Cure by Jack Waddington ( with response by Barry Bernfeld)

My take on the “Cure” for Neurosis

I felt the need to write a blog article in the hope that I can make clear my
feelings about what Primal Therapy is, and what it is capable of achieving.
There seems to be a notion out there that this therapy puts one into a state
of perpetual happiness, or at least contentment. This has not been my
experience. Simply put, all one is likely to get out of it is the
eradication of neurosis that affects our daily being.

What exactly is “cured”
1) Even when we are aware that we are acting out our unmet needs , those based in childhood, and despite this awareness we are compelled to act out anyway, past need will always trump will-power or good intentions.
2) Forever acting out our needs, projecting those needs onto others, even when we know we are, AND in fact don’t like that we are acting out those needs our compulsions make it all but impossible to stop.
3) Our natural immune system is over burdened and depleted. As a result we
are vulnerable and more susceptible to the ravages of disease (dis-ease).

Since Janov defined neurosis as the pathology of feeling there is the need
to know quite what is meant by a full feeling experience. According to
Janov there are two components involved in a  complete or full feeling and the first is the sensation and the other is the expression of that feeling. One simple
example is being pricked by a pin. The sensation (pin prick); the normal
expression for that sensation is “ouch”.

What neurosis does is quash (repress) the expression of the sensation. Our
most basic nature is perverted by countless childhood experiences until we
no longer say “ouch” when hurt.

It was the parenting process that tended to impress on children that they
should be seen and not heard. In other words don’t express these feelings,
especially crying or complaining. In fact, don’t even look sad or upset.
Real need and it’s expression are not permitted. Punishment or at best
distractions (TV, computer games, food) may be offered in its place.

Possibly this was a result of the parents/caregivers themselves being
overwhelmed  by their own old feelings (their own neurosis) that caused them
to do their utmost to prevent the natural and normal expression of feelings in children, particularly in baby-hood.

How all this came about in the very first place is a matter of conjecture.
I personally don’t feel humans were always so neurotic. It happened somewhere
along the way. I conjecture some 20 to 30 millennium ago. How and when I
know not, but there was a suggestion by a Cambridge professor of
Anthropology that as our species evolved into larger and larger communities,
basic neurotic changes in human nature began to develop.

Change is not easy. History teaches us that education or negative
consequences is not enough. Breaking the chains of neurosis must begin with
meeting children/peoples real needs. Unhappy, repressed parents will always
hurt their children despite love and good intentions. So on and on it goes.
Primal access to oneself is the only answer in my view.

What prompted me to write this article was that a Primal patient I know
suggested to me that there was no such thing as “cure” . I disagreed,
but upon reflection, I felt the need to define “cure” as i saw it. To sum it up …. The cure for neurosis is NOT the cure for all our ills.

Jack Waddington

Barry’s response…
First we’d like to thank Jack for his submission to the blog. Thank you
Jack has been a tireless advocate of Primal Theory/therapy for longer than
any of us can remember. Your energy and enthusiasm is appreciated. I do have
a few comments and points I’d like to add to your article, so here goes:
I’m not sure the public notion about Primal Therapy is that it puts one into
a state of perpetual bliss or happiness. However, I get your point. Art
Janov’s Primal Scream, his first published work, written as it was in the
late 1960’s, does hint that after therapy, one might sit around while blissfully
listening to music rather than climbing the corporate ladder for instance . Maybe, but this was the 60’s and part of the cultural zeitgeist. I think we can forgive Dr. Janov for a little utopian wistfulness. There was also the fact that the first book was written almost as a diary of events unfolding and clearly much has been learned over these many years. I think our biggest problem in defining this therapy might be
that so many people think childhood experience or pain is passé. There has
been progress, but as a culture, and in psychology itself, the profound
impact of early life experience continues to be underappreciated. Jack’s
comments about acting ,out unmet need despite our intentions or awareness is
indeed one of the foundations of Primal Theory. Also, that the metabolic
cost of repressed pain overburdens our immune system (and all systems) and
ages us prematurely as it makes us vulnerable to disease. How we as a species become “neurotic” is a fascinating question and the growing field of evolutionary psychology will hopefully shed light on this issue. My own thoughts on this is that our capacity to postpone our reactions to pain, danger, and the unknown may have been the very thing that allowed us to reach the top of the food chain. Our larger brain allowed us to think, feel, and behave in several, sometimes conflicted, ways at once. Useful for survival in a dangerous world. Why do we store childhood pain? Why encode trauma within our bodies and minds? Again,the ability to postpone reacting/experience is an important tool in the survival toolbox. If a lion is chasing you, you don’t sit down and have a good cry. YOU RUN! Later, back at the cave with your loving family, you tell
them about the lion and  then you have a good cry! Storage of pain implies
retrieval. Why store pain (or anything) if not because it has value ? We
store pain (trauma) because it is either too big to experience and/or it is
not yet safe to feel or process a particular experience.  Primal Therapy is about creating that safety in my opinion. The safety to retrieve stored pain and reduce the metabolic burden of repression  while gaining access to our personal histories is part of our species DNA, our ability to postpone reacting to pain and danger  until
safe retrieval and experiencing it is truly possible . Still with the handy skill known as repression we may still pay a serious price. One that lasts a lifetime if not properly addressed.
As Jack clearly states there is a “cure” for neurosis i.e.: waiting until
it is safe and finally saying ouch! A disease of feeling, no more, no less. Once our feeling capacity is restored or on the mend, we do not find the Garden of Eden. Our painful  histories coupled with an often brutal and insensitive world  can make life not always easy and certainly not always blissful. I still believe that despite any difficulty acsess to our feelings and a chance at resolution is our best hope for finding both health and happiness. Love, intimacy,friendship, sex, laughter, pizza, rock n roll, beaches, pizza, yes again, make life worth living .

Barry M. Bernfeld,
Los Angeles 2016


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891 Responses to Cure by Jack Waddington ( with response by Barry Bernfeld)

  1. There is a new blog posted tonight – if you go to the top of our last comments page you will see the link. Gretch

  2. Margaret says:

    > great post, thanks Jack and Barry!
    > already copied it and saved it, as it contains stuff I ight wanna cite hopefully some day in a larger context..
    > so much to study and read and work on still, but it is nice to keep forming ideas bit by little bit..
    > am in the middle of a course of evolution psychology actually, or not in the middle yet, more so in the first 100 pages of a thick textbook still, hopefully can do my exam this summer..
    > a new book this time from the PI would be really interesting, condensing the experience of all these years of seeing therapy in action, or occasionally failing, exploring more details of its practice and usefulness, Primal.5 SE or something..
    > time is precious and limited so please do not keep us waiting for too long!!
    > she begged humbly…
    > M

  3. Phil says:

    I agree, great posts from Jack and Barry.
    It sounds so simple and yet explains so much, that’s the beauty of it.
    Barry says “I think
    our biggest problem in defining this therapy might be
    that so many people think childhood experience or pain is passé”.
    This is so true. I never encounter anyone who truly gets it apart from
    primal patients.

  4. jackwaddington says:

    Thanks Margaret and Phil, and yes Phil I agree that Barry’s remark:- “our biggest problem in defining this therapy might be that so many people think childhood experience or pain is ‘passé’.”

    Also, feel free for those of you that may have negative responses to my article. Or want to take me up on some aspects as Barry did.

    It all adds to the dialog.


  5. Phil says:

    When I read your piece again, I saw at the end you mention that you
    were prompted to write this by a primal patient who suggested there was no such thing as a cure. The primal therapy “cure” is in some sense theoretical. You can read in Janov’s blog
    as he reports on his own recent primals, and he’s in his 90’s. I think engaging in the primal process means moving closer and closer to a cure, but not necessarily ever quite getting there.
    To be cured, I’m imagining, would mean not having to primal anymore about childhood pain,
    and I wonder who might have reached that point in the process. I’m not seeing that I would ever
    get there,

    • jackwaddington says:

      Phil: on getting your response this morning I answered it immediately and was only now going through the responses, I saw my reply was not there. Dunno, how or why; so!!! here now I’ll try and see if I can repeat most of what I wrote. I did also appreciate your response

      I agree that “cure” in some theoretical sense can seem like just another word and could have many meanings. However, since you brought up Janov’s blog and his undergoing Primals, well into his nineties; I feel that does not negate “cure” as I read him in both “The Primal Scream” and some others of his writings.

      Put briefly, Cure as I feel he, Janov, intended it to mean, is having crossed the Rubicon into the feeling/expression zone of life. An analogy would be (not to denigrate Margret’s affliction), if one is cured of blindness then, for the rest of life, one is now seeing. Not all sights are pleasant or even desirable, but we are now left in the seeing zone.

      It is by that same analogy that I feel “the cure of neurosis” exists. Once haveing crossed over to expressing ones feelings as they arise is what I mean by “cure”. Maybe in my blog I was not explicit enough.


      • Phil says:

        Jack,I see what you’re saying and that makes sense. There’s also, no doubt, a point of no turning back with the primal processit seems to me.At that point it’s more of an effort to hold it back than to letit proceed. That’s maybe being on the road to the cure you’retalking about.Thanks for your post and getting discussions started again here.Phil Date: Sat, 7 May 2016 22:04:32 +0000 To:

  6. swisslady says:

    Jack and Barry – thanks for the great article!
    It seems to me that if you have to revisit the same traumatic event in childhood over and over again, and the pain from that event does not lessen, that signals to me (or to my neurotic brain) that there is no end to the pain and therefore no cure. I did expect to grief the death of my parents for a long and painful period but I didn’t expect that the most horrific traumatic events from the past would rear their ugly heads again. I thought I had visited and rehashed those particular feelings as many times as needed and was done with it. But no! As I’m writing this, I realize that I sound angry and frustrated with the primal process. And yet – Gretchen would agree – I am actually making progress. It’s not like I’ve not worked the primal pain (yes, worked) I have intensely, but it seems that I have not expressed all the feelings involved around a certain event. I remember once saying in big group “that we primal patients become experts in feeling pain” and my criticism was “but not leaving it behind and moving on with life”. I have the capacity to feel intense pain over long periods of time, I can cry and scream and feel the primal pain to the extent that it physically hurts my heart and brain. But what I missed was expressing anger. I might have expressed the anger of a child when popping into a primal scene in the past and had the reaction as the child. But I now realize that I have not expressed that anger as the adult looking back and understanding the event with the adult brain. Well, I have now tapped into that phenomenon and hopefully I WILL BE CURED after all 🙂

    • jackwaddington says:

      Bernadette: I take your point completely, and I understand that feeling of:-“do we have to go on and on feeling all this old pain” Yes … since it was so, so devatating when going back and reliving it. Just remembering it is not the same. Remembering it, especially from our adult perspective can seem, to the unintiated (non Primal person) like no big deal. BUT THEN when going through it all again, as it was, way back then; when we were so vunlnerable is a whole other ‘ball game’

      This old notion that men don’t cry. Bullshit. I know most men, and some women too, just tend to sniff; or wipe away a tear, and then think … “done”. The other is that women don’t get angry … it’s not very lady like; ballucks!! Sorry for the expletives. Meantime, was good to read your take on it all


  7. Anonymous says:


    Does this mean I should stop soaring with the eagles? I’m not cured?

    Very good blog. I’ll give it 5 stars.

    Jack, what I’ve found to be also helpful on my journey, is a reading, and reading of “Super Brain” by Drs. Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi.

    John Z.

    • jackwaddington says:

      John: I’ll take the five stars, just in case this one we live under blows up, then I’ll have others to give me warmth and comfort.

      No!!!! keep soaring with those eagles they have a lot to teach us, and when they’ve told you then pass it on to me.

      Deepak I am familiar with the other guy is a complete stranger

      Take care John, my ex buddy


  8. swisslady says:

    Jack, just to add to my previous post. You write: “It was the parenting process that tended to impress on children that they should be seen and not heard. In other words don’t express these feelings, especially crying or complaining.”
    How about expressing anger? Is anger a feeling or is it just a lid covering the underlying pain that, once removed, exposes this pain that needs to be expressed by crying, screaming, etc? Does the term “primal pain” include anger? How about fear? How do you express fear?
    I was not allowed to express anger as a child. As a toddler it meant to be locked into the pantry for hours after throwing a tamper tantrum. As a young child it meant physical punishment after disobeying (which I think is a form of resistance and anger). It was not safe to express anger, hence my suppression of it over the years. I still have a hard time expressing anger in a constructive way.

    • jackwaddington says:

      Bernadette: There are thousands and thousands of feelings … but the major ones are Anger, sadness, fear, and (if we are lucky) happiness. Some of the others are feeling hot, cold, contented, chirpy, sarcastic, peculiar, irritated … and on and on. One of my little ‘smarty pants’ answers when people ask me how I feel i sometimes answer “with my fingers”


      • swisslady says:

        Jack, while reflecting on my definition of disobedience/resistance/anger and your reply, I partially answered my own question regarding anger. I’ve been saying during the course of my therapy that “I was reluctant to living” and “I resist life”. I think now that behind that resistance and reluctance there is a lot of unexpressed anger, and behind that, undoubtedly, a ton of pain. Whether anger is a feeling or a defense doesn’t really matter. What matters is that it doesn’t do any good to hold on to it.
        In the meantime, I was hoping for a more concrete answer to my question “how do you express fear?”

        • jackwaddington says:

          Bernadette: When it happened to me, I screamed ‘blue murder’ at the top of my lungs and on reflection couldn’t believe I had that much scream in me. The other one that I am aware of is:- to freeze up in terror. There maybe many more: if others know some to let us know..


          • swisslady says:

            Thanks, Jack. The freezing up kind is more like me. But I don’t think it resolves anything for me. I suppose the clattering teeth and shaking like a leaf kind might also be useful. Cheers!

  9. Ted says:

    My experience with the Primal Process gave me a safe place to express my feelings, regardless of how they came out or how intense. I remember one time in group I finally got in touch with excruciatingly deep anger, I was pounding the walls with such veracity that the therapist actually thought I might break my hand, as I screamed at the top of my lungs. Everyone in the room had moved to the other side of the room, some were triggered into their own stuff. But this anger broke open a doorway. As the energy began to break, I curled up on the floor and wept, and my therapist encouraged me to crawl towards him and lay my head in his lap. That is when the deep core of the hurt began to really break loose. That is when the floodgates opened and I was able to let go of the deep hurt. So yes,anger is important but it is just the doorway to the deep core of the early infant childhood hurts, which for me, are the hardest to open up to and feel. Our bodies are designed to go into the adrenaline “fight of fight” response in response to what we perceive as dangerous stimuli, and out of the many years of therapy, I only saw a few instances when a patient got to the very deep reptilian brainstem core first line primal feelings, as those imprints laid down in gestation, birth or the first year of life seem to be the most challenging to get to and resolve.

    Yet, my life as a whole is better, as I can genuinely feel, genuinely engage others in an adult fashion, and I have my own boundary now, and the “harshness” of life has subsided. Of course, as Barry said, life is not all bliss, but compared to where it was before therapy, is sure seems like it. I have two daughters and three grandchildren, who I can see have inherited a legacy of less pain and suffering, so yes, we can change and we can make it better. They are better off because of what I was finally able to feel, and I chose to listen to them and love them. For that, I am eternally grateful to the Primal process.

    Good to see you on the blog Bernadette. Hope you are well.

    • swisslady says:

      Hey Ted, good to hear from you, and great inspirational story! I’m glad you’re doing well.
      I always say that I was born angry and early childhood trauma only added to that anger. I’ve had similar experiences with expressing anger in therapy as you and got relief from it and also think it made me a better person. But as mentioned above, feelings have caught up with me again and this time it’s going real deep. I am also aware of anger being my only defense as I grew up, in fact, it helped me survive. Now that I feel more save in the world, I’m ready to let go of more of it, and as I’m breaking through the anger and looking for my “real me” deep inside (not the tough, defensive, guarded persona that life has forced onto me), I’m finding a tiny, fragile and vulnerable space inside. I am nurturing this now ever so gently as the real me. It is no wonder that I had to defend this space so fiercely. I hope this makes sense.

  10. jackwaddington says:

    Ted: What a great story. Hope you’ll keep on blogging. I feel it is so informative to read how others, see and feel … using this blog.


  11. Crying about the last time I saw my mom? Seeing or feeling her wool or cotton suit dress? Incredible and impossible. Just by sitting through Jurassic world on the tv, and the last scene being the gjuy and girl looking at each other, and she says we should stick together? Jeez. What do I do with that? Last time I saw my mom? How long do I keep crying. It was only like 5 mins.and then I remembered that maybe just maybe that coat was in my grandma’s cedar chest., seeing it many years later. Impossible these memories. My mom’s face. Just a scrap of a memory, pushed up into my head from down below. Saw my dead grandma and friend’s faces too. What can I do with this? My own life is coming to an end. What the fuck? And at home, no less, since i was too tired to go to the PI.

  12. At age 10 months, seeing her the last time. impossible.

  13. and i need to let them go, i realize that. very hard to do, especially after holding out hope that i will see mommy again. she and they are dead and yet death is incomprehensible, especially to 10 months old brains and the brains of other non-human animals.

  14. thank you Jack and BB. So clear, it hurts to see. anyway, i feel there is some little thing missing about it, I am not complaining, and i cant put my finger on it, but i REALLY REALLY like what you guys said. I have Love, intimacy,friendship, sex, laughter, pizza, rock n roll, beaches, pizza in tiny tiny bits, but enough to keep me hanging on. thanks again.

  15. “It was the parenting process that tended to impress on children that they should be seen and not heard.” This is true, but it also comes to my mind about how the monkeymen-pack tends to impress group process/mores on the monkeymen-pack parents. And then I think that somehow wolves were involved with this. Also, Jane Goodall said she has seen chimps killing monkeys and eating them, and other National Geographic documentaries recount stories of one tribe of chimps waging war on another tribe to get their territory with its bounty of leaves and berries. Maybe wolves taught chimp-men to ramp things up with the killing and the bloodshed. Who knows. I just love thinking about this stuff. Maybe as useless as sending rockets to Mars, but it is so interesting. Or it is just a distraction from my pain. whatever. I think Art or someone propounded some theory on human beginnings, some natural changes in the world. Who knows. Floods and Fire. These days, you have to pay extra for the national geographic channel. When I was a kid, taking lsd and smoking and watching those documentaries was de rigeur, whatever that means. See what happens when pt gets someone to open up with all the shit going on in their head, uncxpressed for decades? You cant shut them up. Now I shut myself up. Thank you. Been watching too many war movies where one side of young boys with spears and guns in hand walk across the field to put holes in the other side’s young boys who also have spears and/or guns in their hands. I hesitate to post this, but you dont have to read it. blather

  16. One more thing. sorry. some girl screaming in one of those back rooms at the Pico PI years ago profoundly influenced me forever. Thank you.

  17. Bernadette, I like that you mentioned expressing fear. I was only able to let fear wash over me and vocally emote a tiny bit the last time i was at friday group, triggered by something someone said about something scary. Chills. Holding still. unable to move. I love it because it was so real. i havent gone back to that feeling yet, that was a month or so ago. I might need some help with that one. being squashed out of existence. That feeling is just down there with losing my mom as an explanation of the horror of the rest of my life. cant shut this fucker up. ha.

    • swisslady says:

      Hey Otto, I find it very hard to feel fear. I heard Gretchen mention that it is one of the most difficult feelings to feel (Greatchen, if I’m wrong, please correct me). Of course you need help with your fear, I think we all do. Who wants to consciously go into fear? It seems so counter-intuitive. For me it is imperative to be in a safe environment and have a person I trust with me. I occasionally can feel some of my fear in small group. After I have expressed verbally what scares me, I sit and let it take over my body. Shaking, clattering teeth, holding on tight. If I’m familiar with the particular incident that caused the fear, I can also feel some of it alone, at home, in bed, safe! That’s how it works for me at the moment.
      I cannot imagine the fear you are facing having lost your mother at such an early age, an age where ‘mother’ still represents the entire world for an infant. “being squashed out of existence” sounds like a birth feeling to me, of course it could be something quite different for you, I don’t know your story. Only I’ve had similar feelings and would use similar language surrounding my birth, “crushed to death” is my favorite. It helps me to consciously remind myself before going into feeling the fear that I made it through the incident alive (birth, abandonment, etc.) and that the fear is in fact “only” a feeling. It helps me to face it and let my body go through it.

  18. yeah i was locked in an attic for expressing self. luckily i did not live with those guys for too long.

  19. actually, i must clarify. intimacy, i have one atom of that these days. damn. the closest i came to it this week was when we were all talking about ghosts at work, because someone did not want to go down to the morgue and fix a computer, and i finally got my speak into the talkative new guy about how me and z had been in kentucky once, in an old building that used to be a hospital in the civil war, and we could literally feel the ghosts or presence of those wounded dying soldiers still there somehow. so i had a tiny intimate moment with this guy, because i have pretty much havent warmed up to him at all since he got hired (trust issues) but i was finally doing so, and he seemed to like it (like most normal people do, i guess). also had that intimacy with z years ago in that ghost place, and then again when we got some mules that were standing in a field to come over to us somehow. tiny intimacies. thank you mother nature or mother life for these small gifts, in your horrible stinking world of grief and pain. ha!

  20. yeah z and kid came home and i really dont want to go out of my room and be with them. i really dont want to be with anyone, maybe the dog, and not really much of her either. i am a cold fish to her when she comes into my room to see what i am up to, probably wants me to comment on her new haircut. I got nothing. she is happy as usual, i am pretty damn morose as usual. kid is going to hear if he has a first post-phd job this week. i am jealous of z and kid’s relationship. I really cant stand to be around her much at all. i dont feel like being around anyone. i guess i did not get much of that relief stuff and all i want to do is nothing. not to have some fun. not much of anything. and that is on some pretty strong anti-depressant. ha. ah shit. mothers day tomorrow. more of i get nothing from nowhere. i’ve given about all i want to give. should have given more to a guy that was getting fired from work, now he came back yesterday and threatened to kill the boss. too much guilt. someone helped me save my job once, and i should have paid back. now this guy will go to jail or worse.

  21. jackwaddington says:

    I’m off to bed: So will catch up on the blog in the morning. Sweet dreams to you all, if you can muster it, after such a bundle of feelings.


  22. Leslie says:

    Delighted to read the new blog post by you Jack! Thank you for showcasing both the simplicity and what can present as modern day obstacles to feeling. There is inspiration and in addition reality to your post and I appreciate that.

    Barry – your response is as always wonderful! Love the humour, compassion and the deep insights for now with more to continue to explore and uncover later.

    Big thanks to each of you !

  23. Jo says:

    Jack, thanks for the fresh and succinct post, and
    Barry, your succinct response…I can feel the love from it…and really like the lion metaphor.
    Bernadette, a couple of decades ago, I remember you saying in a group how you were able to express anger while you were driving in your car … well, sometime in 2012 whilst I was living in France and upto my eyes in extreme isolation, anger finally burst through one day in my car – I felt safe in my car, and subsequently it became my ‘primal box’ (I don’t really like that description!) So thank you.
    Amazing how I was unaware of all that powerful feeling..there is more to express, as I can sometimes feel anger leaking out as I am still isolated alot, (and currently no car!) and it takes me by surprise. Well, it’s always leaked out, mostly disconnected, and now I connect it to being abandoned early, and the long long hopeless wait for ‘them’ and take me home.

    • swisslady says:

      Hey Jo, I’m amazed that you remember something I said a couple of decades ago, and glad to be of help. It’s great that you can connect your anger with the early abandonment. I can relate with the ‘oozing anger’ (my term) and being unaware. As long as it is not connected to the primal feeling, my anger will come out sideways.
      I still have some of my best anger episodes in the car, the perfect place to let off steam, although it’s usually not a comprehensive, full feeling, it stops after screaming my head off. However, just recently I had a big breakthrough in a joint session, when I connected with the betrayal perpetrated against me by both parents when I was not even three years old. Interestingly, I’ve known about this traumatic event for years and have expressed various deep feelings about it over the course of my therapy but this is the first time in all these years that I was able to get thoroughly, bat-shit-crazy angry at my mother. The ‘feeling’ started out in the present in an argument with my husband and gradually worked its way back to the traumatic event and connected with the people it belongs to. Not only was I able to express the repressed anger but also the pain. The aftereffect is staggering: The constant underlying anger I have felt all my life has eased off – it’s not entirely gone but I can tell a big difference already. I know I will have to get angry again and feel more of the pain. Getting angry at mom was a big event for me. Therefore, I am a step closer to “the cure” 🙂
      Jo, I’m sad that you are “still isolated a lot” and I hope you connect with somebody. In the meantime keep blogging!

      • Jo says:

        Bernadette, what a relief for you to have connected to the source via the argument with your husband….
        And thank you for your wishes 🙂

  24. Margaret says:

    > Larry,
    > following the news about the fire in Canada.
    > just heard it is now reaching the province of Saskatchewan.
    > this is such a disaster, hope it starts raining soon, as it seems the only way to stop it.
    > hope you live far away of it, no idea how big your province is..
    > M

  25. jackwaddington says:

    Thanks Leslie and Jo

    Bernadette: That fear thing (terror as I call it) is the worst and I can only take it a few seconds at a time. Usually at night when I’m in bed. I know where it’s from, but …. be-gessus it’s the worst.


    • swisslady says:

      Jack, I agree, fear/terror is the worst and a few minutes is enough for me, too. No wonder really that we repress/store/postpone expression (per Barry) of it for years until our brains and bodies are mature and strong enough to handle it. I have to make a conscious effort to go into fear and feel it, otherwise my body, mind and spirit want to avoid it at all cost…

  26. swisslady says:

    Mother’s Day Greeting —
    Dear Mom, in spite of all the pain you have caused me, in spite of your lying and betrayal, in spite of your neglect, abuse, hatred, and violence against me – I love you. Because for the amount of pain you have caused me, you have equally also done good, taken care of me, fed me, hugged me, carried me, taught me, helped and supported me, and finally let me go my own way. I love you every day and especially today. Wherever you are now. I know you were afraid of dying and your God’s punishment. But in my dreams I see you in all the glory of the golden light because the good you have done in life so clearly outweighs the bad. If I can see that, then so can your God. In my eyes, you only deserve the best. With deepest love and affection,
    PS: I miss you so very much!

    • jackwaddington says:

      Bernadette: Very moving. I have a similar response about my father, though I don’t go for the everlasting aspect (just my notion). He meant well, even though for the little me that was not good enough … but then that was due to his very own baby-hood. No consolation, just the reason

      Meantime, I remeber when I was talking to a therapist about a horrific event and I said “It takes years to get over it” The therapist replied with “Do we ever get over it????” That response hit me between the eyeballs. ‘No! we don’t’. However, one could argue what is meant by “getting over it”

      I have reflected on that moment many times. I now see it as a pivotal moment in coming to terms with what I hoped to get across in this blog article. Events in our lives trigger memories of past events … good, bad and the most horrific ones. Reviving the memory is not an accident. It serves a very fundamental purpose, as I see it.

      It’s not the remembering, or even cringing when some of these terrible memories arise. That’s part of life as I feel and experience it. Wanting, or hoping that these memories would go away, is contrary to what I feel is out very fundamental ‘Nature’. I feel this corroborates Barry’s notion that child-hood and getting it all back in it’s full blown feeling memory, is were this therapy takes us and for it to be dismissed as “passé”, is a gross act of denial.


  27. ted says:

    Jo, I can relate. Today on mothers day, I feel nothing for my mother. She got pregnant to try and keep my dad from straying, was angry the whole time, I had a very difficult birth, and then I laid in the crib for two years and she never picked me up. She then sent me away to boarding school, abandoning me my entire childhood. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the isolation, the feeling of loneliness and abandonment. It is so core that I really don’t have a cognitive concept for it.

    My mother is still alive and has late stage dementia, and only two of her kids ever go and see her. I have nothing that compels me to go see her, no connection with her, or any memory of nurture., or any good memories at all. She’s a stranger to me. Yes, I’ve recreated this isolation in my life, as I live alone and do not have a significant other. I’m told I’m just too needy.

    But I have come to accept my own company, and I do let go into the feeling when it comes up. Bernadette, usually the terror comes up at night and wakes me up, and I just try to be with it. I have learned to nurture myself and to love myself as best I can and to take care and to be present and take joy where I can find it. My grandkids bring me great joy.

    I’m sure there’s more, and I’m sure I’ll defend against it and sometimes I’ll let it out.

    • jackwaddington says:

      Ted: It breaks my heart to read your story. It’s so devastating to just even read it. What it must be like to live it, boggles my mind.

      That you get great joy from your grandkids is something to hang onto and give you some solace.

      I suspect I’ll be thinking of you before I go to sleep. What a horror story.

      I wish you all the best Ted.


      • Patrick says:

        Maybe just hand out ‘ratings’ one to five or whatever freaking judge (jury and executioner)……………….”all feelings are valid” but they ARE given ‘ratings’…………..

    • Jo says:

      Ted, how UNBEARABLE….

    • Phil says:

      Ted, I can relate to what you say here about your mother and mothers day.Similar for me in that I was abandoned and don’t remember anythinggood coming from my mother. She went away when I was 5 or 6 because of illnessand lived in a nursing home and passed away when I was 11.There were also punishments I got from her, spanking, that I remember. From a certain age I was afraid of my mother and she was to be avoided. I can remember, for example, not wanting to go into our home after a pleasant outingwith my father and brother to an amusement park. She was just sitting there likea vegetable, and it felt to me like she was very angry, certainly quite depressed andemotionally disturbed, I can conclude now. I was walking around outside the house notwanting to go in. Also, no help with these problems from anyone. That was the pattern when we would go to visit her also.I don’t know if there’s anything good to remember or it’s because it’s all blockedout by the preponderance of bad stuff. Phil Date: Mon, 9 May 2016 03:28:39 +0000 To:

      • Phil says:

        What I wrote above had me thinking and a few hours later brought up what feels like an important connection. On the day I mentioned, we went to the amusement park and I was forced by my father to go on scary rides with my brother. One ride went around in a circle in the dark. Another went up high and spun around. I was afraid of both and afterwards felt nauseated. My father had no sympathy for this and my brother, 5 years older, needed company. He certainly wasn’t listening. These were kids rides and he wasn’t going on himself with us. Being with my brother was no help, if that’s what he thought.
        I was maybe 4 or 5 at the time. So this actually was a bad day at the the park, not a fun day at all.
        When we later got home it was all of this causing me to fell a need to approach my mother, for some sympathy, some mothering, but that was impossible. It’s actually wanting and needing from her that made her even more unapproachable. I got punished for that by her, for wanting attention, in other earlier incidents.
        Similar to how it would be impossible to approach and talk to a pretty girl. Precisely for wanting something, some attention etc.

  28. Patrick says:

    By the way I found the people in Vancouver so nice several times they ‘helped’ my in a very warm and well helpful way. A really nice atmosphere there compared to LA at least if felt that way. More social by far not like LA ‘everyman for himself and God against all’ This song on my mind about great sadness and death looming up

  29. Patrick says:

    I heard this song in the airport in Vancouver seemed so deep

    “Love me lights out” or “Love me before they turn the lights out”

  30. swisslady says:

    Jo, yes, indeed, what a relief, for both my husband and me 🙂 My hubby – poor guy – was so often the target of my anger. Just because he was there and I was acting out unconsciously mostly. Even when I was aware that I was angry inside, I couldn’t control the lashing out or blaming. Primal pain is so insidious! Since I connected the anger with my mother, I have not been angry. The difference is amazing. To my astonishment, I’m actually a happier person ever since. I’m enjoying it while it lasts….

  31. swisslady says:

    Ted, wow, that is really sad! The degree of abandonment and your mother’s disinterest in you is heart breaking. I understand a bit better why you wouldn’t have any feelings for her on Mother’s Day (and in general). But I’m afraid I disagree with you on one thing: Nobody is too needy to have a significant other. It’s not meant as a criticism. I’m thinking maybe you have not found the right person yet. It’s good that you have learned to deal with your aloneness and the fear that comes up at night. For me living alone was not my favorite thing to do. I still shudder thinking of coming home to an empty apartment after a stressful work day. I nurtured myself, like you do yourself, cooked nice meals for myself, and used the time to do some heavy duty soul searching, journalling, hiking, etc. I handled it but I didn’t necessarily like it that much.
    Oh boy do I remember those night terrors! But that was before I started therapy and I lived alone. I would wake up in the dead of night, soaked in sweat, thinking there was ‘a bad man’ in the pitch dark room. Couldn’t move or breathe for fear of giving my position away to ‘the intruder’ (how irrational, in retrospect). Afraid to extend my arm from under the blanket to turn on the light. It took some enormous mental strength to convince myself that, in fact, there was nobody there and I could finally turn on the light. These episodes lessened once I did therapy, but I still occasionally get chased by men with knives in my dreams and wake up with a pounding heart.
    What the fuck did these assholes do to me!!!! To answer my question: I was beaten up, molested, raped, betrayed, manipulated, locked up, abandoned … and I had to keep it all inside. MFs!!!! Argh!!!! — Bernadette

  32. Jo says:

    Ted, It bothered me also your statement of being too needy to have a significant other….I feel that doesn’t ring true….boarding school survivors, abandonment survivors, certainly have neediness issues around people, but we are undoubtedly in with a chance to find significant others who are able to tolerate such quirks and traits, and enjoy wholesome relationships. Basically I’m saying I hate that it sounds like you’ve given up on yourself 😕

    • Phil says:

      Jo, I agree with you and Bernadette on this, that it isn’t good to give up on the possibility of a relationship.
      I know that for me to stay alone would be to perpetuate my childhood pattern.

    • jackwaddington says:

      Jo: I also agree with you about Ted being ‘too needy’ With such depravity in his past and then boarding school on top of that … it is no surprise anyone should have issues of needing. We are all needy in our own ways..

      It’s so revealing how other peoples stories kind of match some of my stuff. My dreams seem to be all about anxiety. Though as a kid I remember all those feeling of someone dangerous under the bed, but dared not to look.


  33. Margaret says:

    > Phil,
    > that sounds so bleak and desperate and threatening, it resonates with me somehow, to have to grow up in that atmosphere that pretends to be ok but is so barren and hostile..
    > then reading Bernadettes comments I am aware of the large amount of my own nightmares filled with men with knifes chasing me and even stabbing me..
    > still it is not really clear where that roots.
    > a lot of general reasons for unsafety in my childhood but can’t remember any specific strong threats to cause that kind of terror so far..
    > as feeelings keep unfolding I am confident it will become more clear.
    > M

    • Phil says:

      This was actually a huge insight for me yesterday, I guess something to do with my reaction to what Ted wrote. The realization that these two incidents I mentioned happened on the very same day. Also, new awareness that I was especially afraid of my
      mother because I wanted and needed something from her. It helps me to make sense out of a lot of things in my history.

  34. Margaret says:

    > today I got an early call from one of the nurses that visit my mom every morning, because she refused to take her medication.
    > I talked with my mom over the phone, and finally convinced her to take the medication,but also promising her to talk with her doctor to check about maybe stopping it.
    > I contacted my brother about it, as one concern is we want to keep the daily nurse visit in the morning as it is reassuring, but they mainly come by to give the medication.
    > another source of concern is without it our mom might become more confused and worked up again, doing stuff like burying keys and money, or going out for long hikes by herself and losing the way.
    > also she had a very severe tinitus for months which happened to recede after taking the meds for a while…
    > so I did call the doctor and we talked about all of this, fact is she is more lively and awake with a lower dose the last month, and it had already occurred to me to maybe stop it and check what that would give…
    > the doctor promised to go by her this week and then decide whether to go from only half of the lowest dose which she takes now, to only a quart of a tablet, or maybe just start giving her something else, a kind of innocent placebo as to be able to keep the nurse coming by, specially as we’d have to wait for the results of her being off meds again.
    > it seems like a good plan, I will have to check again with the doctor as he is getting old as well and might forget…
    > it would be nicer if we could go without the antipsychotics completely, even without the really minimal dose she gets now.
    > I’d rather have my mom being able to be her entire self these last years, even if it brings some more taking care of her with her strange behaviours, but I would not want her to end up with that awful tinitus again, or her being extremely confused and scared again, as now she is fairly happy and still witty and with a strong mind of her own despite the bit of medication.
    > I am glad I asked for advice from my brother and the doctor in this,it is nice to have the possibility of sharing and supporting each other.
    > Phil, what you said is still on my mind, you were so young then, and the need was so basic, it seems easier to catch the enormity of it in someone else’s story but it clearly reflects some of my own feelings of unmet need for support and comforting..
    > all the best, M

  35. Margaret says:

    It sounds like you and your brother are right on top of your mother’s condition and care.
    it’s great that you can share and support each other on these issues.

  36. swisslady says:

    Jack, about the “the everlasting aspect” you and I had a discussion (or was it a screaming match? :-)) before and I’m still thinking / feeling / sensing that there is more to life than a one-time turn. There is more than we can perceive with our senses at the moment. We, the human species, are ever evolving and sooner or later we will be able to see what is beyond our current capabilities. Call it wishful thinking, denial, unresolved primal pain, whatever. I can only say what I feel deep inside.
    You said about your father, “He meant well, even though for the little me that was not good enough … but then that was due to his very own baby-hood. No consolation, just the reason.” I have similar thoughts. My parents just didn’t know any better. I’m not making excuses for them because some of the things they did to me are inexcusable. But I do have compassion knowing that they, too had horrible childhoods and received not much love and care. In addition, they became kinder, more affectionate and in general more considerate as they aged, which of course didn’t help me with the traumas they inflicted, but at least they didn’t pile more on, and in some instances, apologized and felt sorry for having been rotten parents. Also, my heart has room enough for more than one feeling at a time for my parents. I can be furious with them and love them at the same time. I can hate what they did to me in childhood and still see them as basically kind people. This might seem strange to some, or someone might argue that I’m in denial. But I see it as accepting the human condition in them (“the good, the bad, and the ugly” as you always say), I see it as being able to forgive them. I also have to add that the more I resolve my primal pain, the more I’m capable to love them.
    “Do we ever get over it????” I think this might have been in connection with the loss of a loved one. In that case, nope, we don’t get over it, especially when one has lost a child. I watched my brother go through this agony when he lost his 24 year old son to a rare disease. I see it in me, still feeling that I can’t live on without my mom. Part of me doesn’t want to get over it because I don’t want to forget her. I think we must remember if we want to heal.
    In the same way, I think, we never get over our damaged childhood. Maybe we all need to grieve our childhood, the way it could have been and should have been – I know I do. Until fairly recently my idea of “the cure” was to arrive at the ‘unspoiled’ place before the trauma happened. I was hoping (more subconsciously than consciously) that feeling the pain of the past would eradicate the trauma and I could start anew. It is so obvious now that this was an unrealistic pipe dream. We will never feel as adults the way we should have been allowed to feel as children. Even after years of primalling, we will not end up feeling like the innocent child felt before the trauma. It is impossible to restore the pure state of consciousness that we experienced before we were destroyed. This is probably obvious to you, and naive of me to expect, even subconsciously. I understand in the meantime that there is, however, a great tool called “feeling” and a platform called “Primal” which allows us to remember and heal. There is something in our nature that wants to heal and be whole, I agree with you.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Bernadette: Yep, Yep, Yep & Yep. I agree with it all, except the everlasting thing.

      Having been brought up to be a church going Christian and then getting conscripted into the army at 18 y/o it was there that I met fellow conscripts that were also into God and all the trappings that went with it. At one point I was stating what my total feeling was about, to him, I remember distinctly him saying: “If, Jack, you believe all you’ve just said, then you are not a Christian” I stopped dead in my tracts and right there and then realized that subconscious I had moved away from it all.

      My mother, being very, very devout, was stunned and the local Minister of our church wanted to bring me back into the fold. However, the more they insisted that I had gone astray, the more I become convinced that the whole ‘Religious structure’ was a ploy to keep us in line. Over the next several decades, that notion took deep roots, and I have never been back there since.

      At first it was hard to even contemplate that on my death; that was the end of me as a living creature. Now it doesn’ bother me in the least. I am tempted to say:- what was I trying to hang onto ??????


  37. swisslady says:

    Margaret, I’m sorry to hear that you also get chased by men with knives in your dreams – I don’t wish this terror on anybody! It’s clear to me that the “men with knives” is only a symbol. What’s real is the feeling in the dream, which actually has changed over the years. It used to be abject terror, I would run, try to get away, or worse, was unable to move. Sometimes I would get killed, other times I woke up just in time. In other dreams, I had to protect somebody else from the men with knives, and would put myself in harm’s way in order to protect ‘the other’. Inevitably, I would get killed in those dreams. In my dream state, I had no fear, and getting killed was no big deal. Or I took it for granted that a sacrifice had to be made, even when I was the one being sacrificed. The latest version was that I tried to out-smart the man with the knife, and when that didn’t work, consciously faced him with the knowledge that I would be killed. Like you, I don’t have a clear knowledge what causes these dreams. But I suspect that the fear I felt as a young child of my father is plenty to focus on. What’s even more important to me, I see a parallel between my planning and actions in the dream and in real life. When I avoid a scary decision, when I let fear or anxiety control my actions and thoughts in real life, that’s when I start dreaming. Such a dream always is an indication to me that I have to look closely at my actions in real life.

  38. Margaret says:

    > hi Bernadette,
    > there seems to be an evolution in my dreams as to feeling more and more in control.
    > like last night i dreamed a hostile man managed to put some ‘toxic powder’ on my cloths, which was supposed to certainly kill me, and hurt me, and he looked as he was enjoying it.
    > at first panick started, but then I decided not to pay attention to it, and immediately the feeling of threat dissipated and I started to move on with the company I was in..
    > writing this down it does seem to make even more sense than it already did.
    > sometimes as adults we can allow someone to hurt us or not allow it, and i seem to be making progress in that area.
    > nice to read so much from you here. do you plan on attending a retreat, next retreat maybe?
    > I remember us driving up to one years ago together and I enjoyed the conversation we had in the car.
    > M

    • swisslady says:

      Hi Margaret. Yes, agreed. As children we were at the mercy of our parents, as adults we can protect ourselves, mostly. I’m glad your dreams are indicating some personal growth in that area 🙂 I’d be interested in hearing more about your dreams in the future.

      On the other hand, I’m stunned at an experience yesterday where I clearly was in the right and ‘they’ in the wrong, yet I was unable to get my way. I was left with anger (expressed), then with the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness (still needing to be resolved).

      Yea, I seem to have found a new passion for blogging. I’m exploring…. I hadn’t planned on going to the retreat. I also remember our drive – you were showing me the way, I’m still ever so impressed about that!
      — Bernadette

  39. swisslady says:

    Thought of the day:
    The present is the past healed.
    What you focus your energy on in the present, that will be your future.
    In other words, if you spend your present perfecting your aloneness, that’s what you will have in the future – more aloneness. If you, however, spend your present nurturing friendship, intimacy, laughter, joy, (rock’n’roll and pizza if you wish) – that will be your future.
    We can choose at any given moment.
    — Bernadette

    • Phil says:

      Bernadette,I like your thought of the day. For pizza the future can come quickly; I’m usuallytold it will take twenty minutes to half an hour.Phil

      Date: Wed, 11 May 2016 15:04:27 +0000 To:

      • swisslady says:

        LOL!! good one!!
        — Bernadette

        • Leslie says:

          Welcome Bernadette. It is great to read you here!
          I’m still back with your posting about fear as that very week I had planned to write about how it is still scary for me to be alone and give in to my feelings about fear. This is what amazes me about Sylvia – to do so much on your own. Glad Jack too can get to where he needs to go.
          What a difference it makes it life – not to regular society but to each of us individually who can at least recognize what it is we are feeling and need to release. Sadly, fighting it is so often encouraged and creates havoc as we know and can also witness.

          • Leslie: Yeah! it is so convenient and simple once one is abler to do it on ones own even though if there is a convenient buddy that’s always better and a session when things get really hairy or is it hari, whatever. However the fear thing is a real bugger specially in my case cos it’s about death,. actually dying.

            Comparative the others are easy. My only trouble is that my Jimbo not being a Primal person, thinks it’s something to be avoided. So I do it out of earshot.


    • Jo says:

      I like your thought for the day, Bernadette🙂

  40. Anonymous says:

    You hate ” mutual agreement societies” and value individual thinkers ? Really?? This from the guy who so admires the nazi party! Yeah right, that was a group that really stood for individualism and upheld the right to be oneself! Everyone knows they embraced the opinions of all, well except for Jews, Homosexuals, Gypsies, Blacks and of course the disabled, pretty much anyone who wasn’t white and fit their particular mold. but other than that they certainly were free thinkers. Lol!

  41. Anonymous says:

    That’s right lol

  42. Sylvia says:

    Subscribing. It wouldn’t be a day complete if I couldn’t be part of and fly over of our great cuckoo’s nest here.

  43. Leslie says:

    This is a music video I like from a group in Iceland. The song was recorded live from inside a volcano.

  44. The Rolling Stones – Dance Little Sister. Something about dancing just makes me tear up. Not sure why. Dancing always makes me tear up. I attempted to dance years ago when i started therapy and it went nowhere. Maybe it is just the free movement. Anyway, this is a good video. Some short clips of young ladies enjoying themselves. Makes me sad. I also went to a few dances in my teens and that did not go anywhere. I am sitting in a chair all day for 10 hours the past month, creating printers in a database so clinicians and clerks can print out information.on the new printers that we got. Patient information. Purchase information. I was groomed for this in elementary and high school. Sit, read and write. Sit, read and Write. Eat some sugar.Ignore everyone around me who are all having a good time. My head spins with dyslexia trying to keep it all straight. Open the computer room door for the contractors who are now sickenly polite after i complained about what an asshole one of them was. Hopefully i did not get him fired. People calling me and emailing me. Prints too slow, Only prints out half a page. Prints out too many pages. My top boss berated my other boss on a conference call yesterday with a lot of people listening, about how my boss did not tell employees in advance that he was replacing their printers, thus making their Monday a living hell. My boss has been in a funk lately since info came to him, that later turned out to be false, that the employee he fired was coming to kill him. Anyway. Black cat still hanging in there one month after his crisis. Not taking his oxygen concentrator back to the Home Medical store for another month, even though we barely used it. It is a comfort to have it here, in case he starts panting horribly. Z comes in my room while ui am listening to the dance video and i try to switch windows because i am embarrased that i am watching women dance. I treat her like crap, she is semi-excited that she started cooking dinners for herself this week, and me too, i guess. Sorry i am shit, i am exhausted, i am empty, why would you even marry such shit. Trying to get enough overtime so i can keep the car.When I wake up from my daily naps, I always have horrible thoughts about all the horrible things i have done in my life, a lot of them alcohol-fueled, the rest just ignorance-fueled. Not a lot of solid parenting came to my life, just enough to keep me alive. The music and fun died with my mom, some came back at times, and life was good, but it always seemed to get taken away, every f’ing time. Haha.

  45. Most of the people in each of those countries on that map, NON-JEWISH, were either spearing another country’s sons or raping their women burning their homes, stealing their food, or having those acts done to them by another country. Throughout history. according to history, if you believe history. all the Jewish people wanted to do was enjoy their bagels, like the rest of us. I agree that tales in the Bible of Jewish warriors slaughtering an entire city and burning it to the ground puts them in the league of the rest of us sick sick monkeys., and i agree that Israel is pretty harsh in its treatment of Palestinians, having kicked the Palestinians out of their homes in 1949 or whatever year it was. this can be verified by watching fictional videos on Amazon Fictional but fact-based. But this is what MANKIND does, not just Jew. All men. Men fight and kill, because that is what Mother Nature gave them to do with their lives.

    • Otto: I agree that this is what we humans tend to do: all of us; since we became neurotic.
      BUT I don’t agree that it is our “nature”. Yes! it’s our behavior (precisely:- neurotic behavior), BUT I don’t feel that humans before neurosis, dealt and operated that way.

      To and for me, Janov discovered what exactly our is “NATURE”. That was his genius.

      That:- precisely that, is the purpose of this therapy … hopefully to get us back to our REAL Nature.

      It’s a whole other state of being. Tough to achieve, especially if one was NOT given any real love when were that little and that vulnerable. Tough yes … but not impossible.


  46. Out of earshot. Again i say, what the f. I cant go in my car to let loose loudly. Actually i have done that a couple of times while driving. What ever happened to PT that primal boxes were no longer needed? I had 2 of them and they both ended up in the dump. I got to get some thick foam for my windows so I dont always have to go to the PI, but I am too paralyzed to get foam. Even at the new PI, I am afraid to be loud, all the rooms are so close, and since BB is having a session, I feel I am being distracting. We nol longer bring our own pillows. At least we still have the kleenex.

    • Otto: I doubt very much you screaming your head off at the Primal Institute would be disruptive. On the contrary I feel it would do quite the reverse, and be encouraging to whomever was in the next room.

      Of course, there’s always going to be a reluctance to break that habit we each of us had to learn when we were little. Just, as best you can, let it break out of you. It seems to me you’re on the brink of doing it. Go for Otto.

      In my last response to you I said … and I quote:- “what exactly our is “NATURE” “. it should have read:- what exactly is our “NATURE”.


  47. Men with knives, in dreams, can also be actually that men with knives operated on one. I had a hernia fixed early in my life. I am getting chills here. Maybe it was not so much the knives, but figures in the dark. In the dark because maybe my eyes were shut under anesthesia. not sure. interesting stuff. You might see the figures before actually going under. and of course your body does feel the knives even though you are anesthetized. i think. i have to comment on everything. i am such a know-it-all bitch. ha! well, it actually did not help that one of my aunts said that a black man stabbed someone in the back in some public bathroom. somewhere. some day. thanks aunt e for that info, now everytime i take a leak in a public bathroom, i am reminded of that info.

  48. You said sacrifice. beavis and butthead laughter. This is one thing about mankind that is under-investigated. apparently, all or a lot of peoples have engaged in animal and even human sacrifices. even those pesky jews and arabs! ha! do any of the other animals on this planet do that? not to my know-it-all bitch-ass knowledge. anthropologists like to define men as the only animal that uses tools, until they found out chimps used twigs to eat ants. i think the real definition of men, is they ritually kill. actually, animals probably do ritual killiings too. at least they have rituals, like sophie the dachshund scratches the grass vigorously with her paws sometimes after defecating, for who knows why, is there a reason?. never mind i better go to sleep now.

    • Jo says:

      Hi Otto, I know why dogs scratch the ground after defecating – to make sure the scent of it is spread/wafted as far as possible, to show other dogs the latest ‘news’ ( all coded within the poo) of what they’ve eaten, where they are etc.. comically it’s a vestige of the original act, as they often point the ‘drift’ in the wrong direction, I’ve they often are not sending the scent downwind!

  49. Jo says:

    After talking about an ex husband with BB a couple of days ago, I dreamed that night of the ex and how there was no trust, more of a mixture of older and more recent memory than a dream…a horrible uncomfortable experience.
    Yesterday I had (for once in my isolated life!) a day with my friend from France, with shopping, cafes, catchup, fun, able to be open, and telling her about my so far fruitless search for love online… then WHAM – horrible dream last night.. someone I met and trusted turned out to be a psychopath (my friend had said that word earlier) and I felt so TRAPPED
    … I suddenly found he had terrible weapons – particularly a machete, and was chasing me in order to hack me. From the top of a sort of open area in a castle I ran down down and down a spiral staircase and felt I’d got away but was terrified still, and this is where I became conscious of my body BURNING with pain…all story ceased, and I was just HURT/FEAR, aware, and it was like that for a while and eventually wore off.
    This latter feeling/burning sensation is not new, I mean, it emerges periodically.
    * * * * *
    I have heard that the characters in the story part of a dream are (usually?) all oneself, which makes sense.
    I know in my childhood I was thwarted and warped, punished and suppressed, and my brother and I were quarrelsome, and I had vicious reactions at times. (Anger).
    BB said to me a decade or so ago “It’s a miracle you didn’t turn out to be a serial killer!) which sorted resonated in a muffled kind of way! Now I get it!

  50. swisslady says:

    Hey Jack, I hear you and I agree with you on a couple of points. I also think religion and the church serve to control the masses. I was raised a Catholic but pretty much stopped going to church when I was 16. I thought the people in church were hypocrites. In fact, I’m appalled what the church is trying to sell to the people. I’m particularly horrified by the guilt-tripping and fear-mongering in the Catholic religion. But in my mind, ‘the church’ is completely separate from God and the spiritual aspect of human existence. I do believe there is a God, not the man-made God that sits on a cloud and points the finger. What I believe in can be called Source, pure Energy, eternal Light. This Energy is omnipresent and without it, nothing can exist. It permeates everything there is. It manifests itself as the essence of a living being, sometimes called ‘the soul’ in humans. In physics, the law of conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it transforms from one form to another. So, when our physical body dies, our essence (soul) is released. Our bodies die but not our essence/energy. That is why I believe we live forever. Of course, I also believe in reincarnation. That’s when the essence then takes residence in another being. That’s only to really tick you off 🙂

    • swisslady says:

      I do like the progressive views of Pope Francis. There might be some hope for the Catholic Church yet. That said, I doubt that any religion is any better, or any worse for that matter, than the other.

      • Patrick says:

        This was before Pope Francis (2003) not sure which Pope it was. But it seems to be a factor in the world now the Catholic Church is most often on the side of peace the “Jewish Church’ if I can use that phrase (or is it the Jewish Race) seems to be always on the side of war. And that is why I even got interested in the ‘holocaust’ I noticed they were always on the side of war and ‘justified’ it on the basis of the ‘holocaust’ which made me wonder and question that too…………………and to my own satisfaction at least I have found it to be full of lies and exaggerations and it has become a form of nursing endless resentment and even hatred which logically enough leads to more wars. I asked Gretchen to seriously think about this but from all indications she has not just bolstered her very flawed understanding………………..the opposite of being ‘open’ however much ‘therapy’ is being done……………….

      • Bernadette: It is interesting to me that Pope Francis is considered progressive. I feel that comparatively this may be so. However, just this very morning I read that Pope Francis is now saying that females can now be deacons of the church. Not priest. Why not priest? Are only men are so divinely inspired?????? What’s so fucking special about maleness. Didn’t we ALL come out of a female body???. All this church and religious nonsense. In my essay on the subject. I point out (among’st the many other incongruities) that we were IMBUED with the GOD notion, out of fear, terror, horror. The love and caring is added as ‘icing on the cake’ once we’ve bought into all this stupidity.

        If there’s such a being, other than a pure neurotic thinking, and all the benevolence. and he’s all so wise and powerful … why all the horrors of wars and the rest of human conflict that abounds???? Sounds like a real nasty fucker to me.

        One last note (from that essay) The only reason that one hopes for everlasting life somewhere else, or worse still that I/we might get re-incarnated, is that this life was not good enough; so lets hope for a second chance. IMO, Nope!!!! THIS IS IT. … all there is.


  51. swisslady says:

    Hey Leslie, thank you for your nice welcome! I liked the Kaleo music video you posted – touching sound and lyrics, amazing venue. I definitely would like to hear more about how fear affects your life. Fear is my constant companion, so I understand!

    In fact, I’m glad you mentioned fear. I’m trying to figure out how the dynamics of my neurosis work, with that I mean, I want to be clear how my fear and anger are connected. You might have read my other posts above, where I talked about the angry feeling I had in connection with my mother. After that feeling I felt happy and free of fear for a few days. I don’t think I knew before how easy and carefree life could be. My thoughts were clear, I made decisions easily, I expressed my opinions decidedly, and without hesitation, but mostly, I was not angry anymore and interacting with people was effortless. But then something happened – details don’t matter – that put me in a position where I ended up feeling powerless, no matter what I did (sometime life is like that, argh – unfair, wrong). My first reaction was anger, which I expressed, and again it connected with the incident with my mother. It seemed to release some pressure but ‘the carefree me’ took a hit. I was left with a profound feeling of powerlessness. And what I noticed over the last two days is that fear has been sneaking up on me again. Normally when my mind is consumed with fear, I withdraw, and when I withdraw, anger builds up inside. So, what I’m trying to learn here is that, in my case, powerlessness creates fear, unexpressed fear creates anger, unexpressed anger creates headaches, self-hatred, a spiraling down to helplessness and self-pity, out of control = powerlessness. And here we have the vicious cycle! My job now it to interrupt this cycle. Express anger. Feel powerless. Face the fear. I’m glad I have a session coming up! 🙂

    I agree with you, what a difference it makes, at least we can recognize what we’re feeling and hopefully can get to a resolution about it. I wish the clowns who currently play the political arena had some degree of introspection – it would make all the difference!

  52. Margaret says:

    > Otto,
    > I have heard somewhere there are also scent glands on the dog’s feet, so their scratching the floor might be another way to identify themselves as proper owners of the territory, on top of the pile of crap that already sends out a similar message.
    > I used to have a German sheperd that looked always for a spot, a plant or rock or whatever higher than the surrounding ground, to deposit her pile on, quite funny sometimes to see a small bush bending under you know what, waving it in the breeze, a clear and loud scent flag so to say..
    > about the dreams about surgery, I once dreamed a tiger actually bit in my ankle, and in this dream the pain was acute and sharp, as opposed to other dreams where the feeling might be terrifying but there is rarely real physical pain.
    > this time it woke me up and it struck me it had been right on the spot where my ankle had been operated twice after being broken.
    > I have been operated many times, but maybe in this case the anesthesia was less heavy or something?
    > M

    • swisslady says:

      Hi Margaret, did you dream this during the surgery? It seems interesting that you would feel pain in a dream. I was once attacked and chewed up by dogs in a dream but didn’t feel any pain, only terror. If your dream was during surgery, you may have been under conscious sedation not a general anesthesia. This light sedation may have allowed you to feel some pain and your brain interpreted it with something it can relate to. Or if you want to go real far out: Maybe your “dream” overlapped with a memory from a previous life (that’s just my take, I believe in reincarnation).

  53. Phil says:

    Not feeling good today, very tired, glad it’s Friday. Also I need to get out in my car primal box and
    play some music to help with sad feelings. Those seem to come up for no specific reason except that I’ve got a large backlog.

    • swisslady says:

      Phil, whatever it takes, primal box on wheels sounds good to me. I still drive out past Malibu sometimes and park along the mostly desolate Thornhill Broom Beach and let my feelings wash over me. Safe in my primal box on wheels. I find music very helpful with connecting to sadness. Take care!

  54. Sylvia says:

    Margaret, I recall in some of the early primal literature that Janov said surgery is recoverable (retrievable) or relive-able by bits much later. Who knows.
    Leslie, that video in the volcano reminded me of the eeriness, other worldliness of Bruce Willis movie, Armageddon. Seems like those musicians are taunting Mother Nature, huh.

    • Patrick says:

      Syvia – Janov has said lots of things always check with your own experience first and last. Most all of what he says if taken literally is quite likely to lead you astray. I have had that experience as have many many others imo. Not to say he does not have an important point but he is a very flawed messenger. Just look at the ‘results’ he basically just about totally fucked up a promising notion.

      • Sylvia says:

        I would have to check with those who have said they have relived parts of their surgery to know if it were true. There was a writing about it in one of Janov’s books by a gal who recalled the surgeon being rough with her ‘insides’ and the feeling of his being inconsiderate to her even though it was all under anesthesia.

        I think people can misinterpret what he says in his writings because he is talking to people as if they were already straight and real. Otherwise we listen with our own feelings and hurts. Only now can I read the primal writings objectively and understand them.

        I believe the therapy or theory has changed. In the beginning defenses her not respected as they are now, because we know they were important to survival and should be given up only with careful guidance.

        I feel a lot of people have been helped by the therapy. Those with ADD, those with addiction, people who have been abused as children, all speak about the relief of reliving their traumas.
        And me, ; I’ve grown and felt here with this group participation and I also find the Janov writings very helpful. Life is better now.
        You have to read the primal writings with an open mind and not as something you go after to criticize. Maybe after one has felt they will have more meaning. Because therapy isn’t based on writings, it’s based on feeling first.

  55. Margaret says:

    > Bernadette,
    > no, it was not during surgery, actually it was years later.
    > it was the sharp pain I felt during the dream that struck me as really unusual, and then I realised myself it was at the exact spot of two long incisions in my left ankle, one made one year after the first to remove one of the bolts that had been put inthere to repair the damage of a judo accident.
    > maybe the fact of having undergone it twice reinforced the trauma enoug to have to relive it again in a dream, as it is the only one of my surgeries in that case that had that effect.
    > have had a whole lot of all kinds of physical experiences in dreams, but this in my memory was the only one with sharp pain.
    > tastes, smells, colours, music, singing, laughter, wind, cold or warm, you name it, all not unusual in my dreams, not to mention the emotional feelings, but never physical pain except in this one case.
    > M

  56. Larry says:

    Subscribing. No wonder there have been no blog comments to my email in-box recently.

  57. Leslie says:

    Hi Bernadette,
    Wow your post up there about fear has a lot for me to think about…
    Have I ever known life without fear? It is hard to know.

    I hate the body sensation of fear – in my gut – with such an unease as it begins. With food being my cure-all for many years I numbed myself to it and could then dwell exclusively on how bad and inadequate I was. How if I could only get my body together I could conquer so much.

    Thank god Primal Therapy and Gretchen have helped me for so many years get better and better.
    I know fear with repulsion – just smelling my dad being home from the front door, and the dread of what could be coming. Be it his drunken erratic behaviour &/or his abusive torment or could it be his intelligent conversation perhaps this time…

    I know in acting out fear by trying to show no fear I hitchhiked by myself from Vancouver to San Diego when I was perhaps 19 or so. I in fact slept on the beach in Santa Barbara back then until I was ushered to the Salvation Army one night. In direct contrast now is the safety, kindness, acceptance and love of the the Retreats there that I adore.

    I hate fearing what life can throw at us, our loved ones and friends.

  58. Margaret says:

    > something seems to be coming to the surface for me, in a slow and painful way.
    > last night I dreamed about being travelling, but suddenly noticing my travel bag was missing, somebody must have taken it away. everybody was leaving, bit by bit, and my feeling of desperation mounted more and more. when I started explaining to someone, how it was gone, and how also my handbag had been stolen, I started crying, at the same time feeling ashamed about possibly sounding like too weak or wanting to get attention, and at the same time feeling the rising awareness of my amount of despair and sadness.
    > the next dream was drug related, a long struggle to score something, but then finally, which seems a good sign, not feeling very eager to take it.
    > then another dream, first searching my dad and (dead) husband, then finding the last one and wanting and getting some dope from him,trying to hide that from people behind me.
    > in between the dreams I was laying awake, feeling or exploring a kind of uniasiness Leslie described, in my gut, when imagining agreeing to go to the seaside for a few days in june with a friend, and how that idea triggers fear, and a mounting feeling of threat.
    > all day long I seem to feel a mixture of sadness and fear, which I am probably trying to keep at bay for the moment, trying to function.
    > there seems an ongoing aspect of fear of not being able to cope, or losing all control, and I hate the idea of leaving my two cats here for more than one night, their first time..
    > probably more for my own sake, they are my grounding at this time, together with the studying, to keep hopelessness away, or at bay..
    > it tends to be paralizing, don’t feel like booking a session for some reason, but will buddy on sunday, which will hopefully open up things a bit.
    > maybe part of the feeling is I can’t permit myself to stop fighting, despite feeling I can hardly cope.
    > and the amount of sadness about the loss of most of my eyesight is so huge, the loss so all encompassing, the joy of seeing and exploring the world, the capacity to communicate and make eye contact, the freedom to move and all those ways things used to be fun and aren’t so much anymore.
    > and all the worries while doing stuff anyway, and the fear.
    > and the feeling my hope to ever find a loving companion again is futile.
    > so sad.
    > M

  59. Margaret says:

    > the writing of my comment opened up the gates enough to allow me to have a cry, which feels like a relief in itself, although it was not very long.
    > thanks, so glad the blog is back to talking about feelings
    > M

  60. Leslie says:

    So glad you could begin to, and then continue to describe what is there for you Margaret. Your dreams sound so torturous with what would be some of my worst scenarios and beyond…Keep coming forth as you can as how much better to have it out than in – as you well know!
    ox L

  61. Jo says:

    My friend left yesterday, and I knew I felt sad… My trait is to then push the feeling away, and so the crying came in a dream last night… ‘don’t leave..’
    Today, ‘keep busy’ … no immediate plans for seeing anyone….feel so bereft… ate too much… go for a walk… people everywhere connecting or walking their beloved dogs……can finally cry..
    Yes, I too am glad for the blog to express this somewhere. Sigh….

  62. swisslady says:

    I’m in a different frame of mind this morning, completely out of whack. In my dream last night we lived in a fantastical world, one with flying machines straight out of Star Wars. As unfamiliar as the environment was, the feelings in the dream were familiar to me: Betrayal. My sister trying to steal my boyfriend. My boyfriend wanting her more than me. These dynamics are so familiar in my life, someone taking something from me that is important to me. Being lied to and betrayed. Trusting the wrong people. Not being able to trust. This is the direct aftermath of being betrayed by my parents at a very young age.

    First: I suspect by opening up in this blog as I have been doing lately, is bringing up some stuffed down feelings that urgently need dealing with.
    Second: expressing deep-seated anger about my mother recently has lifted the lid to the underlying pain of being lied to and betrayed.
    Third: additional feelings/memories; my younger sister was born and “stole” my mother from me. My mother loved her more than me. (Outch!)
    Fourth: I have acted this out often by trusting the wrong people in the past (boyfriends, girlfriends, coworkers, you name it)
    Fifth: how does one deal with the aftermath of betrayal?

    All I can say, I’m out of whack. I’m stunned. I can’t breathe. And yet, the last thing I need to do now, is withdraw into my safe space where no-one can touch me. I’ll keep blogging… So glad you guys are here!

    • Bernadette: A suggestion … try just crying about the current situation … if you can.

      Not saying it will work but it MIGHT be worth a try.


      • swisslady says:

        Jack, good suggestion. I pounded the cushions in anger for a bit and it brought up some tears. This is really deep seated and hard to deal with for me. It seems to represent the total devastation of me, for some reason. I will give it another try with the crying. We have a session tomorrow, so I will definitely bring it up and hopefully can deal with some of it then.

  63. swisslady says:

    Jack, Pope Francis is a lot more progressive than any of his predecessors. He is doing his best to bring change to the church in increments. You know as much as the next guy around the block, that you can’t force change. You have to take it in steps.

    There is nothing special to “maleness” although men seem to still think so. It’s an old notion from back when man thought that having the bigger biceps entitles him to subdue the woman. In current society, this notion seems to be still strongly ingrained. Inequality in wages. Minimal representation of women in high offices. Man controlling the woman’s body/ abortion rights. You get the gist. If you want a most current example, look at the many Bernie supporters who would rather vote for Trump than Hillary or not vote at all, should she be the nominee. Could it have a wee bit to do with the fact that she is a woman?

    Your troubles seem to be with the man-made God, which you insist doesn’t exist, yet you keep having feelings about ‘him’. As I said, I don’t believe in this man-made God, but just for argument’s sake, if such a God existed, let me say this: It is not God that wages war, it’s people. It is not God that causes famine; it’s the greediness of people. It’s time for you and the rest of the world to stop blaming God for the “human conflicts” and take responsibility for your own actions. If you think that God can make it all good, then maybe you are projecting your feelings and wishes on ‘him’ but maybe you should focus these needs on mommy. Maybe the “real nasty fucker” is, in fact, your daddy? You, a so-called non-believer, is just as neurotic as the believer!

    So you think this life is good enough? In spite of all the horror and injustice in the world? You think there could be no improvement? You don’t think you could do better next time? You don’t have anything more to learn or contribute? Believing in reincarnation is actually a harder choice than a one-time gig. People who believe in reincarnation take responsibility because they know they will be back. They know that they can’t just exploit the world for as long as they are here and then have a clean getaway and leave the mess to the next generation.

    There is much more than meets the eye 🙂 That’s my take and I’m sticking to it! Love you dearly,
    — Bernadette

    • Bernadette: Quote:- “Jack, Pope Francis is a lot more progressive than any of his predecessors.” Maybe, but for me that is no consolatiomn, for such a repressive organisation

      Another quote:- “Your troubles seem to be with the man-made God”. I wasn’t aware that I had troubles with God, Everlasting life, or Re-inczrnation, BUT I will investage it. I do feel the more these issues get written or talked about, the more we humans are unable to transcend this major part of what I contend is, one of the greatest holds on ‘neuirosis’.

      Yet one more quote:- “So you think this life is good enough? In spite of all the horror and injustice in the world” No!!!!! I don’t think that at all. What I did write was that “this is it …… all there is”. One of the comment I make in my essay, on the question of worshiping, this being; is:- the propensity to grant it as his/her/it;’s doing for all the good that takes place between us humans; BUT refrain from denouncing he/she/it for all the bad that goes on. If God is all powerful why does he/she/it permit all this bad stuff to take place … and don’t give me all this B S about free will … when in-fact we neurotics abuse this “free will” to our own detriment. It’s the act of BELIEVING that is the root of it all, when ‘believing’ means WE DON’T KNOW. A figment of our neurotic imagination IMO.


  64. Phil says:

    I wonder how many people change religious beliefs because of therapy. In another primal group I took part in there were a number of people who had past life regressions, or they believed they did. That was a big turn off for me with that group as it seemed to me craziness not therapy.
    Once someone has such a regression, he or she is then a strong believer in past lives. I never heard of a case where subsequent therapy cleared that up.

    • swisslady says:

      Past life regression – I can see how that could work. Especially with physical pain or injuries. I’ve had an experience that helped heal my shoulder. But I decided that I had enough to deal with in the present life, so I’m not going there anymore. But definitely, once you’ve had a past life experience, it opens up a whole other dimension and you’re hooked.
      Good question about changing religious beliefs after Primal. I wonder how many people go back to their religion or pursue a spiritual path because they couldn’t handle the pain that came up in therapy. Primal aside, I’ve seen a few people change for the good after they took up a spiritual path by way of meditation. Maybe they are still neurotic, but they seem to be happier and kinder with other people. So, who am I to judge? I don’t think Primal and spirituality are necessarily mutually exclusive.

    • Phil: My own brother had what often Barry sites as an epiphany, reliving event, but explained it terms of “a meeting with God. I do believe that there were many historical examples of people having reliving event, but equally rationalized it afterwards as a God experience, Saul of Taurus, Thomas of Aquino and many others. My brother after learning about Primal Therapy from me realized it was not a God experience, but a reliving of his own past.

      As was my own case, having been brought up to be a devout Christian, it is very hard to shake the notion and we do all in our power to keep it that way. I know from my nown expereince of having a very horrific reliving expeerience before I knew of therapy and/or Janov that there is this very deep desire to explain it. Not only because of the terror but also because there is no prior example to judge the experience. In my case on first reading just the introduction to “The Primal Scream” I threw the book in the air and yelled out “I’ve got it”, and could’nt put the book down after it, and read it twice, just to make sure I got it right on first reading.

      It impresses me to this day that Arthur Janov didn’t jump to some rational explanation after seeing Danny Wilson have on. He sure could have done so with his prior 17 years of practice.


  65. Larry says:

    First I need to do some housekeeping. I had reactions and wanted to respond to things written by a number of people here, but didn’t have the energy or time then.

    Jack, thank you for the article you wrote that began this new blog page. Barry than you for your insightful response/supplement to Jack’s article. Your third last sentence stood out for me in putting in perspective the benefits of Primal Therapy. Specifically you wrote “Once our feeling capacity is restored or on the mend, we do not find the Garden of Eden. Our painful histories coupled with an often brutal and insensitive world can make life not always easy and certainly not always blissful.” but we are more able to get for ourselves the things that make life worth living.

    It is good to see recently on the blog there is much sharing of fears, feelings and insights. That makes me feel less alone that you are there, as there is no one here where I live who grasps the inner life that we on the blog wrestle with and help each other with. Bernadette, I much value your comments.

    My health had deteriorated all winter, to where it became normal for me to wake up aching, to go through the day aching, too have more and more difficulty breathing, to be more tired and weak as days and weeks went by. A month ago I began taking creatine to try to stop muscle loss and rebuild muscle. About 10 days later my rheumatologist prescribed an additional drug to hopefully help bring inflammation under control. Since then I’ve improved dramatically. My strength and breathing capacity are getting back to normal, for which I’m relieved and happy. People tell me that they see I am recently more alive than I’d been. Of course, life is also getting easier and I feel less isolated now that Spring has arrived.

    I don’t want to just rely on the drugs to control symptoms though. I want to help my body to heal and return to normal immune system functioning. My naturopathic doctor told me that they’ve got best results for helping people with autoimmune disorders by having them adopt a Paleo autoimmune diet. I bought a couple of the books, am seriously looking into the diet, will have to make changes in mine, and am motivated.

    It also seemed that the inflammation, pain and difficulty breathing tended to peak in tandem with a rising feeling, and subsided a bit for a while after I had the feeling. But overall, my health had been getting worse over time.

    Now that I am feeling much better thanks no doubt to the additional prescribed drug, this Saturday evening I feel very sad that I am so alone in my life and have very much to do to build my life so that I am not so alone, while accepting that on a certain level I will always be alone. My aloneness is a most difficult thing for me to cope with, and I am writing here tonight to try to help myself–through you and the blog.

    Margaret, the fires in Alberta that you hear about on the news, are I’m guessing about 800 km north of where I live. I’m not worried about that fire ever harming me, but the smoke does come this far and thick enough to turn the sun red and cause breathing problems. Saskatchewan will have its own growing forest fire problem likely this summer, causing days or weeks of thick smoke in Saskatoon’s air. I recently bought a couple of very good portable air filter machines for my condo so that I’ll have clean air to breathe while I’m at home. I have them on all the time now, as the air will be thick with pollen soon to which I am allergic.

    The air filters sense the degree of air cleanliness, in response to which the fan speeds up or slows down accordingly. They’ve been operating silently almost all the time since I got them, even when I have the balcony door open to let in cool air, which tells me the air outside is pretty clean at the moment. One time they increased from silent to slow to medium fan speed for several minutes. I discovered it was because smoke was coming under the door into my condo, from the common hallway from someone smoking in their condo. I love my air cleaners.

    Okay. I don’t feel quite so alone now. Time for me to get ready for bed. Thanks for being who you are and being there, fellow bloggers.

    • Phil says:

      Larry, I’m glad to see you back on the blog as I’ve missed your presence.
      It’s good to hear that you making some progress with health issues. I’m also glad and feel more alive now that spring is here.

  66. swisslady says:

    Hi Leslie, how much I can relate! Your question “Have I ever known life without fear?” I can honestly answer with NO. My response to the question on the application for therapy (what brings you to therapy) was: Fear.

    Like you, I also stuffed my fear down with food for many years, then hated myself for it. Early in my therapy, I remember once eating an entire half-gallon of chocolate ice cream plus a packet of chocolate chip cookies in one go! I don’t do that anymore, thanks to therapy!

    You describe your physical reactions to fear so well; the icky feeling in the stomach, the repulsion you felt with your father… terrifying. Not exactly a place to feel cozy and safe. It reminded me of sitting at the dinner table with my father at the end, and all he had to do was clear his throat and we children shut up. He didn’t drink but boy, was he a stern man, his violent outbreaks just around the corner, if we were not careful. He once beat me to a pulp when I was not even three years old, and that was enough to keep me in the “good girl” mode for the rest of my childhood, I made sure not to provoke his rage again.

    My physical symptoms are mostly tightness in back and neck, headaches, can’t think clearly when I’m scared – petrified. I also relate to the counterphobic behavior. My most recent ‘deed’ was to work on the east coast for two years, just to prove that I can live alone and be grown-up. Well, I did it and I survived and learned a lot. I don’t have the need to do that anymore. I think my next fear to tackle is to be closer to people and explore my trust issues, which scares the $h!t out of me.

    Your hiking trip is most impressive, Leslie! Reminds me of the movie “Wild” with Reese Witherspoon, based on a real story as experienced by Cheryl Strayed. She had a few primal scenes in the movie and had some interesting things to say about fear. One partial line she said I wrote down in my journal “…her wounds came from the same source as her power.” We primal people already know this if course 🙂 If you have not seen the movie yet, I recommend it.

    How do you deal with fear in everyday life?

    • Phil says:

      All this discussion on fear has had me thinking about what I go through and tend to call anxiety. Maybe it’s the same thing. It’s mainly people who have given me anxiety but
      I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress with that. Whereas I used to avoid so many people and situations, now I don’t do that as much. Underneath are the need feelings to connect with. The primary source for me is being abandoned, neglected, and punished by my mother.
      I also have a fear of heights. I drive over a big bridge everyday to work and sometimes
      there are men climbing up high doing maintenance. If I imagine that’s me, my palms immediately start getting sweaty. I couldn’t see myself doing that job. I can, however, go up high on ladders and do other things so this isn’t a disabling fear. If I have something secure to hold on to, that helps a lot. I have no idea where this fear comes from.

  67. no, the most racist people are the vietnamese. and the mexicans. they often sneer at the rest of the peoples because they cant hoard potatoes properly. the proper way to hoard potatoes is to hire a gang of docile tigers ridden by monkeys. the tigers are docile but they do bite as an expression of love of their monkey masters. anyway the monkeys trade the sacks of spuds with arabs and jews, and get green bananas in exchange. since arabs and jews can’t digest potatoes, but must subsist mostly on chickpeas (which my wife’s sister thinks are throw-away foods), they can hoard those potatoes for long periods of time, especially since the dry wind in the deserts of the middle east doesn’t allow potatoes to rot. The potatoes stay hoarded until the potato market rises when westerners decide to desert the caveman diet and go back to eating carbs and creatine. Then A’s and J’s barter with the monkeys back for those now-yellow bananas for a lesser price. Then they can either eat those bananas, because they go well with hummus and pita, or they contribute them to woody allen for one of his comedies. slipping-on-a-banana sight-gags are a staple for americans of all ages. Of course, as usual, Jesus and his father are totally happy with this kind of lifestyle, since helicopters are not shooting civilians and kurds are not shooting down helicopters. but do we really want to be reborn into a new life, after traveling in the skies for years as ghosts, looking down at loved ones and wishing that their weak ghostly powers could help their living relatives and friends with all their worldly troubles. well that last part totally made no sense now, did it.

    • Patrick says:

      Makes about as much sense as anything you might see on CNN or CSPAN……………….maybe on Russia Today (RT) just a LITTLE more sense imo………..

  68. I dont know if i believe in reincarnation or not. but i cracked up when i was listening to the animal psychic some months back, and she was telling a bereaved caller that the caller’s recently deceased pet would come back into the caller’s still-living pet, and both me and z laughed because what was going to happen to the soul already inside of the living pet, it would be getting crowded in that body with 2 souls in there. Well, it was funny at the time. SORREEEE! Anyway phd kid #1 going to Ohio to work and probably take Z with him, at least for a while. they want me to go to ohio. i cant go away from the pt though.

  69. i dont like Hillary for president, nor the hp lady, nor the alaska lady. slick willie rubbed off onto hillary and i am not sure if it is her fault that the libya incident non-response was her fault or not, at least the repubs seem to think so. i do trust that lady senator elizabeth warren, but rarely are good people running for president.

  70. It is comical when kid#1’s big dog sends a pile of dirt flying, when she runs her scent glands after using the grass toilet. Especially when she sends the dirt into someone’s parked car at the park. She has powerful legs and i can hear the little rocks as they hit the metal of the actually, it is more embarrasing than comical then i have to get the f out of there, and try to make sure she is not aimed at a car next time.

  71. Jo, you have hit it on the head. Dog poo is the original universal language. not much translation needed, and no dog, including sophie the dachshund, will turn away from another dog’s pile without a good long sniff, no matter how bad it might smell to humans.

  72. Jack i will take your comment on the nature of mankind under advisement. my opinion is that according to national geographic movies, male deers and other animals like chimps fight with each other, over females or territory/food or who is going to be leader or who knows what, i was too stoned to remember what they said so many years ago. i am saying man is just another animal, and animals fight. well, maybe not squirrels, i only see them playing with each other, I dont know. men just do things on a grander scale. one of the most primaled-out persons i know feels the same fighting spirit that i do, when some asshole cuts in front of me too closely on the road. the neurosis, in my opinion, is those leaders who always have to have more and are thus willing to let their sons kill and be killed for tribe and country and greed. well just some random thoughts that dominate my thoughts 20 hours a day, when not thinking about other horrible thughts.

  73. swisslady says:

    Larry, I’m so glad you’re feeling better and are back on the blog. I am concerned about your isolation and its affect on your health. How very scary! I hope the medications help you recover. Please do take care of yourself!

    I don’t know about Paleo diet but I have experience in physical pain caused by inflammation. This is what helps me: cut out all sugar (including bread and pasta made with refined flour), fruit juices, dairy, caffeine. Replace with brown rice and whole grain or sprouted bread, preferably non-wheat, eat fresh fruit, steamed vegetables and, if you can stomach them, beans (chickpeas, black, pinto, etc). I don’t eat meat very often, my body prefers fish or mostly vegetarian foods. If I stick to this diet, my body is less inflamed, my joints hurt less.

    Have you tried relaxation meditation to ease your pain? I have been doing this for decades now and it really, really helps me. You lie down or sit comfortably, take a few deep breaths and then tell yourself to relax. You start with your feet, then progress to your ankles, then your calves, your knees, etc., until you reach your head. Take as much time as you need. I often fall asleep during this exercise, which is fine by me 🙂

    Another method is to just sit and focus your attention on the area that hurts. Don’t try to heal it or change it. Just pay attention to it, observe it, breathe into it. You will find after a while the pain will go away. Sometimes the pain will intensify first, then just keep breathing into it until it eases off.

    Of course the best way to ease physical pain is to cry. Jack would agree :-). Crying releases endorphins, sure you know.

    I hope you don’t consider me presumptuous for offering this advice. It is not the answer to all your prayers of course, but all I can say, these methods are helping me a lot, and I thought I’d share. In addition, Larry, try to get some hugs here and there. And please, keep blogging!

  74. Leslie says:

    Thanks Bernadette for your involvement and care here.
    “How do I deal with fear in everyday life?” you asked. I think I have and try to fill my life with as much love, wonderful people and nurturing activities as I can. I am very lucky and grateful to have a husband I adore, good family who are open to emotional growth and friends I can and do count on.
    Yoga is something that I really like and need, and make time to do.

    When my fear is provoked I don’t run as much as I used to. I feel, think, say what I can. It is no longer like a big black hole I am petrified to go near.
    Perhaps I have to feel small parts of it along with my present day supports. It is still hell and scary and I hate it and often beg and plead for it to go away- but I also feel a little strength and comfort having the capacity to reach in and out now – with all I have absorbed in therapy.

  75. PT prerequisite course of study:
    DADDY saeduni
    باباجان daddY
    به من کمک کنید Help me!
    ahh crap he was dead before i was born. i will never pass that class. that’s why it is taking me so long.

  76. Sylvia says:

    Hey Larry, glad you are doing better. I use to listen and read along on a podcast given by Phoenix Helix with Eileen Laird. It is autoimmune protocol and paleo diet. You can Google it. It helped me to hear about what others are doing. I seemed to have less inflammation giving up grains, but I think experimenting with what works for you is best. Good luck.

    Otto, if you wants to know about squirrels fighting, where I use to live the big male ground squirrels did fight.
    My neighbor and I wondered where they went during the cold weather and a squirrel expert (Google, of course) says they don’t hibernate but stay warm by huddling together in their burrows and eat on their 2 year bounty of nuts or seeds. The females nest together but the males are not tolerated until mating season and must bunk with their fellows to stay warm, putting aside their territorial instincts to fight.
    Just some nonessential info on a Sunday.

  77. swisslady says:

    I connected again with the raging anger today in the session. It started off in the present, with me asking Gretchen: how do I deal with powerlessness, the feeling I was left with last, after expressing anger at a present (unsolvable) situation. She said that I needed to get angry again. Okay, here we go: my anger was targeted at the morons in present life but soon it was evident that, in fact, my parents were the real target. I screamed and pounded the wall. They just don’t understand! I can’t get through to them! Morons! Then some interference from my birth process where I was stuck for hours, so I pushed with my head against the padded wall and screamed some more. That’s until my body was too tired to go on and I broke down on the floor where I cried and cried in agony. Again, the scene from my early childhood popped up, the lying and betrayal of my mother. I kept wailing, “My mommy, my mommy…” and only after a while was I ready to finish the sentence “…lied to me.” The agony of such a betrayal is unbearable. As the betrayed child, I understood right then and there that I would be sad for the rest of my life.

    We talked about that my mother’s lying and betrayal was much more painful than my father’s beating that took place right after. Even though at the time the violence against me was much scarier and, at times during therapy, enough to deal with, it now turns out that the lying and betrayal goes in fact much deeper and has a much longer lasting effect. The beating might have been physically painful, my father’s rage might have been the scariest thing ever experienced by me at the time. But the lying and betrayal has affected me in such a way that I am unable to trust people, especially women. A direct result of this damage in me is, that I kept trusting the wrong people later in life and kept recreating being betrayed (and molested, raped, abused, etc.). Well, I keep on going and hopefully I will be able to trust again, one of these days. Thank you, Gretchen!

    • Bernadette: What a great testament this comment of yours is for this therapy. You seem to be opening up so much. I’ sort of envious. Whatever that means.

      Take great care care. Jack

      • swisslady says:

        It seems to me that I am touching on some truly life altering feelings this time. As a result, I am not constantly angry anymore, I can love and laugh and be a lot more carefree than I can ever remember before. I only hope it sticks!!

    • Phil says:

      Sounds like such an amazing session you had! Thanks for sharing with us. Phil

      • swisslady says:

        Phil, thanks, yes, pretty hectic but effective 🙂
        I also wanted to comment on your post above about fear. You are so clear about your anxiety, and you gave me a lot to think about. I still avoid many people and situations, and I am now going to explore whether for me there are feelings of need underneath as well. I wouldn’t be surprised, considering my own history of abandonment, punishment, etc.

        I don’t have any experience with phobias. But I would be interested if any other bloggers know about them. Are they treatable and if so, how to approach it. I suppose climbing the Eiffel Tower wouldn’t be your dream vacation? 🙂

  78. swisslady says:

    Otto, I liked the comment you made about reincarnation of pets. It made me LOL!
    I like Elizabeth Warren, too. But Hillary is what we got. I think she is the best choice, shortcomings or not. Let’s keep the Dems in power…
    How very sad about your dad! I don’t have to tell you that your need for him is of course very real, even if you never had him. It takes as long as it takes. It’s not a race. Keep going!

  79. swisslady says:

    Hi Leslie, thanks for answering my question. In the seventies we used to have this term ‘vibes’ (vibrations) to describe a certain mood, and I think there is a lot to be said about that. I can see that bringing positive things into your life (love, caring people, nurturing activities, hubby, friends, yoga) would bring the vibes to a higher point and that would automatically supercede the lower vibes of fear. However, clearly, fear doesn’t go away just like that, and I think you have a good handle on dealing with it when it comes up, reaching in and out. You said before that “you hate it”, which I totally understand but it made me think. Because if we hate something, we actually give it power. Just a thought. I don’t have a solution 🙂 The one thing I’m grateful for is that the more I can feel the fear, the more empowered I am.

  80. Leslie says:

    Absolutely Bernadette I fear feeling fear and still do so much to not go there – both consciously and unconsciously…
    It is not a failure of the therapy but a testament to the individually and success of therapy that after all these decades with therapy I can live my life and can actually continue to enrich it. (Don’t worry I know you know this.)

    Anyway, in so appreciating that I can be grown -up, driving to work most days and feeling good – not needing euphoria but just “there” with good things to do at work – and even better things after & I love it. It is so ‘freeing’ as you say, to not be so thwarted by my past day in and out.

    However, its all there damn it! – all the fear, anger, sadness that lies suppressed & gets jostled by life’s frightening events and times and then the feelings that begin to rise and surface. If/when I pay attention it is such a good thing to feel and release whatever I can.

    Your recent account sounds amazing!

    • swisslady says:

      Leslie, it is both wonderful and encouraging to see how your hard work in therapy has paid off and you are able to lead a rich and fulfilling life, that in spite of residual fear, anger, and sadness. I see my life in sharp contrast to yours, in that I have been spending years and years being busy with – it seems to me – struggling and surviving. Only more recently I have been able to free up some mental and emotional space for myself so that I now can look forward to building up something more lasting and satisfying for myself. It is no coincident that such deep feelings as betrayal and trust are surfacing at this point, both tugging on my very foundation. All we can do is to keep going with the process. As my beloved sister keeps telling me: We are good, and we are only getting better!

  81. Margaret says:

    > Bernadette,
    > your comment about your session was very touching..
    > I am very grateful to my phone buddy who provided me with the safety yesterday to get in touch with my feelings of sadness, mostly in the present, about the loss of my eyesight.
    > also with the realisation of how deep down I can’t trust my mom, have to keep her emotionally somewhat at bay, which is how I feel at least, in order to protect myself.
    > it is sad to need to protect myself from what I crave most.
    > I feel she’d take advantage of it if I’d let her come too close.
    > It does not mean there are no good moments, we can be kind with each other, but the full trust is definitely not there anymore since a certain time in my childhood when I must have realized I needed to preserve some of my integrity at all cost, not allow her to invade it all, to control me..
    > it is a sad thing to realize now when she is going towards 86, with increasing signs of dementia, mostly with memory failure..
    > it is such a mix of feelings, love, need, rage and despair all tangled up in one big knot, where I can unravel bits and pieces of bit by bit..
    > it felt very good I could finally cry yesterday about my present sadness, it is so much harder to carry it under a heavy lid so to say.
    > it does take a safe person to talk to to get access to that kind of feeling, family is too close, as I want to protect them or there are other impediments, someone else I trust means the world at those moments, it makes such a difference.
    > got in touch with some of my fears too, just a bit of it.
    > thanks buddy!
    > M

  82. Jo says:

    Bernadette, at least it seems you can trust Gretchen ( I know that must have been a long part of the process) … enough to go so into those awful feelings…

  83. Margaret says:

    > Jo,
    > I like the way you frased that, ‘enough to go into those …’ with regard to trusting, Gretchen in this case.
    > it made me realize it is ok if things are not ‘perfect’, if some moments happened where one, me, felt treated impatiently for example.
    > it made me realize that can be ok, it does not need to be perfect, the generals are what counts, if one is capable and well-meaning and a good professional, there does not need to be a feeling of deep friendship, though of course the greater the trust the better things probably work.
    > of course part of the not trusting entirely is mostly significant as an old feeling red flag, most of the time anyway.
    > defensiveness, expecting to be rejected, all there…
    > but it is so true, trusting enough to go where one needs to go is what really matters.
    > we should find our close friends in our personal lives and in the best case love of course.
    > I am coming to a point where friendship seems the best option of all to go for, am giving up bit by bit on more seemingly..
    > will never do so completely I am sure, but hope certainly is diminishing as years go by..
    > start feeling more and more a retreat will probably be very useful, maybe because I did not go last year, things are pushing to get out…
    > sigh.
    > M

  84. Phil says:

    A big issue for me is being able to rely on other people, and not feel like I’m on my emotionally,
    with my inner life being a secret. I don’t know if that’s the same thing as trust, maybe it is.
    A few days ago I shared with my wife the insight I had talked about here, she seemed interested to hear about it. Rare that I would talk to her about this stuff. I told her how to react though, by not commenting on it at all, which she did honor, and it feels like a bit of a shift for us in a positive way.

  85. Margaret says:

    > Phil,
    > that is really nice to hear, it sounds like an important step you made.
    > M

    • Phil says:

      Margaret, It helps having done that and I should try to continue. She can understand,
      as I’ve explained why I went for therapy to begin with before we met, but doesn’t have much of an understanding as to why I’m doing it now.

  86. Phil says:

    I got to some sad feelings today. About my mother leaving, which really took place over a number of years; like 7 or 8. Something I’ve been feeling more and more intensely.
    Illness progressively took her away while she was still living at home. Ultimately she was nonfunctional physically and not present emotionally.
    Then she left to be taken care of in health care facilities, and finally passed away.
    The feelings I had were “don’t leave me…don’t leave me…come back” …etc. I have had a whole lot of this to deal maybe because it was such a long drawn out process; leaving unrealistic hope that it could be reversed. Yet I don’t remember getting anything much from her to begin with.

  87. swisslady says:

    Phil, that’s very sad. I cannot imagine having this uncertainty hanging over your head for years. So painful! It’s good that you were able to cry about it. Not only do you have to deal with your loss but also with the unfulfilled needs. I would imagine that not “getting anything much from her to begin with” would make the feelings even more painful.

    • Phil says:

      The truth is I don’t have any positive memories of my mother. A couple neutral ones but nothing good. There should be some, I imagine, but none come out.

  88. swisslady says:

    Jo, yes I trust Gretchen enough to let myself go into intense feelings. She has been an amazing therapist for me and us (my husband and I). I just recently told her that I trust her, and if I don’t, I know I’m in a feeling. And if for some reason I don’t know that I’m in a feeling, I wanted her to tell me. Which she probably won’t do but she’ll help me figure it out 🙂 You’re right, it has been a long process. In the end it comes down to trusting myself.

    Margaret, I liked the comments you made about your feelings in connection with your mother. They make a lot of sense. I have much to say about my feelings with mother but I will defer to another time when I’m in better shape. I also liked what you wrote about trust, mostly in connection with Gretchen. It is interesting to see the parallels between your feelings for your mother and your feelings for Gretchen.

    Phil, I think revealing your ‘secret inner life’ has a lot to do with trust! It means allowing someone to know about the feelings you have been protecting for a long time. Opening up to someone means validating your inner life, and then healing it.

    I’ve been feeling vulnerable and on edge all day and this afternoon I had another big feeling, deep crying about being lied to and betrayed again. It started off with a misunderstanding in the present but ended clearly with “mom and dad ganging up on me and lying and betraying me.” The pain was so intense, it hurt my brain. Anyway, I am extremely tired now. I have also noticed that something more is pushing up from behind the betrayal feelings. I’m not quite ready for it, because I sense it’s a nasty one.

  89. Jo says:

    This blog is somewhere for me to go to, to feel connected with you guys… identifying with your primal processes…as I am feeling vulnerable and awash with pain especially when I wake up in the mornings, especially this morning. Waking from a dream, with a storyline of betrayal from ex husband, feel FURY first, then crying, leading to calling for my mum..
    Somehow I stop myself from completely letting go….(it’s built in to) feel afraid of expressing myself … so I’m expecting another day of leaking tears and sadness.
    But this is better than yesterday, when I felt numb/paralysed.
    I think it’s partly triggered by having had two recent visits from friends, subsequently missing them, and now building up to some family coming for the weekend!
    I probably need to start writing in the new journal I’ve just been given, whose title is ‘The meaning of life’!

  90. swisslady says:

    Hey Jo, it’s so good that you are expressing yourself here. You are not alone! Someone is listening. I can very much relate to the feelings of betrayal. For me they are agonizing. You seem to have good access to the feelings and are able to cry. I’m glad you have friends and family visiting. Journal writing helps me a lot, so I recommend it. I’m really glad you’re reaching out.

    • swisslady says:

      What are you afraid would happen, if you could completely let go?

      • Jo says:

        Bernadette, it’s making noise, crying etc a afraid neighbours will hear. But in front of – whoever – parents, staff at boarding school, people in current life…unsafe/not done, not possible in present circumstances. I can and have let go at retreats, and in unique and seldom times when I’ve felt there’s no neighbors..

        • swisslady says:

          Jo, it’s a shame that you have to limit your expression of feelings because of neighbors… can you have a feeling in the car? For me that works really well. I drive to a private place and let loose. Although I can’t do it with all the feelings. Keep writing here!

  91. David says:

    I’m wondering if anyone here has experience with recovering memories associated with early trauma? A couple of years ago a new “theme” in my primal process opened up, triggered by a woman I met at a dance class, who I was very attracted to, but nothing has ever happened between us beyond a friendship level. In the feelings I found myself crying and screaming “no no no” over and over and over, but with no idea what it was about. It would be very intense. A couple of times when I left my bedroom window open while I was screaming, neighbours rang the police convinced someone was being murdered or tortured in my home. It was a bit surreal having the police then show up on two occasions at about 6am and insist on searching my property, room by room, and me trying to explain what was going on. Actually, I didn’t even go there trying to talk about primal therapy and they seemed pretty satisfied with an explanation of “anger management”…

    Then during about the 60th primal, it finally dawned on me (and I don’t know why it took so long) that this was really serious, and that something really bad must have happened to me for me to be screaming like this. Then the feeling changed “to please don’t do it”. In the feeling I could feel a resistance to saying these words, and could feel one part of me coaching this part that needed to speak that it was OK, that it was safe to express. Then in time the feeling changed to “please don’t do it daddy” with a very deep feeling of disgust. It then seemed pretty unequivocal to me that what I was (re)experiencing was rape by my father. As horrifying and as unbelievable as this is, it certainly explains a lot about my relationship with my father. How I had spent my whole life hating him, feeling like I couldn’t stand to be in the same room with him, and basically stopped talking to him from about the age of 14 or so. I could never make sense of how I felt towards him. I also made an unconscious pact with myself to be the opposite of everything he was. I have thought for some time now that I had been abused by him as a child sexually, but I thought maybe molestation, but I didn’t really suspect rape. I guess I thought that was just to extreme even for him. Well, I guess not…

    So, I am working through these feelings steadily, but still no actual memories have surfaced. I have a therapist, who I work with occasionally on skype, but I have been quite isolated and more and more feel the need to talk and share about what I’m going through, and to just connect with others in this process. I really very much appreciate what everyone has been sharing here, particularly recently! It’s very helpful to know what others are going through. Maybe I can add a little something to the mix.

    • Phil says:

      That is just so terrible what your father did. I’m very sorry about what happened to you.
      I have recovered some memories. They start out as very vague and very gradually become clearer. Others are ones I already had which have filled in with more details and the feeling context, as I discover why those particular memories stand out..
      I don’t really have any huge breakthroughs with memories, they tend to come on gradually with the feelings leading the way,

      • David says:

        Thank you Phil! Yes, the hugely detrimental effects this has had on my life, my health, my relationships is slowly becoming clearer. As a child I could not joyfully announce myself – my new self in this world – TO the world, as children want and need to do, but had to go into hiding, to protect myself because my family was not safe. My isolation began there. Being alone was the preferred option. Actually, the necessary one. The feelings this has engendered in me – that am worthless, dirty and nothing, I have a sense at least that these are feelings I have and not who I am.

        I’m also convinced my father similarly abused my younger sister. She had an eating disorder and was morbidly obese, and this is a known defense against sexual abuse.

        Re memory, intermittently,and for some time I’ve awoken in the night with pain in my behind and feeling that going to be the bathroom to relieve myself would help, only to find that I couldn’t. Nothing happened. I’m now sure this is nothing to do with any need to relieve myself, but is a component of a memory. It’s another piece of the puzzle.

        It’s encouraging to hear that you are making progress recovering memory, albeit slowly. I guess that’s the way of it, as with all aspects of healing.

  92. Jo says:

    David, this is the place, for sure..

    • David says:

      Jo: Yes, I see and feel a lot of empathy, clarity, sensitivity and experience here. Another place is the Yahoo Primal Support Group, which I have written to in the past and that has been very helpful, but it seems rather inactive at the moment. Plus I’ve written a little here before in the past, was at the PI years ago and know a few of the people here.

  93. Sylvia, that nonessential info on squirrels is great. They are such adorable animals. But maybe not as much as bullwinkles.

  94. I had another good cry at the PI last Saturday. More with the pushing up from my lower body into my head, maybe from the liver, when I cry. Pushing up into my head. I am thinking now, what a huge force it must have been, to push all my psychotic feelings down into my baby body. Feelings of being with my doting mom one day, at age 10 months, and then, later that day, she is gone from my life for good, and eventually I am taken to the murderer’s house to live for 8 months with my callous and uncaring aunt and uncle on my father’s side of the family, so my grandmother could attend to my mom who was laying paralyzed in an iron lung in the hospital. Anyway, I am not doing it purposely, the pushing, my body is doing it in tandem with the crying. Anyway, how can I word this? At some point during the crying, it was like a crack in the sky took place, and I could glimpse a totally forgotten universe of my life. Almost like in the shape of an eye. It was only a snippet but I feel like there are some major memories ready to be recognized. I can’t remember if I clamped down or not, I think I did because maybe I got too close to to the horror of the feeling/reality. I think it was a period of my very young years after my mom had died, and I returned to live with my grandma and her daughter, my teenage aunt, who was charged with taking care of me and my brother. I was less than 5 years old. So I was listening to a song over and over and over while crying. I was seeing that we were driving in a car, I have seen this vague memory before, something about an underpass. Driving in L.A. Nothing really clear to see. The song I listened to was not released till 1965, when I was like 13, so baby memories and teenage memories are clearly intermingled here. The song is probably something my then-older aunt would have listened to on the car radio. I have almost no memories of the era when my teenage aunt was taking care of us . Some vague memory about an apartment house. My grandmother kept an old color picture of my aunt when she was just a girl, on the TV for many years, next to my mom’s picture, so I kept seeing my aunt’s face in my mind as I was crying. Honestly, I have no recollection of what I cried about Saturday. Probably about my aunt, she was my next mommy. She took care of us after I came home from staying with the murderer for 8 months while my mom was dying of polio. Age 10 months to a year and a half. It was a relief to be with my aunt I guess. A nurturing cancer, from the house of women cancers. Nurturing with that old timey sarcastic 1940’s harshness, subdued, cant put it into words. 1965 I was just out of military school, military school was so harsh with angry adults and kids, which was a recreation of my early 8 months at the murderer’s house. The thing about the murderer’s house, I have been crying week after week, seeing the rooms in that house, aunt and uncle’s faces have become much clearer lately. So it all kind of fits, memory-progression-wise. I did kind of figure out why I listen to the same song over and over, besides the fact that it keeps me in the feeling, focused. We used to have an old stereo record player, the kind they had in the 50’s and the 60’s, where the 45’s would play over and over. Well I wrote some notes when I left the PI and I had an insight, but apparently I did not write everything down, and now it is days later and my memory is blurry. I might take my camera next time so I can video record my cry, and I could occasionally speak out as to what I am experiencing. As always, it feels good to cry, I might be getting snippets of relief, I am not sure what part relief plays in PT, but BB has asked me a number of times if I am getting any. I got euphoric relief back in 85, when I was much younger and not on antidepressants. Anyway, I know I am forgetting something, but I have been staring at a computer screen for 10 hours a day lately, looking at numbers numbers numbers. At least with excel and notepad, I don’t have to actually type the damn numbers too often, just copy and paste left and right. Why the fuck my boss wants to give the clinicians long numbers to name the new printers, instead of familiar wordy names, is beyond me. Whatever. Dumb fuck. I also figured out why, today, part of the reason that I push away my wife so completely these days. It’s because of losing so many pets lately, and now I know, and have for a while, I will lose her soon enough for good, into the black, and that is just absolutely horrible and I got very sad while walking outside at work about this. Well that is how I had to deal with loss so often in my life, push that feeling or person away. Or she will lose me, which will be sad for her, my ghost probably wont be sad or who knows. Who the fuck knows…Well, like my grandmother said to me once, with a rare show of how she really felt, it’s tough to get old.

    • David says:

      Otto, sounds like a lot is opening up for you. That’s amazing and sounds like it must be an exciting time! Your comment has a lot of energy. I relate to loosing my (birth) mother at a very young age and while I didn’t have military school, I was sent to boarding school. Which I imagine may have been similarly stern, strict, cold, aloof, insensitive. Kind of like my father, which was why he was probably so keen on the idea.

  95. swisslady says:

    David, I’m sorry that you had such a horrible experience. What amazes to me is that you kept on feeling it, on your own. That takes some courage and determination!

    I have had both, very good and moderate success with memory recovery. Depending on the incident. But I tend to agree with Phil that it is a gradual process, a little bit more is revealed with each feeling. Especially when the incident involves rape.

    When I started to remember being raped by an uncle when I was not even five years old, it all came out during a few primals. First going with him to a secret place and being seduced. Then the surroundings in details. Then the actual act, the visuals. Then the recovery of who it was, which up to this point I didn’t know. The smells, the feel of the clothes he wore, the glasses. Then the experience right after it happened, wanting to tell my mother but not being able to. I can pinpoint the day when it happened because it took place during a special family event.

    The second event, which is very hard to recover, is the potential molestation or oral rape by my father when I was not even three. I say potential because I’ve had only a few flashbacks but not actual memories. It is more a physical memory, the gagging, the almost suffocating, the disgust, violent. I pursued it for a while and then wanted to forget it (well, I can try, lol). Part of me doesn’t want to believe it. So I avoid it for now…but I’m sure it will catch up with me again soon.

    I think it was ‘easier’ to recover the first incident with my uncle, maybe because it was a one-time event, it was not violent, he was nice to me, he seduced me (very insidious). I remember avoiding him when he visited again. Distrusting men with dark-brimmed glasses. Hating men in business suits. I was terrified of him when I stayed at his house when I was older, about nine or ten. It was easier to believe that he could have done such an act. So my body allowed the recovery. In the meantime I’m almost certain he also abused his sons.

    It is a lot more complicated with my dad, because there were other incidents around that same time; I was locked up in a pantry for several hours, he severely beat me, I was betrayed by mom and dad together, I wanted to kill myself not even three years old. There is a lot of trauma surrounding that very short period of time. And all these events I remembered in therapy; I didn’t know anything about these events before I started therapy. The feelings of betrayal I’ve been working on lately will probably lead straight to the incident, a few (hundred) primals down the line. It’s a slow process…

    • David says:

      HI Bernadette, I’m pretty sure I’m talking to the Bernadette who was in Terry’s small group in the early nineties. Your nationality is the same, and other details fit. So hello again, if you remember me 🙂 Maybe I need to say more things about myself to jolt your memory, I don’t know. I remember you talking about these issues back then, so it is obviously taking a very long time for you and what you describe is also horrific! Wanting to kill yourself at age 3 is truly mind boggling and speaks volumes about the amount of pain you must have been in.

      You say it has taken me courage and determination to feel these feelings on my own and I suppose that’s true. It has also taken some ingenuity. It has taken me a long time to sort of grow into the process for it to really work well at these depths consistently. Also, it has taken a very long time for this specific pain to surface in me, over 20 years. So I guess I’m ready for it . Also, a parent that rapes you is going to be a bad parent in all sorts of other ways too, and it is these “lesser ways” that I needed to feel about over the years to have the strength to deal with this specific pain. I needed a stronger sense of self to really “go there”. Feeling that I was an unloved child, was something I did not want to know, and which my mind had protected me from for, well, for a lifetime. But surrendering to that feeling was a relief and then it became “just” another feeling to feel. And feel and feel and feel…. 🙂 I do have a therapist that I’ve been working with for sometime, 14 years now I think, so I am not totally doing it on my own. It’s just that they have mostly not been in the room.

      But really I’ve been feeling these feelings about my father mostly out of necessity. I think the real courage is in living a conscious life, facing reality as much as possible on a daily basis, going for what I want to do, being with the people I want to be with, even when that is very challenging. and the feelings that I feel are a by-product of all that and come as a relief. I’m sure without this process I would be dead or in jail right now. My early life was extremely traumatic. I was also adopted.

      As I have said, no memories yet have come up for me, just crying and saying what I needed to say to him; “please don’t do it”, “I’m a little boy!”. What I needed to say to my mother: “please help me mummy”. Plus a lot of just raw, horrific screaming for my life. I also feel my father did something to silence me about the abuse. I have no memory or sense of him beating me, so maybe it was a threat to my life. He made me “keep quiet”, which has made any kind of sharing about bad experiences in my life, difficult if not impossible, which contributes to my isolation.

      Thanks for sharing about your experiences, it’s been very helpful. That feeling of betrayal, which sounds like it is very strong for you at the moment, has not come up for me yet, but I’m sure it’s there.

  96. Another little line that hits me hard, “Life can never be, exactly like we want it to be.” Dedicated to the one i love. mamas and papas. could be crying here but i cant do it with wifey at nome. she went to pt, but she just doesnt get it. too bad. or more likely, i am putting someone else’s face on her. damn. we could have had something together, but it never got there.

  97. That was such an amazing time in history, 67, beach boys, dodge dart, little white house in long beach, so sad but still so much explosion of something, summer of love, childhood still, hearing seeing all this stuff coming in from the stellar winds, whatever so sad it is gone, so sad. wah

  98. swisslady says:

    The feeling of betrayal keeps following me around. In a dream last night I was in an office environment with all women. When I returned to my desk I noticed a woman was nosying through my things and documents. I yelled at her, You have no rights to go through my papers! You have no rights to look at my calendar! She just shrugged her shoulders and winked at another woman in the office and walked away. I sensed that ‘they’ all knew what she was doing, and were all ganging up on me. I was furious! But what hurt the most is that nobody cared. And I was left, again, with helplessness and powerlessness.

    Argh! How I hate that feeling! I screamed in the car at the fucking bitches. But I couldn’t connect it to the past, where it certainly belongs. Then again, if you’ve ever worked in a corporate environment, and you are a woman, you probably have experienced this type of conniving, back-stabbing, behind the back gossiping bitch. It is very much a present phenomenon. Boy, am I glad that I’m not there anymore! That’s not to say that I didn’t find nice and caring people at corporate – I did, and I’m still friends with some of them.

  99. Margaret says:

    > Jo,
    > what I do when a feeling might get loud, is putting loud music on.
    > then I feel like even if they hear some of the crying, it should be clear it is supposed to remain private and I am ‘ok’ so to say, not had an accident or something.
    > but I guesss there still might remain a bit of a difference with the pure letting go that might happen at the PI itself occasionally, with screams at the top of my lungs..
    > had a night full of dreams, one of them strange, was somewhere in what seemed the bottom of a halfdark stairway, on the floor, and noticed a strong chemical smell, and then people gassing or spraypainting the place, wearing masks to protect them.
    > I started panicking a bit as it took me some moments to get up and to try to get out of there, and while I was doing so I noticed my breath started failing me, I started gasping for air, about to lose consciousness when one of the men finally gave me an oxygen mask to put over my face.
    > no idea where it comes from, it was pretty intense. maybe it relates to overdosing in my past, once I woke up in the emergency unit..
    > it is sad, so much waste of precious time of my life, and I just got up and walked out of there, still feeling somewhat pleasantly stoned.
    > it took me some more time to finally kick the habit at some point, after having lost my husband, and a year later being dumped by a new boyfriend after two months, I finally chose between going down the hill completely again or taking control of my life.
    > called the neares judo club, joined it and that was the start of a better way of living.
    > the day I obtained my blak belt was the day I decided to finally go to therapy, after having postponed it for twenty years, sadly enough..
    > M

  100. Jo says:

    My crying today (‘I want my mummy’ and ‘why…. [am I here ]’ ) in a scenario of a dormitory in boarding school, surfaced when I noticed my neighbor was out, and my washing machine was humming and grinding … so feeling happens…
    I never listen to music on my own Margaret, so that wouldn’t work for me- but I get what you are saying.

  101. Margaret says:

    > Jo,
    > I only very rarely listen to music on my own as well, but well, what do the neighbours know about that, smiley?
    > when I feel crying can get loud I simply turn it on kind of loud if necessary.
    > when lovesick though, I must admit listening to Chet Baker singing invariably put me into feelings straightaway.
    > long time since lovesick has struck me, actually little to no romanticism around at all these days..
    > sigh ..
    > luckily two cats who like affection, both giving and receiving, always works to lift up my mood and make me smile.
    > M

  102. David says:

    A few scrolls back, there was some discussion of God/spirituality v Primal. I thought I’d chip in on that. For me, I don’t see a “versus” in there. The spiritual experiences I’ve had have been emotional, obviously like primal ones are, but have been very brief, lasting only a couple of minutes or even seconds. Like I can only hang our in a place of fundamental reality, for want of a better phrase, for very long. I don’t really go looking for these experiences either, they tend to find me. One happened fairly recently when I was out for a walk. I felt an energetic presence descend into me, which when I felt it, made me think immediately that most people who would experience this would think it was the holy spirit. That would be the commonest “label” to put on it. In less Catholic terms, I would say it felt like humanity’s energetic template. Or in other words, it was a fundamental aspect of the All, or source, or God, that related specifically to humanity. So what did that FEEL like? 🙂 It felt like the big, or over-spirit, seeing and acknowledging and honouring the spirit in me. My awareness of it become stronger with every stride. I felt this energy source was conscious and that it knew absolutely everything I was thinking and feeling the moment I thought or felt it. And it came to me when I was out walking as a way of saying: “I’m with you every step of the way!” This aspect of it was incredibly moving and I started to weep. Because I was on a busy street, I didn’t want to break down in front of passers by, and pushed the emotion away which also pushed away the experience. But it has remained as something I can keep going back to as a kind of touchstone.

    What is hard to put into words is just the absolute rightness of what I felt I had access too. This is where the problem lies with religion,. I think. Certain people have moments of epiphany or revelation about God / the Universe, and because of the extreme difficulty of putting this into words (there is almost no vocabulary for it) problems inevitably arise in trying to communicate to other people about the experience in way that is going to be helpful. For myself, I’m not interested in trying to convince or convert anybody, so I just share as appropriate, like here.

    I’ve also developed a relationship with God which has been enormously helpful to my therapy. This is a little ironic, as one of the ways I came to oppose my father, who was very religious, was by becoming anti religion. Opening up to someone else, turning to another who you feel cares about you and understands, is an essential part of the therapeutic process, giving you access to your feelings. But I’ve found I can also use God as someone (something) to open up to, and it works in the same way. Feeling that there is someone there who loves and cares about me has helped me to feel the pain of being unloved by my parents. This is something that I’ve just happened upon rather than deliberately engineered. And it’s saved me a bundle on therapy fees 🙂 I’ve also experienced God being love itself. So it is more accurate to say God IS love (hackneyed as that may sound) than to say God loves, or is loving. Love is what God is. I also believe that God is not a he or a she, but an it. God is a process, not a personality.

    • David: I read very carefully your post on Religion or God or whatever it is you wish to call it. What you feel on these walks you mention sounds nothing more than a feeling:- simple. Why complicate the issue by deliniating what it is from the reasoning perspect, or to put it into the Primal Theory context “Head tripping”, or rationalizing … the feeling.

      You write “I think. Certain people have moments of epiphany or revelation about God / the Universe, and because of the extreme difficulty of putting this into words (there is almost no vocabulary for it) problems inevitably arise in trying to communicate to other people about the experience”.
      Then why try, if you acknowledge communicating the experience is a near impossibleity????

      It is my feeling that we are treading dangerous ground when we attempt to say what it is others are thinking. We/I don’t know. Period end. In an earlier comment I mentioned my brother having a similar ‘epiphany’ on a walk in his early 20’s (which he related to me).

      We are not born with a “God” concept either within or somewhere in the stratospheres of a loving creature out there (other than hopefully mommy). We needed her and equally daddy, also since they were (hopefully) a loving couple. Our ability to re-live those very very, early moments and in-so-doing know/feel we NEED them. It is when those needs do not get fulfilled that we later devise; think-up gods, (inner or outer) It’s called “Neurosis” ‘the pathology of feelings’ and their requisite expression.

      My take is:- Keep it simple … “FEELINGS”; that we were born with and equally what we felt in the womb (unless we got seriously tramatized in there also). The God notion when we/I first encountered it, was imbued upon us in later childhood and invariably through fear, terror of his/her/it’s wrath. Then the love factor get poured in later. Love is a pure feeling and when it happens to us/me it’s a fantastic feeling … nevetheless just that; a feeling. Why complicate it????

      Incidenly, my brother, when later he learned about Primal realized his epiphany was a re-living of a very, very early childhood event, at a time when he didn’t have notions or rationalizations about those feelings. No other creature that I know of, has to rationize feelings … or have a god context.


      • David says:

        “We are not born with a “God” concept either within or somewhere in the stratospheres of a loving creature out there (other than hopefully mommy).”

        I would agree with that. But you seem to be insisting that I had JUST a feeling which I later applied a concept to, a concept which you take exception to. Whereas for me, it was an experience that I had an emotional reaction to – something that did come from outside of myself and affected me – and I then later tried to find ways to put into words. It IS hard to describe, but I think it’s natural to want to try to communicate to others any powerful experience that we might have. There’s a kind of urgency to do that. But was it just a feeling (your perspective) or was it a spiritual experience (my perspective) – I guess we could go round and round arguing about that for a long time. I have had many, many experiences where it was JUST a feeling, and am happy to leave it at that. But this was something different, which was why I chose to highlight it here in the context of a recent discussion about spirituality.

  103. David: I grant that it was an experience … but for me. all feelings are experiences. I also grant that is within anyone’s right on this blog to voice their experience, but with a caveat, which I will explain in a moment.

    Two experiences come to my mind:- the first was recent when I saw on the internet a video of a live rabbit having it’s fur pulled off from it’s skin to put inside shoes. The rabbit was screaming like I have rarely seen in an animal before. It tore me apart and I cannot stop thinking about this poor, poor rabbit, and the total insensitivity of the person pulling it’s fur from it’s body. If I’d have been present I think I would have dragged the poor rabbit way from the person. It really, really bothers me to have witnessed it.

    The other was on a very wet rainy day some years ago and the rain was poring down profusely, and I was in my car driving and suddenly in the middle of the road was a homeless man with a shopping cart walking in my path and I was unable to stop in time and I hit him, and apparently broke his leg. An Ambulance and the police were called, and the police only wanted to check my driving licence and that I had insurance which I produced. I was so upset and wanted to go over to the homeless man and at least take him off the roadway. The police seemed little concerned with him and his plight. I was obviously so nervous and agitated and the police seemed to only want to assure me that it was all ok FOR ME and to not be agitated.

    When I was all over and an ambulance had taken care of the homeless man the police let me go and that was the last I heard about it. BUT … I was so upset and disturbed I booked a session for the next day. On getting into the therapy room for the whole session I just wailed and groaned about the whole thing for the whole session. No words … they weren’t needed.

    The point of relating all this that both feeling defy explanation in words. Pure feeling in both cases. I empathized with both the rabbit and the homeless man. No words were necessary, and no explanation/rationale for my feeling about either case.

    If as you stated in your original comment, you feel you have “saved a bundle” by having this sense of a being “it” looking after you; that’s your prerogative, but I feel you are trying to add another dimension to the Primal notion. It is this that ‘I’ take exception to. To re-iterate Janov. “Until and unless we descend into the ‘pain’ of that, that we did NOT get; then we are missing out on the healing process”, or words to that effect.

    Patrick, another blogger on here tried to up-date Primal Therapy by adding ‘the Paleo Diet’
    For and to me, the only updating that will EVER be required, are techniques used by therapist to get us patients to experience those deep and painful experience of childhood and/or wombhood. All else, including what is deemed ‘spiritual’ is irrelevant. Spiritual is just another fancy word to delineate feeling IMO.


    • Patrick says:

      I don’t think it it correct to say I was trying to ‘update’ primal by adding the Paleo Diet……………it was more a case of me trying to convey there is ‘more’ to life than primal and I still feel it is a great mistake to try to ‘do it all’ through primal in the process miss many and really obvious things. There are many things that affect our moods/feelings and diet is only one of them and that was my point even if I may not have conveyed it so well.

      The other aspect of primal I don’t care for is the kind of ‘exclusivity’ I see here and in Janov’s writings. To me it would be a more promising direction to sort of ‘integrate’ primal into say meditation or maybe an important addition to most meditation. Like meditation but where the person is ‘open’ to any and all his/her thoughts/feelings no matter how ‘negative’ Primal as propounded by Janov is VERY ‘exclusive’ and all the weaker for that imo. Though I WAS very drawn and attracted to that aspect of it. We were taught as kids there was ‘only ONE true Church’ and I absorbed that message totally and then ‘applied’ it to primal also………………………… mistake. But also something I feel in ‘encouraged’ by Janov’s whole approach and another reason for it’s broad ‘failure’…………..

    • David says:

      I totally agree with you that certain life experiences can evoke very strong feelings which are then very hard to put into words. The two stories you relate show that you have a lot of empathy for, and sensitivity to, the plight of others. The story about the rabbit is particularly sickening.

      “If as you stated in your original comment, you feel you have “saved a bundle” by having this sense of a being “it” looking after you; that’s your prerogative….

      That’s not what I said. It’s not about a higher power looking after me or taking caring of me. Rather, it’s about sensing or feeling that I am seen and understood which then helps to bring up old pain which can be resolved through feeling it.

      “…, but I feel you are trying to add another dimension to the Primal notion.””

      Well, I’m sharing what has been helpful to me. Then people are free to pick up on it or not, or challenge it like you’re doing. And you have been making me look very hard at my beliefs and experiences. One thing I do need to look at is my tenancy to try to do everything by myself, including therapy. While I’ve been very successful feeling feelings by myself, out of necessity, as I don’t have access to a therapist near where I live, I do need to talk and share with others about what I’m going through. Hence writing on this blog among other things. I have friends, but certain issues, particularly sexual abuse, I don’t feel I can talk to them about.

      “For and to me, the only updating that will EVER be required, are techniques used by therapist to get us patients to experience those deep and painful experience of childhood and/or wombhood. ”

      And what about someone in a foreign country without the resources to work with a therapist, who is without a significant other, or people they feel they can talk to and who want to help themselves by getting more in touch with their feelings? Might not the use of a higher power help them in this instance? It might just be too damn hard to do it without. Just a suggestion.

      • David says:

        My above comment is to Jack.

      • David: Sorry, if I got the ‘wrong end of the stick’ with your “saved a bundle”. I appreciate yours, and all others that put their comment on this blog. I find it a great rescourse and hope others do also.

        I have written a book that I hope and thought could be helpful to people in general that read Janov and wanted to do this therapy but did not have the where-with-all to get therapy here. I have offered to give for free, e-copies to anyone on both this site and “The Primal Support Group” that wanted it, if they were to give me an email address. Mine being, and to give me feed-back if they felt inclined. One person did find the book helpful and got into deep feelings from it and we now correspond frequently by email. the name of the book is:- “Feeling Therapy: Real Health: Yourself”. Janov read it and sad “Good, very suscinct and fine book” which thrilled me.

        I also was brought up to be a devout christian; Church and then Sunday School and praying at night. In my teens I came to accept ‘Jesus Christ as my own personal saviour’ I rejected it at age 19, much to my mother’s chagrin and the local pastor. Meantime have written a 7 page essay on Religeon, being “the root of all evil” since it is/was the religious mend-set that created the dichotomy of ‘good and evil’, mere value judgements IMO.

        Yes, I am a true loyal Primal person due to several event in my life, that on reading “The Priaml Scream” in 1973 gave me the “very essence of life”, and I contend; it was the greatest discovery mankind ever made … or will ever make. Janov to my mind is a great genius; greater, by far than Steven Hawking.

        Last point: the suggestion of the “Buddy principle” was and I feel still is, one of the greatest ideas to continue and promote therapy, that Janov put forward and I have had many and still have currently.


        • Correctiion: I miss spelled my email address:- I missed out the final “n” in my name.


          • David says:

            Jack, I did read your ebook and I thought that it did a wonderful job of elucidating primal theory in a personal, non-technical way. Just to re-iterate what I wrote to you privately, I felt it’s shortcoming was in the lack of practical suggestions for helping a “newbie” get in touch with their repressed pain to feel and resolve it, in the way that Thomas Stone’s Cure by Crying did. But that it helped one such person in this way, must be gratifying.

            Yes me too, I had a strict religious upbringing. My father would be furious with me if I even half remarked about not wanting to go to church. Then I was sent to a boarding school run by catholic priests. Although I never bought into any of it, it did take me until I was seventeen to have the courage to tell my father I didn’t want to go church anymore. That was tough, but liberating.

            I had a similar reaction to reading The Primal Scream. All it took was reading the introduction for me to be convinced. I knew immediately I’d come across something hugely important, something that could be enormously beneficial to my life. And the process itself that I came to be introduced to has indeed proved extremely helpful.

            • David: Sorry I don’t remember you responding to my book, but now remember the comment and hoped that just by sobbing first, if one was not able to cry would have helped. What the other person got him started was just reading “let it happen” since he had been suffering all his life with tourette syndrome (severe tics). Yes it was and is gratifying, and I feel he’s making a lot of progress with doing it himself, and now he’s found a buddy and that too I feel is important for all of us.

              I acknowledged the Stone book and my only qualm with him was not acknowledging where he got it all from though he did mention Janov but as a kind of an aside..

              I had play mates as a kid that were Catholic and my Jimbo, like you was brought up Catholic in a Catholic boarding school and felt equally like you and rejected it. I feel with him, like you, that the influence of that harsh and repressiveness of Catholicism never totally leaves. It “imprints” to quote Janov.

              Interesting that you too, took to Primal on reading the introduction, just like me. Then of course, there was Michael Holden the MD who also took to the Jesus thing also. I just feel that those early, early teachings are so insideous and imprint more than I feel is generally recognized. That was why I stated that Religion is:- ‘the root of all evil’ in that it created the dichotomy; whereas now I I don’t see things as good or evil or even good and bad … but would rather for myself refer to it as “I like, OR I don’t like” which makes it clearer to MY mind rather than the tendency to make it a universality. It is just that, I strongly fee, creates all the conflicts between peoples. Further, it creates the notions of ethics and all the other trappings which complicates and convolutes our thinking.

              I have given, over the years, a great deal of thought to all this and it permeates into my thinking about The Abolition of money” that I see as such an inhibiting factor to ‘the living of life’ by all the factors then needed to keep that one factor (money) in place. IE Police, Law, Government, Militaries, the need to possess, Greed and all the other inequalities and on and on. We are all equal whether we like it or not, and without the need for such idiocies as constututions and the likes. To the extent that without that ‘chain round our necks’ even Neurosis would just evaporate; cease to happen.

              It’s the process of getting from here to there, that most, from my experience, fail to, as I put it, “cross the rubicon”.


  104. Patrick says:

    When I say ‘exclusive’ I was reminded of this in one of Janov’s recent blogs where he was saying he ‘was primalling the other night” I mean that sounds kind of weird he might as wellhave said I was “Janoving” (TradeMarked) TM the other night. It just seems more natural and less pretentious also for example to say “I was thinking the other night” or “I was reflecting” or even “I was meditating’ or I was recalling’ or I was ‘dwelling on’ but this ‘primalling thing well it just seems weird and I do feel it is something that has been and is quite damaging to people in that it puts them or attempts to put them in some ‘special zone’ and un-fortunately a zone that is ‘away from themselves’ very often.Yes another way of not being oneself. And as a neurotic that was quiet natural to me and something I took to like a duck to water………………………another ‘mistake’ or another way of not being myself

  105. #1 kid finishing up his life at ucla, graduating phd and moving to ohio for his job in august. i have been ignoring this transition all along but now i have to face it. i will miss him and will probably see very little of him for a long while. i should leave it at that. very teary but i dont want to cry.

  106. Patrick, did you go to church a lot when you were young? I have many memories of going to sunday school and there was a little roller rink over at Hollywood Presbyterian Church for the kids. I guess i liked singing and reading books about missionaries and other tstete flies in Africa. I did not like wearing a suit. Well the memories are vague. I do recall that when we drove into the parking lot in our big white 54 Ford, we could see that back of a building that said HAWAII on it. I had no idea what that meant, and i thought it was spelling HAWALL. But i don’t think i ever asked my grandma what it meant.

    • Patrick says:

      Otto – it’s not that we went to Church so much really pretty much only to Mass every Sunday and in between Confession and other stuff but mostly just Sunday Mass. It reminds me of a kind of ‘funny’ story I was about 18 y.o. and my Mom started as we called it a ‘tourist business’ which was opening up the house to ‘keep’ tourists in the Summer also they got breakfast and dinner. So it was a big venture for her and of course would involve dealing with the public, strangers in the house etc. Our family was always kind of ‘exclusivist’ (another thing I ‘accuse’ Janov of) and never much had ‘visitors’ so all in all I think it was a lot of stress for her.

      She was anxious I could tell we were all anxious though I was already ‘off’ in my teenage daydream (cue song right?) anyway it was Saturday night around 7 o’clock and the first Saturday of the month the time for Confession. This was sort of set in stone just like Sunday morning Mass was. Anyway we my Mom mostly though are anxious these tourists and from England too they were (what a major step up is that for Irish peasants) were supposed to arrive around 6pm………….still not there, Confession at 7pm…………..what to do what will happen. At some point say 10 minutes to 7 it is decided fuck it though that kind of language was not used we have to go to Confession. Just about to leave here come the ‘tourists’ in their fine car and they from England too!. Well………… important as it was especially to my Mom there was only one thing to do go to Confession

      Hurried explanation and embarrassment to the ‘tourists’ but we HAVE to go to Confession. But we let them in and make them feel at home (yeah right!) and we go to Confession. Next day of course is Sunday the usual ‘rush’ in the morning, milking cows lots of ‘jobs’ to do and then at 9am go to Mass. This is even more of a ‘command’ than the Confession thing if that is possible. Anyway OK all that happens not my affair really I am sure my Mom was majorly stressed her first big day with her ‘tourists’ (she turned into quite a good business for years built a major addition to the house etc) As I say I was not ‘religious’ at that time but well of course I went to Mass and all but my ‘religion’ at the time was the Beatles and the Rolling Stones who of course were from England too just like our new tourists. They also were a young ‘couple’ (married or not I wondered but probably having sex my mind again) to me they had that ‘exotic’ English quality I sort of craved, that ‘cool’ quality the Irish peasants and potato hoarders like myself lacked but in my case was determined to try to acquire

      So that afternoon I am now in my ‘new’ Church down at the beach a sort of majick place for me now and a place we hardly even went to as kids (too busy ‘working’) and I think I have my transistor radio and I am listening to BBC1 and the latest and coolest ‘sounds’ from the UK. Who do I run into down at the beach……………..our own ‘tourists’ I forget to mention he is also a ‘long hair’ more ‘coolness’ and his girlfriend I don’t think wife is in a tiny 2 piece (2 piece imagine that how cool AND sexy is that) bikini. So we stop to talk it’s like I am in love with ‘their’ world the ‘cool’ world and me just a peasant boy and not a ‘popular’ one either in spite of all the ‘work’ nobody much appreciates me and I feel pretty much ‘hated’ by these local rats. So we ‘talk’ I feel nervous I can fit in or up to these people and not for the last time in this kind of arena I am struck by how ‘nice’ they are but also how ‘cool’ they are. Anyway one of them says ‘are you going to Church again to-night’ and it just struck me they think we are religious freaks these are nice and cool people but they think and I can’t blame them we are some kind of primitive religious freaks. (another thing I ‘accuse’ primals of) Like Mormons or Jehovah’s Witness or something. I try to ‘re-assure’ them no no we don’t do that all the time, it was just………………timing it so happend no no no we only really go once a week on Sunday and well on Saturday night to Confession once a month it just so happened just timing……………..they seemed re-assured they were nice and ‘cool’ with me no problem at all……………..I wonder where they are now I hope they are doing well and happy I think that is very possible………….

      • Patrick says:

        Otto – I know you love your music I just thought was sort of songs would be on my radio down on the beach that day and I think “Rain” by the Beatles. We of course had plenty of that in Ireland some sun too that day was brilliant sun……………..anyway it makes me sad now just listening to this how we had a magical place there but we could or I could not ‘feel’ it it has to be ‘re-imagined’ through some cool English people like the Beatles they are only singing about the sun and the rain which we had all the time but somehow for me at least it was so much BETTER coming through the Beatles. Anyway whatever……………..and it’s like even now I crave and appreciate real sun and real rain more than ever and well it’s going away. And not just here real clouds and real sun is going away in Ireland too. This whole ‘chemtrails’ thing it looks like I will spend the Summer in Ireland this year again and it has to do with the sun and the rain and all the majick we have lost……………..but I am also very concerned with the ‘future’ is it too late for all of us is the planet really dying…………

  107. Jack, i would kill that man that did that to the rabbit.

  108. Jack, that is what was missing from what you and Barry said at the top. JUST WHAT ARE THOSE MAGIC TECHNIQUES THAT THE THERAPISTS USE?? I always have wondered. BB said something once about “having to go into the back door on this one”. So fascinating! I looked on Dr. Janov’s site and tried to watch a video of his wife at a white board, i guess she was teaching new therapists, and it seemed so unreal to be teaching PT like that. or maybe i just dont like whiteboards. no diss to the Janovs. i It just seemed wrong to me though.

    • Otto: I don’t consider those ‘techniques’ to be magic. Rather I see it as a skill. It is so easy to “play the expert” especially in psycho-therapy. To me the genius of Janov was that he stated over and over again … it is the patient and only the patient, that can experience his/her own past. and take from that experience, their insight that follow.

      I don’t think one teaches the potential Primal therapist to be a Primal therapist. If I have it right, one has to do enough of their own therapy before one is considered eligible to go into orientation to train to be a therapist. The emphasis is on the potential therapist to learn … by shear experiencing, as a means to permit a patient to go over to the FEELING element of themselves rather than ‘thinking’ it through. Another way to put this would be to say that learning is natural, instinctive and simple. Teaching is complex and convoluted.

      I feel (thought I don’t really know since I was never asked nor invited to go into orientation to train as a Primal Therapist). the proclivity, even for a therapist and especially in their early days of practice, to fall victim, yet again, to their own neurosis; having lived it for decades. It is a skill that requires a great deal of time, and practice living in the “feeling zone”

      In the end (of life) it is/was ALL FEELINGS … just billions and billions or moments … just like now.


  109. Patrick, you gave me an idea. Integrate Primal into aerobics and religion at the start of group, for 5 minutes, maybe starting out with a little meditation. OMMM. OMMM. OMMM. Sweaty bouncy aerobics. the kind i dont do because i was a tv kid. GB will be jumping around saying feel the burn feel your body. BB will grab his guitar and scream out Jesus Jesus Jesus in a southern drawl. The possibilities are endless, but ludicrous. I hate what i am writing and scared. screw this. Jesus is going to bust me up every chance he gets. Yes, I realize i am a blithering insane idiot. ha.

    • Sylvia says:

      You are on a roll Otto, You can recruit Richard Simmons for your workout. I think the Janovs were teaching some theory of primal. Maybe you would like a black or green ‘blackboard’ with chalk instead.

      David, I agree with having someone or something that you believe in that believes in you too. I could not open up without some support either; you need strength from somewhere. I have a couple of friends I rely on. Thank goodness for kind people.

  110. Margaret, you probably said before, but what are the cat’s names? Are they male or female, fat or not? Do they still play? I had a little chuckle yesterday. My neighbor is installing a new sprinkling system because he likes to do that kind of home depot stuff. So he had holes dug in his yard, and i saw this white and black cat who comes around sometimes to entice my big black cat to do something cattish. The white cat was using my neighbors dirt holes to do his business. ha!

  111. David, did you like the food at the boarding school? Was there any fun at all there?

    • David says:

      The food wasn’t exactly gourmet cuisine. Unless you like chips (french fries), baked beans and fish fingers every other meal… Yes, we made our own fun and had a lot of laughs. More than I was having at home… Still, there were no girls and the atmosphere was stultifying and repressive. I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie “Dead Poet’s Society”? This is a really wonderful film and has helped bring up feelings from this period in my life. You might want to check it out as there may well be a certain amount of crossover with military school. Similar kind of mentality behind it all.

      • Jo says:

        David, and for anyone else interested, this is a link to a documentary on Youtube about boarding school..

        • Patrick says:

          Thanks for that Jo, that was really nice and very touching in places (I went to boarding school but at 13 and by my own ‘choice’ – I wanted to go there)…………………I couldn’t help but wonder though do you find a kind of strong similarity with going to the retreats? I had about an equal amount of ‘flashbacks’ to the boarding school and the retreats I went to (2 all together). That sort of ‘fitting in’ atmosphere which maybe was why I could not fit in………….

          • Patrick says:

            Jo – I am still curious it you see some connection between your going to boarding school at a very young age and traipsing to retreats or is it repeats on a very regular basis. Doesn’t that also seem like ‘institutionalized’ behavior? It even is called an “Institute” I say that not to put you down we ALL repeat our patterns in very uncanny ways.It’s just well following my notion or actually my Dad’s ab out often the ‘cure being worse than the disease’ I don’t think anything should be off limits. I find that kind of approach very helpful to me though I am aware it is also the kind of approach that gets me ‘shunned’ here. A little club of which you may well be a member.(more institutionalized behavior?) It seems everyone pretty much now if a member except Otto. Which to to me at least speaks to his individuality and refusal to belong to lame clubs. I admire that very much.

        • Sylvia says:

          How dreadful the boarding schools look for 8 y/o little boys dressed in their little suits not wanting to leave their moms and dads. Can’t the headmasters even see that. The grown men tell of their lonely desperate times they spent there in youth and it’s still happening to children now. Will have to watch it all later, too heartbreaking to see more now.

        • David says:

          Jo, thanks for this. I’ll admit I’m feeling quite a bit of resistance to looking at this. But I will do when I’m ready.

        • Phil says:

          I watched this film and what a sad and desolate feeling it gives to imagine going to such a school. Impossible to think of sending my child to such a place.
          My brother was sent to a school for special children because he had emotional problems and couldn’t function in regular schools. This was starting when he was about age 10. We wouldn’t see him for many months at a time. In my memory, he wasn’t really a part of the family during those years. This couldn’t have helped him any as he ended up psychotic. I would often go on the trip to get him or drop him off and was certainly glad not to be the one left there.
          Maybe it was recommended because we were a family with no mother, the schools couldn’t deal with him, and so they paid for him to be sent away.
          Other things I think of; sleeping over someones else’s house as a child; one night was more than enough. As a parent, my experience has been, friends staying over at our house are sick and tired of my kid, and want to go home the next day. Friends are nice but you don’t want to live with them. There’s nothing like your own home, unless for some reason it’s hell. It was never so bad in my case that I’d want to be sent away.
          I didn’t even like going to day school. That had plenty of traumatic aspects for me. Our schools are bad enough how they are. Living at one? That would be torture. Even conventional therapists, I see, can recognize the damage done, as it shows in the film.
          These boarding schools are clearly such a horrible tradition, taking away childhood. The film shows such institutional environments, and people just fooling themselves that this is a good thing. Why be a parent and then send your child to such a place? Thanks for sharing this. Sorry that you had this experience.

  112. swisslady says:

    Hi David, yes, I remember you from Terry’s group. Long time no see… Yes, it is taking me a long time. Like in your case, there were many other ‘less bad’ things to feel first. I needed to grow emotionally and mentally to get to the point where I can approach the more horrendous stuff. I am revisiting these incidents at this time probably because both of my parents (fairly) recently passed away and my childhood home was sold. Saying the last goodbyes and being ‘thrown out into the world’ brought up the old traumas again.

    I have been familiar with the incidents surrounding the time when I wanted to kill myself for years. But each time I approach it again, I’m faced with another aspect. This time the betrayal and its long-term effects. Not able to trust anybody. Keep myself to myself. Be independent and self-reliant. Keep people at a distance. Protect myself. I have only just recently revealed certain things about myself to Gretchen (and my husband), thoughts and feelings that I have been carrying around for years. This is how much I needed to protect myself. This is how scared I have been, still am in a lot of ways. But I’m stronger now and can talk about my secret inner life a bit more.

    What is still a mystery to me at this point is, why did I want to kill myself? What exactly preceded that moment when I crawled up on the window sill and wanted to jump, break my head open on the cement below so that the blood would spill out, then fly up to heaven and be with God? Such were the thoughts of the three-year old. What happened to me? Do I really want to know?

    As I mentioned, I’ve had some flashbacks, that was years ago, it started on a road trip up to Oregon. Every time we drove by a Dairy Queen, I gagged and almost joked, moaned, screamed, coughed. My thoughts associated ‘dairy’ with a gooey, slimy, foul-tasting mass. Kind of like curdled milk only worse. Later flashbacks in therapy revealed a joking hand around my neck, the location of the event (in the same pantry where I was locked up before, only this time it served as a hiding place), something very big in my mouth, way to big for a child’s mouth. Not allowed to make a noise. Smells. Sweat. Suppressed grunts. Terror. Do I really want to know more??

    It could be straight forward: I was orally raped and then wanted to kill myself. Or it could be a combination of all the traumas at that time (total rejection, lock up, abandonment, my younger sister taking away mom from me) that finally made me lose my will to live. Maybe both. Maybe it doesn’t matter.

    By the way, does anybody know how hard it is to keep on living every day when all you want to do is die? (And not able to tell anyone). I’ve lived like this for years. Not anymore. I don’t want to die anymore now. I actually want to live. I call that progress.

    You wrote “I think the real courage is in living a conscious life, facing reality as much as possible on a daily basis, going for what I want to do, being with the people I want to be with, even when that is very challenging…” I agree very much. It is exactly what I am striving to do more. For years I was only surviving and struggling to keep up with the world. Now I am at a point where I have a bit more breathing space and can focus more consciously on what I really want. It is an exciting time but also scary, deeply challenging. The challenge being, what do I really want? Who am I deep down? How can I contribute to the world, in my unique way? And mostly: How far am I willing to go? Do I really want to know?
    Thanks for listening!

    • Jo says:

      Bernadette, wow, that’s compelling reading, and my gut is hurting… It started in your second paragraph “…this time the betrayal…” and resonates deeply….the betrayal started with early stays in hospital (at 18 months, 4 years) and no one visited me. The last straw being sent away to boarding school at 7ish. I am feeling it bit by bit…

    • David says:

      Hi Bernadette,

      “This time the betrayal and its long-term effects. Not able to trust anybody. Keep myself to myself. Be independent and self-reliant. Keep people at a distance. Protect myself.”

      I have not felt those feelings of betrayal yet, but the effects you describe I relate to very much. I see how I attract people and then keep them at arm’s length, afraid to let them closer. And I see the confusion and resentment that creates in others. I see it happening, but feel powerless to change it. At least now I am learning a little more why I am like that.

      As I’ve said, I have not had access to specific details about what happened to me. I remember when I was four or five, my second year in primary school, there was an image in a children’s book that absolutely terrified me. It showed a child’s bedroom at night, the child asleep, and then behind him an adult figure silhouetted in the open doorway. At the time I thought the adult figure was a ghost coming to haunt the child. When other kids at school found out about it, they would use the image to taunt me, chasing me under tables and desks.Eventually the teacher had to take the book away from them and hide it. But I remember the intensity of that fear very well. Kind of like a phobic reaction.

      Thanks for sharing, it sounds like you are making great progress.

  113. Jo says:

    And Bernadette, thank you for sharing, being courageously open.

  114. Jo says:

    Adding, I read almost everything and also am appreciative to others that courageously share also…

  115. Margaret says:

    > Otto,
    > haha, smart cat, big prefab toilet at hand, soft soil to scratch back in! thought for a moment you were gonna tell it was caught by surprise by the new sprinkling system..
    > my two cats are brothers, just one year old since a few weeks, and their names are Pluche and Plukkie.
    > they are basically creamy white, with a dark mask and ears, a dark tigry tail, and one multicoloured spot on one hip, both of them.
    > the one that was a tiny poorlooking kitty grew faster than his brother who was a bit bigger at first, caught up with him and the once smaller one now is a big cat, thick lush fur, and the other one is a more slender silky haired version of the same.
    > they get along really well, being brothers from the same litter, and are neutered.
    > will post some pictures if ever I find out how to get them from my Iphone to my laptop or find some other way to select the best ones and post them.
    > of course they are gorgeous smiley, and full of endearing mischief..
    > they are the best way to make my blood pressure drop when I feel stressed, and brighten up my days big time.
    > and they look very happy too, love each others company , and mine as well, smiley, they like to be petted very much and come to ask for it or invite me by just jumping on me and staring me straight in the face and if necessary thumping me with their head for an even stronger hint..
    > i have three cat doors so they can get around and outside where I installed a fence at the point they would start running the risk of jumping down a steep wall without being able to get bback up.
    > haha, could go on and on and on as you as a pet lover must know, but this is (more than ) enough for now, isn’t it?
    > thanks for the interest, smiley, M

  116. Margaret says:

    > Otto,
    > did I say the names are Pluche and Plukkie?
    > Pluche is the soft material on old movie seats, or in our slang as well a speck of dust or a dustball under the bed, or something fluffy.
    > Plukkie is just Plukkie, smiley.
    > ha, here is Plukkie rubbing his cheeks against the laptop, needs attention!
    > bye, M

  117. Patrick says:

    I don’t think this kind of thing is particularly welcome here but anyway I do it. Because it is what is on my mind a lot and also I suppose with the slight chance it might influence someone to do good. To me delving into the past is fine nothing wrong with it but to make it some kind of be all end all I am not on board with that. Especially as our future even if we have one at all is full of peril. To ‘reduce’ the future or even the present to an ‘old feeling’ is one of the ways we have gone badly astray all imo of course (only?). The world just might end for us and ironically enough not so much from ‘global warming’ but we have done to ‘prevent’ it. Very much a case as my Dad used to say ‘the cure is worse than the disease” and since this blog is about ‘cure’ that might be something to ‘meditate’ on…………………….

  118. Margaret says:

    > hi all,
    > this week we were contacted by the social worker from the nursing home where my mom is on an urgent waiting list, since last august.
    > they offered a room in a ‘protected’ area, which we refused even without telling our mom.
    > yesterday then they contacted us again, now with a room on the regular ward, and to make a long story short, I could not convince them to let us visit them on saturday with our mom as the social workers do not work that day, so instead of waiting til next week, I contacted my mom’s boyfriend, and asked him if he can go there and have a look with her today.
    > I called my mom to let her know, and to my surprise she was actually pleased to go and see, with her boyfriend she seems more relaxed about it being pleasant for her, and I told her there is no pressure whatsoever, she is free to say no and wait for a later offer.
    > she seemed actually considering the option of accepting it, and was amazingly reasonable and outspoken about the pros and cons, including our worries in the equation,
    > but also mentioning the fact she loves her freedom to go out on her own.
    > she rarely does so, unless in her garden, but still, I understand of course, and told her she should relax and just go and have a look, and talk about it with her boyfriend.
    > I told her all we want for her is her to be happy.
    > I did mention that if she chooses to stay in her house longer, we might want her to accept some household help once a week to help us out..
    > so now she should be about to go there, and I feel, and think my brother also felt it when I talked with him on the phone, some kind of sadness about the possibility of this step being taken, we also grew up in that house, and it would be a major change.
    > so I actually almost hope she will postpone it, although I might regret it later on, smiley, when she is irritating and wearing us out with her forgetfullness and insistant questions.
    > feel glad though about the way I handled this today, finding solutions that are nice, no pressure whatsover, and noticing how my mom in those conditions is not completely selfish.
    > feel a bit teary about it..
    > will hear more later on today.
    > it is painful to think of mom going into a home, even though this is a really good one, a mix of oldfashioned cosiness and modern support, with a lot of activities offered to the residents and a large garden and cafeteria, and single rooms that are not too small, with a small little private restroom.
    > she can still change her mind during the first days even if she would take it today, and in that case I would not object to that.
    > to be continued…
    > M

  119. Margaret says:

    I’ll be interested to hear what your mother decides. It’s a great way you’re handling it, with no pressure on her.

  120. Margaret says:

    > it seems telling that the times I did go to stay with a girlfriend, once for several days at the age of about ten, and later several times around exam time in high school to ‘study’together, I did not seem to miss my own family household, was actually enjoying the social life and structure in the other families very much…
    > I did miss my mom when we went for ten days to Switzerland with our class when I was 11, on a skiing and school trip we had to save for all the year before by buying special stamps that were then glued onto a special form until it was filled.
    > must have been a big expense for my parents.
    > there iI remember feeling terrible upon having lost one of the very funny letters my mom wrote, full o f little drawings etc.
    > I hardly ever invited friends over to my own place, felt kind of ashamed about it..
    > also remembered while reading Phils comment a rule my mom mentioned of her own institutional life, that you always had to make sure to be a group of three, and not two, to prevent ‘special friendships’.
    > that must be hard if you want to just chat freely with a good friend..
    > M

    • Phil says:

      Interesting, as a child I always felt some stress and anxiety staying over at someone else’s house, even my own extended family. I wasn’t that comfortable with any of them.
      I can recall staying over at my aunt and uncle’s house and wetting the bed.
      What an embarrassment, I didn’t notify anyone or do anything about it.
      This was something which never happened at home.
      If I stayed over at a friend’s house, I didn’t like dealing with the parents. The best kind of sleepover was camping out in a tent in the backyard. I wouldn’t have been able to stand going away to boarding school. I didn’t get much from my father, but at least I felt comfortable with him. I was a very anxious kid, going away like that to school would have been the final straw.

  121. Margaret says:

    > Patrick,
    > it stays on my mind so I decided to mention it.
    > I really wonder if you are aware of the way you phrased that question to Jo, adding a number of insults to it really.
    > do you honestly want to get an answer from people by addressing them in that offensive and demeaning way?
    > if you are not conscious of it you have a serious problem.
    > if you do it consciously you might even have a bigger problem, you should definitely look at.
    > it does make me feel bad, as your need to connect is seeping through the cracks, but at the same time you completely sabotage yourself.
    > M

  122. David says:

    Recently, I had to make the difficult adjustment to finding out that a love interest of mine was not that interested, or not in the way I wanted, but in this process came to some really good insights.

    I had met her two and a half years ago at a 5Rhythms dance class and we became friends, hanging out after the class, going to the movies, having coffee dates and she came round to my house on occasions for dinner and for just hanging out. Though she had a boyfriend, she was affectionate with me physically, I’d flirted with her several times and she seemed to like it, and there were other instances which in my mind added up to a mutual attraction. I characterized our relationship as friendship plus sexual tension. There were several occasions where I’d wanted to make a more explicit advance, but had lost my nerve or found myself not knowing what do, and feeling the pain of my failure fairly quickly brought up the pain of having been raped by my father. Although it took two years of feeling that specific pain before I knew what it was.

    Recently she told me she had split up with her boyfriend, which really raised my hopes and expectations of a relationship with her. I just felt she needed some time to get over the break-up of a long term relationship before she started thinking about someone else. Then a couple of weeks later, in a casual phone conversation with a mutual friend, I found out she had a new guy. I found this news very painful and hugely triggering, bringing up a lot of old feelings in the following days. It seemed that unbeknownst to me, I’d had a rival and had lost out. I didn’t talk to her for several weeks and then, on an impulse, messaged her on Facebook, mentioning her new boyfriend, which led to a phone conversation.

    She seemed surprised and shocked that I was interested in her sexually, saying she had never been interested in me as anything other than a really good friend. When I pointed out to her all the ways I felt she had led me on, she became upset and apologetic, saying over and over: “I’ve been so naive and stupid. I just didn’t know. I’m so sorry”. I told her I found it really hard to be friends with women I’m attracted to and so wouldn’t be friends with her anymore. That seemed to upset her as well. I wonder if I needed to say that, or if it was just a straight tit-for-tat on my part: if I can’t have you the way I want, then you can’t have me the way you want. Maybe I just need time to figure out if we can still be friends. I just don’t want to be around her at the moment, and need her to know why I will probably be distant with her when I go back to dance. I do wonder though, if she is telling the truth about having no interest in me beyond friendship – and her reactions did seem real and honest – how I could have deluded myself so completely into believing there was something there, or the possibility of something, when there just wasn’t. She seemed to like me so much, I just immediately translated that into attraction in my mind. My need to have hope that someone was there who would love me must have completely distorted my view of reality. But I feel I needed that hope.

    After our conversation I sank into depression and inertia. But as I let myself feel this more deeply, I realized that this familiar frozen state was actually shock. Shock at what my father did to me, and realising that helped me feel some of that pain: “I’m just a little boy” and the now familiar “please don’t do it daddy”. I realised that things that I had seen in myself as character flaws – such as chronic inertia and laziness – and which I had berated myself for on countless occasions, were in fact something quite different. Rather I have been living in a chronic state of frozen shock since the abuse from my father when I was aged 3 or 4. I hope now that I’ve had this insight that I can be a little kinder to myself and cut myself a little more slack.

    Back to the present, and the dance class that my friend and her new boyfriend will be at is one of my stomping grounds, so I don’t want to stop going there just because they are going to be there, even though that will be hard. Maybe I just need to give myself more time.

  123. Patrick says:

    If I sound a bit ‘disturbed’ and pissed off…………………I am. I am reading and ‘studying’ a lot about this ‘geo engineering’ and it IS disturbing and it does piss me off. For good reason I would say.My brother in Ireland now says he will test the rainwater for all kinds of toxics heavy metals etc. He feels his farm and all around there is poisoned and I suspect he is correct. And while immersed in this I find it so weird here that people do not seem to care, will it take methane clouds where we will be choking and people here probably STILL will be saying ‘this reminds me of I was told my mother was gassed as I was being born etc’…………………as I say all this is valid but to make it to the exclusion of just about everything else. In this way primal is very ‘reactionary’ and so focused on ‘looking back’ I mentioned before Janov or God forbid maybe Barry might at least check into vaccine damage but no………………….all you will get is well maybe try to ‘re-live’ that vaccine damage……………… limited and actually stupid is that. Barry once said ‘our pain makes us stupid’ and I said in reply ‘yes but what if primal KEEPS us stupid’…………… many instances it has and it does imo…………….

  124. Patrick says:

    Last one (promise) this song well it just seems to the point. Werewolves of London to all the ‘shunning clubs’ all the uptight cold shouldering b………s hungry inside but use up and chew up other people…………….

  125. David says:

    Emily Smith’s wonderful cover version of Richard Thompson’s ‘Waltzings for Dreamers’:

    “One step’s for sighing
    Two steps for crying
    Waltzing’s for dreamers
    And losers in love.”

  126. Patrick says:

    I had one ‘experience’ with Jo she was actually my ‘buddy’ at the retreat when I came back Summer 2012. I thought I got on fine with her really was ok no problems at least that I was aware of. Though at the end of the week I was probably becoming a little ‘difficult’ as I got heavily into this notion that primal was a ‘cult’ and a cult in action that very week. So to say I understand if that upset her maybe again though I heard nothing about it from her I have learned though from these ‘expressors of feelings’ that does not mean there is not a problem

    Anyway what I want to get to on the Monday after the retreat finished on Sat I was sitting with a friend in front of Whole Foods in Venice with as it turns out an English friend who had been in primal also in the ’70’s even before me. I am glad to see Jo and attempt to make introductions and figured she would sit down for a while. But NO she seemingly is ‘busy’ and ‘in a hurry’ and had to rush off and I said to my friend ‘typical f…… primaller, all week this kind of ‘professional listening’ and now what does it mean ‘in reality’ well more or less nothing it seems. And that’s another thing about this freaking ‘cult’ it is so hypocritical and useless in any everyday sense. All of this ‘support’ is mostly just ‘professional’ and not real. I have found this out more than once and they gather year after year and mouth all this bullshit………………………

  127. Margaret says:

    > Patrick,
    > wow, you really do not get the point of my question do you?
    > it is clear you had absolutely no interest whatsoever in Jo’s opinions, although you pretend to ask about it all you want is to ‘help’ her by adopting your point of view.
    > she is absolutely right not to have responded imo.
    > you say you did not insult so much, well, maybe you should have a second look and also boy, the whole rant that comes out in reply to my question makes me feel sorry I asked.
    > read it over again and admit to yourself you behave like an asshole towards her for simply refusing to take your poorly disguised bait.
    > you seem to take no responsibility whatsoever about your own part in the whole dynamics of ending up alienating everyone.
    > it is starting to look you are getting out of touch of how it is to behave in a minimally respectful way.
    > take your time and look at yourself is all I can say, this hatred and contempt is not gonna make your life better, and is ugly to witness, I must say to my regret.
    > I am sorry about it, it is painful to read.
    > M

  128. Margaret says:

    > wish I had kept my mouth shut.
    > sorry folks.
    > M

  129. Patrick, There are a couple of things I want to say to you though I don’t anticipate you hearing me. Still I know there are some who will breathe a sigh of relief that it’s said. You keep referring to being shunned. I don’t think you are being ” shunned” if you want to call it that I think people don’t respond to you because you are not very nice. You seem to have little insight as to the constant hate and prejudice you bring to the blog and what’s worse is you have absolutely no respect for the opinions of others. You often pick someone to “compliment ” for supposedly not following the crowd but there’s nothing consistent or real about that either as it can change in a split second if that person dares to disagree with your uneducated and hatred filled rants. You focus on Jack attacking you with no insight as to what you might be doing to create that situation. Your conspiracy theories are all about your fear of just about everything and you don’t seem to see that either. It’s all about you though you disguise that in your so called concerns about the world. Even your story about Jo is a reflection of that. It never occurs to you that maybe there could be a good reason she was rushing or that you might ask her what was going on, no, you decide to come here and insult her and then wonder why she’s not responding. You have spent months insulting the therapy and when you did not receive the reaction you hoped for you simply decided to attack Jews. Next week it will be something else. You refer to being bullied as a child yet you don’t really seem to see how you have spent your life re-creating that and that you are now a bully as well. All that being said I am concerned for you. I feel you need help and I honestly am concerned for your physical health as well as what’s going on psychologically. I think you should get a check up and find a therapist that will be brutally honest with you. Maybe put the books aside that were written by conspiracy theorists, nazis and deniers and focus on yourself. I can’t imagine that you don’t see that something serious is going on. Gretchen

    • Patrick says:

      Gretchen – thanks for bothering (I mean that) I don’t know where to start or even if I should. But this thing of ‘shunning’ is bothering me. Not to bring it back to Jack but I have to the fact now that he NEVER comments on anything I say after over 4 years of ALWAYS commenting well it does kind of ‘weird’ me out……………….like some kind of ‘backroom deal’ has been made like let’s just totally ignore this guy (me). So what you might say? And really I am very glad Jack leaves me alone that’s a great relief. But knowing him as I feel I do I would not read any genuine ‘change of heart’ into this. It feels more ‘strategic’ by him and also the fact he gives no ‘explanation’ for a big change for him. How does he go from compulsive reflexive constant criticism to …………….nothing. I mean I don’t really care and I am glad if anything but to me he hardly has a ‘heart’ so if he changes it in my mind is just some more ‘strategy’ and probably no really good motive or certainly no ‘change of heart’ Jack to me does not do ‘change’ and he hardly has any ‘heart’ so there…………………but then I notice it seems there is some kind of overall agreement or ‘deal’ not to address me in any way by everyone else too. And it seems like some ‘change’ Jack has written his blog Bernadette is all of a sudden very ‘active’ but it seems to connect with more ‘ignoring’ of me and well it’s like I hate these kind of people and then add in all the ‘hypocricy’ I feel this and I feel that and SO ‘supportive’ all the time except to me…………………

      I guess I am trying to give some background to me commenting to Jo about the boarding school video. I honestly feel I did the first one to ‘help’ her but when I see the same stuffy English cold shoulder and from someone I have never had a problem with well they yes I agree the 2nd comment I made was a bit ‘insulting’ but it’s my frustration as to the seemingly ‘orchestrated shunning’.OK somehow I have caused this………………….and I suppose I have but still in my mind it’s like should I have? What I mean is I really sort of don’t get a ‘group’ that is supposed to be about ‘expressing feelings’ and yet mostly what you get is this kind of weak tea of ‘oh I know what you mean’ ‘oh I can relate to that’ ‘oh yes we are with you’ on and on blah blah blah. It feels pretty much phony and then combine that with ‘ignoring’ anything I say and in my mind what I am saying is ‘important’ or at least sometimes it is. This thing of the environment being sprayed with all kinds of poisons and the weather being manipulated has ‘disturbed’ me enormously. If there was ANYTHING I counted on and I had recently become more and more aware of this was ‘nature’ All my ‘therapy’ to use a word involved ‘nature’ for example the last 6 months every morning I would actually watch the sun rise and sit and ‘meditate’ until about 10 o’clock. My ‘mind’ would go in and out and in all directions and a lot of ‘pain’ too as in ‘facing’ things I have avoided all my life. It is hard to describe but I found it so liberating and ‘therapeutic’ to use a word. It’s like I felt I have really found the key to the lock here and I made it such a big part of my life. But now with this thing I am finding out about ‘chemtrails’ etc it feels like can I say ‘once again’ something wonderful I have found will be taken away from me is about to be taken away from me. I admit I am having a super hard time with all this

      So rather than ‘argue’ maybe I should just leave it there. It was not only the morning sun I mentioned last year how I had found this creek in Topanga this year I started going there almost everyday. It was just amazing totally isolated I would bathe in the cold water more ‘meditating’ and reading too. I said to a friend I had found a way to have a ‘good day’ start to finish and well is that taken away too. It feels like it has since I have found out about ‘chemtrails’ I have not even been to the creek (about i month). In fact it was there I came aware of them I saw one so clearly it seemed almost at the tree tops so bright and glistening and EVIL pure poison and then I notice as beautiful as the environment is there nature is not so ‘healthy’ the trees seem a bit sick no birds much only lizards seem to be there. They are probably tougher than birds or mammals. Anyway it’s like I am in shock really the very thing the ONLY thing I could count on………………..well I can’t and it seems it IS taken away.

      I talk a lot to my brother ini Ireland same story there if maybe in a different way, we talk and talk and it starts to feel tragic or beyond maybe the end of the world. So OK I know I can get ‘hyperbolic’ or ‘self important’ but that’s what I am dealing with. So then if I mention this as I have and get NO reaction it’s like who are these people? Are their heads shoved up so far you know where they do not know or care? Are they just genuinely part of the great propagandized masses or are they just being mean and small minded………………………whatever it is it get’s my goat and I start to say something about it. But really it’s a storm in a teacup the way I see it we are all doomed and some are more aware of it than others so what we are still all doomed……………….

      But thanks for caring Gretchen and taking your time…………….

  130. Patrick says:

    A little bit more about sitting in the morning sun……………………I even wanted to talk about how me at least now this IS ‘therapy’ it private, alone, no need to talk or impress anyone………………..and also in my own case ‘facing’ things can get kind of ‘complicated’ and a lot of it centers on ‘therapy’ itself I see and feel the truth of it a lot but also I deal with the ‘mistakes’ I made because of my ‘belief’ in it it can be and often is a very 2 edged sword………… really when Jo talks as he does a lot about being sent to boarding school and that is more than and very ‘understandable’ and knowing myself now I feel a bit more and how we DO ‘repeat’ our patterns is some amazingly deep ways and I just got a ‘flash’ about her as I might about myself………………like OMG her going to retreats so religiously SHE is still going to boarding school……………..It was NOT meant as an ‘insult’ no it was not it was like oh wow I SEE that now. And I am serious about this as ‘true’ as primal theory might be it can be and HAS been for me ‘damaging’ also the very ‘belief’ is a problem it makes a space between really living and experiencing life, the theory has become the ‘defense’ maybe even the MAIN defense…………………….and the ‘practice’ too not just the theory and for that moment I saw Jo in that way…………….go to retreats forever and ever forever going to boarding school forever being sent away in the hands of people who ;know better’ except clearly they didn’t and they don’t but STILL do it a life in prison a prison of the past and the very attempt to escape the prison is MORE of it………………I accept it is none of my business but it hit me that way can I say with a straight face ‘excuse me for caring’ I feel that I can………………..

  131. Patrick says:

    Life in prison……………….and that’s the way I feel if nature has truly been taken away. I am in prison it seems to me we are all in prison, isn’t that what prison is no blue sky, no fresh air just a substitute reality. Everything is just some ‘fake’ reality now……………

  132. Patrick says:

    Life in prison……………and then they sent me to ‘solitary confinement’ so I lashed out as people do there…………..ever watch that MSNBC program that is on all weekend of people in prison in the US…………….pure horror and terror…………………I think it’s called “Lockup” I can watch that for a few minutes at a time………………anything more is just too horrific…………..and if I can say that is another reason the idea of sending people to prison because of their ‘beliefs’ is very wrong and it DOES happen in Germany now at least, here it could be for just about anything it seems……….

  133. Margaret says:

    > Patrick,
    > you are very selective in your representation of your own facts depending of the context.
    > you now claim your first comment to Jo was only you trying to be nice and helpful to her, and there was no insulting being done.
    > one one hand I think you should reread it, and on the other hand you omit some points you formerly stated yourself, namely?
    > you said while buddying at the retreat your view of primal being a cult probably started causing some problems
    > your associations with your experience in boarding school also coloured your perception making it all look kind of negative
    > you interpreted JO’s not sitting down with you in Venice and telling you she was busy in a very negative way, jumping to very coloured and byassed conclusions about her motives, and obviously felt hurt and angry, extending it to ‘all those primal folks’
    > your feeling leaked clearly through in your way of adressing her, which did not come across as an attempt to help at all, but plainly leaking anger.
    > then on top of it all you added you might come across as being disturbed but that had to do with your concern about the world’s state.
    > and still, in your reply to Gretchen, all you focus on is the blame lying with the other person, you only meaning to be nice etc.
    > you really refuse to take a good look at yourself and what drives you,which will only engrain your current behaviour more deeply, even if you meditate every day.
    > you seem so stuck in being a victim, being misunderstood, and not taking responsibility for initiating 99 percent of your interactions with agression and insults, thus creating rejection in advance.
    > there imo lies the true problm, if you initiate with agression, what do you expect will happen?
    > and if you have no respect or interest for other views, what is your goal? to be rejected over and over and over? what point do you need to prove?
    > how to break this cycle?
    > just wondering theoretically, as I do not expect this will in any way be taken in, as you say all you want to do is punch for blood to flow, which is not a way to make friends or communicate in a constructive way, imho.
    > M

    • Patrick says:

      Margaret – to maybe get away from he said she said they said this IS what I wrote to Jo after she put on the video about boarding school and after I had watched it

      Patrick says:
      May 19, 2016 at 5:26 am
      Thanks for that Jo, that was really nice and very touching in places (I went to boarding school but at 13 and by my own ‘choice’ – I wanted to go there)…………………I couldn’t help but wonder though do you find a kind of strong similarity with going to the retreats? I had about an equal amount of ‘flashbacks’ to the boarding school and the retreats I went to (2 all together). That sort of ‘fitting in’ atmosphere which maybe was why I could not fit in………….

      So do you see any ‘insults’ there. I don’t and even though the tradition here is to be all what Jack calls lovey dovey well honestly I felt after watching that first off it reminded ME of the retreats more than my own experience in boarding school. I mean I don’t know what to tell you beyond that so then I thought of Jo and well how it might be a ‘pattern’ Is this now off limits to even suggest such a thing? Is that an insult? If so we have gone even further down the road of fake politeness than I even imagined.

      To maybe change the subject a bit I went to boarding school because I wanted to and really I liked it there I never felt particularly regimented also I went at 13 Jo was much younger so that’s of course a different and more serious situation. Also it was an Irish boarding school I think we managed to avoid the worse of the kind of preparation to run the British Empire if you know what I mean. We had tennis and football and music and lots of things there and though run by Catholic priests never a hint of sex exploitation of any kind by priests or pupils or anyone. Contrary to what you would expect from reading the newspapers…………………………

    • Patrick says:

      As far as being ‘selective’ Margaret you do a fine job yourself imo

  134. just briefly, angry and depressed out of my gourd. thanks for listening.

  135. Margaret says:

    > well, Patrick, why didn’t you add the part about the patterns?
    > I might be wrong, am not gonna look it up, but I have the strong impression you only reproduced part of your original comment to Jo.
    > but hey, go ahead if you insist on putting your head in the sand.
    > M

    • Patrick says:

      Well NO actually Margaret and I think it is telling that you think it is edited somehow by me. If my copy and paste works and I have checked that it did that is exactly what I wrote to her. So…………………might that not raise some questions in your mind my so called ‘insults’ are very often in the minds of the listeners I do believe. So I can be a bit blunt and I have my moments but do you really want a kind of continued yenta fest pity party where we all ‘relate’ and ‘identify’ endlessly and nothing much is said about anything

    • Patrick says:

      Margaret – to be absolutely clear the bit about the ‘patterns’ was my second try after she I felt pointedly did not answer to the first one. OK I was getting a bit pissed off by then I will admit but again also because she had done her ‘shunning’ number which interestingly enough she is still doing……………..Jesus Christ I don’t bite and even if I did I cannot at this distance……………..people could use some loosening up imo…………………….how about some ecstasy or at least pot or something (to be clear I don’t use any drugs at least that I know of. What’s put in the food or sprayed in the air I have not much choice about) To make is easy for you Margaret this is what I wrote later more than a day later when it was clear she was doing her ‘shunning act’ which interestingly enough she is still doing just another attempt to get a ‘rise’ out of her as we used to say in Ireland

      Patrick says:
      May 20, 2016 at 4:57 am
      Jo – I am still curious it you see some connection between your going to boarding school at a very young age and traipsing to retreats or is it repeats on a very regular basis. Doesn’t that also seem like ‘institutionalized’ behavior? It even is called an “Institute” I say that not to put you down we ALL repeat our patterns in very uncanny ways.It’s just well following my notion or actually my Dad’s ab out often the ‘cure being worse than the disease’ I don’t think anything should be off limits. I find that kind of approach very helpful to me though I am aware it is also the kind of approach that gets me ‘shunned’ here. A little club of which you may well be a member.(more institutionalized behavior?) It seems everyone pretty much now if a member except Otto. Which to to me at least speaks to his individuality and refusal to belong to lame clubs. I admire that very much.

  136. i moved to L.A. in 1989, from Long Beach CA. One of the major reasons for the move was that i wanted to get into the “Primal Community” and make some primal friends. I started PT in 1985 and I could rarely afford to go after the 3 weeks, so I thought moving closer could help me out with my therapy. In 1989, I did not even have non-primal friends, and had not had friends since 1973. I had some drug and drinking buddies in the Navy and a little while after I left the Navy, but not real friends. Anyway, moving to L.A. tore my kids away from their grandmother in Long Beach, setting the stage for horrible events later on in my family’s lives. Anyway, I guess the point I am trying to make is, 2016, my therapy has been a struggle since the start, I never have gotten into the whole Primal Community thing, ever, like where you go to other patients’ houses, or coffee dates, I also only have attended a few retreats and pretty much tried to keep away from other attendees as much as possible. I pretty much cannot stand to be around people. Yesterday, I hear there was a wedding of some patient that I know, a person that was always friendly to me. I did not know about the wedding, so I went to the PI to use the little back room for crying as I have been for a couple of months. So I guess BB had gone to the wedding, and probably a lot of his group members, so I was out of luck for that room usage. Anyway, I am going to have to run; take kid home and walk with wife and his dog, so I will try to finish up here. And let me say, while I am at it, I cant wait until she goes to Ohio, probably just an old feeling, or not, and I hope she stays there. Anyway, so of course I was not invited to the wedding, because I am totally unable to have an intimate or even a casual relationship, and most likely never will. I had been going to Saturday and even Sunday groups for a while until the old dachshund got sick and until Z’s income was severely slashed, and I had tried to be a tiny bit involved in the PC, even had a buddy for a while (RIP), but nothing came out of it. I should be making the normal human contact anyone would make, to see if BB was going to be at the PI on every Saturday. I should be having a session with BB or GB from time to time. I feel bad for being left out of the wedding because of my lifelong pains. Hence the anger and depression early cited. Not to mention that when I drove to the PI yesterday, I had to drop off Z and kid on the way, and she was shaming me about the McDonalds and other heart-killer wrappers that I had in the back seat of the car. Really really shaming, so I am pretty fucking pissed at her, even though I am always pissed at her for the misery that she has caused me for 40 years. Anyway, no time to finish this up. Yes I am a victim. Yes to all of the above. Piece of slime who only deserves this life. Whatever.

    • Sylvia says:

      Otto, shaming is so judgmental bummer and non-supporting. There has to be a happy medium between shaming and enabling, like ” you’ll do better cause you know you are worth it, and keep trying.” Keep on truckin.

      Patrick, I think Gretchen’s advice made a lot of sense, the last five sentences especially are very practical. Also it is not normal to feel such doom and gloom. We all are aware of what’s happening around us. The oceans heating up, the wars, the injustices. We live with it and can stay informed or take a more active role. But If it causes anxiety and depression then it’s something to get help about and not ignore. L.A. must be the Mecca for therapists; there has to be many to help. I think it was good advice (of Gretchen’s) to take concrete steps to help yourself.

      • Patrick says:

        Thanks Sylvia for caring though I don’t really see ‘doom and gloom’ as some kind of psychiatric issue to me it is more of just the reaction I have. I don’t second guess that so much if I can find a way to do something about it that is what would help me feel better. So I am doing that as much as I can and also talking to people who are also concerned. They are out there! quite a few once you scratch the surface.

  137. Margaret says:

    > well Patrick,
    > the bottom line remains the same, you have come to a point where you find it normal and acceptable to insult and offend people and then blame them for not feeling eager to interact with you.
    > with the long reply, rant, you posted later it became crystal clear you were already pissed to start with.
    > your anger and bitterness and distrust colours all your perceptions and seems to make it increasingly hard to function and communicate and just for yourself to feel good about anything at all.
    > if retreats reminded you of boarding school that is what you should have talked about instead of backing out.
    > eternally venting your anger and contempt and lashing out at anyone within reach won’t get you anywhere and will certainly not make you a happier person.
    > if anything you should try to connect those feelings to their true sources instead.
    > but hey, it is your life.
    > I’d advice you to make a clear choice for yourself to either give therapy a real and genuine try or to go and do other things, as with what you are doing now you are tearing yourself apart with the pointless combination of agression and need.
    > the need is genuine, the agression is an act out as you do not want to connect it with your underlying feelings seemingly, which sadly enough you tend to label as weakness.
    > you will probably just wipe this off the table as anal-izing, but it is sad to see a person torture himself and hurt others in the process as well.
    > have you ever wondered what all this defensiveness is about?
    > M

  138. Margaret says:

    > I feel a bit distressed.
    > now that mom said no to the available room when she visited it with her boyfriend, and we did not mind too much, thought to give her more time to stay in her house till the next room becomes available, she is suddenly getting more confused.
    > had her on the phone, and she kept asking where my brother was to give her her clothes, while she was already dressed, and it is evening.
    > it is painful, and worrying.
    > my brother has a little trip planned for four days on Thursday, and although our mom started hesitating about the room again during the weekend, we could not do anything about it as the social workers need to be there.
    > they had probably already contacted someone else on Friday too…
    > now i regret she did not take it, it is such a shame the unlike the first social worker I had on the phone, the next one told us we could not come and look at the room on a saturday, so we ended up letting our mom go see it on friday with her boyfriend.
    > we had never imagined she would be so open to the idea already of taking it, and of course he did not encourage her despite she asked him for his advice..
    > sigh…
    > it is such a equilibrium act to try and walk the line between taking care and respecting our mom’s opinions and the rules and opportunities of the nursing home.
    > especially as our mom’s opinions tend to change quickly, but now she seems kind of starting to feel lost alone in her house not knowing if it is evening or morning etc.
    > will probably call the home tomorrow and explain them, if only to make sure they contact us again if another room comes free..
    > hopefully it won’t take another 9 months again..
    > it would be nice if they would still have the current one but I doubt it, they must have contacted someone else by now..
    > i hate the idea of her being confused and scared and feeling lost, luckily she was able to give me a call so she can still do that on occasions, and I will contact her frequently the coming days..
    > M

    • Leslie says:

      Sorry for you Margaret and all you are taking care of…
      It is so much to be making these decisions with all the practical and then emotional implications.
      Thinking of you,
      ox L

  139. DENIAL: The deniers. There are so many things I/we can all be in denial about. As I see it ‘neurosis’ is just that: a denial that we are in pain, either subconsciously or otherwise.

    There are climate deniers
    There are chemtrail deniers
    There are Holocaust deniers
    There are God deniers. I’m one of those
    There are Primal Therapy deniers.
    And on and on on ad infinitum.

    All I am left with is, to take what evidence there seems to be about any one of them and come to my own decision. What I am aware of; if there is a conspiracy to deny something on such a grand scale it is hard for me to deny it. One example for me:- Having lived through the second world war and heard the bombs drop whilst being in an air raid shelter it would be hard for me to deny that WWII ever took place. Further, after seeing pictures in the newspapers and on news reels (before the advent of TV) of people near death from starvation, lots of them supposedly in death camps in Germany, it would be very hard for me to imaging that on such a large scale that this could have been a fake. I’m absolutely sure that someone would have blown the whistle and exposed the whole thing.

    However, it does not necessarily follow that thousands nay millions were gassed in these round ups of Jew, Gypsies, Gays and the mentally retarded. Adolph Hitler made it quite plain in Mein Kamp, that he hated Jews … and presumable also gypsies and gays. For what purpose were they rounded up? It would be way beyond anything I can conjure up that they were merely in need of de-lousing.

    One other denial:- Many that read “The Primal Scream” and then came to LA and plonked down the money and when their hopes were dashed, to BLAME the therapy for it “not working” is a bit of a stretch. It would be tantamount to me claiming that the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art; that I gained access to and did one whole year, to DENY that it could teach students some of the techniques to acting. “The fault dear Jack was not in the Academy; but in myself that I didn’t quite have the talent”. It is hard to accept failure … and so easy to BLAME the institution.

    It’s called “being DEFENSIVE”. If I have it right (no guarantee of course that I do) After decades of denial is is hard to eliminate all my defenses. BUT I’ll go on whilst I have breath and my heart ticks. Oh!!! forgot I am told I don’t have one … sorry. Got that one wrong.


  140. Patrick, I’m sure you are aware that most Germans don’t agree with you nor do they see the Holocaust as you do. I’m not sure why you are so offended by my use of the words Deniers and Nazis ( I recall you being offended previously by the word Nazi). I did not come up with those names and those involved freely refer to themselves as Nazis or Deniers. Are you saying you prefer not to be called a denier? Hate filled rants? I can only suggest you go back and read your previous posts. You are not discussing a political viewpoint dispassionately but rather spewing a great deal of hate, rage and prejudice. Perhaps you are not aware of that. Yes, my belief is that prejudice always reveals a lack of understanding and education ( I don’t mean formal education by the way). Don’t you think that’s true? In the end and quite ironically I see you as proof positive there was in fact a Holocaust. I’m sure that might come as a surprise to you. Every word of denial is further proof of what happened. I’m not really interested in a debate however, there is no point. I was just trying to say I am concerned and I would love to see you get a check up and to find a good therapist. The last thing relates to comments you made about the retreat and what you said to Jo. I did not find your first comment to Jo to be aggressive but it did seem you had an agenda. I think you were trying to make a point and unfortunately that isn’t going to make the other person want to engage. You also are leaving a big fat piece out of your retreat experience. As I recall you liked your first retreat at least enough to sign up for the next one. But maybe you don’t recall leaving the second one . Maybe that could be another reason Jo was not responsive to you. I think your anger gets the best of you quite often, possibly to your detriment. I’m just trying to point out that maybe people are not responsive because of how you approach them. Gretchen

  141. Margaret says:

    > thanks Leslie.
    > will call the home and check if possibly they still have the room but am afraid not.
    > this morning mom sounded better again..
    > it would be a relief if she’d be there well surrounded with lots of social company and activities and safety.
    > and so much less worry and pressure on our shoulders as well.
    > M

  142. Patrick says:

    This thing about not liking the ‘atmosphere’ seems to go very deep in me. LIke even say the ‘primal atmosphere’ I have to concede in the end it in many ways comes down to that. Like I may think and I have for years and years Jack to be ‘deluded’ but maybe more important or telling is he LIKED it I felt ‘uncomfortable’ in it. This does go deep in me. So I put my faith in ‘nature’ natural food, sunshine, wind, cold everything about nature. And now that fails me nature is screwed it seems I thought I went back to something that could not fail and more and more I find out even the weather is not natural anymore. Even sun and wind are ‘engineered’ so what’s left………………………nothing much I’m afraid maybe ‘fight’ it but I am getting old and tired. If I think about ‘atmosphere’ is the stuff we bathe in breathe in and if that is going on gone can you say it’s a ‘big deal’ I’m afraid I can.

    I think also going back to the sun and wind as a child again it was something I could count on all the rest was up for grabs. Also I mentioned it is an ‘Irish’ thing to love the weather……………………..our weather is gone………………

  143. Margaret says:

    > my brother will go look at a room again tomorrow with our mom, even while none is really available right away.
    > it will hopefully simply be useful in the process.
    > boy, folks, please keep writing here, I don’t want this page being momopolized by the usual sort of … (to be filled in freely)..
    > part of my feeling now is what about me?
    > I need attention as well, and it triggers the old sadness and hopelessness to lose out again.
    > just mentioning the old feeling, in the present I will survive and am glad not to have to go through the same lengths to well, it starts feeling like drama queen behavior lately.
    > the sneery type of drama queen..
    > M

  144. Phil says:

    It seems like your mother isn’t going to make it easier for you.

  145. Phil says:

    My high school class has scheduled a reunion, I see on it’s facebook page. Observing this has brought up a lot of feelings. Of the people who say they are going I don’t recognize anyone. Nothing is different in that I can’t see going to this reunion because there is nothing to celebrate, almost no one to reunite with, because I wasn’t really there the first time, while in school. It has brought up a lot of feelings of how much I acted out and excluded myself when I really wanted to be included.
    Another reason why it’s important for me to go to the retreat and be included, and I will be going.

    • David says:

      Phil, there seems to be a much bigger tradition of school reunions in the US than in the UK. Actually, I don’t think there IS one over here. None that I’ve been invited to anyway.There’s a couple of school friends I’m in touch with via Facebook, and one in particular who I’d like to see again, if I can get up to his neck of the woods in the summer. Also, one very good friend from art school who I think of from time to time, who I’ve sadly lost touch with. But a full blown reunion of everyone? No, I wouldn’t be very into that either… I remember some fun and good times. But also a lot of cliques, bullying and sarcasm. Though maybe people have mellowed out over time..
      Great that you’re going to the retreat. Wish I could be there.

      • Phil says:

        I would only go to the reunion for therapeutic reasons as it holds little attraction for me.
        But I am curious about it, maybe as a reminder of what I missed out on in the past and since then. There would need to be at least a couple of friends attending. Out of a class
        of about 300 I’m imagining at least 50 to 100 guests showing up. It’s quite unlikely I’ll go but I do have feelings about the whole thing.
        If not this year, maybe another year you can attend the retreat. It would be nice to meet you there.

  146. Margaret says:

    > Phil,
    > lately she seems to be showing more of her vulnerable side instead of always being argumentative.
    > she asked many times for our opinion on the decision of taking the room or not, and admits more easily it is getting difficult for her to feel confused.
    > she also spontaneously acknowledges our position as to probably feeling more at ease with her safely being taken car of.
    > of course there is still her ‘temper’ and her lack of memory complicating things, so we have to try and navigate cautiously between allowing her as much freedom as possible to make up her mind and making sure she makes the best decision as it is clearly becoming more urgent gradually which forces us to consider the possible problem if it takes another ten months or so before a new room gets free.
    > so far things seem to go ahead in a very nice way, with mostly gentleness, care and patience and appreciation from her part for it.
    > i am so glad to have my brother by my side in all of this, we make a good team.
    > thanks for responding Phil, I appreciate it a lot as I can use the feeling of support.
    > M

  147. Margaret says:

    > Phil, at the last retreat we shared you did make me feel included.
    > you continuously telling me how the Belgian football team played in a bar in Santa Barbara, made me feel part of things, and not lost as so often is the case when I am in a group of people.
    > a bad coincidence we happened to beat the American team, smiley..
    > sorry, smiley..
    > thanks for that, it was really very nice.
    > M

  148. Quote:- From third rant, last paragraph “….the purpose is to get OVER it isn’t it …. ” No no and no. In just his one line you display your total lack of what Primal Therapy is all about. It’s not about getting ‘over’ anything. I could give you my take, but I suspect (with a great deal of certainty) it will only go into your deaf ear.

    Incidentally I was not at the retreat you walked out on, BUT from what I heard it was merely that one person refused to shake you hand. You mis-represent almost everything. You are indeed Patrick a very sad person and I feel things will only go from bad to worse for you.


  149. Sylvia says:

    Margaret, I am thinking of you and know that it is not easy to be in that position of encouraging your mom to live in a more safe but unfamiliar place. I’ve heard it takes about three weeks for someone to get used to living in the residential care. My brother and I waited as long as we could and wished the room had become available a little sooner as Mom was becoming quite stubborn in letting us help her with daily needs: taking pills, bathing, sleeping, eating etc. because of the dementia. She really was quite tired of being so isolated with me so I think she liked the socialness of being around more people. It was an adjustment but there were people there at the care home to help her with everything. Hope your plans will go as you want them.
    Take care and I’m glad you have the support of your brother as I did with mine too; will be thinking of you–keep writing.

  150. Margaret says:

    > thanks a lot Sylvia.
    > will keep you posted, smiley, M and cats

  151. Patrick says:

    I remember the name it is Renee! Hi Renee don’t know if you follow the blog or not but I would actually be interested in what you know about Reich especially if you anything his weather ‘experiments’ You have always struck me as someone a bit more open to ‘ideas’ than the usual know nothing see nothing it’s all in the primal cannon as exemplified especially by Fundamentalist Primal PR man himself. the ‘author’ of the present blog and don’t forget his 2 ‘books’ which you can get if you contact him. He always wants to make a ‘sale’ he is a PR man after all.

  152. Hey Patrick, You are correct about one thing. I am very concerned and I do hope you will consider my advice. As much as you complain about speaking your views on this blog I do believe this is the only place you have felt safe to do so. I think what you have a problem with is the lack of agreement. That being said it is of course true that no one would hurt you and people have listened. Still it’s clearly difficult to tolerate a lack of agreement. No one else has left the retreat, I believe what you are remembering is the guy who informed us beforehand that he would need to drive back for work midweek and then he would be back. Of course it’s not a crime to leave . I was simply trying to point out that some of the reactions you receive are directly related to your behavior. In connection with that I ask again that you refrain from using Homophobic, Racist or Anti Semitic slurs and any and all name calling . I consider it the last resort of the ill informed. Lastly, no, I am not insulted. Why would I be? I suspect it’s true that what I am saying is word salad to you. I believe that completely. Also I have never claimed to be a historian and I assume you would not classify yourself as a historian either so what would insult me about that? It’s the truth. On the other hand it probably wouldn’t matter much if I was. Gretchen

    • Patrick says:

      Gretchen – I can always it seems only deal with what you say a bit at a time. (You say so much!) But now I want to say the thing about leaving the retreat was not what you mentioned here though I do remember that but that’s different.

      What I am talking about is a guy and I remember his name actually but I suppose I should not say but to me he was a ‘funny’ guy and if I remember correctly EVERY SINGLE DAY there and it was the Summer one he would announce “I’m outta here” and he seemed real serious too. But every single day the next day he would be there but announcing how he’s outta here. It got to the point where I thought well that’s just his schtick but lo and behold Sat morning the last day where is he he’s not here he’s GONE.

      There was something about that was so funny like when he had us just thinking it was his schtick then all of a sudden it wasn’t he really meant it and WENT. That’s interesting you say I was the only one who left. I find that surprising in a way but I suppose if you think about it it is a bit ‘un-usual’. But then again I am a kind of ‘un-usual’ patient wouldn’t you say?

      It just occurs to me now with the above guy as an ‘example’ and how he talked so casually about leaving I did not think it would be that un-usual. Also I would even expect in an atmosphere of possibly high ‘psycho-drama’ it would be almost common. But that seems to be my different ‘understanding’ of what therapy is about to most people. To most people it seems weirdly (to me) kind of stately and predictable and did I mention boring.

      • Larry says:

        He left because he was afraid to confront and take responsibility for his life. I was at Barry’s last small group that he attended, just days before the retreat. I said to him in small group, trying to put myself in your place, if I was you at your young age, I would feel overwhelmed by the problems in my life and overwhelmed by how much it would seem to take to straighten it out and afraid for my future. He looked me in the eye and nodded yes that is how he feels. He left to go live with his Dad who was very wealthy.

        • Patrick says:

          Larry – we seem to be talking about a different person. The guy I am talking about was not young more like your and my age I even remember his name but I am never sure of the protocol around that. It starts with an A. might help you remember.

  153. Patrick, Oh yeah I know who you mean – he comes to most retreats and always says he’s “outa there” – he did not leave the retreat – we knew in advance his plane was leaving early the last day. Yeah name starts with A , around our age and from the South . He will be at next retreat I believe. I guess you did not realize what was going on and took that literally. G.

    • Larry says:

      Oh yeah! Now I know who you’re talking about. ‘A’ stuck it out, confronted his fears, and at subsequent retreats expressed how glad he was that he did and how grateful for the retreat process.

  154. As a P.S. There is a difference between drama and feeling. People often mistake the two. One tear can be more powerful than a big screaming drama. It really just depends. G.

  155. Margaret says:

    > yes, I remember feeling, and even telling that guy I found him the bravest person of all, because he dared to go into his fear and what Patrick would refer to as ‘weakness’, but what is vulnerability, despite his whole defense being thoroughly based on strong male toughness.
    > I was very touched by his other side, which he tended to jump back to occasionally, but I had the privilege to walk up with him to a meal while he was still in a deep feeling zone.
    > one must be so disconnected to use boring for a process that is often no less than fascinating and deeply moving.
    > M

    • Patrick says:

      Margaret – it was probably unnecessary of me to add that but to me at least it is important to just say how things strike me not how I might wish they would strike me or how I might want others to think how it affects me and just say how it actually DOES. To me at least that is the beginning of wisdom and my way of doing ‘primal’ seems to involve pretty much always getting outside the ‘primal matrix’ maybe this is just a personal issue but very likely it is true for most people. Social expectations can be a huge distortion and in blogs etc I think that is even more likely to happen. So good for you if you find it ‘deeply moving and fascinating’ but mostly I don’t. Whatever that ‘means’ nothing I suppose just being me. All this talk about being ‘so disconnected’ well to me that’s all it is…………talk. It might ‘sound’; good but really can we even be disconnected we are all connected whether we like it or not. I’m afraid Margaret most of that comes under the heading of ‘primal jargon’ better to speak plainly and in a way anyone can understand.

      • Quote:- “it was probably unnecessary of me to add that but to me at least it is important to just say how things strike me” In Primal therapy is is more IMPORTANT to say how you feel. What you think is “head tripping” … something you are ONLY able to do.

        For someone that by his own admission failed in therapy, to constantly mis-representing it ‘takes the biscuit’. You failed … stop blaming the therapy for your failure. You THINK, seemingly, that the therapy had to do it all for you. NO!!!!!


  156. Margaret says:

    > my brother went to the nursing home with our mom this morning, just to have another look at the rooms, which turned out to be nice, and to have another talk with a social worker.
    > the former room has already been given away to a temporary revalidation case, but that person will probably stay as she is 95..
    > my brother spoke with our mom once more telling her she should not wait until she is really in a poor shape, as then it would be hard to connect and make friends there.
    > if she takes the next room she can still join in with all the daily activities, gym every morning and another activity every afternoon, and become part of things.
    > they promised us to let us know when there is an opportunity.
    > but they said also they are going to renovel the rooms on the ground floor, make them still a bit bigger, so when that happens the people staying there would hae to go to the other floors, which makes the chances of free rooms smaller of course…
    > we can’t do much more at this point.
    > my brother will go on a bike ride for several days, and brought her freshly cooked food, filled her fridge, gave her medication and prepared it for the next days, did her laundry, and put clean cloths at hand for her for the next days..
    > he is such a nice person, I hope he has a great time on his bicycle with his friends, riding up some of the mountains of the Tour de France..
    > feeling somewhat down, weather cold and grey, did the chores, studied, read a book and start to feel lonely and bored by now..
    > and sad I guess…
    > cats by my side though, one on the couch, one before the gas fire on the carpet, all stretched out enjoying the warmth.
    > they are adorable, one loves to play fight, with mostly soft paws, just a hint of some claws by mistake now and then, and it is very funny when occasionally one hides behind some furniture to jump up and hit my leg with a few fast hits and runs off, inviting me to play along.
    > they love to play goal keeper on the couch, catching every play mouse I throw even if it is a very fast throw.
    > they love that game, get all wired up and have to make a fast race around the living room from time to time before jumping back on the couch for more throws.
    > am already smiling again..
    > M

  157. Phil says:

    Maybe your mother is getting used to the idea and will be ready for the next opening.
    Your cats sound like a lot of fun! I need something like that here at work to liven things up.
    All I have are some spiders. Not quite the same.

  158. Margaret says:

    > aaargh! those are about the only animals that really freak me out!
    > irrational, I know, but they have always raised enormous panic in me, probably passed through by my mom reacting in the same way, so it became a real focus of my fear.
    > and they are not particularly nice or pretty, and even when you kill them what I rather not do, they become a messy squash after a dreadful cracking sound, and then all those legs pulled up, brrrrr…
    > and they can be so fast, and if they are on you they cling like crazy, argh again!!!
    > M

    • Phil says:

      There is a large black spider in my room here right now. I have my co-workers convinced that I strongly support bug rights and am against cruelty to insects. There is even a website I found to support this: And this is kind of true in that I don’t go around killing things.
      So when people here see a bug of any kind, they call me and I take care of it by moving it to a safe spot, such as my lab room.
      I do find ways to have some fun.

      • Sylvia says:

        Well Phil, found your website of insects interesting and was going to ‘buy’ it until I read the part about them trying to save head lice from ugly children–poor kids, all are beautiful, huh. Larry is ‘into’ insects maybe he is part of that group?
        I only kill black widows and like the daddy long legs that spin webs to catch gnats.

        • Phil says:

          Here’s another website you might like, on luxury bug hotels designed by architects.
          Meant to attract and keep bugs happy:


          • Sylvia says:

            Such interesting accommodations for the bugs. A lot of time and patience and concern for the little bugs. I bet the children visiting those parks really appreciate those honeycomb little buildings with the lively occupants. It speaks to the architect’s connection to their own childhood fascination with bugs, yes? I remember when a little neighborhood boy and I were about seven and catching butterflies in my backyard. I didn’t like that he pinned his collection in a frame. I was no better, I saved mine to throw in a pond to feed gold fish–poor thing.

            • This brings up a rather fascinating question:

              How many invisible micro-organisms do we squash and kill every day when we just walk around, sit down, lay down, eat, etc. during our daily routines? Do we kill millions or billions of them every day? I’m not sure.

              What about the rights of those poor creatures?

              • Phil says:

                I just had thousands or even millions of microorganisms for breakfast. Many of them
                will now live happily in my gut. I’m sure my skin is covered with them too. They are us.

  159. Margaret says:

    > Phil, haha, well, you better don’t move flies into the room, that would be great for the spider of course, but not for them.. I seem to remember flies are insects, spiders are not, isn’t it?
    > Larry should know for sure.
    > I always used to catch wasps in a freindly way by putting a glass over them when they sit on the window, and then a paper between it and the window to cover up the glass, and then take them outdoors.
    > now that has become more difficult of course, when in the summer something comes buzzing in I always hope it is a big fly as all my cats loved so far to catch anything that moves, and it would be dangerous if they got stung..
    > it is funny when I put a mosquito device in spreading anti mosquito vapors,, for fifteen minutes or so right before going to bed, to see the cats jumping around leaping high up to catch the dopey mosquitos that come spiraling down.
    > that would be if it gets a bit warmer again, it seems too cold now for mosquitos..
    > in Spain we once had a giant beetle that arrived on our terrace one day, it came buzzing by with a loud noise, and landed, and it was funny, when my husband bent over to have a closer look at it, it suddenly lifted itself up on its hind legs and gave a loud groaning hiss, and my husband took a jump backwards which really cracked me up, this big man being frightened by this brave beetle..
    > also there we once saw a mating pair of these huge bright green …, they resemble giant crickets, but are predators, and while the male was well, ‘fertilizing’ the female, she just turned her big head around, and started eating him bit by bit, while he still went on for a while, losing feet and wings and finally his head and the rest..
    > it was both fascinating and gruesome, we had all just smoked some pot and sat around it watching nature take its course on the sandy curb before the one freaky bar the villlage had on satrudays..
    > well, sorry, have been too silent today, and am happy..
    > M

    • Larry says:

      I was surprised to see your insect discussion thread, Margaret, Sylvia, and Phil. It’s rare that I see insects as a topic in every day social conversation. Just to confirm, insects have 6 legs and belong to Class Insecta, while spiders are of the Class Arachnida, all of which have 8 legs. I looked it up in Wikipedia just to be sure I had the phylogeny and spelling correct.

      From last Friday to Monday I put 2300 km on my car in a short, quick visit to family and friends in Manitoba. It recharges me to visit them and makes me contemplate whether I should move there in my retirement. While there, I visited a wildflower nursery and bought some native flowers grown from seed, for a flower garden that would include milkweed, to host Monarch butterflies. On a side note, during my travels a lot of airborne insects got mashed up against my car grill and windshield. As they flit and fly through the air they don’t have a chance against a vehicle racing toward them at 110 km per hour.

      I was on the road again this past Tuesday to today, for 1000 km with three work colleagues to seed research field plots at distant sites to study an outbreak of an insect pest of some of Canada’s important food crops. Yesterday we worked from 7 am to 9 pm. I don’t know much about the pest or insects in general, except what I passively absorb from work. In general, I prefer to live and let live, but when it comes to insects trying to suck my blood or eat my food or my shelter, I can understand how the planet sometimes just isn’t big enough for both us (people) and them. On a similar side note, our work truck grille and windshield got a thick splatter of smashed airborne insects that I’ll have to wash off next week when I go to work.

      Every day I check the blog, even when I’m away from home, to see what everyone is writing here. Other people have friends or spouses that they stay in touch with through the day, mostly by phone or text. It hit me the other day that all I have who I stay in touch with daily is you and this blog. I’m touched by your stories and feel less alone as I explore what caused my life to go awry, and I get an ever deeper appreciation for how injustices against children affect us all the rest of our lives, unless we get some relief through Primal Therapy. Sometimes I’m surprised how much I rely on this blog and all of you on it to be here, how more empty my life would be without you. I’m impressed by how you confront horrendous childhood experiences in your quest to heal. I wish I had commented at the time to some of your various writing that I had a strong, supportive, concerned reaction to. I generally was too tired or didn’t have the time.

      Margaret, late last evening, exhausted after a very long work day and resting in my motel room by getting caught up reading the blog, I was suddenly and more than ever before troubled and kind of shaken by the plight of your life, by the disability that cheats you of the quality and sense of control you once had of your life, by the inevitable loss you must deal with one day of your mother, by the pets who live with you and bring you comfort but you have no life partner. My burst of deeper empathy for your life situation as I perceive it leads me to also suspect something about your life suddenly is triggering something in me about mine.

      • Phil says:

        It bugs me, and it’s shocking how you can so easily talk about driving at reckless high speeds killing large numbers of small innocent creatures.

        • Larry says:

          It’s hard for me to know whether your have a mischievous sense of humour or you seriously mean what you wrote in your comment, Phil. 110 kilometers per hour is about 68 miles per hour, and is the standard speed limit on good divided highways here. I’m sure people drive much faster than that on freeways in the US and Europe.

          As for all the harm out there that befalls innocent creatures and people every minute of every day, I’d be soon overwhelmed if I let my empathy for them always come to the forefront of my consciousness.

          In the past I’ve sometimes had to be involved in an insect survey that required me to set out or check sticky traps that were changed weekly. In recent years it bothered me quite a bit to approach a trap and sometimes notice an insect still alive but stuck in the trap goo and valiantly but hopelessly struggling to escape to save it’s life. Since I had only two choices, one being to ignore it and let it suffer and struggle until it finally perished in the goo, instead I instantly snuffed out it’s life to bring a quick painless end to its awful suffering. I never heard of anyone else ever being touched by the suffering of the insects caught in the traps and there was a time much earlier in my life when I wouldn’t have given them a thought.

          No doubt about it, insects that smear against the front of a vehicle travelling at highway speeds die instantly, unaware even of what happened. It is probably a more merciful end than what befalls the millions of insects eaten every day by spiders, fish, reptiles, and small mammals.

          Your response is interesting, Phil.

          • Phil says:

            Just a little joke….you drive within the speed limit and I guess there are no laws written on this. Maybe a bumper sticker saying “I slow down and stop for bugs” would be in order.
            My area gets a large number of road killed animals; deer, squirrels, possums, etc, it is very sad to see. I can only imagine all the dead road kill insects Instant Karma?

            • Larry says:

              Ha ha. This vehicle makes frequent stops for bugs.

              • Larry: Good to know you make frequent stops for bugs as well as studying them. Me Well!!!! I’m not a bug lover (except for bees), and my my computer hates them and does it best to kill them. There are some huge human size bugs and I’m not sure they deserve respect, and one of them is hoping to get into the White House. He freaks the wits outta me and I have nightmares about his starting to throw nukes around indiscriminately, and it all ending up with the destruction of the planet. I hope the majority of Americans are equally as freaked about him as I am … but now I wonder at the overall sanity of the majority of this nation

                Meantime, to all you other buggers I just hope it doesn’t bug me any further, 🙂 🙂 .


                • Larry says:

                  If he gets in, I hope after his first week in office he’s impeached.

                  • I remember buying a paperback copy of Trump’s The Art of the Deal back when it came out in the 80’s when I was still an impressionable youngster. It was actually a fairly captivating read for me in school, yet it wasn’t immediately useful for me.

                    I might still have it deep in storage somewhere.

                  • Larry: I thought of that also in my fantasizing … BUT I don’t see the Republicans EVER allowing that to one of their own. They couldn’t even bring Nixon to impeachment.


      • Sylvia says:

        Larry, and isn’t it nice to come to a place and complain a bit. Where else can we come to to be met with some understanding of how our past has affected our now. When some people hear somebody complain about the past they say: forget about the past or suck it up and go on. They simply don’t want to hear about it. We know better. It’s good to have caring friends here. I agree Larry, nice to have a place that listens.

        Oh Phil, I’m having flashbacks of our old Studebaker’s radiator covered with dead moths and butterflies travelling through Arizona one summer as a kid. My next primal…anguish over insects…yikes! when will it end.

      • Anonymous says:

        yeah…..connection with ….another…………being

        • Sylvia says:

          So right, connection with someone. (And I’ve heard of Temple Grandin, she knew how sensitive and scared cattle were because she was that way also and could relate.)

  160. Margaret says:

    I think that insects and spiders are classified as separate groups, but with “bugs”, I’ve got them all covered. This all started because our old office was leaky and at ground level near a wooded area. All kinds of bugs would come in, centipedes, spiders, daddy long legs, you name it, and I would get called to save the situation. Coworkers almost all women who don’t appreciate bugs
    like you do.

    • Phil says:

      Sorry for the mix up, the last post was mine.
      I think that insects and spiders are classified as separate groups, but with “bugs”, I’ve got them all covered. This all started because our old office was leaky and at ground level near a wooded area. All kinds of bugs would come in, centipedes, spiders, daddy long legs, you name it, and I would get called to save the situation. Coworkers almost all women who don’t appreciate bugs
      like you do.

  161. Renee S. says:

    Hi Patrick,
    I saw your post and I do read the blog sometimes. I feel a little uncomfortable with you reaching out to me because I do not see how I can be helpful to or supportive of you. When I read you postings, I have so many of my own projections that I doubt I can actually see you clearly or really understand you. Many of your postings are painful for me to read because I see so much of myself in them. I sense your tendency toward lashing out, isolation and stuckness, and I am reminded of these qualities in myself and how much I hate them. I sense that when you respond to others in a group, either at a retreat or on the blog, you are back in your family or some other group and back in your familiar role of antagonist, outsider and sometimes scapegoat. These roles are all too familiar (and very lonely) to me and also sometimes feel impossible get out of. And your prejudices and biases…….well, I judge you harshly for them because they are so sick and hurtful. Yet, I know when I do that part of me is being hypocritical because it is easier for me look down on you for these beliefs than to recognize my own prejudices (which I think more subtle than yours and connected to white privilege). Perhaps you want to connect to me so that you do not feel so alone. I can do that one on one with you, like I remember doing at a retreat once. But in a group setting, the way you present yourself is just too triggering for me.
    P.S. If you are interested in Wilhelm Reich, check out this link:–7/#/
    It is a preview of an upcoming documentary of his life, as well a fundraiser to finish making the movie.

    • Larry says:

      I thought that was an insightful, honest, helpful, sensitive reply Rene, that Patrick could learn from if he was able.

  162. That was certainly kind.

  163. Your right Otto ! Gretch

  164. Margaret, nice cats!

  165. In mil school, we had barracks, not a dormitory, like you might have at a boarding school. The blankets, i think, were wool, scratchy. we shined shoes and belt buckles, the smells of which i will never forget. i was not really thinking about this, just read an older post of yours, Jo. I don’t think i had any thoughts about i here? I think i had somewhat of a dog brain, and pretty much accepted being thrown into a pile of shit every few years. I did like the music that was played sometimes when we marched, and Glee Club. Did that place warp me almost to the point of extinction? yes it surely did, and in only one year’s time. wahhh. not feeling anything just wanted to open my big mouth. going to watch #1 kid give a final presentation to other students at ucla tomorrow, then his birthday friday, then he goes to ohio in august, wont see him much after that. kind of reminds me when i was ready to board the plane to Spain when i was in the Navy, my kiind uncle teared up as we said goodbye, then he died while i was over in Spain. went to #2 kid’s house sunday to see his family. baby and toddler, delightful, but i cant engage the little boy much at all. maybe i look too much like his father. maybe the dead look on my ugly face does not set well with him. he is happy and his mom is good to him well we dont see them that much and i dont like being around people, especially kids. maybe i already posted something about this, cant remember, looked at too many numbers the past few days, so brain is soggy. i put his new ball into his outstretched arms, because he was too young to catch it yet. now THERE are some old feelings triggered. 1/4 tear. He just starting out, so full of life, me with 2 feet in the grave. My constant feeling for so long a time now. When i am not thinking about all the pets i have had to take to the vet and have them put to sleep over my long life as a pet owner. joy. not. not for a long long long time.

  166. I can’t speak for Otto but I don’t think he meant Renee was kind for speaking to you … nor did I . Clearly you are a bit mixed up as neither of us said that. I think you are confused as well by my comment that you are proof there was a Holocaust. That’s okay, maybe the meaning will be clear to you another time. Gretchen

  167. swisslady says:

    After I wrote about my sexual abuse last week (or as I worded it to Gretchen: “exposed myself”) I felt very vulnerable and with every passing day, felt increasingly scared. I was going to write about it more, but couldn’t find the right words, didn’t find the way back into the conversation on the blog, was afraid to comment on anything that was said for fear of not finding the right words, for fear of offending anyone, causing anybody to retaliate or punish me. It didn’t occur to me until this very minute that all these were additional feelings surrounding the incident: “not finding the right words” to talk about it after it happened. Being afraid of retaliation or punishment (the perpetrator must have threatened me – I don’t remember). In a bigger sense, I didn’t find my way back into the family, or into my life after the abuse. As I am writing this, my heart is pounding, I know I am on the right track, but I am terrified. Of what? To find out who it was that abused me? Of punishment? Retaliation? My pain? In any case, I am speaking out now. And I will keep on speaking out. About my abuse and about anything that I need to say. I will not let myself be bullied into being quiet. Even if the “being bullied” is only a feeling.

    I want to thank you, Jo and David, for your comments and words of encouragement and support. It is very much appreciated! I can fully relate to your feeling of betrayal when you were left at the hospital, Jo, nobody visiting you! It is a horrendous betrayal. I would think that any mother in her right sense would have stayed with her very young child! And David, that silhouette in the open doorway at night sounds so terrifying! I believe that you will start to remember if you keep feeling the feelings. Although, I’m not even sure, if we absolutely have to remember the details. It might be enough just to feel the general feelings in order to heal. I’m not sure.

    • Phil says:

      I hear you and I’m glad you are speaking out.

    • David says:

      Hi Bernadette, I’ve really appreciated what you’ve been writing here about this very serious issue of sexual abuse. Your initial blog post about it was one of the main spurs for me writing about my own experiences here, having made the connection only in the last few months about having had a similar trauma. So far I’ve only talked about it with my therapist and a couple of primal friends and have wanted to “speak out” more, like you say. I feel you have been the real courageous pioneer in writing about this horrible experience on the blog, at least from what I’ve read here.

      When you seemed to go quiet after your last post, I started to feel that you may have been frustrated or disappointed in the response, or my response in particular. My projection and my feeling, I know. You were talking from a horrific level of detail, and I didn’t have anything similar I could draw from to relate and was not sure what else to say, which frustrated me. So it’s good to know that you appreciated my comment, and Jo’s also.

      “I’m not even sure, if we absolutely have to remember the details. It might be enough just to feel the general feelings in order to heal.”

      I believe you are right. This has been my experience so far. I believe I need to reduce the level of pain until the detail of what happened can come into view. I’m sure it is too much to “know”, as in remembering, all at once. As a postscript, or addendum, to what I wrote about the picture book triggering fear in me as a child, the adult’s silhouette in the child’s room at night. A few weeks ago it was a glorious sunny day and I had my living room door open and had been in the back yard. As I came inside, I paused in the door way, the sun pouring in from behind me. I looked down at my wooden, living room floor and saw stretched out before me the shadow of the doorway and my own shadow within it. I gasped and started to cry. But they were tears of joy. There was something about that, about seeing this, that I can’t quite put my finger on, as what I saw resonated back to what I had seen and felt on seeing that image in the picture book as a child. That I am reclaiming myself back from the abuse that happened to me, that I am healing?! Maybe that says it well enough.

      Thanks again for sharing. I for one am listening!

  168. Wakeup dream of being afraid. afraid to sit with people in an eating place probably like the retreat while all the other people are having fun with each other. i looked at their table and it seemed full so i went to the furthest table away and sat by myself, clinging to a towel that was barely covering me. one of those naked dreams. i had managed to obtain a biscuit and mashed potatoes and gravy on my plate from a somewhat undesirable buffet. The manager of the eatery had told me and the guy i came in with that he didn’t recall what the rules were for the buffet (which i realize as i write this, is not the rules for getting the food, or maybe it is, but also the rules for socializing). And the girl was leaning over me as i was getting my gravy so she could talk to the guy i came in with. a dream about military school probably, they had wierd rules about eating, and my need to be away from people always gets triggered very easily in cafeteria settings. going to work. too too afraid and alone.

  169. Margaret says:

    > Guru, nice to hear from you again.
    > Bernadette,
    > I am very glad you wrote again.
    > all the time the blog was sidetracking once more of what was going on before, I was thinking of you and hoping you would continue writing.
    > it sounds so scary how it must have been for you.
    > I wondered at one point reading what you just posted, if you might also have been afraid to be blamed, accused of whatever?
    > that must all have been so terrifying and devastating.
    > of course I can only start to imagine how maybe it must have been but taht already feels awful.
    > so good to hear you can connect the present feelings as well.
    > you are inspiring.
    > Otto,
    > you can be sure you are not the only one feeling like that at group meals.
    > I am slowly geting a bit better at them occasionally, but they can also still be an ordeal as well.
    > and feeling scared it will show how scared and unhappy I am sounds so familiar, spying on everyone that seems to be able and normal and having a good time..
    > occasionally though, when there is not too much noise, like outdoors with a small group of people it can be really pleasant as well.
    > one thing I noticed over the years at the retreat, if you sit at a table with vegetarians and fish eaters, not one wasp around, sit with meat eaters and it is full of them.
    > not that terrible as long as noone starts swaying hands at them and upsets them.
    > but then there is always someone doing that and then trouble starts.
    > well, just an aside observation, smiley, all that talk about bugs must have triggered me..
    > M

    • Patrick says:

      Margaret – who are you to decide if the blog is ‘side tracked’ or not usually that’s a prelude to more ‘banning’ talk. If only everything could be sweet and hunky dory and we all sit around ‘supporting’ each other how wonderful that would be.

    • Hi Margaret. I scoop up half the insects I find in my house into a jar and take them outside. The other half, well….

  170. Patrick says:

    Guru – it is nice to see you back or are around. And no I am not asking you to ‘reach out to me’ or God forbid ‘support’ me just saying it is nice to see you are ok, you are ok right? No need to answer if you don’t want to. I notice you changed your ‘gravatar’ I looked at it for a while. What does it mean if anything? seems somehow ‘alienated’ like in a dream almost, everything is very ‘boxy’ lots of straight lines, the pattern on the floor that kind of modern look also alienated, like living in a box and the floor is cut into boxy patterns. Maybe it ‘means’ nothing whatever you got rid of the one with all the currency signs maybe you are taking Philosopher Man’s – he who berates people for being ‘in their heads’ but he poses as a ‘philosopher’ oh well maybe ONLY him (and Janov) have any ‘;right to be in ‘his head’ a sort of order of the British empire that ‘allows’ him that all other ruffians especially Irish or maybe Arabs need not apply……………….anyway got carried away there I was thinking maybe you are taking his advice and ‘abolishing money’

    • Patrick:
      I used to think there was some merit to the idea of abolishing money, but I’ve become more and more convinced a Universal Basic Income at a very low level would be a more realistic goal. Something very small such as $3,000-$5,000 per year guaranteed for each and every adult regardless of who you are or what you do. This way even if someone totally gives up on civilization and wants to live by a campfire deep in the Primal woods forever like the Unabomber or the Brawny Man one could still secure basic provisions.

      The avatar is meaningless for purposes of this blog. I grew tired of the old avatar and the new one is simply an office of a company I have found useful to work with. It’s a snazzy little office unit in downtown Tampa, Florida down the street from the Fifth Third Bank building.

      I saw nothing wrong with Renee reaching out to you or trying to support you. Would you rather she kick you in the balls? Would that instill a sense of adrenaline and excitement?

      • Quote: “I used to think there was some merit to the idea of abolishing money, but I’ve become more and more convinced a Universal Basic Income at a very low level would be a more realistic goal.”

        Guru: interesting that you once saw some merit in abolishing money. Money is the ‘linchpin’, OR ‘the glue’ that holds this system together … including police, prisons, militaries, greed, neurosis, and lastly the inability to create a world of peace.

        Your suggestion merely keeps that whole ‘shebang’ in place … to the extent that within a short space of time we would be back to exactly what we have now. Karl Marx recognized that most revolution merely “shift the deck chairs on the Titanic” He sited the French revolution as a case in point. They removed a monarch and replaced it with an Emperor.

        However, Marx actually laid the foundation for a similar replacement. If money and all forms of exchange including barter were to be dismantled, then everything would fall into place. This is a hard concept for most to grasp. But as with water, whenever it lays to rest … then finds it’s own level. All else is tweaking the system that would eventually return to the ‘status quo’.

        Many talk of revolution, but few are able to REALLY visualize it. My own point is to suggest the end of neurosis. Nothing more.


      • Patrick:

        I wasn’t condemning you at all from my own standpoint. I was joking about the ball kicking. hahaha, right? Ball busting humor? I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with your disagreeing with Renee in that you would need emotional support of any kind. If you feel as if you are an emotionally resilient person, then by all means discuss it further with Renee and maybe you can convince her and/or others they are wrong in their assessments.

        I have my share of disagreements with Gretchen and others on the blog, too, by the way. I’ve only seen Renee in person on a few occasions at retreats long ago so I don’t know her very well.

        When I said I saw nothing wrong in what Renee said, I was meaning to convey that there is nothing wrong with Renee exerting the right to do what she felt like she needed to do in communication with you.

        • Patrick says:

          That’s fine Guru. I saw nothing ‘wrong’ with what Renee said either and I do appreciate she actually sent me the information I was looking for. It just seemed a bit………………………over psychoanalyizing but hey there are worse things in the world……………..(I suppose lol)……………………

      • Quote:- “I thought this a fine example of bogus psychoanalyzing and about as wrong headed as can be”.

        You stirke me as being so clumsy in your analysis of Velikovsky. Yes!!! that’s exactly what you are doing and YET debunking analysis. We ALL of us are analyzing many things most of the time. Should I do this or do that? Do I like this, or that?

        I’ll put my two cents in here about this Arabs and the notion there is a high rate of latent homosexuality … with their women: being so cloistered and covered. The very same applies to men incarcerated and also, from my own experience in the military (during my conscripted national service). The separation of the sexes for any considerable amount of time, will automatically cause men (not sure if the same would apply to women) to take the next best thing. At least it’s a warm human body.

        I would advocate that the sexes should never be separated. The bathrooms saga being a non issue, except to those that are so, so repressed, especially about sexuality. In my childhood home we never closed the bathroom door and we four kids, two boy and two girls, were all put in the bathtub together, and slept in the same room, and me seeing my mother breast feeding my younger siblings. It seemed so normal to me then.


  171. Phil says:

    I already got called today to rescue someone from a bug. It was tiny, like the head of a pin.
    I tried to scoop it up but it fell behind some furniture, so the mission was a failure.
    Better luck next time.

  172. Margaret says:

    > Phil,
    > that reminds me of how my dad often used to miss the spiders who then fell to the floor, and hid and still lurked somewhere, which made me want to sleep in another room.
    > he tried to hit them with his slippers but well, maybe he was merely sleepy as I specially remember one occasion, when I actually woke up hearing taptaptaptaptaptaptaptap on the wall, eight tiny feet resonating on the hardboard cover of my attic room, which made me turn on the light with pounding heart, and Yes, aaaaargh!!!! a giant spider on the wall near my bed, so big I had actually heard it tapdancing around in the dark full of evil plans to possibly jump on my face or something…
    > I screamed so loud the help troops came running and grumbling up the steep stairs in rescue, but with a bit of an unsatisfying result.
    > I seem to remember I slept on the couch or in my parents bed that night..
    > once too, when I was still younger, I went to pee in the toilet bucket which was the night solution in our very old house, (1778 !) and when I got up from peeing, luckily not during, I felt a tickle on my arm and saw this other eightlegged black shiny monster sitting on my upper arm!!!
    > could not even scream as it was too close to my mouth, but managed to slam it off, and of course it landed in my bed..
    > shhook my brother awake in the bed next to mine, made him get up and change beds, did not say why, and slept the rest of the night in his… mmm, not so nice, is it? or well, he was still half asleep and he did not really need to wake up completely did he? just change beds, which he did to keep things as brief as possible, nice brother isn’t he?
    > no trace of the spider in the morning.
    > Guru, well, well done for the occupants of the jar, the rest, well, being squashed is a fast way to go I guess,not pleasant, but not many ways to go are..
    > better than to be sucked into a vacuum cleaner and then struggle for ages in the dust, awful thought.
    > I used to throw over the jam jars with sugar water in them, and a hole in the lid, with loads of wasps in them drowning, felt so bad for them in the end, had to throw them over when I looked at them in our garden where they were sometimes put in the summer.
    > also these sticky fly catchers are awful,I can’t help but to put myself in the place of those poor animals when I see things like that.
    > not that I ever minded to squash a mosquito on the wall, specially not after they kept me awake buzzing around my ears trying to find a good landing spot..
    > Sylvia, I also used to catch butterflies, slowly approaching them when they were on a flower, and then cautiously picking them up when they closed their wings, and let them fly away again after a close look..
    > they lost a few of their shiny scabs but seemed ok otherwise..
    > hated to have a great time outdoors and then suddenly spot spider webs I almost ran into, with thick repulsive fat spiders in the middle, waiting to cling on me if I would have missed them, that kind of thing spoiled the joyful feeling of freedom for a little while at least…
    > and they always used to danle in front of the biggest raspberries etc….
    > M

    • Phil says:

      Butterflies are fascinating and beautiful.
      As a kid I used to go frog hunting. I would go on my bike around town with a bucket
      and small net. They could be quite challenging to catch. I brought them home
      to live in a very small homemade pond I created in our back yard. They wouldn’t stay there without a fence. I fed them worms. I also caught tadpoles and liked to watch them grow into frogs. I don’t know why I wanted them in the backyard; maybe to have a part of nature which was missing there?

  173. Margaret says:

    > hi Renee,
    > I liked the comment you wrote.
    > sorry to hear how isolated you could feel at retreats.
    > do you plan to come over again?
    > how is your life these days?
    > are you still in that job you liked?
    > Margaret

  174. Margaret says:

    > Phil,
    > oh yes, tadpoles, did not know the name but know what you mean.
    > we used to go search for the jelly substance with my mom mainly, if I recall, in little water ponds or creeks nearby, and then put them in a big glass jar or an aquarium to watch the process of them coming out of the eggs, swimming around with their black heads and swift tails, and then slowly developing hind legs etc.
    > then they were put back out in nature.. if I remember well..
    > and there were this brown beetles that appear in may in beak or beek hedges, it was always kind of a competition to find the first one in spring.
    > but like most bugs they had these clingy feet with little hooks on them which I did not mind at first, but in the end I did not really like the feeling on the palms of my hands. creepy smiley…
    > I really pity kids growing up in cities and missing out on the thrill of climbing trees and digging deep holes and building secret camps etc.
    > did that frog really eat the worms? I always thought they ate flies but well, maybe a juicy bit of wurm is kind of a treat as well if you are a frog.
    > M

    • Phil says:

      Margaret, The frogs would sit very still with the worm wiggling next to them, and then very quickly move and catch them. It was fun watching them do that.
      We moved out of the city because of a strong feeling I had for my sons to have the kind of childhood I had, living near nature. They did enjoy it.
      Our backyard was large enough for a lot of soccer games and all kinds of things. My youngest son went camping with his friends last weekend. When they were younger I took a whole group of boys camping every summer. We have some very nice areas around here. I couldn’t imagine them growing up in a large city.
      Moving away from New York City like that has had a big negative effect on my career.
      I might have thought more carefully on where to move, but in general, have no regrets about that.

  175. Margaret says:

    > that’s very nice to hear, Phil

  176. Daniel says:

    Thanks Jack and Barry for the interesting post about “cure” . As the double quotes suggest this isn’t a straight-forward issue and I’d like to add to the discussion by stressing some points which highlight some of Janov’s insights and also point at some of the difficulties.

    Janov starts with an implied question: How is it that by means of speech we will change something in the structure of the patient, whereas what we change doesn’t belong to the field of speech? How can we use language when the thing we’re after is the thing itself, the fundamental reality with which psychology and psychotherapy have to deal?

    The ways of practicing psychotherapy are a set of practical, ‘facilitating’ measures. For Janov these were simple measures, in language or touch, that facilitated in the patient the expression of feelings, but he didn’t really develop a theory of what these measures refer to. What is the meaning of these facilitating measures and how and why they operate? And, most importantly, what do they say about the place these facilitations come from? On the contrary, Janov’s genius seemed to lie in seemingly finding a way to initiate a process of symbolization, of making feeling and thinking sense of sensations, without the direct use of other people’s minds, without an environment. All one needed was to get into a Primal and from there things will take care of themselves.

    Or will they?

    I think that In Janov’s scheme of things a Primal itself isn’t just a process that releases energies dammed up within the body-mind system, but also a highly sophisticated care-taking system, the holding arms as it were of a mother of father equipped with an adult mind brought on the matter at hand to elevate or evolve or transform or metabolize sense impressions from a first-line status to a second and third, thus making them truly available for personal use.

    As far as I know Janov didn’t go into this aspect of the Primal as a care-taking system and it isn’t always clear how exactly within the confines of a single person sense-impressions (i.e. the sensations of being crushed) are becoming feelings and thinking and language (i.e. “mommy, please save me”).

    This is a difficult problem, one that in my mind goes to the heart of Primal therapy and theory and is embodied in the problem of abreaction. It is also present in the discussion about fear and anxiety that this post ignited, because there is a difference between fears and nightmares on the one hand and terror and night terrors on the other.

    There’s much to say about this but this comment is already too long. So, I’ll just end it with a question: If we’re after the thing itself, the essential reality, is the wish to be cured, the desire, helps us to get there or on the contrary – prevents us from getting there?

    • Reification of the sense-impressions you refer to is a tricky business, Daniel.
      I discovered a fair number of terrible feelings I regularly experienced actually had little or nothing to do with a mommy or daddy at all. This is not to imply the Primal therapy approach is invalid nor am I implying there are no mommy/daddy issues, but rather that many of the resolutions and answers I found were not what I originally expected when I first started reading Janov’s explicit suppositions of what a cure may entail.

      • Daniel says:

        Guru, it is a tricky business indeed. And I agree that not all terrible feelings stem from mommy/daddy (although I think they do remain our prototype for experiencing things).

    • Phil says:

      Daniel, About your question, the way I see it, the desire to be get better needsto exist, for therapy progress. We can observe people who are neurotic andyet have no wish for therapy, for example. Maybe what you are talking about is trying too hardto go with feelings or have them come out, and I can see where that canbe an issue. I’m sure that I have done that, and still do that at times. I have a historywith obvious traumatic events and yet it still took years and years to make muchheadway with that. For many years I had given up on formal therapy andbuddying, but I believe I was still gradually making progress during that time anyway. What happened is that the New York Institute closed and I drifted away from primal.It could be that this was a good thing for me, as I spent my energies concentratingon my life instead of therapy. I believe the key part is to get the process started.I guess it can only go so fast and current life events havea lot to do with it as well. Phil Date: Thu, 26 May 2016 21:46:41 +0000 To:

      • Phil says:

        Daniel, thanks for a provocative posting. Interesting what you say about a “highly sophisticated care taking system” in regards to how 1st line feelings are expressed on the 2nd and 3rd line.
        I have to remember not to post here by email because wordpress jams many of my words together even though I don’t type them that way. It did that to my last message.

      • Daniel says:

        Phil, I agree that we need some motivation for therapy. Usually it’s our suffering. But I also think there’s a paradox in wanting the “cure”, because that also means we cannot face ourselves as we are now and so may become another expression of our disgust with ourselves and running away from ourselves.

        Funny about NY. I actually walked to the address there only to find there was nothing there (it was already closed). Some years later I came to LA.

    • Daniel: You’ve obviously given a great deal of though to the matter in hand, BUT I feel you need to do some clarification to some of your notions that Janov was not totally clear. I on the other hand feel he made it TOTALLY clear from the very beginning. Primal Theory is so well defined in that first book and for me needs no revising. Simply put, he made a huge discovery. The discovery as I read it, is that there is quite a whole other areas to our ‘being’ that got thwarted in childhood by preventing the natural, normal and simple EXPRESSION of the feelings.

      The feeling don’t go away but unless they are expressed are left reverberate in our bodies until such times as we either FINALLY express then with a process of re=living (not remembering). If not then they will play havoc on the cells of the body until they finally resolve into the diseases that then kills us.

      Even though we may re-live them they then are elevated to the conscious mind, and are then real memories, which we will be reminded of from time to time. In the same manner that all other memories pop up about out past … our histories. The process is so simple in concept … However, due to the horrendous ‘pain’ in bringing them back into consciousness we are reluctant to “just let it happen” I don’t blame anyone for not willingly ‘let it happen’, and more often than not take time.

      Talking and discussing a memory in a session or group, is merely a means to eliciting the potentioal to fall into what Janov coined as a “primal” … that is nothing more than an old, old feeling. Daniel; I am not sure you see it the same way as I do. If so forgive my re-itteration. If not then I am prepared to discuss it further with you on this blog.


  177. I will say that I have felt better after talking in a session with BB. I am not sure where that fits into primal theory, just throwing it out there. Actually, maybe talking in that session elicited one of those tears that are more profound than a 1000 loud screams, or whatever you said above, GB.

  178. Gretchen, you are kind to me always, and that means everything to me. You act like you have known me intimately for years, even though I have drifted in and out of PT for those many years, not to mention my general aloofness when I have been there.

  179. Margaret, funny how i had completely forgotten about my fear of black widow spiders when i was between the age of 5 and 10, living in Hollywood with my grandmother. My brother was quite a boisterous person, and we shared a bedroom together, and we would be loud and keep my poor grandma awake at night, and she had to get up early to go to work. So I guess the fix was to put me in the little back bedroom by myself where she had been sleeping. This bedroom was above a little disheveled half-cellar that my brother and i would go into sometimes, and he would always delight in scaring me about the black widow spiders that he said were living there. So night after night, i would cover myself tightly in my blanket, with only a small opening to breathe. It was hot and i was extremely frightened until i fell asleep. I remember something about the wind that sometimes came up at night too, that made things scary. Maybe this is one of the many things my big brother did that has made me unwilling to talk to him at all, although when we are together once every year or so, we seem to have somewhat of a good time. I think my brother’s boisterousness led my grandmother to move us all away from Hollywood, where I had finally gotten my groove back after many years of nothingness. My brother abandoned me again and again in my life. Not like the big brother taking care of his little brother in the movies. Oh well, he probably blames my existence for the deaths of my father and mother. Or at least puts my birth into a pavlovian when-this-happened (my birth), then-this-happened (mom and pop died). I am trying to say, that as a toddler, he saw these things all happen in the same time period, and maybe with the sibling rivalry thing, he just would naturally not have a good feeling about me.Well probably not the only reason he was mean or standoffish to me at times. Ahh, just some half-chewed on thoughts. My grandma says my dad was mean to my mom (I never knew my dad, because he died months before i was born), but his mean influence could worn off on my brother. I got to stop. cant word any of this clearly and dont care. Insane incident at restaurant tonight, which really makes me doubt my wife’s sanity, or her progression into Alzheimers.

  180. Otto, Thanks so much! What a nice thing to say. I have noticed that you ,at times, can be aloof but I decided we shouldn’t let it get in our way! 🙂 Gretch

  181. Hey Guru, Nice to have you back on the blog! G.

  182. Margaret says:

    > Daniel,
    > I have not finished reading all the comments but want to put down some thoughts before they get diffused.
    > your question made me think about the whole process, of what happens when the damage starts occurring and why, and what it is that drives us to either suppress or process unresolved emotions and also want to ‘get better’.
    > it occurred to me it might be similar forces.
    > maybe there is a basic need to incorporate all life’s experience from the moment of our first awareness on, trying to set up a large scheme of a world in which we have fair chances to survive.
    > no creature would want to live in a continuous nightmare so to say, we need to have a feeling of relative safety and control and hope for good things ahead in order to keep making the effort of living.
    > now if very painful and ongoing things happen,that gets too difficult to incorporate in our ‘scheme’ so the only left option might be to suppress that experience, put it on hold so to say to possibly be later incorporated with more information or better resources to deal with it.
    > maybe some neural pathways are in some way short circuited to use a bad comparison, causing continuous stressful buzzing wanting to be dealt with?
    > wanting to get ‘better’ might be another form of this general desire to keep or gain emotional control over our world and our perceived place in it.
    > you ask interesting questions, this is kind of a fresh way for me to look at things.
    > Margaret

  183. Margaret says:

    > Daniel,
    > upon rereading your comment the words about the first line feelings being allowed to be processed by the presence of a more adult awareness, of one’s own or somebody else’s, touched me somehow on a deeper level.
    > it made me reflect more, about the ways of getting into feelings, sometimes words being of help, sometimes other triggers, it seems what is important is for on the one hand the right context to be reactivated, not necessarily in detail but opening some kind of access to the area of the origins of the feeling, and on the other hand the conscious will to lower one’s usual defense system, to allow letting go of some control, to become vulnerable, and this might be why the pressence of a trusted therapist can be so crucial in the first stages of therapy, and often later as well, to provide the feeling of safety that lacked in the first place when the feeling process had to be cut off.
    > come to htink of it, there might be an initial general pathway leading to the feeling zone, which gets more and more accessible during therapy, splitting up so to say to the various painful memories and experiences.
    > once we are on it, several triggers can more easily get us onto one of the other tracks.
    > I am thinking of a group in which someone just ranting on and on in a loud way, just made me lay down and wail like a tiny bayby for as long as the ranting went on.
    > there was even not much feeling involved there, merely an early activated physical reaction to announce I did not like the atmosphere of anger and wanted it to stop, if one wants to put words on it.
    > my wailing immediately stopped when the rant stoped, and I could just focus on the rest of the group continuing.
    > that kind of access seems to be facilitated by some groups, in my comparison putting me already halfway on the entrance pathway to primal feeling.
    > various ‘slots’ might be helpful to activate the feeling,but on the other hand it is also all too easy to be taken out of it and defenses taking over again.
    > I find this such an interesting subject and wish I could delve deeper in it and hear more inspiring thoughts and opinions about it.
    > M

  184. Margaret says:

    > Daniel,
    > am studying evolutionary psychology and ran into a quote from Nesse that seems to fit in with the discussion and made me think about its adaptation value, maybe useful in a proximate way but I doubt whether it is a good adaptation in an ultimate way.
    > maybe in quantities of offspring it is, seemingly so if we look at overpopulation, but in a qualitative way it has its huge flaws..
    > M

  185. Miguel says:

    “Primal Therapy is about creating that safety in my opinion.”

    Hi to every body:

    Barry I liked Jack post about the cure and your response, especially concerning that of Primal Therapy is about creating that safety . In my opinion that it is what you and the Primal Institute had contributed creating that safety and refining practice and specially the atmosphere of the retreats where you create the most favorable conditions for the retrieving of store of feelings and events ,what it is called the mediation or conditions of feeling the pain. Again the dialectics.

    Also I think you and the Primal Institute shaded light on the importance of having a good quality and lasting therapeutic relationship. It is so good to have such a good surrogate parents. So again thanks Barry and the Primal Institute for your contributions of improving the practice of what we call Primal therapy.

    • Phil says:

      Hi Miguel,
      I agree with what you say here on the importance of having a good quality and lasting therapeutic relationship. I’m finding that to be true. This wasn’t exactly the way it worked when I started in New York, besides the issue of that center closing. At a certain point soon after the 3 week intensive, people were encouraged to try working with various therapists or therapist trainees. So this might be a more recent innovation maybe reflecting the understanding that the therapy takes longer than first expected.

  186. Miguel says:

    Barry, I liked Jack´s post and your response about it

  187. Margaret says:

    > Larry,
    > I relate to finding the agony hard to bear, unacceptable really sort of, for all creatures, but sadly enough part of this imperfect world. We had a dog during my childhood, Sokrates, who once escaped and ran around in the woods etc. behind the house, and fell in an old waterreservoir from which the small lid was broken, and drowned.
    > that is an awful thought…
    > but we also had chicken, who had a very pleasurable life, and it usually ended at some point with my dad putting their head on a piece of wood, and chopping it off.
    > I have seen it a number of times, and it did not affect me too much as I liked to take the feathers off afterwards.
    > the thing is the chicken did not seem aware at all of what was going to happen, and can’t have suffered from such a fast death.
    > I regret cattle is not being killed with a shot in the head anymore in the fields where they graze, like used to happen in the small farms not that many decades ago.
    > the inhumanity now of the industrial farms and slaughterhouses is a disgrace for humankind.
    > all creatures have to die, but we should not inflict suffering if there is any way to avoid it.
    > I appreciate you putting an end to the insects suffering, but hope they find other ways to collect them!
    > M

  188. Daniel says:

    To continue our discussion I’d like to begin with a quote from Jack and a quote from Margaret because I think they go into the heart of the matter as I understand it:


    “there is quite a whole other areas to our ‘being’ that got thwarted in childhood by preventing the natural, normal and simple EXPRESSION of the feelings…”. “The process is so simple in concept … However, due to the horrendous ‘pain’ in bringing them back into consciousness we are reluctant to “just let it happen””


    “what it is that drives us to either suppress or process unresolved emotions …”. “if very painful and ongoing things happen, that gets too difficult to incorporate in our ‘scheme’ so the only left option might be to suppress that experience, put it on hold so to say to possibly be later incorporated with more information or better resources to deal with it”

    The post ignited a discussion about anxiety and fear and dreams. I think, and it has been my experience, that nightmares and certain fears contain all sorts of stuff (mostly images) whose accompanying anxiety quickly dissipates upon waking up or turning on a light. This is stuff that can be Primaled and remembered. Why? Because it is, as Janov says, symbolic – it is a mental content that has a meaning even if that meaning is not readily available due to repression. These are the feelings that Jack is referring to, those that need expression because expression was denied when they were first experienced.

    But what about those impressions that never got the chance to materialize and become experienced as true feelings that might then be repressed? What about those that remained in statu nascendi, a state of sense impressions only?

    Contrary to nightmares and certain anxieties, terror and night terror are mostly without content, just pure fear or nameless dread and muffled sensations of emptiness and inner void. And there’s not much one can do to stop it (like waking up). It is a black hole whose agonies are of an arbitrary world inundated with chaos, of existence hanging by a thread, of falling forever, and in which the catastrophe looming is the dissolution of the very self.

    It is questionable whether these agonies can be primaled and remembered. Why? Because these are not mental contents that have been repressed and therefore are capable of producing the symbols Janov is talking about, but more likely mental-contents-to-be, proto-feelings in the state of primitive affects or sense impressions. This is first line stuff.

    To be sure, these agonies are also the outcome of something that went wrong in that first bond with our parents but I don’t think it is the work of repression or the inability to express that made them what they are. I think Margaret’s quote above nails it in that it isn’t about expressing something (which is there but repressed) but rather about experiencing something (which is yet to be there).

    But the fact that these proto-affects and sense impressions were not converted into mental content (feelings, thoughts) that can be repressed and later retrieved doesn’t mean they cannot be abreacted, the purpose of which may be the evacuation of these un-metabolized elements to somewhere outside the self.

  189. Sylvia says:

    Daniel, in the last paragraph I like that you are saying that the first line can be relived, those sensations of terror, unbearable separation anxiety, etc. can be touched on and resolved.
    I know that Janov believes that first line trauma is represented again on the second and third lines and may be compounded or lessened depending on how you are treated in childhood. I found it interesting a study said babies that did not have adequate nutrition grew up to be suspicious of others. What happens early on can affect us for ever.

    I think that is why Janov believes gestation is so important because it sets the foundation of how resilient you are going to be later in adversity. It makes sense if you are a healthy baby there’s a better chance of coping.

  190. swisslady says:

    David, Phil and Margaret, thanks for listening and for your kind and encouraging words! It is indeed very difficult to keep opening up about the sexual abuse. When I go silent after posting, it is because speaking out brings up a lot of fear. I then have the need to go into hiding for a bit and “protect” myself.

    David, you didn’t say anything to frustrate or disappoint me, nor do I expect you to come up with a similar detailed response about your experience. We are in a different place in the recovery of memory phase. I appreciate all your feedback. I agree with you that we need to “reduce the level of pain” before we can remember fully. For me, I need to get stronger and feel more empowered in the present before I can face the full truth of the past – maybe that’s the same. I think your recent experience with your own shadow on the wooden floor shows that you are on the mend. As I see it, you were able to bring the feeling of the past experience into the present and were okay with it.

    Margaret, you posed a good question “…if you might also have been afraid to be blamed, accused of whatever?” I think this entirely possible. But at the moment, I can’t connect to these feelings in the context of the oral rape. However, when my uncle raped me at age 5, I definitely didn’t speak out because I was afraid to trust my mother, and I sensed that I would be blamed. My mother had a knack of blaming me when I got into trouble.

    A couple days after my initial post about the oral abuse I had a dream. In the dream I was lying on the bed and all of sudden, the ceiling above me opened up and a gazillion rats crawled out of the crack. One of the rats fell on my face, where it lay, lifeless but still warm, across my mouth and nose, suffocating me. I woke up gasping and in terror. I instantly connected this with the oral abuse, it made sense. But now I also think the rat across my mouth symbolized the “I can’t speak out” feeling as well.

    Over the last few days, I have been negotiating with my future employer, a man, about the terms of my future employment. I have been really tough on him, saying exactly what I want and don’t want, which took a lot of courage, especially now as I’m dealing with these feelings. Yesterday, after another phone call with him, I was first elated and happy for facing up to him, felt empowered and strong, but soon the fear caught up with me. I started feeling that he hates me now, thinks I’m too demanding, too ‘high maintenance’ (I hate that term, btw, it’s so misogynistic), unreasonable, complicated, etc. I realize these feelings are rearing their ugly heads again because I’m setting limits, which I was not allowed to do as a child. I can speak out now, push it a bit with him because I am not desperate for the job. So it’s good practice to face the old feeling in the present context.

    Then last night, a night terror. I woke up soaked in sweat, clothes and sheets wet through. My jaws clenched so that my face hurt. My neck and shoulders tensed up. I didn’t remember a dream, or any context that could match this expression of physical symptoms. But I did know that it is an expression of immense fear/terror.

    Today I’ve been feeling unwell, which is not saying much, but all I can say, nothing feels right. Just another “feeling” surrounding the incident needing to be experienced. I lay down a bit, feeling some of the fear, letting my body tremble, paying attention to the tightness in neck and shoulders, clenched jaws, trying to put myself mentally back into the space where the incident took place. Reached out to my husband for some comfort and safety. Later I screamed in my car, getting angry at my father for being such a chauvinist, for ignoring me all my life, for not liking me no matter how much I tried to please him. I am quite proud of myself for being able to express anger toward my father. I was always afraid of him, all my life.

    I know I was orally raped, but yet have to recover further details. In particular, I want to clearly remember who the perpetrator was. I can see that the fear that originated with this experience seeps through all layers of my existence, past and present, colors all my perceptions. What I can do, is face it simultaneously on all levels, wherever it shows up.

    • David says:

      Bernadette, thanks for your feedback on my situation and for sharing your latest experiences. The back and forth that you describe between the past and the present sounds to me like primal therapy working at it’s optimum. It’s really great that you could stand up to your prospective employer, asserting yourself and setting boundaries. Things you couldn’t do in the past with your abusers. You felt powerful: a good feeling. Whereas in the past there was only powerlessness. So it’s no wonder that feelings from that time are getting triggered. I relate to that feeling of always being afraid of my father.

      For me, in dreams, big spiders have symbolized my fear, being chased or jumped on by them. Or should I say, fear always accompanies them in dreams. Fairly recently, I had a dream where I was killing one by stamping on it, which was completely new as far as I can remember. I haven’t made any connection between spiders in dreams and fear instilled by abuse. But the fact that I have been feeling feelings around sexual abuse recently and then have this empowering dream, to me suggests a connection. That would be logical. I’m just trying to join the dots.

      Today, I was feeling really fatigued and was sure there was some old feeling behind it. I went up to my room, but felt huge resistance to lying down on the bed. I manically paced up and down the short space in my room, until finally making myself say out loud “I don’t want to lie down”. This brought some tears, and then finally I lay down and very fast the feeling “no, no, please don’t do it daddy” came up. This is how I know myself who the perpetrator is. Not through remembering any scenes, but what I find myself saying, which makes it pretty unequivocal. I wonder if you find your self saying anything to abusers in your feelings? I the past I’ve also felt hatred towards my father and needing my mother to help me.

      Yesterday, I cried very deeply about my father when I went out for a walk on a nearby moor. Feeling about all the things that I loved and cared about as a child that I couldn’t share with my parents, that I had to keep hidden, because I felt I had to cut myself off from them as self protection. And then into grief about how terrible my relationship with my father was.

  191. I went to Friday group, even though it was my son’s birthday. I missed the previous group, and I hate birthdays. Z and kid have their own 2-person thing going anyways and i am just a bitchy old bummer of a person to be around.. They rang me at 10pm at the PI, when group seemed still to be in full swing. I enjoyed listening to the other 4 patient’s talking and I was unable to say anything myself. When the group started, I got the same old feeling of fear and dread that I usually have gotten over the years in group about being around people. It was not so pronounced at the previous group, some of the attendees at the previous group, I feel ,more comfortable around. I did not feel bad that I did not talk, at least not TOO HORRIBLY bad, like i have in the past, leaving group after 4 or 5 hours having said nothing. . I will be able to use the room at the PI tomorrow and see if any feelings come up from my so-called miserable life or the events in this group. I guess some people are able to feel things in the moment, whatever. Maybe not all patients. Any way, some things I could have said, related to things that others said about how people loved them at work and also how the women in the group were able to give someone relationship and/or dating advice. I could have said how bad I feel that no one ever gave me that advice,and I never knew any of that stuff about dating women. And that pretty much every few days at work, I think about the people I work with, and there is really only one person that I truly like and get along with, and I mutter to myself as I get out of my car and walk up the long staircase to the boring morning meeting and I rattle off the names of the other guys, one by one, saying no, I don’t trust or like this one, the same for each one, go down the line through all of them. There is something I cant say in the group and I will probably never be able to say it in a session either, very sensitive. Anyway the kid and z rang me up at 10pm at group, waiting outside iin the car, and they were my ride home, so I had to go, even though I wanted to hear the others continue speaking. Kid and Z had gone to the movies for his birthday, so I felt left out and also guilty for not celebrating his birthday, even though I forced myself to go to a weird Mexican restaurant last night as a celebration post-phd-presentation by the kid, and it was also a pre-birthday dinner. Anyway they had ordered thai food tonight to be picked up after they picked me up at 10pm, at the PI, so they picked me up at group and we went over to westwood, and people were all out in th street and eateries, and I felt even more left out, because that is something I rarely get the opportunity of doing. I remain pissed at my wife for spending money thoughtlessly, CONSTANTLYY EATING OUT, so that I now have to get up at 330 am 4 hours from now, so I can get some overtime to pay all her fucking bills. As I said previously, when she goes with kid to ohio, I hope she stays. They are taking a vacation to some 3rd world country for 2 weeks and she wants money for a passport, and something else and something else. The kid and her were happily talking about their birthday evening of movies and massages ion the ride home, and I am in the back seat pitying myself. Of coursa acting out or whatever it is I do, maybe self-flagelation or masochism, who knows. There are plenty of people at work who SEEM to like me, but I am pretty sure most of them like me because I drop what I am doing to fix their computer equipment. Goodnight from a miserable bastard piece of shit. I really enjoyed going to the group. Thank you. Having said this on the blog, i feel a tiny bit better.

  192. Margaret says:

    > what is important in my opinion is that when the original traumatic event happened, what got suppressed was the allowing of it into awareness, but of course not the experience itself, which was out of our control.
    > in my own case, I think there was a moment during my birth when I started geting overwhelmed with the sensation of being squeezed too tightly over and over again, in an increasing degree which was becoming so unbearable it invoked a feeling of panic, a feeling of not being able to cope anymore, a feeling of I am not gonna make it.
    > consciousness did or tried to shut itself down at some moment, maybe a similar process like how prey animals get into a state of shock at some point during their capture, or we pass out in too much physical pain.
    > as a child I used to have recurrent nightmares when I had a fever, of waves of increasing suffocating threat coming onto me, leading to a point where I could not stand the input anymore, and on one occasion screamed to my mom in the other room to turn the radio off, or to stop vacuuming.
    > other dreams where literally me in my own particular world, which then suddenly began to become smaller and smaller also leading to an increasing feeling of terror at some point.
    > later on, when I remembered those vivid nightmares, and finally recognized their pure primal content, it really struck me how they contained undisguised birth stuff, and what struck me most of all was the intense level of consciousness I felt at the beginning of the experience, and during the first stages, when things were still ok.
    > my point is our dreams can be a way into those very early feelings, as they are also a way into fear or sadness that often is hard to access.
    > and sometimes they are puzzling, like tonight I had a dream filled with threat, but also with the ugliness this world contains, kind of, I was hiding in order not to be killed, with someone that first seemed attractive but really had no genuine interest in me, and we had to witness other people being held captive, and raped, before they would certainly be killed.
    > it was somewhere in old tunnels under the ground, we were all refugees, and the little group of us had refused to comply to being taken captive to work in what must have been like concentration camps, had tried to escape and would be punished for that by being killed. my companion and I had managed to hide in a small hiding spot, risking to be spotted soon, and being forced to witness the ugly rape of a woman.
    > where does this dream root?
    > some thoughts during the day, reading, news and my own feelings of hopelessness and fear?
    > sometimes dreams are still a process working up to something else or not, just mirroring feelings of the day without the defense system censoring?
    > dreams are such an interesting world, the first word springing to my mind, I am a very intensive dreamer, and all feelings appear in them, also joy and bliss, and occasionally delicious laughter.
    > it is such a shame in a lot of present psychology so much emphasis lies on empirical and reproducible evidence.
    > how on earth can stuff like this ever get some of the attention it really deserves?
    > Daniel, what exactly do you ask about these early preverbal experiences?
    > some of them can be more easily be felt in group settings in the right circumstances, in my personal experience, while others might be harder to access, if ever, although I am very aware of their original impact.
    > once I also had a dream in a setting of being up in an attraction on a fair, and suddenly falling out of it, being upside down, and held only by my ankles, full of fear to fall down with my head aiming at the floor..
    > i remember looking up in the direction of my feet, and spotting this bloody dangled mass on my belly…
    > then I woke up.
    > this for me was also a dream which seemed to offer me a right after birth primal connection, memory, that needed to be completed seemingly.
    > maybe that is the key word, completed. we maybe shut the full experience, or the full awareness off and those neural pathways still wait to be fully integrated, as the depth of the intensity prevents them from simply vanishing as unimportant events do.
    > ok, now I am gonna read the next comments of this mornings mail.
    > really like this discussion, Daniel,
    > M

  193. Margaret says:

    > thinking more about my dream from this night, I guess it represents my worst nightmare, like if I would have been that woman, she had no hope whatsoever, only the knowledge her life was gonna end, in a dreadful way, she could only hope it would come soon, without too much cruelty first, but certainly in an ugly filthy way…
    > maybe it is talking about spiders, the way they catch their prey and save it for later sometimes, and about my dog that drowned, the irreversible and so unfair deep suffering that can be part of this world.
    > all that pain, all that desperate fear and fainting hope.
    > especially the dog crawling and not being able to get out is an unbearable idea.,but not an idea, it was all too real for the dog..
    > just ran into a similar scene in a novel, which was hard to read, a little nine year old girl was not strong enough to pull the dog out, and her mom was too drunk to respond to her desperate plea to come for help, and when she found her dad, he only paid attention to her mom.
    > so she did not return to the dog in the basin, could not face the enormity of the disaster and of the despair of the dog..
    > those things for me make it so crystal clear there can be no god, if he’d be truely perfect he could have made a world without all that suffering
    > but now I am getting sidetracked..
    > M

  194. Margaret says:

    > I feel kind of happy I never seem to think in terms of first or second or third line.
    > don’t even know in detail where the lines are separating the theoretical concepts.
    > going into a feeling seems more like a continuum to me, sometimes it is mainly adult sadness, sometimes it goes back to baby wails or just silent whatever, mouth wide open, slow spasms feeling like a prelude to something else still out of reach.
    > we all have our own personal style and journey, but it is great to commmunicate about it.
    > M

  195. Phil says:

    It is an interesting discussion. Sometimes I have dreams of being stuck in some awful, bizarre
    situation. These dreams don’t happen often but when they do, they are very intense.
    A theme in some of my sessions is being stuck. Stuck with a job I can’t change, just stuck in
    my life, etc, etc, The feelings involved relate to childhood scenes and sometimes at the end,
    there are just the physical sensations and breathing which go with the stuck feeling, which I have supposed are be birth related. But I wouldn’t say that those dreams contain terror, or only on a few very rare occasions, that I don’t recall. Also, terror just doesn’t come up for me, thankfully,.
    It could be because, in a general way, I still clamp down and control, so maybe don’t let that stuff come up, as I’m not ready for it.

  196. Margaret says:

    > Daniel,
    > what also crossed my mind as a possibility is that terror is often directly related to not understanding and therefor not having any feeling of control over the threat that is strongly experienced.
    > then all the system can do is process the feeling of terror bit by bit by mainly going through the experience without being able to connect it to specific memories.
    > no other than to the feeling of danger, possibly mortal danger..
    > that might be different in cases of the same threatening and hurtful situation having been repeatedly inflicted, then specific associations would arise.
    > just ideas crossing my mind..
    > M

  197. Margaret says:

    I am copying the ongoing discussion as it is so inspiring, and noticed, or seemingly so as I get a bit confused by copypasng stuff, I might have missed out on pasting Nesse’s quote, so in case, here it is, with a small observation that followed it:

    ‘The emotions are specialized models of operations shaped by natural selection to adjust the physiological, psychological and behavioral parameters of the organism in ways that increase its capacity and tendency to respond adaptively to the threats and opportunities characteristic of specific kinds of situations.’ (Nesse, 1990)
    maybe suppression starts to take place when the emotion starts being perceived as threatening the system in its goal to respond in opportune ways to its environment, for example the parents demanding behavior suiting their own needs in some way? then the ‘second line adaptation would be to suppress the original response and replace it by what seems to be the (second best) option to cope with one’s environment as a child,?

  198. Phil says:

    “maybe suppression starts to take place when the emotion starts being perceived as threatening the system in its goal to respond in opportune ways to its environment, for example the parents demanding behavior suiting their own needs in some way? then the ‘second line adaptation would be to suppress the original response and replace it by what seems to be the (second best) option to cope with one’s environment as a child”,?
    What about this? Suppression of emotions becomes the opportune response to the environment, because the original response was inadequate, the pain wasn’t felt and was
    Children are too young to be able to fend for themselves and to respond
    appropriately; they are immature emotionally, cognitively, and sexually. They need their parents nurturing to complete development. Without that development is warped in various ways
    including suppression of feelings. But adults also can have their functioning warped by traumas,
    it seems. With feelings suppressed we aren’t fully functioning people.

  199. Patrick says:

    I do feel an awful lot of this Trump ‘hate’ or ‘disdain’ does mostly miss the point. Here is something from a counterpunch story about Trump

    “Let me just rattle off the five questions he (Trump) has asked.

    (First) why must the United States lead the world everywhere on the globe and play the role of the world’s policeman, now for example, he says, in Ukraine? It’s a question. It’s worth a discussion.

    Secondly, he said, NATO was founded 67 years ago to deter the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union ended 25 years ago. What is NATO’s mission? Is it obsolete? Is it fighting terrorism? No, to the last question, it’s not. Should we discuss NATO’s mission?

    Thirdly, he asks, why does the United States always pursue regime changes? Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, and now it wants a regime change in Syria, Damascus. When the result is, to use Donald Trump’s favorite word, the result is always “disaster.” But it’s a reasonable question.

    Fourthly, why do we treat Russia and Putin as an enemy when he should be a partner?

    Fifth Trump asks, about nuclear weapons – and this is interesting. You remember he was asked, would he rule out using nuclear weapons – an existential question. He thought for a while and then he said, “No, I take nothing off the table.” And everybody said he wants to use nuclear weapons! In fact, it is the official American nuclear doctrine policy that we do not take first use off the table. We do not have a no first use of nuclear weapons doctrine. So all Trump did was state in his own way what has been official American nuclear policy for, I guess, 40 or 50 years.

    …It seems to me that these five questions, which are not being discussed by the other presidential candidates, are essential. ….”

    I would say it’s essential and all the more so as Hillary to me falls down on ALL of these questions. She is for war, war and more war. To me that is a lot worse than ‘insulting’ people. Would anyone rather have a bomb dropped on their head or ‘insulted’. Should be an easy choice.Mind you I don’t have much faith really in Trump esp now as he is being backed by ‘super-Zionist” Sheldon Abelson. Just as Hillary is being backed by another ‘super-Zionist’ Haim Saban (and George Soros). So there you have it another “President for Israel’ or would that be considered ‘hate speech’ Hate speech or not it’s a fact.

    • LOL, there’s a quote on the front of Trump’s “Art of the Deal” book saying “He makes one believe in the American Dream again.”

      It’s a very strong echo to today’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.

      OK, sooo….how many words has the world’s news media devoted to Donald Trump since his birth to today?

      I’m guessing 10 quintillion words (10,000,000,000,000,000),

    • Quote: “So there you have it another “President for Israel’ or would that be considered ‘hate speech’ Hate speech or not it’s a fact.”

      No!!! but it does signify extreme bitterness on your part … BUT to the best of my reading of you you have never, nor do I feel you would ever; consider your bitterness and from whence it came. Of course that would constitute self anal-izing … which I gather you don’t believe in.


  200. Margaret says:

    > Phil,
    > yes.
    > there is an evolutionary psychologist, Friederikson, sorry if I misspell, have been listening to audio course, who claims, and it makes sense to me, negative emotions like fear and anger and sadness tend to narrow down our attention, while positive emotions like you, love , contentment and happiness broaden it up.
    > it makes sense, in rage there seems little else on one’s mind than the focus of anger, and if we are happy we are ready to offer all kinds of attention and support to other people, at least that is how it is for me..
    > M

  201. Margaret says:

    > Phil, yes, that is exactly what I mean.
    > it is probably what Janov also referred to as the splitting off, when at some point the unreal outgoes the real, but I think it might be a question of degrees maybe, like a continuum in gradations from completely free to feel and express oneself towards well, don’t really know, suicidal maybe, or psychotic or psychopathic or maybe completely taken over by acting out?
    > M

  202. Phil says:

    I hope we don’t have any trump voters here. I think his candidacy is a huge joke. I’d vote for Donald Duck ahead of Donald Trump, or maybe Bozo the clown. We will be laughed at by the entire world, I don’t know what people are thinking. It does make for some very good comedy on the late night shows, though.
    I read an interesting opinion piece that struck me as very true. Democracy is good, but things can become so democratic that an authoritarian gets in and then the whole experiment comes to an end. The Nazis in Germany were voted into power, it should be remembered.
    I’m happy to see the republican party with all these problems but Trump is a dangerous idiot, and I’m afraid he has a fair chance of being elected.

    • David says:

      “I think his candidacy is a huge joke. I’d vote for Donald Duck ahead of Donald Trump, or maybe Bozo the clown. We will be laughed at by the entire world”

      Phil, your Donald Duck comment made me laugh. But I don’t know who would be laughing at a Trump presidency, if that’s what you’re alluding to. Really, this joke isn’t funny any more! I was watching the news recently that had some poll or other putting Trump ahead of Clinton for the first time. Hearing this I felt a jolt of fear. Like this just can’t be happening. Fortunately, they qualified it by saying that Clinton’s numbers in the poll didn’t include the 70% of Bernie Sanders voters who will vote for Clinton should she win the nomination, which she almost certainly will. So I could breath a little easier after that. When I see him on TV, I’m not so much watching him now as I’m watching his supporters, as it fascinates me as to what sort of person thinks Donald Trump is great. And how can there be so many of them?!

      • Phil says:

        Yes, Trump is scary, and it’s discouraging that so many people think it’s a good idea to vote for him. The other republican candidates who lost, at least all seemed to display some intelligence and coherence in their views.
        We have political gridlock here, and a lot of people have been left out of the economic recovery. I can’t see why anyone would find Trump to be the answer to those problems.
        All I can think is that the Trump supporters don’t carefully follow or fully understand what’s going on in the world, to say the least. It makes me wonder if voters should pass some basic test about the workings of the government, the economy, world affairs, etc before they are allowed to vote.
        If Trump wins maybe I’ll move to Spain with my wife, who is a Spaniard. It would be quite scary and an embarrassment to have him as president. I hoping and thinking the current polling doesn’t mean much 5 months before the election, when Hillary Clinton still hasn’t wrapped up her nomination, and as you say, Bernie Sander’s supporters aren’t yet on board.

      • David: There’s a theory out there that Trumps supporters are not the type to go out and vote on election day. If that has any merit, I hope it is the case. It’s one thing to protest the status quo … it’s yet another matter to figure out what those protester really want, as opposed to don’t want.


  203. Patrick says:

    I notice yesterday Trump said he would withdraw from all UN climate change programs and would repudiate the recent Paris deal. Sounds terrible right?…………………and he is mocked all over the place for this………………BUT as it happens it seems all this ‘chemtrail spraying’ and very harmful ‘geo engineering’ is done under a so called UN program though that is really just providing cover for the US military. Anyway my point is he may be mocked in ‘liberal’ outlets like Huffington Post or NY Times or Washington Post etc but in fact the way I understand it it would be a VERY good idea to drop out of all so called UN climate programs

    Trump probably does not actually understand this but to me his ‘instincts’ have a bit of hope in them unlike the ‘programmed’ Hillary spewing politically correct bs while just planning the NEXT war how disgusting is that. Trump also a few months ago said he was worried about excessive vaccination again you will NEVER hear a word of that breathed by Hillary or as some call her KILL ary………………….I find most of this ‘hate Trump’ stuff lame and is usually just people being TOLD to think that way and sure enough they do……………….even the “Rubicon Crossers” do as ‘radical’ as they like themselves to be…………….

  204. Quote:- “Trump probably does not actually understand this but to me his ‘instincts’ have a bit of hope in them unlike the ‘programmed’ Hillary spewing politically correct bs while just planning the NEXT war how disgusting is that.”

    My reading of Trump is that he does not believe in war: just nuking those nations that don’t fall into his line with his thinking, (AKA as insane bull-shit to many)..

    The real perceived problem with Hilary are her emails. I personally don’t see that any other Secretary of State got into trouble with private email servers.. It seems to me that Republican will jump on any thing she does as improper.; since it would seem there is little they can now do about their (reluctant) nominee.

    If you really feel the guy has any point or reasoning; then I tempted to think you sense of reasoning is a bit out of ‘flunter’ … bordering on dementia. Careful Patrick. I ask you look to the fate of Reagan and his soul mate, Margaret Thatcher.


    • Patrick says:

      To me the ‘problem’ with Hillary has nothing to do with emails. She more or less personally orchestrated the destruction of Libya, she was more than enthusiastic about the Iraq War, she has been super hawkish about destroying Syria (Assad) to me she is a truly evil person maybe not consciously but in the effects she creates. And she is not done yet I would be more than afraid if I lived in Iran if she becomes President she seems to have no problem starting these wars with immense suffering caused all around. But then again I come back to the “President for Israel” thing all these wars are clearly the Israeli ‘plan’…………………a plan for world ruination it seems. In the light of all that I would if I had a vote vote for Trump he is PROBABLY ‘bad’ Hillary we KNOW is ‘bad’ Trump may be a bad gamble but Hillary is a TERRIBLE gamble actually not even a gamble I feel pretty sure I know what she will do…………….

      • Quote:- “But then again I come back to the “President for Israel” thing all these wars are clearly the Israeli ‘plan’”

        There you go again anal-izing Netenyatu. For someone that didn’t study psychology or even less psychiatry you really come accross as a very ego-testical maniac IMO. I wonder … perhaps you have studied and practiced telepathy and can mind read everone and everthing … EXCEPT YOURSELF.

        Just to see exactly where all this adds up in your head … I wonder if you were able to vote here … who would you chose … between the remaining three. I feel if you would answer this question (which I very much doubt, since if feel you instictively know it would reveal so much about you) that seemingly you NEED to keep under wraps.

        Suggestion:- from someone you deem; has not the slightest intention of helping you, how about instead of psycho-anal-izing, just say who and what you like. that way there is little need to give a reason. It then truely become a REAL feeling. Oh!!!! forgot … you have another way to live life by soaking in cold water and eating paleo stuff OR least-ways that put out by your buddy Kruse.


  205. Waking up from a nap in Southern Calif, light cool push of air wafting through my open door. Thinking about Mrs. Gray, for some reason. She was the old woman across the street when we lived in Long Beach when I was a teenager. Her husband had died and somehow I ended up being her gardener after she got rid of her Japanese gardener, for some reason. I think my grandmother had talked to her about me working for her. My grandmother talked a lot, either to me, or to her sister (my Great Aunt) on the phone. I don’t remember which way, but I recall hearing her say that Mrs. Gray’s husband had done everything for her, all the work around the house, I guess, probably disapproving of that, because my grandmother disapproved of most women. And men. Or if it was not my grandmother’s idea to keep me working, Maybe I had just decided to make money around the neighborhood doing gardening. Whatever. It was nothing like some movie older woman neighbor who takes you in and feeds you and fucks you. She was kind of mousey and middleaged with graying hair and not much good-looking and did not appear to have much of a personality, but I wouldn’t have thought much about that kind of stuff at that age. I just did things, moved forward somehow, not too much thought involved. Probbly better than watching too much TV, which I did anyways. Mrs. Gray had me plant her bare-root roses and take a heavy rake and scratch her lawn and put grass seed and fertilizer on it, all in a very particular manner. She always had a cigarette in her hand. I pulled her weeds and it hurt my bare hands to do so, I don’t know if I wore gloves or not, cut myself on her rose bushes and other plants. She would hand me my payment out of a little coin purse on the steps of her doorway. Not sure why I remembered this waking up, now that I think about it, it could be the feel of spring in the air, or actually some asshole had his leaf blower blaring as I was sound asleep, but it is sure better than the gloomy deathly thoughts that usually come to my mind when I wake up. Mrs. Gray must have had some influence on me, but I don’t know what it is. I got more jobs around the neighborhood in the years to come; maybe watching my grandma work so much washing clothes, hanging clothes, vacuuming, cooking, listening to her religion shows on the radio, all that good stuff, made me want to keep busy too. I think my grandma kept busy not only because she was a clean-freak German, but to keep from remembering the long slow horrendous death of my mother over 8 months.

  206. Here is an interesting astrological view of the Donald. who knows if it matters. i just have not too much interest in this stuff. where do they come up with these idiots who want to rule the world? someone is going to press that button someday (i guess you could say AGAIN), and fuck everybody up. I am not sure that Hillary would do it, who knows who it will be and where. there. some doom and gloom for a saturday afternoon…evening. maybe i am stupid, but it seems to me that mr. barrack actually created the syrian war, by encouraging the arab spring. i have no idea. i dont listen to many indepth pbs or whatever news shows. i am confident that what is going to happen, will actually indeed happen. a roll of the dice? it is written (lawrence of arabia)? as allah wills it? life is a bitch and then you die? The Astrology of Donald Trump

    • Otto: I feel you are right on. Someone is going to set off, perhaps many nukes. My take on The Donald is that as lang as he has the right to press the button he’ll use it. Isn’t that was business is all about????? “If you don’t use it … you lose it”. I don’t think you need to be a news junkie like me, which I’m sure is an act out of one kind or another.

      Meantime, a couple of things have had me crying some. The first was my Jimbo having to go for what should have been a minor operation and again turned out complicated and he finished up spending 5 days in hospital and in pain. I missed him more badly than I thought.

      The other was that I stepped of the curb on a walk to the bank and the curb was higher than I anticipated and I fell and I think cracked a rib. I was in agony especially trying to sleep for a couple of nights, but refused to take any pain killers. Knowing that even had I gone to the hospital there is nothing they can do about a cracked rib. So I suffered it out with yells and moaning and groaning with no-one to blame but myself, and meantime the ribs are beginning to feel less painful and I’m told by those that are into medicine that after a few weeks it should all get better of it’s own accord, which it seems to be doing.

      The lesson is to take it more carefully and begin to finally accept I’m getting old. Still comparatively, whatever that means, I had a good run … thanks to a fairly good mother and a doting granny, when I was little. What a gift


      • Phil says:

        Probably just tape around the rib cage is all they would do. Sorry to hear about that and Jimbo. I hope you feel better soon.

      • David says:

        Jack, I’m sorry to hear about your mishap. Sounds painful! I hope you’re on the mend soon.

        • David: Thanks for your concern, but I am already on the mend. I doubt I’ll get totally mended, as per Humpty Dumpty, but all the ……… men couldn’t put Humpty Jack totally together AGAIN.

          Too far broken I suspect 🙂 🙂 . But I know what you mean and thanks again.


      • Larry says:

        Take care of yourself Jack. Here is a Van Morrison tribute to you, or at least it made me think of you.

  207. Donald Duck is actually Mr. Trump’s half-brother on his sister-wife’s side. Bugs Bunny might be a better choice. He could probably keep Elmer Putin at bay.

  208. I am very against those glue traps they have for bugs and mice. they had them in our computer room years ago and it horrified me. one mouse died with its eye glued to the bottom of the trap. one mouse i was able to smuggle out and i poured vegetable oil on it and it got free, over at the cemetary. On a worse note, when i was much younger, i had horrible cockroaches and so i used poison under the fridge. They all came out and for some reason they were like half-paralyzed and wiggling for a long time. i felt i had to do like Larry and so i stomped them all into oblivion and this is one of the horrible thoughts that plagues me to this day. Now i have a kitchen full of roaches and i dont know what i can do except move. You cant talk to them, they wont listen to any advice about heading on down the road.

    • Larry says:

      In the kitchen are they. I’m pretty sure that If you leave them nothing to eat, the roaches won’t stay. That did the trick in my friend’s condo. It means no food left out on counter tops, no crumbs on the floor, no food scraps in the garbage can unless the scraps are sealed in a plastic bag, and no pet food left out for them.

    • Otto: I feel Larry hit it on the head. Don’t leave any food scraps or crumbs lying around. Sweep and vacuum often. On old lady gave Jim and I a tip. All our waste food and peels and organic stuff we put into a plastic back and put it in the freezer section of the fridge. When the bag is full, seal it, then take it immediately to the trash can. My Jimbo is clean freak, which I feel is somewhat overdone. He sprays vinegar and water mix, then wipes with kitchen paper towels .on all kitchen and even bathroom surfaces, and sometimes also on the floor if food gets spilled there.

      Not sure if this would answer your question about abreacting, but from the way I see it, is when you push to have a feeling or at worst cry for the sake of crying. If, as in your case, it come about by just listening to music I doubt that would be abreacting. I don’t think Barry would let you continue if he thought you were. It sound right to me.


      • Larry says:

        Actually, from my experience, Jack pretty much captured the difference between abreacting and feeling. Abreacting is like making yourself laugh (or cry) to fit in because everyone else is laughing (or crying) but you don’t get the joke (or pathos), or because one is told laughing (or crying) is good for us. Feeling is like laughing without any conscious control of it, because something uniquely funny to you triggers spontaneous laughter in you.

      • Larry says:

        Yeah. Especially leaving the pet food out is like leaving food out for the roaches and inviting them to come in, make themselves at home, sit down to dinner and stay a while.

      • For someone that TOTALLY failed this therapy and worse, actually did not know what it was all about … cos you ‘missed the boat’, I suspect, on reading the book and then even worse, wasted all the money and the time and expense to cross the pond … Then finished up working 17 hours a day 7 days a week, for 28 years, to make something of your life … then giving it away to all the wrong people, according to you; in order to get from underneath all the mental ABREACTING. Then again, I suspect that’s your trade mark..

        Lastly it is sad you never found a girl friend and the only ones that took you seriously were the “gold diggers”. Sorry!!!! there was one that actually did care about you, but she was not glamorous enough for you.

        Seems you’ve totally missed out on life and sadly aren’t even aware of it. How sad is all that????

        If, as I feel you think of yourself … define an ‘abreaction’ as opposed to a ‘real feeling’. Remember; you did come round to my trailer several time for me to sit for you. So I feel I have something to go by. You never offered, nor did I ask you to sit for me.


      • Quote:- “…. but unfortunately a trap many have fallen for including myself until I got ‘wise’ a few years ago.”

        I don’t think ANYONE on this blog feels “you got wise”

        My take is you became more and more bitter. And raced further and further into your head in an attempt to figure it all out.

        It’s not ‘figure-able out-able’. It;’s a whole other state of being … that seemingly eludes you … sad to say.


  209. Some amazing crying at the PI today. Me crying. I cant recall how it started, beyond listening to a sad song. Yes I recall. It was about a skinny girl who reminded me of my mom. And my skinny aunt who reminded me of my mom. I really don’t feel like writing now. The point was that I would see my aunt and my grandmother, and my great aunt, and my teenage aunt, and my older brother’s faces, and they looked like my mom, and this led me to have some hope that my mom would reappear some day. I got hopeful especially when we all got together again for holidays or whatever. I am not going to be able to do justice to these memories and thoughts. Also as I was crying, I was seeing my mom in her iron lung. I heard snippets of voices of probably my grandma saying that my mom had begged her to bring me. I heard/thought of my mom telling my grandmother she didn’t want to die. I don’t believe this shit, I watch too much House and I probably am making it up in my head. It felt like there was a funeral reception. All the while I could hear things, and I was a year and a half old, so even if I could not fully understand what people said, I could file it or feel their tones. Also this pain of losing my mother at 10 months and being abandoned to my bad aunt and uncle for 8 months, all this pain, all this daily misery, torture, sadness, was being encoded into every fiber of my body, a body that was fast-growing as babies are, the wonder years, stuff coming in a mile a minute and being memory-filed/associated and body and cells expanding like the werewolf in London, muscles growing and dna and intuition and all that jazz, and the pain was spread throughout my entire body. I was on my stomach crying listening to the music, later after many tears and Kleenex, I crouched as if in a crawling position, all the while crying and energy was pushing up into my head, and later at the end when BB was loudly shutting his door, I was sitting and the energy push upward was coming out of every corner of the frame of my body, not a lot, it was just a start, and I also had just a start of some sobbing, and I guess that 38 minutes of crying was enough, so I left. Other things I saw in my mind as I was crying, revisiting the cemetery where my mom and dad were buried. We went every Sunday, my grandma and my brother. I coujld see the car door we got out of at the curb, the cement trash cans, the trees, the things that stick up cant think of name and cant find on google, crypts too, and tall gravestones,my brother joking around, don’t want to stop, the plate things with the names on them, cant think of names, the high bushes and kid sounds playing ball on the other side of the cemetery in their back yards. Gravestone with my dad and mom’s names on it, my dad had my same name, but I had no idea who he was, since he died before I was born. And my dad’s dad and mom’s gravestones, I had no idea ever who they were,never knew them. I saw my grandma’s face a long time, just a still picture, not moving. “Bring” you can hear words. My grandma was a talker and talked frequently to her sister on the phone. She (my mom) wants me to bring the baby to see her in her iron lung. Don’t know if any of this is true, although my cousin once told me that my grandma was out of her mind for doing that. So this is not baby crying, but me adult-crying. I saw the word abreaction in a blog post, and this always dismays me because I have no idea what it means, and I am always terrified that that is all that I am doing, but actually, I believe that I am doing good with this and I believe it, and did I get any relief, maybe. The welbutrin kind of pulls back the feeling a bit. The music I listened to Crazy Arms duet with Jerry Lee and Emmy Lou, felt like church music the way her tone counterpunctuated his. Which makes all of this fall into place, the church at the cemetery, how we always went to church on Sunday morning, and then to the cemetery just about every Sunday afternoon, stopping at San Gabriel nursery for flowers. Churchy funeral reception. Bright light, my bad uncle’s house maybe. Me a year and a half old. It seems to be all coming together, but….feel stupid writing this stuff, as usual.

  210. Sylvia says:

    Otto, it sounds like you are making progress and getting memories back too from your early life. Maybe you can get rid of your roaches like they did on an episode of “Frasier” to get rid of a cricket under the fridge. They tied a gecko or lizard to a string and sent him in. At least nature can take its course–law of the jungle so to speak.

    Margaret, I agree in thinking that it’s not too important to go into a feeling with an idea if it’s third, second or first. Like you say, that is the theory of Primal therapy. It seems like we really know when we’ve touched on first. It has different memories, doesn’t it–more like sensations and being scared. Your dream sounded like when Drs. hold the newborn by the ankles upside down after birth that you produced in your amusement ride near fall-out.
    I had a crushing dream a few years ago where I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t think about it as a baby feeling at the time but later I thought, maybe it was.
    In my daily chores I’m always hesitant to do something that I think is too hard, there’s not enough time or I really don’t want to do it. But I go ahead and do it and find it really wasn’t so hard at all. I’m expecting everything to be a struggle–but then I do it and it was easier than I thought. I’m always fighting an earlier imprint of things are going to be tough.
    Anyways….that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  211. Margaret says:

    > Otto,
    > your comment was very touching.
    > I think you are doing extremely well.
    > M

    • Phil says:

      Otto, I agree with M, it sounds like you’re doing great.. Also you have a way
      with words, how you write and describe things.

  212. Margaret says:

    > Sylvia,
    > your story makes a lot of sense.
    > and Otto, I have red one should never stomp roaches as that is the best way to spread their eggs and future offspring all over..
    > don’t your cats catch them?
    > have you ever read the best comics strip of all, ‘The fabulous furry freak brothers’?
    > they have a side story about an army of roaches, with an admiral supervizing the troops, on one occasion a roach sergeant reports a few dozens of them having been killed by Fat Freddy and many more by Fat Freddy’s cat, and the admiral shrugges his shoulder and replies ‘plenty more where those came from..’
    > in another sequence one of the ‘sccientist’ roches comes racing to the roach admiral yelling he found a splendid new secret weapon. it turns out to be fertility pills…
    > that comic series is the best ever, I could always entirely relate to its freaky stories and it is drawn in such a way I could read them over and over again and always find new details.
    > now of course I cannot see it anymore, but some of the cartoons are engraved in my mind, as are some of the Far Side.
    > actually, roaches are said to be of the strongest species ever, and they are fairly clean, eating up all the filth lying around cleaning it up, and cleaning themselves all the time. of course, they probably don’t wash their feet that often and carry some of it around anyway..
    > they have one gruesome enemy, a wasp that gives them a very precisely aimed sting with a specific chemical substance in a certain part of their brain, thus freezing its free willpower somehow.
    > then the wasp gently takes the roach by the antennas and leads it to a hole in the ground it prepared, and the roach obediently follows, and there the wasp injects it with yet another substance which paralizes the roach, keeping it alive though…
    > then, you guessed it, the wasp lays its eggs on the roach which at hatching find a fresh meal awaiting for them, which remains alive and fresh for a long time while they feed on it.
    > one can only hope the injected chemicals provide also sweet dreams and a good analgesic…
    > yeah, mother nature, or a bit of a sick creator if you ask me otherwise..
    > one would start sympathizing with those roaches, offering them shelter…
    > almost…
    > light keeps them away, maybe installing neon lights under the fridge and the sink and behind the trashcan would help, if you leave it on overnight….
    > I often dream about having to clean up filthy houses, never felt up to it in my dreams.
    > yesterday though I dreamed I was in a house that was not that dirty, just needed some vacuuming, it was fairly big and I did feel I would not be able to do it all, but felt like doing it anyway. I knew my mother was supposed to do it, but really felt like giving her a hand..
    > that sounded already like the recurring dreams taking a better direction.
    > then this night I dreamed I was installing a new home for myself, trying to make it really nice and cosy and welcoming, using some of the stuff of my old house, and had some friends over, but I was not quite sure yet if it was good enough yet to keep them wanting to be there..
    > getting towards it possibly, and feeling more hopeful in the dream to make it nice…
    > M

  213. Margaret says:

    > Otto,
    > I really like what you did for that poor mouse.
    > if it were up to me I’d provide you with loads of good karma for it.
    > poor other mouse with its eye glued to the floor, that is really horrible.
    > now current mouse and rat poison is so strong that it would also kill a cat eating a mouse who has ingested the poison.
    > it should be banned.
    > also those microplastics should be banned, and to start with it should be obligatory to put in giant letters on packages they contain microplastics which are contaminating the whole environment, so we could stop buying those products.
    > at some point mankind may start to eradicate itself and as our planet is pretty resilient it might be able to restore itself starting off again from some patches of saved biotopes..
    > in any case roaches will be among the last survivors, together with gingko trees as those seem to even have survived the Hiroshima bombings..
    > we can only try to be as responsible as possible in our daily lifes, support environment and animal rights organizations and be careful with whom we vote for.
    > and hope the growing awareness will be in time to save those precious creatures that have a hard time surviving in the wild today.
    > M

  214. Margaret says:

    > Jack,
    > that is too bad!!
    > sorry about your Jimbo and sorry about your rib. have hurt mine two years ago and remember it hurt badly and was not even broken.
    > but on the other hand it would have been much worse if you had broken a hip…
    > have sprained my knee around the same time as hurting my ribs, just a few weeks in-between, also by accidentally stepping off a high curb, and that was very disabling for a while, could hardly walk at first, and had to use a support cane for the next several weeks which sucked.
    > take good care, M

    • Margaret: Thanks for the message. and I know others will think of me, even if they don’t write. I feel that is the real power of this blog, and as I am always saying “I love blogging” … don’t ask me why … cos I don’t know other than just enjoying it (if that’s the right word),

  215. Margaret says:

    > well, Donald Duck is certainly a step higher on the social ladder..
    > my cats, twin brothers, same patched colours, one cat big, the other a bit smaller, are so adorable.
    > after being fed we spent some leisure time on the bed, me reading an audio book and occasionally studying a bit, rainly afternoon, the cats coming for some delightful petting, and purring away, bellies full, and at some point the big brother went to join his smaller brother on the end of the bed, still purring away after being petted extensively, which he loves, and put himself in the spoon position with his smaller brother, and put a big paw over him, so cute and uplifting.
    > it was great to caress their furs in one go, both of them, and feel their duet of purring vibrating under my hand.
    > and then they curl up with visible pleasure to make it even better, ha, very pleasurable for the three of us.
    > just tried to make some pictures of them, not sure they came out well, a lot of white fur with some dark patches on a lightcoloured sheet, if one of the pictures is ok will try to post it if ever I find out how to get them from my phone onto my laptop and if I can find out how to label them to keep them apart..
    > so it may take a while, a few months or so, or hopefully weeks…
    > sorry, this might only interest part of the readers, but it brightened up my rainly afternoon..
    > M

  216. Leslie says:

    Otto – thought you & others too would like this song 🙂 I may have posted it long ago or Larry could have. Anyway, it is called “Sleeping Sickness” by Dallas Green who goes by City and Colour – get it, Dallas Green.
    I think it deserves repeating, and I also want to post it as a tribute to our Cdn. music icon Gord Downie from the group The Tragically Hip – who shares singing the song/video. Sadly, he is facing the end of his life due to brain cancer.

  217. Larry says:

    Thanks for posting that song, Leslie. I can hear it more and it means more this time. Sad.

  218. Margaret says:

    > Phil,
    > a bit of a late reaction, but it was interesting to read you post about the recurrent feeling of being stuck.
    > good you could feel some of it with Barry, I hope to hear some more about it when we get the chance to talk.
    > am a bit jealous in fact, almost, the birth related stuff seems so hard to get into unless in dreams or just initial stages of the feeling, while it seems logic that wehn we reexperience something like that the impact on our present must be important..
    > M

  219. Margaret says:

    > just heard in a new system that in the Netherlands they are using sea eagles to catch drones that come too close to airports or planes.
    > I was already worrying about those poor eagles claws being hurt, with the propellers, but they then added the eagles sight is so good they manage to catch them without hurting themselves, as they distinguish the separate propellers even at high velocity.
    > that is pretty amazing.
    > when they catch a drome they get a good chunk of fresh meat…
    > kind of reasssuring in this case nature wins..
    > M

  220. “If a lion is chasing you, you don’t sit down and have a good cry. YOU RUN! Later, back at the cave with your loving family, you tell them about the lion and then you have a good cry! Storage of pain implies retrieval. Why store pain (or anything) if not because it has value ? We store pain (trauma) because it is either too big to experience and/or it is not yet safe to feel or process a particular experience.”
    Well, that’s a good one for a memorial day. I was thinking as I re-read this, that the caveman (me), back from his close call with the lion, was sitting, huffing and puffing, back in the cave, and as he was about to reach out to his mom with arms outstretched and a tear in his eye, his mother was saying to him “Not now, cavey. Later, later.” As she continued to pull ticks off of her husband’s pelt. LATER LATER, story of my life.
    “As Jack clearly states there is a “cure” for neurosis i.e.: waiting until it is safe and finally saying ouch!” My definition of religion, or at least Christian religion, “Later, later. Keep pickin that cotton. Keep marching forward towards those guys with spears. God is with you. Don’t forget to say Ouch as your last breath”.
    It is meaningless for me to write what I just wrote, and I don’t give a damn. I am just sitting home on a memorial day and I would rather be at work. The back yard has reached city-involvement level, and I don’t feel shit like cleaning it, nor the 10 million other chores I need to do.
    Another 2 thoughts: what role did migration have to do with monkeys becoming humans? Do other monkeys migrate? Also I experienced a 2-second whumpf (cant think of a good word) of strangeness while walking at the park. Strangeness wasn’t the word either, but I forget what it was. It was like a QUICK-FLASH peering into another universe. Possibly like the too-big-to-process happenstance of me being strangely and violently torn from my mom in a moment and dropped off to a new strange lifestyle with crazy uncle and aunt at 10 months old. Or maybe I should stop watching tv and movies especially ones like the fantastic four or xmen with ridiculous blue-light-framed other-world openings. I don’t know what the trigger for this “strange” feeling was; a particular piece of light or weather/ heat or what, at that exact point near the lake, maybe the fact that there were less people walking around the lake today at 730am, and there was no chance that I was going to see my mom (you know what I mean, I know she is dead, I mean it is just that the hope still lingers in my baby brain). Anyway, I just kept moving on around the lake. “You had the laugh on me, so I set you free And I’m movin’ on.” One of my favorites w/emmylou. Or Tom Petty version lastdancewithmaryjane “I was introduced and we both started grooving. She said, “I dig you baby, but I got to keep movin’……. On. Keep movin’ on”” beautiful musical rhyming/phrasing or whatever the fucking term is, how he waits to say ON so that moving rhymes with grooving.
    “RUN FORREST RUN!” Ok just babbling for myself, don’t want to rake pine needles, wish I could drink or smoke dope or go to work to escape the pain. Can’t listen to music and cry since Z is here and kid is not, so if I make any movements to do something for myself, there will be stoppage of that very quickly. Ha! Always acting out or whatever the term could be. Actually, 40 years of living like this, and that is how it has been for 40 years. The real sad thing about that Tom Petty lyric is “we both started groovin’” well, that has been a long fucking time that that has happened to me. Too fucking long. Well, not true, my buddy at work we start grooving talking and joking about our bosses and other co-workers, but it doesn’t last very long. And there is no flirty stuff there that would really give me reason to live. I don’t want to see him get up on a chair, leaving his hat on…

  221. I am going to take a chance and say something stupid. to anybody. one way to get closer to birth feelings is to go down to the hospital maternity ward and just listen. or if you can find something on youtube with birth noises that someone was stupid enough to upload to the whole world. or go hang out at the park and listen to kid noises. Maybe sound is not one of your good triggers. go through the trash at that park and find a poopy diaper and take it home. HAHAHA! Actually back to the maternity ward, there are plenty of smells there to reignite memories, or just buy a bottle of rubbing alcohol and take a whiff. ahh you guys know the drill. just dont want to rake those fucking pine needles yet. what did i say. z came in my room without knocking to tell me about an extension cord that she finally noticed after it has been in plain sight for 2 years. don’t get me wrong. i feel bad for her for living with such a creepy shitty asshole (me).

  222. thanks leslie. tragically hip is looking good for a listen. got a beat. like devo on a lesser dosage of steroids maybe? lots of energy

  223. i was about to expect, like on the many sirius music channels, it starts to sound a little good, and then i say, oh this is just shit, but this keeps growing on me, good or great progressions, beat and melody, nice video, blow at high dough, sends chills down or is it up, my spine.

  224. that mother fucker has SOULLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!

  225. Sorry got carried away. here is some irish guy saying something in a beautiful accent

  226. well that did not come out right. I meant Colin Farrell On “The Lobster”: Cannes Film Festival 2015 you would have to look that up on youtube.

    • Otto: It seems to me that you are doing that thing that came up in the early seventies with that guy who lived in Santa Maria of the Angels; somewhere in the Useless state of the Planet earth. If you are close to that ‘nick of the woods’ you might want to wonder round there and see if he’s still around 🙂 🙂 .

      You seem to me to be so undefended and I see a great deal of progress since I first started to read you. Keep blogging Otto, I love reading your stuff.


  227. swisslady says:

    David, your therapy is really working for you, and you seem to be able to connect current feelings with past events really well. I noted what you said about “feeling about all the things that I loved and cared about as a child that I couldn’t share with my parents, that I had to keep hidden, because I felt I had to cut myself off from them as self protection.” That is so sad having to hide things you loved! Sharing the things we love with others is what connects us, and builds trust I think. For me there is so much more in it though, like you had somethings you loved as a child. I didn’t think I had anything and I can’t remember having to hide anything from them, because I didn’t have anything except, of course, my pain. I had to hide my pain and my fear from them, I was not allowed to show either. There is something really sad about that. Not remembering anything I liked might also tie in with my feeling “brain amputated” as I call it. I don’t remember much when I’m in the fear feelings, especially surrounding sexual abuse. I can’t think clearly. Can’t form words or sentences in my head, a bit of that is going on right now. I’m not making much sense, I’m sure.

    I used to dream about big spiders in connection with fear. You stomping on a spider in your dream shows progress, imo, you are not afraid to take some action to protect yourself. I admire your courage in real life to face your feeling day after day, consciously going into it as you wrote about, when you went up to your room.

    I was in small group yesterday and after a long time of listening to and interacting with the other group members, I started to withdraw into my space. I knew I should talk about my abuse, but as the accompanying feeling goes: couldn’t find the right words, wouldn’t know where to start, can’t make sense of it. After a long time sitting and shaking with fear – I just allowed my body to take over – I was called out and like a spell was broken, I responded to the question the group had discussed while I was in ‘my space’. Only after that I was able to talk a bit about the fear surrounding the abuse. I left the institute with a sick feeling in my stomach, then at home asked my husband to sit with me, and while I was clinging to his arm, started convulsing and gagging. I didn’t have any visual memories of the event, just let my body go through the motions and acknowledged the disgust and repulsion and nausea that came with it. I find it very difficult to keep going with this, but I think it is the only way I know how to approach it. I hope that with ‘going with my body’ will take me closer to recovering the memory.

    You gave me some things to think about, especially about the “things you loved” that you had to hide from your parents for self protection. I really can’t remember at the moment whether I had anything I loved that I had to hide, but the thought isn’t letting me go. All I can say is that I had to hide any needs that I might have had, of wanting to be close, or hugged, which never happened.

    I remember once in first grade, my teacher encouraged us kids to give our mothers some flowers on mother’s day along with the art project that we had cut and glued together. So on that Sunday morning I got up and sneaked out of the house and went down to the meadow and plucked a beautiful bunch of wild flowers, (I even put a lot of thought into it, making sure to take at least one of each flower of the many kinds there were), sneaked into the living room, got a vase out of the sideboard, sneaked into the parents’ bedroom and put the flowers on her nightstand along with the gift. I wanted to surprise her. Then I sat on the stairs outside the room waiting for her to come from the kitchen back into her bedroom. She yelled out with joy when she saw the flowers, surprised and obviously very pleased, came running out of the room and asked ‘who gave me flowers’ and as I was sitting there right outside, I said, I did, and she was again surprised, but not in a good way, more like she didn’t expect something this thoughtful of me, and maybe even had hoped to have received the flowers from someone else, but she said, how nice and how lovely, and how much joy the flowers gave her, even called out some of their names and said how much she loves wildflowers, but that was it. I remember distinctly, this would have been the perfect time for her to scoop me up and give me a big hug. But that didn’t happen. She walked away and let me sit there on the stairs. She touched my cheek in an affectionate way as she walked away, yes, I do remember that, but it didn’t seem enough. I was very hurt and retreated upstairs to my bedroom, where I wept quietly into my pillow.

    I learned from that experience to never expect any physical affection from my mother. She was just not the type of cuddly mother that I wished in my naive, childish mind I should have had. Sad! Maybe even more than not to expect affection, I also learned that whatever I wanted/needed was too much. The interesting thing is that I knew what would have been the right thing: a hug would have been the right expression of affection at that moment. Why I knew that I have no idea. It must be an instinctual thing…

    • Phil says:

      Your story of collecting flowers for your mother and her reaction is very telling and so sad. Any normal mother would have given you a big hug.

      • swisslady says:

        Phil, thanks, yes I agree, very sad. My mother was a good mother in many ways, and a bad mother in other ways. When it came to showing affection, she was completely incapable. She was not cold but couldn’t reach out. She liked to cuddle babies, but she didn’t hug us children when we were older. Very, very sad!

    • Larry says:

      I’m touched and disturbed by the neglect and abuse of the little girl that you were, Bernadette, when all you needed and should have gotten was a hug and some love. Thanks for sharing. I hope this blog helps you.

      • swisslady says:

        Larry, yes, it could have been a lot easier with a bit of love and affection! Thanks for your words. The blog helps me – Gretchen encouraged me to keep writing. It would be much easier to go into hiding again. Not this time! 🙂

  228. swisslady says:

    David, to your question, whether I find myself saying anything to my perpetrators: no, I don’t remember saying anything, and I don’t have any words in my head when I go through the convulsions and gagging. I’m in shock. I don’t see myself having even a reaction to my defense, like trying to stop it, etc. I’m totally overwhelmed with the physical side of the assault. The fear is paralyzing. Thanks for asking. Maybe words will come later, as I keep peeling away the layers. And as I keep getting stronger mentally.

  229. swisslady says:

    Honesty, trying to remember puts me into such a state – brain amputated – that I’m staring at my name on the screen and I’m not even sure that I have spelled my name correctly!

  230. swisslady says:

    David, I was encouraged by your question to explore whether there would be any words associated with the oral incident. I lay down, again with a sick feeling in my stomach. A scene came to mind, when I was about three years old (therefore about the same time as the oral assault), we had a bunch of relatives visiting our house for a family event. I remember walking around the legs of many people, as I was so small, all I could see was their legs. At one point, my uncle, who was sitting on the couch, asked me if I wanted to sit on his knee. I did, and he played a game where his knees became the horse and I was the rider on the horse being bounced up and down. A children’s rhyme went along with it. Innocent enough. But then he asked me to stick my hand into his pant pocket where I would find something, so he said. He made it sound like a game and I was curious to find out what was in there. I did indeed find something hard in there and he said to squeeze it. At that point I must have felt instinctively alerted in some odd way and wanted to leave, and my mother also noticed me and snatched me away from him. Fucking pervert! I don’t know what happened next in the scene.

    Sickened by the memory, I listened more. Words like ‘sucking’ and ‘lollipop’ came to mind in my native language, of course. Yet another childish game to entice an innocent little girl. I’m so disgusted! The truth is, my uncle could very easily have had access to the pantry where the incident took place. With all the visitors in the house, nobody would have noticed and nobody would have missed me for a while.

    I don’t want to jump to any conclusions yet as far as the perpetrator goes. But it kind of collaborates with my instincts that keep telling me that my father wouldn’t do something awful like this. It just is not like him. But this could also be complete denial on my part. Another clue as far as my uncle goes: I never liked him growing up. Even when I saw him the last time several years ago, shortly before his death, I didn’t like him then and I had a sense that I couldn’t trust him. There was something slimy about him. His youngest daughter, my cousin, who was my age and went to primary school with me, died of oral cancer four years ago.

    I will keep on feeling my way through this until I arrive at the truth.

  231. Margaret says:

    > Bernadette,
    > that is a heartbreaking story.
    > although my own mom seems on some level much more functionable than yours, she is also a mix of good and crazy..
    > the hard thing with that is it is very hard to even get angry, in my case it feels almost taboo, and all that remains is hopeless sadness.
    > with anger it seems some hope is left to change them, without …..

    • swisslady says:

      Margaret, my mother was highly functional on a practical level but totally inadequate in the emotional department. She took care of the house and garden, cooked, made clothes for us, she was always busy all day long. Growing up, I sometimes had a sense that she was overwhelmed and I needed to help her. I felt sorry for her at times, when the other kids didn’t obey or were rambunctious and she wouldn’t be able to control them. I think that was during the time when my dad was at the hospital and convalescent home. She was overwhelmed but still took care of everything. She didn’t have to control me; I was already conditioned by then to be “the good girl.”

      However, she was not able to be there for me on an emotional level. I don’t remember being hugged or caressed or cuddled or comforted. To the contrary, once I had a small accident playing outside and ran screaming to her for some comfort. Instead of hugging and comforting me, she got angry with me and slapped me. I guess that was her way of expressing concern. Totally insane, I’m sure.

      I learned to rely on myself, and worse, I started to hide my pain and my need for comfort. Being vulnerable and needy didn’t cut it for me. When I was a bit older, I didn’t tell anybody when I got hurt. I knew I would be blamed for it.

      These days I am allowing myself to look at the ‘lonely’and ‘vulnerable’ feelings in connection with the sexual abuse that I experienced. I was not able to ask for help at the time. I was pretty much left to myself to cope with it.

      I learned already during birth that getting angry doesn’t get me anywhere. Only into a tighter spot from where there is no escape. This laid down my modus operandi: I always push it to the last, until I end up hopeless and powerless. In the meantime, I learned to function on a more efficient level and ask for help when I need it – mostly 🙂

  232. Margaret says:

    > Bernadette,
    > thanks for sharing .
    > it sounds like a very hard way to grow up, so lonely..
    > my mom could cuddle, but at some point I somehow felt I had to keep her at a distance, as her own need was too big, she would ‘swallow me alive’ if I’d allow it..
    > in several senses, invading my mind and soul, and using me for physical comfort as well..
    > it is sad to feel it is necessary to keep what I crave most at bay, but we have come a long way and I have been able to hold and rock her and whisper to her when she was crying hard, being told in the hospital she had to let go of her car last summer.
    > that felt natural and right.
    > I also feel I can express my anger better if it comes to a point where she drives me and my brother crazy with, after a whole afternoon of taking care of her in all ways, she then starts complaining angrily about ‘they’ have taken everything away from her, meaning her car, and when we go into it blaming us, while at the same time denying it.
    > then eventually she gives in to us saying she should look at all she still has, all the care she gets, and that it was not our decision to prohibit her from driving.
    > it is painful when we go through so much trouble to make her life ok and allwo her to stay comfortably in her house for as long as possible, and then when we are already getting exhausted she starts complaining..
    > rationally it is understandable, but it seems part of a pattern of being a bottomless pit wanting attention and more attention..
    > she can be very supportive at times, and an enormous pain in the .. at other times.
    > and her combination of need and dominance and manipulation makes me want to keep a relatively safe emotional distance, while at the same time needing to feel comforted and supported and loved by her..
    > sigh.
    > after a short nap this afternoon, I wake up feeling suddenly so overwhelmed with awareness of how lonely my life is, so few people to turn to, they seem to be diminishing bit by bit and that is scary..
    > it is partly me feeling so tired of fighting to make my life better.
    > the visual disability makes everything so hard and I feel tired and sad.
    > M

  233. Margaret says:

    > despite what I wrote, I notice how now I do feel cheered up after a nice call to my mother.
    > as her medication is now down to only a quart of a tablet she seems better in having a conversation, despite repeating herself, and she is still cheerful enough, and that makes me feel good.
    > she also repeatedly asked about me, and I answer her with only a slightly censored version, let her know I occasionally feel a bit bored and alone, but in a very non-dramatic way, and it feels ok.
    > she still has the capacity seemingly of making me feel less alone, which again stirs some sad feeling of having to lose her at some point, and only being able to get part of what I really need.
    > but I guess I am lucky compared to some others, I do remember good stuff, a lot of good stuff beside the bad stuff..
    > M

  234. Last night I was dreaming and suddenly at the end of the dream I saw the face of some guy with a very pudgy face and the face came towards me and I screamed. The scream woke me and I was still screaming. Then I realized it was just a dream. I was totally unable to make any sense out of it, and have no recollection of who it was, and other than being scared cannot make any sense of it.

    I told Jim about it this morning and he said he heard me scream. Normally I don’t like to have my feelings in his presence as it starts us off on some spiral. Just liker my dad it was always a bigger problem to him that I had a problem. I have asked Jimbo to discuss this with me, but he adamantly refuses … so I leave it at that.

    I do notice that I am more able to not question him about things that I I would have done very differently. In the past I would always question it. Now I’m more able to sit back and let him do his own thing. He always insists on doing the driving and takes the most inexplicable routes. In the past I would always ask why he was going that way, or where were we going. I now feel easier to just let it happen.

    Maybe that’s one of the ‘hall maarks’ of getting old. Highly likely.


    • swisslady says:

      Jack, “Maybe that’s one of the ‘hall maarks’ of getting old” – maybe. Or maybe – and this is probably stating the obvious – you don’t have to be in control every step of the way any longer. To “just let it happen” is opening you up for some other feelings to flood in. The dream you had might be an indication of that. The pudgy face scared the sh*t out of you… an avenue to be explored.

  235. swisslady says:

    Margaret, I hear you. I experienced a bit of that dichotomy with my mother when I moved back to Switzerland in 2010-11 in order to be closer to my parents in their old age. I lived five minutes from their house. One day she would complain that I “never” visit her, the next day she would say “You don’t have to come EVERY day!” It’s just never right, argh. But I sensed that it all had to do with her slowly losing control over her life, her life getting smaller and narrower by the minute – how terrifying that must have been. I can see a similar dynamic going on for your mother, having to give up her car, possibly moving to a care home soon, etc.

    You seem to have come to a relatively good place with your mother. The fact that you were “able to hold and rock her and whisper to her when she was crying hard” – I think that’s beautiful. I could never have done that, she wouldn’t let me. The closest I got to her was holding her hand, or hugging her when I arrived or left. I just did that, and she seemed to like it…for a few seconds  You also seem to have found a good balance between having some needs met on one side, and keeping your emotional distance on the other side.

    I would say you are lucky to have been hugged and cuddled. Better be smothered than neglected? Hmmm…. what a thought. I guess the answer is neither! In spite of the imperfections in my care taking, I always still needed my mother, still do now, after she’s been dead for over three years. I miss her terribly, especially when I feel lonely.

    I felt so bad for her in the very end. After the stroke, she was not able to stay in the house and had to stay at a care home. She hated being dependent and in the end was pretty angry about that. The way they (the care home people) solved ‘the problem’ was by over medicating her to keep her quiet and manageable. I totally hated that and felt quite powerless over it! I wish I could have done more for her in the end 😦
    — Bernadette

  236. Margaret says:

    > Bernadette,
    > it touched me you said something positive about me holding my mom in the hospital.
    > that shows me to which degree I tend to be hard on myself and blame myself for not being ‘a good daughter’, for not ‘loving’ enough, which was a big big guilt trip of mine at a very young age.
    > today she was funny, we were talking about the bad weather, rain and clouds for days in a row, and she said people kept mentioning that to her but she does not mind as she does not remember it.
    > I lauged and said it did have its good sides then, and she lauged as well and that was a very nice moment really.
    > I always loved to hear her sing and play the piano, and loved and still love it when she is cheerful.
    > that was probably one of her best qualities, to turn simple things in something special, a trip to go swim with a befriended family with kids in a nearby creek, taking bread with chocolate spread along and the whole afternoon became a festivity.
    > or playing board games on a holiday or an otherwise boring evening, or baking a cake together or putting something together with paper and glue or just a walk and her showing us all kind of plants and birds or telling fairy tales which made me expect to see wolves or other exciting creatures behind every tree…
    > she was raped as a young teenager and she also mentioned how suddenly the whole world felt ugly, nothing right anymore, and then she made a conscious decision on the spot not to let it take her childhood away, she told me.
    > that explains a lot of the childish features she still has on this day, which sometimes drive us crazy and frustrate me, but on the other hand probably saved her and form her strength as well.
    > she was my goddess when I was a young child, until I started feeling I neded to protect myself.
    > M

  237. Daniel says:

    Margaret and Phil,
    My point was that it seems we need two separate – but related – conceptual systems. The first, to think about mental contents that can be symbolized. They can be symbolized because they were experienced and through that experience became mental contents that can be stored, retrieved, re-experienced and remembered. For example, if I suffer shame at the hands of a parent but for some reason or other repress that experience because it’s too painful, then that shame, intact, will be there for re-experiencing after repression is undone. A Primal is a full way of undoing such a repression and liberating the shame from the hands of repression.

    The second is composed of other types of happenings in early infancy. These are things that happened but never experienced, never became mental contents that can be stored for retrieval. These cannot be retrieved in the usual fashion, primaled and then remembered, because they are not there yet. These need to be experienced for the first time(!) so they can be made mental contents.

    However, I do suspect they can be abreacted as a need to evacuate the intolerable sensations. And since they are still to be created (by experience) they cannot be at the present time connected to anything and therefore remain an endeavor to empty out something rather that fully experience something (a genuine primal). By the way, I hope it’s clear that by “abreaction” I mean in the widest sense, not the faking that comes with wanting to please (even though true evacuation can hitchhike with wanting to please, use it so to speak for its own purposes).

    I agree that dreams can deal with that place in the mind, take us to the breakdown that happened but never experienced. But it’s not only in dreams.

    Now, the important question is: if all this is true, how do we treat it? How do we help another person experience something that happened but never experienced (rather than aiding in liberating something that was experienced but repressed and lived on in symbolized ways)?

    • sylvia says:

      Daniel, I am not quite following you. I thought traumas come up like spring-loaded plates at a cafeteria. When you are ready for the next feeling it is there, triggered wanting to be felt. When enough of childhood is relived then baby stuff will appear if there was overwhelming feelings; lack of touch, scared and left alone to cry, no reassurances of cuddling–all these things are experienced by the baby and she tries to shut it down or respond to it with rapid heart beat, hyper-secretions, screaming, colic.

      I think patients do experience these things in primals. I think that is the feeling I’ve had of ungodly loneliness. Patients do cough and lose their breath in primals as a memory of choking and lack of air during birth. The trauma was experienced at the time but hopefully was shut off with the baby defending as best it could.

      • Phil says:

        I am in agreement with what you say here. Maybe neuroscience can’t quite account for how it happens, but it seems to me, as Janov says, the traumas are all stored there somehow waiting to be felt. The problem is that it is difficult getting to it all and
        also, in the mean time, we have our lives to live.

      • swisslady says:

        Silvia, great response!

        • Sylvia says:

          Thank you Bernadette. And I agree with you about the baby experiences things on a different and physical level. You make good sense too.
          Phil, I think you are right that we need to stay functioning on a daily level, working and family obligations. We almost need a vacation to feel the hard stuff or little responsibility. And the point is to have a better now where we live having felt the bad stuff.

    • Daniel: I see it a little differently than I read you. Janov’s discovery was: the phenomenon of RE-LIVING (not remembering) of an event that had been repressed, suppressed, amnesia-ted against, blocked off, shoved into another part of the brain, split from consciousnesses ,into the subconscious or unconscious, and thence had no access to ones conscienceless there-in-afterwards.

      Why I feel it was a major discovery, is not that it might never have happened before to many down histoy, BUT that suddenly a psycholist with a PhD in neuro sciene, was able to delimniate it. AND … IMO make it very clear … AND define it and create a psychological theory around it … out of it; that I feel has not yet been bettered.


  238. Phil says:

    Daniel, You said:
    “The second is composed of other types of happenings in early infancy. These are things that happened but never experienced, never became mental contents” and
    “Now, the important question is: if all this is true, how do we treat it? How do we help another
    person experience something that happened but never experienced (rather than aiding in liberating something that was experienced but repressed and lived on in symbolized ways?”

    Just a quick reaction to this; what strikes me is how would we even know what is there that happened but not experienced by the person in infancy? It sounds like guess work.
    When somebody primals something and liberates repressed material, that’s how it becomes known to the person. I can theorize that I have birth trauma or even prenatal trauma (my mother was ill), but I could be wrong, maybe it wasn’t traumatic. So, I’m not quite seeing what you are saying. Also, if something happened and wasn’t experienced by the person and stored as a trauma, are we even sure that it needs to be treated?

  239. swisslady says:

    Margaret, you ARE a good daughter! I have been reading your posts and know about your struggles. It is hard to make tough decisions on behalf of an elderly mother. But what I see is, all you want to do is keep her safe. In all that you say and do, I see that you love her very much and you are concerned about her well-being. I would hate to see you being hard on yourself. It doesn’t matter that you get angry or frustrated at times; it’s human – and healthy, I would add. Having to take care of your mother to a certain extent must be even harder for you because of your disability. I honestly don’t know how you do it; I think you’re amazing.

    It sounds like you had a lovely day with her today. She had a lot to give throughout your life – something to be grateful for. And I can understand why it would be hard to be angry at her sometimes.

  240. swisslady says:

    Daniel, Phil, my apologies for budging in but I couldn’t help having a gut reaction to your words, Daniel: “The second is composed of other types of happenings in early infancy. These are things that happened but never experienced, never became mental contents that can be stored for retrieval.” In particular, I disagree with the expression “things that happened but never experienced” –
    I think that all things that happened to us were experienced. We might not have experienced them on a conscious level, or on a level where we put images or words to it, but nevertheless, we experienced them. We experienced them on a subconscious level, maybe a physical level, or a cellular level. Imo, nothing happens to us that we don’t experience on one level or another. In other words, just because they never “became mental contents” doesn’t mean they were not experienced. Also, we have to be careful as not to see ourselves as only mental beings. We experience things on a mental, physical, and spiritual level. Spiritual meaning as in “my spirit was broken” for example. Along the same line of thinking, something experienced on a physical or spiritual level has as much meaning or impact as something experienced on a mental level. I believe trauma can be experienced and stored on all or any of these levels. That’s all imo, of course.

  241. Nothing wrong with your question Guru but I just wanted to say that people don’t have to give out personal information on the blog if they would prefer not to. I know some people like as much privacy as possible here. Gretch

    • Gretchen: So you’re saying my question is much more innocuous than the time when Jack said my name hundreds of times on the blog even though he was asked repeatedly to stop doing so? I remember your having to spend hours and hours trying to rectify that out-of-control situation, yeah….

      • Guru: Let’s get the FACTS straight. There was an occasion when (according to you) you accidentally used your first name on the blog. SOOOOOO!!!! I responded by repeating your first name … since I felt that now EVERYONE that was currently on the bog now knew your first name.

        You did indeed ask me to stop, but since I felt it was now ‘open sesame’ I could in no way be accused of revealing a factor of YOUR privacy. (Incidentally the most “public” aspect for all of us is our first name). I did continue to use your first name for a further 5 or 6 time (which I don’t remotely consider to be “hundreds”).

        Gretchen did ask me not to … suggesting that it was beneath me. Since I had already done so I felt that it was NOT beneath me. She may have repeated her request one more time and then from-there-on-in I reverted to use part of your pseudonym (Guru).

        The question that always arises for me for anyone using a pseudonym is:- what are they trying to hide? If one was hiding from Interpol it would make sense to me, BUT on a feeling blog I have reservations.


        • Jack: I am not going to spend endless time and energy struggling to untangle your manipulatively self-serving historical revisionism. It’s just not worth it for me at all. Good day to you, sir.

          • Patrick says:

            Guru – I wish I could always take that approach. Guy is a ‘fossil’ everything he says and does is ‘fossilized’ he discusses stuff that happened 20 years ago as if it was still the only reality.(and of course it’s only his ‘version’) NOTHING EVER CHANGES in this dude’s world. No wonder he has adopted ‘primal’ as his philosophy as he thinks it supports his FOSSILIZED view on reality. Another of those ironies primal is SUPPOSED to be about ‘change’ in REALITY it seems to be about NEVER changing anything esp your ‘mind’ Keep pounding on that same old drum.

            • Patrick says:

              Of course it’s sort of inevitable that primal inhibits ‘change’ as at least the way it is used by a lot of people is as an ‘intolerant belief system’ Janov himself said in the Primal Revolution if I remember correctly that it was ‘intolerant’ but as he thought of it it was ‘intolerant of untruths’. Weill maybe so at the time but over time it has just become plain ‘intolerant’ and with Fossil Man (replacing PR man for the moment) at the Head of the Class not a good direction at all imo.

            • Quote: “he discusses stuff that happened 20 years ago as if it was still the only reality.(and of course it’s only his ‘version’)”

              I and many others on this blog, discuss stuff that happened many decades ago. THAT IS THE VERY PURPOSE OF PRIMAL THERAPY, since you seemingly never caught on. It’s NOT about forgetting … quite the reverse … it’s about re-living it … being brought back into full consciousness, ones past, such that we can now stop all that acting it out … and make real change in the present.

              I suspect, like Guru, you hate your behaviors of the past being put back to you. You’d rather ‘shade’ it in a manner to make you sound good, brilliant, above it all, sort of superior. Guru would like us all to know he’s of a noble birth (whatever the fuck that supposed to mean). And you are seemingly wanting desperately to let us know that the Irish were so badly treated by the British … which they were IMO.

              Of course my version of the past is my version, but if it was inaccurate I would have thought Guru would have liked to correct my version with his …. BUT he does not go there. Instead calls me “Sir” I wish to remind everyone, I was never knighted … and come to think of it, would not wish that upon myself. I’ll leave that Paul McCartney.

              As I feel most can see, I’m having fun with all this.


          • Guru: Of course you won’t. That’s always been your modus operandi when I put out there what actually took place … AFTER you hoped you could get away with a glib remark, hoping it would make me look bad to poor little you.

            Try using the blog for what it was really meant to be used for to talk about your feelings. It is after all a feeling blog. I doubt you will.


  242. Well yes your question would be innocuous vs someone saying your name without permission on the blog. Gretch

  243. swisslady says:

    Guru, yes I do mind. I don’t think your question is innocuous, and I don’t have to reveal my familial relations on the blog. I refer you to your own eloquent words from August /2010 here on the blog when I inquired about your identity: “I’d rather not go into personal details about myself in the public arena.”

    • Bernadette: It may come as a surprise to you, but I was actually asking you that question for a very innocent reason. The response I am receiving here has turned out to be a tremendous surprise for me, to say the least. I won’t go into further details as to why my question was an innocent one to ensure maximum protection for all parties involved (both on and off the blog).

      Contrary to Gretchen’s assessment, you said that my question was not an innocuous one. It easily gives off the impression that I was asking the question for nefarious reasons when that is truly not the case.

      Pursuant to this, I would ask you in all fairness to myself that I did not accuse your question of being a non-innocuous one when you asked about my identity in 2010? In other words, I didn’t badger the core intentions of your question as being “non-innocuous” when you asked me back then?

      Other than that modest fairness issue, I will be more than happy to let this matter go (wipes brow, whew!).

  244. Margaret says:

    > Daniel,
    > I am not sure whether I can agree on the difference you make between the two .
    > if one difference I can think of it would be merely preverbal and occurred in the verbal stage, but still ..
    > I think we have experienced everything, that there is no such thing as unexperienced stuff, and if there would be like if we did completely shut our awareness off at some point beyond that it gets probably unretrievable anyway, but that is if we mentally passed out so to say.
    > all the rest feel to me like belonging to some kind of continuum, as even feelings we can label and get into by talking, have an aspect that was not allowed into consciousness so far, until explored in a primal context.
    > meanings to me usually only become clear when the feeling breaks open, not the other way around.
    > the process seems similar is what I mean, whether it is concerning a very early preverbal baby feeling or a feeling going back to later childhood.
    > the latter being more of a mental construction but also containing a basic set of feeling.
    > it gets more complicated and also deeper when growing up, adult pain is painfuller than younger pain, in my experience, although equally painful if that makes sense.
    > the access to both can happen in the same way though.
    > yesterday evening I was laying in bed thinking about being in group next summer, and also thinking about this time of the year last year, when I felt devastated by the combination of having had my beloved cat euthanized while holding her on my lap, and feeling very hurt by someone I turned to for support.
    > I considered the question if I would want to adress this in group, and felt I did not want to feel more hurt by being put in a position where I would feel like having to defend the way I felt, and felt it would be useless to adress the stuff about the person, but the moment I pictured adressing Gretchen, who witnessed my pain in phone sessions last year, and when I imagined myself saying I felt so bad still about the cat, I instantly broke into tears, and started wailing, despite of being aware the neighbours would probably hear some of it.
    > very soon the wails became younger and younger, until they were those of a tiny baby, like just born, and I knew if a neighobour would hear this, they would certainly not think it was me, but they would think I had a small baby with me.
    > it felt good to let it happen,and what I said earlier on applies to these early feelings not going as deep in the brain as adult feelings, they seem to use only part of it, which makes sense as our brain had not fully developed at that age.
    > it struck me that after the feeling I felt more composed, that word came to me then, more ‘adult’..
    > so where is the difference in this case, getting into the feeling by the ‘symbolized’thought about my cat but then moving straight into early baby wailing?
    > it was actually mixed into the feelings about the cat for a while..
    > have still to read the rest of this mornings 17 comments, but wanted to write this down before getting the rest of the input which might distract me.
    > M

    • Sylvia says: