Tuesday, April 29, 2014

not yet perfect

There is a lot of stuff we humans do, that we just do.  We don't really think about it.  It hardly helps us function.  It often gets in the way.  But we do it over and over. We do it mostly because at some time in our long genetic history it helped us adapt to a world that no longer exists.
Eat too much
Get anxious over nothing
Get angry too fast
Repeat old behaviors
Let our hormones be our guide

on and on.

And if we get challenged about why we do it we can then think up a great rationalization.

That's what makes us "human" which is different from "humane."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Not their fault

Once again, I went away, lost focus, floated in the warm water of the deep South, just to get away from the endless sleet and cold.

I came back to the waining days of full-time practice.  These are more difficult than I had anticipated.  Forty-two years of psychotherapy, and still the world is full of troubles.  Yes, I feel I have been of some benefit to about 60% of of folks who have passed through my threshold and sat nervously telling me things they had never spoken about with anyone.  But the big picture, the changes in the structure of society that we, the idealistic children of the 60's, Peace, Love and Understanding, had hoped the world would move toward, has not happened.

Injustice, insensitivity, exploitation, still, in many cases, take over.  Even if it is a minority of the population, it is that minority that aspires to power and greed, and it makes it all so much more difficult for those who just want to live their own lives in peace and harmony.

The people I saw for treatment this week, the ones who remain as I have been winding down my caseload, are some of my favorite folks.  The folks who were dealt four cards in a game of seven-card-stud.

A woman whose mother was a prostitute and whose father was a drunk.  At the age of six she was told to "play quietly in the other room" while the men came and went. But now, sixty years later, after a long  struggle, filled with many terrible bruises and losses, she has found her way, and has learned that she can enjoy herself, her relationship and her life, despite everything that she has endured.

Another woman, also in her sixties ( so many of my patients are almost as old as I am), who has been a closet lesbian all her life.  It has made her anxious, paranoid, OCD, and ashamed. Suddenly she finds that can relax in this new world that has unexpectedly opened to her. This change is all very difficult for her, and she is amazed and mystified that maybe she has not been such a terrible freak of nature all along.

And me, just a product of my own time, place, family, subculture and genetic potential.  So I still wonder, tritely:

"What's so funny about Peace, Love and Understanding???"