either before or after the retreat and I could pick you up and drop you off afterwards at a convenient location for you. I just hope that you have sufficient sight to see some of the squirrels, pussy cats and birds and the trees. I suspect you will have a better way with the cats than me. They too think I am a bit crazy.

      Yeah! I remember that occasion and was surprised I caused a laugh.


  173. Margaret says:

    as I recall it you made the whole group crack up with laughter repeatedly! Without using a word it was crystal clear which one of the four therapists you switched over to.
    If ever you would decide to come to a retreat, I’d gladly push around you in a wheelchair while you give me directions!
    I know I am not the only one missing your presence there.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Margaret: The last thing I want is to be pushed around in a wheelchair. I’ll crawl first. Yep, all that stuff about getting old, I hate it. I have a disabled card to hang in my car and I often feel guilty using it though it’s handy at times.

      I hope you did have that cry when you felt like it.

      I can’t think of people missing me at the retreats … unless it was about me always making sure I got that room and being front row center on the wall for group, and putting my ‘two pennuth in’.

      If it is not too personal, I would like you to tell us about what caused you to go blind.


  174. Margaret says:

    I realised myself today I fear being regarded as really lazy and having such an easy life and being whiny and passive.

    I catch myself on starting to consder myself as a lazy person but then I started to think more about it and came to a different conclusion.

    I hurt. I hurt about not being able to go out for a good brisk outdoors walk in the snow or even a round of jogging, I hurt for not being able anymore to do all the sporty active things I used to do when I still had my normal eyesight.

    I am not lazy by nature. I loved to work in the garden, to work with horses,to do all kind of sports. I have done a lot of stupid things in my life, but I have always ended up looking for jobs and found them.

    Now it has become so hard to find ways I can still be active. As I get less active, I tend to feel more depressed, and take even less initiative,which takes me down in a vicious circle of depression and inactivity.

    Right now it is even harder as it is literally freezing out here and I hate the cold.

    I wanted to go out to my mother’s last sunday for a long walk in the snow with her, but on saturday she called me telling me she didn’t feel that well, so the visit didn’t go through.

    It hurt, it hurt my mom getting older and more freail and it not being obvious anymore she would always be available.

    It hurt she didn’t seem to attach too much importance to whether I came by or not. That illustrates mostly her being more distractd with her age, and her not feeling very fitofit on that day, but it felt to me also like:
    if I would have been her boyfriend proposing a walk, she would have suddenly found the enrgy and motivation.
    That hurt too.

    It made me feel “I want my mommy” and “I need her to take care of me”.

    I actually planned to go visit her with a girlfriend, but the roads were too icy.

    So I do try to find alternatives so I can be able to get out and about, but for heaven’s sake, I don’t know why some people don’t dare to use the word “disabled”, as that is what I am and how I feel.

    There are a million things that have become almost or completely impossible. Some things are still possible, but they need a person to accompany me and believe me, that is not an obvious thing in our busy world.

    I could go on about this, but the bottom line for me is even though it seems like it, my life is not easy, I wish I could go back to having to work hard and doing all the other stuff too.

    I feel like crying now.

  175. Margaret says:

    I guess I want to add sommething on the ‘disabled’ subject.

    In places like Disney World the disabled don’t have to stand in line for an hour and a half but can board more quickkly.

    Now I am not saying I feel I am entitled to it, but I do really appreciate the gesture.
    And if people say it is not right, that hurts.

    I see it from my viewpoint as a small consolation to finally get something nice instead of nothing but suffering out from the disability. On the bus I often try to tell people there is no need to stand up for mebut they won’t listen so I have to sit down. That is ok of course.

    But if you think standing in line for an hour and a half is the same nuisance for anyone, blind or not, maybe you should try to stand in line with a blindfold the next time.
    I don’t demand for pity, people who know me know I am as independent as possible, but as I know both situation by experience, being ‘normal’ and being ‘disabled’, I know how much impact the disability has, more than what it does at first sight.

    It is impossible luckily when you are fine to imagine the constant impact it has on a person’s life.

    I can’t imagine how hard it must be to end up in a wheelchair for example, I can only guess it is very very hard.

    So I am sure people in a wwheelchair know very well there is no urgent need for them to board first, let’s say on a travel, but it is nice if we can regard it as just a way society tries to make life just a title bit easier if possible.

    I do hate disabled people that use their handicap to make demands, or to be arrogant, don’t get me wrong.

    I just want to be allowed to enjoy the few privileges we get, they are not that many, and they are more than welcome.

    Let me give you another example. Some people could say, well it is not so bad to wait in line when you are in a wheelchair, at least you are sitting down.But look at it from another angle. Maybe that person in the wheelchair is terribly embarassed if she is for too long in the middle of a close crowd, afraid there might be a smell from her incontinence diapers that would become noticeable after an hour and a half in the sun.

    Her only option would nbe not to go to any attraction then.

    I am sorry to get longwinded about this and it probably comes out of the blue to most of you, but I had to get this off my chest while it is there.

    I understand though where both sides of the spectrum come from, just wanted to clarify mine.

    • Larry says:

      As I age I’m forced to accept irrevocable erosion of phyisical attributes I once had. Change in my life brought by loss of my youthful strength and vibrance gives me some small insight into what you are saying Margaret as you relate how your life is now. In reading your posting, I feel as if part of you died when you lost your sight.

  176. Margaret says:

    all I want to say about it on this blog is it was caused by meningitis. For other details please wait until we see each other.

    £By the way, I knew you were going to say that about the wheelchair. But you could regard it as just a handy tool for the longer stretches, and it certainly would trigger a whole set of feelings.

    No, I do understand, and it is completely up to you to know what you want and what you don’t want. You are a honorary member by now, it just would be nice to still have you there.
    Maybe I also love some banter from time to time, haha!

  177. THE Ultimate Guru says:


    As I mentioned some weeks ago, I tried to live life for 10 minutes with my eyes closed to simulate total blindness and it was a ridiculous challenge for me…so I can appreciate what you’re going through. At least you can still discern some faint silhouettes from what I remembered you writing to me earlier. Sorry that my words are cheap and can offer no cure, though. I did read of some cutting-edge surgeries coming onboard to cure certain forms of blindness…but it has been a long while since I read about it.

  178. Margaret says:

    maybe all the more painful is that that part of me didn’t really die, it is just scraming in frustration inside of me, longing to do all the things I could do so easily before.
    I sometimes catch myself still counting on doing and seeing things again some day.

    I know therre is still a lot I can do, I have actually once galloped around on my own again on horseback already, but the opportunities for me to do so are small.

    Part of my problem is I want to feel people want to really do it, be with me and help me, for example on a hike.
    Not everyonne understandably so,wants to give up his or hers own freedom of movement to adjust to the ‘speed’ of a disabled person.

    There do exist associations with volunteers that do things with groups of disabled people,but often it is in some ‘charity’ setting and many of the volunteers treat us like infants, and that is even more painful than just staying home.

    I am still working and struggling at finding my own way and balance in taking initiatives and on the other hand not stressing myself out with loads of tension facing my fears to be pitied,laughed at or ignored, or getting lost and scared in the process.

    I guess I am having an attack of winter gloom.

    Oh, yes, Jack, yes, I did end up crying yesterday. It was nice my cat was sitting next to me.

    I know a place in town where I could go to joing some gym, aerobics and sumba for people over 50, but it takes too much effort and courage right now for me to make myself get up early and go there. It is in another part of town, and this may sound silly, but it frightens me that they replaced the old trams and buses with new models, where I can’t figure out where the stop buttons and the door openers are as they all seem to be different. I know it shouldn’t keep me home, but hey, I get tired of struggling and making so much effort all the time.

    Right now it kind of feels good to allow myself my own private retreat here at home, with my cat and my books and my pc and television.

    Soon I’ll go tango dancing again and will have several singing performances, and who knows, might give the aerobics a try. i know the first time is always the hardest, and I don’t like to give up a fight, so this is just a temporary break with some mumbling and grumbling.
    I often say to myself I will look back on this episod as fairly happy when for example I would end up in a hospital or home.

    Why is it always easier to see happiness when it is over and belongs to the past?

    I am not really unhappty with my life as it is, there are a lot of pleasant things. There are days I actually feel surprisingly happy, but on other days the sadness and loneliness and emptiness prevails.

    That is probably familiar to most of us.

  179. Margaret says:

    Hi all,
    just wanted to let you all know today I do feel a lot more optimistic already.
    Isn’t is strange how our inner state of mind influences the way we experience the world?

    It is a very cold gloomy day here but I feel I am simply savouring it and enjoying the luxury of not having to spend too much time outdoors, appreciating the cosiness of my home.

    Yes, as i said, today I feel different, ha!

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Margaret: Hey, I feel it’s cos you had that feeling and cried about it. That’s what happens for me after a big feeling and expressing it. The other day I cried for over 20 minutes going up and down through my life about many of the sad moments that in the past I never expressed. Seems like I’m having to do them all now. So! Margaret have a great day cos I know you deserve it.


  180. Vicki says:

    Irena, I went back and re-read what you wrote last week (on Feb. 6) and wanted to ask, what would you hope to find on this Blog? What are you looking for, or what do you want to happen? That apparently doesn’t.

    • Irena says:

      I often wonder, with so many people around the world currently in PT, why they don’t participate on this blog. For I know some read along and then decide not to return or to participate. I can only speak for myself, or could repeat what I already said earlier in my last comment. Which I won’t and you’re welcome to re-read it. I also get the feeling that my comment has been misunderstood by some.
      I write on blogs other than this one, different spheres of interest though, where there is so much going on and so many, many people contribute with their very interesting, fiery and spontaneous contributions.
      What am I looking for? Comments more to the point, critical, fuelled by honesty not needy act-outs. To write 2miles of words, which could be expressed in a few sentences, to preach, patronise and to self-advertise, all come across to me as act-outs. Seems a race of who’s the cleverest, smartest, funniest. They are all helping each other not to feel whatever is underneath all that garb. To shut up and to step back instead might do the trick and bring up a feeling or two. It’s too much of a tea party for me.
      On the whole, I miss honesty.

      • Larry says:

        That’s an honest and interesting point of view Irena. There are no rules about what this blog is to be about. I agree that some of us some of the time use it to grab attention to ourselves, and some of us some of the time use it as a tool, as Fiona says, to try to understand ourselves and other people. Maybe it’s those of us who don’t have much else going on in our lives who contribute to this blog. I know I need it as a way to feel a connection to a Primal community which I otherwise don’t have where I live. I would like the blog to be about us helping each other to feel our pain and understand ourselves, but how can that happen when we are each in denial of our pain until we are ready to see it. If the blog isn’t about that, then what else is the point of it, except for casual banter. What is interesting for me about the blog is when people honestly explore and try to discover who they are. It seems like not many people want to risk doing that, or have better things to do.

        • Jack Waddington says:

          Larry: There is something about this comment of yours, that pisses me off. You say there are no rules about this blog; then make several intimations about what it should be and what some are. That some of us are not being being honest and taking the risk of who we are. These Larry, are your feelings, and not necessarily anyone else’s. I know exactly who I am; the good, the bad and the downright ugly.

          You say, you would like the blog to be helping each other to feel our pain. How do you suggest we go about that? We are none of us therapist (and that, I contend, is not what therapist do anyway). My feeling is that we can ONLY talk about our own pain and feelings. Others will do that if they wish to; but TO ME, to tell others who or what they are, is missing the whole point about feelings. Just blowing off ones opinion without getting down to how one is AFFECTED by that other person, is not a feeling.

          One last point. This is ONLY a blog. Not a therapy session; even if you find it personally to be therapeutic: good for you.


          • Larry says:

            My first reaction is irritation when someone is pissed off at me or at something I said. Below and deeper than that, I appreciate and respect that you took the time Jack to tell me your feeling about me or something I did or said, rather than just keep quiet and keep it to yourself. Finally though, and I eventually realized this is the interesting part for me, I’m wondering what it is that you are pissed off about.

            In the past other people have themselves admitted that they have at times used the blog to grab attention. Other people and myself have admitted to using the blog to help get to feelings. Other people on the blog help me to do that, whether they mean to or not, and I hope that sometimes somehow I am helpful to others in getting to their feelings. That is the part I like most about this blog. You’ve at times helped me get to feelings whether you realized it or not. There is no “How to” recipe, but I believe that like any good friendship, it involves a balance of part interest in, part caring about, and part honesty toward other people. As for honesty, how honest we are is a choice that we make all the time in the different facets of our lives, as much as we are able or want to. I find that my more open and honest relationships are the ones that are more rewarding. Finally, we all know that a lot of the people who read this blog don’t want to risk writing here about themselves, or they just aren’t interested.

            I wonder why you are pissed off.

            • Jack Waddington says:

              Larry: Simple … If you are talking about a person or thing and injecting your opinion AND NOT YOUR FEELING. example: calling someone an ‘asshole’ or anything else, including that they are honest … IT’S NOT A FEELING. It’s an opinion and we all hope that our opinions are facts out there in the ‘ether’. They are not.

              I repeat “… …,….. then make several intimations what should be what others are.” Being “pissed” or ” pissed off” is a feeling: just as valid as being ‘sad’, ‘freaked-out’ or ‘joyous’. Just because I was ‘pissed off’ about your comment doesn’t mean I don’t like you.

              I was pissed with your comment just as I’ve been with other comments. It’s just another feeling and this case MY FEELING … ONLY: and I expressed it. That simple ….. FOR ME, that is this blogs greatest advantage … expressing our feelings. Ok Larry.


              • Larry says:

                And so why are you pissed off with my comment. Are you inferring that I intimated an opinion, not a feeling, that you don’t like?

                • Jack Waddington says:

                  Larry: Don’t worry about it … too long to explain further, and not important enough to get my ‘knickers in a truss’ about. Just MY feeling; that was all.


  181. Margaret says:

    hm, we have a sayin that goes:”The best sailors stand on the shore”

  182. Margaret says:

    I just finished a book that made me cry several times towards the end.

    It is The rainwild Chronicles from Robing Hobb, it is a set of two books, I think the English titles are The Dragon Herders and the second book is Dragon Haven.

    It is fantasy,but no knights, swords or kings ivolved.

    It is about a mixed group of people undertaking a long and difficult quest toghether with a group of crippled dragons. It is about vulnerability and connecting, about opening up and growing.

    It touched a deep chord in me, I swear.

  183. Margaret says:

    I have just reread your last comment, and I can’t help but feeling offended.

    It feels like in one big sweep you dismiss it all, including the people who have made themself vulnerable by revealing and expressing themselves.

    I can only speak for myself when I say I do nothing but try to be honest in my writings, and I am sure I am not the only one.

    I think it is more consturctive to keep being myself outhere to keep the blog sane than to criticeze it from the sideline.

    I know you are also giving your honest feedback and were asked for your opinion, so I am not engaging in some kind of struggle here, or that is not my goal, but in order to remain honest I need to say this.

    Were you by any chance angry or frustrated about something else to make you express yourself in such a harsh way about us?


  184. Irena says:

    I agree, Larry.

  185. Margaret says:

    as I also completely agree with Larry, I don’t really understand which part you disagree about with me.

    • Irena says:

      Margaret. It starts to look to me like this could turn into a struggle.
      I am not sure which of my two comments you are refering to, but I take it it’s the second one. I disagree that I dismiss the people who show themselves vulnrable, for this is what I’m seeking on this blog. I have commented on people who act out. I disagree that you are keeping the blog sane (whatever that means) nor do I see it necessary for you to do so. It sounds a bit like you put yourself firmly in the middle of the Tea-Party, making sure the ones from the ‘sidelines’ don’t cause disruption. I expressed myself on the blog just like everybody else of the 6.5 people here. Just happen to be with critisism.

  186. Margaret says:

    well,at least it is more clear now what you mean.
    I don’t mind any comments at allbeing made, from the sideline or not, I try to react on the message.,
    I don’t know what you call a tea party, but well, whatever.

    I wouldn’t feel ashamed anyway to want to be the center of any tea party, nothing wrong with that. In my opinion.

  187. Margaret says:

    I just want to clarify before being misinterpreted. When I say I find nothing wrong with wanting to be the center of a teaparty, I don’t mean at any cost.
    It is just nice if it happens to happen so to say.

    In Japan serving tea is a real art.

  188. Margaret says:

    by the way, I am so tired of the ‘banter’. I like things to be constructive and nice.
    But yeah, one can dream isn’t it?

    And I admit I can be pretty belligerous myself. Some old mommy feelings, and so finally that is what this blog is all about in general,if I dare say, in my humble strictly personal opinion.
    Goodnight, sweet dreams, Margaret

  189. Margaret says:

    I want to refrase a sentence that I worded terribly unclearly in one of my comments. I can see now how it can even be interpreted in the opposite way of what I wanted to say.
    This was the original frase:
    I think it is more consturctive to keep being myself outhere to keep the blog sane than to criticeze it from the sideline.
    What I really want to say is I feel all I can do is to keep showing my honest feelings and opinions on the blog, and if we all do so, or the more of us that do so the more chance we have to sort out our own truths and feelings. That is what I mean by keeping it sane.Maybe looking for sanity would be a better way to put it.

    I feel a group as a whole can provide so much feedback it is bound to unveal actouts or hidden agendas.

    I know speaking for myself, it is often by reading all the feedback, also the negative one, and then scanning my own reactions to it as honestly as possible, that I can grow and learn, often the hard way.

    So I was trying to say the more input on the blog the better, and hopefully honest and open and civilized, as that for me is the most direct way to communication without getting my defenses and alarm systems in the red zone.
    I definitely should learn to always reread my writings before sending them.

    I did get insight in a lot of my own stuff by this whole discussion, and must definitely still sort out a few scary and angry mommy feelings I carry around..

    Oops, my cat walked over my keyboard and almost deleted this mail, so I better send it off now.

    • Irena says:

      To Anybody:
      Discribe in ONE word what pain means to you….

      • Jack Waddington says:

        WARNING: This comment is very provocative.

        Irena: This is a stupid exercise.

        If you had phrased it differently ‘What does pain DO to you?’ it might have made more sense:-

        If I were pressed to answer your question Irena I would say:- D E V A S T A T I N G. If I were allowed two words I would say FUCKIN DEVASTATING.

        Gretchen’s answer, to me, was obtuse cos she was ‘suggesting’ that if you FELT your pain and EXPRESSED IT, it would be “clarification”.

        P.S. Don’t tell me you weren’t warned.


      • Anonymous says:


        What is your word Irena?

  190. Margaret says:

    it is hard to figure out a meaningful answer for me.

    There is not one word that covers all the different kinds of pain for me;
    Loneliness would come closest, but then there is also rejection,fear, grief, anger and sadness, which are not necessarily exactly covered by the word loneliness, even though often they are indeed.And then there is of course simply physical sufering or the pain to see others suffer..

    Why do you ask and why one word?As you see I pfrefer more words…
    Ok, if I would have to choose one word it would be loneliness.
    In any case, I think loneliness is the bottom line feeling of hurt for all of us, if that is what you mean.

  191. Margaret says:

    I missed the ‘to anybody’ when I read your question. Sorry, so in that case, my one word could also be agony, but that too feels unsatisfying to me, one word to describe ‘pain’ seems not enough for me.

  192. Margaret says:

    sorry, thinking about it, not all pain is agony.

  193. Fiona says:

    LOL at Margaret’s attempts at ‘one’ word!

  194. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    I’ll give you an answer:


    But why are you constraining the answerers to one word?

  195. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    I cannot verify the truth of this story, but it still left me feeling a bit invaded….and I don’t even use Facebook!
    It is not my own story, just an interesting read from someone named “Chris”:

    About a year ago I did my own experiment with Facebook. I set up a completely bogus Facebook using a brand new laptop with a brand new e-mail account. I put no additional programs on the laptop and the only data I put in was to go to My Documents and create a file called “Telephone Number” and I put my own real name and real address in my Contacts. Then I went the the bogus Facebook account and posted a series of posts that I was hard of hearing and several comments that would lead one to believe that I was a Type-II insulin-dependent diabetic. On Facebook I identified myself as female, but no other place.

    Then I sat back and waited. I logged on to Facebook once a day for 10 days and posted a comment about the current weather eastern time. Then I did a so-called “delete” process with Facebook.

    But within 14 days I was receiving telephone calls to my new cell phone. This number could only have been gotten from a My Documents file on my laptop. But the telemarketers were trying to sell me diabetic supplies, and several of them started, “We are calling to make sure you are still checking your blood sugar at least one time a day …” I got about 40 telemarketing calls and each claimed that they were exempt from the Federal No-Call list because of our “mutual relationships” with Facebook. This information could only have come from Facebook. I am still receiving literature, though strangely no telemarketing calls, for hearing aids. I get about 4-5 a week average. I am very careful to always return the postage-paid cards or envelopes with “No Thanks” written on them. This information, too could only have come from Facebook.

    A couple of months later I received an e-mail from Facebook to my real Facebook account telling me that it was a violation of “our” agreement to use false names or information and that if it happened again I would lose “Facebook privileges.”

    My little experiment concluded that Facebook uses both session and browser cookies to mine your hard drive for personal information which included full name, current address, and current telephone number. They combine that data with things from your profile, such as gender, and things posted on your Facebook by yourself and others to gather such things as medical information which they then sell to disreputable telemarketing firms. You have to consider that telemarketers of diabetic supplies and hearing aids are amoung the sleaziest con men around.

    I complained to Facebook and got no reply. I complained to the FTYC and got a “pending” status, but no action. The basis of my complaint it that, by selling private medical information (for which a higher standard of bailment is set) that Facebook has clearly violated HIPAA as a business associate of a health care provider. If they were to protest that such a relationship does not exist then they would leave the telemarketers open to huge fines for violating the No-Call List.

    I kinda pursue it as a sort of hobby. But folks, if you ever put it on Facebook, it has been combined with all sort of data from your computer and sold and is out there permanently. It can never be erased from the cloud and Facebook well knows it. It is also interesting that records obtained from Facebook are showing up in around 40% of divorce trials — information “purchased” from Facebook

  196. What pain means to me … clarification. G.

  197. Patrick says:

    Malnourished, deprived of environment, dessicated (dryed out),………one word I suppose would be STARVED.

    Growing up in Ireland the ‘famine’ as it was called was sort of an ancestral memory, everyone knew what you were referring to. I remember a book called “The Great Hunger” was always around I never bothered to read it I figured I already knew what was in it!

    Flip side of this is accumulation of money, fat, weight, influence, fame etc etc. Which in the end causes more pain. A different kind of pain. Borrowing from the financial industry a ‘derivative’ of pain

  198. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    Why are we feeling compelled to answer Irena when she has so far refused to answer what both Margaret and myself asked her?

  199. Margaret says:

    I have a clear memory of one key moment where the realisation struck me I was an isolated entity instead of being one big unity in harmony with the world around me.

    I must have been 3 or 4 years old and was sitting on the back of a bicycle that some big ‘old’ lady wzs riding. I had a great time tickling her and was startled and dumbfounded when she suddenly snapped at me to stop it, you little rascal!

    I remember sitting on the back of that bicycle, struck by the sudden awareness my own feeling and reality not the same as hers. I remember literally thinking:”I am me! And she is ‘her'”

    It was not a devastating insight, but it did change the innocent spontaneous easiness of feeling one with everything and everyone.

    It was coloured though with desillusion as I was trying to have fun and was unexpectedly snapped at, completely taken by surprise right into the core of my being.
    Margaret ,

  200. Margaret says:

    Things seem to go silent again, so here is another ivitation.
    I am curious to hear what actually made other people make their decision to actually go to therapy.

    I read the Primal Scream already in my early twenties, but it took me about twenty years to actually write my application letter.

    But I remember clearly the moment when i decided therapy would be useful.

    Art Janov’s book immediately raised my interest, and I kept scanning myself and the people around me from that new perspective.
    Finally it was on a moment that I had my life completely in order so to say, that I knew I eventually wanted to go to therapy.

    I was sitting on my fabulous balconee overlooking a quiet beach on the Spanish coast, with my handsome partner. My two dogs were lying around, I had made very good sales that day in my real estate job, the sun was setting, the temperature was perfect, the world was beautiful.
    I was very aware of having everything anyone could wish for, but also aware that i felt something was still not right.

    What was wrong with me, why could I not feel entirely happy? Where was that unsatisfied feeling coming from, that underlying feeling of hopelessness?

    That is when I made the conscious decision to go to therapy,some day.

    It took me more years and more disasters to make the final step.

    After losing everything, including my partner who died in a terrible way, I had to build up my life again, to find a job, and at some point managed to earn my black belt judo.

    I remember driving home after the exam, feeling really euforic, with the black belt, and suddenly feeling the need to find a new challenge.

    That is when i finally decided the moment had come to start the next, and most rewarding adventure of my life, primal therapy.

    I am also curious to hear from other people what for them means ‘happiness’, and which moments were their happiest ones.

    Most of mine, already as a child, have to do with nature, sunshine, flowers, seasides, being up in a tree with my brother, and stuff like that.

    Being on a walk in Spain by myself, and running into a wild fox.the moments that fox and me srood there looking at each other, until he quietly turned around and walked away.

    being in good company, in front of a fireplace, or with my family playing board games on a holiday.

    Laughing like crazy with a friend or a lover.
    other examples of happiness? I’d like to hear how it is for someone else.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Margaret: This is my story:- Sometime around the mid-ninetee-sixties I attended a clinic in London, England for a penicillin injection. On getting the injection I suddenly felt a rush of adrenaline through my body and within seconds my heart was pounding so fast I feared it might burst. Then suddenly, there was a ripping sensation in the back of my neck and I fell to the floor screaming, “I’m dying, I’m dying.” I had no idea what was happening, but knew I was in a situation of enormous vulnerability.
      Seconds later, I felt that ripping sensation in the back of my neck again and the terror mounted I felt like I was now in outer space. I truly felt my life was on the line. As I was being lifted onto an examination table. I looked up at the doctor. His face was green (I exaggerate not) and his hair was standing on end: “Jesus,” I thought, “if that’s how scared the doctor is, what the hell is going on with me?” He seemed to have no idea what was going on with me either.
      Then there was another tearing sensation at the back of my neck. If the second one took me into outer space, I now felt I’d left the universe completely. I didn’t believe it was possible to experience this amount of terror and live.
      Then suddenly, I was a baby in my cot (crib) and could see the wall and ceiling above me. On the wall was a “Mickey Mouse” tricycle hanging over a gas bracket above the fireplace. The colors were unbelievably vivid; the taste in my mouth was unlike anything I’d known in my life to that point and I was screaming for my life. Seconds later, the scene shifted and I was a baby crawling on the floor. I felt so small and the room felt so large. The carpet was familiar but the room wasn’t. At that point the doctor was injecting me with some tranquilizer to quiet me down. I was indeed brought down from that scene to being outside the universe.
      This incident was so devastating that it stayed with me for several years with the reoccurring question: What was that all about?. Then in 1973 I was lent a copy of The Primal Scream. On reading the introduction, I was an instant convert. I threw the book in the air and exclaimed, “I’ve got it,” The clinic incident now made total sense to me. I couldn’t put the book down and read it in two days. After reading it, I read it again just to make sure I had got it right. Within another two days, I had re-read it.
      This clinic experience was so profound, but at the time–in-spite of many insights I gained about myself, to make total sense of it. After reading The Primal Scream, however, it all started to fall into place for me. I was, without doubt, an instant convert after reading The Primal Scream. I have never looked back since, and spent the better part of the last 30 years doing Primal Therapy.


      • Jack Waddington says:

        Margaret: There have been hundreds of moments of happiness throughout my life and I cherish them, but I knew early on in my life that you cannot pursue ‘happiness’. Attempting to pursue happiness tends to mean that it becomes elusive. It is why I find the Pre-amble to The American Constitution to be crazy. Most people, as I see it, think and believe if only they were rich or had the perfect partner life would be “hunky dorey.” That’s a myth … feelings come at us willy-nilly in life and we have relatively no control over them. The only control we THINK we have is expressing them; and that to me, is the definition of neurosis.


    • Anonymous says:

      I’d rather tell you in person Margaret, instead of taking the time to type it out here. My life is topsy turvy this week. I’m house sitting for friends, living in their house while they are away on vacation, and baby sitting their two 4 month old pups. I’m getting some sense of what it must be like as a parent of small children. My responsibility for them and living out of my home is taking me outside of my comfort zone, restricting some of my freedoms, and bringing up feelings, while at the same time rewarding me with their unconditional adoration which I don’t feel like I deserve when I lock them in their kennel so I can go out to meet someone at a restaurant in the evening.

  201. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    I read Arthur Janov’s books in a wholly different light in 2012 than I did in 1994. I mentally shift all pronouns to first person instead of second and third person and the books become much more entertaining instead of being rather arrogantly oppressive for me.

  202. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    For example….like…

    Art once said:
    “Although the human brain is an extraordinarily complicated organ, it is not mystical.”

    Since Art is an atheist, wouldn’t it also make sense saying?
    “Although MY brain is an extraordinarily complicated organ, it is not mystical.”

    I shifted the noun “human” to first person and inserted “MY”.

  203. Margaret says:

    I do agree happiness can’t be pursued in the ways you mentioned.

    In my life now I have not that many really joyous satisfying moments anymre, but I do seem to be more able to find contentment in daily little htings.
    I don’t take them for granted anymore and appreciate the peacefullness I do have in my life at this point.

    Part of me still wants life to be the fairytale that is bound to end well, but the world does its best to show us that is just wishful thinking, isn’t it?

    So I’ll do my best to be a Cinderella taking pleasure in watching the fire before having to clean up the ashes afterward.And then there will be new fires and more ashes, ha!
    My next prince must have got sidetracked by a female frog, some old feeling of his he still didn’t get over!

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Margaret: We have all of us lived in “Fairyland” for a whole chunk of our lives, but I feel that Primal Theory/Therapy puts that notion to rest. “Hoping for ……” whatever that hope is:- is neurotic as stated by Art Janov in his first book. Feelings NEED to be felt and expressed and if they are not, then we are left to suffer. I decided early in my therapy that I wanted to circumvent “hope” even the hope that I would be one day free from feeling ‘bad’.

      Much to the annoyance of some, I repeat; feelings come up willy-nilly and we have no control of them and are left either to express them … or ignore them. I have chosen the former. All else, to me, is fairyland, and I let that one go sometime in my very early teens.


  204. Margaret says:

    it is a nice idea picturing you there with those two pups.
    What kind are they, tall, small, some breed or the good old mix?
    Do they stil have ‘accidents’ or are they clean?
    Which fears does it raise to look after your friends house?

    You are one of the few persons that would inspire confidence in me to leave my house and cat to, as you seem conscienscious, and that is not such a common quality nowadays in my opinion.

    Ha, I even feel a little guilty when I leave the cat on her own in the appartment for a little while, you should hear the things I tell her when I am shutting the door and she stands there staring at me and putting a guilt trip on me with some pitiful meows. When I come back home, even after just a few minutes, she enthousiastically welcomes me with such incredible satisfaction it always makes my heart melt and I unvariably kneel dwon with all the groceries around me to cuddle her extensively.

    Yeah, that’s happiness for me too I guess.

    • THE Ultimate Guru says:


      How did you know that puppy post was Larry’s? It said “Anonymous” on the header. I thought it might have been Justin Bieber, but I could be wrong.

    • Larry says:

      Margaret, the pups are 4 months old, a boy and a girl. They are a lab-husky cross, and seem pretty big for their age. They’ve learned to do their toilet outside. At night when everyone is asleep, or when no one is home, they are locked in their indoor kennel. During the week when the owners are at work, in the afternoon a retired neighbour walks, feeds, and waters the dogs.

      When I moved into my friends home a week ago and was left alone with the dogs, I was hypersensitive to their needs, unsure of quite what I should do, and wanting to also find my own private space while being away from my own home, routine, and comfort zone. I’ve had a couple of cries during the week I’ve been here. Having them around and interacting with them is sort of like being in a relationship. It’s drawn me out of some numbness and early in the week after arriving from work and saying hello to them, feeling very alone, I sat in a corner and cried for Noreen. I needed to face the corner to shield myself from their attentions as I started to cry, but once they were reassured I was OK even though I was bawling, they went about their play with each other and left me to my primal. A couple days later another feeling percolated. They are completely dependent on me. I am entirely responsible for the quality of their life. It gratifies me that we interact well and they continue to be active, happy and content under my caretaking. But I felt more heavy and sad, and finally cried while feeling and recalling how as Noreen weakened toward her death, I felt alone as more and more she eventually became completely dependent on me for the quality of her existence in the most challenging time of her life.

      It is fascinating how easily dogs and people interact. We are different species, but we are alike in many important ways. Our ancestors were successful throughout the globe, because we are so adaptable to many environments. One of the things that make us so adaptable is our intelligence, especially our social intelligence that gives our respective species much advantage by helping the members of each species live and work in cooperative groups to achieve that which one individual alone cannot. It is fascinating that our social lives overlap. Dogs and people understand each other’s social world. We have unspoken communication that is intuitively understood by both species. It is incredible to me how readily we read each others feelings and merge into a bond of mutual affection and respect, a friendship, one that benefits both man and dog. Though they restrict my freedom, I will miss the pups when I return to my home and hear the fridge humming, and the clock on the wall ticking, and no one is there.

  205. Margaret says:

    I have for myself realised I cannot control hoping, the best I can do is to be aware of it, accept it and feel the connected feelings.
    I do think hope is a natural state of mind when there is some need to be fullfilled, otherwise we’d never get moving, would we? Or we’d give up entirely after the first failure.

    I actually think it is hope that keeps us alive and moving under difficult circumstances.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Margaret: You say “I do think hope is a natural state of mind when there is some need to be fulfilled, otherwise we’d never get moving, would we?” It is my feeling that:- “Thinking hope is a natural state of mind” is the problem. I don’t think/feel that hope is so natural. Of course, the very word is ambiguous and there are lots of states of “Hope”. My reference was to Art Janov in his first book.

      There is a situation in the trailer park where I live, where I get the feeling that most ‘HOPE’ someone else will do all the dirty work and solve the imminent threat to it being closed. My contention, is that as a group we have some relative power … if we can each of us remain on the same page (as t’were). but that is not how I see some responding. It doesn’t have to be natural to validate ‘hope’ in certain contexts. That was all.


  206. Fiona says:

    AND READ THIS PROPERLY – OR NOT AT ALL! Don’t speed read it and get the wrong end of the stick! It is MY stick and if you comment about my stick then you need to read carefully of my portrayal of MY stick. See ME, and MY stick, MY way or fuck off.

    I was thinking of thrilling everyone with my tale of why I started this therapy, (as Margaret asked) but the overwhelming – and permanent – sensation of ‘not feeling safe to be open on this blog any more’ struck me once again. It has become worse over the last few months. Yes, the ‘safety’ feeling links with my past, but that doesn’t stop it being real for me in the present.
    I have not felt safe to talk about my feelings regarding my partner’s cancer. I have not felt safe to talk about my own illness that lasted for 13 years . I no longer feel safe to recall the feelings I have discussed on here, freely, in the past. I really need to do that. I liked how it was for me.

    That is a sad change.

    There are two very aggressive, crazy-weird paranoid people on here who do not allow me to FEEL free. There is constant criticism, rebuke, weird grudge holding, and crazy sarcasm. I do not seek an opinion from someone if it stifles my growth. At the same time, I am powerless to stop it. I am not saying that reactions of whatever kind are not useful in group or even here. Triggers are vital. But this level of pure negativity is not what I expect from this community. Some comments are just destructive.

    As an example: In group, or in the NON-cyber community, there are people who support you and people who are triggered by you or ‘attack’ you (for want of a better word). That is a safe place, and when present in a setting like that, one can gauge the room and take risks whenever the fear is not too overwhelming. In fact, the honesty there is safe, even if there is a 6 foot tall and 6 foot wide guy screaming his spleen out! You see the whole person, and the whole feeling and WHY!

    I toyed with the idea of starting my own chat site, and inviting people to join, and then I knew that I would sensor those “I FELT” unworthy, and refuse to allow their comments. I was ashamed of myself for that thought, because no one is ALL bad! I know that. But I can’t ‘see’ them on here – I mean; I don’t get the whole story.

    All you have is what people WRITE AT YOU on here…. there is no interaction otherwise. There is no way you can understand someone’s outbursts. You get the outburst, but there is no “seeing the origins of that individual’s pain”. You don’t get to see the whole story or the whole person. You see “reaction” but no person behind it. You never see the vulnerability of others here….. only your own as you write.

    The mis-understandings on here are devastating to me sometimes. People react to what they THINK I have said – not what I said or meant to say!

    I seems I will have to find an alternative avenue to give myself time to investigate and evoke my feelings.

    • Anonymous says:

      This blog would lose lots of it’s appeal for me Fiona if you’re no longer part of it.

      • Larry says:

        Living in my friends’ home while they are on vacation, taking care of their pups, and typing from my lap top, I’ve become anonymous.


        • THE Ultimate Guru says:

          Well look, since Fiona hasn’t even responded to Gretchen for day…I’m going to say something here. Now I read all of Fiona’s “stick” but I do need to take a part of it and examine something…a paradox I don’t quite understand yet.

          Look at this paragraph:

          “AND READ THIS PROPERLY – OR NOT AT ALL! Don’t speed read it and get the wrong end of the stick! It is MY stick and if you comment about my stick then you need to read carefully of my portrayal of MY stick. See ME, and MY stick, MY way or fuck off.”

          Fiona complained about not feeling safe to say what she wants to say on the blog, fine…I got that OK…But the paradox for me is..why is she complaining about not feeling safe when that first paragraph made it unsafe for OTHERS to be who they are? (or at the very least made me feel slightly unsafe).

          This is actually not a pick on Fiona here, because I see it in other people quite a bit. My neighbors constantly have their shades pulled down so I won’t peek in their windows….yet I’ve caught them TWICE peeking in MY windows!!

          It’s a bit like a professional car thief always installing the best car alarm system for his own car…being very afraid someone else will do to him what he always does to others..

          I don’t understand this paradox, but it’s interesting!

      • Fiona says:

        You are sweet, Larry. The thing is, I am not so generous with ‘letting it go’ as you seem to be. You don’t seem to hold a grudge. It guess I do.

        • Larry says:

          Ugh! Don’t do that. I don’t like it when people say I am sweet. Makes me feel like I’m a baby or something. 🙂

          I think you are misreading me Fiona when you say I seem to be generous at letting go and I don’t hold a grudge. I have nothing to hold a grudge about with anyone on the blog. I have nothing to let go with anyone here. I feel OK with everyone. I actually like everyone here. If someone on the blog troubles or bothers me, meaning they stir troubling feelings in me, I dialogue with them in what I hope is a fair manner, giving them the benefit of the doubt, giving them an opportunity to reveal their humanity, an opportunity to help me understand them and myself, all the while keeping in mind that pain is driving both of our behaviours and my pain is tending to want see the other person as a monster. My fear of them is an opportunity for me to look inside myself at what I am afraid of. As I feel my pain, I discover the humanity in the other person. I truly see that eventually people show their humanity here if given the chance. Except when they lash back at someone who they perceive is hurting them, I don’t see anyone intentionally trying to hurt anyone here, except maybe when Patrick first appeared on the blog angry at Jack, or when YOYO dropped in attacking Barry. At times I’ve been afraid of interacting on this blog, but eventually through interacting fairly in trying to understand, I get to see the human in the monster my pain was prone to create. We are either held hostage by our fears, or we try to face them when we feel able. This blog has been a arena for me to confront some of my fears that others triggered in me. In your “AND READ THIS PROPERLY” piece, your wrote how in group you get to “see the whole person, and the whole feeling and WHY!”. Here on the blog, can you try to imagine the whole person and the whole feeling and why. It’s what helps me cut through my mesh of fears.

          I wish you felt safe and able to write about your feelings about your partner’s cancer. From my experience I know it helps.

  207. Fiona, Can you be more specific? Who made you feel unsafe and why? If you are misunderstood can you say that and if there is something more to understand about someone’s reaction can you ask or is that feeling difficult? Gretch

    • Fiona says:

      Sorry Gretchen – didn’t see your response until now. Uk time difference – work etc!

      No. I don’t want to be more specific. I tried that before, and it escalated. What I wrote was not ‘listened to’ properly. Just insane rantings were vomited at me!
      Or on the other extreme, some vague, obscure tiny detail was ANAL-ised in some fucked up way, and the whole point of what I was saying was pissed all over. Made insignificant!

      Why would I want to know about those people’s reactions?
      They are crazy.

      As you know, during my therapy I have had issues with resenting people who have hurt me. I did deal with that, but here is so different. The hurts go back so long! I should have said something at the time. There is always the future, but I doubt my willingness ‘give in’.

      There is also my vulnerability issue at stake. I do not want to be vulnerable to crazy selfish people like these. It is hard enough to try and be vulnerable with my loved one!
      I do not want to be vulnerable to them!

  208. Fiona says:

    ha, it was just a very wild guess of mine.

    • Margaret says:

      thanks for responding so open and honestly, it is touching.

      Yes, having a pet in the house changes the hwole atmosphere. It is true it is a responsability that takes away some of your freedom, but there is a lot in return.

      My cat improved my life’s quality to a degree I can’t fully describe, I can’t imagine now being without her, or better said, I don’t want to imagine it.

      I am very sorry about your loss and the depth of your grieving.

      Having you by her side must have given Noreen so much comfort in her difficult circumstances.

    • Fiona says:

      ***************SORRY MARGARET’S COMMENT ABOVE NOT MINE !!!!*********************

  209. Hey Fiona, I do tend to think “safety” may have more to do with our earlier circumstances. From the inside out if you know what I mean. You bring up something we have all experienced however – where can I go so I don’t have to feel this way? Probably nowhere – there is always someone who won’t hear or understand – there is always someone who might criticize or judge and there is likely always someone who can lend support – you know what I often say – no matter where I go there I am. Most importantly no one can really allow us to feel free – unless maybe we are children because little ones rarely have options or control unfortunately. You asked ” Why would I want to know these people’s reactions?”. Well, I believe you do want to know – you described being in group and knowing the whole person – seeing their vulnerability – I think to do that here you would need to say what you are feeling and maybe ask some questions – I do see it would take more effort but I believe it is a risk worth taking. Anyway, hopefully we will speak soon! Gretchen

    • Fiona says:

      ……….. hmmm! ….. ok!. More effort and more risks…….hmmm!……… risks……….

      Thanks for your feedback though, Gretchen. Much appreciated. I will work on this.

  210. Hey All – On to something else- Thanks so much for your patience on how slow we have been recently on getting new blogs posted – most everyone has been extremely understanding. Both Barry and I are working on pieces and we should have something new up this week. Also I wanted to tell you I received a email from WordPress with our stats for 2011. We had over 23,000 views on our site in 2011. The most popular post was Barry’s article ” Generosity” followed by my article “Simplicity”. Other than the United States most views came from the United Kingdom followed by Spain ( That surprised me). I won’t tell you who made the most comments in 2011 – I will leave you guessing 😉 – Thanks for all your support! Gretchen

    • Larry says:

      That’s 70 views a day. 2 are mine, 3 are UG’s, 2 are Fiona’s, 2 are Jack’s, 5 are Margaret’s, 1 is Gretchen’s, and 55 are everyone else’s. 🙂

    • Larry says:

      Barry’s article “Generosity” ran for 58 days before a new article was posted, and received 375 responses. That averages to 6.5 comments per day. Gretchen’s article “Simplicity” ran for 44 days during which it received 290 responses, or 6.6 responses per day on average. It was interesting for me to go back and reread some of those responses. They are like a journal and help me to see where I’ve been and the changes that brought me to where I am now.

  211. Margaret says:

    even though your estimate might be right in a more general way of speaking, I get the comments by direct mail so I never actually go on the site myself. Even for my postings, I send them to Fiona to stick them on the blog.

    So in real numbers I guess I am hardly noticeable,

  212. THE Ultimate Proctologist Guru says:

    I come here very often…sometimes 10 times in a day. Does this make me a geeky nerd with no life? Not really, because the vast majority of my visits are a total of 3-5 seconds scrolling down the screen to the bottom of the comments to see if anything new is added. If nothing has changed I will quickly close the browser and move on to something else. The email service feels unreliable and doing it the way I do only takes a total of 1 extra minute per day out of my life for all my visits that don’t include reading new comments or writing my own. People will sit and watch the Academy Awards tonight for 3 hours which equals a half a year (180 days) of this sort of obsessive checking for me. So there you go!!

  213. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    Forgot to add I have resigned my position in proctology for now, thank you.

  214. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    I didn’t reflect on my 4:02 pm post very well. 10 visits a day is definitely an exaggeration. 3-6 per days sounds average, occasionally can be as high as 8, and many days none at all. It really depends! The vast majority are for 5-10 seconds or less to check for updates.

    Some visitor counters do not count multiple visits by one person…others do. I don’t know how Word Press does it….but it DOES make a huge difference obviously.

  215. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    I fully realize this is my 4th post in a row and I’ll try my best not to dominate the comments any further beyond this. This is something different, though. I wrote out an email this morning and it reminded me of what Fiona was going through. I’m starting to believe that once someone has tasted the sweet nectar of a completely emotionally available therapist it can “spoil” that person. Then that person might expect the same emotionally available behavior from everyone else. The real world just doesn’t work like that. It sucks and it was painful for me to realize that, but I can’t possibly expect people here on the blog to be completely emotionally available and sensitive therapists. It’s even worse in many ways beyond this blog’s sphere of influence. It’s just…a ridiculously high standard to hold, you know? Leave that to the professionals….
    Part of the game is accepting people for who they are with their emotional limitations, even when that hurts. It’s not easy (at least for me), I know.
    Steve Miller actually did a decent job of realizing this by finding a special place for each of his friends.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Guru: Geezus Kristofolous; this is only a blog. If you really want therapy or ‘kind hearts and coronet’ then I figure you’re in the wrong place. Wanting support is what most of want, otherwise we feel lost and lonely in an alien world; BUT ‘support doesn’t mean being all ‘lovey dovey’ and being told what one wants to hear.

      I attend a HIV ‘SUPPORT GROUP’ once a week here in Santa Monica and support often just means hearing how others feel about their status and “sharing” (that word sometimes bothers me) about how others deal with their lives and the biases with that status, from families, friends, lovers and others who know ones status. The greatest support; as I see and feel it, is discussing openly and honestly what I am going through. Just being able to have the availability to talk about it (or even just write) is, I feel, the greatest ‘support’ ever. I personally don’t need agreement, I just need that I can say it, and often others suggesting that I might try another way of looking at it.

      Though the facilitator is a psychology professional he does not make suggestions as to how to get around our problems, but ask pertinent questions of us which are capable of getting us to see things differently. It often takes guts to hear that … and think about it.

      Sure; we each look for support BUT agreement or just hearing what we want to hear, is not necessarily REAL support. Having done Primal Therapy and not Freudian cognitive therapy, I’m inclined to express my feelings; whatever they are … where appropriate … and to me (maybe I’m alone on the planet for feeling this way) there’s no such thing as a NEGATIVE FEELING. All feelings are valid.


  216. THE Ultimate Guru says:


    I feel a bit affronted by what you said because you didn’t read what I said carefully enough.
    I said:
    “….I can’t possibly expect people here on the blog to be completely emotionally available and sensitive therapists. ”

    I have to go now, be back later.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Guru: Mmmmm, Tell me what does it feel like to be affronted. 🙂

      Just being my usual obtuse self again. Though I addressed it to Guru: I wasn’t really responding directly to you.

      Ooops! maybe that affronts you even more.


      • THE Ultimate Guru says:

        And so, somehow, you ASSUMED that I could magically figure out that you are “Jack’s usual obtuse self again” and ignore that you addressed me? I really have no clue when you simply type my name and it appears that you are speaking directly to me.

        I realize you do a good job of converting ordinary “civilians” into your unwitting Primal buddies, but this feels too manipulative for me. I still marvel at how you can do 95% of the talking and 5% of the listening when I’ve spoken to you on the phone. Maybe I need to speak up more.

        I can see where you are a lot like Art in many respects. You are a 79 year-old self-interested atheist and Art’s the same way, only 10 years older.
        Both of you guys are worlds unto yourselves. I will try my best to keep accepting that. Thank you for letting me know that you were just speaking unto yourself, OK? See ya later. (I’m no longer affronted now).

        • THE Ultimate Guru says:


          It feels like you ensnared me in some spider web today and I’m starting to understand a bit why Patrick said you play “spider games”. I sense you are very skilled at ensnaring people like this. When you said, “mmmmm,….feelings”….I had this gross vision of you licking your lips and also licking a bloody hunting knife from a deer you just killed. I suppose if you figure us being nothing more than animals with a capacity for complex language, my gross vision could have some kernels of truth, wouldn’t it?

  217. Vicki says:

    I go away for a few days, and come back to find “incipient cannibalism” as the latest topic?
    I’m still thinking about Irena’s request: Describe in ONE word what pain means to you…. since my word choice would have been “hurt”. All the words chosen by others were also painful descriptives, except Gretchen’s statement: “What pain means to me … clarification.” which made me realize Irena had said “what pain MEANS…” not what it IS… Irena’s word, “resurrection” is similar, in pointing beyond “pain” itself. But I don’t think of pain as meaning clarification — it sounds so much “clearer” and “positive” than how pain actually feels. Even though it’s true, it’s very hard for me to think of it that way.
    And it was also interesting that several people COULD NOT ACCEPT Irena’s short & simple request and simply answer it, but had to argue and struggle, and stir it all up like a salad in a bowl, when they’re applying dressing, before being willing, possibly, to reveal any answer that might make them feel vulnerable. And to use many more words to modify, explain, or otherwise backtrack, on whatever “word” they reluctantly “chose”, or re-chose. Nothing simple.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Vicky: you really piss me off with this last part of your comment.

      Be fucking specific for geezus kristofelous’s sake; Who are the people that:- “COULD NOT ACCEPT Irena’s short and simple request” It was, I CONTEND, a stupid request in the first place. Pain MEANS, simply ‘hurting’. I suggested she changed “means” to “do”

      Why you piss me off is because you (seemingly) avoid specifically mentioning anyone (I suspect I, Jack, was one of them) and then go into to pseudo therapeutic psycho analytical garbage of what they are doing, instead of saying what it/they do to you. Get real Vicky and say what you FEEL … specially about me … and then be done with it.


      • Vicki says:

        No, Jack. I did not want to “just point fingers” at specific people, whatever I thought. That was not my intention. I felt it was up to those who read to know best themselves, whether my comments might apply to them, or not, and whether to consider if there is anything worth learning, from what I said. Your comment that Irena’s “was a stupid request” is just a repetition of what you said earlier, that I did read the first time. I don’t agree with you about that. You have also, numerous times, said that this blog is “not group”, yet in demanding a particular kind of response from me, it seems that “group” is really what you DO want, in spite of your claims to the contrary.

        • Jack Waddington says:

          Vicki: Still not saying what you feel … specially about me.

          It’s so, so, so simple.


          • Fiona says:

            I F E E L L I K E you are a bully, Jack!
            Why should Vicki even attempt to say how/what she feels about you Jack-ass? That ‘banter’, as you call it, is one of the attention seeking activities you act out here on the blog. Like a desperate child that figures ANY attention (good or bad) is better than being ignored. Well – here’s your ‘attention’ from me! (Although I did enjoy ignoring you in the past! It bugged you much more than I hoped it would!)

            Your other desperately aggravating ploy is to drone on and on about how no-body else does their therapy properly – only you, Jack-Art, is mentally ———- NO! WAIT ‘feelingly’ agile enough for that? ONLY you can see!! ONLY Jack-off can see what parents do to their poor children, generation after generation – AND NO! YOU CAN’T STOP IT – so stop explaining it to us!! We get it too!
            We all feel bad about that, so unless it is your feeling you are expressing, stop trying to change the world here! But wait…..

            …. If it is not ‘group’ for you here, express your feeling once, and quit incessantly repeating what we already KNOW. Preaching to the converted, or what! I wouldn’t mind betting that people here have already heard of Primal Therapy.

            You DO know your theory, and that could be so useful if you weren’t so effin pious about it. Your phrase to Vicki, “It’s so, so, so simple.” is so so so patronising IN MY OPINION. Why do you feel the need to do that?

            Why are you so aggressive?

            Do you feel inferior, Jack?

            Why do you put people down?

            It feels obvious to me that you come here to preach! But I can’t stand it!

            Now be a good boy and re-read this, because you usually miss-read other people’s comments, and make sure you put me in my place with ‘FEELING’!

          • Vicki says:

            No, Jack, I’m not. I already said, “No”, above. It is so simple.

  218. Margaret says:

    Good to have you back. How are you doing?.

    I admit I struggled like hell with Irena’s question.

    I did react more strongly as Irena’s question was there in reply to one of my own comments so I took it at first as a possible continuation of the ongoing discussion.Only after I had sent in my coment I noticed she had said ‘to anyone’. Yes, I am guilty of not reading or in my case listening carefuly and responding on an impulse.

    Still I guess I would in many cases have a problem with having to limit some answers to one word.
    But specially when I think the answer might be used in the following argumentation.

    In this case that wasn’t what was going on really and if I would have caught that more clearly I might have given just my one word.

    Still ha, I think it is simply not in my nature to shut up easily once I start speaking. At this moment in my life it feels liberating to allow myself to speak when I feel like it. That doesn’t mean I never censor myself or don’t listen to criticism or feedback.

    It feels good.
    It feels like granting myself the freedom to be who I am and the freedom to accept criticism and to learn from it if it feels rightful.
    It feels like trusting myself, or more exactly, accepting myself. It feels still vulnerable and fresh, but definitely good.
    I seem to be discovering at the same time what a tremendous relief it is not to be devastated every time I have to admit to myself and others I haven’t behaved very likeable or have acted out in some way. It is great not to feel like having to crawl under a carpet for two weeks anymore when that happens, but to feel more able to connect to old feelings and process and learn.

    There is still the same cycle of defense, anger, fear, , shame hurt, and acknowledgment and learning but the wheels seem to turn more smoothly so to say.

    Sorry, I am just letting my brain and fingers freewheel here, I am not taking up anybody’s space am I?

    Nice ot have you back, Vicki, I hope you are ok,

  219. Margaret says:

    when someone ivites to answer with one word, it leaves anybody free to answer with a thousand words if they feel like it, in my opinion;
    Freedom of speech so to say.

    I can see the idea and why it apeals to someone, to come up with one word, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that my own answer to what the question raises for me, can be covered in one word.

    Why would that bother you? Jack’s reply did make me wonder just a little too if there is more to this.

    I know it has bothered you in the past you feel I talk too much.

    I would prefer though you to talk about you and not about my talking.

  220. Margaret says:

    thinking about this I realize myself i have a reaction on this whole ‘one word’ issue because it reminds me of feeling how my mother incessantly tried to control me in one way or another.
    She has an endless set of manipulations so it is an automatic survival reflex of mine to resist or question anything that feels like control I guess.


    • Vicki says:

      Margaret, I read this, after what I wrote below, so I wanted to say that this seems like a ‘key’ point, that you made, about ‘control’ being that important. It sounds very right. — Vicki

      • Margaret says:

        thanks for your replies. I admit I felt scared of what you might say but your answers were ever so nice and balanced, and your reply to what I said about control finally triggered the feeling and made me shed big tears just now.

        I feel so sad about having felt so defensive all my life, scared to be invaded and overpowered.

        It is horrible to realize myself I look at any female person as a possible threat, someone who might suddenly and unexpectedly turn against me and rip me to pieces if I let down my guard.

        It is a miserable and lonely state of mind.

        Ha, this blog does seem to work well for me as a group.

      • Margaret says:

        I am still thinking about what you said about your own feelings of fear at answering the question.

        If anyone should not be fearing shame about an answer, in my eyes it would be you.
        You are very bright and what you say is always based on a good foundation, be it in the reality of what goes on or in the reality of your own feelings.

        I can only ask you to please never hold back if you feel like saying something.
        Our talks and discussions always turned out to be productive or simply very enjoyable.

        • Vicki says:

          I had to laugh on reading that “if anyone should not be fearing shame about an answer, in my eyes it would be you.” Tell that to my conscience, every time I screw up with what I think my intentions are! But thanks for both your replies, that’s very sweet. And I am glad you felt some of your own relief.

  221. Vicki says:

    Thanks Margaret. Yes, I knew you had misinterpreted the target of Irena’s original posted request. And it was also clear that although you struggled, and used many words, you were working through to an actual, if reluctant answer. I had just found myself struck by the volume of disagreement and struggling on the blog, as I felt none of that need myself, although I did feel some fear (as usual) that I might feel ashamed by whatever answer I gave. So I wondered what might make people struggle with something simple, and wondered whether that may be some fear, some feeling of impending vulnerability.
    But I think it’s great that you feel comfortable “allowing yourself to speak when you feel like it”, etc. It feels like a healthy thing.
    Otherwise, I’m ok, but have a cold at the moment, and I hate being sick, so I want it to get “done” as quickly as possible. Rest, and vitamin C and eating right seem to be helping. I get behind sometimes on reading the posts here, with working full-time, but always eventually come back, and catch up.

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    • Fiona says:

      well, a,
      If you want some responses to your comments it would be better to write on the most current blog available at the top of the list. 🙂

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