“The teachings about love offered by Fromm, King, and Merton differ from much of today’s writing. There is always an emphasis in their work on love as n active force that should lead us into greater communion with the world. In their work, loving practice is not aimed at simply giving an individual greater life satisfaction; it is extolled as the primary way we end domination and oppression.”—bell hooks, All About Love, 76
“art is giving yourself permission to translate life. exactly the way you feel. see. and hear it. be the artist you are. give yourself permission to speak your own language.”—nayyirah waheed (via nayyirahwaheed)
“It’s one thing to say you have confidence in someones mental health and it’s another thing to actually behave that way. It doesn’t always work out. But if you never get the chance to actually be at your best because I never have confidence in your ability to do so then how would you ever feel happy/healthy around me?”—the boyf, setting gold standards for dating crazies since [actually I dunno since when cuz I’m def not the first one]
millions of real existing people fall in love with straight men. what the fuck
im still thinking about this. they dont just befriend and hang out with straight men, they get emotional about them. they think ‘this person is the best thing that ever happened to me’. i think there was a time when this phenomenon made sense to me but now it does not.
Over the years,I’ve talked to clinicians about why the self is rarely mentioned in treating patients who suffer from mental illnesses that damage their sense of who they are. If anything, it seems that psychiatry is moving away from a model in which the self could be discussed. For many psychiatrists, mental disorders are medical problems to be treated with medications, and a patient’s crisis of self is not very likely to come up in a 15-minute session with a psychopharmacologist.
Philip Yanos, an associate professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, in New York, studies the ways that a sense of self is affected by mental illness. He told me that when his work was under grant review, it was initially met with skepticism. Some thought that what he calls “illness identity,” which manifests in some patients as overidentifying with their mental disorder, was a topic of lesser importance in the face of other serious symptoms that patients experience, like cognitive impairment and thoughts of suicide.
Yanos told me that reshaping your identity from “patient” to “person” takes time. For me, going from patient to person wasn’t so arduous. Once I understood I was not vermicelli, part of my personhood was restored. But reconstructing my self took longer.
One reason that may have been the case, as Amy Barnhorst, a psychiatrist at the University of California, Davis, told me, is the unique set of challenges facing people who have experienced mania and hypomania. “The parts of the selves that may come out” in mania and hypomania, which can be horrifying, “are very real,” she said, making it difficult for patients “to reconcile those behaviors with their self as they have come to know it.” In mania and hypomania, the sick self has no accountability; the improved self has a lot of explaining, and often apologizing, to do.
For many people with mental disorders, the transformation of the self is one of the most disturbing things about being ill. And their despair is heightened when doctors don’t engage with the issue, don’t ask about what parts of the self have vanished and don’t help figure out strategies to deal with that loss.
One day, not long ago, a middle-aged man came to our group. He told us that he spent the past year attending different grief groups, but none of them were right. “Why not?” someone asked. The man said: “Because everyone there was grieving over the loss of another person. I was grieving for myself. For who I used to be before I got sick and who I am now.”
Excerpts and emphasis mine. Just beginning to scratch the surface. The constant battle to get better and simultaneous sabotaging that same desire, out of fear. For who will I be, I who has been living a life not knowing what a normal life’s like.
Thanks for sharing/pulling out these particular bits. Been thinking a lot about selfhood and mental health these days.
easter in jerz with felix’s family: SUNSHINE, driving around listening to emo (i am grudgingly tolerant/occasionally encutened), extrovert convergence in every room of the house (omgggg), sex on the same twin bed but sleeping in different ones.
“Love is as love does, and it is our responsibility to give children love. When we love children we acknowledge by our every action that they are not property, that they have rights—that we respect and uphold their rights.”—bell hooks, All About Love, 30
For women, then, poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action. Poetry is the way we help give names to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives.
As they become known to and accepted by us, our feelings and the honest exploration of them become sanctuaries and spawning grounds for the most radical and daring of ideas. They become a safe-house for that difference so necessary to change and the conceptualization of any meaningful action. Right now, I could name at least ten ideas I would have found intolerable or incomprehensible and frightening, except as they came after dreams and poems. This is not idle fantasy, but a disciplined attention to the true meaning of “it feels right to me.”
”—from “Poetry is Not a Luxury,” Audre Lorde (via commovente)
A friend and I were out with our kids when another family’s two-year-old came up. She began hugging my friend’s 18-month-old, following her around and smiling at her. My friend’s little girl looked like she wasn’t so sure she liked this, and at that moment the other little girl’s mom came up and got down on her little girl’s level to talk to her.
“Honey, can you listen to me for a moment? I’m glad you’ve found a new friend, but you need to make sure to look at her face to see if she likes it when you hug her. And if she doesn’t like it, you need to give her space. Okay?”
Two years old, and already her mother was teaching her about consent.
My daughter Sally likes to color on herself with markers. I tell her it’s her body, so it’s her choice. Sometimes she writes her name, sometimes she draws flowers or patterns. The other day I heard her talking to her brother, a marker in her hand.
“Bobby, do you mind if I color on your leg?”
Bobby smiled and moved himself closer to his sister. She began drawing a pattern on his leg with a marker while he watched, fascinated. Later, she began coloring on the sole of his foot. After each stoke, he pulled his foot back, laughing. I looked over to see what was causing the commotion, and Sally turned to me.
“He doesn’t mind if I do this,” she explained, “he is only moving his foot because it tickles. He thinks its funny.” And she was right. Already Bobby had extended his foot to her again, smiling as he did so.
What I find really fascinating about these two anecdotes is that they both deal with the consent of children not yet old enough to communicate verbally. In both stories, the older child must read the consent of the younger child through nonverbal cues. And even then, consent is not this ambiguous thing that is difficult to understand.
Teaching consent is ongoing, but it starts when children are very young. It involves both teaching children to pay attention to and respect others’ consent (or lack thereof) and teaching children that they should expect their own bodies and their own space to be respected—even by their parents and other relatives.
And if children of two or four can be expected to read the nonverbal cues and expressions of children not yet old enough to talk in order to assess whether there is consent, what excuse do full grown adults have?
I try to do this every day I go to nursery and gosh it makes me so happy to see it done elsewhere.
The dichotomy of feminine Sansa and her tomboy little sister, Arya, coupled with the modern tendency to champion a misunderstanding of feminism in the form of “strong women” only, erroneously causes many readers and viewers to assume that Sansa is somehow in the wrong from the very beginning. They view her through the misconception-colored glasses of “femininity=weakness”, and assume she is weak, soft, and shallow.
Despite the wishes of fanboys everywhere, Sansa Stark is here to stay, and may be one of the most important characters in political-fantasy to date. The young girl, trained in courtesy and domestic arts, began coming of age, gaining political awareness, and fighting for her own survival before many other characters in this series, and has the potential to become the most powerful player of “the game of thrones” in Westeros.
“In fairy tales, monsters exist to be a manifestation of something that we need to understand, not only a problem we need to overcome, but also they need to represent, much like angels represent the beautiful, pure, eternal side of the human spirit, monsters need to represent a more tangible, more mortal side of being human: aging, decay, darkness and so forth. And I believe that monsters originally, when we were cavemen and you know, sitting around a fire, we needed to explain the birth of the sun and the death of the moon and the phases of the moon and rain and thunder. And we invented creatures that made sense of the world: a serpent that ate the sun, a creature that ate the moon, a man in the moon living there, things like that. And as we became more and more sophisticated and created sort of a social structure, the real enigmas started not to be outside. The rain and the thunder were logical now. But the real enigmas became social. All those impulses that we were repressing: cannibalism, murder, these things needed an explanation. The sex drive, the need to hunt, the need to kill, these things then became personified in monsters. Werewolves, vampires, ogres, this and that. I feel that monsters are here in our world to help us understand it. They are an essential part of a fable.”—Guillermo Del Toro (via iwearthecheeseyo)